Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksHistoric Walking Areas
About
It is said that Napoleon called San Marco "the drawing room of Europe." And it is a breathtakingly beautiful place. But the square has long been a lure for massive numbers of pigeons, drawn by the massive numbers of tourists who readily feed them. While the tourists happily post for photos amid the flock, there are concerns that the birds' presence--and what they leave behind--will damage the centuries old architecture and art work.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Neighbourhood: San Marco
The most famous sestiere (district) in Venice has one of the world's most famous squares, St. Mark's (Piazza San Marco). Anchored on one end by the basilica, clustered around it are restaurants, museums, shops, orchestras playing in the square, pigeons, the grand pink Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the soaring campanile bell tower, an astrological clock tower, plus gorgeous cafes and restaurants like Florian and Quadri. Piazza San Marco is beloved by Venetians themselves. They book a table anytime, which offers a buffer from the fray. This grand outdoor drawing room attracts Venetians for a stroll too, especially late in the afternoon when the hoards of daytrippers thin out. It's simply a grand place to meet.
See what travellers are saying
  • Andres72423
    Bridgeport, Connecticut4,768 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Grand Piazza
    An amazing Piazza in Venice with lots of action happening. One of the centerpieces of the Piazza is the Doge’s Palace. The piazza has various of coffee shops, restaurants and bars to frequent. You can sit and people watch as you sip on a coffee or have a beer or something eat. As you walk up to the Piazza they are plenty of vendors and shops to find whatever souvenir you may want to take home. Also it is the entry way to various alleys to find shops, bars and restaurants and your ride on a gondola.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Gina A
    Carlsbad, California27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Embrace the Venice Lifestyle in the Piazza San Marco!
    My daughter and I sat in the piazza in the afternoon which was amazing ambience. We got to watch the world go by, experience apertivo and soak in the beautiful surroundings. Yes, you are overpaying to sit and take a load off but was well worth it to sip the best Prosecco I've ever had and listen to live music and truly appreciate the Venice lifestyle!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written July 15, 2023
  • Quiet_n_Warm
    Bristol, United Kingdom159 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy? Yes but worth the visit
    Everyone will say it’s too touristy, there are too many people, it’s a tourist trap. Go with your eyes open and marvel in the splendour and majesty of the Basilica, Doges Palace and the square itself. There is so much to see and do there. Be warned, you’ll be up on your feet a lot so be prepared to sit down, rest and eat. Venice is small enough to enable you to stroll a little and find somewhere else to eat if yon want yo avoid San Marco prices. Found the square very clean and given it was a warm day, not overcrowded, but busy…yes.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written September 1, 2023
  • Wikumj
    Bromley, United Kingdom391 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The main square in Venice
    The main square in Venice surrounded by various attractions (the Basilica, the tower, the Doge's palace, and other various small museums. The cafes on the square are obviously expensive and you can find better value just off the square, but you're paying for the atmosphere. Worth also coming here after dark to enjoy a different atmosphere with less crowds, and hear wonderful musicians playing at the cafes.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written September 6, 2023
  • Menekag
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam1,919 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy but lovely
    It is one of the busiest piazzas in Italy yet beautiful and interesting. There are cafes scattered around the piazza where you can have a spritzer and crowd watch but the drinks and coffees are completely overpriced. Piazza has historic significance with the basilica and Doges palace around it.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written September 18, 2023
  • Ken T
    Glen Oaks, New York902 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely piazza in Venice
    This square is big, and full of history, definitely is a must when you are visiting Venice. It is near the end of the water taxi stop and takes about 45 minutes from the train station stop. However, it was worth the wait and the square is beautiful with shops and restaurants.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written September 29, 2023
  • T K
    Limerick, Ireland411 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The heartbeat of Venice
    There's so much to see and do around here and a Venice card is the best way to experience it. What a great atmosphere and the best way to feel the very pulse of Venice is definitely around this area. You could easily spend hours around here day or night.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written October 4, 2023
  • johnny wallman
    Lake District, United Kingdom57 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit
    Packed even at the end of October but absolutely beautiful and well worth a visit. The information office is less than helpful and more interested in selling you a city map but scattered about are tourist helpers who really are helpful. The cafes, restaurants and souvenir stands around the square are expensive and over priced but a two minute walk off the square there are more sensible priced shops and cafes. Beware of low flying pigeons. Well worth a visit even without entering any of the attractions.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written October 21, 2023
  • Ramona T
    Szombathely, Hungary143 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    very nice
    The square is under reconstruction, hopefully they ill finish it soon. The composition of the square is fantastic. The surrounding buildings create a specific athmosphere. Pigeons are gone, now we have gulls, beware of your food. We had aqua alta, so could experience the specialty of Venice: walking on water :D :D
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written November 3, 2023
  • Volatile75
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia116 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Landmark of Venice
    Sunday it was full of people but on weekdays, it was pretty empty towards end of day. Nice place for pictures, St Mark Bacilica was glorious, EU3 to enter, no queue at all. Christmas tree is up here as well.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written November 30, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles37,550 reviews
Excellent
23,640
Very good
10,135
Average
3,025
Poor
515
Terrible
235

travelbob1
New Windsor, NY1,134 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We ended up using our time here doing a walk around studying the many architectural details that make up the buildings in this Piazza. And it is not only what you see that borders the Piazza. There are many side streets / alleys that allowed us to get away from the crowds and sun to admire the workmanship and attempt to interpret some of the "stories" behind the sculptures.
Fortunately, we brought our binoculars and took in the details above us. We realized we had run out of time to go inside. My suggestion, you can spend an entire day taking in the exterior and interior of these buildings.
Written June 16, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David R
Glasgow, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Absolutely amazing, a must for everyone to see, incredible architecture. The little side streets lead you to amazing little cafe's and restaurants and shops.
Written May 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas V
Oakland, CA16,564 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
They seem to be having more success in controlling the frequent floods for this classic Renaissance square. You will find crowds of tourists here as well as expensive cafes. But you will also find classic architecture.
Written May 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jolie J
Gatineau, Canada327 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Such a stunning area. Visiting San Marco on the inside is definitely worth it, one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen inside.
Written May 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dmitrii Marinkevich
Manosque, France253 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
One of must see places in Venice. You will not miss it for sure. Watch your belongings. Enjoy the vibe. Try to visit the place during the day and in the evening.
Written May 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel K
Bristol, UK292 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Been there third time.What I noticed this time is police walking and checking if someone is sitting on pavement and after like 10 minutes telling people who sit to stand out.Very strange . Generally I spotted Venice becoming unfriendly place for tourists.You can see some words painted on the walls saying "We don't want you tourist in here."Very sad to see it specifically because we was with our daughter who can read .Now day transport ticket for tourists cost 25 Euro but for locals cost approx 30Euro per Month.And they strike because it's too high for them.How unfair is it.Shame city who grow on tourism is not tourist friendly any more.
Written April 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara S
Krakow, Poland1,886 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Although it's always busy and full of tourists, it's iconic and a must-see in Venice, not just to visit the Basilica and Cafe Florian, but to feel the atmosphere of the city. It's kind of mysterious in the evening.
Written April 22, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah Power
Sheffield, UK122 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
A beautiful square which unfortunately is spoiled by so many tour groups. Obviously I was a tourist there myself but when there is a constant stream of 50 people following 1 person with a flag and you have to try to get through them all, it's quite annoying. I prefer to be independent.
Written April 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SKALondon
London, UK2,560 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Venice is more than St Mark’s Square

To many St Mark’s Square is Venice as a result it’s very busy during the day but as the attached pictures show not always.

If you are staying in Venice go to St Mark’s Square early or late. You’ll not get it to yourself but how crowded it is differs.

The square is one of the lowest areas in Venice and always suffers from acqua alta - tidal flooding. Passerelles allow you to walk across the square with dry feet.
Written April 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gladein A
Australia7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
Costly ticket prices and crowded with tourists. But a must visit nonetheless and worth the pain of going through the expensive tickets and bustling crowd. It can be partially submerged in waters sometimes, so be prepared for that.
Written March 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Piazza San Marco - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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