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.

Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

2. 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.

Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

3. Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

Feel the essence of Venice as you explore hidden and picturesque waterways near the Grand Canal with a gondola ride. Listen to in-app commentary to learn more about the city as you admire the sights. Start your activity by meeting the host, who will explain some curiosities about the history of gondolas and gondoliers. Get free access to an app with commentary of your itinerary on the gondola. As you enjoy the beauties of the Grand Canal, admire the marvelous Palaces such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, the Gritti Palace, the Salute Church, the Punta della Dogana. Discover the worldwide-famous La Fenice Theatre and the Mozart House along the romantic and hidden waterways. At the end of your ride, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Saint Mark’s Basin with San Giorgio Island.

Venice: Shared Gondola Ride Across the Grand Canal

4. 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.

Venice: Private Gondola Ride Past Rialto Bridge

5. Venice: Private Gondola Ride Past 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.

Venice: Shared Gondola Ride through the Lagoon City

6. Venice: Shared Gondola Ride through the Lagoon City

Discover Venice from the water and admire the city of bridges and canals. Sit back, relax in your velvet seat and watch as the wonderful Byzantine buildings go by. Glide under the countless bridges and hear the soft sounds of the water against the crumbling walls of the palazzi. Cruise down the famous Canal Grande and see the area around the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute. Admire this wonderful Baroque church from the 17th century and see the winding little canals.

Venice: Traveling Opera in a Historic Palace on Grand Canal

7. 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)

Venice: Sunset Gondola Tour

8. Venice: Sunset Gondola Tour

Experience Venice from the water and marvel at its spectacular mansions aboard a traditional gondola. Sit back and relax as you are punted along the magnificent Grand Canal and venture down some of the smaller canals to escape the crowds. Get carried away by this ancient mode of transportation as a professional gondolier rows you along the romantic waterways. Get breathtaking views of the city at every step of the way. Pass under historic bridges and near famous attractions. Travel back in time and experience Venice as it should be enjoyed by everyone who visits.

Venice: Private Gondola Cruise for up to 5 Passengers

9. Venice: Private Gondola Cruise for up to 5 Passengers

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.

Venice: Street Food Tour with a Local Guide and Tastings

10. Venice: Street Food Tour with a Local Guide and Tastings

Eat your way around Venice on a tasting tour of some of the city's eateries, and see historical monuments along the way. Follow your foodie guide through the historic Rialto Market alongside the Grand Canal. End at Campo Santa Margherita square, surrounded by local restaurants and farmers’ markets. Meet your guide in the San Marco district. Cross the Rialto Bridge to visit the 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.  

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

4.2 / 5

based on 13,849 reviews

The tour is a must-do. The guide is very knowledgeable and the motor boat was great. There were only 4 of us plus a couple so e tu of space to enjoy the trip comfortably. You get to see all the best Venice sights from a privileged viewpoint. The kids and myself loved it. Unforgettable!

The tour itself was great. Wonderful guide. However, there was no chance visiting the basilica. It wasn’t included even though it said it was. Plus no mention of a gondola ride. So they got their moneys worth but we didn’t.

It was fantastic tour were the bout went around venice. It was 1 hour tour and the guide would explain the historical background of buildings and islands.

Excellent ! So relaxing. Beautiful photos. Travelled through small canals and the Grand canal.

Amazing! We loved our experience. Easy check in and right on time.