By Train -- The most efficient way to reach Padua from Venice is to take the train from the Santa Lucia station. Trains depart every 10 to 20 minutes, and take 26 to 50 minutes depending on the class (tickets 4.25€–14.90€ one-way). The main Padua station (“Padova” in Italian) is at Piazzale Stazione, in the northern part of town, just outside the 16th-century walls. It's a 10-minute walk south from here, down Corso del Popolo, to the Cappella degli Scrovegni and the old city. Padua is also well connected by frequent train service to Verona (1 hr.), Vicenza (25 min.), and Milan (2 1/2 hr.).
By Bus -- The main APS bus station is located east of the Scrovegni Chapel and the Arena Gardens area on Via Rismondo 28 tel. 049-824-1111; www.apsholding.it/mobilita). Frequent bus service to Venice and Verona costs approximately the same as train tickets, though tourists and locals alike seem to use this station principally for the smaller outlying cities such as Bassano del Grappa.
By Car -- Padua is located directly on the principal Autostrada A4 that links Venice with Milan. All the points of interest listed below are located in the city's historic center, which is closed to traffic.
The tourist office at the train station is usually open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm (www.turismopadova.it; [tel] 049/2010080). The office in the old city at Vicolo Pedrocchi (same telephone) is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm.
Pick up a map from the tourist office and plan your attack. The train station marks the historic center's northernmost point, and the Prato della Valle and Basilica di Sant'Antonio mark the southernmost. The following sites fall into three convenient clusters: the Cappella degli Scrovegni (also called the Arena Chapel) and the adjacent Museo Civico are across a small piazza from the Eremitani Church; the Caffè Pedrocchi is near the Palazzo della Ragione in the Piazza Cavour area; and the Basilica di Sant'Antonio caps the southern end of town, with the enormous Piazza Prato della Valle just beyond.
Hotels, restaurants, and major points of interest all fall inside the historic center and can be reached on foot. Public buses serve many of the center's streets, which are otherwise limited to traffic (pick up a bus map from the tourist office). Single tickets cost 1.80€ and are valid for 75 minutes; a family ticket is 4€.