I don't say this lightly the Gondola ride is without a doubt one of the best experience of my life. Top 5 for sure (after wedding, engagement party and honeymoon in case you wondered).
A lot of people we spoke with said not to bother with a gondola ride as they are so expensive and you can get a similar experience on a water taxi or water bus. But after chatting to a colleague who said it was one of her biggest regrets after visiting the city I knew I couldn't take the risk.
I'm a big believer in going all out on a holiday, we had dinner at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, upgraded to our own private pool in the Maldives so in my eyes a Gondola ride was non negotiable and I'm so glad we did.
If you are planning on visiting Venice, the rides do increase in price on an evening and singing is extra, so if your on a budget I'd recommend getting one during the day - theres more than enough to choose from with Gondoliers easy to spot in their black and white striped top & straw hats.
We choose to start our ride at the edge of Sans Marcos so our Gondola passed under Bridge of Sighs, legend says if you kiss while you pass underneath your love will live on forever.
The ride was worth every penny as not only was it romantic but it also took us to quieter areas that we wouldn't of seen otherwise and the Gondolier pointed out key landmarks.
Including Casanova's house - if walls could talk ey!
We choose a half hour ride which was more than enough and meant we saw the sights, the sunset and wet our appetite for dinner when we were back on dry land.
Watching the sunset over Sans Marco's square from our gondola is an experience I'll never forget and one I can't recommend enough!