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Venice in a Day With St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, & Gondola Ride

563 reviews

7 hrs 30 mins

Max 18

Why take this tour?

If you only have a short time in the Floating City, our comprehensive Venice In A Day Tour is a good start. Following a knowledgeable local guide, you'll explore the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica with skip-the-line access, take to the canals for a gondola ride, and get a real sense of the city on a relaxed city stroll.

Highlights

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    Acquaint yourself with the history of the city

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    Explore the backstreets of Venice and marvel at the landmarks nestled within

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    Enjoy a 30-minute gondola ride through the city's canals

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    Tour St. Mark's Basilica and familiarize yourself with the story behind it

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    Explore the Doge's Palace

Take a day to explore Venice; by land & water!

Venice is a city packed with unique history and culture, but if you only have a short amount of time to experience it, then the best way is through our Venice in a Day Tour.

Your day starts early, near the Rialto Bridge, where you'll learn how the city literally grew from the mud of the lagoon. You'll learn to identify the ways that its sea-borne origins have influenced history and culture. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than at the bustling Rialto Fish Market, where you'll see professional chefs mixing with home cooks, competing for some of the freshest fish you'll ever see.

From there you'll stroll through the backstreets of Ve...

Read more

Venice is a city packed with unique history and culture, but if you only have a short amount of time to experience it, then the best way is through our Venice in a Day Tour.

Your day starts early, near the Rialto Bridge, where you'll learn how the city literally grew from the mud of the lagoon. You'll learn to identify the ways that its sea-borne origins have influenced history and culture. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than at the bustling Rialto Fish Market, where you'll see professional chefs mixing with home cooks, competing for some of the freshest fish you'll ever see.

From there you'll stroll through the backstreets of Venice, passing quiet piazzas and picturesque bridges, occasionally stopping at landmarks like the childhood home of Marco Polo, or popping into churches, like San Giovanni Gristosomo, to see paintings by Venetian masters Bellini and Sebastiano del Piombo. Along the way, your guide will regale you with local history and lore to give you a feel for how Venice has evolved, and how this centuries-old society has survived for so long.

If you really want to see how the locals live, you have to hop on a boat. That's why this tour includes a 30-minute gondola ride that takes you through both busy thoroughfares and quieter, residential canals. In this way, you can see Venice the way it was meant to be seen - from the water.

After a break for lunch, during which your guide will give you recommendations on where to eat, you'll meet again in St. Mark's Square and stroll into St. Mark's Basilica with pre-reserved, skip-the-line tickets. This enormous church is one of the most unique and awe-inspiring in Italy. As you explore it, your guide will explain how a Byzantine-style building came to be Venice's greatest landmark, while pointing out some of the more unique stories featured in the golden mosaics that cover the ceilings.

Finally, you'll hop across St. Mark's Square to the Doge's Palace, which was once the political nerve center for an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean and into Asia. It was in this building that the Doge, or Duke of Venice lived and where he lorded over an empire of immense wealth, but almost no actual land. This wealth is on display all through the palace in ornate decorations, and beautiful paintings by Venetian masters like Veronese and Bellini. You'll also get to see parts of the palace that weren't as nice, like the prisons, and the inside of the Bridge of Sighs.

With a small group of 18 people or fewer, and a passionate local guide to give you the background on what you're seeing and answer all your questions, this is a terrific way to pack a lot of sightseeing into a small amount of time, and see a side of Venice that most visitors miss.

  • Sites Visited
  • St. Mark's Basilica
  • Gondola ride
  • St. Mark's Square
  • Doge's Palace
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Rialto Fish Market
  • House of Marco Polo (from outside)
  • Church of Miracles (from outside)
  • & much more
  • Tour Includes
  • Skip-the-line St. Mark’s Basilica tickets
  • Skip-the-line Doge’s Palace tickets
  • Gondola ride
  • Guided city stroll
  • Expert local guide
  • Small group of 18 people or fewer
One of Venice's oldest spice shops harken's back to the city's distant past as one of the major spice importers of Europe.
Venice is full of surprises, like this loggia with beautiful frescoes.
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Verified guest reviews

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Latest Reviews

The guide Elena was just fabulous. The strengths of Walks are undoubtedly their guides and their customer service. I had a fantastic time!

Very knowledgeable guide, kept our spirit's up in the none stop rain. Very informative gave us a lot of background to Venice and it's history.


FAQ

Does my guide accompany me on the gondola ride?
No. During your gondola ride you will be alone with maximum 5 other people and your Venetian gondoliere. This experience is much better as quiet time. Just sit back, relax and soak up the beauty of the city's canals.
Can I take a gondola ride if I use a wheelchair?
No. Unfortunately, gondolas are not wheelchair accessbile.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is lunch included on this tour?
No. But your guide is always happy to offer you plenty of recommendations for great places to eat in the vicinity that will suit any price point.
What if the weather is bad (rain, snow, hail, etc.) on the day of my tour?
Our tours run rain or shine so please dress for the elements. We also ask you to please remember hats and sunscreen if you are taking this tour in the summer as it might be very hot.

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