Saint Mark's Basilica
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doges palace st. marks basilica with terrace access tour

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

Duration: 3 hours
Small group
384 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
384

Enjoy skip-the-ticket-line entry to St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace on a 3-hour guided tour. Choose from a shared or private experience.…

Saint Mark's Basilica: Tours & Tickets

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5 historical facts about Saint Mark's Basilica

Venice's most famous church is more a testament to the city's Medieval wealth and power than the teachings of Christ. Its history, however, might just be even more spectacular than its architecture! Here are five fun facts dug up from its colorful past.

It was built for the bones of Mark the Evangelist

It was built for the bones of Mark the Evangelist

The original church was built circa 832 to harbor the relics of Saint Mark, which were supposedly stolen from Alexandria by Venetian merchants!

The original was burned down to assassinate a Doge

The original was burned down to assassinate a Doge

The Doge (leader) of Venice, Pietro IV Candiano, was so unpopular by 976 that his constituents locked him in Saint Mark's and burned it to the ground!

Its nickname is the

Its nickname is the "Chiesa d'Oro"

Hardly a symbol of Christian humility, the cathedral's opulent mosaics gave rise to a nickname that has lasted since its 9th century construction – The Church of Gold!

It's decorated partly by the spoils of war

It's decorated partly by the spoils of war

The 4th Crusade didn't go quite as planned! Rather than reach Jerusalum, the Venetians instead pillaged Constantinople and stole many artifacts to adorn their cathedral.

Its mosaics cover approximately 8000 m²

Its mosaics cover approximately 8000 m²

But, unfortunately, only about a third is original! Though once maintained by a workshop of skilled mosaicists, much was simply replaced in cheap 19th-century restoration attempts.

Our insider tips

What are the opening times?

The Basilica's opening hours are from 9:45AM to 5:00PM, and on Sundays and holidays between 2:00PM and 4:00PM or 5:00PM depending on the season. Entrance to the Basilica is free, but visiting the museum, treasury, or Pala d'Oro requires paying for tickets.

What to wear?

Whether you're booking a tour or intend to visit Saint Mark's Basilica alone, be sure to dress appropriately for a place of worship! A general rule of thumb is to keep arms and legs covered (and no flip-flops!). Also note that bringing luggage in is forbidden, as is filming or taking photographs inside.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    9:45AM to 5:00PM, Sundays and Holidays 2:00PM to 4:00PM or 5:00PM, depending on season.
  • Is it expensive?
    The Basilica is free, but the museum, treasury and Pala d'Oro require admission fees.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    This attraction is within walking distance from most hotels in city center!
  • Additional information
    Bringing in luggage, filming or taking photographs inside is strictly forbidden. | It's best to keep your arms and legs covered, and no flip-flops!

What people are saying about Saint Mark's Basilica

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 16,115 reviews

Great Guide...cheerful and very informativr

We were in a group of 25 and our guide Francesca started right on time. She was a very knowledgeable lady who passed on information with humor and a smile. It is a long tour with many steps so perhaps not for any one with trouble climbing 300 year old worn staircases! We were very pleased that we took this tour as we would have missed so much if we had guided ourselves. Bypassing the ticket office alone must have saved 45 mins. It was very emotional walking over the bridge of sighs remembering all the prisoners walking to death. Well done Francesca...you made our visit to your lovely city come to life.

Missed important sections as not wheelchair accessible

Our guide was very knowledgeable and we thoroughly enjoyed listening to all the information she was giving us. However it says it’s wheelchair accessible- in a way it was but you had to split up from your tour group and go to different areas to get lifts so you missed chucks of the tour as your headset went out of range. Including the bridge of sighs

Very knowledgeable guide. An interesting tour.

I have no further comment regarding the tour, however, could I suggest that 2 separate tours are listed during the booking process, one with, and one without the tower climb instead of having to tick a check box in the tour description. Needless to say, we fell foul and were not able to climb the tower.

Well timed and organized with extremely knowledgeable guide.

Worth it. The fast pass options are great. Additionally you move along much faster as a group and get to hear about amazing history in any down time. Our guide had a few of our group members go rogue and always handled himself with poise and kept the tour moving as much as possible.

Would have preferred more about the buildings

Very knowledgeable and interesting guide. Most of the tour was focused on the ceiling frescoes so I had a sore neck by the end. Would have liked a bit more info on the history of the buildings but I. The limited time, she did a good job!