Julie Italy 18 Comments

Choosing where to stay in Venice can be exciting yet challenging.

Venice is made up of neighborhoods, also called sestieri (singular sestiere), and each neighborhood has its advantages and disadvantages for travelers. Some sestieri contain Venice’s most popular sites, but with that comes huge numbers of tourists and expensive prices. And in some sestieri, you will have a quieter experience, but you’ll also be walking and using public transportation more.

In this post, learn about the different neighborhoods in Venice and get recommendations on where to stay in each of them, depending on your budget.

Where to Stay in Venice

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers. You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. If you click the star, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

San Marco

San Marco is the touristy heart of Venice. This is where you will find iconic St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, and the Rialto Bridge. This is also an area teeming with thousands of tourists. You’ll pay a premium to have a view of the Rialto Bridge from your hotel room, but you also won’t have to go far to see Venice’s most popular sites.

Stay in San Marco if you want to stay in the heart of Venice, like to be close to the action, or are short on time.

Venice Canal

Canal in San Marco | Where to stay in Venice

 

Gondolas where to stay in Venice

Gondolas | Where to stay in Venice

Getting here: The easiest way to get here is by water taxi, but it’s expensive, costing roughly €100 – €150 to travel between the airport and San Marco (travel time is 30 minutes). You can also take a bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma and then take the vaporetto down the Grand Canal and get off near your hotel (total price roughly €10 – 15, travel time 90 minutes).

Where to Stay in San Marco

LUXURY: The Gritti Palace. If money is no object, take a look at the Gritti Palace. This hotel has a prime location, centrally located in San Marco. From your room, enjoy views of the Grand Canal. This is one of Venice’s most luxurious hotels.

Hotel The Gritti Palace

The Gritti Palace | Where to stay in Venice

 

MIDRANGE: Hotel Firenze. This boutique hotel is located very close to St. Mark’s Square. The rooms are elegantly decorated and you can enjoy breakfast from the rooftop terrace. They offer single, double, and triple rooms.

BUDGET: Hotel Serenissima. It is possible to find a budget hotel in San Marco! This hotel offers double rooms, triple rooms, and even a one-bedroom apartment at reasonable prices. Hotel Lisbona is located just a 5 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square. Rooms are decorated in a traditional Venetian style.

Dorsoduro

This is a great place to stay in Venice. It’s close enough to central Venice that you won’t have to go far to see St. Mark’s Square or the Doge’s Palace. And it’s just far enough away that you don’t have to deal with huge crowds of tourists.

Dorsoduro where to stay in Venice

Dorsoduro | Where to stay in Venice

 

Venice without the crowds where to stay in Venice

Dorsoduro | Where to stay in Venice

The main sites include Accademia, Venice’s most famous art gallery, the Peggy Gugenheim Collection, Campo Margherita, and the Zattere, a long promenade along the southern shore of Venice.

From the Dorsoduro neighborhood, it’s just a short walk to St. Mark’s Square and the main sites. Most likely, you will cross Pont dell’Accademia for a stunning view of Venice.

Accademia Bridge Venice

View from Accademia Bridge | Where to stay in Venice

Getting here from the airport: The most convenient way to get here is by water taxi (roughly €100 – 150, travel time 30 minutes). You can also take a bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma. Depending on where your hotel is in Dorsoduro, you may be able to walk from the bus station to your hotel.

Where to Stay in Dorsoduro

UPSCALE: Palazzo Veneziano. This 4-star hotel is located right on the lagoon. They offer a wide variety of room types, with double rooms to Jacuzzi suites with canal views. Right outside of the hotel is a ferry stop, so getting around Venice is easy and convenient.

UPSCALE: Hotel American-Denisen. We plan to stay here on our upcoming trip to Venice. This small hotel has a beautiful setting on the San Vio Canal and it is located just a short walk away from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Rooms are luxuriously decorated and some have a small terrace with a canal view. If you are traveling as a family, the quadruple room can accommodate up to five people.

MIDRANGE: Pensione Accademia – Villa Maravege. This hotel is located just steps away from the Grand Canal and Accademia Bridge. Getting around Venice from the Accademia water bus stop is easy and convenient.

BUDGET: Hotel Ca’ Nobile Corner. This hotel is located on Santa Margherita Square, a very charming area to stay in Venice. From here, it’s a 10 to 15 minute walk to St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge.

Santa Croce

Santa Croce is Venice’s main transportation hub. This is where you will find Piazzale Roma (the bus station), and numerous ferry terminals, with easy access to the vaporetto and water taxis. There are also giant parking garages, so if you have a rental car, this is where you will be parking your car during your stay in Venice.

There really aren’t many sites to visit in Santa Croce (so it’s cheaper to stay here!). To get to the heart of Venice, it’s a 20-minute walk or you can take the vaporetto.

Stay in Santa Croce if you are on a budget, want to stay in a non-touristy neighborhood, and like the convenience of staying near a transportation hub.

Getting here: ACTV and ACTO buses transport visitors from the airport to Piazzale Rome in roughly 30 minutes, costing €8. From Piazzale Roma, walk to your hotel.

Note: We stayed in Santa Croce on our most recent visit to Venice. Getting in and out of Venice was a breeze, this area has more of a “local feel” to it, and the 20-minute walk to St. Mark’s Square wasn’t bad at all.

Where to Stay in Santa Croce

MIDRANGE: Hotel Olimpia Venezia. This is where we stayed on our most recent visit to Venice. The rooms are quiet and comfortable and breakfast is delicious. Hotel Olimpia is located just 2 minutes from the Piazzale Roma bus station, so getting here from the airport is quick and easy by bus or taxi. We really loved this place and recommend it for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on a water taxi.

Hotel Olimpia

Hotel Olimpia | Where to stay in Venice

BUDGET: Luxury Apartment Venice. This one bedroom apartment can accommodate up to four people. The apartment has a small kitchen and a washing machine. It is located on the Grand Canal, so to get here you would have to take the vaporetto, but this is a place to consider if you are a family with kids, like the idea of having a kitchen, or just want extra space at a budget price.

San Polo

Located in central Venice, San Polo is a hotspot for tourists, with the Rialto Bridge being the big draw. With its central location, this is a great spot to stay in Venice if you are short on time.

The main sites here include the Rialto Bridge, the Rialto fruit and vegetable markets, and views of the Grand Canal.

Getting here from the airport: Getting to San Polo is similar to getting to San Marco. The most convenient way to get here is by water taxi (roughly €100- 150, travel time 30 minutes). You can also take a bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma and then take the vaporetto down the Grand Canal and get off near your hotel (total price roughly €10, travel time 90 minutes).

Where to Stay in San Polo

UPSCALE: Palazzo Morosini Degli Spezieri. This property offers various apartments. Take your pick from one, two, and three bedroom apartments that can accommodate up to six people. The apartments are large, wonderfully decorated, and some have a balcony with amazing views over the nearby canal. Plus, you are just several minutes away from the Rialto Bridge.

MIDRANGE: Ca’ Angeli. Do you want a room with a view over the Grand Canal and not pay a fortune? Then this is a hotel to consider. This small hotel only has six rooms, all with traditional décor. Not only can you get a room with a view, but since you are staying right on the Grand Canal, getting around the city by vaporetto is very convenient.

Canal in Venice where to stay in Venice

Canal in Venice | Where to stay in Venice

Cannaregio

This is where most of Venice’s local residents live. Located along the Grand Canal, Cannaregio is home to Venice’s Jewish ghetto and a handful of beautiful churches.

Stay in Cannaregio if you want a more authentic Venice experience and want to escape the tourists in Venice.

Getting here from the airport: Take the bus to Piazzale Roma (30 minutes, €8) and then vaporetto on the Grand Canal and get off on the nearest stop to your hotel. You can also take a water taxi (€100 – 150).

Where to Stay in Cannaregio

UPSCALE: Ca’ Bonfadini. This 5-star, glamorous hotel is housed within a 16th century building in Venice. Prior guests rave about the gourmet breakfast, spacious rooms, and quiet location away from the busier areas of Venice.  

Hotel Ca' Bonfadini Historic Experience

Ca’ Bonfadini Historic Experience | Where to stay in Venice

 

MIDRANGE: Eurostars Residenza. Located in a quiet corner in Cannaregio, this hotel offers spacious rooms and a courtyard where breakfast and drinks are served. It’s a bit of a walk to get to the heart of Venice, but if you want a reasonably priced hotel in a quiet spot, this hotel may be perfect.

BUDGET: Combo Venezia. This is one of the best budget accommodations in Venice. It is connected by water taxi to the main sites in Venice as well as Lido, Murano, and Burano.

Castello

Castello is the largest sestiere in Venice. This is where locals outnumber the tourists and this is another spot to go off-the-beaten-path. The area near St. Marks Square can be crowded and touristy, but if you go farther east you will leave most of the tourists behind.

You won’t find any of Venice’s biggest tourist attractions here. But you will find small churches and squares and authentic, less touristy Venice.

Getting here from the airport: The most convenient way to get here is by water taxi (roughly €100 – 150, travel time 30 minutes). You can also take a bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma and then take the ferry to the stop closest to your hotel (total price roughly €10, travel time 90 minutes).

Where to Stay in Castello

LUXURY: Hotel Danieli. This is one of the most luxurious and most famous properties in Venice. Have you seen the movie The Tourist? This hotel was featured in the movie. Hotel Danieli is located right on the lagoon just steps away from the Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Square. Staying here is like staying in a Venetian Palace. If you can’t afford to stay here, have a drink at Terraza Danieli, the rooftop bar, that offers awesome views of Venice.

Hotel Danieli where to stay in Venice

 

Hotel Hotel Danieli

Hotel Danieli | Where to stay in Venice

MIDRANGE: Hotel Sant’Antonin. At this hotel, you are close enough to walk to St. Mark’s Square, but you also get to enjoy the quiet sculpture gardens. They offer economy rooms and rooms that can accommodate up to four people.

Guidecca

Guidecca is an island in the Venetian Lagoon. If you really want to “go local” in Venice, consider staying here. Since it is not connected by bridge to rest of Venice, this island gets a lot fewer tourists. Plus, the views across the lagoon are stunning.

Best Hotels in Venice where to stay in Venice

Overlooking Venice and out to Guidecca Island from the Campanile.

Getting here from the airport: The most convenient way to get here is by water taxi (roughly €100 – 150, travel time 30 minutes). You can also take a bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma and then take a ferry to Guidecca.

Where to Stay in Guidecca

LUXURY: Hilton Molino Stucky. This former flour mill has been converted into a 5-star hotel. Have a drink at the rooftop bar or swim in the rooftop pool. This is one of Venice’s best luxury properties.

MIDRANGE: Ca’ Delle Erbe. This one bedroom apartment can accommodate up to four people, so it’s perfect for families.

BUDGET: Generator Venice. This budget hotel offers beds in a dorm rooms and private double and quadruple rooms. With wood-beamed ceilings and industrial décor, this is a very cool place to stay in Venice.

Mestre

Mestre is “mainland Venice.” If you are traveling on a budget and don’t mind spending extra time to get to the heart of Venice, staying in Mestre is a great option.

We stayed here on our first visit to Venice. We were on our around the world trip and were on a very strict budget. By staying in Mestre, we could stay in a nice hotel but not spend a fortune. We took the bus to Piazzale Rome (€2, 30 minutes) and then walked to St. Mark’s Square.

Stay in Mestre if you are on a budget and don’t mind taking the bus or train into Venice.

Don’t stay in Mestre if you are short on time. It may be worth it to spend a little extra and stay in Santa Croce or Dorsoduro so you are not spending valuable time on the bus or train twice a day.

Getting here: From the airport, you can take a taxi directly to your hotel, or take the bus to the Mestre train station and walk to your hotel.

Where to Stay in Mestre

MIDRANGE: Best Western Plus. A Best Western may not be the most exciting place to stay, but this hotel’s rave reviews combined with it’s great location next to the Mestre train station make this a brilliant place to stay in Venice. Get in and out of the heart of Venice easily and if you’re traveling by train through Italy, this location is hard to beat.

BUDGET: Villa Antica Graziela. This is where we stayed. We had a four person room with a double bed, two bunk beds, and a private bathroom. Our only complaint is the slow wifi, but maybe things have changed since our stay in 2014.

Bunk Beds where to stay in Venice

Getting to Your Hotel

Book your transfer to your hotel ahead of time with these options from Get Your Guide. Options include a bus or a shared water taxi from the Marco Polo International Airport your hotel. 

 


If you have any questions about where to stay in Venice, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about Italy

Planning a trip to Italy? Read all of our articles in our Italy Travel Guide.

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Where to Stay in Venice

 

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Comments 18

  1. Avatar for Baleigh
    Baleigh

    Hello Julie!

    We will be traveling to Italy for our first trip to Europe in May! I am a little nervous about the transport around Venice. We are staying in San Marco. What do you think would be the best/ easiest way to get to and from the airport ? Do you need to book transport ahead of time?Also, we will be taking a train from venice to florence. Is there a good way to get to the train station from San Marco?

    Thank you for any tips or tricks for getting around!

    Baleigh

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      That’s very exciting you are planning your first trip to Europe. A great way to get from the airport to your hotel is by taking a water taxi, but a cheaper option is the bus and then a vaporetto to San Marco. If you have your hotel booked, the hotel staff should be able to tell you exactly how to get to their hotel. We will also be in Venice this summer and plan to take a water taxi, booking it in advance (we are Type A planners) but also plan to get advice from our hotel staff.
       
      There is a train station in Venice (Staziona di Venezia Santa Lucia). From your hotel, the best way to get there is by vaporetto or water taxi. Again, your hotel can tell you exactly how to do it. There are also Venice train stations on the mainland, so if you booked your tickets, make sure you know which Venice station you will be using. If you have not booked your train tickets yet, book your ticket from Staziona di Venezia Santa Lucia in Venice because that is the most convenient location. If you have to get from San Marco to the mainland train station (Venice Mestre), you will need to take a vaporetto or water taxi to Piazzale Roma and then from here, take taxi or bus to Venice Mestre.
       
      When we are in Venice, we tend to walk everywhere. It’s relatively small and perfect to explore on foot. The transportation is necessary, however, getting to and from hotels, since you will be lugging some luggage around.
       
      Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Clinton Metzger
    Clinton Metzger

    Thanks for your helpful articles about Italy! We booked the hotel Olimpia Venezia for a few nights, as well as one of your recommended hotels in Florence. Our cruise ship leaves from Trieste, so that was an interesting small city to research and find a hotel to stay one night in. (Almost no trains travel from Venice to Trieste on a Sunday, making it more convenient to spend the night in Trieste before our cruise.) Hoping we’ll run into you on one of our trips someday, let us know the next time you’ll be in Arizona! 🙂

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      You’re welcome! Yay, the Hotel Olimpia. We loved that hotel. It’s such a pretty walk through Dorsoduro to get to the center of Venice. I hope you have a great time in Italy and on your cruise. We hope to run into you too…we will definitely be in Arizona again. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Rachel
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      Hello Rachel. That’s very exciting that you will be in Venice for your honeymoon. Tim and I were just looking at Venice hotels last night because we are planning a return trip this summer. I have to update this article but here are few nice hotels that we found. We will be staying at the Hotel-American Denisen. We picked it for its great reviews, small balcony with canal view, and it is a 15 minute walk to St. Mark’s Square. This may be pricy, but Ego Boutique Hotel the Silk Road is right on the Grand Canal, gets great reviews, and you can stay in a room with a view of the Grand Canal. Plus, you won’t be far from the Rialto Bridge. Hotel Firenze, listed in this post, is a good option because it’s not too expensive, it gets great reviews, and it is very close to St. Mark’s Square. If money is no object and you really want to live it up in Venice, Hotel Danieli and the Gritti Palace are places to consider. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Places To Visit In Sharjah
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      At the end of this post (and the other posts on our website) we have a sign-up box to subscribe to our newsletter. Cheers!

  5. Avatar for DOUG MOULTON
    DOUG MOULTON

    Staying in Venice for one day after a Viking tour. Staying at Hotel Marconi next to Rialto Bridge. Suggestion for Lunch and Diner. Love Italian Food Price not an issue. Thank you. Love your suggestions as we have made 10 stops from Barcelona to Venice

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      Hello Doug. Unfortunately, I do not have any specific restaurants to recommend in Venice. We use Trip Advisor to find highly rated restaurants. Be aware of the coperto in Venice, a fee for just sitting down in a restaurant. Not all restaurants have this. You can ask the staff about the coperto, if they have one, before you sit down. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Dena
    Dena

    Thank you for all your suggestions! I have used your blog for several trips now and I love the way you organize and lay things out! Your suggestions are always great and I have never been let down!

    1. Avatar for Tim Post
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      Tim

      Thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words regarding our blog! We are delighted to know that we continue to be part of your travel planning process 🙂 Happy Travels! Tim

  7. Avatar for Kate Emanuel
    Kate Emanuel

    Hi Julie.
    What an informative blog you write. As an inexperienced traveller I have so many questions! We will have 2 days in Venice in Late September. We are booked on the ferry from Venice to Pula departing at 5pm. Can you advise were we could store our luggage for the day? I was leaning towards staying in Dursoduro.
    Thanks in advance for your help

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Most likely your hotel in Venice can hold your luggage after you check out. We do this a lot. Contact your hotel to confirm. Your next option is to store your luggage in the train station, but this will eat up a lot of your time, taking your luggage back and forth to the train station. So, try your hotel first, but in our experience, this has always worked out for us. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Eltheon Santorini
  9. Avatar for Annika de Nooij
    Annika de Nooij

    Mestre had now a great hostel A&O! We stayed there and the kids loved it. You have to travel by bus, but to us it was not a problem. And Venezia was great. We really liked Burano. There is something to see just everywhere.

  10. Avatar for Ann Miller
    Ann Miller

    I just love your website and down to earth, practical advice for travelers. My husband and I are planning to visit Italy this October and I have been perusing your site. It is wonderful! We plan to use much of the information you’ve published here. What a treasure to have such a resource at our fingertips. I have some questions, which I will email when I formulate them.
    Thank you again for sharing your family and your travel advice.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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