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Kayaking in Venice: A Unique Way to Explore Venice's Canals

December 13th, 2019 by Prontopia

If you live by the water or you simply enjoy outdoor activities, you have probably paddled with a kayak before in your life. But did know you can go kayaking in Venice during your trip as an active way to explore the city’s off-the-beaten path places and inner canals?

Venice can be a difficult city to navigate. Get where you need to go stress-free – schedule a Prontopia local assistant to help you today!

Kayaking in the hidden Venetian canals is the perfect alternative to a gondola ride and a fun activity that everyone can do: from couples on their honeymoon to families visiting Venice with kids.

Kayaking in Venice is not as hard as it might sound, and not as dangerous as it may seem. It is just a unique and unforgettable way to visit this beautiful city.

Kayaking in the calm water of the canals is also a way to approach paddling even if you’ve never done it before. Navigating ocean kayaks in the water in Venice is nice for beginners because the sea is very steady. It is important to choose a Venice kayak tour with only small groups and in general, beginners are welcome as well. Of course, there are some simple rules to keep in mind, that the instructors will remind you before and during the tour. They are very few, but fundamental:

  1. Kayaks are steady but don’t forget they are boats (so keep hands and feet inside at all times!);

  2. Keep to the left with row boats (e.g. gondolas) and to the right with the other boats (such as motor);

  3. Being on a kayak in the canals is like being in a bicycle on a road: don’t be adventurous, use appropriate caution;

  4. Always follow your guide;

  5. It’s easier if you sit in front!

Kayaking in Venice: A Unique Way to Explore Venices Canals 0

Kayaking in Venice gives you a different perspective. Our motto is that you’ve haven’t seen Venice until you’ve seen it from the water.

What’s more, there are a few places that you can enjoy from the water during our tours, that you will not see the same way from the land.

  • The Venice Casino: you will cross the Grand Canal just in front of it, and the view of its Grand Canal’s façade is completely different from the street entrance!

  • Santo Stefano Church: Kayaking in Venice gives you the possibility to paddle underneath Santo Stefano Church: a navigable canal passes exactly underneath the altar of the church and you can easily reach it on a kayak. Boats cannot go through this passage, kayaks, instead, can always cross it except when the high tide is reaching an elevated level.

  • Guggenheim Museum: Guggenheim Museum is known all over the world, but few people know that this is an incomplete building. If you look at it from your kayak, you will notice the difference between the Guggenheim and the other palaces of the Grand Canal. It is the only building with a single floor, the ground floor.

You won’t notice this distinction if you only go into the museum to see pictures and sculptures.

  • Hidden canals: most of the canals in Venice are narrow and away from the Grand Canal. Each of them can show you a different and new perspective Venice. Some of them are so narrow that only rowing boats (and kayaks!) can go through them.

Planning your travels from the perspective of slow travel is important around the world these days, especially in a fragile city like Venice. Kayaking is an ecological way to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world without polluting the air and the water. Enjoying Venice’s unique culture from this local perspective is a way to visit Venice respectfully, and in doing so, enjoy a better stay.

Kayaking in Venice for us means combining tradition, sport, and Venetian culture with a unique perspective of our cherished city on the water. It is one of our favorite things to do in Venice Italy!

This guest post was written by our local partner, Real Venetian Kayak, who kindly recommends Prontopia to their clients as a convenient and special local option for help with getting around Venice. Together as a community, we enjoy welcoming visitors and advocating for sustainable travel in Venice. Travel connected, and leave no trace, and together the world will become a better place.

Prontopia helps you easily get around the city by connecting you with an on-demand Local. Prontopia Locals know the best way to get you and your belongings where you want to go, and help with any practical needs along the way. For help with anything you may need during your stay in Venice, sign up for Prontopia.


Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.

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