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Our No. 1 Venice Hotel Warning!

In Venice, picking the wrong hotel location can be a costly, frustrating mistake.

Vaporetto line in Venice

ABOVE: On a Saturday in May, newly-arrived visitors waited patiently in line by the railroad station to take expensive vaporetto rides to their hotels. If they'd given more thought to location, they could have avoided the line and saved 14 euros each (€28 for a couple) on local transportation.

We hope you'll forgive the scary headline, and we don't want you to start your trip planning on a negative note, but we aren't kidding. We really do have a "No. 1 Venice Hotel Warning," and here it is:

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

Hotel location may not be critical in most cities, but in Venice--a city with 400+ footbridges and outrageously expensive public transportation--the wrong location can be frustrating and costly. That's why your hotel selection should be a two-step process:

  • First, decide where you want to stay. (Our tips below will be helpful.)

  • After you've picked a district or neighborhood, you can narrow down your hotel possibilities by price, hotel ratings, user reviews, how many bridges you'll need to cross with your luggage, etc.

Now for some specific suggestions:

  • If you're in Venice for only two or three days, stay near an Alilaguna airport-boat stop, the Santa Lucia Railroad Station, or the Piazzale Roma (airport buses and land taxis). You'll waste less of your vacation time getting to and from your hotel, you'll avoid long ticket lines at vaporetto stops, and you'll save 14 euros per person in waterbus fares.

  • If you're loaded with luggage, we also recommend staying at a hotel near the Piazzale Roma (airport buses and land taxis), the Santa Lucia railroad station, or an Alilaguna airport boat stop. Venice's narrow streets can be crowded during the tourist season or on weekends, and hauling large bags up and down the steps on bridges is a nuisance--even when you're young and fit.

  • If you're arriving or departing on a cruise ship, stay at a hotel near the Piazzale Roma (Marittima terminals), the San Basilio pier, or--less conveniently--the Piazza San Marco, where you can catch an Alilaguna Blue Line boat to the Marittima basin. (Murano, the glassmaking island, is another possibility for Marittima passengers.) We discuss these and other options in our article about Venice Cruise Terminal Hotels.

  • If you're flying out of Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) before 10 a.m., see Early-Morning Flights from Venice Airport.

  • Use a secure booking system. If you book through a major reservations service like Booking.com (our primary hotel partner), you should be safe. When booking directly with a hotel, make sure that your credit-card details are protected before you enter any data.

For more detailed tips on where to stay, see the menu below. And while we'd obviously love it if you booked your hotel through the links in our hotel tools and articles, we hope you'll heed our No. 1 Hotel Warning even if you find a room by other means.

- Durant and Cheryl Imboden, Venice for Visitors


Venice hotel tools:
Venice Hotel Maps (Interactive)

Articles with specific hotel recommendations: