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Venice in a Nutshell: St Mark's Square, Canal Cruise and more!

49 reviews
"Very informative." lydia s healy
Venice in a Nutshell: St Mark's Square, Canal Cruise and more!
Venice in a Nutshell: St Mark's Square, Canal Cruise and more!
Venice in a Nutshell: St Mark's Square, Canal Cruise and more!


  • Our destination in a Nutshell products show you the very best of a city in just one day!
  • This tour features Doges Palace, St Marks Basilica and Church of San Giovanni e Paolo
  • Go off the beaten track and see some of the backstreets of Venice on your walking tour
  • Enjoy a glass or two of wine on your Canal Cruise
  • Skip the line entrance to St Marks Basilica
  • Tour is led by an English speaking guide


This tour provides the perfect introduction to Venice. You will explore the two sides of Venice; start in St Mark's Square, the large piazza which is the heart of Venice and continue to explore the intricate, narrow and winding back streets of Venice.

The first stop for many visitors to Venice is Piazza San Marco. This large square is at the very heart of the city and is home to the famous Basilica di San Marco and the distinctive pink and white Doge's Palace.

You will also explore the back streets of Venice, the narrow alleyways are home to beautiful canals, churches and piazzas that enthrall visitors. One of those you will visit was the home of Marco Polo, while there you will learn more about the famous explorer.

To complete your Venice sightseeing board your motor launch for a cruise along Venice’s canals. You will cruise down the bustling Grand Canal as well as some of the smaller canals.


The tour starts from the entrance to the Royal Gardens on the water front of St. Mark’s square. Accompanied by a guide you will set out on your walking tour which introduces many of the most exciting sights of Venice.

In St. Mark's Square see the Doge's Palace and the adjoining prisons and listen as your guide will tell you the fascinating stories behind these buildings.

Then enjoy a guided tour of the interior of St. Mark's Basilica. Skip the line entrance to the Basilica and make the most of your time. This grand building dominates St. Mark's Square and is one of the most iconic structures in Venice.

Walk through the Labyrinth of backstreets, alleys and narrow passages forming the hidden side of Venice, which many tourists never see.

Move on to explore the dynamic Campo Santa Maria Formosa with its splendid Gothic Palaces. Learn about the renowned trade schools of Venice which laid the foundations of the great mercantile empire at the Scuola di San Marco. The sights with enriching historical narrations enlighten you on how illustrious Venetians, the likes of Marco Polo, and more common citizens made this stone city a lively and magical place. Visit Marco Polo's House and enjoy tales of this legendary globe-trotting Venetian.

Praise the Church of San Giovanni e Paolo "the Pantheon of Venice", enter an old merchant's warehouse and see the most beautiful well-head in Venice before finishing the tour near the Rialto bridge. Discover how Venice is at present and how it feels to live in the world’s most unique city, though not the most practical.

Board a private motor launch for the next part of your tour. Enjoy a soothing and rewarding Grand Canal cruise. Discover the history and stories about the magnificent churches and palaces lining its banks, as well as a few anecdotes on Venice's most significant street where the famous people resided.

Your tour ends at St. Mark's Square.

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  • Very informative.

    I think a tour is a must if you want to learn about the history rather then just look at the buildings. My family of 5 really enjoyed it!...

    Lydia S Healy
  • Venice in a Nutshell

    Excellent tour which I would recommend , it and the two other Viator tours I booked (Ghost tour and 3 Island tour) quite simply made the holiday yo avenue, thank you....

    Mrs Kay W Kendall
  • City walk tour and boat ride .

    Excellent tour. Our walking tour guide Fredalina and the board tour guide were very knowledgable, friendly and funny. Tour was very enjoyable and learned a lot about the daily...

    Pearl Myint Swe-Kay
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Activity Schedule

When does it run?

01 Nov 15 - 14 Nov 15: Daily except Sunday
15 Nov 15 - 22 Dec 15: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
23 Dec 15 - 05 Jan 16: Daily Expect Sunday
06 Jan 16 - 04 Feb 16: Tuesday and Saturday
05 Feb 16 - 09 Feb 16: Daily Expect Sunday
10 Feb 16 - 13 Mar 16: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
14 Mar 16 - 31 Mar 16: Daily except Sunday at 11:10am and Sunday at 2:00pm


Approx. 3 hours

Start time

01 Apr 15 - 14 Nov 15: 11:10am
15 Nov 15 - 13 Mar 16: 10:00am
14 Mar 16 - 31 Mar 16: 11:10am and 2:00pm

Meeting point

Tour departs from the entrance to the Royal Gardens, located along the waterfront on St Mark's Square (From St. Marks facing the Basilica turn right and walk towards the open water. At the two giant columns facing the water turn right, and following the line of trees after a 100 metres you will come to the entrance of the Royal Gardens where your guide will be waiting holding a sign with your tour name written on it).
Please report at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.

Ending point

The tour ends at St Marks Square

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  • Walking tour of Venice (approx 2 hours)
  • Grand Canal Boat Tour (approx 1 hour)
  • English speaking local expert guide
  • Reservation to enter St. Marks Basilica without standing-in-line
  • Transport by luxury motor boat


  • Hotel pick up & drop off


Do wear comfortable shoes as a moderate amount of walking is involved in this tour.

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Please note

Please call the local activity operator anytime between 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Saturday, atleast a day prior to the start of the tour to confirm the departure details.

Your tour guide will be holding a sign with the name of the tour written on it

Knees and shoulders must be covered for entrance to churches

Large bags are not allowed into the basilica

The Grand Canal cruise may not follow immediately after the walking tour, the time you should meet for the Grand Canal will be confirmed on the day of the tour

In condition of high water, St Mark’s Basilica Skip the line entrance will remain closed

Skip the line tickets to St Mark’s Basilica are valid from 1st April until 31st October. During the winter months, due to less affluence to St Mark’s Basilica, this service is not provided by the church to all operators and individual travelers

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Additional info

  • The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.
  • On the 1110h departure from 01 Mar - 20 Oct you will be provided with a headset to allow you to better hear the commentary.
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Cancellation policy

See the Cancellation policy for this product

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