Crane your neck and look out the aircraft window when you’re about to land in Venice. You will understand why Venice is rightly called “The Floating City”.
Nestled in between the Adriatic Sea and Italian mainland, Venice is an archipelago of 120 islands built over an ancient lagoon. Lapis lazuli water in meandering canals flanked with brightly painted buildings and a labyrinth of 411 narrow bridges is what Venezia is all about. Not to forget, the bedecked gondolas gracefully gliding through these dreamy waterways.
Getting around Venice
Motorized transport or bicycles are not allowed in Venice, hence these waterways are basically the arteries of this city. Roads are quite frankly a rarity in this Land of Canals. Hence, the best ways to get around Venice is by foot or water-borne modes of transport. Amongst the water-borne crafts, you have 4 options to choose from:
- The vaporetto (public ferry)
- The taxi acquei (water taxi)
- The gondola ( Venetian flat bottomed boats)
- The traghetto (gondola ferry)
If you are visiting Venice, you can consider skipping a whole lot of things but you cannot afford to miss gliding on a gondola by the venetian lagoon because there is nothing more Venetian than the absolutely romantic Gondola ride. Here's all you need to know before taking a Gondola Ride In Venice.
What Are Gondolas?
Gondola ( pronounced as Gone-duh-la) are Venetian flat bottomed rowing boats built specially to waft by the Venetian lagoon. It may look like a canoe, however it is much narrower and almost always more decorated than a canoe. Gondolas were traditionally the chief means of transportation and though they still hold that role in the public transit system, they are touted to be the most romantic way of exploring the tapering alleys and charming landmarks of Venice you can’t imagine reaching on foot.
A hundred years ago there were about 10,000 gondolas but today there are only around 400 licensed gondoliers in Venice. A standard Gondola ride is for about 40 minutes and their fares are standard around 80 Euros. However buying them online works out cheaper and is a more peaceful affair than haggling with the gondoliers who rarely entertain bargaining their quoted price. Fares for gondola rides are higher at night so if you intend to romance under the stars, it might cost you a few extra bucks.
Why A Gondola Ride In Venice Is An Absolute Must?
Going to Venice and not hopping onto a gondola is synonymous to going to Dubai and skipping the Burj Khalifa. There’s nothing, I repeat nothing, more quintessentially Venetian than a Gondola ride. Descending onto an elegantly black boat and setting off on an enchanting glide is one of the most romantic affairs in Venice. Sitting comfortably on the cushioned seats of your traditionally clad gondolas and passing under awe inspiring bridges flanked by architectural masterpieces and scintillating buildings is an all together paramount affair.
Venice Gondola Ride Tickets
While there are different types of Venice gondola ride tickets, the most sought after ones are the gondola rides with a serenade experience. Having an Italian singer hum mellifluous music while you glide on the canal is a mesmerising experience that simply cannot be put into words. Experience a Gondola ride in Venice and see for yourself!
Venice Gondola Ride with Audio-Guide
Venice Gondola and Serenade
Gondola Ride with Serenade and Dinner
|About|| Discover Venice on a 30-Minute shared gondola ride and immerse yourself in Venice's bibrant history with a multilingual audio guide. |
| Enjoy Venice from the waters on this delightful canal cruise while a singer serenades you with traditional Italian songs. |
| Enjoy a Gondola ride with a traditional musician serenading mellifluous music and complete the experience with a authentic Italian private dinner. |
Every day at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.
From 1st November to 31st March – 3:30 PM
April to October: Daily at 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Skip The Line Gondola Tour with Guided Walking Tour
Skip the Line Doge's Palace Entry and Guide Book with Gondola
Skip the Line St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour with Gondola Ride
|About|| Dive into Venice's fascinating history on an immersive guided tour and traverse its majestic canals on a delightful 30-minute gondola ride. |
| Enjoy skip the line access to the Doge’s Palace get the chance to relax and watch the city life from the canals on a traditional gondola ride! |
| Enjoy a traditional 30-minute gondola ride after which, you will explore the St. Mark’s Cathedral on a guided tour with skip the line access. |
April to October: Daily at 3:45 PM
Daily at 11:00 AM & 4.00 PM
November 1st 2018 - March 31st 2019: From Monday to Saturday at 11:00 AM.
A Typical Gondola Ride In Venice
Depending on whether you choose to waft by secluded canals or the elaborate Grand Canal, your views will vary from a backdrop of Baroque buildings to brightly coloured dwellings. From the neighbourhood churches to buildings in intimate spaces, to landmarks with intricate ornamentation like the La Fenice Theatre and Basilica della Salute , you are likely to encounter many famous landmarks as well as unseen gems. If you happen to cruise under the Bridge of Sighs, don’t forget to sneak a kiss to your partner. Legend goes that if you kiss under the bridge during sunset, lovers are granted eternal love!
Though gondola rides are popular throughout the day, nothing beats watching the sunset on a Gondola. Watching the sky turning a pinkish hue and the water turning a golden shade from the sun’s reflection against the backdrop of gothic roman buildings will turn you into a romantic, for however short a while. Don’t resist it, breathe in the mystical air and enjoy this experience.
Know A Little About Your Gondolier
The gondola is steered by a gondolier who uses a rowing oar and swifts through the canal, occasionally humming Italian melodies. It is interesting to note that gondolier-ing is a centuries old guild and is considered a noble profession in Venice. Gondoliers are required to go through years of apprenticeship and have levels of exams on art, history, boating and linguistics. They are required to know 3 languages to become a licensed gondolier! Your gondoliers is likely to be in his uniform - black pants, a striped shirt and closed toe black shoes. He stands on one edge of the gondola and rows with the single oar and occasionally yells out ‘OY’ in a peculiar fashion to caution his fellow peers around the corner. Savor this experience through quiet canals interspersed with musical echoes, occasional shoutouts and unbeatable views.
Tips For Your Gondola Ride In Venice
- Consider buying your Gondola ride tickets online for a hassle and haggle free experience.
- Plan your ride such that you can watch the sunset while you're on your gondola.
- Combo deals of Gondola rides with a dinner or tourist attraction work out to be more economical.
- Shell out a little extra for a gondola serenade. It is worth the experience. Also, they consider it offensive if you ask them to hum a tune, so unless you have paid for a serenading experience, don't ask them to sing.
Reviews Of A Venice Gondola Tour
I am really glad my husband insisted on buying tickets online. We saw many people haggling with the gondoliers and skipping the experience all together due to the high prices quoted by them. But , I strongly suggest a gondola ride when in Venice. It is completely worth every penny. We started off at the Grand Canal and meandered through tiny waterways as well. I personally enjoyed the narrow waterways better because the Grand Canal was frankly too crowded. It had a charm of its own nonethless, especially when the sun was about to set. Undeniably romantic and forever memorable...
Yara Papov , TripAdvisor, October 2017
Ever since I started reading up about Venice for our trip, I was most excited for the Gondola ride. We bought our tickets off Headout, a combo deal that allowed us a dinner+ gondola ride. Worked out much cheaper than I had expected. The dinner was great, but the gondola ride was brilliant. We had a chatty gondolier who actually took the pains to point out landmarks and other touristy spots on the way. We didn't know where to look because every nook and corner is so beautiful. I was afraid I'd miss something if I blinked!And yes, we did sneak a kiss under the Bridge of Sighs. Totally worth the shot!
Michelle_Nor, TripAdvisor, December 2017
Read what others have to say about Gondola Rides in Venice on Tripadvisor
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