Semi Private Best of Venice Tour with Grand Canal Water Taxi and St. Mark's Basilica
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Semi Private Best of Venice Tour with Grand Canal Water Taxi and St. Mark's Basilica

4.9 263 Reviews

Tour Highlights

  • See Venice's top sights including St. Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge
  • Enjoy a one hour cruise on the Grand Canal in a private boat (groups limited to 10 people)
  • Get Skip the Line Access to visit St. Mark’s Basilica and its famous outdoor terraces overlooking the city
  • Expert commentary on the history and mysteries of Venice from a local expert guide 
  • Headsets when appropriate, so you don't miss a detail
  • Groups of only 10 people or fewer


Limited to 10 people, with skip the line entrance to St. Mark‘s Basilica plus special access to its terraces with their mosaics and beautiful views, this unique experience includes a walking and water taxi tour – in just 3 hours!

Tour Description

See all the top sights of Venice with this exclusive, semi-private tour, limited to only 10 people or less per group. With commentary tailored by an expert, English-speaking guide to suit your group, you’ll learn more about Venice in just a few hours than many visitors do on an entire trip. And with such small group sizes, your guide will have more time to answer questions and tailor the pace of the tour to suit you.

First of all, we’ll head straight for the main attraction, to be sure that you have plenty of time to take it all in. St. Mark’s Basilica took 800 years to build with relics and monuments inside bought (or stolen) from all over Europe and Asia. Even St. Mark’s remains eventually ended up here (albeit through dubious means) when Crusaders stole them from Egypt. The queues here can be long but no worries, we have Skip the Line Access! Your guide will take you inside this cavernous space for an extended tour, pointing out mosaics that date all the way back to the 11th century and beautiful artworks. Then it’s up to the second floor for some stolen time inside this busy basilica. The terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica are worth a visit in their own right, not to mention the incredible views they offer over bustling Piazza San Marco below.

After our tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco, we’ll set out on a walking tour past some of the best-known sights of Venice, along with some unlikely favorites. We spent a lot of hours traversing the city, trying to get the right balance of major landmarks and picturesque corners and discovered that much of the joy of visiting Venice is in the journey, walking from one spot to another through quiet residential streets and along canals. Our Venice walking tour will take you on such a journey - you'll see Marco Polo’s house to hear about the Venetian son who went to sea one day and came back with stories of China, Campo SS Giovanni Paolo with its mix of architecture from so many ages, and the famous Bridge of Sighs.

As you move from one spot to another, your guide will entertain you with stories of Venice, from informative tales about how the city has stayed afloat so long, to the whispers of scandal that make Venice such a captivating city. They’ll also point out features and buildings that you may never have noticed on your own.

A visit to the Rialto Bridge, an incredible marble structure that cost Venice a small fortune to build but was certainly worth every penny, is a highlight of this journey, and here our walking part ends. Now it is time to take a seat on the water taxi, and enjoy the beauty of the city. Our tour continues on the Grand Canal, the city’s main waterway which snakes its way past no less than 50 palaces, six churches, four bridges and two open-air markets. We’ll take you on the water for a cruise covering all these wonderful sights. Although many visitors opt to travel the Grand Canal by gondola, this wide and hectic waterway is much better suited to the water taxis we use, which allow us to move quickly and easily along the canal without losing the intimacy of a smaller vessel.

Your tour will end at the famous Rialto Bridge. And there you have it – in only a few hours you have seen the very best of Venice from three entirely different perspectives – water, land and even air from the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica. And all without having to wait in line or jostling to see within a big tour group!

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What's included

  • Local expert guide
  • Groups of 10 people or less
  • 1 hour Grand Canal cruise by private boat (groups limited to 10 people)
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Entrance ticket to the terrace of St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Headsets when appropriate, so you can always hear your guide

Sites Visited

  • St. Mark's Basilica
  • Terrace of St. Mark's
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Grand Canal (from the water)
  • Jewish Ghetto (from the water)
  • Doge’s Palace (exterior)
  • Columns of St. Mark and the Venetian Lion
  • Campo SM Formosa
  • Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo
  • Marco Polo’s house (exterior)
  • Rialto Bridge

Important notes

St. Mark's Basilica is subject to occasional closures without prior notice. When this occurs, we offer customers an extended tour of the Basilica from the outside and St. Mark's Square. While we undertake to inform customers ahead of time when there are disruptions to the Basilica's opening hours, this is not always possible. In these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts.

Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with 'Skip the Line' access.


  • When can I make a amendment to a booking?

    Changes made to bookings within the 72 hour window will be subject to rebooking fees to cover the cost of tickets purchased, transport, guide rescheduling, headsets and administration.

  • 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.

  • Do I need to bring my confirmation voucher with me?

    It is not necessary to bring your voucher. We do recommend bringing the voucher with you as it contains helpful maps and directions to the meeting point. You can present this to your guide on the day of your tour either on a mobile device, or print it out.

Semi Private Best of Venice Tour with Grand Canal Water Taxi and St. Mark's Basilica 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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