Arriving in Venice at night?

Hi All, I am travelling to Europe this September. I am planning on flying on Easyjet from Paris(orly) to Venice. My dilemma is they only have two flights per day. Since I am leaving on a weekday, I need to deal with rush hour traffic as both flights are in the rush hour periods. One leaves at 7:20am and the other leaves at 6:30pm (arriving at 8:10pm). I would prefer to take the later flight, but since it is my first time in Venice, I am not sure how easy it is to get around at night? On the plus side, my hotel in Venice in not far from St Mark's Square(Hotel Mercurio Venezia) In Paris, I am not far from the Eiffel Tower, so getting to Orly should not take too long(I hope). I debated the Metro, but I might not have enough time if I decide on the earlier flight. It might have to cab it. Any thoughts? Thanks
Gary

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2826 posts

If your flight leaves Orly at 7:20 AM, you will be in transit to the airport well before rush hour. For the one leaving at 6:30 PM, you will not only be traveling around rush hour, but in the rush hour direction (out of the city). That wouldn't stop me from taking that flight, but I would be very careful to allow sufficient travel time. The RER will not get stuck in traffic, so for the evening departure it's more reliable. For the morning departure, a taxi will be very fast since you will too early for traffic jams. Getting around Venice at night can indeed be a bit challenging, particularly finding your way to a hotel for the first time. Even more than usual, it is VITALLY important that you print out the directions from your hotel's website, along with the map. But again, with proper preparation, this wouldn't stop me from taking an evening flight.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

I faced the same issue the first time I went to Venice, with a flight arriving in the early evening in late September. It would have been virtually impossible for me to find my lodging in the dark, even though it was very near San Marco. I stayed that first night in Padua, spent most of the next day exploring Padua and headed to Venice in the late afternoon. It made for a much more pleasant arrival, and Padua is a lovely, fairly quiet university town. The Scrovengi chapel (Giotto) is amazing, as is the museum attached to it; the basilica of St Anthony and the Duomo are also lovely. And there's a nice botanic garden, the university, and a large marketplace. You might consider that approach; it was an easy bus ride from the airport to Padua. Venice is surprisingly dark, once you get away from major squares, and the signage is among the most confusing I've encountered. Furthermore, addresses don't run in the normal sequential way, as far as I can tell. I've been told they were assigned as building were built in the district. So if you try it at night, have very detailed instructions and a good flashlight.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

I mostly agree with Sherry, except that you can probably expect another hour or so of daylight when arriving in Venice at 8:10p. Public transit should be easy; the Alilaguna might get you to your hotel quicker than the bus/vaporetto combo. Venice seems more difficult than it really is when it comes to finding hotels. When you know you are close, just ask someone for directions. Venetians know how to get around and how the numbering system works.