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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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149 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Cultural Tours

Hop on Hop off Venice: Islands, Canal Grande and walking tours!

Embark on a self-guided walking tour of Venice's most popular islands: Torcello, Burano, and Murano. With a 24- or 48-hour boat ticket included on the public vaporetto, transportation between the islands will be a breeze and you can hop on and hop off whenever you like. Download the app to your phone and move at you own pace, listening to the commentary as you go. Highlights include the Gran Canal, St. Mark's and Rialto areas, the Jewish Ghetto, and others.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
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US$42.32
From  
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Murano by Private Watertaxi Including Glass Blowing Demo with Hotel Pickup

Visit the famed glassblowing island of Murano via private water taxi, and watch glass artisans at work. Explore the seventh century cathedral in Murano's historical center before learning about the skill required to blow glass. Step inside a traditional glass factory for a full demonstration, peruse showrooms, take advantage of discounts on glassware, and slip your foot into a glass slipper. If it's your size, you'll walk away with a specially made souvenir crafted from Venetian glass.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$51.46
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Venice: Gondola Ride and Golden Basilica Tour

Experience two of Venice’s treasures on this combination tour. First, take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal the inner canals of the city. Listen as a professional gondolier shares information and knowledge about the city, or just sit back and take in the view. Next, skip the lines at Saint Mark’s Basilica and learn about its storied history on a guided tour of the ancient church.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$64.05
From  
US$64.05
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Charming Gondola ride & Magical Glassblowing demonstration

Enjoy two quintessential Venetian experiences with this combo glassblowing and gondola tour. Watch a master artisan transform molten glass into unique and delicate art at at a factory showroom near St. Mark's Square, and receive a glass souvenir to take home. Plus, cruise through the city's famous waterways on a 30-minute gondola ride that takes you along the most beautiful stretch of the Grand Canal and past landmarks like Teatro La Fenice and the Punta della Dogana.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
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US$43.46
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Historical Tour of Saint Mark's and charming Gondola Ride

A good choice for first-time visitors and those looking for a quick overview of the city, this tour combines exploring by foot and boat. First, take a walking tour around the city to see and photograph some of the most well-known and historical landmarks. Then, take a relaxing gondola ride along the Grand Canal and minor canals. An optional tour of a glass blowing factory near Piazza San Marco is included in the price.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$64.05
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Venice by Land and Water: Murano Island with Typical Lunch

Get acquainted with Venice's highlights on this small-group tour via water and land. Spend seven hours visiting the city's landmarks such as the Rialto Bridge and San Marco, then take a traghetto gondola ferry over to Murano for a visit to the glass factory. Lunch and round-trip ferry ticket included. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people or fewer.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$182.99
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

GONDOLA SHOW AND GO

It isn’t a trip to Venice without a gondola ride—and this flexible option offers a simple way to explore. Purchase your vouchers in advance, but don’t worry about making a reservation: simply arrive at the meeting point 30 minutes prior to your preferred departure time (of which there are multiple possible choices each day). When it comes time to disembark, hop aboard your gondola—each vessel can accommodate groups of up to six—and make your way along the city’s scenic canals.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$44.60
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

The ideal introduction for first-time visitors, this classic walking tour combines the blockbuster sights of history-packed Venice with a relaxing gondola ride. Listen to legends and stories from the city’s Renaissance heyday as you travel down cobblestoned streets and over picturesque footbridges. Tours cover Saint Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, and the legendary Calle Varisco.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$125.80
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Full-day Tours

Venice Day Trip from Bergamo

Make a quick day trip to Venice, including a walking tour and gondola ride, from Bergamo. Skip the hassle of renting a car and navigating unfamiliar roads with this 12-hour tour, including round-trip transportation from a central meeting point in Bergamo.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$113.22
From  
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Walking Tours

Shadows of Venice Night Walking Tour

Discover the mystery and enchantment of Venice at night on this 2-hour evening walking tour. Under the cover of night and the glow of streetlamps, stroll through quiet squares and winding backstreets as a guide recounts tales of terror, intrigue, and unusual events that shocked the city. See landmarks shrouded in urban legends like the Bovolo staircase, Teatro Le Fenice, and Marco Polo's former family home, and listen for the voices of the past along with the sound of lapping water from darkened canals.
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  • 2 hours
From  
US$68.62
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  • 2 hours

Gondola Cruises

Fairytale Venice: Doge's Palace, mysterious walking tour & Gondola ride

Explore Venice’s grandest attractions by land and water all in one afternoon on this great-value combo tour. Step inside the opulent former seat of the mighty Venetian Republic on a skip-the-line tour of the Doge’s Palace, and then discover the island’s hidden historic treasures on a guided walk along winding streets and canals. Glide through these famous waterways on a classic Venetian gondola ride, and then explore a trio of museums in St. Mark’s Square at your leisure with an included ticket.
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  • 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$102.93
From  
US$102.93
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  • 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Wine Tasting & Winery Tours

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Gondola ride with music & Sparkling wine tasting

Gondola and wine, what else? The experience with a fascinating gondola ride on Grand Canal and its romantic waterways with singer and musicians that will delight your trip! Only for small group! After the tour you will enjoy a professional tasting of sparkling wine!The activity starts with the gondola ride where professional musicians will play for you the most popular and romantic Italian songs while the gondolier escort along the Grand Canal and its magic waterways of Venice! The only gondola ride with the commentary (by app or brochure) in 9 different languages that will narrate history and legends of the Palaces and monuments around you.Later you will start an amazing experience where you will taste diverse types of Italian Prosecco (sparkling wine) with some matched with some Italian finger food!
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$75.94
US$94.92
US$18.98 savings
From  
US$75.94
US$94.92
US$18.98 savings
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Venice Gondola Ride and Golden Basilica Tour

Combine two quintessential Venice experiences on this short and sweet 1.5-hour tour. First, glide down the Grand Canal on a traditional gondola ride and soak up the atmosphere of romantic Venice. Then, enjoy skip-the-line entrance and a guided tour of the magnificent St Mark's Basilica.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$68.62
From  
US$68.62
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Gondola & Prosecco

Explore the pretty canals of UNESCO–listed Venice in style on this relaxing sightseeing cruise. Drift gracefully along Venice’s famous Grand Canal by gondola, and admire uninterrupted views over top attractions such as the 18th-century Gallerie dell'Accademia. With your guide at the helm, sip a refreshing glass of Prosecco and soak up the city scenery from the water.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$40.03
From  
US$40.03
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Literary, Art & Music Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

In Gondola to discover the Grand Canal and other beautiful smaller Canals.

DOLFIN is the shared gondola tour, which leads you to discover the real Venice seen from the water ... the most famous, and the most hidden..The gondola that cuts through the busy Grand Canal and the minor Venetian canals is one of the most iconic images of the world..It is a symbol of history, tradition and romance ... and is one of the most dreamed and desired experiences by travelers from all over the world..With the DOLFIN tour you see the Grand Canal in all its beauty, and other minor canals very typical and picturesque..See some of the most beautiful and famous monuments of Venice, but avoid the more crowded canals and areas where the swell is very strong..Accompanied by an expert Venetian gondolier, you will enjoy the tour for 30 minutes.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$34.30
From  
US$34.30
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

3hours Venice walking tour

Discover the hidden gems of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Venice on this action-packed walking tour. With its narrow streets and 400 bridges, it can be easy to get lost in Venice, but you won’t have to worry about navigating, as a guide will lead the way. Learn local secrets, and visit multiple top sites in one day such as St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and Doge’s Palace.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$68.62
From  
US$68.62
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Gondola Cruises

Venice off the Beaten Track Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

Discover the charming history of Venice by land and by water on this combo walking tour and gondola ride. Explore the historic area between St. Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge, following a knowledgeable guide through narrow side streets, hidden squares, and quiet canals where the medieval atmosphere is soaked into the stones. Then, climb aboard a classic Venetian gondola for a 30-minute ride along the most scenic part of the Grand Canal plus smaller, romantic waterways lined with palazzos and scenes of daily life on the enchanting island.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$60.61
From  
US$60.61
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Full-day Tours

Guided Excursion to Venice by Coach and Private Motorboat from Lake Garda

Spend a relaxing day in Venice with this fully guided day trip from the Lake Garda area. With transport by coach and private motorboat included, the experience offers everything you need to discover the waterfront city with ease. Hear the stories behind sights such as St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, and treat yourself to an optional extra, if you wish; a gondola ride, lagoon trip, or lunch can all be arranged.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$85.77
From  
US$85.77
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Private Tour: Venice by Train - Full Day Tour from Rome

Visit Venice in one day on this private tour from Rome that includes round-trip travel by high-speed train. When you arrive in the canal city, discover its many charms as you visit St Mark’s Square, take a gondola ride, walk across bridges, admire the Grand Canal or see Doge’s Palace.
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  • 1 day
From  
US$364.83
From  
US$364.83
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  • 1 day

Wine Tasting & Winery Tours

Secret Venice with Rialto market food and wine small group tour

Explore Venice's lesser-known gems on this 3-hour walking tour. Led by a guide, stroll through the stalls of fresh produce at the Rialto Market, stopping at an osteria for a glass of wine and a few cicchetti (Venetian snacks). The head to the historic San Polo and Cannareggio districts, and cross over the Grand Canal on a gondola ride.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$78.91
From  
US$78.91
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Multi-day Tours

2-Day Venice trip from Rome - private tour

Venice is a hugely popular destination—for good reason—but some group tours of extraordinary floating city can feel crowded and impersonal. Skip the group tours for an intimate, private experience on this two-day tour from Rome. Explore the islands of Venice, admire its architecture, and cruise the canals in a gondola in the company of a guide who shares insights into the Floating City.
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  • 2 days
From  
US$571.83
From  
US$571.83
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  • 2 days

Multi-day Tours

8 Days Visit Naples Amalfi Florence Pisa and Venice from Rome

Visit some of Italy’s most beautiful cities on this 8-day tour to Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Florence, Pisa, and Venice. See famous landmarks like the Colosseum, the Vatican, the ancient buried city of Pompeii, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and much more. Learn about the history, culture, and gastronomy of each city on small-group sightseeing tours as well as a gondola ride in Venice.
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  • 8 days
From  
US$1,044.00
From  
US$1,044.00
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  • 8 days

Multi-day Tours

6-Day Small-Group Private Tour from Rome to Venice

Discover the best of Italy on this 6-day small-group tour. Visit the beautiful cities of Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice during the tour and see the famous landmarks from each city like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, the Duomo Cathedral, the Trevi Fountain, and much more. Learn about each city with informative tours and excursions and soak up the Italian atmosphere over the course of the week.
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  • 6 days
From  
US$1,199.00
From  
US$1,199.00
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  • 6 days

Gondola Cruises

Venice: Private Gondola Tour - 30 minutes

A private gondola tour on the Grand Canal is a quintessential experience for your small group in Venice. Only your group of up to six people will board a gondola to glide through the major waterway, as well as some smaller passages, with a gondolier. Enjoy a flute of prosecco or Champagne as you pass by Italian architecture and under romantic bridges. Departure times take place throughout the day to best suit your vacation schedule.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$244.74
From  
US$244.74
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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