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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 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

Melanie H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Knowledgeable and relaxed guide, very interesting without being too intense. Thank you.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Excellent tour! Excellent guide! He was very knowledgeable and friendly. He was very informative and we enjoyed the tour of st. Mark's Basilica. We also saw many other sights that we would not have seen without a guide. This tour was an excellent value.

Brian S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was a great walking tour. The guide was knowledgeable and took us around lots of off the beaten locations as well as hitting the major attractions.

Andras V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

We, very cleverly, did this tour in a different day before we took the focused guided tour into the Basilica. We got a very nice, comprehensive input of all the exquisites on the Piazza, and the immediate surroundings.

Hans-Olav B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The guide was very good and spoke english very well :) Loved the trip and recommend it to everyone that are visiting Venice for the first time.

Gary B United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our guide, Andrew, was very good. He was informative, funny, and easy to understand. We particularly liked the fact that the tour took us to places in Venice that were off the beaten patch.

Graham H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great tour. Our guide for the tour was extremely knowledgeable about Venice, Italy and it's history. We saw some parts of Venice that we probably would not have known about and we enjoyed the whole experience. Would certainly recommend as great introduction to this city.

Ann Marie USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Very good guide who took the time to explain things and answer questions. More time in St Mark's would have been nice but not possible with the crowds.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was one of the best tours we have taken. Our guide was amazing. We started off on a Skip the Line tour of San Marco, which was definitely worth doing as the general queue was very long. The inside was amazing and I would have loved to have had more time inside. Our guide then took us to places in Venice we would have overlooked. Seeing all the hidden squares and learning about the architectural styles from a very knowledgeable guide was definitely enjoyable. His knowledge of Venice was incredible, and he made everything come to life. I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting Venice.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Very good tour with a chance to see the back streets. We had a very good guide who was really easy to listen too, on time and efficient.

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