St. Mark's Basilica stands near the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square, the hub of the city's social and religious life. With over 4,000 square metres of gilded mosaics, marble floors and 500 columns dating back to the 3rd century, it is a unique temple in Italy.
As one of Venice's most visited attractions, getting fast-track access to avoid queues or booking a guided tour of the Basilica can be a great idea. Access to the most important jewels of St. Mark's, the Museum, the Treasury and the Golden Spade, is paid for.
Access to St. Mark's Basilica at the lowest price
If you don't want to spend too much money on a visit to St. Mark's Basilica, this ticket will allow you to skip the ticket office queues and explore it at your own pace.
If you're not a fan of guided tours but don't want to give up the chance to see the inside of St. Mark's Basilica, don't worry. With this ticket, if you buy it online in advance, you can avoid the long lines that form at the ticket office at the entrance. You can also take a guided tour of St. Mark's Basilica after closing time to avoid the crowds inside.
Once inside, you will have as much time as you want to enjoy its architecture, the details of its altar, the spectacular mosaics on its floor and of course, the views of St. Mark's Square from its terrace. Take your time and enjoy the visit. (If you need to, later I will tell you what you should not miss if you want to visit it on your own).
Why I like this option: besides being the most economical, it allows you greater flexibility of schedule to organize the visit at your own pace.
Recommended if... you want to visit the interior of the Basilica without wasting time at the ticket office and at the best price.
Tour St. Mark's Basilica with an expert guide
Discover all the nooks and crannies of this impressive temple on a guided walking tour with no queues or waiting. A very convenient option if you want to learn about the history and architecture of one of Venice's landmarks...
Walk around and marvel at this work of architecture and Venetian icon. Take a guided tour of St. Mark's Basilica in a small group of about 10 people. Enjoy the works that surround it, its domes and the traces of great artists who have left their legacy.
Access the terrace and take the best pictures, also enjoy a digital map with more than 200 points to visit, which will make this experience unforgettable.
Why I like this option: you will save queues and waitings and you will be able to visit the basilica with a guide who will make you appreciate each of its corners and stories.
Recommended if... you want to take a complete souvenir of this visit, learning with an expert along the tour.
How to buy tickets to St. Mark's Basilica
Visiting this jewel of Byzantine art is one of the must-do activities if you are walking around Venice. You can get your tickets at the ticket office, but the influx of tourists to this place is so large that queues and waits are usually 45 minutes and upwards. Besides, you will not be able to be sure of getting in at the desired time or on the desired day.
That is why I recommend you to buy your tickets in advance for St. Mark's Basilica through the Internet, so you will save time and you will be able to better organise your travel itinerary. Besides, you will have the peace of mind of not only having access to the Basilica, but also to the Museum, the terrace and the Pala D'Oro.
St. Mark's Basilica ticket prices
Until some time ago, tickets to St. Mark's Basilica were free of charge. Unfortunately, due to the huge influx of tourists to the city of Venice, this has changed. You can now buy your tickets online or at the ticket office and prices vary according to the season:
- General admission: between 3€ and 6€.
- Children from 0-6 years: free
- Admission to the Pala D'Oro: about 5€.
- Admissionto the St. Mark's Museum: about 7€.
- Entrance tothe terrace and bell tower: about €10
Opening hours of St. Mark's Basilica
- St Mark's Basilica in Venice can be visited every day of the year from 9.30am to 5pm, with the last entrance 15 minutes before closing time.
- On Sundays and public holidays the opening hours are restricted to 14.00 to 16.30 and 14.00 to 16.00 from November until Easter of the following year.
What you should not miss on your visit to St. Mark's Basilica
Once you have chosen your type of tour and in addition to exploring the masterpiece of Byzantine art that is St. Mark's Basilica, there are four points of special interest that you should not miss on your visit and which are payable on site, except in the case of some of the excursions that include admission:
Palo de Oro
This is the most important artistic work of the Basilica of St. Mark, a large altarpiece set with enamels and precious stones.
Treasure of St. Mark's Basilica
This is a Byzantine treasure of gold and silver from the sacking of Constantinople.
St. Mark's Museum and Horses
This museum is full of works, including the original sculptures of the St. Mark's Horses. Made of gold-plated bronze, these sculptures were found in the hippodrome of Constantinople and were part of the booty stolen during the Fourth Crusade. From the museum you can also get a close-up view of the basilica's ceilings and mosaics.
Balcony of the Basilica
From the terrace of St Mark's Basilica, which you can access via the Loggia del Cavalli staircase, you will have a unique view of the majestic St Mark's Square. This was the royal balcony from which the Doge of Venice watched the ceremonies held in the square and from it you can see the arcaded façades of the square, the Bell Tower, the Oroglio Tower and the façade of the Doge's Palace.
In the background, you can see the columns of San Marco and San Teodoro and in the distance you can make out the island of San Giorgio Maggiore overlooking the Lagoon with its imposing church.
Vicky's Traveller Tip
Remember that as it is a religious temple, you will have to cover your shoulders and knees to enter the Basilica.
How to get to St Mark's Basilica
You can't miss St Mark's Basilica as it is located in the centre of the city, in St Mark's Square, so getting there on foot or by vaporetto is very easy. If you are travelling to Venice but not staying in the city, you can reach the basilica from the train station in half an hour's walk.
You can take advantage of this and buy a 72-hour pass, which gives you unlimited access to three water transport lines that will take you to St Mark's Square as well as other key points in the city.
Other interesting activities
If you are interested in visiting St. Mark's Basilica, you might also want to consider visiting the Doge's Palace (see here my article on Doge's Palace Tickets in Venice: how to buy, prices and schedules). I also recommend you to complete your trip to Venice with a gondola ride. So that you don't have any doubts when booking your itinerary, here are the best options: Gondola Rides Tickets in Venice.