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.


  • 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


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

This was a very good tour and as described. It was two hour tour and covered a lot of ground in that time. Our tour guide Gina was informative, congenial and a pleasure.

Kim United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Though this was a short tour it did not disappoint. We quickly skipped the very long line to enter St. Mark's Basilica and the guide was very knowledgeable and animated and brought the history of the venue to life. After leaving the Basilica we took a walk through some of the streets of Venice. Because of our travel schedule we took this tour on our last day in Venice and were worried that the walking tour would be redundant but we were pleasantly surprised at how much we learned. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone heading to Venice.

Dwight B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Francesca was excellent. This tour is well worth the money. The tour starts at the Royal Gardens as described in VIATOR's information how ever the Royal Gardens show up under various names on different maps. VIATOR's directions from the vapporretto stop were excellent.

Marjorie B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Our tour guide Maria was Excellent her passion for Venice showed through, and everyone would have come away knowing a lot more of this wonderful place.
Anne and Keith

Peter S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

A great morning seeing the main attractions in Venice with an extremely informative guide. Great value for money.

Shivaji S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

We had a wonderful guide who made the walking tour instructive as well as amusing . If this is the kind of guides you have I would recommend your tour wholeheartedly .

Salvatore D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

great tour, highly recommended. wish we were still in venice

Brandolyn R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Informative and worth it.

Erlina K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

What we like most about this tour is that we learned more about Venice from local perspective. The people, how it started, etc. It's not just sightseeing. Well worth the time and money :

David H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Excellent trip with a guide who was both enthusiastic and knowledgable , very worthwhile

From USD $ 28.28

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