Spending a Penny
To pay or not to pay? That is the question. Non Europeans may find the idea of paying to use the loo quite ridiculous and many an argument has taken place in the tiled confines of a public facility. Bathroom attendants are merciless when it comes to extracting payment from desperate travellers in urgent need. This is a cultural thing and it is best to just go with the flow (pun intended!). After all the cost is minimal and you are assured of a clean and safe environment. If a loo is particularly clean and the attendant friendly (good luck), then an extra few euro cents is appreciated.
You may be surprised to find that Venice has an excellent public toilet system but it will cost you. The price will be either 1.50 Euro for a single visit or you can buy a Veritas Card online or at one of their authorized locations
Two visits on this card will cost 3 Euros. A 10 visit pass will cost 9 Euros . For further details: http://www.veneziaunica.it/en/e-commerce/services
All public toilets are attended and those with disabled facilities & baby changing facilities available have been noted. Free access is available to those with obvious disabilities and for children less than 100 cm tall. Access is at the discretion of the bathroom attendant, so bring a tape measure!
You will also be pleased to know that they all do have a plastic toilet seat, soap etc
During Carnivale, the Biennale & other events 24 hour portable toilets are provided. Public toilets are also open around the clock at these busy times of year
A special note to those heading over to the Lido….the toilets are closed!!! Yes this incredibly busy island has closed its only public toilet & have left 2 portable toilets in there place.The toilets at the wharf have also closed.No-body seems to know why..There haven’t been any major public works in the area.
The public toilet in the Castello area, Bragora Public Toilet,is closed in the winter from approx. 10th Nov-31st Jan
Cinemas and Department Stores
Ironically there are only two cinemas in Venice. one of those is on the Lido, not counting the Palazzo del Cinema where they have Venice Film Festival. Cinemas in Venice generally open around 16.00 and have public toilets in their lobby area The two department stores Coin in Venice & OVS on the Lido have bathrooms in store. A tip is expected if an attendant is in place.
Bookstores and Libraries
The largest bookstores in Venice is Goldini, the rest are all smaller independently run bookstores. The bookstores in the directory are the stores that allowed us use of their bathroom, although we did spend a lot of time browsing and choosing several books to buy so that may have influence their decision to let us use their facilities! Public Libraries are another good option. The one listed is in San Marco and they are extremely helpful to the disabled traveller.
Cafes, Fast Food and Restaurants
Contrary to popular opinion, restaurant, fast food, café and bar operators are not required by law to have a bathroom that is available for use as a public toilet. Most people will buy a drink or a small food item and then use the bathroom. Always remember to ask if they have a toilet on the premises before you buy anything and to make sure it is not a Turkish toilet Unfortunately having a small child that needs to go will not shake these restaurateurs’ only time you will be given some leniency is if you have a disability. We have included some restaurants & bars but make sure they are busy,the cashiers eyes are everywhere!!
McDonalds is a good option because it is always busy. McDonalds throughout Europe use the digital locking system and require you to use the code on your receipt to access their bathrooms, so be sure to keep your receipt with you! Fortunately, the digital locks are normally broken but if they are working discreetly wait for someone to come out, so you can go in. I do believe the digi lock that they did have has been removed,the toilets are always busy,so whats the point !!!!
Public bathrooms in large hotels are usually available in the lobby area, near the bar or restaurant. Some hotel bathrooms will have an attendant and a tip is expected. The larger the hotel, the easier it is to blend in. Confidence and the appropriate dress are important for this option. Be low key and unobtrusive and you should be able to use the facilities like a guest.
All museums and galleries have toilet facilities available for visitors. Some are attended and some are not. Most of the toilets come equipped with a plastic seat, toilet paper and soap and water. Always use the toilet prior to leaving. It will help avoid any emergencies that may blight your day.
Note that some museums have started charging the visitor to use their restrooms. We know this is happening for sure at the Doges palace and is probably going to catch on across the city. The prices should be listed outside the museum.
In Venice it is customary for toilets to be available for those attending services only.Asking the attendant at the entrance will give you no satisfaction,look for a church employee & have your coin purse pen ready to make a donation
Doges Palace Disabled Toilet
The situation is improving for the disabled visitor to Venice. New buildings are those able to renovate now required by law to have disabled facilities. We have listed as many with disabled facilities as possible.Access is usually free to those with obvious disabilities however, this is at the discretion of the bathroom attendant If you come up against a recalcitrant attendant, contact the closest tourist information office or ask your hotel concierge to contact the relevant authorities.
The hotels listed are helpful and friendly to the disabled traveller and are a good option when necessary. The Venezia Unica and The Venice Comune site have excellent information for disabled visitors and are able to organise assistance for you if required.
Please note that disabled facilities may be difficult to access because the wheelchair lifts that were available on a number of bridges have rusted and become unusable. This map has been developed from the Comune di Venezia http://www.comune.venezia.it/archivio/1318
Baby Changing Facilities
Baby changing facilities are rare in Venice. Where possible we have included them into the directory. You will find them on the map with an elephant symbol. If you need to change baby, please be discreet. No table tops please!
Remember: We do the boring stuff so you don't have to!