How to Take a Gondola Ride in Venice for Two Euros
Taking a gondola ride is on almost every tourist’s itinerary when they visit Venice. Gondolas are an iconic sight in the city, gliding through the canals with a gondolier in a striped shirt at the helm.
There’s nothing quite like seeing Venice from a new perspective as you pass under ancient stone bridges and float down narrow canals.
However, gondola rides aren’t cheap: They cost 80 euros during the day and 100 euros in the evening for a thirty-minute ride.
So what if that’s out of your budget? You can still have the quintessential gondola experience without the price tag. In fact, you can take a gondola ride for just TWO euros in Venice!
Can You Really Take a Gondola Ride in Venice for Only Two Euros?
Believe it or not, you really can experience a gondola ride for only two euros. How? Just take a ride on the traghetto, a gondola that crosses the Grand Canal of Venice!
The traghetto makes a short trip – it only takes a minute or two to cross the canal. But that’s still enough time to snap a quick picture of yourself riding the gondola and admire the views of the Grand Canal from the water.
With only four pedestrian bridges along the entirety of the 2.5-mile Grand Canal, the traghetto makes it easier to cross the canal in areas where a bridge may not be close by. There are actually seven traghetto crossings along the Grand Canal.
Where to Catch the Traghetto
Although there are seven official crossings along the Grand Canal, there are not always boats running at all of them. In fact, only one of these crossings is still in continuous operation every day.
Before writing this post, I visited multiple tragetto stops with no luck until I found the Rialto stop.
To catch the traghetto at this stop, go to the small wooden pier right by the Rialto fish market. This crossing is operational every day from around 9 AM to 7 PM. You shouldn’t have to wait long at all for the boat because it just crosses the Grand Canal back and forth taking about a minute each way!
Once you board the traghetto, hand your fare to the gondolier and enjoy the ride!
How to Find the Other Traghetto Crossings
There are traghetto crossings along the Grand Canal at all of these points:
- Campo de la Pescaria (Rialto fish market) – Campo Santa Sofia (This is the most reliable route.)
- Campo San Tomà – Sant’Angelo
- Fondamente San Lucia (rail station) – Fondamenta San Simeón Piccolo
- Campo del Traghetto – Calle Lanza
- Campo San Samuele – Ca’ Rezzonico
- San Marcuola – Fondaco dei Turchi
- Riva del Carbòn – Fondamente del Vin
As I mentioned before, you can’t count on a boat being in operation at most of these stops. I didn’t see any myself on the day that I was out looking. But if you’re close to a stop, it doesn’t hurt to stop by and see if there’s a gondola running that day.
If you’re having trouble locating a traghetto, many maps of Venice will denote the traghetto routes with a short dotted line going straight across the Grand Canal.
There are also a few streets in Venice with the name “Calle del Traghetto” which indicates that there’s a crossing there. You may also see signs pointing down streets towards the Grand Canal where there’s a traghetto crossing.
Other Things to Know about Riding the Traghetto
- You can’t bring any luggage on the traghetto – if you have luggage with you, you will need to take the vaporetto (water bus) instead.
- The vaporetto is also a better option if you have a wheelchair, stroller, etc. as the water buses are fully accessible. (Gondolas are not.)
- Try to pay your fare in exact change if you have it. Otherwise try to pay in coins or smaller banknotes to make it easier to get change back.
- Sometimes the boats may take a break for lunch so keep that in mind when you’re planning your traghetto ride.
Traghettos may not come with all the fancy aspects of tourist gondolas, like plush seats and a singing Italian man to serenade you as you float along. But they are a fun and inexpensive way to experience a real gondola ride in Venice!
More Italy Travel Tips
For more Italy travel tips, be sure to read the following:
- 6 Essential Venice Travel Tips from a Local
- What Not to Do in Italy: 10 Common Tourist Mistakes
- The Perfect One Week Italy Itinerary
- The Perfect Two Week Italy Itinerary
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