Things to do in Venice

5 Tried & Tested Ways To Skip The Lines at St. Mark’s Basilica

Last Updated:
It's time to holiday with Headout
Flat 8% OFF on all Headout experiences this holiday season!
*coupon valid for the next 24 hours only.

When you think of Venice, you often think of long, luxurious gondola rides along the Grand Canal. But the real crowning glory of the city of Venice is the glorious St. Mark’s Basilica! Considered to be one of the best cathedrals in Italy, St. Mark’s Basilica is an architectural marvel. If you wish to experience the finest blend of Romanesque, Byzantine, and Gothic architecture, plan a visit to St. Mark’s Basilica! With a history dating back to the ninth century, the Basilica is the most visited sight in Venice with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Huge crowds mean long queues with excruciatingly extended waiting times. To help you save time and have a hassle-free experience, you can use these effective St. Mark’s Basilica Skip The Line ways!

Wait Times - What to Expect at St. Mark’s Basilica?


Since the Basilica is crowded all year round, you can expect long queues and waiting times of more than one hour. Even during off-peak hours, you can expect a waiting time of at least forty-five minutes. There are many ways through which you can avoid this. One is by booking your tickets online and in advance. But the best way is to book skip-the-line tickets to the Basilica. By doing so, not only will you be able to avoid the long queues but you will also get priority access to St. Mark’s Basilica.

st marks basilica skip the line

St.Mark's Basilica Guide

Itching to find out what the big deal about this world-renowned attraction is? Let's find out what lies inside Saint Mark’s Basilica Venice!

5 ways to skip the lines at St. Mark’s Basilica


1. Book your Tickets in Advance

One way by which you can skip the line at St. Mark’s Basilica is by purchasing your tickets online and in advance. This will give you the freedom to choose the time slot that works best for you and to plan your trip to Venice accordingly. Avoid buying tickets on the spot as you will end up waiting in long queues at the entrance. At St. Mark’s Basilica, if you buy on-the-spot tickets, you are not allowed to stay for more than ten minutes inside the Basilica - so it is better that you purchase your St. Mark's Basilica tickets online only. Advance tickets are the only tickets that will help you skip the line when visiting the St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

2. Early Noon and Off-Season

If you wish to skip the line at St. Mark’s Basilica, you should choose off-peak days and times. Visiting the Basilica during off-peak hours will help you avoid queues and the extremely long waiting times at the attraction. When booking your tickets, go for weekdays during January and December and choose a timeslot between 11:30am and 12:30pm. This is the best time to visit St. Mark’s Basilica since it is the least crowded during these months.Lesser crowds will make your visit to the Basilica safer and more enjoyable since you will be able to explore the attraction at your own pace.

st marks basilica skip the line
Guided Tours

Saint Mark’s Basilica Guided Tours 2022

On a visit to Saint Mark’s Basilica, you can admire the art and relics throughout the establishment or opt for a moment of pure serenity!

3. Choose a Guided Tour

At St. Mark’s Basilica, if you buy on-the-spot tickets, you are not allowed to stay for more than ten minutes inside. All the guided tours that are offered by us guarantee you skip the line entry to the Basilica. Not only will this help you save time, but it will also be extremely informational as you’ll have an expert guide by your side. Going for a guided tour will give you priority access to the Basilica and help you cover everything there is to see. You will also get direct access to the Church on your guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. Purchasing these tickets are good value for money since you can skip the line, get priority access, and explore all there is to explore at St. Mark’s Basilica, courtesy of your multilingual guide.

Here's how you can pick the right guided tour.

4. Go for an After-Hours Tour

An after-hours tour of St. Mark’s Basilica-sounds awesome doesn’t it? Well, this sureshot St. Mark’s Basilica skip-the-line way lets you explore the attraction at night when all the crowds have gone. With this after-hours tour, you can explore everything in the Basilica. Be it the St. Mark’s Square, Church, the golden mosaics, the crypt, the Bell Tower, Marciana Library, or the Pala D’Oro altarpiece-you can easily explore all this and much more on your private tour of the St. Mark’s Basilica. You can also easily upgrade the same ticket to include Doge’s Palace-the seat of Venetian political power for centuries, in your after-hours tour of St. Mark’s Basilica.

5. Get Combo Deals

Combo deals are another great way to skip the line at St. Mark’s Basilica. These deals allow you to book and enjoy two experiences at the same time. In the case of St. Mark’s Basilica, you can club your visit to the Basilica with either a thirty-minute long gondola ride or a visit to the Doge’s Palace. Both these combo deals will let you skip the line at the attractions and include a guided tour. If you go for the gondola ride combo, you will get the opportunity to explore some of the most famous areas around the Grand Canal. These include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Desdemona’s House, and Mozart’s House. If you opt for the Doge’s Palace combo, you will be able to explore additional museums such as Museo Correr and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

Recommended Skip The Line St. Mark’s Basilica Tickets


Are Guided Tours a good way to Skip the Line at St. Mark’s Basilica?


Guided tours are the best way to Skip the Line at St. Mark’s Basilica! Tickets for guided tours can easily be purchased online. Booking your tickets in advance will help you choose the time slot that works best for you and you could plan your entire itinerary in Venice around the bookings you make.

A Guided tour of St. Mark's Basilica is highly recommended because you are guaranteed priority access to the entrance and can easily skip the line at the Basilica. Opting for a guided tour will let you explore everything in the St, Mark's Basilica. Be it the golden mosaics, the St. Mark’s Church or the Pala D'Oro altarpiece-your guide will show you everything and will even share some interesting facts and stories about St. Mark’s Basilica. If you want a holistic, educational, and immersive experience, go for a guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica!

Skip the Line at St. Mark’s Basilica Deconstructed


st marks basilica skip the line

Prepare to be mesmerized by a St. Mark’s Basilica Skip the line tour experience! With priority access to the Basilica, you can breeze past the long queues and jumpstart your tour experience. Before going inside the Basilica, take some time to appreciate the front of St. Mark’s Basilica. The five-niched portals and stonework arches are covered with golden mosaics that sparkle and shine as the sun’s dying rays touch them. Once inside, stop and stare at the glorious ceiling of the Basilica which is made up of mosaics. When you tear your eyes away from the ceiling, be stunned by the Pala D’Oro altarpiece that is studded with two thousand precious gems.

You can explore all this in a hassle-free and seamless way with your skip-the-line tickets. Priority entrance and no waiting in long queues-this will make your visit to St. Mark’s Basilica even more enjoyable!

Skip The Line St. Mark's Basilica Reviews


The guide did a very good job preparing us for when the lights came back on. The mosaics where magnificent! They did a very nice job showing important events in salvation history.
Well worth the time thanks to our guide Elizabeth (sp?). English tour was well organized and we enjoyed having the guides microphone send her voice directly to the headsets provided. Such detail provided from the very subtle information about modern life in Venice to the extremely detailed and historically accurate information while walking through the Basilica. Highly recommended.
st marks basilica skip the line
Public Square of Venice

St. Mark’s Square Venice

Our St. Mark's Square Venice guide has all the information you need and more!

Insider Tips


  • Wear comfortable footwear since you'll be walking around a lot.
  • If you can, carry a pair of binoculars so that you can clearly see all the details and imprints on St. Mark’s Basilica.
  • Photography and videography are not permitted inside St. Mark’s Basilica.
  • Avoid carrying large bags since you will not be allowed to take them inside the Basilica.
  • The St. Mark’s Basilica is illuminated from 11:30am-12:45pm on weekdays, Sundays, holidays, and during festivals. Try to plan your visit to the Basilica around this time.
  • Book your tickets to the St. Mark’s Basilica online to skip the line at the attraction and to get priority entry to the Basilica.

St. Mark’s Basilica: Essential Information


How to get to St. Mark’s Basilica

Here are the ways by which you can get to St. Mark’s Basilica.

  • By Public Vaporetto: If you take line #1, get off at San Marco Vallaresso and if you take line #2, get off at San Marco Giardinetti. Walk to St. Mark’s Square and look for the Bell Tower. The St. Mark’s Basilica is adjacent to it.
  • By Private Water Taxi: Ask the driver to take you to the Todaro landing stage. From there, walk to St. Mark’s Square and look for the Bell Tower. The St. Mark’s Basilica is adjacent to it.
  • By Foot: It’s very easy to reach St. Mark’s Basilica on foot. Walk to St. Mark’s Square and look for the Bell Tower. The St. Mark’s Basilica is adjacent to it.

St. Mark’s Basilica Opening Hours

From Monday to Saturday, the St. Mark’s Basilica remains open from 9:45am-5pm. On Sundays and holidays, the Basilica is open from 2pm-4pm.

During March and April, festival days, and on Sundays, the Basilica is open till 5pm. The times from Monday to Saturday remain the same.

Best Time to Visit St. Mark’s Basilica

The best time to visit St. Mark’s Basilica is during the off-season. The crowds are less, queues are shorter and the waiting time is also less. Plan your visit to St. Mark’s Basilica during the winter months of December or January. Choose a time slot between 11:30am and 12:30pm on weekdays during these months. Book a skip-the-line tour of St. Mark’s Basilica to avoid the queues and save time as well. You can also opt for an after-hours tour of St. Mark’s Basilica at night.

Rules and Regulations

  • You will be permitted to go on a guided tour of the St. Mark’s Basilica only if you are dressed modestly i.e., shoulders and knees covered.
  • Rucksacks, bags, and other bulky or large items have to be left at the San Bassa Left Luggage Office.
  • Photography and filming are not permitted inside St. Mark’s Basilica.
  • If you want to pray or attend Mass, enter the St. Mark’s Basilica from Porta dei Fuori or the north side of the Church.
  • You can enter St. Mark’s Basilica free of charge.
  • If you enter the St. Mark’s Basilica free of charge and not as a part of a tour group, you will be allowed to stay inside the
  • Basilica for only ten minutes. This step has been taken to regulate the crowds at the attraction.

FAQs


Is photography permitted inside St. Mark’s Basilica?

Unfortunately, photography and filming are strictly prohibited inside St. Mark’s Basilica.

What is the waiting time at St. Mark’s Basilica?

You can expect a waiting time of forty-five minutes to one hour at St. Mark’s Basilica. During the high season, you can even expect a waiting time of more than one hour.

Can we visit St. Mark’s Basilica free of charge?

Yes, you can. But if you enter the Basilica free of charge and not as part of a tour group, you will not be allowed to stay inside the Basilica for more than ten minutes.

Is it necessary to book my tickets to St. Mark’s Basilica in advance?

It is highly recommended that you book your tickets to St. Mark’s Basilica online and in advance. Not only will this help you choose your preferred time slot but it will also let you skip the line and gain priority access to the St. Mark’s Basilica.

Can I visit St. Mark’s Basilica at night?

Yes! You can book yourself on an after-hours tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. This guided tour happens at night when all the crowds have gone.

Ready to explore Venice?


Check out the top things to do in Venice and our exclusive Venice Travel Guide to plan your vacation like a pro!

Skip The Lines: St. Mark’s Basilica