Bridge of Sighs

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Bridge of Sighs: Our most recommended tours and activities

Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

1. Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

Delve deep into Venice’s history with a 3-hour guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace, either as a private tour or shared group experience. Take in two of the city’s most important landmarks while discovering the history of the one-time mercantile capital of the Mediterranean.  Start by exploring St. Mark's Square with your guide before heading into the cathedral. From the first-floor terrace you’ll be able to admire views across the lagoon and see the famous bronze horses up close. Hear how they traveled all the way to Paris and back in Napoleon’s time. St. Mark's Basilica sometimes closes to visitors without warning. If this happens, visit the Church of San Zaccaria or the Correr Museum instead, depending on availability. Take a tour of the beautifully ornate 15th-century church and its flooded crypt or learn about the art and history of Venice. Next, you’ll use the priority entrance to reach Doge's Palace, formerly the residence of the leader of the Republic of Venice. Enjoy visiting the Chamber of the Great Council and courtrooms among other things. Highlights include frescoes by Tintoretto and the Giants’ Staircase.  After this, cross the infamous Bridge of Sighs that links to the New Prisons. Learn how the bridge got its name and the purpose for its construction in the 17th century as you take in the amazing views of the canals. At the end of your tour, feel free to stay and explore the Doge’s Palace with tips from your guide.

Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

2. Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

Visit the Doge's Palace, an important historic landmark that served as the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. As you explore the seat of a 1,000-year republic, you’ll travel back in time to the Middle Ages. Marvel at the rich details of the magnificent gold staircase and spectacular works of art. Relive the anguish of the prisoners as they crossed the famous Bridge of Sighs. Your admission ticket also includes entry to the Correr Museum on St. Mark's Square. The building was originally designed as a residence for Napoleon, and later became the Venetian residence of the King of Italy.

St. Mark’s Square: Casanova’s Prison Walking Tour

3. St. Mark’s Square: Casanova’s Prison Walking Tour

Explore an amazing route through places that have never been visited until now. Enter the imposing courtroom and the dark cells of the old prisons of Piazza San Marco. You will learn what it meant to be a prisoner back in those days:  what prisoners ate, drank and where they slept. See actual graffiti left by inmates and listen to the story about Casanova’s exciting jailbreak. Hear the myths and legends that still live inside these cold walls and cells. Enjoy the explanation of the powerful Council of The Ten, which consisted of the highest Venice politicians, that oversaw the justice system in all Venetian domains.  Nowadays the prison’s palace that overlooks the stunning Riva Degli Schiavoni is the seat of the Artistic Circle, which offers its guests different cultural experiences and concerts. Yet still, you can feel the presence of the rich history when walking through the halls of the ancient prison.

Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

4. Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge's Palace Evening Tour

Escape the crowds on a late afternoon guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, and discover 2 of the icons of Venice away from the crowds. Meet your guide by the statue of the winged lion on St. Mark’s Square. Then, enter the Doge's Palace to learn more about the center of power during the Venetian Republic. See the sumptuous apartments of the Venetian rulers, as well as the Hall of the Great Council with its stunning frescoes by Veronese and Tintoretto. Hear secret stories behind the art, such as why one doge in the painted series is covered by a black veil. Learn how the were dukes were elected, and what they did. Explore the massive armory and spooky prisons. Cross the Bridge of Sighs on the inside, and hear why it is not quite as romantic as you might have thought! After a short break, continue to the Byzantine basilica of St. Mark's, and see its gilt decorations after the crowds have left for the day. A custodian of the cathedral will unlock its doors so that you can experience like only a doge could. Marvel at the gemstones of the Pala d’Oro altarpiece. Visit the crypt, where the bones of St. Mark are said to be kept. Admire mosaics in the soft glimmer of the evening light, and learn about Venetian art and history from your passionate guide.

From Lake Garda: Full-Day Guided Group Tour of Venice

5. From Lake Garda: Full-Day Guided Group Tour of Venice

Spend the day in one of the world’s most romantic cities on a full-day guided tour to Venice from Lake Garda. Travel across the Veneto on an air-conditioned bus, and hop on a private boat to the heart of the city. Finally, join a walking tour from St. Mark's Square to Rialto Bridge. Following your pick-up from various points in the Lake Garda region, including Limone, Riva del Garda and Bardolino, transfer to Venice with a short coffee break (at your expense) near Soave. Arrive in Venice by 11:00 AM and hop on a private boat and cross the lagoon to St. Mark's. Take a 40-minute walking tour of St. Mark's Square, complete with a guide and headphones, and see some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as St. Mark's Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs, and the Campanile. Stroll the main streets to the Rialto Bridge and other monuments of “La Serenissima.” Learn more about the Republic of Venice and how it came to dominate the east and the west as the “Queen of the Adriatic.” The central district is teeming with beautiful squares, canals, crumbling mansions, ancient churches, artist workshops, and bridges — all of which you get to admire on this tour. In the afternoon, get some free time to relax and explore Venice on your own. Go off the beaten path for a more authentic look at everyday life in the city, or just sit back and people-watch in one of the many cafés of Piazza San Marco. At the end of the day trip, jump back on the boat to get from St. Mark's Square to the transfer bus at approximately 5:45 PM.

Venice Walking Tour: Power of the Republic

6. Venice Walking Tour: Power of the Republic

Learn the 1,000-year history of the Republic of Venice – traditionally known as La Serenissima – from the 8th to 18th centuries, and see all the main monuments on a guided walking tour. Admire the Renaissance church of Santa Maria Formosa and hear fascinating stories about the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, where 25 of the doges of Venice were laid to rest. Hear about the role of the Great School of Charity and Captains of Fortune, see the house where Marco Polo lived and pass the historic Teatro Malibran. Return to Piazza San Marco via the Mercerie between the Rialto and San Marco districts. Enter the Doge's Palace to explore the seat of political power during the republic and see masterpieces of art in the splendid rooms. Marvel at the gold staircase and cross the Bridge of Sighs from the inside. End with an optional visit to a glass furnace.

Saint Mark's and Doge's Palace: VIP After Hours Tour

7. Saint Mark's and Doge's Palace: VIP After Hours Tour

Enjoy exclusive, after-hours access into one of the most prestigious landmarks of Venice, the incredible Saint Mark's Basilica, preceded by a thorough and enchanted tour of the Doge's Palace, all in a semi-private group. Meet your guide in one of Italy’s most famous piazzas – St Mark’s Square – noted for its charming, Italian-Gothic beauty, just off the shores of the canal. Head to the Doge’s Palace and learn about the amazing color-changing facade of the Doge’s Palace and why it changes color from day to night. Go to the famous Bridge of Sighs, the last sight for prisoners on their march towards imprisonment. Make your way to Saint Mark's Basilica, the gates of which will have already closed for all other visitors, but will reopen exclusively for you. Admire the Pala D’oro ancient altarpiece up close, an act that is seemingly impossible during hurried daytime crowds. See the crypts where noble Venetians have been laid to rest. Be completely alone in the basilica for the portion of your tour – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Venice: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

8. Venice: Doge's Palace Guided Tour

Explore the beauty of the Doge’s Palace, one of the most famous museums of the city, just next to San Mark’s Basilica. Discover Many stories and learn everything about this ancient Palace with a local guide. See the most interesting paintings of the museum, Tintoretto’s and Tiziano’s masterpieces. Journey to the past when this beautiful room was full of people discussing the future of Venice. Discover one of the most iconic places of the city from a different point of view. Cross the Bridge of Sighs, like the prisoners, did in the past. You won’t miss a single detail of this amazing and unique palace.

Venice: Monuments and Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour

9. Venice: Monuments and Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour

Discover the most famous places in the Venice Lagoon, aboard a panoramic eco boat with a single ticket valid for 24 hours to get on / off wherever you prefer. The main stops are the Santa Lucia Station, Punta Sabbioni, Piazza S. Marco and the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. In Murano, a visit to a glass factory is included with a demonstration of glass processing. On board you will be accompanied by the explanations of our author audio guides and you will also have different itineraries available for when you get off our eco-boats. At the San Marco stop you can use priority tickets for the Doge's Palace, home of the Doge and seat of the Grand Council of the Serenissima and the Basilica of San Marco, the symbol of Christianity in Venice: visit the two famous monuments of Venice by skipping the line.

Venice: Doge's Palace Guided Tour With Skip-The-Line Tickets

10. Venice: Doge's Palace Guided Tour With Skip-The-Line Tickets

Venice: Doge’s Palace Guided Tour with Pre-reserved Tickets. Enjoy two hours in Venice to visit the major highlight of the city led by a scholarly and local guide. Choose a small group of 12 people or less, with local tour guides to tell you the stories behind this top attraction. Meanwhile, pre-reserved, skip-the-line tickets potentially save you hours of waiting in line. Meet your expert guide at the famous St. Mark’s Square and start getting to know the city and its origins. See the most renowned public space in the city and, learn about its historical, social, and political importance. Learn about the Clock Tower and the Marble Lions which are all part of St Mark’s history. Follow your guide at a relaxed pace to visit the Doge’s Palace with pre-reserved tickets straight into this opulent palazzo. Bypass the long lines to explore the political heart of an Empire. Learn about the supreme authority and wealth of the ruling Venetian Doges in the Gothic architecture of the palace. Ask about the talented 14th-century sculptors that worked on the palace and enjoy stunning views across the Lagoon as you explore this world-famous landmark. Continue to the Old Prison that was part of the Doge’s Palace, learn why the New Prisons were built, and understand the significance of the Bridge of Sighs, another highlight of Venice. Listen to the extraordinary story of the famous Casanova and his life in Venice. Leave your guide with enough knowledge to enjoy the rest of your stay in Venice on your own. Your tickets include complementary tickets for the Correr Museum.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bridge of Sighs

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What people are saying about Bridge of Sighs

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 23,319 reviews

A fantastic tour. The tour guide was fantastic. She was very knowledgeable and made the tour interesting and funny. The skip the line was invaluable due to the huge queues. The tour lasted around 3 hours which may seem long but really flew by and the 15 minutes break at the Dogo Palace was just the tonic for a quick break and refreshments. My only criticism was really during the tour of the jail. The commentary couldn’t be heard due probably because of the long line and distance between us and the tour guide…also I’m sure the thickness of the walls did not help. I would highly recommend the tour.

Good organization with button in ear and constant audio contact with the guide. Guide Elisabeth was simply great, with in-depth knowledge, wit and charm, we were carried away into the history of Venice in a unique way.

Spectacular place - I would highly recommend for any traveller, history or art-lover. Skip the queue ticket was definitely useful

Federica was an awesome guide! Funny and very knowledgeable about the Basilica and Doge's Palace.

Totally recommend as first time travellers to Venice. Great history and must see!