St. Mark's Basilica stands near the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square, the hub of the city's social and religious life. With more than 43,000 square feet of golden mosaics, marble floors, and 500 columns from the third century, it is a unique temple in Italy.
Being one of the most visited attractions in Venice, getting skip-the-line access to avoid waiting or booking a guided tour of the Basilica can be a great idea. You will need a ticket to access the most important jewels of St. Mark's Basilica, such as the Museum, the Treasury, and the Golden Spade.
The most complete option to discover the best of Venice
The perfect option to discover not only St. Mark's Basilica but also the Doge's Palace and the essential places of Venice with an expert guide
This group tour of St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace is the most economical considering all that it includes, as in addition to the entrance tickets to St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace, it includes a guided tour inside and a tour of Venice with an expert local guide.
During the 4 hours duration of this Venice Walking Tour and Express Entrance with visit to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, your guide will show you the most beautiful, unknown, and important corners of Venice while explaining the history of this city of canals.
They will guide you on your tour of the Saint Mark's Basilica, erected in the year 828 to house the body of Saint Mark brought from Alexandria, and filled with gilded mosaics, some dating back to the early 13th century, such as those in the Ascension dome, depicting scenes from the New Testament.
You will discover how the Ducal Palace, which combines Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural elements, began as a fortified castle in the 9th century and was converted into a prison after a great fire. It was also the center of political power as the seat of up to 120 doges who controlled the destiny of Venice for almost a century.
Why I like this option: this is the most dynamic and complete way to have an introduction to the best of the city and also to know its two most emblematic monuments with a professional guide.
Recommended if... you are planning to visit both St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace and want to save by joining a guided tour.
Access St. Mark's Basilica at the lowest price
If you don't want to break the bank to visit St. Mark's Basilica, with this ticket you will skip the queues at the ticket office and you can tour it at your own pace.
If you are not a fan of guided tours but you don't want to give up a tour of St. Mark's Basilica, don't worry. With this ticket, if you buy it online and in advance, you can avoid the long lines that form at the ticket office at the entrance.
Once inside, you will have as much time as you want to enjoy its architecture, the details of its altar, the spectacular mosaics on its floor, and of course, the views of St. Mark's Square from its terrace. Take your time and enjoy the visit. Keep reading and find what you should not miss on a self-guided tour!
Why I like this option: in addition to being the most economical, it allows you greater flexibility of schedule to organize the visit at your own pace.
Recommended if... you want to visit the interior of the Basilica without wasting time at the ticket office and at the best price.
What not to miss on your visit to St. Mark's Basilica
Once you have chosen your type of tour, in addition to exploring this masterpiece of Byzantine art that is St. Mark's Basilica, there are four landmarks of special interest that you cannot miss on your visit. You'll need extra tickets that you can get on-site.
Palo de Oro
It is the most relevant artistic work of the Basilica of St. Mark, a great altarpiece set with enamels and precious stones.
Treasury of St. Mark's Basilica
It is a Byzantine treasure of gold and silver from the sacking of Constantinople.
The Museum and the St. Mark's Horses
This museum is full of works of art, including the original sculptures of the Horses of St. Mark. made of gold-plated bronze. These sculptures were found in the hippodrome of Constantinople and were part of the loot of the Fourth Crusade. In addition, from the museum, you can get a close-up view of the ceilings and mosaics of the basilica.
Balcony of the Basilica
From the terrace of St. Mark's Basilica, which you will access through the staircase in the Loggia del Cavalli, you will get unique views of the majestic St. Mark's Square. This was the royal balcony from which the Doge of Venice witnessed the ceremonies held in the square and from it, you will see the arcaded facades of the square, the Bell Tower, the Torre dell Oroglio and the facade of the Doge's Palace.
In the background, you can see the columns of San Marco and San Teodoro and in the distance, you can see the island of San Giorgio Maggiore above the Lagoon with its imposing church.
Vicky's Traveller Tip
Remember that as it is a religious temple, you will have to cover your shoulders and knees to enter the Basilica.
Opening hours of St. Mark's Basilica
- St. Mark's Basilica in Venice can be visited every day of the year from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last access 15 minutes before closing time.
- On Sundays and public holidays the opening hours are restricted from 2.00 to 4.30 p.m. and from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. from November to Easter.
How to get to St. Mark's Basilica
St. Mark's Basilica is not to be missed as it is located in the center of the city, in St. Mark's Square, so getting to it on foot or by vaporetto is very easy. If you are traveling to Venice, but not staying in the city, you can reach the basilica from the train station in a half an hour's walk.
Other interesting activities
If you are interested in visiting St. Mark's Basilica, maybe you should consider also the option of visiting the Doge's Palace (you can read my article about Doge's Palace Tickets). I also recommend you complete your trip to Venice with a gondola ride. To make sure you choose the right experience, here's a guide on the best options: Gondola Rides Tickets.