Built in the 9th century, St. Mark’s Basilica houses the last remains of St. Mark that were smuggled into Venice from Egypt by Venetian merchants. The original structure was burnt to the ground in 932 AD and then rebuilt into the Byzantine-style Basilica that we see today. The Basilica is designed in the shape of a Greek cross and is famously called the Church of Gold because of the use of a huge amount of gold for its construction. Explore the rich history and gasp at the true beauty of St. Mark’s Basilica, the largest church in Venice, with an expert tour guide. Read on to know more about how you can make the most of your visit to the Basilica through a St. Mark’s Basilica tour.
Duration: 1 hour - 9 hours
Suited for: Priority access and in-depth insights from expert guides.
Ticket price: €39 to €134.1
Why go for it?
Guided Tour of St. Marks Basilica with Priority Entry
For extended exploration:
St. Mark’ & Doge’s Palace Full-Day Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Entry
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes - 3 hours
Suited for: Intimate and less crowded experience.
Ticket Price: From €88.2
Why go for it?
Alone in St. Mark's Basilica with Optional Doge's Palace
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Suited for: Condensed tour of Venice's iconic landmarks.
Ticket Price: From €89
Why go for it?
Duration: 2 - 6 hours
Suited for: Cultural Venetian experience with Basilica access
Ticket Price: From €75 - €119.81
Why go for it?
St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the most popular and most visited landmarks in Venice. Here are a few reasons why you should take a St. Mark’s Basilica tour.
St. Mark’s Basilica has five gigantic domes or cupolas adorned with golden mosaics. The domes are built right at the intersection point over the arms of the Basilica. They depict different scenes like The Creation in the Narthex, The Ascension in the centre of the dome, The Pentecost on the western side, The Life of Saint Leonard, Saint Nicholas, Clement and Blaise in the south, and The Life of Saint John in the north of the dome. Head to any of the galleries near St. Mark’s Museum for the best views.
St. Mark’s Basilica’s Treasury houses remarkable collection of Byzantine portable objects made of gold, silver, glass, enamel, metals, hardstone carvings, and other precious metals procured from several sources. Most of these were brought to Venice from Constantinople between 1204 and 1261. The 283 objects in the Treasury include liturgical chalices, patens, bowls of Islamic origin, lamps, antique vases made of glass and semi-precious stones, amphorae, and western objects like Venetian filigree and perfume-brazier. The Treasury also includes gifts from the different popes, European princes, and doges.
The Basilica was constructed with the aim to house the tomb of Saint Mark. During construction, the ruins of the old buildings that existed at the site were converted to a crypt while the Basilica was built above it. The final remains of Saint Mark lie in this crypt situated below the presbytery. It is believed that Venetian merchants smuggled Saint Mark’s corpse from Egypt to Venice. The crypt was under restoration work after which it was reopened in 1889. A British historian once claimed that the remains belong to Alexander the Great and not Saint Mark. However, there is still no evidence to prove the claim. The crypt is open for tours beyond the usual opening hours.
St. Mark’s Basilica is home to several transept chapels like Cappella della Madonna dei Mascoli, Cappella di San Clemente, the Zen Chapel, Cappella della Madonna Nicopeia, Cappella di San Giovanni, and the Chapel of St. Isadore, among others. Such chapels are usually dedicated to specific saints and the Basilica boasts several of them situated in the arms that extend at either side of the main dome. Find beautiful vault mosaics depicting stories and episodes from the lives of the different saints with chapels built in their honor.
One of the most beautiful features of St. Mark’s Basilica is the mosaics and marble inlays. One can spend hours admiring the over 8000 square meters of mosaics that cover the walls, vaults, and domes of the Basilica. Made from ground gold, the mosaics light up the whole Basilica with a warm glow when sunlight enters the structure. They depict stories from the Bible, allegorical figures, and events from the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Saint Mark, and others.
Another striking feature of St. Mark’s Basilica is the marble inlays that cover 2099 square meters of the floor. Covered in earthy tones, the marble inlays are designed in a geometric pattern and interspersed with floral and animal designs. These precious marbles came to Venice from Constantinople after the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and were used symbolically to build the Basilica based on their color and characteristics.
You cannot possibly miss out on the Basilica Terrace on your visit to this iconic monument. The terrace overlooks St. Mark’s Square offering stunning views of the city of Venice and its various other landmarks and important monuments. Make note of the rare tapestries, textiles, and the famous original horses of the Basilica on your way up to the terrace. The horses on the façade outside the monument are replicas.
Yes. St. Mark’s Basilica tours are available for booking.
You can book a St. Mark’s Basilica tour online.
St. Mark’s Basilica guided tours start at €39.
There are five types of St. Mark’s Basilica guided tours – St. Mark’s Basilica Guided Tour, Skip the Line: St. Mark’s Basilica with Walking Tour of Venice, Venice Icons Tour: Doge’s Palace with St. Mark’s Basilica Skip-the-Line, Venice in a Day with Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica Guided Tour, and Guided Tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with Gondola Ride.
The St. Mark’s Basilica guided tour includes a visit to all the major points of interest inside the Basilica like the Treasury, the Transept Chapels, the Tomb of St. Mark, the Campanile, the Basilica Terrace, the Dome, and more.
St. Mark’s Basilica guided tours are available in four languages – English, Spanish, German, and French.
The St. Mark’s Basilica guided tour covers all the major attractions inside St. Mark’s Basilica like Pala d’Oro, the Tomb of St. Mark, mosaic and marble inlays, the Terrace, Dome, and the St. Mark’s Museum, to name a few. Your tour guide will fill you in on all the important information, history, and other interesting facts about the Basilica.
It depends on the type of guided tour you book. The small group tour will have no more than 10 people while the other guided tours have a maximum capacity of 25 guests.
Yes. The St. Mark’s Basilica tour is worth it because it is the largest church in Venice and one of the most iconic ones in the world. It houses the remains of Saint Mark and is famous for its mosaic flooring.
Yes. The St. Mark’s Basilica guided tours include a skip the line feature, which means you get priority access to the attraction.
Yes. You can cancel your St. Mark’s Basilica tour between 24 to 72 hours before the scheduled date and get a full refund. Make sure you check the cancellation policy of the tour you book.
The St. Mark’s Basilica guided tour can take anywhere between 1 to 4 hours, depending on the tour you book.
Yes. You can get up to 5% off on your St. Mark's Basilica tour tickets. Additionally, children between 2 to 5 years of age can enjoy reduced ticket prices for the Guided Tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with Gondola Ride.