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Introducing Venice

Page 2
Continued from page 1

Also see: Venice Orientation Map

Picking the right hotel location

In our Number 1 Hotel Warning article, we make a statement that's worth repeating here:

Don't pick a hotel in a location that's inconvenient or expensive to reach.

Many first-time visitors book hotels (or let their travel agents book hotels) without giving any thought to location. This can lead to frustrating and expensive mistakes.

To see why, look at a zoomed-in version of Google's Venice satellite map below:

View Larger Map

Let's say that you're arriving by air and spending two days in Venice before departing on a cruise ship from the San Basilio pier. Your travel agent books you into a hotel in Castello, inland from the Piazza San Marco (the grey spot below "Venice" on the map). You're traveling with large, heavy luggage.

Because your travel agent knows a lot about cruising but very little about Venice, she didn't realize that:

  • You'll need to walk over a series of bridges and down narrow, crowded streets with your bulky luggage to reach the hotel from the San Marco airport-boat stop, and...

  • On the day of your cruise departure, you'll need to lug your suitcases to a distant  vaporetto pier where you can catch an expensive water bus to San Basilio, or--alternatively--pay 60 or 70 euros for a private water taxi.

You're going to have a frustrating experience that could have been avoided if you'd stayed at a hotel closer to your cruise terminal.

The same principle applies if you're arriving and departing by train: By staying within walking distance of the Santa Lucia railroad station, you'll save time, hassle, and money.

To find suitable hotels quickly and easily, see our interactive full-page Venice Hotel Maps or our "How Many Bridges to Cross?" Hotel Listings.

For more detailed advice on hotels and other lodgings, read Where to Stay in Venice and Mestre and Hotels for Air, Train, and Cruise Travelers.

  • Tip: Most hotel reservations can be cancelled without penalty if you give notice at least 24 to 48 hours before your stay. If you discover that you're booked into a hotel that doesn't fit your needs, see if you can cancel the booking and choose another hotel at a more convenient location.

Next page: Arriving and getting around

In this article:
Introducing Venice: Basic geography
Picking the right hotel location
Arriving and getting around