Venice Vacation Apartments
When to consider a self-catering holiday rental
ABOVE: Cheryl Imboden enjoys the living room
of a short-term rental flat in Venice's Cannaregio district.
you're staying in Venice for more than a few days, renting a furnished apartment can
be a pleasant alternative to staying in a hotel. Still, a self-catering flat
isn't right for everyone, so weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
You'll get more space for your money. A comfortable
one-bedroom apartment typically costs no more than a double room in a three-
or four-star hotel, but you get a bedroom plus a living room or seating
area, a kitchen, a dining table, and (often) a washer for your clothes. If
you're traveling with a family, an apartment becomes an even better value,
because you can rent a two- or three-bedroom apartment for much less than
the cost of two or three hotel rooms.
You can save money by eating in. Even if you enjoy
dining out, it can be fun--and economical--to have breakfast and the
occasional lunch in your apartment. Just as important, you can pick up
prepared food at a supermarket and skip going to a restaurant when you're
tired or want to get away from other tourists.
You can enjoy the fantasy of living in Venice. For a
week or two, you'll be an ersatz expat or a virtual Venetian as you come
home to your apartment when other tourists are going back to their hotels.
Looking for a vacation apartment with no added
"service fees" or "guest fees"? Our partner,
Booking.com, has you covered.
Click or tap here for listings with photos and reviews by paying guests.
You'll have to make your own beds. Your apartment will be cleaned before
you arrive, but you'll normally be responsible for do-it-yourself
housekeeping and dishwashing during your stay. (You might even need to put
sheets on the bed.) Many landlords require you to do
at least a perfunctory cleaning before departure or pay a cleaning fee.
Check-in can be a hassle, since hardly any Venice apartments have keyless
entry. Typically, you'll need to
meet the landlord or a rental agent at the apartment building or the nearest
vaporetto stop, and you'll need to do it at an appointed time.
(Departures are usually easier: Often, you can simply leave the key in the
apartment or drop it in the owner's mailbox when you leave.)
Booking and payment can be complicated, especially if you're dealing with
direclty with landlords or local rental agencies. Some owners and agencies
accept payment by credit card or PayPal, but others require you to
send a deposit by international bank draft with final payment in cash.
The latter can be a nuisance if you're arriving from abroad and your ATM
card won't let you withdraw 700 or 1,000 euros in cash at the airport. Also,
deposits are often non-refundable--unlike hotel reservations, which usually
can be cancelled on short notice without penalty. (Online reservations
Booking.com, VRBO, and Airbnb can reduce the booking hassle
Tip: Be sure to have euro banknotes and coins when checking in, since
landlords are required to collect the city's tourist tax.
Be aware: Venice addresses aren't sequential street addresses. Instead,
they're building numbers within a district or sestiere. If you're
not being met by your host at a vaporetto station,
Alilaguna airport-boat stop, or
water taxi landing, be sure that you have
exact directions (including the names of the sestiere and street).
The address, such as "San Marco 9999," will be useful only when you reach
the building's approximate location.
Bottom line: In general, we'd recommend staying in an apartment if you're in
Venice for at least three or four days, like being on your own, and don't mind a bit of
inconvenience when booking and checking in.
For more information on short-term holiday
flats, including apartment hotels and serviced rentals, see
Booking.com's Venice apartment listings. (It's worth noting that, unlike
some of its rivals, Booking.com does not add a hefty
"service fee" to the rental rate.)
Disclosure: Booking.com is our affiliate partner, and we
receive a small commission on referrals.
About the author:
Durant Imboden has
written about Venice, Italy since 1996.
He covered Venice and European travel at About.com for 4-1/2 years before launching
Europe for Visitors (including
Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl
Imboden in 2001.
PC Magazine has called this "the premier visitors'
site for Venice, Italy." Over the years, it has helped more than 30 million
travelers. For more information, see About our site,
our Europe for Visitors
our reader testimonials.