Parking in Venice, Italy: A Complete Guide to Venice By Car

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Is parking in Venice, Italy easy? In a word, no it isn’t. 

If you can avoid it, you should. However, if you have no other option but to arrive in Venice by car or camper, you need to know how to park in Venice. 

Whether you’re looking for free parking spaces, convenient car parks near the train station, or the perfect spot near the historic center, I’ve got you covered.

There are a surprising number of parking possibilities for a city that doesn’t allow cars, and the streets are canals. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make your Venetian adventure as smooth as possible. If you’re ready to explore Venice and just need to know where to park then read on for all the information!

Venice’s Historic Center vs. Mainland Parking

When planning a trip to Venice, one of the primary concerns for travelers arriving by car is parking in Venice since the entire island complex is car free. Both the historic center and the mainland offer parking options, but each comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Let’s delve into a comparative analysis:

Parking in Venice’s Historic Center


  • Proximity to Attractions: Once you’ve parked, you’re immediately in the heart of Venice, close to major attractions like Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, and countless museums and churches.
  • Experience Authentic Venice: Parking in or near the historic center allows you to explore Venice right from the start.
  • Fewer Transits: Reduce the need for additional transportation like buses or water taxis since you’re already close to many destinations.


  • Limited Spaces: The historic city center has very limited parking spaces, mainly around Piazzale Roma and the garages can fill up quickly.
  • Cost: Parking here can be more expensive due to the prime location.
  • Navigational Challenges: Getting onto Piazzale Roma and the island of Tronchetto can be a challenge if you aren’t used to driving in Italy. This is especially true if you are driving a camper.

Parking on the Mainland (e.g., Mestre and Marghera)


  • Plenty of Spaces: The mainland offers several large parking lots and garages, ensuring you’ll find a spot.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally, parking on the mainland is cheaper than in the historic center.
  • Easier Navigation: The roads are broader and more straightforward, making it easier for drivers unfamiliar with the area.


  • Distance from Attractions: You’ll be farther from the main attractions, requiring additional transit into the historic center.
  • Transit Costs: While parking might be cheaper, you’ll likely incur costs for trains, buses, or water taxis to reach the city center.
  • Less Charm: The immediate surroundings might lack the unique Venetian charm of the historic center.
  • On a Schedule: You have to make sure that you are aware of the time since you will need to make sure that you are able to catch public transportation back to the mainland.

Where to Park in Venice: Main Parking Areas

Venice, a city of canals and romance, presents unique challenges for drivers. But with the right information, parking in Venice can be a breeze. Let’s explore the primary parking areas and their features.

garage san marco - parking in venice italy

Piazzale Roma: The Epicenter of Large Parking Garages

Historic Venice and the mainland are seamlessly connected by the 4km-long Ponte della Liberta (Liberty Bridge), making Piazzale Roma in the Santa Croce district the most accessible parking hub from which to visit Venice. There are three car parks to choose from:

  • Autorimessa Comunale: Located just before reaching Piazzale Roma, this facility offers over 2,000 parking spaces exclusively for standard cars. Motorbike enthusiasts will find 180 spaces dedicated to them. Open 24/7, the security standards are also very good. Remember, for security reasons, you’ll be asked to leave your car keys, so ensure no valuables are left in the car. The cost is a flat daily rate of €35.00, valid for a full 24 hours from the time of entry. To secure a spot, I recommend booking in advance. Reservations can be made online and require pre-payment with a credit card. This must be done by midnight the day before your expected arrival. With your reservation, you’ll also get priority lane access to the garage.
  • Garage San Marco Srl: This large car park, also situated directly on Piazzale Roma, boasts 900 parking spaces suitable for cars, minivans, buses, and motorbikes and charging stations for electric vehicles. With round-the-clock video surveillance, parking costs are from €23.00 for up to 5 hours and €45.00 for up to 24 hours. However, if you arrive after 5 pm and leave by 5 am then you pay €20.00.
  • Parcheggio S. Andrea: Ideal for those planning a day trip to Venice, this smaller car park offers around 100 spaces. Rates start at €7.00 for 2 hours. It’s always open, but reservations aren’t possible. It is often full so you have to essentially get lucky to be able to park here.

Tronchetto Parking

Tronchetto is an artificial island in Venice with access to a large parking garage. It’s strategically located by the old Venice passenger terminal, making it a popular choice for visitors. (See website here)

The Tronchetto parking garage is spacious, accommodating thousands of vehicles, including cars, motorbikes, and even larger vehicles like camper vans and buses.

The cost of parking at Tronchetto is relatively more affordable compared to other parking spaces closer to the historic center. Prices generally range from €21 to €30 for 24 hours. However, it’s always wise to check the current rates before your visit.

Tronchetto boasts high security standards. The parking garages are equipped with video surveillance, and there’s staff present around the clock. Unlike some other parking areas in Venice, at Tronchetto, you typically don’t need to leave your car keys behind.

people mover to tronchetto - parking in venice italy

Once you’ve parked your vehicle, the heart of Venice is just a short ride away, thanks to the People Mover. This modern, driverless elevated train system connects Tronchetto to Piazzale Roma in just a few minutes and only costs 1.50 euro.

people mover schedule and prices - parking in venice italy

Piazzale Roma is right on the Grand Canal, Venice’s most significant and essential waterway, making it a perfect starting point to get to major sites like San Marco.

Pro Tip!

Many hotels in the historic part of Venice offer special deals for guests parking at Piazzale Roma and Tronchetto car parks. It’s worth inquiring about potential discounts on parking fees.

Where to Park on the Mainland


Mestre, a mainland town near Venice, offers a variety of garages and parking spaces. Opting to park your vehicle here can be a strategic choice, especially if you’re looking for cheap parking options. In fact, you could even score a free parking space in the residential areas with on street parking around the train station if you’re lucky.

If you’re only planning to spend the day in Venice this can be a good option. Look for spaces with white lines as this means that parking in that spot is free. Blue lines mean you have to pay a parking fee by the hour.

There are tram and bus stops around that will give you convenient access to Venice if you don’t find any spots near the train station. Look for tram line 1 to get to the historic center and Piazzale Roma. The cheapest option for parking around that area is the Garage Europa (14 euro per day) with the nearest bus stop about 500 meters away and the nearest Tram LIne 1 stop is roughly the same.

The bus ticket is only 1 euro.

Alternatively, the railway station is about a 15 minute walk. I recommend trying to get near the train station and taking that in, however. Mestre train station provides regular services to Venice’s Santa Lucia train station, making the commute seamless.

Plus, the frequency of trains ensures you won’t wait long. Not only that, but you can use a luggage storage facility at the station to drop off your bags, so you aren’t going with heavy bags on a crowded bus or tram.

Marco Polo Airport

The Venice Marco Polo Airport is another viable option for parking, especially for those flying in.

The airport offers both short-term and long-term multi-storey car parks, with varying parking fees. While it’s a bit farther out, regular shuttle bus services and water taxis connect the airport to Venice’s city center.

water bus alilaguna from marco polo airport to venice

Plus, some car rental companies might offer special deals or packages that include parking.

You have a few options to get to Venice from Marco Polo Airport. You can click that link to get the full article with all the information.

In a nutshell, your options are to take a water taxi or Alilaguna water bus across the Venetian lagoon to stops on Murano, Lido di Venezia, and of course the main island stops such as San Marco, Rialto, and Piazzale Roma

Treviso Airport

A bit farther from Venice, the Treviso Airport serves as a secondary hub.

Like Marco Polo, it offers parking facilities for travelers. While not as popular for those strictly visiting Venice, it can be a strategic choice for those taking day trips around Venice.

treviso airport parking in venice italy

Bus services and train connections from the airport to Venice are available, ensuring you can reach the city proper without much hassle. Your options are to park near the airport, or drop your car rental there and pick up a shuttle transfer from there.

Or, you could park near the train station (Difficult to find spaces though!) and take the train in. Once again, I have written an entire article on how to get to Venice from Treviso, so click the link to get all the information. 

Porto di Marghera

Parking on the mainland in Marghera is convenient and cheap. In fact, look for the Venice Expo with a new parking lot that even offers free parking.

As a bonus, you will be very near the cruise terminals so if you are arriving there by car to take a cruise.

However, it must be said that leaving a car in this new car park in Marghera is not very safe. This is especially true if you have a rental car that has the stickers from the agency on it making it clear it’s a rental.

If you were thinking of leaving your luggage in the car, I highly advise against that.

The best place to park in Marghera is the Venice City Park (website). It’s essentially a Park and Ride from a parking lot right at the entrance to the Ponte della Libertà.

You can catch a public transport bus that goes to Piazzale Roma only 50 meters from the lot and only takes 6 minutes. You’ll save money since the price is only 5.50 euro per day. Unfortunately, there is no parking for motorcycles, campers, or large vans.

Punta dei Sabbioni

Located on the narrow strip of land that separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, Punta Sabbioni offers unique parking spaces.

It’s a favorite spot for those planning to explore the islands of the lagoon, like Murano and Burano. From here, regular water bus services can whisk you away to Venice’s heart, allowing you to leave your car behind and avoid the hustle of parking in Venice.

You’ll also be able to find a parking spot here to park your RV or camper. 

If you are arriving from the east through Friuli or from Slovenia, then this is the most logical place to park since it gives the easiest mainland access to Venice. As a bonus, there are some excellent beaches here to choose from.

After a day of exploring sights such as San Marco, cool your heels in the gentle waves of the Adriatic before getting back in the car and on your way. 

Navigating Venice After Finding a Parking Space

Once you’ve secured your vehicle in one of Venice’s parking spaces, the next step is to immerse yourself in the city’s enchanting beauty. But how do get around Venice when parking is sorted? Here’s a guide to help you:

Using the Vaporetto (Water Bus) System

The Vaporetto is Venice’s primary public transportation system. These water buses crisscross the canals, connecting various parts of the city and its surrounding islands.

vaporetto parking in venice italy

They’re not just a means of transport but also offer a unique way to see Venice from the water. When planning your journey, consider purchasing a Venice Pass. These passes provide unlimited rides on the Vaporetto system and can be a cost-effective way to explore the city.

Plus, it often includes access to major sites with skip-the-line access, ensuring you get the most out of your visit.

Water Taxi Services

For a more private and direct route, water taxis are available. While they’re pricier than the Vaporetto, they offer a personalized experience, taking you exactly where you want to go. They’re especially handy if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage or if you’re in a hurry. Many hotels offer canal access and a water taxi can drop you off right at the entrance. 

water taxi in front of hotel canal access

Shuttle Bus Services

Some parking areas, especially those on the mainland like Trevio or the Marco Polo Venice Airport, offer shuttle bus services. These buses transport visitors directly to the historic city center, making the transition from car to city smooth and hassle-free.

shuttle bus to treviso airport from piazzale roma - parking in venice italy

Walking Routes

Venice is one of the most walkable cities and is best explored on foot. From your parking garage, especially those near Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto, several walking routes lead you to iconic landmarks.

A leisurely stroll can take you to the majestic Rialto Bridge, offering panoramic views of the city. From there, meander your way to the Grand Canal, Venice’s main waterway, lined with historic palazzos and bustling with gondolas and boats.

What to Know about Parking in Italy

Parking in Italy can be a unique experience, especially for those unfamiliar with the country’s rules and customs. Here are some essential parking tips to keep in mind:

blue lines for paid parking piazzale roma - parking in venice italy

Understand the Color Codes: Italian parking spaces are color-coded.

  • Blue Lines: Paid parking. Look for nearby ticket machines where you can purchase a ticket to display on your dashboard.
  • White Lines: Free parking. However, in some cities, these might be reserved for residents, so always check for signs.
  • Yellow Lines: Reserved spots, often for disabled drivers, deliveries, or specific services. Avoid parking here unless you have the necessary permits.

Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL)

Many Italian cities, especially historic centers, have ZTL zones where traffic is restricted. Cameras monitor these areas, and unauthorized vehicles can incur hefty fines. Always check for ZTL signs and avoid driving into these zones unless you have a permit.

Parking Lots and Garages

In busy areas, especially near tourist attractions, consider using parking garages or lots. They might be pricier than street parking, but they offer security and convenience. Signs with a blue “P” indicate parking areas.

Use Parking Apps

Several apps, like Parclick or MyCicero, can help you find and book parking spaces in Italy. They provide real-time availability, costs, and can even allow you to reserve a spot in advance.

Always Carry Coins

Many parking meters in Italy don’t accept cards. Always have some coins on hand to pay for your parking ticket.

Parking Discs

In some areas, especially smaller towns, you might encounter blue zones where parking is free for a limited time. You’ll need a parking disc (disco orario) to indicate your arrival time. You can purchase these discs at tobacco shops or service stations.

Avoid Double Parking

While you might see locals double parking, especially during the midday siesta, it’s best to avoid this practice. It can block traffic and lead to fines.

Check for Market Days

Many Italian towns have weekly markets, and streets that are usually open for parking might be off-limits on market days. Always check local signs or ask residents to avoid unwanted surprises.

Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Venice is very safe but if you’re leaving your car on the street or in an open lot, ensure that no valuables are visible. It’s always a good practice to keep items in the trunk or glove compartment.

Parking Tickets

If you receive a parking ticket, it’s essential to pay it promptly. Unpaid tickets can accumulate additional fees, and rental car companies might charge an administrative fee on top of the ticket cost.

FAQ About Parking in Venice

Are cars allowed on the streets of Venice?

No, cars are not allowed on the streets of Venice. 
The historic center of Venice is entirely pedestrianized, with canals serving as the primary means of transportation. Visitors arriving by car must park their vehicles in designated parking areas outside the historic center, such as Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto, and then proceed on foot or use water-based transportation like vaporettos (water buses) or water taxis.

Can you walk from Venice to the mainland?

Yes, you can walk from the mainland to Venice and vice versa. The only way to reach Venice from the mainland by land is via the Ponte della Libertà (Liberty Bridge), a nearly 4km-long road and rail bridge. Cars, trains, buses and trams all use this road to get to the island proper of Venice as do pedestrians. You can even ride a bicycle over the bridge to Venice on a bike and pedestrian path. 

Is Mestre Safe?

While Mestre is in close proximity to Venice, it is distinctively different from the iconic city built on islands. Although Mestre is mainly safe, it can be rough around the edges. You should definitely take some precautions if you are parking in Mestre such as never leaving valuables in your car, and staying in well lit areas if walking back to your car at night. 

autopark open lot in piazzale roma - parking in venice italy

Wrapping It Up

Navigating the city’s parking and transportation can be a challenge, especially for first-time visitors. In fact, I often say that Venice is the most challenging Italian city to visit and requires the most planning. However, the rewards are worth it. 

Whether you choose to park in the heart of Venice or opt for more affordable options in areas like Mestre or Porto Marghera, it’s essential to plan ahead. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can ensure that your trip is both memorable and stress-free.

Make sure to check out the links to more helpful articles below!

Sal Presti

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