Planning a trip to Venice but unsure where to stay? You came to the right place! Venice is an incredibly unique city that has a much larger feel than you’d expect. Choosing the right neighborhood can have a massive effect on your opinion of the city too. In this article, we’ll detail where to stay in Venice so you experience the city in the best way possible.
Pro Tip: Bookmarks are the key to organizing a great trip. Bookmark this post in a “Venice” folder in your browser so you can circle back to it. Also, check out our top-rated Venice tours – the floating city needs explaining by a local.
Where To Stay in Venice at the Best Hotels
Like many great cities, Venice is subdivided into neighborhoods. Once you understand the characteristics of a neighborhood you can choose which one is best for you.
It is important to note that some areas of Venice can cause a claustrophobic feeling. This is due to how narrow the streets and the buildings are. Not every area has this effect, and our goal is to help you understand that before your trip. You’ll find that many areas are near canals or open space that will allow you to breathe a bit.
Here are the neighborhoods we’ll cover so you can decide where to stay in Venice, what to eat, and what to see.
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Over the years, Dorsoduro has become one of my favorite neighborhoods – if not my favorite in Venice. Dorsoduro has an awesome vibe as you walk through.
The main square is undoubtedly Campo Santa Margherita, which is a great place to hang out and get a coffee during the day or a drink in the evening. There are plenty of cool places to eat and drink in the area and great hotels.
Why I love Dorsoduro:
- It borders the Grand Canal on one side and another large waterway on the other side giving it a very open feel.
- The high concentration of great museums – 3 of our top 7 museums in Venice are in Dorsoduro.
- Fewer tourists tend to go to this area and it is also the University area so full of locals.
- Cool bars and restaurants – check out the best restaurants in Dorsoduro.
- Close proximity to St. Mark’s Square and other attractions
Attractions in Dorsoduro:
It is also rich with museums that most people tend to overlook. I am talking about amazing collections of artwork that are practically void of your average tourist.
- Peggy Guggenheim Museum
- Accademia Gallery
- Pinault Collection: Punta Della Dogana
Be sure to check out our best museums in Venice article.
Best Hotels in Dorsoduro:
I tend to flock towards 4- and 5-star hotels when I travel. I normally travel a lot for work and want a clean and comfy place to sleep each night. Here are a few options that I have either stayed at myself or have had my eye on for my next visit.
€€+ | 4 Star | Contemporary | Next to Peggy Guggenheim
I love how quiet this hotel’s area can be, even though it’s close to major tourist attractions. With only eight rooms here, you’ll want to act fast to grab one. Breakfast is awesome too, and there’s just enough room to fit a crib if needed.
Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace
€€+ | 4 Star | Palatial Rooms | Excellent Staff
Treat yourself like a king or queen by staying at this hotel that is literally an old palace. I love how decadent and spacious the rooms are, with high ceilings too. You’re not far from Piazza San Marco, and just far enough away from too many tourists here.
Il Palazzo Experimental
€€+ | 4 Star | Crisp and Detailed | Romantic Views
This hotel is in an original 600-century palace, so every room will be a little different, but they’re all impeccably maintained. The staff is attentive, the food delicious, and the location on the canal is supreme. It’s definitely a quieter location away from the crowds too, which is nice.
Hotel Palazzo Stern
€€€ | 4 Star | Outdoor Patio | Right on Grand Canal
There are several kinds of rooms here, but most of them will be perfect for a romantic stay in Venice. This hotel sits right on the Grand Canal, overlooking the rest of Venice. I like this hotel for the location and ambiance, though it’s a little more expensive if you’re on a budget.
Ca’ Maria Adele
€€€+ | 4 Star | Suites & Apartments | Ultra-Luxe
For a truly luxurious hotel with rooms of every rich color and design, you’ll love Ca’ Maria Adele. We love the rooftop terrace and cozy lounge. It’s tucked out of the way but right across from Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
Castello is one of the most local and interesting neighborhoods in Venice. It is heavily populated by locals and has a strong concentration of great places to eat. The biggest draw to this area comes once a year when the annual Biennale Art Festival takes place. The Biennale is a 6 month long modern art exhibit taking place in Venice that draws millions of visitors.
Why Castello is Great:
- Tons of coastline makes it feel very open.
- Giardini della Biennale is the largest green-space in Venice.
- Home of the world’s most beautiful bookstore – Libreria Acqua Alta.
- Close proximity to St. Mark’s Square and easy transit to nearby islands.
- Great restaurants – see our list of the best places to eat in Castello
Attractions in Castello:
- Libreria Acqua Alta
- Arsenale della Biennale di Venezia – arguably the greatest modern art museum in the world
- Giardini della Biennale
Great Hotels in Castello:
What makes a great hotel for me? A few key features. First, I really like a good view. It is not a must but it makes an experience more memorable which is important. Second, I like nice bed linens. Vacation is about escaping and enjoying a comfy bed with nice linens where you wake up refreshed. Last, a great venue to drink the morning coffee.
Morning coffee is undoubtedly my favorite part of the day, and a nice balcony in the room or terrace at the hotel makes it that much better. Not every hotel below has all these features, but all have some.
Hotel Locanda Vivaldi
€€€+ | 4 Star | Close to St. Marks Square | Spacious Rooms
You might get a room with a balcony, a spa-like bathroom, or one with wood beams on the ceiling here. I love the convenience of the private dock when you’ve been on the side of Venice, and that it’s just an 8-minute walk to St. Marks Square.
Hotel Metropole Venezia
€€€€ | 5 Star | Decadent Decor | Antique Furnishings
If you love the luxury of old Italian vibes, then you’ll enjoy this hotel as much as I do. It’s richly decorated with no expense spared. If you head to the spa, you’ll walk through a hallway full of museum-quality antiques and artifacts. Oh, and the food is impeccable here. Fine dining done well.
Liassidi Wellness Suites
€€+ | 4 Star | Turkish Baths | Personal Butlers | Garden
I think this hotel should be 5 stars since they offer personal butlers, Turkish baths, and a steam room. Oh, and breakfast in your room or in the garden. With only 5 suites total, don’t wait to book this place. It’s ideal for couples.
€€€€ | 5 Star | Ideal Location | Lagoon Views
I love where this hotel sits – right on the Venice lagoon, but just around the corner from the Saint Marks Basilica. And the history of this hotel is incredible. It’s made of three palaces from the 14th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The rooms are so spacious and luxurious here. No detail too small.
Cannaregio has achieved internet fame as the Trastevere or Le Marais of Venice. The center of Cannaregio is undoubtedly la Fondamenta Misericordia and a few streets/canals in either direction. The district expands far beyond that area so it can get a little confusing. La Fondamenta Misericordia is where you’ll find the best restaurants and bars in the area but there are not a ton of hotels.
We recommend staying a few blocks south of la Fondamenta Misericordia. You can venture into sightseeing territories like San Marco or San Polo during the day and disappear into Cannaregio at night. It is definitely not the most romantic area of Venice (that is the south shoreline with views of Giudecca), but it’s a cool local area.
What Makes Cannaregio Awesome:
- Most authentic bars and restaurants in Venice
- Less tourist traffic than any other district in the main cluster of Venice
- Very local feel
- Long, open canals you can walk next to for a casual stroll
Attractions in Cannaregio
- The Jewish Ghetto (Campo del Ghetto Nuovo)
- Ca’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte – check out best museums in Venice.
- Fondamenta Misericordia (nightlife)
Great Hotel Choices in Cannaregio:
Ca’ Sagredo Hotel
€€+ | 5 Star | Lavish Decor | Award Winning
For a top-of-the-line luxury hotel, the Ca’ Sagredo is your choice. It’s a 15th century palace that remains a top favorite for guests and especially weddings. The massive marble staircase is impressive too. It’s an excellent luxury option at a great price.
€€€€ | 4 Star | Afternoon Buffet | Babysitting Services
Maison Venezia is a great option for small families since they offer babysitting services for kids who don’t want to see another museum. Rooms vary in size here, so check ahead. Every afternoon and evening, they offer a light buffet of snacks and drinks. Super thoughtful.
Al Ponte Antico
€€€+ | 4 Star | Bar & Terrace | Super Quiet Location
In a city where space is a premium, this hotel offers a tranquil terrace to enjoy the quiet neighborhood. You’ll find the rooms ornately decorated with original wood from the 15th-century palace in some rooms. It’s a great choice for couples.
€€ | 4 Star | Rooftop Terrace | Near Rialto Bridge
This hotel is another former palace that’s been around since at least the early 1500s when Duke Gonzaga lived here. That means you get spacious rooms here. I especially love the view from the rooftop terrace that lets you see quite a bit of Venice.
€ | 4 Star | Super Affordable | Close to Train Station
This might not be the best hotel on this list, but it’s a solid option when you’re visiting Venice on a budget. The rooms are spacious and well-decorated, if a bit dated. But for the price, it’s a great deal!
Hotel Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio
€ | 4 Star | Euro-Style Hotel | Great for Groups
If you love the minimalist, modern European style, then opt for this hotel. It’s not overly decadent and there are lots of room options for groups and families. Again, it’s another great budget option if you need a cheap place to sleep.
Giudecca has basically become the island in Venice where rich people stay. You may be a rich person or be really good at playing the part for a weekend, but this area is super nice either way.
Hotels and accommodations in Giudecca can be expensive, but there are also some budget options to check out. But the transit back and forth to the island of Venice is what can make staying here expensive. There are vaporetto (ferries) that pass through here but if you have been to Venice before, they are not exactly convenient and the cost does add up.
You have to imagine you will go from Giudecca to the main island cluster at least once per day and many will end up taking a private boat. That will cost you at least 50€. Many of the nicer hotels have hotel boats that run back and forth all day. It is a good idea to see if your hotel choice does as it could make the travel better and cheaper.
What I Love About Giudecca:
- Giudecca is the island of Venice’s remote island. The irony is pretty great.
- The views of Venice and St. Mark’s are amazing.
- San Giorgio island (detached) is really cool.
- Much less crowded than Venice and a truly unique experience.
Attractions in Giudecca:
- Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore
- The hotels with pools are the real attraction here – see below!
Best Hotels in Giudecca:
Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel
€€€€ | 5 Star | Open Seasonally | Stunning Pool
This 15th century palace is stunning, and the pool is every bit its equal. Rooms have beautiful garden or lagoon views with traditional Venetian decor. Their concierge is a master of secret Venice treasures, so get to know him!
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
€€€+ | 5 Star | Rooftop Bar & Pool | Spa On-Site
The rooftop bar and pool make this hotel an excellent option, but the rooms are also spacious. They offer a shuttle (small fee) to Venice that leaves every two hours, which is handy. In the off season, you can get quite a deal at this hotel too.
Where I Probably Won’t Stay in Venice
To start, you shouldn’t be upset if you or your travel partner booked these areas. I have stayed in all of them, they are all in Venice, and Venice is amazing. I have never had a “bad” experience in the city personally and in the end, you’re on vacation so enjoy it no matter what.
That said, I normally don’t stay in these areas unless we are filming there specifically, in which case it is a logistic decision. Here is why.
Overall, it’s a nice area, but it’s too close to the train station. Being close to a train station normally means crowds, and my travel goal is to avoid massive crowds. It is also where the main Venice parking garage is where day-trippers arrive, not to mention a bus depot (Piazzale Roma). Get my point?
Part of Santa Croce weaves into the very center of Venice, which is nice to walk around, but I don’t want to sleep there. The reason being that there is a very defined tourist path in Venice that goes from the train station to St. Mark’s Square. My goal in Venice is to avoid it at all costs and sleeping near it would make that more difficult.
San Polo is a really cool district since it is home to Rialto Bridge and Rialto Fish Market. This makes it a must-see area, so you should definitely walk through during your visit. You’ll also find the church of San Giacomo di Rialto which is beautiful. There are tons of great landmarks and you should definitely visit this area, but I normally avoid sleeping there.
San Marco, the area where St. Mark’s Square sits, is also an unmistakably important area that you should not only visit but spend a significant amount of time in. That said, other than an evening prosecco in St. Mark’s Square, I don’t want to make it my vacation HQ due to crowds. I do however like staying nearby in Castello or Dorsoduro, so I can easily access these areas as well as the vaporetto stations in San Marco. These lead to nearby islands like San Giorgio.
Murano or Burano
Murano and Burano islands are very unique places to visit due to their local trades of glass blowing and lace making. That makes them worthy of a day-trip while you are in Venice (see our article on visiting Murano and Burano). Still, I probably won’t recommend you sleep on either island.
My main reason is that the view from Murano is not comparable to Giudecca, so I would rather stay there. There are some really cool restaurants in Murano and even a really spacious 4-star Hyatt which is priced great and has far more space in each room than you’ll find at many hotels in Venice.
Again, I am definitely going to Murano & Burano for a day trip, but I will end my day in one of the recommended Venetian districts above. Sorry, Murano!