Venice ATTRACTIONS See all

Bridge of Sighs

Built in 1602, the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) connected the interrogation rooms in the Doges Palace with the prison cells. It got its name from the fact that prisoners passing across it sighed for their lost freedom and their final view of ... 

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DEBORAH D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Great tour. Enjoyed the chance to cross the Bridge of Sighs to and from the prison. As with all the other tours, on time and very efficient.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Ticket and Tour

Dr K A F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

I have been to the palace itself before but this tour showed us parts that we don't usually see and gave us a whole new insight as to how the Venice system of government worked. Also a real contrast to the sumptuous rooms of the main palace. The guide was really good and explained things well in excellent English. I would certainly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see the parts which are not in the guide book.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

gwen.dupre

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Great tour. Our tour guide was great -- VERY knowledgeable and very animated. I was much impressed with the Doge's Palace, as well as going over and thru the Bridge of Sighs which was under renovation last time I visited Venice - 6 years ago.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Ticket and Tour

Peter B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

We were recommended to take this tour by friends and very glad we did - it was excellent! The tour offers insights that you would never get by simply taking a walk through the Doge's palace. Staff were excellent - our guide Allesandra ? was pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful with questions. For future clients it may be useful to alert them when booking that the tour involves many stairs and moving through some confined spaces.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Judith H

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2016

The access to the palace was great and the tour was amazing, however, it was advertised as English speaking and the guide was very hard to understand. We just unplugged and enjoyed the sights.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

lalaswad2k

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2016

Bridge of sighs was very nice.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Crimmy N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Did this tour on the first day of my trip in Venice, it was absolutely worth the time and money. Maria, our tour coordinator was very patient and funny, and the interior of the palace is absolutely magical. Maybe it's just me, but just imagining the prisoners having their last glance at the city while walking pass the Bridge of Sigh was an incomparable experience.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Lorraine United Kingdom

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2016

The Doge's Palace itself is a wonderful sight and well worth a visit. Our guide was knowledgeable but the tour did seem quite rushed. Was not impressed with the guy taking the tickets before the start of the tour who didn't seem to understand the concept of the electronic voucher - he was quite arrogant and verging on rude - some customer service training required there ...

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Rena W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

An excellent tour providing an interesting insight into the history and workings of the Doge's Palace. Our guide was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. There are lots of stairs to climb so recommended only for those who are able?

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Anthony W

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2016

Interesting insight into the history of Venice.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Ashbeth I

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
July 2016

The beginning of this tour was very frustrating for us. No doubt, part of it was our fault. The tour meeting spot was under the clock tower in St. Mark's Square. We stood under the bell tower looking for someone, walked all around, and never saw anyone. We were twenty minutes early. So after about ten minutes, I called the phone number listed for the company only to find it out of order!! So I googled the company: same phone number. At this point, I got worried. Finally, my husband realized we were in the wrong place and we went to the clock tower and found a representative from the tour. He said, quite surly, You're late. We explained and I said, I called your number and it wasn't working. His response: It's not my number. Really?? So grumpily he gave us our headphones and walked us over to where our small tour group and guide were and we jumped into the tour.

The next problem was that the tour guide was very difficult to understand. After listening to her for a bit, I got used to her and could mainly understand her, but neither of my kids twelve and fifteen could. My husband mostly could. We've lived all over the world so it's not a ethnocentric thing. She just was hard to understand. Part of it, I think, was the crappy audiosystem. She was easier to understand if I was standing close to her without the earphone in.

The tour itself was fine. My kids detested it except the Bridge of Sighs as it seemed the other kids on the tour did. One of the other kids spent the entire time painting the Palace with his laser pointer. One of the adults barely paid attention, spending the tour taking selfies with her selfie stick. Was she bored? Who knows. Her kid was the laser pointer kid. Bored or not, the guide was clearly very knowledgeable. My husband, a major history buff, enjoyed the tour much more than the rest of us. And having taken the tour did make us appreciate our time at St. Mark's even more even the kids.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Sebastian F

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2016

Absolute waste of time. ;Secret rooms ; not very interesting to see and all the major sights of the Palazzo are on the regular tour anyway. The guide was nice and knowledgeable but she could barely be heard as the headset s signal was too weak to go through the walls. Save your money.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

chris T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

A great tour , with a very informative guide who made it interesting and at times funny.
It was very interesting to see the prison with the high light walking across the bridge of sighs.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Jacqueline B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Super knowledgeable tour guide on the particulars and history of the Palace and Venice. Entrance to Doge's Palace is ahead of official opening to the line that began wrapping around the entrance. Our group was a dozen or so people.
A look and historical information on the nuances of the palace and prisons. Free time after allows for actual going crossing within the Bridge of Sighs not part of the tour but part of your entrance ticket to the palace and absorbing the remainder of the huge property. As an FYI , this is more about the secrets not the well known portions - i.e. does not show/explain the Golden Staircase or some of the important parts of the palace itself.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

BeckyG

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Our guide, Marie Therese, was very good - informative but not in a dry way - she was a lot of fun. It was great to get to see the parts of the Palace which you wouldn't see ordinarily old prisons, Casanova's cells, administration rooms and also meant that we were able to skip the queue to get in. We arrived early at the meeting point which was very easy to find. We were given our audio bits and were then allowed into the palace to wait for the rest of the tour. It was a small group, around 15 of us, which was just right. After the tour we were able to look around the rest of the Palace at our leisure, walking over the Bridge of Sighs and seeing all the formal rooms and the new prison. My only complaint would be that the audio equipment did not work too well for some in the group, including my husband. We were told that it was brand new equipment that day but there was quite a lot of interference and picking up of other tours. However this did not detract from our enjoyment as being as it was such a small group the audio almost wasn't needed. Definitely recommend this if you have the time.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

sylvain a

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2016

The meeting point was far from the entrance of the Doges' Palace in a really busy corner of San Marco square and there was no sign or indication.
The visit itself was not extremely interesting. The guide was using a radio and in some parts of the tour for instance the bridge of sighs and the prison it was impossible to hear anything due to the thick walls and the fact that the group composed by around 30 people was walking in narrow corridors following one another.
Overall i would not recommend this tour.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Kathryn S

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
May 2016

The tour itself was good - you get to see the prisons including Casanova's cells within the palace itself. And the guide was great. However, that is all that is extra - our guide left us to our own devices once we had seen the prisons and essentially we were on our own after that to tour the palace, cross the bridge of sighs and see the prisons on the other side. The tickets which clearly stated Secret Itineraries Tour on them that our guide handed us to get in, cost 18 euros each. We paid Viator around 45 each for this tour! All we got for the 60 extra we paid was a shorter queue to get in and a tour of some prisons. Personally I think we were totally ripped off - again! this happened with the Parliament building in Budapest too. This was the last tour I will ever be booking with Viator - it is clearly much cheaper to do it yourself.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Tracy S

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2016

The meeting place was easy to find although there were so many people going in the tour it was a,little chaotic getting into the groups. You also had to stay close to your ,elder as travelling throghn a very busy St Marks Squsre it was easy to get lost. The Palace tour was good but our guide did not have English as his first language so he was a little hard to understand in places and the walked talkies we we're given to listen to from a distance were not that good, We walked across the Bridge of Sighs into the prison. Overall a very good tour.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Tom H

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

I skipped this tour the first time we were in Venice because the Bridge of Sighs was being renovated at the time, and off limits for tours. That made this a MUST SEE for me this second time around. I enjoyed the tour completely. While it focused on the administrative wing of the Doge's Palace as well as the prison, we were allowed to roam around on our own after the guided tour. Seeing the prison cells and learnng about the government of Venise at the time was interesting and brought a great deal of perspective. It was also very cool crossing the Bridge and seeing the very views of Venice that the condemmed were seeing for the last time. Well worth it!

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Cynthia A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Very knowledgeable guide with LOTS of patience and info. Took time to answer all the questions and gave great insight to this amazing place.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Ticket and Tour

Petra O

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2015

Our tour guide was very lively and knowledgeable. She gave us a great insight into the behind the scenes life of the palace.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

David W United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Very knowledgeable tour guide. Great insights into the meaning behind the art in the palace.

Doing what: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Lizziefive0

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2015

Very interesting facts learned on this tour but disappointed that we did not get to go over the Bridge of Sighs.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

JP C

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
July 2015

This was fair. The tour guide was enthusiastic. You do not need this tour to see the Bridge of Sighs.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Jeffrey C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

We had such a short time to explore Venice that we opted for a tour that would keep us out of long lines. It could also be accomplished in about 2 hours we had to leave for the airport about two hours after this tour ended in the morning. The tour was exactly what we had hoped for. We had great views of the beautiful Doge's Palace while also getting to explore areas the general public doesn't get to see--Casanova's prison cell, the work areas of the councils, and a tour of the prisons after crossing the Bridge of Sighs. What a delight to look through the bridge's grill to see tourists afar taking pictures of the bridge we were standing on.

As for the tour guide, she was a pure delight. She spoke excellent English we were either her first or second English tour, her sense of humor and drama enlivened the tour, and the small size of the tour helped us see and hear everything she wanted us to absorb. It was worth every penny!

Doing what: Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

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