Insider's Guide to Venice

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 385 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:Standard Tour: approx. 1.5h/2hTour plus Doge's Palace: approx. 3.5 hours

Skip the Line: Best of Venice Walking Tour including Basilica di San Marco

Explore the most famous sites in Venice with an insider guide on this 2-hour walking tour. Learn the history of iconic attractions around St Mark’s Square, and explore the commercial heart of this ancient city as you walk across the Rialto Bridge. Head to the front of the long line at St Mark’s Basilica to admire the cathedral’s glittering gold splendor without the wait.

Two optional upgrades include a small-group tour with a water taxi ride along the Grand Canal and a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace at St Mark’s Square.


  • 2-hour walking tour of Venice's top attractions
  • Discover St Mark's Square, Rialto Bridge and the former house of Marco Polo
  • Skip the long lines at St Mark's Basilica with fast-track entrance
  • Tour St Mark's Basilica and its terraces, where you'll see views of St Mark's Square below
  • Upgrade to include a Doge's Palace tour with your expert guide

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Best of Venice Walking Tour including Basilica di San Marco

See Rialto Bridge on a walking tour of Venice!

For an excellent introduction to Venice, spend 2 hours exploring its most iconic attractions with an expert guide. Your walking tour begins at the famous Rialto Bridge, which spans the Grand Canal. The oldest bridge in Venice, the Rialto marks the historic and current commercial hub of the city and is bustling with shops and markets.

Wander away from the crowds to explore hidden gems and unique architecture. Stroll around the squares of Campo San Luca and Campo SS Giovanni Paolo, and stop at the former home of the medieval merchant explorer Marco Polo.

Make your way to St Mark’s Square for a guided overview of its world-famous attractions. At the glorious, Italo-Byzantine St Mark’s Basilica, skip the long line and head straight inside. Admire the cathedral’s soaring, gilded domes, and enjoy a unique view of St Mark’s Square from the basilica’s upper terraces.

Upgrade to a small-group tour (3-hour duration, 2 pm start):
Enjoy a more personalized experience with a group of no more than 10 people. Start your tour with a 1-hour water taxi ride along Venice’s Grand Canal, and visit the famous Goldoni Theater and Bovolo staircase in addition to all the sights on the standard tour.

Upgrade to include a tour of Doge's Palace:
For inside look at the remarkable Doge’s Palace, upgrade to include a 1.5-hour guided tour. Skip the line and explore the palace’s lavish public rooms decorated with masterpieces of Renaissance painting, including famous frescos by Veronese and Tintoretto. Hear stories of the trials, treachery and espionage that took place within the palace walls, and walk across the tragically named Bridge of Sighs, where captives entered the palace’s notorious prison network.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This tour included two of Venice's most notable and famous structures, the Basilica and Doge's Palace on the Piazza San Marco but started near the Rialto Bridge. Unfortunately for us, that was undergoing some renovation, we were told, and we didn't go by it. But we did go to a landing nearby on the Grand Canal and saw a lot that was so interesting if not well known in between there and the featured sites. The guide, Susan, said she had lived in Venice for something like 20 years and if there is something about it that she doesn't know, I'd be surprised. Appropriating the cliché, she bubbled over with enthusiasm, sharing so much on what makes Venice the special place that it is, making the tour especially enjoyable as well as informative.

Dawne B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Very knowledgeable tour guide. Friendly and patient. Basilica tour allowed us to skip the long lineups so that in itself was worth the tour!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Venice has always been 1 on my bucket list and this tour did not disappoint. Our guide, Mirco was fabulous. The fact that he is a native Venetian only made it that much better. His knowledge and the beauty of this city makes the tour a MUST DO.

Stephen Philip H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Excellent tour with an excellent guide !

booker p

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Frederica was fabulous

Lisa G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Susan was so perfect. Loved her stories.

Laurie A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent, informative, and seeing the Basilica was a highlight!

Jana S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

My whole family went on this tour; two adults and two teenage children. We all enjoyed it. Our guide was articulate and extremely enthusiastic. We learned a lot and had a great time. Our guide even timed our visit to the viewing platform of the basilica in such a way that we could see the clock operate when the hour changed.
We would highly recommend this tour for all visitors.

Dave H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

It was great! the guide again is very knowledgeable.

Andrew C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I did review this tour with the English tour guide Kathleen believe that was her name. Please check your files.

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Tour code: 3731VENICEHALF


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