Where to Stay in Venice (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

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Venice is a magical city that enchants visitors of all ages thanks to its rich history, spectacular culture, stunning scenery and exquisite food.

But with six diverse districts and more than 340 hotels and hostels to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to stay. Which is exactly why we wrote this guide for where to stay in Venice.

Broken down by interest and budget, this guide looks at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice. So no matter what you’re looking to do, see or eat, you’ll be able to find a neighbourhood that’s a perfect fit for you.

From lively nightlife to top tourist attractions, this article has got all the information you need to help you book with confidence and ease.

So let’s jump right to it. Here is our in-depth guide for where to stay in Venice, Italy.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Venice

  • Where to stay in Venice first time – San Marco
  • Where to stay in Venice on a budget – Cannaregio
  • Best area to stay in Venice for nightlife – Dorsoduro
  • Coolest place to stay in Venice – Castello
  • Best neighbourhood in Venice for families – San Polo

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

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San Marco
San Marco is one of the most famous districts in Venice. The heart and soul of the city, San Marco is home to many of the most important landmarks and locations in Venice. From St. Mark’s Square to the Rialto Bridge, this district is packed with top tourist and sightseeing attractions.
Places to Visit:
  • Enjoy the views of Venice from Campanile di San Marco
  • Ride a romantic gondola through the canals of Venice
  • Take in the amazing architecture of St. Mark’s Square

 

Where to Stay in Venice

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Venice.

 

Best Hostel in Venice: We_Crociferi

This incredible hostel is located in the Cannaregio district. It is a short walk from the centre of the city as well as Venice’s top tourist attractions. Housed in a renovated 12th-century convent, this hostel oozes history and charm. It has comfortable beds, a spacious common room, laundry facilities and a library.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Venice!

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Best Hotel in Venice: Hotel ai Cavalieri di Venezia

Nestled in the trendy Castello district is this amazing four-star hotel. It offers easy access throughout Venice and is close to great bars, restaurants, galleries and museums. It boasts air-conditioned room with modern amenities. There’s also a coffee bar, laundry service and stylish lounge bar on-site.

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Venice Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Venice

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San Marco

  • San Marco is one of the most famous districts in Venice. The heart and soul of the city, San Marco is home to many of the most important landmarks and locations in Venice. From St. Mark’s Square to the Rialto Bridge, this district is packed with top tourist and sightseeing attractions.
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Cannaregio

  • Located in the north of Venice is Cannaregio. The second largest district in the city, Cannaregio is a down-to-earth district that houses a wealth of historic sights and interesting landmarks.
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Dorsoduro

  • Dorsoduro is a neighbourhood defined by art. It’s where you’ll find walls adorned with street art and some of the most famous and unique art galleries in the city.
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Castello

  • Castello is the largest of Venice’s six sestieri. It stretches from the town centre and the Rialto Bridge to the Arsenale naval base and the Giardini Gardens. Packed with lush landscapes and expansive parks, Castello is one of the most relaxing and picturesque neighbourhoods in Venice.
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San Polo

  • San Polo has the distinction of being one of the oldest, liveliest and most heavily touristed neighbourhoods in the city. Located in central Venice, this district is well connected to San Marco and the city’s top tourist attractions.
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Steeped in history and culture, Venice is a city known for its meandering canals, monumental landmarks, charming piazzas and incredible views.

Virtually unchanged for more than 600 years, the city of Venice boasts an incredible charm and character that permeates its every street, alleyway and square.

Located in the Veneto region of Northeast Italy, Venice is spread out over 118 small islands that are linked by more than 400 bridges. It is divided into six main districts, or “sestieri,” which offer unique attractions, landmarks and activities to travellers.

This guide will explore the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice based on travel needs and interest.

Starting with San Marco. The heart and soul of the city, San Marco is the district where you’ll find Venice’s top tourist attractions.

Head southwest from here to Dorsoduro. This area of the city caters to culture vultures, artists, party animals and night owls. Here you can enjoy a day of browsing the galleries followed by a lively night on the town at one of the districts many bars, clubs and restaurants.

Travel north and you’ll pass through San Polo. One of the oldest districts in the city, San Polo is a hub for tourists and travellers keen to experience Venice’s unique culture.

Continue heading north to Cannaregio. This charming district is where travellers can enjoy a slice of authentic Venetian life.

And finally, travel southeast to arrive in Castello. One of the coolest neighbourhoods in town, Castello is brimming with colour, culture, excitement and fun.

Still not sure where to stay in Venice? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Looking for more details on traveling to Venice? Check out our EPIC guide to backpacking Venice.

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Check out this post to read our full review!

 

Venice’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to pick the one that’s the right fit for you!

 

#1 San Marco – Where to stay in Venice first time

San Marco is one of the most famous districts in Venice. The heart and soul of the city, San Marco is home to many of the most important landmarks and locations in Venice. From St. Mark’s Square to the Rialto Bridge, this district is packed with top tourist and sightseeing attractions. It’s also our recommendation for where to stay in Venice if you’re visiting for the first time.

This breathtaking district is also a must for architecture aficionados. Dotted throughout San Marco’s winding streets and alleys are some of the world’s most incredible buildings and churches with striking designs and intricate details. Soak in all the excellence of this district by taking a stroll and admiring the view.

San Marco, Venice

 

Things to See and Do in San Marco

– Bask in the magic and colour of Carnival, Venice’s mid-winter celebrations.

– Be amazed at the stunning interiors of Doge’s Palace.

– Cross the iconic Rialto Bridge.

– Dine on fresh Italian fare at Tuttinpiedi.

– Enjoy the views of Venice from Campanile di San Marco.

– Indulge in delicious gelato at Suso Geltaoteca.

– Marvel at the detail of the magnificent Basilica di San Marco.

– Ride a romantic gondola through the canals of Venice.

– Sip beers at Osteria all’Alba, a charming dive bar.

– Take in the amazing architecture of St. Mark’s Square.

– Visit renowned Harry’s Bar, a favourite of writers, artists, celebrities and aristocrats, and enjoy the world famous Bellini.

 

Best B&B in San Marco: Ca’ dei Fuseri

This charming bed and breakfast is centrally located in the San Marco neighbourhood. It is surrounded by restaurants and bars, and St Mark’s Square is just a few steps away. Set in a recently refurbished palace, this B&B offers a relaxing and comfortable oasis at the heart of the city.

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Best Hotel in San Marco: Hotel Al Codega

Hotel Al Codega is our recommendation for where to stay in San Marco. It offers easy access to the city’s top tourist attractions, and there are plenty of dining, shopping and nightlife options nearby. Comprised of 28 rooms, this hotel is comfortable and clean. A breakfast buffet is also served.

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Best Hotel in San Marco: Novecento Boutique Hotel

With its convenient location and stylish rooms, this hotel is a great choice for your time in Venice. Situated in San Marco, this three-star hotel is close to popular hotspots as well as famous city landmarks. It has nine elegant rooms which are well outfitted to ensure a comfortable stay.

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#2 Cannaregio – Where to stay in Venice on a budget

Located in the north of Venice is Cannaregio. The second largest district in the city, Cannaregio is a down-to-earth district that houses a wealth of historic sights and interesting landmarks. It’s where you can enjoy a break from the throngs of tourists and get a sense of what authentic Venetian life is actually like.

Cannaregio is also our top pick for where to stay if you’re travelling on a budget. This lovely neighbourhood is packed with various accommodation options, including hostels, apartments, pensions and boutique hotels, that will cater to travellers of all styles and on all different types of budgets.

Cannaregio, Venice

image source: Flickr

 

Things to See and Do in Cannaregio

– Enjoy an afternoon spritz at Al Parlamento.

– Excite your tastebuds at Art Della Pizza.

– Explore the Campo del Ghetto, one of the oldest Jewish Ghettoes in the world.

– Grab a cone of delicious gelato at Gelateria Ca’ D’oro.

– Indulge in fresh fare at Bar Puppa.

– Marvel at the Santa Maria dei Miracoli, one of the most charming churches in the city.

– See incredible works of art and architecture at Ca’ d’Oro.

– Sip aromatic wines at Un Mondo Di Vino.

– Sip incredible cappuccinos at Torrefazione Canaregio.

– Visit the breathtaking Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta detta I Gesuiti.

– Wander across the Ponte dei Tre Archi.

 

Best Hostel in Cannaregio: We_Crociferi

This incredible hostel is our pick for where to stay in Cannaregio. It is a short walk from the centre of the city as well as Venice’s top tourist attractions. Housed in a renovated 12th-century convent, this hostel oozes history and charm. It has comfortable beds, a spacious common room, laundry facilities and a library.

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Best Hotel in Cannaregio: Foscari Palace

This enchanting four-star hotel is ideally located for exploring the city. It is close to a variety of tourist attractions and historic landmarks, as well as restaurants, boutiques and bars. Rooms come complete with air conditioning, spa baths, and a variety of essential amenities. It has a restaurant, lounge bar, and a rooftop terrace.

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Best Hotel in Cannaregio: Al Mascaron Ridente

Charming and centrally located, this three-star hotel is a great option for travellers on a budget. Here you can enjoy all the perks of Venice without the high price tag. This hotel has 14 modern and spacious rooms packed with essential amenities. Enjoy a great selection of dining, nightlife, and shopping options right on your doorstep.

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#3 Dorsoduro – Best area to stay in Venice for nightlife

Dorsoduro is a neighbourhood defined by art. It’s where you’ll find walls adorned with street art and some of the most famous and unique art galleries in the city. From fine art and culture to bohemian rhapsody, Dorsoduro boasts an eclectic mix of sights and sounds that are perfect for culture vultures of all ages.

Dorsoduro is also our recommendation for where to stay if you’re looking for the best nightlife in Venice. Nestled amongst the art galleries and museums are a great selection of chic bars and trendy handouts that attract the young, hip and fabulous populations of Venice. In this fashionable district, you can enjoy everything from low-key hangouts to lively all-night parties.

Dorsoduro, Venice

 

Things to See and Do in Dorsoduro

– Admire the embellished façade of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

– Browse one of the largest collections of art in Venice at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

– Dance the night away at Piccolo Mondo Disco, Venice’s only disco.

– Enjoy the 360-degree view from the Punta della Dogana.

– Listen to live music at the Venice Jazz Club.

– Marvel at the interiors of the Church of San Pantalon.

– Savour incredible dishes at Riviera.

– See great works of modern and contemporary art at Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

– Sip signature cocktails at vibrant Chet Bar.

– Spend a night at the lively and fun Café Noir.

 

Best Hostels in Dorsoduro: Casa Rezzonico

Situated at the centre of the city, this hotel is close to Accademia, Rialto Bridge and Venice’s top sightseeing attractions. It is also close to great restaurants, bars and nightlife hotspots. This charming hotel has elegant and modern décor and comes complete with a great variety of amenities.

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Best Budget Hotel in Dorsoduro: Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace

This charming four-star hotel is centrally located in the district. It is close to restaurants, landmarks and bars. It offers an array of amenities including a concierge, luggage storage and a coffee bar. All of this combined makes it our pick for where to stay in Dorsoduro.

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Best Hotel in Dorsoduro: Pensione Accademia – Villa Maravege

Based in a buzzing area, this Pensione is within walking distance of Venice’s best bars and restaurants, as well as the city’s most famous tourist attractions and historic landmarks. It has a lush and relaxing garden and a staff available 24/7. It is comprised of 27 well-appointed room with wonderful views of the city.

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#4 Castello – Coolest place to stay in Venice

Castello is the largest of Venice’s six sestieri. It stretches from the town centre and the Rialto Bridge to the Arsenale naval base and the Giardini Gardens. Packed with lush landscapes and expansive parks, Castello is one of the most relaxing and picturesque neighbourhoods in Venice.

Castello is also our pick for the coolest neighbourhood in Venice. Thanks to its unique historic and cultural attractions and its myriad of bars and restaurants, Castello is a great place to hang out day or night. Here you can enjoy incredible art and architecture as well as great music, good food and plenty of fun!

Castello, Venice

 

Things to See and Do in Castello

– Choose from a great selection of wines, cocktails and coffees at Wine Bar 5000.

– Dine on incredible fresh fare at Ristorante Alle Corone.

– Eat fresh pasta on the go from Baci & Pasta.

– Enjoy an afternoon of drinks and people watching at Bar Dandolo.

– Indulge in a sweet treat from Creperia Artigianale Casteo.

– Marvel at the detail of the Museo di Palazzo Grimani.

– Rub elbows with locals at Barcollo Venezia Erbaria.

– See spectacular art at the Scuola Grande di San Marco.

– Visit the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, one of the most important churches in Venice.

– Wander along Via Garibaldi, one of Venice’s widest and liveliest streets.

 

Best B&B Hostels in Castello: Veneziacentopercento

This bed and breakfast is located in the centre of the district. It is close to great options for eating, shopping, sightseeing and partying. Each apartment has a kitchen, free wifi and air conditioning. Rooms are spacious and clean, and the beds are comfortable. Private and shared bathrooms are available.

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Best Hotel in Castello: Hotel Le Isole

Hotel Le Isole is a charming three-star hotel situated in central Venice. It is close to St Mark’s Basilica as well as restaurants, bars and shops. This contemporary hotel offers a coffee bar, free wifi and a delicious on-site restaurant. Its rooms are elegant and well equipped with essential amenities.

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Best Hotel in Castello: Hotel ai Cavalieri di Venezia

This amazing four-star hotel is nestled at the heart of the district. It offers easy access throughout Venice and is close to great bars, restaurants, galleries and museums. It boasts air-conditioned room with modern amenities. All this combined makes it our pick for where to stay in Castello.

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#5 San Polo – Best neighbourhood in Venice for families

San Polo has the distinction of being one of the oldest, liveliest and most heavily touristed neighbourhoods in the city. Located in central Venice, this district is well connected to San Marco and the city’s top tourist attractions. It is teeming with history and culture and is home to a great selection of incredible restaurants and cafes.

This downtown district also gets our vote for where to stay in Venice for families. Not only is it close to the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions, but it boasts a great selection of artisan shops, churches and museums that are perfect for travellers of all ages.

San Polo, Venice

 

Things to See and Do in San Polo

– Snap a pic as you cross the famous Rialto Bridge.

– See the Chiesa of San Giacomo di Rialto.

– Marvel at the architecture of the 13th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

– Browse the shops and stalls at Mercati di Rialto and pick up a sweet treat or a snack.

– Shop for colourful and quirky Venetian masks at Peterpan Masks.

– Learn about the life and work of the great da Vinci through interactive exhibits and displays at the Museo Leonardo da Vinci.

– Eat very well at Bacarretto Bistrot. Il Siciliano.

– Enjoy a delicious cone of gelato from Fontego delle Dolcezze – San Stae.

– Grab a slice at Pizza 2000.

 

Best Hostel in San Polo: Alle Botte

Alle Botte is a fantastic budget option for families visiting Venice. Located at the heart of the city, this hostel offers easy access to sightseeing, dining, shopping and exploring. It has free wifi, a salon with a TV, and luggage storage for guests. Rooms are comfortable, clean and quiet.

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Best Hotel in San Polo: Locanda Sant’Agostin

This hotel is a convenient base for exploring the city. It offers easy access to top attractions and landmarks, as well as restaurants, cafes and shops. This three-star hotel has spacious rooms, perfect for families, and modern amenities. There’s also free wifi, a ticket service and luggage storage for guests.

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Best Hotel in San Polo: Polo’s Treasures

Polo’s Treasures gets our vote for where to stay in San Polo. It has a great location in the district and offers easy access to the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and other top tourist sights. This hotel is comprised of six well-equipped rooms with comfortable beds and modern features.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Venice

Venice is a spectacular city. History, culture and art burst through the streets, alleys and canals, enchanting travellers with its stunning sights, incredible food, and wondrous atmosphere. No matter your age, style or budget, Venice is well-deserving of a place on every traveller’s bucket list.

In this article, we’ve highlighted the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice and broken them down by interest and budget. If you’re still not sure where to stay in Venice, here’s a quick recap of our favourites.

We_Crociferi is our pick for the best hostel. Located in the Cannaregio district, this hotel has a great variety of landmarks, restaurants, bars and shops right on its doorstep.

Another fantastic option is the Hotel ai Cavalieri di Venezia. This awesome four-star hotel is located in trendy Castello and offers easy access to incredible bars, restaurants, galleries and museums.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

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