Create lasting memories with like-minded travelers on our small group tours in Venice

Introduction to Venice Tour with Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tickets

An essential introduction to the unique city’s most renowned canals, squares, and bridges
From US$173 for 1 person
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Basilica San Marco
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi
  • Corte del Milion
  • Rialto Neighborhood
  • Rialto Bridge
Photos & Highlights
  • Get acquainted with the city’s unique layout and history to set the stage for your own explorations
  • Led by an expert scholar in history, art, or architecture
Tour Description
This three-hour introductory tour aims to help first-time visitors familiarize themselves with Venice’s unique landscape and origins. In the company of a scholar in history, art, or architecture, you’ll explore how the city of Venice grew from a series of tiny islands to the most powerful republic of its day. Context will take care of all the details, including skip-the-line access to several venues, to ensure a seamless journey through these monumental landmarks. 
  • St. Mark’s Square
  • St. Mark’s Basilica (interior and exterior)
  • Doge’s Palace (exterior)
  • Corte del Milion (exterior)
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi (exterior)
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Skip-the-line tickets to St. Mark’s Basilica and the St. Mark's Museum
    • Please Note: Our team will pre-purchase timed admission tickets on behalf of your party. However, due to enhanced COVID-19 safety precautions at this venue, there will be a mandatory security line in which we must wait together. 
Where better to start your journey than in Piazza San Marco (also known as St. Mark’s Square), considered the heart of Venice? You will start things off by discussing the square's role as Venice’s most renowned public space, and its history as a social and political center. You will then make your way to St. Mark's Basilica, bypassing the crowds with your pre-purchased skip-the-line tickets, heading directly inside to explore the Pala D'Oro and terraces. Your visit to the square will conclude in front of Doge’s Palace where your expert guide will help dissect the building’s unique design.

Upon exiting the square, you will wander through some of Venice’s lesser-known, but equally breathtaking, canal-side alleyways, listening to stories of Venice’s rich history as you admire the unique architecture and landmarks like Campo Santa Maria Formosa. You may also pass by Marco Polo’s reported ancestral home, Corte del Milion, on your way to the beautiful Fondaco dei Tedeschi, and ultimately, the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. By the end of the tour, you’ll have an understanding of the layout of the city, the history of the republic, and some practical tips to use during the rest of your stay in Venice.

For a deeper look at some of the most historical sites in Venice, check out our Doge’s Palace Tour.

For more information about Context tours, please visit our FAQs.

Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.

Where do we meet? Where does it end?
We meet in St. Mark’s Square and end by the Rialto Bridge. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.

Do we need to buy tickets for St. Mark's Basilica?
Pre-purchased skip-the-line tickets with access to the Basilica, Pala D'Oro, and the St. Mark's Museum are included in the price of your tour. Your expert guide will have your tickets on the day of your tour.

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 Basilica 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.   

Is St. Mark's Basilica open for tourism on Sundays?
In the afternoon, it is! We can start your tour after 2 pm on Sundays. Earlier than that, the Basilica is closed for mass.

Why can I only book a maximum of 9 people on my private tour? Can you make an exception for one or two more?
Unfortunately, we have to cap this tour at 9 guests because that is the maximum group size currently allowed inside St. Mark's Basilica.

Will we go inside Doge's Palace?
No; on this tour we focus on discussing the exterior architecture of the palace and stay outside. If you’d like to learn more about the site, consider booking our Doge's Palace Tour: Politics and Justice in Venice.

Will we ride a gondola on this tour?
It does not. To experience the canals with an expert Context guide, book our Venice by Boat: Grand Canal Tour.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
Yes, it is; St. Mark’s Basilica has a separate entrance that is wheelchair accessible that we may use. Please let us know in advance if this will be necessary, as we will need to communicate with the staff.

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.
Where You'll Start
286 Reviews (4.8)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Erika was able to share so much insight about Venice as a whole (food, drink, culture) and what we were witnessing on the tour. This is the perfect activity for a first day in Venice!
Tullia exceeded our expectations. She was very knowledgeable, pleasant and answered all of our questions. We didn’t feel rushed at all. I highly recommend this tour!
Stefano was so knowledgeable and gave us a much better understanding of the city. He was incredibly engaging and we enjoyed our tour immensely.