Auto Europe

  • Contact our Rental Specialists


    Car Rentals Worldwide
    Alamo Rental Car
    Avis Car Rental
    Budget Rental Car
    Dollar Car Rental
    National Car Rental
    Sixt Rent a Car
    Car Rentals Worldwide
    Why Book With Us
    • Compare Companies for the Best Rates
    • Free Cancellation 48hrs before Pick up
    • No Credit Card Fees
    • Available 7 Days a Week
    • 24,000 Pick-up Locations Worldwide

    Car Hire in Venice - The Best of Northern Italy

    A sightseeing destination par excellence, Venice is unparallelled for its scenic beauty, inspiring atmosphere and vibrant Italian charm. Uniquely romantic, it's traditionally been a top choice for honeymooners over the centuries and offers all the right ingredients for a relaxing break at any time of the year, for couples and families alike. Venice is a picture-book paradise of narrow alleyways and pretty canals passing between lavish palaces (some dating back to the 13th century) and dozens of impressive churches to form a cityscape that has remained completely unchanged since time immemorial.

    First stop for most first-time visitors is St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco), the city's bustling centrepiece adorned with many impressive monuments and well-preserved buildings. The main focus of attention is the city's magnificent Byzantine cathedral which has a fine interior embellished with some amazing mosaics and other rare works of religious art. And after that, few people can resist the chance to be punted along the glorious Grand Canal in one of the city's famous gondolas, followed by an alluring al fresco cappuccino and ice-cream experience in one of the many canal-side cafés.

    This part of northern Italy is tailor-made for exhilarating road-trips through verdant vineyards and some of the lushest countryside in the whole of Europe. There are many towns and cities worth visiting here, most notably Verona (home to one of the largest Roman coliseums in Europe), the medieval walled town of Treviso (just 26 miles north of Venice) and Padua (don't miss the famous 13th-century frescoes in the Cappella degli Scrovegni). It is also within striking distance of the beautiful Po Delta Regional Park, a protected wildlife haven where many outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, boating and canoeing can be enjoyed.

    When you book a car hire in Venice with Auto Europe you'll have the best of northern Italy at your disposal, with dozens of interesting sightseeing possibilities available and lots of exciting road-trip ideas around some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. You can pick up your vehicle at Venice Marco Polo Airport a few miles north of the city and be on your way in just a few minutes after landing. To find out what others thought about the quality of Auto Europe's wide-ranging car rental services in the city, take a look at our Venice car hire reviews and Italy car hire reviews pages to see the user ratings and comments posted by some of our previous customers.

    If you seek more useful advice and/or need help with your travel itinerary, please feel free to get in touch with our rental specialists on +44 123 3225 114 who will be only too happy to assist you. For general advice on getting around Venice and the rest of the country by car, please consult our Italy Driving Information section for information on road rules, speed limits, driving distances, etc.

    How is the traffic in Venice?

    Venice is a water city surrounded by a lagoon, therefore there aren’t any roads for cars, motorbikes or bicycles but only lanes, squares, waterways and canals. This means that the city's traffic takes place exclusively on pedestrian routes or on water and for this reason arriving and getting around can be difficult for first-time visitors who don't know the city that well, especially those who have decided to rent a car in Venice.

    After all the city sightseeing and gondola rides are done, the emphasis is then on exploring the surrounding Italian landscape, for which you'll need to be aware of the following rules of the road;

    • Always drive on the right-hand side of the road in Italy.
    • Seat-belts are compulsory for everyone in the car.
    • In Italy the use of a mobile phone whilst driving is prohibited, with the exception of a hands-free system.
    • You may not use radar detectors.
    • When driving your cheap car hire in Venice, you must always have your driver's licence and rental agreement with you at all times.
    • Headlights must be turned on in tunnels.

    Where can I park my car hire in Venice?

    Arriving in Venice by car means crossing the Ponte della Libertà bridge, which is the only connection between the mainland and the city. Although it's not possible to actually enter the city by car, there are plenty of parking possibilities in close proximity to the centre of Venice. It's best to park your car hire in Venice just outside the city at Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto loacted just before Piazzale Roma. Because the car parks in Venice (and particularly in Piazzale Roma) can become a bit crowded (and expensive) in the peak holiday season, it makes more sense to park in the nearby towns of Mestre or Marghera (especially during July and August) and travel into the city centre by train or bus. Another suitable option is the Hotel Santa Chiara (located in Piazzale Roma), which is one of the few hotels in Venice to offer visitors the luxury of a private and fully-protected car park.

    Venice Airport

    Venice Marco Polo Airport is a large international airport located close to the city of Venice in northern Italy. It is located on the mainland just a few miles north of Tessera, a small town close to the city. Venice is a major tourist destination and attracts flights from many European cities as well as regular services from further afield, such as the United States, Canada, Asia and the Middle East. The airport currently handles around 12 million passenger movements each year, making it the fourth-busiest airport in Italy. The airport is named after the famous Italian traveller Marco Polo and serves as a base for Volotea and easyJet.

    Venice Airport (VCE)
    Telephone: +39 041 2609260
    Address: Viale G. Galilei, 30173 Tessera, Venice, Italy

    What to do in Venice

    A city of 450 bridges, 120 islands and a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, Venice is a place like no other. It is divided into six neighbourhoods, each with its own distinctive characteristics. San Marco in the centre is surrounded on three sides by the Grand Canal and across the famous Rialto Bridge is the artistic area of San Polo. South of the Grand Canal lies the upmarket Dorsoduro district which is where you'll find many of the city's most important art museums and interesting town squares. It'll take several visits to get a real taste of the city but here's a selection of some of the top attractions to get you started;

    • St Mark's Basilica: Site of coronations, religious processions and state funerals for many centuries, the stunning Basilica di San Marco dominates Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square) with its breathtaking façade. Constructed almost a thousand years ago, the building boasts a spectacular central dome and a fascinating museum exhibiting several artifacts from the Fourth Crusade.

    • Grand Canal: Reflecting the glory of centuries of Venetian architecture, a cruise or gondola ride on the iconic Grand Canal is a must for visitors looking to get their first bearings of the city. At more than 2 miles long and almost 150 feet wide, it is lined with dozens of sumptuous marble palaces and other impressive buildings on both sides, and the views from the water will provide some of the best photograph opportunites on your trip.

    • Rialto Bridge: Lined with shops, Venice's world-famous Rialto Bridge was built in 1588 and up until the 1850s was the only bridge crossing the Grand Canal. With a span of over 75 metres, it is one of the top tourism attractions in Venice and a very popular place to take a photograph and appreciate the architectural magnificence of the many wonderful buildings lining Grand Canal.

    • Gallerie dell'Accademia: If you've only got time to visit one museum during your visit, then make sure it's the excellent Gallerie dell'Accademia. Housed in the Scuola della Carità on the south bank of the Grand Canal, it was originally founded in 1750 and houses one of the best collections of Italian art in the world. Don't miss Titan's Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple and Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, the gallery's star exhibit.

    • Doge's Palace: Located in the heart of the city, this extraordinary palace is one of the finest examples of Venetian Gothic architecture. Besides marvelling at its rich grandeur and lavish decoration, visitors can enjoy the thrill of looking at the great Venetian masterpieces, most notably Tintoretto's Paradise, the largest oil painting in the world. Don't miss the famed Bridge of Sighs which leads through to the musty cells of the Prigioni - the prison from which Casanova made his notorious escape.

    • Peggy Guggenheim Collection: One of the most visited attractions in Venice, this vast personal art collection now operates as a modern art museum located on the Grand Canal. The gallery represents a wide range of styles from Cubist and Futurist to Abstract Expressionist and Surrealist featuring works by Dali, Picasso, Pollock, Magritte, Braque, Léger, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Klee and Ernst.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Venice

    Venice is the perfect base from which to explore the charming Veneto region of northern Italy. There's much to see and do in this part of the country, and once you've visited the city's top tourist attractions you'll want to head off into the hills and explore some of the nearby towns and cities, including Treviso, Padua (with its famous shrine of St Anthony) and Verona, followed by a visit to a vineyard or two to taste and buy some of the local wines!


    Just an hour's drive west of Venice lies Verona, one of the most enchanting cities in the north of Italy. Its most impressive feature is the imposing Roman amphitheatre (the Arena) located in the city's largest piazza, the Piazza Bra. Completed around 30 AD, it is the third largest in Italy after Rome's Colosseum and the arena at Capua. Verona also provided the setting for Shakespeare's most popular play, Romeo and Juliet.


    Of equal interest to many visitors is a trip to nearby Padua, considered to be the oldest place in the north of Italy and certainly one of the country's most historic cities. Besides an abundance of Roman ruins, Padua's main attraction is the Cappella degli Scrovegni, a lovely church that harbours one of the country's most magnificent interiors with many fine frescoes by the 13th-century painter Giotto di Bondone, including the Life of the Virgin and the Life of Christ, collectively regarded as the most important masterpieces of the Early Renaissance period.

    Villa Pisani

    This enchanting late-Baroque rural palace is within easy reach of Venice and offers visitors the chance to admire the ballroom with its stunning frescoes as well as many of the other stately rooms and well-landscaped gardens. Many important chapters in world history have taken place there since its construction in the early 18th century, including the visit of Napoleon Bonaparte who made it his home in 1805 and the first official meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in 1934. Today it operates as a fascinating museum with many rare exhibits illustrating the estate's fascinating history.


    The lovely seaside town of Trieste on the Adriatic has a marvellous historic quarter where most of the important buildings are located, such as the City Hall (Palazzo del Municipio) and the impressive Governor's Palace (Palazzo del Governo). After that, take a stroll up to San Giusto Castle (Castello di San Giusto) which was constructed by the Habsburgs in medieval times, followed by a visit to San Giusto Cathedral which is particularly notable for its 7th-century mosaics and a bell cast in 1829 from one of Napoleon's cannons.


    Idyllically located at the base of Monte Berico, Vicenza is a thriving, cosmopolitan city with a rich history and culture. There are many museums, art galleries, town squares, stately buildings and churches to explore, plus an elegant Renaissance palazzi lined with al fresco eateries serving freshly-made pasta and other authentic Italian dishes. The city's star feature is the Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theatre) which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

    How to get around Venice

    As the world's only totally pedestrianised city, Venice is easily walkable and the absence of vehicles makes it a particularly pleasant place to visit. You'll need to park your car rental in Venice at the entrance to the city at Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto - Europe's largest car park. There are no roads past this point and never were, even before the autombile was invented. If you want to get around a bit more quickly, there are numerous vaporetti (water buses) and water taxis, the former tending to be the best way to move around Venice. For a few days' sightseeing, it is a lot cheaper to use vaporetti than private water taxis but if you want to have a romantic ride along the canals then take a gondola at least once during your visit because it's an experience you'll always remember!

    The local transport company ATVO operates an airport shuttle expressbus service between Piazzale Roma and Marco Polo Airport every day of the week and the journey takes about 20 minutes. Look out for a similar service operated by ACTV called aerobus, which has the same conditions and transfer time. Barzi Bus Service runs an efficient bus route via the motorway from the airport to Mestre train station (about a 30-minute trip) and Venice Tronchetto (40 minutes). Alilaguna operates three water bus lines (Blue, Orange and Red) which can be a quicker and more scenic route into and out of the city. Trains from the mainland run through Mestre to Venice's two train stations on the west side of the city, and from the Santa Lucia station district you can catch a water bus (vaporetti) or water taxis to your hotel or to other locations in Venice, although generally speaking walking is usually the best option in fine weather. There are many train routes through to Venice from several major international destinations, including London. Venice is also the terminus for the luxurious Venice Simplon Orient-Express, a historical train that still makes the overnight journey from London and Paris in original 1920s coaches!

    Useful links

    Venice Tourist Information