Grand Canal

Gaze upon the stately homes of former merchants with a gondola ride down Venice’s longest canal.

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Grand Canal: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

1. Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

Explore the canals in the city of Venice aboard a gondola. Your gondolier will take you down secluded canals, passing under small bridges and along the Grand Canal. Listen to the guide as they explain all about the palaces, churches, and attractions around you. Hear stories known only by Venetians, and about the fascinating history of the gondola and gondoliers. During your journey, admire Desdemona’s House and Mozart’s House. You'll also pass by the magnificent La Fenice Theatre and the “De le Ostreghe” Canal. Continue on to the most important canal in Venice, the Grand Canal. Make your way towards the Salute Church, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and some of the stunning Venetian palaces that run alongside the canal, like Ca'Dolfin, Ca'Loredan, Grimani Palace and many others. You will also see Punta de la Dogana and Saint Mark’s basin before making your way back to Campo San Moisè. At the end of the tour, you will receive a QR code to download a digital map with 2D images of Venice from the Middle Ages until the 18th century.

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Venice: Shared Gondola Ride Across the Grand Canal

2. Venice: Shared Gondola Ride Across the Grand Canal

Share a gondola ride with up to 5 other people and a master gondolier through the canals of Venice. Glide gracefully through the mysterious canals of Venice on a peaceful 30-minute ride. Discover the quaint and charming canals of Venice that have different charms and appeals, which you'll experience on this tour. Float down the iconic Grand Canal, ride down minor waterways, and pass by the famous theater, La Fenice, to soak up the atmosphere.

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Venice: Traveling Opera in a Historic Palace on Grand Canal

3. Venice: Traveling Opera in a Historic Palace on Grand Canal

Experience Italian Opera in one of the most important Venetian-Gothic style palaces in Venice, Palazzo Barbarigo-Minotto. Within this historical venue, an innovative approach to opera has been conceived, with a formula that focuses on the interaction between the singers, the musicians, and the audience. This gives spectators the feeling of living Opera ‘from the inside’. This sensation is amplified by the clever 360-degree use of the ‘stage’ and by having the guests move through 3 different rooms within the Palazzo, one for each act of the show. The whole setting changes, not just the background. Reviving a tradition dating back to the late 1800s, this reimagining is brought to life by some of the finest lyrical voices, accompanied by a talented small group of strings and a piano: a virtuoso ensemble who performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. Opera offered: • La Traviata - Melodrama in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi (Mon - Tue - Thu - Sat) • Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Light-hearted melodrama in two acts by Gioachino Rossini (Wed - Sun) • Rigoletto - Intense drama about love and vengeance by Giuseppe Verdi (Fri)

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Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

4. Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

Board an authentic gondola and take a romantic journey along the Canal Grande in Venice. See the historic sights along the shoreline as you glide down the canal. Set off from the departure point and admire marvelous palaces, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute. Explore the secret waterways of Venice and soak up the city's atmosphere with your friends or your beloved. Travel by gondola close to St. Mark's Square, Fenice Opera House, Punta della Dogana and many other charming palaces. Pass under a small bridge as you discover the hidden spots reachable only by gondola. Enjoy commentary on your mobile app as you discover the stories and secrets of the city.

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Venice: Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner

5. Venice: Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner

Don't miss the chance to live a unique and unforgettable experience, framed by the timeless beauty and serenity of the enchanting city of Venice. The Venetian Galleon will wait for you in front of the Museo Storico Navale in Venice and, once on board, the crew will lead you to your reserved table to offer you a delicious welcome drink. The candlelight, the elegant tables, a fine and well-finished service, and the charm of a boat of other times will be the perfect setting of your wonderful evening out, for an unforgettable dinner immersed in the magic of the Venetian Lagoon. At dusk, the Galleon will slowly leave shore and head into the northern lagoon, with its mysterious canals, while the minor islands such as Sant’Erasmo and San Francesco del Deserto reveal themselves to you one after another. During dinner, you will taste a variety of delightful specialties prepared by the chef on board while you sail towards the Venetian Arsenal and then past the islands of Vignole, Mazzorbo and Murano, known worldwide for its glasswork masterpieces. You will then circumnavigate Burano, famous for its picturesque, colorful houses and the Leaning Bell Tower. Then sail back to the San Marco basin and past the island of San Giorgio, where you can admire the lights reflecting on the water. Afterwards, the Galleon will head on to Venice and the cruise through the Grand Canal will offer you a spectacular view of the San Marco basin and its ancient palaces and prestigious hotels. Once arrived at the landing place in front of the Naval Museum, you will disembark and, with a last glimpse of Venice, the Galleon will sail slowly away. You can select one of the two following options: The Central Deck has panoramic windows and during the tour the guests will enjoy a fantastic view of the Venetian Lagoon. The Bow offers a more intimate atmosphere, as there are only two small portholes and there is no view; the Poop Deck has small windows. In both areas, the tables are for 4 persons, and depending on the availability, couples might be seated at one shared table (however, the tables are big enough to guarantee each couple privacy).

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Venice: City Walking Tour

6. Venice: City Walking Tour

Join a walking tour of Venice and explore its fascinating maze of narrow streets, elegant palaces, and imposing churches. See the city’s unmissable attractions and learn about their history and cultural significance with a professional guide. Admire the city's main monuments such as the Clock-Tower, Procuratie Vecchie, and the Bell Tower around St. Mark’s Square. Listen as your guide tells you the history of the dukes of Venice and how the city was once the most powerful maritime empire in the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the elegant Castello residential area and walk through the famous Mercerie, one of the city’s main shopping districts. Stroll past the famous Santa Maria Formosa square, the house of Marco Polo, The Church of San Giovanni and Paolo, and the Rialto Bridge with its traditional market. Walk along charming canals, wander into small alleys, and discover picturesque squares where Venetians gather to socialize. Find hidden gems and learn interesting facts about the places you visit.

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Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide

7. Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide

Eat your way around Venice on a 2.5-hour tasting tour of some of the city's eateries, and get views of the historical monuments and attractions along the way. Begin in the San Marco district and stroll to the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal. Visit Rialto Market and marvel at the colorful fruit and vegetable stalls. Experience everyday life in the city as the locals come to purchase fresh fish and other ingredients. Next, go to Campo San Polo and enter the Basilica dei Frari. Pass the square of Campo San Bartolomeo, where the locals like to gather. Along the way, taste a wide range of food specialties, from regional cheeses to buranelli biscuits and traditional cakes. Sample some sweet tiramisù in the city where it was invented, and experience the unique culture of cicchetti, the tapas-like snacks loved by Venetians served in typically cozy bàcari (bars). End on the Campo Santa Margherita in the historical sestiere (district) of Dorsoduro near the university.  

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Venice: Private Gondola Ride for Up to 6 People

8. Venice: Private Gondola Ride for Up to 6 People

Experience the romance of Venice aboard a traditional gondola for up to 6 people and enjoy a more intimate experience, exclusive to your group. Depart from the Campo San Luca at a time to suit you. Gondola rides are available by day and at night, when you can marvel at the monuments illuminated after dark. Journey along the legendary Grand Canal to see some of the historic buildings from the water. Venture down some of the smaller canals and get away from the tourist crowds. Pass the Gothic façades of palazzos at a gentle pace as your gondolier punts you through the historical center aboard the city's most traditional mode of transport. Glide back to the starting point for the end of your amazing gondola ride.

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St. Mark's Basilica: Skip-the-Line Tour with Pala d'Oro Access

9. St. Mark's Basilica: Skip-the-Line Tour with Pala d'Oro Access

Join a guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with skip-the-line access. Marvel at the basilica’s magnificent interiors and see its collections of Byzantine art. Meet your expert guide and step inside St. Mark's Basilica, a unique cathedral displaying some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. Uncover the biblical symbolism behind the artworks. Take in the beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays. Listen as your guide tells you the history and the special features of this architectural wonder.

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Venice: Private Gondola Ride to Rialto Bridge

10. Venice: Private Gondola Ride to Rialto Bridge

Start the gondola ride from Bacino Orseolo located behind St. Mark's. Float through the beautiful canals of Rio dei Barcaroli and Rio dell’Ovo until you reach the Grand Canal. From the Grand Canal, admire the magnificence of the Rialto Bridge and important buildings such as Ca’ Farsetti, the head office of the city hall. See Palazzo Grimani, the largest building overlooking the Grand Canal. Continue the journey along the Rio San Luca where you can see Palazzo Manin, the residence of the last doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, now home to the Bank of Italy.

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Planning Your Visit

  • Getting around by bus and taxi

    The "vaporetti" (water buses) cost €8.50 per ticket from the train station to Piazza San Marco and run every 10 minutes. The trip on Line 2 takes 20 - 30 minutes, and 45 minutes on Line 1. The "taxi acquei" (water taxi) costs €110 from the airport to a hotel, and, depending on the distance, between €40 - €70 within Venice itself.

  • Getting around by gondola

    A typical ride lasts 40 minutes and costs about €80. Add another €40 per 20-minute increment thereafter. The price goes up after 7:00 pm to €100 and costs €50 for every 20 minutes thereafter. In the end, it is always wise to agree on the price with the gondelier before setting off.

  • Getting around by traghetto

    This "water ferry" is a cheap alternative to traveling by gondola and costs €4 for a five-minute ride across the Grand Canal. The difference between a traghetto and gondola is that two people are rowing, and passengers generally stand for the short trip.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Depends on when your chosen gondolier wakes up! From 9AM onward is a good bet.
  • Is it expensive?
    Choose your fancy! You can compare gondola-ride and water taxi prices on our website.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Most definitely, unless you row your own boat. And would you really want to miss an Italian serenade?
  • How to get there
    By foot from the train station or Piazza San Marco.
  • Additional information
    Though the locals stand in a traghetto, find yourself a seat. The bobbing of the boat might bop you into the Canal!

Other Sightseeing Options in Grand Canal

Want to discover all there is to do in Grand Canal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Grand Canal

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 10,440 reviews

If your time is limited, a 30 minute ride thru so.e of the canals will give you a good experience. Try afternoon rides in December as mornings and late in the afternoon might be foggy and you'll only see the canals I stead of the surroundings. Guide was speaking English as well as Italian and French. Remember daylight in December is short. 4:30 to 5:00pm and it starts to get dark. Definitely not Florida. Gondolier was funny and informative trying to explain and answer questions in English. There is up to 5 people per gondola, so don't expect to be alone with the entire gondola to yourself at this price rate. Great value, we have fun and can check this out of our bucket list. There will be many people and many gondolas leaving the same bridge at the same time but it is well organized, the guide may be in gondola 6 or 7 depending on how many gondolas are hired with the company at that time, you may lose signal with your hearing devices at times, but it is to be expected. Thank you!

The tour is divided into two parts: the one on the ground with an explanation of the canals and the conformation of the gondolas and the very suggestive gondola ride ... an hour in all, a wonderful experience. And you save money compared to the gondola ride done privately. Our guide Rachele very nice and knowledgeable.

The gondola ride took us through the maze of canals and eventually to the grand canal. Interesting bridges and buildings lie along the route and we could get a feeling of Venetians living here through the centuries.

Gondola ride at night. Very nice. Next time we will book at least 45 min. 30 pass very fast.

Our tour guide Alexis was amazing and super insightful on the beautiful tour of Venice!