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I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it!

I rode a gondola in Venice and I loved it! Yes, it’s a very touristy thing to do but you’d never fully experienced Venice if you’d pass up this experience. You’ve got to explore the city’s canals by taking a gondola tour! I can assure you that no matter how long the tour is, you’ll love it! Going through the narrow canals and passing under the arched bridges is like going on an adventure in itself. I couldn’t help the feeling of getting excited, really. I’ve been on outrigger and paddled boats, ships and makeshift rafts but it’s a different level of joy when you do it in Venice.

What’s a Gondola? Well, just look at the photo below. Someone who mans the gondola is called gondolier. It’s easy to spot them with their black and white/red stripe tshirts.

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it!

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

How Much is the Gondola Tour? Be aware – it’s expensive. Especially if you’re a fabulous solo traveler on a budget. For 30 minutes canal tour, it costs 80 euros. For an hour, it’s 120 euros.

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Sharing a Gondola with Strangers. Ok, I didn’t plan this but this happened. I was in a cafe when I heard three young Chinese tourists talking about riding a gondola. Despite having lived in China for almost 8 years, my Chinese still sucks. 😀 But, I did understand some of the words they said: how much, money, expensive, time, now, maybe/not sure, each. Seeing it was an opportunity for me to share a gondola with them, I interrupted by greeting them in Chinese. I introduced myself in English and they asked how I knew they were talking about planning to ride a gondola. So, I shared my story – and their eyes sparkled when I told them that I used to work in Beijing – where they are from. They had no problem with me going with them. In fact, they were happy that they, too, can save! We choose a 30-minute ride for 20 euros each!

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Tips to Save for Solo Travelers. If you’re really on a tight budget, stand near where the gondolas are. If there’s a group of three or a fellow solo traveler, strike up a conversation and ask if you could join. Don’t be shy. Just do it! 😀 Yes, you can ask a couple, too! They might be willing to accommodate you so they can have someone to photograph them! 😀 

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Where are the Gondolas? They are everywhere. Most likely, you’ll find tourists willing to share a gondola in crowded spots like the one near the Bridge of Sighs or San Marco Cathedral. We started nearby the bridge called Ponte di Realto, one of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal.

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Narrow Canals. The tours brings you through narrow canals and corners the city is known for. There’s traffic, too! But, lucky for us, our gondolier brought us somewhere where we could even hear the echo of our own conversation.

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Not only for Lovers. I must admit that it’s romantic to be on the gondola with your loved one. While the gondolier rows, you both are exchanging sweet nothings while admiring the century-old, colorful house along the canals. But for this to be extra sweet, do it in the morning before hordes of tourists share the water canals. If you sit on a cafe by the water, you’ll see that gondolas are for everyone – families, friends, strangers (in my case), and all types of lovers.

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Enjoy the rest of the tour below.

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and I Loved it! (Italy)

Where to Stay in Venice

Again, Venice isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s the most expensive city I’ve been to in Italy. And that shouldn’t be a surprise to any visitors coming / going. For two nights, I stayed at Venezia Naturalmente which is accessible to two water taxi stations that goes directly to the main train station. It’s also walking distance to the main square in Venice, the San Marco Square. The place is a bit difficult to find if you don’t have a GPS / Google Maps with you. It’s in a very quiet place so you can really sleep without disturbance. The hostel also has a garden for you to relax!

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

I Rode a Gondola in Venice and Boy, I Loved it! (Italy)

Not a Solo Traveler? Join a tour!

Well, you know, solo travel is not for everyone. Should you decide to go on with a tour group, go with – Intrepid Travels. They have a wide variety of tours for all ages and different kinds of travelers, including solo, seniors, teenagers and family.

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