Venice Gondola Tours

Panoramic Views
Panoramic Views
Frequent Departures
Frequent Departures
Sightseeing & Onboard Meal Options
Sightseeing & Onboard Meal Options

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Venice Gondola ride | Cruise down the iconic canals

Picture this: the golden hues of sunset reflecting off Venice's tranquil waters, the air tinged with the whisper of romance, and city's silhouettes mirrored in its shimmering canals. The only thing missing? Stepping onto a gondola to immerse fully in the quintessence of Venetian charm and elegance.

Steered by skilled gondolier, whose rowing oar moves in harmony with the waters as they occasionally hum melodies, the Gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed rowing boat. While its asymmetrical structure might seem unbalanced, it has been perfectly designed to navigate Venice's labyrinthine waterways.

Embarking on a gondola ride is not merely about sightseeing; it's about experiencing the city as it was meant to be seen—from its serene canals — and connecting to its living history as the gondola glides beneath the city's ancient bridges and past majestic palazzos.

Venice gondola tours | Page guide

  1. Why take a Venice gondola tour?
  2. Things to know before booking Venice gondola tours
  3. Your Venice gondola ticket options
  4. How to choose the best gondola ride
  5. Venice gondola route map
  6. Boarding points
  7. Where to book my Venice gondola ride: Online vs on-site booking
  8. Plan your Venice gondola tour
  9. What to see while on a gondola ride in Venice
  10. Frequently asked questions about Venice gondola tickets

Things to know before booking a gondola tour

  • Shared vs Private: The standard fare for a gondola ride is €80 and €100 if you are opting to go on the tour between 7 PM to 8 AM. Note that this charge is for the gondola itself and not per head. So if you’re traveling in a group, i.e. choosing a shared ride option works out to be cheaper. However, if you fancy booking out an entire gondola just for you and your partner/loved ones, consider a private ride. Even if the gondola isn't booked out fully, the experience will still proceed for you and your crew. Note that while adults pay full price for a gondola ride, children under the age of two enjoy free access to the experience.
  • Ride duration: Each ride is usually 30 minutes long. If you want to extend your ride, you can check with your gondolier. However, you will need to pay an additional cost of €40 for every additional 20 minutes.
  • Ride timings: Gondola rides typically begin after 9 AM and go on till late night. Night rides cost at least €20 more, which is a huge consideration given that the gondola rides are pricey to begin with. If this is your first time on a gondola opt for a morning tour; the experience is just as magical.
  • Boarding points: The most popular (and crowded) boarding points are around St. Marks Square and the Rialto Bridge along the Grand Canal. If you’re seeking a quieter boarding experience, consider boarding from near the Jewish Ghetto and Campo San Barnaba.
  • Route: Most gondola tours follow a standard route. Gondolas usually travel down the Grand Canal, particularly passing those waterfronts that showcase popular attractions like the Doge’s Palace and St. Marks Basilica. Gondoliers end the ride at the starting point.  
  • Sights: If you board from St. Marks Square or the Rialto Bridge, you can expect to see top landmarks like the Teatro la Fenice, Ca’ Rezzonico, Peggy Guggenheim and more. Pay the additional euros to include the Bridge of Sighs on your route, as this will allow you to explore the quieter parts of the Venetian waterways.
  • Serenade: A serenade isn’t automatically guaranteed with your ride; it must be purchased as an add-on. Serenade rides are also shared. On the off-chance your gondolier agrees to sing for you in a non-serenade ride, you will have to tip or pay extra accordingly. The terms of this should be finalized before the ride begins.
  • Best time for a ride: Summers can get uncomfortably hot as you’re sitting directly under the sun, and winter evenings are chilly. For a pleasant ride, book a tour before 10 am or late in the afternoon. Crowds are also sparser during these times.
  • Ride cancellation: Only in the case of extreme events like high tide, bad weather conditions or gondola strikes will the ride be canceled. But, what if you change your mind? If you book online, you can cancel the tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Your Venice gondola ticket options

Venice Gondola at Rialto Bridge

Shared gondola ride in Venice

Duration: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Budget/solo travelers

  • While seating is based on the gondolier’s discretion, you can opt for same-gondola seating for groups of up to 5. 
  • Upgrade your ticket for live commentary in English/Italian. You can also choose digital app commentary in Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, French and Hindi. There is also an option to upgrade your ticket to include a special route under the Bridge of Sighs.

Recommended tour

Venice Classic Gondola Ride

Venice Private Gondola Ride

Private gondola ride in Venice

Duration: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families/small groups/couples

  • If you’re seeking the ultimate group experience, choose the private gondola option so you can all be in the same boat — pun intended.
  • With this private tour, even if your group comprises 2-3 members, the gondola is still reserved only for you.
  • Spot unmissable Venetian highlights like the spiral staircase of the Contarini del Bovolo Palace near St. Marks Square, or the Teatro la Fenice.

Recommended tour

Venice Private Gondola ride

venice gondola ride with serenade

Gondola ride with live entertainment

Duration: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Couples

  • Enhance your experience with an authentic twist; allow a gondolier to serenade you on the glistening waters of the canal.
  • Choose between groups seating or random seating based on how you are traveling — with a group or solo.

Recommended Tour

Venice Grand Canal: Gondola Ride with Serenade

Doge Palace Tour

Combo tours

Duration: 2-9 hours
Suitable for: First timers/those on a tight timeline

  • Want to see the best of Venice on limited time and a budget? Combo tours are your best friend. Booking these tours also helps you save on tickets you'd otherwise spend individually at these attractions.
  • Get skip-the-line tickets to attractions like the Doge's Palace and more.

Recommended tours

Hear from our guests

How to choose the best gondola ride

Ride type
Boarding points
Attractions covered
Book tickets
Venice classic gondola ride
Near St. Marks Square
Clock icon
10am to 6:20pm. Timings vary according to the dates selected.
Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Santa Maria della Salute
Option to avail live commentary and pass by the Bridge of Sighs. Economic gondola ride.
Venice private gondola ride
Just you and your group
Near St. Marks Square
Clock icon
9am to 7:30pm
Teatro la Fenice, Rialto Bridge
Benefit of traveling with your cohort whether it is a group of friends or family.
Venice gondola ride with serenade
Near St. Marks Square
Clock icon
Ca' d'Oro, Bridge of Sighs
Authentic ride experience with Italian gondolier to serenade the guests.

Venice gondola route map

Most gondolas navigate the routes around the St. Marks Square, although some may choose to dip in and out of internal canals to escape canal traffic. In case of the latter, you might stand a chance to catch sight of hidden gems, like the famous Bridge of Sighs. Note that these routes are fluid and not predetermined, so the route a gondola may be following today might not be the same as the one it follows the next day. Route variations are also subject to changes in water levels and weather conditions.

venice gondola route map

Boarding points

Most of these experiences begin around St. Marks Square, although the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal are popular boarding points as well. 

Here are some popular stations around St. Marks Square.

Campo San Gallo

This popular ferry station is where you can begin experiences like the shared or classic gondola ride.

Alilaguna and Bucintoro Viaggi

This boarding point is a favorite among those seeking private rides. Alilaguna and Bucintoro Viaggi is a travel company that arranges ferries and other transportation services in Venice.

Campo S. Zaccaria

This station also doubles as a ferry station. Enjoy a serenade ride by boarding from this pier.

Where to book my Venice gondola ride: Online vs on-site booking

When planning your unforgettable Venice gondola ride, one of the first decisions you'll face is whether to book your experience online in advance or take a chance with on-site booking once you arrive.

Booking on-site allows you to walk up to the station when you have time and choose a ride, which works well for spontaneous travelers who don't believe in planning every detail. But it also means that you will have to deal with the risk of unavailability and long lines, especially during peak seasons.

Booking a gondola ride online is slightly more expensive. However, there are several upsides to booking online:

  • Booking your gondola ride online ensures your spot is secured for your preferred date and time, which is especially important during Venice's peak tourist seasons.
  • If you are opting for a shared tour, booking online ensures a guaranteed trip whether you have other people to join you in on the ride or not. Plus, what you are paying for is the reserved time slot, ensuring that you get to go on the ride at the exact time of your choosing without having to wait for people to fill up the boat.
  • Booking online also offers another advantage: you get to skip the queues and board the gondola right away. 
  • Online booking platforms offer the chance to research different gondola services, read reviews, and compare prices, helping you make an informed decision.

Plan your Venice gondola tour

gondola will pass by iconic Venetian landmarks
Tips For Visitors

Frequently asked questions about Venice gondola tickets

How much does a gondola tour in Venice cost?

The classic gondola ride starts at €30. However, prices can vary according to the ticket type. Costs can go up if you choose a private ride, combo tours, etc.

Is it better to book my gondola rides online or on-spot?

The best option is to purchase your tour online. This way, you have multiple options to choose from like shared vs private, combo tours, etc. and you don’t have to wait in long queues for a ticket. However, you can also book on-site if you want a spontaneous experience. Note that on-site booking might mean longer wait times, not finding a ride at the time of your convenience, etc.

What are the different gondola tours I can choose from?

You can choose between shared or private rides. In the former, you will be seated randomly and might have to wait for the gondola to fill up before the ride begins. In the latter, you can book out the whole gondola for you and your family/group even if the whole gondola isn't full. You can also opt for a gondola ride with serenade if you're seeking live entertainment on board. If you want to explore more of Venice, book combo tours that will give you the benefit of taking both a gondola ride and visiting top landmarks in the city.

What is the difference between a shared and private ride?

In a shared ride, the gondola will also be occupied by other people besides you and your group. The gondolier may seat you randomly, meaning you might be split from your group if your gondolier so decides. The shared ride is cheaper, starting at €30. A private ride, in contrast, is one where the entire gondola is reserved for you and your group. This means that even if the gondola isn't full to capacity i.e. doesn't have 5 passengers, the ride will still happen. Private rides start from €135 onwards.

What are the best places from where I can board a gondola in Venice?

All your gondola rides can be boarded from around St. Mark's Basilica. This spot is close to the city centre and easily accessible. However, you can board your ride from a variety of gondola stations, including the Rialto Bridge, the Jewish Ghetto and San Marco districts.

How long is a gondola ride in Venice?

A gondola ride typically lasts for about 30 minutes, although this duration may come down if there is lots of traffic in the canals. If you're seeking a longer tour, negotiate with the gondolier at the outset, although you may have to pay more.

Are guided tours available for gondola rides in Venice?

While the gondola ride per se isn't a guided experience, you can upgrade your ticket for live commentary on board. You can also book combo tickets to nearby attractions like Doge's Palace and St. Marks Basilica. You can avail guided tours to these attractions.

What is the cancelation policy for Venice gondola tickets?

You can cancel your tickets up to 24 hours in advance to get back a full refund. Rides may also be canceled in the event of bad weather or a gondolier strike.

Do all gondola rides in Venice include live serenade?

No, not all Venice gondola rides include live music. You’ll have to book a serenade ride if you are seeking this experience.

What are Venice gondola rides prices for kids?

Children under the age of two can ride for free, while all others pay full price.

What can I see in Venice while on my gondola ride?

Most tours allow you to witness St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, St. Marks’ Bell Tower, Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs and Mozart House among others.

Are gondola rides in Venice wheelchair-accessible?

Unfortunately, none of these experiences are wheelchair friendly.

What is the best time to take a Venice gondola ride?

Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to take a ride. A sunset ride is also highly recommended, even though it can get quite crowded.