Venice Day Tour of St. Mark’s, Doge’s Palace, Murano & Burano, with Gondola

Explore more on a full day tour of Venice with private transportation to two popular islands

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 118 Reviews · 9.00h 20 max · Venice, Italy

Looking to get more bang for your buck while in Venice? We’ve packed in as much as possible on this full day tour of Venice. See the top sites around St. Mark’s Square then take a private boat to see glassblowing in Murano and the Instagram haven of colorful Burano. You’ll appreciate the skip-the-line entry at St. Mark’s and Doge’s Palace and the convenience of our pre-arranged water taxi to the islands that travels faster than the ferry. The bonus? We’ve even thrown in a must-do gondola ride!

  • Full Venice tour with islands
  • The Church of Gold
  • St. Mark’s Altar
  • St. Mark's tomb
  • Terrace at St. Mark's
  • Doge's Palace Giant's Staircase
  • The Courtroom
  • Prison cells and dungeon
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Traditional gondola ride
  • Famous Venetian glass
  • Watch Murano glassblowing
  • Lacemaking in Burano
  • Instagram-worthy photos in Burano

Start this epic tour of Venice by meeting your local guide and fellow travelers near the two columns at St. Mark’s Square by the canal. You have a full day ahead of you seeing the absolute best places in Venice with skip-the-line access and an entertaining guide. See Venice from the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica and explore the dungeons of the Doge’s Palace before enjoying a gondola ride.

Then follow your guide to your private transportation to Murano to see the 1,200-year-old glassblowing traditions. A stop at the colorful island of Burano is also included so you can snap those coveted photos.

St Mark’s, Doge’s Palace, Murano, and Burano Day Tour Description

Your 9-hour tour includes:

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

  • Access to upper terrace

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

  • 30-minute gondola ride

  • Free time for lunch

  • Round-trip transportation to Murano/Burano

  • See a glassblowing demonstration in Murano

  • See a lacemaking demonstration in Murano

  • Free time to explore both islands

  • Maximum group size of 20

  • A fun, local guide

St. Mark's Basilica

Step back in time into the famed “Church of Gold” where you’ll quickly see how it got its nickname. With roots dating back to the 11th century, you’ll marvel inside this incredible basilica as your guide brings its history to life. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the highlights in here thanks to your skip-the-line entry. And you’ll get the rare opportunity that most tourists miss—heading up the 42 steps to the terrace for a view of Venice’s skyline.

Once inside, it's clear why the basilica is nicknamed “the Church of Gold.” With over 45,000 square feet of gilded mosaics constructed over eight centuries, the interior of St. Mark's Basilica is unlike anything you've ever seen. The basilica is so richly outfitted partly due to the conquest of Constantinople. After the city fell in 1204, treasure was shipped back and installed in St. Mark's Basilica. Included in the haul were the four bronze horses and the Pala d’Oro (high altar retable of St. Mark's).

Please note that St. Mark's is a sacred place, so we ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you might be refused entry and you’ll 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. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Doge’s Palace

Up next is your skip-the-line entry to the Doge’s Palace where the rule of law (or the whims of the Doge) were executed fully. This impressive palace sits right next to the basilica and has its own incredible history filled with tyranny and tragedy. The Doges of Venice’s past ruled their territory with an iron fist and helped create Venice as the center of trade at its peak.

You’ll follow your guide to the Golden Staircase, the grand ballroom, the prison cells in the dungeon, and the Bridge of Sighs. Make your way across this bridge and envision what it must have been like as a prisoner seeing your last glimpse of freedom.

One of the palace's most impressive features is the Golden Staircase, considered the most valuable 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.

Gondola Ride

You can’t spend time in Venice without doing the most iconic activity: a gondola ride. This 30-minute ride might become your most memorable activity in Venice as you sit in a historic old gondola powered by a true Venetian gondolier. They know each canal intimately and will ensure you get some great photos (with them too!).

Trip to Murano

After your lunch break, meet your guide at the designated meeting point to board a private water taxi to the island of Murano. This pre-arranged transportation makes this tour completely worth it. You can get to the island in less than half an hour rather than the hour or more you’d have to wait on the public ferry.

Murano is the island famed for its 1,200-year-old history of intricate glassblowing techniques. You’ll get to stand right inside an authentic glassblowing shop and learn all about this tradition that’s been handed down for generations. Many shops will claim to sell Murano glass, but after this trip, you’ll know how to spot authentic Murano glasswork.

You’ll have a little free time to explore this little island too. See how many glass sculptures you can find around the city!

Trip to Burano

Next is a trip over to the island of Burano on your fast, private water taxi. Your guide makes all of this transportation easy and will tell you about the islands as you travel too. Burano is known for those Instagram-beloved, colorful houses that are almost too colorful to be real. It’s a fun little island that’s worth exploring a bit to find the perfect homes and viewpoints for memorable photos.

But first, you’ll get to see a lacemaking demonstration by women who have been taught this historic craft for generations. Lacemaking is a lost art in our modern world, so this is a rare opportunity to see an intricately beautiful skill.

At the end of your time here in Burano, follow your guide back to your water taxi that will return you back to your departure point in Venice. Your full day tour in Venice, Murano, and Burano will be one for the books!

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line entry and guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica
Access to upper terrace
Skip-the-line entry and guided tour of Doge’s Palace
30-minute gondola ride
Free time for lunch
Round-trip transportation to Murano/Burano
See a glassblowing demonstration in Murano
See a lacemaking demonstration in Murano
Free time to explore both islands
Maximum group size of 20
A fun, local guide
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118 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 118 reviews)
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1 stars
08 November 2022
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Reviewed by
Donna Willacker

29 October 2022
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Reviewed by
Dana Sammer

Amazing tour with Marco
28 October 2022
A
Reviewed by
Alan Cranford

Wonderful tour. This was the morning activity of a full day tour I more fully reviewed above but summary is Marco is great and it was the best tour we have ever taken

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

In the morning we meet between the two big columns San Marco and San Teodoro located on the south side of the St. Mark’s Square, near the canal. A representative will be there holding a sign with The Tour Guy name on it. Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in.

What to bring?

Walking shoes, a water bottle, and something to cover your knees and shoulders for St Mark's Basilica. Sunscreen is also recommended in the summer.

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

This is a walking tour that will include stairs and climbing into gondolas and water taxis. There are 42 steps to the terrace, but you can opt to wait in the church if you prefer.

What should I wear?

St. Mark's is a sacred place, so both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice are hot, so think light trousers or long skirts, or a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Does the tour always skip the line?

Skip the line access to St. Mark's is offered during busier months. During November through March, St. Mark's Basilica does not offer skip the line entry to tour groups. This is because the lines are generally non-existent.

What to bring?

Walking shoes, a water bottle, and something to cover your knees and shoulders for St Mark's Basilica. Sunscreen is also recommended in the summer.

Where to meet?

In the morning we meet between the two big columns San Marco and San Teodoro located on the south side of the St. Mark’s Square, near the canal. A representative will be there holding a sign with The Tour Guy name on it. Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in.

Where does the tour end?

You'll be returned to Venice at the same place that your boat to Murano and Burano departs, which is about two blocks from the Doge's Palace.

Is lunch included on this tour?

No, but you'll have a 1-hour break to find delicious food. We're happy to recommend one of our favorite spots, but your guide is sure to point you in the right direction too.

Does this tour take the big ferry boat to the islands?

No, we arrange private transportation to Murano, Burano, and back to Venice. This is faster and more comfortable than riding in the public ferry.

How long is the gondola ride?

The gondola ride is about 30 minutes long and the gondolier will decide which canals to float through.

Total: as low as $147.51

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