Piazza San Marco, Venice

Piazza San Marco, Venice (must see)

A visit to Venice – even not the first – is not complete without Piazza San Marco, and it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the sense of history and art here. Long before the tourists arrived, it was the city’s religious, commercial and political nucleus from where the Venetian Republic reigned for centuries. When the founders of Venice settled on the islands of the lagoon, this area was where the first rulers built their citadel – the Palazzo Ducale – and where they established their most significant church – the Basilica di San Marco. Over the succeeding centuries, these two great edifices developed into a public space so noble and majestic that no other square in Venice was considered fit to bear the name “piazza” – all other Venetian squares are named “campi” or “campielli”.

Nowadays the Piazza San Marco is what keeps the city running, having the highest concentration of plush hotels, elegant and exorbitant cafés, the most extravagantly-priced seafood, and the most luxurious shops in Venice. Evenings with mood lighting and live music are especially romantic, so if you're happy to pay €15 for coffee or €25 for a cocktail, then take your time over it and sit and enjoy the ambiance. If that is outside your budget, then there is plenty of action nearby, in the side streets of the San Marco quarter, animated with colorful boutiques, bars and food outlets which, as usual, are more affordable for everyone.

Otherwise, enjoy this famous square for what it is and try to breathe in and out. You're in Venice!

Tip:
If your time permits arrive later on the afternoon before or while it gets darker. Charming, romantic... and pretty empty. During the day, however, some stalls are selling souvenirs, bags (and knock-offs) and other things at surprisingly fair prices.
If you are going to do your gondola ride, it is best to avoid getting a gondola parked outside the square. Look for gondoliers outside the main touristy areas and you will get much more of the side-canal views that look better in pictures – plus the experience is more romantic as a whole.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Venice, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Piazza San Marco on Map

Sight Name: Piazza San Marco
Sight Location: Venice, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walking Tour   Casanova's Tour   Romantic Walking Tour   Best Sights of San Marco Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Venice, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Venice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Rialto Brige Area Walking Tour

Rialto Brige Area Walking Tour

The area is first mentioned in sources dating back to the 9th century. The Rialto was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1514. The only structure left standing was the church of San Giacomo di Rialto. The Rialto continues to be a busy shopping area with a daily vegetable market, Erberia, and a fish market in the Fish Camp.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Religious Edifices Walking Tour

Religious Edifices Walking Tour

As a tourist, you definitely are aware that a country like Italy, especially a city like Venice, has a lot of sacred sites. It would be a pity not to take a look at some of the wonderful buildings built by humans in the name of the Lord. Glorious artists, architects and their disciples have given their lives and talent for our pleasure for centuries.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Largely regarded as one of the most romantic places ever built by man, the city of Venice is spread across 118 islands collectively earning it the nicknames of the City of Water and the City of Bridges. Other than the bridges, though, the city abounds in museums, basilicas and other historic sights. For a chance to visit some of these and learn more about Venice, embark on this self-guided walk!

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Murano Island Walking Tour

Murano Island Walking Tour

Murano is often called the Glass Island, since it is home to the most impressive and renowned Venetian glass factories. The glass makers here have preserved their centuries-old techniques. The island is full of shops were you can admire and purchase these adorable glass items. Some factories have special showrooms where you can see the full process of glass making.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Grand Canal Walking Tour

Grand Canal Walking Tour

Grand Canal is the main channel in Venice. The channel has an "S" form dividing the main districts of Venice. Public transport is provided by water buses and private water taxis, but for tourists, it is recommended that they visit it by gondola. On both sides of the Grand Canal are established the most beautiful buildings dating from the 12th to the 18th centuries that tell the story of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Titian's Tour

Titian's Tour

Tiziano Vecelli, also known as Titian, was one of the greatest painters of all time. He represents the Venetian school of the Italian Renaissance. His works are well-known for their realistic interpretation of biblical episodes. Titian had a style of his own that cannot be compared with that of the other artists of his period. This tour will guide you through the most important places in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

Venice has been a tourist mecca for over a century now, with millions of visitors flocking in every year to see this unique place on the face of the Earth. Many, if not all, of these people seek to obtain something memorable as a token of their stay in this city. By far, not all of them know which...