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Exclusive Alone In St. Mark's And Doge's Palace Tour

344 reviews

3.5 hours

Max 15

Why take this tour?

Explore St. Mark's Basilica after the crowds go home with nothing but a small group, an expert guide, and your imagination. You'll also visit the Doge's Palace at last entry time, to see frescoes by Veronese & Tintoretto; shiver in the prisons; and admire the Palace Armory.

Take a flashlight! The mosaics at St Mark's Basilica are incredible at night.

St. Mark's Basilica is one of the most impressive churches in the world: And on this VIP tour, you'll have it almost entirely to yourself. In the late evening, caretakers switch on the lights to illuminate 43,000 sq ft of gold mosaics. Stand beneath the glittering ceilings and gape at these incredible works, the oldest of which dates back to the 11th century. Then explore quiet areas of the church usually unseen by public.

Your evening starts with a guided Doge's Palace tour. This was once the heart of a maritime empire that stretched all the way to Turkey. As your expert guide tells you the story of Venice's epic rise and fall as a European trading power, you'll explore rooms like the th...

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St. Mark's Basilica is one of the most impressive churches in the world: And on this VIP tour, you'll have it almost entirely to yourself. In the late evening, caretakers switch on the lights to illuminate 43,000 sq ft of gold mosaics. Stand beneath the glittering ceilings and gape at these incredible works, the oldest of which dates back to the 11th century. Then explore quiet areas of the church usually unseen by public.

Your evening starts with a guided Doge's Palace tour. This was once the heart of a maritime empire that stretched all the way to Turkey. As your expert guide tells you the story of Venice's epic rise and fall as a European trading power, you'll explore rooms like the the Armory and the Hall of the Great Council. Venice is the world's oldest republic, and this enormous hall is where the city’s general assembly made important decisions, beneath beautiful paintings by their master painters, Veronese and Tintoretto.

You'll also peak into the 18th century prisons, where the darker work of Venetian governing was carried out. Learn the true story behind the 'romantic' Bridge of Sighs as you cross its length, peeking out at the crowds below.

Visiting at last entry time, your Doge's Palace tour happens during the quietest time of day, allowing you the time and space to really appreciate this incredible building. Plus the luxury of hearing your guide as clear as a bell.

Afterwards you'll head over to St. Mark's Basilica, already closed for the evening. As your small group approaches, a guard will appear and open the door. Access at this time is only open to Walks groups, so you'll find the normally-busy church almost deserted. Step inside to experience St Mark's Basilica in all its shimmering glory, ernomous ceiling mosaics lighting up the interior with their golden glow.

As you explore the church, including the crypt, you'll stop at beautiful artifacts like the main altar and the famous Byzantine altarpiece, the Pala d'Oro. These parts of the church either require additional tickets or are so crowded during opening hours that most visitors avoid them entirely. But not tonight, and not your group.

As you explore your guide will tell you why this incredible building, with its riches and relics plundered from around the world, is the perfect representation of what Venice was at that time: A meeting point of the world, funded largely by piracy.

No one since the last Doge of Venice has been able to enter St. Mark's Basilica with so few people inside, making this a truly singular experience. With a small group of 15 people and your engaging local guide, this is the perfect way to visit one of the most unique churches in the world.

  • Sites Visited
  • St. Mark's Basilica (at night!)
  • Special access to the Pala d'Oro
  • St. Marks' Basilica Crypt
  • St. Mark's Square
  • Doge's Palace
  • Palace Armory
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Prisons
  • Bell Tower (outside) The Maricana Library (outside)
  • Torre d'Orologio (outside)
  • Tour Includes
  • Exclusive St. Mark’s Basilica tickets
  • Doge’s Palace tickets
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer
  • Expert Guide
Inside the dome of St Mark's Basilica
The mosaics of St Mark's Basilica are so much more impressive when they're lit.
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Latest Reviews

The tour was very interesting and Pamela was extremely knowledgeable. It was well worth it to have the tour in the evening to avoid the crowds and the heat.

While the Doge's Palace was interesting, the time spent in St Mark's was excellent. The gradual lighting of the ceilings from total darkness was unexpected and very dramatic. We also found the viewing in the crypt really interesting as well. Unlike the Pristine Sistine, the number of people allowed in was suitable for the venue and the experience. It was also a great time to be visiting and experiencing St Mark's Piazza as the sun set and the orchestral bands playing for the diners..


FAQ

What can I bring into the Doge's Palace?
You are permitted to enter the Doge's Palace with handbags and small backpacks. But any large backpacks or luggage are not permitted inside. You have to check them in the cloakroom.
Does St. Mark's Basilica have a dress code?
Yes. Because it is a holy place, St. Mark's Basilica insists that both men and women wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. They can and will refuse entry to anyone who does not meet this standard and we can't do anything about it, so come prepared.
Does the Doge's Palace accommodate wheelchair users?
The Doge’s Palace is not wheelchair-friendly. Some parts are accessible, but the Secret Rooms, Prisons, and Armory and not. Our route, in particular, is not wheelchair-friendly so we do not recommend that wheelchair users take this tour.
Can I take a bag with me into St. Mark's Basilica?
You can only take small bags into St. Mark's. Anything bigger than a purse - backpacks or luggage - is prohibited. There is no coat check either, so do not bring any large bags with you.
Are there any breaks on this tour?
During this tour there is a short break (15 to 30 minutes) in between visiting the Doge's Palace and entering St. Mark's Basilica.
What can I bring with me on this tour?
St. Mark's Basilica has very tight rules about what you can and cannot bring inside. Anything bigger than a purse - including backpacks or luggage - is NOT allowed inside the Basilica. There is no coat check either, so do not bring any bags larger than a purse with you.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
No. Unfortunately, due to site restrictions we cannot accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. If you use a wheelchair and book this tour by accident, we are happy to offer you credit for a future tour that is wheelchair accessible anywhere in the world, or a full refund.