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 6,306 reviews

Terribly organised but gondola ride is a must

The ride itself last around 40 mins and was in a gondola shared with 4 others. It's a beautiful way to see Venice and was a true highlight of the trip BUT the organisation was appalling. We booked in advance and expected to be in a queue for 5-10mins before boarding. In reality we were herded like cattle with at least 40 other people to the departure point and had to stand in a crowd and battle our way on to the first available boat. There was no queuing system and no order. Given that this was arranged in advance and the providers new the number of bookings made there could have been more order and much better customer service.

Venice: Traditional Shared Gondola Experience Reviewed by

Never been in a gondola and it was good for a first time

As the tour stated, it is not a guided tour. I would reccomend going in April or during cooler months. Even in April the smell of sewage water was rather strong in some areas, not all areas. The gondola conductor was quite the expert to manuever around, never any danger of tipping. The name of the Tour Agency is not on the building where you get your ticket, but if you get to the area, look for the building number above the door. Plus, you can ask people along the way, even policemen, in English, and they are helpful to guide you to that plaza.

Venice: Show & Go Gondola Ride Reviewed by

Great experience but with a minor nuance..

I have to say that overall the experience was really nice but getting to the actual gondola was kind of messy because our host literally made us run from the meeting point to the place of the gondola so we could get ahead of other groups. This was not very nice because my wife had a hurt knee so having to rush her to get to the gondola was not a good experience. After getting to the gondola the actual ride was lovely and I highly recommend experience.

Venice: Gondola Grand Canal Ride Reviewed by

Fantastic experience - and very romantic

Due to bad weather we didn't actually get to renew our vows in the gondola. Maria Rosa immediately came up with plan B, which was to have the ceremony inside the Doge Palace. Later in the afternoon the weather cleared up and we had our gondola ride - so amazing and romantic. I highly recommend Venice Events.

Renew Your Wedding Vows on a Venetian Gondola 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

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