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

How to travel from Rome to Venice

TripSavvy / Tim Liedtke

With their history, culture, and world-famous cuisine, it's no wonder that Rome and Venice are two of Italy's top cities for tourists. While they're about 288 miles apart as the crow flies, there are several ways to get from one to the other on the same vacation. Since Venice is a car-free city, the easiest way to get there is by train, which takes you directly into the center of Venice. If you want to go by plane, bus, or car, be aware that you'll need to use additional means of transportation to get into Venice.

How to Get From Rome to Venice
  Time  Cost Best For 
Train  4–10 hours from $20 Easy traveling
Bus  7 hours  from $16 Traveling on a budget 
Flight  1 hour, 10 minutes  from $68  Arriving on a time crunch 
Car  5 hours, 30 minutes  326 miles (525 kilometers) Exploring the countryside

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

Traveling from Rome to Venice by bus is the most budget-friendly option, with prices starting at $16 when booked in advance. Tickets get more expensive as the travel date gets closer—up to $70 for a one-way ticket—which cancels out the price benefits of using the bus. Direct routes from Rome take between six and eight hours and depart from Tiburtina station, with arrival options of Tronchetto or Mestre. Mestre station is outside of Venice and requires further transportation to enter the city. Tronchetto is the bus station and car park that is on the water, and a three-minute tram ride will take you from Tronchetto to the central Piazzale Roma.

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

Even though it's a short flight between Rome and Venice, the added time that it takes to travel to and from airports, check in at the counter, get through security, and wait at your gate makes the entire journey almost as long as taking the train. It takes about an hour to get from Rome's city center to either of the two local airports—Fiumicino or Ciampino—and just as much time when arriving in Venice as well. Venice also has nearby two airports: Marco Polo International Airport and Treviso Airport. Marco Polo is the larger and closer of the two, and most flights to Venice will arrive here.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

While driving typically gives travelers the most freedom when exploring a country, the trip from Rome to Venice may be more of a headache than anything. Driving in Rome can be a nightmare, with its constant traffic and winding streets. Once you get to Venice, where there are no roads, you can't even use the car anymore. You'll either need to park in Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto if you want your car in Venice, both of which charge hefty fees. The other option is to leave your car on the mainland in Mestre and then take the train into Venice from there. It isn't quite as convenient, but it's sure to be significantly cheaper.

Italian highways known as autostrade do use tolls, and the total cost depends on the distance driven and the type of highway. The fastest route from Rome to Venice along the A1 highway takes about five and a half hours and costs nearly $45. The E45, on the other hand, takes about two hours longer but will only cost you $5.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

The train is the transport of choice for most visitors and Italians. Italy's high-speed rail system connects all of the major cities and since it transports passengers directly from city center to center in as little as four hours, it's nearly as fast as taking a flight once you factor in all of the travel time. However, the cheapest train option is the overnight train. It takes about seven to eight hours and the price starts at about $20, also saving you a night of accommodation. It does arrive in Venice before dawn, so keep that in mind before reserving a seat.

You can book a train through Italy's national rail service, Trenitalia, or the privately owned Italo. Both companies provide comfortable experiences and competitive prices, so compare tickets at them both before making your purchase. The easiest way is to use RailEurope when buying tickets, which will show all available trains. Treinitalia trains leave from Termini or Tiburtina stations in Rome, while Italo trains leave from Tiburtina or Ostiense stations. If you're staying near the Termini or Ostiense station, it may be easiest to choose the respective company and save yourself a trip across Rome.

You may see trains that arrive at Venice Santa Lucia and others that arrive at Mestre Station. Santa Lucia is the main station and the only one that is on the island of Venice itself. From there, it's an easy walk to the rest of Venice. Mestre Station, on the other hand, is on the mainland outside of Venice. From there, you'll still need to take another train, bus, or tram to cross the water and get into the city of Venice.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Venice?

Venice essentially has two seasons: the busy season and the very busy season. The very busy season is all summer long and also during holiday periods like Carnevale. The rest of the year it's also crowded with tourists, but significantly less so than the high season.

When planning out what time of year to visit, the spring months between Carnevale and summer are usually best for balancing out comfortable weather with minimal crowds. Fall is generally a good time for being in Venice as well, but keep in mind that October through January are usually the rainiest months in the city that's prone to flooding.

What's the Most Scenic Route to Venice?

Even though your car is of no use once you arrive in Venice, the drive from Rome is a spectacular trip through the Tuscan countryside. The main route goes directly through Florence and Bologna, which would make excellent pitstops to break up the drive. Of course, being in your own vehicle also means you have the freedom to visit some off-the-beaten-path villages throughout Tuscany and neighboring Umbria, so don't just stick to the major cities.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

Once you arrive at the airport, you have a few options for getting into Venice. Since Venice is a car-free city, renting a car or taking a land taxi can only get you so far. The ATVO Fly Bus shuttles passengers to Piazzale Roma in Venice in about 20 minutes, and from there you can continue on foot into the city.

Being in Venice, however, the best way to travel from the airport is on the vaporetto water bus. It takes about an hour and makes various stops throughout the city. Since it's the local version of public transportation, it's also inexpensive. Personal water taxis are also an option, which take about half the time as the water bus but cost exponentially more.

What Is There to Do in Venice?

Venice has been called one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and despite the hoards of tourists, clogged streets, and tacky souvenir stands, this Renaissance city still has some je ne sais quoi that really makes it magical. St. Mark's Square is the main center of the city, with its looming cathedral and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea (at least when a cruise liner isn't blocking your line of sight).

The over 400-year-old Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world, and no trip to Venice is complete without crossing the Grand Canal over this historic landmark. Gondola rides aren't cheap, but they are such an iconic part of Venice that many tourists don't mind paying for a romantic ride through the canals. But be warned: you're likely to be surrounded by other couples with the same idea.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the best way to get from Rome to Venice?

    Taking the train is the easiest way to get from Rome to Venice, as it takes you directly into the center of Venice. This is also a cost-friendly option.

  • What is the price of a train ticket from Rome to Venice?

    Prices for train tickets start at about $20 for the overnight train, which also saves you a night of accommodation cost.

  • How can I book a train ticket from Rome to Venice?

    When buying tickets, use RailEurope, which shows all train options from multiple stations, allowing you to choose the most convenient one for you.