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Doge's Palace

Originally home to Venice’s most powerful man, this Gothic masterpiece is one of the city’s top attractions.

TravelCurious Tip

As one of the most popular attractions in Venice, it is worth turning up early to avoid the crowds – especially if you’re visiting in summer.

In a city renowned for its world-class architecture, the doge’s palace is arguably the jewel in the crown. Rising majestically above the waters of the Grand Canal on St. Mark’s Square, it enjoys one of the finest locations in the city and has become a symbol of Venetian historical and cultural pride.


The Pride of Venice

Although the city’s seat of government occupied various forts and complexes on this site dating back to the early 9th century, construction on the current palace did not begin until 1340. Multiple renovations and extensions altered its appearance over the years, as did damage caused by at least three large fires, but the classic Venetian Gothic style has remained. Despite the palace’s impressive size, it is not imposing, with its intricate stonework, delicate arches and multicoloured façade lending an appealing lightness to the building’s overall aesthetic.


In The Lap of Luxury

Inside, the palace complex feels even larger than it looks from the square. You can wander through the vast accommodation suites where the doge used to live, and it is hard not to feel slightly overwhelmed by the endless opulence of the place. Paintings by Italian masters adorn mahogany-panelled walls, and marble fireplace friezes vie for attention with exquisitely-carved wooden ceilings. The six-roomed museum showcases numerous impressive columns and capitals that form a sort of history of the development of the palace. In the bowels of the building are the dungeons, where confessions were once tortured out of prisoners before they were led out for execution. Attached to this part of the palace is the famous Bridge of Sighs, named for the hopelessness of the condemned crossing it.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Venice
Bridge of Sighs
According to legend, convicts would sigh as they walked this bridge before being imprisoned in the Prigioni Nuove.
St Mark’s Square
Enclosed by spectacular buildings, St Mark's is one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
St Mark's Basilica
Formerly the Doge’s chapel and famous for its sumptuous design, the Church of Gold will leave you breathless.
Church of San Zaccaria
This magnificent and tranquil church features wonderful paintings, including a stunning altarpiece by Bellini.
Museo Correr
This extensive collection in St Mark's Square illustrates the life and culture of the Venetian Republic, as well as displaying exquisite bronzes and paintings.
St Mark’s Bell Tower
The bell tower of St Mark's Basilica, located in the Piazza San Marco

Related Tours

Private Tour of Venice in a Day inc Tickets
Discover the architectural and artistic highlights of Venice on this full day tour!

  • Commence your tour at the iconic St Mark's Square 
  • Snap pictures of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture 
  • Walk to Marco Polo's House  (entrance not included)
  • Cruise through Venetian's city squares, head towards the Church of San Zaccaria 
  • Visit the famous Rialto bridge 
  • Stroll around the Rialto Market, famous for its fish and vegetables 
  • Conclude at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Venetian Highlights

Begin with a walk around the world famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. We will make a visit to the Doge’s Palace, built in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention. St Mark’s Basilica is deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture and the city’s top highlight. 

Bridging 118 Islands

You will walk on to discover more about the iconic house of Marco Polo, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo and Campo S, as well as marvelling at the beauty of Maria Formosa and eventually the Convento di S. Zaccaria. We will then head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge- Rialto. Famous as the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you will conclude our tour admiring dozens of Tintoretto Paintings in the breathtaking building of Scuola Grande di San Rocco, named after St. Rocco, the saint protector against the devastation of plague.
Private Tour of Venice in a Half Day inc Tickets
Enjoy a whistle-stop tour of Venice, which is particularly useful for those short on time or new to the city.

  • Commence your tour at the iconic St Mark's Square 
  • Snap pictures of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture 
  • Walk to Marco Polo's House 
  • Cruise through Venetian's city squares, head towards the Church of San Zaccaria 
  • Visit the famous Rialto bridge 
  • Stroll around the Rialto Market, famous for its fish and vegetables 
Iconic Locations

The itinerary will begin with a walk around the world famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space; this square is enclosed by the stunning St Mark’s Basilica and the absolutely magnificent Doge’s Palace. You will make a visit to the palace, originally built in 812, and celebrated as one of the best examples of Venetian Gothic architecture in the city. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is St Mark’s Basilica, deemed as an icon of Italian art and culture; it is indeed one of the city’s top highlight. 

Onto the Rialto Bridge

You will then walk on to discover more about Marco Polo’s House, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo & Campo S. Maria Formosa and eventually the Convento di S. Zaccaria. You will then head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge - the Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place in Venice to buy Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you will then take a leisurely stroll around the bustling Rialto Market, a picturesque shopping area primarily selling fish and vegetables to the Venetians for more than seven centuries.
Private Tour - Unmissable Venice inc Tickets to St Mark's bell tower
Trace the city’s fascinating beginnings, learn about its failed defense against the plague and unearth its dark secrets. Focusing on the neighbourhoods of San Polo and San Marco, your journey will take you through Venice’s grandest central district. The architecture is sublime, the excitement rejuvenating and the atmosphere totally unique. 

  • Begin at the Mercato di Rialto (an ancient food and produce market)
  • Explore the Grimani Palace, a lesser known Venetian treasure
  • Climb the Basilica St Mark’s bell tower, take in the breathtaking views across the city
  • Visit St Mark's Square, and see the outside of the beautiful Doge’s Palace
You will begin your tour walking towards Venice’s pre-eminent bridge- Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you’ll stroll around the bustling Rialto Market, a picturesque shop primarily selling fish and vegetables that has been in existence for more than seven centuries.  Here, you will be able to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the market! Venetians have been trading fish, vegetables, meat and spices here for 1000 years. 

Next, explore the San Polo district and the Grimani Palace. Following this, cross the Grand Canal and ascend St Mark's bell tower. Enjoy breathtaking views over the city.

 Venture through the most magical streets and canals of San Marco, and pass the iconic St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. You will see the Doge’s Palace, built in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention. St Mark’s Basilica is deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture and a top highlight of the city. 
Private Walking Tour of the Doge's Palace inc Tickets
Your private tour of iconic Venice takes you into one of the cities most storied sites.  
 
  • Visit the 14th century masterpiece: Doge's Palace 
  • See works by Titian and Tintoretto, including the world’s longest canvas painting  
  • Learn the history of Venice under the lifetime appointments of doges 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture, especially the gothic tradition present throughout the palace  
  • Enjoy skip-the-line access to Doge’s Palace, Correr Museum, the National Archaeological Museum and the Biblioteca Marciana 
There is no better way to understand the power which Venice which had over the over world than by a private, guided tour of Doge’s Palace. 
 
For over a thousand years beginning in the eighth century, Venice was ruled by doges – elected magistrates who served for life. While the process for selecting doges changed throughout the millennium, the singular law was simply that no doge could pass his title on to a member of his own family. 
 
While the original wood structure burned down, the building which stands today is still a staggering 700 years old. From its ornate wood carvings to its larger-than-life facades, the palace is more than just a historical sight – it’s an architectural masterpiece and a visual feast. Whilst touring the palace, see works by Titian, Tintoretto, and Tiepolo amongst others.
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