Touristy Venice gondola trips still a must for me

Venice is one of those Europe destinations that nearly every tourist wants to head to, and usually I try to avoid these places – but Venice is special. My most recent trip to this beautiful city was just for a long weekend and I almost left without taking the obligatory Venice gondola trip.

No gondola ride in Venice? It’s a sin! Initially I thought I would try and skip what I saw as a tourist trap, but then as I walked alongside the canals of Venice and saw people floating along in shiny black gondolas I started to get jealous. That’s why I spent a Sunday morning down in front of Piazza San Marco asking around for prices. It was pretty early in the morning and few tourists were around, so a number of the gondoliers were standing around with nothing to do.

Prices varied dramatically at this time of day but eventually an entrepreneurial gondolier offered my friend and I a forty-five minute ride for 60 Euros, much less than half the price most of them were quoting. It was well worth it – one of those experiences you reminisce about later. Basically, I’d say if you want your Venice gondola ride, go for it. My tip is to try to avoid peak tourist times and be prepared to haggle to get the lowest price.  But don’t miss out on one of the best things to do in Venice.