If you’re planning a trip to Venice, you’re probably thinking that you want to take a ride in gondola. Then you get there and you find out that it’s going to cost you a minimum of €80. You start second-guessing your plan, thinking that perhaps it’s not absolutely essential that you participate in this time-honored tourist rite. Should you do it? Absolutely, even if it means scrimping on something else. It’s something you can’t do anywhere else. Well, except at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas in Macao — but it’s much better in Venice.
Taking a gondola ride with your significant other is optimal, but I saw plenty of families cruising along too. If you want your gondolier to sing, make sure you inquire in advance if he’s a singer. Our gondolier didn’t sing, which was fine with us. The ride typically lasts between 45-60 minutes and it goes by quickly. Being on the water is the perfect way to escape the bustle of the city, even though the canals can get crowded too. I heard stories of gondola traffic jams, but luckily I didn’t encounter anything like that. I just enjoyed sitting back, relaxing and snapping dozens of photographs from this privileged vantage point of Venice.