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Where to Stay in Venice in 2024 – 9 Best Areas

Discover the top neighborhoods in Venice for an unforgettable stay. From luxurious San Marco to peaceful Cannaregio, find your ideal Venetian retreat.
Where to Stay in Venice

When you’re planning a trip to Venice, picking the right spot to stay is key. Imagine being nestled in the heart of a unique city spread across islands, linked by charming bridges and enchanting canals. That’s Venice for you – a city without the buzz of cars, just the gentle lap of water against gondolas.

Here’s a tip: stay somewhere with easy access to the vaporetto stops – Venice’s answer to buses. It’ll make your exploration a breeze.

Now, if you’re asking me, the spots near Piazza San Marco, Ponte di Rialto, or along the grand Canal Grande are prime locations. But remember, they come with a price tag to match their allure.

Honestly, anywhere in the city center is a great choice. It’s all about convenience and soaking up the Venetian charm. Just steer clear of places far from the Grand Canal – you’ll thank me later!

1. San Marco, best area to stay in Venice for first time

Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco / photo: wikipedia

Piazza San Marco is the crown jewel of Venice for tourists. If your idea of a perfect vacation includes being at the center of all the action and surrounded by historic sights, this is the place to be. Just a heads up, it’s also the priciest spot in town.

This area is a bustling hub, packed with an array of shops, bars, cafes, gelato stands, and restaurants of every kind. The lively streets here are always buzzing with energy.

Around Piazza San Marco, you’ll find most of Venice’s must-see attractions. The standout landmarks include the stunning Basilica di San Marco, the majestic Doge’s Palace, the evocative Bridge of Sighs, the soaring St. Mark’s Campanile, and the intricate Clock Tower. Trust me, these are sights you don’t want to miss!

One of the best things about staying here is the superb vaporetto connectivity. You can easily zip around the city, head to the airport, or hop over to other islands like Burano and Murano. It’s convenience at its best.

The downside? Well, finding a hotel room can be a bit of a challenge, and when you do, be prepared for some of the highest rates in Venice. But for the right experience, it just might be worth it.

Best Hotels in San Marco

2. The Grand Canal, the prettiest area in Venice

Grand Canal Venice
Grand Canal Venice

The Grand Canal is the beating heart of Venice, a majestic waterway cutting through the city’s core. The stretch from the iconic Rialto Bridge to the bustling Piazza San Marco is, in my opinion, the most picturesque.

Along its banks, you’ll find ancient palaces transformed into luxurious hotels. Staying in one of these is an experience like no other, assuming the price tag doesn’t make you balk. Imagine starting your day with breakfast on a balcony, watching gondolas glide by – it’s the stuff of dreams.

Picture yourself in a room with a view of the Grand Canal. Waking up to such a sight is a memory you’ll cherish long after you’ve left Venice. If you can swing it, I’d say it’s absolutely worth it.

Best Hotels in the Grand Canal

3. San Polo, a small neighborhood in the center of Venice

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

San Polo, the smallest neighborhood in Venice, packs a punch with its prime location near the city’s most iconic spots.

This quaint area is home to the famed Rialto Bridge and its vibrant market. It’s also where you’ll find the historical churches of San Giacomo di Rialto and Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Art lovers, take note: the Scuola Grande di San Rocco here houses Tintoretto’s famous paintings. And don’t miss Campo San Polo, Venice’s second-largest square.

For foodies, San Polo is a paradise. The options here are endless for lunch and dinner. Picture dining on a terrace overlooking the Grand Canal or tucking into a meal at one of the exquisite restaurants nestled in its charming alleys.

Shopaholics will adore San Polo’s selection of elegant and luxurious stores. By day, it’s a bustling commercial hub, and by night, it transforms into a place brimming with atmosphere.

Accommodation here is plentiful and surprisingly affordable. San Polo offers a delightful balance of Venice’s best without breaking the bank. It’s a neighborhood that truly has it all!

Best Hotels in San Polo

4. Dorsoduro, the best place to stay in Venice for nightlife

The Peggy Guggenheim museum as seen from the Grand Canal
The Peggy Guggenheim museum from the Grand Canal / photo: wikipedia

Dorsoduro is a gem of a neighborhood in Venice, known for its size and vibrancy. Home to the Università Ca’ Foscari, this area pulsates with youthful energy, making it a fantastic place for dining and nightlife.

If you’re a fan of Aperol Spritz, you’re in for a treat here. Imagine sipping your favorite aperitif on a terrace along Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo. It’s the kind of experience that makes a trip to Venice truly special.

Dorsoduro is also rich in cultural attractions. The Santa Maria della Salute Basilica is breathtaking, and art enthusiasts will be drawn to the Accademia Gallery, one of the world’s most renowned art galleries. Don’t miss the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Ca’Rezzonico, a palace that’s a feast for the eyes.

Nightlife in Dorsoduro is more about enjoying a relaxing evening out rather than wild partying. It’s perfect for those who prefer a laid-back night sipping drinks and soaking up the atmosphere.

And when it comes to accommodation, Dorsoduro offers a more budget-friendly option compared to other parts of Venice, without skimping on the experience. Plus, you’re just a bridge away from the famous San Marco. It’s an ideal choice for a stay that blends affordability with convenience and charm.

Best Hotels in Dorsoduro

5. Santa Croce, best area to stay in Venice on a budget

Santa Croce Venice
Santa Croce Venice

Santa Croce may not have the same allure as some other Venetian neighborhoods, but it’s a practical choice for travelers. As the city’s transport hub, staying here means you’ll have Venice at your fingertips.

This area encompasses Piazzale Roma, home to Venice’s bus station and car parking spaces. It’s a unique spot in the city where cars can actually roam.

Santa Croce is lively and rich in culture. It houses the historic Jewish Ghetto, one of the oldest in Europe, and sights like the stunning Ca d’Oro and the iconic Rialto Bridge.

But there’s more than just the famous landmarks. Hidden gems like the ancient church of San Giacomo dell’Orio, the Palazzo Mocenigo, the Natural History Museum, and the Palazzo Ca´ Pesaro.

Plus, it’s close to Campo Santa Margherita – a prime spot for dining and drinks.

When it comes to accommodation, Santa Croce offers some of the best value in Venice. It’s a smart choice over staying outside the city. You get affordability without sacrificing convenience or the unique Venetian experience.

Best Hotels in Santa Croce

6. Cannaregio, where to stay in Venice for a local experience

Cannaregio
Cannaregio Venice

Cannaregio is one of Venice’s most fascinating neighborhoods and a personal favorite of mine. Its charm lies in its authenticity and local vibe, as it’s less trodden by tourists.

Nestled in the northern part of Venice, it’s a bit secluded, requiring about a 20-minute walk to the famous Piazza San Marco. But this distance adds to its appeal, offering a more serene experience.

Despite being off the beaten path, Cannaregio is rich in history and culture. It’s home to the ancient Jewish Ghetto, a significant site in Venetian history, and the Ca d’Oro Palace Gallery, aptly named the ‘Golden House’ for its opulence.

A huge plus is its accessibility to the colorful islands of Burano and Murano, with boat lines conveniently passing through one of its docks.

Accommodation here is more affordable, and you’ll find some fantastic dining options. The canals and alleyways of Cannaregio are peaceful retreats compared to the bustling heart of Venice.

For those who enjoy a bit of nightlife, Cannaregio offers a variety of bars. While Venice is generally quiet at night, this neighborhood provides a nice spot for evening entertainment.

Best Hotels in Cannaregio

7. Castello, best area in Venice for families

Castello, Venice
Castello, Venice

Castello, known chiefly for hosting the prestigious Venice Biennale, is a neighborhood that art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike will find intriguing. Located to the east of the city, it’s a stone’s throw from the bustling San Marco Square.

Staying in Castello, especially near San Marco, is ideal. Even the farthest point of Castello is just a 20-minute stroll from San Marco, making it conveniently accessible yet comfortably distanced from the hubbub.

The area strikes a perfect balance between popularity and tranquility, being less touristy than Cannaregio. But don’t think it lacks amenities. Particularly in Via Garibaldi, a bustling street, you’ll find an abundance of bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s a lively spot that captures the essence of Venice without the overwhelming crowds.

As the largest neighborhood in Venice, Castello offers a peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a haven for those traveling with kids. Plus, the accommodations here tend to be more budget-friendly, making it a practical choice for a variety of travelers.

Best Hotels in Castello

8. Lido, where to stay in Venice for beaches

Lido Beach, Venice
Lido Beach, Venice

Lido, a slender 12-kilometer-long island, is just a short vaporetto ride away from Venice. Famous for its beaches, it’s a top summer destination in Italy. Plus, it’s the proud host of the Venice International Film Festival.

Staying on Lido is like getting the best of both worlds. You can immerse yourself in Venice’s rich culture and then unwind on the sandy beaches – a perfect blend of exploration and relaxation.

Accommodation here is generally more affordable for most of the year. Naturally, in summer, prices and demand soar, given its popularity as a beach getaway. But even then, Lido offers a unique experience that combines the allure of a seaside retreat with the enchantment of Venetian culture.

Best Hotels in Lido

9. Mestre, an area close to Venice to stay on a budget

Mestre Venice

Mestre is a savvy choice for accommodation when Venice hotels are packed and pricey. Just a 15-minute bus ride from Piazzale Roma, it’s a convenient and practical alternative.

There are two main areas in Mestre worth considering. The first is near the railway station, a hub for buses from both airports and trains to central Venice – a real plus for easy transportation.

The second option is Mestre’s city center. It’s a more lively area, brimming with shops, restaurants, and bars, perfect for dining and enjoying a drink. Plus, there’s a bus stop for Venice here too, making it super accessible.

Mestre has its own charms, like the bustling Piazza Ferretto, the historic San Lorenzo church, and the iconic Torre Civica di Mestre, also known as Torre dell’Orologio. Not to mention green spaces like San Giuliano Park and the 19th-century Forte Marghera, a renovated fortress.

Opting for Mestre means trading a few minutes on public transport for significant savings on accommodation. This is especially true during the warmer months when Venice can be quite crowded. It’s a trade-off that offers both value and a different perspective of the Venetian area.

Best Hotels in Mastre

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