One of the first images that come to mind when thinking about Venice is the traditional black venitian rowing boat that so often is represented in postcards : The Venice Gondola ! In fact, the iconic flat bottomed, banana shaped black boats are everywhere! From the famous Grand Canal, spanned by the imposing Rialto bridge, to the edge of St Mark’s Square steps away from the majestic St. Mark’s Basilica, or gliding under the Bridge of Sighs, you can’t miss them !
We created this little guide to help you pick the best option(s) for you and book easily your activities for a hassle-free experience ! Let’s get started !
Gondola ride in Venice : a must do activity!
All the visitors would agree on this : there are some “must-do” activities in Venice, such as:
- The visit of the doge’s palace and Basilica San Marco
- Check-out the Rialto bridge
- Take a trip to Murano and Burano
- Stop in a baccaro for Spritz and cicchetti
- Attend the Venice Carnival
- Get a traditional gondola ride !!
In fact, a traditional Venetian gondola tour along the canals is the most authentic way to experience this unique city. Why ? Because it takes you back to a time when motor boats didn’t exist, and the only way to move around the city was walking or rowing. You will notice the entrance of some old houses or palaces directly opening on the water of the canals, only remaining witnesses of these lost times.
There is no doubt this experience will provide you with great memories and sensations, that’s why we always advise visitors to give it a try ! We are pretty sure that you will not regret it ! Let’s see what are the different options !
Which is the best gondola ride in Venice ?
This is not an easy question, because the answer depends on who is asking the question ! Let’s start with the basics : A tour usually lasts from 30 to 40 minutes. You can either buy a ticket in a shared gondola or rent the full boat for a private tour !
Some gondola tours have additional services. If you are in family, it could be interesting to get the guided tour, with a guide on board giving live commentaries. What about surprising your loved one or friends to organize an “aperitivo” on the boat. If you are going for a romantic ride with your best half, why not book the acoustic live musician on board ? Let us know if you can’t make up your mind, we are kind of specialists on the matter !
Also, you may want to think about the itinerary of the tour. If it is your first time in Venice, or even your first day, then a classic tour is not such a bad idea ! It will introduce you to the city in a very nice way, and you will get to discover the San Marco area or Grand Canal and Rialto bridge from the water ! If you already know Venice, then we advise that you skip this one, and book a tour taking you to the smaller canals : you will be seduced by the beauty of the lights reflecting on the bridges through the water, the ancient houses, the everyday life of people : the real Venezia !
Another thing to think about is the best time of the day to go for your ride. Why does it matter ? If you ask a photographer, he would explain to you how much difference it makes ! The brightness of the day brings intensity to colours, the sunset warms up the atmosphere and adds fire like background, and at night, the city lights up and the canals reflect both the obscurity of the sky and the glow of the lights… Which one would you go for ?
Gondola ride tickets on budget
If you are travelling on budget but don’t want to give up on the gondola ride, here’s a great solution! Check our gondola ride tickets for a shared tour. The gondola can only welcome a small group of 5 persons, so it will still be cosy. Our expert gondolier, in his classic red and white outfit, will host you along the Grand Canal and tell you some secrets along the way.
Now, if you can’t afford this ride, you have one last option : the “traghetto”. Those special gondolas, like water taxis, take you from one side of the Grand Canal to the other. Find out more about it here !
Discover Venice in gondola with music
For just a few euros more, you can get a tour of Venice in music. This one is pretty cool because it takes you to smaller canals of the city, which is not easy to find for shared gondola tours. There will be a maximum of 5 gondolas, and the musicians will board one of them. Click here to discover our offer !
Italy has played an important role in the history of music. Musical scale, harmony, notation are all based on italian innovations. Venice, like a few other cities, was flourishing with music, especially Opera and worldwide reknowned artists, like Monteverdi and Vivaldi! This cultural heritage is very much alive today, and during your trip you will have the occasion to see it for yourself !
Private Gondola ride Venice: the most exclusive tours!
If you are looking for something extra special, this could be it. We offer the most exclusive private gondola cruises in Venice! Your private gondola tour will be organized according to your preferences ! Just let us know what you are thinking about : itinerary, music, drinks… and we will make it happen !
Venice night gondola ride : the city after dark
If a private gondola ride in Venice is an unforgettable experience, imagine a gondola ride at night ! If you are looking to add a romantic note to your tour, don’t look further ! Discover the canals of Venice with dim light and admire the picturesque architecture from a different perspective !
Row Venice! Learn how to row like a gondoliere !
If you want to try a unique “Venetian” experience, but prefer to stay in the city then why not try your hand at rowing yourself and discover the secrets of Venetian rowing? We offer a rowing course based in the Cannaregio district, suitable for adults and children! The rowing lesson will last 90 minutes, during which you can make your own way through the city by water!. Experience Venice city through its smaller canals, many of them hidden away, and above all learn to row like a real gondolier!
Book your gondola ride in Venice !
We can’t stress it enough : book in advance ! We recommend you book all your activities in advance when you organize your trip, and we are not just talking about the gondola ride !
You will not only save time wandering around trying to find out what you can do, but also:
- Pick from a wide range of experiences available
- Get the best offers
- Get skip the line tickets
- Get a tailor made activities
We are lucky enough nowadays to live in the internet era ! You can organize yourself in advance and prepare the perfect trip for you and your family from the comfort of your couch ! And if you can’t be bothered, just give us a call, we will do all the work for you !
You may also be interested in :
- Venice Gondolier
- Venetian Gondola : the construction of a gondola
- Gondola forcola : visit the oar maker’s workshop
- Squero : visit the gondola boatyard!