Traveling around Venice can be quite complicated, escpecially if you don’t know the city very well. Luckily, there are plenty of apps that can make your trip easier and more relaxed. Most of these apps are also useful for frequent travellers or residents.
In this post, I give an overview of the most useful, and free, apps for your trip. They will help you find the right vaporetto, guide you through exhibitions and art, tell you which streets are flooded by the acqua alta, and so on.
I advise you to download and install the apps before you set off to Venice. You don’t want to lose time downloading an app in the middle of the city while you would be better off enjoying it. On my phone, I have created a separate window on my phone with all my Venice related apps. This allows me to dream about Venice each time I scroll across this window.
I have been consulting the weather forecasts of Il Meteo via their website as long as I can remember. When I’m in Venice, their app is the first thing I look at in the morning, so I know what I can expect for the day. The forecasts are given per hour for the first week, and in 3 hour slots for the second week. As you can watch the forecasts for the next 14 days, it’s also helpful when you start packing for your trip. There is also a link to webcams all over Venice, so you can watch what type of clothing people are wearing if you are still unsure what to pack. The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Bada and Nokia.
WVF – Water on the Venice Floor
This is the first Venice app which I installed a couple of years ago. It shows you in real time which streets are flooded when the city is hit by an acqua alta. These are shown in red on the map. It’s a perfect tool to find a way around the flooding and keep your feet dry. The app is managed by the Centro Previsioni Maree. It does give forecasts, but it doesn’t work very well on my phone. You can however also consult the 3 day forecasts on their website. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Complementary to the WVF app, you can use this app to see the acqua alta forecasts for the coming 3 days. The home page allows you to quickly see the current water level and whether there’s any danger for acqua alta. You don’t have to worry when you see a number below 80 cm. Even with 100 cm, which corresponds with 5% of the city being flooded, you can plan your day accordingly and avoid the areas which will be impacted. The app is available for iOS and Android.
I use the standard app for maps on my iPhone, but I assume other mobile brands have something similar. The gps allows you to find your way around Venice, even though it’s often not straightforward with all the small streets. I tend to use it to get a general sense of the direction I have to follow. When I’m getting closer to my destination, I use it again but more as a traditional map to orientate myself based on the street names listed on the map and on the street. There are also 2D and 3D maps so you can play with it at home to wander around Venice before making your trip. I suggest you already mark your hotel or other sites you want to visit as a favourite, so you can easily find them once you are in Venice.
This new app of the Comune di Venezia provides a series of regional maps (incl. the lagoon islands and Mestre) which are organized by topic (for instance tourism, health, security). You can select your type of location from a wide range of choices, such as toilets, banks, tourism offices, playgrounds but also pharmacies or hospitals. For each location, it lists the address and a link to the website, which often has more practical information such as the opening hours. The app is available for iOS and Android.
To create a customized list and map with your favourite museums, shops or restaurants, this app is ideal. You can use it to prepare your trip at home and mark all the locations that you want to visit. You can either search their database by category, or search on name or address. The database gives you a short description as well as links to nearby attractions, and you can add your own notes for each entry. You can also book guided tours and visits or accommodation. The app is available for iOS and Android.
I recently discovered this app and I wish I had known about it for a longer time. Chebateo (literally translated ‘Which boat’) helps you plan your vaporetto route. You can either use it with a normal search from one stop to another. It will tell you which vaporetto line to take and when it arrives. Or, you can start from the name of a specific vaporetto stop to see which line are expected first. You can also list your favourite trips so you don’t have to retype the search each time. This allows you to quickly see how much time you still have to get to the vaporetto stop so you don’t miss it. The app is available for iOS, Android and Windows.
This is the official app of the AVM Holding, which runs the vaporetto’s and the land buses. You can search from any address in or around Venice, so not only from the stops, to another location. It will then indicate how far you are from the nearest stop and which lines you have to take. You can also buy your transportation tickets and passes (both for vaporetto’s and buses) with the app and charge your Venezia Unica vouchers to it. The app is available for iOS and Android.
My Art Guide Venice
My Art Guide is your ideal companion if you love to visit the Biennale and/or other art exhibitions in Venice. For each pavilion or exhibition, you get a short explanation, as well as practical information such as the opening hours, the price and the location on a map. The map with all the locations is also very useful when you are walking around Venice and you want to know what is taking place near your location. When you register, you can also create your own guide and keep track of your favourite exhibitions. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Venice Art Guide
The Venice Art Guide gives very detailed information about numerous masterpieces that can be seen inside more than one hundred buildings in Venice. You can browse through each sestiere of Venice or search by artist. If you love to know more about the art history of the city, this app is perfect for you. It feels like walking around with your personal art historian who answers all your difficult questions. Unfortunately, it is currently only available for Android.
My Pass Venezia
This app acts as your personal wallet of tickets in Venice. Through the app, you can buy tickets for museums such as Palazzo Ducale or the Guggenheim Collection, for a guided tour at La Fenice or for events such as the Biennale. You can also buy vaporetto tickets and passes. The app has quite recently been launched so the number of organizations for which you can buy a ticket is still increasing. The app is available for iOS and Android.
When you don’t speak Italian, this app comes in very handy. You can either type a sentence in your own language and have it translated in Italian. Or you can use it in the other direction and for instance use it to understand the Italian name of a dish on a menu. You can also dictate a sentence, or have the app listen to the person talking to you in Italian. Finally, if you don’t feel like typing, the app can recognize text on pictures. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Prontopia is a service which allows you to connect to a local near you. These locals can help you find the way or explain something in Italian in a shop or at the pharmacy. The app allows you to see where the nearest Prontopia local is. You can then request in-person help via the app, and the local will come to find you. You pay a small fee depending on the time you use their services. The costs will be charged to your credit card. The easiest way is therefore to configure this at home so you don’t have to go through the registration process in Venice. The app is available for iOS and Android.
I hope this selection helps you make your next trip a bit more relaxed. If you know any other useful apps, feel free to add them in the comments below. If you want to know what other steps I take in preparing my trips, I suggest you take a look at ‘How I prepare my trips to Venice as a frequent visitor‘.
Enjoy your visit!