There have been gondolas in Venice
for hundreds of years and their waiting spots, fares and routes are regulated by the city's government and by the gondolieri's own association.
Nowadays, apart from special events such as weddings and funerals, Venetian locals do not use gondolas: they are almost exclusively used by visitors. So they can be found along the main canals and near the streets and sights which have the highest tourist flow. There is no 'best place', though any queues are likely to be longest at Piazza San Marco
Fares per gondola are:9am to 7pm
: 80 euro for 30 minutes + 40 euro for each additional 20 minutes (or part of 20 minutes).7pm to 9pm
: 100 euro for 35 minutes plus 50 euro for each additional 20 minutes or part of.
Singers and musicians cost extra.
Gondolas carry up to 6 so sharing one with other passengers substantially cuts the individual cost.
cheaper way of experiencing a gondola is to use the ferry gondolas which cross the Canale Grande: the traghetti.
These gondolas are
used by locals on a regular basis and run from the early morning to the early evening. There's no set timetable but you won't have to wait for long. For visitors, one trip costs 2 euro. If you really want to travel like a local, stand up in the traghetto as it crosses the canal.
There are traghetti crossing routes which run every day all year (except 25th & 26 December, 1st January and 15th August) at:Santa Sofia - Rialto Market
San Tomà - Sant'Angelo
Santa Maria del Giglio - San Gregorio
and two other routes which have shorter operating hours:Riva del Carbon – Riva del Vin
Monday to Friday 9am to 12 noon Punta della Dogana - Calle Vallaresso
Monday to Sunday 9am to 12.30pm