Rialto Bridge Cloudy
Skip the Line

Best of Venice and Small Islands in One Day

4.69
1,211
Likely To Sell out
  • Duration
    10.5 h.
  • Start time
    09:00
  • Meeting Point
    Campo S. Bortolomio (Details at Booking)
  • Operating Days
    Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat
  • Language
    English

Tour Highlights

  • Walk the waterfront streets of Venice and discover the history and mysteries captured within its picturesque piazzas and famous Architecture
  • Visit St Marks Basilica’s famous terrace for a rare bird’s eye view of St. Mark’s Square
  • Explore the history, halls and corridors of the Doge’s Palace
  • Bask in the beauty of the Venetian lagoons through its best two islands – Murano and Burano
  • See live demonstrations in the arts of glassblowing and lacemaking from master craftspeople using age-old methods unchanged for centuries.
  • Small group sizes of only 25 people or fewer
  • Discover history is brought to vibrant life with an expert, local English-speaking guide

Gallery

St. Mark's Basilica View by Day

Experience St. Mark’s Square from Above

Be entranced by St. Mark’s Basilica, from its east-meets-west onion dome to its dazzling mosaics. Climb up to the Basilica’s famous terrace level for a rare bird’s eye view of St. Mark’s Square.

Doge's Palace Exterior View

Explore Venice's History and Mysteries

Listen as history is brought to vibrant life with a local expert guide at both the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica for an in-depth perspective you will never forget.

Murano and Burano Glass Lamp

The Venetian Lagoon's Two Best Islands

Bask in the beauty of the Venetian Lagoon on its best two islands – Murano and Burano. See live glassblowing and lacemaking demonstrations led by master artisans using age-old methods unchanged for centuries.

Tour Description

Discover Venice and its two small islands including the most interesting sights and experiences. Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, a bird’s-eye view of St. Mark’s Square, and the Doge’s Palace are just some of the most famous things on this tour. We’ll also visit quieter, lesser known locations including hidden streets and picturesque piazzas. From these off the beaten path spots, you’ll get a feel for what it is like living life on the Floating City.

We begin your adventure at the Rialto Bridge then embark on a journey through the winding Venetian streets and over its tiny bridges. Perhaps you’ll see a gondolier or two floating beneath you as we work our way into the heart of the city.

Your expert, local English-speaking guide will enthrall you with Venice's history and culture, from its surprising beginning as an unlivable marshland. Now one of the world’s greatest cities and most popular tourist destinations, you’ll have to truly stretch your imagination to think of it as once completely uninhabitable.

You'll pass Marco Polo’s house where you’ll hear of the son who traveled far beyond the horizon and the tales he told upon his return, of a land we know as China. Amble through quaint piazzas including the lively Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo and Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Marvel before Renaissance architecture with unmistakably Byzantine influences amidst modern edifices, a stark juxtaposition of styles that showcase the eclectic approach to the city’s design and development.

Now on to the Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Square (once named the “finest drawing room in all of Europe” by none other than Napoleon himself). With our Skip-the-Line Access, you’ll be whisked past the lines waiting to enter St. Mark’s Basilica and go straight inside. Stand in awe below the famed onion dome, the perfect blending of eastern and western architecture then admire the beautiful mosaics housed within.

You'll have extra time inside to climb up to the first-floor terraces, rarely included on other tours. Here you’ll appreciate a stunning bird’s-eye view of the piazza below. Soak in the view as you imagine life in antiquity here as a masked royal, a courtesan or simple villager.

Our mainland tour continues at the Doge’s Palace, former home to the Duke of Venice and the city’s courts. You’ll see the best sights including masterpieces by Tintoretto and Veronese. It is a wonderful way to wrap up the initial portion of your guided tour before setting off for 1 hour and 30 minutes of free time to explore the area on your own. Visit local stores, browse shops, enjoy an authentic Venetian lunch – the choice is yours.

For the second leg of the tour, you’ll board a private boat to the timeless islands of Murano and Burano. Your local expert guide will continue to entertain you with stories of the sights you’ll be passing and before you know it you’ll be disembarking on the shores of Murano, our first stop. Known for its rich history and unmatched glassblowing, you’ll learn that it was here Europe’s first mirrors were crafted. So valued, the original artists were threatened with execution if they were to leave the city of Venice – on the chance they may share their secrets with the rest of the world.

Today these incredible artisans can come and go as they please but they still craft their work with the original authenticity of their ancestors. Watch them in action as they go about their business, then spend time on your own perusing their beautiful wares knowing we don’t make a commission on anything you buy, though you'll benefit from a 10% discount.

Jump back aboard the boat and we're off to Burano. See the area’s famous multicolored houses huddled tightly together along its canals, then be treated to Burano’s centuries-old tradition of lacemaking. You’ll see women working feverishly stitching lace like their mothers and grandmothers before them. Watch as they work painstakingly designing every detail.

 

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What's included

  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Small groups of 25 people or less
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Entrance ticket to the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Skip the line Access and entrance ticket to the Doge’s Palace
  • Glassmaking demonstration at a factory in Murano with commentary in English
  • Lacemaking demonstration at a shop in Burano with commentary in English
  • Discount at the glassblowing and lace-making shop where the demonstrations are given (10%+ depending on the item)
  • Round-trip transportation by boat

Sites Visited

  • St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Doge’s Palace (interior)
  • Murano glassblowing factory
  • Burano lace-making shop
  • Grand Canal
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Marco Polo’s house (exterior)
  • Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo
  • Campo SM Formosa
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Columns of St. Mark and the Venetian Lion

Meeting Point

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.

FAQs

Best of Venice and Small Islands in One Day Reviews

4.69 1,211
5 star
1070
4 star
123
3 star
16
2 star
1
1 star
1

Elisa was such a kind guide...

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Elisa was such a kind guide, who showed so much passion for the area and the people! We had a wonderful time on our tour, and it was one of our favorite tours during our two weeks in Italy! Thank you Elisa for an incredible experience!

She was hilarious! We...

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She was hilarious! We loved her insights of Venice and her jokes!

Federica was awesome and...

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Federica was awesome and very knowledgeable about the location. Highly recommend.

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Get to Know City Wonders

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

With City Wonders 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 City Wonders so special

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