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Where to Stay in Venice in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Venice in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Deciding where to stay in Venice is a piece of cake since it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in the whole world. It’s beautiful and shiny, it overlooks the sea, it’s full of history, and it offers innumerable hotels and restaurants.

What’s more to ask for? The only thing left for you is to choose the area that most suits your preferences.

Where to Stay in Venice

There are not enough quotes to describe Venice, one of the most famous cities in the world! Almost every prominent writer, from Lord Byron and Percy Shelly to Henry James and Thomas Mann, had a go at it — and all of them failed.

That’s because words can’t evoke the true magic of the city that floats; only first-hand experience will do the job. St Mark’s Square and the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge, the Campo San Polo Square, and the Gallerie dell’Accademia are some must-see places.

Venice is overflowing with history, typically seen in its churches, palaces, art galleries, bridges, hospitals, and shops as old as time. Visit as many as you can — that’s our main advice. The rich Italian cuisine plays a significant part in the city’s charm, too.

There are restaurants and cafes on every corner, with a fine balance between traditional Italian spots and contemporary, international ones. One thing’s for sure — you want to stay hungry while trying to find your way through the labyrinthine streets of Venice.

Finally, Lido di Venezia is just opposite the Venice mainland, which means the beach is available to you at all times. Lido is a popular tourist resort, famous for its sandy beaches, just like Venice is for its architecture. If you want a more regular beach and cocktail-oriented vacation, Lido is the place for you.

However, even though Venice is a seaside city, that doesn’t mean you should only go there in summer. The famous Venice Carnival, which takes part in the first half of February, is an even better time to experience the grandiosity of this city.

The 5 Best Parts of Venice

Old-time map showing where to stay in Venice in green and brown colors

Carolyn M Carpenter/Shutterstock

Venice is very small and compact — only 250,000 people live in the Venice area, with 55,000 in the historic part of the city you’ll surely visit. So, whatever area you choose, you want to be far from San Marco, the absolute city center.

We recommend you stick to the periphery and budget hotel options, but if you’re determined to choose the center, be prepared to pay a bit more. Some of the best areas include:

  • San Marco: The absolute center of the city, which served as the symbol of Venice throughout the centuries. Here’s where you’ll find the most famous landmarks.
  • San Polo: Another central area bordering San Marco. San Polo is a versatile neighborhood with historical landmarks, various restaurants, and accommodation options.
  • Dorsoduro: Also known as the student neighborhood, Dorsoduro is the cheapest place on our list but also the most artistic one, hosting the best galleries in Venice.
  • Santa Croce: Located on the outskirts of the city, it offers the best connections — both the train and the bus station are located here, as are many cheap hotels.
  • Lido: Located just opposite the Venice mainland, Lido is the home of Venice’s sandy beaches, full of lively nature and rich historical heritage.

Venice’s Best Areas and Hotels

You couldn’t count all the hotels in Venice, even if your hand had a million fingers. As one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, it offers both variety and quality. Even the cheapest hotels have one redeeming quality: they’re always located in a historic quarter, close to something old and famous.

Having that in mind, the prices of the hotels are quite versatile, depending on the area. San Marco and San Polo — the obvious central neighborhoods of Venice — are the most expensive. Both have mid-range and budget options too, but compared to other areas, they’re considerably pricier.

Dorsoduro and Santa Croce are considerably cheaper – the former being a student’s quarter and the latter being on the periphery. Santa Croce is further away from the center, but Dorsoduro is quite close to San Marco and boasts some of Venice’s most important galleries.

Lido is a story for itself, being an island in the south of Venice. It has a combination of budget, mid-range, and luxurious hotels, offering a nice variety for everybody’s needs.

1. San Marco

image of San Marco, a top pick for where to stay in Venice, pictured at dusk

AlexAnton/Shutterstock

If Venice is the center of the world — as a lot of artists have said about this legendary city — then San Marco is the center of Venice. It’s the oldest and most important part of the city, and you just can’t say you’ve visited Venice without taking a stroll through the famous San Marco (St Mark’s) Square and its basilica.

The Basilica San Marco is one of the oldest churches in Venice. It’s so old that it has many layers on its back — Byzantine, Romanesque, Islamic, and Gothic — which contribute to its distinctive appearance.

The interior of the cathedral is like a museum, but the main attraction is climbing to the top. Piazza San Marco is the central city square and the historical center of the Venetian Republic. It’s wide, surrounded by beautiful historical buildings, and full of pigeons and people.

Don’t expect any privacy here since both the square and the adjacent cafes are always crowded and quite expensive. If you want a peak of solitude — but just a peak — climb St Mark’s Clocktower.

The Doge’s Palace is also part of the square and nearly as historically important as the San Marco basilica. It used to be the palace of the Venetian city-state ruler, and today, it’s one of the most magnificent buildings in Europe.

Nearly every important Venetian artist has left their mark inside the palace, from Tintoretto to Titian. The Bridge of Sighs is also in the area, so make sure you pay it a visit. Considering the accommodation and the restaurants, there are no available shortcuts.

It’s literally the most expensive part of Venice, and of the world, too. On the other hand, both the accommodation and restaurant options are limitless, but even the cheap places are quite costly.

Things to Do

  • Venice is practically a huge, concentrated museum since literally every building is historic. Still, the following are a must-see: the Doge’s Palace museum, St. Mark’s Museum inside the basilica, the National Archeological Museum, Museo Correr, Museo della Musica di Venezia, etc. Just be prepared to pay, as nothing is cheap in Venice.
  • The San Marco basilica is the most famous church in the area, but it’s not the only one. You can also visit Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio, the baroque Chiesa di San Basso, the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore on the island overlooking San Marco, Église Saint Moïse, San Fantin, and much much more. Basically, everywhere you look in this area, there’s a famous church in sight.
  • The Doge’s palace is a story in itself. You should spend at least one whole day roaming its many rooms and halls. Start from the exterior and the Courtyard and proceed inside. Visit the Museo dell’Opera, then the Doge’s apartments and the Institutional chambers full of famous pictures from Renaissance and other Venetian artists, and finish your tour with the Old and the New Prisons and the unforgettably poetic Bridge of Sighs.
  • Go on a gondola tour. It may be a bit of a cliche, but it’s definitely worth it. Venice is a matrix of interrelated canals dominated by the sights of gondolas. Let’s not kid ourselves: they are what makes Venice, Venice. So, pay a few extra euros, and have an experience you’ll never forget.

Where to Eat

  • Restaurant La caravella is a stylish restaurant located in close proximity to San Marco square. Its design reminds one of a ship interior, and there’s also a possibility to sit and have your meal outside. It’s a great upscale restaurant with traditional Venetian dishes and an impressive wine list.
  • Taverna La Fenice has a history of more than 150 years. Connected to the famous theater, it was — and still is — a famous meeting place for actresses and artists. The cuisine is Venetian: fish, meat, and pasta, but also great desserts. In winter — as the restaurant recommends — stop by for coffee and chocolate.
  • Da Cherubino is a nice restaurant overlooking the canal with a versatile but substantial menu. Pasta, antipasto, meat, but most of all, fish and seafood. Venice is a city that stands on water, so you can’t stay here without eating some fish. And Da Cherubino is a great place for that.

San Marco Budget Hotels

  • Residenza Hotel San Maurizio is a cheap three-star hotel in the heart of Venice, just a walking distance from all the main attractions. The hotel has family rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a pet-friendly policy. The rooms are decorated in Venetian style.
  • Domus Ciliota is another beautiful budget option located in the center of San Marco. The meeting room in the hotel is actually a transformed chapel, but the rest of the rooms are very modern, with TVs, air-conditioning, and private bathrooms. The hotel also serves a very nice breakfast.

San Marco Mid-Range Hotels

  • Residenza Hotel San Maurizio is located in a historical 16th-century building right in the center of San Marco. Everything, literally everything, is within walking distance. It offers free Wi-Fi and beautifully furnished rooms. It’s pet-friendly and suitable for couples.
  • Rosa Salva Hotel, located just 100 meters from San Marco square, can easily be reached by a waterbus. The place is famous for its great buffet and friendly staff. They’ll be glad to help you choose the best restaurants and shops in the center of Venice.

San Marco Luxury Hotels

  • The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is a very costly hotel, but one that will grant you an unforgettable experience. Located right on the canal, it offers a direct view of the Santa Maria delle Salute Church. The rooms are basically historical monuments themselves but also furnished with all the modern amenities you may need. The hotel restaurant, Club del Doge, serves exquisite food.
  • Palazzina Grassi is located just off the canal, and it’s a real piece of art — literally, it’s the work of the famous French architect Philippe Starck. It has a restaurant, a bar, and a beautiful terrace with a mesmerizing view. On top of all this, it’s both pet-friendly and specially customized to receive disabled people.

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2. San Polo

Image of a town square in San Polo, one of the best places to stay in Venice, pictured in the summer

Venice street/square with people and beautiful historic architecture and colorful painted buildings on a sunny day. Venice, Italy, April 28, 2016/NYC Russ/Shutterstock

San Polo is the smallest, yet also one of the central areas in Venice. Located at the crossroads between San Marco, Dorsoduro, and Santa Croce, it probably offers one of the best locations for strolling and sightseeing.

There’s practically something to do and to see on every corner: from churches and old buildings to bridges, markets, and restaurants. This makes San Polo one of the best neighborhoods for staying in Venice, no matter your preferences.

Regardless of its versatility, everything in San Polo rotates around two main attractions: the Rialto Bridge and the Campo San Polo Square, both worth your time and attention.

The Rialto Bridge is the most famous bridge in Venice — and there’s a lot to choose from. Its official existence (in this form) dates from around 1591, but there have been a lot of wooden bridges on that spot since the 12th century.

It’s made from Istrian stone, a type of marble usually used by Venetian carvers and architects, which gives Venice its distinctive, stylish, and elegant look. Campo San Polo, on the other hand, is the second biggest and most important square in Venice after San Marco.

Throughout history, it has had many functions: it has served as a place for cultivating fruits and vegetables, as a famous marketplace, and later as an arena for tournaments and games. Today, it’s the favorite spot of local Venetians and their children for relaxing and hanging out.

Other places worth visiting include the Camerlenghi Palace with its hundreds of windows, the beautiful Church of San Giacomo di Rialto, the famous Fish markets near the Rialto Bridge, and The Scuola Grande di San Rocco. San Polo offers both great accommodations and restaurants.

It’s one of the best places for foodies in Venice because it’s full of both traditional and modern restaurants with distinctive identities and cuisines. The hotels and hostels are great and versatile, ranging from budget options to super-luxurious hotels. All in all, a great place to start your Venice adventure.

Things to Do

  • The first thing you should definitely do is spend some time on and around the Rialto Bridge. As the most famous attraction in this area — and in the whole of Venice — you should cross the bridge a few times just to get the feel. After that, go and visit the fish market near the bridge – you’ll be charmed by its distinctive crowd and noise, typically Venetian in their character.
  • San Polo is famous for its many shops scattered through its tiny streets between the canals. Alberto Sarria’s shop for handmade masks is one of the shops that stand out with its authentic Venetian craftsmanship. If you’ve come to Venice for the Carnival, definitely visit him and buy an original Venetian mask.
  • Look at some of the most interesting and distinctive buildings in Venice. Start with the Camerlenghi Palace, which is in close proximity to Rialto Bridge; proceed to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in the heart of San Polo, and go inside — the interior is decorated by no other than Tintoretto himself; and finally, go to the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto, which is probably (if not definitely) the oldest church in Venice — the Byzantine and the Gothic elements speak for themselves.
  • Visiting Venice implies a lot of walking, which means your feet and legs are bound to suffer. Take a few hours off and relax at Campo San Polo in the center of the district, feel the day-to-day life in Venice away from the tourists, and mingle with the locals. If you want a little more activity, stop by one of the neighboring cafes and enjoy a tasty espresso.

Where to Eat

  • Trattoria Antiche Carampane is a very cozy and relaxed restaurant that, nonetheless, is quite a magnet for politicians, celebrities, and other VIPs. It has a classical Italian yet great menu, full of pasta, meat, and seafood that won’t leave anybody unsatisfied. There’s an outdoor and indoor option for sitting.
  • Da Fiore is probably one of Venice’s best-known restaurants. Located in an old tavern, it’s full of history and tradition. It’s a Micheline star restaurant with a menu that combines traditional and modern recipes, trying to strike a balance between the old and the new: the bass made in vinegar, for example, is out of this world!
  • Antica Birraria La Corte used to be a brewery, and because of that, it gives off a quite rustic atmosphere. Their variety of craft beers and wines is unbelievable, and so is their food. There are different types of pizza and pasta, beef carpaccio, and grilled scallops.

San Polo Budget Hotels

  • Pensione Guerrato is a one-star hotel in a 13th-century building (a thing possible only in Italy). Located in one of the best parts of town, it’s a 10-minute walk from almost everything, including San Marco square. The rooms are classically furnished with air-conditioning and private bathrooms.  
  • Hotel Pantalon is an unreasonably (considering the location) cheap three-star hotel. The rooms are furnished with parquet floors, chandeliers, free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, and hair dryers. From the terrace on the roof, you can see the beautiful Frari Church. On top of everything, the hotel is pet friendly too.  

San Polo Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel Marconi is a beautiful three-star hotel with a reasonable price, right on the canal overlooking the Rialto Bridge. Some of the rooms are classically furnished, while others have more of a Venetian vibe. The hotel offers room service, has a great bar on the premises, and prepares tasty breakfast every morning.
  • Riva del Vin BOUTIQUE HOTEL is another great three-star option. All rooms have a desk and a TV and are constantly air-conditioned. Some rooms offer a view of the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal. Also, there’s a great breakfast every morning to prepare you for the day.

San Polo Luxury Hotels

  • Palazzetto Madonna can be only described as a special hotel. The rooms are both equipped with modern amenities and have a distinctive and antique Venetian look. There are satellite TVs, minibars, and marble and wooden floors in every room. The bar in the hotel is quite nice, and the breakfast in the morning is even better. Also, there are facilities for disabled people, and that’s an obvious plus.
  • H10 Palazzo Canova gets its name from the famous classical Venetian sculptor, and it’s a piece of art itself. The hotel has a bar and a terrace where you can relax after an exhausting day of strolling through the city and before you go to rest in your luxurious room with satellite TV. There’s also a fabulous breakfast menu to get you going.

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3. Dorsoduro

Dorsoduro, a top pick for where to stay in Venice, pictured with a bridge and a river and a town square in the background

goga18128/Shutterstock

Dorsoduro is Venice’s university district, right between San Marco, San Polo, and Santa Croce. Due to its being full of students and other young people who tend to have less money, this is the cheapest area of Venice in our guide.

Some of the best museums in all of Venice are located in this district — and that’s a huge thing since Venice is basically a city-museums itself. Whatever you do, wherever you stay, you just have to visit the following two (especially if you’re an art lover):

  • Gallerie dell’Accademia is full of pre-19th-century paintings, which means it holds all the classics. Here you’ll find paintings by the adventurous Giovanni Bellini, the realistic Canaletto, the mysterious Giorgione, the unforgettable Leonardo da Vinci, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, and Titian — so, basically, from everyone.
  • The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, founded by the American heiress and socialite of the same name, it’s one of the most visited places in Venice. It holds a great modern art collection consisting of paintings by Picasso, Braque, Dali, Mondrian, Magrit, Kandinsky, Klee, Duchamp, and much much more.

Even though Venice is not famous for its nightlife, Dorsoduro has some great clubs and bars where you experience a great night out. The Corner Pub, Osteria da Codroma, Caffe Rosso, Cafe Noir, and Cantina del Vino Già Schiavi are some of them, and you should definitely give them a try.

A great way to finish the day is to walk by the Fondamenta delle Zattere. It offers a two-kilometer walk by the sea, with a lot of restaurants on the way. Take a slow and relaxing stroll by the sea, and finish your night with a tasty dinner or a stone-cold Campari with mineral water.

We said that some of the cheaper hotels in Venice are to be found here. There are some luxurious options, but not too many (only two five-star hotels). The situation is the same concerning the food: there are a lot of cheap, family-friendly, or student-friendly restaurants with great food and decent prices.

Things to Do

  • Visit probably some of the best museums in Venice — Gallerie dell’Accademia and The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. If you’re an art student or simply an art lover, you have to visit these two places. Here you’ll find everything from both the classic and the contemporary side: Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto, Giorgione, Picasso, Dali, Miro, Braque, Giacometti, etc. It’s basically like the hall of fame.
  • Dorsoduro is full of beautiful old buildings of huge historical importance, mostly palaces and churches. There’s the Cà Rezzonico in the range of the Doge’s palace, the beautiful churches San Sebastiano and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, and Scuola Grande dei Carmini, a 13th-century building that used to be a safe haven for pilgrims.
  • Are you curious how all those gondolas you see around Venice are made? In Dorsoduro, you can witness the actual process in a real gondola workshop like Squero di San Trovaso.
  • Finally, there’s nothing more peaceful than taking a stroll alongside the sea on the Fondamenta delle Zattere. It is located next to the Giudecca Canal and is surrounded by beautiful buildings, restaurants, and bars. Ospedale degli Incurabili is a former hospital where the syphilitics were being treated and one of the most picturesque buildings in this area.

Where to Eat

  • Cantinone Del Vino Già Schiavi is located in a historic building in Dorsoduro, and there’s nothing special about it except the food. There’s no place for sitting, so you’ll have to eat on your feet, but it’s deinitely worth it. They sell a finger food called cicchetti, as well as many seafood, vegetarian, and vegan options.
  • People go to Ristorante La Bitta if they want to eat something that gives out homemade vibes. The interior is nice, cozy, and quiet, and the dishes are mainly concentrated on pasta and meat. There’s no seafood — which is quite surprising, but radicchio in a cream sauce and the artichoke sallate are quite nice.
  • Osteria Da Codroma is a place you go to if you want to try and experience the atmosphere and flavor of typical Venetian cuisine. There’s pasta, meat, and seafood, and a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. It’s a great place for a quick snack or a full dinner. The tables are long and made for crowded dinners.

Dorsoduro Budget Hotels

  • Hotel Tivoli is a decent two-star hotel with air-conditioned rooms that also feature satellite TV and free Wi-Fi on the premises. Also, the hotel offers breakfast every morning, conveniently served in the garden. Finally, the hotel is completely pet-friendly.
  • Antica Locanda Montin is another decent two-star hotel with a perfect location: it’s a 15-minute walk from the Guggenheim Museum, Galleria dell’Accademia, and the city center. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar, and a beautiful garden where they serve the meals. The hotel is also pet-friendly.

Dorsoduro Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel Agli Alboretti offers nice air-conditioned rooms with LCD TVs and tea/coffee machines. The three-star hotel has a beautiful garden where breakfast is served every morning. There’s also a terrace on the fourth floor of the hotel, which offers a panoramic view of Venice.
  • Hotel Ca’ Nobile Corner is a three-star hotel located in a sublime 14th-century building that looks simply magical. The interior of the hotel — including the rooms — is elegantly furnished, and the rooms feature satellite TVs and modern bathrooms. The Italian breakfast is quite popular with the guests.

Dorsoduro Luxury Hotels

  • Sina Centurion Palace is a five-star hotel with a private dock and a beautiful courtyard. The rooms are luxuriously furnished, with a bit of a vintage, rustic vibe, while the bathrooms are completely modern. There’s also a spa and a gym on the premises where you can work out. Finally, there’s a bar where you can have a drink, and every morning the hotel serves a tasty breakfast.
  • Excess Venice Boutique Hotel & Private Spa – Adults Only is the second five-star hotel in Dorsoduro, located in a 15th-century building. The only mission of this hotel is for you to have a good, relaxing time: the spa, for example, offers a view of the canal. Every morning there’s an exceptional breakfast at the hotel’s buffet, and the bar is available for drinks throughout the day.

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4. Santa Croce

Image of the bridge above the canal in Venice pictured against a blue sky

Ponte della Costituzione over the Grand Canal, This bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava connects Stazione di Santa Lucia to Piazzale Roma. Venice, Italy – January 2022/MikeDotta/Shutterstock

On the western side of Venice — on the west from both San Marco and San Polo — lies the district of Santa Croce. It’s neither the most beautiful nor the most popular place in the city. It also has fewer attractions than San Marco and San Polo, for example.

Its strengths lie in another domain, more connected to practicality, convenience, and cheapness. In short, Santa Croce is the best place to stay in Venice if you’re on a budget.

First, Santa Croce is the main transportation center in Venice. Here you’ll find the Piazzale Roma bus station and the Santa Lucia train station, the city’s main contact lines with the wider area. You’ll also find many vaporetto and water taxis, so being further away from the center (20 minutes on foot) should not be a big problem. Also, if you want to roam around Venice, Santa Croce is the perfect place for you.

Santa Croce offers a variety of things to see and do. There’s the mysterious and very old San Giacomo dall’Orio Church and the stylish 17th-century building called Palazzo Mocenigo, whose owners (the Mocenigo family) ruled Venice around seven times.

Then there are the unavoidable museums, such as The Natural History Museum, which has a great collection from the domains of botany and zoology, plus a great library.

The Galleria internazionale d’arte moderna and the Museo d’Arte Orientale located in the beautiful palace called Ca’ Pesaro also offer one-of-a-kind exhibitions.

The first one is about contemporary art, and the second has a great Oriental collection — make sure you visit them both. Santa Croce is considerably cheaper than the other neighborhoods in this guide, so it’s the perfect place if you want to have a longer stay in Venice or plan on spending less money.

There are plenty of hotels and motels with decent and even cheap prices. What’s more, the food here is quite great: numerous traditional restaurants are scattered between the canals.

Things to Do

  • Visit the best churches in the area. Start with the sublime San Giacomo dall’Orio; then the Corinthian-styled San Stae; and finally, the Franciscan church I Frari, which offers an unusual and unique attraction: the painting Assumption of the Virgin from the Venetian master Titian — one of his most important works.
  • Go to the Ca’ Pesaro palace and visit the two museums nested inside the building. First of all, the building is quite beautiful, full of frescoes and paintings by famous Venetian artists. The first museum (Gallery of Modern Art) tells the story of art from the 19th century till today, and the second one (Oriental Art Museum) showcases Prince Enrico di Borbone’s collection from his trip to Asia.
  • Visiting the Natural History Museum in Venice — the town of fine art, architecture, and romance — is usually not the first thing that springs into the mind of the average tourist. But that’s a big mistake. The building itself is quite beautiful, and the museum is not extremely large or overwhelming. The place is also great if you’re traveling with your kid/s.  
  • Santa Croce is especially famous for its food since it keeps it low-profile and traditional — in contrast to the more posh restaurants in the center. Basically, you should go on a gastronomic tour through these five restaurants: La Zucca, Ai Garzoti, Al Nono Risorto, Ristorante Ribot, and Al Prosecco.

Where to Eat

  • Arcicchetti Bakaro was selected as a Travelers’ Choice for 2022. It’s a classic, traditional Italian bistro that serves lunch and drinks in an elegant outdoor fashion. The restaurant is especially famous for its wine options and the miniature gourmet toasts.
  • Ristorante Ribot offers both a beautiful outdoor area and a large indoor space where you can eat your dinner or lunch. The restaurant’s menu is mainly based on fish and seafood, paired with an extensive and very rich wine list. But if you’re not a big fan of fish, we suggest you take a look at the meat options.
  • Rio Novo‘s mission is to serve no less than the best seafood in all of Venice. It offers a casual setting overlooking the canal, where you can relax — far from the crowds of the center — and enjoy your fish, mussels, or shrimp. The place also serves other Italian foods, such as pizza, pasta, and meat.

Santa Croce Budget Hotels

  • Corte Canal Venice is a decent and very cheap hotel located five minutes away from Santa Lucia Train Station. It’s quite convenient if you’re having a short trip to Venice and you have to leave early, or you plan to spend more time and want to save money. It offers family rooms, free Wi-Fi, and room service.
  • Hotel dalla Mora is another one-star cheap option, located closer to the center of Venice, with better amenities than a usual budget hotel. The interior is quite nice, with wooden furniture, including a desk in every room. Some of the rooms offer views of the canal, and the hotel offers a tasty breakfast and a terrace to sip your morning coffee.

Santa Croce Mid-Range Hotels

  • La Loggia della Luna is a three-star hotel, 500 meters from the Santa Lucia train station. Each room has a flatscreen TV, tea and coffee amenities, and air-conditioning. The hotel is especially suitable for families and couples.
  • Palazzo Marcello Hotel Al Sole is located in a 15th-century building, which is something quite regular while you are staying in Venice. The rooms are classically furnished, in a Venetian style, with a large, modern bathroom. But, the best thing is the morning breakfasts: they are served in a nice, secluded garden, in peace and quiet (which is a rare thing in Venice).

Santa Croce Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Papadopoli Venezia – MGallery Collection is a beautiful four-star hotel that will make your trip unforgettable. Every room — and the whole hotel — is decorated with 18th-century Venetian furniture, and there’s also a restaurant and a bar on the premises. The Papadopoli Restaurant inside the hotel boasts Venetian cuisine and a winter garden full of tropical plants.
  • Hotel Santa Chiara is another four-star hotel that has something unique to offer. It has private parking, which is quite a rarity for Venice since it’s mainly a pedestrian town. The rooms are furnished in a traditional Venetian style, plus there’s a restaurant and a bar on the premises and great room service. That means you can eat your breakfast in bed without paying extra.

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5. Lido

Aerial image of Lido, one of the best places to stay in Venice, pictured on a clear summer day

Maykova Galina/Shutterstock

Lido is a small island directly opposite the city of Venice, where you’ll find the best views of the lagoon and beautiful sandy beaches. It’s mostly famous for hosting the important Venice Film Festival and serving as the background of many important works of art: mostly Thomas Man’s Death in Venice and the eponymous movie by the Italian director Luciano Visconti.

Lido di Venezia strikes a nice balance between the high cultural atmosphere of Venice and the beautiful azure color of the Adriatic sea, with its typical holiday activities, such as swimming, relaxing on the beach, and sunbathing.

Also, it’s quite close to San Marco square, and you can reach it by boat taxi anytime you want. Aside from the beach, Lido offers many interesting things related to the history and culture of Venice — no less important than those found on the mainland.

The main street of Lido — Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta — goes through the city center, and holds many of its most interesting shops and restaurants, so make sure you visit it as a pedestrian.

The San Nicolò Al Lido Church is also worth visiting, as well as the war memorial, Tempio Votivo, and the Ancient Jewish Cemetery just next to San Nicolo. The surrounding islands have a lot to offer too.

Lovers of the Romantic sweetheart Lord George Gordon Byron can visit his study room in the Armenian Catholic Monastery of San Lazzaro, on the neighboring San Lazzaro island. Today, the monastery is a permanent museum devoted to the great English poet.

Finally, not everything is about the beach or the churches in Lido. The Oasis of Alberoni, located in the southern part of the island, boasts a natural reserve famous for its variety. Its pine forest and dunes have been immortalized in poetry and painting, in the works of poets like the already-mentioned Byron and the immortal Goethe.

Lido is full of hotels and restaurants, and like all of Venice, it has a lot to offer in terms of accommodation and food. There are budget, mid-range, and luxurious options: from two-star cheap hotels to extra-luxurious four-star hotels.

The restaurant list — like almost everywhere in Italy — is quite extensive. Lido is heaven for tourists — who knows, maybe you’ll even see your favorite celebrity during the Venice Film Festival!

Things to Do

  • Nobody would blame you if you feel a little tired and overwhelmed by all the culture, art, and churches that Venice literally throws at you from every side. So, why not take a few days off and relax at the famous Lido beach? The Adriatic Sea is famous for its crystal-clear waters full of fish. Go swimming or boating, or just sunbathe on the golden sands of Lido di Venezia — you won’t regret it.
  • Everybody who has read Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage or “She Walks in Beauty” in high school must have immediately fallen in love with the Romantic bad boy. Byron left a huge mark in Venice, and the Armenian Catholic Monastery of San Lazzaro has a permanent exhibition dedicated to him. Once a day, one of the monks gives a tour of his legacy, so make sure you don’t miss it.
  • Explore the historical legacy of Lido di Venezia by visiting some of its most important buildings. The San Nicolò Al Lido Church should be the first on the list — it holds the relics of Saint Nicholas, the patron of sailors. Next in line is the mystical and ancient Jewish Cemetery and finally Tempio Votivo, which celebrates the fact that the city of Venice survived the First World War without any damage.
  • If you get tired of Lido, visit the little island nearby called Malamocco. It’s connected to the southern part of Lido by a series of bridges, one of them called Ponte Borgo, which is the oldest. There are other interesting things to see, like the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Palazzo del Podestà, an old gothic building that today serves as a museum.

Where to Eat

  • Restaurants like Trattoria Andri are the first place that comes to mind when you think about Italian food: a family-owned joint serving pasta and seafood made according to traditional recipes. Basically, the second you step in, you’ll feel like you’ve come to a family diner organized by your distant Italian cousin.
  • Ristorante La Tavernetta offers a curious mix between Venetian and Tuscan cuisine — the owners come from those places, so it’s completely authentic. The locals just adore this place: they especially love tartar with mint and coriander mousse, and the wine list is pretty extensive too.
  • Glamy Bistrot was chosen as the Travellers Choice for 2022. It’s Italian and Japanese fusion restaurant offering a striking and very healthy combination of Mediterranean recipes and traditional Japanese cuisine. The sushi is great, and there are other vegetarian and vegan options.

Lido Budget Hotels

  • Hotel La Pergola di Venezia is a great two-star hotel, around 300 meters from the Lido beach and 5-minute walk from the water bus stop. The rooms are nicely furnished with LCD TVs, air-conditioning, and modern mosaic-tiled bathrooms. There’s also room service available and facilities for disabled people.
  • B&B 500 is a very cheap three-star hotel located very close to the location of Venice’s Film Festival and a water bus station. The hotel offers nice family rooms with satellite TVs and air-conditioning. There’s a tasty breakfast every morning that you can indulge in in the privacy of your room.

Lido Mid-Range Hotels

  • B&B Villa Ines is a three-star hotel located in an exquisite Art Nouveau building with a lively garden. All hotel rooms are color-themed, flatscreen TVs, minibar, air-conditioning, and private bathrooms. The location of the hotel is also great, since it’s 250 meters from Lido beach and 200 meters from the water bus station.
  • Hotel Villa Delle Palme is another three-star hotel inside an Art Nouveau building. It has a beautiful tower that offers a beautiful all-around view of the whole Lido and the Lagoon of Venice. The hotel has private parking and a flowery garden, and it also serves a complimentary breakfast every morning.

Lido Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Villa Laguna is a beautiful and very practical stop if you want to enjoy both the historical beauties and the sea around Venice. The four-star hotel offers a view of San Marco and is 50 meters from the water bus stop. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously furnished, and there’s both a garden and a restaurant on the premises of the hotel.
  • Hotel Panorama is another four-star hotel on the Lido waterfront with an unforgettable view of the Lagoon. There’s a perfect sun terrace where you can have a drink after your lunch or dinner, and the hotel buffet serves breakfast consisting of croissants, cereal, and fruit. Finally, the hotel offers a private beach area.

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So, Where Should You Stay in Venice?

The answer to this question is simple — anywhere you want, since Venice is quite small and concentrated, and there’s a variety of hotels in every neighborhood. But, in the end, it all depends on your preferences.

  • San Marco is the absolute center and the most famous area in the city, boasting its key symbols, like the San Marco Basilica and the San Marco Square. If you want to stay in a place that’s basically a work of art and you don’t mind paying some extra cash, San Marco is the right place for you.
  • San Polo is quite similar to San Marco and also quite close. It’s the smallest neighborhood in Venice but boasts some of its most important monuments, like the Rialto Bridge. It’s slightly cheaper and more budget-friendly than San Marco.
  • Dorsoduro is the student quarter of Venice and the city’s cheapest neighborhood. It’s also famous for its two most important galleries. So, if you plan to spend most of your time (and money) looking at pictures and statues — without spending a fortune — you’ll be better off in this neighborhood.
  • Santa Croce should also be your choice if you want to spend your Venice trip on a budget. It’s located on the north-western periphery of the city, close to both the train and the bus station. It offers considerably less interesting things to see and visit, but it’s definitely not without beauty.
  • Finally, Lido — Lido di Venezia — is the place if you want to compromise between a historical, educational trip and a classic beach-oriented vacation. It’s a great place if you want to look at beautiful art and churches and still have the chance to dip yourself into the Adriatic Ocean.

Regardless of the area in which you choose to stay, you’ll be surrounded by friendly locals, amazing food, gorgeous scenery, and activities for all ages, interests, and budgets. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Venice today!