Our time in Venice began with a water taxi from the airport. It was a beautiful introduction to the way of getting around in Venice. We cruised past Murano and other small islands, taking in the timeless landscapes of Venetian architecture along the Lagoon before reaching our hotel in Lido.
When you think of Venice, the Gondola is the first thing that comes to mind. Before traveling to Italy, we were told we just “HAD to take a Gondola ride,” while we were in Venice. The Gondola ride is so hyped up that many people even have it on their bucket list.
The Gondola was used as the primary form of transportation at one time, but are now mainly used for tourism. The canals are the only channel of transportation in Venice as cars are prohibited on the island.
Starting at 80 Euro, you can get a 40 minute ride, which is expensive if you’re traveling on a budget. If you really want to get in the water without spending so much, you can take a short ride across the Grand Canal on a Traghetto for just 2 Euro. Although not as glamorous, they are used by the locals to get around and can save you a lot of walking, and dinero.
Personally, we weren’t too “hyped” by the idea of a Gondola ride. Yes, the Gondola’s are beautifully crafted boats, but half the people on them either seemed bored or were playing with their iphones.
The architecture and canals of Venice are truly timeless and beautiful, and you can see just as much without being in the water. We enjoyed just walking along the canals and watching the gondoliers at work from the canal’s edge. There are plenty of little side streets where you can walk off the beaten path and still experience historic Venice. Besides, with tons of people staring at the Gondolas as they pass, I can’t see how this would be “romantic.”
Whether or not you decide to do a Gondola ride is up to you. Everyone has their own idea of a vacation and if it’s really something important to you, go for it.