St. Mark's Basilica: Exclusive Skip the line Guided Tour in the Central Nave and Visit to the Pala d'Oro

Duration: approx. 1 hour 

Location: Venice

Per person

Why choose this experience?

1 The only tour of St Mark’s Basilica that will allow you to enjoy a complete and detailed 1-hour visit to this Byzantine masterpiece accompanied by an expert tourist guide
2 You will sit down in the central nave, usually closed to the public, and admire the splendid mosaic vaults from a privileged position
3 Access St Mark’s Basilica skipping past the long queues at the entrance and closely observe the precious Pala d'Oro without wasting time thanks to priority access

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Choose your time


This tour has been already booked by 8,343 people

Important information


all year, except for 1 and 6 January, 18 and 25 April, 15 August, 8 and 25 December.

Departure point:

under the Clock Tower in St. Mark's Square, next to Bar Americano

Departure time

From Monday to Saturday
12.00 pm

Languages available

From 1 April to 31 October
English: from Monday to Saturday
Spanish: from Monday to Saturday
French: from Monday to Saturday
German: from Monday to Saturday
Italian: Saturday

From 1 November to 31 March
English/Spanish: Wednesday, Saturday
English/French: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
English/German: Monday, Friday
Italian: not available


From 1 November 2019 to 31 March 2020
Full: €31.00
Children up to 5 years: free

From 1 April to 31 October 2020
Full: €32.00
Children up to 5 years: free

approx. 1 hour
  • Skip-the-line access to St Mark’s Basilica
  • 1-hour guided tour with local guide
  • The opportunity to stop and sit down in the central nave (available with this tour only)
  • Skip-the-line ticket for the Pala d’Oro
  • What is not specified under "Inclusions"
Additional information:
  • After the confirmation of your booking, you can download a voucher, which will also be sent to you via email. Please remember that you will be requested to show it,  either a paper copy or on mobile devices. Make sure you have it with you!
  • We advise you to arrive at the meeting point at least 10 minutes before the departure time specified. There you will meet a representative who will check your vouchers and give you information to do the tour.
  • During the winter period (from November 1st to March 31st) the tour is bilingual, because explanations will be provided in two languages if the audience provenience is mixed.
  • Access to the Basilica is only permitted to visitors with suitable attire (no shorts or vest or tops) and backpacks are not allowed for safety reasons.
  • The Procuratoria di San Marco reserves the right to prohibit visits and access to the basilica at any time and without notice for reasons of force majeure (e.g. high water) and/or safety reasons. In cases of extra liturgical ceremonies, exceptional high tides or other special occasions, access to St Mark's Basilica may not be permitted and therefore the tour will not take place.
  • This is a shared tour, which means there might be other participants going on the tour with you
  • Please note that, due to the particular morphological structure of Venice and the logistic problems resulting from it, we cannot guarantee that the whole tour is accessible to people with limited mobility. This means that people with walking difficulties and wheelchair users could not be able to access some parts of the itinerary.
  • Unfortunately you cannot be refunded (neither totally nor partially) if you don’t show up at the meeting point at the time indicated on the voucher or if you leave before the end of the tour.Therefore we advise you to locate in advance the meeting point and how to get there in order to avoid being late or any inconveniences that would prevent you from being on time, especially in case of public transport strikes, great events or bad weather. If you need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at our emergency contacts indicated on the voucher you will get at the end of the reservation.

In exceptional cases and/or reasons of force majeure (i.e. acts of nature, strikes, exceptional closures,serious unexpected events or health problems experienced by the person in charge with the service after which it is really impossible to find a substitute) the service you booked might be cancelled. If this should happen, you will be informed as soon as possible and, according to the type of service you booked, you will have the possibility to choose between postponing the service on the first date available or receiving a total refund of the price paid, if the cancellation policy of the service itself allows a refund.

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Full description

Our complete guided tour of St Mark’s Basilica is a fascinating tour that has well-established roots: the first guided tour organized inside the Basilica, it is the only one that gives you the opportunity to admire the wonderful interiors from privileged areas and to listen , comfortably seated, to the interesting and comprehensive explanations of an expert local guide, away from the chaotic hordes of tourists who every day visit this unique monument in the world.

 St Mark's Cathedral Venice interior: a guided tour through time to admire the greatest treasure of Venice in all its glory. Referred to as the ‘Golden Basilica’ from the predominant colour of the mosaics and numerous valuables kept inside, St Mark’s Basilica combines faith and the pomp of the ancient Republic of Venice. With its five domes, the finely carved front with bas-reliefs, sculptures and mosaics, St Mark’s Church in Venice is a treasure of inestimable value.

 The first section of the Basilica dates back to the IX century when the first building was built to house the precious relics of St Mark which came to Venice from Alexandria, Egypt. A simple private chapel of the Doges of Venice during the Republic period, St Mark’s Basilica in Venice was crowned a cathedral only in 1807.

 Our tour will lead you through the elaborate architectural structures and the precious relics preserved in St Mark’s Venice interior, not to mention the extraordinary mosaics of which you will be shown the history and biblical scenes represented.

 The guided tour will last about an hour, during which you will admire the renowned Pala d’Oro.

 Used as the precious backdrop of the altar of St Mark’s Basilica only at major liturgical feasts, the Pala d’Oro is considered one of the most valuable objects in the world, consisting of sheets of gilded silver and decorated with enamels made with the émail cloisonné technique. The Pala d’Oro was completed in 1345 with the setting of 1927 precious stones by master goldsmith Buoninsegna. Its beauty and uniqueness every year attracts millions of visitors who are prepared to queue and wait for a long time in order to admire it... but with our complete guided Tour of St Mark’s Basilica, you will save valuable time and skip the long lines!

 The visit to St Mark's Cathedral Venice interior provides an opportunity to fully understand and appreciate every detail of this great work of art and its unique and exciting treasures. With this tour, you will enjoy a full and detailed visit to St Mark’s Basilica and a truly unique and memorable experience!


© Insidecom Tour Operator
(authorization no. 62027 dated 09/07/12 with determination no. 2052/2012)
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Reviews for St. Mark's Basilica: Exclusive Skip the line Guided Tour in the Central Nave and Visit to the Pala d'Oro

Based on 10 Reviews
Reviews in other languages (9) Reviews in italian (1)


Group of friends

Booking No. 1948909

Reviewed on 23 Sep `19

'Good experience'

Very good tour, well organised with easily identifiable guides at meet point. Our guide was very knowledgeable and by being on tour we bypassed main que of over an hour. Be aware this is a cathedral and so dress code is strict: but if you are stopped they sell black shawls for only 2 euro!

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Young couple

Booking No. 1950052

Reviewed on 21 Aug `19

'Good tour'

Very interesting visit of the Basilica of St. Mark, the Doge's Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and prisons. The guide (Christina) provided a lot of relevant historical information, which allowed us to learn a lot about this invaluable heritage. In addition, she spoke very well in French. In short, a much appreciated visit.


Guide / Ponte dei Sospiri



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Booking No. 169115

Reviewed on 25 Apr `16


An excellent tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and engaging. Moreover, having the chance to sit down on the nave to absorb the atmosphere and have the time to observe the place while learning about it does not compare with shuffling along at speed with all other visitors. Highly recommended!





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Mature couple

Booking No. 1617820

Reviewed on 20 Apr `16

'Terrible tour'

This was a mostly terrible tour from start to finish. The guide turned up a half hour late, and only Full of excuses. The headsets, to hear her narration, were faulty, and it was extremely difficult to hear much of anything. The church is quite small, and while the guide gave a good overview of the building's history, there was little new learned that wasn't in Wikipedia. Venetoinside seems to have subcontracted Turive for these tours, and had I known (Turive has terrible reviews on Tripadviser), we would not have bothered. And while the tour allowed us to skip the line, we waited much longer for the guide than we would have in line. The tour does not include the museum, which is quite interesting and worth the extra €5.




Came late, weak narration, fault headsets.

Reply by Staff

Dear Jackson,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with this tour and apologize for the guide’s delay and for the headsets, which seem not to have worked properly. We are going to delve deeper into this matter by reporting your comment to Turive staff and making sure that the problems of the tours they carry out will be taken into serious consideration. Turive is a local tourism consortium we also belong to together with the most important incoming operators working in Venice and has organized guided tours of Venice for a long time. All the tours are carried out by Venetian guides who are usually much appreciated by the customers for their approach and the interesting information they provide. We regret this was not your case! Anyway, we assure you that we are going to take all the necessary measures in order to avoid that the inappropriate organization of one our partners may affect the experience of our customers.

Best regards,
The staff
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Young couple

Booking No. 1526076

Reviewed on 17 May `15


It was chaotic from the start. It was a hectic meeting point and no introduction from the company representatives standing there for tour they were awaiting people, or what tour the language(s) would be in. There were way over 100 people trying to work out if they were going to get the tour in French or English or.. From the meeting point we were told to follow a company rep to meet our guide. He charged full speed ahead through the massive crowds and various queues and groups on San Marco Square and it was a real struggle to see where he was going and to keep up. When he stopped, it was again chaotic and took forever to get audio guides or to work out who the guide was. The English speaking group was very large (over 40 persons) which made it very hard to keep up with the guide and to hear her (the audio quality through the headsets was poor if you were not standing next to the guide). The guide herself was very good. Very informative and friendly. I booked other tours in Venice with a different company who were so much better organised and with better audio headsets to hear the guide. Would not recommend Vento. Worst of all, I have been bombarded with emails since my return asking me to give my review. Since 2am this morning I have received an email EVERY 5 MINUTES ! I now have 93 emails in my Inbox from Veneto asking me to complete this review! Shocking!!

Reply by Staff

Dear Tony,

we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with the tour but pleased you appreciated the guide. You did the tour at the weekend, when more people usually take part in it than on weekdays… This may cause a little confusion at the meeting point and during the tour, however our guides always do their best to avoid this affects the  experience of visit! We regret that this was not enough for you! Anyway, we will report your feedback to the company in charge with this service and we hope this would be helpful to them in order to better organize the tours during the peak days. As for the multiple email sending on Sunday 17 May, we deeply apologize about it! As we have already notified to all customers who experienced this inconvenience, this was due to a temporary problem of our servers and we managed to fix it only in the late evening.

Sorry again for that

Best regards,
The staff
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Solo traveler

Booking No. 1486991

Reviewed on 11 Nov `14

'Golden Basilica Tour'

The tour gave a very good history and insight of St. Mark's Basilica. The tour guide was very good and injects very good humor in her guided tour. This tour is recommended for those who would like to know the history of the basilica.

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Booking No. 1458172

Reviewed on 19 Aug `14

'The Golden Basilica'

Was good not to wait. The information is good.

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Mature couple

Booking No. 1423442

Reviewed on 08 Jun `14

'Excellent, beautiful, well-informed tour of San Marco Basilica'

Our tour was perfect, with a wonderful tour guide who took her time explaining everything and very clearly too! It was wonderful that she allowed us to sit down in the church pews while she discussed many things because I have just had back surgery and without a wheelchair, I needed to sit down for some relief and comfort. I greatly appreciate that. Again, this was just a wonderful tour and everything was positive! We will highly recommend your tours!

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Mature couple

Booking No. 1425691

Reviewed on 25 May `14


Die Führung war bestens organisiert , die Erläuterungen in der Basilica interessant, kurzweilig und informativ. Der Guide hat es verstanden, die Gedanken und Symbolwelt der oströmischen Kirche zu vermitteln. Rundum empfehlenswert - eine kurzweilige Stunde im Kircheninneren. Aber wie kommt man auf die Ballustrade?

Reply by Staff

Dear Donna,

we are happy you enjoyed the tour and would like to thank you for your enthusiastic review. As for your last question, you can get to the external lodge if you visit St. Mark's Museum. The tour you did (called Golden Basilica) does not include this part, while you can visit it with another tour you can book on venetoinside: St. Mark’s Museum and Cathedral from above.

Best regards,
The staff
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