Well, that depends.

When I first arrived in Venice, it took my breath away. An entire city, floating on water, Jesus style. There were no cars, fewer tourists than normal {it was September}, and hundreds of alley ways to get lost in. It felt like an adult playground.

It is no secret that the best way to travel around Venice is by foot. And although this may be the most practical option, some of us can’t help ourselves when we see the delicate, hand crafted gondolas gliding along the canals.

Get a scarecrow over here, I’ve found my shiny strand of silver.

So, here is the deal about the gondolas.

Each gondola ride lasts 30 minutes. They are quite strict about this time frame, I believe we stepped off our boat at exactly one past the hour. This is about enough time to get a gist of the surrounding area, take a few snapshots, and pop a bottle of champagne.

You board and depart your gondola at the same location. There is no need to haggle with any of the Italian men in black and white striped shirts, each gondola ride will cost the same throughout the city.

The going rate for a gondola is 80 Euros. Now, before you throw up in your mouth a little, this is not the price per individual. As a whole, your gondola ride will cost you 80 Euros. Meaning, you will split the cost of the boat ride with as many souls on board {minus your guide, obvi}.

To fully answer the given question: Should you ride a gondola in Venice?

If you are alone: Absolutely not. You can see everything on land that you would see on the water. You will not have anyone to document the fact that you actually rode a gondola, other than the {probably} drunk Italian man with a cheesy handkerchief wrapped around his neck. And you can better spend that 80 Euros on accommodation within Venice as it tends to be overpriced.

If you are with your significant other: Maybe. 40 Euros is still a steep price to pay for a few minutes on the water. However, it can be extremely romantic {especially at sunset}. My partner at the time and I bought a bottle of champagne and some Italian olives and had no regrets about our gondola ride. We laughed with our tour guide and kissed underneath the small bridges connecting each piece of the Venetian puzzle. It was magical.

If you are with a group: 100%, YES! It’s Venice! Where else are you going to ride a gondola? Other than Vegas… but this is the real deal people. Sure, it’s cheesy. And yes, it is probably over-priced. But it’s also a memory. So grab three of your gal pals and each spend 20 Euros for a once in a lifetime experience. Plus, they are just so pretty. If anything, appreciate the art that is the boat itself.

As an alternative to the gondolas, you can hop on board the public ferry which will take you around Venice in about 20-30 minutes and only costs you around 7 Euros! Look out for signs marked ‘Actv’ for pick up locations.

Have you ever ridden a gondola in Venice? Would you recommend it?


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