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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 sites in Venice. Its Venetian Gothic architecture looks out over the Piazza San Marco and the Venetian Lagoon. Full of secret rooms and hidden corridors, there’s a lot to explore beyond the main exhibition areas, so try a guided tour to see the whole site!
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Tickets

Book tickets in advance to skip the lines when you visit the Doge’s Palace.
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Venice: Doge's Palace Priority Admission Ticket

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Doge's Palace Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket with Guide Book

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Guided Tours

Learn even more about the history of the Doges and the Republic of Venice when you take a guided tour.
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The Doge's Palace 1-Hour Tour

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Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of Doge's Palace

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Doge's Palace skip-the-line tour

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Doge's Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

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More Tickets & Tours

Browse even more tickets and tours which feature a trip to the Doge’s Palace.
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Venice: Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Fast-Track Tour

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Venice Doge's Palace & St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line Tour

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St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace Fast Track Tour

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Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

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4 Tips for Visiting the Doge's Palace

Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) | Photo: Flickr, Sergey Galyonkin - CC BY-SA 2.0
1
Take the Secret Itineraries tour which covers rooms not included in the general admission price, including the torture room, the cell where Casanova was imprisoned, and the secret archives. Just watch out, the ceilings are low and claustrophobic visitors might find it overwhelming.
View from St. Mark’s Basilica | Photo: Flickr, Navin75 - CC BY-SA 2.0
2
If the lines outside the palace are long you can buy the museum pass from Museo Correr, where the lines are usually much shorter, then come back to the Palace when it's less busy.
3
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, you’ll be climbing a lot of stairs!
4
If you’re suffering from museum fatigue then take a break in the palace’s cafe, where you can sit and watch the gondolas go past on the canal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Doge’s Palace?

The Doge’s Palace was built in 1340 to be the home of the Doges of Venice, which it was until the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797. After being the office and home of the Doges, the palace housed various other administrative offices from the subsequent governments of Venice. The palace was built in the Venetian Gothic style but was extended and redecorated so today it’s a combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. During the time of the Doge’s it was much more than just a residence - it was also where prisoners were interrogated (especially during the time of the Inquisition), then tried and convicted, and it was even the site of public executions. Today it’s a museum and is visited by over 1.2 million people every year.

Who were the Doges?

The Doges were the leaders of the Republic of Venice from 726 to 1797. Doges were elected by Venetian noblemen and served life-terms, though their power was limited over the years as functions were given to other officials or committees. In 1796 Venice was occupied by Napoleon’s troops and the Republic of Venice and the rule of the Doges came to an end. Although early Doges sometimes tried to ensure that their seat would pass to a son or relative after their death, later rules meant that the Doge couldn’t use his powers to promote family members. That being said, the small size of the Venetian aristocracy meant that Doges usually came from a handful of inter-related families. Today Venice has a mayor, chosen by popular election, and the mayor’s office is in the city hall, not in the Doge’s Palace.

What’s there to see in the Doge’s Palace?

On the first floor, you’ll see the Museo dell’Opera, which was the construction office of the Doge’s Palace - the palace has been undergoing works to extend, rebuild, or preserve it since the Middle Ages and the workers were instructed from the Opera. You can also visit the internal courtyard and loggias on the upper floor, where you can also explore some of the rooms in the Doge’s apartments, before visiting the palace’s prisons and armory. Throughout you’ll see the detailed architecture, works of art by Tintoretto and Titian, and intricately painted ceilings. On your way to the prisons, you’ll also get a chance to walk over the famous Bridge of Sighs.

What’s the Bridge of Sighs?

The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) is the bridge which connects the Doge’s Palace to the New Prison on the other side of the Rio de Palazzo. It was built in the year 1600 and was designed to allow prisoners to be easily brought to and from the palace where they would be interrogated, tried, and sentenced. The name was popularized by the English poet Lord Byron, who used the term in his poetry. It’s based on legends that prisoners on their way to serve their sentences would look out of the bridge’s windows and sigh at their final glimpse of the beautiful city they’d never see again.

How long should I plan for my visit?

If you’re planning to take the Secret Itineraries tour, it takes about 75 minutes. It covers rooms which aren’t included in the general exhibitions, so you should then allow 1 to 2 hours to explore the main exhibition areas as well. If you’re only intending to see the main rooms then 1 to 2 hours should be plenty of time to see everything.

General Information

Opening Hours:

From April 1 to October 31 the palace is open from 8.30 am to 9 pm, from Sunday to Thursdays, with final admission at 8 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the palace is open from 8.30 am to 11 pm, with final admission at 10 pm. From November 1 to March 31 the palace is open daily from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm, with final admission at 4.30 pm.

Tickets:

A ticket for the St Mark’s Square Museums (which include the Doge’s Palace, the Museo Correr, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana) costs €20 and €13 for children aged 6 to 14, students aged 15 to 25, and visitors aged over 65. Entrance is free for children aged 5 and under, and disabled visitors with a companion. Audio guides cost €5 for one person or €8 for two.

Address:

Palazzo Ducale
San Marco,1
30135 Venice
Italy

How to get there:

The Doge’s Palace is in St Mark’s Square and is surrounded by many of Venice’s biggest tourist attractions. The closest vaporetto stops are S. Marco-Vallaresso (line 1 or line 2), S. Marco-San Zaccaria (lines 1, 2, and 7), and S. Marco-Giardinetti (line 5.1 and 4.1).

Luggage:

A cloakroom is available free of charge and bags, rucksacks, and any bulky items must be stored in the cloakroom before you can enter the exhibition.

Accessibility:

All of the central areas of the Doge’s Palace are accessible to wheelchair users, but the Secret Itineraries, Prisons, and Armoury are not accessible as they have steps and require visitors to use narrow passageways. Please ask a member of staff who will help you to use the lifts. A wheelchair is available to borrow from the palace for your visit.
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