Submerge yourself in the structural marvel that dates back to the mid of the 10th and 11th centuries, Doge’s Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale in Italian. This glorious castle was previously used as a fortress and a prison, and has seen its fair share of distress when it was partially destroyed in a fire and rebuilt.
Experience an amalgamation of a variety of architectural styles such as Gothic, Byzantine and Renaissance, and admire the historically acclaimed paintings by renowned Italian creators such as Titian, Tintoretto and of course, Bellini with the perfect Doge’s Palace guided tour.
This house of art and architecture was the historic seat of the La Serenissima, the Venetian Republic, and the delicate structure is a pandora of historical significance.
Advantages of a Doge’s Palace Guided Tour
Skip the lines and the hassle
Keep all of the hassle aside and skip the long queues, directly to the striking corridors of Doge’s palace. Waste no time in diving deep into the world of classic art, collected by the dukes of Venice over many centuries, at this aesthetic composition of a building.
Companionship of an expert tour guide
Did you know that the palace faced the wreckage of a fire on multiple occasions and was rebuilt again? Did you know that the Bridge of Sighs in the palace is a romantic spot but historically it divides the palace and the prisoners, and has been named so because of the heavy sighs of the prisoners before stepping into the prison across the bridge? Sounds interesting right? And this is what your expert guide is there for, to let you in on all the best kept secrets and captivating stories through the palace and the attractions around.
Don’t you fret about adjusting your day’s schedule for a visit to the Doge’s Palace! We bring flexible timings with our Doge’s Palace guided tours, for minimum hassle and a maximum enjoyable experience surrounded by art and architecture of a century long gone. Just choose a timing that suits your day and immerse yourself in an experience of a lifetime amidst a plethora of history and heritage.
Additional access to top attractions
What’s better than a guided tour of Doge’s Palace, the main landmark of Venice? A guided tour of Doge’s Palace along with other top attractions like St. Mark’s Square, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marcianas! Plan your perfect day surrounded by a wide range of architectural marvels and top locations with the ease of a single guided tour.
The Best Doge’s Palace Guided Tour
Combo Guided Tours
The Complete Guide To Doge’s Palace
Choosing the Best Doge’s Palace Guided Tour
Before planning your visit to the Doge’s Palace, take a look at all the guided tour options that are available for you.
1Skip The Line Tour Guided Tour
Spend an insightful hour delving into the rich history of Venice with your guided tour at the Doge’ Palace without starting off this delightful experience with the hassle of long queues. Uncover the best kept secrets of Doge’s Palace with your expert guide and admire the ornate delicate design laid out through the architecture. And that’s not all! This ticket also gives you access to the Museo Correr, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marcianaso in St Mark’s Square that you can explore at your own pace.
2With St. Mark’s Basilica and Glassbowling Technique Demonstration
Experience the true essence of Venice on foot accompanied by the stories of every sight that you pass by, narrated by your expert guide. Explore the St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace with your priority access tickets, skip all of the lines and head directly into the heart of these museums along with your guide to hear all of the riveting stories and about the hidden secrets. Wait, there’s more! Get a free optional coupon to witness the magic of the famed Venetian-glass blowing technique in a 20-minute demonstration!
3With St. Mark’s Basilica and Other Museums Around
Enjoy a perfected curated tour of the Doge’s Palace along with other museums such as St. Mark’s Basilica to have a holistic experience of the history and culture of Venice. Unravel the stories, legends and hidden secrets of these sets of architectural hotspots during your process of exploration.
Doge’s Palace Tours Deconstructed - A Typical Guided Tour Experience
The Doge’s Palace was founded somewhere between the 10th and 11th centuries but has been rebuilt several times up to the Renaissance period. Because of this, the great building now features an array of architectural styles spread over the years of development, including Gothic, Byzantine and Renaissance.
Scala Dei Giganti
Scala Dei Giganti, translating to the ‘Staircase of the Giants’, was named so after the two gigantic statues of the Roman gods Mars and Neptune at the top of the staircase. This staircase holds a great significance in the history of Venice as the gallery at the top of this staircase was the venue for the coronation of the Doges, the elected rulers of venice, for centuries. This gorgeous staircase leads to the State Apartments on the first floor of the Doge Palace.
Great Council Chamber
The Great Council Chamber at Doge’s Palace is truly the definition of an ornate royal setting with baroque fittings and paintings in every corner of this large room. It is about 53 meters long and 25 meters wide, making it not only the grandest room in the palace but also the largest majestic room in all of Europe. The Great Council of Chamber is known for the Great Council meetings that were held in this room. It is adorned by Tinteretto’s painting titled ‘Paradise’ above the dias and has a great throne where the Doge sat with his six counselors.
Bridge Of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs, also called the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, is an bounded bridge in limestone which crosses over the narrow canal, Rio di Palazzo, connecting the great Doge Palace to the prison. This baroque-styled bridge was named the bridge of sighs because of the prisoners crossing over and getting their last glimpse of a free life. But there’s a romantic tradition attached to this bridge as well. It is said that if the couple kisses while passing under the bridge in a gondola, they are blessed with eternal love.
Chamber Of Torment
Sala del Tormento, also commonly known as the Chamber of Torment, is another highlight of Doge’s palace. This room gives you a glimpse into the lives of the convicts at the prison in this palace and the ruthless torture they went through, both physical and mental, in the criminal proceedings. This room will surely send a chill through your spine!
The Doge’s Apartments
The Doge’s Apartments are the magnificent living quarters of the Venetian ruler, enriched with fine engraved wooden ceilings, marble chimneys with attention to detail to the added decorations, painting friezes and stuccoes. Today, the spaces in Doge’s Apartments are used for exhibitions.
Piombi, the former prisons in the Doge Palace, had a structure covered with slabs of lead, which led to the formation of harsh and extreme temperature conditions inside the prison cells. In the mid-16th century, a new prison was made on the other side of the canal to improve the living conditions of the prisoners. The Bridge of Sighs connects this structure to the Doge Palace.
By the 19th century, the Doge’s Palace was in a terrible shape due to excessive decaying. In 1876, a major restoration plan was launched to put a stop the this excessive decaying, and 42 Venetian sculptures were replaced by copies for preservation purposes. The originals were then placed in the Museo dell'Opera. These sculptures on their original columns are now exhibited in 6 different rooms in the museum. It also features different parts of the palace’s facade which have been preserved.
The Golden Staircase, also known as the Scala d'Oro in Italian, is the richest and grandest staircase in the world. The stairway gets its name from the ornate golden stucco decorated vault which was formerly only used by the magistrates. The white and gold stucco is also complemented with classical Roman style decorations.
Are Doge’s Palace Tours Really Worth it?
Yes! If there’s anything that you shouldn’t be missing in Venice, it’s the Doge Palace. This palace shows you the entire rich history and heritage of Venice, and you get to know so much more about the intricate details and hidden secrets that you won’t get insights on without the physical visit. And apart from all the knowledge and information, you also get to savor the splendid interiors, the preserved art from an era gone by, that will leave you awestruck for sure.
Doge’s Palace Practical Information
The Doge’s Palace is open on all days from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Please note: Opening hours are subject to change on festive occasions like Christmas and New Year’s.
Getting to Doge’s Palace
- By Public Vaporetto: You can take line #1 and get off at ‘San Marco Vallaresso’ or take line #2 and get off at ‘San Marco Giardinetti’. After getting off, walk to St. Mark’s Square.
- By Private Watertaxi: Ask to be dropped off at the “Todaro” landing stage. From there, walk to St. Mark’s Square.
- By Bus: Get off at Venezia. The journey will take you about 25-30 mins.
- By Taxi: Ask to be dropped off at the St. Mark’s Square.
- The accessibility is not completely wheelchair friendly or for people with walking disabilities.
- Suitcases, backpacks or larger bags are not allowed inside the Doge’s Palace. You can keep your belongings free of charge at the Ateneo San Basso (St. Mark’s Square- Calle san Basso).
- Wearing comfortable walking shoes is highly recommended.
- Beachwear, shorts and tank tops are not permitted as outfits.
- Animals are not allowed inside the museum.
- Photography and videography is prohibited in the museum.
- The usage of cell phones is prohibited in the exhibition areas.
Most of the Doge Palace guided tours begin at 10:45 AM. We recommend checking your selected guided tour for the specific information.
The quickest way to reach Doge Palace is by taxi, even though it’s not the cheapest way. It’ll take you about 15 mins to reach by taxi.
It takes about 1-1.5 hours to completely explore Doge Palace with a guided tour.
Doge Palace is not entirely accessible for people with walking disabilities, like the armory and the Bridge of Sighs are only accessible by a flight of stairs.
Budget travelers can opt for the Guided Tour of The Doge's Palace for a pocket-friendly option to explore the magnificent marvel in time.
Ready to head to Doge's Palace?
Fancy heading out to some other stunning Venice attractions? Take inspiration from our list of the best things to do in Venice here.