It's the first question that will be asked of you upon returning from Venice if you are couple. 'Did you go on a gondola?' I have to admit that we did not! They proved to be a total rip off. About €100 for a half hour. We asked a number of people who had just gotten out of them if they were worth it and they all said it wasn't.
If you have money to burn - go for it! otherwise when you come home, just lie and say the gondola ride was great, otherwise you will be branded a tight wad!!
What do you get for 20 euro in 30 minutes trip? a bunch of gandola sailor speak italian with each other and you don't understand anything, queue of gandola, old ruin building which isn't beautifull at all, stink and you don't know what to see because the sailor can't or doesn't want to speak a bit english.
does it worth? Noooooooooooo!
Gondolas - those romantic boats that you sit with your loved one and a man rows the gondola while singing italian love song.
The problem is that they are vey expensive and sometimes you feel like they are just trying to take your money.
it is a nice thing to see though.
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the moment and feel the romance.
Fun Alternatives: Walk the streets or take the Vaporetto (a lot more cheaper)
As I was turned off by the exorbitant price of €120 for a gondola ride for two and walking away, the gondolier quickly brought the price down to €100 and as I walked a bit further, the price dropped to €80.
Unique Suggestions: The price that a gondolier quotes to you can be bargained. Do not hop on immediately or you will stand to lose.
Fun Alternatives: You can take your gondola ride with other visitors who find the price too steep. Though it may be less romantic, at least you get to experience it.
The Gondalas famed a long time ago for romantic gestures but more recently showed in:
1) An advert for Corneto icecreams "Just one Corneto, give it to me, delicious icecream, of Italy."
2) A Boddingtons Beer advet featuring Gondolas.
Unique Suggestions: You can't come to Venice without coming on the Gondalas. It gives you the opportunity to see some hidden corners and also some beautiful architecture.
It can be kinda expensive with a short trip costing as much as 20 GBP however I'm a bartering man and barter I did.
We got our trip for 5 GBP.
Give it a go, you'll have fun
Fun Alternatives: There aint no alternative to this!
Must be, I estimate, at least several thounsands of gondolas in Venice which are in good conditions and ready to take the passengers all over the city canals. Every time I am visiting Venice, no metter if high season or not, most of the gondolas stay in the little harbours or docks, completely off the duty.
This must be, I suppose, a kind of agreement towards gondolieri in order to maintaine the high price for a ride.
Unique Suggestions: Ignore the gondolieri, make them suffering and seaking for the customers and the prices must go down.
Sometimes you can't wriggle out of spending dosh. Either grin and bear it or make the best of it.
Unique Suggestions: So here are the tips to keep the price of a gondola trip down to a level that means you won't need to take out a second mortgage :
1) Don't go after a rainy day - there is pent up demand.
2) Find a quiet canal area with only a couple of gondaliers - they don't want others to know your haggled price.
3) Avoid firms with ticket booths etc
4) Avoid the Heavily tourist-infested areas. Back canals are more interesting anyway
5) Try in the early evening - they may have had a poor day
Fun Alternatives: 1) Divorce
2) Dump the girlfriend
3) Develop violent sea-sickness
4) Take a boat without consent in the dead of night and learn to punt pronto!
Basically there is no alternative!
Well, obviously this is one of those one-time only experiences. And it is actually worth your money when you find a good deal.
Unique Suggestions: So before you hop into one, just bargain and decide on what route to take. Depending on the size of the gondola, a 45-min tour incl. Grand Canale should not be more than 10-20 Euros per person for a 6-person ride.
Here is a fare guide which you can use as a reference when you are making a deal.
Fun Alternatives: Well, I suppose you could take one of the vaporettos that travel up the Grand Canale - it's cheaper, but you won't sail through the other streets this way...
Every time I asked the price for these things was around $100. I can't justify that when there is so much boat traffic to contend with that it loses the romance factor
Unique Suggestions: It is the tourist thing to do in Venice.
Fun Alternatives: Get lost in the streets of Venice by walking around. To see the canals by boat take the watertaxis as they are much cheaper.
As the last remaining guild in the city, the gondola operators certainly give Venice an added dimension a vacation. However, the cost of a ride on one of these things could possibly be more than what you paid for your hotel room. Is it romantic? Sure. Is it an unforgettable experience? You bet. Were we able to live with ourselves after choosing not to take a ride on one of these? Absolutely. If money is no object, then by means do it if you desire. With the exchange rate where it is and Venice already being one of Italy's most expensive places, it is really hard to justify this. There is a water taxi known as the traghetto. This looks just like a gondola. It will ferry you from one side of the canal to the other. Perhaps this is an option for those who absolutely must ride in one.
Unique Suggestions: Just make sure the weather is good. Enough said.
Fun Alternatives: As stated above, seek out the traghetto. It is very cheap to make the crossing of the Grand Canal in one of them.
Before heading to Venice, I read the website:http://www.gondolavenezia.it/history_tariffe.asp?Pag=43 Anyway, when we talked to the gondoliers to ask about charges, the amount was way off...
At nitetime, a gondolier was charging us 100euro for a 45 min trip... we told him we prefer an AM trip.
The ff morning, we went to another gondola site and still was being charge 100euros... plus another tip to an assistant helping us get off the gondola... whew!!!!
Unique Suggestions: Just dont think about being ripped off.. think of the great experience seeing the houses of Marco Polo, Bonaparte, Casanova, Goethe, Mozart...
Our gondolier told us that he is a 7th generation gondolier and his 27 yr old son is also a gondolier.. and that there is a secret in being a gondolier which can only be passed to family members..
Fun Alternatives: Take the local waterbus at 5Euro (they have special rates for a 90 min trip)... if they see BIG luggages being hauled, you will be charged more...
If you do take a gondola trip make sure it includes some of the scenic smaller calles and canals which would otherwise not be reachable by walking.
Fun Alternatives: to travel like true venetians see my transport tips !
Gondolas - especially when they go in convoy - where's the romance in that! Overpriced for the ride. Don't go if its low tide either - you won't see Venice at its best!
Unique Suggestions: At least make sure it is a proper gondola - look for the ferro" with seven metal teeth on the front of the gondola and not a rowing boat known as a"sandolo a remi".
Visit the offical gondola site for more info.
We stayed away from the Gondola rides. They showed us nothing of the allure or romance they're famous for. Most times they were working around boat traffic in the canal and rocking with the wake from the boats. As you can see in the picture there's nothing here to make a couple feel special. And I never heard any gondolier singing.
Unique Suggestions: The rides are expensive, but the gondola's are set up to take 6 people. So if your with some friends you could cut your losses by sharing a ride. Try the gondoliers that use the back channels. You won't see as much, but it will be much quieter.
Fun Alternatives: We had fun walking the streets and alleys at night looking for a good gelato shop and seeing the sights. You can also jump the vaporetti at sunset and ride the canal as the sun sets over the city.
My idea was to take some pictures of the town from the water front and nothing is more appropriate for that purpose then the gondola ride. Since I was alone, the gondoliere ask me 130 euros for an 45 minutes ride! Can you imagine that, it costs more then the average air ticket from any of European cities to Venice!
Ask for the price before taking the gondola ride because you might be unpleasently surprised at the end of the tour.
Fun Alternatives: Take a walk around as I did.