4 star rating: Recommended 894 Reviews

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  • Location: Venice, Italy
  • Duration:  2 hours (approx.)
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 September 2015

Great value to skip some really serious queues and an opportunity to see Venice slightly away from the crowds.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Really enjoyed this tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and what was very helpful was that, on a very, very hot day in Venice, she made sure we were in the shade as much as possible.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

We took this tour on July 22nd as part of our Honeymoon. We only had 2 nights/1 full day in Venice so wanted to make the most of it! Gina was our guide and she was absolutely fantastic! Gina has lived in Venice her whole life so was able to give us a really good insight in to what life is like now and back when she was a child. Gina was enthusiastic, funny, knowledgeable, engaging, spoke perfect English and even took time to walk my husband and I to a local pizza bar which was hidden in the backstreets after the tour ended. This was the best pizza we had on the whole trip in Italy. Highly recommend this!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This was a very enjoyable tour. The guide spoke perfect English and took time to answer questions along the tour. The skip the line entry was very easy and highly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Barbara did a fantastic job of entertaining us and giving us a great tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Excellent experience!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Well worth it - very good information - skipping the line is always good! Guide very interesting.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Although it was incredibly hot the tour guide did a terrific job of covering off the highlights. She was very knowledgeable. We all learned some fascinating facts about Venice, the city she clearly loved. I would highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

A brilliant tour with a funny and extremely knowledgable tour guide who was borne and raised in Venice.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Great tour. Our tour guide was Andrea. He was very thorough and gave us lots of interesting information about the sites we've seen on the tour and Venice in general. One of the best tour guides we had during our 12 days Italy trip.

From USD $ 28.54

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Tour code: 2635WV


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