The Doge’s Palace of Venice, built in the ninth century, but which has transformed due to numerous restorations between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, is located on the Piazzetta di San Marco, facing the San Marco Basin and with the Basilica di San Marco at its back, the most famous religious building in Venice. It was the residence of the Doge and the seat of political and judicial power.
This sumptuous palace is the most beautiful Gothic building in Europe! And I can assure you that when you discover it, you won’t be surprised by this reputation…
To visit the interior, I advise you to buy your ticket on the internet to avoid waiting in line… With the 10 Venezia Unica Museum Pass, we only waited… uh… 0 minutes!
Its lacy pink and white marble facade is built according to the principle of mass inversion, with arches and openwork surfaces at the bottom, and full but finely decorated walls at the top.
At the very top, airy forms that resemble small bell towers cut into the sky, playing, like the whole building, with light.
How do I visit the Doge's Palace?
From April 1st to October 31st :
Monday to Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (ticket sales for the Doge’s Palace close at 6:30 p.m.)
From November 1 to March 31:
Monday to Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (ticket sales for the Doge’s Palace close at 6:30 p.m.)
The Doge’s Palace is closed on December 25th and January 1st.
The Doge’s Palace is very popular and you can wait in line up to 1 hour before reaching the ticket office which is why we recommend that you buy your ticket in advance.
You have the choice to either buy a ticket for the Doge’s Palace by itself or to combine it with other visits, such as St. Mark’s Basilica or other museums in St. Mark’s Square.
To help you choose quickly, we have selected the best options for visiting the Doge’s Palace in Venice.
Doge's Palace, Correr Museum, National Archaeological Museum and Marciana Library
This pass is great, for 28€ you have access to the Doge's Palace + Correr Museum + Archaeological Museum + Marciana Library.
This pass gives you the most bang for your buck.
Guided tour of the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs and the Venetian prisons
Visit with an experienced guide, duration approx. 1.5 hours, including a ticket for the Doge's Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and the Piombi Prisons: €60 instead of €75
Visit St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace on a 3-hour guided tour. Choose from a shared or private experience. Includes the terrace at St. Mark's, the Bridge of Sighs and New Prisons.
- Immerse yourself in the history of the Floating City with the help of your expert local guide
- Miss the hordes with priority entrance for the Doge’s Palace
- Choose from a private or shared group experience
- See Venice’s Lagoon from the usually off-limits terrace at St. Mark’s Basilica
- Hear anecdotes about how and why Venice was built on a lagoon in the 5th century and other fascinating facts
Enjoying what is before me, I linger on the top of the arches whose sculpted scenes of men, animals, inscriptions are all different.
I also admire the statues that adorn the two large windows with balconies in the center of each of the facades: on the Piazzetta side, the Doge is kneeling in front of the winged lion of Saint Mark, the symbol of Venice; on the lagoon side, Justice – recognizable by its sword and scales – is enthroned above the quay.
While I’m daydreaming and taking pictures of these details with my eyes, Angel takes advantage of the beautiful morning light to capture them with his camera, the same one he used for the Venice carnival.
Today the clouds decorating the blue sky give even more lightness to the top of this magnificent building.
We could stay in admiration for hours in front of these facades, their worked angles, and the magnificent door Porta della Carta which connects the palace to the basilica.
Venice is full of details to be admired everywhere… But if you want to catch everything, you have to keep moving…
What strikes you when you enter the inner courtyard, also sublimely decorated, is its impressive staircase, the Staircase of the Giants (Scala dei Giganti), which owes its name to the enormous statues of Mars and Neptune.
You go up to the apartments of the Doges located on the second floor by the staircase of the Censors (Scala dei Censori) and then to the second floor where the rooms of the College, the Senate, the Council of the Ten, the Great Council… are located by the Golden Staircase (Scala d’Oro).
Though I admired all of the decorated rooms, the ceiling of the last staircase, decorated by Jacopo Sansovino, is what I spent the most time staring at!
In all the rooms you will find works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Zelotti, Tiepolo… So many great artists of the XVIth and XVIIth centuries that I discovered…
In the immense room of the great council, I feel very small… I am impressed by the frescoes on the ceiling, in particular by “the triumph of Venice” by Veronese in the oval.
But the canvas in the background which measures nearly 25m by 10m, “Paradise” painted by Tintoretto in 1590 fascinates me even more! It is impossible to see all the details, unless you stay several hours to admire it!
You can spend a lot of time in this room: looking from afar, close up, from an angle then the other… Angel chooses details that he describes to me and makes me look for, as if it was Waldo who was hiding in this crowd of people in the sky!