Venice Travel Guide

Where to Stay in Venice: Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

Fri 19 Apr 2024

Where to Stay in Venice: Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

With its dense labyrinth of alleys and canals, Venice is easily one of the world’s most difficult cities to navigate - especially for first time visitors. But that’s part of the fun of exploring the Floating City! Concealed within the confusing tangle of waterways are enchanting neighborhoods brimful with history, art, and culinary delights. Find out where to stay in Venice with our frequently updated guide.

Venice is divided into six neighborhoods known as sestieri, and each possesses its own distinct charm and character. From the iconic grandeur of San Marco to tranquil, locals-dominated Cannaregio, choosing the best neighborhood to stay in Venice is a nice dilemma to have. Join us as we profile the unique personalities of each sestiere, and find out the best hotels in Venice! 


Where to stay in San Marco



  • Why You Should Stay in San Marco: To Be Close to Venice’s Major Landmarks


Right at the heart of the action in Venice is the neighborhood of San Marco. Centered on the iconic church of the same name located on Saint Mark’s Square, this is where many of the city’s most spectacular landmarks are located.

Witness the extraordinary mosaics inside the basilica known as the Church of Gold before strolling around the corner to explore the lavish halls of the magnificent Doge’s Palace, where Venice’s powerful rulers resided for centuries. 

As it’s the most famous and popular part of the city, the San Marco quarter is also where you’ll be able to get your retail therapy on after a long day’s sightseeing. All of Italy’s major luxury brands have outlets here, and the sestiere is also home to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi - a massive warehouse that once belonged to the city’s German merchants and which is now Venice’s most impressive shopping center. 




The Best Hotels in San Marco


Incedible views from the St. Regis Hotel 


The St. Regis Hotel

If you want to push the boat out when in Venice, then a stay at the St. Regis might be just what you’re looking for. This grand, historic hotel features 5-star luxury, plush suites and extraordinary views over the Grand Canal - you’ll feel like you’ve been swept back in time to the Golden Age of the Serenissima. 


Sina Palazzo Sant'Angelo

5-star service, incredible views, spacious suites, and a legendary buffet breakfast make Palazzo Sant’Angelo an excellent option in the downtown San Marco neighborhood. 


Where to Stay in San Polo



  • Why You Should Stay in San Polo: For Amazing Art and Cuisine


San Polo is located just over the Grand Canal from San Marco, and is a great option for travelers looking to be within easy walking distance of Saint Mark’s Square but a little away from the constant bustle of Venice’s most famous monuments. Linking San Polo and San Marco is the beautiful Rialto Bridge, the most important of the Grand Canal’s crossings. 

Just over the bridge is the Rialto market, a vibrant, bustling jumble of stalls beneath a historic covered loggia selling all manner of fish and seafood fresh from the waters of the Adriatic. In the atmospheric tangle of narrow alleys surrounding Rialto you’ll also find some of the best wine bars and bacari in Venice, where small plates regularly feature the finest daily catch. 

San Polo is also home to many of Venice’s most important churches and museums, including the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco - two of the highlights on our Venice Art Tour



The Best Hotels in San Polo


 Rialto Bridge views from the Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel


Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel

Riva del Vin’s major draw card is its unbeatable location, with fine views of the Rialto Bridge from many of the balconies. Welcoming staff and good breakfast options make for a homey stay. 

Locanda Sant'Agostin

Lovely townhouse accommodation right in the labyrinthine heart of San Polo, where high ceilings, chandeliers and vintage furniture add to the old-time atmosphere. The Basilica dei Frari is just a few meters away. 


Where to Stay Cannaregio



  • Why You Should Stay in Cannaregio: To Immerse Yourself in a Local’s Venice 


Cannaregio might be our favorite area to stay when in Venice. It’s the largest of Venice’s six sestieri, and also where the largest proportion of locals live. If you struggle with the tourist crowds that populate the more central areas of the city day and night, then Cannaregio is for you. It’s also close to Santa Lucia, Venice’s train station, making it a convenient base for onward travel.

It’s very easy to escape the bustle in Cannaregio’s labyrinthine network of alleys and canals, and wandering through the abandoned streets and over tranquil bridges at night with only the sound of your echoing footsteps for company is an incredibly atmospheric experience. Cannaregio is also home to Venice’s historic Jewish quarter, and you’ll come across various synagogues as well as kosher shops and restaurants here. 

Because it’s less touristy than other areas of Venice, you’ll also find that bars and restaurants in Cannaregio are better value (and often higher quality)  than in downtown San Marco, as they cater to a more local crowd. 


The Best Hotels in Cannaregio



Room with a view at Al Ponte Antico


Al Ponte Antico

A stunning canalside location, balconies overlooking the water, friendly staff, and fabulous breakfasts make Al Ponte Antico a winning bet in Cannaregio.

Ai Mori d’Oriente

A quiet, old-world hotel a bit off the beaten track in Cannaregio, Ai Mori d’Oriente is a great option a bit away from the tourist throngs making their way towards San Marco. 


Where to Stay in Dorsoduro



  • Why You Should Stay in Dorsoduro: For Great Culture and Art


Think of Dorsoduro as Venice’s primo cultural quarter. Here, you’ll find some of the city’s most important museums, including the Accademia Gallery, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Punta della Dogana, alongside countless small contemporary galleries. 

Dorsoduro is also home to Ca’ Foscari, Venice’s historic university, and the student population ensures that the neighborhood is full of excellent places to eat, drink and be merry. The island of Giudecca forms the southernmost part of the sestiere - this is one of the most peaceful areas of Venice, and can be a great option for accommodation if you want to get away from it all. 


The Best Hotels in Dorsoduro


 The peaceful garden of Villa Maravege 


Pensione Accademia - Villa Maravege

Old-world charm abounds in this converted 17th-century near the Accademia. Fulsome breakfasts help start the day on the right foot, while the hotel’s lovely garden offers a great place to retreat with a book when you need some quiet after a day’s sightseeing. 

Ca’ Pisani Deco Design Hotel

A funky art-deco retreat in a quiet corner of Dorsoduro, Ca’ Pisani offers chic, well-designed rooms and great rooftop views at a reasonable price. Just steps from cultural heavy hitters like the Guggenheim Collection and the Accademia, you can’t go wrong here. 


Where to Stay in Castello


  • Why You Should Stay in Castelo: To Experience Venice’s Contemporary Art Scene


Centered around Venice’s historic arsenal - where the ships and weapons that transformed the Serenissima into one of the world’s most powerful maritime republics were made for centuries - the Castello sestiere has a sleepy, off-the-beaten-path feel for most of the year. That is, until the Venice Biennale comes to town. 

The quarter is located on the edge of Venice’s main island, looking out over the lagoon, and is the only sestiere in the city that doesn’t face the Grand Canal. That means it offers easy access to islands like Burano and Murano, and it’s also one of the only parts of downtown Venice where you’ll encounter any greenery - the Giardini Pubblici and Parco delle Rimembranze providing some welcome shady respite. 

Despite its charming neighborhood vibe, however, you’ll most likely be coming to Castello for the Biennale. Each year the quarter plays host to the world's most famous international exhibition of contemporary art and architecture. 30 permanent pavilions and dozens more temporary structures showcase the works of artists from countries around the world, transforming Castello into a must-visit hub of international hub of culture. 


The Best Hotels in Castello


Refined luxury is the order of the day at Ca' di Dio 


Ca'di Dio

A beautifully renovated hotel in a historic monastery with sparkling modern interiors, Ca'di Dio offers understated elegance in a superb location. 

Hotel Indigo

We love the peaceful location of Hotel Indigo, towards the eastern tip of Castello. If you are in town for the Venice Biennale this makes a perfect base, just a few minutes walk from the Giardini and Arsenale. 


Where to Stay in Santa Croce


Why You Should Stay in Santa Croce: For fewer tourists and great convenience


Santa Croce is perhaps the least famous sestiere in Venice - and also the only one where you will see some cars. That’s because this is the area of Venice closest to the mainland, and where traffic has to stop before the city transforms into a maze of canals. 

Venice’s train station, Santa Lucia, is located in Santa Croce, which makes it a good base for day trips to spectacular nearby towns like Padua, Verona, and Vicenza. Trust us, you should absolutely visit these great Veneto destinations when in town!

Convenience isn’t the only draw card in Santa Croce, however. The area bordering San Polo is, in our opinion, one of the loveliest parts of Venice and very much still under the radar. Here, you’ll find Mocenigo Palace, an interesting collection of Venetian fashion, as well as the Ca’ Pesaro, an important museum dedicated to 19th—and 20th-century art.

Better again, Santa Croce is also home to great squares like San Giacomo dell’Orio and San Nicola da Tolentino, location of two of our favorite wine bars in Venice - Bacareto da Lele and Arcicchetti Bakaro.


The Best Hotels in Santa Croce


 Incredibly plush interiors make Palazzo Venart stand out


Palazzo Venart

Luxury is the order of the day at this opulent Santa Croce hotel. Extraordinary interiors include frescoed walls and glittering chandeliers, whilst a Michelin-starred restaurant on site means the luxury continues well into dinner time.

Santa Croce Boutique Hotel

Tucked away on a charming sidestreet, it’s hard to believe that this boutique hotel is so conveniently located just across the water from Santa Lucia station. Stylish design and a top cocktail bar sweetens the deal 


We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to help you choose where to stay in Venice! Through Eternity Tours offer a range of insider itineraries in the Floating City, so if you’re taking a trip to Venice this year check out our website or get in touch with our expert travel planners today! 




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