Venice
2.5 hours
9:15 AM
20

Highlights

  • Gain special access to areas of the Doge's Palace not usually open to the public—including torture chambers and Casanova’s prison cell!
  • After your secret passages tour, you'll skip notoriously long general access lines to get inside the Doge's Palace for a special tour by our local guide.
  • With a small group of just 20 guests, your journey will be intimate, while privileged access means you won’t waste any time waiting in line.

Preview the experience

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Tour description

With special access, you'll see more of the Doge's Palace than most other visitors.

Away from the grandiose halls and lavish apartments of the Doge's Palace lies a darker side to the space. On this Doge's Palace secret passages tour, you'll step off the beaten path and into the shadows, discovering the secrets and spaces that the Venetian doges themselves tried to keep hidden.

You’ll meet your guide near the Doge’s Palace and head straight inside (no waiting in line for you) where a palace guard will unlock a secret door, allowing you to step into the hidden world of political Venice. Navigate the hidden prison cells reserved for VIP prisoners, torture chambers, secret government archives and top echelon offices. Even back in the day, most Venetians didn’t know this space existed, so it’s hard to overstate just how privileged our secret passages tour is. With their antique cabinets and creaky floors these rooms will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

By exploring the secret passages, you get away from the crowds elsewhere in the Doge’s Palace and walk in the footsteps of Venice’s most colorful characters. Our favorite? Casanova, that legendary romantic—yes, he did exist! And, as you’ll learn, he deserves all of the lore. Against all odds, he was able to escape his cell here in the palace—a cell you’ll get to see exclusively in the secret passages tour.

See secret passages and stunning ballrooms at the Palazzo Ducale.

Few visitors ever have the opportunity to walk the passages you’ve just walked, yet the Doge’s Palace is still one of the top sights of Venice. See what all the fuss is about when you step back into general access areas of the palace to explore the waiting rooms, council halls and ballrooms of the palace. While our secret passages tour is full of dark secrets and hidden rooms, the general access part of this tour is all pomp and grandeur, offering glimpses of Venice’s finest works of art.

You’ll discover the public face of the Republic of Venice with your expert guide, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council. Admire beautiful and dramatic paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto, and explore the magnificent halls that demonstrate the prestige of the Venetian Republic.

Small groups, special access, and local guides make for an unforgettable tour.

Throughout your tour, you’ll travel in small groups of only 20 people or less, so you’ll find that your guide is always easy to hear and engage with. Ask all the questions you want—our guides are locals who spend a lot of time in the Doge’s Palace, so you’ll find it hard to catch them out. They’re passionate about the history and art of Venice, and about sharing that passion with you, so they’d love to hear your queries.

With privileged entrance, you'll save time that would have otherwise been spent waiting in line, while special access allows you to go far beyond the usual visitor experience for an adventure into the Doge’s Palace secret passages. Leave no stone unturned or door unopened on this complete, comprehensive, and thoroughly VIP exploration of the history and art of Venice!

Please note that due to Doge's Palace rules, we cannot accommodate children under six years old in the Secret Passages.

Sites visited

  • Casanova’s prison cell
  • Torture chamber
  • Secret archives
  • Hall of the Great Council
  • Courtrooms and the Doges’ Apartments
  • Sala dello Scrutinio
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Pala D'oro

Included

Verified guest reviews

4.8 / 5
701 Customer Reviews
  1. Excellent

    577

  2. Great

    97

  3. Good

    14

  4. Average

    3

  5. Poor

    10

Cindy

May 02, 2024

Francesca was absolutely the best tour guide we’ve ever had, she was very knowledgeable and funny at the same time. After the Doges Palace tour she went above and beyond to help us get skip the line tickets for Saint Marks Basilica after our tour that we booked thru Walks got canceled and it was too late to book another tour.

Michelle

May 02, 2024

Fascinating to walk the secret tunnels and view what other people would normally not see, for example Casanova’s cell’s and the stories behind his imprisonment, are they true or is he just a great story teller?

Melinda

Apr 28, 2024

The Secret Passages of the Doges Palace in Venice was a great tour and our tour guide, Mat, was very good. A couple of things to note: there are a lot of stairs and narrow staircases and the audio equipment does not work well in the dungeon portion of the tour due to the winding passages and thick walls. If you are not at the front of the group near the guide, you miss a portion of the commentary. Still enjoyed the tour very much.

Susan

Oct 15, 2023

Our tour was outstanding. Our guide, Maria Terese was so knowledgeable and funny. Highly recommend.

Darryl

Oct 15, 2023

Tour guid walked too fast and did not keep group together very well

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