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Venice > Where to stay > Picking a location

How to pick the right hotel location in Venice

Our No. 1 Venice hotel warning:

  • In Venice, choosing the wrong hotel neighborhood can be a costly, frustrating mistake.

Vaporetto line in Venice

ABOVE: On a Saturday in May, newly-arrived visitors waited patiently in line by the railroad station to take expensive vaporetto rides to their hotels. If they'd given more thought to location, they could have avoided the line and saved €19 roundtrip (€38 for a couple) on local transportation.

If you heed just one piece of advice from us, make it this:

  • Don't pick a hotel that's inconvenient or expensive to reach--and don't be afraid to change your booking if you've had second thoughts about a hotel's location.

If you're in Venice for 1 to 3 days:

If you're loaded with luggage:

  • We recommend staying at a hotel or vacation apartment near the Piazzale Roma (where airport buses and land taxis arrive), 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 large bags up and down the steps on bridges is a nuisance--even when you're young and fit. You may also want to consider leaving large or heavy bags at a luggage storage office.

  • Note: If you can afford it, a water taxi can ease your pain. But be aware that many hotels aren't near motorboat landings, so you might still need to cross a bridge or two on foot (with luggage) to reach your hotel.

If you're arriving or departing on a cruise ship:

If you have a flight before 10 a.m.:

If you have 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 Accessible Venice Hotels, or browse our "How Many Bridges to Cross?" listings for hotels that are within 0, 1, or 2 bridges of public transportation.

Venice hotel directions map

ABOVE: Our Venice Hotel Directions can help you find hotels that are near major transportation points such as Alilaguna airport-boat stops, the Santa Lucia Railroad Station, and the Piazzale Roma (where land taxis and airport buses arrive and depart).

If you're staying more than a few days:

If you're sleeping on the mainland:

  • Choose your hotel carefully so you'll be in central Mestre or Marghera--within 10 to 12 minutes from Venice--instead of being trapped in an isolated, depressing motor inn on the road to the airport. (See Mestre-Marghera Hotels for specific recommendations.)

Don't 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.

    We've actually had e-mails from readers who were booked into "Venice hotels" that turned out to be 30 to 60 minutes away in small towns on the Italian mainland.

Here are two final--and important--pieces of advice:

Reserve early.

  • 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. With a cancellable reservation, you can always change your mind later on.

Use a secure booking system.

  • If you book through a secure reservations platform like (our hotel partner), you should be safe. When booking directly with a hotel, make sure that your credit-card details are protected before you enter any data.

For more detailed tips on where to stay, see the menu below:

Venice hotel tools:
Directions & maps to 200+ hotels (many with videos)
'How Many Bridges to Cross?' Hotel Listings

Articles with specific hotel recommendations:
Hotels on the Grand Canal
Piazza San Marco Hotels
Venice Marco Polo Airport Hotels
10 Hotels Closest to Airport Buses
Railroad Station Hotels
Cruise Terminal Hotels
17 Hotels Closest to Cruise Ships
Mestre & Marghera (Mainland) Hotels
Lido di Venezia Hotels
Accessible Hotels in Venice

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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