Where to Stay in Venice 🇮🇹: Guide to the Best Areas, Neighborhoods & Hotels

Venice is known for its bodies of water, bridges, gondola rides and festivals. It is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities and a popular tourist destination. But how do you decide exactly where to go?

Our Pick of the Best Hotels in Venice 🔝

There are so many great places to stay in Venice, and they are all close to the main attractions.

However, before you hop on a plane and head to Venice, you need to choose a neighborhood to stay in. Venice has several neighborhoods located at different distances from certain attractions, and each has its own charm.

In this guide, I will tell you about the main neighborhoods of Venice and the best hotels in those neighborhoods.

Quick Guide to the Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Venice 📋

1. San Marco – Best Place to Stay in Venice for Luxury 💎

🏛 Historic hub: The San Marco district is the center of the city. As soon as you get off the nearby Vaporetto water bus stop, you are immediately surrounded by iconic landmarks.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: Getting around the central district on foot is easy due to the relatively flat terrain and many signposts. However, be careful on rainy days as some alleys can be slippery.

🏰 Highlights include:

  • St. Mark’s Basilica – admire the golden mosaics lining the interiors of this 11th century cathedral. Expect queues here to take 30-60 minutes.
  • Doge’s Palace is a grandiose palace complex with vast halls and chambers that once housed the rulers of Venice.
  • Campanile Tower – climb to the top of the 323-foot bell tower for panoramic views of the city.

As well as St. Mark’s Square, where you can grab a coffee at one of the expensive cafes.

Basilica San Marco
San Marco Bazilikası
Basilica San Marco
San Marco Bazilikası
Basilica San Marco
San Marco Bazilikası
Basilica San Marco
San Marco Bazilikası
Doge's Palace
Campanile Tower
Bridge of Sighs
Suckarnas bro

⛴ Boat access: From the San Marco district, you can easily reach the neighboring Castello district by walking across the famous Bridge of Sighs. Or take the water bus that runs along the Grand Canal just a few steps away, which will take you to places like the Rialto Bridge.

All hotels in San Marco →

Where to stay in San Marco? 🏨

Luxury Hotels:

  • Hotel La Fenice et Des Artistes – an elegant boutique hotel in a 16th century building with exquisite design and attentive service.
  • Ca' Pagan – a luxury hotel in a historic palace with a patio, gourmet restaurant and canal access.
  • Palazzetto Pisani Grand Canal – elegant hotel in an ancient palace directly on the Grand Canal, refined interiors, breakfasts on the terrace.

Mid-priced hotels:

  • Dimora Marciana – cozy family hotel in traditional Venetian style, friendly staff, good value for money.
  • Residenza Favaro – comfortable hotel in a historic building, convenient location near Piazza San Marco, Venetian charm at a reasonable price.
  • Residenza Manin Apartments – apartments in a great location, fully equipped kitchens, homely atmosphere.

Budget hotels:

  • Residenza oleandro rosa – small cozy hotel, modest rooms with Venetian style, good value for money.
  • Hotel ai do Mori – simple hotel with traditional Venetian charm, friendly staff, great option for budget travelers.
  • Ca' del Cortile – affordable family-run mini-hotel in a picturesque location near Piazza San Marco, authentic atmosphere.

2. Dorsoduro – Best Area to Stay in Venice for Nightlife 🍸

🌅 Picturesque: Across the Grand Canal from lively San Marco is the colorful Dorsoduro neighborhood. Known as a quieter and more residential neighborhood, Dorsoduro charms visitors with its atmosphere. Compared to the tourist-crowded San Marco, this neighborhood moves at a more relaxed pace even during peak season.

🎨 Artistic treasures: Art lovers come here for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a contemporary art museum. Nearby is the Accademia Museum, which has a huge collection of Venetian paintings. Not to be missed is the iconic Santa Maria della Salute church, which you may have seen in countless photos.

🛍️ Local shopping: The main thoroughfares of the area are the Zattere promenade and the lively Salizada San Barnaba shopping street. The residential atmosphere here also means more affordable prices in cafes and osterias.

🏡 Authentic life: As you stroll through this charming neighborhood, you’ll get a glimpse into authentic Venetian life.

All hotels in Dorsoduro →

Where to stay in Dorsoduro? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

  • Avogaria 5 Rooms – elegant Venetian-style apartments near Piazza San Marco, exquisite interior.
  • Residenza Ca' Matta – chic rooms overlooking the canal in a historic building, personalized service.
  • Pensione Seguso – premium boutique hotel with luxurious interiors, panoramic city views from the terrace.

Medium price range:

  • Margherita House Venice – a comfortable small hotel in traditional Venetian style.
  • Hotel Galleria – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with attentive service.
  • Palazzo Guardi – a cozy hotel with modern interior design and friendly staff.

Budget hotels:

3. Cannaregio – Best Venice Neighborhood to Stay on a Budget 💸

📜 Authentic area: Located in the northern corner of Venice, the residential neighborhood of Cannaregio offers an authentic local experience away from the crowds of tourists. Despite its distance from the main attractions, Cannaregio rewards visitors with quiet canals and an abundance of traditional restaurants catering to the locals.

🚢 Well-connected: The Santa Lucia train station provides direct access to the eastern part of Cannaregio, and the San Marcuola vaporetto stop conveniently connects the Grand Canal to the interior of the neighborhood along the Cannaregio Canal.

🕍 Historic: Visit the historic Jewish ghetto centered around Campo del Ghetto Nuovo. The Jewish Museum and historic synagogues (Czech, French, Turkish, Spanish and Italian) offer a glimpse into the neighborhood’s past.

🏘️ Local life: Cannaregio sights reveal the lesser-known character of Venice. Strolling through its squares and alleys, you can learn about everyday Venetian life beyond the grandiosity of San Marco.

💰 Good value: Cannaregio is less touristy and therefore offers good value for money accommodation. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the neighborhood is far from the main attractions of Venice and is unlikely to be a good choice for a first visit.

All hotels in Cannaregio →

Where to stay in Cannaregio? 🏨

Expensive hotels:

  • La corte segreta – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with exquisite decor and personalized service.
  • Ca' de la Fonte – a luxury hotel in traditional Venetian style with panoramic views of the canals.
  • Hotel Leonardo – a fashionable hotel with chic interiors and high level of service.

Medium price range:

  • Locanda Casa Martini – a charming boutique hotel in an 18th century building with an authentic atmosphere.
  • Hotel al Sotoportego – a cozy family hotel with a warm welcome and comfortable rooms.
  • Art Dreams B&B – a budget B&B with basic facilities and friendly service.

Budget Hotels:

4. San Polo – Family-friendly Area of Venice 👪 

San Polo is located on the opposite side of the Grand Canal from the bustling San Marco neighborhood. Although the area is only a 10-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square, it remains fairly quiet and peaceful.

🖼️ Artistic gems: Situated around the bustling Rialto Market and the Rialto Bridge, San Polo has no shortage of attractions. The 15th-century Scuola Grande di San Rocco is striking with paintings by Italian master Tintoretto. Visitors can also check out the museum located in the Frari Basilica.

🍷 Local flavor: Beyond the tourist-crowded Rialto Bridge are quiet neighborhoods where you can enjoy the authentic atmosphere of Venice. Delicious osterias and cicchetti bars cater to locals, while crowded market stalls sell everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to masks and jewelry.

🍽️ Tasty treats: Be sure to stop by local bar Bacareto Da Lele for a bite of chicchetti and a glass of wine with the residents, or stop by Cantina do Spade for some fantastic seafood antipasti.

Hotels here range from elegant 4-star hotels to cozy family-run inns, depending on location and views.

All hotels in San Polo →

Where to stay in San Polo? 🏩

Expensive hotels:

  • Ca' della Scimmia – elegant apartments in a historic building overlooking the canal, offering luxurious interiors and a high level of comfort.
  • Locanda Sant'Agostin – boutique hotel in traditional Venetian style with sophisticated decor, offering personalized service and fine cuisine.
  • Riva del Vin BOUTIQUE HOTEL – a chic boutique hotel with a modern design, located on the waterfront with panoramic views of the canal and lagoon.

Medium price range:

  • Grifoni Boutique Hotel – a cozy boutique hotel in traditional Venetian style near Piazza San Polo.
  • Locanda Poste Vecie – a hotel in a historic building with an authentic atmosphere, offering comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.
  • La Dogaressa Guest House – a charming small hotel in traditional Venetian style with a homely atmosphere.

Budget Hotels:

  • B&B Exclusive – modest but cozy apartments with all basic amenities at an affordable price.
  • Silver Suite – simple but comfortable apartments in a historic building at a reasonable price.
  • Pensione Guerrato – a small hotel with basic amenities and friendly service, ideal for budget travelers.

5. Castello – Best Neighborhood in Venice for History Lovers  🕍

Castello is the largest of the 6 districts. It admirably combines history, art and authentic local culture.

⚓️ Easy access: While this neighborhood may seem far away on a map, it is actually conveniently located right along the main water cab routes from the train station and Piazza San Marco. Official water bus stops at the Arsenale and San Zaccaria allow you to reach the Castello canals in 10-15 minutes.

🎨 Hidden gems: It is home to several artistic and cultural treasures that most tourists never encounter. The Church of San Pietro di Castello is considered the oldest church in Venice, while the Querini Stampalia Museum hides Renaissance masterpieces.

🚶‍♂️ Navigate with ease: Navigating Castello will prove easy for beginners: follow the main thoroughfares Via Garibaldi and Riva Dei Parti, or stick to the Riva Ca Foscari, which runs along the edge of the lagoon, for stunning promenade walks.

🌇 As night falls, take the Riva degli Schiavoni along the lagoon and watch the lights dance on the water. End the day at Nevodi, one of Venice’s most famous restaurants, located on the eastern edge of the quiet neighborhood of Castello.

All hotels in Castello →

Where to stay in Castello? 🏨

Expensive hotels:

  • Ca' Bragadin e Carabba – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with exquisite decor and excellent service.
  • Hotel Bridge – a modern premium hotel with panoramic lagoon views and top-notch service.
  • Ca' Del Campo – a cozy, family-run, traditional Venetian-style hotel with friendly staff.

Medium price range:

  • Alessandra House – a hotel with comfortable rooms and good value for money.
  • 3C B&B – a small guesthouse with basic facilities at a reasonable price.
  • locazione Mery – simple and inexpensive apartments suitable for budget travelers.

Budget hotels:

6. Santa Croce – Where to Stay in Venice for Local Vibe 🔮

🚉 Centrally located: Santa Croce is a small neighborhood in Venice, located near the city’s main transportation hub. It has retained its charm, which is evident in the architecture of the neighborhood.

Ponte degli Scalzi
Ponte degli Scalzi
Chiesa di San Giacomo del Orio
Natural History Museum
Doğa Tarihi Müzesi
Natural History Museum
Doğa Tarihi Müzesi
Natural History Museum
Doğa Tarihi Müzesi

🏘 Quaint area: This is a very convenient area to stay, especially if you want to include more sights and activities in your trip. It is easy to cross the Ponte degli Scalzi and take the train at the Santa Lucia train station, as well as the bus station at Piazzale Roma in Santa Croce.

💒 There’s a lot to see: The neighborhood itself has plenty of attractions to start with. Be sure to check out the mysterious ninth-century church of San Giacomo degli Orio. It’s also home to Palazzo Mocenigo, a palace built for the Mocenigo family, who were the Doges of Venice.

🖼️ Museum lovers, don’t despair. There are quite a few museums in the area that you can visit. From the Natural History Museum to Ca’ Pesaro, which includes the Museum of Oriental Art and the International Gallery of Modern Art.

🛏 Affordable stays: Accommodation here is relatively affordable. There are some great budget and mid-range hotels in the area, as well as some great luxury options. If hotels aren’t to your liking, you can rent apartments and AirBnB.

All hotels in Santa Croce →

Where to stay in Santa Croce? 🏩

Expensive hotels:

  • Palazzo Odoni – a luxury hotel in a historic 17th century palace with exquisite decor and panoramic views of the canal.
  • Master Venice Apartments – spacious modern-style apartments near Piazza Santa Croce.

Medium price range:

  • Casa delle gondole – a guesthouse with an authentic atmosphere and friendly staff for a low price.
  • Alloggi Serena – elegant apartment in typical Venetian style overlooking the canal next to the Rialto Bridge.
  • Residence Poli Venezia – a comfortable hotel in a historic building with good value for money.

Budget hotels:

  • B&B Exclusive – cozy small hotel with friendly staff and authentic atmosphere.
  • Hotel dalla Mora – simple and tidy rooms at an affordable price in a convenient location close to Santa Lucia train station.
  • San Giacomo Venezia – a modest hotel with basic amenities for a reasonable price.

7. Mestre (mainland Venice area) – Where to Stay in Venice to Save Money 🥳

🚅 Easy access: Mestre is a 15-minute train ride from Santa Lucia Station and is a more accessible base from which to explore the city. Regular trains make sightseeing in the center of Venice easy, even for first-time visitors.

📍 Orientation made easy: Orienting yourself in Mestre is much easier for newcomers than in the center of Venice, thanks to wider streets and simpler intersections. Running everyday errands is also more convenient here: chain grocery stores, pharmacies and stores are cheaper than in touristy San Marco.

🏙 Local charm: There’s plenty to see in Mestre itself, too. Check out the striking modern architecture around Piazza Ferretto, or stop by San Giuliano Park for open-air concerts.

💰 Budget-friendly: Since hotels, apartments and transportation are cheaper here, choosing this area while visiting Venice will help you save money.

All hotels in Mestre →

Where to stay in Mestre? 🏨

Medium price range:

  • Ca' Palazzo – a hotel in a historic 18th-century palace with exquisite interior design and excellent service.
  • Campanile Venice Mestre – a modern hotel with comfortable rooms, good restaurant and services, conveniently located near the train station.
  • MEININGER Venezia Mestre – a stylish hostel with creative design, a great choice for young people and individual travelers.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Venice -Mestre Rooms – an aparthotel with spacious studios, well-equipped kitchen and convenient location.
  • Venice Day Apartment – an apartment with panoramic lagoon views, exquisite furnishings and excellent service.
  • Mestre Residence – modern apartments in a quiet area of Mestre, within walking distance of the train station.

Some tips for your stay in Venice 📝

1. 📍 Udforsk områder uden for turistcentrene: Gå rundt i mindre kendte kvarterer som Cannaregio for at få en rolig og autentisk Venedig-oplevelse.

2. 💦 Forbered dig på højvande: For at klare lejlighedsvise oversvømmelser skal du have stilfulde og praktiske sko på, der holder dig tør og komfortabel under dine gåture.

3. 🍽 Dine in restaurants with authentic Venetian cuisine: dont limit yourself to restaurants packed with tourists, but discover hidden osterias and trattorias where you can taste authentic Venetian dishes recommended by locals.

4. 🙏 Observe local customs and etiquette: immerse yourself in Venetian culture by greeting locals with a friendly “ciao”, don’t make noise and follow local etiquette when visiting attractions.

Best Areas & Hotels in Venice on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Traveling to Venice ❔

Where to stay in Venice cheaply?

If you want to save money on accommodation in Venice, stay in areas away from the bustling city center. The neighborhoods of Cannaregio and Dorsoduro offer budget options without sacrificing the authentic Venetian experience. Locals often rent out rooms or apartments, providing a more affordable and fulfilling stay than expensive hotels.

What is considered the center of Venice?

The heart of Venice is Piazza San Marco, known as St. Mark’s Square. Surrounded by iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile, this lively square is the cultural and social center of the city. Staying in close proximity to Piazza San Marco will give you easy access to Venice’s main attractions, although it may be more expensive.

What is the most romantic area of Venice?

For romance, stroll along the Accademia Bridge towards the Rialto at sunset. Or take a gondola ride through the quieter canals. The island of Burano, also has a charming, romantic vibe with its colorful houses.

How to get around Venice?

Venice is best explored on foot, so wear comfy shoes and don’t be afraid to get a little lost in the charming maze of streets and canals. For longer distances, take the vaporetti water buses or a private water taxi for a scenic ride through the Grand Canal. Biking is possible but challenging with all the bridges and crowds.

What’s not to do in Venice?

While in Venice, do not feed pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, as this is not only not recommended but also carries fines. Avoid restaurants near major tourist centers, as they tend to be more expensive and may compromise the authenticity of the food. Do not swim in the canals: besides being unhygienic, it is also forbidden.