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  • “I recommend going to the top of the bell tower for the best views of Venice.” in 19 reviews

  • “My favorite part of my Basilica visit is the museum (5 Euros) that gets you up onto the second level.” in 8 reviews

  • “Mark's Square so you can make an entire day of visiting Doge's Palace, The Campanile, and the Correr Museum.” in 5 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    8/9/2014

    Just wonderful!  A lot of shops and restaurants.  I recommend going to the top of the bell tower for the best views of Venice.

  • 4.0 star rating
    31/8/2014
    1 check-in

    Just to let you know I'm no art or history major.  But, the Basilica was darned impressive.  I couldn't fathom all the blood, sweat and tears that went into making this one of the great history icons.
    There was a line so it took us about 10 minutes to get in.  With the amount of people in front of us the lines moved fairly quick.  They don't allow big bags, large cameras, tank tops, short shorts, etc.  There's signs outside the steps that state you need to be modestly dressed and no photos.
    The walk thru took about 15 minutes (all the oohs and ahs) and still there were people taking pictures with their phones and no one to stop them.  Didn't take the tour because that line was just as long.

  • 4.0 star rating
    30/5/2014

    Big, huge, ornate, and dark piece of history.  No photos.  We got our tickets on-line and had small group tour with a barely understandable Italian tour guide.  Pretty interesting.  The altar had this really cool gold wall that is turned around for the worshipers only once a year.  The floors are not flat but are very uneven, possibly due to centuries of annual flooding.  

    No backpacks.  Check them in around the corner from the basilica.  No caps, tank tops or short shorts.  It's a church.  The entrance for advance ticket with a tour guide is just to the right of the general admission entrance on the Square.  No bathrooms.

    I liked the tiny museum inside the basilica with its antiquities.  It felt like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.

  • 2.0 star rating
    25/5/2014

    This is a great Greek basilica. Built in the middle ages it is a pre baroque structure so big, but dark. While free to enter, the tour costs money, and to enter anything beyond the center of the church you pay a few euros at each door. It adds up and you really feel nickel and dimed. While this church has great Byzantine style wall mosaics, fantastic marble floor parterns it has seen a few years- it is like walking into someone's rich grandparents house and expecting you to be impressed with their work.
    The neatest thing to me was how over the last 1000 year's the pylons beneath the church have settled unevenly, and the floor now seems to have rolling waves- watch your step.
    Not a must see

    • Edgar B.
    • North Hollywood, Los Angeles, United States
    • 77 friends
    • 27 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    21/7/2014
    1 check-in

    Historic Land Mark with museums and Artifacts. The center for Catholic beliefs and water world beyond recognition. Water world In the making. A church beyond what man can understand how humans can make. Sculptures being what man can see or manufacture at a time of gods and humans.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1/4/2014

    A few months after posting a review for the Basilica di San Marcos, I received the following note from Yelp HQ:

    We wanted to let you know that we've removed your review of Basilica di San Marco. Our Support team has determined that it falls outside our Content Guidelines (yelp.com/guidelines) because the content posted does not appear to be your own.

    Not my own.eh? I invite my Yelp audience to judge for themselves in with the Text and of course my picture (which was not removed). I'll also add that I've been to Venice a few times previous, and this in one place I have stopped and enjoyed every time.

    The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is a signature Church among many in Venezia. It is the most famous of the City's churches and one of the best known examples of Italy-Byzantine architecture. You can't miss it from the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace (which Gayle and I visited during our most recent visit), easily visible from the water, and with well marked directions in all the right places.

    The Chiesa d'Oro also expects modesty and no backpacks. So for the few times that I have entered the Church, the bag got checked nearby, shorts and flip flops were out, and Gayle needed covered up a bit more. There's also been a bit of a line, but it's worth the wait and the "Oh Wow" factor once you're inside. If you want to actually come here and attend Mass, there's a side entrance for that.

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/3/2014
    2 check-ins
    Listed in Venezia!

    Wasn't sure which entry to leave a review on as there are 2 here on Yelp, but this one has more reviews so here it goes...

    If you only see one thing during your stay in Venice (other than just strolling the streets and taking in the lovely views) it should be the Basilica and the attached museum. Even if you're not a religious person, it will take your breath away - promise.

    Entry to the Basilica is free and if you go at an "off" time there will be a shorter line.  But the areas that charge entrance are certainly worthwhile, such as the treasure chamber and the alter (2 Euros for one and 3 Euros for the other).  The golden alter is incredible.  The treasures are beautifully crafted.  But the real treasure here is the Basilica itself.  Take your time and stroll around, looking up.  The whole ceiling is a mosaic of glittering gold with depictions that are so realistic they look painted.

    My favorite part of my Basilica visit is the museum (5 Euros) that gets you up onto the second level.  From here you can get a closer view of that amazing mosaic ceiling.  There are also samples of the mosaic and stone work that you can see close up, illuminated texts, tapestries, etc.  You can then walk out on the balcony to get magnificent views overlooking the Piazza and the lagoon.  The balcony is home to the replica horses, while inside you can see the restored original horses now protected from the elements.

    I've been to many churches in Europe, and this is one of my favorites right up there with St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.  I haven't been a practicing Catholic for 20+ years and I was so moved here that I actually bought a rosary as a souvenir.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/3/2014
    1 check-in

    Absolutely beautiful!

    This is a must see while in Venice.

    Despite other reviews - I did not wait in line to enter.  It was a Thursday around 3pm, just after carnival had ended and the place was empty!

    As others have mentioned - this is a place of worship.  They will absolutely NOT let you in if you are showing too much skin.  No tank tops, shorts, etc.  It doesn't matter the weather.  So, if it's hot, carry a shawl or something to cover yourself, otherwise you won't be seeing this wonderful place.

    I was happy to see that entrance to the Basilica itself was free.  However, there are 3 separate things inside that cost extra - the "treasures," the "Pala d'Oro," and the terrace and museum upstairs.  I paid for all 3, but was only (VERY) disappointed with the "treasures."  I believe it was 5 euro or something to enter, but it was a waste of time (in my opinion).  It's a very small room and there just isn't enough to see to warrant the fee.

    The Pala d'Oro was AMAZING!  Definitely don't miss it while you are there - it's gorgeous and one of a kind.

    You can take great pictures from the terrace (the stairs to get up there are super scary and steep though, so be careful!), and you can also see the original 4 horses that used to stand on top of the basilica (now replaced by replicas).

    There are signs all over that say "no pictures," but when I entered, there were people taking pictures of EVERYTHING, with their flashes on.  I snapped a few photos, but ensured that my flash was off, as I felt it was rude otherwise.

    If you are in Venice and you do not see the Basilica, you are missing out!

  • 5.0 star rating
    17/7/2014

    Beautiful!!! So beautiful! Pictures can't even capture the entirety of its beauty! Well, because no camera is that wide unless you use panoramic. But definitely worth the visit! Maybe take a ride through the canals there! :)

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/3/2014

    Absolutely breath taking , however they're currently having renovations done so you can't really enjoy the basilica fully. You do have to pay a fee to see all the jewels (4 euros)  museum (5 euros)  and the bell tower (8 euros) . The bell tower is breath taking and worth the fee . They only let a certain amount of people into the basilica at a time which is nice and it controls the tourist traffic , and I think it's a better experience overall for everyone.

    There is no video or pictures inside the basilica itself, however people are disrespect and will snap pictures.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/1/2014
    1 check-in

    In the well known St. Mark's square, is the St. Mark's Basilica.  You can't come to Venice and not go inside.

    While we were there, in the morning, the line was LONG and we didn't want to wait, since we were in Venice for one day, but later in the afternoon there was practically no line, so we went in.  Absolutely beautiful inside.  You could easily go in and out in about 10-15 mins if you aren't looking at every little thing.  It's free to go in, but there are a bunch of separate sections to walk into that will cost you a few Euros.

    Also - no backpacks - but purses and shopping bags of the same size are okay, so keep that in mind.

  • 5.0 star rating
    8/2/2014

    This is a very beautiful church in an amazing square...This is one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture.

    No back packs are allowed, lucky we were 3 so we took turns in looking after the back packs while others went in. Take your time as It's really magnificent inside and you don't want to miss the fine details. Plus be prepared to line up as they only let limited people in at given time.

    As soon as you come out their is a souvenir shop.

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/9/2013
    3 check-ins

    WOW is about all I can say and say it many many many times :-))

    I have seen many old Churches and Cathedrals and love visiting them all over the place and this would have to take the prize for opulence and intricate art work.

    First there is the exterior when placed within the Piazza San Marco is a beautiful and grand piece of architecture. Then you enter the Basilica and you are wowed by the amount of gold and jewels that have been used in the interior and its mind boggling. See my pictures for more details.

    The only drawback is the amount of people they let in and it was quite busy. Takes away from the charm of the place and the amount of people using flash photography was very annoying and there was no one stopping it. When you are in darker interiors the flash is very distracting.

    I will end by saying that this is one place you should visit once in your life. Amazing to know that hundreds of years ago 65 tons (not sure how accurate this is could be a lot more) of wood pillars were put down to build this church. An amazing feat of human engineering and creativity and a sight to see.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/3/2014

    A great place to spend the day just hanging out and taking pictures. Cool photo ops are endless. While I was there and out door restaurant had a band playing in the square adding to the ambience. Oddly enough you may find that the pigeons in the square are not scared off yet quite friendly and playful which is weird to see at first being from New York City. All in all great place to stop and take in some great outdoor sights.

  • 4.0 star rating
    30/5/2013
    Listed in Flam's Italia!

    Gorgeous architecture and such a sight to see when "touristing" in Venice.
    Ladies - don't wear shorts and cover your shoulders (no halter tops, please).

    A must see in Venice.

  • 4.0 star rating
    18/7/2013

    A lovely landmark in just about the loveliest plaza you'll come across in Venezia. The inside is as grand as you would imagine, maybe even grander. Beautiful archways run across the ceilings and you will have a hard time figuring out whether to look forward or look up.

    The line was fairly quick to get in, and you'll see a fair amount of sights inside without paying a dime. It's definitely worth visiting!

  • 5.0 star rating
    9/12/2012

    Don't  need to stand in line to go to the gift shop. Women's and Men's shoulders need to be covered and wear appropriate skirts/shorts length.

    This place is beautiful. If you are a history  buff you will appreciate all of the artifacts they have upstairs. Going upstairs and outside you get a breathtaking view of the San Marco Plaza.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/1/2012

    This is located in the piazza , while sight seeing around the area you should take the time to go inside & see this beautiful church.
    you can take a walk inside look around & just enjoy the site.

  • 5.0 star rating
    4/5/2012

    One of the most breathtaking churches in Venice!  Basilica di San Marco is in St. Mark's Square so you can make an entire day of visiting Doge's Palace, The Campanile, and the Correr Museum.

    Do wear clothing that covers your knees and shoulders.  No shorts or tank tops are allowed in the church!!!

    For 1 Euro per person you can buy an advance ticket and skip the 45 minute wait.

    venetoinside.com/en/sain…

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/12/2012
    1 check-in

    Absolutely stunning!!  Only 1 euro pp gets you ahead of the line so you don't have to wait in long lines during busy tourist season.  You can buy it ahead of time online.  If you're standing in front of the church, to the right is the long waiting line and to the left you'll see a platform with a sign that says it's for groups/tours.  You'll see a scanner and you can just scan the barcode on the confirmation ticket.
    Be sure to go up the campanile that's located right next to basilica afterwards- gorgeous views of the islands of Venice.

  • 4.0 star rating
    30/11/2013

    不错的地方,值得一看,只是游客太多,然后卖小玩具的人也很多.

    • Qype User BushGi…
    • London
    • 197 friends
    • 388 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    21/11/2008

    St Mark's Basilica is one of my favourite basilicas. And I've seen some basilicas. It is plonked at one end of St Mark's Square next to the Doge's Palace. The ornate domed roofs remind me of Moscow  not that I've ever been there but I've seen pictures and probably had a dream about it that was totally accurate.

    Inside, it is free to enter the main part, there is a lovely hushed reverence  Italians sure do take Catholicism seriously. Not like Notre Dame  which is a Mickey Mouse place of worship. There are some cracking bits of art in here but what I especially liked was the sense of quiet reflection and calm. Obviously it's a massive building but it feels like there are areas which afford a great deal of privacy to chat to God in confidence.

    To get up the tower or on to the gallery or into the treasury you have to pay. We weren't fussed about that. The thing is worth visiting but I don't know how much you need to see, for me, the stroll around the main Basilica was enough.

    • Qype User vixf…
    • Manchester
    • 62 friends
    • 132 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    28/11/2008

    This is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been in. The most intricate detail has been included over the whole building leading to a spectacular overall finish.
    The art on the outside and inside is amazing and when I went inside I was struck by the huge domes way above my head.
    I actually sang in a church service in this church as part of the choir and it was absolutely amazing. The whole time we were totally in awe of the ceilings, the rose window, the mass being read in latin even the floor was impressive with mosaics in interesting patterns and colours.
    I personally do think it is worth going up to the top, to be able to get another view of ST Mark's Square and surrounding buildings.

    • Qype User lizo…
    • San Francisco, United States
    • 62 friends
    • 114 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    29/9/2008

    Stunning!

    Piazza San Marco is incredibly beautiful, but most of the time it is so insanely crowded, that you involuntarily get distracted from the space
    so go early in the morning or at dusk - you'll be able to see the Basilica across the whole piazza, without a million tourists in the way.

    • Qype User Kellem…
    • Gillingham, Medway
    • 42 friends
    • 145 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    7/9/2008

    This was by far my favourite place in Venice. It was built around 829 to house the remains of St Mark which had been brought from Alexandria.

    The exterior of the building is beautiful and unique with its domes and the bronze horses which adorn the facade (the exterior ones being copies as the originals are inside). If you think the outside is stunning, wait until you go inside  gold mosaics are everywhere and the intricate works are awe inspiring. Truly a sight worth spending time on.

  • 5.0 star rating
    5/6/2011

    This is wonderful. It crowned my visit to Venice
    It is important to also take a vaporetto out to the
    islands where you can visit monasteries, & churches
    with great art. Go in February when the days are bright
    & the afternoons have a deep mist hanging over the mysterious lagoons
    & walkways.
    Read "The Stones of Venice" by John Ruskin

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/1/2013

    One of the many stunning churches in Italy, Basilico di San Marco is a stunner. It's gilted in gold, with awe inspiring mosaics and paintings. You've got to pay to see the beautiful view but it's definitely worth it considering enterance is free.

    • Qype User aj…
    • Luton
    • 6 friends
    • 106 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    27/11/2008

    A stunning place to visit. Admission to the main part is free. It's pretty crowded during the day, so try and go super early or closer to dinner time so that you can enjoy the atmosphere in peace. Also note that unless you're in a big group chances are the long line is not where you need to stand. Oh, and large bags aren't allowed in, so save yourself the time and check them before even trying to get in. Once inside act reverently, we saw a youth being taken down and escorted out of the building for being boisterous.
    If you want to go upstairs for the views and to see some of the relics then you need to pay an entrance fee. It is well worth the fee though. It's definitely one of the cheaper attractions in Venice.

  • 3.0 star rating
    30/5/2013
    2 check-ins

    Long lines to get in, although quick moving. Although its free to enter, you must pay to get to see anything. Museum upstairs requires a 5 euro fee, to see the jewels is another 3 euros and the front of the church requires 2 euros. You don't need to pay to pray, but they do leave offering boxes everywhere. I usually love the atmosphere of churches, but this felt more like a business than a place to say prayers.

  • 5.0 star rating
    25/4/2013

    The church is beautiful inside and out. The rennaissance Italians spared no expense when it came to building churches. They are works of art in themselves. The Church of San Marco is a must see in Venice. If you can go up into the bell tower, the view of Venice is spectacular. We were fortunate that at the time we visited, Venice was not flooded.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/3/2013
    1 check-in

    This was not my favorite place in Venice but it is top 5. We got to the Basilica early and there was still a long line but we were in within 15 minutes. You can go into the church for free but it is definitely worth spending the 5 euros on a visit to the museum (entrance to the right in the foyer). You can see the mosaics close up, go out on to the terazza and see the horses and there are many religious treasures, such as tapestries, beautifully illustrated books and eclesiasical robes to see. This is an iconic part of Venice and reflects the influence of Byzantium and the Greek Orthodox Church.

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/3/2013

    Holy opulence batman! Stunning! The gilted basilica shines due to amazing mosaics. Wish I could have taken pictures but I think the unique beauty will be pretty easy to be remembered. I've heard there's usually large lines but we were lucky enough to go at a time where we only waited 5 min or so. Rick Steves has a great free audioguide that we downloaded and it was a nice way to deepen the experience. One downside though is how much the holy place feels like a tourist destination and not like a real working church but with all that bling it's no surprised that tourists flock to see it.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/12/2011

    What a beautiful place to visit.  If you are able you should definitely visit at a time when you can walk on the loggia (it's like the roof of the basilica).  What an amazing view and a beautiful building.  There are many lovely sights nearby as well, the Doge Palace (as the previous poster mentioned) and the bridge of sighs (lovely but you may be underwhelmed).  If you are looking for a cool bridge, well there are plenty, but I favor the Rialto myself.  It really helps if you are traveling with friends who speak italian.  Or else you might eat only pizza, pasta, and gelato on your trip...oh wait, we did anyways.  We had an amazing artichoke pizza, and gelato after every meal (except breakfast....).

  • 5.0 star rating
    27/4/2012

    What a very beautiful church.  Everything about this church was breathtaking.  If you ever visit Venice, you  must visit this church.  Ladies: Dress conservative.  Of course its free entrance.

  • 5.0 star rating
    31/3/2013

    Beautiful! A must see while in Venice. Free too!

  • 5.0 star rating
    6/10/2011

    The grandeur that was Venice at the height of its power, although long since passed into the annals of history, is on full display in this grandiose, gilded basilica that ranks as one of the very finest in Italy, if not in the world. Best of all, it's free to visit! Marvel at the golden glory of the blinged-out mosaic ceiling. Stand in awe before the splendor of the Byzantine exterior. This marvelous edifice stands in the glorious Piazza San Marco, one of the most famous and beautiful in the world. When you've had enough of the basilica, make sure you check out the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) next door. It is even more breathtaking, if that is possible!

  • 5.0 star rating
    12/10/2012
    5 check-ins

    Holy cow. This place is sinking, there was water everywhere in the entry way, but it was one of my favorite things in Venice. It was truly beautiful and I was SOOO MAD that I could not take any photos to help remember my visit, but I get it, respect the locals and their churches, but geez it is so freaking beautiful!!!! Pay the entry fee and go to the top and look out onto St. Mark's Square and the sea!! I was lucky enough to be melting in the summer heat when I came out onto the outside balcony but also saw the famous clock tower, with the two iron boys banging on the bell! So cool. Definitely a must when you are in Venezia! Oh and you will need to cover up like some churches in Europe. ALSO you cannot take a huge backpack in, they will make you check it or go back to your hotel, did not hear what they were telling everyone.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/1/2012

    Enjoying on my 7th gelato of my trip, I encountered this magnificent church. I didnt get to go in because I had bare shoulders and knees and you cannot enter a church without covering those body parts. I was going to be proper and admire it from the outside, wearing my skank clothes.

  • 5.0 star rating
    6/1/2009
    First to Review

    A wonderful place to visit, a mixture of Byzantine and Gothic, and essential to see if you are in Venice. It stands on one side of St Mark's Square and next to the Doge's Palace. The exterior is magnificent, adorned with many statues, mosaics and the grand domes.The interior is enormous and breath-taking everywhere you look, with glittering mosaics, the celebrated Pala d'Oro (golden alterpiece studded with gems) - you need an extra fee to see this - and countless sculptures and other works of art.

    • Qype User mattva…
    • Luton
    • 3 friends
    • 136 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    20/11/2008

    There are some places in the world that make your jaw drop, and this is one of them. This ancient, wonderfully historical church, with gorgeous Byzantine domes and mosaics of astonishing beauty, is just unbelievably wonderful. Of course, this means that it is always jam-packed with tourists and police trying to control the crowds, but this is a small price to pay. The gallery upstairs has stunning views over St Mark's Square and a collection of historical artefacts, such as the famous bronze horses that were stolen from Constantinople in 1204 by Crusaders. Admission is free (unbelievably!) but there is a small charge for the upstairs gallery. One of the most beautiful places in the world.

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