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Where to Stay in Venice – Best Areas to Stay for Every Traveller & Budget

Want to know where to stay in Venice? You’ve come to the right place! Visiting this magical city is a dream come true for many travellers, so it’s only normal that you want to find the perfect place to stay in Venice.

With its canals, Renaissance and Gothic palaces, Byzantine mosaics and gongolas there is nowhere else in the world like Venice. This unique city is built on over 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, in northern Italy.

Tourists flock from all over the world to visit Venice, which can make finding a place to stay a bit challenging. While there are tons of lovely accommodation options in Venice, the price tags can be quite high with a very touristy feel.

Venice is also characterised by different districts, each with its own distinctive vibe. Each area of Venice will be best suited to different types of travellers and budgets.

Whether you’re visiting Venice as a family, a couple or a solo budget traveller, there is a perfect place waiting for you. In this guide I have listed all the best areas to stay in Venice, outlining what travel style they’re perfect for.

I also included some unique Venice accommodations options for every budget in each area. So without further ado, let’s dive in and discover the best places to stay in Venice to make your vacation even more magical!

Our gondola ride in Venice took us close to Rialto Bridge

Our gondola ride took us close to Rialto Bridge

Best Places to Stay in Venice at a Glance

Venice is divided into six main districts, each with its own charms and reasons to stay there. The best accommodation option simply depends on the type of experience you would like to have during your travels.

San Marco is a great place to stay on your first visit, as you can find most of Venice’s main attractions in this district.

Dorsoduro is the university district, so you can expect to see more young people, lots of artsy places, and a livelier night scene.

San Polo is full of intricate waterways and alleys to explore, making this a fun place for couples to spend some time together.

Cannaregio is a less touristy part of Venice where you can find more affordable accommodation and authentic eateries.

Castello is a quieter area dotted with green parks, lesser-known historical landmarks, and laid-back local shops.

I didn’t go into detail on the sixth district, Santa Croce, as it is mostly an industrial and residential area. While there are some attractions to visit, in general, the neighbourhood is not as scenic as the rest of Venice.

So without further ado, let’s jump into the best areas to stay in Venice and the accommodation you can expect to find in each district.

Exploring the side streets, canals and bridges of Venice, Italy

Exploring the side streets, canals and bridges of Venice, Italy

San Marco: Best Location to Stay in Venice for First-Timers

The district of San Marco is at the centre of Venice and is the ideal place to experience the city on your first trip.

Most of the iconic Venice attractions, like St. Mark’s Basilica and Rialto Bridge, will be within easy walking distance of wherever you’re staying.

This gorgeous old part of central Venice offers many stunning photo opportunities and exciting activities. You can take a gondola tour, do some designer shopping, and wander around inside age-old palaces.

If you can only spend one day in Venice, San Marco is the best place to experience all the highlights.

While this area is easily accessible to first-timers, just be aware that it is also one of the more expensive and crowded neighbourhoods in Venice.

Piazza San Marco in the early evening

Piazza San Marco in the early evening

Sunset in Venice, Italy, a popular Mediterranean cruise destination

Sunset in Venice, Italy, a popular Mediterranean cruise destination

San Marco Accommodation Options

Budget: Domus Ciliota is an inexpensive hotel situated in a lovely former Augustinian monastery. Rooms have all the modern amenities and basic comforts you need. Your hotel stay will include a buffet breakfast. There’s also a peaceful inner garden where you can relax.

Click here to book your stay at Domus Ciliota!

Mid-range: Hotel Firenze provides elegant rooms in a beautiful 16th-century building. You can have breakfast on the rooftop terrace and enjoy views of St. Mark’s Square, which is just a block away.

See prices and availability at Hotel Firenze here!

Luxury: The Gritti Palace is one of Venice’s most luxurious hotels and boasts panoramic views over the Grand Canal. Ornate bedrooms are decked out with antique furniture. You can dine on sumptuous dishes in the hotel’s lavishly decorated restaurant.

Don’t miss out, book your stay at The Gritti Palace here!

The Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice, Italy, one of the main things to see in the city

The Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice, Italy, one of the main things to see in the city

Dorsoduro: Best Place to Stay in Venice for Nightlife

Dorsoduro is the place to be if you love art or if you’re looking for a livelier scene at night. The area is home to the famous Accademia Gallery and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The neighbourhood is close to San Marco, if you want to spend the day visiting some famous landmarks. Since this is also the city’s university district, Dorsoduro’s restaurants are quite affordable and the bars are plentiful and trendy.

At night, you can join the lively student parties in the area of the Campo Santa Margherita, or enjoy a more laid-back vibe at the bars around San Pantalon.

Enjoying my gondola cruise around Venice

Enjoying my gondola cruise around Venice

Dorsoduro Accommodation Options

Budget: The Domus Cavanis hotel offers comfy colourful rooms at affordable prices. It’s in a central location close to Dorsoduro’s art galleries.

Check out prices and availability at Domus Cavanis here!

Mid-range: Hotel Pausania is a repurposed aristocratic residence dating back to the 14th century. Relax in stylish vintage rooms or on the veranda overlooking a lovely garden. There is a water bus stop nearby, making for effortless travel to and from the hotel.

Book your stay at Hotel Pausania here!

Luxury: Ca Maria Adele is a 16th-century palace turned guest house located in a quiet yet central part of Venice. Each room features unique luxurious decor and a private bathroom with a spa bath. Enjoy breakfast with scenic views on the rooftop terrace.

Click here to reserve your room at Ca Maria Adele!

The best sunset spot in Venice, Italy, just across from the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The best sunset spot in Venice, Italy, just across from the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The view from the rooftop of the mall next to Ponte di Rialto

The view from the rooftop of the mall next to Ponte di Rialto

San Polo: Where to Stay in Venice for a Romantic Couples Getaway

It’s hard to pinpoint the most romantic place in Venice, since the entire city is the perfect couples getaway. Nevertheless, San Polo has a couple of features that make it an idyllic setting.

Although it’s the smallest of the six regions of Venice, San Polo boasts many rustic eateries and romantic hotels where you can spend some time relaxing with your other half.

The district also has winding alleys and small waterways where you can go exploring without a throng of tourists around.

The Rialto Market in San Polo is a great place to browse and try some fresh fruit and vegetables. You can also wander around Campo San Polo, the second largest square in Venice, and grab a drink at one of the surrounding bars.

Here you can also try that iconic Venice experience that features on so many Italy itineraries and European bucket lists; going for a gondola ride!

Our gondola ride in Venice took us close to Rialto Bridge

Our gondola ride took us close to Rialto Bridge

Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy

San Polo Accommodation Options

Budget: Who says you can’t enjoy a romantic stay on a budget? Hotel Marconi sits on the Grand Canal opposite the Rialto Bridge, offering lovely views. The cosy rooms decorated in an antique Venetian style are sure to give you all the feels.

Check out prices and availability at Hotel Marconi here!

Mid-range: The Antico Mercato bed and breakfast is the ideal place for a quiet and relaxing couples getaway. Rooms are decorated in soft creams and whites and boast comfy beds with memory foam mattresses.

Click here to book your stay at Antico Mercato!

Luxury: Hotel Palazzo Barbarigo is a 16th-century building that sits right on the Grand Canal and even has a private dock. This upscale hotel offers luxurious rooms in classical and Art-Déco styles. Here you can enjoy a rich buffet breakfast in the morning and an elegant cocktail at night.

Book your stay at Hotel Palazzo Barbarigo here!

The canals of Venice, Italy

The canals of Venice, Italy

Cannaregio: Best Area to Stay in Venice on a Budget

Cannaregio is the Venice district where you’ll find most of the local population, as well as the busy Santa Lucia train station. This means that you’ll get to experience a more authentic Venice at lower prices than in the touristy areas.

If you’re on a tight budget, an affordable place to stay along with an essential Italy packing list can help you keep costs down.

You don’t need to worry that a cheaper visit will mean less beautiful sights. Cannaregio boasts many historic landmarks and splendid architecture.

Where the Grand Canal flows through this district, you can see the 15th-century Ca d’Oro Venetian palace standing on the banks. Cannaregio is also home to the city’s Jewish Quarter, where you can visit some beautiful old synagogues.

Sunset on the grand canal in Venice

Sunset on the grand canal in Venice from Ponte di Rialto

Gondola boats in the canals of Venice, Italy

Gondola boats in the canals of Venice

Cannaregio Accommodation Options

Budget: Guesthouse Alloggi Agli Artisti is only a few blocks from the Santa Lucia train station and a great option for inexpensive accommodation in Venice. The neat rooms include private bathrooms and city views. The area around the guest house has plenty of bars, cafés, and restaurants serving local cuisine.

Book your stay at Guesthouse Alloggi Agli Artisti here!

Mid-range: Alle Guglie Boutique Hotel This is the hotel I stayed at last time I was in Venice and can recommend it. They have small but beautiful rooms decorated in a traditional Venetian style.

The hotel is centrally located and within walking distance of Venice’s main attractions. Around this renovated historic building, you can find many open-air shops to browse through.

Click here to reserve your stay at Alle Guglie Boutique Hotel!

Luxury: The 5-star Ca’ Bonfadini hotel is in a 16th-century building in a central part of Cannaregio. Gilded furniture and ceiling murals fill the bright and spacious rooms. A gourmet breakfast of savoury and sweet delights is another wonderful part of a stay in this hotel.

Check out prices and availability at Ca’ Bonfadini here!

Cruising the canals of Venice, Italy, in our gondola

Cruising the canals of Venice in our gondola

Castello: Best Neighbourhood to Stay in Venice Away from the Crowds

Castello is one of the best places to stay in Venice if you prefer a quieter spot away from the crowds. The district borders San Marco, so you can easily take a day trip to see Venice’s main landmarks.

Otherwise, the Castello district has plenty of authentic historical and cultural attractions on offer. The church of San Pietro di Castello is a stunning sight to see.

Also, visit the Venetian Arsenal to see the naval base and marvel at the historic stone gates and clock tower. While the rest of Venice lacks green areas, Castello houses expansive public gardens.

Here you can unwind among the trees and birdsong. There are also many local bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood to enjoy a bite to eat in a laid-back environment.

The canals and bridges of Venice, Italy

The canals and bridges of Venice, Italy

Cruising past Casanova's house during our gondola cruise in Venice

Cruising past Casanova’s house during our gondola cruise

Castello Accommodation Options

Budget: The San Lio guest house offers stylish and comfortable rooms in a renovated 14th-century house. You can enjoy views of either the inner courtyard, the San Lio square, or the historic San Lio church.

Click here to see prices and availability at San Lio!

Mid-range: Hotel Sant’Antonin is only a short walk away from St. Mark’s Square, while offering you a peaceful place to relax in Venice. This 16th-century building has its own sculpture garden and a terrace where you can unwind amongst the greenery. The rooms are comfortable and beautifully decorated with antique furniture.

Book your stay at Hotel Sant’Antonin here!

Luxury: The 14th-century palatial Hotel Danieli is one of the most lavish accommodations in Venice, featuring spaciously opulent rooms with Italian-marble bathrooms. You can enjoy exquisite dishes and panoramic views at the hotel’s restaurant.

Check out prices and availability at Hotel Danieli here!

Gondola boats in the canals of Venice

Gondola boats in the canals of Venice

Final Thoughts on Staying in Venice

There you have it, the ultimate guide on where to stay in Venice for every travel style and budget! Have you been to Venice before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

The canals, gondolas and architecture of Venice have a unique charm that attract travellers from all over the world. It’s easy to see why every Italy bucket list and Italy itinerary includes a visit to this breathtaking city.

There are many gorgeous sights in Italy like Rome, Milan, Florence, Cinque Terre and Matera, but even within Italy, Venice is something special.

As one of my favourite Italian travel quotes by Frida Giannini describes it, Venice “never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.

I hope you find this Venice accommodation guide useful in deciding where to stay in Venice, so that you can make the most of this truly stunning city!

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Photo of a blonde girl in a gondola cruising towards Ponte di Rialto in Venice, Italy, with text overlay saying "5 best areas to stay in Venice"

Photo collage of a gondola boat cruising in front of Ponte di Rialto in Venice and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute at sunset with text overlay saying "Where to stay in Venice"