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“Stunning but some issues” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
San Marco 328, 30124 Venice, Italy (San Marco)
39-041-5225205
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Ranked #11 of 213 attractions in Venice
Type: Religious Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Churches/ Cathedrals
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Attraction Details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Blending the architectural styles of East and West, Venice's magnificent basilica was consecrated in 832 AD as an ecclesiastical building to house the remains of St. Mark.
Stotfold, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
245 reviews 245 reviews
86 attraction reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Stunning but some issues”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

A very beautiful basilica and definitely a site not to be missed. However, beware … NO BACKPACKS are allowed inside but they don't tell you until you are right at the front of the line.

On the day we visited, Venice had had one of its high tides and the raised walkways were in use. Therefore, we had to join a long line on a fairly narrow walkway in order to get into the basilica, only to be told that we would have to go back (against the queue of people) in order to check in our backpack. (There were no signs stating that they were not permitted just a guy turning people back.) I can imagine that on a normal day it would not have been such an issue but … some signs would have been helpful.

The interior was stunning and the views were definitely worth the hassle to get back in. Unfortunately, despite many signs showing 'no photography' the peace of the basilica and the 'prayer only' areas was spoilt by many tourists taking flash photos. There seemed to be no attempt by any of the staff to stop this, so it just escalated.

We visited many other churches in Venice and they were much better managed. To make a visit to the basilica more pleasant, the management need to start 'managing' the tourists.

Visited November 2013
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Dillon
Top Contributor
191 reviews 191 reviews
59 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Worth the Wade!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

Square was flooded but it was worth the effort to make it to the basilica! Beautiful building, interior. Relics make it come to life.

Visited November 2013
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

From San Marco square, facing the sea front and the two large pillars, we took a right along the seafront and walked to the end to find the tourist information centre. Here you can book bundle tours. We booked a guided tour around Doge's Palace and St Marc's Basilica. It was a little pricier than the €18 entry fee (€45 each for the guided tour) but for the two hour guided tour around both venues, the queue jumping (they get big quickly!!) and the personable and interesting tour guide, I feel money well spent. More than just someone who tells you what everything is, our guide wove questions into our minds and questioned why all these different traditions were in one place; going on to answer the riddles and cryptics in a way that you stay engaged with and really take on board. To pay just an entry fee without finding out the history of everything we visited would have been selling the trip short.
The tour operator associated with the tourist information office also provides walking tours around the city, enlightening you on the vast stories and traditions attached to the beauty around you.

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Cairo
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“great facade”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

this church is a real masterpiece every inch of it has a lot of details and just great architectural design from the inside out. it's a real beauty a must visit if you are in Venice.

Visited November 2013
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“No waiting in lin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We were very much surprised that we didn't have to line up to enter the Basilica. We went late afternoon which I think helped. Beautiful basilica and a "must" to visit whilst in Venice

Visited October 2013
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