Things to do in Venice

Inside Doge’s Palace: Discovering Venice’s seat of power

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Prepare to step into a realm where every corridor and room tells the story of Venice's glorious past. As we explore the halls of Doge's Palace, you'll encounter artworks, history, and political intrigue that have saturated these walls. It is here where some of the most important decisions that shaped the Republic were made. The Doge's Palace is quite literally a journey throught time. Ready to take a tour of this historic complex? Let me tell you what you can expect to see inside the Doge's Palace.

Recommended tickets to Doge’s Palace

Inside Doge’s Palace: Top highlights

Doge's Palace Interior

Giant Staircase

The Giant Staircase, known as Scala dei Giganti with its imposing statues of the mighty sea god Poseidon and the fierce war deity Mars, serves as a grandiose entrance to the Doge's private quarters. On the top you’ll find the symbol of Venice, the Winged Lion representing the city's power and patron saint, St. Mark.

Grand Golden Staircase

The Grand Golden Staircase, or Scala d'Oro, adorned in gold and opulent frescoes, is an architectural masterpiece that led the nobles to the halls of power. The 130 step staircase is lined with white and gold stucco work along with the vibrant ceiling paintings that exemplify Venetian opulence.

The Chamber of the Great Council

This massive hall, once the political heart of Venice, is where major decisions were made by the city's most influential figures. The ‘Paradise’ painting over here is one of the largest oil paintings in the world. The detailed artworks decorating the walls depict scenes of Venice's storied past, serving as a backdrop to history.

Bridge Of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs, a grim limestone passageway connecting the Doge's Palace to the dungeons, offers a view that prisoners once saw before their imprisonment. The bridge's name comes from the sighs of the prisoners as they took one last look at the beautiful city through the small windows before being taken to their cells.

Chamber Of Torment

The Chamber of Torment reveals harrowing tales of the Venetian justice system. Within this room, accused individuals were subjected to interrogation and coercive methods to extract confessions. It is also within the Chamber of Torment that you will come across the infamous pozzi, or cells, where prisoners were held.

Doge's Palace Guided Tours


The Armoury showcases an impressive collection of historic weapons and armaments, reflecting the military might and craftsmanship of the Venetian Republic. You’ll see an array of swords, crossbows, and antique firearms, each with a unique story tied to Venice's defense strategies and combats. There are more than 2000 pieces spread across four rooms, providing an in-depth perspective on the weaponry evolution over time.

Know before you go inside Doge’s Palace

  • Taking the Vaporetto (Water Bus) is the best way to reach Doge’s Palace. You’ll have to get down at the "San Zaccaria" stop and both line 1 and 2 will drop you there.
  • Photography is allowed, but the use of flash is prohibited to protect the artworks.
  • Purchase tickets in advance to avoid long queues and to secure an entry time.
  • I recommend visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowd.
  • Taking a guided tour can greatly enhance your experience as it offers insightful commentary and access to rooms that might be missed otherwise.
  • Note that large bags or backpacks are not permitted inside the Palace. There is a cloakroom service where you can safely store your belongings.
Inside Doge’s Palace