Our No. 1 Warning!
ABOVE: On a Saturday in May, visitors waited
patiently in line at the railroad station to take expensive vaporetto
rides to their hotels. (If they'd given more thought to location, they could
have saved time and money.)
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 Warning" for travelers to Venice, and here it is:
Know where you want to stay!
As we explain in
Top 11 Tourist Mistakes (and how
to avoid them), we often receive e-mails from readers who have booked hotels
through travel agents, airlines, cruise lines, or other sources without knowing
where the hotels are or whether the hotel locations match their needs.
Location may not be critical in most cities, but it really
does matter in a city of more than 400 footbridges where walking is the primary mode of transportation.
If you're in Venice for only two or three days,
stay near the Piazzale Roma
(airport buses and land taxis), the Santa Lucia Railroad Station, or an
airport-boat stop. You'll waste less vacation time getting to and from your
hotel, you'll avoid long ticket lines at vaporetto stops, and
you'll save 14 euros 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 bags over bridges isn't fun--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. We discuss these and other options in our article about
Venice Cruise Terminal
If you're flying out of Venice Marco Polo Airport
(VCE) before 10 a.m., see
Flights from Venice Airport.
If you've got mobility problems,
stay at a hotel that's easy to reach on foot, or you may find
yourself struggling up and down the steps of pedestrian bridges. (See our
Accessible Venice Hotels
article, or browse our
"How Many Bridges to Cross?" Hotel Listings for
hotels that are within 0, 1, or 2 bridges of public transportation.)
If you're sleeping in Mestre,
on the mainland, choose your hotel carefully so you'll be in
downtown Mestre--within 10 to 12 minutes
from Venice--instead of being trapped in an isolated, depressing motor inn
on the road to the airport. (See
for specific recommendations.)
let someone else make a booking decision for you!
If a travel agent, airline, or other resource has already booked you into an
inconveniently-located hotel, cancel the reservation and make your own hotel
decision (unless you're stuck with a prepaid, non-cancellable booking).
- Book early if you can.
Hotels in Venice tend to be small (many have fewer than 20 rooms), so it's
best to book ahead while rooms are still available. You can always cancel
your reservation if your travel plans change.
For more detailed tips on where to stay, see the
articles below. And while we'd obviously love it if you booked your hotel
through the links on our site, we hope you'll heed our No. 1 Warning even if you
find a room by other means.
- Durant and Cheryl Imboden, Venice for
The premier travel-planning site
for Venice, Italy since 1997
Too many bridges, too little time?
Choose from handpicked Venice hotels (in all
price ranges) within 0,
1, or 2 bridges of airport buses, taxis, trains, cruise piers, and
airport-boat stops. We show maps, directions, booking
links, and hotel Web sites.
» Click for
Venice for Cruisers:
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