Canal Grande (Venice)

Parking in Venice: You should reserve a parking space in the parking garage online in advance. Especially now at Corona time many people come to Venice by car. There is a great website for reserving parking spaces: Click Here

Insider tip:
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:


The Canal Grande is a large canal in Venice. Next to St Mark's Square, it is the most important and best-known sights in Venice. The waterway is almost 4 kilometres long and about 50 metres wide.

The canal divides the main island of Venice in two parts. There are only four bridges over the long canal, two of which are almost next to each other near the Central Station Venice. The most famous bridge over the canal is the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) in the heart of Venice.

Our tip: Buy tickets for waterbuses beforehand

It is not always easy to buy tickets abroad. You don't know where to buy tickets, foreign ticket machines are difficult to use, there are language problems, queues, etc.

The 1, 2 or 3 day valid tickets for the waterbuses (ferries) in Venice are needed by almost every tourist. These tickets can now be bought on this english website.

The tickets for the bus from Venice airport to the city are available on this page in English language.

The Canal Grande starts not far from the long bridge from the mainland (Bridge of Liberty, near the only railway station of Venice Santa Lucia) and ends not far from St. Marks Square. The big canal winds its way through Venice in an S-shape for four kilometres. The distance from the railway station to St. Mark's Square is only about 2.5 kilometres on foot.

The wide canal is used by passenger ferries, which are the only means of public transport in Venice. The lines 1 and 2 of the so-called Vaporetti (name of the ships in Italian) travel along the entire length of the canal.

Better buy tickets for Venice online

In Venice, the queues are often long, some sellers do not speak English. Ticket machines are difficult to use for foreigners. Therefore, we recommend to buy some tickets in advance on the Internet e.g. on the well-known website Getyourguide:

1. Tickets for the local ferries (water buses, vaporetto): daily tickets, weekly tickets, etc.: Click here

2. Tickets for the airport bus: Venice Marco Polo Airport: Click here    

3. Doge's Palace and St. Mark's church (the main sights): Click here

4. Great und cheap trip to 3 islands around Venice: Click here

The Canal Grande is the most important waterway of the lagoon city and therefore very busy. In addition to passenger ships, cargo ships, water taxis and the famous gondolas of Venice also sail on the most famous city canal in the world (see: Ships in Venice). Swimming or bathing in the Canal Grande is strictly forbidden.

If you have the money, you can rent a room in one of the many luxury hotels along the canal. Hotel rooms with a view of the Canal Grande are usually not exactly cheap. You can also enjoy the view of the Canal Grande in one of the many street cafes. In some areas, but not everywhere, a footpath runs along the canal. In the opinion of most tourists, however, the best view is from the water buses (ferries). A one-way ticket costs 7.50 euros, day tickets are available from 20 euros. The day tickets and multi-day tickets are valid on all lines, also to many other islands in the lagoon and much more.

>>> On this link you can buy tickets for the water buses (vaporetto)

Video 1: View from a ship on the Canal Grande

The video gives an impression of the palaces on the banks of the Canal Grande and the traffic on the world-famous waterway.

Video 2: Boats on the Canal Grande

In the background you can see the world-famous Rialto Bridge.

Gondola ride on the Grand Canal

One of the most popular things that tourists do in Venice has been a gondola ride for decades. It often takes you all or part of the Canal Grande. But the ride through smaller canals is also very attractive: Our page about gondola rides in Venice

Course Canal Grande

The large canal of the lagoon city begins to the right of the bridge when you come from the mainland to the old town island. Some tracks of the Santa Lucia Central Station are only a few meters away from the water of the Grand Canal. Cars cross the Grand Canal after leaving the bridge and reaching Venice.

After a few hundred meters, the Grand Canal reaches the bus station in Piazzale Roma on the right-hand side and, after a left-hand bend, the main entrance to the large Santa Lucia train station.

A bridge is at the bus station, the Ponte della Costituzione. It connects the bus station and the pedestrian train station. Shortly after the train stations is another bridge over the Canal Grande, the Ponte degli Scalzi. Over this bridge many tourists walk from the train station to the old town. On the other side of the bridge is a popular branch of Burger King.

The Canal continues in a long and slight right turn, many great palaces and some churches are located on the banks. After a good kilometer after the main train station you will see the Rialto market on the right side. Shortly after that you pass the famous Rialto bridge and after another bend to the right.

After a few more hundred meters, after a left turn, you come to the fourth and last bridge over the Canal Grande. It is the Ponte dell Accademia. To the right of the bridge is the famous art museum Gallerie dell Accademia, a little further down the canal the equally famous Museum of Modern Art Guggenheim. After a few hundred meters you will see the famous church Santa Maria della Salute on the right. Then the Canal Grande flows again into the lagoon of Venice. On the left bank is St. Mark's Square with the Doge's Palace.

Of course, the famous canal in Venice can also be navigated or described the other way round, beginning and end are relative.

Water buses on the Grand Canal

The vaporetti (water buses, passenger ferries) are the only means of transport on and around the old town island of Venice. The ferries run on different lines mainly around the island and on the Grand Canal and a few other canals.

Directly on the Grand Canal there are two lines of water buses, line 1 and line 2, both stopping at important stations such as Santa Lucia Central Station, Rialto Bridge, etc. Line 1 stops much more often than Line 2, but if you want to see Venice slowly, you should take Line 1. If you want to see Venice quickly, it is better to take line 2, both of which go to Lido and then back to the main station. The passage through the whole Canal Grande takes about 45 minutes with line 1, with its many stops. Line 2 can do this in under 30 minutes.


City Plan Venice

The Old Town of Venice is an island.


Important: This article was translated by a non-native English speaking person. We apologize for mistakes.






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