How to Travel From Amsterdam to Venice by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

Aerial view of Venice at sunset, Italy
Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

Amsterdam and Venice are two of Europe's most visited, most vibrant, and most canal-filled cities. There are over 800 miles between them and several different countries, so taking a flight is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to travel from one to the other. But for those who have the time, budget, and adventurous spirit, going by train or driving yourself are the only ways to take in the scenery and make stops along the way. Buses are also available but take much longer and in much less comfortable conditions.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 17 hours from $110 Enjoying the scenery
Bus 22 hours from $70 Those up for an adventure
Flight 1 hour, 45 minutes from $27 Arriving quickly and cheaply
Car 13 hours 830 miles (1,336 kilometers) Taking a European road trip

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Amsterdam to Venice?

A flight is the cheapest way to travel from Amsterdam to Venice, with tickets starting at just $27 for a one-way ticket. Low-cost airline Easyjet is the most affordable option, although checked baggage and other amenities come at a price. If you want to use a full-service airline, KLM also covers this popular travel route.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Amsterdam to Venice?

For this route, the cheapest option is also the fastest option. The flight time on a direct flight is only one hour and 45 minutes, by far the fastest method of travel from Amsterdam to Venice. Plus, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Venice Marco Polo Airport are both easily accessible from their respective city centers, so the entire journey is a breeze.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

The most direct route from Amsterdam to Venice is 830 miles and takes at least 13 hours, but if you have the time to make the journey, the drive is a whole trip in itself. Leaving Amsterdam, you'll cut over to Germany and drive along the A3 highway down the western side of the country, eventually crossing over into Austria. After a drive through the Alps, you'll enter the mountainous region of Trentino in northern Italy and continue on toward Venice.

When you're passing through so many countries, you'll need to be aware of local laws in each nation and pay special attention to tolls. The Netherlands and Germany don't charge tolls for driving on highways, but Austria and Italy do. In Austria, you'll have to purchase a special vignette when you cross the border, while Italy has traditional toll booths along the highway.

Parking in Venice is complicated, chiefly because there are no roads in the city. The only parking lots on the island of Venice are at Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto, but both of them charge hefty fees and quickly fill up, especially in the high season. If you're staying in Venice longer than a day, you'll save money by parking on the mainland near the Mestre train station, and from there you can easily catch a train into Venice.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

Since there are no direct train routes from Amsterdam to Venice, you'll have to break up this long ride into at least two days with an overnight stop in Milan. Use Rail Europe to look up journeys from Amsterdam to Milan, roughly a 14-hour ride with at least one change of train—usually in Paris or Basel, Switzerland. The cheapest tickets start at about $75 for both legs if you make your reservation when they're first released, although they quickly go up in price.

You'll need to spend at least one night in Milan (although since you're already there, make the most of the trip and spend a few days in the fashion capital). Use Rail Europe to look up trips from Milan to Venice when you're ready to continue, which is just two and a half hours away. You may see two arrival options when booking tickets, Venezia Mestre and Venezia Santa Lucia. Santa Lucia is the main train station in Venice and is easily connected to the rest of the city by foot or water taxi, while the Mestre station is on the mainland and requires an additional train ride.

Tip: Train tickets for all legs get much more expensive as the travel date gets closer. If you're planning to travel by train, book your tickets as early as possible.

Is There a Bus That Goes From Amsterdam to Venice?

The popular coach company Flixbus covers a route from Amsterdam to Venice—with at least one transfer in an intermediary city—but it's a grueling ride. The fastest journeys take 22 hours, while others take up to 27 hours. It's also not a cheap option with bus seats starting at $70, almost three times the price of a plane ticket. If you want to use the bus, pick a city along the route to stop in for a day or two to break up the trip, such as Prague, Frankfurt, or Munich. That way you can use the bus for two separate overnight trips, preserving your daytime hours for enjoying the city while also saving you money on two nights of accommodation.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Venice?

Since flying is the most used transport between these two popular cities, you'll save money by flying outside of the high-demand times. Summer, Christmas holidays, and the week before Easter are generally the most expensive times for traveling around Europe. Prices will be much lower in the off-season outside of these busy times, and you can save even more money by looking for flights in the middle of the week. The other time to be aware of is the Carnival festival, which typically falls in February and is one of the biggest events not only in Venice but in all of Italy. It's an exciting time to visit, but you'll pay a premium to do so.

What's the Most Scenic Route to Venice?

Traveling through so many unique towns, different countries, and the majesty of the Alps, any route via train or car all but guarantees an unforgettably scenic journey; you just have to choose what most interests you. Renting a car and driving yourself gives travelers the most freedom to design their own trip, and there are plenty of options besides the most direct. After traveling down Germany, you could drive through Switzerland and Milan instead of going through Austria, or cut out Germany altogether by driving through Belgium, Luxembourg, and the historic Alsace region of France before passing through Switzerland. If you include the various detours or excursions that pop up along the way, the options are virtually endless. If you can't decide which route to take, rest assured that there's no wrong choice. Each of them is breathtaking in its own way.

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Venice?

Even though you're traveling internationally, the Netherlands and Italy are both members of the Schengen Agreement, which allows for borderless travel. Even if you move around by train, car, or bus, all of the countries between them are also Schengen countries and follow the same rules, so crossing borders should be as seamless as if crossing a state line.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

Travelers arriving at Venice Marco Polo Airport have two options for entering the city: the fast and easy ATVO Fly Bus or the slower but much more exciting water taxi. The express bus shuttles passengers directly to Piazzale Roma in just 20 minutes for less than $10, and from there you can easily walk into the city center. The water taxi takes an hour and costs almost twice as much as the bus, but the experience of entering "the Floating City" by water is well worth the extra time and cost.

What Is There to Do in Venice?

Even though Venice is often criticized for being one of the most touristy cities in the world, there's something undeniably magical about it that keeps people coming again and again. Even if you're coming from Amsterdam—another city famous for its canals—there's a reason Amsterdam is called "the Venice of the North" and not the other way around. Thanks in part to its iconic gondoliers, Venice's labyrinth of waterways is the most well known in the world, along with the 400 bridges that zig-zag across the canals. You won't be able to cross them all, but make time to snap a photo at the picturesque Rialto Bridge. St. Mark's Square is home to the eponymous cathedral, which you can tour and climb to the top of for stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Apart from these obligatory stops, the best way to enjoy Venice is to get lost in its winding streets and find a quiet corner away from the hordes.

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