Where to stay in Venice


Venice, with its timeless allure, entices visitors with its intricate network of canals, historic architecture, and a unique urban landscape that has captivated the hearts of travelers for centuries. A city built on water, its winding alleyways and bridges knit together distinct neighborhoods, each possessing its character and charm. Selecting the right area to stay in is crucial for convenience and immersing oneself in the atmosphere that best suits one's preferences. Whether you seek the grandeur of centuries-old landmarks, the tranquility of residential nooks, or the vivacity of local markets and artisanal shops, Venezia offers a broad palette of experiences. This guide aims to present an honest look at some of the most notable districts, helping you choose the perfect backdrop for your Venetian sojourn.

  • San Marco

    • touristic
    • πŸ₯‚ upscale
    • πŸ‘« busy
    • iconic

    San Marco is at the heart of Venice, housing the illustrious Piazza San Marco and many high-end retail stores. It's perfect for those wanting to be at the center of it all. Accommodation here is generally upscale, with prices to match. This area is flooded with tourists, with streets bustling late at night. While convenient for sightseeing, its popularity can detract from the charm, with crowded alleys and high costs being notable drawbacks.

  • Cannaregio

    • 🏘️ residential
    • πŸ›οΈ historic
    • 🧘 quiet
    • affordable

    Cannaregio offers a more authentic Venetian experience, housing historical sites like the Jewish Ghetto while retaining a residential atmosphere. It's less crowded than the central areas, providing a reprieve from the masses. Dining options here can be both delightful and reasonably priced, with many hidden gems. However, the tranquility comes at the expense of a longer walk or vaporetto ride to the city’s main attractions, and the lodging options vary widely in quality.

  • Dorsoduro

    • πŸ–ΌοΈ art
    • 🎭 culture
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🏘️ residential
    • youthful

    Dorsoduro boasts a blend of tourist attractions and a youthful vibe, thanks to the Venetian university in its vicinity. It’s home to some of Venice's most treasured art hubs, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Accademia Gallery. Nightlife is vibrant, with numerous bars and a more local feel despite its proximity to the touristic center. However, accommodation here can be costly compared to other areas, and during the peak season, the narrow streets can still get quite crowded.

  • Castello

    • authentic
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🏘️ residential

    Castello is one of the most extensive areas of Venice, ranging from the bustling tourist zone around San Marco to the tranquil gardens of Sant'Elena. It offers a mix of tourist sites, including the Arsenale and a more authenticity in the eastern parts. Prices for accommodation can be more affordable, but it's a bit further from the action. Those willing to walk more or take vaporetti can enjoy a calmer, more genuine experience.

  • San Polo

    • πŸ™οΈ central
    • 🍝 food
    • πŸ›οΈ shopping
    • πŸ‘« busy
    • 🍷 nightlife

    San Polo is the smallest of the six sestieri of Venice but packs a lot within its borders, including the famous Rialto Bridge and Market. It has a busy daytime atmosphere with excellent places to eat and shop. Accommodations range from luxury abodes to modest inns. However, San Polo can feel quite touristy, and some may find it noisy. Its central location might also mean paying a premium for staying here.

  • Santa Croce

    • 🧘 quiet
    • budget
    • 🏘️ residential
    • convenient

    Santa Croce provides a quieter, more local feel. It's well-situated for arriving and departing due to its proximity to Piazzale Roma and the train station. The area has fewer tourist landmarks, which translates to fewer tourists and lower accommodation costs. However, some might find the lack of major sites and slightly less polished appearance less appealing. Santa Croce is also home to the city’s bus station, adding a bit of traffic and reducing that 'Venetian' feel.

  • Murano

    • πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ tranquil
    • traditional
    • artisanal

    Murano is famous for its long-standing tradition of glassmaking. It's quieter and less touristy than central Venice, ideal for those looking for a laid-back atmosphere. The glass shops and studios offer a unique cultural experience. However, staying on Murano does mean a dependency on boat services to get to and from the main parts of Venice, which can be an inconvenience and time-consuming.

  • Burano

    • picturesque
    • 🧘 quiet
    • remote
    • traditional

    Burano is well-known for its lace and brightly colored fishermen's houses, appealing to photographers and culture enthusiasts. The island has a small town charm and is quieter at night once the day trippers leave. It provides a very different experience from staying in Venice itself and can offer a peaceful retreat. The downside is the commute time to the main islands and limited night-time activities.

  • Lido-Pellestrina

    • beaches
    • relaxed
    • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ family-friendly
    • remote

    Lido-Pellestrina is the beach islands, offering a seaside resort vibe with hotels and amenities catering to beach-goers. They are an excellent choice for combining a beach holiday with cultural sightseeing. It's less crowded with tourists exploring Venice, providing a sense of escape. However, you must take regular vaporetto trips to get back to Venice's heart, which could limit your flexibility and dining options in the evenings.