Grand Canal
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Grand Canal Culture & History

  • Venice: Gondola Ride with Grand Canal

    1. Venice: Gondola Ride with Grand Canal

    Take a traditional and unforgettable gondola ride through Venice’s Grand Canal. Pass under picturesque bridges and admire some of the city’s top sights from a unique, water-side perspective. Sit back, relax, and watch as the wonderful Byzantine buildings go by. Glide under the countless bridges and hear the soft sounds of the water against the crumbling walls of the palazzi. Cruise down the famous Grand Canal and see the area around the Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Salute. Admire this wonderful Baroque church from the 17th century and see winding little canals. Marvel at the majestic bridges that your gondolier rows past and experience how Venetians moved from one district to another in the past.

  • Venice: Gondola Ride with Live Commentary

    2. Venice: Gondola Ride with Live Commentary

    Take a traditional gondola ride through Venice’s iconic canals. Enjoy informative commentary from your gondolier, pass under picturesque bridges, and admire some of the city’s top sights from a unique, water-side perspective. Sit back, relax, and watch as the wonderful Byzantine buildings go by. Glide under the countless bridges and hear the soft sounds of the water against the crumbling walls of the palazzi. Cruise down the charming canals and marvel at the majestic bridges that you glide under. Experience how Venetians moved from one district to another in the past. Listen as your gondolier tells interesting facts about the site on the water route and learn more about the city’s history.

  • St. Mark's Basilica: Skip-the-Line Tour with Pala d'Oro Access

    3. St. Mark's Basilica: Skip-the-Line Tour with Pala d'Oro Access

    Join a guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with skip-the-line access. Marvel at the basilica’s magnificent interiors and see its collections of Byzantine art. Meet your expert guide and step inside St. Mark's Basilica, a unique cathedral displaying some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. Uncover the biblical symbolism behind the artworks. Take in the beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays. Listen as your guide tells you the history and the special features of this architectural wonder.

  • Venice: City Walking Tour

    4. Venice: City Walking Tour

    Join a walking tour of Venice and explore its fascinating maze of narrow streets, elegant palaces, and imposing churches. See the city’s unmissable attractions and learn about their history and cultural significance with a professional guide. Admire the city's main monuments such as the Clock-Tower, Procuratie Vecchie, and the Bell Tower around St. Mark’s Square. Listen as your guide tells you the history of the dukes of Venice and how the city was once the most powerful maritime empire in the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the elegant Castello residential area and walk through the famous Mercerie, one of the city’s main shopping districts. Stroll past the famous Santa Maria Formosa square, the house of Marco Polo, The Church of San Giovanni and Paolo, and the Rialto Bridge with its traditional market. Walk along charming canals, wander into small alleys, and discover picturesque square...

  • Venice: Traveling Opera in a Historic Palace on Grand Canal

    5. Venice: Traveling Opera in a Historic Palace on Grand Canal

    Experience Italian Opera in one of the most important Venetian-Gothic style palaces in Venice, Palazzo Barbarigo-Minotto. Within this historical venue, an innovative approach to opera has been conceived, with a formula that focuses on the interaction between the singers, the musicians, and the audience. This gives spectators the feeling of living Opera ‘from the inside’. This sensation is amplified by the clever 360-degree use of the ‘stage’ and by having the guests move through 3 different rooms within the Palazzo, one for each act of the show. The whole setting changes, not just the background. Reviving a tradition dating back to the late 1800s, this reimagining is brought to life by some of the finest lyrical voices, accompanied by a talented small group of strings and a piano: a virtuoso ensemble who performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. Opera offer...

    This was a truly unforgettable experience. The intimate setting made us feel like we were in the opera with them, watching the story unfold up close. Beautiful and captivating. Highly recommend!

  • Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica: Skip The Line Tour

    6. Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica: Skip The Line Tour

    Discover two of Venice’s most iconic buildings on a guided tour with skip-the-line access to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. See impressive artworks, marvel at magnificent interiors, and learn about the times where the Doges ruled this famous floating city. Meet your expert guide and enjoy priority access to Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Immerse yourself in the European Middle Ages and see masterpieces of art adorning the walls of the palace. Relive the anguish of the prisoners that crossed the Bridge of Sighs at the palace and experience the inside of the prison cell that once hosted Giacomo Casanova. Step inside St. Mark's Basilica, a unique cathedral displaying some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. Uncover the biblical symbolism behind the artworks. Take in the beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays. Li...

  • Venice: Small Group Shared Gondola Ride on the Grand Canal

    7. Venice: Small Group Shared Gondola Ride on the Grand Canal

    Feel the essence of Venice as you explore hidden and picturesque waterways near the Grand Canal with a gondolier. Start your activity by meeting the host, who will explain some curiosities about the history of gondolas and gondoliers. Get free access to an app with commentary of your itinerary on the gondola. As you enjoy the beauties of the Grand Canal, admire the marvelous Palaces such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, the Gritti Palace, the Salute Church, the Punta della Dogana. Discover the worldwide-famous La Fenice Theatre and the Mozart House along the romantic and hidden waterways. At the end of your ride, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Saint Mark’s Basin with San Giorgio Island. Be welcomed back by your host who will be waiting to hear about your experience and provide you with a 10% discount for your next purchase on GetYourGuide.

    Excellent experience thanks to the girl who told us everything about the gondolas and, naturally, incredible experience with the gondolier: a super polite person who show us history of Venice. Recommended!!!

  • Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide

    8. Venice: 2.5-Hour Street Food Tour with a Local Guide

    Eat your way around Venice on a 2.5-hour tasting tour of some of the city's eateries, and get views of the historical monuments and attractions along the way. Begin in the San Marco district and stroll to the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal. Visit Rialto Market and marvel at the colorful fruit and vegetable stalls. Experience everyday life in the city as the locals come to purchase fresh fish and other ingredients. Next, go to Campo San Polo and enter the Basilica dei Frari. Pass the square of Campo San Bartolomeo, where the locals like to gather. Along the way, taste a wide range of food specialties, from regional cheeses to buranelli biscuits and traditional cakes. Sample some sweet tiramisù in the city where it was invented, and experience the unique culture of cicchetti, the tapas-like snacks loved by Venetians served in typically cozy bàcari (bars). End on the...

    It was a great tour. I was expecting to learn about the local food (and I did, it’s delicious!), but I was also taught plenty about the Venetian history and culture! Definitely recommend it if it’s your first time in Venice (or second or third, like some people in the group). Silvia was amazing! Great guide, count yourself lucky if you get her! Fantastic storyteller and she knows so much about Venice and all the best places to eat.

  • Venice: Gondola Ride in Hidden Canals

    9. Venice: Gondola Ride in Hidden Canals

    Avoid the crowded waterways of Venice and experience a relaxing gondola ride through some of the city’s hidden canals. Immerse yourself in the local culture with this quintessential Venitian experience. Be taken away from the main water routes and tourist sights as your gondolier navigates you with expertise and precision through some of the narrower, quieter canals of Venice. Get alternative views of the famous bridges and buildings as you pass them by. Discover canals so small that you can actually touch the buildings as you glide down the canals. Experience the real atmosphere of the city by taking part in an ancient Venetian tradition and travel like the locals used to do in days gone by.

  • Venice: Private Gondola Ride to Rialto Bridge

    10. Venice: Private Gondola Ride to Rialto Bridge

    Start the gondola ride from Bacino Orseolo located behind St. Mark's. Float through the beautiful canals of Rio dei Barcaroli and Rio dell’Ovo until you reach the Grand Canal. From the Grand Canal, admire the magnificence of the Rialto Bridge and important buildings such as Ca’ Farsetti, the head office of the city hall. See Palazzo Grimani, the largest building overlooking the Grand Canal. Continue the journey along the Rio San Luca where you can see Palazzo Manin, the residence of the last doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, now home to the Bank of Italy.

    Took an evening ride. Down extremely quiet canals. Short stretch on the Grand Canal to see the Rialto Bridge. Then back to quiet canals. Gondolier was very nice and even took some pictures of us.

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What people are saying about Grand Canal

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,293 reviews

This was an excellent excursion. My guide Giorgia was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and showed us many areas I may not have found by myself and gave great information about the areas and the history of them. Giorgia made the experience better than I had expected. I travel a lot and Giorgia was one of the most friendly, happy, and informative guides I’ve met. She had an excellent local knowledge of Venice and gave great recommendations of things to see and do and places to dine and shop and how to get around thr city using local transport. She made the experience a lot of fun. She had excellent language and communication skills. It was a great way to get to know Venice and best ways of getting around the beautiful city. I would highly recommend this activity. It’s a great way of finding your way around the famous sites and the off the beaten track areas that you may not know about. It was also excellent value for money. A very relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Excellent experience thanks to the girl who told us everything about the gondolas and, naturally, incredible experience with the gondolier: a super polite person who show us history of Venice. Recommended!!!

We had never been to an opera We were not disappointed The 2 hours went by super fast Without understanding the Italian, we guessed what the story was about The actors were very moving

Great ride on the grand canal, the gondolier very well explained. Recommended.

Just a wondrous museum. Both the art and the building are splendid.