Walks of Italy

Walks of Italy
Book Tour
View Tours
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

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

ENJOY A DOGE’S PALACE TOUR AFTER MOST VISITORS HAVE LEFT.

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.

ENTER ST. MARK’S BASILICA AFTER CLOSING FOR THE MOST EXCLUSIVE VISIT AVAILABLE.

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.

SMALL GROUPS, EXPERT LOCAL GUIDES & SPECIAL ACCESS – A TRULY VIP EXPERIENCE.

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)

Included

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

Reviews

5-stars from over 99 Customer Reviews

Susan was absolutely amazing as a guide! Her knowledge and passion shine throughout the tour. I would highly recommend her as a guide. Quite simply the best.
We were delighted with the after hours tour. Francesca's knowledge and delivery was excellent. Many thanks
Guide was a fantastic story teller and made the evening very enjoyable! We would highly recommend.
Susan was amazing, so knowledgeable about every aspect of the tour. Great tour, being able to see the ceiling of St Marks illuminated was overwhelming.
The whole tour was good but the highlight was when the lights came up in St. Marks. Our guide, Mose, was very knowledgeable, he started off a little reserved but really warmed up and provided us with so much wonderful information.
Guide was excellent and very, very knowledgeable - plus a great, caring personality. Being with a small group, after hours, in St. Marks was a wonderful & beautiful experience.
Susan was fabulous. Gave us time to rest as the tour kept us on our feet for a long while. She encouraged us to keep going and it was absolutely worth it. Best tour ever. Lighting the Basilica was stunning and more beautiful than I ever imagined. Worth every euro!!!
Incredible tour with Mose! Highly recommend the experience.
Brilliant guide. Very informative and interesting.
Amazing tour and amazing rain storm!
Mirco was wonderful. The tour would have been worth the price just to skip the lines, but both the tour and the tour guide far exceeded our expectations. Marco's love for his city and its unique history shone through it all. A truly unforgettable experience!
Our guide was very personable and knowledgeable. Super fun experience. I will be highly recommending the experience to everyone.
It was wonderful!
While a bit pricy, this is the one tour worthy of a splurge in Venice. Alone in st marks says it all- so peaceful, so quiet, and utterly amazing eye candy. Highly recommend.
Mirco was fantastic! Knowledgeable, entertaining and extremely likable. Very much enjoyed the whole event!!
I thought the tour was great and Elena's explanations brought nuance and humor to the story - really bringing everything to life. It was a special treat that the Doge's was also virtually empty for our tour and so felt the combination of the two sites was very special indeed.
Mose was great! We had a wonderful experience.
Our guide was interesting, passionate with a little hint of quirky humor. She was perfect!
Best tour ever!!!
We tour on our own in addition to booking tours when we want to make the most of our time. We have used Walks of Italy before and once again the tour was excellent. This particular one was recommended by a friend and was worth it!
One of best tours I've ever had... All thanks to the guide (forgot her name)
Excellent tour with informative and entertaining guide, whose English was outstanding. And no crowds! We had the place to ourselves.
Excellent and well organised tour. Guide was considerate of guests and very informative with added information of local life.
Amazing tour. Mirco was great.
Excellent guide very knowledgeable.
Very impressed! Thanks
Absolutely brilliant experience. I can't speak highly enough of how enjoyable it was. The guide was so knowledgeable and just lovely.
Nataliya was excellent.
This was a great tours with an excellent guide!
Fabulous!
Outstanding Tour. Our guide, Mirco, was friendly and knowledgeable. The Tour of St. Marks after hours was breathtaking and special. Many thanks!
Our tour was wonderful! Not only was our guide informative, she was very friendly and engaging. The tour was very enjoyable thanks to her knowledge and charm. We loved the opportunity to see the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's after hours with an expert. Thank you so much!
It was a fantastic tour and a treat to be in St. Mark's without the tourist hordes. Susan, our guide, was knowledgeable and interesting -- kudos!
The after hours tour of St Mark's and Doge's Palace was perfect! Our guide, Mose, was exceptionally well-versed in Venetian history. Loved it!
We absolutely loved, loved, loved it. Moses was fabulous and passionate and an incredible tour guide. Would not trade the experience in for the world.
Amazing experience. Highly recommended. Seeing St. Mark's all lit up was amazing. Very informative tour, and a great guide!!
Great guides and I itneraries!
Micro was a wonderful guide. We really appreciated his insight, and the knowledge he shared about Venetian painters and the Venetian way of life. He made the mosaics in St Mark's Basilica come to life for us. We loved seeing the art work in the Doge's Palace, and also the jail cells.
Our guide was great. He was so passionate about his city that it made our tour extra special. Seeing the Palace and St. Marks after the crowd was gone was great!! I would highly recommend this tour!!
Elizabetha was charming and thorough. The ability to experience the history and marvel at the fantastic St Mark's and Doge's Palace in a small group was really worthwhile. We enjoyed the tour immensely.
Our guide was excellent, knowing a tremendous amount of knowledge about the history of the city, art and political background. She was very friendly and has fascinating insights - she even gave us a great recommendation for dinner. We went back the next day for lunch it was so good.
This was the perfect way to visit the usually busy St. Marks Basilica and Doge's Palace. Getting a semi-private tour with a small group, being able to see the sights after hours and having the special perks of watching the mosaics be lit up was just wonderful.
Great tour. Would definitely recommend to a friend. Guide, Francesca, was the right mix of being informative without an overload of facts. A bit disorganised at the start when the assistant handing out the headsets. This is only portion of the tour that could be improved on.
Our guide Mirko was magnificent! He made Our whole 9 days here better. Knowledgeable, articulate, patient, just the best. E nato en Canareggio!!
Great guide and great tour!
The guide and tour were wonderful. It was really nice to get to tour these places without the crowds, and the guide was extremely knowledgeable. We would highly recommend this tour!
Well worth it, to get a special look at St Mark's, with a great guide. A memory we will always have.
Francesca was an excellent guide , and took very good care of us. It was the most memorable evening .
Excellent. Very pleased.
Mose was great! The whole tour was a really enjoyable and informative experience.
Our tour guide was wonderful. The after-hours access was quite a privilege. It was amazing to have the quiet with so few other people to soak in the splendor.
Loved every minute of both tours. Our guide was very informative and easy to understand.
Susan was outstanding, better than we could have imagined. Stunning tour, especially having St. Mark's to ourselves. A must do tour if at all possible.
Wonderful tour! It wa so special to be in San Marco basilica without the crowds and with Elisabetta's commentary! Her tour of Doges Palace and Bridge of sighs was excellent- she really brought the place to life!
knowledgeable guide, St Mark's lighted up, no crowds - what else to wish for?
Excellent! Very interesting history and personal touch to the tour
Guide was very knowledgeable, entertaining and friendly. Excellent tour in every regard, I am a very satisfied customer.
This tour was well run and our guide was interesting and fun and his English was good. I highly recommend this tour so that you see the Basilica all lit up, spectacular!
WONDERFUL TOUR with Mose. Outstanding tour guide -- couldn't have asked for better. Easy to book online. No problems. Definitely will check out options for next return to Italy! Thank you for making our trip special.
Marina was wonderful - knowledgeable, passionate about the subject, and very personable.... st marks after hours was amazing - we were able to take pictures, see the crypt, and see the golden church lit in all its glory.... learned so much - will never forget it.... :)
This was an absolutely wonderful tour
Mose was a great tour guide. He has in-depth knowledge of the material. Thank you so much Mose for a great time!
San Marco after hours was the highlight of our 6-week visit ti Italy! Mose was exceptional! The only negative I've had is filling out this form: your tour titles are completely scrambled, so that it's almost impossible to find what it is I'm about to comment on.

Important information

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

Please note that the Doge's Apartments are currently closed for an exhibition and are not expected to re-open until late July (date not yet confirmed).

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 at the Doge’s Palace and your after-hours visit at St.Mark’s Basilica.

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.
SAVE
10%
Venice Food Tour with Markets & Gondola
$85.77
More Info
from
$77.19
SAVE
10%
Verona Arena dates back to the 1st century
Day Trip from Venice to Verona
$184.28
More Info
from
$165.85
SAVE
10%
Venice Boat Tour
$113.58
More Info
from
$102.22
Susan was absolutely amazing as a guide! Her knowledge and passion shine throughout the tour. I would highly recommend her as a guide. Quite simply the best.
This was a great tour and Mose was informative and entertaining. There are only two things I would like to include to the current event 1) the upper floor of St Mark's to see it from the balcony and visit the horses (I believe this is normally available during the day for 5 euro); and 2) to somehow convince the authorities to let us take photo's inside St Mark's - it seems this sometimes happens, but is a bit dependent on the night.
We were delighted with the after hours tour. Francesca's knowledge and delivery was excellent. Many thanks
Guide was a fantastic story teller and made the evening very enjoyable! We would highly recommend.
Susan was amazing, so knowledgeable about every aspect of the tour. Great tour, being able to see the ceiling of St Marks illuminated was overwhelming.
The whole tour was good but the highlight was when the lights came up in St. Marks. Our guide, Mose, was very knowledgeable, he started off a little reserved but really warmed up and provided us with so much wonderful information.
(No comment)
This was an excellent tour! What an experience to be in St. Mark's Basilica without crowds. Francesca was extremely knowledgable in the history, art, politics, and religious aspects of the basilica and the Doge's Palace, and was very enthusiastic. She presented information in a precise manner, but also had a delightful sense of humor. We have taken other tours with companies that were very highly rated and much more expensive, but your company was superior in all aspects. We will certainly book tours with your company again in future travels.
Guide was excellent and very, very knowledgeable - plus a great, caring personality. Being with a small group, after hours, in St. Marks was a wonderful & beautiful experience.
Susan was fabulous. Gave us time to rest as the tour kept us on our feet for a long while. She encouraged us to keep going and it was absolutely worth it. Best tour ever. Lighting the Basilica was stunning and more beautiful than I ever imagined. Worth every euro!!!
Incredible tour with Mose! Highly recommend the experience.
Brilliant guide. Very informative and interesting.
Amazing tour and amazing rain storm!
Mirko was an excellent guide, covering an enormous amount of information, in a way that made it easy to follow and understand. His command of the English language is excellent and his sense of humor made the evening even more enjoyable. Initially, I thought that 3 hours might be too long for me at that time of day, but it was the opposite. I could have stayed longer! There were rooms in the Doge's Palace that I wanted to study more closely, and as for the Basilica, oh!! Nothing can equal the experience of that vision of beauty. I really appreciated being able to look closely at the ceiling paintings and to go in back of the altar. I've gone on 3 tours now with Walks of Italy on this trip and Mirko and the St. Mark's & the Doge's Palace Tour was my favorite.
Mirco was wonderful. The tour would have been worth the price just to skip the lines, but both the tour and the tour guide far exceeded our expectations. Marco's love for his city and its unique history shone through it all. A truly unforgettable experience!
Our guide was very personable and knowledgeable. Super fun experience. I will be highly recommending the experience to everyone.
It was wonderful!
(No comment)
(No comment)
While a bit pricy, this is the one tour worthy of a splurge in Venice. Alone in st marks says it all- so peaceful, so quiet, and utterly amazing eye candy. Highly recommend.
Elizabette F (sp?) was a wonderful guide on a very special tour of Doge's Palace and St Mark's Cathedral (after hours). She was very knowledgeable and easy to connect with even with a fairly large number of people who were not as well versed in the history as she is. She handled the schedule changes gracefully when the church was closed for a special mass. The chance to see both of these places with relatively few people was fabulous and well worth the time, money, and wear and tear on our feet. Elizabette was particularly thoughtful about finding places to sit whenever possible as several in our group were at the end of a long day and the St. Mark's area in general does not provide much in the way of benches. The ability to see the crypt in St. Mark's was spectacular. It all left me wanting to talk to the people who devoted their lives and money to make these buildings a reality - what was on their minds as they built these monuments that share their beauty long after the people who funded the buildings. I could have stayed in the cathedral in wonder for many hours.
Mirco was fantastic! Knowledgeable, entertaining and extremely likable. Very much enjoyed the whole event!!
Mose was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We learned a lot about the history of Venice and St. Mark's Square. The only criticism of the tour is that it was a little lengthy overall and particularly the descriptions of the numerous paintings in the chambers of Doge's Palace.
I thought the tour was great and Elena's explanations brought nuance and humor to the story - really bringing everything to life. It was a special treat that the Doge's was also virtually empty for our tour and so felt the combination of the two sites was very special indeed.
Mose was great! We had a wonderful experience.
Our guide was interesting, passionate with a little hint of quirky humor. She was perfect!
(No comment)
We absolutely loved the tour! Mirko was a great guide who shared not only lots of information about Doge's Palace and St. Mark's, but also his passion for Venice. Because it was late in the day, neither venue was crowded which allowed us time to really enjoy the experience. This was our second Walks of Italy tour on this trip and both of them were great.
Best tour ever!!!
We tour on our own in addition to booking tours when we want to make the most of our time. We have used Walks of Italy before and once again the tour was excellent. This particular one was recommended by a friend and was worth it!
One of best tours I've ever had... All thanks to the guide (forgot her name)
Excellent tour with informative and entertaining guide, whose English was outstanding. And no crowds! We had the place to ourselves.
Excellent and well organised tour. Guide was considerate of guests and very informative with added information of local life.
Absolutely wonderful. Our guide was passionate about her subject and really brought everything to life. I would say if you only do one tour in Venice, make it this one! The Doge's Palace tour first was fantastic enough, but then to go into St Mary's Basilica after it has closed to the public, and then wait for mass to finish, was brilliant. Then once inside we had the opportunity to watch the lights come on and witness in silence the mosaics come to life. It was truly magical. I know the tour is not cheap but the whole experience was truly priceless and I thank you and your colleagues for allowing us this truly amazing 'once in a lifetime' experience. Thank you again. Kind regards Pamela
Amazing tour. Mirco was great.
Excellent guide very knowledgeable.
Very impressed! Thanks
One word is not enough but if I were to chose one it would be FANTASTIC! Josie did a marvelous job sharing interesting facts in the palace and made our VIP in San Marco truly unforgettable. Seeing the pal d'oro turned around along with the illuminated mosaics and the crypt were incredible experiences. Best part of our trip! Thank you!
(No comment)
Absolutely brilliant experience. I can't speak highly enough of how enjoyable it was. The guide was so knowledgeable and just lovely.
Nataliya was excellent.
This was a great tours with an excellent guide!
Fabulous!
Outstanding Tour. Our guide, Mirco, was friendly and knowledgeable. The Tour of St. Marks after hours was breathtaking and special. Many thanks!
It was a fabulous experience. The tour itself was well organized and gave us an opportunity to see exactly the things that we had hoped to in a well-paced fashion. Seeing St. Mark's Basilica after hours was also a magnificent experience. In addition, the overall amount of time was just right and our guide, Veronica, was just superb. Superb! Her knowledge of the subject matter relating to this tour is outstanding. She is perfectly suited to it. Her humour was also appreciated as she kept things light and interesting rather than heavy and overwhelming. She made the tour great. She really did. Thank you, Walks of Italy, and thank you Veronica for making this experience a fantastic one. We will definitely recommend this tour to anyone we know who is planning to travel to Venice. Grazie mille! Ciao!
Our tour was wonderful! Not only was our guide informative, she was very friendly and engaging. The tour was very enjoyable thanks to her knowledge and charm. We loved the opportunity to see the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's after hours with an expert. Thank you so much!
It was a fantastic tour and a treat to be in St. Mark's without the tourist hordes. Susan, our guide, was knowledgeable and interesting -- kudos!
The after hours tour of St Mark's and Doge's Palace was perfect! Our guide, Mose, was exceptionally well-versed in Venetian history. Loved it!