Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.6
#2 of 187 in Historic Sites in Venice
Must see · Architectural Building · Church
Create an itinerary including Basilica di San Marco
Renowned worldwide for its priceless treasures, Basilica di San Marco is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Italy. Originally a private chapel for the doges, the city's chief magistrates, this building has been a cathedral only since 1807. Because of its opulent design, gold dome mosaics, and its status as a symbol of the city's wealth and power, the cathedral has been nicknamed the Church of Gold since the 11th century. The interior is based on a Greek cross, with iconic Byzantine onion-bulb domes and Egyptian marble walls. Behind the main altar, containing the sarcophagus of St. Mark, an altarpiece is adorned with hundreds of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, pearls, and amethysts. The front of the building is rippled with five niched portals, each capped with more elaborate mosaics and stone arches. The church also contains a museum, displaying bronze horses brought here in 1204 as part of the loot from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade. You can enter the church for free, but the museum has an admission fee. Put Basilica di San Marco at the forefront of your travel plans using our Venice visit planning site.
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Tours to Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
28,795 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We didn't have long to stand in the queue to get in which was a bonus. It costs 3 euros to get in which isn't too bad but then you pay extra to see the Golden Altar and climb to balconies. on average....  more
    We didn't have long to stand in the queue to get in which was a bonus. It costs 3 euros to get in which isn't too bad but then you pay extra to see the Golden Altar and climb to balconies. on average....  more »
  • Of course, this is why people come to Venice and you will have to queue but honestly, it was not that bad for us. About 25-30 minutes on Easter Monday. It is worth the 3 euro entrance. Inside is... 
    Of course, this is why people come to Venice and you will have to queue but honestly, it was not that bad for us. About 25-30 minutes on Easter Monday. It is worth the 3 euro entrance. Inside is...  more »
Google
  • The facade was under renovations when I visited. I initially booked a tour but due to stuff ups, we ended up entering by ourselves. Entry was only €3, but there is another section to the inner area that requires another payment of €5. Despite parts being renovated/fixed/closed off.. I really enjoyed the beautiful artwork within. The murals were so beautiful and I was also a huge fan of the tiles and sculptures. I’m not sure about the extra €5 fee to view the inner parts. I think paying the €3 initial entry fee was the best value €3 I ever spent… Queue was extremely long and busy in the morning so I visited in the late afternoon (2.30pm) and the queue were not as long. It also moved really fast.
  • After waiting for almost 2 hours in the queue under the sun along with hundreds of people and just before reaching the entrance one of their staff just closed the gate and told us "today special day we close at 15:30" while pointing at an A4 print next to the entrance. They could have printed and posted this on different spots along the queue but they didn't, they could have also have one person from their staff walk along the huge queue telling people that today the Basilica will be closing earlier than usual so hundreds of tourists didn't have to waste their time waiting under the sun. Instead they chose to treat tourists like animals instead, a great experience will definitely come back for more.

Plan your trip to Venice

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.