Venice, the enchanting city built on water, is an idyllic destination for travelers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. With its picturesque canals, historical architecture, and world-class cuisine, Venice will captivate your senses. Choosing the right accommodation is crucial to make the most of your trip. This comprehensive guide will help you find Venice’s best hotels and neighborhoods tailored to your budget.
Table of Contents:
- Venice Neighborhoods and Best Hotels
- Tips for Choosing Your Venice Accommodation
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Further Reading
To make the most of your trip to this enchanting city, it’s essential to choose the right hotel in Venice that caters to your preferences, budget, and travel itinerary. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of selecting the right hotel for your stay in Venice.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while looking for a place to stay in Venice:
- Location is key: Venice is divided into several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own charm and attractions. Picking a hotel in a convenient location can significantly enhance your overall experience. Your experience will vary widely depending on where you stay in Venice. While the San Marco area offers great tourist attractions, Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto offer the best food and hotel prices.
- Experience the local culture: Venice offers diverse neighborhoods, from bustling tourist hotspots to quiet residential areas. Choosing a hotel in a neighborhood that aligns with your interests and preferences can help you immerse yourself in the local culture, making your stay more authentic and memorable.
- Match your budget: Venice offers accommodation options for all budgets, from luxury palaces to budget-friendly hostels. Selecting the right hotel that fits your budget allows you to enjoy your trip without worrying about overspending. While the best-budget hotel room won’t offer the same luxury as a five-star resort, most of your stay in Venice will be outside anyway.
- Comfort and amenities: Your choice of hotel plays a significant role in the level of comfort and amenities you can enjoy during your stay. While the more high-end hotels offer better accommodations, even the budget hotels offer free wifi in the hotel room. Keep in mind that Venice gets hot during the summer, so you may also want to find air-conditioned rooms.
- Ease of transportation: Venice is a pedestrian city, and the primary mode of transportation is by foot or waterbus (vaporetto). Choosing a hotel near major waterbus stops or walking routes can make exploring the city and its surrounding islands easier.
Venice Neighborhoods and Best Hotels
Venice, known as “La Serenissima,” is composed of six main districts or “sestieri” and a few surrounding islands. Each area offers a unique atmosphere and attractions, which makes it essential to choose the right neighborhood for your stay in Venice.
San Marco – Home of Landmarks
Often called the “Heart of Venice,” San Marco is the city center’s most famous and central district and the one you’re most likely familiar with. Home to iconic attractions like Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace, it’s perfect for first-time visitors who want to be close to the action. Though accommodation in San Marco tends to be pricier, the convenience of staying in the heart of Venice is worth the expense.
Top Three Attractions in San Marco
- St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco): Often referred to as the “drawing room of Europe,” St. Mark’s Square is the main public square in Venice. Magnificent buildings, including the Procuratie Vecchie, Procuratie Nuove, and Napoleonic Wing surround this vast, open space. The square is also home to several outdoor cafes, like the famous Caffè Florian, where you can enjoy an espresso or a spritz while watching the world go by. St. Mark’s Square is a hub of activity, with street performers, orchestras, and countless tourists taking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant area.
- St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco): One of the most iconic symbols of Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica is an architectural masterpiece that showcases the city’s rich history and artistic achievements. The basilica dates back to the 11th century and features a striking mix of Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic architectural styles. Its ornate façade and glittering mosaics have earned it the nickname “Chiesa d’Oro” or “Church of Gold.” Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of artwork, including the famous Pala d’Oro altarpiece and intricately designed marble floors. Be sure to visit the basilica’s museum to view the original bronze horses that once adorned its façade.
- Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale): Located next to St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace is an impressive example of Venetian Gothic architecture. The palace served as the Doge’s residence, the Venetian Republic’s supreme authority, and the government’s seat. The building is adorned with ornate sculptures, pink Verona marble, and white Istrian stone. Inside, you can explore lavish rooms and halls filled with priceless artworks by Venetian painters such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.
Where to Stay in San Marco
The Gritti Palace: No list of the best Venice hotels would be complete without this iconic, luxurious palace that offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of Venice. With its prime location on the Grand Canal, The Gritti Palace boasts stunning views, opulent interiors, and top-notch service.
Venezia Palazzo Barocci: A luxurious hotel housed in a historic building featuring modern rooms and a private water taxi dock. It’s just a short walk from the San Angelo ferry and water taxi terminal, so getting around the island will be a breeze.
Palazzetto Pisani: A stunning 16th-century palazzo offering luxurious rooms with antique furnishings overlooking the Grand Canal and within walking distance of the Accademia Bridge.
Hotel Flora: A charming boutique hotel hidden in a quiet courtyard, offering beautifully decorated rooms and a tranquil garden.
Hotel Al Codega: Tucked away in a quiet square, this family-run hotel provides spacious rooms and personalized service.
Hotel San Maurizio: A budget-friendly one-star hotel with clean, comfortable rooms conveniently located near Piazza San Marco. Don’t be fooled by the “one-star” rating, Hotel San Maurizio is a nice establishment in a great location.
Hotel Serenissima: A simple, affordable two-star hotel with friendly staff and easy access to major attractions.
Cannaregio: Authentic Venice Experience
For travelers seeking an authentic Venetian experience, Cannaregio is the place to be. This residential neighborhood boasts a vibrant local atmosphere, with bustling markets, charming cafes, and the historic Venetian Ghetto. Staying in Cannaregio offers a more budget-friendly option without sacrificing convenience or charm. It is also a major location for transportation, as it has many water taxi stops and the Santa Lucia train and bus station.
Where to Stay in Cannaregio
Ca’ Sagredo Hotel: A magnificent 15th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal featuring opulent rooms, a rooftop terrace, and an exquisite art collection.
Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente: An elegant boutique hotel in a restored palace offering luxurious rooms and exceptional service near the Jewish Ghetto.
Hotel Antico Doge: A historic hotel with charming rooms decorated in classic Venetian style, situated close to the Ca’ d’Oro Palace.
Hotel Arcadia: A stylish hotel in a 17th-century building featuring contemporary design and a cozy atmosphere, close to the Guglie Bridge.
Hotel Guerrini: Situated near the Santa Lucia train station, Hotel Guerrini offers affordable accommodation in Venice’s Jewish Ghetto. With easy access to public transportation and to beautiful landmarks like Chiesa dei Santi Geremia e Lucia, it’s perfect for budget-conscious travelers.
Ostello Santa Fosca: A clean and affordable hostel featuring a mix of private and shared rooms, ideal for budget travelers. It’s a short walk from Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art.
Santa Croce: Charming and Historic
Santa Croce offers travelers a more authentic Venetian experience seeking a respite from the bustling tourist areas. With its picturesque canals, winding streets, and enchanting squares, Santa Croce is a delightful destination for those who wish to immerse themselves in the local culture.
Where to Stay in Santa Croce
Palazzo Giovanelli e Gran Canal: A luxurious hotel situated in a 16th-century historic palace on the banks of the Grand Canal. The hotel offers elegantly decorated rooms with modern amenities, combining the charm of the past with contemporary comforts. Guests can enjoy a peaceful courtyard, a cozy bar, and exceptional service. Nearby attractions include the Church of San Stae, the Natural History Museum, and the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art. Palazzo Giovanelli e Gran Canal is also a short walk from the famous Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco.
Hotel Canal Grande: A charming boutique hotel located in a beautifully restored 18th-century palace. This luxury hotel offers opulent rooms featuring Venetian-style furnishings and modern amenities, with some rooms boasting views of the Grand Canal. Nearby attractions include the Ponte degli Scalzi, Santa Maria di Nazareth Church, and Palazzo Soranzo Cappello.
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo: This family-run hotel is located on the border of Santa Croce and San Polo and offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere and easy access to the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, which is one of Venice’s must-see museums.
Albergo Marin: A small, budget-friendly hotel located near the Ponte degli Scalzi (one of Venice’s most famous bridges). Its clean, comfortable rooms and friendly staff make it an excellent choice for travelers on a budget. Fun fact: Albergo Marin was the first budget hotel my wife, and I stayed in during our first stay in Venice as a couple
Casa Mimma: A welcoming, budget-friendly bed and breakfast offering clean rooms and a peaceful garden near the Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Giacomo dall’Orio.
Dorsoduro: Art and Culture Hub
Dorsoduro is a trendy district filled with art galleries, museums, and picturesque canals. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Accademia Gallery are two must-see attractions for art enthusiasts. This neighborhood provides a serene escape from the bustling tourist areas while still offering excellent dining and shopping options.
Top Three Attractions in Dorsoduro
- Peggy Guggenheim Museum: Housed in the stunning Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of the most important museums in Italy for European and American art from the first half of the 20th century. The collection features masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock, and Dalí and works by prominent Italian artists like Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. The museum’s sculpture garden and terrace overlooking the Grand Canal offer a serene setting to enjoy the art and the beautiful surroundings.
- Santa Maria della Salute: This magnificent 17th-century Baroque church is an iconic symbol of Venice and a testament to the city’s architectural prowess. Santa Maria della Salute was built in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for delivering the city from the plague. The church’s octagonal structure and grand dome make it a prominent feature on the Venetian skyline. Inside, you’ll find impressive works of art by Tintoretto and Titian and a beautiful high altar designed by Baldassare Longhena, the church’s architect.
- Accademia Gallery (Gallerie dell’Accademia): The Accademia Gallery is one of Venice’s most important art museums, showcasing a vast collection of Venetian paintings from the 14th to the 18th century. This famous art gallery is housed in the historic Scuola Grande della Carità and the adjacent church of Santa Maria della Carità. Here, you can admire masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Giorgione, Carpaccio, Veronese, Tintoretto, and Tiepolo. The Accademia also holds Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man, although it’s not always on display due to its fragility.
Where to Stay in Dorsoduro
Ca’ Maria Adele: A sumptuous boutique hotel offering uniquely themed rooms, an intimate atmosphere, and stunning views of the Grand Canal. It’s also just a short walk from Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, which might be the most beautiful church in Venice.
Hotel Moresco: Right on the border of Dorsoduro, San Polo, and Santa Croce, this boutique hotel offers stylish interiors, personalized room service,, and a convenient location. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking comfort and charm.
Ca’ Pisani Deco Design Hotel: A chic, art-deco-inspired hotel with comfortable rooms, a rooftop terrace, and easy access to the Gallerie dell’Accademia and Accademia Bridge. It’s also within walking distance of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which we called one of Venice’s best museums.
Pensione Seguso: A charming, family-run two-star hotel with simple rooms and a warm atmosphere, situated on the southern side of Dorsoduro and overlooking Giudecca and the Venetian Lagoon.
Casa Rezzonico: An affordable bed and breakfast with spacious rooms set in a historic building overlooking a picturesque canal. Be sure to stop by the neighboring Ponte dei Pugni, where rival families and gangs would fight on a bridge to see who was stronger (read more about it in our guide to the most famous bridges in Venice).
Castello – A Peaceful Retreat
Castello is a tranquil district that borders San Marco, providing easy access to major tourist attractions without crowds. The lush Gardens of the Biennale, the historical Naval Museum, and the impressive Santa Maria Formosa church make Castello a great option for travelers seeking a peaceful atmosphere with a touch of history.
Where to Stay in Castello
Hotel Danieli: A stone’s throw away from St. Mark’s Square, Hotel Danieli offers a blend of Venetian elegance and modern amenities. Enjoy the breathtaking rooftop terrace, sumptuous decor, and unparalleled hospitality.
Hotel Londra Palace: A luxurious hotel with elegant rooms and exceptional service, offering stunning views of the Lagoon and San Giorgio Maggiore, a historic and beautiful Venetian church.
Hotel Metropole: A sophisticated hotel with a unique art collection featuring opulent rooms and a Michelin-starred restaurant centrally located near the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.
Hotel Bucintoro: A charming hotel with spacious, nautical-themed rooms offering panoramic views of the Lagoon and easy access to the Arsenale.
Hotel Sant’Antonin: A family-run hotel set in a 16th-century building featuring a lovely courtyard and comfortable rooms, close to the Campo Bandiera e Moro (a historic square with an old Venetian palace).
Hotel Cà Formenta: An affordable option with clean, comfortable rooms, located near the Via Garibaldi, a lively street with shops and restaurants.
Alloggi Barbaria: A budget-friendly guesthouse with simple, well-appointed rooms situated in a quiet area near the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo (a beautiful Veneitan church with artworks by Giovanni Bellini and Paolo Veronese)
San Polo – A Foodie’s Delight
San Polo, the smallest of Venice’s six districts, is a gastronomic paradise for food lovers. The renowned Rialto Market offers fresh produce and local delicacies, while the neighborhood’s many osterias and trattorias serve up mouthwatering traditional Venetian dishes. San Polo’s central location also makes it ideal for exploring Venice on foot.
Where to Stay in San Polo
Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri: Right on the Rio di San Polo banks, the Palazzo Morosini offers elegant, spacious apartments in a beautifully restored historic building. It’s only a 9-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge and a 16-minute walk from Saint Mark’s Square.
La Villeggiatura: A refined bed and breakfast with spacious rooms decorated in classic Venetian style near the often-overlooked Church of Saint Cassian.
Hotel Tivoli: An affordable choice with basic amenities, situated in a quiet area close to the Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (which made our list of the most beautiful Venice cathedrals).
Giudecca – A Scenic Island Escape
Just across the Giudecca Canal from Dorsoduro, the island of Giudecca offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of central Venice. The island’s stunning waterfront promenade boasts magnificent views of Venice’s skyline, making it perfect for a romantic getaway. With a mix of luxury hotels and budget-friendly options, Giudecca caters to a variety of traveler preferences.
Where to Stay in Giudecca
Belmond Hotel Cipriani – Giudecca Nestled on the serene island of Giudecca, Belmond Hotel Cipriani offers a tranquil retreat with lush gardens, a private pool, and exceptional service. Experience Venice’s beauty while indulging in the luxury of this iconic hotel. It is home to one of the best restaurants in Venice.
Generator Venice: A stylish hostel on Giudecca Island offering a mix of private and shared rooms with stunning views of the city.
Lido – A Beachside Oasis
For those who want to combine a city break with a beach vacation, Lido is a perfect choice. This charming island features sandy beaches, lush gardens, and a relaxed atmosphere. The Venice Film Festival takes place on Lido every September, drawing film buffs from around the world. The island is easily accessible by waterbus from San Marco.
Where to Stay in Lido de venezia
Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort: An opulent resort on Lido Island boasting a private beach, elegant rooms, and exceptional service.
Villa Laguna: A charming hotel on Lido Island in a 19th-century villa featuring comfortable rooms with terraces and easy access to the beach.
Tips for Choosing Your Venice Accommodation
- Prioritize your interests: Consider your must-see attractions and choose a neighborhood that allows easy access to them. See our guide to the top things to do in Venice for some inspiration.
- Balance convenience and atmosphere: Staying near major sights like San Marco Square might mean more tourist crowds, while quieter neighborhoods offer a more authentic experience.
- Consider transportation options: Venice is a walkable city, but proximity to vaporetto stops can make exploring more convenient.
- Research seasonal fluctuations: Hotel rates and availability can vary by season, so be sure to book in advance for the best options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Area of Venice Is Best to Stay In?
The best area to stay in Venice largely depends on your preferences and interests. However, the San Marco neighborhood is often considered the most popular and central area. It is home to iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace. Staying in San Marco provides easy access to many attractions, shops, and restaurants, making it an ideal choice for first-time visitors.
Which Area to Stay in Venice for First-Time Visitors?
For first-time visitors, the San Marco neighborhood is an ideal area to stay in Venice. As the city’s most central and iconic district, San Marco is home to numerous attractions, such as St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace. Staying in this area will provide easy access to many popular sites, shops, and restaurants, ensuring you make the most of your Venice experience.
How Many Days Do I Need in Venice?
The ideal length of time to spend in Venice depends on your interests and the pace at which you’d like to explore the city. Generally, a 2-3 day stay is sufficient for most visitors to see the main attractions, visit popular neighborhoods, and experience the unique atmosphere of Venice. This timeframe allows you to visit landmarks such as Saint Mark’s Square, San Marco Basilica, and Rialto Bridge and take a gondola ride through the canals.
However, if you have more time, you may want to consider extending your stay to 4-5 days. This will give you the opportunity to explore lesser-known areas, visit nearby islands like Murano and Burano, and enjoy a more leisurely pace while immersing yourself in the local culture.
Is It Better to Stay near the Train Station in Venice?
Staying near the Santa Lucia train station and neighboring bus station in Venice has its advantages and disadvantages. The train station is located in the Cannaregio neighborhood, which is a less touristy and more authentic area compared to the central San Marco district.
If easy access to transportation and more affordable accommodations are your main concerns, staying near the train station is a good option. However, if you prefer to be closer to the main attractions and the heart of the city, you may want to consider other neighborhoods like San Marco or Dorsoduro.
What Is the Best Month to Go to Venice?
The best month for visiting Venice depends on your preferences for weather, crowds, and events. Generally, the most favorable time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October.
If you found this guide helpful and want to learn more about Venice, the city center, Venetian Lagoon, all the main attractions, and other fun things to do, read some of our guides below:
- The Best Time to Visit Venice
- The Complete Guide to Venice Carnival
- Top Things to Do and See in Venice
- Best Restaurants in Venice
- 10 Romantic Things To Do In Venice
Venice offers a wide variety of neighborhoods and accommodations to suit every traveler’s taste and budget. Whether you want to be in the heart of the action, near the Grand Canal, or escape to a peaceful retreat, this enchanting city has something for everyone. Choose the perfect neighborhood for your Venice adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Have you been to any of the best hotels on our list? Let us know in the comments below!
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