Venice is a city built on water, so exploring its atmospheric canals from the perspective of a boat is a must. But can you kayak in the Venice canals? Although the city has recently implemented a ban on kayaking, there are still some parts of Venice’s intricate system of canals where you can enjoy this mode of waterborne transport. Here’s what you need to know, whether you’re on a Venice day trip or enjoying an extended stay in this beautiful city.
The Venice kayak ban: what are the rules?
If you were hoping to go kayaking in Venice, news of last year’s kayak ban won’t have been welcome. The ban applies to all the city’s major canals used by waterborne public transport, including the Venice Grand Canal and the Cannaregio Canal, and it covers canoes, paddleboards and pedaloes as well. Of course, it doesn’t apply to gondolas, which are an iconic feature of the city (take a look at our curious facts about gondolas to find out more about these instantly recognisable vessels).
You can still kayak in Venice
However, the good news is that while it may no longer be allowed on the congested main waterways, you can still enjoy kayaking on some of the smaller canals, providing you do so within certain hours. The ban is in force from 7am to 5pm on weekdays and 7am to 3pm on Saturdays, so outside these hours you’ll still be able to enjoy the quieter, slower experience of slipping through the canals by kayak.
If you’re looking for things to do in Venice, and you fancy taking to the water in a kayak, your best bet is to book a professional kayak tour of Venice. There are several companies offering these, including Real Venetian Kayak and Venice Kayak. A fun and more hands-on alternative to a traditional gondola tour, these are a great way to explore the quieter canals. They’re even available at night, when the city is at its most atmospheric.