Venice
3.5 hours
Time varies; please select a date to see available times
Max 25

Highlights

  • Explore the two most famous sights of Venice in the most exclusive way. Enjoy a Doge’s Palace night tour when all 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 and Tintoretto on our Doge’s Palace tour, then enjoy access to areas not usually seen by the public on our exclusive St. Mark’s visit.
  • Travel in small groups of 25 people or less for a more intimate experience. 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.

Tour description

Step behind closed doors to experience St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace after all the crowds have gone.

During the day, St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace are packed with visitors, making it difficult to fully appreciate the grandeur of these stunning spaces. That's not the case on this tour. We've worked with both sites to secure VIP access after closing time, giving you ample room to appreciate both of these gems of Venetian art and architecture in relative peace.

Enjoy a Doge's Palace night tour alone after the doors close to the public.

You’ll start your VIP evening at the Doge's Palace just as the doors close, leaving you almost alone to explore with your small group. What the Vatican is to Rome, the Doge's Palace is to Venice. For 700 years, this remarkable palace has been home to not only the Doge (the Duke of Venice), but to 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 night 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, and discover 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 a stroll through the interior of 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 night tour. Meet an official custodian of the Basilica, who will unlock the doors and usher your small group 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—and 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.

To take full advantage of our VIP visit, your guide will lead you to 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 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.

And of course, be sure to look up. Night is the best time to admire the basilica’s 43,000 square feet of gold mosaics, shimmering through the dark.

Small groups, local guides & special access provide a truly VIP experience.

Traveling in small groups throughout your tour, 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 Casanova escaped from the prisons of the Doge’s Palace, and how Venice managed 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 and fully understand them. Handpicked for their knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness, our local 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 and 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

Verified guest reviews

4.8 / 5
602 Customer Reviews
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Laura

Feb 06, 2024

This was absolutely the highlight of our trip. Having been through St. Marks Basilica and Dodge's Palace during peak season previously, this experience felt unreal. We are so thankful to our Guide and Walks for providing this incredible experience that we will never forget. Highly recommend.

Chao-I

Jan 30, 2024

Excellent tour. Elena was extremely knowledgable. She was able to answer all of our questions, and she was humorous. I would say she's one of the two best tour guides we have had throughout our 25 years of traveling abroad. The tour was extensive and covered everything that we needed to know about Venice, the Doge's palace, and the Basilica. It also included areas that no other tour groups or people are allowed to see. What a wonderful experience. We will be booking with them again when we travel to other places.

Linda

Jan 07, 2024

It was simply fabulous... The after-hours access to St Mark's, with the lighting was something to behold. To start in the dark and have the lights gradually reveal the splendour that is St Mark’s was unforgettable. Romy our guide was perfect – giving us the story behind the story which brings everything alive.

Gretchen

Oct 11, 2023

Great tour- skip the lines and see the basilica with very few people . The reveal of the ceiling at night was an sight to remember. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned so much about Venice - highly recommend!

Sara

Oct 04, 2023

These sites are absolutely spectacular! Having them practically to ourselves felt like a total luxury. If you’re lucky enough to get Nico, I hope you appreciate his quick dry humor. He’s naturally funny and he gave many interesting insights on art and history in an entertaining way.

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From $158
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