Best of Venice in a Day

Venice's canal network
Discover the highlights of Venice, all within a day! You’ll visit important landmarks like Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal, and Rialto Bridge. Your guide will lead you around the city by foot and by boat, sharing interesting information about the history of Venice along the way.

You’ll begin the tour with an exciting and quintessential 30-minute gondola ride. As you glide through the canals, you’ll learn about the main aspects of Venice, such as its unique transportation methods, delicious food, and many twisting channels. As you depart your gondola and cross the Rialto Bridge, don’t forget to snap a photo of the beautiful Grand Canal. 

Next, you’ll stroll through the popular Piazza San Marco, where your guide will share details about the majestic St. Mark’s Basilica, the clock tower, and the San Marco bell tower. After some free time for lunch, you’ll meet again and visit Doge’s Palace, the ancient and fascinating mansion where historians preserve many masterpieces of Italian artists. Here, you’ll unearth secret tales of power and corruption! 

Doge’s Palace was the heart of the Republic of Venice, so you’ll explore the very center of Venice’s power and history. View the Doge’s lavish apartments and the Hall of the Great Council, where the city’s general assembly made decisions amongst beautiful frescoes created by Veronese and Tintoretto. Learn the secret of the mysterious black veil, which interrupts the painted series of doges (hint: it has to do with a beheading!), all while discovering what the Doge really did, who he was, and why you might not want the job yourself!

Next up, explore the massive armory and the so-called “New Prisons,” where your guide will share the grim details of life as a Venetian prisoner. Then you’ll visit the Bridge of Sighs, which you’ll learn isn’t quite as romantic as you thought.

To finish your day, circle back to the charming and iconic St. Mark’s Basilica, the jewel of the city with its 43,000 square feet (4,000 sq m) of mosaic! Your guide will share the tale of the basilica’s founding (a story that involves an angelic prophecy and a bold theft) as you explore the church’s countless treasures. One such treasure is the bronze horses, which you’ll see with special access to the balcony. Walk outside onto the high terraces and enjoy some of the most beautiful views in all of Venice. Your eye will stretch down into St. Mark's Square, past the Doge's Palace, and into the sprawling lagoon.

Read more about unique and interesting activities in Venice.