The Venice Pass, or Venezia Unica card is marketed to tourists and visitors to Venice and includes museum and church admissions and, optionally, public transit. It’s a convenient way to budget for Venice, and it allows for easy entrance into the must-see attractions. It can look like a godsend when you’re on a budget trip to Italy.
But is the Venice Pass worth it?
Venice Pass Costs
There are a number of different versions of the Venezia Unica card to purchase. In fact, on the Venezia Unica site you can buy everything from a Platinum Pass to WiFi access.
It’s a myriad of options, and to simplify it, this post will focus on the Silver/Gold/Platinum pass options.
Venezia Unica Silver/Gold/Platinum Pass Costs
The Venezia Unica Silver Pass starts at 28.90 euros for an adult.
The Venezia Unica Gold Pass starts at 80.90 euros for adults.
And finally, the Venezia Unica Platinum Pass starts at 125.90 euros for adults.
Within each of the Gold/Silver/Platinum options, the cost can increase depending on additions you choose. At the Silver and Gold level, the addition of different city tours, lagoon tours, etc can increase the price. Those are all included at the Platinum level, and the only addition that can make the Platinum pass more expensive is to include airport transfers.
Attractions Included in the Venice Unica Pass
All Venice Unica pass options include the Doge’s Palace and the 3 civic museums on Piazza San Marco. The 3 included museums in San Marco are Museo Correr, the Archaeological Museum, and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Marciana.
All Venice Unica passes include admission to at least three of the Chorus Circuit churches. At the Gold and Platinum pass level, admission to all 16 churches is included. If you choose the Silver Pass, you can choose which 3 of the 16 churches you’d like to visit.
If you’re into gambling, all passes include a free admission ticket to the Venice Casino. Note that this is only included on the pass for adults 30+.
Finally, they all include access to the Querini Stampalia Foundation, which is a museum recreating a patrician residence.
Additional Attractions on the Gold Pass
The Gold Pass allows for entrance to 10 civic museums in Venice. This includes the lace museum in Burano and the glass museum in Murano.
The base-level Gold Pass also includes access to the Jewish Museum.
And finally, as noted above, the Gold Pass allows for entrance into all 16 Chorus Churches.
Additional Attractions with the Platinum Pass
The Platinum pass includes all of the attractions from the Silver and Gold pass, and adds in a tour of Gran Teatro La Fenice. It’s an absolutely gorgeous theater!
The Platinum pass also includes climbing the Scala Contarini del Bovolo.
Which Venice Pass is Right for You?
The big difference (and big price difference) in the Venezia Unica passes is whether or not they include public transit. The Silver Pass does not; the Gold and Platinum passes include ACTV tickets.
The only time it could be worthwhile to buy the Silver pass is if you’re not planning on using public transport. If you’re going with a relatively large family group, or you have kids, it can be worth the cost to have a private water taxi. (Though private water taxis are almost always more expensive.)
ACTV & Venice Public Transit
The ACTV includes the public Vaporettos (water busses), and can get you around Venice, to Murano, to Burano, Lido and more. (Find a map of where the ACTV goes.) Generally speaking, if you are looking to save money and you know you’re going to be going around Venice a lot, it’s worth the additional cost to have the ACTV ticket.
The Gold pass includes a 3-day ACTV ticket, while the Platinum pass includes a 7-day ticket.
Purchased separately, a 3-day ACTV ticket costs 40 euros while a 7-day ticket costs 60 euros. Given that each individual ticket for a 75-minute ride costs 7.50 euros, these multi-day passes can be an incredible deal – provided you’re staying for 3 or 7 days.
What’s Not Included in the Venice Pass
The majority of the foundations within Venice are not included in the Venice Pass. This sounds odd, but many of the “must-see” things in Venice are actually foundations.
The Peggy Guggenheim is one example. As one of the most important museums in Venice, it is not included in the Venice Pass. Venice pass holders are offered a discount – they can receive admission tickets for 9 euro rather than the standard rate of 15 euro.
The Venice Naval Museum is also not included.
Is the Venice Pass Worth It For You?
If you’re looking for a whirlwind trip through Venice and you want to see as much as possible, the Venice Pass can be worth it. However, consider what you really want out of your trip to Venice before deciding to purchase the pass.
It sounds incredible that all 16 Chorus Churches are included on the Gold and Platinum passes. But be realistic with yourself – are you going to be interested in hunting down and admiring 16 different churches?
The Venetian Civic Museums are equally gorgeous. But are you going to be spending that much time admiring art and architecture?
Everyone wants to visit the Doge’s Palace, and if that’s on your itinerary, it can be a big reason the Venice Pass would be a good deal for you.
The Doge’s Palace tickets alone cost 20 euro, so if you’re interested in definitely doing that plus one other thing, you can be almost certain that the Silver Pass is right for you.
Given the cost of the ACTV tickets, if you’re going to stay in Venice for three days, want to experience the Doge’s Palace, and perhaps wander the Lace Museum, the Gold Pass is almost certainly going to be worth it.
If you’re only in Venice for 1 – 2 days, you might be better off buying a separate Silver Pass and ACTV multi-day ticket rather than the Gold Pass.
Whichever way you go, Venice is a magical city unlike any other in the world. Enjoy it!