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St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

Experience the timeless charm of Venice’s glorious heart, home to the city’s most famous cultural icons, many cafés ... and several thousand pigeons.

Step into Venice’s most famous square and expect to be impressed by the opulence of St. Mark’s Basilica, the towering Campanile, and the gothic façade of the Doge’s Palace. This lively hub has been the focal point for Venetian life for over 10 centuries. Enjoy a drink in one of the cafés under the colonnaded arcade that lines the square or visit its most iconic buildings.

The large, open space in crowded Venice is known by locals simply as El Piazza. Visit at various times of day to get experience the piazza’s ever-changing appeal. See the beautiful colors of the sunrise at dawn, join in the bustle during the day and savor the romantic atmosphere in the evening.

The façade of the 11th-century St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) immediately draws your attention with its high arches, gold and marble décor and carved figures. To the right of it stands Venice’s landmark bell tower, the Campanile. Climb to the top or stand back and listen for the ring of the Torre dell’Orologio on the hour. Two bronze figures strike the bells as they have done for over five centuries.

Another common sound is the cooing of the pigeons that flock here in search of food, even though feeding the pigeons is no longer allowed.

Look for the two columns that mark the traditional entrance to the city in the southeast corner. On top, the figures of St. Mark and St. Theodore keep a watchful eye over the lagoon on which Venice was built.

Numerous cafés offer cappuccinos and open-air dining, with prices often higher than the rest of the city. As evening falls and the crowds disperse, find a table at a café and listen to musicians perform while you enjoy a glass of wine. Be aware that sitting at a table, rather than standing at the bar, will add to your bill.

St. Mark’s Square, in the San Marco district, backs on to the Grand Canal and is easily reached by vaporetto (water bus) or on foot. At high tide during the cooler months the square can get flooded, but raised walking platforms still make a visit possible.

Popular Activities at St. Mark's Square

It's not hard to spend an entire afternoon at St. Mark's Square. The list below contains just some of the things you can enjoy here:

Check out our Venice things to do page to discover more activities while you're in the area.


Map

Best Lodging Options Near St. Mark's Square

See all 3,218 Properties near St. Mark's Square
Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo
Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo

Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo

Piazza San Marco 1107, Calle del Cavalletto, Venice, VE
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in San Marco, this hotel is steps from St. Mark's Square, Correr Civic Museum, and St Mark's Campanile. Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and Doge's Palace are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 26 minutes by foot.

    Palazzo Veneziano $166
    Palazzo Veneziano

    Palazzo Veneziano

    Fondamenta delle Zattere 1413, Venice
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Dorsoduro, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zattere, Ca' Rezzonico, and Academy Gallery. Grand Canal and Peggy Guggenheim Museum are also within 15 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 18 minutes by foot.

      Palazzo Orseolo $78
      Palazzo Orseolo

      Palazzo Orseolo

      Sestiere San Marco 1083, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in San Marco, this guesthouse is steps from Correr Civic Museum and St. Mark's Square. La Fenice Opera House and Grand Canal are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 25 minutes by foot.

        Rosa Salva Hotel $129
        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 from St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica, and St Mark's Campanile. La Fenice Opera House and Doge's Palace are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 25 minutes by foot.

          Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione $140
          Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione

          Splendid Venice Venezia – 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 San Salvador Church, Grand Canal, and Rialto Bridge. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 23 minutes by foot.

            Hilton Molino Stucky Venice $184
            Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

            Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

            Isola Della Giudecca 810, Venice, VE
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Venice, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Squero di San Trovaso, Academy Gallery, and Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Ca' Rezzonico and Grand Canal are also within 1 mi (2 km). Venice Santa Lucia Station is 29 minutes by foot.

              Hotel Messner $72
              Hotel Messner

              Hotel Messner

              Dorsoduro 237, Venice, VE
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Dorsoduro, this hotel is steps from Zattere, Grand Canal, and Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Basilica of St Mary of Health and Academy Gallery are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 27 minutes by foot.

                Hotel Savoia & Jolanda $104
                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 from Riva degli Schiavoni and Bridge of Sighs. St Mark's Campanile and St. Mark's Basilica are also within 10 minutes.