Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries and Best of Venice Combo Saver Tour
Special Access

Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries and Best of Venice Combo Saver Tour

4.63 583 Reviews

Tour Highlights

  • See central Venice's top sights including Rialto Bridge, St. Mark's Basilica, Bridge of Sighs and more
  • Cruise the Grand Canal aboard a private water-taxi (limited to 10 people)
  • Explore the Doge's Palace general access and special access areas (limited to 25 people)
  • Skip the Line Access at St. Mark’s Basilica and special entrance to its famous terraces overlooking the city
  • Expert commentary on the history and mysteries of Venice from a local expert guide
  • Max group sizes of 25 at the Doge's Palace, 10 for the Best of Venice
  • Audio headsets so you don't miss a thing
  • Free time for lunch between tours


Save when you book two of our most popular tours together and get a comprehensive overview of Venice by land and sea on this intimate tour. Explore the hidden chambers of Doge’s palace, cruise the Grand Canal, visit St. Mark's Basilica, and see the city's highlights with a local expert guide.

Tour Description

Visit all the most important sights of Venice in just one day on our intimate VIP Venice tours. With a carefully planned itinerary covering land, water and even air, we’ll show you the very best that Venice has to offer in a matter of hours. And with Skip the Line Access at the major sights, you won’t waste a second waiting in line.

Our VIP Venice tours start at the heart of Venice, in the Doge’s Palace. Once home to the Duke of Venice and the seat of the democratic government, the Doge’s Palace holds the key to Venetian history, art and architecture. We’re lucky to have special access here on the Secret Itineraries Tour, allowing us to visit secret archives, prisons and council rooms of the Palace that are rarely seen by the public.

With your expert, English-speaking guide on hand you’ll explore this locked wing of the palace. They’ll tell you the stories behind every room as you pass them, taking you to the prison cell that once held Casanova and telling you the real story of his escape, visiting the secret archives and explaining the checks and balances that kept Republic secrets secret, and even showing you the secret doors that allowed high-ranking government members to access this secret section of the palace.

Of course we’ll visit the best of the general access areas too. We’ll see halls, waiting rooms, courtrooms and huge council rooms where the fate of Venice was decided. Adorned with stunning frescoes, paintings and paneling created by masters such as Tintoretto, Veronese and Hieronymus Bosch, these decadent rooms speak volumes about the Venice of their time – a city on water where no ambition was too grand.

We’ll visit another of Venice’s icons at St. Mark’s Basilica, where Skip the Line Access saves us time wasted waiting outside. Here your expert guide will teach you about a different side of Venice’s history – the life of its sailors. Adorned with stunning 11th century frescoes and beautiful relics, very few of the treasures inside St. Marks’ Basilica are originally Venetian as most were stolen by sailors and soldiers during overseas invasions. Special access to the first level terraces here give us a chance to get up close to some of the most beautiful mosaics, as well as an opportunity to take in one of the city’s most impressive views from the outside balcony overlooking St. Mark’s Square.

Of course no tour of the Floating City would be complete without a Venice water taxi. We’ll explore not just the Grand Canal, but all the most beautiful arteries of the city (as well as some of the wider lagoon) on a one-hour Venice cruise. Traveling by private water taxi in small groups of only 10 people or less, you’ll spot the Rialto Bridge, the Accademia Gallery, the Rialto Fish Market and all the most important palaces and bridges of the city.

The finishing touches to our complete VIP Venice tours come at a slower pace, allowing you to regain your breath. By now you’ve seen all the iconic sights of Venice and learned about its incredibly rich history. But a lot of charm of Venice is hidden in the quiet normalcy of its streets and piazzas – the everyday reality of life on a floating city.

You’ll have a chance to learn about life on the lagoon on the last leg of our journey, when your expert guide will lead you on a relaxed walking tour combining the most important areas of the city with some less-visited gems. Learn about the practicalities of life without even a bicycle as you wander from piazza to piazza, crossing small canals and streets overhanging with flowers. As is the case for every section of this tour, you’ll have an audio headset now so you’ll always be able to hear your guide. With small group sizes of only 10 people or less you’ll have time to ask all the questions you can think of, pause for photos and really gain a deeper understanding of Venice as a modern city rather than a museum.

With a carefully-crafted itinerary combining the iconic sights of Venice with its residential areas and a few unexpected surprises, our VIP Venice Tours offer you an opportunity to get a true taste of the Floating City in just one day – without having to worry about any of the details and without wasting a precious second waiting in line. Join our expert, English-speaking local guides for an exploration of the city we love and the city we’d love to share with you.

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What's included

  • Skip the Line Access to the Doge's Palace
  • Special Access Secret Itineraries tour of the Doge's Palace
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Mark's Basilica
  • Special access to the terraces of St. Mark's Basilica
  • Venice water taxi along the Grand Canal
  • Expert, English speaking-guide
  • Groups of 10 people max for walking tour and water taxi, 25 max for Doge's Palace
  • Audio headsets so you can always hear your guide
  • Between the first and the second part there will be some free time

Sites Visited

  • Grand Canal
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Bridge of Sighs (from outside)
  • Doge’s Palace general access areas
  • Doge’s Palace special access areas
  • Bridge of Sighs (inside visit without guide)
  • The New Prisons (inside visit without guide)
  • Skip the Line access at Basilica San Marco
  • Entrance tickets to the Terrace (2nd level)
  • St. Mark's Square

Important notes

Due to a shortened morning portion of this itinerary by Doge's Palace, there will be a few hours of free time for lunch before the afternoon portion of the tour resumes at 2 pm.
Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with 'Skip the Line' access.


  • Is an advanced booking necessary or can I just show up at the meeting point?

    We strongly advise against arriving at the meeting point without a booking as we cannot guarantee that there will be space left on the tour. Our guides are unable to accept payment for tours so any bookings made on the spot will still need to be processed over the phone with payment by credit card.

  • I would like to add another person to my booking

    We are happy to assist with this request - availability permitting. Please contact our Customer Care Team who can check availability on the tour and take payment for the additional booking, as payment details are not saved in our system for security reasons.

  • How will I recognize the guide?

    Our City Wonders coordinators will be wearing blue polo shirts or jackets at the meeting point for easy recognition and holding a sign with the tour name.

Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries and Best of Venice Combo Saver Tour Reviews

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Get to Know Dark Rome

A Dark Rome tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.

With Dark Rome it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.

  • All of our guides are experts in their field
  • We only hire fluent English-speakers so nothing is ever lost in translation
  • We focus on the little details and anecdotes that make Dark Rome so special

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