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Where to Stay in Venice: Areas & Neighborhoods in Venice, Italy

Are you planning to visit the most famous floating city in the world and don’t know where to sleep in Venice without spending too much?

In this article you’ll discover what we think are the best hotels and bed and breakfasts to stay in in Venice.

I will tell you which are the best establishments for families, couples or single travellers, and which are the best neighborhoods and those to avoid.

Best areas to stay in Venice

Venice is composed of no less than 6 main districts, also called sestieri: San Marco, San Polo, Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, and Santa Croce.

Below, we will examine together the best accommodation options in Venice divided by districts, considering price, proximity to main attractions and characteristic atmosphere of each district.

We will provide you with an in-depth evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of each district and point you towards the best hotels and B&Bs to stay in during your holiday in Venice.

Are you ready to find out the best neighborhoods to stay in Venice?

Let’s get started!

San Marco

The most famous and central district of Venice

San Marco is the district of the Doge’s Palace Venice, the St Mark’s Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs.

Undoubtedly the most popular and the most central in the Serenissima.

If you want to get around on foot and explore the Serenissima from the heart of the city, if this is your first time visiting Venice and you don’t know where to stay, this is the district for you.

Being the most famous and celebrated sestiere, you won’t be surprised that it will also be very crowded (especially during high season) and the most expensive to stay in.


  • It is the most central neighborhood in Venice
  • Within easy reach of all attractions (such as the Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Basilica, Bridge of Sighs)
  • Ideal if you are visiting Venice for the first time


  • The least economical neighborhood
  • The most crowded neighborhood

But which are the best B&Bs and hotels in San Marco Venice?

Hotel Diana: low budget

If you are looking for a cheap option in the San Marco area, we highly recommend Hotel Diana! This hotel is an excellent choice as it is surrounded by numerous restaurants and shops, while the Rialto Bridge is only a ten-minute walk away. Furthermore, the hotel is only 150 meters from St. Mark’s Square, offering a very central location. Guests are also offered an extensive continental breakfast. It should be noted that Hotel Diana is housed in a charming 15th-century building, which adds a touch of authentic historical beauty to the overall experience.

Hotel San Giorgio: medium budget

In the beating heart of Venice, between the Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square, stands the Hotel San Giorgio, an extraordinary and luxurious choice. The enchanting rooms are decorated with 18th-century elegance, embellished with Murano glass details and fine marble furnishings, providing an atmosphere that seems to take you back in time. However, there is no need to worry, as the Hotel San Giorgio offers every modern convenience along with a refined buffet breakfast that will satisfy your senses.

Ca’ del Nobile: high budget

If price is not a priority for you, then Ca’ del Nobile is the ideal choice! Located only 800 meters from St Mark’s Square and less than a five-minute walk from Palazzo Grassi, this residence offers you an unparalleled experience. The gem? The rooms have a breathtaking view of Campo Santo Stefano.

San Polo

The best family neighborhood in Venice

sestiere san polo venezia

Right next to San Marco is the San Polo district.

Very central, it is one of the best districts to stay in Venice, especially if you are travelling with families with children.

It is a stone’s throw from the Bridge of Sighs and is home to the Church of San Giacomo, the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Church of San Rocco and the Campo di San Polo: extraordinary attractions that you can’t miss during your visit to the Serenissima.

A good note about San Polo: it is perhaps the neighborhood where you can find the best restaurants in Venice!


  • One of the districts with the best restaurants in the city
  • Home to the Rialto fruit and vegetable and fish market
  • Great place for families
  • Central location
  • Slightly less expensive and crowded than San Marco


  • Less crowded than San Marco, but rather touristy
  • Less central than San Marco, so you’ll have to walk to visit attractions

Here’s a list of the best hotels and B&Bs in the San Polo area of Venice:

San Polo Star: low budget

This is a great hotel in the San Polo area, as it is very clean, new and located close to the typical attractions of Venice. All rooms have a desk, private bathroom, TV, air conditioning (especially essential in summer) and some also have a sitting area.

Ca’ Francesca: medium budget

Just a six-minute walk from the Basilica dei Frari, Ca’ Francesca is a great option for those looking for extremely comfortable and strategically located accommodation. Other important iconic landmarks are within easy walking distance, including St Mark’s Basilica, located just a fifteen-minute stroll away. This flat offers the comfort of two bedrooms, a dining area and a kitchen complete with fridge and microwave.

Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel: high budget

If you are looking for something more than a traditional hotel room to enrich your experience in San Polo, then Ca’ Riva del Vin is an absolutely outstanding option! Located close to the Ca’ d’Oro, this flat offers breathtaking views of the city, as well as benefits such as air conditioning, a full kitchenette, a microwave, a washing machine and free Wi-Fi. Thanks to the presence of a kitchenette, this place is particularly suitable for those who love to cook, offering the possibility to prepare delicious meals with fresh ingredients purchased in local markets, adding an authentic touch to your Venetian experience.


The best neighborhood to experience Venice like a local

cannaregio venezia

If you want to experience Venice like a local, you might want to opt for the Cannaregio district, the neighborhood where most of Venice’s inhabitants currently live.

It is also home to the Jewish Ghetto, a place where, during the month of December, Hanukkah (the festival commemorating the consecration of a new altar in the Temple of Jerusalem following the conquest of freedom from the Hellenes) is celebrated.

Other attractions in the Cannaregio district include the Ca’ d’Oro (a breathtaking Venetian palace), the Ca’ Pesaro International Art Gallery and the Church of the Madonna dell’Orto (home to some works by Tintoretto).In conclusion, this is the best neighborhood if you want a quieter atmosphere, if you are on a budget and if you want to experience Venice like a true local.


  • Quiet neighborhood away from the crowds
  • Allows you to explore Venice like a local
  • It is cheaper than the more central neighborhoods


  • It’s about a 15-minute walk from St Mark’s Square

Here are my recommendations on where to stay in Venice Cannaregio:

Eurostar Residenza Cannaregio: low budget

If your taste reflects modern, minimalist European style, this hotel is the perfect choice. Far from excess, it offers a wide range of room types suitable for groups and families. This is a highly convenient solution if you are looking for budget accommodation in Venice without sacrificing comfort.

Madama Garden Retreat: medium budget

Elegant and refined, the Madama Garden Retreat is my favourite hotel in Cannaregio because it is super nice and in a quiet area. It doesn’t offer a lot of facilities, but there is a rooftop terrace and room service.

Maison Venezia: high budget

A great choice for families as it offers a babysitting service for children who prefer to stay at the hotel rather than explore Venice. Rooms are available in various sizes to suit your needs. A buffet with a selection of snacks and drinks is available every afternoon and evening.


The best neighborhood if you want to enter the history of Venice

Castello is one of Venice’s most authentic and intriguing districts, known for its lively local population and a rich selection of excellent restaurants. Its main attraction is the annual Biennale Art Festival, a contemporary art exhibition that spans six months and attracts millions of visitors.

Within Castello, you will find an assortment of fascinating local sights. One of these is the extraordinary Acqua Alta Bookshop, considered one of the most beautiful and distinctive bookshops in the world.

The district is also home to the largest green space in Venice: the Giardini della Biennale. This enchanting water park is the centre of the city’s annual art celebrations.

In addition, the neighborhood is home to one of the most prestigious modern art museums in Venice, as well as one of the most international: the Arsenale della Biennale di Venezia. Here you can immerse yourself in the local art and cultural scene while enjoying a unique and stimulating atmosphere.


  • Neighborhood with an important art and cultural scene
  • Excellent restaurants in the area
  • One end of the district is very close to Piazza San Marco
  • Easy access to nearby islands


  • Extensive neighborhood, one end is rather far from attractions
  • Non-iconic Venice landscape

Here is a list of the three best hotels and B&Bs in the Castello area of Venice:

Locanda Ca’ Formosa: low budget

Housed in a period building dating back to the 15th century, you’ll find Locanda Ca’ Formosa, an enchanting hotel featuring rooms with refined originality furnished with antiques. Every sunrise is greeted with a delicious buffet breakfast that invigorates the senses. The location of this inn is even more precious, as it is situated in a quiet part of the city, allowing you to immerse yourself in a serene atmosphere.

Ca’ dei Dogi: medium budget

If you want an intimate experience without breaking the budget, consider this cosy hotel. Here you have the choice of 6 well-kept rooms or 3 spacious flats to suit your needs. The convenience of having an on-site restaurant adds a practical and pleasant touch to your stay.

Hotel Metropole SPA & Wellness: high budget

If you are fascinated by the opulence of the Italian atmosphere of yesteryear, you will find this hotel just as charming as I do. The décor is profoundly rich, with no expense spared. A stroll through the wellness centre will take you down a corridor adorned with antiques and priceless museum artefacts. And let’s not forget the extraordinary dining experience: the cuisine here is refined excellence, prepared with great skill.


The best neighborhood in Venice for art lovers

dorsoduro venezia

Over the years, Dorsoduro has gradually become one of, if not my favourite, neighborhoods in Venice. Every walk through its narrow streets exudes a surprising, almost magical atmosphere. This is also the university area, an aspect that contributes to the liveliness of the streets with residents rather than tourists.

For art and history enthusiasts, Dorsoduro proves to be a treasure trove of museums often overlooked by most visitors. Imagine splendid collections of artworks in spaces that escape the usual tourist routes. In fact, three of the seven best museums in Venice, the ones that excite me the most, reside right here, in the heart of Dorsoduro.

I am talking about the Accademia (Venice’s most famous art gallery), the Pinault Collection (François Pinault’s contemporary art collection) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (the city’s most famous modern art museum).

The central square, Campo Santa Margherita, offers the ideal setting to relax with a coffee during the day or enjoy an evening drink. Restaurants and venues of unquestionable charm abound in the area, as do high-quality hotels. Thanks to its numerous bars and clubs and its proximity to the University, it is the best district for nightlife in Venice.


  • Area with some of the best museums in Venice (such as Accademia and Guggenheim)
  • Great neighborhood for nightlife
  • Great restaurants, bars and clubs


  • A bit far from Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace in Venice

Here is a list of the three best hotels and B&Bs in the Dorsoduro area of Venice:

Venice Salute Apartments: low budget

One look at the charming furniture and decorations of the Venice Salute Apartment will be enough to make you want to spend your stay in Venice in these charming accommodations. The flats in question are spread over several units in the heart of the city, and the option close to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum is an excellent choice if you want to get close to the works of art. Each flat offers unique features, such as fully equipped kitchens with microwave and coffee maker or washing machines.

Hotel Ca’ Pisani: medium budget

A very nice and elegant hotel practically a wing’s beat away from San Marco yet enclosed in a cosy quietness just behind the Gallerie dell’Accademia. The effect it creates, almost catapulting you back to the 1920s, is a joyful and engaging atmosphere. A real treat is to climb up to the rooftop terrace to enjoy an evening sunset that will remain etched in your memory.

Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace: high budget

Immerse yourself in a regal experience as you venture into this palace metamorphosed into a hotel, an unrivalled choice for honeymooners. The decadent elegance of the rooms, spacious and adorned with magnificently high ceilings, will make you feel truly sovereign. Although St Mark’s Square is within easy reach, you will appreciate the distance from the tourist crowds that seem to have no place here.

Santa Croce

The neighborhood near the train station

Overall, Santa Croce is the least touristy district in Venice.

It is a charming district, but its close proximity to the train station could be a critical element.

Usually, proximity to a station means crowding, and considering that I try to avoid excessive crowding during my trips, this factor presents a challenge.

Moreover, this is the arrival point for many walkers, not to mention the area of the bus depot (Piazzale Roma), and the main car park in Venice.

Part of Santa Croce intersects with the heart of Venice, creating an ideal area for pleasant walks. Here you can visit the Church of San Giacomo dell’Orio, the Fondaco dei Turchi (a building that was once the ghetto of the Ottoman Turkish population) and the Natural History Museum.

This is the least touristy district of Veniceand the one I would least recommend you stay in, but that does not mean it is not worth a visit.


  • Proximity to train station
  • Ideal if you are travelling by car (thanks to the presence of parking spaces)
  • The cheapest


  • A bit far from Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace in Venice
  • Very crowded (being the entry point for the historic centre)

Here is a list of the three best hotels and B&Bs in the Santa Croce area of Venice:

Venice B&B: low  budget

Just an 8-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge, the Venice B&B is a delightful and hospitable choice for your stay in Santa Croce. Here you can find rooms with private bathroom, but also flats complete with kitchen and living area, offering various solutions according to your needs.

Hotel Al Duca di Venezia: medium budget

With finely furnished and beautifully decorated rooms, Hotel Al Duca di Venezia is a good choice for your stay in the lagoon city! The hotel is strategically located right next to the Natural History Museum, and the Santa Lucia train station is just a pleasant five-minute walk away.

Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel: high budget

It may require an investment, but it will result in the luxurious Venetian experience you’ve always dreamed of! Overlooking the majestic Grand Canal, the Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel is housed in a building dating back to the 16th century, adorned with private bathrooms in fine marble and a courtyard that offers an enchanting view of the canal. The on-site restaurant is an authentic gem, where you can indulge in exclusive dishes without having to leave the comforts of the hotel to experience an authentic Venetian dining experience.

Where is it best to sleep in Venice: FAQ

Where is the best area to stay in Venice?

If you are looking for an area where to sleep in the centre of Venice, I would definitely recommend San Marco, the most central district of the city. Cannaregio, on the other hand, is the best for value for money (especially if you are travelling on a budget). Finally, if you are travelling with families, I can recommend San Polo.

What is the neighborhood in which you recommend not sleeping in Venice?

Santa Croce. The reason lies in the fact that it is not far from the railway station, car and coach parking in Venice. You will ask yourself “what’s wrong with that?”. Well, it is an interchange area, rather crowded and far from all the most important attractions in Venice such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.

Where to sleep in Venice with children?

The best areas in Venice to stay if you are travelling with children is the San Polo district. Alternatively, if you are travelling on a budget, you can opt for the Cannaregio district, which is close enough to the main attractions but quieter and cheaper. If you want to stay away from the tourist crowds, I recommend avoiding the districts of San Marco (the most central) and Santa Croce (the one by the train station).

Is Venice safe at night?

Absolutely yes, Venice is safe at night. As the sun sets, most tourists leave the city, and this is the moment when Venice reveals a completely different aspect, with its streets and squares emptying out. It would be an opportunity to take full advantage of spending at least one night in Venice and enjoy the privilege of having the city entirely to yourself.

Where to sleep in Venice on a budget?

If you want to sleep in Venice without spending too much, you can opt for the Santa Croce and Castello districts, which are undoubtedly the cheapest. The district with the best value for money is instead Cannaregio, which will allow you to experience Venice like a local. The most expensive districts, on the other hand, are San Marco and San Polo, given their proximity to the main attractions of the floating city.

Where to sleep in Venice by car?

Personally, I recommend leaving your car at one of the car parks outside Venice and sleeping inside the historic centre. This way you can get around on foot while enjoying the unique atmosphere of the most incredible city in the world. If, on the other hand, you wish to park your car right next to the hotel where you will be staying, I recommend you opt for Mestre (here you can find a list of hotels with free parking in Mestre).

Better to stay in Mestre or Venice?

Personally, I recommend sleeping in Venice. Waking up with the view of the canals and the typical Venetian atmosphere is priceless. The only reasons why I would recommend staying in Mestre are as follows:

  • All (affordable) hotels and B&Bs in Venice are sold out;
  • You want to save money on accommodation (be careful, though, because you will have to factor in the cost of return tickets for the Mestre-Venice trip);
  • You want to leave your car in the secure car park of your hotel.

In all other cases, my advice is to stay in Venice.

Where to sleep in Venice near Santa Lucia station?

Venice’s Santa Lucia station is located in the Santa Croce area. The best hotels and B&Bs located right near the Santa Lucia train station are the following:

How much does it cost on average to sleep in Venice?

If you find yourself travelling as a couple in Venice, the cost for one night’s accommodation can vary greatly depending on your expectations. You could spend from €115 to stay in a three-star hotel, up to €800 to treat yourself to a luxurious experience in a top hotel. Prices may vary depending on your preferences, the period and the characteristics of the accommodation you are looking for.

Sleeping in Venice tips: conclusions

Here we are at the end of this long post on the best part of Venice to stay, in which I talked about which are the best neighborhoods in Venice Italy and which ones to avoid.

We looked together at the most central districts, the cheapest ones and the most convenient for getting around.

Do you have any doubts or questions? Leave a comment below. I will be happy to help you plan your stay in Venice!

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