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Grand Canal

Culture & History

Our most recommended Grand Canal Culture & History

Venice: Private Rialto Bridge Gondola Ride

1. Venice: Private Rialto Bridge Gondola Ride

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: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

2. 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: Private Gondola Cruise for up to 5 Passengers

3. 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: 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. 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: Shared Gondola Ride through the Lagoon City

5. 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: Street Food Tour with a Local Guide and Tastings

6. 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.  

Venice: Grand Canal Boat Tour

7. Venice: Grand Canal Boat Tour

Hop into a motorboat and cruise down the Grand Canal of Venice. See dozens of palazzos, mansions, churches, and iconic bridges that span the waterways. Marvel at the ancient Rialto, the oldest and most famous bridge, and then admire the modern Della Constituzione, a glass bridge constructed near Calatrava. Pass central Venetian patrician houses, home to art collections, museums, and university seats. See major city and state institutions like Ca' Grande and Ca' Balbi, and the luxurious hotel Gritti. Catch a glimpse of the bustling casino at Ca' Vendramin Caliergi, and the soirees' palace Ca' Pisani Moretta, before passing through international communities like Fondaco dei Tedeschi. You will also get to see the grand religious edifice of La Madonna Della Salute.

Venice: Private 40-Minute Gondola Ride

8. Venice: Private 40-Minute Gondola Ride

The best perspective to admire Venice is from the water, and a gondola is the most traditional and unique way to do this. Discover the city throughout a 40-minute tour, experiencing how Venetians moved from one district to another in the past. Your gondola journey begins a few steps away from St. Mark's Square, before crossing hidden inner canals which will allow you to admire views which go unnoticed to the eye when walking through the city center. This special ride will also let you marvel at the majestic Rialto Bridge, which is one of the most ancient and famous bridges in Venice. At the conclusion of your ride, return back to St. Mark's Square to disembark your vessel and bid your gondolier farewell.

Venice: Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana Entry Ticket

9. Venice: Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana Entry Ticket

Admire the collections in current exhibitions at Grassi Palace and Punta della Dogana with this combined entry ticket. Discover the "Marlene Dumas. Open-end" exhibit at the Grassi Palace and the "Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies" exhibition at Punta della Dogana. Uncover the beauty of the interior of Grassi Palace, an 18th-century buliding that was the last palace to be built on the Grand Canal before the fall of the Venetian Republic. It was bought by art collector François Pinault and renovated by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Marvel at the Punta della Dogana, the former sea customs house of Venice that was converted to a contemporary art space. Have access to the rooftop of the building and gaze out over a sweeping view of the Venice Lagoon and the last part of the Grand Canal. Enjoy these sites which host some of the world's most important temporary contemporary art exhibitions. Get access to both locations and feel free to start your visit to either one of the two locations.

Venice: Shared Gondola Ride and Serenade

10. Venice: Shared Gondola Ride and Serenade

Enjoy a pleasant and relaxing gondola group ride on this 30-minute trip through Venice. Listen to music as an onboard musician on one of the boats serenades you through your trip along the inner canals of the San Marco area. Admire some of the beautiful palaces facing the Grand Canal which are only visible on the water. Pass by Santa Maria del Giglio Square and La Fenice Theatre via some minor and inner canals and take in the buildings that accompany these stunning sites. The tour lasts 30 minutes and leaves and ends at the same gondola stop. You will share the gondola with other passengers with a maximum of 6 people on each gondola. The tour is operated with a minimum of 1 gondola. During high season it may be operated with 8 to 10 gondolas according to the reservations.

Frequently asked questions about Grand Canal Culture & History

What are other things to do than Grand Canal Culture & History that are worth visiting in Venice?

The other unmissable things to do in Venice are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Grand Canal

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What people are saying about Grand Canal

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,293 reviews

Thoroughly recommend this trip. A beautiful boat with a small group of people made the experience feel very special. An excellent way to view Venice and learn more of its history, even if a little difficult to hear the guide at times, this did not however detract from the tour of this stunning city.

Thoroughly enjoyed our gondola ride with Prosecco, Wish we had done the hour tour. Lorenzo was lovely. Very informative. Such a wonderful experience ❤️

Well organized. 30 minutes travel time is easily respected. Ride through small canals and the Grand Canal.

Best to do it after 7pm. Missing the singing but you can always play your own music.

Definitely do this for happy hour! So fun and great food.