COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Gondola or not?

Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 188
Gondola or not?

I know those of you seasoned Italy visitors probably think this question cheesy (it is), but I wondered on whether or not a Venetian gondola ride is something I should budget for (do not want to spend more than $50 unless it's something I will regret big-time). I will be travelling with my sister, not my hubby on this trip in 2 weeks. I like playing the "tourist" role if it means that I will get to experience something that I would not otherwise; however, I do not like the idea of being ripped off due to my falling for the hype. Is it weird because the ride is supposed to be romantic? If not, any cost-cutting tips?
susanteach is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:34 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,726
You'll be in Venice. Take a gondola ride.

Cut back somewhere else, if you must.

I think you'll enjoy it, and surely will regret it if you don't.

Have a great time in wonderful Venice!

Byrd


Byrd is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:42 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Go for the gondola ride. I was in Italy a couple of years ago with my 2 daughters & son-in-law & we went on it. It can be romantic or just plain "very nice". The driver sings to you, the scenery is beautiful, you can take lots of nice pictures. sure, its touristy, but when in Rome do as the Romans do. You'll have lots of fun & its a very memorable experience. My daughter still has a picture in her living room of all of us in the gondola.
happywife is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:43 PM
  #4  
SRS
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 679
Susan,

On our first trip we didn't take a gondola ride and we had a wonderful trip.

On our second trip, we did take a gondola and again we had a wonderful trip. We thoroughly enjoyed it - altough it was expensive.

On our last trip we again didn't take a gondola ride and still had a wonderful trip.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the gondola ride won't make or break your trip.

It is really fun and unique! You get to go down canals that aren't reachable on foot.

But it is also expensive! I think it was worth it and I don't regret it. I may take another one on another trip. But I won't take one on every trip.

Maybe just decide when you get there - see how you all feel.

Sally

SRS is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 631
Since you aren't going for romance this time, why not keep the costs way down by sharing your gondola ride, such as with he American Express rides in the evening?
eliztrav is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:50 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
I think it's something that you must do at least once, regardless of the cost...and I would be prepared to spend more than $50. I think it's more like $75.-100. for about 30-40 minutes.

Go just before sunset and ask to go down smaller canals. Cheesy? A little, but at least it is authentic to where you will be and not some made-up Disney ride.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:53 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 188
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go ahead and budget the money and skimp elsewhere. The comment about getting to see parts of the canal I would not otherwise get to view got me! Plus, it WILL be fun and make a good picture. I guess I was letting my stingy side get to me.
susanteach is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:55 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,681
I don't think you can get a gondola ride for $50USD anyway... remember the euro exchange will make that 50 even less. I believe it's more in the 100 range.

Having only partly to do with it being way "touristy", the gondolas simply do not appeal to me. Instead you can take a vaporetto down the Grand Canal which is inexpensive, fantastic views, and didn't feel silly to me (like the gondola would have).
suze is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #9  
dcespedes
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We'll be in Venice in October--is it appropriate to tip and if so how much?
 
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 01:52 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 420
We were in Venice a few weeks ago and did a gondola ride. I'm glad we did it, but it is certainly more than $50 (unless you mean per person). I asked our hotel concierge about the prices before we headed out for our ride, to make sure we weren't paying way over the going rate. He said they were 120 euros early evening, and 140 euros late night. We went late night and paid 120, so I felt like that was ok. It was interesting that the gondolier quoted exactly the rates that the concierge said. It made me think maybe they were standardized rates.

I second the vaporetto idea. We did this repeatedly, from san marco across to accademia area. Of course this is a short, functional ride, but still fun and it felt more local.
europhile is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 02:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,958
Ok, i'll do it. Can't imagine why no one else has mentioned the traghettos that are like flat bottomed gondolas and take you (albeit standing) from one side of the grand canal to the other. Rick Steves claims they are the "poor man's" gondola ride for a couple of bucks. Try one of them first and if you still want to go for the real thing, then part with the money it will cost you.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 02:09 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
A traghetto ride will not cost anywhere near "a couple of bucks" or, at least, not per person. The last time I was in Venice, it was 0.40 Euro for one; I think it has since gone up to 0.50 Euro.
Eloise is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 02:17 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 420
Oops- you're right Julie! I meant tragetto, not vaporetto. It was 1 euro per person each way.
europhile is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 05:15 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,150
We've been to Venice 3 times, and we only took a gondola ride on this last trip. We took it at dusk (it was a misty evening, so no sunset), and it was beautiful watching the lights from the building reflecting off the water.

The gondoliers are everywhere. We took ours from Campo Santa Sophia (which is also a traghetto stop). We paid 80E for a 45-minute ride, and requested mostly side canals, so we didnít feel the need to bargain. The length of the ride was just right for us - it's beautiful, but those boats move very slowly, so you have plenty of time to see the sights! I'm glad we took a gondola ride, but once was enough.
Lexma90 is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 06:55 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 729
We took a ride 4 years ago and it was $100.00 for the ride, not the number of people. We were standing in line waiting and I was stressing that it was expensive for the just the two of us. There was a beautiful young lady and her mother in line in front of us. To make a long story short, we shared the ride and we got to ride with Ms. USA runner up. Her dad sent her on a European vacation as a consolation prize. We had a lovely ride and a lovely conversation. I can't imagine going to Venice and not going for a Gondola ride. Stike up a conversation while in line, make a friend and have a great 1/2 price ride.
BabsB is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 07:03 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 398
The American Express has a gondola ride as part of one of their tours. It is much less expensive that way and still very enjoyable.
Sally is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 07:19 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 58
Crossing the Grande Canal on a traghetto was fast, cheap (.35 EU in 2003) and easy, and you can sit down.
greecube is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 07:32 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,215
As I recall, when I last checked the American Express ride was $25 (or was it 25 Euros) per person. Is the rate still the same?
KathrynT is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 07:48 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,493
Hi, We were on a gondola ride a week ago and I also vote yes! Do it. It was our 2nd time in Venice , the 1st time we didn't go on one and would not have done it this time but our friend really wanted to go. There were 4 of us, the charge was $25.00 per person for 40 delightful minutes going down small canals and under lovely bridges. I always thought they must be too touristy till it finally occured to me- I'm a tourist!!
zwho is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 09:10 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
I've done Venice with or without, but Rick Steve's is ridiculous on this one. A ride across a canal standing...please, just skip this. (OK, do it, but don't think it at all replaces a gondola!)

The point of a gondola is an evocative trip back in time. If you take the gondola after dark (or possibly very very early in the morning, before the city wakes up) you feel just a bit of what it might be like to live in the 17th or 18th century. I loved the gondola for this.

For this time-traveller feeling, it was worth the fee. But if you do decide to share (a good idea with the right co-passengers) try to find people that are very quiet and not at all chatty. If they are chatting about their 21st century lives, it will ruin that 17th century atmosphere. I'd make an agreement with copassengers about this...or I would not share!
tashak is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO