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Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

This grand building was home to Venice’s rulers for centuries and is still a statement of wealth and power.

The pink marble façade of the 14th-century Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is a striking sight on St. Mark’s Square. The arched loggias and the fortress-like peaks on top of the walls convey a sense of wealth and power to those who approach Venice by sea. Every aspect of this building was designed to impress, from the imposing décor of the Hall of the Great Council, to the luxurious apartments.

Begin your tour in the courtyard, with its towering marble loggias. Statues of Mars and Neptune overlook the open space from atop the wide, white steps of the Giant’s Staircase.

The system of elected rulers in Venice lasted from the seventh to the 18th century. As you wander through this palace, you will see that the rulers, “doges,” were surrounded by luxury. Admire the rooms containing frescoes, paintings and resplendent fireplaces. They still look as they would have in the days when Venice was the so-called Serene Republic. Cast an eye upwards; the carved wooden ceilings are works of art in their own right.

Ascend the Golden Staircase to reach the Hall of the Great Council, the largest and most impressive room. Admire Tintoretto’s massive painting Paradise, which hangs behind the throne. More paintings, frescoes and sculptures by Tintoretto and other artists adorn the walls of every room in the Institutional Chambers.

Find the prison cell where the legendary womanizer Casanova was once held. It is linked to the palace by the Bridge of Sighs. Legend has it that the bridge is so called because it is where an inmate would take his last breath with a view before his imprisonment.

The palace is open daily, with extended hours during summer. Audio guides are available to rent. For a more detailed look at the rooms, as well as a chance to skip the lines, consider booking the museum’s Secret Itineraries tour (for an extra fee). This tour also takes you to rooms that aren’t usually accessible to the public. The museum’s café offers great views back over St. Mark’s Square.


Top Doge's Palace Flight + Hotel Deals

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See all 5,019 Properties near Doge's Palace
H10 Palazzo Canova £127
H10 Palazzo Canova

H10 Palazzo Canova

San Polo - Via Riva del Vin 744, Venice, VE
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in San Polo, this luxury hotel is steps away from Teatro Goldoni, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 18 minutes by foot.

    Hotel Saturnia & International £124
    Hotel Saturnia & International

    Hotel Saturnia & International

    San Marco 2398 - Via XXII Marzo, Venice, VE
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in San Marco, this luxury hotel is steps away from Santa Maria del Giglio, La Fenice Opera House and Grand Canal. St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's Basilica are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 28 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Savoia & Jolanda £68
      Hotel Savoia & Jolanda

      Hotel Savoia & Jolanda

      Riva Degli Schiavoni 4187, Venice, VE
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Castello, this hotel is steps away from Riva degli Schiavoni, Bridge of Sighs and Doge's Palace. St. Mark's Basilica and Grand Canal are also within 10 minutes.

        Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione £120
        Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione

        Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione

        San Marco Mercerie 760, Venice, VE
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in San Marco, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and St. Mark's Basilica. St. Mark's Square and St Mark's Campanile are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 23 minutes by foot.

          Rosa Salva Hotel £79
          Rosa Salva Hotel

          Rosa Salva Hotel

          San Marco 951, Calle Fiubera, Venice
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in San Marco, this property is steps away from St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica and St Mark's Campanile. La Fenice Opera House and Rialto Bridge are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 25 minutes by foot.

            Ca' Foscolo Residence £86
            Ca' Foscolo Residence

            Ca' Foscolo Residence

            Castello 5526 - Campo De La Fava, Venice, VE
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Venice residence is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Rialto Bridge, Teatro Goldoni and St. Mark's Square. La Fenice Opera House and Academy Gallery are also within 15 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 22 minutes by foot.

              Ruzzini Palace Hotel £84
              Ruzzini Palace Hotel

              Ruzzini Palace Hotel

              Castello 5866, Venice, VE
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Venice hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Marco Polo's Home and St. Mark's Square. Grand Canal and Bridge of Sighs are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 25 minutes by foot.

                Hotel Concordia £97
                Hotel Concordia

                Hotel Concordia

                Calle San Marco 367, Venice, VE
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Venice hotel is located in the historical district, steps away from Riva degli Schiavoni, St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's Basilica. Bridge of Sighs and Grand Canal are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 26 minutes by foot.