Where to stay in Venice, Italy - Palazzo Tetta in the Sestiere Castello is the only palace in Venice with three sides on water

Where to stay in Venice, Best Hotels in its 6 coolest Neighborhoods

Looking for the perfect place to stay during your trip to Venice? 

Keep an eye on one essential factor in Venice: location. 

While the city is relatively small, it’s wise to be strategic about where you lay your hat because the islands of Venice are linked by canals and bridges, making some areas more convenient for exploring than others. 

Fear not, though, because I can help!

I’ve created a guide that highlights the best areas in Venice to stay, complete with my top hotel pick in each one.

Whether you’re itching for a romantic getaway, a family-friendly vacation, or just want to be near the heat of the action, this guide covers it.

Where to stay in Venice? Neighborhoods guide

Where to stay in Venice, Italy - A map of the 6 sestieri, the name for Venice's neighbourhoods

Venice is divided into six primary districts called “Sestieri,” as well as several additional towns on the mainland and islands such as Murano, Burano, Torcello, Giudecca, and more.

This guide mainly focuses on the six main areas: Cannaregio, Santa Croce, San Polo, San Marco, Castello, and Dorsoduro.

Each district is unique, with its own character and attractions, so it’s worth exploring to see which fits your travel style best.

As you explore the beautiful city of Venice, you’ll soon discover that the districts of Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, Santa Croce, and San Marco are especially popular among tourists.

These areas are truly ideal for sightseeing and exploring, as they are conveniently located near many major attractions.

While walking is typically the way to navigate the city’s picturesque canals and bridges, you can also use vaporetto, gondola, or water taxi services to get around.

For those seeking a livelier atmosphere, San Polo is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, while Castello offers a more tranquil escape with fewer attractions.

Whether you’re traveling with family or seeking a cozy retreat, this guide can help you choose the perfect Sestiere to call home during your stay in Venice.

1. Sestiere Cannaregio For a More Local Feel

Where to stay in Venice, Italy - The Church La Maddalena in Sestiere Cannaregio one of Venice neighbourhood
La Maddalena Church in Cannaregio

Cannaregio is a great neighbourhood to stay in if you’re visiting Venice. 

It’s actually one of the largest neighbourhoods in the city, and it’s located in the northern part of Venice. 

Although it covers a large and diverse area, it’s a fantastic choice because it’s right near the train station and wharf where ferries depart to Murano and Burano.

Now, while some of the most famous attractions may not be easily accessible by foot (unless you’re up for a long walk), the good news is that the proximity to the Canal Grande (Grand Canal) makes getting around on a vaporetto super convenient. 

And the best part? 

Cannaregio is a residential neighborhood that’s popular with locals. 

This area is a good choice if you want to experience a more authentic side of Venice, away from the crowds of tourists, and getting around with ease. 

Plus, Cannaregio is home to the Jewish Ghetto, which is an incredibly historic and culturally rich area. 

You can explore the many synagogues, museums, and restaurants that make this area so special. 

So if you’re looking for a quieter and more authentic part of Venice to stay in, Cannaregio might just be the perfect choice for you!

Best places to stay in Cannaregio

Luxury: Ca’ Bonfadini – This stunning hotel is housed in a 16th-century castle, just 500 metres from the train station. 

With top-notch amenities and a complimentary breakfast, it’s the perfect spot for couples and history buffs alike.

Mid-range: Carnival palace – Experience modern luxury at the Carnival Palace Hotel! 

This brand-new hotel is located in Venice’s Jewish Ghetto and boasts sleek, stylish rooms with wood floors and free Wi-Fi. You’ll be just a 10-minute walk from Venice Santa Lucia Train Station and steps away from the Tre Archi Vaporetto stop.

Palazzo Abadessa – For a more historic stay, check out Palazzo Abadessa. 

This 16th-century building in the Cannaregio neighbourhood is filled with stunning frescoes, antiques, and Murano glass. You’ll even have access to a walled garden, which is rare in Venice.

Budget: B&B Al Pozzo di Luce – This charming bed and breakfast has newly renovated rooms that are perfect for couples. Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw away from two of Venice’s top attractions: the Ca’ d’Oro and the Rialto Bridge. Breakfast is included in the price!

Ca’ Patron – Ca’ Patron is another great budget option. 

While it’s located on the outskirts of the Sestiere, it’s still just a short walk from the Rialto Bridge and a quick 400 metres from St. Mark’s Basilica. 

With accommodation suitable for both couples and families, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to save a little money on their stay in Venice.

Check availability and more options: Booking.com

2. Sestiere San Marco is For First-Time Visitors and Luxury Seekers

Where to stay in Venice, Italy - St. Mark Square in the bustling Sestiere San Marco
Piazza San Marco – St. Mark Square

San Marco is the bustling heart of Venice, and it’s actually named after the famous square that’s home to the stunning St. Mark’s Basilica. 

This basilica is a must-see with its gorgeous decorations, columns, statues, and mosaics. 

And let’s not forget about the bell tower that looms above the city skyline and the magnificent square itself, which is truly breathtaking no matter the time of day or night.

San Marco is a popular choice because of its central location and proximity to many of the city’s top attractions. 

It’s easy to get around using the vaporetto, as various routes depart from here. 

Plus, there are tonnes of hotels, shops, and restaurants in this Sestiere, making it the perfect choice for those who want to be right in the middle of all the action.

But it’s important to keep in mind that San Marco can get pretty crowded and noisy during peak tourist season. 

And, unfortunately, the prices of accommodation and venues such as bars and restaurants tend to be higher than in other parts of Venice. 

If you’re seeking an authentic Venetian atmosphere, enjoy a bustling tourist scene, and don’t mind mingling with the crowds, San Marco is the perfect place to stay!

Best places to stay in San Marco

Luxury: Gritti Palace – This stunning aristocratic palace has been beautifully restored to its former glory and overlooks the Grand Canal with amazing views of Santa Maria della Salute Church. 

The rooms are adorned with antique furniture and Murano glass, and you’ll be just a short walk from La Fenice Theatre and St. Mark’s Square. 

Plus, the Santa Maria del Giglio Vaporetto stop is just around the corner!

The St. Regis Venice – For another luxurious stay, check out the St. Regis Venice! 

With marble interiors, designer furnishings, and a terrace boasting breathtaking views of the Grand Canal, this hotel has everything you need for a truly upscale stay. 

Don’t forget to check out the spa and restaurant while you’re there! 

Plus, it’s located in the heart of Sestiere San Marco

Hotel Baglioni Luna – This 5-star hotel, housed in a spectacular Venetian palace from the 1100s, is just a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square and provides unbeatable views of the lagoon. 

With impeccable service, an intimate ambiance, and authentic Venetian food, this hotel is sure to please.

Mid-range: Rosa Salva Hotel – One of the oldest hotels in Venice, this hotel is just 100 metres from St. Mark’s Square and has recently been restored to pristine condition.

EGO’ Residence Venice – This is another great mid-range option, located just 500 metres from St. Mark’s Square.

B&B Gio & Gio – If you’re looking for a cosy and charming option, this is the perfect boutique bed-and-breakfast. 

Located beside a canal, this hotel is just a 7-minute walk from both Piazza San Marco and Saint Mark’s Basilica cathedral.

Apartments: Residence San Marco – This flat is perfect for couples, families, and groups of friends and is located just 100 metres from La Fenice Theatre. 

With air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and stunning views of St. Mark’s Bell Tower and the lagoon, this apartment has everything you need for a comfortable and memorable stay in Venice.

Check availability and more options: Booking.com

3. Sestiere Dorsoduro is For Art Lovers and Night Owls

Where to stay in Venice, Italy - Squero di San Trovaso in the Sestiere Dorsoduro
Squero di San Trovaso

Dorsoduro is a really cool and bohemian neighbourhood located on the southern side of Venice, right across the canal from San Marco and next to San Polo and Santa Croce. 

This Sestiere is super popular with artists, students, and intellectuals because it’s home to so many galleries, museums, and universities, including the famous Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Accademia Gallery. 

So if you’re interested in arts and culture, Dorsoduro is definitely the place to be!

But that’s not all—this neighbourhood is also known for its lively nightlife, with tonnes of bars and clubs staying open late into the night. 

And if you’re looking for a vibrant spot to spend your evening, check out the little piazza, Campo Santa Margherita. It’s always bustling with people, and it has such a fun atmosphere!

Overall, Dorsoduro is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a neighbourhood with a little bit of everything. 

The artsy vibe, lively nightlife, and great location make it a must-stay spot in Venice.

Best Places to stay in Dorsoduro

Luxury: Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace – Indulge in ultimate comfort at Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace, a luxurious hotel located in an ancient structure with rooms designed in Venetian style. 

Some rooms even feature a panoramic balcony to enjoy the stunning views. 

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Venice in the hotel’s peaceful garden.

Palazzo Veneziano – Experience romance in the city of love at Palazzo Veneziano, one of the best value-for-money hotels in Dorsoduro, perfect for couples seeking a romantic weekend getaway.

Ca’ Maria Adele – Stay in a sought-after boutique hotel housed in a 16th-century structure overlooking the Grand Canal, just a two-minute walk from the nearest Vaporetto (water bus) stop and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.

Mid-range: Ca’ Pisani – Step back in time at Ca’ Pisani, an Art Deco-style hotel housed in a 14th-century building. 

The hotel is conveniently located just steps from the nearest Vaporetto stop, a short 15-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square, and 1 km from St. Mark’s Basilica.

Check availability and more options: Booking.com

4. Sestiere San Polo is For Foodies and Romantics

Where to stay in Venice, Italy - Rialto Bridge in Venice's Sestiere San Polo neighbourhood
Rialto Bridge

San Polo is an awesome and historic neighbourhood located right in the centre of Venice. 

It’s actually the best area to stay in if you want to explore the city on foot because it’s located right in the heart of the city.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, the Rialto Bridge, is located in San Polo, along with the famous fish market. 

But the best part is that you can easily reach other major attractions, like St. Mark’s Square, and take advantage of the vaporetto line because the neighbourhood is located directly on the Grand Canal.

If you’re into history, San Polo is definitely the place for you! 

It’s home to so many historic churches and palaces that you could spend days exploring them all.

The only real downside to staying in San Polo is that it can get pretty crowded due to the large number of tourists passing through, and accommodation can be a bit pricey, especially if you’re looking for a room with a view of the Grand Canal. 

But don’t let that discourage you; it’s definitely worth it to experience the charm and history of San Polo!

Best Places to stay in San Polo

Luxury: H10 Palazzo Canova – This is an elegant hotel located near the Rialto Bridge, offering a stunning terrace bar that overlooks the magnificent Grand Canal. 

The hotel is perfect for guests who desire to indulge in luxury accommodation while soaking up the enchanting ambiance of Venice.

Mid-Range: Hotel L’Orologio – This is a modern hotel that boasts beautiful views of the Grand Canal. 

It is situated in a prime location, just a 5-minute walk from the Rialto ferry connection and 2 kilometres from the iconic Piazza San Marco. 

The hotel is perfect for travellers who seek comfortable accommodation and easy access to the city’s attractions. 

Apartments: Polo’s treasures – This is an excellent choice for travellers seeking luxurious self-catering flats in Venice. 

With a variety of sizes to choose from, it’s perfect for both couples and families. The property’s location is superb, as it is only a 2-minute walk from the Vaporetto (water bus) stop and the Rialto Market, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the city’s treasures.

Check availability and more options: Booking.com

5. Sestiere Castello is where to stay in Venice for Families

Where to stay in Venice, Italy - The Arsenale in Sestiere Castello one of Venice's neighbourhood (Sestiere)
The Arsenale

Castello, the largest sestiere in Venice, is located on the eastern side of the city and even encompasses San Michele Island, which is home to the cemetery.

It is home to the Biennale Gardens and the Arsenale, making it a good option for those interested in modern art and architecture.

This sestiere is less crowded than San Marco and offers a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

The biggest advantage of staying in this sestiere is the peace and quiet that many tourists overlook.

Castello offers many affordable accommodation, making it a great option for budget-conscious travellers.

Although San Marco is nearby, make sure to choose the right location for your accommodation since Castello covers a vast area.

One potential downside of staying in Castello is the distance to central sights and the railway station, which may require purchasing a transportation card for the vaporetto.

However, this depends on where you choose to stay; the most eastern part is farther from the station and thus less used by travellers, who find it less convenient, particularly for short visits.

Luxury: Hotel Bucintoro – Wake up to a stunning view of the lagoon and relish the sights of St. Mark’s Square monuments in the distance. 

This hotel is perfectly situated for exploring the best of Venice while providing you with breathtaking views.

Hotel Ai Reali – Experience the ultimate in luxury at this sumptuous hotel, housed in a 17th-century palace overlooking the tranquil Rio de la Fava canal. 

Conveniently located, it’s just a 6-minute walk from Piazza San Marco and 1.8 kilometres from Santa Lucia train station.

Check availability and more options: Booking.com

6. Sestiere Santa Croce is where to stay in Venice on a Budget

Santa Croce, together with Cannaregio, is one of the loveliest areas to stay in Venice.

While it may not have any world-famous attractions, its close proximity to the train station and Piazzale Roma, the last stop for cars and buses, makes it a good base for exploring the city.

This sestiere is less crowded and more authentic than those in the centre, and it’s a great option if you want to be close to transportation hubs.

There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from in Santa Croce, and it’s an excellent choice for travellers on a budget.

In Santa Croce, you’ll find reasonably priced hotels, and the vaporetto from Piazzale Roma will take you to the city’s most famous landmarks.

Additionally, restaurants here offer better value for money compared to other parts of the city.

Best Places to stay in Santa Croce

Luxury: Palazzo Venart luxury hotel – This is a stunning hotel situated in a 16th-century building that overlooks the Grand Canal. 

You can enjoy elegant rooms and suites, a fine dining experience, and a charming inner garden

Mid-Range: Hotel Canal Grande – This hotel offers traditionally decorated rooms that provide a genuine Venetian experience. 

Some suites offer direct views of the Grand Canal, making it an ideal location.

Budget: B&B Patatina – This bed and breakfast offers classically decorated rooms in a quiet location, just a 10-minute walk from the central station.

Check availability and more options: Booking.com

In a Nutshell

Venice is a city filled with diverse neighbourhoods, each boasting its own unique charm and attractions. 

Whether you’re seeking a central spot or a tranquil hideaway, there’s a Venice neighbourhood perfect for you. 

San Marco is the top choice for its central location, but it’s also the priciest! 

For a more budget-friendly option close to San Marco, Dorsoduro and San Polo are great for younger visitors thanks to their vibrant nightlife.

Cannaregio, on the other hand, offers an authentic Venetian experience! 

Santa Croce and Castello are the more remote districts. 

Santa Lucia railway station is in Santa Croce, and all buses arrive at Piazzale Roma. 

Castello is primarily residential and ideal if you’re visiting Venice for the Biennale.

When choosing where to stay, consider your budget, travel style, and interests, and make sure to explore all the beauty Venice has to offer. 

Here are some suggestions:

  • Budget-friendly areas: Castello, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, and Cannaregio
  • Family-friendly areas: Castello, San Marco
  • Areas for young people: San Polo, Cannaregio, and Dorsoduro

I absolutely love hearing from my readers and can’t wait to learn about your Venice experiences! 

Do you have any insider tips or favourite spots to share with fellow travellers? 

If so, please leave a comment below, and let’s chat!

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I’m excited to connect with you there! 

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I'm a freelance travel designer and writer, and I absolutely love what I do. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and traveling is the ultimate source of inspiration for me. In fact, I became particularly drawn to planning travel experiences in Italy back in 2015, and I've been hooked ever since! I'm what you might call a "slow traveler" - someone who likes to take their time exploring new places and soaking up different cultures. And when I started writing about my travels a few years ago, I was blown away by the incredible opportunity it gave me to share my experiences with others and learn from them in turn. It's truly an amazing thing!