Venice is one of the most popular attractions on any travel itinerary of Italy, and with its thoroughly unique charms, it’s easy to see why. Visitors to the city are spoiled with countless great attractions that can quickly fill up several days in Venice, such as the incredible Doge’s Palace on St. Mark’s Square. This gorgeous Gothic palace is full of grand rooms and iconic sights like the Bridge of Sighs that make it a visit not to be missed.
If you’re thinking of visiting the Doge’s Palace, it’s best to plan carefully and organize how you’re going to get your Doge’s Palace tickets. We’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets for the Doge’s Palace, detailing all of your options and our recommendations for the best way to visit so that you can get the most out of this memorable and historic monument.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Doge’s Palace: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Doge’s Palace tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to admire the palace’s golden staircase, lavish halls, and its impressive collection of artworks on a carefully planned itinerary led by an expert guide.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Doge’s Palace
Due to its immense popularity, there are a variety of ways to get Doge’s Palace tickets. Choosing where to buy tickets for the Doge’s Palace comes down to your personal preferences, how much you’re willing to spend, and, most importantly, how organized you are. Don’t worry, though, because we’ll explain each of your options so that you can see why we recommend skip-the-line Doge’s Palace tickets and can then decide which option will work best for you.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the worst way to buy tickets to the Doge’s Palace is by lining up when you arrive. Lines for the ticket office often take an hour here but have been known to take two or more hours to get through during high season. That really is a waste of your precious time in Venice and could be especially unpleasant if you’re standing around in the sun the whole time. Waiting until the day of your visit is also a bad idea if you want to do the Secret Itineraries Tour, as places on this special tour are limited.
2. Book Online
A far more sensible approach that helps you make the most of your time in Venice is to book tickets to the Doge’s Palace in advance online. By doing this, you’ll not only be getting skip-the-line tickets for the Doge’s Palace that will save you time but will also be able to choose the time of day for your visit, allowing you to plan your sightseeing activities around it.
Tickets can be booked through the official website of the Doge’s Palace. However, the website isn’t the easiest to navigate and tickets bought there are non-refundable, which will be a problem if your plans change.
It’s for these reasons that we recommend booking your tickets through this link, because with these easy-to-book tickets, you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of your visit and receive a full refund. While more expensive, it does come with other perks like guidebooks and maps to help you make the most of your visit.
3. Book a Guided Tour (Recommended)
Travelers who like to really dive into a destination will find that a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace is the best way to experience this magnificent attraction. Now, while you can book special tours such as the Secret Itineraries Tour and Hidden Doge’s Treasure Tour through the official website, these tours cover certain spaces rather than offering a full tour of the palace.
Fortunately, there are ways to get a regular tour of the palace with a live tour guide. By booking with this link, you get a regular skip-the-line ticket and guided tour of just the Doge’s Palace. There’s also the extra option of combining tours for both the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica with this link, but it’s worth mentioning that St. Mark’s Basilica has no entrance fee, so there you’re just paying for the tour guide.
4. Purchase the Venice City Pass
If you’re planning to do lots of sightseeing in Venice, you might want to consider purchasing the Venice City Pass. Like tourist passes you find in other popular destinations, this pass provides access to multiple Venice attractions and helps you save money on your ticket purchases. Attractions in this pass include all the attractions of a regular ticket to the palace, your choice of several churches, the Querini Stampalia Foundation, and the option of including public transport access as well.
Useful Information for Visiting the Doge’s Palace
Doge’s Palace Hours of Operation
The Doge’s Palace is open to the public every day of the week. Opening hours for the palace vary at different times of the year and may be reduced for public holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day.
During the low season until February 13, the palace is open from 10:00 until 18:00. From February 14, the palace is open from 9:00 to 18:00. Last admission for visitors is one hour before closing.
Occasionally, the palace will extend its opening hours for exclusive evening admissions. During these special occasions, it’s possible to enter the palace from 18:00 to 18:30 and tour the Doge’s Palace during the evening.
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Doge’s Palace?
Since the Doge’s Palace is one of the most popular places for visitors to go in Venice, it can get pretty busy at certain times. But these busy periods can be easily avoided if you know the best seasons and times of day to visit.
Naturally, the low season for tourism in Venice over winter is when you’ll find the palace at its quietest. But tourist numbers are still quite manageable on either side of winter in the months of October and April, making these periods a great time to come to the Doge’s Palace.
Weekdays are usually a better time to visit than weekends as you’re likely to encounter fewer Italian tourists visiting Venice for the weekend. As for the best time of day to schedule your visit, conventional wisdom says to go either first thing in the morning or wait until the late afternoon. With an early start, you avoid cruise passengers and people on day trips, while many visitors have cleared out by the late afternoon.
How to Get to the Doge’s Palace
Venice isn’t the easiest city to navigate because of its complex layout, so you may be wondering what your options are for getting to the Doge’s Palace. Since the city doesn’t have conventional public transport for you to rely on, options for getting about are understandably limited.
The Doge’s Palace is located in the San Marco neighborhood in a part of Venice that’s relatively central and close to other attractions. That means that, depending on where you’re coming from, walking may be the quickest or simplest option.
But if you’re coming from other neighborhoods or islands of Venice, then the vaporetto could be the way to go. Coming from Santa Lucia Railway Station or the car parks at Piazzale Roma, you’ll want to head to the Vallaresso and San Zaccaria stops on Lines 1, 2, 4.1, 5.1, and 5.2, which are on the Grand Canal either side of the palace. It’s also possible to take Line 2 to the new stop at San Marco Giardinetti just next to the Vallaresso stop.
How Do Doge’s Palace Tickets Work?
Tickets to the Doge’s Palace are relatively straightforward since there’s basically just one ticket for tourists.
The general admission ticket is known as the St. Mark’s Square Museums Ticket and offers entry to the Doge’s Palace as well as to other landmarks on the square, including the Museo Correr, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. Other tickets that you might come across are for special visits and temporary events or exhibitions, as the regular ticket does not cover special exhibitions.
When organizing your Doge’s Palace tickets online, you’ll be asked to select a specific day and time for the start of your visit. Once you’ve booked your tickets, you’ll receive a voucher that you must print out and bring with you. At the palace ticket office, you’ll exchange the voucher for your tickets.
How Much Do Tickets for the Doge’s Palace Cost?
The cost of tickets to the Doge’s Palace will depend on a few factors such as where you get them and whether you choose to take a tour during your visit. To simplify things, we’ll just share the prices of tickets as they’re listed on the official website of the palace.
The general admission ticket costs €25 for adults and €13 for a reduced-price ticket. People eligible for a reduced ticket include children from ages 6 to 14, students aged 15 to 25, and seniors aged over 65. There are also some people who are entitled to free admission to the Doge’s Palace, including children under five, Venetian citizens and residents, and visitors with a disability and their caregivers.
Audio guides are an additional cost of €5 per person.
Hotels Near the Doge’s Palace
Travelers looking to make the most of their time in Venice may decide that they want to stay as close to the Doge’s Palace as possible. The good news is that with its location in San Marco, there are loads of local options for places to stay. Other nearby areas worth also looking into are the neighborhoods of San Polo and Castello, as both can potentially offer quick access to the palace. To save you doing unnecessary research, we’ve put together our recommendations for places to stay across each budget range.
You couldn’t ask for a more extravagant and romantic place to stay than the Baglioni Hotel Luna. This five-star hotel is just off Saint Mark’s Square and boasts lavishly grand rooms and suites, as well as a private dock, café, and restaurant.
Balancing comfort and cost is the Abatea Guest House. This gorgeous and family-friendly place is situated just 100 meters (328 feet) from Saint Mark’s Square, making it ideal for sightseeing, and comes with spacious rooms with all the basic amenities.
It’s not easy to find cheap accommodation in Venice, especially around Saint Mark’s Square. The closest affordable accommodation is Domus Ciliota, a budget hotel in the western end of the San Marco area, a 10-minute walk from the square. It boasts a great location for its price and has plenty of charm as it’s set inside a former Augustinian monastery. However, if this is still outside your price range, make sure to check out our guide to the best hostels in Venice.
Ongoing Exhibitions at the Doge’s Palace
Throughout the year, the Doge’s Palace hosts temporary exhibitions that focus on different aspects of the palace and its history. From September 4, 2021, to June 5, 2022, the VENETIA 1600: Births and Rebirths exhibition is being held.
Security Process at the Doge’s Palace
All visitors to the palace must go through a security check before they’re allowed to enter, so it’s useful to know the rules to make this process as quick as possible. Bags and backpacks will need to be stored in the cloakroom, but since the line for the cloakroom can be quite long, it’s best to only bring what you need to. Finally, those with face coverings will need to provide ID before being permitted to enter.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors must follow health-mandated regulations to be allowed entry into the palace. A “reinforced” Green Pass or Super Green Pass is required to be shown by EU citizens, while non-EU citizens must provide equivalent proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered.
Visiting Doge’s Palace With a Disability
The Doge’s Palace is an attraction that has put in place measures to ensure its inclusivity and accessibility for all guests. Services are offered by the palace to help visitors in whatever way they may require, including some staff who know sign language and multisensorial visits for people with visual impairments.
The route for a regular visit of the palace has been designed to have no architectural barriers and be fully accessible for people with mobility needs and those in wheelchairs. Unfortunately, these designs do not extend to the Secret Itineraries, prisons, and armory.
FAQ – Facts About the Doge’s Palace
What Is the Doge’s Palace?
The Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale, is a historic palace in Venice known for its Gothic architecture. It was used as a center of government and residence for the ruling Doge of Venice.
When Was the Doge’s Palace Built?
The oldest wing of the Ducal Palace in Venice was built in 1340, with later wings added in the 15th and 16th centuries.
How Old Is the Doge’s Palace?
Doge Angelo Partecipazio decided the Doge’s Palace would be built on its current site in 810, but the building as it stands today dates from 1340.
Who Built the Doge’s Palace?
Doge Bartolomeo Gradenigo was responsible for the construction of the palace section facing the lagoon, while later wings were the work of subsequent doges.
Why Was the Doge’s Palace Built?
The first Doge’s Palace on the Rialto Islands was built after the Doge decided to move the seat of government there from the island of Malamocco. However, the current palace was built to expand the building to accommodate the growth in size of the legislative assembly meetings.
Where Is the Doge’s Palace Located?
The Doge’s Palace is located on San Marco’s Square in the central neighborhood of San Marco in Venice.
With all this information at hand, you should have no trouble planning your upcoming visit to this great Venetian landmark. More importantly, you hopefully now understand how beneficial it is to organize your tickets to the Doge’s Palace before you get there for a more enjoyable experience.
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