Gondola ride Venice is one top experiences in and symbols of Venice, a fun and romantic way to get around the city.
However, for some, the gondola ride prices are too expensive, which is why an alternative way to tour the city on water is to use the vaporetto (water bus) lines.
How can you find the prices for gondola rides in Venice? For one, the most up-to-date prices are listed in the brochure “Un ospite a Venezia” (“A guest in Venice”), available at the official Venice Tourist Offices.
In addition to the tourist offices, you should also be able to find the prices from the moorings of the gondolas.
PHOTO: Two gondolas on their way with tourists on-board for Gondola ride Venice, near Rialto bridge.
The officially mandated rates include a cost of 80 euro for 40 minutes ride (100 EUR after 7pm).
However, many gondoliers often ask rates that are much higher, or tour for shorter times for the same money, but you can always bargain for better rates or terms.
In the off-season, especially during winter and autumn, you’ll get the best rates, as the gondoliers have less customers. Also, to save money, you can choose a gondola that holds more people (up to 6), and share a ride if you want to (you don’t have to).
Best known stations for Venetian gondolas are: San Marco (Molo gondoliers), Rialto (Riva Carbon gondoliers), and Santa Lucia train station (San Simeone Piccolo gondoliers).
Historically, many gondoliers worked for the wealthy merchants of the city, and were keepers of high secrets of the city, knew all the legends, stories and gossip that unraveled throughout the canals of Venice.
The most luxurious of these gondolas were used by the wealthy as secretive transportation with mistresses, with the center section covered, to hide the passengers from prying eyes.
The gondola rides are available for many itineraries, going through the most beautiful and original canals, while you learn the most mysterious stories about Venice (if on a longer tour with an English speaking gondolier).
Along the way, the gondolier may tell the incredible stories that relate to the buildings of famous Venetians, such as Antonio Vivaldi, Marco Polo, or the famous charmer, Giacomo Casanova.
You can book the longer tours even online nowadays, which is an especially good idea if you want to tour a specific itinerary and with an English speaking gondolier.
This way, you can study individual routes and decide for yourself what is best for a trip with your girlfriend, with your family, friends and so on.