4 star rating: Recommended 915 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:2 hours (approx.)

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

Skip the line at St Mark’s Basilica and explore St Mark’s Square and lesser-known Venice on this 2-hour walking tour. Stroll around St Mark’s Square as your guide explains its buildings and Venice’s history as a major maritime power during medieval times. Bypass the queues at St Mark’s Basilica to ogle its incredible interior, and delve into the quieter, less-visited side of Venice. Walk along small canals past palaces, squares and bridges; see where explorer Marco Polo once lived, and learn about daily life in the city past and present.


  • 2-hour walking tour of St Mark’s Square and lesser-known Venice, with skip-the-line entrance to St Mark’s Basilica
  • Enjoy fast-track entry to St Mark's Basilica to see its glittering mosaics and interior
  • Walk around St Mark’s Square and admire its stunning buildings and monuments
  • Explore the ‘hidden’ Venice of small canals, palaces and bridges often missed by visitors
  • See the Il Milione courtyards, named after Venetian explorer, Marco Polo, and the plaque marking the Polo family house
  • Learn about Venice’s rich history and its role as a major maritime power in the Middle Ages

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What You Can Expect

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

Discover the history of St Mark's Square on this fascinating walking tour

Choose from various departure times when you book. Then, when the time comes, start your skip-the-line walking tour near St Mark’s Square where your knowledgeable guide will introduce you to the history of Venice and its famous square — the city’s social, religious and political hub for centuries.

As you walk around, learn why the first Venetians settled on what were unpropitious marshy islands, and how, through its mercantile wealth, ‘La Serenissima’ as it was known grew to become one of the world’s mightiest maritime powers. Ogle the ornate architecture as your guide explains the buildings before you, and then admire the marbled exterior of St Mark’s Basilica.

Skip the lines at the entrance, and marvel at the opulent interior. Behold the gleaming mosaics and statues and learn why the Basilica is considered a masterpiece of Italian-Byzantine architecture.

Next, set off into the quieter, lesser-known Venice of small canal walkways and campi (squares), unseen by many visitors. See the Querini and Stampalia art museum (exterior only) and discover hidden squares, bridges and loggia-fronted Gothic and Renaissance palaces. Learn how the floors of the palaces had specific uses and hear stories about daily life in the city during the days of the Venetian Republic.

Visit the squares of Santa Maria Formosa and Santa Marina, and look round the Il Milione courtyards named after Marco Polo’s ‘Il Milione’, the Venetian explorer’s personal accounts of his far eastern travels. Wander onto the Marco Polo Bridge and see the stone plaque that marks what was once his family house.

After around two hours, walk back to the Grand Canal where your tour ends near the Rialto Bridge.

Please note: On rare occasions, St Mark’s Basilica is closed without notice due to religious festivities or high water in Venice.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Amazing what else can you say about Venice, must skip the line otherwise you will only see one thing a day.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Stefania was excellent, informative, and easy to understand. Very good orientation to Venice.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Very Informative. Guide was very nice and did a very good job at taking tour to some of the ordinary places in Venice as well as the special sites. Would definitely recommend this tour and the guide that I had. I don't remember her name, but she spoke English very well and was very helpful in helping me get back to my hotel so that I could get back to the water taxi and the train.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Worthwhile booking

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour..our guide Rosanna was very well informed and personable.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour guide was excellent. the walk through does get you into the basilica faster but just so you know, you are NOT able to take pictures or linger at all in the place itself. Some people were very disappointed with this rule, but it applied to all. The rest of the tour was very good also!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Really good trip with a pleasant experienced guide. Learnt so much we wouldn't have got to know on our own.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent guide really good to see everything in a short space of time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour. Marina was superb. Not only was she very knowledgeable but her delivery was excellent, so interesting with touches of humour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent tour guide

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Tour code: 2635WV


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