Venice Walking Tours – The Eight Greatest Guided Walks



"Walking tours?" we hear you ask. "Don't you mean boating tours?" Al contrario, i miei amici ! Although it is built on islands and canals, Venice is still a pleasant walking city. But it's a busy walking city. 60,000 residents and 20 million tourists make for high traffic. Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, we recommend you sign up for a Venice walking tour to take you to the highlights and the hidden treasures.

Venezia is an ancient place, dating back to at before 565, which is when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian brought it under his rule. That's a lot of history to cover and you might miss the highlights simply wandering around on your own. Another benefit of booking a walking tour is to escape the long lines and benefit from skip-the-line access at many attractions, including Basilica San Marco. Here are 8 great guided walks in Venice.

1. Venice Walking Tour + Gondola Ride

Venice Walking Tour + Gondola Ride

Instead of getting lost, we like this activity — seeing the highlights of Venice on a comprehensive walking tour that takes you from Piazza San Marco to the Rialto Bridge. Meet up with your guide right near St Mark's and then stroll the narrow streets, learning about the dramatic history that stretches back to the Byzantine era.

Along the way you discover Venetian treasures amidst hidden squares, romantic bridges and narrow streets. But that's not all! When the walking tour concludes, hop aboard a classic Venetian gondola to explore the Grand Canal, the intricate smaller canals, Renaissance palaces, and historic churches.

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A great introduction to Venice and the perfect tour for as soon as you arrive to get an overall feel for the area. The gondola ride was longer than expected and a good value, considering how much they cost if you were to pay for just the gondola on your own."
– 5-Star Review

2. Venice in One Day

Venice in One Day + Boat Tour + Skip-the-Line Basilica San Marco

We call this "Venice in One Day" because you see so much of the floating city in one fun-filled day. It includes a comprehensive walking tour, a skip-the-line tour of Basilica San Marco, plus a boat cruise along the famous Grand Canal. Oh, yeah — there's also a comprehensive skip-the-line tour of the Doge's Palace.

Meet your guide at the Royal Gardens on your way to the Doge's Palace, the Gothic-inspired Venetian headquarters where leaders (called doges or dukes) ruled until the late 18th century. Explore the grandiose public chambers, staircases and arcades that are decorated with masterpieces by Renaissance artists.

Your walk takes you to the greatest attractions of Venice — bridges, palazzos, even Marco Polo's residence. After you skip the line at San Marco you walk the hidden back streets of Venice. There's more — a one-hour cruise, viewing the amazing sights along the Grand Canal.

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This was a great tour! We had four different guides and each was very good. Venice is very crowded with tourists and when you see the long lines, you will be happy you chose this tour. I would recommend this tour."
– 5-Star Review

3. Walking Tour + St Mark's Basilica Skip-the-Line

Venice Walking Tour + St Mark's Basilica Skip the Line

This activity is a very good way to discover Venice's highlights on foot and on the water. Instead of languishing in a long line, fast track inside the Basilica San Marco and marvel at its marble floors and gilded mosaics. The canopy over the high altar is set with gold and precious gems and the treasury room holds a vast collection of crusader's plunder from Constantinople.

Walk along the canal and bridges that traverse the watery landscape and learn about legendary Venetians — Marco Polo, Casanova & Vivaldi — as you make your way to Rialto Bridge. Hop aboard a motorboat and cruise the Grand Canal. Pass the famous palaces and churches, the Rialto Bridge, and then cruise the lesser-visited canals.

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The tour has just sparked even more interest. Our next visit to Venice will be longer and more in depth. Both the walking tour and the boat tour were extremely interesting and the guides definitely added to our enjoyment of the afternoon. If your time in Venice is limited or you want a quick overview to begin your visit to this beautiful city, I can enthusiastically recommend this tour."
– 5-Star Review

4. Private Half-Day Walking Tour

Private Half-Day Walking Tour of Venice

There's something magical about a private tour and there's a good reason we sign up for one whenever we can. Venice will be your oyster since the tour can be tailored to your interests and preferences. See world-famous attractions and hidden treasures that few tourists will ever find. There's even time to relax at a Venetian neighbourhood bacari (bar) for a glass of wine and cichetti (tapas)

Meet your guide at a location close to your hotel. If you're staying near Piazza San Marco you might choose to see a few of Venice's historic churches like the Church of San Zaccaria or Santa Maria Formosa. Or you might choose to visit the lively Rialto Fish Market to see the fresh haul from the Venetian lagoon. Or perhaps the lively Rialto Fish Market to see the fresh haul from the Venetian lagoon.

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"Our tour of Venice was informative, exciting and comprehensive. We walked the streets of Venice with our guide Barbara who was as interesting and personable as could be. My wife and I would recommend this tour to anyone interested in the real Venice as seen through the eyes of a native resident.""
– 5-Star Review

5. Hidden Venice Walking Tour

Hidden Venice

We love this kind of thing — see an authentic Venice that many tourists will never discover. Follow your guide through the labyrinth of streets and narrow passageways, learn about Venetian courtesans and see the historical red light district called Castelleto. You also pass the imposing Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, the Renaissance prison built for tax evaders. (We didn't want to linger long there!)

The walking tour ends at Basilica dei Frari, one of the city's lesser-known gems. Tucked away on an unassuming side street, the Gothic church houses artwork by Bellini, Canova, and Titian — three of the most influential Italian artists of the High Renaissance.

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This tour was an absolute joy. Our guide was very friendly and informative. The 2 hours flew by and finished at a perfect time for us to find lunch. Would highly recommend this tour."
– 5-Star Review

6. Photography Walking Tour

Venice Photography Walking Tour

This is a chance to see Venice through a professional photographer's eye and improve your skills at the same time. Equipped with your camera or smartphone, take shots of the squares, canals and streets. Capture the beauty of Palazzo San Marco, Bridge of Sighs and the bustling Rialto market. Learn tips on lighting, composition, and photojournalism with your photographer guide at your side.

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This tour was amazing. The photographer was fantastic and gave us a wonderful experience. He asked us what we were after, my husband explained he would like off-the-beaten-track, that is what we got. Places we would never have seen. He really assisted both of us with our photography skills."
– 5-Star Review

7. They Walk By Night!

Venice Ghost Walking Tour

Did you know that Venice is one of the most haunted cities in the world? That's what they say, and with centuries of history it's not hard to believe. By night Venetian mysteries and ghost stories are even more petrifying. Take a journey to the city's hidden corners with stories that will send a chill up your spine on this nighttime ghost walking tour.

As darkness descends and the crowds disappear, Venice falls silent with only the sounds of lapping water and your echoing footsteps. Hear about the apparitions that haunt the medieval palaces, strange sea creatures and spine-chilling murderers.

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The Venice Ghost Walking Tour was great. The tour guide was knowledgeable and was a fabulous story teller. The tour incorporated a mixture of stories with history about Venice and included exploration of some of the lesser-known streets, revealing some interesting secrets of the city."
– 5-Star Review

8. Private Walking Tour – San Polo & Rialto

Private Tour, Rialto Market + San Polo + Basilica dei Frari

We've said it before: private tours are the way to go. We love the individual attention and the ability to modify the activity to suit our interests. We've had nothing but good times on private tours. This personalized tour uncovers the secrets of the city — from the oldest and smallest sestiere (district) to the place where the Venice was founded. You concentrate of the San Polo sestiere, the central neighbourhood, where you visit the unassuming Basilica dei Frari, the church we talked about that's filled with exquisite artworks by Titian, Bellini, and Canova.

Next, explore the Rialto, the beating heart of Venice. Famous for its open-air market with the best fruit, vegetable and fish in the city, the Rialto is where local traders gather to sell their wares. From there, walk over the Ponte di Rialto, the first bridge, the highest point and the birthplace of Venice.

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A great tour which was quickly altered to suit our group and the previous experiences we have had in Venice (as I think our guide thought it was our first time). Lots of photo opportunities and I even managed to sneak into a shop and buy a handbag! A lovely tour, taken at our own pace with lots of information and interesting facts."
– 5-Star Review