Experience the best of Venice in just one day with a local insider, including a walking tour of the heart of the historic center, a Gondola ride, entry to St. Mark’s Basilica AND the magnificent Doge’s Palace!
- The most comprehensive tour of Venice in one day
- Experience Venice from the water while enjoying an authentic Gondola ride
- Stroll through the heart of Venice with a local insider and licensed tour guide
- Skip the lines at St. Marks and the Doge’s Palace with priority entry
7.5 hours, total duration varies
Meet your guide at a central location and set off to discover the magic of Venice with a native. Learn about how Venetians live in this island city of canals: their unique lifestyle, the most authentic places, the typical food and wines that are celebrated here. Visit the local market and economic center of Venice dating back to medieval times when merchants traveled to the Rialto area from all over the world to exchange spices, fabrics, salt and gold. View the iconic Rialto Bridge, the very first bridge built over the Grand Canal (and not without criticism)!
Cameras ready – The Grand Canal is one of the most photographed places in all of Italy. Gorgeous Venetian palazzi decorate the canal that divides Venice into two halves. Make your way towards Piazza San Marco, the stunning square that is home to both St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s palace. Here your Gondolier will be waiting for you. Sail through the Venetian canals with the Gondola, the most authentic example of traditional Italian craftsmanship and the most characteristic boat in the world, observe the beauty of Venice from the water and witness how Gondoliers communicate with each other using their local dialect.
After a break for lunch, regroup with your guide for a tour of St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the symbols of Venice. Hear the life story of St. Mark the evangelist, whose sacred remains are protected inside the church. You’ll also learn about another symbol of Venice: The winged lion who represents St. Mark who according to legend was visited in a dream by an angel in the form of a winged lion while he sought refuge from a storm in Venice. Suddenly you will understand why there are so many lion sculptures around Venice. Continue your guided visit admiring the interior and the golden domes while hearing fascinating anecdotes about the Byzantine style basilica.
Your guide will lead the way to the cathedral museum and panoramic terrace where you can admire the stunning view on Saint Mark’s square and view the city from a completely different point of view as your guide shares the fascinating story of the horse statues on the top of the cathedral.
Our next stop will be the Doge’s Palace. As supreme authority of the Venetian Republic, the Doge resided and ruled from this ornate palazzo built in 1340 AD. With an expert guide by your side, you will learn the history of this fascinating palazzo, walk along its winding hallways, take in the magnificent courtyards and enjoy the heart stopping view over the Venetian Lagoon. You’ll also hear of the dark heart of Venice as you visit the underground prisons and hear the tales of their unfortunate occupants. Walk a mile in their shoes and cross the famous “Bridge of Sighs” where many prisoners caught their last glimpse of the outside world before meeting their tragic fate.
The final leg of this full day tour takes us to the Doge’s Palace. As supreme authority of the Venetian Republic, the Doge resided and ruled from this ornate palazzo built in 1340 AD. With an expert guide by your side, you will learn the history of this fascinating palazzo, walk along its winding hallways, take in the magnificent courtyards and enjoy the heart stopping view over the Venetian Lagoon. You’ll also hear of the dark heart of Venice as you visit the underground prisons and hear the tales of their unfortunate occupants. Walk a mile in their shoes and cross the famous “Bridge of Sighs” where many prisoners caught their last glimpse of the outside world before meeting their tragic fate.
- Guided walking tour of historic Venice
- Small group 30 minute gondola ride
- Guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with priority entrance
- Guided tour of Doge’s Palace with priority entrance
- Licensed English-speaking guide
- Small group – max 15 participants
- Personal extras
Know before you book
- Tour departs rain or shine
- Please remember that you have to follow a precise dress code for the Basilica entrance: shoulders, knees and thighs need to be covered so please avoid short dresses, tank tops, shorts and hats (for men). It is not allowed to enter with large bags, animals, weapons, lighters and scissors.
- Due to the route covered and/or the means of transportation used, it is not possible to participate in this tour using a wheelchair, scooter, or other aid. Please contact us to inquire about customized tour options for guests with mobility challenges
Know before you go
- Bring a hat and sunblock during summer months
- Bring water to drink
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
- Up to 48 hours before the beginning of the activity: full refund
- Less than 48 hours before the beginning of the activity or no-show: no refund