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The Best of Venice Tour - St. Marks Basilica, Doge's Palace Ticket with FREE Glass Blowing Demonstration Tour

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from US$ 63.84 per person pp

Key Highlights

  • Get the inside track on political intrigues and scandals in old-time Venice
  • Marvel at the fabulous treasures of the Basilica San Marco
  • Learn about Casanova's famous prison escape
  • Tour is led by expert local guide
  • Book & travel before 30 Dec 18 to get a glass blowing demonstration tour for FREE
  • Overview

    Step back to the glory days of Venice when you visit two of the most famous and important monuments in this fabulous city.

    Led by an expert guide, explore the splendid Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), which for centuries represented the hub of Venetian political power. See the magnificent council chambers embellished with stunning artworks and climb the sumptuous ‘Golden Staircase’.

    Relive the anguish of condemned prisoners crossing the Bridge of Sighs and learn about the exploits of Casanova, once a ‘guest’ in the Doge’s grim prisons.

    Marvel at the golden ceiling mosaics and marble inlays in the Basilica San Marco (St Marks Basilica), and gasp when you see the gem-encrusted altar screen and the glittering contents of the Treasury. Your trip includes Skip the Line access to the Palazzo and Basilica, so you won’t have to wait in a queue.

    Unveil the secret Art of glassblowing for FREE. Get to know about the history and process of glassblowing as you explore the glassblowing factory in Venice. The master artisan will also present a demonstration of how glass is molded using traditional techniques which will leave you awestruck.

  • Activity Schedule & Itinerary

    Activity Schedule

    When does it run?

    01 Apr - 31 Oct:
    English/ French/ German/ Spanish Tour: Daily except Sunday

    Italian : Saturday ( the visit is monolingual)

    01 Nov - 31 Mar:

    English Tour: Daily except Sunday
    French Tour: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
    German Tour: Monday & Friday
    Spanish Tour: Wednesday & Saturday

    The visit could be bilingual

    Glassblowing Tour: Daily


    Approx. 2 hours
    Glassblowing tour: 20 minutes

    Start time


    Glassblowing Tour:

    12:00pm (noon) & 5:00pm

    Meeting Point

    Clock Tower Near Exchange Office (The White Building With The Blue Clock Facade) Saint Mark's Square. An assistant will wait for you with the sign "Tour".
    Art of Glassblowing Tour: Make your way to ST. MARK’S SQUARE - Clock Tower Near Exchange Office (The White Building With The Blue Clock Facade).

    A Representative will wait for you with a signboard in which is written “GLASS BLOWING TOUR”

    Ending Point

    The tour ends at St. Mark’s Area


    The tour starts at the exchange office at the Clock Tower in St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco). You will be led by an expert guide and the languages spoken on the tour will vary according to the day of the week.

    You will visit the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), once the residence of the Doge, the Chief Magistrate and leader of the Venetian Republic. Your tour includes a ‘Skip the Line’ ticket to the Palace which means you don’t have to waste time queuing. 

    Built in Gothic style, the Palace dates from the 14th century. You will see the magnificent Grand Council Chamber (or Sala del Maggior Consiglio) where up to 2000 members of the aristocracy could meet at one time. Designed to impress, this monumental hall is covered in sumptuous decoration and contains the world’s largest oil painting, ‘Paradise’ by the renowned master Tintoretto and his son Domenico.

    Climb the beautiful Golden Staircase (Scala d'Oro), with its gleaming golden stucco, to view the rooms once used by the Doge. Today, these are unfurnished thanks to looting by Napoleon's army, but you can still see the glorious ceilings and imposing stone fireplaces.

    Enter the Hall of the Council of the Ten, former meeting place of the most feared Tribunal of the Venetian Republic. Those found guilty by this court would be thrown into the grim Palace Prisons. View these prisons and hear the story of one of the most famous inmates, the adventurer and womanizer Giacomo Casanova, who made a brilliant escape from the upper floor.

    And of course you will see the renowned Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Old Prisons in the Doge’s Palace with the New Prisons beyond the Palazzo River.

    Your tour also includes ‘Skip the Line’ entry to the majestic Basilica San Marco (St Mark’s Basilica), the greatest of Venice’s monuments. Built in the 9th century, this huge Basilica (or Cathedral) is one of the world’s best examples of Byzantine architecture.

    Marvel at the stunning golden ceiling mosaics telling the story of the Gospels over an expanse of 8,000 square meters. View the incredible San Marco Treasury – a vast assemblage of gold, silver, glass and other precious materials. Many of these were brought back from conquests in the Holy Land when Venice was at the height of its power.

    But save your greatest admiration for the Basilica’s most precious possession – the eye-popping Pala d'Oro, an exquisite altar screen made from hundreds of pieces of enamel stuck onto gold leaf and enriched with all kinds of gems: sapphires, garnets, pearls, emeralds, amethysts, rubies, agate and topaz.

    You can also visit, without a guide, the palaces around St. Mark’s Square ( Old Royal Palace which is present day Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana)

    Your tour of the Doge’s Palace and Basilica will take around 2 hours.

    After the visit to Basilica, you may visit the glass factory Showroom located in St Mark’s Square in Venice for the Venice glassblowing  demonstration which is an optional tour.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • Skip the Line Ticket to Doge's Palace
    • Skip the Line Ticket to St Marks Basilica Glassblowing Demonstration (Optional Free tour)
    • Guided tour (English, French, German, or Spanish speaking)
    • Entrance ticket valid for unguided visit to the palaces around St. Mark’s Square
    • 20 minutes glassblowing demonstration tour FREE ( Valid till 30 Dec 18)


    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Please note

    Voucher information: No need to print! If you are travelling with a smartphone or tablet you can present your voucher on your device for this activity. So there’s no last-minute rush please arrive at the start point 15 mins early. Some days, due to church services or exceptional high tides, access to the Basilica and Doges Palace may not be possible. The tour can be held the next day or reimbursed.

    Comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Knees and shoulders must be covered to access St Marks Basilica.

    We do not recommended this tour for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities.

    Tour from November to March could be bilingual (English/ French/ German/ Spanish or Italian).

    Backpacks are not allowed inside the Doge's palace and Basilica due to security reasons.

    It is necessary to deposit suitcases, backpacks, large Packs at the Ateneo San Basso. The service is free of charge!

    Enjoy Glassblowing demonstration for FREE (valid till 30 Dec 18) and get a small gift at the end of the visit.

    You may or may not avail the FREE ticket for your visit to Glassblowing demonstration tour in Venice. In case you don’t intend to take the FREE tour, we are afraid that we would be unable to provide any partial refund as it is a complementary ticket.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have. This tour can easily be taken by those arriving in Venice as part of a cruise. Most cruise companies offer water taxi transfers into St Mark’s Square (approx 10 minutes). Alternatively, if you have more time and would like to explore the enchanting back streets of Venice you can walk to St Mark’s Square in around 1 hour.Tour does not operate on Dec 8th; Dec 25th; Jan 1st; Jan 6th and during unplanned religious celebrations.
  • Customer Reviews
    • Everything about the tour was ok. The guide was knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. The only thing that I didn't like was that we were advised about the meeting point...

      INGRID BULOS, Philippines, 08/Jan/2018
    • Brilliant tour & tour guide!


      Helen Stewart, United Kingdom, 05/Dec/2017
    • Excellent tour. Guide very knowledgeable and easy to listen to. Admission into museum included in ticket is also a great experience....

      David Wigham, United Kingdom, 05/Nov/2017
    • Super tour with excellent guide

      michael fletcher, United Kingdom, 30/Nov/2018
    • See comments above - your system wouldn't let me leave my location - it is Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear

      Diane Donnelly, United Kingdom, 04/Nov/2018
    • The Doge Palace was beautiful - lots of time spent with detailed instructions of the rooms and paintings.

      In contrast, San Marco seemed rushed and strangely enough we weren't allowed to take pictures. Our tour continued amongst many others despite no talking being allowed in the church either.

      Trudy Cinelli, Canada, 21/Oct/2018