Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.6
#2 of 188 in Historic Sites in Venice
Must see · Architectural Building · Landmark
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
28,828 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We had been to Venice twice before but never got into the basilica because of the long queues, This time we booked on line and were able to go in without a wait and stay as long as we wanted to... 
    We had been to Venice twice before but never got into the basilica because of the long queues, This time we booked on line and were able to go in without a wait and stay as long as we wanted to...  more »
  • Everywhere I read about this bascilica, it said to "go early." The line was incredibly long early in the morning, but pretty non-existent at 2pm. We didn't need to get skip the line tickets to get in....  more
    Everywhere I read about this bascilica, it said to "go early." The line was incredibly long early in the morning, but pretty non-existent at 2pm. We didn't need to get skip the line tickets to get in....  more »
Google
  • St Marks square is one of the most happening places in Venice. This was one of our last destinations in our Europe tour. It was calming and relaxing to wind up our vacation. They have some wonderful seafood places near by. This basilica is one of the oldest 9th century AD architecture. The mosaics glow different shades at different times of the day. The reason is they are made of actual gold. One interesting fact about the basilica is the outer dome that you see from outside is not real. Since Venice cannot build massive structures they constructed a light weight lead composite dome to give the grand visuals. Once you step inside you will notice the roof to be much lower. Right after we left Venice there was a major flood which flooded the whole square including the inside of the church. You should never miss this one if you are in Venice.
  • 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.

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.