Top tips for gondola rides in Venice | All your frequently asked questions answered

Tips for choosing the best experience

Pre-booking tickets
private gondola ride

Choosing your ride

  • In a shared gondola ride, you can expect to be seated at random even if you are traveling in a group. Great way to make new friends, right?
  • Book the private ride if you're looking for a romantic/intimate experience. This ensures you get the whole gondola to yourself.
  • Try and take a sunset gondola ride. The warm light, ambiance and gradual illumination of Venice is a mesmerizing experience!
  • If you want a serenade, you must specifically book a serenade ride. Avoid requesting the gondolier to sing for you. They consider it offensive!

Budget options

  • If shelling out €80 for a gondola ride is too steep for you, consider taking a shared ride to split the cost.
  • Go for a ride before 7pm to avoid the surplus €20 charge; rides after 7pm can be €100 or more.

Other alternatives

  • If you're just looking for a quick gondola experience at the absolute lowest price, take the traghetto or the public gondola which is a ferry service in Venice. The charges are just €2 per head (if you're a tourist, for locals it is €0.7). Note that your ride will last under 5 minutes on a traghetto.
  • If taking the gondola is not an option for you, you can take the public water bus (vaporetto) to travel through the canals. Take Line 1 as it passes through the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge and other popular highlights in a span of 65 minutes.
  • However, do set your expectations right, as neither the vaporetto nor the traghetto matches the experience of cruising on a gondola.

How to plan the ideal experience

Tourists enjoying a Gondola ride on a Venice Full-Day Guided Tour

Which station is best for you?

  • The most popular boarding stations are around St. Marks Basilica and the Grand Canal. To beat the tourist crowds, booking your ride online is highly recommended.
  • If you want to stray off the beaten path, walk to gondola stations near the Jewish Ghetto and Campo San Barbara. They are calmer and have small crowds.
early morning gondola ride

Dressing for the occasion

  • Before planning to take a gondola ride, do a quick weather check for the day to ensure you don’t get caught in the rain (especially in the months of September, October and November). In both hot and rainy months, carrying an umbrella is advisable.
  • Given that the gondolas have no shade, go for a ride before or after the sun's out so you can have a pleasant experience.
  • While there is no strict dress code for a gondola ride, you can opt for a more formal attire if you're going after sunset. At all times, wear comfortable footwear to make boarding and deboarding easy.
  • The best time to take a gondola ride is usually early in the morning or late afternoon, when crowds are relatively milder.

Book Venice gondola tours

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

1. Where can I book my gondola ride?
You can book tickets for gondola rides online through organized tours, or buy a ticket on the spot. It is advisable to book a ride online to avoid bargaining or waiting in long lines.

2. How much does a gondola ride cost?
The base price for a 30-minute journey costs €80 until 07pm everyday. Post 7pm, prices surge to €100. Beyond 30 minutes, a flat rate of €40 is charged every 20 minutes.

3. How much in advance should I book my gondola tour?
Booking at least a week in advance is recommended to assure your ride and get ahead of the queues. During peak season (June - September), it's advisable to book even earlier.

4. What currency can I book tickets for a gondola ride?
If you book a ride online, you can pay in the currency of your country. However, if you’re buying a ticket on the spot, you will have to pay in euros. Gondoliers do not take any other form of payment except cash.

5. What are gondola rides ticket prices for kids?
Children below 2 can ride for free in a gondola. All individuals above the age of 2 pay full price for a ride.

6. Are pre-booked tickets for a gondola ride refundable?
You can avail a full refund if you reschedule or cancel your tickets 24 hours in advance.

7. What are the different types of gondola rides I can choose from?
The following ride types are available: shared (where the entire cost of the gondola is split among 5 people), private (where you can book the entire gondola out for you and your loved ones, even when the gondola isn't full to capacity), budget rides (which are pocket-friendly ways to enjoy the gondola experience), sunset rides, romantic rides (which again are usually private experiences for couples) and canal tours.

Frequently asked questions about the ride experience

gondola ride

Duration and timings

1. How long is a gondola ride?
A single trip takes around 30 minutes. Of your gondolier agrees, you can even request a ride extension. Make sure to discuss the terms of your ride with the gondolier in advance.

2. How early should I arrive for my gondola ride?
It is recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your ride at the designated meeting point. 

3. What is the best time to take a gondola ride in Venice?
Sunset is the best time to ride in a gondola, although the canals can get crowded as everyone tries to maximize the golden hour. You can take one early mornings or late afternoons to for good lighting and fewer crowds. 

Gondola stations near St. Marks Basilica

Plan your ride

1. Where can I board my gondola from?
Gondola stations are commonly found near St. Marks Basilica or the Grand Canal. However, these are some other stations you can board your ride from: Campo S. Zaccaria, Campo San Gallo, Alilaguna & Bucintoro Viaggi -Ticket Office San Marco Giardinetti, Piazza San Marco, Gondola Station - Santa Maria del Giglio, Calle Larga XXII Marzo and Calle larga de l'Ascension.

2. What should I wear for my gondola ride?
While there is no strict dress code, dressing comfortably (think flat shoes, breathable clothing) is key. Dress in layers, especially during the cooler months. During the warmer months, bring a hat and sunglasses. If you're taking a sunset/night ride, dressing formally might better suit the mood.

3. What safety measures are adopted in gondolas?
Gondoliers are licensed and skilled professionals who are experts at navigating Venice's canals. Hence, you are in safe hands on a gondola.

4. Are gondolas wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, none of these gondola experiences are wheelchair accessible.

Frequently asked questions about gondolas and gondoliers

gondolier singing

1. Will my gondolier sing?
Not all gondoliers sing. You can make special bookings for a musician to serenade you while on a gondola, which will cost extra. 

2. Should I tip my gondolier?
While tipping is not required, a 5% tip is appreciated if your gondolier is helpful and informative about local attractions and monuments. 

3. How many gondolas are there in Venice?
There are 400+ gondolas in Venice at the moment.

4. What is the difference between a traghetto and a gondola?
The traghetto is a public ferry gondola that is wider than a regular gondola, has two gondoliers and can carry up to 12 passengers. Moreover, it is priced at just €2 to cross the Grand Canal. The gondola, in contrast, is the banana-shaped asymmetric boat that is largely used by tourists. Venice's old-world charm is largely attributed to these little boats. The standard fare for a 30-minute gondola ride is €80.