Insider's Guide to Venice

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4 star rating: Recommended 940 Reviews

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

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

Discover the awe-inspiring St Mark’s Basilica in Venice without the headache of long lines. Head to the front of the queue with your expert guide and step inside to admire the cathedral’s glittering gold mosaics and soaring, embellished domes. Explore other architectural highlights of St Mark’s Square and learn about Venice’s history as a seafaring superpower and Italian cultural capital. On this 2-hour walking tour, you’ll also escape to quieter backstreets to visit lesser-known attractions and gain insight into daily Venetian life.


  • 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

Get an insider’s perspective on the architectural wonders and historical legends of Venice. Meet your local guide near St Mark’s Square for an introduction to the cultural and political forces that made Venice a medieval maritime force. Walk around the square as you learn the layout and history of highlights including the Doge’s Palace and the iconic bell tower. 

Stop in front of St Mark’s Basilica to appreciate its ornate, Italo-Byzantine exterior. Skip the long line and head straight inside, where you’ll marvel at the cathedral’s soaring domed ceiling and ornate altars. Nearly every surface glitters with the work of generations of Venetian goldsmiths, and even the marble floors are works of art, with intricate inlaid mosaics.

Next, wander along Venice’s narrow canals and through picturesque squares to admire hidden gems like the Querini and Stampalia art museum (exterior only). Ogle the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of some of the city’s lesser-known palaces and learn about the daily lives of Venetian nobility. Visit the former home of Marco Polo and see other landmarks with ties to the famed 13th-century explorer. 

Your tour concludes at the bustling Rialto Bridge near the Grand Canal — an ideal spot to admire the wares of local artisans, grab an authentic bite at a local café, or continue exploring the city on your own. 

Please note: St Mark’s Basilica is occasionally closed to the public due to flooding or special events.

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Customer Reviews

Barry J G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Excellent, no problems at all. Many thanks. Will certainly use viator again.

Venice tours

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

the walking tour helped us find our way later as we walked around the city, up to Rialto bridge. Our guide was excellent.

Kaitlin H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Marco our tour guide was amazing! Very knowledgeable and most importantly hilarious. Best tour we have been on.

Monica M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The tour was just the right length and helped us get our bearings as much as you can!! in Venice. Our guide Marco was superb with both humorous and intelligent commentary on life in Venice from a millennia ago to today. We very much enjoyed the tour and felt it was money well spent to help illuminate the rest of our stay in Venice, and the rest of our Italy trip.

Lilia B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Excellent would recommend

Karyn N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Excellent tour. Marina was extremely knowledgeable and whimsical as she shared her love of Venice with us. Great info, delivery and pace. Definitely recommend!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The tour guide was exceptionally good. She was well informed but allowed comments to add detail to her presentation, when warranted. She was flexible and took questions of all sorts from her group but, at the same time, kept the tour on track time wise.

Jerry and Tina United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

The tour began on time and was very informative. Oscar, our tour guide was very knowledgeable of the Vatican and its history.

Marjoleine D. K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Very interesting tour, the guide was very enthousiastic and told us a lot about Venice and Basilica

Andreas T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015


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Tour code: 2635WV


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