Hidden Canals - Private Venice Boat Tour

Uncover the real Venice as you explore secret gardens, local neighborhoods, and sail the Grand Canal

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 12 Reviews · 3.00h · Venice, Italy

Looking for a private Venice tour that shows you more than just the tourist sites? Then step aboard your own private boat and set off along the hidden canals that are the true lifeblood of the city! Your friendly private guide will show you a whole different side of Venice as you pass famous homes, visit stunning secret gardens, and explore vibrant Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto. You’ll see the city’s famous sites too as you cruise along the iconic Grand Canal. It's pure Venetian perfection!

  • Uncover the real Venice
  • VIP private boat tour
  • Cruise the Grand Canal
  • Discover Venice's hidden canals
  • Magical secret gardens
  • Marco Polo's house
  • Cannareggio Canal
  • Jewish Ghetto
  • Chabad Synagogue
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off

Your journey begins in VIP style as you're picked up by your luxury private boat in central Venice. You'll cruise along the famous Grand Canal and see some of the city's most iconic sites as your friendly private guide shares stories of Venice life and history. Soon, you'll turn off the Grand Canal to explore the small canals that most tourists miss. Here, watch everyday life unfold and see the houses of Marco Polo and Tintoretto.

You'll also make stops to explore on foot, discovering at least one of Venice's famous secret gardens as well as Cannaregio and the fascinating Jewish Ghetto. At the end of your tour, you'll be dropped back at your pier or another convenient location in the city.

Please contact us after booking to let us know your Venice hotel name. If your hotel has an accessible pier nearby then we can arrange pick-up from there. If not, we'll offer another convenient start point for you.

Private Venice Boat Tour Description

Your 3-hour tour includes the following:

  • Pick up and drop off at many Venice hotels

  • Private luxury boat tour of the Grand Canal and local canals

  • Visit at least one secret garden not usually open to the public

  • Walking tour of Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto

  • Private English-speaking guide with tons of local knowledge

Pick Up and Drop Off in VIP Style

To make this private tour in Venice even more fabulous, we pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in our private boat. This VIP service is included for clients who are staying in a hotel in the city center with an appropriate dock. Not sure if your hotel will work? Contact our Travel Experts by email or online chat to be sure.

Grand Canal Cruise

After a quick visit to the stunning San Giovanni & Paolo Church, your boat tour will really begin when you reach the Grand Canal. The main avenue of Venice, connecting St. Mark's Square, the Rialto Bridge, the train station, and many more of the city's most important places, it's often referred to as Venice's artery. On your VIP cruise, your private guide will point out the amazing palaces, bridges, and famous sites that line the Canal. It is a fantastic overview of the city, and you'll also pass by St. Mark's Square—home of St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace.

Hidden Canals and Secret Gardens of Venice

After enjoying the buzz of the Grand Canal, you'll turn off the main waterway and into the small canals where Venetians have traveled by gondola for centuries. These winding canals were built without a grid in mind, and the buildings and streets that line the waterway are densely packed and full of local life. The hidden canals of Venice are both pretty and practical, and Venetians have been using them to travel through the city for centuries.

There are over 500 secret gardens in Venice, tucked away behind nondescript doorways and offering a magical escape from the bustle of city life. Most people leave Venice without even knowing they exist, but your private local guide knows exactly where they're hiding. Stopping at seemingly random doors, you'll get special access to seem some of the pristine landscaping and wonderful flora tucked away behind the city streets.

You'll see at least one Secret Garden on this tour, and possibly more. As they aren't public tourist attractions, which gardens are available to view can change from day to day.

See where Marco Polo and Tintoretto lived

For hundreds of years during the last millennium, Venice was a major trading and cultural power. The home of the Church of Gold and the luxurious Doge's Palace, Venice was once an international hub of much repute. One of its traders, a man by the name of Marco Polo, famously made it all the way to China! Whether Polo actually brought back noodles or even went to China is up for debate, but his writings were the go-to source on the Far East for centuries. As you explore the city, you'll see the house where Polo was born, as well as the home of Renaissance master Tintoretto—one of the most influential artists of his time.

Madonna dell'Orto

After your scenic boat ride, step back on land to explore another Venetian church, Madonna dell’Orto. As you enter, make sure you turn around to admire the beautiful organ that sits on top of the main entryway! Built in the 14th century, the church owes its name to a miraculous statue of the Virgin and Child. One of the most stunning examples of Gothic architecture in Venice, the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Christopher, protector of sailors.

Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto

Towards the end of your tour, your guide will lead you on a walking tour of the vibrant Cannaregio neighborhood. Home to many of the city's best shops, bars, and restaurants, it's a hive of local life and one of Venice's hippest areas. You'll also see the Venetian Jewish Ghetto, which was established back in 1516. The entire Jewish population of Venice had to live in the area until the end of the 18th century, when Napoleon liberated the neighborhood. It is the oldest Jewish Ghetto in the world and also the origin of the word "ghetto" itself.

At the end of your tour, you'll be dropped back at near to your hotel, or at another convenient pier in central Venice.

What you get with this tour
Pick up and drop off at many Venice hotels
Private luxury boat tour of the Grand Canal and local canals
Visit at least one secret garden not usually open to the public
Walking tour of Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto
Private English-speaking guide with tons of local knowledge
Tripadvisor Logo

See what people are saying

12 total reviews

Leave a review
5.0/5 (based on 12 reviews)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 stars
Amazing experience
25 June 2023
Reviewed by
Mark Bensink

We love this personal tour. Seeing the hidden gardens and traveling from the belly to the back of the Venetian “fish” was incredible. A definite must do for visitors to Venice.

06 March 2023
Reviewed by
Anne Nadol

24 February 2023
Reviewed by
Michele H Kiernan

show more reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

Remember to bring water and wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be walking for part of this tour of Venice.

I'm trying to book, but I don't see any availability. Help?

If you are trying to book up to two weeks in advance, the website will show no availability. However, feel free to contact us and we'll do our best to accommodate you.

I have doubts about my mobility. Is this the right tour for me?

If you have reduced mobility, it's a good idea to take this private Venice tour. The itinerary is much more flexible and easily modified than a small group tour.

What should I wear?

Since this tour includes churches, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice are hot so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

How many people are allowed to book this tour as one group?

If you are a larger group with more than 10 participants, let us know prior to booking. There may be additional charges because we will need more than one boat.

How do I know if my hotel in Venice will work for a boat pick-up?

Ask your hotel for the name of the nearest dock or just reach out to us and we'll let you know. If your hotel doesn't have a dock, we'll set a central meeting point for you.

What to bring?

Remember to bring water and wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be walking for part of this tour of Venice.

Start From: $1,268.76

available days discounted days

Reserve Now $1,268.76 / per person
$1,268.76 / per person
You may also like
Skip the Line
Up to 12 % off

Skip the Line

Venice in a Day Tour with Gondola Ride

Visit St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge, and hidden areas of Venice

Skip the Line
Up to 12 % off

Skip the Line

St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace Half-Day Tour with Gondola Ride

Hit up St. Mark's Square's most iconic attractions with skip-the-line tickets and an expert guide

Boat Tour
Up to 12 % off

Boat Tour

Murano and Burano in a Half Day Boat Tour

Easily explore these colorful Venetian islands and see traditional glassblowing and lacemaking

Skip the Line
Up to 12 % off

Skip the Line

Ultimate Venice in a Day with Murano and Burano

Do more in a day: St. Mark's, Doge's Palace, glassblowing and lacemaking demos, and a gondola ride

Guided Tour
Up to 12 % off

Guided Tour

Venice Local Evening Food Tour in Cannaregio

Experience the authentic food and wine of Venice with a local foodie tour

Private Tour

Private Tour

Venice Islands and Artisans Private Tour

Explore colorful streets and ancient trades in Murano and Burano with a private boat and local guide

New Tour
Up to 8 % off

New Tour

Semi Private Day Trip to Prosecco Hills from Venice

Complete with round-trip transport from Venice, sample 3 wines, and savor a 2-course lunch

New Tour

New Tour

Taste of Venice Food Tour in San Marco & San Polo

Discover authentic Venetian flavors as you hop between backstreet bacari enjoying cicchetti and wine

New Tour

New Tour

Walking Tour of Artisanal Crafts in Venice

Uncover centuries-old trades on a stroll through authentic, artisan shops of the Floating City

New Tour

New Tour

Secret Venice Tour of Dorsoduro District

Get to know the quiet but trendy academic district that has a Banksy mural and cool movie locations

New Tour

New Tour

Venice Bacari Hopping Tour in Cannaregio

Spend your evening like a local, visiting hidden bars for spritz and cicchetti with a Venetian guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Venice Highlights Tour with Gondola Ride

Join your own expert guide to discover St. Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge, and Venice's hidden gems

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Venice Discovery Private Tour

Skip the line at St. Mark's, explore Rialto Bridge, and ride a private boat through the Grand Canal

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Venice Doge's Palace Private Tour

Dive into Venice's dark history at its grand Gothic palace, Bridge of Sighs, and ancient dungeons

New Tour

New Tour

Island Adventure Boat Tour to Mazzorbo, Burano, and Murano

Hop around the Venetian islands to discover glassblowing, colorful houses, and a serene lagoon