Captivating Croatia: Part 4 – Getting to Venice

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Emily:  I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for the last several years.  I heard wonderful things about the country and how beautiful (and relatively affordable) it was compared to the rest of Europe.  It’s located in Eastern Europe and is just a few hours from Venice, Italy, making it a great side trip.

Last year, my friends and I organized a group trip to visit Rovinj, a small coastal town on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.  It’s a gorgeous town full of romance.  Everything is stunning there, from the streets to the houses.  The food is also excellent.

We went for a kizomba dance festival.  Later in the trip report series, I will introduce you to kizomba and describe what an incredible dance it is!  The dance festival was amazing and Croatia is definitely a place I want to return and spend more time exploring!  The trip’s retail cost was ~$17,000 but I paid ~$900.

Getting To Venice
A Quick and Reasonably Priced Bus Trip Between the Airport and Venice

Captivating Croatia Trip Report Index:

Venice Arrival

After the long series of flights, I wanted to pamper myself a bit, so I used Starwood points earned from the AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest card to book a room at the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice.  It was very easy to get to the hotel from the airport.  The bus ticket cost 6 euros (~$7).  There are several machines to use to buy tickets.

Getting To Venice
Don’t Forget to Use a Card That Doesn’t Add Foreign Transaction Fees to Buy Your Bus Ticket!

You can choose instructions in English which makes it very simple to understand.  I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to avoid foreign transaction fees.  There are lots of other ways to save money when traveling outside the US.

A lot of my friends took out large amounts of money at the currency exchange stores and used credit cards which charged them currency conversion fees on top of the foreign fees!  If they had planned farther in advance, they could have saved a lot of money.

Getting To Venice
The Ticket Machines Have English Instructions If You’re Not up to Speed on Your Italian!

Don’t forget to validate your ticket before getting on the bus!

Getting To Venice
Don’t Get Busted!  Validate Your Ticket Before You Board the Bus

We took the bus, and it was a short ~30 minute ride.

Getting To Venice
Away We Go!  The Bus Was Comfortable and Just a ~30 Minute Ride Into the City

We then made our way to the Venice water bus that would take us close to our hotel.

Getting To Venice
Trying to See How Many Modes of Transportation We Can Cram Into 1 Day!

The water bus is one of the cheapest, and most fun, ways to see Venice!  Rick Steves gives an excellent self-guided water bus tour in his Venice guidebook.

We took the bus to the S. Marco stop, and then walked to our hotel.

Getting To Venice
Navigating Venice Is Easy!  Everything Is Clearly Marked in English and Italian

On the way, we saw many beautiful Venetian buildings.

Getting To Venice
The Architecture Is Stunning!  There Are Photo Opportunities Everywhere You Look

It was so beautiful.  My camera was very happy.

Getting To Venice
You’ll Feel Like You’ve Been Dropped Into a History Book!  Venice Is Gorgeous

We passed gondolas filled with other tourists…

Getting To Venice
Ciao!  We Waved to These Folks Riding in a Classic Venice Gondola
…and the famous Rialto Bridge that is undergoing some maintenance.
Getting To Venice
The Rialto Bridge Is Undergoing Renovations, but the Views Are Still Spectacular

Finally, we arrived at our stop, and started walking towards the hotel.

Getting To Venice
Ready to Relax at the Hotel After a Long Journey!

It was located in a quiet lane in the center of the city.

We finally arrived!!

Bottom Line

Getting to the heart of Venice from the airport using public transportation was cheap, easy, and picturesque.  Don’t waste money on a private transfer!

And remember to use a card that doesn’t add foreign transaction fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, when you buy your ticket!

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