The main traffic corridor of Venice
The Grand Canal forms the main traffic water corridors of Venice. All public transport is provided by gondolas and water taxis.The canal is 3.8km long and between 30- 90 meters wide, it is the only way from which to view the real Venice. One side of the canal leads into Saint Mark's Basin, the other into the lagoon close to Santa Lucia railway station. The canal banks are lined with over 170 structures dating between the 13th and 18th century, including many palaces.
A Vaporetto (water taxi) ride
A vaporetto or water taxi is the best transport option in Venice, apart form being an efficient way to see the Grand Canal and its sights. Children enjoy being on the vaporetto, the best seats are at the end of the boat outside the main cabin.
The 7 day Vaporetto ticket
If you are staying even more than a couple of days in Venice, buy the 7 day ticket for unlimited rides on both lines. Linea Uno or line 1 takes less than an hour to travel the Grand Canal end to end, from Ferrovia to San Marco. Line 2 takes you to Lido Islands on the Adriatic Sea, a nice summer escape for the locals.
What about a Gondola ride?
The Gondola is the easiest and most romantic image of Venice that coming to mind. Until modern boats arrived, gondolas were the primary form of transport in Venice, far from romantic in those days! A ride with a singer-storyteller gondolier across the waters is an experience to remember but is not cheap.
- Gondola ride watchouts
As with any popular tourist activity in any city, you need to look before you leap into a gondola. make sure to agree the price in advance, in fact you should write it down. Also agree on how long the trip should be, and what the start and end time is. And write that down as well.
- Rates change
Sunset, as expected is prime time to ride in a Gondola. Pricing increase as the evening progresses, notably after 7pm. Typical Gondolas take unto 6 passengers, in blocks of 30 minute rides.
- Questions or complaints
The good news is that gondolas and gondoliers are regulated in Venice. You can call Ente Gondola +39-041-528-5075; www.gondolavenezia.it if you have questions or complaints.
Key HighlightsThe Grand Canal is the lifeline of Venice. Apart from being the main waterway for traffic and commerce, it is also lined by the most iconic Venetian monuments.
You cannot but travel on the Grand Canal. When you do, look out for the sights and pick the best seat on the Vaporetto. Or you could that famous, romantic Gondola ride.
What is a Vaporetto, what is a Gondola, should I ride one? Get practical information and tips on our details page.