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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

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

1. 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. 

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

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

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

Discover two of Venice's top highlights on a small group guided tour including tickets. Visit the Basilica of St. Mark and the Doge’s Palace and soak up the splendor of these 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. 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

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

5. 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.

Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

6. Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

Discover Saint Mark's Square and the Golden Basilica on a tour with an expert guide. Learn about the history of the square, which was once the private chapel of the Doge of Venice. Admire its sumptuous golden mosaics and impressive marble inlay flooring, making it one-of-a-kind in Italy. Take in the historical ambiance and listen to your guide as they describe the biblical scenes represented throughout the building, together with history and particularities of this ancient Basilica. Visit Saint Mark's Basilica first floor museum and see the famous horses and admire Saint Mark's Square from the Basilica's terrace.

Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Visit & Terrace Access

7. Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Visit & Terrace Access

See the highlights of St Mark's Basilica with a local guide, including its museum, mosaics, and masterpieces. Marvel at the views of St Mark's Square from the basilica. Meet your guide near the famous Piazza San Marco and head straight to visit St Mark’s Basilica. As soon as you enter the atrium, admire the ceiling and see a glittering expanse of golden mosaics that will lead you to the interior of the church.  Discover masterpieces from the past such as the famous golden domes, the iconostasis, the ciborium, the main altar housing the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist, and other wonders. Then, climb a steep but fascinating staircase to the 1st floor which houses the Museum of St Mark. Here, see the wonderful inside of St Mark's Basilica from above.  Next, reach the St Mark’s Basilica terrace where, in the shadow of the famous 4 bronze horse statue (a copy), experience one of the most beautiful views of St Mark’s Square. Finally, visit the original horse statue that once stood on the upper part of the church facade.  At the end of the tour you can stay longer in St Mark’s Basilica Museum to explore at your leisure – the entrance ticket is included in the tour. Alternatively, admire the splendid panorama of the Piazza from the Basilica’s terrace once more or return to the ground floor to explore at your own pace.

Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace & Doge’s Palace

8. Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace & Doge’s Palace

Immerse yourself in the history of Venice on a tour of the once-great maritime empire. Explore 2 of the floating city’s most important buildings: St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Meet your guide in St. Mark’s Square, and step inside St. Mark’s Basilica. Get an in-depth look at how Venice built a mercantile empire that once spanned the entire Mediterranean. Marvel at the priceless treasures within and enjoy special access to the 1st-floor terrace, where you can see the famous horses stolen from Constantinople during the 4th Crusade. Skip the lines to the Doge’s Palace, and explore the political heart of the Venetian Empire. Admire the opulent apartments and Hall of the Great Council where laws were made under the stunning frescoes by Veronese and Tintoretto. Tour the armory and prisons to learn how grim life was for anyone unlucky enough to be taken prisoner. Discover the secret behind the mysterious black veil and walk across the Bridge of Sighs.

Venice: Saint Mark’s Basilica Guided Tour

9. Venice: Saint Mark’s Basilica Guided Tour

Explore Saint Mark's Basilica, the city's most famous church, and one of the most important symbols of Italy. Discover a lot more about the history and the anecdotes related to this great and iconic church with a local guide. Enter the Cathedral and discover it from a different perspective. Marvel at this golden jewel, inside one of the most beautiful and important places of Venice. Reach the panoramic terrace and see the amazing view of Saint Mark's Square.

Venice St. Mark’s Basilica After Hours: 1.5-Hour Tour

10. Venice St. Mark’s Basilica After Hours: 1.5-Hour Tour

Your guide will meet you at St. Mark’s Square for this special after-hours visit to St. Mark’s Basilica. With thrilling anecdotes and swashbuckling stories, your guide will tell you about the history of Venice and St. Mark’s. Hear how the Basilica received its precious relics via a 9th-century kidnapping. Passersby will wonder where you are going as a custodian unlocks the Basilica’s doors for you to enter. Inside, take a deep breath as you experience St. Mark’s Basilica as almost no one else has ever been able to, aside from the doge himself. There is no standing elbow-to-elbow with other tourists and no crowd noise. Instead, you are alone with your guide and the custodian. In tranquility and peace, experience the Basilica. You can even go where the others cannot during the day. See the crypt where the bones of St. Mark are said to be kept. Plus, you can see the walls stained by the past floods that devastated Venice. The crypt used to be flooded every time high tide hit the city. The evening is also the best time to visit because it is the time of day that the mosaics are at their most beautiful. All 43,000 square feet are illuminated, glimmering and sparkling in the dark. Your guide is passionate about Venetian art and history. Hear the tale of how St. Mark’s became St. Mark’s, a story that pivots on a kidnapping and a dangerous sea voyage. Learn where the precious marbles decorating St. Mark’s come from in one 1-hour tour.

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What people are saying about Saint Mark's Basilica

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 27,325 reviews

Absolutely great! Our group ended up just being three people which was a bonus. Our tour guide was so lovely and knowledgeable about both places. She gave us enough time to take photos and take in all that had to be seen. Finding the meeting point was easy when following the map direction provided on the app. I typed in the address and it came up with something else which confused me for a moment. Highly recommend

Nico introduced us to the complex and interesting history of Venice in a nice, open and funny manner. He was very excited to show us around and could answer all of our culture- or history-related questions with ease and even gave me some thoughtful tips on how to spend the rest of my evening. 5/5 would book again! - Collin

This tour was excellent! Our guide, Marina, was amazing in every way. She was very pleasant, extremely knowledgeable and kept the tour moving along while allowing us to enjoy everything that we saw. Highly recommended.

Our guide Francesca was hilarious and very well informed about Venice. She really made the experience.

Marina was excellent! Is there any other tours that she does?