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Gondola Rides Tickets in Venice

Some of Venice's most spectacular facades and narrow streets can only be seen from its mini-channels aboard a gondola.

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

8 min read

Gondola Rides Tickets in Venice

Gondolas docked in the canal | ©Antonio Molinari

Venice is made up of 150 canals and 455 bridges leading to the majestic Grand Canal. Many of these small canals can only be seen from the gondolas, originally conceived as a means of transportation and today an icon of romanticism.

1. The best gondola rides in Venice

Gondola rides at sunset
Gondola rides at sunset

2. Gondola ride along the canals with walking tour of the city in the morning

Rialto Bridge| ©Damiano Baschiera
Rialto Bridge| ©Damiano Baschiera

With this tour you will fulfill two must-do's in Venice: walking the streets accompanied by a local guide who will explain the fascinating history of this amazing city and taking a 30-minute gondola ride through the Grand Canal and other waterways through smaller neighborhoods, such as Fenice.

This tour is very convenient because for a little more than the usual price, you hire a gondola ride that includes the guided walking tour of Venice. You'll begin the walking tour near the formidable St. Mark's Square, walking around it while learning about the history of the city known as 'La Serenissima'.

What you will see on foot

  • La Fenice Theater. The Fenice Theater was once one of the seven main theaters in Venice and is now the only opera house in the Italian city. It was the scene of the works of the best composers of the time, Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, among them, although it will always be the great Giuseppe Verdi who will be more linked to this theater and the Venetian memory.
  • Rialto Bridge. It is the most famous, oldest and most visited of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal of Venice, with more than two million tourists crossing it every year. With a characteristic structure formed by two inclined ramps joined by a portico in the middle, the Rialto Bridge was built in 1591 to replace its predecessor, made of wood and devastated on several occasions by landslides and a fire.
  • Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Very close to the Rialto Bridge stands this small 15th century palace very famous for its spectacular and picturesque exterior spiral staircase, with numerous arches and about which many intrigues are told.

What you will see from the gondola

  • Grand Canal
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Piazza San Marco
  • Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute
  • La Fenice Theater
  • Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo
  • Campo Santa Maria Formosa
  • Venetoinside
  • Bacino Gondola
  • Marco Polo House

3. Gondola ride along the canals with walking tour of the city in the afternoon

Charming walks
Charming walks

This tour is exactly the same as the previous one, it involves the same route and you will see the same points of interest. It also has the same duration and price. The big difference is that the gondola tour of the canals starts in the afternoon.

Which is better: morning or afternoon?

If you want your gondola ride to be quieter, it is better to do it in the morning, departing at 9.00. Afternoons, departing at 15.00, are more romantic, but that is precisely why most tourists choose them. Their demand and crowds on the canals are greater in the afternoon.

4. Gondola ride on the canals with music and serenade on board

The Grand Canal| ©Marco Paiano
The Grand Canal| ©Marco Paiano

Want to make your ride even more iconic and romantic? Give part of the protagonism of your ride to the person responsible for making the magic happen, the gondolier. With this ride you can enjoy a pleasant journey along the Grand Canal of Venice seeing some of the impressive buildings and monuments that line its banks while a gondolier sings classic serenades of Italian music.

What you will see on this gondola ride

  • Grand Canal. Known as 'the most beautiful road in the world', the Grand Canal is the largest in all of Venice. Its 4 kilometers of extension crosses the city forming an S and is watered by all the waterways that circulate around it. From it you can see impressive palaces such as the eighteenth-century Palazzo Grassi, and the most famous of the city, the Ca' d'Oro, a Gothic palace named for the gold that adorned it in its origins.
  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection. One of the most important art collections in the world is exhibited in this building, which originated when Peggy Guggenheim, from New York, arrived in Venice in 1949. From your gondola you will see the beautiful terrace where Guggenheim himself sunbathed while enjoying the view over the Grand Canal.
  • Palazzo Gritti Badoer. This majestic palace owes its name to its former owners, the powerful Venetian family of the Gritti. Its most notable member was the Doge of Venice during the Renaissance, Andrea Gritti, who led the Venetian armies against the League of Cambrai, which sought to stop Venice's expansionist ambitions in France.

5. Gondola ride along the canals with guided tour of the city and entrance to St. Mark's Basilica

Gondola ride
Gondola ride

With this gondola ride with guided tour of the city and entrance to St. Mark's you will fulfill 3 dreams in one: ride a gondola through the picturesque canals of Venice, walk the streets and passages of the city with the commentary of a professional guide and take a guided tour with skip the line access to one of the major attractions of Venice, St. Mark's Basilica.

St. Mark's Basilica

Since it was built in 832, St. Mark's Basilica has been the most important religious temple in Venice. This is what you will learn on the guided tour included in this pack, where you will discover that this church was built to house the supposed relics of St. Mark the Evangelist stolen from Alexandria.

Located in St. Mark's Square, this temple of Latin cross plan and five domes, houses in its gilded interiors more than 4,000 square meters of mosaics, relevant works of famous Venetian painters and 500 columns of the third century. Do not miss its Byzantine treasure of gold and silver from the sacking of Constantinople and its important Pala de Oro, an altarpiece of precious stones made by medieval goldsmiths.

St. Mark's Square

St. Mark's Basilica is located, of course, in St. Mark's Square, one of the most famous squares in the world and the center of the city and the social life of Venice since it was founded in the ninth century. From here you can admire many historical buildings and monuments, such as the Doge's Palace, the columns of St. Mark and St. Theodore, the Campanile Tower and the Torre dell'Orologio, a wonderful Astronomical Clock.

Santa Maria Formosa Church

This 1492 church, designed by the Renaissance architect Mauro Codussi, was erected on the site of a 7th century temple which, according to tradition, was one of the eight churches founded by St. Magnus, bishop of Oderzo.

Itinerary by gondola

  • Grand Canal
  • St. Mark's Square
  • St. Mark's Basilica
  • La Fenice Theater
  • Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo
  • Santa Maria Formosa Church

6. Gondola ride along the canals with entrance to St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

St. Mark's Basilica and its Campanile| ©Massimo Adami
St. Mark's Basilica and its Campanile| ©Massimo Adami

This is the most complete package, as it combines the gondola ride and the entrances to the Basilica and the Doge's Palace so you won't miss any of the essential things to do in the city. With this tour you will cross the Grand Canal and its most charming river tributaries on a gondola ride and access the St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace without queues and with a guided tour, as well as other magnificent palaces around St. Mark's Square.

In addition, it will give you access to an audio guide with digital map of the 5 districts of Venice and information on over 200 points of interest to make your own walking tour of the city.

Doge's Palace

The Doge's Palace, in St. Mark's Square, is one of the symbols of Venice and the former seat of political power in the city, going from being a fortified castle in the ninth century and residence of the Doges to the prison of the Republic. From its halls of power, up to 120 doges (dukes) controlled the destiny of Venice for almost a century.

Both its exterior and interior are spectacular, with wonderful rooms filled with hundreds of masterpieces by Titian, Tintoretto and Bellini, among others. Through its famous 17th-century Baroque Bridge of Sighs, the condemned to death would embark on the final stretch of their lives as they yearned from their windows for the last time for the Venetian Lagoon.

St. Mark's Basilica

This is a unique tour in which, in addition to a guided tour of the Basilica di San Marco, you can enjoy part of the tour comfortably seated in the middle of the Basilica.

Grand Canal

During your gondola ride along the Grand Canal you will see Mozart's House, La Fenice Theater, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Punta della Dogana, the Accademia Bridge and the Ponte di Rialto, among palaces that will leave you open-mouthed. For me, this is definitely the best part of the tour, as it will help you appreciate Venice from another point of view.

7. About the prices of the gondola rides

Aerial view of the canals
Aerial view of the canals

A gondola ride in Venice is not the cheapest activity in the world, but it is an experience that, in my opinion, you have to do once in a lifetime. It is assumed that in Venice there are 'official' prices for gondola rides through its canals, but the reality is that in situ it is very difficult to know if the gondoliers who continually call your attention from their docks to hire their service are charging you the real price or if they are 'pirate' gondoliers.

The average price for a standard 40-minute gondola ride through the canals of Venice is 80 euros per gondola ride, regardless of the number of people traveling and accommodating up to six passengers. Keep in mind that in the evening after 19.00, prices go up to €100 per ride. That is why I think it is a good option to hire the service in advance or even combine it with another activity to make it more profitable.

8. Other interesting activities in Venice

Typical colorful Murano houses| ©Harshit Jain
Typical colorful Murano houses| ©Harshit Jain

Have you been craving for a gondola ride in Venice? If you enjoyed this activity, I am sure you would also like to visit the enchanting islands of Murano and Burano. I leave you here linked my guide on Murano and Burano Day Trips from Venice so you can organize your visit.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the differences between a gondola and a bus over water?

    Water buses usually take you along the Grand Canal on a shared ride. Gondolas are the traditional Venetian vehicle and will take you through the smaller canals and around the city in an experience that could not be had any other way.

  • Can I ride a gondola at night?

    No, but the last gondola rides leave at 19:00 - 19:30, so at least you can enjoy the sunset as you cruise through the canals of Venice, and depending on the time of year, the sunset.

  • Is it necessary to tip the gondolier?

    No tipping is necessary, but it will be appreciated.