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Where to find gondola stations in Venice

Venice Gondola RidesGondola stations

City of romance (next to only Paris, of course), Venice's charm is largely attributed to its canals and the graceful gondolas that glide upon them. This explainer is sure to help you figure out the best places for a Venice gondola ride, popular boarding points, and which ones to pick.

The Grand Canal

The most popular pier to board a gondola is undeniably the Grand Canal, known as the city centre from where smaller canals branch out. It's a 3.8-kilometer (2.4-mile) long, S-shaped canal that winds through the city, dividing it into two parts. However, the Grand Canal is consistently overcrowded by both tourists and locals, since it also connects the central railway station, markets and other waterways.

Jewish Ghetto

If you’re looking for a tranquil experience away from the bustle of busy areas, you can board a gondola at Campo di Ghetto Nuovo near the Jewish Ghetto. You may have the opportunity to explore smaller, more intimate canals with unique Venetian charm, away from the main tourist routes.

Campo San Barnaba

Campo San Barnaba is located in the Dorsoduro district. Like the Jewish Ghetto, it is a more peaceful and relaxed boarding point. Wait times are likely to be shorter here. Before or after your gondola ride, you can explore nearby attractions like the Guggenheim Collection which is a renowned modern and contemporary art museum. You can also visit Campo Santa Margherita, a bustling square with local cafes and restaurants.

Alternate boarding points

Another option is Santa Maria del Giglio, which offers a quieter experience with scenic views, located near the church of the same name. You can simply walk around the back canals, explore the neighborhood and board the gondola back to your hotel.

Some others include:

How to choose the best place for a gondola ride in Venice?

If you're seeking a lively and action-packed atmosphere

Board at: St. Marks Basilica, Grand Canal
How to get there: Vaporetto lines 1 or 5.1 to St. Marks Square
Waiting time: Upwards of an hour during peak season; 15-30 minutes during lean season. Prebooked tickets can get you a ride in under 30 minutes, regardless of the season.

  • Hear the calls of the gondoliers as they beckon tourists in these most popular boarding points.
  • Revel in the hustle and bustle of the crowd as you pass through Venice's most prominent landmarks, including the Rialto Bridge, Doge's Palace and more.
  • See Venice's top shops and restaurants dot the waterfront as you cruise down these popular routes.

If you're looking for a quiet adventure

Board at: Jewish Ghetto/Ponte San Polo/Campo San Barnaba
How to get there: Vaporetto Line 1 to Guglie
Waiting time: 30 minutes - 1 hour during peak season, 15 minutes or less during lean season. Pre-booked tickets can get you a ride in under 30 minutes, regardless of the season.

  • If bustling crowds are not for you, you can board your gondola at less-known piers like the Jewish Ghetto or Campo San Barnaba.
  • The Ponte San Polo route takes you through some smaller canals, while also giving you the chance to join a bit of the Grand Canal too.

How to beat the crowds at the gondola stations in Venice

  • Buying tickets beforehand from third-party vendors saves you the trouble of paying cash upfront. It also helps you find a gondolier immediately.
  • Consider taking your gondola ride early in the morning (before 10 AM) or in the late afternoons, when the crowds are thinner. Going on a weekday is also more advisable than a weekend.
  • Consider booking a private ride instead of joining a shared ride. This eliminates waiting in line and allows you to customize your route and experience.



Book Venice gondola tours

Venice Classic Gondola Ride
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Mobile Ticket
30 min. - 35 min.
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Venice Private Gondola Ride
Free Cancellation
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Mobile Ticket
30 min.
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Venice Grand Canal: Gondola Ride with Serenade
Free Cancellation
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30 min.
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St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour with Gondola Ride
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2 hr.
Guided Tour
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Frequently asked questions about gondola stations in Venice

How do I board a gondola in venice?

Go to the pier near St. Marks Square or the Grand Canal. From there, show your ticket to waiting gondoliers (or buy a new one on spot) and hop aboard a gondola. Instructions on how to display your booking will be informed to you once you purchase your ticket. Follow the gondolier's guidelines and voila! you'll be off on your cruise.

What are the different gondola stations in Venice?

The most popular boarding points for your Venice gondola ride are near St. Marks Basilica and the Grand Canal. However, there are also less crowded ones like the Jewish Ghetto and Campo San Barnaba.

How do I identify gondola stations in Venice?

Most official gondola stations are marked with red and white striped poles, so look out for those. Another way to look out for a station is by identifying the gondoliers. They operate at official stations and typically wear striped shirts (usually red and blue or blue and white). They may also wear straw hats, adding to their distinctive appearance.

What are some lesser known boarding points?

If you're looking to skip the crowds, you can board your gondola at less-famous piers like the Jewish Ghetto or Campo San Barnaba. This will give you a chance to float down smaller, less busy canals. You can also board your gondola from stations like Calle Larga XXII Marzo and Calle larga de l'Ascension.

How do I avoid the rush at popular boarding points like St. Marks Basilica and the Grand Canal?

Buying tickets online helps you skip the long waiting lines and directly meet your gondolier at the boarding point. You can also consider taking a gondola ride early in the morning or during the late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

How do I choose the best place for a gondola ride in Venice?

The best place depends on the kind of traveler you are. If you want to soak up the vibrant, active culture of the city, take a gondola near St. Marks Basilica. Pass by iconic landmarks like the Doge's Palace and Rialto Bridge on this route. If you prefer a quieter and less-buys experience, take one of the smaller canals afforded by boarding points near the Jewish Ghetto and Campo San Barnaba.

Is it safe to take a gondola from anywhere in Venice?

It's generally not recommended to take a gondola from outside an official station. Unlicensed gondolas might not be properly maintained, and the ride might be unreliable or unsafe.