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That depends. Venice's historic center is compact, and you can walk most places unless you're staying in Mestre (on the mainland), on the Lido (Venice's beach resort), or on the island of La Giudecca.
This means you can book a hotel almost anywhere in central Venice without being isolated from the sights.
Still, a few guidelines may be helpful:
Are you in town for only a day or two? You'll save time, hassle, and vaporetto fares by staying near a major transportation point. See hotels near airport buses and taxis, hotels near the train station, and hotels near Alilaguna airport-boat stops.
Are you disabled? Most hotels in Venice aren't wheelchair-friendly, but some are. (See our listings of accessible venice hotels.)
Do you have bad knees, or are you traveling with heavy luggage? If so, our "How Many Bridges to Cross?" hotel listings may help you avoid pain or annoyance.
Are you arriving or departing on a cruise? Pick a cruise hotel that has good access or transportation to your ship's assigned pier.
For more detailed advice and recommendations, see: Venice Hotel Guide
That's up to you. Comparison shopping never hurts, but if you're in a hurry, you should know that our hotel partner--Booking.com--offers "guaranteed lowest available rates" and has more clout with local hoteliers than you do.
(Booking.com even has an office in Venice to work with local hoteliers.)
Food for thought:
Some people think they'll be treated better if they book directly with the hotel.
Others are convinced that they're more likely to get a room upgrade or other special treatment if they use a booking service, because hoteliers know that hotel sites like Booking.com publish guest ratings and reviews.
As for us, we've been treated well by hotels that we've booked through Booking.com, and we like the peace of mind that comes with using a secure reservations network.
Normally, rates on Booking.com include breakfast. Any exceptions are spelled out clearly.
VAT is also included, and there's no extra charge for service (although you're welcome to tip the maid and porter).
The city of Venice now charges a tourist tax that varies according to the type and category of accommodation. The tax is modest, and your hotel may ask you to pay it in cash when you register.
The earlier, the better. Many Venice hotels are small (fewer than two dozen rooms), so your choices may be limited if you wait until the last minute--especially from April through October, during Carnival, or on holiday weekends.
Unless you've booked a room at a special non-refundable rate, you can always cancel your reservations if your plans change.
Yes, if you'll be in Venice for several days to a week or longer. With a furnished vacation apartment, you won't have to dine out at every meal, and you'll enjoy the fantasy of living like a Venetian.
On the downside: You won't have a reception desk at your beck and call, you'll need to make or buy breakfast, the most desirable apartments are often booked months in advance, and payment can be a nuisance.
(Landlords often require non-refundable deposits by wire transfer, and you'll typically need to pay the balance of the rent in cash when you arrive.)
Next page: Arriving and getting around
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