How to get from Venice to Dolomites + Best places and what to do

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The Dolomites are a stunning mountain range located in northeastern Italy and are a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Getting from Venice to the Dolomites can be done in a number of ways, each with its pros and cons.

If you are planning a trip to the Dolomites and it starts in Venice, here is a complete guide on how to get to the Dolomites. In this blog, we will explore the different modes of transportation and the best options for travelers. Lastly, we will discuss the best places to see and things to do in the Dolomites.

Maybe you’re planning the European honeymoon of your dreams, or just trying to decide where to go next on your European trip. This blog will help you plan the best way to get to the Dolomites and what to do once you arrive.

If you’re planning a trip to Europe, we’ve got plenty of destination guides to check out! Berlin, Barcelona, ​​Florence, London and more!

We visited Seceda in the Dolomites and hiked all over the place.  This photo was taken at the top of one of our hikes in Seceda with the incredible mountains in the background.
A rewarding hike in Seceda!

How to get to the Dolomites

by car

Traveling from Venice to the Dolomites by car is the fastest option. This is a great option for travelers who want the independence to explore the area at their own pace. The journey takes only about 2-3 hours, depending on where your first stop is in the Dolomites.

Our first stop was Cortina d’Ampezzo, which took us just over 2 hours.

The advantages of traveling by car is that it is very fast and is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the region up close. Also, owning a car gives you the freedom to visit remote areas that cannot be reached by public transportation.

The downside of traveling by car is that driving in the Dolomites can be a bit challenging due to the steep and winding roads. Also, automatic transmissions are much more expensive than manuals. If you’re not comfortable driving a manual transmission, be prepared for the rental car to cost twice as much.

Traveling to the Dolomites by car has many incredible benefits, but it’s important to honestly gauge your comfort level before deciding on this option.

By bus

Another option to get to the Dolomites is by bus. There are several bus companies that offer direct buses from Venice’s main bus station to the Dolomites.

There are 2 options when traveling by bus. From Venice, you can plan to reach Cortina d’Ampezzo to the east or Bolzano to the west.

The entire trip will take between 2.5 and 3 hours if you go to Cortina d’Ampezzo. When you book your ticket, make sure you book the direct ticket so you don’t have to stop and worry about the transfer. This will also save you time. The direct bus from Venice to Bolzano will take almost 5 hours.

Regardless of which route you decide to take, the bus is a convenient option for travelers who don’t want to deal with multiple transfers or driving in a foreign country. Buses are comfortable and offer a cheap way to get to the Dolomites. Lastly, it doesn’t take much more time than driving yourself!

The beautiful Dolomites mountain range with the lush green grass in the foreground and its typical northern Italian architecture.
The Dolomites mountain range seems to appear out of nowhere.

by train

The next best option to get from Venice to the Dolomites is by train. This is a great option for those who are not comfortable driving and are confident in navigating the train system. Unfortunately, this option requires 1-2 transfers and some routes even require a transfer from train to bus for the final leg of the trip.

In total, the train journey should take about 4 hours. The best part of this option is that you will have the chance to relax and take in the stunning views of the Venetian countryside along the way.

Like the bus, you will have 2 options from Venice to the Dolomites by train. From Venice you can take a train to Calalzo di Cadore or Bolzano.

The train journey from Venice to the Dolomites is very comfortable. The trains are well-equipped with all the necessary amenities, including air conditioning, food and beverage service, and free Wi-Fi.

By plane

While it is possible to travel from Venice to Dolomites by plane, it really isn’t a great option. It is by far the most expensive option. Also, it won’t save you a lot of time, if at all!

The closest airport to the Dolomites is Treviso Airport, which is about 2 hours from Venice. From Treviso you will have to take a train or a bus to finish your trip to the Dolomites.

While flying by plane is usually the fastest option, by the time you factor in early arrival at the airport and the last train or bus to the Dolomites, traveling by plane won’t be much faster than the train, car or the bus. This trip.

A view of the Dolomites mountain range.
A beautiful view of the Dolomites.

The best places to go in the Dolomites

Three places we stopped and explored on our road trip to the Dolomites were Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lago di Braies, and Seceda. Each stop was amazing in its own way and we recommend all 3 if your itinerary allows!

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a popular and convenient stop in the Dolomites because it’s easy to get to by car, bus, or train. This charming city is a great destination all year round. In winter, it’s a paradise for skiers and snowboarders, and in summer, it’s a hub for hiking and mountain biking.

The town itself is beautiful with lovely shops, restaurants and cafes offering a taste of local culture. The surrounding mountains provide breathtaking views and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

We spend our time here wandering the city, trying the delicious local cuisine, drinking wine, and hiking. Our favorite hike in the area was Pocol – Lago Federa. We did it early in the morning and the reflection was amazing!!

The cute town of Cortina d'Ampezzo with the Dolomites in the background
The cute town of Cortina d’Ampezzo with the Dolomites in the background

braies lake

Lake Braies, also known as Lago di Braies, is a stunning lake located in the heart of the Dolomites. Its emerald green waters are surrounded by towering peaks, making it one of the most photogenic places in the region. Chances are that when you picture the Dolomites, you picture Lago di Braies, as it has become quite the Instagrammable spot.

Visitors can rent rowboats and explore the lake if they wish. We decided to take a leisurely walk around the perimeter. This hike was very easy and a great way to see the many spectacular views this lake and the surrounding mountains have to offer.

An image of Lago di Braies in the Dolomites.  The shimmering turquoise lake is surrounded by rugged mountains and lush green hills.  At the edge of the lake there is a brown building where you can rent boats to go around the lake.
lake of braies

The best things to do in the Dolomites

Now that you know the different options for getting from Venice to the Dolomites and the best places to visit in the Dolomites, let’s explore what you can expect once you arrive. With its stunning alpine scenery, pristine lakes, and towering peaks, the Dolomites offer endless activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests.

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