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

Overall rating
4.2 / 5
based on 5,962 reviews

Abagail was a real delight and informed guide!

Food was excellent, wine was delicious and plentiful and the local restaurants were places you would never find on your own! The gondola ride included is merely crossing a canal, but you still get the idea!

Perfect! Loved the food, host and education.

Genuinely had a great time learning and eating our way around a portion of Venice. Alice was a fun and engaging host. Learned a lot and got to try excellent food.

Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by

It was a great way to learn more about Venice past and present.

It was well presented by our guide, who took us to some excellent local food places.

Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by

Marvellous way to discover Venice and its food

We had a wonderful tour guide, Alice! She was very knowledgeable and very funny and pleasant. We can really recommend this tour.

Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by

VERY NICE EXPERIENCE AROUND GRAN CANAL AND INNER CANALS

RUDE GONDOLIERS ARE SMILING OARSMEN, THEY ARE REALLY PICTORESQUE AND STRANGE PEOPLE! Wonderful commentary on board on your mobile, you can't take photos when App is on

Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary Reviewed by

Things to do near Grand Canal