Where to Stay in Venice: Our Hotel Tips

Venice, city of canals, a dream destination that's at the top of almost every travelers bucket list. Tourism is always at high tide in this picturesque Italian city, and there are plenty of hotels catering to the constant inflow of visitors. In this post, we will help guide you to the best place to stay in Venice.

Venice attracts millions of tourists each year, so there’s a sheer endless array of hotels to choose from. Which can make finding the perfect place to stay a daunting endeavor.

Venice is a relatively expensive city, and the historic center is particularly popular, so you’ll need to budget a bit more for accommodation if you want to stay near the most beautiful sights in Venice.

But if you know where to look, Venice has plenty of more affordable accommodation options available. We’ll tell you how to find them in this post.

Where to stay in Venice: The best neighborhoods

Venice is no ordinary city in Italy. Almost completely engulfed by a lagoon, it actually covers an archipelago of 100 small islands connected by a network of waterways. So having a map in front of you is probably the easiest way to get a feel for the city’s overall layout.

We’ve colored in the most interesting neighborhoods on the map below so you won’t get distracted by all the Italian island names.

We recommend staying in one of the following neighborhoods in Venice:

  • The Historic Center: If you want the full-on Venice experience and don’t mind spending a bit more
  • Giudecca: Not cheaper, but much more tranquil and less touristy than the city center
  • Mestre: My favorite choice for cheap accommodation in Venice
  • Lido: If you want to combine a city trip with a beach vacation

The neighborhoods on a map at a glance

For better orientation, we’ve marked the neighborhoods on this map that we recommend for your stay in Venice.

Map of Venice highlighting the best neighborhoods to stay
This map shows all the neighborhoods we recommend for your stay in Venice. We have included four major sights as points of reference.

Hotel prices in Venice

A trip to Venice may cost a little more than expected unless you plan your trip a year in advance.

Even if you book a few months ahead of your visit, you can expect to pay upwards of 100 euros per night in the city center because all the hostels and budget options will be fully booked.

If you don’t want to break the bank, you’ll have to broaden your search beyond the old town. There are plenty of more affordable options on the mainland or one of the other islands in the lagoon.

That’s definitely worth considering if you want to spend several days in Venice. Getting to the center is still really easy even in more remote neighborhoods thanks to the many water buses, or vaporetti, conveniently crisscrossing the lagoon.

Venice center: Hotels in the heart of town

Every inch of Venice’s Centro Storico, i.e. its historic center, is basically an open-air museum – every corner, alleyway, and building a photo opportunity. It has by far the greatest concentration of restaurants, museums, and historic buildings.

But it also has the greatest concentration of tourists! Everyone wants to stay here for the most authentic Venice experience. So it should come as no surprise that prices here are exorbitant.

But if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth paying the premium to stay here. It’s the most beautiful part of town and all the famous sights are within walking distance.

Out tip: Plan your visit during the low season, when things calm down significantly. That way, you can really enjoy the city’s historic charm without drowning in floods of tourists. There’ll be more hotel rooms available and you should be able to get a seat at a restaurant without a wait.

Pros of staying in the historic center of Venice:

  • All major attractions are within walking distance
  • You’ll get the most authentic Venice experience
  • The widest choice of hotels and restaurants

Cons of staying in the historic center of Venice:

  • You need to book well in advance for a cheap place to stay
  • The alleys are often awash with tourists in the peak season
  • The prices are the highest here

The best places to stay in the historic center of Venice – out hotel tips:

Photo of Rialto Bridge in Venice at dawn before the onslaught of tourists in the morning. The streets are completely deserted, and the tranquility is reflected in the canal, with nary a ripple disturbing its serene beauty. This is the perfect place to stay for you trip to Venice if you have the budget.
Right in the center of the old town: This is the best place to stay if you want to reach everything on foot

Mestre: Cheap accommodation in Venice

Mestre is the part of Venice that’s located on the mainland. Nonetheless, it’s easy to get to the old town from here. It only takes a few minutes by train from Mestre station to Santa Lucia train station in the historic center.

There isn’t much to see in Mestre, and the buildings are predominantly of a more modern-day vintage. But it’s a pleasant enough neighborhood with a good selection of affordable hotels, so you can save a lot of money by staying here.

It’s also really convenient for getting to and from the airport, especially if you want to avoid having to catch a boat.

Pros of staying in Mestre:

  • Wide range of cheap and good hotels
  • The historic center is only a few minutes’ train ride away
  • The airport is just a short distance from here

Cons of staying in Mestre:

  • There isn’t much to see or do
  • The neighborhood looks nothing like the postcard version of Venice

The best places to stay in Mestre:

Giudecca: Staying away from the crowds

Guidecca is located just south of the old town, and only takes a couple of minutes to reach by vaporetto. It has a much calmer vibe than the city center, so many Venetians prefer to live here.

It has the same quaint old-timey feel as the Centro Storico, with countless canals crisscrossed by picturesque little bridges, but without the crowds and souvenir sellers. There are plenty of first-rate restaurants, and you won’t have to spend an eternity in hangry limbo waiting to be seated.

Even celebrities like Elton John and George Clooney appreciate the serene Giudecca and can be spotted here from time to time. Unfortunately, the choice of accommodation is limited, but with a little luck you’re bound to find something!

Pros of staying in Giudecca:

  • Much more laid-back and peaceful than the center
  • Restaurant prices are cheaper
  • St. Mark’s Square is only 3-4 minutes away by vaporetto

Cons of staying in Giudecca:

  • You’ll have to rely on the vaporetto to enjoy Venice’s nightlife
  • Accommodation options are rather limited
  • Room rates are generally on par with the old town

The best places to stay in Giudecca – our hotel tips:

Good and cheap
Luxury
Photo of the waterfront of Giudecca, a more tranquil option for your stay in Venice. On the shoreline you can see Il Redentore, a magnificent 16th century Roman Catholic church, towering above the picturesque buildings. In the foreground, the Giudecca Canal reflects the sunset sky, with little wooden pylons jutting out of the water at seemingly irregular intervals.
Giudecca: This neighborhood has relatively few, but very good hotels

Lido: Staying near the beach

Lido is an island to the southeast of the old town with a vast beach, making it an especially popular summer destination. It’s still reasonably close to all the sights – a trip to St. Mark’s Square by vaporetto takes about 20 minutes.

You can even drive a car on the island, but there’s hardly any traffic. The residents prefer to ride bicycles, which are also available for rent at many of the hotels here.

Staying on Lido is always a good bargain because prices are cheaper and in the summer you can even have a nice beach vacation or visit the various city parks on the island.

Pros of staying on Lido:

  • You’ll be right by the beach
  • The island is way less crowded than the old town
  • There’s a wide range of cheap accommodation options

Cons of staying on Lido:

  • There’s not much to do besides beach stuff
  • It takes 20 minutes by vaporetto to get to St. Mark’s Square
  • It can get busier in the summer

The best places to stay on Lido – our hotel tips:

Do you have a hotel tip for Venice?

Do you have a question about staying in Venice or have you been to Venice before? Where did you stay? How did you like it? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!