Insider's Guide to Venice

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Tour code: 2635WV
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.

Highlights

  • 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

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

Steven C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our guide was wonderful. We took the tour on an exceptionally hot day. She was careful to keep us in the shade as much as possible. We were very glad we took the tour.

K T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Really informative and interesting

Debra B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Great tour. Guide very informative. Would recommend

Marsha S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Enjoyed the tour very much.

Pollyelpers

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Lots of information! Great fun!

katscox

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent walking tour and our guide Merco was great. He was very informative and answered all our questions. He had interesting anecdotes doubt Venice and particularly St. Mark's. I learned a lot about the Basilica itself and it's history. We were not bored for one minute. Highly recommend this tour but be prepared, it says a lot of walking and it is, and so worth it!

amandaboswell

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Very informative tour about the city and the church. I enjoyed it and would recommend.

Jacqueline O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our tour guide gave us a very good review of St Mark's from outside. We went in for a short time which was fine because it was so crowded. The best part of the tour was the walk around the neighborhoods surrounding St Mark's Square where we learned a great deal about what it is like to live in Venice.

Jerry J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent.

Helen D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was a fantastic tour and Barbra was an excellent guide.

From USD $ 28.12

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