Saint Mark's Basilica
Enter your dates to find available activities
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, tours, attractions, and venues in this location may be temporarily closed. Check out our travel update page for the latest information. Learn more.
Top pick
doges palace st. marks basilica with terrace access tour

Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

Duration: 3 hours
642 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
642

Visit St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace on a 3-hour guided tour. Choose from a shared or private experience. Includes the terrace at St.…

Saint Mark's Basilica: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Saint Mark's Basilica

Top sights in Venice

See all 415 tickets & tours

5 historical facts about Saint Mark's Basilica

Venice's most famous church is more a testament to the city's Medieval wealth and power than the teachings of Christ. Its history, however, might just be even more spectacular than its architecture! Here are five fun facts dug up from its colorful past.

It was built for the bones of Mark the Evangelist

It was built for the bones of Mark the Evangelist

The original church was built circa 832 to harbor the relics of Saint Mark, which were supposedly stolen from Alexandria by Venetian merchants!

The original was burned down to assassinate a Doge

The original was burned down to assassinate a Doge

The Doge (leader) of Venice, Pietro IV Candiano, was so unpopular by 976 that his constituents locked him in Saint Mark's and burned it to the ground!

Its nickname is the

Its nickname is the "Chiesa d'Oro"

Hardly a symbol of Christian humility, the cathedral's opulent mosaics gave rise to a nickname that has lasted since its 9th century construction – The Church of Gold!

It's decorated partly by the spoils of war

It's decorated partly by the spoils of war

The 4th Crusade didn't go quite as planned! Rather than reach Jerusalum, the Venetians instead pillaged Constantinople and stole many artifacts to adorn their cathedral.

Its mosaics cover approximately 8000 m²

Its mosaics cover approximately 8000 m²

But, unfortunately, only about a third is original! Though once maintained by a workshop of skilled mosaicists, much was simply replaced in cheap 19th-century restoration attempts.

Our insider tips

What are the opening times?

The Basilica's opening hours are from 9:45AM to 5:00PM, and on Sundays and holidays between 2:00PM and 4:00PM or 5:00PM depending on the season. Entrance to the Basilica is free, but visiting the museum, treasury, or Pala d'Oro requires paying for tickets.

What to wear?

Whether you're booking a tour or intend to visit Saint Mark's Basilica alone, be sure to dress appropriately for a place of worship! A general rule of thumb is to keep arms and legs covered (and no flip-flops!). Also note that bringing luggage in is forbidden, as is filming or taking photographs inside.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    9:45AM to 5:00PM, Sundays and Holidays 2:00PM to 4:00PM or 5:00PM, depending on season.
  • Is it expensive?
    The Basilica is free, but the museum, treasury and Pala d'Oro require admission fees.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    This attraction is within walking distance from most hotels in city center!
  • Additional information
    Bringing in luggage, filming or taking photographs inside is strictly forbidden. | It's best to keep your arms and legs covered, and no flip-flops!

What people are saying about Saint Mark's Basilica

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 16,101 reviews

This is an excellent tour to have an overall introduction to Murano, Burano, and Torcello, without diving too deep into the details of each island. Perfect if you have never visited them and want to get an idea, less suitable if you want to gain in-depth knowledge about them. We were a small group, so the company booked a taxi, which was an absolute treat. Great first time to the Lagoon Islands, our favourite was Burano (we got covid masks with handmade lace! So stylish). Live demonstrations of glass blowing and lace making are included. The guide was approachable and knowledgeable, keeping us on time without making us feel rushed.

Stefano is a terrific guide! He explained the history and architecture relating to St. Mark’s Bacilica and Doge’s Palace in an easy to understand manner and with a strong knowledge foundation. His background as an architect added another positive dimension. The 3 hour tour went quickly. We highly recommend taking it.

This tour is a definite recommendation, a must-do for everyone interested in Venice's history. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly, with an in-depth response for everyone extra question we had and brought across the information in a way that was engaging and fun to listen to.

The guide was friendly, well informed and organized. This tour is amazing for people who want to be advised in historical facts about the buildings and life of the people of Venice.

Great experience. Very knowledgeable and engaging Guide. We were a small group of 6 so felt very personal. Seamless and quick entry to all sites. Would highly recommend.