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Following a closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gondola operators in Venice have resumed tours. This move comes with a few safety measures in place, the most important one being that guests must wear masks that completely cover their nose and mouth. Before boarding a gondola ride, please check with your operator on the different public safety measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
The beautiful city of Venice is situated on a group of 118 small islands and is celebrated for its richness in art and architecture. Home to some of Italy's iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Piazza San Marco and more, Venetians have been actively welcoming tourists since the 18th Century. If you’re looking for a unique way to tour Venice, head straight to the Grand Canal and hop on a Gondola ride.
The famed Gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed rowing boat, well-suited for the conditions of the Venetian lagoon. It is typically steered by a gondolier who uses a long rowing oar, as they occasionally hum melodies. Its asymmetrical structure might seem unbalanced, but it further lends to the gondola gently floating across the canals. Today, Venice gondolas stand as the city’s symbol, empowering its history, tradition and romance. Book a Venice gondola ride to soak in the city’s historic landscape and enjoy an authentic Venetian experience.
A Venice gondola ride is one of the city’s top experiences. Due to this, you’ll almost always find long waiting lines at gondola boarding points. The best way to avoid this is by booking skip the line tickets for your gondola ride in Venice. With this, you can easily bypass the long queues and get straight ahead to begin your gondola tour in the city.
The city of Venice is home to landmarks dating back hundreds of years. To gain an overall insight into the history of the city and landmarks like the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica, opt for a guided tour with your gondola ride. You’ll be accompanied by a professional, multilingual guide who will enlighten you with interesting facts and information throughout the journey.
An interesting add-on to your experience is opting for live music with your gondola ride. If you choose a gondola ride with live music, as you float along the serene waters, you’ll be serenaded by a talented musician who will sing traditional Italian music. They’ll accompany you throughout your gondola ride, until you’re dropped back to the boarding point.
While adults pay full price for a gondola ride, children under the age of two enjoy free access to the experience.
Guests can download the handy audio guide app on their phones and use it for running commentary throughout their tour. The audio guide is available in several languages, including English, Spanish, German and French among others.
A Venice gondola ride is without a doubt one of the best ways to relax and soak in spectacular locations in the city. Here’s what your experience will broadly look like.
You’ll find the details of your boarding point on your confirmed e-voucher. With the help of Google Maps, you’ll arrive at the boarding point and prepare for the gondola ride. Spot your gondolier once you reach; he’ll be the one in black pants, a striped shirt and dark shoes.
Your tour will differ based on your choice of booking. If you’ve selected a standard gondola ride, you’ll arrive at the boarding point, wait for your turn, and experience a 30-minute tour with 4-5 other passengers. If you’ve opted for additional inclusions, like the services of a tour guide or live music serenade, these will further enhance your experience.
Through your gondola ride, you’ll cruise along the gentle waters and have the opportunity to admire beautiful landmarks of this ancient city like the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica from a unique vantage point. If you’ve opted for a guided tour, you’ll be accompanied by a professional multilingual guide who will inform you about interesting facts about the city and its landmarks. If you’ve opted for live music, throughout your gondola ride, you’ll be serenaded by a classical musician who will sing in traditional Italian.
After your tour is complete, you’ll be taken back to the boarding point after which your tour would end.
A typical gondola ride in Venice lasts between 30 minutes to an hour.
Gondola rides take place throughout the week, generally operating between 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM. The ideal time to get on board will be during the sunset.
The best time of day to go for a Venice gondola ride would be early mornings, to experience smaller crowds; if you’re looking for the perfect experience, sunset time, though expensive, provides the best views. The best time of the year to go would be during the off season, between October to May; remember that due to extreme weather conditions during winters, gondolas might not be available.
The best way to get to the Grand Canal would be through Venice's rail line service since it is connected by all local, regional and high-speed trains. Get down at Venezia-Santa Lucia train station and as you exit, you’ll see the majestic Grand Canal right in front of you.
The boarding point of your gondola ride differs from operator to operator. While most are situated in and around the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge, you’ll get exact details and directions of your boarding point on your confirmed e-ticket.
Yes, photography is permitted while on a gondola ride. However, it’s not recommended to carry a tripod as it would disturb your gondolier.
The tour is not private but a shared experience with other guests; a gondola can host a maximum of six people.
It depends on your booking. Some gondola rides include live music serenade, while others don’t. You would have to specifically book a gondola ride that includes live music.
Very few Venice gondolas are equipped to accommodate wheelchairs. Please check in advance before you book your gondola ride.
While on your gondola ride in Venice, prepare to be delighted with the panoramic views of the city’s landscape. While there’s plenty to see in a city like Venice, keep your eyes peeled out for these key sites.
Built in 1340, the Doge’s Palace stands as a classic example of Gothic style architecture. The palace was primarily the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic. Later in 1923, the Italian state entrusted the Venetian municipality to be run as a museum, opening its doors to the public. Today, the Doge’s Palace welcomes an average of 1.4 million visitors annually, becoming one of the most popular landmarks in Venice. If you plan to explore, don’t miss out on the Chamber of the Great Council, the courtrooms, the armory room among others.
St. Mark’s Basilica was a church built in the 9th Century to house sacred relics. It took about 800 years to complete this stunning structure, which today comprises 8,000 sq. m. of elaborate mosaics and over 500 columns, dating back between the 6th and 11th Centuries. Apart from this, the basilica is home to a lot of treasures that came from the Crusades and Constantinople, including four bronze horses, the Madonna Nicopeia, enamels of the Golden Altar-piece, relics, crosses, and many more which can now be seen as you make your way to the church.
Lined with more than 170 buildings and a bustling marketplace, built between the 13th and 18th Century, the banks of the Grand Canal forms one of the major water route corridors in Venice. Covering a stretch of 3.8 km, one end of the canal leads into the lagoon residing by the Santa Lucia railway station, the other end leads into the basin at San Macro, making a reverse S shape which can be seen passing through the district of Venice. Most gondola boarding points in the city depart from the Grand Canal.
Completed in 1591, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spread across the Grand Canal. Designed and built by Antonio da Ponte, the Rialto Bridge is famed for its architectural achievement. An earlier bridge was eventually demolished to be replaced with the Rialto Bridge in order to provide better access to Rialto - the financial center of Venice. Due to its unusual design and majority use of stone work, the bridge was first written off as a potential failure; however, until today, its beautiful Renaissance architecture makes it a popular attraction in the city.
Yes, definitely. By following the social distancing protocol along with reduced capacity limitation, the gondola rides are open for business for both tourists and locals to enjoy.
For safety reasons, it is highly recommended to wear face masks before beginning a gondola ride. Social distancing must be followed at all times. It is also advised to make your booking in advance to avoid overcrowding at the venue.
Yes, skip-the-line tickets are available. Its popularity in Venice attracts large crowds and these tickets offer you priority access to your gondola ride.
Yes. You can cancel your tickets up to 24 hours in advance to get back a full refund.
Yes. You can purchase gondola rides with a guided tour. An expert will guide you through all the major attractions in Venice while on the gondola ride.
Yes, it is highly recommended that you make your bookings in advance to choose the best date and time, and avoid waiting in long lines for a ticket.
The best option for bookings is to purchase them online. This way, you don’t have to wait in long queues for a ticket.
Children under the age of two can ride for free, while all others pay full price.
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.
Yes, some specific gondolas are wheelchair accessible. It is recommended that you check in advance before making your booking.
Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to take a ride. However, a sunset view is the most recommended.
No, not all Venice gondola rides include live music. You’ll have to book a ride that specifically includes live music as part of the experience.
The Grand Canal is the most popular boarding point for a gondola ride in Venice. However, the exact details and directions of your boarding point will be available on your confirmed e-ticket.