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St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) Tours

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St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is the crown jewel of Venice, one of the most sumptuous cities in the western world. This ornate cathedral blends elements of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Renaissance architecture—testimony to the city’s political and economic dominance that spanned centuries. Topped by soaring domes and with an interior of astonishing golden mosaics, the church is so opulent it is known as the Chiesa d’Oro, or the Golden Church. Construction began in 828, when the body of St. Mark was smuggled back to Venice from Alexandria; the church has been rebuilt, expanded, and delicately restored over the centuries. 

The Basics
St. Mark’s Basilica is the most famous monument in Venice and hosts millions of visitors each year, so there are often long lines to enter. To avoid the crowds and wait times, book a skip-the-line tour, or opt for an after-hours tour for private evening access. While the exterior is visited on just about every city sightseeing tour, a guided tour is the best way to experience the cathedral, given the complexity of its art and architecture. A private or small-group evening tour led by an expert tour guide offers a unique and intimate experience, and the basilica is located on St. Mark’s Square, so you can easily combine a basilica tour with a gondola ride and a Doge’s Palace tour.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Like most churches in Italy, St. Mark’s Basilica requires visitors to wear appropriate clothing—no exposed shoulders, knees, or midriffs.
  • Large bags are not permitted in the basilica. Deposit any luggage at Ateneo di San Basso (in Piazzetta dei Leoncini).

How to Get There
The cathedral is on the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent to the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) along the Grand Canal. The nearest vaporetto (ferry) stop is San Marco–San Zaccaria.

When to Get There
The basilica is most crowded at midday, so begin or end your Venice tour with a morning or late-afternoon visit. Summer is the most popular time of year to visit, while Venice is relatively quiet from November through February (aside from the Christmas and New Year holidays, and during Carnival).

The Pala d’Oro
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is famous for Michelangelo's “Pietà” and Florence’s Duomo is known for Brunelleschi’s dome, but St. Mark’s Basilica’s greatest treasure—the stunning Pala d'Oro—dates back centuries before either of those masterpieces. This glittering gold and enamel altarpiece from AD 976 is considered one of the most important, refined examples of Byzantine enamel in the world.


Address: Piazza San Marco, Venice 30124, Italy
Hours: Mon - Sat 9:45am-5:00pm, Sun and holidays 2pm-4:30pm
Admission: Free
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149 Tours and Activities to Experience St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

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Legendary Venice St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's PalaceHalf-day Tours

Legendary Venice St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

star-4.5
Delve into Venetian history on this tour that showcases two of the city's most iconic structures and sheds light on the stories behind them both. Enjoy skip-the-line access to both popular attractions. Your first stop is legendary St. Mark's Basilica. Wander around the mosaic-covered interior and Byzantine treasures while a local guide fills you in on how this collection came to be. Then continue to the Doge’s Palace to explore the former political heart of Venice.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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Best of Venice Tour with St Mark’s Basilica and Grand Canal Boat tour Day Cruises

Best of Venice Tour with St Mark’s Basilica and Grand Canal Boat tour

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See the best of Venice in a day on a tour that combines a guided walk with a cruise along the bustling Grand Canal. Hear the history of St. Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge from a guide, and visit St. Mark’s Basilica with a skip-the-line ticket to beat the long admission lines. Discover the tucked-away treasures of Venice’s backstreets and charming canals, and then finish on a high note: a water taxi cruise on the Grand Canal.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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St Mark's Basilica After-Hours Tour with Optional Doge's Palace VisitCultural Tours

St Mark's Basilica After-Hours Tour with Optional Doge's Palace Visit

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See the wonders of Venice's St. Mark's Basilica without the crowds during this after-hours, small-group tour. Learn about the basilica's famed mosaics from your guide and explore the crypt below the church to see where St. Mark's remains are said to lie. Upgrade to see the Doge's Palace after the basilica and wander the former home of the Venetian Republic's government.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes
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Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's BasilicaWalking Tours

Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

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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 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. You also escape to quieter backstreets to visit lesser-known attractions and gain insight into daily Venetian life.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica TourCultural Tours

Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica Tour

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Visit two of the most popular attractions in Venice on this guided tour of the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. Listen to your guide's commentary clearly with provided headsets and avoid hours-long queues with skip-the-line admission tickets. Entrance tickets to the Doge's Palace are also included for a hassle-free tour.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Skip the Line St. Mark's Basilica Guided TourFull-day Tours

Skip the Line St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

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See the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica with one of the most in-depth guided tours of the Byzantine jewel. Enjoy skip-the-line access to avoid the often-long queues outside the cathedral. Learn about the incredible history behind St. Mark's from a knowledgeable guide during this 1-hour tour. See the treasures inside the basilica, including the Golden Pall and the altar.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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St Mark's Basilica: Skip the Line and Exclusive Confortably SeatingAudio Guided Tours

St Mark's Basilica: Skip the Line and Exclusive Confortably Seating

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Rich with mosaics, Byzantine art, and architectural details, the St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica of San Marco) is a Venice masterpiece. With that much to see it’s easy to miss key points, but a guided visit ensures you cover the highlights—while learning the stories behind the artwork. On this tour, you'll settle into a comfortable seat as the guide points out Biblical scenes, the Pala d’Oro, the Treasury, and more.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Venice Skip the Line St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace Private TourLuxury Tours

Venice Skip the Line St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace Private Tour

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Experience the grandeur and history of Venice on this private tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. Admire the shimmering mosaics and golden altars of the city’s most famous cathedral, and see masterpieces by Titian and Tintoretto as you wander through the lavish chambers of the Venetian Republic’s one-time rulers. Skip the long lines at both attractions with priority access (from April to October), so you don't waste a minute of precious vacation time.
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  • 2 hours
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Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
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Skip the Line Venice Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica TourCultural Tours

Skip the Line Venice Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tour

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View two highlights of St. Mark’s Square in Venice without waiting in the main entrance lines on this walking tour. Bypass the ticket lines at the Doge’s Palace to see its gilded rooms, and cross the Bridge of Sighs to the prison building as you learn about the 1,000-year history of Venice’s republic. Then, tour St. Mark’s Basilica to admire the mosaics and treasures of this Byzantine masterpiece. Admission fees included.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Small Group Venice In a Day with Basilica San Marco and Doges Palace plus Gondola RideFull-day Tours

Small Group Venice In a Day with Basilica San Marco and Doges Palace plus Gondola Ride

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First time in Venice? Maximize your time in the city with a full-day itinerary that ticks off all the most memorable attractions. Stroll across the Rialto Bridge and browse the lively Rialto fish market, then hop aboard a traditional gondola for a romantic cruise along the Grand Canal. Next, access St. Mark’s Basilica and gaze down over the city from the cathedral’s rooftop terrace. Finally, enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the grandiose Doge’s Palace. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people ensuring a personalized experience.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
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St. Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Guided TourCultural Tours

St. Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

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Step inside one of Venice’s prime attractions without the long wait on this skip-the-line tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. The entrance lines can last for hours, but you'll skip straight to the front of the queue with a reserved ticket so you can spend more time admiring the glittering gold mosaics and masterpieces of Renaissance painting and sculpture that adorn the interior. Learn the history behind the Italo-Byzantine basilica from an expert guide, using headsets so you can hear clearly.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Venice Super Saver: Skip-the-Line Doge's Palace and St Mark’s Basilica Tours plus Venice Walking TourHalf-day Tours

Venice Super Saver: Skip-the-Line Doge's Palace and St Mark’s Basilica Tours plus Venice Walking Tour

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See two of Venice’s most iconic attractions and save 10% when you book them together with this Super Saver. Head to the front of the long queues with skip-the-line access to the famed Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica. Learn the history behind these architectural wonders from your local guide, and explore some of Venice’s lesser-known sights on a walking tour. Complete both tours in the same day with a 3-hour break in between to spend at your leisure.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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Venice Super-Saver: Doge’s Palace, Walking Tour & Grand Canal Boat Tour Day Cruises

Venice Super-Saver: Doge’s Palace, Walking Tour & Grand Canal Boat Tour

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Explore the best of Venice at a 10% discount with this Super Saver combo of three popular tours. Skip the line at the Doge’s Palace, where you can wander through ornate public rooms and across the notorious Bridge of Sighs. You’ll also head to the front of the long queue at St Mark’s Basilica to tour the dazzling interior of this Byzantine masterpiece and enjoy a guided walking tour of Venice’s hidden gems. Finally, cruise down the Grand Canal aboard a motorboat and soak in the majestic passing scenery.
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  • 5 hours
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Guided Tour of St. Mark's BasilicaCultural Tours

Guided Tour of St. Mark's Basilica

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Discover the golden mosaics, soaring domes and iconic architecture of St. Mark’s Basilica on a 1-hour guided tour of the cathedral. Learn about the history and culture of Venice through the treasures inside the Byzantine landmark, and hear the story of how St. Mark's body came to rest in the city. See how the unique building combines Eastern and Western architecture, and stand before the stunning Pala d’Oro altar, which glimmers with gold, gems and precious stones.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Venice Skip the line Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica guided TourCultural Tours

Venice Skip the line Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica guided Tour

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The Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica are two of Venice’s most beloved destinations, but the two landmarks can have ticket lines to match. See both landmarks with a private guide on a 2-hour tour that includes skip-the-line access, so you can make the most of your time in Venice.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Skip the line Saint Mark's Basilica Guided Walking Tour in VeniceCultural Tours

Skip the line Saint Mark's Basilica Guided Walking Tour in Venice

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St. Mark's Basilica is one of Venice’s most visited attractions and this skip-the-line tour ensures you don’t waste any time queuing outside. Enjoy priority access and a 1-hour guided walking tour of the Golden Basilica, followed by an optional cruise to visit a glass factory on Murano Island.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Venice: St Marks Basilica TourLuxury Tours

Venice: St Marks Basilica Tour

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Go beyond the guidebook and discover the world-famous art and architecture of St Mark’s Basilica on a 2-hour group tour. A skip-the-line ticket, plus access to the treasury, Museum of St Marks and Pala d’Oro, helps you make the most of your limited vacation time in Venice. Provided headsets enable you to listen to your guide's commentary while still enjoying 360 views inside the magnificent basilica.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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4-Hour Venice Walking tour with Skip the line Doge's Palace & St Mark's BasilicaHalf-day Tours

4-Hour Venice Walking tour with Skip the line Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica

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Saint Marks Basilica and the Doges Palace are two landmarks rarely left off any Venice Itinerary, but their popularity means that visitors often spend more time queuing outside than exploring inside. Visit both on this 4-hour tour, including skip-the-line entrance and a walking tour of romantic Venice.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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VIP Secret Itineraries Doges Palace Tour with St. Marks BasilicaAttraction Tickets

VIP Secret Itineraries Doges Palace Tour with St. Marks Basilica

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No visit to Venice is complete without taking in the Doge’s Palace, but this Gothic masterpiece has vast sections that most visitors never see. With this tour, enjoy VIP access behind the scenes to explore the palace’s secret archives, torture chambers, and attic prison cells with a guide. Afterwards, enter St. Mark’s Basilica with skip-the-line tickets to admire the mosaics before taking a turn through St. Mark’s Square and past the Bridge of Sighs.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Venice Gondola Ride and Skip the Line Basilica TourCultural Tours

Venice Gondola Ride and Skip the Line Basilica Tour

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Combine two quintessential Venice experiences on this short and sweet sightseeing tour. First, glide down the Grand Canal on a traditional gondola ride and soak up the atmosphere of romantic Venice. Then, enjoy skip-the-line entrance and a guided tour of the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Venice in a Day Tour with St Mark's, Doge's Palace and GondolasHalf-day Tours

Venice in a Day Tour with St Mark's, Doge's Palace and Gondolas

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Discover several Venetian attractions in one itinerary with this full-day tour. Visit St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Rialto Bridge with an art historian guide leading the way. Stroll along Venice’s romantic canals and climb aboard a gondola for a scenic boat ride. After free time for lunch, skip the line for instant access into Doge’s Palace to see Casanova’s prison cell and walk across the Bridge of Sighs.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours
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Venice Walking Tour plus Skip the Lines Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica ToursHalf-day Tours

Venice Walking Tour plus Skip the Lines Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica Tours

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Enjoy the best of Venice on this guided walking tour plus skip-the-line entry to the Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica. Explore the best that the canal city has to offer, winding your way through narrow alleys, and see Venice's top attractions.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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Morning Venice Walking Tour plus St Mark's Basilica Guided VisitWalking Tours

Morning Venice Walking Tour plus St Mark's Basilica Guided Visit

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See the best of Venice with a 2.5-hour combined walking tour of some of the hidden parts of the city and a skip-the-line visit to St. Mark's Basilica. Enjoy seeing some of the hidden gems many visitors miss in the most popular parts of Venice from St. Mark's Square to the Rialto Bridge. Take in the gorgeous mosaics inside St. Mark's Basilica, including the rarely-seen Golden Pall.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Welcome to Venice Small Group Walking Tour with Basilica San Marco and Gondola RideHalf-day Tours

Welcome to Venice Small Group Walking Tour with Basilica San Marco and Gondola Ride

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Experience quintessential Venice on this walking tour, including a memorable gondola ride. See iconic landmarks like the Rialto Bridge and the House of Marco Polo; get a taste of local life at the Rialto Fish Market and explore historic neighborhoods like Cannaregio. Then, admire the palatial architecture of St. Mark’s Square, enter the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica and soak up the scenery on a romantic gondola cruise. This small-group tour is limited for a personalized experience.
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) hours of operation?
A:
St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) hours of operation: Mon - Sat 9:45am-5:00pm, Sun and holidays 2pm-4:30pm. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)?

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