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Venice In A Day With St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, & Gondola Ride

348 reviews

7.5 hours

Max 12

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.

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 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, ...

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Venice is a city packed with unique history and culture, but if you only have a short amount of time to experience it 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 Polco, 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 regail you with local history and lore to give you a feel for how Venice has evolved into the present day, 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 12 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 to 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 Access St. Mark’s Basilica tickets
  • Skip the line Access Doge’s Palace tickets
  • Gondola Ride
  • Guided city stroll
  • Expert local guide
  • Small group of 12 people or fewer
Venice is full of surprises, like this loggia with beautiful frescoes.
The lovely, and very unique Rialto Bridge.
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Latest Reviews

Guide was extremely entertaining and knowledgeable about Venice. The morning part of the tour was excellent. The afternoon was the basilica and palace- too crowded and too hot at 30 degrees to enjoy.

I would recommend passing out water and providing restroom facilities. It was horribly hot and we had to pay $2 Euros for a glass of water just to use a gross restroom.


FAQ

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.
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.
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 these tours wheelchair accessible?
Although St. Mark's is relatively easy to get around on a wheelchair (People with physical disabilities and wheelchair users are able to enter the Basilica through the Porta dei Fiori and the Porta di Sant’Alipio), the Doge's Palace is not wheelchair friendly, at all. Some parts of the Palace don't even allow wheelchairs.
Can I take a gondola ride if I use a wheelchair?
No. Unfortunately, gondolas are not wheelchair accessbile.
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 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.
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.
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.
Can I bring a stroller into the Doge's Palace?
No. The Doge's palace is full of staircases and narrow corridors. Strollers are not allowed inside.
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.