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St. Mark’s & Doge’s Palace

Key Details

  • City: Venice
  • Duration: 3.5 hrs
  • Start Time: 5 pm

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the two most famous sights of Venice in the most exclusive way. Enjoy an evening Doge’s Palace tour (when most visitors have left), then unlock the doors to enter St. Mark’s Basilica after closing time!

  • Visit grand council rooms, the Doge’s apartments and incredible frescos by Veronese & Tintoretto on our Doge’s Palace tour, the enjoy access to areas not usually seen by the public on our exclusive St. Mark’s visit.

  • Throughout your tour you’ll travel in small groups of 15 people or fewer. And since this late entry time at St. Mark’s is exclusive to Walks of Italy, we can guarantee a max of three other groups inside the huge basilica during your visit.

Evening entrance to the Doge's Palace See the Bridge of Sighs from outside Cross the Bridge of Sighs (inside!) Gold mosaic roof tiles, St. Mark's Basilica The Horses of St Mark St. Marks Basilica (photos: www.thetravellingeditor.com) Discover secret nooks at Palazzo Ducale Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica



You’ll start your VIP evening at the Doge's Palace. What the Vatican is to Rome, the Doge's Palace is to Venice. For seven hundred years, this remarkable palace has been the home of not only the Doge (the Duke of Venice), but of Venice’s independent government, courts, and even prisons.

We’ll take you right to the heart of Venice’s power and history on our Doge’s Palace tour, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council, where the city’s all-important general assembly made decisions before beautiful paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto. Learn the secret behind why the painted series of doges is interrupted by a mysterious black veil; discover just what the Doge really did, who he was, and why you might not want the job yourself.

You’ll also get to explore the massive armory, with all the weapons you wouldn’t have wanted to face, and the spooky prisons, where you wouldn’t have wanted to end up! Cap it all off with the Bridge of Sighs, which you’ll learn isn’t quite as romantic as you thought.


After a short break you’ll continue to St. Mark's Basilica where you’ll get the real treat, and the highlight of our tour. Here you’ll meet an official custodian of the basilica, who will unlock the doors to allow you inside. This VIP access is only available to Walks of Italy, so you’ll see the basilica almost alone!

Enter this stunning space and take a deep breath. You’re seeing the basilica as few visitors will ever see it – as only the Doge himself was allowed to see it – empty! There won’t be any crowding, bustling or shouting during your visit. Just the peace and tranquility with which this basilica, one of the world’s most impressive, should be seen.

There’s no one here to see so we’ll take full advantage of our VIP visit. You’ll visit the Pala d’Oro, a stunning Byzantine altarpiece covered in over 1,900 gems and usually blocked by a very long line. You'll also have a special visit to the crypt, where our custodian friend will unlock the door for you. Above ground get up close to the basilica altar, where your guide will tell you the strange story of how the bones of St. Mark came to rest so far from where they originally lay.

While you’re there, be sure to look up. Night is the best time to admire the basilica’s 43,000 square feet of mosaics, shimmering through the dark.


Traveling in small groups of only 15 people or fewer throughout your experience, you’ll find it easy to hear and engage with your guide – and to ask all the questions you can think of. Listen to tales of swashbuckling merchants who fitted the basilica with stolen jewels and precious stones; how it was that Casanova escaped from the Doge’s Palace; and how Venice manage to earn the title of the world’s oldest republic.

On this in-depth, exclusive tour, you won’t just see the two most important sights in Venice; you’ll explore them and by the end of your time with us, understand them. Hand-chosen for their knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness, our local Venetian guides are the perfect hosts to help you get the most from your Venetian adventure.

Sites visited

  • Private access to St. Mark's Basilica at night
  • Pala d'Oro
  • St. Marks' Basilica Crypt
  • St. Mark's Square
  • Doge's Palace (including the Hall of the Great Council, courtrooms, the Doge's apartments, and Sala della Scrutinio)
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Palace Armory
  • Prisons
  • Bell Tower (outside)
  • The Maricana Library (outside)
  • Torre d'Orologio (outside)


  • Exclusive St. Mark’s Basilica tickets
  • Doge’s Palace tickets
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide


5-stars from over 206 Customer Reviews

We had an absolutely fantastic tour of St Mark's and Doge's Palace, in no small part due to Mirco who was an interesting, well informed and entertaining guide. I would have absolutely no hesitations recommending this tour to anyone
Mirco was fantastic, demonstrating an impressive depth of knowledge and a genuinely fun personality. He was also inclusive of my son, Charlie, the only child in the group and Charlie had a great time.
Guide was brilliant

Important information

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

The prisons and the armory of the Doge's Palace are not wheelchair-accessible.

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. However, occasionally St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace are closed to the public, without previous notice, due to high tides or particular festivities.

Please note that there will be a short break (15-30 min) between your visit to the Doge’s Palace and your after-hours visit at St.Mark’s Basilica.

Book Another Tour Now & Save 10%!
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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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We had an absolutely fantastic tour of St Mark's and Doge's Palace, in no small part due to Mirco who was an interesting, well informed and entertaining guide. I would have absolutely no hesitations recommending this tour to anyone
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Mirco was fantastic, demonstrating an impressive depth of knowledge and a genuinely fun personality. He was also inclusive of my son, Charlie, the only child in the group and Charlie had a great time.
Guide was brilliant
Romy was an excellent guide. Very passionate and knowledgeable about Italy in general and St Mark's & Doge's Palace in detail. She was very pleasant and answered all questions from tour participants. She did a great job !! We enjoyed out time spent with her at this amazing destination.
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Alessandro was an excellent guide. A vibrant and warm man with a real passion for Venice , it’s art and history. Locations were fabulous. Doges palace enthralling but for me the Cathedral was the real highlight. Could have had more time in Doges gift store but not at the expense of the art.
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Tour was very informative and Nicolette was knowledgeable and interesting. We would definitely do another Walks In Italy Tour.
Tour was very informative and Nicolette was knowledgeable and interesting. We would definitely do another Walks In Italy Tour.
A special note for our guide Mateo that I loved! He was very knowledgeable, funny and in general a pleasure to be around!
Excellent tour
Great tour! Nicoletta was very knowledgeable. I’m very glad I chose this tour to see these two remarkable sites.
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The tour and guide were wonderful. The VIP tour of St. Mark's was incredible -- our guide was extremely knowledgable. The only thing I would change about the Doge's Palace tour was the rush through the Bridge of Sighs at the end because the Palace was closing. I actually got lost as I lingered behind to take photos. Luckily I found my way out!
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This tour was worth every cent. Our guide Marina was extremely knowledgeable, interesting, engaging and delivered her tour with lots of humour! Even with a guide book we would not have known one tenth of what Marina told us. It is also a huge benefit to visit St Mark's after hours - to experience the peace and solitude, to see it lit up, to get up close to objects. The tour added to our visits to other sites as we laughed at other monuments to the "humble" Doges!
She was a good tour guide and gave a lot of information and made it very interesting. She was very pleasant.
Our guide Alessandro was great- very enthusiastic and informative. He has a great passion for history and I think if we had let him, we’d still be on the tour now! Good job.
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I havé be en more than mots satisfirent.
Mose was an incredible guide - very knowledgeable and easy to understand. This was a perfect tour at a perfect time of day.
Andrea was a fantastic guide! His love for Venice was very apparent and he was so knowledgeable about the Doges Palace and San Marco. In addition to the guide, we received fantastic customer service. Our vaporetto was running late getting to St. Mark's Square. The tour leader was kind enough to hold the tour for a few minutes to ensure we didn't miss it. Top notch service!
Elena was fantastic! Very good in explaining the site and its history and super enthusiastic. She had a ‘know it all’ in the group and handled it perfectly. Loved it! Another great Walks of Italy tour. Bravo!
Elena was wonderful.
I really enjoyed our tour and the young lady did and outstanding job in sharing Venice with us ! Arrivederci!
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Great tour, thank you
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Marina gave us an outstanding tour of the Doge's palace and the extremely beautiful St. Mark's church. The tour was really the highlight of our stay in Venice, and Marina, who is a dedicated art historian, made it a very special time. Her vast knowledge of the city and the tour sites, her humor and sense of fun made the tour very enjoyable. Especially outstanding and memorable was the illumination of the golden ceilings in St. Mark's in the evening, which she arranged for us - its a moment I'll never forget. Thank you "Walks of Italy" for enriching my stay in Italy beyond measure! Karen Clark
Susan was a wonderful guide! She is a good storyteller and helped us understand the significance of everything we saw. She was also especially kind to the only child on the tour - making sure she could hear and addressing her directly to keep her attention. I would definitely recommend the tour, especially if you can get Susan as a guide.
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Great tour guide....we had a little trouble hooking up at the beginning and unfortunately we couldn’t get into st. Mark’s at the appointed time and so had to kill time for an hour in between. St marks at night is stunning but we had to leave a little early due to the delay to catch the last water taxi. Our guide was knowledgeable and delightful
This was one of the best tours we have ever booked. Marina was knowledgeable and interesting. I would recommend this tour very highly as it was the highlight of our trip to Venice.
I am a senior, and for me, the tour was too long and strenuous. I should have booked tours separately. Because it’s late in the day in order to avoid crowds, most of us have spent the day touring. I was exhausted at 8:45. Not the company’s or guide’s fault, just mine for not having the stamina, and frankly, the interest late in the day.
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Laura was a wonderful and knowledgable guide. Wonderful visit without the crowds. Very special.
Very interesting, particularly being in St.Marks with the lights on the incredible gold ceiling.
Our guide Susan was amazing. Everything was well explained and friendly too. Being there for there when the bascilica was amazing. Just wish that the torture chamber of Doge' s palace could be part of the tour.
Iole did an amazing job!
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Our guide was Moses (sorry I don’t recall the French version of his name). He was one of the best guides we have had in any venue. Very informative, animated, very interesting narrative, personable, moved along at a comfortable pace. We thoroughly enjoyed this tour because of him!
Sabrina was outstanding. Loved the tour!!
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