St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
Popular and perpetually busy, St. Mark’s Basilica is the most famous monument in Venice. Avoid the long lines and save time skip-the-line tickets or opt for an after-hours tour for private evening access. While the exterior is visited on just about every city sightseeing tour, a guided tour is the best way to experience the interior, given the complexity of its art and architecture.
A guided private or small-group evening tour offers a unique and intimate experience, and the basilica is located on St. Mark’s Square, so you can easily combine a basilica tour with a gondola ride and a Doge’s Palace tour.
Recent reviews from experiences in Venice
Things to Know Before You Go
The church has been rebuilt, expanded, and delicately restored over the centuries.
Like most churches in Italy, St. Mark’s Basilica requires visitors to wear appropriate clothing—no exposed shoulders, knees, or midriffs.
Large bags are not permitted in the basilica. Deposit any luggage at Ateneo di San Basso (in Piazzetta dei Leoncini).
Both St. Mark's Basilica and the nearby Doge's Palace are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The cathedral is on the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent to the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) along the Grand Canal. The nearest vaporetto (ferry) stop is San Marco–San Zaccaria.
When to Get There
The basilica is most crowded at midday, so begin or end your Venice tour with a morning or late-afternoon visit. Summer is the most popular time of year to visit, while Venice is relatively quiet from November through February (aside from the Christmas and New Year holidays, and during Carnival).
The Pala d’Oro
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is famous for Michelangelo's Pietà and Florence’s Duomo is known for Brunelleschi’s dome, but St. Mark’s Basilica’s greatest treasure—the stunning Pala d'Oro—is older than even those masterpieces. This glittering gold and enamel altarpiece from AD 976 is considered one of the most important, refined examples of Byzantine enamel in the world.
- Things to do in Veneto
- Things to do in Treviso
- Things to do in Padua
- Things to do in Vicenza
- Things to do in Ferrara
- Things to do in Piran
- Things to do in Porec
- Things to do in Bologna
- Things to do in Ljubljana
- Things to do in Florence
- Things to do in Innsbruck
- Things to do in Milan
- Things to do in Pisa
- Things to do in Istria
- Things to do in Friuli-Venezia Giulia