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
Neighborhoods and hotels in Venice
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.
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.
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 Lisbona. It is possible to find a budget hotel in San Marco! This hotel offers double rooms at reasonable prices. Hotel Lisbona is located just a 5 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square. You can pay extra and get a canal view room and if you are traveling as a family you can get interconnecting rooms to accommodate up to four people.
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.
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.
View from Accademia Bridge
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.
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 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 was 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.
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.
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.
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: Ai Mori d’Oriente. This 4-star hotel is located in the Venetian ghetto very close to a vaporetto water bus stop. People who stay here love the location, being removed from the touristy areas, and the local restaurants nearby.
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: We Crociferi. 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
Going to Italy? You May Also Like:
- Italy Travel Guide
- 9 Must-Have Experiences in Venice
- Day Trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- 10 Days in Italy: 3 Amazing Itineraries
- The Cinque Terre for Budget Travelers
- 10 Things to do on Your First Visit to Florence
- One Perfect Day in Siena, Italy
Have you been to Venice? Where is your favorite place to stay? Comment below!
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