Venice is one of the most famous cities in the world.

It is the capital of Italy’s Veneto region and is situated on a group of 118 small islands.

This location is what inspired many of the city’s nicknames, including the City of Water, the City of Canals, and the Floating City.

Needless to say, Venice is known around the world for its expansive network of canals and waterways.

That is why taking a gondola ride in Venice is a must while visiting the Italian city.

Continue reading for the 11 best gondola rides that travellers can take in Venice.

1. Classic 30-Minute Gondola Ride

Only have a short time in Venice?

Choose this half hour gondola ride that will let you explore the city’s famous waterways without taking up a whole day.

The tour will show you Venice’s hidden canals and historic palaces.

More specifically, all rides pass by the Hard Rock Venice, Ponte di Rialto, Canal Grande, and Campo Manin.

Tours start at Bucintoro Viaggi.

You can choose the time that works best for you, with seven boarding times throughout the day.

Tour details

  • Duration: 25-30 minutes
  • Departure Point: Bucintoro Viaggi, Calle de S. Luca, 4267/C, 30124 Venezia VE
  • Inclusions: 30-minute gondola ride

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2. Private Off-the-Beaten-Path Gondola Ride

Escape the tourist hotspots on this off the beaten path gondola ride.

This ride is private, making it the perfect option for a couple.

A gondola ride is the best way to discover the City of Water.

This ride departs near the Venice train station and will have you gliding along the turquoise blue waters in no time.

Your “gondoliere” will take you to see some incredible cultural treasures, such as Torres House, Palazzo Gaffaro, the Carmini Church, and Palazzo Zenobio.

This is your chance to get a local’s perspective on the city.

Tour details

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Inclusions: 30-minute private gondola ride

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3. Sunset Private Gondola Ride

For a romantic activity you’ll remember forever, don’t miss out on this private sunset gondola ride.

This is one of the city’s most beautiful attractions.

You and your partner will pass through Venice’s canals on an evening ride.

The ride begins near Piazza San Marco, an easy-to-get-to location for tourists.

From there, you’ll navigate the canals, exploring many charming sites along the way.

Be sure to bring your camera as the gorgeous sunset paired with the colourful city streets is a sight to behold.

Tour details

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Departure Time: between 6pm-7:30pm
  • Departure Point: Near St Mark Square
  • Inclusions: 30-minute private gondola ride

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4. Gondola Ride and Serenade

This one of a kind gondola experience will have you floating on Venice’s canals while being serenaded!

If you’re a music lover or just looking for a romantic activity to do with your partner, this is the tour for you.

Each boat takes up to 6 passengers, and there are afternoon and evening departure times available.

Aboard the gondola, not only will there be a traditionally dressed gondolier but also a singer!

You’ll be able to see Palazzo Barberino and other romantic landmarks as your flotilla navigates the Grand Canal and smaller waterways.

The floatilla’s singer provides an enchanting backdrop to this special ride.

Tour details

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Departure Times: 3:30 pm, 6:30 pm, or 7:30 pm
  • Departure Point: Gondola Station – Santa Maria del Giglio, Campiello Traghetto, 30124 Venezia VE
  • Inclusions: 30-minute shared gondola ride, serenade from singer aboard

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5. Gondola Ride with Violinist and Champagne

If you’re planning to propose, this is the tour for you!

This intimate, private gondola ride will take couples through Venice’s iconic canals.

More than that, the ride lasts one full hour.

Plus, there will be an expert violinist on board to serenade you while you ride.

The adventure begins at the Accademia Museum.

Once aboard, the music will begin and the champagne will be popped!

Tour details

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Departure Times: 3:30 pm, 6:30 pm, or 7:30 pm
  • Departure Point: Gallerie dell’Accademia, Campo della Carita, 1050, 30123 Venezia VE
  • Inclusions: Guide, private tour, gondola ride, violinist, champagne, alcoholic beverages

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6. Gondola Ride and Walking Tour

See the city in two unique ways – by water and foot!

This Venice tour combines a historic and informative walking tour with a magical gondola ride.

A walking tour of the city will include a professional guide who teaches you about its main attractions.

You’ll pass charming squares, famous bridges, and colourful streets.

As the walking tour comes to a close, you’ll hop aboard a Venetian gondola.

The gondola ride will last 30 minutes and give you a new perspective on the City of Bridges.

Tour details

  • Duration: 129 to 147 minutes
  • Departure Time: 3:00 pm
  • Departure Point: Calle San Luca, Calle S. Luca, 30124 Venezia VE
  • Inclusions: 30-minute gondola ride, professional guide

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7. Gondola Ride and St Mark’s Basilica Tour

Experience two of Venice’s most famous sites: St. Mark’s Basilica and its hundreds of canals!

This all inclusive tour begins with a 35-minute gondola ride, which you board near Piazza San Marco.

The gondola will pass by some off the beaten path locations, as well as some major attractions, like Gran Teatro La Fenice and the Basilica della Salute.

At the end of the ride, the gondola will dock near St. Mark’s Square and your tour of this Roman Catholic cathedral will begin.

With this tour, everything is hassle free.

You’re able to skip the lines and head straight in to enjoy this breathtaking church.

Tour details

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure Time: 11:00 am
  • Departure Point: Calle Larga Ascensione, 30124 Venezia VE
  • Inclusions: Gondola ride, entry fees, skip-the-line access

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8. Gondola Ride and Dinner in a Venetian Palace

Dinner and a gondola ride?

Yes, please!

This gondola ride is as romantic as it gets.

Your private tour will begin with a gondola ride along the city’s canals.

In the gondola, couples can sip on wine while taking in the sites, which include Canal Grande and Ponte dell’Accademia.

After the ride, you’ll make your way to a Venetian palace.

There, you’ll be treated to a delicious three-course dinner.

Tour details

  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Departure Times: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Departure Point: Ste.Mi.Ro. Srl, 1364 S. MARCO, Venezia, VE 30124, 30124 Venezia VE
  • Inclusions: Aperitif and 1 bottle of wine, 3-course dinner, private gondola ride

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9. Private Photo Shoot with Gondola Ride

Remember your gondola experience forever with this photo shoot and gondola ride package.

A personal photographer will be your guide throughout the process.

You’ll learn about all the best spots to capture photos in Venice.

Itineraries can be customized to your preferences, so whatever kind of shoot you’re in the mood for, the city is your oyster!

Sessions are two hours in length and take place on both land and water.

A 30-minute gondola ride will kick things off where you can pose for stunning photos in the boat.

From there, you’ll have the choice of various land locations, including the iconic St. Mark’s Square.

Tour details

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Inclusions: Professional photographer guide, 30-minute gondola ride, 2-hour photo shoot, digital photo book, travel pick up

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10. Gondola Ride and Small Group Food Tour

Eat, drink, and be merry!

This combined gondola and food tour of the city will show you the best parts of Venice.

The day begins with a walking tour, where you’ll learn about Venice’s incredible culinary history.

You’ll eventually end up at the Canal Grande which is where you’ll enjoy a Traghetto gondola crossing.

Upon reaching the other side, it’s time to visit the famous Rialto Market.

This is where your food tastings will begin!

While on the tour, you’ll be invited to sample fusion seafood cicchetti, traditional codfish cicchetti, homemade risotto or pasta, a local dessert, a glass of farmers’ sweet wine and more.

Tour details

  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Departure Point: Campo della Maddalena, 30100 Venezia VE
  • Departure Times: 11:30 am or 5:15 pm
  • Inclusions: Gondola crossing, Rialto food market visit, 4 glasses of wine, a glass of prosecco, local dessert, 4+ good tastings

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11. Venice-in-a-Day Combination Tour Package

Only in Venice for a short time?

Pack as much as you can into one day with this Venice-in-a-day tour package.

The tour begins with a 30-minute gondola ride across the city’s picturesque Grand Canal.

Then, you’ll get skip the line access to two major attractions: St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace.

Take a lunch break, and then it’s time to hop aboard your second boat of the day.

This time it’s a guided canal boat tour along the Grand Canal and the Giudecca canal.

By the end of the day, you’ll have experienced all the best, most beautiful sites in Venice.

Tour details

  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Departure Point: Campiello Traghetto, 30124 Venezia VE
  • Departure Times: 9:40 am or 11:00 am
  • Inclusions: 30-minute gondola ride, 1-hour guided boat tour, entry fees, skip the line privileges, headsets to hear the guide

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Now that you’re convinced that a gondola ride is one of the must-experience activities in Venice, what are you waiting for?

Book a tour today!

There’s something for all romantic dates, whether you’re after relaxation or adventure and sightseeing.

Find more Gondola Rides in Venice

For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!