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Venice Vacation Apartments

When to consider a self-catering holiday rental

Venice vacation apartment

ABOVE: Cheryl Imboden enjoys the living room of Casa Oliveti, a short-term rental flat in Cannaregio.

If 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.


  • 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. 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. Some owners and rental 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.

In general, we'd recommend staying in an apartment if you're in Venice for a week or longer, 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, see's apartment listings.

For stays of longer than a month, see our More Rentals page or try sites such as HomeAway, VRBO, and Airbnb.

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