Hello - 4 going to Venice for first time end of the month. I read in Rick Steves' Venice that gondola rides are best after 8pm - only problem is we were trying to be in Florence by first thing in the morning. Trains either leave at 8 PM or 3 AM...so we either have to sleep in the train station or find housing in Venice. We're on a budget and everything I've seen so far in Venice is rather expensive (we've been trying to spend no more than 30euro/night). Anyone have any advice re: do we miss that much if we take an earlier gondola ride or is it worth it to find someplace to crash until 3 or 6 AM to catch train to Florence? Also, any housing suggestions would be much appreciated!
Gondoila rides at night are wonderful, but I certainly wouldn't change my schedule dramatically (or inconvenience yourself to the extent you suggest) just to take a gondola ride at night. Go during the day--you'll still enjoy the experience.
I agree, plus it is A LOT less expensive during the day than at night (because of the romance factor).
Agree with the above. A gondola ride at night would be fantastic but one during the day would be great too. It's just the experience of the ride. Go when you can as changing your plans will prove very expensive. Nothing in Venice is cheap.
A gondola ride is 80-100 euro depending on how good you negotiate for up to 5-6 people. The price is for the group and not per individual. The cost goes up after 8:00pm. Also, they tell you that the ride will last 1 hour. Our ride only went 45 minutes. Still, it's a must in Venice. To me, the rides seem better on gondolas near the Rialto bridge as opposed to the dozens and dozens of gondolas near San Marcos.
Try the Al Piave Hotel in Venice. You can book a triple room and perhaps they can provide a cot. Four of us traveled that way a few years back. At lot of the hotels can and do accommodate 3 to 4 to a room. That way you can divide the cost between you.
We also tood a gondola ride which was fun. Be careful of the old 'bate and switch'. A cute guy caught us, gave us the old spill and we said great. When we got to the gondola it was a different guy. What a great laugh we all had.