Venice is made up of 150 canals and 455 bridges that lead 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.
The best way to move along the Grand Canal in the purest Venetian style
Enjoy a tour of the canals of Venice with a ride in an authentic gondola. Choose if you want commentary on board, if you want a group tour or if you prefer a gondola exclusively for you and your partner.
Your visit to Venice will not be complete if you do not ride one of the legendary gondolas that ply the Grand Canal. You can book online a gondola ride to avoid making the decision at the last minute from the city itself and, once there, go to the meeting point and let the gondolier take you to contemplate the best views of Venice.
When booking you can choose between a shared ride with a group in which the guide will tell you the highlights of the monuments you will see, or, if you prefer, you can select a private gondola without a guide so you can enjoy a more intimate experience. In both cases you can choose the schedule and the duration of the ride is about 50 minutes.
The best gondola rides in Venice
- Gondola ride in Venice -From $ 35
Gondola ride along the canals with city tour on foot
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 start the walking tour near the formidable St. Mark's Square and walk around it while learning about the history of the city known as 'La Serenissima'.
What you will see on foot
- La Fenice Theater. Once one of the seven main theaters in Venice, the Fenice Theater is now the only opera house in the Italian city.
- 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.
- Contarini del Bovolo Palace. Very close to the Rialto Bridge stands this small 15th century palace very famous for its spectacular and picturesque exterior spiral staircase.
What you will see from the gondola
- Grand Canal
- Rialto Bridge
- Piazza San Marco
- Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute
- La Fenice Theater
- Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo
- Campo Santa Maria Formosa
- Bacino Gondola
- Marco Polo's House
Gondola ride along the canals with on-board serenade
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 in 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.
Gondola ride with city tour and entrance to St. Mark's Basilica
With this gondola ride with guided city tour and entrance to St. Mark's Basilica 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 Venice's greatest attractions, 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 d'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.
Church of Santa Maria Formosa
This 1492 church, designed by the Renaissance architect Mauro Codussi, was built on 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
Gondola ride and entrance to St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace
This is the most complete package, as it combines the gondola ride and the entrance tickets 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 you will access 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.
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, those condemned to death embarked on the final stretch of their lives as they yearned from their windows for the last time for the Venetian Lagoon.
Basilica di San Marco
This is the only 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.
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.
About gondola ride prices
A gondola ride in Venice is not the cheapest activity in the world, but it is a once in a lifetime experience in my opinion. It is assumed that in Venice there are 'official' prices for gondola rides along 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 so that you 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.
So 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.
I leave you more information in this post in which I explain how much it costs to take a Gondola ride in Venice.
Other interesting activities in Venice
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 about Murano and Burano Day Trips from Venice so you can organize your visit.