Where to Stay in Venice – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

A city like no other, Venice is one of the most visited places in the world. Located in the north-eastern region of Italy, Venice is more dreamlike in reality than it seems in movies and photos. The city has inspired many authors, dramatists, and creative geniuses since the medieval times, including the likes of Shakespeare and Ezra Pound.

With its historical canal systems, beautiful winding streets, and once-in-a-lifetime gondola rides, Venice is almost always on everyone’s bucket list. Once a major trading center, the “City of Canals” remains virtually the same as it was 600 years ago. The fascinating architecture, magnificent palaces, and 15th-century churches preserve the other-worldly charm of this captivating city.

Welcoming over 20 million visitors annually, Venice is swarming with tourists throughout the year. Thus, it is important that you explore the city and pre-book your hotel rather than deciding where to stay in Venice at the last minute. Let us take a look at some of the popular neighborhoods in the city so you can choose what suits you the most.

Cannaregio

Cannaregio, Venice

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Cannaregio

Home of the famous 15th-century structure Ca d’Oro Palace, Cannaregio is the largest, the most populated, and perhaps one of the most authentic neighborhoods in Venice. Dotted with historic buildings, interesting sights, and true Venetian authenticity, the area is a great place to visit for history lovers. Located in this neighborhood is the Venetian Jewish Ghetto, the oldest and one of the most significant ghettos in Europe. Divided into three sections, the oldest part of the Ghetto dates back to 1516. The Ghetto is also a great place to experience authentic Hanukkah celebrations. Osteria Al Bacco, a popular among locals, is among the oldest and the most traditional osterias in the city and is a great place to taste the local cuisine. If you have time, do catch a show at The Malibran Theater.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially history lovers.
Other Highlights: Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church, Madonna dell’Orto Chruch, Parco di Villa Groggia, and The Muso Ebraico di Venezia.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel Mignon – A short distance from the Rialto Bridge, Hotel Mignon offers exclusive guestrooms fitted with baroque-style furnishings and latest amenities such as TV with satellite channels, safety deposit box, and private bathroom. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
  • Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio – Set within the Jewish Quarter, this charming hotel is built inside a former monastery and features some of its original wood-beamed ceilings. A courtyard and a garden are present on-site for guests to relax or enjoy their breakfast at. The fully-stocked bar serves delightful beverages. Perfect for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Pesaro Palace – Nestled along the Grand Canal and within a 15th-century building, Pesaro Palace offers classy rooms and suites and state-of-the-art facilities. The Venetian-style guestrooms come with flat-screen TV, safety deposit box, and ensuite bathroom. A complimentary sweet and savory breakfast buffet is served daily. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.

Lido di Venezia (Lido)

Lido di Venezia

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Lido Di Venezia

A small island within the Venice Lagoon, Lido is the perfect getaway for those who wish to escape the touristy and expensive affairs of Venice and yet be connected closely to the main sights in the city. An upscale neighborhood, Lido has an impressive number of dining choices and high-end residential and commercial structures. Most famous as the sight to host the Venice Film Festival, the area’s art deco architecture and sports resorts have been appreciated for quite some time. While here, you must spend quality time at Lido’s award-winning beachfront and enjoy mesmerizing views of the surrounding Adriatic Sea. Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta (aka Gran Viale), the main thoroughfare of Lido, is home to several cafes, restaurants, shops, and hotels.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Armenian Catholic Monastery of San Lazzaro, Oasis of Alberoni, The church of San Nicolò al Lido, Tempio Votivo Church, The Ancient Jewish Cemetery, and Malamocco.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria Wellness & SPA – A lavish property located within 5 minutes’ walking distance to the beach, the hotel is known for its Art Nouveau décor and a world-class spa and wellness center. Graduates from the revered Lanna Thai Academy work at the wellness center and offer sauna, Turkish bath, and a range of treatments and massages. A pet-friendly hotel, the property has an in-house restaurant and bar. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Atlanta Augustus – A short walk from the beach, Hotel Atlanta Augustus is located in the heart of Lido and offers a wonderful terrace that overlooks the surrounding lagoon. Guestrooms are fitted with designer furnishings and modern facilities. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Hotel Rigel – A 15-minute boat ride away from mainland Venice, Hotel Rigel features a well-manicured garden, an in-house restaurant and bar, and a bike rental service. Guestrooms are equipped with newest facilities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and private bathroom with free toiletries. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Mestre

Mestre, Venice

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Mestre

The center and the most populated neighborhood in mainland Venice, Mestre is an affordable alternative to staying around the Venetian islands yet be just a short ride away from all that dream-like beauty. Dating back to the Middle Ages, this neighborhood is distinctly different than any other Venetian neighborhood. Its brilliant transport system (bus, trains, trams) makes Mestre a perfect base to explore the iconic landmarks and destinations in Venice. A favorite among budget travelers, the area gets particularly crowded during annual festivals. Piazza Ferretto, the main plaza in the district, is home to many local diners and shops that sell Italian designer apparels.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially budget travelers.
Other Highlights:
Villa Foscari, Parco San Giuliano, Forte Marghera, Torcello Cathedral, San Lorenzo, and Punta San Giuliano.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Best Western Plus Hotel Bologna – Situated opposite Mestre Train Station, this luxurious property features well-appointed rooms with a contemporary design and latest facilities such as satellite TV, minibar, and ensuite bathroom. The in-house restaurant serves a fabulous complimentary breakfast and a delightful Venetian dining menu. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Elite Hotel Residence – Featuring spacious, well-furnished guestrooms, a fully-equipped fitness center, a communal space, and an on-site restaurant and bar, Elite Hotel Residence is a short drive away from Venice Marco Polo Airport. The helpful front desk can help arrange for excursions around the neighborhood. Perfect for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
  • Hotel Tritone – Located opposite Venezia Mestre Train Station, this splendid hotel features guestrooms with a modern décor and up-to-date amenities such as soundproofing, satellite TV, minibar, and private bathroom. A 15 minutes’ drive from Venice Marco Polo Airport, Hotel Tritone serves a fabulous complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

San Marco

San Marco, Venice

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San Marco

One of the six sestieri (boroughs) of Venice, San Marco is arguably the beating heart of Venice. Reportedly, Napoleon called the neighborhood “the drawing room of Europe.” A breathtakingly striking district, San Marco is home to some of the most important sights and structures of Venice, including Saint Mark’s Basilica. Formerly the Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, the church has been in existence since the 11th century and is regarded as one of the most significant examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. Another notable attraction in the area is the Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square, the main square of not just the neighborhood but the city of Venice. If you are on a limited time and want to hit the highlights, this is perhaps the best area for you.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Bridge of Sighs, Doge’s Palace, Harry’s Bar, Palazzo Dandolo, La Fenice theatre, San Maurizio, and San Salvador.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Antico Panada – Set in two historic buildings, Antico Panada is a classic hotel that dates back to 1889. Featuring refined furniture, stylish interiors, and Murano lamps, the guestrooms are absolutely stunning. Guests can enjoy their meals at the on-site restaurant and sip on some amazing drinks at the in-house old Venetian inn. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Saturnia & International – Operational since 1908, Hotel Saturnia & International is an elegant hotel that offers classically-styled guestrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, a typical Venetian restaurant, and a wonderful terrace that overlooks the enchanting surroundings. St Mark’s Square is just a couple of hundred meters away. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel A La Commedia – A short walk from the famous Rialto Bridge, Hotel A La Commedia features well-appointed guestrooms equipped with modern facilities within a historic building. Located next to the Grand Canal and opposite the Goldoni Theatre, this pleasant property offers amorous views of the city. Suitable for couples.

Giudecca

Giudecca, Venice

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Giudecca

A popular area among students and young professionals, Giudecca is a group of four islands located south of the central islands of Venice and is connected to them by the Giudecca Canal. Less than 5 minutes’ away from Venice on a vaporetto ride, Giudecca, once an epitome of luxury, is a great weekend trip from the main city. Encircled by beautiful blue waters, the island offers picturesque views of the Venetian skyline, including some of the most iconic structures of San Marco neighborhood. Palladio’s Il Redentore, a 16th-century historic structure, still stands as one of the most prominent and grand Venetian churches of all times.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially the young.
Other Highlights:
Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs, and Rialto Bridge.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa – Situated opposite St. Mark’s Basin, this 5-star hotel and spa offers exclusive residence within a 16th-century convent and features guestrooms with historic décor and avant-garde facilities. Selected rooms overlook the enclosing lagoon. The well-manicured gardens at the property are perfect for a relaxed afternoon or for dining outdoors. The world-class spa on-site features 8 spa rooms and a full-service treatment and massage menu. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Hotel Giudecca Venezia – Set amidst the tranquil atmosphere of Giudecca, this opulent hotel boasts luxurious guestrooms with wood-beamed ceilings, minibar, and views of the Palada Canal. The hotel features a private dock for guests arriving in water taxis. The pet-friendly hotel has a small café with free Wi-Fi access. Suitable for solo travelers and couples.
  • Hilton Molino Stucky Venice – Nestled along the banks of Giudecca island, Hotel Molino Stucky Venice is a Venetian masterpiece with brilliant amenities such as a rooftop swimming pool and a rooftop bar. The hotel’s spa is the largest in the town and features a sauna, a Turkish bath, a hot tub, and an extensive menu of massages and treatments. Guestrooms feature a contemporary décor and are fitted with elegant furnishings. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Dorsoduro

Dorsoduro, Venice

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Dorsoduro

Located across the Grand Canal from the neighborhood of San Marco, Dorsoduro is home to two of the most substantial art and cultural institutions of Venice, namely the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and the Galleria dell’Accademia di Venezia. The former is known for its extensive collection of work by creative geniuses such as Picasso, Pollock, and Duchamp while the latter is revered for its pre-19th-century art collection and is the most famous art gallery in the city. This artistic community also has a thriving nightlife. Campo Margherita is where the youngsters and party-goers hang out for a laid-back atmosphere and a vibrant night scene.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Cà Rezzonico, San Sebastiano Church, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Scuola Grande dei Carmini, and Squero di San Trovaso Gondola Workshop.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Pensione Accademia – Villa Maravege – Set within a 17th-century villa along the Grand Canal, this ritzy hotel features well-furnished guestrooms and suites which are adorned in classic décor and are equipped with cutting-edge amenities. The shopping street of St. Mark’s square is only 15 minutes’ walking distance away. Great for solo travelers and couples.
  • Hotel American-Dinesen – A 17th-century Venetian house overlooking the San Vio Canal, Hotel American-Dinesen offers well-appointed, spacious guestrooms with satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom. The on-site restaurant and bar features a delightful wining and dining menu. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Belle Arti – A couple of hundred meters from the Grand Canal, Hotel Belle Arti features a well-manicured garden, a 24-hour front desk, and a fully-stocked bar menu. The elegant guestrooms here feature Murano glass chandeliers, classy Italian furnishings, and the latest facilities. A complimentary continental breakfast is served daily.

Castello

Castello, Venice

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Castello

Bordering the two popular yet distinguishing neighborhoods of San Marco and Cannaregio, Castello brings the best of both worlds to its visitors. The largest sestieri in Venice, the neighborhood is just steps away from all the major attractions of the city. Venetian Biennale, a cultural center known for hosting numerous art and architecture exhibitions in the city, is one of the most famous attractions in the area. The neighborhood’s proximity to two important locations in the city makes it easy for visitors to explore most of Venice and its principal sights on foot.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Bridge of Sighs, Arsenale, Church of San Zaccaria, Santa Maria Formosa, Scuola Grande di San Marco, and Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Charming Venice Apartments – Boasting fully-functional apartment units with kitchenette, satellite TV with DVD Player, seating area, and private bathroom with free toiletries and a bidet, Charming Venice apartment is located in the heart of Venice’s historic center. Selected units offer a spectacular view of the city or the canals. All apartments offer complimentary Wi-Fi. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Ruzzini Palace Hotel – Nestled amidst one of the largest and oldest squares of Venice, Ruzzini Palace Hotel is a historic building transformed into a luxury hotel which offers stylish guestrooms with remarkable décor and modern amenities. Water taxis stop right outside the hotel which is very useful for exploring the neighborhood. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families with young children (under two years of age).
  • Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’ Elena – A former Venetian convent transformed into an astonishing hotel property, Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’ Elena features well-manicured gardens, classy rooms, a brilliant on-site restaurant and bar serving regional cuisine, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Santa Croce

Santa Croce, Venice

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Santa Croce

Home to some of the major transport hubs in Venice, Santa Croce is the least touristy neighborhood in the city. Santa Croce, with its fewer tourists and more locals, feels more Venetian than any other part of Venice. Century-old, majestic buildings line the streets while small vendors and stalls sell fabric that substitutes the fancy, upscale shops of Venice. Most tourist attractions are found in the eastern section of the neighborhood, including Church of San Giacomo dell’Orio, a 9th-century church which was rebuilt in 1225 and is known for its historic paintings. An affordable alternative to staying in the central Venetian islands, visitors must stay around Piazzale Roma to find easy connections to Venice.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Piazza Santa Croce, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, and La Scuola di Cuoio.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel Cà Zusto Venezia – A 5 minutes’ gentle stroll from the nearest waterbus stop, this outstanding hotel features wonderfully-decorated guestrooms with up-to-date facilities such as flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, safety deposit box, and private bathroom. A 24-hour front desk takes care of all your special needs and helps you with local tourist information. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Olimpia Venezia – Set in a 16th-century building, Hotel Olimpia Venezia features beautifully-furnished guestrooms with state-of-the-art amenities within a 5 minutes’ walking distance from the Grand Canal and the Basilica dei Frari. Guests can relax in the well-manicured garden on the premises or catch up on some reading at the reading lounge. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Casa Sant’ Andrea – A former monastery turned hotel, Casa Sant’ Andrea features well-furnished guestrooms with facilities such as air-conditioning, wardrobe/closet, wake-up service, and a private bathroom. A shared lounge with a TV is available on-site for guests to relax and enjoy. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

San Polo

San Polo, Venice

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San Polo

The smallest sestieri in the city, San Polo is one of the oldest known neighborhoods of Venice. One of the most vibrant and touristy areas in the city, the neighborhood enjoys a central location in the City of Canals. It’s star attraction, the Rialto Bridge was first built as a pontoon bridge, but after collapsing too many times, it was finally reconstructed by Antonio da Ponte and completed in 1591. Today, it is one of the biggest attractions in the city for visitors from all over the world. San Polo is also home to one of the biggest fish markets in the city (just in case you fancy cooking on your holiday).

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Church of San Giacomo di Rialto, Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Church of San Rocco, and Campo San Polo.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel L’Orologio – A pleasant walking distance from Rialto Bridge, this impressive hotel provides lavish guestrooms with wonderful amenities such as soundproofing, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and private bathroom with free toiletries. Guests can spend the evening at the terrace and relish a refreshing cocktail at the on-site bar. A fabulous complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Palazzetto Madonna – Less than 15 minutes’ walking distance from Rialto Bridge, this swanky hotel, set within a historic building, features classic-style guestrooms with antique furnishings and cutting-edge amenities. Additional facilities at the hotel include a 24-hour front desk, a rooftop restaurant, and a fully-stocked bar. A superb complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Hotel Marconi – Located on the Grand Canal, right opposite Rialto Bridge, Hotel Marconi features marvelous guestrooms decorated in typical Venetian style. All rooms comprise a satellite TV, a minibar, and a private bathroom. Guests staying at the hotel can make use of the free city map and enjoy a complimentary entrance to Venice Casino. A healthy complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Venice, Italy
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Venice – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Cannaregio, Venice

  • Cannaregio: StevanZZ / shutterstock
  • Lido Di Venezia: 4kclips / shutterstock
  • Mestre: karamysh / shutterstock
  • San Marco: S.Borisov / shutterstock
  • Giudecca: Don Mammoser / shutterstock
  • Dorsoduro: RossHelen / shutterstock
  • Castello: andyparker72 / shutterstock
  • Santa Croce: volkova natalia / shutterstock
  • San Polo: Gozzoli / shutterstock