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Grand Canal Tours

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Grand Canal
Venice is a city built on water, and the Grand Canal (Canale Grande) is its bustling main street. Lined with sumptuous Venetian palaces and crowded with gondolas, water taxis, and vaporetti (public ferries), this thoroughfare is a feast for the senses. The Grand Canal winds its way through the central neighborhoods of Venice from the Santa Lucia train station to St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), passing under the iconic Rialto Bridge along the way, and functions as the scenic main artery for transporting both people and goods around the City of Canals.

The Basics
A sail down the Grand Canal is a trip through centuries of Venetian history, as historic palaces dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries rise out of the water along most of the route. Though stretches of the canal are lined with walkways, many of the important landmarks can be seen only from the water, so a small-group Grand Canal boat tour or combination walking-and-canal tour is by far the best way to go. For a historical tour of the canal, opt for a daytime sightseeing tour so you can see the ornate facades of Venice’s famous palaces. For a romantic journey, choose a moonlit gondola ride. And for a truly Venetian experience, opt for a gondola ride with a serenade!

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Most Grand Canal gondola rides begin or end in St. Mark’s Square, home to St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, and include a few picturesque minor canals along the way.
  • Alongside Rome and Florence as one of the most popular destinations in Italy, Venice can get extremely crowded. To avoid a long wait at the motor launch, book your Venice tour tickets in advance.
  • The palaces along the Grand Canal have architectural styles that span from the Byzantine to the Renaissance, and are best appreciated with an expert tour guide who can explain their history and importance.
  • Note that Venice and the Grand Canal feature a great number of bridges, many of which are not wheelchair accessible. 

How to Get There
The Grand Canal snakes its way through the center of Venice from the train station to St. Mark’s Square. All of Venice is pedestrian only, so to get from anywhere in the city to the Grand Canal, you must either walk or take a boat.

When to Get There
Venice is lovely all year round, and the Grand Canal is spectacular both by day and night. 

The Islands of Venice
Venice is made up of over 100 small islands, so for a different perspective of this unique city on the water, take a boat tour to one of the quieter outlying islands such as Murano, famous for its glassblowing industry; Burano, known for its lace-making artisans; or Torcello, thought to be the first populated island the in Venetian lagoon.


Address: Venice, Italy
Hours: Open 24 hours every day
Admission: Free
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142 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Ca D'oro - Franchetti Gallery Admission Ticket

Purchase your Ca’ D'Oro Franchetti Gallery admission ticket in advance to save time at the gate. Accurately named the “house of gold” or Ca’ d'Oro, this Venetian Gothic styled palace is a treasure trove of Renaissance art. In addition to the Franchetti collection, the museum also houses interesting pieces from churches destroyed during the fall of the Venetian republic as well as an interesting collection of pottery and other relics recovered from the Venetian lagoon.
  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours
From  
US$17.57
From  
US$17.57
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Private Gondola Ride

Enjoy a quintessentially Venetian experience with this 30-minute private gondola ride for up to 6 people. Travel through Venice's picturesque canals for great photo opportunities of palaces and a view of the city you can't get any other way.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From  
US$160.22
From  
US$160.22
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Romantic Gondola Ride for Two

Treat a loved one to the ultimate Venice experience with a private, 30-minute gondola ride along the Grand Canal and smaller side canals. Toast the occasion with a glass of Prosecco while passing elegant Venetian palaces, colorful facades, and some of Venice’s most iconic landmarks. This private gondola tour is perfect for capturing photos of your time in Venice, and both morning and evening departures are available.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From  
US$160.22
From  
US$160.22
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Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour

Explore Venice the way it was meant to be seen — from the water. On this motor boat tour along the famous Grand Canal, get the best views of ancient palaces and the dazzling monuments of St. Mark's Square, learning the history behind them from a guide. You'll also venture into smaller side canals for a glimpse into daily life in the ‘floating city.’
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$36.62
From  
US$36.62
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Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Experience the magic of Venice on a serenaded gondola ride through the Grand Canal and more. A gondolier will guide you through Venice’s historic waterways in an elegantly carved, traditional gondola, while local musicians serenade you with the traditional sounds of Italy. A gondola ride is the perfect way to experience quintessential Venice and you'll save money by booking a shared tour.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
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US$46.92
From  
US$46.92
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Private Guided Tour: Venice Gondola Ride Including the Grand Canal

Enjoy a private ride through Venice’s iconic canals aboard a traditional gondola! On this classic Venetian experience, soak up famous sights like the Rialto Bridge and the ornate Ca’ d’Oro palace while your expert gondolier navigates the beautiful handmade boat through the Grand Canal and other watery ways. A friendly local guide will accompany you on the 1-hour ride to share interesting facts about Venetian history and architecture along the way.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$399.42
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Renew your wedding vows on a romantic gondola

Celebrate your marriage by renewing your wedding vows in the most romantic city on Earth. A celebrant will lead you through a vow renewal ceremony while a gondolier steers you through the charming canals of Venice on a 60-minute tour. No need to worry about any of the details for your vow renewing celebration, the tour includes a rose bouquet, Prosecco for the toast, and a signed certificate to commemorate the ceremony.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$892.68
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Venice Grand Canal Evening Rowing Tour

Pick up an oar and experience the life of a Venetian gondolier with an evening rowing lesson through Venice’s famous canals. Learn how to navigate a boat down the Grand Canal when the day’s traffic has subsided, and see the city lights reflected in smaller waterways as the sun goes down. It's a unique perspective on Venice’s boating culture that goes beyond the typical tourist gondola ride.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From  
US$284.97
From  
US$284.97
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Venice from the Water: Grand Canal private boat tour

The best way to see Venice is from the water, and on this boat tour, you’ll experience the city’s complex network of water “roads” for yourself. Ride down the Grand Canal and minor canals, admiring the architecture and ornate bridges. Along the way, your guide shares stories about some of the famous events and people associated with the Floating City.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$371.95
From  
US$371.95
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Venice Grand Canal Tour with Private Boat (4 hours)

The romantic city of Venice, is located in the Veneto region of Italy - one of the gems in the North East corner of Italy. This ancient and historically important city was originally built on 100 small islands in the Adriatic Sea. Instead or roads, Venice relies on waterways and canals. With the four hours of the Venetian lagoon you can also explore: the island of Murano famous for its colored glass creations lace and the brightly colored fisherman houses.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$943.04
From  
US$943.04
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Venice private motorboat tour of the Grand Canal

Visit Venice from a unique and privileged perspective: book this motorboat tour to cruise through the Grand Canal and see the most important sites of the city. Your tour guide will be happy to guide your through all the beauties you'll see along the way.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$520.73
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NEW TO VIATOR

essential venice, stories and legends

During this visit we will delve into the history of Venice, origins, curiosities, legends, characters and anecdotes of this magical and curious city. We will cross two of the biggest sestieres of the city and we will take a walk through time through its streets and countryside to discover this wonderful city.
  • Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
From  
US$11.44
From  
US$11.44
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Skip the Line: Venice in One Day Including Boat Tour

See the best of Venice in a day on a tour that combines a guided walk with a cruise along the bustling Grand Canal. Hear the history of St Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge from a guide, and visit St Mark’s Basilica with a skip-the-line ticket to beat the long admission lines. Discover the tucked-away treasures of Venice’s backstreets and charming canals, and then finish on a high note: a water taxi cruise on the Grand Canal.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
US$76.68
From  
US$76.68
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Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

Explore the famous sites and hidden charms of Venice on this walking tour, followed by a ride through the city’s canals on an iconic gondola. Follow your local guide through a romantic maze of surrounding backstreets to discover some of Venice’s lesser-known gems. Learn the fascinating history of Venice as you wander through narrow alleys and over stone footbridges, and then hop aboard a Venetian gondola for a leisurely ride along the Grand Canal.
  • Duration: 129 to 147 minutes
  • Duration: 129 to 147 minutes
From  
US$51.50
From  
US$51.50
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Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Experience Venice in the most Venetian way possible: via a 35-minute shared gondola ride while being serenaded. Choose between an afternoon or evening ride and then hop on the six-person gondola by a gondolier who is clad in traditional garb. Then begin the ride, as part of a group of eight different gondolas, with a singer aboard one of the boats. In addition to the song being sun to you, enjoy the sites of Venice's main landmarks, including the grand Canal and Palazzo Barberino.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
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US$46.92
From  
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Venice Independent Day Trip from Rome by High-Speed Train

Take this independent day trip to Venice from Rome for a chance to wander the city’s maze of alleyways, visit St Mark’s Square and float down the famous canals by water bus. You’ll travel from Rome to Venice by train, arriving in just 3.5 hours to explore the city however you wish. A skip-the-line ticket to St Mark’s Basilica and a vaporetto pass for the city’s water bus network are both included so you can make the most of your time in Venice before returning to Rome on the train.
  • Duration: 15 hours
  • Duration: 15 hours
From  
US$228.89
From  
US$228.89
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Grand Day Tour of Venice with Skip-the Line Doge's Palace and St Mark’s Basilica

Explore the best of Venice at a 10% discount with this Super Saver combo of three popular tours. Skip the line at the Doge’s Palace, where you can wander through ornate public rooms and across the notorious Bridge of Sighs. You’ll also head to the front of the long queue at St Mark’s Basilica to tour the dazzling interior of this Byzantine masterpiece and enjoy a guided walking tour of Venice’s hidden gems. Finally, cruise down the Grand Canal aboard a motorboat and soak in the majestic passing scenery.
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Duration: 5 hours
From  
US$130.47
From  
US$130.47
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Small Group Venice In a Day with Basilica San Marco and Doges Palace plus Gondola Ride

First time in Venice? Maximise your time in the city with a full-day itinerary that ticks off all the most memorable attractions. Stroll across the Rialto Bridge and browse the lively Rialto fish market, then hop aboard a traditional gondola for a romantic cruise along the Grand Canal. Next, access St. Mark’s Basilica and gaze down over the city from the cathedral’s rooftop terrace. Finally, enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the grandiose Doge’s Palace. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people ensuring a personalized experience.
  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
From  
US$147.64
From  
US$147.64
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Classic 30-Minute Gondola Ride

Explore Venice's famous canals on a guided gondola ride through the city. Meander beneath bridges and along quiet, peaceful stretches for 30-minutes in a traditional Venetian boat, taking in sights such as the Rialto Bridge and San Marco Square as you go. Join up to five others—along with your expert gondolier—in enjoying one of Venice's most leisurely and original pastimes, and don't miss this chance to experience the Grand Canal from the water.
  • Duration: 25 to 30 minutes
  • Duration: 25 to 30 minutes
From  
US$35.48
From  
US$35.48
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Small Group Venice Food Tour: Cicchetti and Wine

Taste your way through the backstreet bars of Venice with this delicious food and wine tour. Follow your local guide to five different ‘enotecas’ (wine bars) to discover where local Venetians go to drink and mingle. At each stop, sample regional wines and Prosecco served alongside plates of the popular Venetian appetizers called ‘cicchetti.’ Group size is limited to 14 to ensure a personalized experience.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From  
US$103.00
From  
US$103.00
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Venice Grand Canal Small Group 1-Hour Boat Tour

Experience the beauty of Venice by boat with this Grand Canal Tour of the city built on water. Glide through the placid waters past palaces, churches, gardens and bridges as you make your way along the iconic waterway. Then journey into some of the minor canals on this luxury motorboat. Bring the magic of these liquid streets to life on a tour that’s ideal for lovers, photographers and travelers!
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$54.93
From  
US$54.93
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Venice-in-a-Day Combination Tour Package

If you’re looking to see most of Venice’s well-known sights all in one day, put your trust in this fun combination day tour. This package includes a gondola ride on the Grand Canal, a walking tour of the city, and a boat tour along the city’s most secluded canals. Plus, it gives you a skip-the-line privilege at Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and at St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From  
US$143.06
From  
US$143.06
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Venice Day Trip from Milan

Get a taste of Venice with this guided full-day trip from Milan. See the main sights in Venice, including St. Mark's Square, the Basilica of St. Mark's, the Grand Canal. Il Fenice opera house, the Rialto Bridge and the Doge's Palace. Learn about the history of each place you visit. Sit in on a fun glass-making workshop by local glassmakers. And then enjoy a 30-minute gondola ride at your own expense, cruising through the narrow canals of this splendid city, before heading back to Milan.
  • Duration: 14 hours
  • Duration: 14 hours
From  
US$147.64
From  
US$147.64
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Morning Walking Tour of Venice Plus Gondola Ride

Combine a morning walk through Venice with a gondola ride for the perfect Venetian day. Get to know the canal city better with a guided tour led by an experienced local. Then watch the sights drift by from the water as you cruise through Venice in a gondola. This combined tour is an excellent way to experience Venice.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
US$64.09
From  
US$64.09
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Private Tour: Venice Gondola Ride with Serenade

Embark on a quintessential Venetian experience with a private, serenaded gondola ride through the famed canals of Venice. Glide past ancient palazzi and magnificent cathedrals on a traditional handcrafted gondola, while musicians serenade you with mood-setting Italian ballads. Gondolas have room for up to four passengers, so it’s the perfect opportunity for romance or an unforgettable family experience.
  • Duration: 35 minutes
  • Duration: 35 minutes
From  
US$389.12
From  
US$389.12
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