VENICE, TICKETS TO VISIT THE BASILICA OF SAN MARCO
Venice is a unique city in the world: it is developed entirely on water and contains works of art and architecture that are an expression of its cultural and economic history.
If gondolas are the most iconic image from a folkloric point of view, St Mark’s Basilica, with its Mark’s square in front, is the true symbol of the city. This monumental complex, overlooking the lagoon, takes quite some time to visit; there are various combinations of entrances to explore the religious building according to one’s needs, from standard tickets to combined tickets, as well as those that include access to the terrace or the Pala d’Oro.
Tickets to visit St Mark’s Basilica
Admission to St Mark’s Basilica in Venice with a skip-the-line ticket
Booking a visit to St Mark’s Basilica is highly recommended, as tickets sell out quickly; plus, with the free cancellation service, you can cancel your ticket up to 24 hours in advance for a last-minute change of plans. By purchasing tickets for St Mark’s Basilica in Venice in advance you will also be able to take advantage of priority access, greatly reducing waiting times.
Also known as the ‘Golden Church’ for the richness of its decorations and its many golden mosaics, St Mark’s Basilica is one of Venice’s most characteristic monuments. Once inside, the audio guide downloadable on your smartphone in five languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish and German) will help you discover its history from palatine church to cathedral and the works it houses, a spiritual and material sign of the lagoon city’s ties with Byzantium.
However, one must bear in mind that the Basilica, besides being a place of cultural and artistic interest, is still the city’s cathedral and cannot be visited during religious ceremonies. On weekdays it opens at 9.30 a.m. and closes at 5.15 p.m. (last admission is at 4.45 p.m.), on Sundays and public holidays (i.e. the ‘red’ days on the calendar) the opening is delayed to 2 p.m.
Pala d’Oro in Venice: the access ticket
The standard entrance to St. Mark’s Basilica does not include access to the Pala d’Oro (Golden Pall), which is, however, worth a visit for its uniqueness: the richness of the materials used directly represented man’s elevation to God and is still striking for its refinement.
Among the many points in favour of visiting the Pala d’Oro in Venice:
- smartphone ticket;
- audio guide on the free app, also available offline once downloaded;
- access to the museum and terrace with the Horse Loggia and numerous relics and
- precious objects from Constantinople.
St. Mark’s Basilica houses hundreds of richly decorated mosaics in gold; the uniqueness of the Pala lies in its opulence: 250 cloisonnés enamels on gilded silver foil set with almost two thousand gems and precious stones, made in Byzantium on commission from Venice between the 10th and 12th centuries.
Combined ticket St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace
To get a more complete idea of the St Mark’s Square complex, it is possible to purchase tickets that combine entrance to St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. These are tours with expert guides who, in addition to illustrating the most significant elements of both, will be able to answer our questions and curiosities.
Undoubtedly more famous than the Royal Palace, the Doge’s Palace, the residence of the doges of Venice, is located close to St. Mark’s Basilica and is characterised by the juxtaposition of a compact upper building, which develops horizontally due to the sandy terrain on which Venice rests, and the slender columns and decorative elements of the lower part, an expression of Venetian Gothic.
By booking a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica you have the advantage of not having to worry about the opening times of the two sites, which are different: just turn up at the indicated time and show your ticket to the guide (even from your smartphone), with the added advantage of skipping the queue and being entitled to early access (in fact, visits start at 8.30am). After the tour with the guide, which lasts approximately 2-3 hours, it is possible to continue the visit to the Doge’s Palace on your own.