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St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) is filled with centuries of history and is still the symbolic heart of Venice; it has even been referred to as the drawing room of Europe. With the grand St Mark's Church at one end, the Campanile bell tower ... 

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4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

good guide and great start in the square but ran out of steam a little as we walked through the back streets......would like to have focused on the landmarks

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

As with all our Viator tours during our 2 week vacation to Italy, this one excellent. Our tour guide (a young man whose name we did not get), did an excellent job describing the history of Venice and St. Mark's Square and Cathedral. Having grown up in Venice he was able to provide a personal touch to the city as we walked from St. Mark's Square through the back alleys to the Rialto Bridge. Good weather made this a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Another great tour. The water was up in St Mark's Square at our appointed time but our tour guide changed the order of this walking tour until the water went down. Since we had lots of time and our tour of the Basilica was last we, in hind site, wish we had used Rick Steve's mp3 tour inside of Saint Mark's as it is hard for the tour guides to really do it up right inside these churches. I would recommend this tour.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

St Marks Square was very busy and hot so it was great to go straight in. Our guide was good but he was competing with many other guides and a choir! We were disappointed that upstairs was not part of the tour.It was worth the money to skip the line.

Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour

Michelle E
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

Great way to gain a good look at the touristy stuff in St Marks /Square etc. good info, well organised, good tour.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
October 2013

The Grand Canal taxi ride was informative. The day was rainy so getting out of the rain was preferable. By the time we started the walking portion of the tour, the rain had stopped. We changed tour guides and while the walking tour guide was friendly and informative after we left the basilica, we did not see the "highlights" of Venice. We visited small out-of-the-way places, not even the Rialto bridge or an explanation of St. Mark's square.

Doing what: Venice Shore Excursion: Small-Group Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Taxi Ride

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2013

Wonderful! Highly recommend "skip the line" everywhere you travel. We would have waited over two hours had we not purchased this. St. Mark's is beautiful, the water was rising as we stood and waited to go in, they had to put up little wooden bridges. Came out to children playing in the square like it was a swimming pool! Only in Venice. Great tour!

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2013

The best way to visit the Basilica. The guide was quite knowledgeable allowing people to ask questions as we walked across the square. Easy entrance into St. Mark's allowed us to spend our time inside this breathtaking basilica taking its special features with greater understanding. The hour flew by!

Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2013

We had two guides, one in the Grand Canal water taxi ride and tour and one for the walking tour. The taxi/Grand Canal tour was a great way to see the city and surrounding water ways from inside a boat. We enjoyed all the features and many places we saw. After completion we broke into small groups and went on our tour of St. Mark's and the walking tour. This was wonderful and our guide was very knowledgeable and gave great insight into the history of St. Mark's and plenty of time to look around and soak up the beautiful setting. It was very hot and she did an excellent job of getting us into the rare shade for updates and we walked right in past the long line. After the wonderful tour of St. Mark's we took a back road tour of Venice. Within two or three turns she had us in cooler, less crowded but very historical squares and sights. Within the provided time she delivered us to the main bridge, with the crowds and tips for quick ways back or what to do's. Wonderful end to our 20 day adventure through the Mediterranean. Highly recommend.

Doing what: Venice Shore Excursion: Small-Group Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Taxi Ride

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2013

Maria, our tour guide, made the walk interesting and easy to follow. We were guided to St. Mark's Square and into the Basilica (without having to wait in the long line), Beautiful. We were then taken along the side streets pointing out buildings and historical facts of interest, ending the tour at the Rialto Bridge. One last comment, if you book this tour (or any other!!) during July / August, take with you a bottle of water and something to cover your head from the sun. It is really hot!!!

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2013

It got off to a poor start by the organiser moaning about people not reading the small print about bags - a couple of people in the group had to go to the depository to drop off bags, they made a fuss of allowing me to take my bag as it had medical supplies, but then allowed other women to take huge handbags without saying anything at all. The small print about dress code was ignored though - more than half the group were in shorts and at least a couple of the women had bare shoulders, annoying as we'd made the effort to dress according to their code. The "Highlights of St Mark's Square" bit was standing around pointing out a few bits and pieces and repeating information that anyone who's planning a trip to Venice would already know. Bit of a cheek to add an extra 3 Euros per person to see an extra bit in the Basillica (especially as the church only charges 2 Euros per person); when you book a tour, you expect it to include all costs on the itinerary. Missed out the horses gallery and balcony which was disappointing. Spent ages staring at the gold picture despite it being pretty self explanatory and then flew through the rest of the Basillica so fast that we couldn't keep up with the guide or hear what she was saying. Despite the "skip the queue" access to the Basillica, we still spent more time queueing than actually looking at the Basillica.

Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

This was a wonderfully relaxing evening walking through the quiet side streets of Venice that so many tourists never see! What a shame as Venice is more than St. Marks Square and the Rialto! Tour made us look for the unusual sights of Venice and the chance to see the people of Venice going about their daily life. We had a wonderful meal the guide recommended at a local Trattoria afterwards with only the locals! What a meal!!!.

Doing what: Venice Photography Walking Tour: Twilight Sunset Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2013

This was a wonderful way to explore the streets and back alleys of Venice. Do it early in your trip and you will feel more confidant to walk around and get off the beaten path. The signs are pretty good to get you back to San Marco Square, so explore! The skip the Line at the Basilica was great and it was very helpful to have a guide with audio in your ear to understand more about what we were seeing. This tour helped us understand the history and then the additional 2 days, we were more in tune with what we were seeing and how to get around Venice.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2013

We did 8 Viator tours during our trip and this one was the worst. If I could have given it zero stars I would have. It was supposed to be an hour long tour from 11:15-12:15. We didn't start till almost 11:30 and it was over at 11:55. Our guide was terrible, he spoke softly and too fast. Even with the single earbud they provided with the volume turned up full blast we could barely hear him. The description promised "The tour focuses on grandeur of St. Mark's Square in Venice with external visits of the square, Doge's Palace, the Sansovino library, the Bell Tower, the incredible legends of the Clock Tower." We did no external visits of these places and the guide didn't even mention them. He only told about the inside of St. Mark's Basilica. Very disappointing and a huge waste of money.

Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour

Calum McLean
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

As a first time visitor I was looking for a tour to provide me with a background and some history of Venice. This tour fitted the bill absolutely perfectly.

The tour was split in two elements, first of all an hour boat trip on a taxi boat around the north part of the island and Grand Canal. Our guide Christina, for this section was engaging and very informative.

The second part of the tour was a two hour walking section lead by Barbara; a detailed description of the square and St Marks Basilica was provided, inside the basilica we were taken upstairs to the balcony area to see the piazza in all its glory. After the basilica we were taken on a walk up to the Rialto area. Along the way were provided with a commentary on all the important and interesting buildings and how Venice has changed over the centuries.

I have joined other tours managed by Dark Rome (as this one is) and found their guides to be extremely informative, as mentioned above, both guides were excellent and really helped make this a fantastic tour.

Doing what: Small-Group Tour: Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Water Taxi Ride

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