Insider's Guide to Venice

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 523 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:60 minutes (approx.)

Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour

The best way to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of a city built on water is by boat. Gliding through Venice's Grand Canal and minor canals, you'll be introduced to the splendid palaces, churches, bridges, gardens and warehouses lining the city's liquid streets. Your luxurious motor launch boat tour of the Grand Canal brings the magic of Venice alive – ideal for photographers!


  • 1-hour afternoon motor launch tour of Venice
  • Cruise the Grand Canal and minor canals with a local guide
  • Learn the history of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace in St Mark’s Square
  • Admire the churches of Santa Maria Formosa and San Giovanni e Paolo from the water
  • Travel into the smaller canals to see little-visited parts of Venice

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

An absolute must if you're a first-time visitor to Venice, the Grand Canal boat tour will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime! You'll be able to see more of Venice than you would in a gondola in a shorter amount of time with this motor launch boat.

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What You Can Expect

Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour

Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour

Unlike a gondola ride, this Grand Canal boat tour takes you through many diverse areas of the city for a thorough introduction to the city of Venice. Step foot on your boat near St Mark’s Square, admiring St Mark’s Basilica and Doge's Palace along with other landmarks as you disembark. While you ride, you'll learn about the origins and evolution of the Grand Canal, Venice's most important 'street.’

Marvel at the stunning palaces and churches that line the famous Venetian canal as you pass by squares like Campo Santa Maria Formosa that contain Gothic palaces and churches, like the magnificent San Giovanni e Paolo. Your guide will enlighten your group about Venetian architecture as well as the trade schools of Venice – such as the Scuola Grande di San Marco – that provided the foundations for the mercantile empire to flourish.

Then, take a fascinating journey through Venice’s minor canals to see parts of the city that are seldom visited by tourists. Take in the charming ambiance as you float through these less crowded canals. The boats are small enough to navigate the narrow canals, with enough space for you to comfortably sit outside to take photographs and listen to the detailed commentary provided by your guide. All boats are equipped with microphones and speakers so you can clearly hear the information.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We had the lively and lovely Georgia guiding our tour. It was the perfect amount of time and a great general over view of the main artery of Venice - the Grand Canal.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This was great. Small groups so not jammed packed and saw so much of Venice that would would of not otherwise - plus the guide was informative and fun. They were so helpful - we took my 83 old mother and they really were considerate

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent tour of Venice waterways with small group. Great guide and boat captain. Would do it again. Good Value

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

It was fun and interesting. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. This is the best way to see most of the important sites of Venice, unless you prefer walking for miles and miles...only complaint was that the tour was too short for the hour to be precise.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Loved this tour!!! Really a must if you have the opportunity. Christina our tour guide was interesting and knowledgeable. Venice is magical from the water!! You are really able to travel through areas not seen by land.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Our tour guide was great: very knowledgeable and well prepared.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We loved this trip. It was a nice small group, small enough to have a wee chat with other passengers but also for everyone to get a great view and for the information from the guide to feel tailored to us. Highly recommend

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

What a fantastic way to see Venice as this tour not only takes in the Grand Canal but also other extremely interesting parts of Venice. From the cute river taxi and great driver to the wonderful super knowledgeable guide this is an experience you will love and never forget. Venice is an amazing, wonderful place and this tour compliments it beautifully. I would 100 recommend.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Great tour and great guide, the sites were perfect

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I was worried at first that this was going to be a big tour and wouldn't be able to see anything on the boat. But we were divided in groups of 10. Half of the group stayed in the front and other half stayed in the back of the boat. Our tour guide, Christina, was great and very informative. It was great to see Venice from the water. Definitely recommend!

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Tour code: 2635VENCAN


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