There are many ways to discover Venice and just as many ways to do it by water. In the labyrinth of canals and rios oftentimes it isn’t clear the function of all these different types of transportation. The most obvious way isn’t always the best option or pleasant one to use.
As always, when possible we suggest you move around by foot in the least frequented areas. Getting lost in Venice is a sure thing in fact it’s a good thing. But when you’re stressed on time and the distances are farther (remember though you can walk across Venice from one end to the other in half an hour) or when you are tired of walking, there are other ways to get around the city.
The Vaporetto is surely the most diffused form of transportation but it’s not always the cheapest. Of course for long distances it’s still the best bet, but there are more delightful options even more comfortable ones in some cases. For example if you are on a group vacation or you have a big family you can definitely think about a private water taxi to reach the airport as well as getting somewhere quick during the day (because you can divide the expenses in ten, that is how many people it can carry.)
A gondola ride is one of the main attractions in Venice. It is most definitely not considered the fastest, cheapest, or efficient mode of transportation when moving from one side of the island to the other. Obviously we suggest you take a ride (80 euros for 30 minutes, even in the least crowded areas of San Marco to avoid “traffic”) It isn’t a bad choice to go during the evening either. We also suggest you take the Gondola da Traghetto found in Santa Sofia, Carbon, San Tomà, Santa Maria del Giglio, Dogana, and San Samuele: with 2 euros you will be taken from one side to the other of the grand canal. Quick and easy, satisfaction guaranteed.
As always Venice isn’t always what it seems.