Venice Doge's Palace Private Tour

Dive into Venice's dark history at its grand Gothic palace, Bridge of Sighs, and ancient dungeons

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 8 Reviews · 2.00h custom · Venice, Italy

Want to see more of Venice’s fascinating Palazzo Ducale? Then join a passionate local guide and skip the line for an unforgettable private tour of this unique and elaborate palace, where Venice’s rulers once controlled the city with an iron fist. Admire the opulence of the Golden Staircase and iconic works by Renaissance artists, see prison cells where famous Venetians like Casanova were held, and retrace the final steps of the condemned as you cross the infamous Bridge of Sighs.

  • Private tour of Doge's Palace
  • The Golden Staircase
  • The Giant Staircase
  • Eerie prison cells
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • The Palace Courtyard

You’ll meet your friendly private guide in St. Marks Square, just a short stroll from Doge’s Palace. Skip the line to enter the magnificent Gothic palace as your guide tells stories of crime, betrayal, and how it was once the seat of power for Venice’s brutal rulers.

Alongside beautiful features such as the Golden Staircase and the paintings of Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, you’ll explore its darker side as you see where prisoners once caught their final glimpse of freedom on the somber Bridge of Sighs.

Venice Doge's Palace Private Tour Description

Your 2-hour private tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry to Doge's Palace

  • Private guided tour the palace highlights

  • See famous artwork and the Golden Staircase

  • Bridge of Sighs, prison cells, and much more

  • A passionate, English-speaking private guide

Meet in St. Mark's Square

This private tour of the Doge's Palace begins in Piazza San Marco. Before entering and skipping the line, learn about the the Venetian Gothic architecture of the palace's beautiful exterior. The Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale in Italian, was renovated in the 15th century by one of the most famous Doge's, Francesco Foscari. 

Explore the Doge's Palace

From the 15th to 18th centuries, the Doges of Venice lived and ruled over the city from the inside the walls of this incredible building. The interior of the Doge's Palace is as impressive as the outside, full of marble fireplaces, friezes, and stucco adorning the walls. Some works of art stand out, including famous pieces by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese, and your guide will explain the stories and interpretations behind the art as your private tour leads you through the palace.

You'll also pass through the imposing Great Council Chamber, which is one of the largest rooms in Europe and the place where the most important decisions were discussed.

One of the palace's most striking features is the Golden Staircase, considered the richest staircase ever built. It connects the first floor of the palace to the third, where the Doge's offices were located. Your guide will show you the grand offices from which Venice was ruled for centuries, including the rooms that housed the powerful Council of Ten—the city's governing body.

Prison Cells and the Bridge of Sighs

Not all of the palace is beautiful and golden, since this place was also the setting for some of Venice's darkest moments. The fortress-like Doge's Palace not only held the seat of the Venetian Republic, but it also connected to a prison via the famous Bridge of Sighs. Legend has it, prisoners looked out of the small windows for what was often their final sight of freedom before their fate was sealed by a judge.

Your guide will show you some of the cramped cells where famous Venetians like Casanova were once held, and you'll take a walk across the Bridge of Sighs to trace the steps of those unfortunate enough to walk this bridge centuries ago.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line entry to Doge's Palace
Private guided tour the palace highlights
See famous artwork and the Golden Staircase
Bridge of Sighs, prison cells, and much more
A passionate, English-speaking private guide
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8 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 8 reviews)
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Venice Doge's Palace Private Tour
07 January 2023
M
Reviewed by
Michael de Kam

We had Marco for our guide & this tour was excellent. He made the tour fun and was able to answer all questions, even showed us a few of the palaces secrets ! Highly recommend

26 October 2022
S
Reviewed by
Stacie Fisher

The tours was absolutely fantastic. Tour guide was incredible

29 September 2022
S
Reviewed by
Samuel Gaudry

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Between the two big columns in St. Mark’s Square (columns of San Marco & San Teodoro) located on the south side of the square, near the canal. A friendly representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

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. It's best to leave them at your hotel if possible.

I have doubts about my mobility. Is this the right tour for me?

If you have reduced mobility, this private Doge's Palace tour is your best bet. Private tours provide much more flexibility in terms of speed and itinerary.

Does this tour follow the Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace?

No. This tour does not include the restricted areas covered by the Secret Itineraries reservation. If you'd like a tour that follows the Secret Itineraries of the Palace, please contact us by email or toll-free phone call.

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. It's best to leave them at your hotel if possible.

Where to meet?

Between the two big columns in St. Mark’s Square (columns of San Marco & San Teodoro) located on the south side of the square, near the canal. A friendly representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

I don't see any availability, what should I do?

If you're trying to make a booking up to two weeks in advance, the website will not show any availability. However, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

$79.75 per adult
+ $227.95 base price
Total: $307.70

available days discounted days

Reserve Now $79.75 / per person
$79.75 / per person
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