Grand Canal Venice Tours

Activities and tickets
37
Grand Canal Shared Gondola Ride with Commentary
Grand Canal Shared Gondola Ride with Commentary
Explore the hidden and scenic waterways of Venice as you take a gondola ride on the Grand Canal. Get free access to an app with commentary on your gondola itinerary.
from €38
per person
1023 reviews
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Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass (Non-refundable)
Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass (Non-refundable)
Book a ticket of public transportation services in the city of Venice.
from €10
per person
Guide rating
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Grand Canal Shared Gondola Ride with Live Commentary of Local Guide
Grand Canal Shared Gondola Ride with Live Commentary of Local Guide
A gondola ride through the canals is one of the best ways to become acquainted with Venice.During the trip, admire the majesty and splendor of Venice.
€40
per person
3473 reviews
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Traditional Shared Gondola Ride across small canals to Grand Canal
Traditional Shared Gondola Ride across small canals to Grand Canal
The gondola is a symbol of Venice, as emblematic of the famous city of canals as it is mysterious in its origins. Experience a half-hour gondola ride that takes you to the heart of Venice as you admire its historic sites as they were meant to be seen.
€38
per person
3252 reviews
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Personalize Your Experience: Gondola Tours with Live and Audio Guide
Personalize Your Experience: Gondola Tours with Live and Audio Guide
Discover the charming canals of Venice on a peaceful 30-minute gondola ride with a skilled master gondolier.
from €36
per person
611 reviews
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Exploring Grand Canal by Private Gondola Ride
Exploring Grand Canal by Private Gondola Ride
Journey down the Grand Canal and some of the smaller waterways of the city to see historic palaces and bridges from the water.
from €139
per group
2412 reviews
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Venice: Gondola Cruise in the Grand Canal
Venice: Gondola Cruise in the Grand Canal
Indulge in the ultimate romantic experience in Venice, and journey along the waterways on a gondola ride. Sit back and dream your way along the Grand Canal, looking at the stunning architecture and soaking up the unique atmosphere of the beautiful city.
from €140
per group
821 reviews
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Grand Canal Boat Cruise: Discovering the Palazzos and Bridges of Venice
Grand Canal Boat Cruise: Discovering the Palazzos and Bridges of Venice
With Our Expert Guides Onboard, You'll Discover Hidden Gems and Learn Fascinating Facts Along the Way!
€35
per person
2796 reviews
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Activities near the sight

Venice Street Food Tour with Local Guide with Local Food Market Visit
Venice Street Food Tour with Local Guide with Local Food Market Visit
Taste your way through the canal city on a street food tour of Venice. Walk through gorgeous squares, see impressive churches, and visit the bustling Rialto Market.
€44
per person
Guide rating
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Rialto Market Food and Wine Lunchtime Tour of Venice
Rialto Market Food and Wine Lunchtime Tour of Venice
Enjoy a real taste of Venice on a tantalizing lunchtime tour of the Rialto Market and discover the city’s impressive culinary credentials.
€89
per person
Guide rating
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Hidden Venice: Unusual Walking Tour
Hidden Venice: Unusual Walking Tour
An unusual walking tour through most the unusual places of Venice. The specialized guide will escort you through the heart of Venice narrating its secrets and history.
from €34
per person
513 reviews
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Experience Venice Like A Local: Small Group Cicchetti & Wine Tour
Experience Venice Like A Local: Small Group Cicchetti & Wine Tour
Taste your way through the backstreet bars of Venice on this delicious food and wine tour. Follow your local guide to different ‘enotecas’ (wine bars) to discover where local Venetians go to drink and mingle.
€109
per person
Guide rating
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Venice Romantic Sunset Tour by Typical Venetian Boat
Venice Romantic Sunset Tour by Typical Venetian Boat
Climb aboard a typical Venetian boat and sail into the sunset.
from €90
per person
1980 reviews
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Tourists reviews

Jenna

We thought that we would have the gondola to ourselves, but we shared it with another couple, which wasn't a big deal. But the other couple rushed into the gondola to grab the nice seats closer to the gondolier, so we weren't able to take any pics there. Overall though, I would recommend, but just know that you'll be sharing the gondola ride with up to 5 people max.
6 days ago

Penelope T.

Not to miss! We recommend it at the beginning of the stay. Very interesting with lots of little anecdotes depending on the place. There is a nice balance between historical and anecdotal aspect. Our older teenagers were receptive to the explanations and loved this visit. Our guide who has lived all his life in Venice gave us the good sides of Venice, the good tips. She gave us advice for certain purchases (and it was not easy to find the place afterwards without having taken notes). And she also had a critical mind about the mass tourism that Venice represents and all the inconveniences that this engenders.
7 days ago

Vunibaldo P.

Going to Venice and going through the experience of riding a gondola is something incredible, its canals, its culture, its houses and nice people. You must give yourself an incredible and unforgettable experience. The only thing the 30-minute route ends fast or sooner.
7 days ago

Nicolas D.

It was absolutely stunning! Knowledgeable tour guide (only before the tour - no commentary during the ride) Gondolier was a great happy chap! Singing,talking to other Gondoliers which made the tour even more authentic. Go for it! Great experience.
8 days ago

Remo V.

The tour was great! We walked (a lot!) and explored many roads, pontes and campos. The guide explained the History of the city and also the History behind the Monuments. We had almost 2 hours break before the gondola ride, and that was not expected. By the time we Started the gôndola ride, it was already very dark.
8 days ago

Patrice –.

The boat, the menu, the service, the quality of the cooked dishes are perfect: it's not a tourist trap. Too bad that in the middle of the night you can't make out the outside except at the approaches to the more or less lit islands and the illuminated monuments.
8 days ago

Ginta

Ships were always on time at the meeting point. Unfortunately the place of departure was difficult to find for the ignorant at first. The staff was friendly and willing to help. All in all we would book it again.
8 days ago

Camille

This was a lovely experience and i would definitely recommend it. Be aware when booking there are different parts of the boat some with views and some without which i hadn't realised. The food was good however as a vegetarian every one of the 5 courses was cheese including the dessert so a bit more variety would have been nice. Plentiful wine during the meal which was very enjoyable.
10 days ago

Discover the Best of Venice with a Grand Canal Tour

The Grand Canal is the main waterway that runs through Venice, Italy. This winding canal stretches for about 2.4 miles (4 km) and is the largest and most important canal in Venice. The Grand Canal is lined with some of the city's most iconic and historic buildings, including palaces, churches, and museums. It serves as a vital transportation route for locals and visitors alike, connecting various parts of the city. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to a Grand Canal tour in Venice, including planning, highlights, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and tips for a memorable visit.

History of the Grand Canal

The Grand Canal was created in the 12th century as a way to connect the lagoon with the heart of the city. Over the centuries, it was widened and deepened to accommodate larger boats and ships. The canal was a vital part of Venice's economy, as it allowed merchants to transport goods to and from the city. The grandeur of the canal also became a symbol of the wealth and power of the Venetian Republic.

The buildings that line the Grand Canal reflect the architectural and artistic styles of various periods in Venetian history. Many of the palaces were built during the Renaissance, when Venice was at the height of its power and influence. The canal also features several notable churches, such as the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, which was built in the 17th century to commemorate the end of a devastating plague.

Today, the Grand Canal remains a significant part of Venice's cultural heritage and is one of the city's top attractions. Its beauty and historical significance have inspired countless artists, writers, and filmmakers over the years. The canal continues to serve as a vital transportation route for locals and visitors, and its iconic architecture and stunning views draw millions of tourists every year.

Planning a Grand Canal tour

When planning a Grand Canal tour in Venice, there are several factors to consider to ensure a memorable experience.

  1. Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Grand Canal is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. The summer months can be extremely hot and crowded, while the winter months can be chilly and damp.
  2. Choosing the right tour company or mode of transportation: There are several ways to tour the Grand Canal, including gondolas, water taxis, and vaporetti (public water buses). Each option offers a different experience and level of comfort. It's important to research and choose a reputable tour company or transportation provider to ensure a safe and enjoyable tour.
  3. Planning the route and itinerary: It's essential to plan a route and itinerary for the tour to ensure that you don't miss any of the Grand Canal's highlights. Some of the must-see sights along the canal include the Rialto Bridge and Market, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Dario, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Peggy Guggenheim Collection), and the Accademia Bridge and Gallery. It's also important to allow time for off-the-beaten-path experiences and to explore the hidden canals, local shops, and unique museums and art galleries that line the canal.

Highlights of a Grand Canal tour

A Grand Canal tour in Venice offers an unforgettable experience, with plenty of highlights to explore. Here are some of the top sights to see along the canal:

  1. Rialto Bridge and Market: The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice's most iconic landmarks and spans the Grand Canal. It's a popular spot for photos and offers stunning views of the canal and surrounding buildings. The Rialto Market, located nearby, is a bustling hub of activity and offers an authentic taste of Venetian life, with vendors selling fresh seafood, produce, and other goods.
  2. Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute: This beautiful baroque church was built in the 17th century and sits at the mouth of the Grand Canal. It was constructed to honor the end of a devastating plague that swept through Venice in the 1630s. The church's ornate interior and stunning dome are a must-see.
  3. Ca' d'Oro: This 15th-century palace is one of the finest examples of Venetian Gothic architecture and houses an impressive art collection. Visitors can explore the palace's opulent interior and admire works by artists such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.
  4. Palazzo Dario: This Gothic-style palace is known for its distinctive pink and white façade and is said to be haunted by a curse. The palace has a fascinating history and has been owned by several notable Venetian families over the centuries.
  5. Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Peggy Guggenheim Collection): This modern art museum is housed in the former home of art collector Peggy Guggenheim. The museum's collection includes works by some of the 20th century's most influential artists, such as Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso.
  6. Accademia Bridge and Gallery: The Accademia Bridge is a popular spot for photos and offers stunning views of the Grand Canal. The Accademia Gallery, located nearby, is home to a vast collection of Venetian art, including works by Bellini, Giorgione, and Tintoretto.

Off-the-beaten-path sights and experiences

While the highlights of a Grand Canal tour are certainly not to be missed, some of the best experiences can be found off the beaten path. Here are some of the top things to explore during a Grand Canal tour in Venice:

  1. Hidden canals and alleys: Venice is known for its network of canals and waterways, and some of the most picturesque and serene spots can be found in the smaller, hidden canals and alleys that wind their way through the city. A ride on a gondola or a stroll through the quieter areas of the city can be a refreshing break from the bustling crowds.
  2. Local shops and eateries: Venice is home to many unique and authentic shops and eateries that offer a glimpse into local life. From artisanal glassblowers and mask makers to traditional trattorias and gelaterias, there are plenty of opportunities to sample the city's vibrant culture and cuisine.
  3. Unique museums and art galleries: In addition to the well-known art museums and galleries along the Grand Canal, Venice is also home to several lesser-known museums and galleries that offer a unique perspective on the city's history and artistic heritage. For example, the Palazzo Grassi features contemporary art exhibitions, while the Museo del Merletto showcases the history and craft of Venetian lace-making.

Tips for a memorable Grand Canal tour

To make the most of your Grand Canal tour in Venice, it's important to keep a few tips in mind:

  1. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes: Venice can be hot and humid in the summer months, so dress accordingly with light, breathable clothing. Comfortable shoes are a must, as you'll likely be doing a fair amount of walking.
  2. Bring a camera and/or binoculars: There will be plenty of opportunities to take photos along the canal, so make sure to bring a camera or smartphone with a good camera. Binoculars can also come in handy for getting a closer look at some of the canal's more distant sights.
  3. Respect the rules and regulations of the canal and its surroundings: Venice is a historic city that is carefully maintained, so it's important to be mindful of your actions and respectful of the environment. Avoid littering, follow local regulations and signage, and be considerate of other visitors and residents.
  4. Learn a few Italian phrases to communicate with locals: While English is widely spoken in Venice, locals always appreciate it when visitors make an effort to speak Italian. Even just a few basic phrases can go a long way in making connections and showing respect for the local culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the typical duration of a boat tour of the Canal Grande?

The typical duration of a boat tour of the Canal Grande is around 1 hour.

Can you see the Rialto Bridge on a gondola ride?

Yes, you can see the Rialto Bridge on a gondola ride.

Which is the best way to see the beautiful architecture of San Marco in Venice?

A walking tour is the best way to see the beautiful architecture of San Marco in Venice.

What is the Canal Grande in Venice?

The Canal Grande is the main canal in Venice, which winds through the city and is lined with beautiful buildings and landmarks.

Can I book a private gondola ride in Venice?

Yes, you can book a private gondola ride in Venice.

What is the main attraction of the Rialto Bridge?

The main attraction of the Rialto Bridge is the stunning views of the canal and the surrounding buildings.

How long does a typical gondola ride in Venice last?

A typical gondola ride in Venice lasts around 30 minutes.

What is the most iconic landmark in San Marco?

The most iconic landmark in San Marco is St. Mark's Basilica, which is known for its stunning architecture and mosaics.

What is the maximum duration for a private boat tour in Venice?

The maximum duration for a private boat tour in Venice is usually around 1 hour.

How can I explore the canals of Venice?

You can explore the canals of Venice by taking a private boat tour or a gondola ride.

What is the main attraction of St. Mark's Square?

The main attraction of St. Mark's Square is the beautiful architecture, including St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace.

How long is a typical visit to Doge's Palace with a tour guide?

A typical visit to Doge's Palace with a tour guide can last around 1-2 hours.

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