st marks basilica


[GUIDE] Visiting St. Marks Square Venice, Italy

St Marks Square Venice Italy

St Marks Square is the center of Venice and a must visit site during your trip. This post is going to be relatively short and just go over a few things related to St Marks Square, what’s there, and things to look out for.

  1. Getting there
  2. History
  3. What to see
    1. St Marks Basilica
    2. Doge Palace
    3. St Marks Campanile
    4. Procuratie Vecchie
    5. Museo Correr
    6. Venice National Archaeological Museum
    7. Bridge of Sighs
  4. What to look out for

Getting to Saint Marks Square

Getting to St Marks Square is fairly simple and will depend on preference. Looking from the overhead view, it’s clear that St. Marks Square is right by the Grand Canal. So if you aren’t looking to trek through Venice and want to get there quickly, a ferry or boat can be taken to get there faster.

Visiting St Marks Square Venice Italy

If you’re like us and enjoy adventuring through the city to get there, you can also just map out a route from your hotel, Airbnb, or wherever you decide to stay in Venice. It’s also not a large un-walkable city, we made it to most of our destinations with plenty of time to spare, and that’s with getting sidetracked constantly.

St Marks Square History

Known as the Piazza San Marco, St Mark’s Square has been around since the 9th century when it was a bit smaller. Eventually it was expanded and became used commonly for merchants to sell goods and a city center. It is has always been surrounded by important government and other central buildings due to it being a central meeting place for the city. A lot of the history of the square is within those buildings surrounding it, so let’s get into what there is to see while you’re there!

Sites in St Marks Square

I loved every moment of being in the square and we were also there during some light flooding of the square. Nothing dangerous, just enough to look REALLY COOL at shin height and wade through.

St Marks Basilica

St Marks Basilica Venice

A great must see and if you don’t have time to explore all sites around the square, at least go here (and Doge’s Palace). It’s a Roman Catholic Church with amazing architecture and historical significance. Also, entrance is free but a skip the line ticket can be bought to avoid long waiting lines to get in.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re visiting the Basilica, wear non-revealing attire since it’s a catholic church and if you’re a women and your shoulders are showing, they won’t let you in. There’s also way too much history and significance to cover in a short paragraph so I encourage you to read more about it here!

Doge Palace

Doge Palace Venice Italy

Once a palace for the Doge’s who controlled the city of Venice, it now acts as a museum that offers exhibitions about Venice’s history and even offers special tours! It’s not free though, you do need to purchase a ticket to enter but it’s more than worth the cost. And while visiting the Doge Palace isn’t an all-day event, do plan to spend some time in there as it’s not the quickest walk-through.

St Marks Campanile

St Marks Campanile

Once a lighthouse for ships entering the city, St Marks Campanile is now a viewing tower roughly 100 meters high overlooking the city of Venice. The Campanile also has a rich history despite being what would appear to be a lonely tower in the square. It was used throughout history for several purposes and was even used by Galileo as an observatory to study the skies. Today you can ascend the tower for only 8 euros per person, which in my opinion is well worth it!

Procuratie Vecchie

This is less of an attraction to enter like the Campanile, and more of a simple sight to behold while in the square. Linn and I spent some time getting multiple pictures of the Procuratie as it’s one of Venice’s most historically significant building (well collection of buildings). It may not have significant events attached to it, but the Procuratie Vecchie housed many of Venice’s historically notable personnel and provided offices for them. These were the buildings where decisions were made and the everyday lives of Venice’s decision makers were carried out.

Museo Correr

Museo Correr Venice

On the upper floors of the Procuratie, this museum houses some of Venice’s most breathtaking art and history. While there is a bit to take in and enjoy, visiting the Museo Correr  is not an all day endeavor, making it a perfect addition for doing a quick tour through the square.

Venice National Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum is a great place if you’re a fan of history, but the museum itself is rather historic. Founded in 1523, the museum housed numerous sculptures and has since been expanded to numerous exhibits. It’s also conveniently located next to the Museo Correr, so if you wanted to make a it a back to back visit, then no problem!

Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

What appears to be a simple bridge is world renowned and recognized by many and noted due to its history. The bridge had a practical use in the 1600’s as it connected the buildings where prisoners would sleep and the building where they were given exams. Hence the name of the bridge, as prisoners would ‘sigh’ as they crossed it and caught glimpses of Venice. Truly a powerful experience to walk and explore the surrounding palace.

What to look out for in Venice

On top of the numerous sites to see and wonderful food to indulge in, there are some things to be on the lookout for while you’re walking through Venice.

To begin with, most cities with a heavy tourist focus mean plenty of foot traffic. A lot of people try to monetize on this by selling goods on the streets at discount prices or by performing. Try your best to not get pulled into anything and just walk past anyone that may seem a bit pushy. Simply be kind and decline any offers that don’t interest you.

Overall the city of Venice is very safe, and I highly encourage having a physical map of Venice to avoid possibly getting lost or turned around, as your phone service may be spotty. Aside from that, just enjoy the sites and let us know how your trip went!

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Visiting St Marks Square


5 Must See Attractions in Venice, Italy

Saint Mark's Square Venice, Italy

Where do I go in Venice Italy???

If you don’t have tons of time but still want to make a trip of Venice, then here are the top 5 recommended sites to see and where to go! Even better, we tried to keep them close together in case you have limited time!

These are notable parts of Venice with rich history. So 4 are must see and a final recommendation that’s a slight distance away from Venice, to get some breath from the active city and explore. Onward to our must see attractions in Venice Italy!

1. Doge Palace

Venice Doge Palace

First, a must see is the Doge Palace! Rich in history and amazing interior design/architecture is a spectacle and marvel to look at. It’s also something that will take up a few hours of your time so expect to be there for a few. Thankfully, it’s right next to our next destination.

2. St Mark’s Square (source)

Saint Mark's Square Venice, Italy

Secondly, Saint Marks Square is less of a destination and more of a place to experience. Being able to do a 360 and take in the great history of the city at it’s center is truly a great experience. I do have to warn you, there will be a lot of people trying to sell you things. Just be polite and continue exploring the square!

3. St Mark’s Basilica (source)

St Marks Basilica

Next on the trip, st marks basilica! This place is a church, so if you’re a woman, they will require you to have your shoulders covered and dress conservatively or else you won’t be able to go inside. The same goes for men so avoid wearing shorts. After meeting the dress code, it’s a beautiful site inside that you won’t regret taking time to see. Additionally, you can go to the top of the basilica and go out on a balcony area where pictures of the square can be taken.

4. Grand Canal (source)

Grand Canal Venice Italy

Next is the Grand canal! There are multiple viewing points along the canal but many people prefer the bridge. Either way, it’s a beautiful and active place to see.

5. Burano (source)

Burano Venice Italy

Finally, Burano! This is an island away from the main city that requires a boat ride to get to. I only recommend this because it’s a colorful island with its own history and fun to explore!

That’s all! If there’s questions, please comment!

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5 Must See Sites In Venice Italy 5 Must See Sites In Venice Italy 5 Must See Sites In Venice Italy 5 Must See Sites In Venice Italy 5 Must See Sites In Venice Italy