Everything you need to know about the gondola rides in Venice. Is it worth it? How much does it cost? How long is the ride? These and many other questions answered below!
What is a gondola in Venice?
The gondola is a traditional Venetian rowing boat similar to a canoe. It's flat-bottomed and narrow in order to fit along with other gondolas into small canals in Venice. The gondola is operated by a gondolier with a rowing oar.
In the past, the gondola used to be a major mode of transportation in Venice. These days, however, the gondola ride is primarily a tourist attraction.
How much does a gondola ride cost?
There is a fixed rate for a 40-minute gondola ride. A 40-minute gondola ride during the day time costs 80 euros. If you want a longer ride, every 20 minutes will cost you $40 extra.
After 7 pm, the gondola rides are slightly more expensive, costing 100 euros for a 40-minute ride.
Keep in mind that prices might change but the information above gives you a good idea about what to expect.
Is it worth it?
Riding a gondola in Venice is absolutely worth it! While it's pricy, it's one of the things you HAVE to do when in Venice. There is no way to see many amazing parts of Venice without this gondola ride. Venice historically has been connected by small waterways (canals), so the only way to see many historical sights or just beautiful architecture is from the water.
Also, riding the gondola gives you a different angle from the water and you get a much better view of many structures.
Venice is flooded with tourists, however, on a gondola ride in narrow smaller canals, there is nobody blocking your view.
Tip: Make sure to board the gondola in the smaller canals, not in the Grand Canal.
Here are some pictures I took while on a gondola ride in Venice:
How long does the ride last?
The standard gondola ride lasts 40 minutes. You can have a longer ride for additional payment.
Where does the gondola ride take you?
The gondola ride takes you through the small canals in Venice. Because you're not traveling in the tourist-packed Grand Canal, the gondola ride is quite serene and relaxing.
You'll get to see Venice from a completely different angle, discovering the buildings and the sights you wouldn't normally see.
Make sure to board the gondola on small canals, away from the Grand Canal, to avoid the crowds.
Best time to go on a gondola ride
Both daytime and evening gondola rides are amazing. You get to see a lot of sights you normally wouldn't, and everywhere you look is beautiful.
Keep in mind, that it's usually very hot during the day, and the gondolas don't have umbrellas. If taking a gondola during the day-time, be prepared to be in the sun for a good portion of the ride.
The gondola rides in the evening, after 7 pm, are more expensive, yet very romantic.
How many people does the gondola hold?
Each gondola can carry 6 people. The gondola ride is priced per ride, so you can split the price of a single gondola ride with a total of 6 people.
Most Gondoliers usually speak English, and many gondoliers will show you interesting buildings and sights. Whether or not you get the tour with the gondolier who is a good narrator doesn't really matter. Your ride is going to be visually stunning anyway.
The gondoliers are usually dressed in a striped black or red shirt and black pants. Some gondoliers sing. If your gondolier does not sing, you still might hear other gondoliers sing during your ride.