Venice in a Day Tour with Gondola Ride

Visit St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge, and the hidden areas of Venice

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 195 Reviews · 6.00h · Venice, Italy

Want to see the top attractions and hidden gems of Venice in just one day? How about a relaxing gondola ride to top things off? This comprehensive Venice In A Day tour is the perfect way to see Venice if you’re short on time! Join a passionate Venetian guide with skip-the-line tickets to see the best of Venice in a day, from St. Mark's Basilica and Doge’s Palace to the charming back streets and local canals of Italy's Floating City. There’s no better way to see Venice in a day!

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  • Meet your guide at St. Mark's Square
  • St. Mark's Basilica
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Rialto Market
  • Gondola Ride
  • Lunch Break
  • Doge's Palace
  • Golden Staircase
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • End inside Doge's Palace

You'll meet your local guide on the south side of St. Mark's Square, near the canal, between the San Marco and San Teodoro columns. Once you and your small group are there, your guide will share the incredible history of Venice and the piazza you're currently standing in. You'll get skip-the-line access to the two most important and famous buildings in Venice: St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace. And our local guide will take you to some intriguing hidden gems in Venice, along with a tour of Rialto Bridge and Market. And of course, you'll also enjoy a serene gondola ride that's a must-do activity in Venice.

Venice in a Day City Tour Description

Your 6-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry and guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica

  • Visit to Rialto Bridge and Market

  • Walking tour of Venice's quieter areas

  • Venetian gondola ride

  • Lunch break

  • Skip-the-line entry and guided tour of Doge's Palace

  • An English-speaking tour guide

St. Mark's Square and Basilica Tour

Kick off your Venice in a Day Combo Tour in one of the most famous piazzas in all of Italy: St. Mark's Square (or Piazza San Marco). Before you head inside, enjoy the view of magnificent St. Mark's Basilica, also known as the "Church of Gold." Learn all about the importance of the basilica, when it was built, and the impressive list of historical events that have happened here.

St. Mark's is a sacred place, which means both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry during this portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice are hot, so 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

After visiting St. Mark's Basilica, follow your local guide through the back streets along Venice's canals towards your next tour stop, the iconic Rialto Bridge. Learn about the stories behind the gorgeous and historic bridge before crossing over to one of the best neighborhoods in Venice, the Rialto District.

Take a stroll through the attractive streets and see Rialto Market, a place that’s been satisfying appetites for seven centuries. Remember to ask your guide where the best bacari (wine bars) and restaurants are so you can return later!

Hidden Gems of Venice

While visiting Venice's most popular attractions is important, so is getting away from the crowds and experiencing Venice off the beaten path. Instead of taking well-trodden routes, your local guide knows how to navigate the smaller back streets for an experience most tourists don't get.

Tucked away in these streets are secret places you’d never think to look for or would simply pass by without noticing. This is the authentic side of Venice.

Venice Gondola Ride

It may be touristy, but one thing simply you must do in the magical city of Venice is take a gondola ride. So of course, we included one on this tour! Here your guide will leave you with a trusted gondolier for a 30-minute, scenic cruise down Venice's Grand Canal and other hidden canals.

The privilege of working as a gondolier is not taken lightly. In fact, Venice only awards a limited number of licenses per year, and they'll make sure you glide safely through some beautiful canals for those forever photos.

Being an island and subject to problems related to high water, the gondola or boat tour cannot be guaranteed due to force majeure.

Break for Lunch

After your gondola ride, your guide will lead you back to St. Mark's Square and mention several great spots for you to enjoy lunch on your own. Enjoy a freshly made panini, a slice of local pizza, or try some typical Venetian cicchetti (small plates of food) with a glass of delicious wine. Lunch isn't included as part of the tour, so this time is free for you to choose your favorite food!

After you've eaten, head back to your original meeting point so your guide can prepare you to see one of Venice’s most sought-after experiences: Doge’s Palace.

Doge's Palace Tour

Perhaps the most fascinating attraction in Venice, the stunning Gothic building known as the Doge's Palace was where the Venetian Empire's rulers once controlled the city until 1797, often using brutal methods. With your expert guide, you'll skip the line to explore this incredible Venetian palace over the next couple of hours. Alongside beautiful features such as the Golden Staircase and the paintings of Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese, you’ll explore its darker side as you visit the torture chamber, prison cells, and the haunting Bridge of Sighs.

Prisoners walked across this enclosed bridge before spending years or even the remainder of their lives behind bars. If that wasn’t enough to sigh about, look out from the small windows carved into the bridge that once offered convicts their last glimpse of beautiful Venice.

What you get with this tour
Passionate English-speaking guide
Skip the line tickets
St. Mark's Basilica
Doge's Palace
30-minute Venetian gondola ride
Venice walking tour
Group size of 15
Tour guide gratuities
Meal
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195 total reviews

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4.9/5 (based on 195 reviews)
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Learned So Much!
12 June 2024
S
Reviewed by
Sheri Reed

We had a great tour with Grazia yesterday. She was soooo knowledgeable about the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Rialto bridge, and all points in between. She even had some great tips for places to eat and get great (free) views of the city She was fun to listen to as well as very professional and organized. So glad we were able to hit the highlights of this beautiful city with her!

Fun tour
11 June 2024
L
Reviewed by
Liviu Manescu

Great tour, fun and informative! Marco, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of interesting information and local insight that is usually not available in audio guides. The tour was a good choice, our Venetian experience wouldn't have been the same without it.

Nico was great
08 June 2024
S
Reviewed by
Stephen Pawl

Good overview of Venice, and Nico kept a good pace to keep things moving.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes, a camera, and a water bottle. Large bags and backpacks are not allowed and will have to be checked before entering the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's. It's best to leave them at your hotel if possible.

What if I have concerns about my mobility on this tour?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, we suggest checking out one of our private Venice tours so your needs can be better accommodated

What should I wear?

Since St. Mark's is a sacred place, we ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you might be refused entry and miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. Please also wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

Does the tour always skip the line?

Yes, we buy Skip-the-Line tickets year round for St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace.

Is lunch included in the price of the tour?

No, lunch is not included in the price of your tour, but your guide will have lots of recommendations for tasty places to eat.

What to bring?

We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes, a camera, and a water bottle. Large bags and backpacks are not allowed and will have to be checked before entering the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's. It's best to leave them at your hotel if possible.

If I am coming in on a cruise can I book this tour?

We do not provide private transfers from port for this tour. For that, I would recommend www.blacklane.com/en

Start From: $151.15

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$151.15 / per person
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