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

A Scholar-Guided Exploration of Iconic Historical Sites
From US$149 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
  • Immerse yourself in a bespoke masterclass on Venice, conducted by dedicated local scholars deeply versed in the city's art, history, and architectural splendors
  • Enjoy the exclusivity of a private tour or the engaging atmosphere of a small group, each designed to ensure a personalized and unforgettable experience tailored to your interests.
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Tour Description
Kickstart your Venetian adventure with a comprehensive walking tour that brings the city’s legendary canals and rich history to life. This isn’t just any introduction—it’s a carefully crafted first chapter that sets the tone for the rest of your stay, equipping you with insights and anecdotes that will enhance every step you take through this enchanting city.

Your experience begins at the iconic Piazza San Marco, where the past reverberates through the grand architecture and vibrant atmosphere. You’ll avoid the queues with priority access to St. Mark's Basilica, where your guide—an expert in art, history, or architecture—will illuminate the significance of the intricate mosaics and the Pala D'Oro. From the terraces, you'll be treated to expansive views that have witnessed the unfolding of Venice's rich history over the centuries.

The tour will then take you to the Gothic masterpiece of the Doge’s Palace, where tales of Venice's maritime prowess and clever diplomacy come to life. Once you leave to meander through the quieter streets and canals, you’ll uncover the city’s true spirit, encountering historical landmarks and lesser-known gems alike, including the storied home of Marco Polo and the ever-lively Rialto Bridge.

This tour offers more than just a visual feast—it's a deep dive into the stories that make up the fabric of Venice. Each corner turned brings a new discovery, each story shared a lasting impression. The goal is to leave you with a nuanced appreciation of Venice, a city that continues to enchant and inspire long after your visit.
  • St. Mark’s Square – The principal public square of Venice, renowned for its elegant, architecture, it was often referred to as 'the drawing room of Europe' by Napoleon.
  • St. Mark’s Basilica (interior and exterior) – This masterpiece of Byzantine art is Venice's cathedral and is known for its opulent design and gilded mosaics. 
  • Doge’s Palace (exterior) – A symbol of Venice's maritime power, the Doge's Palace is an exemplary piece of Gothic architecture. 
  • Corte del Milion (exterior) – Named after Marco Polo's family nickname 'Il Milione,' this courtyard is part of Polo's historic family home. 
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi (exterior) – Once a trading post for German merchants, this building has an eclectic mix of Renaissance and modern architecture. 
  • Rialto Bridge – The oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, the Rialto Bridge is an architectural icon. Did you know that it was once a movable bridge that could be raised to allow for the passage of ships?
General Information
  • Please communicate with our team in the “Additional Details” box when booking. Letting us know more about your group’s interests allows us to match you with the best guide. 
  • We have planned scheduled breaks for restroom use and moments to rest. 
  • If you have any specific mobility needs or concerns, please inform us at the time of booking so we can make the necessary arrangements.
  • The tour price includes pre-purchased skip-the-line tickets, granting you access to St. Mark's Basilica, the Pala D'Oro, and the St. Mark's Museum. 
  • Your Context guide will have your tickets ready on the day of the tour. Please note that for security reasons and crowd control, there may be a brief wait in a designated line.
  • For larger groups, the venues may require the use of headsets to ensure you can hear the guide clearly. If this is the case, a "Headset Fee" will be added to your order. 
  • If you prefer to use headsets for a smaller group for a more immersive experience, please email us in advance, and we will arrange them for you.
Wheelchair Accessibility
  • We strive to provide a comfortable tour experience for all our guests. Please communicate your needs with your guide throughout the tour. 
  • St. Mark’s Basilica offers a wheelchair-accessible entrance, which we can utilize. 
  • Please inform us beforehand if you require this service so we can coordinate with the venue's staff and ensure a smooth visit.
  • For additional information on planning your trip to Italy, take a look at our Context Stories for insider tips and suggestions. 
  • And to deepen your understanding of Italy before your tour, we invite you to enjoy our selection of online lectures and audio guides.
For more information about Context Tours, please visit our FAQs.

Is St. Mark's Basilica open for tours on Sundays?
In the afternoon, it is! We 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 must cap the tour at 9 guests. This limitation is in line with the maximum group size currently allowed inside St. Mark's Basilica.

Will we go inside Doge's Palace?
No, on this particular tour, we focus on discussing the exterior architecture of Doge's Palace and remain outside. If you are interested in exploring the interior, we recommend booking our Doge's Palace Tour

Will we ride a gondola on this tour?
No, this tour does not include a gondola ride. To experience the enchanting canals with an expert Context guide, we suggest booking our Venice by Boat: Grand Canal Tour. This tour provides a unique perspective of Venice from the water.
Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.
Where You'll Start
(4.83) 333 Reviews

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

Christina is a joy to spend time with! Her expertise is amazing and she lead us on a truly wonderful tour!
Very knowledgeable. We learned a lot from her. She did an excellent job meeting the needs of our very physically diverse group.
Great tour- the guide was highly knowledgeable and informative and really helped us understand and appreciate the remarkable history of Venice.