Getting Doge Palace tickets is easier than you may think. Continue reading to get tips to plan your visit and make the most of it!

It’s a fact: you can’t say you’ve been to Venice if you haven’t visited Doge’s Palace. Palazzo Ducale, as it is called in Italian, is a beautiful Venetian Gothic building located in St. Mark’s Square – the very center of the city. The center of power until 1797 (when the city fell to Napoleon), this is where the Doge – aka the Duke – of Venice lived and ruled over the city-state; it now marks one of the top tourist attractions in town. 

A place of such beauty inevitably attracts thousands of tourists every day. This means two things: you will have to use your best skills to dodge the crowd when visiting, and you will need to get tickets in advance if you don’t want to be stuck in a line at the ticket counter and face the risk of finding out that it is sold out. 

Don’t worry though! In this post, I will explain you everything you need to know for visiting Doge’s Palace, including how to get Doge Palace tickets. I will highlight the various options available so that you can pick whichever is the most suitable to your needs. 

Make sure to check out my post “17 Incredible Things To Do In Venice.”

Doge palace tickets

Why Visiting Doge’s Palace Is A Must-Do In Venice

Venice is a splendid city, one I have visited countless times. If I am not mistaken, the first time I have been there I was 6 and I traveled with my parents who were there on a business trip. I then went again aged 13 during a school trip, and many more times since then. It’s impossible not to fall in love with it – and judging by the amounts of tourists that go each year, many share my feelings. 

Together with its lagoon, Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 – and for a good reason. This is a city like nowhere else, and  the second most visited city in Italy after Rome. The main difference between the two cities is that the size of Venice is a fraction of that of the capital, which means one thing for visitors: they will find a city that is crowded with tourists. 

Doge’s Palace is one of the symbols of Venice, and one of the most popular tourist attractions in town. Together with St. Mark’s Square and Tower, it’s probably the first place that comes to mind when you think of the city.

Since it was built, in 1340 (though research shows that some parts were built as early as the 10th century), Doge’s Palace represented the center of power in La Serenissima – The Most Serene Republic of Venice; a city-state that while many other in Italy fell prey to invaders, remained independent for more than 1100 years. 

It is a great example of Venetian-Gothic style, and inside there used to be law courts, offices, courtyards, stunning stairways and beautifully decorated ballrooms. All the lavish decorations were a pure show of wealth and power, a way of intimidating anybody who’d enter the building. The most beautiful room in the palace (as well as the largest) is by far the Chamber of the Great Council, used for the meetings of the Great Council, where male members of Venice’s most prominent families would have a seat. 

There was also a prison, located on the ground floor. More prisons (the Prigioni Nuove) were built in the 16th century on the other side of the canal, and connected to the palace via the Bridge of Sighs – a name that was given to the bridge to describe the sighs prisoners would let out once they gave the final look to the canal and the lagoon before being locked up. 

Doge’s Palace has been a museum since 1923. Upon visiting, not only you’ll be able to marvel at the exquisite building, but also at paintings by prominent artists such as Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese and Tiepolo.

Back in 2017 more than 1.4 million people visited Doge’s Palace, which was the most visited attraction in town. That means that an average of 4000 people each day frock to this museum to marvel at the incredible building and art within it. Now, I know many travelers have an aversion for tourist attractions, but honestly I think you’d be out of your mind if you traveled to Venice without visiting Doge’s Palace. This is simply a must, no matter how hard it can be to get Doge Palace tickets.

But let’s face it: unless you are spending a full week or more in town, you really won’t want to waste time at the ticket counter. Right?

The good news is that there are ways of visiting Doge’s Palace without the crowds, and also of getting Doge Palace tickets without having to stand in line for hours. 

Continue reading to discover how to do that.

Are you in a rush? The following are the most popular Doge Palace tickets and tours:

PLEASE NOTE: All visitors, including those that have pre-purchased tickets, have to go through security checks and have their bags scanned when visiting Doge’s Palace. There will be a short line for that. 

TIP: It’s best that you don’t carry bulky items for your visit. Only small bags and backpacks are allowed. There is a cloak room at the museum, but you are better off leaving any large items in your room to avoid wasting precious time.

Continue reading for useful tips on visiting Doge’s Palace and how to avoid the lines. 

Doge's Palace tickets

4 Ways Of Getting Doge Palace Tickets And Skip The Lines

There are several ways of getting Doge Palace tickets. Whether you want a budget friendly solution or are looking for a more in depth visit, I will sum up all the possibilities so that you can decide which ones suites you best.

Way N. 1: Buy your Doge Palace tickets via the official website

This is the official website of Doge’s Palace. Once you click on the link to get the St. Mark’s Square Museums (which is the basic ticket) or the Secret Itineraries tour, it sends you to this other site which frankly is less than user friendly. I tried getting tickets for myself a bunch of times and gave up as it is a real hassle – and I certainly am not an inexperienced traveler. 

The official price of St. Mark’s Square Museums is €25, and that of the Secret Itineraries tour is €28. 

GOOD TO KNOW: The Secret Itineraries tour is available in English at 9:55 am; 10:45 am and 11:35 am. It’s also available after 1:00 pm but only for a minimum of 15 people and with an additional payment of €31. The tour lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, but keep in mind you only have a guide on the Secret Itineraries, after which you will be visiting Doge’s Palace by yourself. 

Remember to print your ticket and take it with you!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The website makes no mention on whether the tickets can be reimbursed or the date of the Secret Itineraries tour changed once purchased. 

I must say, this is my least favorite way of getting Doge Palace tickets. The website is actually quite complicated to use and for some reason there always seem to be limited availability – especially for the guided tour. 

Way N. 2: Buy your Doge Palace tickets via a third party site

A much easier way of getting Doge’s Palace tickets is by going via third party sites such as GetYourGuide or Ticketbar. This option is inevitably going to be slightly more expensive (it really is a matter of a few Euros), but you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and time when booking, there usually is more availability, confirmation takes a matter of minutes, and tickets are usually fully refundable up to 24 hours before the activity. 

Another advantage of booking tickets via 3rd party sites is that you won’t have to print your ticket, but can show the mobile voucher or use the convenient app. 

I found these two options which are very good:

Make sure to read my post A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review for more information on third party booking sites.

Bridge of Sighs

Way N. 3: Go on a guided tour

If you have come across this blog before, you will know that I am a huge fan of guided tours. A place like Doge’s Palace well deserves an expert guide that will share important information about its history, architecture, and all the art that you will get to see in it. It’s a way to capitalize on the experience and even if tours aren’t so cheap, they are honestly worth it. 

Quite importantly, guided tours all come with Doge Palace tickets so you don’t have to worry about standing in line, you will go via the reserved entrance and just have to pass the security checks, and if the guide is a good one (and most of the time they are) he (or she) will dodge the crowds masterfully and you won’t even notice there are other people around you. 

The only thing you need to do is picking a tour that best suits your interests and needs. Guided group tours start at €45 and can last between 1 and 4 hours.

These are the best guided tours that include Doge Palace tickets:

Way N. 4: Plan on visiting Doge’s Palace at odd hours

Finally, a way of getting Doge Palace tickets and avoid the crowds is that of visiting at odd hours. Most people will be going for lunch between 1:00 and 2:30 pm, so those may be good times to try and get in if you haven’t pre-purchased tickets already. Keep in mind this isn’t a guaranteed method of avoiding the lines. 

Alternatively, a much better options may be that of going on later on in the evening (see below for the opening times) and even on a night time guided tour. You can even visit beyond the opening times, but keep in mind this option is available for groups only, tickets will be more expensive (and you won’t have a guide) and you have to especially request this via email at five days in advance. 

Otherwise, you can simply book a guided night tour via a third party site. These are the best options:

Doge Palace tickets

Other Useful Information For Visiting Doge’s Palace

Book in advance

In case it’s not clear, let me tell you once again: you really should get Doge’s Palace tickets in advance. I mean – this is not a requirement, but keep in mind this is the most popular attraction in Venice, and if you care to visit, you can’t just swing it. If you for some reason forget to make reservations, or yours is a last minute trip, definitely check on the website of the attraction to check if anything is available for the day you want to visit, so that you can avoid going otherwise. 

What to do if Doge Palace tickets are sold out

Tickets on the official website of Doge’s Palace sell out quite quickly, especially those for the Secret Itineraries tour. If you can’t get anything on the official website, head over to third party resellers such as GetYourGuide, Ticketbar, Tiqets and the like. Third party resellers often buy tickets in bulks and in advance, and between all of them chances are you will find something available.

Keep in mind that chances are you will have to join a guided tour – which will obviously be a bit more expensive than the plain ticket, but in my opinion that’s even better, as you will definitely make the most of your time there.

Firstly, take a look at this site to see if the Secret Itineraries tour is available. It costs €37.50, which is €9.50 more than on the official website. A small price to pay for having left the planning so last minute. You can look at this site for the plain ticket.

If even that is sold out, you may want to opt for a guided tour such as this one or this one.


Piazza San Marco

How to get to Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace is located in Piazza San Marco 1. The visitors’ entrance is Porta del Frumento. 

I am confident you will hardly need directions to get to Piazza San Marco, but just in case, here are the list of vaporetti that go all the way there:

From Piazzale Roma:

  • Take line 1 and get off at Vallaresso or San Zaccaria; 
  • Take line 2 and get off at Giardinetti;
  • Take line 4.1 or 5.1 and get off at San Zaccaria.

From Santa Lucia Railway Station:

  • Take line 1 and get off at Vallaresso or San Zaccaria;
  • Take line 2 and get off at Giardinetti;
  • Take line 4.1 or 5.1 and get off at San Zaccaria.

From Lido di Venezia:

  • Take line 1 and get off at Vallaresso or San Zaccaria;
  • Take line 5.2 and get off at San Zaccaria.

Opening times

Doge’s Palace is open every day, but opening times vary depending on the season. 

Summer season, from April 1st to October 31st: 8:30 am to 9:00 pm Sundays to Thursdays and 8:30 am to 11:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays.

Winter season, from November 1st to March 31st: 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, daily.

Last admission is always 30 minutes before closing time.

The opening time is 10:30 am on 25 December and 1 January.

Should you want to visit Doge’s Palace beyond the opening times, you will have to send a request via email at a minimum of 5 days in advance to check availability. Tickets will cost €80 for a party of up to 20.

Modifications to the reservation and refunds

Changing or canceling tickets booked via the official website is a real hassle and will involve sending several emails, follow ups and the like. I wholeheartedly recommend booking tickets via third party sites as chances are most of them will allow you last minute cancellations and rescheduling, and there will always be a customer service representative ready to answer your emails and speaking your language. 


visiting Doge's Palace

The best time of year to avoid the crowds at Doge’s Palace

Is this a tricky question? Venice is pretty much crowded with tourists year round. If you want to experience the city with lesser crowds, plan to visit in the winter, when the wet and humid climate, the cold weather, the regular fog and the higher chances of high tide seem to discourage some. Go between mid January and the end of February and there will be less tourists around – but keep in mind mid to end of February and the beginning of March is also when Venice Carnival takes place. 

Prices for Doge Palace tickets and free visits

The official price of Doge Palace tickets is €25 – that’s a combined ticket for Doge’s Palace and the various museums around St. Mark’s Square, such as Correr Museum and the Archeology Museum. This ticket is valid for 3 months. Please take care not to confuse this with the Museum Pass, which costs €35.

A reduced ticket costing €13 is available for children between 6 and 14 years of age; students between 15 and 25 years of age; elderly people over 65; holders of the International Student Identity Card and of the Venice Rolling Card.

Audioguides are available at the ticket office for €5.

The official price of the Secret Itineraries tour is €28. The reduced price costing €15 is available for children aged 6 to 14; students aged15 to 25; elderly people over 65; holders of the International Student Identity Card and of the Venice Rolling Card.

Free admission is available for Venetian citizens and residents; children up to 5 years of age; disabled people and their chaperon; officially registered Italian tour guides; teachers accompanying school groups (up to 2 teachers per group).

Security checks

Everyone visiting Doge’s Palace will have to go through security checks. Avoid bringing in bulky items, umbrellas, knives as they will slow down the security check process and you will be asked to leave them at the cloak room.

Photography inside Doge’s Palace

You aren’t allowed to take photos during the Secret Itineraries tour. 

Toilets and other facilities at Doge’s Palace

You will find toilets, a bookshop, a café and even baby changing facilities in the museum. 

Accessibility of Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace is fully accessible to people with disabilities, but when getting your Doge Palace tickets make sure to double check whether that is suitable for people with limited mobility. No animals are allowed inside Doge’s Palace, other than guide dogs. 

Dress code

Make sure to dress modestly when visiting Doge’s Palace. Beachwear and anything skimpy is deemed unacceptable. Admission is also denied to those covering their faces. 

Luggage storage facilities

You will find a cloak room on the site. It’s free for all visitors. 

Other attractions near Doge’s Palace

You won’t have troubles finding other places to visit near Doge’s Palace! The entire area of Piazza San Marco is packed with attractions, and if you got the St. Mark’s Square Museums ticket you can also visit Correr Museum and the Archeology Museum (among others). Other places to visit include St. Mark’s Basilica and St. Mark’s Tower. 

Further readings about Italy

If you are planning a trip to Italy, make sure to check my other posts:

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Read everything you must know before visiting Doge's Palace - via @clautavani