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The Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale, is beside the gorgeous Grand Canal in the Piazza San Marco. This landmark is undoubtedly one of Venice’s historical treasures. The impressive structure once housed the Venetian government and is an incredible showcase of Gothic Architecture in Italy.
It’s no surprise that Doge’s Palace sees over a million visitors each year. So, as one of the most popular attractions in Venice, it should be easy to figure out how to buy tickets for the Doge’s Palace, right?
The sheer number of options can make you wonder where to start but don’t worry. This article will take you through how to buy tickets to Doge’s Palace through the official website and other trusted partners.
When you’re done here, take a look at some other hidden gems in Venice.
Doge’s Palace Tickets Quick Links
If you just want a quick glance, here is a quick look at our recommended options for your tickets to Doge’s Palace:
- Doge’s Palace Tickets and Tours on MUVE (official site) – You can use the site to book tickets, but this can be tricky to navigate as it is clunky and not clearly marked. Refunds are also problematic.
- Fast Track Tickets from Tiqets – Skip-the-line Doge’s Palace tickets with quick entry and access to Doge’s Palace’s main entrance, also called the Porta Della Carta (Carta Gate). Note that this doesn’t include guided tours or audio tours.
- Doge’s Palace Ticket on GetYourGuide – This site is generally much easier to use and has flexible booking options. It has both ticket entry and tour options.
- VIP Doge’s Palace Secret Passages Tour – Visit the Doge’s Palace and gain access to areas that aren’t usually accessible to the public. It includes Bridge of Sighs, the Courtrooms and the Doges’ Apartments, as well as Casanova’s prison cell.
- Liv Tours – Small group tours (6 people maximum) or private tours of Doge’s Palace are available – 5% off with code – UNTOLDITALY.
Doge’s Palace Tickets or Tour
You can get Doge’s Palace tickets that include guided tours, which can be helpful for first-time visitors. You could also buy only a simple entrance ticket and explore independently — this option is cheaper.
Entry tickets allow you to take your time and explore independently, taking in the exquisite details of the Porta Della Carta (Carta Gate) and the glorious palace interior. However, this usually only includes access to the ground floor rather than the secret areas of the Palazzo Ducale. And it’s best to be aware that the MUVE site where you can purchase those tickets isn’t clearly marked, so it’s more challenging to navigate.
Booking tours on partner sites is more straightforward but a little more expensive. Tours offer a more in-depth experience for your Doge’s Palace visit that a simple general admissions ticket couldn’t provide. Guided tours or audio guides often have insights into the history of Palazzo Ducale and Venetian culture, which you might not find alone.
A bonus is that specific tour options, like the Secret Itineraries Tour, provide unique access to parts of Doge’s Palace that are usually closed off to the public, like hidden torture chambers or Casanova’s cell. These tours include access to attractions like St. Mark’s Basilica or the famous Bridge of Sighs.
So, overall, you can weigh out your options and decide what’s best, but tours are recommended for convenience and added value.
What Does Your Doge’s Palace Ticket Include?
The general access tickets sold on the MUVE website are also called St. Mark’s Square Museums Ticket, and they will cost around €30 for most people. Luckily for those of you who like to plan ahead, you can receive a slightly cheaper price on your ticket. If you purchase on the official website at least 30 days before the visit date, the price will drop to €25 per ticket.
With your purchase of the St. Mark’s Square Museums Ticket, you will have the following inclusions:
- Includes Doge’s Palace admission
- Access to other places in St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), including Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Archaeological Museum), Museo Correr (Correr Museum), and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (The Marciana Library)
The ticket doesn’t include access to certain areas that the Secret Itineraries Tour or Hidden Doge’s Treasure Tour might consist of, like the clock tower or secret rooms and chambers. However, you can pay an extra €5 for an audio guide.
A museum pass can also be purchased for €40 (full price) to access the same places as above, as well as the Civic Museums (access depends on which are open at the time), including the Museum of 18th Century Venice and the Glass Museum. The nice thing about the museum pass is that it includes a one-time entry to each museum and is valid for six months, meaning you can spread out your visits across that time.
Buy Tickets on the “Official” Doge’s Palace Site
The Doge’s Palace official website is Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, or MUVE for short. The foundation manages 11 of Venice’s most famous and spectacular museums and locations. These include the Doge’s Palace, the Correr Museum, the Natural History Museum, and others that you’ll find here.
You can purchase a general admission St. Mark’s Museum Ticket, a Secret Itineraries Tour ticket, a Hidden Doge’s Treasure Tour ticket, and a museum pass on the website.
It’s worth noting the site itself isn’t very well-marked: it’s clunky, unclear, and difficult to navigate, and if you think you might need a refund, forget it – the process is very time-consuming.
- Pros of booking on MUVE – The site has decent prices due to the discounts and free access available to those who match specific criteria (more on that later).
- Cons of booking on MUVE – Apart from the website design that is hard to navigate and confusing at times, refunds can also be problematic. No immediate refunds are available, which isn’t ideal, especially if you have a change of plans. The best you can do is request a refund via email or call center, but the request can take up to 15 days to be processed. Tour tickets have limited availability.
Buy Tickets via an Official Partner
If you feel like bypassing the official website and opting for more engaging guided tours, booking through official partner websites is the way to go. GetYourGuide, Viator, Liv Tours, Walks of Italy, and Tiqets are all worthwhile options.
Official partner sites have many more tour options, offering private tours and guided tours for newer travelers. They also have a much nicer user experience, making your first Doge’s Palace visit much easier. Prices will be more expensive when compared to the MUVE site, but this is worthwhile, considering the extra perks and access to certain areas.
- Pros of booking on official partners – More ticket and tour options, including skip-the-line tickets to Doge’s Palace and guided and private tours. Prices are often inclusive of any tax or service fees. Tours are more in-depth and cover the entirety of Doge’s Palace and other places like St. Mark’s Basilica. Sites are easy to navigate and book, and you have more opportunities for refunds if needed.
- Cons of booking on official partners – Prices are slightly more expensive since you’re getting more out of the booking, like additional service and skip-the-line perks. You also lose out on any discounts available on the official site.
Recommended Doge’s Palace Tours
Considering the above pros and cons, it’s safe to say that tours of Doge’s Palace might be a better fit for many people. Skip-the-line and single-entry tickets are great if you enjoy discovering on your own, but you’ll never get full access to the entire palace. A guided tour is the best option to see secret areas like the Bridge of Sighs connecting to the New Prison section, built more recently as an addition to the palace in the 16th century.
Tour guides will complete your experience, offering their input and guidance on the venue, sharing stories and historical facts, and making your experience more fulfilling overall. Tours are also customizable to your needs and budget. You can choose from various tour sizes, prices, and styles, from private to group excursions.
Now, let’s take a look at four recommended tours for Doge’s Palace:
- Exclusive Alone in St. Mark’s & Doge’s Palace Tour with Walks of Italy – This tour is around three-and-a-half hours long and takes a maximum of 25 people per group. What makes this tour so unique? Well, it takes place at night, after the official closing time, so you aren’t surrounded by other visitors, which is excellent if you don’t like crowds. You’ll explore St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace and exclusive rooms like the grand council rooms and Doge’s apartments.
- VIP Doge’s Palace Secret Passages Tour with Walks of Italy – Another experience offered by Walks of Italy is this two-and-a-half-hour tour of Doge’s Palace secret passages. It lets you skip the line and has a maximum of 20 people per group. The tour occurs during regular opening hours but is set in the lower levels, where typical visitors aren’t usually allowed. Your guide will lead you to hidden torture chambers and Casanova’s prison cell, seeing a darker side to the otherwise grand palace.
- Semi-private St. Mark’s and Doge’s Palace Tour with Liv Tours – This next tour offers a two-hour semi-private experience with a small group of no more than six people. You’ll see both Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica, with an expert guide ready to answer your questions. The tour also includes access to secret rooms, the Bridge of Sighs, and views of the Campanile di San Marco (St. Mark’s bell tower). The great thing about Liv Tours is its 24-hour free cancellation policy and all-inclusive prices. Get 5% off with code – UNTOLDITALY.
- Private Doge’s Palace Tour with Exclusive Access to Secret Rooms with Liv Tours – This last recommendation is a three-hour tour offered by Liv Tours that takes you on a private guided tour through Doge’s Palace and lets you skip the long lines to get into St. Mark’s Basilica and the bell tower. You’ll enjoy expert commentary from your guide, a walk along the Bridge of Sighs with views of the Grand Canal, and access to secret rooms. Get 5% off with code – UNTOLDITALY.
Doge’s Palace Tickets FAQ
Do You Need to Buy Tickets in Advance?
Yes. It’s best to purchase your entry ticket online on MUVE or any of the partner ticket sellers mentioned above beforehand. While you can stand in line on the day, that will take a few hours extra due to the large crowds, so it’s best to get a timed option in peak season. Purchasing tickets in advance will save time and allow you to get the most out of your Venice itinerary.
What Are the Doge’s Palace Opening Hours?
The Doge’s Palace is open year-round, apart from Christmas and New Year’s Day, so the 25th of December and the 1st of January. While Palazzo Ducale is open every day, the opening hours may vary depending on the season or unforeseen changes. It’s always best to check the MUVE announcements page to see when the palace might be closed and if there are any pertinent updates.
That said, here are the current opening hours from Monday to Sunday:
- From the 1st of November to the 31st of March: 09:00 – 18:00 (last admission at 17:00)
- From the 1st of April to the 31st of October: 09:00 – 19:00 (last admission at 18:00)
The holiday season brings extended evening opening hours. As of the time of writing this article, these evening openings will run every Friday and Saturday from the 8th of December, 2023, to the 6th of January, 2024. Opening hours are from 09:00 – 21:00, and the last entrance closes at 20:30.
Are There Any Discounts or Free Entry?
Yes, there are discounts and free entry opportunities for Doge’s Palace. However, the criteria to qualify for these discounts are rather specific.
If you’re purchasing your tickets directly from the MUVE website or the ticket office, you can get a St. Mark’s Square Museum ticket for a reduced price of €15. The same goes for the Museums Pass, with a reduced price of €22.
Take a look at the list below to see the groups that qualify for reduced prices:
- Children between the ages of 6 to 14 years old
- Italian students between the ages of 15 and 25 years old
- International Student Identity Card (ISIC) holders
- Visitors over 65 years old
- Venice Rolling Card holders
- Families with at least two adults and one child (limited to 14 people per family)
That said, everyone qualifies for discounted tickets if they are purchased online at least 30 days before the date of visiting Doge’s Palace. This applies to both the full and reduced ticket prices: the full-price ticket will drop from €30 to €25, and the reduced price will drop from €15 to €13.
Free tickets are also available to some groups, so if you meet any of the following criteria, you could get free entrance:
- Venetian citizens
- Children below five years old
- Disabled individuals and their respective helpers
- Tourist guides
- Teachers accompanying school groups on trips
- MUVE ordinary partners
- Amici dei Musei e Monumenti Veneziani members
- MUVE friend card holders
- Venice Foundation Art Pass holders
- Venetian Heritage Foundation members
- Save Venice Fellow Inc. members
How Much Does It Cost to Get Into Doge’s Palace?
When purchasing entry tickets on the Doge’s Palace official website, you’ll get a full-price and reduced-price option. The reduced prices are only available to particular groups, but this will be covered later. Here are the ticket prices as listed on the MUVE site:
- St. Mark’s Museums Ticket (full price): €30 or €25 (if ordered online, 30 days before your visit).
- St. Mark’s Museums Ticket (reduced price): €15 or €13 (if ordered online, 30 days before your visit).
- Museums Pass: €40 (full) and €22 (reduced).
- Hidden Doge’s Treasure or Secret Itineraries Tour: €32 (full) and €20 (reduced).
When Do Doge’s Palace Tickets Go on Sale?
Unfortunately, Doge’s Palace skip-the-line tickets offered by the MUVE website don’t go on sale very often. The best you can do is apply for a discount or get a reduced price – you can take a look at the discount criteria below. If you’re booking through a third-party partner site, like Viator, GetYourGuide, or LivTours, keep an eye out for reduced prices before you book, or use a coupon code if available.
Liv Tours, for example, will give you 5% off your tour price with the code UNTOLDITALY.
Can You Buy Doge’s Palace Tickets on the Day?
You can buy tickets to Doge’s Palace on the same day by lining up at the ticket office on-site but expect to wait at least an hour, minimum, and that’s on a typical day. During the high season, it can take as long as two hours before you manage to snag a ticket. Plus, if you want to try the Secret Itineraries Tour, you might miss out, as only a limited number of tickets are available.
Visiting Venice means using every precious moment to your advantage. You wouldn’t want to wait a few extra hours when you could have booked in advance and saved yourself some trouble. Check out some of these ticketing sites to make your experience more manageable:
What Do I Need to Bring to the Doge’s Palace?
To enter the Doge’s Palace, there isn’t much you need to remember. You will need your ticket, either printed out or digitally on your device, and your identification document. If you’re applying for a discount or reduced price, you’ll also need the relevant documentation, for example, your ISIC card or Venice Rolling Card.
When Should I Arrive at the Doge’s Palace?
It is best to arrive at least 30 minutes before your allocated entry time so you can complete security checks. If you decide to purchase your tickets on the day of your visit (which isn’t recommended), you’ll want to arrive as soon as possible. You’ll have to wait one or two hours to get a ticket.
What Is the Best Time to Visit the Doge’s Palace?
Given the popularity of Doge’s Palace, the venue can get jam-packed throughout the day. The best time of day to avoid masses of crowds is usually in the evening or early morning before opening. This still leaves you plenty of time to explore other parts of the city, like the nearby Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Archaeological Museum), Correr Museum, or the monumental rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (The Marciana Library).
For Doge’s Palace and any other attractions in the square, you’ll find that visiting during the low season is best (between November to March).
Do I Need to Print My Tickets?
When visiting Doge’s Palace, printing your skip-the-line tickets is an option, but you will find it easier to download them to your smartphone.
Can I Stay Close to the Doge’s Palace?
Yes! Hotels and accommodations in the San Marco district are perfect since they’re nice and close to Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square), and other attractions in the city center, like the Archaeological Museum.