This article may contain compensated links. See our full disclosure here
Choosing the best place to stay in Venice for your trip is an important decision. While the city is very small and you can walk to most places, each neighborhood offers something a little different. In this episode, we walk you through the main areas of Venice and let you know where to stay if you’re looking for the best views of the Grand Canal and access to the main sights. Or, if you prefer, tranquility and areas where you can mix it with the locals.
Let’s make your stay in Venice as wonderful as possible so you can appreciate this magnificent city as it truly deserves. More than any other city in Italy, the choice of where to stay in Venice can make or break your trip. If you have dreams of quiet canals and discovering tiny bars and interesting churches, there are some areas you will definitely prefer. Those who want the full glamor of the Grand Canal on a modest budget should look away from the obvious. And it you’re keen to understand how Venetians live in their city on water, we’ll point you to other areas.
Be clear on what you are looking for and your travel style and we’ll help you find the perfect stay. But, in our opinion, Venice is worth a splurge, even if you are traveling on a budget. The city is the attraction. And experiencing it over several days and nights so you see its hidden treasures unfold has been one of the joys of our lives and we hope yours too.
Districts / sestieri in Venice perfect for travelers
- San Marco – busy main tourist district where you’ll find Piazza San Marco, the basilica and Palazzo Ducale, Rialto bridge
- Cannaregio – where you’ll find the train station, the fascinating Jewish quarter and easy access to Burano and Murano
- Santa Croce – district of Piazzale Roma – main bus, taxi and waterbus hub – and entry into Venice
- San Polo – home to the Rialto market and many interesting restaurants, bars and shops
- Dorsoduro – arty district with small side canals and interesting museums and galleries
- Castello – a more residential district that is home to the Arsenale and public gardens. Hosts the Venice Biennale every 2 years
Areas away from the main historic district
- Giudecca – peaceful island a short vaporetto ride from Piazza San Marco home to the famous Belmond Cipriani Hotel
- Lido – where you’ll find the wide sandy beaches of Venice
- Mestre – mainland city with one stop to Venice where there are budget accommodation options
- Burano, Murano and the outer lagoon – smaller islands away from the main tourist areas. Most visitors come for the day
Hotels worth splurging on
- 5 star hotels on the Grand Canal (San Marco) – Gritti Palace, St Regis, Aman Venice
- Grand Canal hotels – Hotel Canal Grande (Santa Croce), H10 Palazzo Canova (San Polo), Hotel Palazzo Stern (Dorsoduro)
- Hotels with small canal position – Carnival Palace (Cannaregio), Palazetto Madonna (San Polo), Palazzo Veneziano (Dorsoduro), Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia (Castello)
- Giudecca hotels – Belmond Hotel Cipriani
- Discover our Venice guide, our district guide for where to stay, Hidden Gems in Venice and our pick of the best hotels
- Listen: to more on Venice in Episode #111 Carnevale in Venice – Parties, costumes and more, Episode #087 The story of the Venetian Gondola, Episode #048: Venice districts – best places to stay for your trip, Episode 10: Venice highlights and Episode 37: Secrets of Venice
- How to plan a trip to Italy – our article that takes you step by step through trip planning so you can avoid our mistakes
- Italy Travel Planning – our FREE online community where you can ask questions and get inspiration for planning your trip
- Travel shop where you’ll find items mentioned in the show
Prefer to read along as you listen? You can download a full transcript of this episode.