Insider's Guide to Venice

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 137 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:Varies

Small-Group Tour: Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Water Taxi Ride

See the best of Venice by land and by sea while with this combo small-group tour. Cruise past the opulent palaces and churches that line the Grand Canal on a water taxi ride, and then disembark to explore some of the city’s lesser-known attractions by foot. For a grand finale, head to St Mark’s Square and enjoy skip-the-line access to the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica. Numbers are limited to 10 people to guarantee a personalized experience.

With an optional upgrade, tour the luxuriant public chambers and eerie Piombi attic prison of the Doge’s Palace on a 2-hour insider’s tour.

Highlights

  • Small-group Venice sightseeing tour by land and water
  • See top Venice sights along the Grand Canal on a 1-hour water taxi ride
  • Take a 2-hour walking tour, which includes Piazza San Marco and the Goldoni Theatre
  • Enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the Basilica di San Marco
  • Upgrade to include a 2-hour Doge's Palace tour, and see the Piombi attic prison (usually closed to the public)

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Tour: Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Water Taxi Ride

Piazza San Marco, Venice

Explore the highlights and hidden gems of Venice while enjoying the personalized attention of a small-group tour. Meet your local guide at a bridge near St Mark’s Square, and then hop aboard a comfortable water taxi for a 1-hour cruise of the Grand Canal. Admire the ornate palaces and churches that line this iconic waterway while learning about Venice’s history as a mighty maritime republic.

Step back on solid ground for a 1-hour walking tour of the city’s famous attractions and tucked-away treasures. Explore the charming squares of Campo San Luca and Campo SS Giovanni Paolo, and visit the former home of 13th-century explorer Marco Polo. Admire the stunning spiral Bovolo staircase, and stop in front of the Goldoni Theater, where well-heeled Venetians have been coming to enjoy opera for centuries.

Your guide will lead you to St Mark’s Square, where you can head to the front of the long queue at St Mark’s Basilica. Step inside this Italo-Byzantine masterpiece to marvel at the soaring golden domes, murals and intricate mosaics. Visit the Basilica’s second-level terrace for a sweeping perspective of St Mark’s Square below.

Upgrade to include a tour of the Doge's Palace:
Take a 2-hour tour of the magnificent Doge’s Palace and learn how the powerful doges ruled the Venetian Republic with an iron fist for centuries. Wander through opulent public rooms and ascend into the Piombi attic prison. This squalid cellblock beneath the palace roof once claimed the legendary Casanova as a captive and is seldom open to visitors.

Customer Reviews

kiamaria30

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Tour guide was great. The water taxi ride was better than the gondola ride.

Helen R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Tour guide was wonderful, tour maybe a tad too long but overall excellent

David I

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Really did enjoy this one!!!! One of the best tours we did in Venice. Enjoyable and interesting!
Best part was the hour on the water taxi. Definitely recommended!

Eric B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Our tour guide, Susan, was outstanding!! What knowledge of Venice and its history. The boat tour was the BEST way to see this lovely city. In the morning, we had also a wonderful tour of the Doge's Palace, conducted by a lovely and entertaining Italian guide. We basically saw the prisons and their history, and then finished up on our own. The artwork and beauty of the Palace is simply mind-boggling. We only had two days in Venice, so this tour was a great way to get to know the city. Bring your walking shoes, however!!!

John E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Rondove point was good and the tour was AOK.

Judith O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Fran, the guide, was clear, friendly, and competent. Both the canal ride and walking tour were just what we wanted. Saw the 2d tier of the basilica and walked through at a leisurely pace along with the commentary. The walk through the back streets was something I would not have ventured on my own! Great tour!

Kenneth D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This tour was well worth it. Guide was great...very knowledgeable. More activities than expected.

David G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We only wished we could have started our visit with this tour. Besides introducing us to the main sights of Venice, we spent a great deal of the time away from the crowds. There is much to see away from the maddening crowds. The taxi ride was also a great way to learn the layout of the city

C S Netherlands

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This is the one tour you should take if you do not have much time. Highlights are the awesome San Marco Basilica and the Water taxi tour. You will skip the very very long line when visiting the San Marco Basilica. The water taxi tour trough the canals, will give you an excellent impression of Venice. The guide - Celica ? - is very friendly and knowledgeable.

Paul S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Outstanding guides.

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Tour code: 3731VENICESMALL

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