Venice Highlights Tour with Gondola Ride
Visit the main Venice attractions including St. Mark's Basilica and Rialto Bridge
The Hidden Venice Highlights Tour covers all the best things to do in Venice in a short amount of time. Visit St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica, the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal and many hidden gems along the way. Includes a Gondola ride!
What you get with this tour
What you will see on this tour
- Meet in St. Mark's Square
- St. Mark's Basilica
- Hidden Gems in Venice
- Rialto Bridge & Grand Canal
- Rialto Neighborhood
- Venetian "Campos"
- Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
- Gondola Ride
Is your time in Venice limited? Would you prefer to spend the majority of your visit to Venice eating cichetti, drinking, shopping and relaxing? Most people visit Venice for just a day or two, which makes it difficult to squeeze in all the best things to do and see. Experience the best of Venice in just a few hours, leaving you ample time to wander down romantic canalside streets and enjoy yourself. This 2.5-hour tour includes:
- - St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's Basilica
- - Rialto Bridge
- - An English-speaking professional guide
- - A gondola ride
St. Mark's Square in Venice
Begin your tour of Venice in St. Mark's Square. Home to the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica, Bell Tower and Doge’s Palace, this is the biggest piazza (public square) in Venice. The first itinerary stop on your Venice walking tour, this is also the meeting point of the tour. After meeting up with your fellow Venetian visitors and guide, it's time to head to St. Mark’s Basilica. As this is one of the most visited landmarks in Venice, long lines are expected in summer months. However, this Venice walking tour includes skip the line tickets.
Once inside, it's clear why the basilica is nicknamed “the Church of Gold”. With 4,240 square meters of gilded mosaics constructed over eight centuries, the interior of St. Mark's Basilica is unlike anything you've ever seen. In part, the basilica is so richly outfitted because of the conquest of Constantinople. In 1204, after the Middle-East city fell, treasure was shipped back and installed in St. Mark's Basilica. Included in the haul were the four bronze horses and The Pala d’Oro (high altar retable of St. Mark's).
During November through March, St. Mark’s Basilica does not offer skip the line entry because lines are generally non-existent. St. Mark's is a sacred place, so both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.
Rialto Bridge and Neighborhood
Just a few minutes away from St. Mark’s Square is the Rialto Bridge, as much a symbol of Venice as St. Mark's Basilica. Initially built from old boats, the unstable bridge was rebuilt in 1500. On one side of the bridge is the Rialto Market in the Rialto neighborhood, a place that’s been satisfying appetites for seven centuries. The oldest of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge features a 24-foot tall arch. Providing access to the district, the Rialto Bridge enables Venetians to carry on their business in the area.
A Gondola Ride in Venice
After your Venice walking tour comes to a close, it’s time to partake in an essential Venice activity. Step right up to your gondola boat and say hello to your gondolier! Now, it's time to enjoy the beauty of Venice from the water on a thirty-minute gondola ride. The privilege of working as a gondolier is not taken lightly. In fact, Venice only awards a limited number of licenses per year. In addition to being expert rowers, gondoliers are storytellers and Venice historians.
Your gondola ride ends a few minutes walk from St. Mark’s Square, where your tour began. From here, catch a water taxi back to your hotel or the train station. Or, if you aren't ready to call it a day, ask your guide where the best places to eat and drink in Venice are. We will happily point you in the direction of some delicious Venetian cuisine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to meet?
Between the two big columns in St. Mark’s Square located on the side that faces the canal. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.
What to bring?
Walking shoes and something to cover your knees and shoulders for St Mark's Basilica. Sunscreen in the summer.
Q: Does the tour always skip the line?
A: Skip the line access to St. Mark's is offered during busier months. During November through March, St. Mark's Basilica does not offer skip the line entry to tour groups. This is because the lines are generally non-existent.
Q: What should I bring?
A: A sense of curiosity, comfortable shoes, your phone or camera and a water bottle.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Since St. Mark's is a sacred place, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary. Remember to wear comfortable shoes, you'll be walking plenty on this tour of Venice.
Q: I have doubts about my mobility. Is this the right tour for me?
A: If you have reduced mobility, we suggest taking a private Venice tour. The itinerary is much more flexible and easily modified.
See what people are saying
24 total reviewsLeave a review
Venice highlights walking tour and gondala ride
We enjoyed an excellent walking tour with Natalia showing us the Venice highlights. Natalia was not only extremely knowledgeable but presented the tour in a very entertaining way. We particularly enjoyed seeing St Marks Basilica, what an amazing cathedral. After wandering through many little laneways and crossing many bridges we finished with our Gondala ride - a perfect end .
Great venice tour
My family loved this tour! We didn't have long in Venice and it was a great way to see all the best sights. Our guide was amazing and so great with our kids. Highly recommend the Roman Guy!
Venice half day excellent
We did the Venice half day, skip the line to Saint Mark's tour. It included entrance to the Cathedral, a gondola ride, and walking tour. Our guide (Paula) was excellent and knew a lot about the history of Venice, its buildings and architecture as well as the iconography inside the Cathedral. Highly recommended.