The best places to stay in Venice: best area in Venice to stay for visiting the city and great hotels in Venice for all budgets.
To see the best of Venice, you need at least two nights / one full day (see my Venice itinerary here), an amount of time that beckons the question: what is the best place to stay in Venice?
What areas should you look for, when planning an overnight stay in Venice and what are some good Venice hotels?
This travel guide is my answer to this question.
On this page, I am going to give an overview of the different Venice neighborhoods, what to expect in each and some recommended addresses of hotels and places to stay in Venice I believe you may enjoy.
I hope you enjoy it!
Good to know: if you are visiting Venice with small kids, I recommend you look at our guide to favorite family hotels in Venice instead.
Please note: this post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase, we might make a small commission.
Venice neighborhoods map and chart
The city of Venice is organizes in 6 neighborhoods or sestieri. This is a quick overview of all of them
|Name of area||Main Landmarks||Best place to stay for|
|San Marco||San Marco Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge,||Sightseeing, busy city center feeling|
|Cannaregio||Train station, Venice ghetto||Sightseeing, local feel, access to the islands and the train station|
|San Polo||Santa Maria de’ Frari, Rialto Market||Sightseeing, foodies|
|Dorsoduro||Accademia, Peggy Guggenheim, Salute Church, Guidecca||Museums, views, off the beaten path, luxury stay|
|Castello||Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Libreria Acqua Alta, Biennale gardens||Off the beaten path, local atmospheres|
|Santa Croce||Not many landmarks but pretty churches and small streets||Returning visitors, budget accommodation, close proximity to Piazzale Roma (car parking),|
Best places so stay in Venice and best Venice hotel by area
The best places to stay in Venice for sightseeing are the area of San Marco, Cannaregio, San Polo and parts of Castello and Dorsoduro.
These areas differ from each other in terms of feel and atmospheres however, they all make a good starting point for exploring Venice and have hotels and accommodation options to suit most travelers.
The area of Castello is rather big, so how close or far you will be to the main Venice Monuments will depend on depend on the exact location of your hotel.
Dorsoduro also is rather large, especially if you consider that it includes the island of Giudecca, which is on the other side of the water from Venice main city center.
I personally find the best place to stay in Venice to be Cannaregio, followed by San Polo, then the most central areas of Dorsoduro and Castello, in this order.
Where to stay in Venice: San Marco area
San Marco is the most central neighborhood in Venice, the one where you have the famous Piazza San Marco, the Doges’ Palace, The Bridge of Sights and the iconic Rialto Bridge.
This is a wonderful area of Venice, the area all tourists come to see, and it is the part of Venice that feels the most like a labyrinth: the streets here are tiny, packed with things to see and feel like a wonderful and magical maze!
The area is stunning and very much a must see when in Venice however, I would consider carefully if this is the best place for you to stay.
While the location is very convenient, the crowds here are intense and the prices high
- Reasons to stay in San Marco: proximity to all main attractions, very scenic area, full of services and restaurants.
- Reasons not to stay in San Marco: touristy, pricey, some of the smaller streets can be feel oppressive
- Best for: first time visitors who want to see the main sights and may need to maximize their time.
Best places to stay in San Marco Area Venice
Hotel Flora: charming boutique hotel with a lovely small garden and pretty, welcoming rooms. The hotel has been run as a fairly business for over 50 years and is in an excellent location in the San Marco area, close to both Piazza San Marco and the museums of Dorsoduro.
Novecento Boutique hotel: a 9 bedroom boutique hotel with retro / ethnic style, managed by the same family behind the hotel Flora, recommended above. This is a beautiful, stylish hotel that evokes the spirit of Venice and its long tradition of sea trade and the wonderful cultural influences that shaped this incredible city. Excellent for couples especially.
Gritti Palace Hotel: Gritti Palace is member of the Marriott family and a historical Venice hotel. Houses in a palazzo dating back to the XV century, it overlooks the Grand canal and offers some of the most beautiful views over Venice. This is a wonderful luxury hotel that embodies Venice’s most traditional and renowned style, made of refined textiles and abundant decor. Rooms, dining, spa & fitness and meeting facilities for guests makes it a great all round luxury hotel.
Where to stay in Venice: Cannaregio area – recommended
Cannaregio is my favorite area of Venice and, I believe, the best places to stay in Venice if you want a good mix between ease of sightseeing and a local feel.
Nestled right beside Venice Santa Lucia station, this is an area with a busy main street and very many beautiful, lesser visited streets and roads where to wonder at leisure.
Staying in Cannaregio allows you to walk to many attractions but also to get back by ferry, thanks to the many lines serving this area.
This is also a handy place to explore Burano, the little island you can reach by ferry from the nearby Fondamenta Nuove.
Best places to stay in Cannaregio
Ca’ due Leoni – small and friendly local hotel overlooking a private campiello (Venice’s square), in a lovely location close to the station and the Ghetto yet away from crowds and noise.
Friendly welcome, clean rooms and nice breakfast served in room or in the outdoor patio, the hotel has some bigger accessible rooms on the ground floor that make it perfect for most travelers. This is our go-to address in Venice for a good value for money + local feel stay.
Hotel Arcadia – 3 star, beautiful boutique hotel in Cannaregio, perfectly located between Santa Lucia Station and Gran Canal. The hotel is housed in a 1600 palazzo that has been fully refurbished to allow for modern comfort while respecting the long history of the building. Single, double, triple rooms and suite and nice bar on site make it a good option for solo travelers and couples alike.
B&B Antico Portego: Antico Portego is a B&B in traditional Venetian style houses in a palazzo dating back to the XVI century. The decor is traditional and warm and the welcome very friendly. Perfect if you are looking for an intimate stay rather than the big-hotel experience.
Where to stay in Venice Dorsoduro – recommended
Dorsoduro is a large Venice neighborhood comprising an area close to San Marco and San Polo, very central, and the big and beautiful island of Giudecca.
The central area of Dorsoduro is perfect for sightseeing and the area is particularly suited to art and museum lovers, since it is where the Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim museums, among others, are located.
Best places to stay in Venice Dorsoduro
Hotel Agli Alboretti – Lovely 3 star hotel with elegant classic decor and a stellar location close to museums and all Venice main attractions. The hotel overlooks a quiet street and has several types of rooms ranging from single to family suites. This is a lovely boutique hotel in Venice and out other go-to address, especially when traveling as a couple.
Ca’ Maria Adele – repeatedly awarded the title of ‘most romantic hotel in the world’, this is a lovely Venice boutique hotel in one of the most scenic locations in the city: the area of La Salute church. Just one ferry stop from San Marco, the hotel has lovely interiors and it is a real treat for couples looking for that special Venice honeymoon experience.
Where to stay in Venice: Castello area
Castello is a large area of Venice stretching from San Marco to the very end of Venice main island, at the opposite end of the city from Santa Lucia Station and Piazzale Roma.
The area is beautiful and largely ignored by tourists, with the exception of the streets closer to San Marco, which are quite popular.
Castello is a wonderful place to stay in Venice and it is perfect if you have a little more time and don’t need immediate access to the train station.
Here you get your best chance to experience Venice as a real city, a little like you can do in Cannaregio mentioned above, and where you can find more local restaurants and cafes, with locals as well as visitors.
This is also the area of La Biennale Gardens and the Venice Arsenale and the area closest to the center has the interesting Libreria dell’Acqua Alta as well as some good shopping streets selling, among other things, traditional masks.
The best places to stay in Venice Castello
Hotel ai Cavalieri – Beautiful 4 star hotel close to San Marco, with elegant decor in traditional Venetian style. The hotel offers rooms and suites as well as a wellness spa and a good selection of tours and activities for guests who want to visit Venice with a guide (walking and boat tours available).
Londra Palace – beautiful 5 star hotel with stellar views over Venice. The hotel has a enviable position on the scenic Riva degli Schiavoni and makes the most of its position with panoramic terraces offering the option of a terrace picnic for guests on their panoramic terrace offering 360 degrees views of the city. This is a special beautiful luxury hotel in Venice perfect for a special occasion.
Hotel Bisanzio – beautiful 4 star hotel overlooking the beautiful Riva degli Schiavoni, one of the most scenic locations in Venice and close to San Marco and all Venice main attractions.
The hotel has a classic, elegant decor with exposed ceiling beams and elegant textiles that five the hotel a welcoming and distinctly Venetian feel.
The location in Castello makes it strike the perfect balance between central and quiet: perfect!
San Polo is a wonderful and central area of Venice, famous for being a foodie neighborhood as well as the home of beautiful Venice landmarks such as Chiesa de’ Frari and Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
This sestiere is on the opposite side of the Grand Canal from San Marco and is connected to it by the famous Rialto Bridge. This is an excellent place to stat in Venice and a great area if you want to be close to al attractions without being on overly crowded streets.
Best places to stay in Venice San Polo
Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri – not a hotel but a wonderfully appointed rental apartment in San Polo. The palazzo offers three types of rental options (one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms), all carefully designed to give the guests a luxury experience.
The location in the heart of San Polo means you are close to all Venice main landmarks but you are sheltered from crowds and noise thanks to the secluded location of the palazzo and the presence of a garden, a wonderful plus.
H10 Palazzo Canova – beautiful 4 star hotel in Venice San Polo with canal entrance and a wonderful rooftop terrace. The hotel has a modern feel and it is in a perfect location to explore Venice city center and enjoy the many bacari (traditional eateries) of the area. Some rooms offer stunning panoramic views!
Where to stay in Venice: Santa Croce area
Santa Croce is the area of Venice just in front of Santa Lucia station, right on the other side of the Grand Canal, and where you find Piazzale Roma, the area where you leave the car if driving into Venice.
Compared with other areas it has fewer landmarks but it can be a handy place to stay if you need easy access to your car or the train.
This is still a central area of Venice so if you get hotels close to San Polo, rather than Piazzale Roma, you still get the full Venice experience.
The best places to stay in Santa Croce
Santa Croce Boutique Hotel – 4 star hotel in Santa Croce with something special: a small patio/garden, a rarity in the city. The hotel is in a good position to explore Venice and has a modern decor with some Venetian touches in accessories such as beautiful lamps and textiles.
Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo – nice 3 star hotel in an excellent location in Santa Croce yet close to Rialto and San Marco, on the other side of the Grand Canal. The hotel has classic elegant decor with typical Venetian atmospheres. evoked with warm textile and colors and old world furniture.
Where to stay in Venice Mestre
Accommodation in Venice can be expensive so Mestre, the little town beside it, is a popular alternative for budget travelers.
Staying in Mestre has both pros and cons.
- Pros: lower prices (often significantly lower), rooms usually bigger than in Venice city center, easy commute to Venice ensured by easy to use, frequent trains
- Cons: less atmospheric, need to catch the train each time to reach Venice city center
The Staycity Apartments Mestre, close to the station, are a good example of Mestre accommodation: modern, clean and spacious and close to the station, good for budget travelers and longer stays when staying in the heart of Venice may prove prohibitive.
Where to stay in Venice Lido
When visiting Venice the attention is all on the Venice canals but Venice also has a lido, meaning a beach.
Lido is immediately in front of Venice city center and while I would argue that if you want to go to the sea then you have better places to do so than Venice, this can be a good location if you have children or want to mix a city exploring and time on the water. A couple of addresses to consider here are:
B&B Villa Ines, a very pretty B&B with a lovely garden and a cooking school
Hotel Excelsior Lido Resort – beautiful 5 star hotel in Venice with beach access. The hotel offers several types of rooms and restaurants and bars onsite so you can dip in and out of Venice at leisure and simply relax at the resort whenever you need a break from sightseeing.
I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of the best places to stay in Venice and it helped you plan your stay. Safe travel planning!