Your Travel Guide to Visit St. Mark's Basilica in Venice | Timings, Location, Tips & More
St. Mark's Basilica, known in Italian as Basilica di San Marco and popularly as San Marco Basilica, is a medieval church in Venice. It is devoted to honoring the remains of St. Mark, the patron Saint of Venice. The Basilica is the pride of Venice and its history dates back to the 9th century. The marvelous architecture blends Byzantine, Romanesque, Islamic, and Gothic influences. Stay on this page to read about how to plan your St. Mark’s Basilica visit!
St. Mark's Basilica Opening Hours
Best Time to Visit St. Mark's Basilica
Weekday vs Weekend: St. Mark’s Basilica is a top tourist destination. Avoid a long line of tourists and visit on a weekday, as soon as the church opens.
Peak Season vs Low Season: Venice is always packed with tourists. The best time of the year to visit the canal city is from September to November after the summer season. The crowds are thin, hotel rates are low, and the temperatures drop to around 15 Degrees Celsius. The spring season falls from March to May and summer stretches from June to August - both being a peak time for tourists. You may encounter long lines, crowded streets, and temperatures crossing 28 degrees. Winter, from December to February, is marked by cold weather and occasional flooding. However, Venice gets busier by the end of February because of the world-famous Venice Carnival.
Where is St. Mark's Basilica?
How to Get to St. Mark's Basilica?
Venice is a labyrinth of canals. The best way to explore Venice landmarks is by foot or ferry.
By Ferry: If you are traveling from the heart of Venice, walk to Ferrovia 'B' ferry terminal, near Santa Lucia train station. Board No. 2 ferry and alight at the ferry station in Rialto. St. Mark’s Basilica is about a 6 minute walk from the ferry terminal. The approximate travel time is around 30 minutes.
By Train: Alight at the Santa Lucia station and take a water-bus to the Basilica. Routes 1, 2, and 51 will take you there. The approximate travel time is about 25 to 35 minutes.
By Foot: If you plan on walking, the Basilica is about 40 minutes away from Piazzale Roma.
By Car: If you're driving to St. Mark's Basilica, park your vehicle at Piazzale Roma, where you will find three paid parking facilities - Autorimessa Comunale, Garage San Marco and Sant’Andrea.
Know Before You Go
- Visitors can store their luggage in the Luggage Store at the Piazzetta dei Leoncini.
- There is one restroom on the level of the museum.
St. Mark's Basilica is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Wheelchair users can enter the St. Mark’s Basilica through the Porta dei Fiori gate by ramp.
- The museum on the first floor of the Basilica is accessible by lift.
Since St. Mark’s Basilica is a medieval church, facilities like baby changing services are not available. However, children are welcome to visit or worship, and kids below age 6 can visit the Basilica without tickets.
- It is mandatory to wear proper attire all the time.
- Professional photography is not allowed.
- Visitors are requested to use earphones during their visit.
- St. Mark’s Basilica does not allow visitors with luggage.
- Face masks are mandatory inside St. Mark’s Basilica.
- Visitors are encouraged to maintain social distance inside the Basilica.
Grab a quick bite to eat after your visit to St. Mark's Basilica. Here are a few restaurants you can visit.
Marciana: This highly-rated Venetian restaurant serves pizza, pasta, and authentic Venetian cuisine.
Ristorante da Raffaele: Located very close to St. Mark's square, this restaurant is an ideal choice for pasta and lasagna.
Ristorante Rosa Rossa: A beautiful restaurant with cozy wooden interiors. Enjoy authentic pizza, pasta, and a variety of cheese.
Trattoria Al Gazzettino: This fine Italian restaurant is popular and highly rated by tourists. You can order fish and other seafood & authentic Italian dishes.
Extend your stay at any of these lovely restaurants located close to St. Mark's Basilica.
Rialto Unique Venice Experience: This upscale hotel is near St. Mark’s Square. You can shop in high-fashion boutiques, enjoy Venetian food stores, and sip a glass of wine at the in-house Bar. (5 minutes away)
Hotel Mercurio Venice: Conveniently located near the iconic Rialto Bridge, Hotel Mercurio Venice is located in a busy shopping district. This hotel is a preferred choice for couples and families. (500 meters away)
Hotel Concordia: Hotel Concordia is a beautiful location with a charming European design. Its proximity to St. Mark’s Square allows visitors to indulge in shopping and enjoy street food. (600 meters away)
What to See at St. Mark's Basilica?
Here are some of the main highlights to look out for on your visit.
The altar inside St. Mark’s Basilica is an exquisite work of art in Byzantine enamel on gold. The artwork, decorated with precious stones, depicts the story of saints. It is 3 meters in width and 2 meters tall.
A treasure trove of Byzantine portable objects, the treasury at St. Mark’s Basilica displays artworks made of enamel, metals, and hand stone carvings. The treasury also contains vases, glasses, and art collections in gold and silver. Most of these objects reached Venice after the conquest of Constantinople.
The museum at St. Mark’s Basilica showcases liturgies, carpets, mosaics, and precious tessera. The collection gives fascinating insights into the heritage of St. Mark’s Basilica. You can also find 78 bones of Christian saints and other relics.
Tomb of St. Mark
St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice. In 829, two Venetian merchants brought the relics of Saint Mark from Alexandria. The remains of Saint Mark, smuggled from Egypt, were later kept in a tomb inside the Basilica. Guests and believers can visit the crypt to learn about the life and times of St. Mark.
The transept chapels inside the Basilica are known for their stunning design and decoration. The vault in the Mascoli Chapel is dedicated to the Virgin, while the Zen chapel contains mosaics of the eight prophets. Another important chapel, the Chapel of St. Isadore, is a stunning area, decorated with Venetian art.
- St. Mark’s Basilica is a religious site and a proper dress code is mandatory.
- Guests are required to maintain silence while inside the Basilica.
- Do not take your backpacks or professional cameras inside the Basilica.
- St. Mark’s Basilica is known for its complex architecture and history. We suggest going on a guided tour for a more memorable visit.
- Be prepared to stand in a long line, often one-hour long, to access the Basilica.
- Do not feed pigeons or you may have to pay a fine of up to €200 for violating the rule.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Visit St. Mark's Basilica
A. St. Mark’s Basilica is located in the city of Venice in Italy.
A. St. Mark’s Basilica is open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:15 PM. Visitors can enter the Basilica after 2 PM on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
A. Yes, you can visit St. Mark’s Basilica in a group.
A. Yes, you can bring your children to visit St. Mark’s Basilica, but keep in mind that everyone above the age of six requires a ticket.
A. Yes, St. Mark's Basilica is accessible to people with reduced mobility. Guests can access the Basilica through the Porta dei Fiori gate on the left side of the church.
A. No, St. Mark's Basilica is a place of worship. There are no dining options available inside the church.
A. Spend at least an hour on your visit to St. Mark's Basilica.
A. Yes, St. Mark’s Basilica is a world-renowned church and an architectural marvel. A visit to this church lets you dive into the history of Venice and take a close look at the treasures from medieval times.