Saint Mark's Basilica

Venice's most famous church is also a fascinating testament to its medieval wealth and power.

Saint Mark's Basilica: Our most recommended tours and activities

Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

1. Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

Delve deep into Venice’s history with a 3-hour guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace, either as a private tour or shared group experience. Take in two of the city’s most important landmarks while discovering the history of the one-time mercantile capital of the Mediterranean.  Start by exploring St. Mark's Square with your guide before heading into the cathedral. From the first-floor terrace you’ll be able to admire views across the lagoon and see the famous bronze horses up close. Hear how they traveled all the way to Paris and back in Napoleon’s time. St. Mark's Basilica sometimes closes to visitors without warning. If this happens, visit the Church of San Zaccaria or the Correr Museum instead, depending on availability. Take a tour of the beautifully ornate 15th-century church and its flooded crypt or learn about the art and history of Venice. Next, you’ll use the priority entrance to reach Doge's Palace, formerly the residence of the leader of the Republic of Venice. Enjoy visiting the Chamber of the Great Council and courtrooms among other things. Highlights include frescoes by Tintoretto and the Giants’ Staircase.  After this, cross the infamous Bridge of Sighs that links to the New Prisons. Learn how the bridge got its name and the purpose for its construction in the 17th century as you take in the amazing views of the canals. At the end of your tour, feel free to stay and explore the Doge’s Palace with tips from your guide.

Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Fast-Track Entry and Audio Guide

2. Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Fast-Track Entry and Audio Guide

Save time during your visit to Venice with a skip-the-line ticket to the popular St. Mark’s Basilica. Admire the hundreds of golden mosaics in the Basilica and learn details about the byzantine art inside with your audio guide. Download your audio guide to your mobile device and head to St. Mark’s Basilica to begin your tour. Breeze past the long lines and put in your headphones. Explore the five-domes and an array of artworks. Hear legends and stories surrounding this church which has stood for almost a 1,000 years.  Witness the dazzling effect of the 43,000 square feet of mosaics in the church. Take in the stunning marble inlay work on the floors. Soak up the atmosphere in the building that dominates St. Mark’s Square. 

Venice: Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Skip The Line Tour with Terrace Access

3. Venice: Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Skip The Line Tour with Terrace Access

Discover two of Venice’s most iconic buildings on a guided tour with skip-the-line access to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. See impressive artworks and magnificent interiors and admire panoramic views of Venice from the basilica’s terrace. Meet your expert guide and enjoy priority access to Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Immerse yourself in the European Middle Ages and see masterpieces of art adorning the walls of the palace. Relive the anguish of the prisoners that crossed the Bridge of Sighs at the palace and experience the inside of the prison cell that once hosted Giacomo Casanova. Step inside St. Mark's Basilica, a unique cathedral displaying some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. Uncover the biblical symbolism behind the artworks. Witness beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays. Listen as your guide tells you the history and the special features of this architectural wonder. Lastly, go up to the basilica’s terrace and take in stunning panoramic views of the lively St. Mark’s Square and its surrounding monuments.

Venice: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tour

4. Venice: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tour

See the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, two of the most iconic sites in Venice, on a guided tour. For centuries, the destiny of the Most Serene Republic was decided in the majestic halls of the Doge’s Palace. Walk through the magnificent halls and marvel at the well-conserved priceless treasures, art masterpieces, and frescos. Visit the prison, passing over the celebrated Bridge of Sighs, so called because prisoners often sighed while looking at their beloved lagoon and freedom for the last time before reaching their cells. Among the famous guests of the Doge’s Palace prisons was Giacomo Casanova, the celebrated seducer and adventurer who managed to escape from the prison in 1756. Next, head to St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the world’s most stunning churches. As the name suggests, this cathedral is bound tightly to Venice’s patron, St. Mark, and the saint's remains are in fact here. Admire the breathtaking golden mosaics covering the high walls, and see the Pala d’Oro, an altarpiece made from hundreds of pieces of enamel on a golden leaf.

Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica: Skip-The-Line Tour

5. Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica: Skip-The-Line Tour

Discover two of Venice’s most iconic buildings on a guided tour with skip-the-line access to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. See impressive artworks, marvel at magnificent interiors, and learn about the times where the Doges ruled this famous floating city. Meet your expert guide and enjoy priority access to Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Immerse yourself in the European Middle Ages and see masterpieces of art adorning the walls of the palace. Relive the anguish of the prisoners that crossed the Bridge of Sighs at the palace and experience the inside of the prison cell that once hosted Giacomo Casanova. Step inside St. Mark's Basilica, a unique cathedral displaying some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. Uncover the biblical symbolism behind the artworks. Take in the beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays. Listen as your guide tells you the history and the special features of this architectural wonder.

Venice: Highlights Tour, St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace

6. Venice: Highlights Tour, St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace

Discover two of Venice's top highlights on this guided tour including tickets. Visit the Basilica of St. Mark and the Doge’s Palace and soak up the splendor of these iconic Venitian landmarks. Entry to the Correr Museum, National Archeological Museum, and Biblioteca Marciana is also included. Meet your expert guide at St. Mark’s Square and start delving into the origins of Venice. See the most renowned public space in the city and find out its historical, social, and political importance. Learn about the Clock Tower and the Marble Lions. Continue to the Basilica of St.Mark and enter the cathedral with pre-reserved tickets. Savor its amazing sheer size and the fascinating golden mosaics. Learn about its opulent design and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power. Bask in all the exotic elements of Venetian Renaissance Art. Listen to the story of the life-size horses of St Mark’s Basilica, and have all your questions answered. Follow your guide through Doge’s Palace at a relaxed pace. Acquaint yourself with the supreme authority and wealth of the ruling Venetian Doges in the palace’s Gothic architecture. Learn about the 14th-century sculptors that worked on the palace. Enjoy stunning views across the Lagoon as you explore this world-famous landmark. Continue to the Old Prison that was part of the Doge’s Palace, learn why the New Prisons were built, and understand the significance of the Bridge of Sighs, another highlight of Venice. Listen to the extraordinary story of the famous Casanova and his life in Venice. Choose a small group with local tour guides to tell you the stories behind these top attractions. Meanwhile, pre-reserved, skip-the-line tickets potentially save you hours of waiting in line. Your admission ticket also includes entry to the Correr Museum on St. Mark's Square. The building was originally designed as a residence for Napoleon, and later became the Venetian residence of the King of Italy. Entry to the National Archeological Museum and Biblioteca Marciana is also included.

Venice Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tour

7. Venice Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tour

Set off on a guided walking tour of St. Mark’s Square, the Doge's Palace, and St Mark's Basilica with skip-the-line entry. Meet your guide at St. Mark’s Square and head for Doge's Palace, the extraordinary palace that served as the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Enter the splendid rooms, with hundreds of painted masterpieces. Explore where the Duke and his Council controlled the fate of a 1,000-year republic and admire the details of the medieval gold staircase. See the famous Bridge of Sighs. Enter the notorious Venetian prison that held Giacomo Casanova. Visit St Mark’s Basilica and enjoy a guided tour of this Byzantine masterpiece, with its beautiful gold mosaics and marble floor inlays. See the treasure and the terrace of the Basilica of St.Mark's

Venice Day Tour: Doge's Palace, Basilica, and Gondola Ride

8. Venice Day Tour: Doge's Palace, Basilica, and Gondola Ride

Make the most of your time in Venice with this combination tour that offers a guided tour of Doge's Palace, Saint Mark's Basilica and terrace, St. Mark’s Museum with skip-the-line entry tickets, as well as a 30-minute gondola ride along the charming waterways of the city. Enjoy a guided tour of Doge’s Palace to discover its splendid rooms and countless masterpieces. Explore the halls of power where the Doge ruled the ancient Republic of Venice. Next head to Saint Mark’s Basilica, also known as the Golden Basilica because of its magnificent mosaics adorned with pure gold. Learn the history and meaning of the many artworks decorating the church. Admire the treasury, a magnificent centuries-old collection of relics and precious items. Visit the Basilica's terrace with a copy of the famous horses, the quadriga of St. Mark. From this spectacular location admire the most beautiful view of the heart of Venice: St Mark’s Square. Discover St. Mark’s Museum and admire objects of various kinds and origins belonging to the Basilica. Later in the afternoon, take a romantic gondola ride along the charming waterways of Venice. Paddle along to the impressive Grand Canal. See the houses of Mozart and Desdemona, La Fenice Theatre, Rio de le Ostreghe, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, a breathtaking overview of Saint Mark’s basin, and more. Your tour also includes a bonus app, featuring a digital map and audio guide. Use the app to explore the city at your own pace, and listen to fascinating narration as you admire 200 of the city's attractions including La Fenice Theater, Rialto Bridge, and more.

Venice: City Walking Tour

9. Venice: City Walking Tour

Join a walking tour of Venice and explore its fascinating maze of narrow streets, elegant palaces, and imposing churches. See the city’s unmissable attractions and learn about their history and cultural significance with a professional guide. Admire the city's main monuments such as the Clock-Tower, Procuratie Vecchie, and the Bell Tower around St. Mark’s Square. Listen as your guide tells you the history of the dukes of Venice and how the city was once the most powerful maritime empire in the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the elegant Castello residential area and walk through the famous Mercerie, one of the city’s main shopping districts. Stroll past the famous Santa Maria Formosa square, the house of Marco Polo, The Church of San Giovanni and Paolo, and the Rialto Bridge with its traditional market. Walk along charming canals, wander into small alleys, and discover picturesque squares where Venetians gather to socialize. Find hidden gems and learn interesting facts about the places you visit.

Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

10. Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

Escape the crowds on a late afternoon guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, and discover 2 of the icons of Venice away from the crowds. Meet at the Correr Museum (Museo Correr) in St. Mark's square, under the portico just outside the entrance of the museum. Then, enter the Doge's Palace to learn more about the center of power during the Venetian Republic. See the sumptuous apartments of the Venetian rulers, as well as the Hall of the Great Council with its stunning frescoes by Veronese and Tintoretto. Hear secret stories behind the art, such as why one doge in the painted series is covered by a black veil. Learn how the were dukes were elected, and what they did. Explore the massive armory and spooky prisons. Cross the Bridge of Sighs on the inside, and hear why it is not quite as romantic as you might have thought! After a short break, continue to the Byzantine basilica of St. Mark's, and see its gilt decorations after the crowds have left for the day. A custodian of the cathedral will unlock its doors so that you can experience like only a doge could. Marvel at the gemstones of the Pala d’Oro altarpiece. Visit the crypt, where the bones of St. Mark are said to be kept. Admire mosaics in the soft glimmer of the evening light, and learn about Venetian art and history from your passionate guide.

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What people are saying about Saint Mark's Basilica

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 23,707 reviews

This tour was well explained and really good for all age. The wonderful guide, I think her name is Edi Conson, she gave us wonderful history behind the Doge palace and the St.Mark's Basilica and explained the details of every art and beauty of the palace and Basilica. She made us very comfortable and step by step showed us the beauty of Venice! She also gave me tips of going to Burano that afternoon, which was beautiful! Thankyou so much!

Very competent guide. Timing later during the day was better with regard to the crowds. The 3h duration was perhaps a bit too long.

Our guide, Sandra was marvelous in every respect!!! We have had many private tours, and never anyone as wonderful as she!!!!

It was a very nice tour through both buildings. The guide made it fun and interesting.

Save time and patience with skio the line tickets.