Venice

By | 16th January 2018
Do you need a car in Venice > Should you rent a car in Venice Italy > Venice ( VCE )
Car: Do you need a car in 5? No car: Is it worth hiring a car in 5? Slider: Should you rent a car in 5? Should you rent a car in 5?

Venice car hire quick facts

Cheapest rate for one week Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

75

 #58/300

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Venice but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €

130

 66/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 1638 - of which 173 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

11

%

277/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Venice public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.

92%

#8/300

  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score {coming shortly}

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.

--%

#---/300

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Venice good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score {coming shortly}

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Venice

--%

#---/300

Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Venice", "is it worth hiring a car in Venice", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Venice?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Venice?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Venice?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Should I rent a car in Venice? Surely, when it comes to considering whether or not to get a hire car, it doesn’t get more obvious than Venice?

Should I rent a car in Venice?

Should I rent a car in Venice? A car can be extremely useful to explore the Dolomites.

Do you need a car in Venice? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Venice?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Venice? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Venice as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Venice?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments


Well, actually, we happen to think that getting a hire car in Venice is an extremely good idea.

Why should you rent a car in Venice?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Venice?


Needless to say, the question of “Should I rent a car in Venice” is never about the historic centre, or any of the islands around the Lido, but when you start to look outside the city, you can start to make quite a strong case:

  • Dolomites — quite simply there is so much more beyond Venice than canals and gondolas, and the Dolomites in particular are absolutely stunning. Whether you want to go hiking, skiing or climbing, a hire car is going to make everything much easier.
  • National Parks — If you head up the A27 autopista to Ponte nelle Alpi, you will then find the Dolomiti Bellunesi national park on your left and the Dolomiti Friulane national park on your right. Further to the northwest, you can also visit the Pale di San Martino natural park.
  • Slovenia – with a hire car, you can easily pop across into neighbouring Slovenia and explore the Triglav National Park. Given how bad public transport is at the top end of the Adriatic, continuing in to Croatia isn’t such a bad idea either – although one-way rentals will cost you.
  • City tour — architecture pundits will also want to visit cities like Padua and Mantua. Mantua in particular has notable works by Alberti, and is rated as one of the most “liveable” cities in Italy. Although these can be done by train, a car gives the flexibility to enjoy the cities and landscapes and villages between them.
  • Beaches — there are plenty of great beaches around Venice, and a hire car is good for getting around here to.
  • Easy hire car access — Venice Marco Polo airport is a short ferry journey from the city, so it is easy to combine a trip into Venice itself with getting a hire car for the rest of your stay. Alternatively, hire cars are also available near to Santa Lucia station, or at Mestre station, the first mainland stop.
    Check about picking up in one place and dropping off somewhere else, it may well just be cheaper to pickup and drop-off your hire car at the airport.
  • Plan B – Venice is one of those cities that everyone should visit at least once, but at the wrong time of year it can be quite literally overloaded with people, or sometimes Venice quite literally stinks! Whilst Venice is too good to miss, even if you are then heading on somewhere else, it is worth having other options available in case you get fed up after being there for a couple of days. In this respect, it is at least worth having a hire car as an option.
Do we need a car in Venice?

A hire car can be very useful for getting to places like Cortina – although you can also get here by a combination of train and bus, and then going hiking.

Why not? Visiting Venice without a car

What is public transport like in Venice? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Venice?


Then again, visiting Venice wirthout a car, even if you are planning on travelling well beyond the city limits, is hardly a problem either:

  • Obvious isn’t it? Venice is a city of canals and narrow back streets. It goes without saying that as there is no room in Venice for cars, then if you are only planning on staying within the city itself, there is of course no need to even contemplate getting one.
  • Getting around – Although a gondola ride will set you back a good few euros (haggle hard), getting around Venice is actually surprisingly easy, whether by water bus (vaporetto) or simply on foot.
  • Lido – Venice isn’t just about the Grand Canal and St Mark’s Square, you may also want to get out and explore around the Lido. Many of these islands are also car free, so you are still best off without one.
  • Central Train – any visitors arriving in Venice by train will appreciate that they are already in the heart of the city when they disembark at Santa Lucia station. Simply walk through the station concourse and you exit straight onto the Grand Canal. It doesn’t get better than that! For anyone with an interest in modern aswell as classical architecture, take a brief detour to the right and there you will see the highly controversial Constitution Bridge. This was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, altough its simple arch structure is a lot less flamboyant than many of this other works.
  • Tour by train — you can easily visit nearby towns and cities by train, and you can also combine a visit to Venice with other major northern Italian city such as Milan and Florence. Those three cities make a nice triangle.
  • Adriatic by boat or bus – you can take ferries to various points in Croatia from Venice, or you can take bus connections via Trieste. Although these are nothing like as convenient as having a hire car, you can at least travel along the coast in one direction, so you might get to see a lot more. Depending on your itinerary, you could head towards fantastic Dubrovnik via Split, or perhaps end up in the stunning Plitvice Lakes, and head out via the Croatian capital Zagreb.

Conclusionto enjoy the numerous attractions which are within the hinterland of Venice itself, a hire car is an extremely good idea.

Verdict — yes

Note — although Venice is not a major intercontinental hub airport, a good network of flights to Venice is available from across Europe. Some budget flights will use Venice Treviso airport, which is around 30 km to the north. If you are getting a hire car anyway, it won’t make that much difference which airport you are using, but for a short break in Venice itself without getting a hire car, it is much easier to use Marco Polo airport. The nearest major hub is Malpensa Airport outside Milan, from where regular trains are available to Venice, with a change in Milan Centrale.

 

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