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VIP Alone in St. Mark’s Basilica

Key Details

  • City: Venice
  • Duration: 1hr 30mins
  • Start Time: Times vary.

Tour Highlights

  • After closing time, when visitors have been pushed out, a guard unlocks the doors of St. Mark’s Basilica for us to explore the city’s most important building completely alone!

  • Not only will we see all general access areas of St. Mark’s Basilica, traveling with an official guard we’ll unlock doors to visit special areas such as the crypt, where the bones of St. Mark himself are said to lie and the Pala d’Oro.

  • You’ll travel in a small group of max. 15 people with an expert tour guide at the helm, to tell you the stories and help you spot the details. Access is limited to Walks of Italy groups only and we’ve capped it at 4 groups per day.

St. Marks Basilica St. Marks Basilica The Horses of St Mark Gold mosaic roof tiles, St. Mark's Basilica


St Mark's Basilica, exterior


Your tour starts at St. Mark’s Square, where your guide meets you, kicking off your adventure with thrilling anecdotes and swashbuckling stories. Learn about the history of Venice and St. Mark’s Basilica—like how it received its precious relics via a 9th-century kidnapping! Then comes the real treat.

All of the passersby will wonder where you’re going as a custodian unlocks the basilica’s doors for you and walks you right in. Inside, take a deep breath. You’re experiencing St. Mark’s Basilica as almost nobody else does, or ever has ever been able to (aside from the Doge himself) – empty!

No standing elbow-to-elbow with other tourists, no seeing the church as if through a strobe light from hundreds of popping flashbulbs, no noise from the crowds. Instead, you’re alone with your guide and the custodian. So you can experience the basilica as it should be experienced: in tranquility and peace.

The horses of St. Mark's


Of course you won't have to queue outside the Basilica since entrance won't be granted to anyone but Walks of Italy groups. When you get inside, you'll feel the real benefit of this.

During the day, lines are long to see the stunning Pala d’Oro, a Byzantine altarpiece that uses more than 1,900 gems. Visiting at night though, you'll have it all to yourself, so you can walk right up without the wait.

Since you’re alone in the basilica you'll also have the rare opportunity to go where other visitors can’t. The custodian will unlock areas such as the crypt, said to be the place where the bones of St. Mark are kept. Here you can also see the stained walls, from the past floods that have devastated Venice—the crypt used to be flooded every time the high tide hit the city.

But that's not all. There's another hidden advantage to visiting St. Mark's Basilica at night. This is when the mosaics are at their most beautiful, with all 43,000 square feet lit up, glimmering and sparkling in the dark.

Incredible frescoes inside St.Mark's Basilica


If just seeing the basilica this way weren’t entrancing enough, there’s also your guide, an expert who’s passionate about Venetian art and history—and about sharing it with you in the most fun way possible. You’ll hear the tale of how St. Mark’s became St. Mark’s, a story that pivots on a prophecy, a kidnapping and a dangerous sea voyage!

Throughout your St. Mark’s Basilica tour, you’ll travel in small groups of only 15 people or fewer. As Walks of Italy is the only company with this access, we can also guarantee that there will be no more than four groups inside the basilica when you visit.

Walk with us inside the heart of Venice, witnessing the basilica as it was meant to be seen – imposing, impressive and exquisite. For a one-hour tour that will give you memories to last a lifetime!

Sites visited

  • St. Mark’s Square
  • St. Mark’s Basilica
  • The crypt of St. Mark’s
  • The Pala d’Oro altarpiece


  • Exclusive access to St. Mark’s after closing
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide


5-stars from over 584 Customer Reviews

Guide was excellent. Very knowledge and explained details in layman’s terms so very easy to follow. Loved her passion for the topic. Our family felt blessed being able to see the basilica lit u in in all it’s glory.
Great tour and Laura was an informative and passionate guide.

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

Please remember that the basilica is a holy place and attire must be appropriate: Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.

Backpacks are prohibited inside of St. Mark's Basilica.

This tour runs rain or shine.

Book Another Tour Now & Save 10%!
(Offer valid on these tours only)
When booking this tour you’ll have the option to add any of the below to your cart.
Book both tours together and save 10% on the second tour.
Offer only valid on listed tours purchased at the same time. Non-transferable.
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Guide was excellent. Very knowledge and explained details in layman’s terms so very easy to follow. Loved her passion for the topic. Our family felt blessed being able to see the basilica lit u in in all it’s glory.
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Great tour and Laura was an informative and passionate guide.
It was a wonderful tour for our 1st night at Venice. The tour guide was very passionate with the subject and it made the tour very enjoyable. We learned lots. Would really recommend this tour to anyone.
Guide was very knowledgeable and provided a great historical perspective
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and the guide and her knowledge was impressive! We would highly recommend this tour to others!
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We have used “Walks” for visits in Rome, Florence, Sienna, and Venice. Each and every one outstanding, informative, and fun.
The tour was great and would recommend anyone to do this tour of St Marks Basilica .... no crowds no line .... fantastic and the guide was great
Our guide was excellent. His passion for the basilica was wonderful and easily rubbed off on us. He was knowledgeable, answered questions easily, spoke perfect English, and made the tour special for us. My sister and I were so moved by the beauty of the basilica at night, and his vivid descriptions that we sat on the steps and cried briefly after our tour. Thank you so much. We highly recommend this tour to anyone. Great value to be almost alone in the basilica.
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The guide was one of the best we have had in our travels. New her subject well. Made it entertaining. Had a passion for the subject. Made it connected and real. Most excellent
Best walk and tour we’ve had in Italy. Our guide was amazing and her love for St Marks and Venice simply shone through.
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Our guide was a very intelligent German lady that I and my 13 year old daughter thought was excellent. She was well informed and gave information clearly & concisely. Overall well worth the money. Thank you!
We enjoyed the tour very much. Marie-Therese was an excellent guide, knowledgeable about the cathedral and clearly passionate about the building, its art, and the city of Venice. The schedule for the groups to visit the various parts of the cathedral could be better organized; some parts ended up somewhat rushed because other groups were lingering and it wasn't clear who was supposed to be at what stop when.
Our guide Andre was fantastic! Coming from a construction background his insight as an architect and restorer was just perfect for us. His knowledge of the history was total and he took the time to answer any questions the group had. This tour was beyond our expectations.
An amazing tour!!! This is a must when visiting Venice. Martel was vary informative and provided a great historical background of Venice before entering the cathedral. Inside the cathedral he showed us all the beautiful details of San Marco. Highly recommend!!!
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Fantastic tour and absolutely loved it. Only negative was that we were told to to take photos but one of the other groups, including their tour guide were taking photos inside the Basilica which was annoying. The rules should be the same for all groups.
Always a great experience. Iole was wonderful
Fantastic to have the basilica to yourself, without the crowds! It looks great when the lights come on and the gold sparkles.And to be able to visit the crypt, which is closed to visitors during the day.
Marie was entertaining and passionate. Tour was an eye opener and quite exclusive (even though there were 5 other exclusive groups in there).
Our guide, a young chap, was brilliant, he was enthusiastic, informative, all in all he made this a wonderful experience.
Five stars!!! Loved our guide, especially that she was Italian! Great tour very informative. Thank you ;). Highly recommend.
Thank you.
the tour was very good. We loved the peacefulness of the evening tour. Thank you for a wonderful time!
Great tour! Loved it!
Our guide Laura was excellent and gave us an in depth description of the history of the Basilica San Marco. She revealed to us the different eras of the mosaics and gave us plenty of time to study them. The lighting of the Basilica revealed the glory of the mosaics. I can recommend Laura to be your guide for The After Hours Tour of the Basilica San Marco. Judith M.
The lighting up of the mosiacs was beautiful and one of the highlights of my holiday.
The tour was great and our guide was fantastic
He was awesome!!!! Sooo passionate and interesting!!! Best tour guide we had the entire time!!!
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Andrea's knowledge about Catholicism, Venice, and architecture were the perfect combination to make our tour of St Mark's Basilica outstanding. His energy drew us in the whole time, and we learned and enjoyed learning many details that aren't in the guidebooks. Our teenage kids loved the guide. The tour was also well planned, with the exclusive after hours access making it very special. The tour was great, great, great. Highly recommend.
We loved this tour. Our guide was great. A truely unique experience & would not hesitate to recommend.
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We loved the tour and we're not big tour people but this was everything you could want.
She was an excellent guide, made the experience very memorable, I highly recommend this to others
Outstanding! Mose was excellent. I appreciated the small group atmosphere as he was able to answer questions. I was impressed with the tour and would highly recommend Walks of Italy.
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Elena was a very knowledgeable and engaging guide. The tour was fantastic, a real special opportunity.
Excellent tour. I would highly recommend it. Loved the guide.