If there’s one thing Venice is known for, it has to be the canals that flow through the city in place of streets. Why visit at all if you aren’t interested in seeing the city from these unique waterways? It’s touristy and expensive but more than worth it to take a gondola ride at least once. Be sure to settle the price, route, and length of time with your gondolier before you get into the gondola. Minimum fares are standardized, so research the current rates before your trip and be ready to bargain with your gondolier. Most gondoliers will know some English, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. The standard ride is about 40 minutes, but you can expect it to be shorter if you insist on a low price. Prices will also be higher at night, so be prepared to pay extra for a romantic moonlit gondola ride. You can reserve gondolas through hotels or agencies, but it will probably cost even more; it’s better to simply go to the area you’d like to take a ride in, and look for gondoliers there. For the most pleasant ride, stay away from the Grand Canal, which is always crowded and busy–gondola rides should be quiet and peaceful. It’s much better to experience the Grand Canal on a water bus, and it’s nowhere near as expensive as a gondola ride. It takes some planning, but a visit to Venice would truly be incomplete without touring the canals on a gondola.