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.
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.
Understanding Where to Stay in Venice
Picking a place to hang your hat in Venice is more than just finding a bed for the night. It’s about immersing yourself in the city’s heartbeat, feeling the rhythm of each neighborhood, or ‘sestiere’, as the locals call it.
Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the main neighborhoods in Venice:
- San Marco: This is the beating heart of Venice, where you’ll rub shoulders with the ghosts of Doges in St. Mark’s Square.
- Dorsoduro: The bohemian soul of Venice, where art and life dance together in a colorful ballet.
- Cannaregio: A slice of authentic Venice, where you can escape the tourist throngs and savor the city’s culinary delights.
- Castello: A journey back in time, where history whispers from the ancient stones of the Arsenale and the Biennale di Venezia.
- San Polo: A food lover’s dream, where traditional ‘bacari’ (wine bars) offer a taste of Venetian life.
- Santa Croce: The transportation hub of Venice, with access to off-the-beaten-path restaurants and landmarks.
Each neighborhood offers a unique slice of Venice, and understanding their distinct flavors can help you choose the best place to stay in venice that suits your travel style and appetite for adventure.
In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into each neighborhood, offering you a detailed guide on what to expect, where to stay, and how to soak up the Venetian vibe.
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.
Where to Stay in Venice, Italy
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
Ah, San Marco, the pulsating heart of Venice. This is where the city’s iconic landmarks reside, from the majestic St. Mark’s Basilica to the historic Doge’s Palace. Staying here means you’re at the epicenter of Venetian grandeur, where every morning greets you with the tolling bells of St. Mark’s Campanile. But there’s more to this neighborhood than the bustling St. Mark’s Square; you’ll have direct access to the Venetian Lagoon, history museums, amazing restaurants, and a great nightlife.
Why You’ll Love Staying in San Marco
- Central location with easy access to major attractions
- Wide variety of dining and shopping options
- Vibrant nightlife and entertainment
- Rich in history and culture
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.
Best Restaurants in San Marco
Where to Stay in San Marco
Recommended Hotels in San Marco
Whether you’re splurging on a luxury stay or hunting for a budget-friendly option, San Marco has something for everyone:
Hotel a la Commedia
€€+ | 4 Star | Rooftop Terrace | Family-Friendly | Spacious Rooms
If I were to choose a place to stay in San Marco, nestled between the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, Hotel a la Commedia would be my top choice. The hotel exudes elegance and offers generously sized rooms—a rarity in many European accommodations. Even the bathrooms are impressively spacious. The cherry on top is their stunning rooftop terrace, perfect for savoring an evening cocktail.
€€€ | 3 Star | Serene Courtyard | Breakfast | Laundry Service
Despite its 3-star rating, Hotel Flora captivates with its offerings. It’s a charming Italian retreat in the bustling district, offering varied room sizes and a tranquil garden—an absolute luxury for enjoying your morning coffee and breakfast.
€€€ | 4 Star | Modern Design | Abundant Amenities | Room Service
Palace Bonvecchiati offers excellent value for money, boasting amenities akin to a stateside hotel. Think: a fitness center and sleek, contemporary rooms. They also serve a fantastic breakfast, adding convenience to your stay. Its location is unbeatable, nestled right between St. Mark’s Square and Rialto.
€€ | 3 Star | Comfortable Basics | Breakfast Included | Near Rialto
Palazzina Fortuny often offers attractive deals and enjoys a central location in San Marco on a quieter street. They include breakfast for added value. The rooms are simple and straightforward, but you won’t be spending much time indoors anyway.
All’Angelo Art Hotel
€€+ | 4 Star | Diverse Rooms | Private Dock | Breakfast
All’Angelo Art Hotel is a favorite of mine, located on the “far” side of St. Mark’s, offering a quieter ambiance. They serve my preferred Venetian appetizer, cicchetti with wine, in their café. The hotel’s private dock is a bonus if you’re planning to use a water taxi.
€€€ | 4 Star | Steps from St. Mark’s | Family Rooms | Elevator
Hotel Casanova, with rooms accommodating up to 6 people, is an excellent choice for families seeking a prime location. While the hotel may lack some extra amenities, it does offer an elevator, in-room entertainment, and a minibar. Its location is second to none—just a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square.
Cannaregio: Authentic Venice Experience
Cannaregio has earned its stripes as the Trastevere of Venice (if you’re familiar with Rome) or the Le Marais of Venice (if Paris is more your speed). The heart of Cannaregio is undoubtedly La Fondamenta Misericordia, with a few streets and canals branching off in every direction.
La Fondamenta Misericordia is the hub of the best restaurants and bars in the area, although it’s not exactly teeming with boutique hotels. But fear not, we’ve handpicked our favorite hotels in Cannaregio for those who prefer this quieter, more authentic slice of Venice.
We suggest setting up camp a few blocks south of La Fondamenta Misericordia. You can venture into the bustling tourist hotspots like San Marco or San Polo during the day, and retreat into the tranquility of Cannaregio come nightfall. It might not be the most romantic area of Venice (that honor goes to the south shoreline with its breathtaking views of Giudecca), but it’s got a super local vibe.
Why You’ll Love Staying in Cannaregio:
- Home to the most authentic bars and restaurants in Venice
- Less touristy than any other district in the main cluster of Venice
- A truly local feel
- Long, open canals perfect for a leisurely stroll
Must-See Attractions in Cannaregio:
- The Jewish Ghetto (Campo del Ghetto Nuovo)
- Ca’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte
- Fondamenta Misericordia (nightlife)
Top Restaurants in Cannaregio:
Where to Stay in Cannaregio
Best Hotels in Cannaregio:
Madama Garden Retreat
€€€+ | 4 Star | Garden Oasis | Elegant and Refined | Outdoor Terrace
In a city where green spaces are few and far between, this hotel is a breath of fresh air. It’s my top pick in Cannaregio for its tranquility and high-end feel. While it’s not overflowing with amenities, room service is available.
Ca’ Sagredo Hotel
€€+ | 5 Star | Lavish Decor | Award Winning
For a taste of luxury, the Ca’ Sagredo is your go-to. A 15th-century palace, it remains a favorite among guests, particularly for weddings. The grand marble staircase is a sight to behold. It’s a luxury hotel option that offers great value for money.
Hotel Palazzo Abadessa
€€+ | 4 Star | Vintage Italian | Private Garden
This hotel is a stunning old building dating back to the early 1500s. That means you’ll get spacious rooms here with silk fabric and antique furniture. The hotel even has a private dock if you choose to use a private water taxi to get around Venice. I love this spot for its old-world luxury at a great price.
€€€€ | 4 Star | Afternoon Buffet | Beautiful Decor | Babysitting Services
Maison Venezia is a great option for small families since they offer babysitting services for kids who don’t want to see another museum. Rooms vary in size here, so check ahead. Every afternoon and evening, they offer a light buffet of snacks and drinks. Super thoughtful.
Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio
€ | 4 Star | Euro-Style Hotel | Great for Groups
If you love the minimalist, modern European style, then opt for this hotel. It’s not overly decadent and there are lots of room options for groups and families. This is a great budget hotel option if you need a cheap place to sleep in Venice.
Santa Croce: Charming and Historic
Santa Croce, the only sestiere in Venice where cars are allowed, is a neighborhood that beautifully blends the old and the new. It’s a place where the traditional gondolas on the Grand Canal coexist with the modern Piazzale Roma bus station and Santa Lucia train station, creating a unique atmosphere that’s distinctly Venetian.
Santa Croce is a neighborhood that’s rich in history and culture, with a number of impressive churches and palaces. It’s also home to the bustling Rialto Market, where locals and tourists alike come to shop for fresh produce and seafood. Despite its central location, Santa Croce remains a relatively quiet and peaceful neighborhood, making it a great place to stay for those seeking a more authentic Venetian experience.
Why You’ll Love Santa Croce:
- Blend of traditional and modern Venice
- Rich in historical landmarks
- Proximity to transportation hubs
- Less touristy, more authentic
- Home to the vibrant Rialto Market (produce and fish market)
Must-See Attractions in Santa Croce:
- Church of San Giacomo dell’Orio
- Fondaco dei Turchi
- Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista
Top Restaurants in Santa Croce:
Where to Stay in Santa Croce
Best Hotels in Santa Croce:
Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal
€€+ | 4 Star | Grand Canal View | Rooftop Terrace
With its prime location on the Grand Canal, Hotel Carlton offers stunning views and easy access to the city’s major attractions. The hotel features a rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the gondolas glide by. The rooms are comfortable and elegantly decorated, ensuring a pleasant stay.
Hotel Al Sole
€€ | 3 Star | Courtyard | Historic Building
Housed in a 15th-century palace, Hotel Al Sole combines historic charm with modern comfort. The hotel features a lovely courtyard, perfect for relaxing after a day of sightseeing. It’s located in a quiet part of Santa Croce, yet it’s just a short walk from the Piazzale Roma and the Rialto Bridge.
Ca’ Nigra Lagoon Resort
€€€ | 4 Star | Garden | Antique Decor
For a truly luxurious stay, consider Ca’ Nigra Lagoon Resort. This 4-star hotel is located in a historic palace, with rooms that are tastefully decorated with antique furniture. The hotel also features a beautiful garden, a rare find in Venice. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway.
Hotel Santa Chiara
€ | 3 Star | Piazzale Roma Proximity | Family Rooms
Hotel Santa Chiara is a great option for those on a budget. The hotel is conveniently located near the Piazzale Roma, making it easy to explore the city. The rooms are simple but comfortable, and family rooms are available for those traveling with children.
Dorsoduro: Art and Culture Hub
Dorsoduro has slowly but surely climbed its way to the top of my list of favorite neighborhoods in Venice. Strolling through its streets, you can’t help but be swept up in its incredible energy. It’s the university district, so you’re more likely to rub shoulders with locals than fellow tourists.
For those with a penchant for art and history, Dorsoduro is a treasure trove of museums that often fly under the radar. We’re talking about stunning collections of art housed in spaces that are blissfully free of the usual tourist crowds. In fact, three of our top seven museums in Venice call Dorsoduro home.
The neighborhood’s heart is Campo Santa Margherita, a perfect spot to grab a daytime coffee or an evening drink. The area is teeming with fantastic places to eat and drink, as well as some affordable apartments and some top-notch hotels. It’s also a prime location if you’re facing one of those dreaded 6 am flights back home.
Why You’ll Love Staying in Dorsoduro:
- Nestles against the Grand Canal on one side
- Boasts a spacious feel
- Home to a wealth of fantastic museums
- Predominantly a locals’ haunt
- Hip bars and restaurants
- A stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square and other attractions
Best restaurants in Dorsoduro:
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: One of Venice’s most beautiful churches, 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 Renaissance 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
Best Hotels in Dorsoduro:
Ca’ Pisani Hotel
€€+ | 4 Star | Prime Location | Art Deco | Stellar Staff
This hotel’s location is a dream: just a hop, skip, and a jump away from San Marco, yet tucked away behind the Gallerie dell’Accademia for some peace and quiet. The 1920s vibe adds a fun twist to your stay. Don’t miss the rooftop for a sunset you won’t forget.
Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace
€€+ | 4 Star | Regal Rooms | Convenient Location
Live like royalty in this palace-turned-hotel, perfect for honeymooners. The rooms are decadently spacious, boasting beautiful high ceilings. You’re within easy reach of Piazza San Marco, yet far enough to escape the tourist throng.
Il Palazzo Experimental
€€+ | 4 Star | Romantic Views | Terrace | On-site Restaurant and Bar
Housed in an original centuries-old palace, each room is unique yet impeccably designed. The staff is attentive, the food is top-notch, and the canal-side location is unbeatable. It’s a peaceful spot away from the crowds.
Hotel Palazzo Stern
€€€ | 4 Star | Outdoor Patio | Grand Canal Frontage
The rooms here are perfect for a romantic Venetian getaway. The hotel sits right on the Grand Canal, offering stunning views of Venice. The location and ambiance make this hotel a favorite, though it’s a bit of a splurge.
Ca’ Maria Adele
€€€+ | 4 Star | Suites and Apartments | Ultra Luxurious
For a truly opulent stay, you’ll fall in love with Ca’ Maria Adele. Each room is richly colored and designed. The rooftop terrace and cozy lounge are delightful. It’s tucked away but conveniently and centrally located across from Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
Castello – A Peaceful Retreat
Castello is a treasure trove of authenticity and intrigue, making it one of Venice’s most captivating neighborhoods. It’s a local’s paradise, brimming with fantastic eateries. The neighborhood’s crown jewel is the annual Biennale Art Festival, a six-month-long modern art exhibit that draws millions of art lovers and enthusiasts.
In Castello, you’ll stumble upon some truly unique local attractions. Libreria Acqua Alta, one of the world’s most beautiful and unique bookstores, calls this neighborhood home. It’s also where you’ll find the largest green space in Venice: the Giardini della Biennale.
This charming water-side park is the venue for the city’s annual art festival. You’ll also find one of the top modern art museums in Venice, and arguably the world: the Arsenale della Biennale di Venezia. Here, you’ll be immersed in a local vibe with a vibrant arts and culture scene.
Why You’ll Love Castello:
- Rich arts and culture scene
- Plenty of coastlines, giving it an open feel
- Fantastic restaurants
- Close to St. Mark’s Square
- Easy access to nearby islands
Must-See Attractions in Castello:
- Libreria Acqua Alta
- Arsenale della Biennale di Venezia (modern art museum)
- Giardini della Biennale
Best restaurants in Castello:
Where to Stay in Castello
Best Hotels in Castello:
€€+ | 4 Star | Bridge of Sighs View | Vintage Venice
This 18th-century palace-turned-hotel offers a spectacular view from certain rooms: the Bridge of Sighs! Choose from a variety of room types that can accommodate up to 4 people. While they offer a decent breakfast, you might find a café with a view more enticing. This hotel is right on the border of San Marco, making it pretty central.
Liassidi Wellness Suites
€€+ | 4 Star | Turkish Baths | Personal Butlers | Garden
This boutique hotel feels more like a 5-star establishment with its personal butlers, Turkish baths, and steam room. Plus, you can enjoy breakfast in your room or in the garden. With only 5 suites in total, don’t hesitate to book this place. It’s perfect for couples.
Ca’ Dei Dogi
€ | 3 Star | Rooms and Apartments | 15th-Century Building | Bridge of Sighs
For an even closer view of the Bridge of Sighs (at a great price), opt for this quaint hotel. Choose from 6 rooms or 3 apartments if you need extra space. They also have a restaurant on-site, which is a bonus.
Hotel Metropole Venezia
€€€€ | 5 Star | Decadent Decor | Antique Furnishings
If you’re a fan of old Italian luxury, then you’ll love this hotel as much as I do. It’s lavishly decorated with no expense spared. Walking to the spa, you’ll pass through a hallway filled with museum-quality antiques and artifacts. Oh, and the food here is impeccable—it’s fine dining at its best.
San Polo – A Foodie’s Delight
San Polo, the smallest of Venice’s six sestieri, packs a punch with its vibrant atmosphere and rich history. It’s a neighborhood that’s teeming with life, from the bustling Rialto Market to the charming squares filled with locals enjoying a spritz. San Polo is also home to some of Venice’s most iconic landmarks, including the Rialto Bridge and the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto, one of the oldest churches in the city.
In San Polo, you’ll find a delightful blend of the old and the new. The neighborhood is a foodie’s paradise, with a plethora of eateries ranging from traditional trattorias to trendy wine bars. It’s also a great place to shop, with a variety of boutiques and artisan workshops scattered throughout its narrow streets.
Why You’ll Love San Polo:
- Rich in history and culture
- Fantastic dining options
- Great shopping opportunities
- Close to major attractions
- Authentic Venetian vibe
Must-See Attractions in San Polo:
- Rialto Bridge
- Rialto Market
- Church of San Giacomo di Rialto
- Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Top Restaurants in San Polo:
- Antiche Carampane
- Osteria Bancogiro
- Cantina Do Spade
- Trattoria alla Madonna
Where to Stay in San Polo:
Best Hotels in San Polo:
€€+ | 4 Star | Canal View | Contemporary Design
Overlooking the Grand Canal, Hotel L’Orologio offers a modern twist on Venetian luxury. The hotel’s design is inspired by the world of haute horlogerie, making it a unique place to stay. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the famous Rialto Bridge too, putting you right in the heart of Venice.
Palazzo Morosini Degli Spezieri
€€+ | 4 Star | Apartment Style | Historic Building
Located in a 15th-century palace, Palazzo Morosini Degli Spezieri offers spacious apartments that blend historic charm with modern comfort. It’s a great option for families or groups of friends. Plus, it’s just a short walk from the Rialto Market, perfect for those who love to cook with fresh local ingredients.
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo
€ | 2 Star | Courtyard | Traditional Decor
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a charming hotel that offers great value for money. The rooms are traditionally decorated, and there’s a lovely courtyard where you can relax after a day of sightseeing. Despite being a 2-star hotel, guests often praise its excellent service and comfortable rooms.
Palazzo Sant’Angelo sul Canal Grande
€€€ | 4 Star | Grand Canal View | Classic Elegance
For a taste of Venetian grandeur, look no further than Palazzo Sant’Angelo. This 4-star hotel sits right on the Grand Canal, offering stunning views and easy access to water taxis. The rooms are elegantly decorated, and the service is top-notch. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway.
Giudecca – A Scenic Island Escape
Giudecca, the island where the wealthy choose to hang their hats in Venice, is a place of undeniable charm and elegance. Whether you’re rolling in dough or pinching pennies, you’ll find something to love about this upscale neighborhood. Accommodations in Giudecca can range from the lavish to the affordable, offering something for every budget.
One thing to keep in mind when considering a stay in Giudecca is the cost of commuting to and from the main island of Venice. The local ferries, or vaporettos, do service the island, but they’re not always the most convenient option, and the fares can quickly add up. Many visitors opt for a private boat, which can set you back at least €50. However, many of the more upscale hotels offer their own boat services, which can make your travels both more enjoyable and cost-effective.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Venice and enjoy a unique experience, Giudecca might just be the perfect fit. With its stunning views and tranquil atmosphere, it’s a little slice of Venetian paradise.
Why You’ll Love Giudecca:
- It’s Venice’s island within an island, a delightful paradox.
- Offers breathtaking views of Venice and St. Mark’s.
- The detached San Giorgio island is a must-visit.
- Far less crowded than mainland Venice.
- Offers a truly unique Venetian experience.
Top Attractions in Giudecca:
- Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore
- The real draw here is the hotels with pools—see below!
Top Restaurants in Giudecca:
- Bar Da Monica
- Trattoria Altanella
- La Palanca
- Oro Restaurant (open seasonally)
Where to Stay in Giudecca
Best Hotels in Giudecca:
Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel
€€€€+ | 5 Star | Seasonal | Spectacular Pool
This 15th-century palace is a sight to behold, and its pool is equally impressive. Rooms offer stunning views of the garden or lagoon, adorned with traditional Venetian decor. Make sure to chat with their concierge, who’s a treasure trove of secret Venetian gems.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
€€€€ | 5 Star | Rooftop Bar and Pool | Spa | Shuttle Service
With its rooftop bar and pool, this hotel is a top pick. The rooms are spacious, and a shuttle service to Venice (for a small fee) is available every two hours. You might even snag a great deal here during the off-season.
Hilton Giudecca Venice
€€€ | 3 Star | Breakfast and Lounge Bar | Great Value
For an island known for its high prices, this hotel offers some surprisingly good rates, even in the summer. If you’re after the quieter Giudecca experience, this is the place to be. They even offer room service and have a concierge on site.
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.
Venice Travel Tips
Marco Polo Airport, Venice’s gateway to the world, is nestled on the mainland about 5 miles north of the city. It’s a hub for global travelers, with direct summer flights from the likes of New York, Atlanta, and Newark. Taxis and buses can get you to Venice, but they’ll drop you off at Piazzale Roma, the end of the causeway, leaving you to hoof it or hop on a ferry to your final destination.
But hey, why not start your Venetian adventure with a dash of romance? For a mere €15, you can catch an Alilaguna ferry from the airport’s dedicated dock, cruising into the city with stops along the iconic Grand Canal, Murano, and the Lido. Just be prepared for private water taxis to charge a pretty penny, think €115 and upwards.
To learn more, we wrote a guide to getting from Maro Polo Airport to Venice.
You’ll find that most Venetians you cross paths with will have a decent grasp of English, with the exception of some boat drivers and small café/shop owners. But, it’s always a good idea to brush up on some basic Italian words, phrases, and numbers before your trip. And remember, if you venture out of the city for a day trip, the English-speaking population dwindles, especially among the older folks in rural Veneto.
The Venezia Unica City Pass is your golden ticket to Venice, sponsored by the city itself. You can tailor-make your pass to include public transportation, entry to attractions and cultural events, and even wi-fi access. Choose from 1, 2, 3, or 7-day passes depending on your trip length. It’s a steal if you’re planning to tick off a lot of major sights in a short time. The Chorus Pass is another gem, offering free entry to 17 churches across Venice for a year, all for just €12.
Bikes are a no-go in Venice, but they’re a fantastic way to explore Lido in the summer. You’ll find several rental shops near the Santa Maria Elisabetta ferry dock.
Gondola rides, the quintessential Venetian experience, have a fixed rate of €80 for a 30-minute ride for up to six passengers. This bumps up to €100 between 7pm and 8am.
Free wi-fi is up for grabs at Marco Polo Airport, and in various cafés and bars around the city. You can also add access to over 200 wi-fi hotspots as part of the Venezia Unica City Pass (€5 for 24hr, €15 for 72hrs, and €20 for a week).
Booking online in advance for the Palazzo Ducale, St Marks Basilica, and the Accademia is a smart move. It secures your entry time and saves you from the often lengthy ticket lines.
Keep in mind, Venice authorities have been mulling over a tourist tax for a while now. This would charge day-trippers a fee of €3–10. It’s been delayed several times and is unlikely to kick in until late 2023 at the earliest. But if you’ve got accommodation booked in Venice, you’re in the clear.
Exploring Beyond Central Venice & Major Tourist Attractions
We’ve given you the lowdown on our top picks for neighborhoods in and around Venice, but if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, there are a few more spots worth your while. And remember, hopping on a cheap local train from Venice can whisk you away to tourist hotspots like Verona, Padua, Vicenza, and Treviso in no time.
Outer islands: Take a step back in time with a visit to Torcello. Once a bustling medieval city, it’s now a rustic gem with a single canal leading from the dock to a handful of remaining buildings. Don’t miss the intriguing archaeology museum and the 7th-century Basilica di Santa Maria dell’Assunta, home to breathtaking Byzantine mosaics. You can also catch a vaporetto to the 18th-century Armenian Monastery on San Lazzaro degli Armeni (a favorite of Lord Byron in 1816) and the asylum museum on the neighboring island of San Servolo.
Murano or Burano: These islands are a must-visit for their unique local crafts of glass blowing and lace making. They’re perfect for a day trip from Venice (find out how to visit Murano and Burano), but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend bedding down here. While Murano has some cool restaurants and a spacious 4-star Hyatt with roomier accommodations than many Venetian hotels, the views just can’t compete with Giudecca. So, by all means, make a day of it in Murano and Burano, but we’d suggest ending your day in one of the Venetian districts we’ve recommended above. Sorry, Murano!
Mestre: Mestre, or mainland Venice (served by Venezia Mestre station), is a modern industrial hub that’s great for budget travelers looking for a base to explore Venice. There are some large, comfy hotels just outside the station offering much lower rates than their counterparts across the water. Regular trains can get you across the lagoon in about 10–15 minutes for just a few euros, but keep in mind you’ll need to cough up the daily tourist tax.
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.
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And there you have it, folks – our insider’s guide to the best neighborhoods and hotels in Venice. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or planning your first major trip, we hope this guide helps you navigate the city’s winding canals and narrow streets with ease. But remember, the beauty of travel lies in the unexpected, so don’t be afraid to stray off the beaten path and create your own Venetian adventure. We’d love to hear about your favorite neighborhoods and hotels in Venice, so don’t be shy – drop us a comment below and share your experiences. After all, the best travel tips come from fellow wanderers. Safe travels and ciao for now!