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Where to Stay in Venice and Mestre

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Alloggi Locanda Marinella

ABOVE: The Alloggi Marinella is a delightful small hotel on a quiet street near the Piazzale Roma. (We splurged on a superior double with private patio.)

The best hotel and apartment locations

Distances in Venice are short, so--in theory--location shouldn't be as crucial as it might be in a city like Rome or Milan. In practice, location does matter, especially if you're traveling with heavy luggage and don't want to spend a lot of time and money on transportation.

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

photoThe area around the Piazza San Marco is convenient to the major sights, and you can reach it easily with the Alilaguna Blue Line airport boat. But it's also the most popular tourist area in Venice, with higher prices and bigger crowds than other sestieri or neighborhoods.

photoHotels near the Piazzale Roma are convenient if you're arriving by airport bus, land taxi, or the People Mover automated tram from the Tronchetto parking garage and the Marittima cruise terminals.

Hotels close to the Santa Lucia Railroad Station are  convenient for train travelers, although the pedestrian routes between this area and San Marco can be jammed with day-trippers in the summer and on holiday weekends.

photoDorsoduro and San Polo, on the less touristed side of the Grand Canal, are good bets during high season. Cannaregio also has a neighborhood feel once you get away from the busiest streets. Closer to San Marco, the Castello district has some quiet areas not far from the main tourist attractions.

photoThe Lido, an island that separates the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, is popular in summer--especially with well-heeled beach buffs and golfers who can afford the tabs at classic resort hotels like the Excelsior Palace. From the Lido Santa Maria Elisabetta vaporetto stop at one end of the island's main street, public water buses offer frequent service to the Piazza San Marco and other locations in Venice's historic center.

Rialto Bridge and Grand CanalThe Grand Canal is popular with many visitors, thanks to its views of palazzi and boat traffic. We think you'll love the setting, but be aware that some hotels are easier to reach than others are. (We recommend staying at a hotel near an airport-boat stop of Alilaguna's Linea Arancio or Orange Line unless you're willing to splurge on a water taxi.)

Hotels for early-morning flight departures

photoIf you're leaving Marco Polo Airport before 10 a.m. or so, see airport hotels and ground transportation for travelers with early flights. (Ryanair and Transavia passengers with early departures should consider a hotel in Treviso, near Treviso Airport.)

Hotels for cruise passengers

Hotel Santa Chiara - Piazzale RomaWhen arriving or departing on a cruise ship, your best bet is a hotel near the Venice Cruise Terminals unless your cruise line is handling luggage transfers. (For more advice on cruising from Venice--including getting to or from your ship--see our Venice for Cruisers index.)

Staying in Mestre, on the mainland

Finally, you can save quite a bit of money by staying on the Venetian mainland. Mestre, Venice's modern suburb, is especially convenient if you have a car and don't want to pay Venice's high parking rates. For hotel recommendations, see our Mestre (Mainland) Hotels page.

  • Note: We recommend booking a room in Venice's historic center if you can. During high season and on weekends, the tourist population shrinks dramatically after the daytrippers have gone home. This makes late evening and early morning the best times to enjoy Venice without the crowds.

When to book

The typical Venetian hotel is a former casa or palazzo with a limited number of rooms. This fact, combined with the great popularity of Venice, means that room shortages can occur at any time from spring through fall.

Our best advice is "Book ahead." If you do show up in Venice without a confirmed room, try the hotel reservations office in the train station, the parking garage at the Piazzale Roma, or the Venice Autostrada terminus on the mainland. But be prepared to stand in a long line, and the available hotels may be inconvenient to reach (especially with luggage).

Where to find hotel listings

For places to stay, see the menu below.

Next page: Alternatives to hotels

In this article:
Where to stay in Venice and Mestre - Introduction
The best hotel and apartment locations
Alternatives to Hotels

Quick hotel tools:
200+ Venice Hotels (Directions & Maps)
17 Hotels Closest to Cruise Ships
10 Hotels Closest to Airport Buses
43 Hotels on the Grand Canal
'How Many Bridges to Cross?' Hotel Listings
Hotels and Ground Transportation for Early-Morning Flights
More Venice hotel recommendations by area:
Piazza San Marco Hotels
Venice Marco Polo Airport Hotels
Venice Railroad Station Hotels
Venice Cruise Terminal Hotels
Mestre (Mainland) Hotels
Lido di Venezia Hotels

Other places to stay:
Vacation Apartments
Hostels, Camping
Treviso Hotels

Also see:
Accessible hotels in Venice

In-depth hotel reviews:
Hotel Ai Due Fanali
Hotel Alloggi Marinella
Hotel San Moisè
Luna Hotel Baglioni
Hotel Cipriani

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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