Venice is a beautiful city built upon over 100 Adriatic Sea islands separated by canals and stretches of open water. It is well-known for spectacular architecture, artwork and romantic gondola rides. How do you decide where to stay in Venice? The heart of Venice is the Piazza San Marco or St. Mark’s Square, where you will find the Basilica di San Marco with its Byzantine mosaics, the Campanile (bell tower) with stunning views from the top, the Doge’s Palace, the archeological museum and art galleries.
Close to the square is the Grand Canal, from which you can take boat trips. Other highlights include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Jewish Quarter. In the Galleria dell’Accademia, you can view stunning 13th to 18th-century artworks.
Venice has a subtropical climate with steamy summers and cold winters. The humidity is always high because the city is built on a shallow lagoon. It is usually crowded with tourists during the long hot days of summer, and it can feel uncomfortable. Early spring and autumn are better times to visit when the weather is cooler, and you can often get deals on accommodation.
Unlike most of Italy, Venice isn’t known for great food, and there are a lot of touristy restaurants and trattorias. Try to avoid restaurants where waiters stand outside touting for business or ones with pictures of the dishes displayed outside. Authentic restaurants will serve house wine in carafes as well as bottles.
- Where To Stay In Venice
- San Marco
- Santa Croce
Where To Stay In Venice
San Marco is Venice’s smallest district but it is the heart of the city.
Named after the patron saint of Italy, this is where you will find many of the city’s top attractions, particularly in St. Mark’s Square, such as St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, and the Doge’s Palace.
During your visit, you will have the chance to cross the Bridge of Sighs, over which convicts walked to prison, giving their last sighs in the free world.
There are plenty of museums and art galleries in San Marco, such as the Museo Correr, a fantastic art museum that houses sculptures by the neoclassical artist, Antonio Canova and historical collections about life in Venice over many years.
San Marco is characterised by small and narrow alleys and winding canals.
It is a very pretty area to take a stroll.
Wherever you stay in San Marco, you aren’t far from historic landmarks, so let’s take a look at three hotels: one luxury, one mid-range, and the last, budget.
Where To Stay In San Marco
Luxury – Baglioni Hotel Luna
Baglioni Hotel Luna is in a prime position as it is just 80 metres (262 feet) from St.
It is a beautiful hotel decorated with frescoes and antique furniture.
It has a lovely view towards the lagoon and its own dock where you can disembark if arriving by motorboat or gondola.
If you are coming on the water bus, it stops just 50 metres (164 feet) away from the hotel entrance.
The rooms are sophisticated and have Murano glass chandeliers and a marble bathroom.
There is air conditioning, a safety deposit box, a TV, and a minibar.
Some rooms look out at the lagoon.
Each morning, there is a large and varied buffet breakfast served in the Salone Marco Polo Hall.
Caffe Baglioni offers drinks and snacks throughout the day, while the restaurant, Canova, serves specialties from Venice and has an excellent wine list.
There is also a bar in the hotel.
The hotel has a spa and wellness centre where you can be pampered; there is free Wi-Fi; and the front desk is open 24 hours a day.
Mid-Range – Hotel Ateneo
The rooms in this mid-range hotel are elegant and have Baroque fabrics, Murano glass chandeliers, and antique furniture.
They feature both air conditioning and heating, so they are suitable all year round.
Each room has a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, a TV, and a minibar.
The hotel overlooks a canal and is just 100 metres (328 feet) from St. Mark’s Square.
It is in a pretty setting within a courtyard, and it has a garden.
The nearest water bus stop is Calle Vallaresso/San Marco.
The hotel is close to a good selection of shops and restaurants.
A good continental breakfast is included during your stay, and there is room service.
Budget – Best Windows
Best Windows is rather special, especially as it is a budget hotel.
It is housed in the Campanile, Venice’s bell tower, right in the heart of the district, St.
The rooms are large, and have a private bathroom with a spa bath, a TV, heating, and centralised air conditioning.
To check into this hotel, you have to go to the Antico Panada, Best Windows’ sister hotel, which is just 100 metres (328 feet) away.
You can get free Wi-Fi at the Antico Panada, but not at Best Windows.
Dorsoduro is in the southeastern part of the city and is home to the University of Venice.
The students in this area have made it a lively and trendy place to stay, with plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants.
One of the most animated and energetic places to be is the square, the Campo Santa Margherita, which is alive both day and night.
There are plenty of attractions in this neighbourhood, including two art galleries: the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Some impressive churches can be found in the district that are well worth visiting, including Santa Maria deli Salute and San Sebastio.
A highlight is La Rezzonico, a palace and art gallery overlooking the Grand Canal.
It is a particularly beautiful example of 18th-century rococo and baroque architecture.
Inside the palace, a marble staircase leads you to an extravagant ballroom and rooms with ceiling frescoes, period furniture, and paintings.
Where To Stay In Dorsoduro
Luxury – Sina Centurian Palace
This luxurious five-star hotel is in a lovely position as it overlooks the Grand Canal and is right next door to the Basilica of Chiesa of Santa Maria della Salute.
It dates to 1892, and the decor combines the new and the old.
There is a private dock for arrivals by water taxi, and the water bus stops right outside at the Salute Vaporetto stop.
Breakfast is included in your stay and is buffet-style, offering both hot and cold savoury and sweet items.
Have a gourmet dinner in Antinico’s restaurant, where you can try dishes such as smoked lobster ravioli with salted butter and crusco pepper and marinated amberjack with ginger sauce, oyster leaf, and crunchy caviar.
The delicious food can be accompanied by fine wines, and to complete the experience, there are views towards the Grand Canal.
The rooms are sophisticated and have air conditioning, heating, a private bathroom with a bathrobe and slippers, a minibar, and a TV.
The hotel has free Wi-Fi throughout the building, and there is a gym.
Mid-Range – Avogaria 5 Rooms
Avogaria 5 Rooms is only a 12-minute walk from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and is only 30 metres from San Sebastian’s Church.
If you want to explore the rest of the city, there is a water bus stop just 200 metres (656 feet) away.
The rooms are sophisticated, and the furnishings mix 18th-century classics with a modern style.
They have air conditioning, heating, free Wi-Fi, a king-size bed, a private bathroom, a minibar, a TV, and a patio.
Some rooms even have a private garden.
The hotel offers breakfast which you can take in the breakfast room, in your room, or in your private garden.
Budget – Residenza Briati
Residenza Briati has plenty of attractions close by, including Frari Basilica, the largest church in Venice.
The palace, Ca’ d’Oro, with its famous art collection, is 2 km (1.24 miles) from the hotel, and the Rialto Bridge, which is the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal, is close by.
The bridge is well worth seeing as it is an engineering marvel of the Renaissance era, built without central support.
It has stood the test of time without collapsing.
The rooms in the hotel have air conditioning, heating, a TV, and free Wi-Fi.
Breakfast is on offer every day and you can choose between continental, Italian, or gluten-free.
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Cannaregio is the furthest north of the districts in Venice and is just north of the Grand Canal.
It has the largest population of all the districts.
This region is known for the famous people who lived there, such as Tintoretto, Titian, and Marco Polo.
Highlights of this area include the Ca’ d’Oro, one of the most impressive palaces in the city.
It was built in the 15th century and shows the change from the Gothic to the Renaissance style of architecture.
Today, it houses the Franchetti Gallery, which displays a magnificent art collection previously owned by Baron Giorgio Franchetti, who owned the palace from 1894 to 1916.
Another highlight is the home of Tintoretto, which you can visit.
If you want to see some of his artwork, go to the Gothic Madonna dell’Orto church.
In Cannaregio, you will find the Jewish Quarter, which is one of the oldest in Europe.
There is a feeling of sadness here.
but if you are there in late November or December, the Jewish Quarter is decorated for the celebration of Hanukkah, and the mood is lifted.
There are several synagogues in the area, some of which you can visit.
Where To Stay In Cannaregio
Luxury – The Venice Venice Hotel
The Venice Venice Hotel is in a prime position as it is close to many attractions, such as Ca’ d’Oro, Doge’s Palace, and the Basilica San Marco.
It is only 400 metres (132 feet) from the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge in Venice.
The hotel’s spa and wellness centre is a great place to relax after a busy day of sightseeing on foot.
There’s a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi throughout the building.
There are two restaurants, one of which is the Venice M’Art.
It is open all day and serves international cuisine.
It has a large selection of the Venetian speciality, cicheti, which are small plates such as potato foam with San ‘Erasmo artichokes and also braised veal cheeks.
Dinner is taken in the terrace restaurant, where you can try dishes such as gnocchi with Muscovy duck ragu or field herbs ravioli with clams.
Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free dishes can be pre-ordered.
The rooms are luxurious and have a private bathroom with a bidet and complimentary toiletries, a TV, a safety deposit box, air conditioning, and heating.
Some rooms have a terrace with city views.
Mid-Range – Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Noni, Venice
This hotel is close to many attractions, such as the Basilico San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.
The Ca’ d’Oro is just 1 km (0.62 miles) away.
The rooms offer all you need for a great stay, including air-conditioning, a bidet in the bathroom, TV and safety deposit box.
There are views of the garden from some of the rooms, free Wi-Fi throughout the building, a fitness centre and sauna.
There is a restaurant and breakfast offerings include continental, American, and Italian options.
Room service is available, and there is a bar to relax in with a drink before dinner.
Budget – Alloggi Acquavita
Alloggi Acquavita is a lovely guest house with just five rooms that are decorated in typical Venetian style.
They all have heating and air conditioning, as well as a private bathroom, TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
They look out on the narrow streets, and a couple of the rooms have views of the canal.
You can get to this hotel on foot from the main train station, Santa Lucia, or the central bus stop, Piazzale Roma.
You can reach the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge in 10 to 15 minutes on foot.
The guest house is family-run, and the owners are happy to give you advice about the area and where to eat out.
Castello is the largest district in Venice, so named because of the castle that was built there in Roman times.
Highlights include Via Garibaldi, Venice’s widest street, which has quaint shops, lively bars and lovely cafes.
It is the place locals gather, so come here for a taste of authentic Venetian life.
Another highlight is the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, which is the largest church in Venice.
However, half of the district is taken up by the Arsenal, a shipyard that is not worth visiting apart from going to the Naval Historical Museum.
The border with the San Marco district is popular as it is close to the Doge’s Palazzo.
Where To Stay In Castello
Luxury – Hotel Metropole Venezia
This hotel is close to major attractions in the San Marco district, including the Piazza San Marco with the Doge’s palace and the Basilica San Marco.
This five-star hotel has plenty of amenities, including a spa and wellness centre, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the building, a 24-hour front desk, a tour desk, a business centre, and a currency exchange.
There is a restaurant that offers a choice of continental, Italian, or American breakfast, and you can relax in the bar.
Room service is also available.
The rooms are sophisticated and have a bathroom fitted with a bidet and complimentary toiletries, air conditioning and safety deposit box.
Mid-Range – Hotel Ca’ dei Conti
Although this hotel is in the Castello district, it is just 200 metres (656 feet) from Piazza San Marco and all its attractions.
It is also close to many cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops.
The Hotel Ca’ dei Conti was built in the 18th century.
It was originally owned by a family of aristocrats, and their coat of arms is in the lobby.
The historic theme is continued with antique furniture and Murano glass chandeliers throughout the building.
The rooms are elegant and have a private bathroom with a hairdryer, a tea and coffee maker, a minibar, a TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
An American breakfast is available every day, and there’s a fabulous terrace bar where you can relax with a drink after a hard day’s sightseeing.
Budget – Veneziacentopercento Rooms
This hotel is close to the Piazza San Marco with the Doge’s Palazzo and the Basilica di San Marco.
The Ca d’Oro is 2.2 km (1.36 miles) away, and it is 1.9 km (1.18 miles) from the Rialto Bridge.
It is great value for a city as expensive as Venice.
The rooms are cosy and comfortable, but some do have a shared bathroom.
There isn’t a TV in the rooms, but this isn’t a major problem as you are probably going to be out most of the time.
The rooms, however, do come with air conditioning, heating, and free Wi-Fi.
The hotel is in a quiet area, so you won’t be bothered by hoards of tourists.
In addition, because it is a local area, dining and drinking options are cheaper than if you chose to stay somewhere like San Marco.
Santa Croce, in the northwest of the city, is the only place where cars are allowed to be used.
If you come to the city by bus, you will go to Piazzale Roma, which is the central bus station.
The most interesting parts of this district are in the east and centre.
The western section is industrialised and has little for tourists to see.
The rest, however, is very pretty, with narrow and winding streets, a few beautiful churches, such as San Giacomo dell’Orio, San Nicolade Solentino, and San Simeon Grande, and many art galleries.
Take a look around the Natural History Museum and the Palazzo Moncenigo.
The Parco Público Papadopoli, which is a beautiful garden, will give you a break from city life.
Where To Stay In Santa Croce
Luxury – Doge Stair
The Doge Stair is a luxury apartment with two bedrooms, a bathroom with a bidet, a fully-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, a washing machine, a TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
It has both air conditioning and heating, so you can stay there at any time of year.
If you feel like exploring the major sights, the Piazza San Marco is 2 km (1.24 miles) away and the Rialto Bridge is 1.4 km (0.86 miles) away.
This luxury apartment is a good base from which to explore the city and escape from the tourists after a day’s sightseeing.
Mid-Range – Immobiliare NK. Palazzo Bonvicini
These apartments are great value and have many amenities, including a garden and sun terrace, as well as a shared lounge area.
You can relax in any of these areas with a cool drink.
The apartments have a bedroom, a bathroom with a bidet and a hairdryer, and a fully equipped kitchen.
There is also a washing machine and free Wi-Fi.
You can stay here at any time of the year, as the apartment has both air conditioning and heating.
Budget – Corte dei Bari
These apartments are in a quiet area of Venice, down a peaceful street.
However, the Rialto Bridge is just 1.1 km (0.68) miles away, and you are not too far from Ca’ d’Oro and the Piazza San Marco.
There are plenty of good restaurants, cafes, and bars close by.
The apartments consist of a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom with a shower.
There is both heating and air conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi.
They look out onto the lovely courtyard.
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