If you’ve eagerly anticipated setting sail from Venice on your dream Mediterranean or Greek Isles cruise, prepare for an unexpected delight.
Venice, in 2021, had to bid adieu to many of the larger cruise ships due to rising water levels, creating a unique opportunity for the picturesque Trieste Cruise Port to steal the spotlight.
This charming Italian port, nestled gracefully along the scenic Adriatic coastline, now beckons you with open arms, offering itself as the gateway to your unforgettable voyage.
Read on to discover all the essentials for a smooth cruise experience, setting sail from Trieste Cruise Port.
Trieste Cruise port
So where exactly is Trieste cruise port, and how easy is it to spend time in Venice before or after a cruise from Trieste?
First, you must check which ports to head to with your cruise line when booking a cruise from Venice. If it’s from Trieste or Ravenna, you need to consider this before you book your flight and make transfer arrangements.
Trieste is located 160 km northeast of Venice. It has the Adriatic Sea to the west and borders Slovenia to the east. It’s about a two-hour transfer either by road or rail from Venice.
If you plan to spend a few days in Venice before your cruise, we recommend saving a night or two to stay in Trieste. It’s a great city, with plenty to see and do.
The good news is that getting to Trieste from Venice is not tricky, and you have choices. Allow for the travel time and budget for the extra cost. We discuss all your transport options further below in this article.
Given that most cruise ships arrive at Trieste’s Stazione Marittima cruise port (the more central cruise port), the information we give here is for Stazione Marittima port. The historical cruise passenger terminal building is close to the city’s largest square, Piazza Unità d’Italia.
Check your cruise booking, and if you find your cruise line uses instead the cruise port called Ormeggio 57, or Trieste Marine Terminal, simply email us with your questions.
What are the closest airports to Trieste cruise port?
If you prefer to skip Venice, search for flights to Trieste’s airport. To get from the airport, book an airport transfer to your hotel before you leave home. Alternatively, below you have the following public transport options.
Trieste Airport (TRS) to central Trieste
Trieste airport is around 40 km from central Trieste. Here are the transport options available to get you to the city center:
Bus: APT Gorizia is the local bus company operating bus number 51 from the airport. You can buy a one-way bus ticket for about 5 euros.
Taxi: There are taxis at the airport as you exit the arrivals area. The journey time is an estimated 30 minutes for around 50 euros. Expect to pay more if you are traveling in the evenings.
Train: Our favorite way to travel is by train. A direct train from Trieste airport to the central train station runs 2 or 3 times every hour. It’s a quick 29-minute journey costing around 5 euros per person.
Check out Omio’s website to easily search and compare train ticket prices to find your journey. Tickets can also be booked through Trenitalia or Italotreno. However, Omio offers price comparisons for your trip and a more straightforward booking process.
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) Airport to central Trieste
Venice airport is around 150 km from central Trieste.
If you arrive on an international flight to Venice Marco Polo Airport and want to transfer directly to Trieste, here are your best options:
Private Transfer: a private transfer is the easiest but most expensive option. Book through a trusted supplier such as Viator and have a driver waiting for you as you exit the arrivals lounge. The journey time is around 2 hours and can cost about 200 euros. This becomes more affordable if you have four or more guests and can share the cost for a hassle-free way of getting there.
Train: there is no train station at Venice Marco Polo airport. Take a taxi about 10 km from the airport to Venice’s central train station, Mestre. From there take a train direct to Trieste center. The journey takes 2 hours. You can book train tickets in Italy online before you leave home or at the train station.
How to travel between Venice island and Trieste
If you have chosen to explore Venice for a few days before or after your cruise and are staying on Venice Island, the train is a great way to get to or from Trieste. Purchase tickets to travel from Venezia S. Lucia train station to Trieste Centrale (or vice versa).
Choose the quickest journey where you do not need to change trains.
Trenitalia and Italo Treno are the leading train operators in Italy. They have high-speed Frecce trains that connect you to major cities and numerous regional trains.
You can book train tickets before you leave home, about three months after your travel date.
Alternatively, you can purchase train tickets directly at the train station. The cost of a single journey between Venice island and Trieste for an adult is around 15 euros per person.
Taxes are readily available to get to the port or your hotel from Trieste train station. Prices do vary, especially in the high season. Check with the taxi driver before you climb in. The journey time is about 20 to 30 minutes. The price will increase if it’s a national holiday or an evening journey.
Local buses also run from the train station to central Trieste and the cruise port.
Where to stay in Trieste
We recommend at least one hotel night in Trieste before your cruise starts – it’s a great city to explore. Here are our top 4 hotel recommendations for your stay in Trieste:
Learn why we recommend Booking.com for hotel bookings.
1. Double Tree by Hilton Trieste
The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel is centrally located about a 10-minute walk from the cruise port. The building is beautiful and is surrounded by a good selection of cafes and restaurants. If you are a Hilton Honors member (it’s free of charge to join their loyalty program), expect extra perks when you check in. We appreciated the chilled bottled water and fresh cookies.
2. Savoia Excelsior Palace
This is an excellent hotel, architecturally stunning, right next to the cruise port near Piazza Unità d’Italia. Enjoy good service and friendly staff – everything you’d expect for a 4-star plus experience. Ask for a balcony room directly overlooking the pier for a beautiful view. And to top it all, their lounge has an excellent cocktail menu.
3. Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta
This small, intimate boutique hotel has excellent facilities and a restaurant, Harry’s Piccolo. It’s located right on Piazza Unità d’Italia.
A popular feature includes a heated indoor pool in a city center location, and the hotel enjoys an excellent rating at Booking.com.
4. Hotel Continentale
The Hotel Continental is centrally located just a 10-minute walk from the central train station in Trieste and 15 minutes from the cruise port. Some rooms are a little dated, but overall, it is a good 4-star experience.
5. Hotel Solun
Hotel Solun is a great 4-star choice! The hotel is only 10 years old and has spacious, light, modern rooms, an excellent bar, and a nice restaurant. There are just 34 rooms and apartments, so book early. On our cruise embarkation day, we took a taxi from the hotel to the port for just 10 euros.
Splendid Trieste, Italy – a walking tour
Trieste, located in Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region, is the region’s historical capital. The architecture, cuisine, and languages reflect its multicultural diversity, a mixture of Mediterranean and central European heritage.
A great starting point for getting to know the city is Piazza Unità d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square). This is the main square in Trieste. Once home to the old marina, it faces the sea and is the city’s commercial hub, with many beautiful government buildings lining three sides of the square.
There is a tourist information office right in the square. The friendly staff will provide information and paper maps of the city if you like, so visit them before you start your day.
From Piazza Unità d’Italia, head towards Piazza della Borsa. This square is an excellent place to shop or shop for coffee. Enjoy walking and exploring the area until you reach Canale Grande. This 2 km long waterway is a lively area of shops and restaurants; it’s also an excellent place to return to for an evening restaurant as the whole area is beautifully lit at night.
Just a 20-minute walk southwards of the canal is the Roman Theatre of Trieste on Via del Teatro Romano. A beautifully preserved Roman theater, it was built at the base of a sloping hill called San Giusto. Many of the archaeological finds discovered when the site was excavated in 1938 can be viewed in the museum at the Castle of San Giusto, located a short walk away.
When you reach Castello di San Giusto, you will have fantastic panoramic views over Trieste. It’s a bit of a climb but well worth it. End your city walk at the cathedral, Cattedrale di San Giusto Martire.
If you are hungry and looking to try local seafood dishes, we recommend Antica Trattoria Le Barettine, located between the cathedral and Unity of Italy Square. If, however, they are closed for the season, there are many restaurants to choose from in this area.
Browse more recommended tours, shore excursions, and day trips in Trieste.
Favorite day trips from Trieste
Here are our favorite spots just a short distance outside Trieste that are worth visiting during your stay:
Miramare Castle – Castello di Miramare
Crowned by the spectacular 19th-century Miramare Castle located on a rocky spur on the Gulf of Trieste, this grand house once owned by the Habsburg family is a must-see while visiting the city. The castle and surrounding park are open every day except Christmas and New Year. The park is free of charge to enjoy, and the fee of 10 euros per person to enter the castle is well worth it.
Just 20 km north of Trieste is the stunning bay of Sistiana. You could combine a visit here with Miramare Castle as the castle is on its way, about halfway between Trieste and Sistiana. You drive along the beautiful coastal road known as Costiera Triestina. There are plenty of places to stop and take photos, the most picturesque being at Santa Croce Mare and Grignano.
Book an excursion with a trusted supplier such as Viator so that transportation and a guided tour of the bay are included. You will even have time to explore and swim at the beach there. Note that it’s a shingle beach, not sand, edging the inviting turquoise water of the Adriatic Sea.
How to get to Port of Trieste from the historical center
The passenger cruise terminal, Stazione Marittima (Port Station), is located right next to the historical center and is within walking distance from Piazza Unità d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square).
If you are not within walking distance, we recommend asking your hotel concierge to book a taxi for the short ride to the port. Even if your hotel is only a 20-minute walk, remember you will have all your cruise packing and luggage with you, so a taxi is the best choice to avoid the long walk with suitcases.
How to get to Trieste Airport from the Port of Trieste
If your cruise ship arrives at Stazione Marittima cruise port in Trieste and you fly the same day as you disembark your cruise, here are your options for transportation to the airport in Trieste.
Taxi: The most straightforward way but also one of the most costly ways to travel is by taxi. Taxis are available at the port or by calling tel. +39 040 307730. Note you cannot book a taxi in advance. There is a flat rate from Trieste cruise port to Trieste airport at 60€. It takes about 45/50 mins.
Bus: You need to make two separate journeys to reach the airport using the bus.
a) Stazione Marittima cruise port to Trieste Piazza Libertà bus station
The distance is 1.1 km, about 15 minutes walking or 5 minutes by taxi (tel. +39 040 307730). Note you cannot book a taxi in advance.
Alternatively, take a bus (12-15 mins) from Riva del Mandraccio, numbers 8/24/30. You can purchase a ticket on board for 1.40€ single ticket. Buses leave every 10 minutes.
b) Trieste Piazza Libertà bus station to Trieste Airport
Bus G51 buses approximately every 30 mins, depending on the time of the day. It takes approx 55mins/1hour. You can purchase tickets for the G51 bus at the Trieste bus station (payment cash/credit card/debit card) for 4.40€ single ticket.
Train: You must make two journeys to reach the airport using the train.
a) Stazione Marittima (cruise port) to Trieste Centrale train station
The distance is 1.1 km and takes approximately 15 minutes to walk or 5 minutes by taxi tel. +39 040 307730 (you cannot book a taxi in advance). Alternatively, take a bus 12-15 mins from Riva del Mandraccio, number 8/24/30 (you can purchase a ticket on board 1.40€ single ticket, buses every 10 mins).
b) Trieste Centrale train station to Trieste Airport
There are trains about every 30/45 minutes, depending on the time of the day. Check the timetable with Omio, which includes the Trenitalia trains. It takes 28 minutes, and a single ticket costs around 5€.
Cruise lines departing from Trieste Cruise Port
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Ships: Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Viva, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Breakaway
- Destinations: Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Adriatic Coast
- MSC Cruises
- Ships: MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia
- Destinations: Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey
- Azamara Club Cruises
- Ships: Azamara Onward
- Destinations: Greek Isles, Ionian Sea
- Seven Seas
- Ships: Seven Seas Navigator
- Destinations: Mediterranean, French Riviera, Spain
- Cunard Line
- Ships: Queen Victora
- Destinations: Adriatic Coast, Western Mediterranean
- Princess Cruises
- Ships: Star Princess
- Destinations: Adriatic Coast, Western Mediterranean
These cruise lines offer a variety of itineraries departing from Trieste, allowing you to explore stunning regions of the Mediterranean, the enchanting Greek Isles, the picturesque Dalmatian Coast, and more for your upcoming cruise in 2024 and 2025. Be sure to check with our travel partner, Cruise Direct, for specific departure dates and availability.
Trieste awaits you with exciting cruise adventures!