Embark on an unforgettable journey through the iconic canals of Venice aboard the legendary gondola. This quintessential Venetian experience is a must for anyone seeking a unique perspective on the city’s rich history and charm. Learn all you need to know about planning the perfect gondola ride in Venice with our helpful how-to guide.
A Little Bit of Gondola History
The gondola, renowned as the most emblematic Venetian watercraft, boasts a flat-bottomed design ideal for gliding through the shallow waters of the canals and lagoon. Gondola’s are operated by a skilled gondolier, who expertly navigates with a long oar leaning on the distinctive forcola, which is where the oar is placed. The asymmetrical design, with the left side wider than the right, ensures precise steering by a single gondolier. Riding in one of these enchanting 11-meter boats offers a truly authentic Venetian adventure.
While gondolas were historically used for public transportation in Venice, they have evolved into a symbol of Venetian culture. Local Venetians now prefer the efficiency of the waterbus (vaporetto) lines, leaving these iconic black boats exclusively for the delight of visitors. Riding a gondola provides an unparalleled perspective, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of enjoying Venice with the kids from the mysterious vantage point of the Venetian canals.
Tips for Riding a Gondola in Venice with Kids
In general, it is easy to ride a gondola in Venice. This is in part because gondola operations are closely regulated by local laws in Venice to ensure a safe and authentic experience. Gondolier licenses are granted only to those who have completed dedicated courses and exams. The number of operating crafts is restricted, and gondola fares are set by local regulations.
Gondola ride prices:
For up to 6 people, a 40-minute tour costs €80 from 9 am to 7 pm, while from 7 pm to 3 am, a 40-minute tour costs €100. The fares must be paid in cash directly to the gondolier.
There are 10 gondola piers around Venice city center. In order to ride a gondola in Venice, you simply choose the gondola near you that is not very busy, or that is near a route you might prefer. Especially when traveling with kids in Venice, we suggest choosing less crowded gondola piers, such as those in Santa Maria del Giglio, Santa Sofia, or San Marcuola.
For those who prefer planning ahead for a private gondola ride, various websites like venetoinside.com or venezia.net offer the option to book tours in advance. Prices start at €33 per person for shared rides, while private tours range from €105 to over €200, depending on duration, time of day, and additional services like live music or candlelit dinners.
On a Budget? Try a Traghetto Ride on the Grand Canal
If you’re budget-conscious but still eager to experience a gondola, opt for a short ride at a mere €2 using the traghetti da parada. These larger gondolas, known as a traghetto, are operated by two gondoliers. They cross the Grand Canal at five strategic points, offering an affordable glimpse into the enchanting world of Venetian waterways.
There is no need to stress about how to plan a gondola ride for your family holiday in Italy! It is easy to be flexible with your schedule and take a ride when the timing is right. Gondola rides on are available throughout the day; simply approach gondoliers at the many piers lining the Grand Canal and inner canals. Most importantly of all, immerse yourself in the magic of Venice with a gondola ride that fits your preferences and budget.Add to favorites