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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.

Highlights

  • 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

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

tomgdowski

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Awesome tour and guide! Highly recommend it!!

Jonathan E F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

You have to go in the museum in St. Mark's. The mosaics are absolutely awesome and show incredible Biblical scenes throughout. I personally thought the mosaics there on the ceiling were more impressive than St Peter's in the Vatican. Also, make sure to see the original horses from Constantinople's hippodrome. They're inside the museum as well. It's an awesome piece of history from an amazing empire that once flourished for a millennium - the Byzantines.

Caroline N New Zealand

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Excellent tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and had a good sense of humour. I would highly recommend this tour.

Gerry A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great tour! Even with my bad knees, the length was of the tour was just right at the end though my knees had enough, so give it a try. Will you ever be back in Venice? You just have to see as much as possible in Venice, so this is a great summary tour. And then have a nice lunch planned to let you know you can rest after the tour.

kevingaither

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great guide. Well worth it. Loved seeing the out of way areas outside of the piazza.

Val B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Very informative and great guide!

Alan G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Very knowledgeable guide. We went places and learned more about Venice than we could possibly have done alone. Loved Venice!

hywilson

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was an excellent tour and the guide was very knowledgeable. We really thought it was the highlight of our trip!!

Steven C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our guide was wonderful. We took the tour on an exceptionally hot day. She was careful to keep us in the shade as much as possible. We were very glad we took the tour.

K T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Really informative and interesting

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