That depends. Venice's historic center is compact, and you can
walk most places unless you're staying in Mestre (on the mainland), on the Lido
(Venice's beach resort), or on the island of La Giudecca. This means you can
book a hotel almost anywhere in central Venice without being isolated from the
Still, a few guidelines may be helpful:
For more detailed advice and recommendations, see:
Venice Hotel Guide
Should I use a booking service or reserve directly with the hotel?
Again, it depends. On our Venice Hotel
Directions pages, we try to include links to three different resources (two
of which are our handpicked booking partners):
Venere (owned by
Expedia, and featuring TripAdvisor reviews).
No. 1 reservations network in Europe).
The hotels' own Web sites.
By comparing rates, reviews, and availability, you can get the
best room at the best price.
Food for thought:
Some people think they'll be treated better if
they book directly with the hotel.
Others are convinced that they're more likely
to get a room upgrade or other special treatment if they use a booking service,
because hoteliers know that hotel sites publish guest ratings and reviews.
As for us, we've been treated well by hotels that we've booked
through Venere and Booking.com, and we like the peace of mind that comes with
using a secure reservations network.
For more information, including links to rental listings, see:
Venice Vacation Apartments
Do Venice hotel rates include taxes, breakfast, and
Normally, rates on Venere and Booking.com include breakfast. Any
exceptions are spelled out clearly.
VAT is also included, and there's no extra charge for service
(although you're welcome to tip the maid and porter).
Please note: The city of Venice now charges a tourist tax that
varies according to the type and category of accommodation. The tax is modest,
and your hotel may ask you to pay it in cash when you register.
How early should I reserve a room?
The earlier, the better. Many Venice hotels are small (fewer
than two dozen rooms), so your choices may be limited if you wait until the last
minute--especially from April through October, during Carnival, or on holiday
Unless you've booked a room at a special non-refundable rate,
you can always cancel your reservations if your plans change.
Should I consider a vacation apartment?
Yes, if you'll be in Venice for several days to a week or
longer. With a furnished vacation apartment, you won't have to dine out at every
meal, and you'll enjoy the fantasy of living like a Venetian.
On the downside: You won't have a reception desk at your beck
and call, you'll need to make or buy breakfast, the most desirable
apartments are often booked months in advance, and payment can be a nuisance. (Landlords often require non-refundable
deposits by wire transfer, and you'll typically need to pay the balance of the
rent in cash when you arrive.)