Private Tour

Private Venice Tour of St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

Art & History
Duration: 3 Hours
Languages: EN, ES, RU

Travel back in time to the golden age when the Venetian Empire ruled the seas. On this expertly led private Venice tour, you will discover the history and secrets behind St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Visit the religious and political hearts of the Venetian Republic with skip the line entry and walk across the Bridge of Sighs with your dedicated local guide.

Perfect for:
  • First Timers
  • Art & History Lovers
Covid-19 Health & Safety Measures

What to Expect

Dive into the power and glory of Venice two most iconic sights on this exclusive Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace walking tour. Our carefully planned private Venice tour will transport you back to the golden age of power that Venice wielded for centuries, shedding light on the gilded Basilica and the mighty Palace.

Private Venice Tour Overview

The elegant Piazza San Marco, the political and religious heart of the Floating City for over 1,000 years, is the starting point for this private Venice tour. Praised by Napoleon as the most beautiful drawing room in Europe, this spacious square is the only one in Venice to merit the title “piazza.” Its graceful Renaissance arches shelter some of the city’s most elegant shops and historic cafes.


Your guide will present the buildings in St. Mark’s Square, each of which had significance in the political, religious, and everyday lives of Venetians during the Empire. At the eastern end of the spacious piazza is the St. Mark’s Basilica, built in 1063. With its Byzantine style domes and its awe-inspiring gilded mosaics, the Basilica is a testament to Venice’s historical power as a sea-trading empire, and to its political links with both East and West.

St. Mark’s Basilica Skip the Line Tour

After learning about this famed square, get straight inside the Basilica where your guide will take you through the stories told in the sparkling mosaics. Unlike anything else in Italy, this Byzantine treasure trove includes golden mosaics, marbled inlaid floors, gem-encrusted altars and priceless works of art. Be awed by its beauty as your guide explains the art and the history in the Biblical scenes and spectacular architecture of Venice’s most illustrious masterpiece.

Doge's Palace Skip the Line Tour

Adjacent to the Basilica is the iconic palace of the city, residence of the Doge and seat of the Venetian government until Napoleon’s conquest in 1797. Today the Doge’s Palace houses myriad Renaissance masterpieces, including Tintoretto’s Paradiso, one of the largest paintings on canvas ever produced. The Doge’s Palace also contains the infamous Bridge of Sighs where prisoners took a last, wistful look of Venice before descending to the dank dungeons below.


Explore the treasures hidden inside as your guide leads to you to all the finest attractions that are accessible to the public. As you walk through the ornate rooms, your guide unveils secret stories of power and corruption including the tale of Marin Faliero, the only Doge to have been beheaded for treason whose portrait is covered by a black cloth. Marvel over ceilings frescoed by Tintoretto and discover the flattering works produced on demand by the masters of the time. 'Virtues of the Republic' in the Council Room was Veronese's rosy outlook on the state of his nation while 'The Triumph of Venice' in the Senate Hall was where Tintoretto paid his dues on a high ceiling.


In the Chamber of the Council of Ten, as you marvel over Veronese's 'Juno Bestowing Her Gifts on Venice,' your guide will point you in the direction of a dark corner, dwarfed by the vibrant masterpiece. This unassuming slot was where friends and foes condemned each other in the form of accusations - warranted or not - that were investigated and acted on with frightening brutality. Finally, walk through the Bridge of Sighs into the New Prisons where your guide will share why the bridge was given this nickname and how Casanova and generations of political and criminal prisoners spent their miserable last days before being executed.


  • St. Mark’s Square
  • Skip the line entrance into St. Mark's Basilica
  • Skip the line entrance into the Doge’s Palace
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs

What Is Included

  • Private licensed professional local guide
  • Tickets & reservation fees for skip the line access to the Doge's Palace
  • Tickets & reservation fees for skip the line access to St. Mark’s Basilica

What Is Not Included

  • Transportation
  • Food & drinks
  • Tips (optional)
  • Anything not expressly mentioned as included

Meeting Point

St. Mark’s Square. Full details provided upon booking.

Important Information

  • This private Venice tour is available on request any day except Sunday mornings, December 25, January 1, May 1 and August 15.
  • St. Mark’s Basilica is subject to closure without notice. When this occurs, we are happy to offer clients an extended tour of the Basilica from outside and of St. Mark’s Square.
  • For safety reasons all visitors to St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace must pass through a security line and there is sometimes a line for this.
  • Skip-the-line access into St. Mark’s Basilica is unavailable from November 1 – March 31. Lines during this time of year are minimal and should not delay your tour.

Good to Know

  • Occasionally, this private Venice tour may run in reverse order visiting the Doge's Palace prior to entering St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Appropriate dress is required for entry into St Mark Basilica. Knees, shoulders and backs must be covered. Tank tops, bare shoulders or short skirts are not permitted. By not being properly attired, you run into the risk of being denied entry.
  • You cannot enter the Basilica with large bags, umbrellas, and tripods. These items must be checked into the free luggage storage area off-site at Ateneo San Basso located in Piazzetta dei Leoncini on the left side of St Mark's Basilica.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Regretfully this private Venice tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility.

How to Book Your Private Tour

  • Send Us Your Inquiry
    Fill out the tour inquiry form and we will respond with availability and price quote.
  • Payment Policy
    Full payment by credit card is required to make a reservation. We use industry leader Stripe for all card transactions.
  • Tour Voucher
    Within two business days of payment, we will email you a voucher with all the booking details. Such email constitutes your proof of purchase.

Tour FAQs

Why can’t I see a price?

We offer personalized, private travel experiences. The price of the Venice private tour of St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace depends on your party size and preferences.

Does the Private Venice Tour includes the Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries?

This private Venice tour of St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace includes both the Bridge of Sighs and the prison area but not the "Secret Itineraries" portion of the Palace. Entrances are restricted and tickets sell out quickly. If you wish to take The Secret Itineraries portion, you must make reservations well in advance.

Would you like to personalize this tour?

If you would like us to put together a bespoke tour tailored to your needs, our dedicated trip planning specialists are on hand to help you develop an experience that will be just right for you and yours.

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Private Venice Tour of St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

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