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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.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 2,969 Properties near St. Mark's Square
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice ¥59,494
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Riva Degli Schiavoni, 4196, Venice, VE
     
    4.4
    of 5, from 967 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This historic Venice hotel, dating from the 14th century, is located on Riva degli Shiavoni overlooking the Venice lagoon and 100 metres from St. Mark's Square and Doge's Palace.

    Royal San Marco Hotel ¥9,562
    Royal San Marco Hotel

    Royal San Marco Hotel

    San Marco 848, Venice, VE
       
      3.7
      of 5, from 1,449 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in San Marco, this hotel is steps from Correr Civic Museum, St. Mark's Square, and St. Mark's Basilica. Doge's Palace and La Fenice Opera House are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 27 minutes by foot.

      Bauer Palazzo ¥52,057
      Bauer Palazzo

      Bauer Palazzo

      San Marco 1459, Venice, VE
         
        4.5
        of 5, from 1,318 reviews
        5.0 out of 5.0

        Set in Venice's most fashionable shopping district, this hotel 150 meters west of St Mark's Square features two terraces providing views of the Grand Canal's junction with St Mark's Basin.

        Axel Hotel Venezia - Adults Only ¥12,471
        Axel Hotel Venezia - Adults Only

        Axel Hotel Venezia - Adults Only

        Dorsoduro 222, Venice, VE
           
          5.0
          of 5, from 3 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Dorsoduro, this hotel is steps from Zattere, Grand Canal, and Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Doge's Palace and La Fenice Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 27 minutes by foot.

          Pesaro Palace ¥9,510
          Pesaro Palace

          Pesaro Palace

          Cannaregio 3935, Calle Ca' d'Oro, Venice, VE
             
            4.4
            of 5, from 1,193 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Cannaregio, this hotel is steps from Ca' D'Oro Waterbus, Grand Canal, and Ca' d'Oro. Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica are also within 15 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 17 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Ai Reali di Venezia ¥30,026
            Hotel Ai Reali di Venezia

            Hotel Ai Reali di Venezia

            Campo della Fava, 5527, Castello, Venice, VE
               
              4.7
              of 5, from 1,290 reviews
              4.5 out of 5.0

              This family-friendly Venice hotel is located in the historical district, steps from San Salvador Church, Grand Canal, and Rialto Bridge. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 23 minutes by foot.

              Rosa Salva Hotel ¥23,454
              Rosa Salva Hotel

              Rosa Salva Hotel

              San Marco 951, Calle Fiubera, Venice
                 
                4.8
                of 5, from 361 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Located in San Marco, this property is steps from St Mark's Campanile, St. Mark's Square, and St. Mark's Basilica. Doge's Palace and La Fenice Opera House are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 27 minutes by foot.

                Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo ¥16,143
                Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo

                Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo

                Piazza San Marco 1107, Calle del Cavalletto, Venice, VE
                   
                  3.8
                  of 5, from 1,620 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Adjacent to Venice's largest gondola station in a basin constructed for the noble Orseolo family's palace, this hotel is steps from the famous St Mark's Square traces its history to the 10th century.