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Grand Canal
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Grand Canal: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Grand Canal

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

Overall rating
4.1 / 5
based on 7,897 reviews

Amazing place to visit, but slightly misleading

Venice was a truly amazing city to visit. From the beautiful views to the gondola ride we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. However, there are a few points that were misleading; Surprised that the tour guide only got us to the train station and left us to ride on our own to get there. We had to meet another guide when we got off who was hard to find - he wasn’t easy to spot in the crowds. After the water taxi ride, we were then passed to another guide for a walking tour of Venice and skip the line of St Marks - this element of the trip was lovely and enjoyable. What shocked us was we were then handed our return train tickets, water taxi pass and told we had to find our way back to the station, board the correct train and get off at Florence - the train was headed for Rome! It gave us 3 hours to explore Venice. This was not made clear during the itinerary. we booked this for the added security of them getting you back home. We got home with no issues but felt abandoned at the end.

A really good tour but lacked the advertised boat.

A really good tour with a great guide. Disappointing after a ‘luxury’ speedboat was advertised to find a plain old average water taxi was used. Definitely not luxury as the advertising and ticket guaranteed. We felt misled and particularly as there are some more luxurious water taxis in Venice than the two used in our tour. The first was very average and small which ferried the group to the island to go up the bell tower. The second boat for the remainder of the tour was also not a luxury speedboat. One other disappointing factor was the advertised tour set a maximum of 9 persons but 10 were booked. For the price of this tour what is advertised and promised should be met. A really good tour that could have been great if the boat was as advertised and the stipulated maximum number stuck to.

2-Hour Boat Tour with Grand Canal & Tower Climb Reviewed by

This was a very affordable way for a family to take a gondola ride.

The tour was described well. The meeting spot was easy to find. The cost was affordable for a family to take a gondola ride. Expect to get a ride and not a description of where you are or what you are seeing. The gondolier did not speak to us at all but overall this was a fun experience.

Venice: Gondola Grand Canal Ride Reviewed by

We loved this. A very special dinner in amazing surroundings.

We loved this. Great food and service and a special experience. We would have liked to be told which islands and parts of Venice we were passing, to enhance the experience. The waiters did point out some landmarks for us when we asked.

Venice: Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner Reviewed by

Amazing Experience, worth the incestment

Giovanna was an excellent guide, very informative and very friendly. This was a great experience, it is worth every penny. We had a taste of wonderful food and wine as well an explanation of local history and customs.

Things to do near Grand Canal