Venice Doge's Palace Tour with Skip-the-Line Tickets

A deep look at the history of the Venetian Republic
From US$485 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Doge's Palace
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Grand Council Hall
Photos & Highlights
  • Explores the history of Venetian power through art and architecture
  • Led by a local historian
Select a date
Tour Description
For a thousand years, the Doges ruled Venice. An elected official who held office for life but could not pass the title down to his heirs, the role of the Doge is a crucial piece of the Venetian puzzle. During this three-hour Doge's Palace tour, we'll join a local historian for an in-depth look at the figure of the Doge, the complex and unique nature of the Venetian Republic's political system, and visit one of the most iconic buildings in St. Mark's Square—Doge's Palace.

Doge's Palace Tour

For over a thousand years the Doge of Venice ruled over the Republic of Venice—often referred to as the Serenissima. We will begin our time together with a discussion of the role and the overall political structure of Venice from the medieval period until Napoleon took the reins of the city in the 18th century. Our Doge's Palace tour will take us into the first rooms of Doge's Palace where we will look at the economic underpinnings of Venetian power and the role that various Doges played in commerce and trade—especially with eastern empires.

Art for the Serenissima

During our Doge's Palace tour, we will have the opportunity to discuss how the building itself, including major architectural and decorative components were used to reflect the power of the government. A palace that constantly changed throughout the centuries, both due to fires and changing tastes, the structure contains works by top artists of the Renaissance period, such as Tintoretto and Veronese, whose works both grace the Grand Council Hall.

Take Aways

The Ducal Palace is a key component to understanding the history of the Venetian Republic and the political mechanisms that allowed it to function. Our Doge's Palace tour will allow us to come away with a strong knowledge of the basics of Venice's system of government with all its complexities and intrigue, and create a newfound understanding of how these systems supported the overall culture of the Serenissima. For more on the opulence of Venetian art, try our Venice Art tour: Titian and Tintoretto, exploring the city's art and culture in the High Renaissance.


What are skip-the-line tickets?
For this tour, your tickets are pre-purchased which allows you to directly enter the security line at the palace without waiting to purchase tickets. You may still have to wait in a security line or in a line to have your pre-purchased ticket scanned.   

Does this tour include the Bridge of Sighs and prison area?
Yes, this tour will include both the Bridge of Sighs and the prison area.

What is the "Secret Itineraries" option?
The Secret Itinerary is a section of the Doge’s Palace that includes the rooms and chambers where the Venetian administration was carried out, such as the Council of Ten private office, the Ground level and attic level prisons, Great Chancellery, torture room, and bureaucrats' offices. This option is not included in the regular Doge's Palace ticket and requires a special reservation with very strict time slots currently available only in the mornings, and with very limited availability. This portion is not confirmed until we let you know we have secured tickets for you, but the Doge's Palace normal entry is confirmed.

Do you reserve headsets for this tour? 
Depending on your group size, we may be required by the venue to order headsets in which case you’ll see a “Headset Fee” added to your order. If you would like to guarantee headsets for your tour regardless of your group size, please email us and we’ll be happy to get them reserved for you.

Is this tour accessible to people with mobility issues?
The regular portion of the tour, including only Doge's Palace without the Secret Itineraries is completely accessible. The spaces included in the Secret Itineraries portion unfortunately are not: the spaces are very small and are connected by steep and narrow stairs. This section is not accessible to those with mobility issues or claustrophobia, vertigo, or cardio-respiratory conditions. It is also not suitable for pregnant women and not allowed to children below the age of 6 years old. 
Where You'll Start
(4.87) 209 Reviews

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Alessandro was a fantastic guide who is very knowledgeable and went above and beyond to ensure our family’s trip was one to remember for life. I would highly recommend him.
How delightful to have local expert guide us through this complicated, fascinating place! Andrea used our time together so well, understanding our interests and answering all of our questions about the Palazzo Ducale as well the history of Venice. Grazie mille!
Outstanding! Excellent knowledge and information! Highly recommended!