Where To Stay In Venice: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
Venice is one of the most heavily touristed cities in the world. This floating city located on the Venetian Lagoon and packed with historic tourist attractions like the famous Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square receives millions of visitors from around the world every year. Plus, events like the Venice Film Festival and the legendary Carnivale bring even more visitors to Venice and the nearby islands.
All this popularity comes at a price. Everybody wondering where to stay in Venice wants a centrally located luxury hotel with a view of the Grand Canal close to Piazza San Marco. But that's not always possible. And even when it is, it's certainly not within everybody's budget. However, central Venice is made up of a variety of small neighborhoods which each offer their own unique charm. And while none of them are exactly cheap options for where to stay in Venice, you can find some bargains if you look around. Plus, Venice's network of water buses makes it easy to get around the city, that just about anywhere you choose to stay in Venice will be just a short walk away from some great attractions.
No matter where you choose to stay in Venice, you'll have a much easier time if you don't carry more than you need to. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Venice, and you'll be ready to explore the city and its fascinating neighborhoods more easily. With locations in Venice and around the world, Bounce makes sure you always have a place to leave your bags safely and conveniently.
Where to stay in Cannaregio
One of the bigger districts of the city, Cannaregio encompasses Santa Lucia train station and Piazzale Roma bus station, making it the first area of the city you're likely to see and a place that's basically unavoidable. This means it's also a very easy place to get to. Bordering the Grand Canal, Cannaregio has excellent transportation links to the rest of Venice. It's easy to jump on a vaporetto from outside the train station and travel along the Grand Canal to attractions like the Rialto Bridge or the famous art gallery known as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
This area is also home to the Jewish ghetto, one of the best places to eat in the city whether you're looking for a fancy dinner or the best brunch. This is a neighborhood with a rich and fascinating history, but it's also one of the more affordable options for where to stay in Venice. While nowhere in the city can truly be said to be cheap, you'll find a good selection of budget hotels here. Home to the Jewish Museum of Venice, this neighborhood is also a little bit off the usual tourist track and is where you're more likely to rub shoulders with Venetian locals. As a result, it has a more relaxed and more authentic atmosphere than some other parts of the city. The network of canals through this neighborhood makes it a great place to explore at night since they are less busy than other parts of the city, and the great restaurants of the Jewish ghetto offer some of the best food you'll find anywhere in Venice.
Where to stay in San Marco
If you're wondering where to stay in Venice where you'll be close to the heart of the action, San Marco is your answer. Home to the famous Piazza San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Campanile, the Bridge of Sighs, and other famous attractions, San Marco is the area most people think of when they think of Venice. The area around St. Mark's Square and the Basilica San Marco is a place you're going to end up when you're visiting Venice anyway, so if you want to stay within walking distance of everything, this is probably where you want to be.
You'll also find many of Venice's best hotels in and around St. Mark's Square. If you're a fan of historic hotels, this is where you'll find them. The Hotel Londra Palace, for instance, is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city and is centrally located right by the San Marco vaporetto stop and a short walk to the Doge's Palace. This five-star hotel offers spacious rooms with marble bathrooms, and some rooms have a view of the Grand Canal. If your budget stretches to a luxurious hotel like this, you're all but guaranteed to enjoy your stay in Venice.
Alternatively, the Hotel Diana also offers a convenient location just a couple of minutes walk from St. Mark's Basilica. Housed in a historic 15th-century building, this three-star hotel offers free wifi and air conditioning along with period furnishings. It may not have the opulence of the Londra Palace, but it does offer relatively affordable accommodation close to the city's historic landmarks.
Ultimately, the cost is the major downside of staying in San Marco. Hotels here will cost more than they do in any other neighborhood of the city. And although there are some great hotels here, you'll definitely pay for the convenience of staying in such a central location. Also, you'll be absolutely surrounded by tourists. And as you'll find out if you get sticker shock in one of the local cafés or restaurants, everything costs more in San Marco.
Where to stay in Castello
Located to the east of San Marco and its famous attractions, the Castello neighborhood gets far fewer tourists than central Venice. That's not to say this neighborhood lacks attractions of its own. It's home to the Arsinale, the ancient shipyard where Venetian workers cranked out warships and trading vessels to supply their maritime empire on the world's first assembly line. The fascinating story of this area, which is intricately tied to the rise and fall of the Venetian Empire, is told in one of the neighborhood's top attractions, the Venice Naval History Museum. Plus, this area is home to La Biennale, a biannual festival of modern and contemporary art that attracts modern art lovers from around the world.
Still, Castello remains a little off the radar of the millions of tourists wondering where to stay in Venice, and for those in the know, that's part of its appeal. With plenty of vaporetto stops along the Grand Canal, it's not hard to reach anywhere you want to go in Venice from this underrated area. And although Venice is not usually known for raucous nightlife, you will find some trendy bars and interesting restaurants in this area that are more popular with locals than they are with tourists, making them some of the best things to do in Venice at night.
Where to stay in San Polo
One of the oldest parts of Venice, San Polo is also one of the most centrally located. Just on the other side of the Grand Canal from San Marco, San Polo is connected to the tourist heart of the city by the stunning Rialto bridge. This area is home to the Venice Fish Market, which is a lively place to visit in the mornings when the fishermen sell their catch to locals. As the medieval part of the city, you'll also find some fascinating churches in this area, including Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which contains masterpieces by Titian and is the artist's final resting place.
Given its proximity to busy San Marco, you couldn't call San Polo undiscovered. Based around Campo San Polo, the second-biggest square in Venice after Piazza San Marco, this neighborhood is home to some great bars and restaurants, with some of them dating back to the 13th century. The neighborhood is also home to the oldest church in Venice, San Giacomo di Rialto, dating back to 421. Plus, San Polo really comes to life on a summer evening. If you want to enjoy a drink or a leisurely meal in a historic neighborhood overlooking the Grand Canal, San Polo is the place to do it. And with the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square so close, you'll find this neighborhood convenient for everywhere you want to explore.
San Polo doesn't have the sheer number of hotels you'll find in neighboring San Marco, but if you look around, you'll still find some great options in this area. The Palazzo Venart luxury hotel overlooks the Grand Canal from a 16th-century building that is entirely in keeping with the neighborhood's historic charm, and the on-site restaurant is enough to make this one of the best hotels in the area. Alternatively, the Rialto Unique Venice Experience offers incredible views of the beautiful Rialto Bridge, as does the Riva del Vin if you prefer boutique hotels.
Where to stay in Dorsoduro
Located across the Accademia Bridge from San Marco, lively Dorsoduro is home to a couple of Venice's best museums, such as the Accademia Museum and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It's also the location of Venice's University, and the constant influx of students give this neighborhood a vibrant atmosphere that belies its historic significance. Dorsoduro doesn't get the sheer volume of tourists that San Marco does, and for many people, that's a definite plus. Because it's a little bit off the beaten path, this is also one of the better neighborhoods in Venice to find a budget hotel. And it's definitely one of the best areas for night owls. If you're looking for the best nightlife in Venice, chances are good you'll find it here. There's always some live music or an art exhibition or some other cultural activity going on in this neighborhood, so it's definitely one to check out if you want to enjoy Venice the way the locals do.
Where to stay in Murano
Murano is famous for its beautiful stained glass, and many visitors to Venice take the trouble to make a trip out here to pick up a unique handcrafted souvenir. Murano is usually considered an island, but it's actually a group of seven islands linked by bridges that make a great place to explore during your stay in Venice. Much quieter than central Venice, it has a laid-back vibe that makes it an excellent place to take a break from the chaos of the city. The Museum of Glass tells the fascinating story of glass production on these islands, and there are several beautiful churches to explore. Plus, one of the best things about Murano is just taking a seat at a pavement café and watching the world go by, enjoying an atmosphere that is far more tranquil than that of Venice and prices that are usually lower. There are several hotels where you can stay in Murano, including the Murano Palace, a comfortable and unfussy hotel close to the ferry terminal which lets you get on and off the island.
Where to stay in Venezia Lido
Most people don't think of Venice as a beach destination. But back in the 19th century, the Venice Lido was the place to see and be seen. Located a short boat ride outside the center of the city, the Lido offers beautiful beaches overlooking the Venice Lagoon and charming old-world hotels, some of which seem to have barely changed since their 1800s heyday. Again, the Lido offers a more relaxed experience than you'll find in central Venice, and while you'll have to jump on a vaporetto to get to most of the tourist attractions of the city, the chance to stay in more natural surroundings and away from the tourist crowds may well be worth it.
Although the city is surprisingly small, it still offers a variety of different neighborhoods for those wondering where to stay in Venice. Allow yourself to explore off the beaten path, and you'll find that each of these neighborhoods has its own unique charm. This is part of what makes this fabled city such a joy to explore. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Venice, and you'll be ideally positioned to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. Traveling light means traveling happy, so leave the bags behind and immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of Venice.