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Grand Canal

Gaze upon the stately homes of former merchants with a gondola ride down Venice’s longest canal.

Grand Canal: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

1. 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: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

2. Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

Explore the canals of Venice aboard a gondola. As your gondolier takes you down secluded ways and along the Grand Canal, enjoy live commentary from your guide. Learn about the city's palaces, churches, and attractions. Hear about local stories and the 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. With the shared option, enjoy a 20-minute walking tour from the meeting point as well as your 30-minute gondola ride. See the Biennale Cafe and the facade of San Moisè Church and learn about the history of the Venetian gondola tradition. You will also see Punta della Dogana and Grand Canal.

Venice: Private Rialto Bridge Gondola Ride

3. Venice: Private Rialto Bridge Gondola Ride

Begin the 30-minute tour from the departure point at Bacino Orseolo, right in front of the famous Hard Rock Cafè and just behind Saint Mark’s Square. Follow smaller but unbelievably beautiful secondary canals such as Rio dei Barcaioli, where Mozart once lived, and Rio dell’Ovo to reach the Grand Canal. Enjoy the spectacular view of the Rialto Bridge from the water, and see imposing palazzi such as Ca’ Farsetti, the seat of the municipal government. Admire Palazzo Grimani, the largest building overlooking the Grand Canal and which now hosts the Court of Appeals. Continue down Rio San Luca where it passes Palazzo Manin, the residence of the last doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, and today the Bank of Italy’s Regional headquarters building, before returning to end again at Bacino Orseolo. Start the 60-minute tour with departure from Bacino Orseolo, right in front of the famous Hard Rock Cafè and just behind St. Mark’s Square. Travel down smaller but beautiful canals, on an itinerary that includes Mozart's House and Grand Canal with the stunning Rialto Bridge. Pass under the famous Rialto Bridge and see the Rialto Market, where locals and visitors enjoy walking around and buy fruits, veggies and fresh seafood. Marvel at the many imposing Palaces, such as Ca’ Farsetti which hosts the Venice Mayor, and Palazzo Grimani, the largest building overlooking the Grand Canal. Cruise down to Rio San Luca with Palazzo Manin, former residence of the last Doge of Venice Ludovico Manin, currently home to the Bank of Italy. Move through enchanting small canals of the city center and end at the same departure point.

Venice: Traveling Opera in a Historic Palace on Grand Canal

4. 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.

Venice: Private Gondola Cruise for up to 5 Passengers

5. 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: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

6. 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: Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner

7. Venice: Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner

Discover the serenity of the enchanting city of Venice with a dinner cruise aboard a Venetian Galleon. Watch the city's lights reflecting on the water as you savor a gourmet meal while sipping on wine and Aperitivo. Pick from Central Deck seating and stern/prow seating. Meet your host in front of the Museo Navale in Venice and, once on board, the crew will lead you to your reserved table and offer you a delicious glass of Prosecco DOC. Sit by candlelight at an elegant table, and eat with a fine and well-finished service. Book the Central Deck for panoramic windows with exceptional views, or choose the prow/stern areas with tables for 4 that offer a more intimate atmosphere. On the prow, there are two small portholes at the top and there is no view of the outside. Select to sit at the stern which is connected to the kitchen/bar and has small windows for a partial view of the outside. Couples might be seated at one shared table (however, the tables are big enough to guarantee each couple privacy). Be swept away by the old-fashioned charm of a boat as you immerse yourself in in the magic of the Venetian Lagoon. At dusk, the Galleon will slowly leave shore and head into the northern lagoon. Take in views of the minor islands such as Sant’Erasmo, and San Francesco del Deserto. Taste a variety of delightful specialties prepared by the onboard chef while you sail towards the Venetian Arsenal and then past the islands of Vignole, Mazzorbo and the artistic Murano. Circumnavigate Burano which is famous for its picturesque, colorful houses and the Leaning Bell Tower. Sail back to the San Marco basin and past the island of San Giorgio. Head on to Venice and the cruise for a spectacular view of the San Marco basin. Disembark at the Museo Navale.

Venice: Shared Gondola Ride Across the Grand Canal

8. 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.

From Rome: Day Trip to Venice by High-Speed Train

9. From Rome: Day Trip to Venice by High-Speed Train

Set off on a day trip from Rome to explore Venice, Europe’s most romantic city. Enjoy a relaxing ride on a high-speed train, see the iconic St. Mark's Square, and cross the Bridge of Sighs. Meet your tour leader at Rome's Termini train station and board a high-speed train to Venice. When you arrive in the city, get your one-way pass for Venice’s waterbus transportation. Follow your guide onto a Vaporetto (waterbus). As you ride, enjoy your first glimpse of this magical water city. Head to St. Mark’s Square, the heart and soul of Venice. From the waterfront, marvel at the magnificence of the western façade of St. Mark's Basilica. Enjoy some free time to go shopping, sip a delicious Italian coffee, or get lost in the maze of insanely romantic alleys. Next, cross the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri), which is among the city's most beloved and most Instagrammable locations. On the way back to the railway station, join your tour leader for a fantastic aperitivo, or Cicchetti, as the locals call it. Sit down for a mix of small savory side dishes, typically served in a bàcari, and wash it down with a Venetian Spritz. Return to Rome on the high-speed train with your guide.

Venice Day Tour: Doge's Palace, Basilica, and Gondola Ride

10. Venice Day Tour: Doge's Palace, Basilica, and Gondola Ride

Make the most of your time in Venice with this combination tour that offers a guided tour of Doge's Palace, Saint Mark's Basilica and terrace, St. Mark’s Museum with skip-the-line entry tickets, as well as a 30-minute gondola ride along the charming waterways of the city. Enjoy a guided tour of Doge’s Palace to discover its splendid rooms and countless masterpieces. Explore the halls of power where the Doge ruled the ancient Republic of Venice. Next head to Saint Mark’s Basilica, also known as the Golden Basilica because of its magnificent mosaics adorned with pure gold. Learn the history and meaning of the many artworks decorating the church. Admire the treasury, a magnificent centuries-old collection of relics and precious items. Visit the Basilica's terrace with a copy of the famous horses, the quadriga of St. Mark. From this spectacular location admire the most beautiful view of the heart of Venice: St Mark’s Square. Discover St. Mark’s Museum and admire objects of various kinds and origins belonging to the Basilica. Later in the afternoon, take a romantic gondola ride along the charming waterways of Venice. Paddle along to the impressive Grand Canal. See the houses of Mozart and Desdemona, La Fenice Theatre, Rio de le Ostreghe, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, a breathtaking overview of Saint Mark’s basin, and more. Your tour also includes a bonus app, featuring a digital map and audio guide. Use the app to explore the city at your own pace, and listen to fascinating narration as you admire 200 of the city's attractions including La Fenice Theater, Rialto Bridge, and more.

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What people are saying about Grand Canal

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 23,053 reviews

The walking tour was around ~30min and was informative. The guide was very friendly and accommodating to both English and Spanish speakers in the group. The gondola ride was, despite other reviewer's experiences, a full 30 minutes! The gondolier was friendly and it was entertaining to hear him banter with the other gondoliers in the canals. However, you won't be getting the gondola to yourself (we shared with a Spanish couple). Overall, extremely worth it for its price.

An excellent tour, combining a short walk and guided commentary about Venice, together with a short (30 minutes) gondola ride. To do it at least once in a lifetime. Our guide Alessandra was particularly knowledgeable and pleasant to talk to. Recommended!

La breve introduzione iniziale molto interessante. La guida, Alessandra, particolarmente simpatica e preparata.

amazing performance. so up close and personal. fantastic event! easy to get to.

Fantastic tour. Gina our guide was great. Gondola ride also worth doing