St. Marks's Basilica Tours

St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

St Mark's Basilica tours offer an immersive experience by letting you explore one of the most iconic churches in the world and also the largest one in Venice. You get to take a tour of the church built in the 9th century, for the purpose of housing the last remains of St. Mark, which were smuggled from Egypt to Venice by Venetian merchants. Stroll into the Byzantine-style Basilica which has been designed in the shape of a Greek cross and is famed as the Church of Gold, owing to the enormous use of gold in its construction. Interestingly, you also get to explore its interior to admire its marble inlays and gold mosaic work portraying scenes from the Bible. Take an audio guide along to learn about the history of the place and about its various attractions. 

To make your experience complete, you can opt for one of the St Mark's Basilica guided tours, where an expert guide will take you to all the important attractions of the place such as the tomb of St Mark, the Dome, Museo di San Marco, Pala d'Oro, the treasury, and Campanile. The expert guide will inform you about the church’s history, architecture and special attractions. 

Why Take The St. Mark's Basilica Tour?

  • St. Mark's Basilica is one of the iconic churches in the world and is worth a visit.
  • St Mark's Basilica tours will take you inside the church to witness its marble inlays and mosaic works, along with its magnificent architecture and installations.
  • While on the tour, you will be able to witness the special attractions of the place such as the tomb of St Mark, Pala d'Oro, the treasury, the Dome, Museo di San Marco and Campanile.
  • You can opt for a 25-min audio guide, to make your tour more interesting.
  • You can also prefer a guided tour to save time. Tour guides are experts and knowledgeable and hence can tell more about the history of the church, the amazing architecture as well about its main attractions.
  • Additionally, if you opt for skip-the-line access tickets, you will be able to get priority access to the church.

Available St. Mark's Basilica Tours

Skip-the-Line Tickets to St. Mark's Basilica

Skip-the-Line Tickets to St. Mark's Basilica allow visitors to bypass long queues and enjoy fast-track entry to this iconic Venice landmark. By purchasing these tickets, you can save time and make the most of your visit to the stunning basilica, renowned for its beautiful Byzantine architecture and breathtaking mosaics. With Skip-the-Line access, you can explore the basilica at your own pace, admiring its intricate details and soaking in its rich history without the hassle of waiting in line.

St. Mark’s Basilica + St. Mark’s Bell Tower Tickets

St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Bell Tower Tickets offer a combined experience to explore two of Venice's iconic landmarks. With these tickets, visitors can enjoy skip-the-line access to both the breathtaking St. Mark's Basilica, known for its stunning mosaics and the magnificent St. Mark's Bell Tower, offering panoramic views of the city.

Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica

Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica Tickets provide a comprehensive experience of two significant landmarks in Venice. These tickets allow visitors to explore the opulent Doge's Palace, once the residence of the Venetian Doge and a symbol of Venetian power, as well as the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica, renowned for its Byzantine architecture and stunning mosaics. With these tickets, visitors can conveniently access both attractions without waiting in long queues, ensuring a seamless and immersive exploration of Venice's rich history and artistic treasures.

Walking Tour of Venice with Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica

The Walking Tour of Venice with Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica offers an enriching experience of the city's highlights. This guided tour takes visitors through the charming streets of Venice, culminating in visits to the iconic Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. Led by knowledgeable guides, participants gain insights into the history, art, and culture of Venice while exploring these magnificent landmarks. By booking these tickets, visitors can enjoy a comprehensive and immersive journey through Venice's architectural gems and hidden treasures, making the most of their time in this unique city.

What to Expect on a St. Mark's Basilica Tour?

You can expect to cover all major attractions during a St. Mark's Basilica tour. These attractions include the dome, the St. Mark’s Museum, the Tomb of St. Mark, the dome, the treasury, Campanile Pala d’Or, the Transept Chapels, and the Basilica Terrace. During your tour, you will be able to witness the exquisite gold mosaic work depicting stories from the Bible and other historical events. To learn more about the rich history and the stunning architecture of the church, you can opt for an audio guide during your tour. The 25-minute audio guide is available in 10 languages and will help you enhance your visit as well as the experience. If you opt for a guided tour, your knowledgeable expert guide will provide you further information about the place and will also answer all the questions that you have regarding the church.

Highlights Covered on Your St. Mark's Basilica Tour


A must-visit highlight of your St Mark's Basilica guided tours are the 5 ornate domes or cupolas of St. Mark's Basilica. All the 5 cupolas - the Western dome, the Northern dome, the Southern dome, the Central dome, and the Narthex are decked with golden mosaics. You can take a close look at them to identify various scenes from the holy Bible. Also, visit the galleries near the museum to get the best view of these cupolas.

Pala d'Oro

The Pala d’Oro is one of the most precious treasures of the St. Mark's Basilica, located near the high altar and is known to be one of the world’s most accomplished and sophisticated works. As you visit the church, take a good look at this exquisite structure that has been made by Byzantine enamel. Also, observe thousands of pearls and jewels decked on both sides of this altarpiece. 


Housed inside the treasury at St. Mark's Basilica are the most beautiful collections of the Byzantine portable objects. Your St Mark's Basilica guided tours will take you to these ancient rooms located between the ducal palace and the church. Stroll across the four sections of the treasury and admire its precious items which includes 283 pieces in gold, silver and glass. These items were brought to Venice from Constantinople after the Venetian conquest. Observe bowls and patens in semi-precious stone mounted on Byzantine enamelled gold-work, along with liturgical chalices, two icons of the Archangel Michael with enamelled frames and much more. 

Museo di San Marco

The Museo di San Marco or the St. Mark’s Museum is another place that you will be covering during your St Mark's Basilica tours. You will find the museum housing various artefacts and objects that are related to the historical heritage of the church. Feel awe-struck looking at Persian carpets, liturgies, 78 bones of different Saints, golden tesserae, broken fragments of mosaic, and many more items as a part of the collection.

Tomb of St. Mark

St. Mark's Basilica was built to serve as a tomb for St Mark, and the putative corpse is housed inside this church. Today, St Mark’s corpse has become a symbol of Venice’s prestige. You will be able to witness this 800-year-old corpse, covered with a blue sheet, under the main altar inside the St. Mark's Basilica.

Transept Chapels

Located inside St. Mark's Basilica are several transept chapels with marble structures, exquisite Byzantine mosaics, and paintings as a part of their architecture. You can visit the Cappella della Madonna Nicopeia and the Cappella di San Giovanni on the north transept. If you go to the south transept, you will be able to see the Cappella di San Clemente, which was formerly known as Doge’s chapel. Another chapel worth seeing as a part of your St Mark's Basilica tours, is Madonna del Mascoli.

Mosaic and Marble Inlays

Two key and popular features of St. Mark's Basilica are its golden mosaics and marble floors. The marble floor stretches over an area of, 2099 sq m and is made of thousands of earth-toned individual pieces, depicting stories from the Bible. You will find depictions of events from the life of Virgin Mary, Saint Christ, Saint Mark as well as many other saints. The mosaic is made of ground gold and depicts various scenes from the bible along with many other historical events.

The Basilica Terrace

The Basilica Terrace is also worth a visit during your St Mark's Basilica tours. Overlooking the St. Mark’s Square, the terrace will enchant you with its displays of precious textiles, rare tapestries and the original horses of St. Mark’s Basilica. The terrace will also give you an excellent view of the city of Venice.


The bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica is known as Campanile as it is freestanding from the body of a church. This 99m high structure is one of the most popular landmarks of Venice and is made of flute brick. You can opt to purchase a ticket and go to the top of the tower to enjoy the breathtaking view of Venice and its lagoons.

Guided Vs Non Guided Tours

Guided Tour
  • Opt for one of the many St Mark's Basilica guided tours to see all the major attractions of the church in a short duration.
  • Guided tours have a fixed itinerary which will cover all the major highlights of the church.
  • Visit the prime attractions of the church - Pala d'Oro, the Tomb of St. Mark, the treasury, St. Mark’s Museum, the dome, Campanile, and the Basilica Terrace.
  • Choose from the 4 languages for the guided tours - English, Spanish, French and German - as per your requirement.
  • Take advantage of the in-depth knowledge of the expert tour guides who will share various highlights of the church and will also answer your queries.
  • Opt to include the skip-the-line feature with your guided tour and avoid waiting in long queues.
Non Guided Tours
  • Explore the Basilica at your own pace, without having to tag along with others in a group.
  • Take the help of the 25-minute audio guide to enhance your experience while visiting the largest church of Venice.
  • Choose from the 10 languages for the audio guide experience - English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, German, French, Korean and Russian.
  • Learn about the history of the Basilica and about various points of interests from the audio guide.
  • Visit the prime attractions of the church - the treasury, Pala d'Oro, the Tomb of St. Mark, St. Mark’s Museum, Campanile, the dome, and the Basilica Terrace.
  • Opt for a skip-the-line ticket to avoid standing in long queues and enjoy priority access.

Know Before You Book St. Mark's Basilica Tours

Essential Information
How To Reach?
Visitor Tips

Location: San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

Operational Hours:

  • St. Mark's Basilica is open every day from 9:30 AM to 5:15 PM.
  • On Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, the Basilica is open from 2 PM.
  • The Loggia dei Cavalli museum is open on Sundays from 9:30 AM to 2 PM.
  • The Bell Tower is open daily from 9:30 AM to 9:15 PM.
  • Visitors can enter the Basilica for free for prayer, mass, and services.
  • Use the entrance Porta dei Fiori on the north side from Piazzetta dei Leoncini square.
  • Prayer times are from 8 AM to 7:30 PM daily.
  • The last admission for tourists to enter St. Mark's Basilica is at 4:45 PM.
  • The final entry time to the Bell Tower is at 8:45 PM.

By Ferry: To reach St. Mark's Basilica from Rialto Bridge, take a short 3-minute walk via Riva del Ferro and Riva del Carbon to Rialto "B" jetty. From there, board an ACTV S.p.a-run ferry on Line 1 and get off at S. Marco-San Zaccaria "F" stop. After alighting, walk straight and take a left at Riva Degli Schiavoni. The Basilica is just 380 meters away from the ferry stop. If you are traveling from Piazzale Roma, take water bus line 1 or direct lines 51 & 2 to reach St. Mark's Basilica.

By Train: Venice is well connected to other major Italian cities by train, with the closest railway station being Santa Lucia. From Santa Lucia, it is just a short 3-minute drive to Piazzale Roma. Once you reach Piazzale Roma, you can then transfer to a water-bus line to reach your destination, including St. Mark's Basilica or other parts of Venice.

By Car: To reach Venice from nearby cities like Verona or Padua, you can take the road SR11 which leads to Piazzale Roma. Once you reach Piazzale Roma, you can park your vehicle in the designated parking lot and take a water bus to St. Mark's Basilica.

  • You will be able to enter the Basilica for free. However, if you wish to visit the special sections of the basilica complex such as the Pala d’Oro altar, St. Mark’s Museum, the Treasury, and the Campanile, you will need to pay an entry fee. 
  • If you visit during holidays, you will need to pay entrance tickets.
  • The Basilica is a popular attraction and is crowded during the day. So, if you wish to skip long lines or crowd in the square, visit as early in the morning as possible. 
  • It is recommended that you book your tickets online to skip the queue.
  • Do not miss out on going to the top of the Campanile (Bell Tower). The excellent view of the city from the top of the tower is worth the ticket price.
  • Lockers are available in case you wish to store your backpacks or any other heavy luggage. 
  • Make sure to wear appropriate clothes and cover your legs and shoulders while visiting the church.


How long should one spend inside St. Mark's Basilica?

One should spend at least an hour inside St. Mark's Basilica to fully appreciate its architectural and artistic beauty, explore its various features and attractions, and learn about its history and significance. However, the amount of time can vary depending on personal interest and pace. Some visitors may choose to spend more time admiring the intricate details of the mosaics and sculptures, while others may prefer to spend more time learning about the history and cultural significance of the Basilica.

What is St. Mark's Basilica famous for?

St. Mark's Basilica is a stunning example of Byzantine architecture, renowned for its intricate mosaics, gold leaf decorations, and precious stones. The Basilica's exterior is adorned with sculptures and carvings that depict scenes from the Bible and Venetian history. Inside, visitors can admire the Pala d'Oro, a stunning altarpiece made of gold, silver, and enamel, and the Treasury, which houses a collection of liturgical objects dating back to the 4th century.

What is the best time to visit St. Mark's Basilica?

The best time to visit St. Mark's Basilica is early in the morning, right when it opens at 9:30 AM. This way, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the beauty of the basilica in peace. Another good time to visit is during the late afternoon, just before the basilica closes at 5:15 PM, as the crowds tend to thin out. However, if you want to experience the basilica's mesmerizing golden glow, you may want to visit during the late afternoon when the sunlight hits the mosaics in the most beautiful way.

Do we need to book St. Mark's Basilica tours in advance?

Yes, it is recommended to book St. Mark's Basilica tours in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. This is to ensure that you have a guaranteed spot on the tour and avoid long waiting times. Additionally, booking in advance may also provide you with the opportunity to skip the line and save time.

How old is St. Mark's Basilica?

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy, was originally built in the 9th century, although it has been rebuilt and renovated multiple times since then. The current structure dates back to the 11th century.

How much does a St. Mark’s Basilica tour cost?

The cost of St Mark's Basilica tours will depend on the one you select. You can enter the premises of the basilica without purchasing any ticket. However, if you want to go to the special sections of the place such as St. Mark’s Museum, the Treasury, Pala d’Oro altar, and the Campanile, you will need to purchase a ticket. There are three types of tickets that you can opt for - an unguided tour ticket, a 25-minute-long audio tour or one of the guided tours. To give you an idea of the cost, St Mark's Basilica entry tickets with audio guide will cost you Rs. 1920.09 per adult.

In what languages are the St. Mark’s Basilica tours available?

The guided tours of St. Mark’s Basilica are available in 4 languages - English, German, French and Spanish. If you opt for an audio guide, the tour is available in 10 languages - English, Italian, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, Korean and Portuguese.

Is the St. Mark’s Basilica tour worth it?

Yes, taking a tour of the St. Mark’s Basilica is worth it. St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the iconic churches in the world and is the largest one in Venice. It houses the remains of Saint Mark and is known for its marble flooring and exquisite gold mosaic work. The church also houses a very beautiful collection of the Byzantine portable items.

Do the St. Mark’s Basilica tours include skip the line access?

Yes, you can opt for a skip-the-line access in your St. Mark’s Basilica tours. The skip-the-line access would mean that you will get priority access to the church and will not require to wait in the long queues for entry.

How long is the St. Mark’s Basilica guided tour?

If you opt for a guided tour of the St Mark’s Basilica, it will take you between 1 and 4 hours, also depending on the tour that you have booked. The church has some special attractions which you can include in your tour if you have at least 3-4 hours in hand and want a complete experience. These attractions are the Tomb of St. Mark, the treasury, the Dome, Pala d'Oro, St. Mark’s Museum, Campanile,and the Basilica Terrace.


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