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Doge's Palace

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The Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is one of the most popular and impressive sights in Venice. The palace, built in Venetian Gothic style, is located directly on St. Mark's Square and the lagoon. In addition to the exhibition areas, there are further secret side rooms and corridors to discover, so book a tour to see the palace in full. With a skip-the-line ticket for the Doge's Palace, you can make even better use of your time in Venice.
Miriam DewamBy Miriam Dewam
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Tickets

Book tickets in advance and avoid the queue at the Doge's Palace.
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Venice 3-Museum Pass with Correr Museum & Doge’s Palace Skip-the-Line Tickets
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Venice: Doge's Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket with Guidebook
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Guided Tours

Learn more about the history of the Doges and the Republic of Venice on a guided tour.
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Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of Doge's Palace
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Doge's Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
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Venice: Doge's Palace Skip-the-Line Tour with Prisons
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Doge's Palace Venice: Skip The Line Ticket + Guided Tour
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More Tickets & Tours

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Venice Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tour
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Venice: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tour
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Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace & Doge’s Palace
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Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour
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8 tips for visiting the Doge's Palace

View of St. Mark's Basilica | Flickr: Navin75 - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Book the ticket onlineDuring peak times, especially on weekends and during the summer months, the queues at the cash desks can get quite long. Due to the popularity of this attraction, it is therefore recommended to purchase an online ticket, which saves you from standing in line at the ticket counters.
The grand hall of the palace | Photo: Flickr, Nan Palmero - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Insider's tip - use a different museum entranceAs there is usually a long queue at the ticket counters in front of the Doge's Palace, it is advisable to purchase the tickets for the palace, for example, also in the Museo Correr, one of the city museums of Venice. The entry to the Doge's Palace is generally also included in the Venice Museum Pass. With this trick, you can often get a ticket for the Doge's Palace faster.
3
Enjoy a snack in the cafeAfter a long tour around the Doge's Palace, take a break at the Museum Café. Here you can expect cold and hot drinks as well as sweet and savory snacks with a picturesque view of the passing gondolas on the canal.
4
Connect the sightsNot far from the Doge's Palace is the St Mark's Basilica with its valuable golden altarpiece, the Pala d'Oro. These sights not only make a good connection in one day, they also occupy an important place in the political-religious significance for the center of the Republic of Venice.
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Explore the hidden treasures of the DogesBook the nearly one-hour tour with a knowledgeable city guide through premises that were reserved for the Doge. With a tour, you can also save yourself from queuing at the checkout. You will get insights into the Arco Foscari with its state treasures, the terraces, and the chambers. The tour takes place daily at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm in English, 1:00 pm in Italian, and 2:30 pm in French. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 10 people and the special tour must be booked in advance.
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Get closer to the secret placesWith a travel guide you will also explore rooms that are not included in the ticket price for the Doge's Palace and you won't have to queue at the counter again. Along narrow corridors and steep stairs, you will reach torture chambers and the cell where Casanova was imprisoned. The special tour takes place daily at 10:00, 11:30 and 13:00 in English, 11:00 and 12:30 in Italian, and 10:30 and 12:00 in French. Please note that due to the popularity of the tour and the limited number of participants of 25 people, places are quickly sold out.
7
Take advantage of the combination ticketThe standard ticket for the Doge's Palace “The Museums at St. Mark's Square”, also grants you access to three other museums, located directly on Piazza San Marco. These include the Museo Correr, which exhibits manuscripts, paintings, and other treasures of art, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia, where archaeological finds from antiquity are kept, and the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, known for its collections of Latin, Greek, and Oriental manuscripts. Please note that this ticket is valid for up to 3 days after issue.
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The collector's ticket for museum loversFor those who have a passion for museums, the slightly more expensive “Venice Museum Pass”, valid for 6 months, is recommended. This collector's ticket allows single entry to the Doge's Palace, to the previously mentioned museums, and also to eight other city museums in Venice.
The Doge's Palace | Photo: Unsplash, Marika Sartori - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The former center of power

For over 800 years, the Doge's Palace served as the residence of the Doge and the government of the Venetian Republic. The palace significantly influenced the Venetian city culture economically, politically, militarily, culturally, and artistically.

Several successor buildings

The Doge's Palace was first built in the 9th century from wood on the Rivo Alto and served as a Castello (castle). Over the centuries, fires, lootings, and uprisings followed, which changed the building through its three successor buildings and today reflects a combination of the Gothic style with elements from the Renaissance. Under the reign of the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, the castle was converted into a building complex with living rooms, justice palace, and meeting rooms made of stone in 1340. From then on, the Doge's Palace served as the residence of the elected head of the Republic of Venice (the Doge), which existed until 1797.

The Use of the Palace

During the time of the Doges, the Doge's Palace served not only as their residence, but people's assemblies for the election of the Doge were also held there. In addition, especially at the beginning of the 13th century, when the trial proceedings of the Roman Catholic Church against blasphemers were established, prisoners were kept, questioned, and sometimes even publicly executed. After 1797, when the Republic of Venice was dissolved, offices and institutions under French or Austrian rule were located here. Since the restoration of the Doge's Palace as a museum in 1923, it has been open to the public.
In the courtyard of the Doge's Palace | Photo: Flickr, Sergiy Galyonkin - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Doge's Prestige

The Doges were the chairmen of the Republic of Venice from 726 to 1797. They were elected for life by the Venetian nobility. However, their power was limited over time as they had to give up certain functions to other officials or committees. In 1796, Venice was occupied by Napoleon's troops, ending the rule of the Doges. Although early Doges often tried to pass their seat to a son or relative, this was later no longer possible due to certain rules. Nevertheless, the small circles of Venetian nobility ensured that the Doges usually came from a handful of interrelated families.
Il Paradiso | Photo: Flickr, Dennis Jarvis - CC-BY-SA 2.0

Biggest picture in the world

During the era of the Doges, countless wonderful paintings adorned the walls of the palace, which can still be admired today. Among the most impressive artists are Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, who depict the once magnificent Republic in their works of art. The gallery also contains the once largest oil painting in the world, Paradise by Jacopo Tintoretto. However, the largest oil painting was replaced by the work Ball Story by the artist Emad Salehi on the occasion of the Football World Cup in Qatar.

The Heart of the Palace

Through the Porta della Carta and the Arco Foscari passage, one reaches the courtyard of the Doge's Palace. This was used for official acts, parties, meetings, and tournaments. Located in the corner of the courtyard is the chapel San Nicolò, which was built specifically for the doge. From here, two significant staircases, the Scala d'Oro and the Scala dei Giganti, lead to the upper floors and private rooms of the palace.

The Rooms of the Palace

The apartments of the Doge's Palace served both for public and private events, the private use, however, was reserved only for the doges and their families. The luxurious quarters are located on the upper floors of the palace. Keep an eye out - during a visit to the palace one should pay attention not only to the architectural details but also to the elaborately painted ceilings! Among the most impressive rooms of the palace are the Erizzo Room (Sala Erizzo), the Shield Room (Sala degli Scudieri), the Stucchi Room (Sala degli Stucchi), the Scarlet Hall (Sala degli Scarlatti) and the Shield Hall (Sala dello Scudo). The Hall of the Great Council (Sala dell’Udienza) holds a special position, here the people once elected the doge.

Spooky corridors

Since the 12th century, the dark and damp prison rooms were established in the Doge's Palace, which were distributed over two buildings in which state prisoners and high traitors were held. They are connected by the Bridge of Sighs, which was built in 1600 to carry prisoners to and from the palace. The legends say that sighs escaped the prisoners when they looked at the city through the windows of the bridge. Back then, the prison rooms were also known as Pozzi ('wells' or small, damp and poorly ventilated cells) or as Piombi (cells of the prisons, which got their name from the lead plate roofs). Although escaping from the prison seemed impossible due to the small barred windows, Giacomo Casanova managed to escape, who described the terrible conditions in the Piombi.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Doge's Palace wheelchair accessible?

The palace is wheelchair accessible except for the secret paths, prison cells, and the armory. Read more.

What is the minimum age for visiting the palace?

Guests of all ages are granted access, however, children under 12 are only allowed to visit the palace with a supervising adult. Read more.

Are there food options at the Doge's Palace?

The palace has a museum cafe, which offers both cold and hot drinks as well as sweet and savory snacks. Read more.

Are bags and backpacks allowed during the tour?

For security reasons, no luggage items such as bags and backpacks may be taken into the Doge's Palace. The cloakroom is available free of charge. Read more.

Is there a souvenir shop?

The Doge's Palace has a museum shop that offers a wide selection of pictures, books, guides and catalogs. Read more.

Is an audioguide available?

The audio guide can be rented on-site for a small additional charge and is available in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin. Read more.

Are dogs allowed in the palace?

No animals are allowed on the premises. An exception is made only for certified assistance dogs. Read more.

Is it allowed to take photos and videos of the Doge's Palace?

Videos and photos for personal use may be taken, but flash, tripod, and selfie sticks are not permitted. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The Doge's Palace is open daily, including holidays, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. From May 12th to September 30th, the palace is open on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as on June 1st, 14th, and 15th August until 11:00 p.m. Last admission is one hour before closing.

address

Doge's Palace
San Marco,1
30135 Venice
Italy

tickets

The standard ticket "The Museums at St. Mark's Square" for the Doge's Palace and the three museums at Piazza San Marco costs 30 € per person on site. On-site, the “Museum Pass” can be purchased for 40 €, which allows entry to the Doge's Palace and 11 other museums.

how to get there

The Doge's Palace is located directly at St. Mark's Square and is surrounded by some of Venice's most important attractions. The nearest Vaporetto stops are S. Marco-Vallaresso (line 1 or 2), S. Marco-San Zaccaria (lines 1, 2, or 7) as well as S. Marco-Giardinetti (lines 5.1 or 4.1).
Miriam Dewam
Written byMiriam DewamMiriam is keen on traveling and has a passion for photography, which she can enhance through her cross-media studies. She uses her knowledge as well as first hand experience from diverse travels to help other travellers as a content creator at TicketLens.
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