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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 471 Customer Reviews

Great tour.
It will be nice to know a short description of excursion and notice about temperature in the Basilica (it was really cold).
The guide was amazing. She was so knowledgeable about Venice and the Basilica, and so friendly and inclusive. I can't say enough good things about her and about this tour. Thanks!

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.

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Offer only valid on listed tours purchased at the same time. Non-transferable.
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Great tour.
(No comment)
It will be nice to know a short description of excursion and notice about temperature in the Basilica (it was really cold).
The guide was amazing. She was so knowledgeable about Venice and the Basilica, and so friendly and inclusive. I can't say enough good things about her and about this tour. Thanks!
I live in Vicenza and would like to know if there is any discount I can have for bringing friends and colleagues to you on a regular basis. My email is Kiheinrichs@me.com. Thank you
Fantastic! A small Group and Moses knew just everything.
One of the best tours we have been on. Great guide!
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Mose was a fabulous guide, always engaged and entertaining and knowledgeable. We will surely recommend this tour to friends and family!
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Oistanding tour our guide Sabrina was outstanding
Josie was amazing! Really made the tour special with all of her knowledge. What an amazing place to visit! Wow!
Our tour guide Andrea is very passionate about her job. You can sense it from the way she talks about St. Mark's Basilica. She's very smart and would highly recommend her tour to others I know.
superb tour, magical at night with so very few people inside, the guide was very good, both me and my partner agreed that it was excellent , thanks !
(No comment)
Guide was late. Spent too time outside in the cold and rain. We took two other tours Rome collosium whole day package and Pompeii. Both of them were excellent.
Can't see how this could have been improved upon: Giuseppina was extremely well-informed, passionate about her subject, amusing and a great communicator. Unusually, we were only 4 in the group - a friend of ours was also booked but was unwell, but even so, I cannot understand how so superlative an experience could have been so ill-attended: our good fortune, as we didn't need headsets and we could move freely. The Basilica by night is deeply atmospheric: seeing the ceiling mosaics gradually illuminated from darkness was breathtaking. I shan't forget this in a hurry.
Totally swell! And our guide was not only informative, she was charming and amusing.
This was the best tour! Thank you!
Why start a tour when you know you can’t enter the church for 30 minutes? The guide tried to fill the time with facts but it was too long and her nervous laugh became tedious. The movement inside the cathedral was well planned but it would have been good to be warned of the dramatic lighting of the interior - this alone made the tour memorable and value for money.
Our guide, I think her name was Francesca, she was tall and blonde,was amazing! We felt very lucky like we had scored the best guide of the evening. 5/5!!
(No comment)
This is one of the best short tours I’ve ever been on. It was interesting and fun, and our guide was fantastic.
Our guide was excellent. We truly enjoyed the experience.
This was the BEST tour ever! I am so glad I came across it, as it isn't widely advertised. The small groups allow for intimacy in one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen...the lights are a must, as you cannot see all the works during the day due to limited window access for light/viewing. Group was only 11 people and our guide was a native and was amazing- WELL WORTH the money!
Words cannot express how much we enjoyed our tour and our guide. Seeing St. Mark's basilica with so few people and an excellent guide have been a highlight of our trip to Italy thus far. Grazie Mille!
Great tour with a really super guide, who was both knowledgeable and humorous. It struck just the right tone between anecdote and historical fact. Thanks so much.
It seemed to me that the guide could have been a little more respectful toward the Catholic church. Although her attitude did not offend me personally at all, committed Catholics may not have been pleased.
Great tour and great guide!
A fabulous tour, the highlight of our trip to Venice. Moses was informative and amusing and the hour and a half flew past.
Our tour was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. The guide was excellent..very knowledgeable. It was wonderful seeing the Basillica in a small group. And seeing as the lighting was increased was amazing. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Venice
Mateo was an awesome guide no the tour was fabulous.
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Even better than we expected. Don't loose the exclusivity! The more groups, the less special it will get.
Outstanding tour and the perfect guide. A true highlight of our Venice experience!
It was a very special evening and our tour guide was truly outstanding. He was superb. I will recommend this tour to anyone I know traveling to Venice.
Our guide was so inspiring and passionate. He brought our tour alive. I wish that I could remember his name. I suggest that the guides have cards to give to people who wish to complement them. I have recommended This tour to others. Thank You
Wonderful company. No problems and Elena was fantastic!! We couldn't have asked for better!!
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This was the highlight of our weekend in Venice and our guide was brilliant. Knowledgeable, articulate, humorous and passionate about her city and the cathedral. We were both delighted... it's not cheap but it's so worth it
Great night time tour and a wonderful guide!
The tour was a remarkable experience . The basilica performed brilliantly and the guide (Moses) was well and truly up to the task of explaining its context, its creation, theology, mosaic production, history etc in considerable detail with erudiition and elan. I have no criticism of any aspect of the tour and will certainly recommend it widely.
(No comment)
We have been on many tours and none have been as wonderful as this. Mirco was an absolutely fantastic tour guide. We learned so much and would highly recommend this to anyone. The meeting place was easy to find. The communication by email was timely and informative. The headsets were easy to use and Mirco made sure everyone could hear. He was accommodating to all guests. The group was small. Take this tour but take it with Mirco!!! Thank you.
This was a great tour, and it was so special to see St. Mark's Basilica all lit up. Our guide, Moses, has a lively and entertaining presentation, and I could listen to his lovely accent all night. Really enjoyed learning about the history of this amazing building.
The tour was good but too much time was spent outside before entering the Basilica, and the time in the Basilica was a bit less than I had hoped for
Excellent tour, the guide was spectacular. Charming, informative and funny showing the proper respect for the venue. Highly recommend