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Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour

star-4.537 Reviews
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Venezia, Italy
Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour

From $308.32

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Free cancellation
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (approx.)
iconOffered in: English and 7 more

Overview

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.
  • Explore two of Venice's most famous attractions with an art historian guide
  • Discover the private apartments, government chambers, and prison of the Doge's Palace
  • Skip the long lines with priority access (April to October)
  • Private guide for a more personalized experience
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Professional art historian guide
Private tour
Skip the line Entrance to Doge's Palace
Skip the line St. Mark's Basilica, Pala Oro, Horses Loggia and Museum entrance fee
Gratuities
Transportation to/from attractions
Food and drinks
Hotel pickup and drop-off
P.za San Marco, 3 , P.za San Marco, 3, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Guide will wait for you by the column with a lion on Top - the column is near the water

This activity will end right where it started.
Take your pick of four daily tour times to suit your sightseeing schedule, and meet your private guide at either at your hotel or St. Mark's Square in the heart of the city. If meeting at your hotel, your guide escorts you to St. Mark's Square by walking or taxi (own expense), depending on hotel location. En route to the square, learn about the history and significance of Venice’s grand public piazza, which is home to some of the city's most iconic and important monuments.

Make your way to the opulent, Italo-Byzantine exterior of St. Mark’s Basilica, and bypass the long entrance lines with priority access. Marvel at the cathedral’s intricate, gold-plated mosaics and glittering altars while your guide shares the history and symbolism of their religious motifs.

Continue on to the nearby Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), once again skipping the line. Hear stories and scandals of the powerful doges who once ruled over the Venetian Republic as you make your way through former government chambers and private apartments. Admire rich historic furnishings and paintings by Italian masters like Tintoretto, Titian, and Veronese, and then experience the palace’s darker side as you cross the notorious Bridge of Sighs into the prison complex.

After emerging back into the daylight, you can continue exploring St. Mark's Square on your own or return to your original departure point with your guide.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Colonna di San Marco e San Teodoro
Meet your guide at the column with a lion on the top
Stop At:  
Basilica di San Marco
skip the line entrance to the basilica, visit to the Pala Oro : the only example in the world of Gothic goldsmith's work of considerable size that has remained intact, The Museum and The Marcian quadriga with the four horses which can be reached along the exhibition of a series of stone fragments and capitals from the late antique and mid-Byzantine era. The four horses, until 1977 on the loggia of the Basilica of San Marco, after restoration, were replaced by reproductions and admitted to the museum in 1982 for conservation reasons.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Doge's Palace
the former site of the Venetian government, and have a preferential entrance into the building. Here your professional guide will walk you through important institutional rooms of the Doge’s Palace, where you will see the masterpieces painted by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Ponte dei Sospiri
Pass through the famous Sights bridge and learn why it was called like this
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • 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
  • Child under 18 old must provide valid ID to have reduced price to museums
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the museums or churches
  • It is forbidden to enter the Basilica with luggage, backpacks or voluminous bags.
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Italian Vista Travel
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 good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

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 Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour?
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
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Venice Skip the Line Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Private Tour.

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Traveler Tips


  • "Skip the line was key especially in the hot and humid weather." See review
  • "I was so glad I had opted for a private tour - worth the money." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
37 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews
star-5
Great Tour
Frances_S
, May 2022
Monica was our tour guide. As a native Venetian she knew lots of the history, culture, and the local attitudes of the people of Venice. The colour that her local comments added to the history of both the Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica made the tour exceptional. Would highly recommend both the company and Monica.
star-5
Excellent Tour of St. Mark's and the Palace
Tom_R
, Apr 2022
Our tour guide was excellent. She was knowledgeable, spoke perfect English, guided us through with just the right amount of information - not too much, not too little, answered every question we had, kept it moving, and was just great all around. Highly recommend her.
star-5
Monica is fantastic!
Peggy_R
, Apr 2022
Monica was our guide and she was fantastic! A native Venetian, she enthralled us with stories of Venice throughout its long history. Her knowledge of Venetian art and politics is astounding. We would highly recommend her!
star-5
Wonderful
Wade
, Sep 2021
Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. We learned so much about the beautiful Basilica and Doge Palace. Such an enjoyable tour. Thank you.
star-5
Excellent tour
Karen_J
, Feb 2020
The private tour was excellent! Our guide Fiorella is very knowledgeable, prompt, kind, and pointed out may things in St Mark's and Doge's Palace that we would have missed.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2020
Thank you Karen! We are happy you liked Venice and Fiorella!!! Hope to see you again!
star-5
Excellent guide
F4141CW
, Nov 2019
Our guide, Filipino, was excellent— both well-informed and entertaining. It was a dense, educational and entertaining 2 hours and good context for the rest of our time in Venice. Felippo’s accommodation of some mobility constraints meant that all members of our group had a good experience.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Dear F4141CW Thank you for your glowing review! We are very happy you liked our tour and our guide!! We hope you’ll be our guest again in the future!!! All the best Elena
star-5
I'd Give More Stars if I Could
Cecelia_H
, Oct 2019
My guide met me at the column w/ the lion on top and took me through the Doge's palace first. Then we went to the church. She was a font of information and I was very impressed w/ all she explained.We walked across the square and she gave a rundown of the history of Venice so I could under stand the context.. I was so glad I had opted for a private tour - worth the money.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Thank you so much!!!
star-5
With Kids
Jtyber
, Oct 2019
Great tour with Monica. Had the family and kids in tow and the rest of the family. The personal private guide was the way to go!!!!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Grazie!!!
star-5
Excellent tour of St Mark’s and the Doge’ Palace
Erin_C
, Aug 2019
We learned so much for our incredible guide. I was hanging on to every word she said. We learned so much history and about the workings of the government and its history. We could tell how passionate our guide was about her Venetian heritage too. Skip the line was key especially in the hot and humid weather.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Thank you!!! Our local guides love their citiesand it's wonderful how you appreciate that! All my best
star-5
The only way to go
169sued
, Aug 2019
Fabulous tour with a guide who is engaging, knowledgeable, well spoken & entertaining. Overall, worth every cent of the cost.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
The only way to go!!! Yeeeees!!! Thank you so much!!
star-5
Worth it!
Suzanne_R
, Jul 2019
Our guide, Erica, was on time, very informative, and pleasant. We got into both the Palace and Basilica without any wait and Erica explained everything as we went. Highly recommend this tour!
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Dear Sprik0s Thank you for your glowing review! We are very happy you liked our tour in Venice and our guide Erica!! We hope you’ll be our guest again in the future!!! All the best Elena
star-5
Absolutely the most entertaining and informative tour I have been on
Jerry_P
, Jun 2019
Monica was our tour guide and she was most engaging. She knew the answers to any question I asked her. She had personal stories that was very relative to the Dodge's Palace. Current and past events she was able to intertwine into a story that made you want more. She was NOT one of those "dates and statistics" guide who just regurgitate the facts. My wife and I could have spent the entire day with her. If you book this tour ask for Monica she lives in Venice. You will not be disappointed.
star-3
It was not a skip the line tour...
Ram_K
, Apr 2018
It was not a skip the line tour during our trip. First we have to wait in line to get the ticket for Doge’s Palace and then another line to get in. The line for St. Mark’s Basilica was so long it would have taken us more than 2 hours to get in. Our guide Rosenna was awesome! She made it happen!
icon Response from Host , Apr 2018
TOUR OPERATOR FEEDBACK: Please note, as mentioned on the voucher, there are no Skip-The-Line entrances to Saint Mark's basilica from November to the end of March. We are glad to hear you still enjoyed your tour guide.
star-1
This could have been an amazing...
Bonnie_T
, Oct 2017
This could have been an amazing tour. Sadly, it was anything but, and that was entirely due to our lousy guide. My husband and I had spent considerable time learning about our destinations before taking our multi-week Italian vacation and decided to improve our trip through private tours at really special locations. 8 of our 9 tours were 5 stars and have already become happy memories. Those tours had great guides who knew their subjects inside and out. Our key tour in Venice, this one was miserable and our guide ignored critical visit details more below. My husband and I are eager, educated tourists who are respectful of our surroundings and love to learn. We left this tour feeling like we could have had a better experience with an audio guide, and we hate those things. This tour's guide, Gianna, had a poor delivery and a lack of consideration that caused us quite a bit of anger and frustration at the end. To start, Gianna gave us the impression that she was disinterested in our tour. That we were just another set of tourists to run through the two sites. She arrived moments before its start time--we had been worried we'd gone to the wrong meeting point--and went through the entire tour as if on autopilot. She has a heavy accent and tends to talk to the ground, which wouldn't have been an issue if she'd paused to make sure we heard / understood what she'd said now and again. The only time she really seemed to show any kind of excitement was to walk me up to the guards at both the Basilica and Palace to show them my small backpack purse and confirm that it needed to be checked. Of course they said yes, despite letting through plenty of big backpacks and Gianna's own massive shoulder bag at least 4x my bag's size her coat hanging off. I felt like I'd been tattled on. Twice. Off we went to both checked bag locations--one across the Square!--where I had to turn over my purse to an open cubicle. Nice. Gianna's touring style was to walk into a room or in front of a set of stairs and talk for 10 minutes then leave the space. She didn't really gesture to interesting points or make the space interesting in any way. She talked on and on, without passion or even an attempt to make the tour fun or exciting. She just spewed historic facts at us, again, like an audio guide. She didn't ask us if we understood or followed or even pause long enough for us to ask questions until the end of her lectures. She spoke for so long we had to put down our bags when we still had them. Unlike our other tours where we had fun and felt energized, this one was exhausting. What was frustrating about the tour was Gianna's inability to answer some basic questions or point out important details, the reason for our taking this tour in the first place! For example, I'd point to a painting that covered an entire wall of the Palace and asked about the subject matter. She didn't know. This happened multiple times. Sometimes she said, oh, it's an allegory... An allegory of what?? Another example was when we passed through a room that was very crowded with several guided groups. She walked through saying we'd skip it and go to the next, then started to walk to the next room after her talk. When I asked about going back to the one we'd skipped, she said, oh, if you want to, but then didn't know much about the paintings. Again, this was very different from our other guides who had all been experts and highly knowledgeable. I gave up on asking questions. What truly ANGERED us about this tour was that we were so close to the 4 horses and didn't get to see them. Why? Not because I hadn't mentioned my interest in the horses to our guide. Not that I hadn't said I was an avid horse person. Not because we hadn't said we wanted to see them. No, the reason was because our guide ignored all of this and took us outside of the Basilica to end our tour on time instead of telling us they were right up the stairs in the museum. She never asked if there was anything else we wanted to see or if we had any questions before leaving. No. She just walked out and in our ignorance we had followed her. Once we walked outside with Gianna our tickets were void and our ability to walk up the stairs to see the horses disappeared. We tried to buy another ticket to get back in during our Venice stay but the lines were so long we couldn't make it. So one of our chief reasons for visiting Venice didn't happen because our guide phoned in her tour and was more interested in herself than making sure we had a good experience. I was VERY ANGRY and deeply disappointed about this. Given the number of tourists who visit Venice every year, Gianna will probably keep on giving tours to people who will then say private tours aren't worth it. Fortunately for us we had other guides who were fantastic so we can point to her as the cause for our this one's poor quality.
star-5
We are so glad to have booked this...
RALPH_D
, Oct 2017
We are so glad to have booked this as a private tour for just four of us. Venice is ALWAYS crowded during the day and especially when there are 4 or 5 cruise ships in port. After meeting our professional guide in St Mark's square we went directly into Doge's palace and as the tour says we did skip the line which was very long. As a private tour we were able to move about more freely than the large tours and were able to interact with her and ask questions about everything we were seeing. Her knowledge of the palace and all of the rooms was exceptional. There are many aspects to the Palace. the 'Secret' rooms ar a separate tour and entrance fee, so be aware of that before you book. We chose not to do this because of time restraints, but each 'section' of the palace has different ticket pricing and entrance times. We also toured the interior of the Basilica which was beautiful. An added bonus was that she got us into the Murano Glass facility right there in Venice. While it is not the full factory, there was a glass blowing exhibition and we were the only 4 people viewing it! Once inside you have all of the Murano pieces available to purchase. Because of our short schedule, this was an unexpected treat at no charge and saved us at least a half day to go to the island for the full factory tour.
star-4
Due to the incredible crowds, both...
Joyce_S
, Oct 2017
Due to the incredible crowds, both of these tours were very difficult. It was hard to move around. Our guide did her best to move us to areas that were quiet and she could explain about the Basilica and Palace. It was an incredible experience, one not to be missed. Try and find the least busy times to go though.
star-5
Guide was very knowledgeable and...
Richard S
, Aug 2017
Guide was very knowledgeable and informative. Skipping all of the lines particularly into ST. Marks was well worth it.
star-3
Opinion
Martin_P
, Dec 2021
La visita al Palacio ducal y la carcel. Quizás la visita la basílica le falta contenido y ver la parte alta de la misma
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Dear Martin thank you for your reply. The visit to the Doge's palace also include the part of the jail you are right, thank your for pointing it out we are glad you enjoyed it. The visit to the Basilica did not include the terrace as this is only open on Sunday and your guided visit was on tuesday. All the best
star-5
Incroyable !
JeanPhilippe_L
, Oct 2021
Très belle visite, des lieux fabuleux, un moment magique avec la meilleure guide de Venise : Rossana !!!
star-5
capire i veneziani attraverso la loro storia
massimiliano_m
, Aug 2021
ringraziamo la ns guida Matteo per averci portato attraverso la storia di venezia lungo le sale del palazzo ducale e dell'unica! san marco. preparatissimo e simpatico e gentile...ora che abbiamo capito la storia dei veneziano ritorneremo per comprendere le altre sfaccettature.

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