Pala d'Oro

Enter your dates to find available activities

Pala d'Oro: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

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

Delve deep into Venice’s history with a 3-hour guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace, either as a private tour or shared group experience. Take in two of the city’s most important landmarks while discovering the history of the one-time mercantile capital of the Mediterranean.  Start by exploring St. Mark's Square with your guide before heading into the cathedral. From the first-floor terrace you’ll be able to admire views across the lagoon and see the famous bronze horses up close. Hear how they traveled all the way to Paris and back in Napoleon’s time. St. Mark's Basilica sometimes closes to visitors without warning. If this happens, visit the Church of San Zaccaria or the Correr Museum instead, depending on availability. Take a tour of the beautifully ornate 15th-century church and its flooded crypt or learn about the art and history of Venice. Next, you’ll use the priority entrance to reach Doge's Palace, formerly the residence of the leader of the Republic of Venice. Enjoy visiting the Chamber of the Great Council and courtrooms among other things. Highlights include frescoes by Tintoretto and the Giants’ Staircase.  After this, cross the infamous Bridge of Sighs that links to the New Prisons. Learn how the bridge got its name and the purpose for its construction in the 17th century as you take in the amazing views of the canals. At the end of your tour, feel free to stay and explore the Doge’s Palace with tips from your guide.

Saint Mark's Basilica Skip-the-line Ticket and Audio Guide

2. Saint Mark's Basilica Skip-the-line Ticket and Audio Guide

Save time during your visit to Venice with a skip-the-line ticket to the popular St. Mark’s Basilica. Admire the hundreds of golden mosaics in the Basilica and learn details about the byzantine art inside with your audio guide. Download your audio guide to your mobile device and head to St. Mark’s Basilica to begin your tour. Breeze past the long lines and put in your headphones. Explore the five-domes and an array of artworks. Hear legends and stories surrounding this church which has stood for almost a 1,000 years.  Witness the dazzling effect of the 43,000 square feet of mosaics in the church. Take in the stunning marble inlay work on the floors. Soak up the atmosphere in the building that dominates St. Mark’s Square. 

Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

3. Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

Escape the crowds on a late afternoon guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, and discover 2 of the icons of Venice away from the crowds. Meet your guide by the statue of the winged lion on St. Mark’s Square. Then, enter the Doge's Palace to learn more about the center of power during the Venetian Republic. See the sumptuous apartments of the Venetian rulers, as well as the Hall of the Great Council with its stunning frescoes by Veronese and Tintoretto. Hear secret stories behind the art, such as why one doge in the painted series is covered by a black veil. Learn how the were dukes were elected, and what they did. Explore the massive armory and spooky prisons. Cross the Bridge of Sighs on the inside, and hear why it is not quite as romantic as you might have thought! After a short break, continue to the Byzantine basilica of St. Mark's, and see its gilt decorations after the crowds have left for the day. A custodian of the cathedral will unlock its doors so that you can experience like only a doge could. Marvel at the gemstones of the Pala d’Oro altarpiece. Visit the crypt, where the bones of St. Mark are said to be kept. Admire mosaics in the soft glimmer of the evening light, and learn about Venetian art and history from your passionate guide.

Venice: Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica Private Tour

4. Venice: Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica Private Tour

Avoid the long lines and discover 2 of Venice’s most important treasures on this walking tour. Meet your guide at Doge’s Palace and walk straight past the long lines of tourists. Walk through what used to be the home of the Dukes of Venice and learn more about this symbol of the city from your guide’s detailed commentary as you admire the numerous Renaissance frescoes located in the building.   Continue your visit to St Mark’s Basilica, where you will once again skip the lines of tourists. Admire the church’s famous gold mosaics and listen to your guide as they explain the meaning of each of these mosaics.   Finally, enjoy a 1-hour walking tour of Venice’s most important locations, learning more about its exotic history and transformation throughout the years as you stroll through its picturesque canals.

Skip the Line: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

5. Skip the Line: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

Together with a tour guide arranged in agreement with the Curia di Venezia, you can take a full tour of the Golden Basilica, once the private chapel of the Doges of Venice, and the only one of its kind in Italy, thanks to the beautiful gold mosaics and marble inlay flooring. Listen to your expert guide describe the biblical scenes represented and the history and particularities of this ancient basilica. Admire the Treasure and the terrace with its wonderful view of St. Mark's Square

Venice: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tour

6. Venice: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tour

See the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, two of the most iconic sites in Venice, on a guided tour. For centuries, the destiny of the Most Serene Republic was decided in the majestic halls of the Doge’s Palace. Walk through the magnificent halls and marvel at the well-conserved priceless treasures, art masterpieces, and frescos. Visit the prison, passing over the celebrated Bridge of Sighs, so called because prisoners often sighed while looking at their beloved lagoon and freedom for the last time before reaching their cells. Among the famous guests of the Doge’s Palace prisons was Giacomo Casanova, the celebrated seducer and adventurer who managed to escape from the prison in 1756. Next, head to St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the world’s most stunning churches. As the name suggests, this cathedral is bound tightly to Venice’s patron, St. Mark, and the saint's remains are in fact here. Admire the breathtaking golden mosaics covering the high walls, and see the Pala d’Oro, an altarpiece made from hundreds of pieces of enamel on a golden leaf.

Venice Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tour

7. Venice Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tour

Set off on a guided walking tour of St. Mark’s Square, the Doge's Palace, and St Mark's Basilica with skip-the-line entry. Meet your guide at St. Mark’s Square and head for Doge's Palace, the extraordinary palace that served as the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Enter the splendid rooms, with hundreds of painted masterpieces. Explore where the Duke and his Council controlled the fate of a 1,000-year republic and admire the details of the medieval gold staircase. See the famous Bridge of Sighs. Enter the notorious Venetian prison that held Giacomo Casanova. Visit St Mark’s Basilica and enjoy a guided tour of this Byzantine masterpiece, with its beautiful gold mosaics and marble floor inlays. See the treasure and the terrace of the Basilica of St.Mark's

Venice Must-See Sights: Private Guided Tour

8. Venice Must-See Sights: Private Guided Tour

After meeting your private licensed guide, start with a tour of Venice's famous St. Mark's Square, at the very heart of the city and directly in front of the impressive Basilica of San Marco. Step inside the Basilica to admire its beautiful mosaics, as well as the famous Pala d'Oro altarpiece, decorated with 300 sapphires, 300 emeralds, 15 rubies, 1,300 pearls, and hundreds of other precious stones. Then stop by the nearby Campanile and Clock Tower before continuing on to the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), an impressive Gothic palace dating back to the 14th century which was transformed into a museum in 1923. From there, take a moment to admire the famous Bridge of Sighs, connecting the palace to the New Prison. During this private guided walk, you'll also see the beautiful spiral staircase of the Palazzo Contarini, along with plenty of the city's charming squares and wonderful views over the Grand Canal. Stop by the Fenice Theatre, the famous Venetian opera house which was destroyed twice by fire and reconstructed both times. The tour ends at the Rialto Bridge, another of the city's most famous landmarks and the perfect spot to take a picture of the iconic scenery.

Venice: Skip-the-Line Golden Basilica Tour

9. Venice: Skip-the-Line Golden Basilica Tour

Take a fascinating guided tour through the Golden Basilica of Saint Mark, with its famous golden mosaics. Skip the line and enter the majestic church with an expert guide who will narrate the history of this byzantine artwork and its meaning. You will be stunned in front of the five domes decorated by renowned artists. Discover the Saint Mark Treasury, a magnificent collection of relics and precious items collected along the centuries. Also, from the terraces, enjoy the view of St. Mark's Square, the heart of Venice, and the quadriga of St. Mark. After that, you can join a free and optional tour to visit a glass factory. Then, use the mobile app to discover the 5 districts of Venice with their best attractions and squares. Listen to the audio narration of the city’s highlights, with more than 120 points of interest including the glorious La Fenice Theater, Rialto Bridge, the Jewish Ghetto, the Arsenale, the majestic Accademia Bridge, and much more.

Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

10. Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour

Discover Saint Mark's Square and the Golden Basilica on a tour with an expert guide. Learn about the history of the square, which was once the private chapel of the Doge of Venice. Admire its sumptuous golden mosaics and impressive marble inlay flooring, making it one-of-a-kind in Italy. Take in the historical ambiance and listen to your guide as they describe the biblical scenes represented throughout the building, together with history and particularities of this ancient Basilica. Visit Saint Mark's Basilica first floor museum and see the famous horses and admire Saint Mark's Square from the Basilica's terrace.

Other Sightseeing Options in Pala d'Oro

Want to discover all there is to do in Pala d'Oro? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Pala d'Oro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 11,110 reviews

Very good tour guide with excellent knowledge of German. Detailed information about St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Best transmission quality of the technical aids. Unfortunately, our tour guide said goodbye too quickly - we couldn't even give her the well-deserved tip.

The skip the line ticket was essential due to the long queues for both the Palace and Basilica. Our guide Federica was charming and very knowledgeable. She also taught us some Italian. Highly recommended

This was a wonderful tour! We enjoyed it very much. Federica was very knowledgeable and an excellent guide. Would recommend as the first thing you do when you get to Venice!

Federica was an awesome guide! Funny and very knowledgeable about the Basilica and Doge's Palace.

It was a very interesting tour. Very professional. Much culture. Just top.