Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco, Venice: Address, Phone Number, Basilica di San Marco Reviews: 4.5/5

Basilica di San Marco
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings • Churches & Cathedrals
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Blending the architectural styles of East and West, Venice's magnificent basilica was consecrated in 832 AD as an ecclesiastical building to house the remains of St. Mark.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Admission tickets
from HK$159.39
All you need to step foot in the door.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: San Marco
The most famous sestiere (district) in Venice has one of the world's most famous squares, St. Mark's (Piazza San Marco). Anchored on one end by the basilica, clustered around it are restaurants, museums, shops, orchestras playing in the square, pigeons, the grand pink Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the soaring campanile bell tower, an astrological clock tower, plus gorgeous cafes and restaurants like Florian and Quadri. Piazza San Marco is beloved by Venetians themselves. They book a table anytime, which offers a buffer from the fray. This grand outdoor drawing room attracts Venetians for a stroll too, especially late in the afternoon when the hoards of daytrippers thin out. It's simply a grand place to meet.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
28,875 reviews
Excellent
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Very good
6,767
Average
2,104
Poor
432
Terrible
213

top-trippers
Bolton, UK575 contributions
Yes, you can just check out the outside (not great for photos at the minute, due to all the scaffolding), but you will miss out on many of the hidden gems inside. External highlights include the stunning mosaics on the main façade (check out the lunette over the far-right portal which shows the legend of St. Mark’s relics being smuggled out of Alexandria to Venice, hidden in a basket, covered with pork), plus copies of the four 3rd century horses looted from a larger sculpture in Constantinople’s ancient Hippodrome

If you do decide to go inside, note that the usual church dress code (covered shoulders and knees) is strictly enforced and they don’t allow back-packs. I would highly recommend pre-booking a skip the queue timed entry. We booked the 0815 slot and by this time the ticket line was already pretty long. Check out the various ticket options and pricing before you go, to ensure you get the best value for what you want to see. I suggest allowing at least 30 minutes to see the inside of the Basilica and 1 to 1½ hours if you want to see all the ‘extras’. The tickets for the Campanile are completely separate.

Your reward for the basic ticket (€3 on the day versus €6 skip the line) is the breath-taking cycle of shimmering ceiling mosaics made from gold-leaf, glass, and precious stones. The colourful and precious medieval floor mosaics feature mainly geometric designs, but you can also spot various animals and birds – there are four pairs of peacocks (two in the north aisle and two in south one), as well as a rhinoceros and two roosters carrying a trussed-up fox (north transept).
We thought it was well worth paying for the two 'extras'. The Pala D'Oro ticket gives access to the main altar, which houses the relics of St Mark and a magnificent reversible gilded altarpiece, one side of which is embellished with over 2,000 enamels and precious gems. The first floor Museum (up approx 40 narrow steps next to the central portal) offers an up-close view of the original four life-size and life-like horses (still with traces of their original gilding); other precious Treasury exhibits; close-up views of some of the ceiling mosaics; and the outside loggia with the copy horses and stunning views over St Mark’s Square.

For convenience, I would recommend the full basilica timed entry ticket (€20). But, if you want to skip the queue, see everything and save a few pennies, you can buy the basic timed entry ticket entry (€6) and then pay on the day for access to the Pala d’Or (€5) and the Museum/Loggia (€7). For this visit, we also opted for a private guide - for all those extra details which we might have missed previously. Worth every penny. This is one of the world's most beautiful churches after all.
Written 18 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GLE30
Cheshire, UK68 contributions
Family
It stated €3 to get in. Having recently visited the Pantheon, another stunning ancient church, this seemed reasonable. My daughter who was in a spaghetti strap crop top and shorts had to buy a scarf to be allowed in, fair enough I guess. After walking through for 1 min, we had to pay €5 euros each to view a picture, it was not entirely clear what we'd get for this amount of money, it was literally to look at a gold encrusted picture. Then to go up on to the balcony, another €7 each! I hated the lack of transparency, pay one price and do everything. Also aren't churches meant to be free? This church had gold leaf all over the ceilings, stunning building, but guessing they could probably just have one single not extortionate price for everything, and should be cheaper for under 16s too.
Written 17 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

rosiedreams
Trumbull, CT58 contributions
What you would expect in a museum: artwork; regal clothing; tapestries; etc... It was hot in the museum, albeit we did visit in July so it was to be expected.
Careful if you explore the outside deck. The marble is extremely slippery and it is quite easy to fall.
Written 12 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brita S
Aberdeen, NJ114 contributions
I have to agree with one of the reviewers on the underwhelming experience. Maybe seen too many churches in Europe...
Plus you have to pay to get in! Maybe it's better with a guided tour, we only went inside on our own.
But yes, if the line is not too long and you are dressed appropriately (they are very strict with dress code), go and visit.
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vicki B
South Carolina145 contributions
The architecture & art inside are worth the price of admission to this Basilica. It was lovely. Lines were very long, so again, buy your tickets in advance and plan to go early in the morning.
Written 7 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TheShis
Tel Aviv, Israel35,760 contributions
To our amazement, we were truly underwhelmed by this basilica, having expected to see something truly stunning and ended up getting disappointment from it (the "Mona Lisa effect").
Still, it's worth a quick visit while in Venice, although there are far superior churches in town.
Written 6 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KW*BIHi
Island of Hawaii, HI103 contributions
We had purchased tickets previously to avoid the LONG line to get in. However, we still had an issue getting in. Although date & time was correct, the person at the entrance did not want to let us in. After 15 confusing minutes, she allowed us entry. The basilica was under repairs, so certain parts were closed off. It is beautiful, but I would not have paid to go in.
Written 5 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Morris
Lancaster, PA811 contributions
We had a tour of the Basilica the last time we visited Venice so this time we just attended mass on Sunday. The gold interior of the church is like not other and for that reason alone you must visit the inside.
Written 5 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Phil D
Sacramento, California, USA117 contributions
We took a tour,(the way to go) and saw wonders of the old world, beauty, and craftsmanship beyond what you can dream of. Make sure this is on your bucket list.
Written 2 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MeghaninMaroc
Le Havre, France102 contributions
Prepare to be in awe of the incredible artistry in the basilica San Marco. There is some work taking place on the exterior and some of the mosaic tile floor was damaged in the floods in 2019 but it's well worth the visit.
We chose to stand in line and buy tickets. We arrived around 945am and were in the Basilica by 1045am. Entry is 3 euros/person. Entrance to the Pala d'Oro is an additional 5 euros but well worth it. Entrance to museum upstairs is an additional 7 euros and, again, WELL worth it. For 15 euros you can explore all that the Basilica has to offer. The museum is upstairs so you get a bird's eye view of the entire church plus you get to walk on the terrace that overlooks Piazza San Marco. This is truly a "Must see" self guided tour. While we did do a guided tour of the Vatican a few years ago, I don't see the need for a guide. We discovered that several of the guided tours of museums and churches in Venice skip some of the coolest features.
Remember. Shoulders MUST be covered and skirts/dresses/pants/shorts need to go to the knee. We saw at least 12 people kicked out of line for failing the dress code. It's posted so....Some people did buy shawls from venders and then reentered the lines.
There are "Skip the line" QR codes outside the Basilica. For 6 euros you can prebook your ticket and skip the line but you usually have to book at least 1 day in advance.
Written 1 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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