Where to take the best gondola ride in Venice?
A Gondola ride is a must when in Venice!
In many years that I have been working as a tourist guide, many people asked to me which is the best gondola tour, where to take it, and at what time of the day to have a ride; so I decided to write down few suggestions about how to choose the best gondola ride for you.
Which time of the day?
The most important thing, according to me, is to decide at what time of the day you prefer to go on a gondola. Several people prefer to enjoy the view of the canals with the sun light, others during the twilight or the dawn, some by night time.
By day you see in a much clearer way all the amazing pieces of architecture of my city, rising in a distinct way out of the water.
At dawn the constant change of the light and the shades that get darker and darker make one feels like in a dream. By night, instead, Venice looks slightly gloomy, but especially you get a feeling as if you cannot believe that those buildings, palaces, churches and normal houses stand out from the dark water. By night maybe it is the most romantic moment: quiet, dark, mysterious and silent.
The best time to take a gondola is your choice! My favorite moment is when the sun has just settled down, and yet is not totally dark.
Where to take a Gondola?
Around town there are many stations where you can take gondola. Most are in the centre of town by saint Mark’s square or near the Rialto Bridge; but you can find a Gondoliere waiting for clients in many other Campi (i.e. squares) around town. Most typically the Gondoliere is dressed in black trousers and horizontal stripes T-shirt either blue & white or red & white, often he has a straw hat on his head.
Every station has a specific route to follow; after 30-35 minutes, you will be brought back to the starting point. Thus, according to where you decide to take the gondola, you will experience different routes and views.
How much does a Gondola ride cost?
The classical Gondola tour lasts 30-35 minutes, and costs 80 euros per Gondola by day, while in the evening (from 7 pm) the price is 100 euros. On a Gondola a maximum of 5 people can get on, children included. Of course, if you desire to have a customized tour, by route or length, it’s possible to discuss it directly on the spot with the gondolier, who will propose different solutions and fares.
Where to take a Gondola ride?
My favorite spots
If you are a first timer in Venice I would suggest to go to take the ride at the station Traghetto Santa Maria del Giglio, which is by the Gritti Palace Hotel. Canal Grande view, Salute church, Peggy Guggenheim museum and magnificent noble palaces is what you will admire from your gondola during that tour.
While, if you are a Venice connoisseur, I recommend the Accademia bridge station, that will show you another beautiful part of the Canal Grande and hidden routes. Another favorite of mine is the Jewish area.There you will find three gondoliers waiting for clients in the Campo del Gheto Novo near the canals. Over there you will enjoy a very lively part of town, and the view over narrow canals and fine palaces.
Whatever is you choice, night or day, central or in off-the beaten parts of town, gliding down the Grand Canal at dawn with the sun illuminating with its last rays the marble surfaces of the palaces is one of the most beautiful experiences you can enjoy in Venice.