I have a feeling that most travellers want to go to Venice at least once in a lifetime, like me. What is Venice about in your opinion? The answers could be romance, canals, gondolas, carnivals, piazza San Marco. All of this is right, but for many visitors Venice is very much about lines: lines to principal attractions, lines to water buses, crowds & lines on the Bridge of Sighs, lines to skip the lines...

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If you come unprepared, you may end up spending your time in Venice waiting in lines. So the first decision to take is of course whether you really want to go to the city where the tourist season is 12 months a year. If the answer is yes, the second question is how to prepare your trip to skip the lines? Anyway, you should be aware that you will not be able to skip all of them, even with due preparation. Still, I think it would feel much better if you could skip them even partially.

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OK, let’s start to sort out the lines and their skipping one by one.

1) Line to San Marco Basilica

Buy skip the line ticket online for 2 Euros from venetoinside.com. Another option: when you check in your gear at the Ateneo San Basso left luggage service, you'll be given a plastic claim check that can be used to bypass the queue at the front of the Basilica. You can’t enter with your big luggage anyway. The only problem is finding the Ateneo San Basso. Note: there is still a line for owners of skip the line tickets. See it in the picture above.

Buy skip the line ticket online for 2 Euros from venetoinside.com. Another option: when you check in your gear at the Ateneo San Basso left luggage service, you'll be given a plastic claim check that can be used to bypass the queue at the front of the Basilica. You can’t enter with your big luggage anyway. The only problem is finding the Ateneo San Basso. Note: there is still a line for owners of skip the line tickets. See it in the picture from above.

04 san marco basilica venice italy www.thesanetravel.com 124050605 venice italy www.thesanetravel.com 12501162) Line to Dodges Palace

Buy a guided tour for Dodges Palace online from venetoinside.com.06 dodge palace venice italy www.thesanetravel.com 1240555

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It will let you skip the line to Dodge Palace and also give you free entrance to one more museum along with a free private tour to Murano glass factory at 2 p.m. It is the option to skip the vaporetto line for Murano. If you are not prepared and short of time, visit less busy attractions in Venice with no lines, say Scuola Grande di San Rocco, noted for its collection of the finest paintings by Tintoretto.

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3) Line to Campanile di San Marco 

In this case I offer a partial solution: visit the bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore instead to have a shorter line and a gorgeous view to central Venice. To do this, you have to take a vaporetto for one stop to San Giorgio. My waiting time in line for the bell tower elevator there was half an hour.

09 campanile tower venice italy www.thesanetravel.com 125000110 venice italy www.thesanetravel.com 125001011 venice italy www.thesanetravel.com 12500174) Line to a waterbus (vaporetto)

Lines to the waterbuses can be very long and sometimes you won’t be able to board the first boat but will have to wait for the next one instead. If the particular vaporetto you need runs infrequently, it can ruin your travel plans.

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This almost happened to me when I wanted to go from Murano to Burano Island. The first option to skip the vaporetto line is taking a walk instead. It works quite well on the main island of Venice. The second way to skip the lines in Venice is trying to use less busy stops or stay in Lido Island and take your Burano and Murano trips from there.

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There is one more solution at an extra price: locals get priority boarding on water buses despite tourists paying five times more for their tickets. Residents in the canal city pay €1.50 for a ticket and tourists are charged €7.50. A tourist day travel card costs €20.00. Fortunately, you can also buy the "frequent users" version of the Venezia Unica stored-value city pass and travel card. Although it's intended primarily for residents of the Venice region, non-residents can buy it for a fee. It will cost you €50 and allow you to legally skip the lines, using the separate entrance for such card users. Your card will be valid for five years, and you'll be able to add stored-value fares to the card whenever you're in Venice. (Technically, the card itself is free, but there's an "ACTV activation fee" of €40 for the waterbus network and €10 to use land buses and trams, so €50 overall.) To get your Venezia Unica card at the Hellovenezia office, you'll need your passport to submit an application. With this card you can purchase individual paperless waterbus tickets at the resident fare of €1,50.

Have you been to Venice? What were your line skipping strategies? Share in the comments section!

  • Published by Anita on April 29, 2017

 

Author: Anita Sāne

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About the author
Anita is a part time traveler, passionate photographer and a mature career woman
from Latvia, 
traveling mostly solo for more than 10 years. She is a skilled travel planner
planning and executing her travels by herself. Follow Anita also on Instagram.

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Comments   

Suresh Narayanan
#12 Suresh Narayanan 2017-05-09 14:23
Your post inspired me to visit Venice. Looks you have documented all your observations very accurately
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Swati & Sam
#11 Swati & Sam 2017-05-07 19:20
Excellent tips around skipping lines. I never like waiting to get into an attraction. We generally buy the tickets online or visit during off peak hours.
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Wanderlust Vegans
#10 Wanderlust Vegans 2017-05-07 16:28
We tend to just skip places with large lines. We will capture a glimpse of the outside and carry on our way. Glad to hear there are ways to avoid large lines. I wonder if they have a similar thing going on in Rome. Those lines were ridiculous as well. Thanks for the tips! We hope to make it to Venice one day.
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Bonita
#9 Bonita 2017-05-07 09:45
This post talked to me. If there is one thing that tests my patience in a big way is waiting in a line for a service. Unfortunately there are no many ways to go about it from where I come from apart from getting there early or being patient. Nice alternative you've given there.
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Pages of My Passport
#8 Pages of My Passport 2017-05-06 23:14
I lived in a small town just outside of Venice for most of last year. The city is BEAUTIFUL! I love the photos you've shared in this article. Great tips for getting shorter wait-times in lines :)
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Bhusha
#7 Bhusha 2017-05-06 05:54
Whoa! This is actually an eye opening post for me. I was thinking all romantic when it comes to Venice and never knew about the harsh reality of those never ending lines. I wanted to visit Venice the last time I was in Europe but with sky rocketing airfares I chose not to.
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Pat @ ETA for austra
#6 Pat @ ETA for austra 2017-05-05 01:06
Thank you for the advice. I hope I could visit Venice again. This place is appreciable especially for those who do love arts.
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Iza Abao
#5 Iza Abao 2017-05-04 13:55
These are interesting skipping strategies. One of my strategies is to purchase the ticket online like visiting tourist destinations in Hongkong.
I know that Venice is famous but I did not realize that the lines here are too long. I thought they were organized and affordable but then it is in Europe.
I would definitely remember these tips when I visit Venice someday.
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oursweetadventures
#4 oursweetadventures 2017-05-04 13:50
We have been to Venice 2x. Both times we didn't really wait in lines as that was not our objective. We mainly wanted to walk around the city and take photos. We went inside a couple of areas but nothing that required us to wait longer than a couple minutes. We were there in July and August of 2016. It was pretty crowded in Venice at the time. We did see very long lines in San Marco square for the main attractions.
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Ed Little
#3 Ed Little 2017-05-03 03:59
Excellent article! Thank you so much for the advice. We have 3 days to spend in Venice and want to make the most of it. Thank you!
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