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Grand Canal
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Grand Canal: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in Venice

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5 historical facts about the Grand Canal

Referred to as the heart and soul of Venice, the Grand Canal is the longest of the city's 120 canals. Stately homes of former merchants line its 2.5-mile, serpentine banks, reflecting centuries of wealth that have flowed into this majestic port city.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

The first settlers to arrive on the marshy islands of the lagoon were refugees fleeing from Huns and Visigoths after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.

Here's to your health

Here's to your health

Venice built the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, with the hope that the Virgin Mary's intervention would rid the city of the Black Plague. "Salute" means "health" in Italian.

Bridging the gap

Bridging the gap

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges that span the canal, and it was the only one until the 19th century. First made of wood, the newer stone version was erected in 1591.

It's what makes Venice Venice

It's what makes Venice Venice

The gondola was the original form of transport through the canals from the 12th century, until speed boats made their roaring debut eight centuries later.Venedigs Markenzeichen

Aging gracefully

Aging gracefully

Over 170 buildings along the canal reveal the ages of architectural influences on the city. The oldest is the 13th-century palazzo Ca' da Mosto in Venetian-Byzantine style.

Our insider tips

Getting around by bus and taxi

The "vaporetti" (water buses) cost €8.50 per ticket from the train station to Piazza San Marco and run every 10 minutes. The trip on Line 2 takes 20 - 30 minutes, and 45 minutes on Line 1. The "taxi acquei" (water taxi) costs €110 from the airport to a hotel, and, depending on the distance, between €40 - €70 within Venice itself.

Getting around by gondola

A typical ride lasts 40 minutes and costs about €80. Add another €40 per 20-minute increment thereafter. The price goes up after 7:00 pm to €100 and costs €50 for every 20 minutes thereafter. In the end, it is always wise to agree on the price with the gondelier before setting off.

Getting around by traghetto

This "water ferry" is a cheap alternative to traveling by gondola and costs €4 for a five-minute ride across the Grand Canal. The difference between a traghetto and gondola is that two people are rowing, and passengers generally stand for the short trip.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Depends on when your chosen gondolier wakes up! From 9AM onward is a good bet.
  • Is it expensive?
    Choose your fancy! You can compare gondola-ride and water taxi prices on our website.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Most definitely, unless you row your own boat. And would you really want to miss an Italian serenade?
  • How to get there
    By foot from the train station or Piazza San Marco.
  • Additional information
    Though the locals stand in a traghetto, find yourself a seat. The bobbing of the boat might bop you into the Canal!

What people are saying about Grand Canal

Overall rating
4.1 / 5
based on 6,709 reviews

Worth it for an authentic Venetian experience

For those curious we had an amazing plate of cheese, olives and meat to start - all local. Then a couple of local sweet pastries, followed by tapas style dishes and finally some ciccheti at an amazing local bar. Alongside this we got a good walking tour round areas we hadn’t seen yet. Lovely host too! Great stuff.

When in Venice, it’s just something you have to do (once).

Just a pleasurable ride in back canals and the Grand Canal. The booking stated ‘up to 6 passengers’ and my wife and I were joined by two other couples. It was a quiet ride but very scenic and, of course, unique to Venice. I enjoyed the ride but due to the cost, will not do it a second time.

Venice: Gondola Grand Canal Ride Reviewed by

This was a very affordable way for a family to take a gondola ride.

The tour was described well. The meeting spot was easy to find. The cost was affordable for a family to take a gondola ride. Expect to get a ride and not a description of where you are or what you are seeing. The gondolier did not speak to us at all but overall this was a fun experience.

Venice: Gondola Grand Canal Ride Reviewed by

Shared gondola ride. Still a must do in Venice!!

We (2 of us) did this gondola ride and shared the ride with two other couples. Still a great experience & still got the great pics. Directions for meeting point were very simple and easy to find. Was happy to save some £ by doing this tour!

Venice: Gondola Grand Canal Ride Reviewed by

Amazing, unique, and authentic experience!

The performance (I saw Travaiata) was amazing, slightly interactive, and the music and acting was great. They offered us a glass of Prosecco in the first break. Thank you very much, I will come back to see other performances !

Things to do near Grand Canal