See Venice by chauffered rowboat.
Can you enjoy a trip to Venice without hiring a gondola? Of course. But if a private boat ride is on your bucket list, read our tips before hitting the water:
Bring plenty of cash.
- The official daytime gondola rate is €80 for a 40-minute ride, plus €40 for each additional 20 minutes.
- From 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., the official rate goes up to €100 for the first 40 minutes plus €50 for each additional 20 minutes.
- Gondolas accomodate up to six people, so you can reduce the cost per person by sharing a ride with family or friends.
Pick the right location.
- You can ride gondolas in St. Mark's Basin (near the Piazza San Marco), at various points along the Grand Canal, or in the quiet side canals of Venice.
- We prefer the quiet side canals, which offer a smoother, more peaceful ride with constantly-changing views.
Book a ride on the spot.
- As you walk around Venice, you'll pass many gondola stations, and you'll often encounter gondoliers who politely inquire "Gondola?" as you walk by.
- Simply indicate your interest and confirm or negotiate a rate.
(The gondolier may try to deviate from the official rate, so make sure you've agreed on the price and length of the ride before you board the boat.)
Don't expect a singing gondolier.
- Most gondoliers will describe the local scenery if you ask, but if you want music to accompany your ride, you'll need to book a Gondola Serenade tour.
- Private gondola rides with serenade are available at a higher cost.