Exclusive Alone In St. Mark's & Doge's Palace Tour

Highlights

  • Private access to St. Mark's Basilica after hours, only for Walks groups - no crowds, no lines!

  • Experience being inside St.Mark's Basilica like almost no one else… Alone! Illuminated mosaics are even more breathtaking at night.

  • Enter the Doge's Palace after closing time - on this tour you will see Venice's most famous sites in the best possible way!

  • Explore both centres of Venice's power: church and politics!

  • Enjoy the intimacy of our small groups with your enthusiastic, English-speaking guide.

Summary

An after-hours tour of both St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace.

Tour info

Duration
3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
25
Pricing (From)
Adult: (15-99 years)
€139.00
Child: (2-14 years)
€134.00
Infant: (0-1 years)
€0.00
Commentary
English
Meeting Point

Correr Museum (Museo Correr), Piazza San Marco, Venice, IT, 30124, IT

Dropoff location

Piazza San Marco, 52, Venice, IT, 30124, IT

Why take this tour?

Explore two Venetian wonders, St Mark's Basilica & the Doge's Palace, after the crowds go home with nothing but a small group, an expert guide, and your imagination. With unparalleled after-hours access to these two architectural masterpieces, discover the gold mosaics of St Marks, see the frescoes of Veronese and Tintoretto, shiver in the Doge's prisons, and admire the Palace Armory. 

On certain days there may be a short break between the visit to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica (never more than one hour). This may extend the overall length of the tour.

St. Mark's Basilica is one of the most impressive churches in the world, and on this VIP tour, you'll have it almost entirely to yourself. In the late evening, caretakers switch on the lights to illuminate 43,000 sq ft of gold mosaics. Stand beneath the glittering ceilings and admire these incredible works, the oldest of which dates back to the 11th century. Then explore quiet areas of the church usually unseen by the public.

Your evening starts at the Doge's Palace as it closes for the day. This was once the heart of a maritime empire that stretched all the way to Turkey. As your expert guide tells you the story of Venice's epic rise and fall as a European trading power, you'll explore rooms like the Armory and the Hall of the Great Council. Venice is the world's oldest republic, and this enormous hall is where the city’s general assembly made important decisions, beneath beautiful paintings by their master painters, Veronese and Tintoretto.

You'll also peek into the 18th century prisons, where the darker work of Venetian governing was carried out. Learn the true story behind the 'romantic' Bridge of Sighs as you cross its length, peeking out at the crowds below.

Visiting after-hours, your Doge's Palace tour happens almost alone, when all others have left and the doors are closed. This allows you the time and space to really appreciate this incredible building. There's also the luxury of hearing your guide as clear as a bell.

After a quick break (no more than one hour), you'll head over to St. Mark's Basilica, which will already have closed for the evening. As your small group approaches, a guard will appear and open the door. Access at this time is only open to Walks groups, so you'll find the normally-busy church almost deserted. Step inside to experience St Mark's Basilica in all its shimmering glory, enormous ceiling mosaics lighting up the interior with their golden glow.

As you explore the church, including the crypt, you'll stop at beautiful artifacts like the main altar and the famous Byzantine altarpiece, the *Pala d'Oro*. These parts of the church either require additional tickets or are so crowded during opening hours that most visitors avoid them entirely. But not tonight, and not your group.

As you explore, your guide will tell you why this incredible building, with its riches and relics plundered from around the world, is the perfect representation of what Venice was at that time: a meeting point of the world, funded largely by piracy.

No one since the last Doge of Venice has been able to enter St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace with so few people inside, making this a truly unique experience. With an expert guide and only small Walks groups of maximum 25 people each inside, this is the perfect way to visit one of the most unique churches in the world.


Sites Visited: 
  • St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)
    St. Mark's Basilica
    St. Mark's Crypt
    Pala d’Oro Altarpiece
    Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square (exterior)
    Clock Tower on St. Mark's Basilica (exterior)
    Marciana Library (exterior)
    Doge’s Palace
    New Prisons
    Bridge of Sighs

What’s included?

  • Local English-speaking guide

  • Expertly guided walking tour

  • Exclusive access ticket for St. Mark's Basilica (after closing)

  • After-closing ticket to the Doge's Palace

  • Headset

  • Gratuities

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Frequently asked questions

Things to know

Before you book

  • Our group tour utilizes multiple areas that are not wheelchair accessible. Those with wheelchairs should contact us so we can arrange your visit.

  • Sites visited during this tour are subject to occasional closures due to holy observances, high tides, and/or flooding. If a site closes, your guide will tour the exterior of the site. If time permits, we will reach out to you prior to your tour. For last-minute closures, modifications may be communicated at the tour start time.

  • Walks comply with all local government regulations. You may need to wear a mask or provide proof of vaccination to enter certain venues. Please refer to Italy government guidelines for the most up to date information

Before you go

  • This tour is in English.

  • This is a walking tour. Guests should be able to walk at a moderate pace without difficulty.

  • The tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds can be provided for late arrivals or no-shows.

  • If you cannot join your tour at the last minute (running late, etc), please contact us. We may be able to reschedule your tour with a small amendment fee depending on availability.

  • Due to the religious nature of St. Mark's Basilica, all individuals regardless of gender must cover their shoulders and knees. You can bring extra covering (scarves, etc) to put on just before entering St. Mark's. Walks cannot be held responsible for those denied entry.

  • Sites visited during this tour are subject to occasional closures due to holy observances, high tides, and/or flooding. If a site closes, your guide will tour the exterior of the site. If time permits, we will reach out to you prior to your tour. For last-minute closures, modifications may be communicated at the tour start time.

  • Large bags and backpacks cannot be brought into St. Mark's Basilica.

  • On certain days there may be a short break between the visit to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica (never more than one hour). This may extend the overall length of the tour.

  • Walks comply with all local government regulations. You may need to wear a mask or provide proof of vaccination to enter certain venues. Please refer to Italy government guidelines for the most up to date information

Covid Policy

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms

Cancellation Policy

    Cancellations received greater than 72 hours prior to tour commencement are fully refundable. Cancellations received within 72 hours of tour commencement are nonrefundable. Amendment requests are subject to availability and price changes. Late arrivals and no shows are nonrefundable. This is applicable to any tour participant that fails to arrive, or arrives after tour departure.

Redemption information

    Mobile tickets will be accepted


    Your voucher will be collected or scanned on redemption

About operator:

Walks (takewalks.com, walksofitaly.com) began over a decade ago (2008, to be exact) in Rome, Italy. We quickly became the premier walking tour company in 7 countries - Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Greece, and Portugal. Our US cities include San Francisco, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans.

In 2021, we joined The Hornblower Group (cityexperiences.com) expanding our reach and working alongside this powerhouse travel brand.

Our tour products vary but predominantly we #takewalks, exploring the world by foot - we believe, the best way to get into the heart of a city and its incredible people. From introductory strolls to food tours, day trips, cooking classes, and below the surface, in-depth tours, we have our hand in everything a traveler could want. Oh, and we also like to give our clients exclusive access to the biggest attractions in the world...

Despite the big changes in our brand over the years, our focus has remained simple - to relentlessly create tours with the client experience at the forefront and anchored upon the dedicated, intelligent, and above all, passionate local guides who want to share their cities with you.