“ Venice is world-famous for its canals. It is built on an archipelago of 122 islands formed by about 150 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400 bridges. In the old center, the canals serve the function of roads, and every form of transport is on water or on foot. In the 19th century a causeway to the mainland brought a railway station to Venice, and an automobile causeway and parking lot was added in the 20th century. Beyond these land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains, as it was in centuries past, entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest urban carfree area, unique in Europe in remaining a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks. The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Most Venetians now travel by motorised waterbuses ("vaporetti") which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city's islands. The city also has many private boats. The only gondolas still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points without bridges. „
When travelling around venice there is only one option and that is by water however there are 3 options as to which you take when sailing on the venetian lakes and canal ways.
The first and the most popular for tourists and locals is the vaporetto. This is a water bus really which can take hoards of people on board and will take you to each stop along venice. A travel pass can be bought which will cover you throughout the day and this is the cheapest option as to buy them seperately can add up. This reachs all of venice including lido and the surrounding islands of murano, burano and torcello. Boats come every 20 minutes or so and are easy to get onto and the views are the best that you will ever see on any other 'bus' type transport!
The second option is the water taxi. This is the expensive option compared to the vaporetto as they are smaller boats hosting up to approx 8 people at any one time and they are wooden cured and polished boats with great stature. The prices are at least double than the vaporetto but of course personal sevice is given and their customers are the number 1 priority. You can be taken directly to where you wish to get to without going to all the stops and in a sense of luxury as if hiring a private boat, which ultimately is what you are doing.
Finally the third and most expensive option of travel is by gondola, well what other way should there be in venice? This is the transport to take as an experience and adventure but certainly not for daily travel as it costs approx £50 to travel by style! The gondaliers will try and hound you all day to experience the ride and at this cost who can blame them and they will give you the experience with the striped shirts and hats and the singing operatic nature. Hillarious, beautiful and magical and yes you have to go on a gondola but do not see this as a transport option, this is experience only.
Many of you may have noticed that Venice isn't normal. So cars aren't much use here. Neither are helicopters really. So I'm thinking that given the abundance of water that boats might be the way to go. Having said that, walking is also a very valid option, giving you the opportunity to soak up more atmosphere from the backstreets and the like. I visited Venice last summer, and personally, walked about quite easily, although just being on a day trip didn't allow for going further afield and visiting the other smaller islands so I didn't need to use the water buses. But back to water transport. You have 3 options, gondolas, water buses and water taxis. The main route for the water buses is the grand canal, which allow great views of the city, but, although regular and run throughout the day and night in high season, can be slow. There are smaller, faster versions which are preferable if you are in a hurry of course. Ticket prices depend only on the route you take and not how far you're going or to where. Equally, you might have to pay for suitcases and the like, so be careful. I'd recommend buying tickets in advance as it's cheaper than actually on the ferry. AS with most transport systems, you can also get a 24 hour or 3 day pass for all boats. Make sure you date stamp the tickets or you'll get a fine! If you're getting from the airport to town, using water taxis may be better as there's no stress with your bags and stuff, but be warned, they are well expensive, and you can get a water bus... I've saved the best 'til last...gondolas. Yes, it's a nice romantic dream to go on a gondola, but when they cost nearly 50 quid, it's just not worth it. The canals are very busy, especially the Grand Canal, and so gondolas tend to go down the "backstreets" so to speak, and during high season, there can be conjestion...not what you want really. Personally, I
would recommend getting a train to Venice, or parking in the park and ride complex which is massive and obvious outside of the main island, and walking your way around. If you want to go to the smaller islands, then boats are inevitable. Walking is the better of the two evils around Venice as you get to soak up more atmosphere around little backstreets, there's a surprise around every corner which you'd miss in a boat. Plus, it saves money, is quicker, and gives you exercise! Please ignore my comments! They aren't really relevant!