Located in the famous St. Mark square in Venice, St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is a place of worship for Christians and an amazing heritage of Italo-Byzantine architecture.
The church's structure dates back to the 9th century, heavily based on Greek-Byzantine architecture, and rebuilt multiple times thoughout history. In fact, the model for the construction was the church of the Twelve Apostles in Constantinople, which site has later on been used for the construction of the Fatih Mosque in Istambul, Turkey. The basilica is considered to be an intertwining of Eastern and Western architecture.
It takes its name after the patron apostle of Venice, Saint Mark, for whom the cathedral was built to house his mortal remains.
During the Republic of Venice, the basilica was used as a private chapel for the Doge, ruler of Venice. Later on, it became the official cathedral of the city and the seat of the Patriarch of Venice.
How much do St. Mark's Basilica tickets cost?
The entrance to St. Mark's Basilica is free.
However, you can book a skip-the-line ticket to avoid queing. The cost is:
- Adults: €3
- Children aged from 0 to 5 and for disabled people and their attendants: free
If you want to visit the St. Mark's Bell Tower (Campanile), the ticket has to be purchased separately, which costs approximately €8.
The skip-the-line ticket does not include the access to the St. Mark's Museum, the Golden Pall (Pala d'oro) and the Treasury of St. Mark's Basilica. Those tickets have to be purchased separately and on-the-spot.
The price for the St. Mark's Basilica museum is:
- Adults: €5
- Children from 6 to 18 years: €2.50
The price for the Golden Pall the ticket price is:
The access to the Treasury of St. Mark's Basilica costs:
- Adults: €3
- Children: €1.50
Don't forget that the skip-the-line tickets are only valid from April 1st to November 1st.
Are there any guided tours? Are they worth it?
Yes! Guided tours of St. Mark's Basilica are absolutely worth it, because they are a great way to obtain information about this iconic monument with the help of an expert. Moreover, they often combine other attractions, such as the Doge's Palace and you will be able to optimize your time spent in Venice. Tours always include skip-the-line tickets.
You can choose between a private tour and a group tour.
Are there any combined tickets available?
If you want to have a complete experience in the city of Love, we suggest you take a look at the combined tickets available, combining St. Mark's Basilica ticket and other great attractions and activities in Venice, such as:
What are the St. Mark's Basilica opening hours?
The Basilica's opening hours change depending on the period of the year, as listed below:
- October 29th - April 15th :
9:30 - 17:00 (last admission: 16:45)
Sunday and holidays: 14:00 - 17:00
- April 16th - October 28th:
9:30 - 17:00 (last admission 17:45)
Sunday and holidays: 14:00 - 17:00
Also, make sure to check out the official website for more information about the opening hours during holidays or specific days where only worshippers are allowed.
How to get there?
You can go to the St. Mark's basilica by waterbus (vaporetto):
- If you take it from the Piazzale Roma, you can choose the line 1 (40min), line 5.1 (direct, 20min), or the line 2 (direct, 30min).
- If you take it from the train station Santa Lucia, you can choose the same lines as stated before, 1 (35min), 5.1 (direct, 25min) or 2 (direct, 25min).
You'll then have to walk for 30-40 minutes to get to the basilica.
What will you see in St. Mark's Basilica?
First and foremost, you'll be able to admire the beautiful and imposing façade of the cathedral, proof of the beautiful intertwining of Western and Eastern architecture. It blends elements of the Byzantine and Islamic architecture into one unique architectural masterpiece. Gold designs and mosaics are very present in the exterior and interior of the cathedral, explaning why the cathedral has been known as the Chiesa d'oro (Church of gold).
On the cathedral's gable, you'll see St. Mark represented alongside several angels and a gold winged lion, symbol of Mark the Evangelist and of Venice.
The cathedral's structure is based on a Greek cross, dividing it into three naves and a main dome, sustained by massive pillars.
The floor is made in marble and tesselated with animal designs, such as foxes and cocks used as allegories for immortality and victory.
The ceiling and upper part of the pillars are adorned with more than 8000 square metres of gold and colorful mosaic, representing stories from the Bible and events in the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Saint Mark and other saints.
- Don't forget to speak quietly and dress modestly in the basilica, as it is a place of worship.
- We suggest you to book your tickets online to avoid queuing for a long time !
- It is not authorized to take pictures and videos, so make sure to fully admire the beauty of this holy place.
- You'll also be not allowed to bring any bags or luggage inside the church.