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Pala d'Oro

Pala d'Oro: Our most recommended tours and activities

Saint Mark's Basilica Skip-the-line Ticket and Audio Guide

1. Saint Mark's Basilica Skip-the-line Ticket 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: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

2. 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.

Saint Mark's and Doge's Palace: VIP After Hours Tour

3. Saint Mark's and Doge's Palace: VIP After Hours Tour

Enjoy exclusive, after-hours access into one of the most prestigious landmarks of Venice, the incredible Saint Mark's Basilica, preceded by a thorough and enchanted tour of the Doge's Palace, all in a semi-private group. Meet your guide in one of Italy’s most famous piazzas – St Mark’s Square – noted for its charming, Italian-Gothic beauty, just off the shores of the canal. Head to the Doge’s Palace and learn about the amazing color-changing facade of the Doge’s Palace and why it changes color from day to night. Go to the famous Bridge of Sighs, the last sight for prisoners on their march towards imprisonment. Make your way to Saint Mark's Basilica, the gates of which will have already closed for all other visitors, but will reopen exclusively for you. Admire the Pala D’oro ancient altarpiece up close, an act that is seemingly impossible during hurried daytime crowds. See the crypts where noble Venetians have been laid to rest. Be completely alone in the basilica for the portion of your tour – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Venice: St. Mark's Basilica, Doge Palace, and Gondola Ride

4. Venice: St. Mark's Basilica, Doge Palace, and Gondola Ride

Venice is a city packed with unique history and culture, but if you only have a short amount of time to experience it, then the best way is through our Venice in a Day Tour. Your day starts early, near the Rialto Bridge, where you'll learn how the city literally grew from the mud of the lagoon. You'll learn to identify the ways that its sea-borne origins have influenced history and culture. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than at the bustling Rialto Fish Market, where you'll see professional chefs mixing with home cooks, competing for some of the freshest fish you'll ever see. From there you'll stroll through the backstreets of Venice, passing quiet piazzas and picturesque bridges, occasionally stopping at landmarks like the childhood home of Marco Polo, or popping into churches, like San Giovanni Gristosomo, to see paintings by Venetian masters Bellini and Sebastiano del Piombo. Along the way, your guide will regale you with local history and lore to give you a feel for how Venice has evolved, and how this centuries-old society has survived for so long. If you really want to see how the locals live, you have to hop on a boat. That's why this tour includes a 30-minute gondola ride that takes you through both busy thoroughfares and quieter, residential canals. In this way, you can see Venice the way it was meant to be seen - from the water. After a break for lunch, during which your guide will give you recommendations on where to eat, you'll meet again in St. Mark's Square and stroll into St. Mark's Basilica with pre-reserved, skip-the-line tickets. This enormous church is one of the most unique and awe-inspiring in Italy. As you explore it, your guide will explain how a Byzantine-style building came to be Venice's greatest landmark, while pointing out some of the more unique stories featured in the golden mosaics that cover the ceilings. Finally, you'll hop across St. Mark's Square to the Doge's Palace, which was once the political nerve center for an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean and into Asia. It was in this building that the Doge, or Duke of Venice lived and where he lorded over an empire of immense wealth, but almost no actual land. This wealth is on display all through the palace in ornate decorations, and beautiful paintings by Venetian masters like Veronese and Bellini. You'll also get to see parts of the palace that weren't as nice, like the prisons, and the inside of the Bridge of Sighs. With a small group of 18 people or fewer, and a passionate local guide to give you the background on what you're seeing and answer all your questions, this is a terrific way to pack a lot of sightseeing into a small amount of time, and see a side of Venice that most visitors miss.

Venice: Private Evening Walk with Saint Mark's After Hours

5. Venice: Private Evening Walk with Saint Mark's After Hours

Experience a 2.5-hour guided tour through the beautiful streets of Venice just as darkness falls. Get an insight into the many famous landmarks from your local guide and enter Saint Mark's Basilica on an after-hours exclusive visit. Stroll through the charming back streets in the company of your very own private professional guide, and witness the city's enchanting atmosphere. Get local insider tips and discover hidden gems with your guide. See the stunning Campo San Giacomo and awe at the beautiful Ponte di Rialto, as you make your way to Saint Mark's Basilica. Culminate the night with a truly incredible experience - exploring Saint Mark's Basilica after it has closed to the general public and its doors are exclusively re-opened just for you. Enjoy the Basilica all to yourself, with no crowds or lines. Get up close to the Pala d’Oro, impossible to do by day. Descend into the crypt where Saint Mark himself is laid to rest, and marvel at the 85,000 square feet of golden mosaics entirely covering the basilica's interior. Watch the mosaics come to life in a stunning light show.

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

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

Avoid the long lines and discover 2 of Venice’s most important treasures on this walking tour. Meet your guide at Doge’s Palace and walk straight past the long lines of tourists. Walk through what used to be the home of the Dukes of Venice and learn more about this symbol of the city from your guide’s detailed commentary as you admire the numerous Renaissance frescoes located in the building.   Continue your visit to St Mark’s Basilica, where you will once again skip the lines of tourists. Admire the church’s famous gold mosaics and listen to your guide as they explain the meaning of each of these mosaics.   Finally, enjoy a 1-hour walking tour of Venice’s most important locations, learning more about its exotic history and transformation throughout the years as you stroll through its picturesque canals.

Classic Venice: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Basilica Entry

7. Classic Venice: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Basilica Entry

Take a walking tour with a professional private guide to explore one of the most celebrated piazzas in the world. St. Mark’s Square is surrounded on 3 sides by magnificent structures such as the 15th-century Clock Tower, the Procuratie Vecchie, Procuratie Nuove and Ala Napoleonica. On the fourth side stands the outstanding St. Mark’s Basilica, with its Clock Tower rising above the open area known as the Mercerie. Your guide will tell you about the history and architectural styles of the Clock Tower, the Bell Tower, the Correr Museum and the Bridge of Sighs. St. Mark’s Bell Tower is the highest structure in Venice. Originally built in the 9th century, it has been rebuilt several times since. It unexpectedly crashed to the ground in 1902 and was rebuilt following the original design, incorporating the ancient bells. The Bridge of Sighs connects the Palazzo delle Prigioni and Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace. It is called the Bridge of Sighs because in times past, convicts were forced to enter prison through this bridge. According to the legend when they had their last glimpse of Venice they would let out a sigh. Visit the interior of St. Mark's Basilica to admire its many treasures, including the Pala d’Oro, the statues, amazing glass and carvings.

Venice: Guided Walking Tour with Interactive Video

8. Venice: Guided Walking Tour with Interactive Video

With our interactive map you will be able to move from one point to another in the historic center without time constraints: only you will decide what to see and when. Our private local guide will accompany you, through your smartphone, for the entire tour, providing you with all the curiosities, anecdotes and useful tips to experience the city at its best. You will be able to start your tour at the time you want and choose the monuments of your interest included in the itinerary, moving between stops without ever getting lost thanks to our geolocated directions. Unmissable stops will be the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark's Square, one of the most beautiful places in the world, with the stunning Basilica, the Doge's Palace, home of the doges, the Campanile, from the top of which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of water, the Clock Tower. But if you really want to discover all the wonders of Venice's historic center, choose this unmissable Interactive Tour: art, bridges, canals and gondolas will make your eyes sparkle.

Venice: Murano, Burano, and Torcello Island

9. Venice: Murano, Burano, and Torcello Island

Our itinerary offers a complete change of pace in Venice as we embark on a thrilling private boat ride out to three beautiful and unspoiled islands immersed in the Venetian lagoon where artisan crafts and ancient traditions are the order of the day – Murano, Burano and Torcello. The islands conserve another side of Venice’s past and present where time seems to stand still and centuries-old traditions of craftsmanship that have been passed down the centuries live on today. Join us to discover the world’s greatest and most historic centre of artisan glassmaking on Murano, Burano’s gorgeous patchwork of brightly coloured houses and fishermen’s huts, and the mysterious origins of Venetian civilization on isolated Torcello. Visiting the islands in the company of one of our expert local guides and with the comfort of a private water taxi at your disposal, this is the perfect way to experience the marvels of the Venetian lagoon!

Venice: St. Marks Tour with Treasure, Terrace, & Pala d'Oro

10. Venice: St. Marks Tour with Treasure, Terrace, & Pala d'Oro

Your guide will meet you in Saint Mark's square, from where you will walk your way to your skip-the-line entrance at the cathedral. Once inside this Golden Basilica, your guide with explain to you some famous facts about the incredible golden mosaics and the masterpieces of Byzantine arts by which you will be awed. Byzantine art is a unique form of art in Italy, and mosaics are found in the church’s atrium where you’ll have the pleasure to savor beautiful gold mosaics and marble inlays of the floors. As your peruse the works, your guide will show you the represented biblical scenes from the Old Testaments, the history, and the particularities of this ancient basilica. Your guide will also point out a treasury view which is a splendor of religious art from various the centuries. Here you’ll admire the altarpiece of Pala d’Oro, an exquisite example of Byzantine art with its thousands of gems and precious stones. As you feast your eyes with treasures, your guide will narrate the history of this Byzantine artwork and the stories behind it. Later, your guide will escort you to the most interesting parts of the cathedral, to the Museum of St Marks. There you’ll have the opportunity to observe the Bacoòoaas’c ceiling and mosaics up close, and will also have the chance to see the most impressive and magnificent original sculpture of the Horses of St Mark. These gold-plated bronze horses were originally in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, and you will be able to listen to the stories and history of the artwork and of how it was pillaged during the Fourth Crusade.

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What people are saying about Pala d'Oro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 14,275 reviews

everything as described, it helps to deal with it beforehand WHERE the tickets have to be picked up and WHICH entrance is used - but everything is specified exactly. The app could have been a bit more detailed and is installed on site, but we were offered direct help from both the pick-up point and official tourist guides.

Our guide was very knowledgeable on the history of the palace and basilica, taking the time to answer all question.

with the reservation I have not made the kilometric queue that was there today

Useful and good English audio guide downloaded via app to the phone

Wonderful guide, wonderful uncrowded, mysterious atmosphere