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“Poor service for an expensive museum”
Review of Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace
Ranked #2 of 820 things to do in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the building and its sculptural decoration date from various periods. The interior, with works by artists such as Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, A.Vittoria and Tiepolo, includes vast council chambers, superbly decorated residential apartments, and austere prison cells. Along the facades of the Palace run loggias that overlook St. Mark’s Square and the lagoon. The combined entrance ticket to the St. Mark’s Square Museums grants access to the Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of Biblioteca Marciana.
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Do not try online tickets: you must print them. I know a tourist usually should carry a printer, bit this time I forgot it. After arriving with my online reservation on my mobile Phone, I've been told To print It out! I had To go To an internet point To print the receipt. In 2014 I would notte expect a so poor service considering the quite expensive ticket.

2  Thank Vito Domenico B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8,723 - 8,727 of 21,623 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2014

You don't need to pay the extortionate fees to enter the palace, if you're on a tight budget you really can appreciate this building without entering. The marble facade is exquisite, you can still see the carvings and the long balcony where the Doges would watch over the citizens of Venice. Make a beeline for St Marks Square and you'll find the palace overlooking the water.

Thank Nikki-Paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014

We booked the Secret Itinerary (SI) Tour in English before we left the States (20Euro for full ticket, 14 Euro for EU Citizen over 65, plus a small fee for advanced purchase). (Note: EU Citizens over 65 get free admission into many attractions in Italy – Colosseum, Pompeii, many museums, etc). The ticket said to get to the ticket booth an hour ahead of time, which we did, and you could then start viewing the unrestricted part of the Doge’s Palace on your own (included in your SI Tour price – but note the price does not include the Correr Museum).

We began our viewing of the Doge’s public access but didn’t get too far before we had to meet our tour group. There were about 20 or so on our SI tour, which was a bit large. It was made somewhat more difficult by people who were translating for their kids so you had to make sure you were near the guide. The SI tour covers some restricted areas of the Doge’s including areas just recently opened, such as “ the wells,” the tiny dark cells found in the basement of the Palace, where prisoners were kept before the conditions were ruled too inhumane (in places you could hear the water lapping at the foundations). Prisoners were moved to the new prison, which is open to the public access and which is plenty bleak enough. You also tour the “leads,” named for the being just under the lead roof, where political prisoners, allegedly such as Casanova, were housed. You even visit the attic with its collection of armory and arms beyond that seen in the public access areas. The SI Tour takes you into the shadowy world that was the governance of Venice back in the day, secret passageways, hidden doors, torture rooms, and the chambers of the highest officials: the Doge’s Secretary, the Council of Ten, the Chancellors, the Three Magistrates, and the Inquisitors. These are all beautifully decorated rooms with doors that are cut at an angle to close perfectly despite the sloping floors – these rooms whisper of secrets long held and long forgotten. Our tour was a bit unsettling since we were interrupted (thankfully not until close to the end of the tour) by the guide’s walky-talky informing her that there was an emergency and that she had to quickly conclude our tour. Nonetheless, it was a fabulous tour, and we recommend it highly above and beyond the usual access to the wonders of the Doge’s Palace.

As mentioned, with your SI tour, you get access to the full Doge’s Palace. You see the Great Council Chamber, the Golden Staircase, the Senate Chamber, the Doges’ lavish living quarters, the Armory of ancient weaponry and armor, and don’t forget the map room. Gaze at the map depicting Marco Polo’s route to China and the “Uncharted Lands of the People Eaters.” You also take a short or long path through the new prison, and walk across the Bridge of Sighs, which by tradition was the last look that new prisoners got of beautiful Venice, sighing their last goodbyes.

As others have mentioned, the SI tour would be very difficult, if not impossible, for those with significant mobility issues (perhaps not for the claustrophobic, either!).

It is a fascinating journey into the secret and celebrated history of Venice – do not miss reveling in its past glory and infamy.

5  Thank divegirlelaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014

Visited the palace more due to the fact that everywhere was busy and thought it may have some nice architecture and items inside.

WOW all I can say is that the building is exquisite and each room is almost completely different looking with lots of fascinating artwork and history all presented in English as well which helps.

Not great for those with mobility issues or those who don't like historical houses etc but great for seeing how area was governed and the oppulance they enjoyed.

Would recommend the guidebook and the secret tour even though we weren't able to go on it

Thank cruise m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 May 2014

If you go to Venice this is a "must see" palace. It is full of gold and glamour, even more than the one in Versailles. It is a shame that you can't take no pictures. I do understand that they should not allow pictures with flash or professional pictures, but the ones that everybody takes anyway (just in a more cheeky way), don't really understand why forbid.
The prison under the palace is amazing and in the same time is very, very scary. You can actually imagine people being in there. Even innocent people (there are even saved handwritten prisoner-plates inside a room...)
The combo ticket is good but the rest of museums included in the price (should you buy the €16 secret itinerary ticket) are far not as glamorous as this one, so a bit disappointing...

Thank Ibolya T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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