The new hi-tech design Marco Polo airport of Venice was recently opened and has won praise from both architects and the travels who use this facility to arrive in Venice. Built on two levels its simplicity and careful planning have allowed the facility to dramatically increase the number of air passengers arriving at Venice over the last couple of years. While at the same time avoiding the chaos and confusion that characterizes many other busy airports.
On the ground floor is located the arrivals area where you'll find car rental agencies, water-taxi reservation desks, cruise agents and escorts, public transportation and tourist information booths, while on the first level of the airport you'll find the departure gates along with a duty-free zone filled with numerous shops offering a multitude of Italian products.
How to get to Venice
After you pass through customs you immediately have to decide your next move which will depend on the location of your accommodation. If you are staying in the neighbouring city of Mestre on the mainland, or catching a train to another destination from Mestre railway station you'll walk straight ahead to where directly outside the main terminal there are several bus stands. The bus routes are well marked for Mestre, and for those staying near Santa Lucia Station in Venice you could take a bus to Piazzale Roma which is Venice 's main bus station located on the Grand Canal.
For those staying in Central Venice and the Lido you'll need to take a free-shuttle service to the dockside where you can either take the public water-bus (Alilaguna Line) or a private water taxi to Venice. The public water-bus has limited stops taking about 45 minutes to complete the journey from the Marco Polo Airport to St. Mark's in Venice. It's often crowded, and makes three stops at Fondamenta Nuove, St Marks and the Zattere.
From either of these stations you'll then have to navigate your way to your hotel. Make sure you come prepared with clear instructions on how to find your hotel and pack lightly as you may have to navigate a few bridges along the way. As you arrive you'll find porters offering to carry your bags to your hotel, but never accept their offer until you agree on a price. Quite often tourists take the Alilaguna line to save money, but when they get hit with a 50E fee by the local porters to carry their luggage a few hundred metres they realize very quickly they would have been better off taking a private taxi instead.
Private water-taxi rates vary greatly depending on the location of your hotel, number of passengers and amount of luggage. Typically, two to four people carrying one piece of luggage each would pay a total of 120 - 150E to get to a hotel located on the waterfront of St. Mark's.