Grand Canal
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Grand Canal: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in Venice

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5 historical facts about the Grand Canal

Referred to as the heart and soul of Venice, the Grand Canal is the longest of the city's 120 canals. Stately homes of former merchants line its 2.5-mile, serpentine banks, reflecting centuries of wealth that have flowed into this majestic port city.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

The first settlers to arrive on the marshy islands of the lagoon were refugees fleeing from Huns and Visigoths after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.

Here's to your health

Here's to your health

Venice built the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, with the hope that the Virgin Mary's intervention would rid the city of the Black Plague. "Salute" means "health" in Italian.

Bridging the gap

Bridging the gap

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges that span the canal, and it was the only one until the 19th century. First made of wood, the newer stone version was erected in 1591.

It's what makes Venice Venice

It's what makes Venice Venice

The gondola was the original form of transport through the canals from the 12th century, until speed boats made their roaring debut eight centuries later.Venedigs Markenzeichen

Aging gracefully

Aging gracefully

Over 170 buildings along the canal reveal the ages of architectural influences on the city. The oldest is the 13th-century palazzo Ca' da Mosto in Venetian-Byzantine style.

Our insider tips

Getting around by bus and taxi

The "vaporetti" (water buses) cost €8.50 per ticket from the train station to Piazza San Marco and run every 10 minutes. The trip on Line 2 takes 20 - 30 minutes, and 45 minutes on Line 1. The "taxi acquei" (water taxi) costs €110 from the airport to a hotel, and, depending on the distance, between €40 - €70 within Venice itself.

Getting around by gondola

A typical ride lasts 40 minutes and costs about €80. Add another €40 per 20-minute increment thereafter. The price goes up after 7:00 pm to €100 and costs €50 for every 20 minutes thereafter. In the end, it is always wise to agree on the price with the gondelier before setting off.

Getting around by traghetto

This "water ferry" is a cheap alternative to traveling by gondola and costs €4 for a five-minute ride across the Grand Canal. The difference between a traghetto and gondola is that two people are rowing, and passengers generally stand for the short trip.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Depends on when your chosen gondolier wakes up! From 9AM onward is a good bet.
  • Is it expensive?
    Choose your fancy! You can compare gondola-ride and water taxi prices on our website.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Most definitely, unless you row your own boat. And would you really want to miss an Italian serenade?
  • How to get there
    By foot from the train station or Piazza San Marco.
  • Additional information
    Though the locals stand in a traghetto, find yourself a seat. The bobbing of the boat might bop you into the Canal!

What people are saying about Grand Canal

A must do if you want to see the highlights of Venice!

This was a perfect way to see so much of Venice, the guide was excellent and I highly recommend taking this tour verses a gondola.

Venice Grand Canal: One-Hour Boat Tour Reviewed by Paige, 20/01/2019

Loved every step, sip and bite of the tour

Such a great way to experience the city. Gave me a good grasp of how to get around and what areas I should explore more of. Learned a lot about Venice’s history and how things have changed. So glad we did the tour and our guide Camilla was terrific. She was so wonderful and knowledgeable. Great sense of humor and sense of culture. Would def recommend to anyone traveling to or through Venice.

Venice: Cicchetti Dishes and Wine Bar with a Local Reviewed by Jonathan, 29/11/2018

Everything about this tour was wonderful!

Claire was very knowledgeable and did a great job! Food was delicious and enjoyed all the wine pairings. I’d highly recommend this tour.

Get your tickets earlier in the day to avoid a crowd

Make sure you take your voucher to the travel agency to get your tickets. There is a big crowd later in the day when the gondolas are ready to take you. This is an excellent choice if you don't mind sharing with 4 other people. We had a great time. A nice affordable way to see the canals of Venice in a gondola.

Absolutely amazing private tour of the Basilica!

Loved the hour history/culture tour of Venice then the wonderful private tour of the Basilica. Amazing to be inside such a huge famous cathedral with absolutely no other tourists!

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