Venice Traghetto - The Most Affordable Gondola Venice Ride 

"Venice to save big on a Venetian gondola ride and still show off Venice gondola pictures back home"

What is a Venice traghetto?

A typical mode of public transportation in Venice for crossing the Grand Canal at different points is the Venetian traghetto.

Rowed by two oarsmen, it is essentially a large, flat-bottomed gondola.

If you are not aware of their existence, you will easily mistake it for a gondola. And that is all right, as they are very much alike in their looks, however, they are very different in the way they serve Venetians.

Venice Grand Canal palacesNeed to get across but swimming is not an option? Take a traghetto boat!

What is the difference between a traghetto and a gondola?

Traghetti, as opposed to elaborate gondolas, are usually more straightforward and functional in design, with less ornate details and without the comfortable, plush seating.

They offer residents and tourists an efficient and reasonably priced way to move across the Grand Canal, particularly in areas where you don't find so many bridges.

Venice Traghetti are not available just anywhere...they have their stops and run strictly between stop A and stop B.

Also, it's customary for the locals to stand in the traghetto but if you're not that skilled, feel free to sit down!

Their use is strictly practical: they are used by locals or people in-the-know that need a ride not down the Grand Canal but…across it!

Gondolas, on the other hand, are privately run and are mainly utilized for romantic trips, leisurely rides, and sightseeing tours along the canals; they provide a more upscale and individualized experience.

Why use a Venice traghetto instead of a gondola?

Using a Venice traghetto definitely falls into the category of big MONEY SAVING TIPS of Mediterranean Cruise Ports Easy, and we’re happy to share it with you!

So, you want to enjoy your European cruise vacation without breaking the bank? But, you’re not coming back home without a picture of you in a gondola either!

In that case, simply use a traghetto! No one back home will know your are not paying through your nose for the gondola, and you will still get spectacular shots of the Grand Canal from a boat. 

That's one reason why you should use this special little boat.

Another reason is getting around Venice more quickly...

Let’s say you are on the waterfront by the Doge’s Palace…you’re looking across the canal at the beautiful domed La Salute church and you really want to go there! It's possible, but how?

Cross the bridge? There are only 4 bridges across the whole Grand Canal and you don’t feel like walking for 20 minutes to the closest one.

Venice Vaporetto? Wrong answer, again. To pay €9.50 just to cross the canal doesn’t make sense!

The answer is Venice traghetto. For only €2,50 per person, you can both cross to the other side of the Grand Canal in a matter of minutes… 

Where to get a Venice traghetto closest to St. Mark's Square?

For cruisers who don't have much time to explore around but would like to have a quick traghetto ride, here are the instructions on how to reach traghetto to line closest to Piazza San Marco:

  • walk down to the bottom of St. Mark’s Square (with St. Mark’s Basilica behind you)
  • go through the passage in the left corner (past the Tourist Information Center)
  • go past the Chanel & Louis Vuitton boutiques
  • walk down Sal S. Moise Street (past the recently closed American Express office)
  • cross the bridge, then past the Ferragamo/Gucci boutiques (Calle Larga 22 Marzo) until you reach the second bridge.
  • immediately after the bridge, on the little square, turn to your left towards the canal.
  • you should be on the Campo Traghetto. The Traghetto will leave from the small wooden pier on the Canal.

But if you find yourself somewhere else in Venice and want to have a ride, here's the map of traghetto stops:

How much is a Venice traghetto ride?

These guys are shuttling back and forth across the Grand Canal every 5 minutes and will charge you a mere €2,50 per person each way!

That way a 4 member family gets to have an exciting little ride across the Grand Canal for only €10, which leaves more money for souvenir shopping!

You don't need to purchase tickets ahead of time, you will pay the gondolier as you exit the boat.

traghetti venice

They will drop you off in between the Peggy Guggenheim Collection museum and La Salute Church, but the Accademia Gallery is not far from here either.

You can come back across the same way with the traghetto, or walk to the Accademia Bridge to take some more photos overlooking the Grand Canal.

There are other Venice traghetto cross points (7 altogether) along the Grand Canal and they are marked on any better Venice map with a letter T and a broken line.

Enjoy the experience and feel free to brag about your Venice traghetto discovery at your dining-room table that night!

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