Grand Canal
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Grand Canal: Tours & Tickets

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5 historical facts about the Grand Canal

Referred to as the heart and soul of Venice, the Grand Canal is the longest of the city's 120 canals. Stately homes of former merchants line its 2.5-mile, serpentine banks, reflecting centuries of wealth that have flowed into this majestic port city.

Home sweet home

The first settlers to arrive on the marshy islands of the lagoon were refugees fleeing from Huns and Visigoths after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.

Here's to your health

Venice built the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, with the hope that the Virgin Mary's intervention would rid the city of the Black Plague. "Salute" means "health" in Italian.

Bridging the gap

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges that span the canal, and it was the only one until the 19th century. First made of wood, the newer stone version was erected in 1591.

It's what makes Venice Venice

The gondola was the original form of transport through the canals from the 12th century, until speed boats made their roaring debut eight centuries later.Venedigs Markenzeichen

Aging gracefully

Over 170 buildings along the canal reveal the ages of architectural influences on the city. The oldest is the 13th-century palazzo Ca' da Mosto in Venetian-Byzantine style.

Grand Canal: Our Tips

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 to visit
    Depends on when your chosen gondolier wakes up! From 9AM onward is a good bet.
  • What is the price?
    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 tips
    Though the locals stand in a traghetto, find yourself a seat. The bobbing of the boat might bop you into the Canal!

What People Are Saying About Grand Canal

Excellent!!! Our tour guide was fantastic!

We had a great time. She explained everything in detail and was very knowledgeable. I've been to Venice several times, but did not notice all the things our guide pointed out.

Excellent trip, don't miss the opportunity

Very romantic, great food, breathtaking scenery. I can honestly say this was the best thing we did, I don't leave reviews but just had to say - if you get the chance to book this, sit on the upper deck, don't eat all day and make sure you spend time on the viewing decks. Perfect
Venice: Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner Reviewed by Joanne, 10/15/2016

Very informative and enjoyable way to spend the afternoon!

Guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. Both my husband, my parents and I enjoyed it immensely.
Strolling in Venice 1.5-Hour Afternoon Walking Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 10/13/2016

Wonderful gondola ride and walking tour!

Knowledgeable guide, fluent in English. St. Mark's is quite beautiful and the mosaics are unique.

Great service after a very long flight. Reception was great.

Great service after a very long flight. Just what we needed to complete a long 24 hours. The reception at the airport was magnificent. Thanks!

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Grand Canal
Based on 1,181 reviews by GetYourGuide customers