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Piazza San Marco

Linger at one of its many outdoor cafes with views of St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace.

Piazza San Marco: 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: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

2. Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

Feel the essence of Venice as you explore hidden and picturesque waterways near the Grand Canal with a gondola ride. Listen to in-app commentary to learn more about the city as you admire the sights. Start your activity by meeting the host, who will explain some curiosities about the history of gondolas and gondoliers. Get free access to an app with commentary of your itinerary on the gondola. As you enjoy the beauties of the Grand Canal, admire the marvelous Palaces such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, the Gritti Palace, the Salute Church, the Punta della Dogana. Discover the worldwide-famous La Fenice Theatre and the Mozart House along the romantic and hidden waterways. At the end of your ride, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Saint Mark’s Basin with San Giorgio Island.

Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

3. Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

Visit the Doge's Palace, an important historic landmark that served as the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Skip the ticket line with to explore the seat of a 1,000-year republic, you’ll travel back in time to the Middle Ages. Marvel at the rich details of the magnificent gold staircase and spectacular works of art. Relive the anguish of the prisoners as they crossed the famous Bridge of Sighs. 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.

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

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

5. 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

6. 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: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

7. 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.

Hidden Venice: Unusual Walking Tour

8. Hidden Venice: Unusual Walking Tour

Get off the beaten path of Venice, away from the crowds. With a guide, explore the heart of Venice, including lesser-known areas, rich with history such as the Rialto Bridge. Visit the labyrinth of “calli” and “campi” (narrow Venetian streets and squares) and find hidden architectural gems such as Marco Polo's House, a building believed to be the home of the famous explorer, marked by a white plaque and now used as a theater. Continue to the Fenix Theatre, where Giuseppe Verdi and many other great composers performed their masterpieces. Pass through St. Mark's Square with its stunning monuments as well as Doge's Palace, Basilica, and many other historic buildings. Choose an optional gondola ride and discover the canals of Venice. During your gondola ride, admire Venice's highlights, such as the Mozart House, the Fenice Opera House, the Grand Canal, and more. You will end the tour at Piazza San Marco.

Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

9. Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

Board an authentic gondola and take a romantic journey along the Canal Grande in Venice. See the historic sights along the shoreline as you glide down the canal. Set off from the departure point and admire marvelous palaces, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute. Explore the secret waterways of Venice and soak up the city's atmosphere with your friends or your beloved. Travel by gondola close to St. Mark's Square, Fenice Opera House, Punta della Dogana and many other charming palaces. Pass under a small bridge as you discover the hidden spots reachable only by gondola. Enjoy commentary on your mobile app as you discover the stories and secrets of the city.

From Pula: Venice Boat Trip with Day or One-Way Option

10. From Pula: Venice Boat Trip with Day or One-Way Option

Take an unforgettable sailing trip across the Adriatic Sea, and spend the day in Venice at your own pace on a full-day excursion from Pula. Choose between a one-way or roundtrip transfer between Pula and Venice. Upon arrival, experience the romantic and historic ambiance of a city, where 118 islands and 150 channels are connected by 400 bridges. During the Venice introduction, you will also be offered some optional products such as a gondola ride, taxi boat ride, lunch, and more. Board your boat in Pula and relax aboard the catamaran with a cup of coffee and freshly baked croissants as you set sail. Glide into the lagoon for an estimated arrival time in Venice. Then disappear down the back streets to encounter romantic bridges and hidden squares at your own pace. Marvel at the Byzantine monuments of the Piazza San Marco, or enjoy a truly authentic experience and explore the canals by gondola. Find a nice restaurant to sample the delicious food of Italy. Depart for Pula at the end of your day in Venice, and get a last look at the city built on the water as you head back towards Croatia. Arrive back in Pula, and continue with your evening at leisure.

Available activities

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Water activities
  • Day trips
  • Private tours
  • Other experiences
  • Workshops & classes
  • Bundles
  • Multi-day trips
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Transfers
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Other Sightseeing Options in Piazza San Marco

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What people are saying about Piazza San Marco

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 39,412 reviews

The walking tour was around ~30min and was informative. The guide was very friendly and accommodating to both English and Spanish speakers in the group. The gondola ride was, despite other reviewer's experiences, a full 30 minutes! The gondolier was friendly and it was entertaining to hear him banter with the other gondoliers in the canals. However, you won't be getting the gondola to yourself (we shared with a Spanish couple). Overall, extremely worth it for its price.

It was punctual. It was in Italian and English. We had audiophones to hear our guide well. Very nice Gondola ride. Totally recommend.

Thank you! Skip the line is always a time saver. Would recommend!

Claire was a fantastic guide, knowledgable, funny and passionate.

Skip the line is always a time saver! Would recommend.