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, Venice: 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: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

2. 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: 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: 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: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

5. 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.

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

6. 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: Half-Day Trip to Murano and Burano

7. Venice: Half-Day Trip to Murano and Burano

Climb aboard a comfortable motorboat for a half-day trip around the Venetian islands of Murano and Burano, and discover a more local and authentic side to Venice. Depart from a pier close to St. Mark’s Square for a convenient crossing to Murano. Cross the lagoon to the “Island of Glass” as you hear fascinating stories about the city. On landing, go to one of the famous glass factories to see how the colorful glass ware is blown. Alternatively, stroll the quiet streets of the island at leisure. Continue to Burano to discover one of Venice Lagoon’s most picturesque islands. See the major sights, learn about the history of the island, before spending some free time wandering around the chocolate box houses. Admire the bright colors of the fishermen’s island and visit a typical lace museum.

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

8. 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

St. Mark's Basilica: Tour with Terrace Access

9. St. Mark's Basilica: Tour with Terrace Access

Join a guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with skip-the-line access. Marvel at the basilica’s golden interiors and Byzantine art before heading up to the terraces to admire panoramic views of Venice.  After meeting your guide, 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 with the help of your guide's knowledge. Witness the beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you explore the basilica, listen as your guide tells you the fascinating history and the special features of this architectural wonder. Lastly, go up to the basilica’s terrace and take in stunning views of the lively St. Mark’s Square — the former political and religious center of the Republic of Venice — and its surrounding monuments.

Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Piazza San Marco

Want to discover all there is to do in Piazza San Marco? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Piazza San Marco, Venice

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 36,640 reviews

Excellent half-day out, English speaking hosts and very clear instructions during the trip to both islands. The only thing that we had to watch out for was the meeting point - there was no-one there at the specified time, but it was only 100 yards from the boat and easy to spot. There is an hour on each island, plenty of time to see around the area and pick up some souvenirs. Would definitely recommend.

We enjoyed our gondola ride very much… we got the shared ride so 2others were with us but it was fine bc the gondolas are pretty big …. Great pics along the canals ….

We got into the palace immediately and it was very impressive and interesting. Some parts were closed but we were able to see a lot and continue on our day.

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

Outstanding service and experience. 5 stars for this, and I highly recommend it.