[2024] The Best Venice Passes to Save You Time and Money

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you book a tour or hotel through my link I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. By supporting me through these links, you’re helping me keep this site awesome and deliver top-notch content to you. Your support means the world to me, and I’m incredibly grateful for it!

Venice, Italy is a city unlike any other. 

Built on a network of canals and connected by dozens of bridges, it can be a challenge to navigate for even the most seasoned traveler. 

With so much to see and do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on some of the city’s top attractions, especially since most people only spend a short amount of time here

Fortunately, there are several types of Venice passes available for tourists that can help save time in Venice. These Venice city passes, designed to cater to the varied needs of visitors, can provide significant savings for the major attractions, convenience, and access to the best that Venice has to offer. 

In this article, I’ll give you some inside tips on the various passes available and how they can help you make the most of your time during your trip to Venice.

Read my guide on visiting Venice on a budget to save money on your next trip!

Overview of the Types of Venice City Passes

There are a number of passes available for you to get the most out of your trip to Venice. Which one is best suited for you depends on a number of factors. In this section of the article, I will go over what the various passes are and then provide more detail about each one individually.

Not every pass is going to provide value, so you really have to choose wisely. Hopefully, this article will help you zero in on the right pass. 

1 – Venezia Unica City Pass

The Venezia Unica Card offers access to all of Venice’s major cultural attractions, including Venice Museum Pass: This pass grants entry to some of the most popular museums in Venice, including fast track entrance to the Doge’s Palace and the Correr Museum.

2 – Chorus Pass

This pass provides access to 16 of Venice’s most beautiful churches, including the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli.

3 – Venice Transport Pass

This pass allows for unlimited use of the city’s public transport system, including vaporettos (water buses) and water taxis.

4 – Venice Connected Pass

This pass allows for unlimited use of the city’s public transport system, including vaporettos (water buses) and water taxis.

5 – Venice Discovery Pass

Includes Doge’s Palace: Fast Track, Public transport in Venice for 24 – 72 Hours, Chorus Pass (for religious architecture), Alilaguna Boat Transfer between Venice Airport and Venice City and a Welcome To Venice Self-Guided Audio Tour.

Venezia Unica Pass

The Doge’s Palace, also referred to as Palazzo Ducale, stands as a magnificent testament to the grandeur of the Venetian Republic.

skip the lines at St Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace

This ticket not only provides you with entry to explore the once-powerful home of Venice’s Doges, featuring the renowned golden Scala D’Oro staircase, but also access to some of the city’s most iconic religious sites. You can skip the line to enter the Basilica di San Marco, visit the museum inside, and access the rooftop terrace. 

In addition, choose any three churches from the 18 Chorus Churches in Venice to visit, such as Santa Maria del Giglio (boasting exceptional artwork), San Stae, and Santo Stefano.

Craving more cultural experiences? Your all-access pass also covers admission to the Correr Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Marciana.

And while you’re in the city, don’t miss the opportunity to view over 400 paintings and frescoes from the 18th and 19th centuries at the Querini Stampalia Foundation, located in the very heart of Venice!

Venice City Pass

This is the ideal Venice pass for every traveler to Venice. For starters, there isn’t just one pass. You can customize the itinerary to include museums, a gondola ride, vaporetti (water bus) rides, and so much more. 

It’s essentially the same as the Venezia Unica pass but not issued by the city, so you can add things such as a gondola ride or a food tour.

You will need to book the date and time to enter sites such as the Doge’s Palace, so planning is essential. When your time is limited in Venice, this is the best way to do things. What you lose by not being spontaneous, you gain by making your time in Venice more manageable and relaxing. 

use the Venice pass to book a gondola ride

What the Venice City Pass includes:

  • Gain priority access to the Basilica of San Marco, featuring the Pala D’Oro with its precious stones, rooftop terrace, and the San Marco museum
  • Fast track entrance to the Doge’s Palace
  • Explore three Piazza San Marco museums: Museo Correr, National Archaeological Museum, and Marciana National Library
  • Choose a classic Gondola Ride or opt for this combo ticket without it
  • Venice city tour app with audio guide included
  • Enjoy a 10% savings on select attractions and excursions

Venice Discovery Pass

Experience the best of Venice without the hassle of waiting in long ticket queues. Simply obtain your Venice Discovery Pass before your trip, and all you need is your phone to access the famous attractions!

  • Doge’s Palace: Fast Track – Step back in time and delve into the history and culture of the City of Masks as you enter Doge’s Palace. Marvel at the opulent rooms adorned by the works of artists such as Titian, Veronese, Tiepolo, and Tintoretto. This ticket allows you to bypass the lengthy queue and enter quickly.
  • Public transport in Venice: 24 – 72 Hours – This convenient ticket provides unlimited access to the ‘vaporetti’ (water-buses) in Venice, Lido, and the lagoon islands, as well as buses in Mestre and Marghera. Choose from 24, 48, or 72-hour options.
  • Chorus Pass: Explore 15 of the most exceptional examples of sacred architecture in the city. Admire Tintoretto and Rubens’ paintings in the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio, and witness original Dominican structures, among others.
  • Alilaguna Boat Transfer from Venice Airport to Venice City: The one-way Alilaguna Boat Transfer is the ideal way to travel from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Venice city. Select any of the three boat lines connecting the airport to the city center, as well as Lido, Murano, and Rialto.
  • Welcome To Venice Self-Guided Audio Tour: Narrated by a local historian, this Venetian exploration uncovers the history of iconic architecture and delves into the culture as you stroll at your leisure. Discover the captivating Palazzo Ducale, uncover the secrets of the Basilica di San Marco, and amble around the Rialto Bridge.
Venice discovery pass gets you to the city center from the airport

Venice Pass for Transportation

Getting around in Venice by vaporetto (Water Bus), water taxi, tram, or going to the various islands in the lagoon can be very expensive. For instance, a typical ticket for the vaporetto is 9.50 euro and lasts 75 minutes. This means that if you were to take the vaporetto from the train station to St. Mark’s Square, you would have to buy another ticket to take another one to another destination for an additional 9.50 euro. 

save time with a water taxi

The water taxi from the airport to the historic center is an invigorating and exciting way to enter the city, but will also cost you over 100 euro. 

Buying the various passes available for transportation is a good idea and will make your life much easier as well as save you some money. 

There are different passes available that will suit your needs, so take a look below to find the right one for your length of time in Venice as well as your transportation needs. 

ACTV Public transport card

What you get with a 1, 2, or 3 day pass:

  • Unlimited use of the public transportation services (ACTV vaporetti and buses) in the city of Venice
  • Unlimited use of the water-buses and buses in Lido, the lagoon islands, Mestre and Marghera
  • Unlimited use of train R and RV in the municipality of Venice (only if option 1 day Ticket + Trenitalia is selected)

N.B. I don’t recommend getting the 75 minute pass since it is exactly the same as the single trip ticket you can buy at any ticket machine for less money.

You can buy a pass at any of the vaporetto stops or at the ticket booths in front of the major sites like the train station and St Mark’s Square.

vaporetto ticket booth in front of train station

Water Taxi from Marco Polo Airport to Venice + ACTV 24 – 72-Hour Transport

When you are coming from the airport to get to the historic center, I highly recommend this Venice pass. It is convenient and saves a lot of money.

What the pass includes: 

  • Unlimited use of the public transport (ACTV vaporetti and buses) in the city of Venice
  • Unlimited use of the water-buses and buses in Lido, the lagoon islands, Mestre and Marghera
  • Unlimited use of train R and RV in the municipality of Venice (only if option 1 day Ticket + Trenitalia is selected)
  • Water taxi from Venice Airport to city center (shared transfer)
  • Luggage transfer

If you end up going to the beach or casino on the Lido, for instance, you will use the pass both for the vaporetto to get to the island and for the buses on the island to get around easily and quickly. 

Alternatively, if you decide to head to Mestre for any reason, you can take one of the trams with the pass at no extra charge. 

Chorus Pass

The Chorus Church Pass in Venice is a fantastic way to explore some of the most stunning churches in the city while saving money. With one pass, visitors can access 18 churches, including famous landmarks such as the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, and the Chiesa di San Giacomo di Rialto.

san trovaso, san marco. santa maria formosa

Aside from the cost savings, the Chorus Church Pass also offers other benefits. For instance, it allows visitors to bypass long lines at individual church entrances, as they can simply show their pass to gain entry. Better still, the pass lasts for a year from when you redeem it, meaning visitors can use it to explore the churches at their own pace over multiple days or even weeks.

Additionally, the Chorus Church Pass provides a rich cultural and historical experience, giving visitors the chance to admire exquisite artwork, intricate architecture, and learn about the history of each church, which spans over centuries. Buying a Chorus Church Pass is an excellent investment for anyone who wishes to explore the religious and cultural heritage of Venice while saving money and enjoying a hassle-free experience.

The Chorus Pass includes access to all of these important churches:

1 – Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

One of the largest churches in Venice, the Frari is a must-see for art lovers with its collection of works by Titian, Bellini, and Donatello, among others. Don’t let the austere exterior fool you. The interior is as sumptuous as the exterior is plain.

2 – Church of Santa Maria del Giglio

This church, also known as Santa Maria Zobenigo, features a beautiful Baroque facade and interior with works by artists such as Tiepolo and Piazzetta.

3 – Church of Santo Stefano

A small, charming church in the San Marco district, Santo Stefano houses works by Tintoretto, Veronese, and Palma il Giovane.

4 – Church of Santa Maria Formosa

Built in the 15th century, this church has a unique exterior and features a collection of paintings by artists such as Bellini and Tintoretto.

5 – Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

This church, often referred to as the “marble church,” boasts a stunning facade entirely covered in white and pink marble, with intricate sculptural details.

6 – Church of San Giovanni Elemosinario

A small but noteworthy church in the San Polo district, San Giovanni Elemosinario features works by Palma il Giovane and the Veronese brothers.

7 – Church of San Polo

Located in the heart of the San Polo district, this church features a striking Gothic facade and houses works by Tintoretto and Palma il Giovane.

8 – Church of San Giacomo dall’Orio

This church, located in the Santa Croce district, is a fine example of Venetian Gothic architecture and houses works by Palma il Giovane and Carpaccio.

9 – Church of San Stae

A grand Baroque church located in the Santa Croce district, San Stae features works by Tiepolo and a unique organ with 5,000 pipes.

10 – Church of Sant’Alvise

This church in the Cannaregio district is known for its striking facade and for housing works by the Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

11 – Basilica of San Pietro di Castello

Once the cathedral of Venice, this basilica features a mix of architectural styles and houses works by artists such as Carpaccio and Tintoretto.

12 – Church of the Santissimo Redentore

A beautiful church located on the island of Giudecca, the Redentore was built as a thanksgiving for the end of the plague and features works by Paolo Veronese.

13 – Church of Santa Maria del Rosario

Also known as the Gesuati, this church in the Dorsoduro district features a grand Baroque facade and interior and houses works by Tiepolo and Tintoretto.

14 – Church of San Sebastiano

Decorated by Veronese with frescoes and canvases, this church is located in the Dorsoduro district and is known for its art collection and unique oval-shaped nave.

15 – Church of San Giobbe

This church in the Cannaregio district features a simple, elegant facade and houses works by Bellini, Titian, and Palma il Giovane.

16 – Church of San Giuseppe di Castello

Located on the island of San Pietro, this church is known for its impressive bell tower and for housing works by the Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto.

17 – Church of San Vidal

A small church located near the Accademia Bridge, San Vidal is known for its collection of musical instruments and for hosting classical music concerts.

18 – Church of San Giacomo di Rialto

This church in the San Polo district is believed to be the oldest church in Venice and is known for its simple facade and Byzantine-style interior.

Cost Savings: If you plan to visit several churches during your stay in Venice, the Chorus Venezia pass is a worthwhile investment. Without the pass, each of the listed churches charges €3 (US$3.30) for admission. Purchasing the pass is a good idea, as it allows you to visit at least five churches at a discounted rate. The more churches you visit, the more value the pass provides. You may not have time to see all 18 churches, but you have the option to see as many as you like. 

Venice Museum Pass

Venice is a city steeped in history and culture, and its museums offer a fascinating glimpse into its rich past. From art to architecture, there’s something for everyone in the city’s many museums.

use the Venice museum pass to get into museo correr

Visiting the significant museums in Venice is a great way to immerse yourself in the city’s unique history and culture. Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or simply curious about this fascinating city, the museums of Venice are sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Venice Museum Pass is a fantastic value. Essentially you get the same experience as the Venezia Unica pass with skip the line entry to the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica and its museums, and the Museum Correr among others. In addition, you also get full access to all of the 18 participating churches of the Chorus Pass, as well as these other participating museums:

murano glass museum
  • Ca’ Rezzonico
  • Carlo Goldoni’s House
  • Mocenigo Palace
  • Ca’ Pesaro (Modern Art Gallery and Oriental Art Gallery)
  • Glass Museum (Murano)
  • Lace Museum (Burano)
  • Natural History Museum

If you plan to spend 3 days in Venice, then this provides excellent value. However, if you are only there for a day, there won’t be enough time to make this pass worth it. 

Although you won’t get free entry into the non civic museums, there are often discounts. For instance, you will save around 40% off the ticket to enter the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

N.B. If you order this online, which I recommend, you will need to exchange the voucher for a physical ticket at one of the tourist information offices around the city.

Here are the spots with opening hours where you can make the exchange:

  • Marco Polo Airport boat departure pier (open 7:45 AM – 12:00 PM)
  • Alilaguna Ticket Office, in front of Giardinetti Reali in San Marco (open 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
  • Alilaguna Ticket Office at the railway station (open 8:30 AM – 2:20 PM)
  • Tronchetto InterParking (open 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

Wrapping It Up

There are millions of tourists who leave Venice overwhelmed and exhausted, and, yet, they still didn’t scratch the surface of what the city offers. When you have a plan and strategy to visit the city, you get far more out of it. 

Those that get passes are the ones who often leave feeling fulfilled and satisfied that they enjoyed the city to its fullest with the time they had.

Be one of those tourists who remembers the trip fondly and not one who wasted time in lines and paid too much for pretty much everything. 

To make sure you get the most out of your trip, be sure to read some other helpful articles below written by me, a local to Venice. 

Sal Presti

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *