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Private 4 hrs Venice Tour: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace and Secret Venice

Badge of ExcellenceVenezia, Italy

From US$333,06

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 4 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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 break in between to spend at your leisure, depending on the operational schedule.
  • Combine two best-selling Venice tours at a discounted price
  • Skip the line at two top Venice attractions: Doge's Palace and St Mark’s Basilica
  • Explore the opulent public rooms of Doge's Palace, see Veronese paintings and walk across the Bridge of Sights
  • Learn all about the Doges of Venice who ruled the Republic of Venice until the late-18th-century
  • Admire the extravagant interiors of St Mark’s Basilica
  • See St Mark’s Square as well as hidden gems such as San Zaccaria Church on a walking tour

What's Included

  • Professional English-speaking local guide
  • Guaranteed to skip the long lines to Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica
  • Headset to hear the guide clearly when there are more than 8 participants in the group
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Giardini Reali San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

    Entrance to the Royal Gardens, on the waterfront of St Mark's Square - You'll meet Avventure Bellissime tour coordinator outside the gardens, in front of the wrought iron Gate holding a sign with the name of the tour and Avventure Bellissime logo written on it.

Start time

01:30 PM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Tour (2 hours):

After meeting your guide outside the Royal Gardens in central Venice, walk to the nearby Doge’s Palace at St Mark’s Square. Admire the magnificent Gothic exterior, and then skip straight to the front of the queue so you can head inside and start exploring. Follow your guide through the palace’s ornate public rooms adorned from floor to ceiling with gilded decor and murals, including paintings by Renaissance masters Tintoretto and Veronese.

As you explore, your guide will share details about the powerful doges who ruled the Venetian Republic for centuries. Hear about their fearsome governing tactics, and then step across the famous Bridge of Sighs into the connected prison network where enemies of the republic were locked up. After you’ve emerged back into the daylight of St Mark’s Square, enjoy a break at your leisure before your next tour begins. The break varies depending on the operational schedule.

Skip the Line: Small-Group Venice Walking Tour with St Mark’s Basilica (2 hours):

Meet your tour back in St Mark’s Square and learn about the crown jewel of this piazza — the Italo-Byzantine St Mark’s Basilica. Head to the front of the line and step inside the awe-inspiring cathedral. Admire the soaring golden domes, marble mosaics and intricate murals of the lavish interior. You’ll have approximately 30 minutes inside the Basilica to explore.

Next, escape the crowds of St Mark’s Square and follow your guide through lesser-known backstreets. Learn about some of Venice’s hidden gems, such as the Gothic San Zaccaria Church or Campo Santa Maria Formosa and Hidden Venice, as your guide shares tales of the city’s colorful characters and history. Your tour concludes back at the original departure point in St Mark’s Square. 

See the 'View additional info' link below for a map of the start point for your first tour.

Piazza San Marco (Pass By)

Your guide will give you a brief introduction to the history of Venice and of the Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

Enjoy a 2-hour in-dept tour of the Doges Palace and visit the famous Prisons.

2 hours Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
  • Large bags and rucksacks are not allowed inside St Mark's Basilica
  • At certain times it may not be possible to enter any of the visited churches due to religious functions taking place. These closures are beyond our control so no refunds or discounts will be issued
  • High season operational schedule (Apr - Oct): Skip the Line: St Mark’s Basilica tour starts at 11.10 am , Doges Palace tour at 2.30pm
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • To ensure safety and well-being of our guests the itinerary of the tour has been amended to follow the Covid-19 guidelines. Visits to St Mark's Basilica may be subject to restrictions. Depending on the situation on the day of the tour the itinerary may be amended to offer you the best experience possible.
  • Guaranteed skip-the-line entrance to St Mark's Basilica is compulsory from April to October due to high number of visitors. St Mark’s Basilica does not offer a fast entry service to anyone in other periods considered off peak season. No refund is due when skip-the-line reservation isn't required.
  • Beginning Friday 6 August 2021 and until further notice, access to the Doge’s Palace and all related areas will be permitted only to those in possession of a Green COVID-19 Certification (Green Pass or equivalent certificate). Please remember to also bring your ID or passport to confirm your identity.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Private 4 hrs Venice Tour: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace and Secret Venice?

A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Private 4 hrs Venice Tour: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace and Secret Venice?

A:The policies on sanitization are:
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use

Q:What is the social distancing policy during Private 4 hrs Venice Tour: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace and Secret Venice?

A:The policy on social distancing is:
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience

Q:What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Private 4 hrs Venice Tour: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace and Secret Venice?

A:The policy on staff health & safety is:
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

We did small group and it is well worth it.
These tours can be amazing or just meh and it truly depends on the guide you get.
Venice is beautiful that is a given, but a tour depends on guides and ours were excellent - recommended
210 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 210 reviews
Awesome guide - Marina!
Linda_N, Nov 2022
Our guide, Marina, from Avventure Bellissime was awesome. She was punctual, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable. We learned so much from her. We would highly recommend her to others.
Great tour
john_r, Aug 2022
We had the best guide ever, very passionate about her work but Worked with us to make it the best ever. The place we visited where rich in history but we got to get a feel of the people of Venice. Thank you Christina. P
Birthday in Venice
rui_m, Jul 2022
Excellent tour, knowledgeable guide and skipping the queue a must on a hot day. We learnt so much about the cities beginnings, architecture, customs and commerce. Ciao Rui
Viator didn't come through
Larry_S, Jul 2022
The tour itself was fine -but the viator confirmed time was not accurate. I called the actual Guide agency - fortunately- to confirm our time and was told that Viator had made an error. They could not provide a guide for us at the time we wanted and had been promised, but we could do it at a different time with one guide for the first half and another for the second half. This change meant that we could not do the Murano glass tour offered by our hotel. So the guides were very good and the sights marvelous, but no thanks to Viator.
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Dear Client, I'm sorry for the troubles with your booking but I'm glad we've managed to find a solution for your Venice Tour. It is always advisable to call ahead to confirm excursions as not only human beings but also technology at times fails to work. Calling ahead to reconfirm allows to have the chance to find solutions in case of problems with reservations. Fortunately these issues happen rarely. Yours sincerely , Monica
Great introduction to Venice
ALFREDO_Z, Jul 2022
Very knowledgeable and passionate local guide. Provides a great introduction to Venice. Guide brings you to less well-known neighborhoods so you see a side of Venice not many people see.
Great tour. Very informative and the perfect length.
LISA_F, Jul 2022
Great tour and tour guide. Lots of walking but manageable. Very informative. All the perfect highlights.
Excellent tour guide and...
Karen_C, Jul 2022
Excellent tour guide and content. Enjoyed the walking part round the city and the Basilica. Doges Palace add on was also excellent.
HorribleHorrible waste in beginning , but tour was good at 11:00 am time
Daniel_M, Jul 2022
We went to the departure site early but no tour guide showed. We texted tour guide but I answer. We called but phone message said that it was closed. Walked to tour office but not at address. I booked another tour for 11am. My partner was so frustrated that he refused. It was hot and we were already chested out of several hours of tour time. When the tour operator came she was from the same company. She said that there was no tour for 9am. I had booked another ancient city tour for a few hours after this but couldn’t make it since the 11 am tour from Viator went past that time. We wasted a lot of money and time as well as discomfort! The tour guide called her company and they told her that I will have to call Viator and get money refunded for all the tours since it was their fault for having wrong time. I’ll report back about outcome.
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Dear Client , I'm sorry to read that you had a bad experience with the logistics of our morning tour. I understand you had a voucher showing 9am departure , and that was the wrong departure time - Probably the message was not seen on time but as for our phone number not working, this is unlikely. We would have told you to show up at 11am without you in need to buy another ticket. Anyhow if you can give me some more details to track back your reservation, I see what I can do. Kind Regards, Monica
Fantastic Venice tour!
Kristin_A, Jun 2022
Beautiful Basilica, Palace & city! We learned so much and our guide was excellent! I highly recommend this tour.
Very Informative!
Steve_B, May 2022
Laura our guide was great and had very good English. She shared the history of Venice as you walk through the area. I only wished we would have been able to remain in the Basilica so we could have seen more.
Got half of what we paid for
Angela_N, Apr 2022
Our tour guide was fun and knowledgeable. However, the tour seemed rushed especially once we got to St. Marks Basilica. We were never given our tour or even tickets to Dodges Palace. We picked this tour mainly because of the chance to view these wondrous sites. Very disappointing.
Response from Host, Apr 2022
Dear Client, The tour you bought included 2 hrs tour of Venice with skip the line tickets to St Mark's basilica ( time allowed inside is 10 minutes) and a tour of the doges palace in the afternoon with skip the line tickets included. I don't quite understand when you say that you were not given tickets to the doges palace as tickets as customery on tours are given to the guide. Perhaps you did not show up to take the doges palace tour , this is the only reason I can think of based on your comment. Yours sincerely, Monica
Great way to see these historical landmarks
Robin_C, Apr 2022
The best way to see these beautiful places is with a guide. Ours was one of the best. If you are in Venice don't hesitate to book this tour.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Wonderful Walking in Venice
Augustine_Z, Oct 2021
My husband and I had a wonderful tour with our guide Cristina! She was extremely knowledgeable not only about the sites on our tour but also about other sites to see and places to eat. Cristina was so very thoughtful that she even surprised us by booking terrace reservations for us. On the terrace, we were able to see a panoramic view of Venice and take amazing pictures. Cristina also recommended a great restaurant for my husband's birthday dinner. She was passionate and personable and we truly enjoyed our time with her.
Response from Host, Oct 2021
Dear Guests, Thank you for your 5-star feedback about your Venice tour with Cristina. We are happy you had such a great time with her and thank you for appreciating her knowledge and dedication. We look forward to welcoming you on our tours again. Kind regards, Aleksandra Sales Manager @ Avventure Bellissime
Great tour of must-see sites
Susan_C, Sept 2021
Francesca was a great guide giving us insight into modern Venetian life and the history of Venice. His love and knowledge of his city was evident.
Response from Host, Sept 2021
Dear Susan Thank you so much for your 5-star review about your Venice private tour with Francesco. We are happy it was a great experience for you. Certainly this unique city is best explored with a local expert guide, a true Venetian. We hope to welcome you on our tours again in the future. Kind regards, Aleksandra Sales Manager @ Avventure Bellissime
Venice at its best
Getaway656973, Oct 2019
The weather was beautiful. There were still a lot of tourists about even in late October. Our guide was obviously passionate and knowledgeable about Venice. It was great being able to skip the queue. It was great getting an overview of Venice through the walking tour as it was our first day in Venice and helped to orientate us.
Very good both guides were excellent and really love what they do with excellent english
Gus_T, Aug 2019
Very good choices both of them.Our guides were excellent and they love what they do also their English was excellent!
Must do this tour!
LEE_G, Aug 2019
Guide for Doge's Place was so pleasant & informative. We saw & learned so much. St. Mark's guide provided historical insights on building & art.
Excellent tour
Dorislee_D, Aug 2019
This was an interesting tour, our guide Andrea was very informative and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the experience much more with the background info than if we went alone. Highly recommended!
kathy121688, Jul 2019
Both of our tours were with knowledgeable guides who were informative and helpful. They gave us a flavor of the history and the happenings then. Excellent tours.
Excellent! We had 2 different guides (Barbera for Doges palace & Andrea fir Basilica). Both were highly engaging.
julian_d, Jun 2019
Excellent! We had 2 different guides (Barbera for Doges palace & Andrea fir Basilica). Both were highly engaging and entertaining. Their knowledge and passion for their locale showed throughout. Highly recommended, bypassing queues & nice small groups. Thank you both!


Product code: 2635DOGESMARKPALA