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St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

Best Safety
€35
Guided Tour
Mobile Tickets
Highlights
Important Information
Cancellation Policy
  • Explore the Basilica with your tour guide narrating stories and legends about it, highlighting its rich history.
  • Continue onwards to St. Mark’s Museum where you can admire objects of various kinds and origins belonging to the Basilica.
  • The tour begins from the ground floor, and you will get to see the gold mosaics (the Basilica has 43,000 square feet of mosaic alone!).
  • On festivity days, the Holy Mass takes place on the ground floor, and it is possible to admire the mosaics partially from the first floor.
  • This tour will not be operational in case of exceptionally high tide or in case of religious functions (in both these cases the visit can be postponed or a refund will be provided).
  • This is not a private tour and is to be shared with other guests not belonging to the same part.
  • If there is a high turnout or for reasons of high tide or security problems, the waiting time to access St. Mark’s Basilica may be slightly longer than expected. In such cases, please do line up and respect the instructions provided by the guide.
  • Due to security reasons, you cannot enter the Basilica with luggage or big bags.
  • You may cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Skip The Line: St. Marks Basilica with Walking Tour of Venice

Best Safety
€56
Skip the Line
Free Cancellation
Mobile Tickets
Highlights
Cancellation Policy
  • Discover the historical abundance of Venice on this immersive walking tour, led by a licensed guide.
  • This morning tour is available in English, Spanish, German and French and allows you to traverse the length and breadth of this opulent city!
  • At the end of your tour at 10:45 AM, you will then be taken to the beating heart of Venice, St. Mark's Basilica for a guided tour with priority access.
  • At the end of your Venetian exploration, you will have the option to marvel at a 20-minute long, free glassblowing demonstration at St. Mark's Square.
  • You may cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Venice Icons Tour: Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica with Skip-the-Line

Best Safety
€69
Duration: 3 Hrs
Skip the Line
Mobile Tickets
Guided Tour
Free Cancellation
Highlights
Important Information
Cancellation Policy
  • Embark upon an all-encompassing tour through Venice and visit all its must-visit attractions at a go.
  • Visit first the Doge's Palace and soak up this culturally rich monument that served at the political and administrative seat of the Venice Republic.
  • Visit St. Mark's Basilica next, a majestic cathedral that exudes Byzantine art, colorful marble installations, and stunning gold mosaic art.
  • Enjoy skip-the-line access to both monuments, along with an expert tour guide, who will fill you in on lesser-known facts and stories.
  • After your guided tour, you are free to roam about the St. Mark's Museums on your own.
  • This guided tour is available in English, German, Spanish and French: take your pick.
  • This tour will not be operational in case of exceptionally high tide or in case of religious functions (in both these cases the visit can be postponed or a refund will be provided).
  • This is not a private tour and is to be shared with other guests not belonging to the same part.
  • If there is a high turnout or for reasons of high tide or security problems, the waiting time to access St. Mark’s Basilica may be slightly longer than expected. In such cases, please do line up and respect the instructions provided by the guide.
  • Get a full refund on canceling this ticket up to 72 hours before the schedule.

Alone in St. Mark's Basilica with Optional Doge's Palace

Best Safety
€89
Duration: 1.5 to 3 Hrs
Mobile Tickets
Instant Confirmation
Live Guide
Free Cancellation
Highlights
Discounted Tickets
Cancellation Policy
  • This special access tour will let visitors experience the beauty of St. Mark's Basilica without the noisy crowds.
  • You can see a jaw-dropping 43,000 square feet of golden mosaics in the church.
  • The guide will also take the guests to the famous Pala d'Oro altarpiece that’s decorated with nearly 2,000 precious gems.
  • Visit St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Crypt, Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square, and the legendary Marciana Library in this 1.5-hour tour.
  • The tour guide will use a storytelling approach to help visitors visualize the construction of this unique church.
  • You can even upgrade your ticket to get access to get entry into Doge's Palace.
  • Infants aged 0-2 go for free. Children aged 3-14, as well as students, enjoy reduced ticket pricing (carry a valid photo ID).
  • Get a full refund on canceling this ticket up to 24 hours before the schedule.

Guided Tour of St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace & Walking Tour of Venice

Best Safety
€99
Skip the Line
Free Cancellation
Mobile Tickets
Highlights
Cancellation Policy
  • As you walk through the Serenissima Republic, experience the quaint charm of the city with the expert narration of a professional guide.
  • Explore St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace as your guide explains the historical relevance of the alluring structures for an hour.
  • Redeem an optional, free coupon to check out the renowned Venetian glass blowing technique in a 20-minute long demonstration at the St. Mark’s Square.
  • Note: The Basilica is a place of worship, hence, appropriate clothing is recommended (shorts and tank tops will not be allowed). Comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended.

You may cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Guided Tour Of St. Mark's Basilica with Gondola Ride

Best Safety
€63
Skip The Line
Mobile Tickets
Free Cancellation
Highlights
Ticket Information
Discounted Tickets
Cancellation Policy
  • If you're looking for a quintessentially-Venetian experience and a brief history lesson on the floating city, this experience is the way to go!
  • Begin with a 30-minute gondola ride along the stunning Venice canals. Breathe in the opulence of the floating city from your unique vantage point.
  • You can spot iconic landmarks from here: the Mozart House, the La Fenice Theatre, De le Ostreghe, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Salute Church, and Punta Della Dogana, among others.
  • After your gondola ride, you'll join a small group tour for a guided excursion of St. Mark's Basilica, a cathedral that dates back to 1092 AD!
  • Pass along Italo-Byzantine and Gothic architecture as you learn about its fascinating history with priority access into the iconic landmark.

This ticket has the following variants that you can choose from:

  • English-Guided Tour
  • Spanish-Guided Tour
  • German-Guided Tour
  • French-Guided Tour
  • Italian-Guided Tour
  • Children aged 2-5yrs enjoy reduced ticket pricing. Ages 6yrs and above pay full price.
  • Get a full refund on canceling this ticket up to 24 hours before the schedule.

A Brief History Of St. Mark’s Basilica

The St. Mark’s Basilica was constructed back in the 9th century. It was built to house the remains of St. Mark's corpse that was smuggled in from Egypt by Venetian merchants. The original building was torched to the ground in 932, but was rebuilt to become the magnificent structure that the world admires today. This new structure is made of layers of white marble that were procured from the Middle East. They say, the Basilica we see today is a cosmopolitan version of the original. It also has several elements from Byzantine architecture, making it remarkably exquisite. The structure is well known for having a Greek cross layout and for using a great amount of gold in each of its attractions. Due to this, the St. Mark's Basilica is often called the Church of Gold.

Inside St. Mark’s Basilica

Designed in the shape of a Greek Cross, St. Mark’s Basilica has splendid marble inlays on the floor arranged in a geometric pattern along with animal designs. The interiors have 8000 sq.m of gilded mosaics over its walls and ceilings. It is said that the mosaic used is enough to cover over 1 and a half American football fields! Below are the highlights of the Basilica’s interiors you cannot miss!

Pala d'Oro

Pala d'Oro

The Pala d’Oro is an exquisite structure made of Byzantine enamel. It is globally recognised to be one of the most sophisticated and accomplished works, either of its sides decked with thousands of jewels and pearls.

Treasury

Treasury

The treasury at St. Mark's Basilica has one of the most special collections of Byzantine portable objects. They are made of precious enamel, metals and hardstone carvings. Most of these are from Constantinople, although there are several locally made artefacts as well.

Museo di San Marco

Museo di San Marco

Also called St. Mark's Museum, it showcases several objects and artefacts that are historically important and play an important role in the heritage of the St. Mark's Basilica. The collection flaunts an incredible curation of liturgies, Persian carpets, broken fragments of mosaics( Look out for Tree of Jesse), golden tesserae, 78 bones of different Saints and many other relics.

Tomb of St. Mark

Tomb of St. Mark

The corpse of St Mark was smuggled all the way from Egypt, by Venetian merchants. The main intent of constructing the Basilica was to serve as a tomb for St Mark. The crypt which is open for tours beyond the usual opening hours.

Transept Chapels

Transept Chapels

There are several transept chapels in St. Mark's Basilica. Some of the noteworthy ones are Cappella della Madonna dei Máscoli, Cappella della Madonna Nicopeia and Cappella di San Clemente. A guided tour around St. Mark’s Basilica will expose you to the details of all these chapels and more.

Mosaic and Marble Inlays

Mosaic and Marble Inlays

The mosaic used in copious amounts through St. Mark's Basilica is made from ground gold. It lights up the entire Basilica in a warm glow when sunlight creeps in. As for the marble inlays, the Basilica’s floor are flooded with marble designed in geometric patterns. These marble inlays cover over 2099 sq.m in hues of earth tones interspersed with animal and floral designs.

Dome

Dome

St. Mark's Basilica has 5 cupolas, all erected at the intersection over the arms of the Greek Cross structure. Each of these domes are decked with gracious amounts of golden mosaic and depicts specific scenarios - The Creation ( in the Narthex), The Pentecost ( the Western dome), The Ascension (Central Dome), The Life of Saint John (Northern dome) and The Life of Saint Leonard, Saint Nicholas, Clement and Blaise (Southern Dome). The best place to view these domes are from the galleries near the museum.

Around St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark's Square is always bustling with life. With every step, you’ll find something intriguing and interesting to see here. While you’re in the vicinity, check out the following attractions after exploring St. Mark’s Basilica.

Doge’s Palace

The Doge’s Palace is one of the most important sites in northern Italy, a piece of Gothic architecture soaked in Venetian history. The Doge’s Palace was the place of residence of the Doges’ of Venice, the highest authority in the Republic of Venice for over thousand years. In 1923, the Doge’s Palace opened doors to public viewing and has been a museum run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

Piazzetta

The Piazzetta of St. Mark's is a small open space adjacent to the main St. Mark’s Square. It connects the Southern side of the St. Mark’s Square to the lagoon. This Piazzetta is situated in between the Doge’s Palace and the Jacopo Sansovino Biblioteca, making for a nice walk overlooking the canals.

Campanile Di San Marco

St. Mark’s Campanile is the bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica. Standing 99 metres high on Piazza San Marco., it is easily one of the most popular symbols in the city. The tower has a very simple structure with a square shaft made from flute brick and topped with a pyramidal spire at the top. You can purchase a ticket and go all the way up on a lift to witness aerial panoramas of Venice and the lagoons.

Clock Tower

Nestled in the north side of the Piazza San Marco, the Clock Tower of Venice is an attractive slice of Renaissance architecture. The tower was built in the final decade of the 15th Century and is best known for its iconic archway that leads straight into Merceria Street.

Museo Correr

One of the 11 remarkable civic museums in Venice, the Museo Correr spans a sizable portion of the southern end of St. Mark’s Square. It houses valuable works of art from various eras, for instance, Room 6 and 7 contain works from the period when the Doge was the highest authority in Venice. There are rooms dedicated to rare manuscripts from the 17th century, portraits of Venetian aristocrats, and topographical maps of 15th century explorers.

Libreria Sansoviniana

Modeled by Jacopo Sansovino in the mid 16th Century, the Libreria Sansoviniana is one of the few libraries that was primarily dedicated to housing ancient Greek and Latin codices. It is worldly famous for holding the best collection of classical texts. With 13,000 manuscripts and 24,055 Renaissance-era works besides the million other printed books, there is little doubt that the Libreria Sansoviniana ranks amongst the greatest libraries in the world.

Guided Tour Or Self Guided Visit Of The St. Mark’s Basilica?

There is an indescribable charm to exploring a legendary monument in a city like Venice all by yourself. You are free to savour and interpret the architectural and artistic masterpieces at your own pace. Interacting with locals and delving into the local culture is also an added benefit of embarking on a self-guided tour. However, exploring St. Mark’s Basilica without the guidance of a local expert might leave you clueless about all that you’re witnessing. However, if you’re one to do your research right and purchase an audio guide, nothing like a leisurely self guided visit!

On the other hand, a guided tour with a local expert by your side will take you through the best of the Basilica in the most methodical and time-worthy manner. Moreover, a combo walking tour that couples the nearby attractions along with St. Mark’s Basilica allows you to cover maximum ground on foot and explore the various wonders of Venice’s La Piazza. A guided tour is generally more constrained but definitely more efficient.

Both guided and self-guided tours are incredible ways to explore St. Mark’s Basilica but choice is yours to make depending on your budget and time constraints.

Visitor Tips & Hacks

  • It is always better to visit the St. Mark’s Basilica as early as possible in the morning. The crowd in the square and the long lines tend to swell beyond a tolerable point later in the day.
  • Admission to the Basilica is free, but visitors should expect to pay entrance fees during holidays or to special parts of the basilica complex - €2 for Pala d’Oro altar , €2 for the Treasury, €5 for the St. Mark’s Museum and €8 for entering the Campanile
  • Unless you wish to wait in long lines for a locker to keep your luggage, it is not advisable to carry heavy bags or backpacks.
  • You will not be allowed inside the Basilica if your shoulders or legs are exposed. Ensure that they are covered by your clothes, or bring a shawl along to cover them before you enter.
  • Most of the restaurants on the square or on its periphery are exorbitantly expensive. Walk into the back lanes for decently priced meal.
  • St. Mark’s Square is infamous for scamsters. Watch out for suspicious offers and keep your belonging near and dear.
  • Take the elevator to the top of the Campanile (Bell Tower) and savour the incredible view. The extra €8 is worth it.
  • Since a considerable amount of walking is involved, wearing comfortable walking shoes and clothes is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is photography permitted inside St. Mark’s Basilica?
A. Unfortunately no. Photography and filming is strictly prohibited inside the Basilica .

Q. Are there free visits to the St. Mark’s Basilica on selected days through the year?
A. Yes! From April to October, there are free daily guided tours (excluding Sundays and holidays) organized by the church administration. These tours depart at 11 AM from the atrium next to the center doorway, on the right side.

Q. Any recommended route for a self guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica?
A. Absolutely! After entering the atrium, start from atop and climb up the stairs to the Loggia – Museo di San Marco (San Marco Museum). After exploring the museum, make your way down and amble through the Treasury, view the Pala d’Oro and sarcophagus of St. Mark. After this, follow the north aisle and exit the church. Once you’re outside, spend some time looking at the extraordinary exterior facades of St. Mark’s Basilica.

Q. Is there a constraint on the time one can spend inside the Basilica?
A. Yes. If you’re simply entering the Basilica for free ( not as a part of a tour) you are allowed to be inside only for 10 minutes. This is to regulate the dense crowds.

Q. Are there Skip the Line entry only tickets to the Basilica?
A. Yes. If you want to skip the excruciatingly long lines for the Basilica entry, you can purchase priority access tickets for 2 Euros. Note, this is only an entry ticket and does not include a guided tour or access to the Pala d’Oro altar, Museum, Treasury, Campanile and Crypt.

Q. Will I have to wait in any sort of queues with my Skip the Line tickets?
A. Unfortunately yes. Skip the Line tickets are so popular that a considerable amount of people do purchase them and the security lines do take up some time. However, if a skip the line ticket was to involve 15 minutes of waiting, a normal queue would take 45 minutes to an hour. Hence, skip the line tickets are still a better bet!