5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [July 2019!]

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Any way you measure it, Venice is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. Built on over 100 islands in the stunning Adriatic sea, this city has captivated visitors for years on end.

But there’s only one problem with Venice -it can be difficult to navigate, and it’s NOT cheap. Which is exactly why we wrote this guide for where to stay in Venice. 

Our goal is simple – help you navigate the streets and streams of this incredible city. With the help of this insider guide, you’ll be able to know exactly which neighborhood in Venice is best for you (and hopefully save some money in the process!).

Our insider guides are written by the best travelers in the world – they know exactly where to go, and how to do it on the cheap. Get ready for some exciting recommendations, and maybe even a surprise or two. Let’s jump into Where to Stay in Venice!

For your travels, you’ll need to peruse the 17 best hotels in Venice, the ultimate things to do and the best museums in Venice – as compiled by our team of travel experts!


Where to stay in Venice

Table of Contents

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Venice

  • Where to stay in Venice for your first time – San Marco
  • Where to stay in Venice on a budget – Santa Croce
  • Best area to stay in Venice for nightlife – Cannaregio
  • Coolest place to stay in Venice – Dorsoduro
  • Best neighborhood in Venice for families – Castello

Where to Stay in Venice

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Venice.

Best Budget Hotel in Venice – Hotel Belle Arti

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Hotel Belle Arti is the best budget hotel in Venice

Hotel Belle Arti is a super cute budget-friendly hotel in central Dorsoduro. The rooftop terrace offers amazing views of Venice’s historic cityscape.

The sun trapped garden is a wonderful spot to take a minute to relax and reflect on your time in Venice. The rooms are comfortable and cosy.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Venice – Arcadia Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Arcadia Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Venice

Arcadia Hotel is a wonderful mid-range hotel in Venice, in the Cannaregio neighbourhood. The rooms feature neutral tones and all the home comforts you could wish for.

There is WiFi throughout the hotel. The staff are incredibly helpful and can help arrange any tours and travel plans you may need assistance with.


Best Luxury Hotel in Venice – Ruzzini Palace Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Ruzzini Palace Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Vence

The best luxury hotel in Venice is the beautiful Ruzzini Palace Hotel. Set in the heart of Castello, Ruzzini Palace offers luxurious living from the moment you walk through the door.

Guests will find soft slippers and the fluffiest of towels in their marble-clad ensuite bathroom. Many rooms over amazing city views.


PS Some further reading for you: the 131 best things to do in Europe! And, even if you’re keeping your sights on Italy, check out our fantastic guides to where to stay and things to do in Rome, plus the best hotels and the coolest museums.


Venice Neighbourhoods Guide

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

This is the ultimate guide for where to stay in Venice (photo cred Erasmusu)

From the comparative calm of Cannaregio to the bustling touristic hub of San Marco, there is a Venice neighbourhood to suit every style of travel. Whether you are a culture vulture on the search for Venice’s best-kept secrets or a laid back, living like a local kind of traveller, Venice has something for everyone to enjoy.

Venice is a deeply historic city that is made up of six distinct neighbourhoods or ‘sestieri’. Although in the modern day there are a dozen districts that have cropped up creating Venice’s outer circle, the traditional Venice that has captured all our wanderlust is made up of just six neighbourhoods.

Hotel Jules Insider Tip

There is no modern public transport in Venice, which is by and large part of its charm. You won’t go finding any Uber cars in Venice but you can holler a gondola at any time.This is a total novelty and great fun. You really can’t come to Venice and not experience the city from a relaxing, and hopelessly romantic, gondola. 

Although you will find the majority of Venice’s most significant landmarks in San Marco, each and every neighbourhood has something to discover. In Santa Croce and San Polo, for example, you will find the bustling and vibrant markets selling everything from fresh fish to artisan pasta.

If you head to Venice in the summer months you will find the city at its most alive. Over 20 million people visit Venice each year. If you want to experience a more tranquil Venice, visit in the winter; it’s not too cold at all.

While you’re in research mode, why not find out which of Palermo’s neighbourhoods suits your interests, style and budget or peruse the 17 best hotels in Palermo. Plus if you’re heading to Florence, check out our favourite hotels in Florence, our top rated things to do in Florence, where to stay in the gorgeous city and our list of the most ultimate day trips from Florence.

Venice’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighborhood to stay in Venice. Each is a little different to the last so be sure to check out which is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - San Marco

(Where to stay for your first time in Venice)

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

San Marco is our pick for where to stay for your first time in Venice

San Marco is the place to stay if you are a first-time traveller to Venice. Like it or not, this is the most popular area to stay in Venice and it is due to its central location. If you are happy to share your space with the crowds in order to be at the heart of the action, look no further than San Marco.

This sestieri runs from Saint Mark’s Square all the way through to Accademia bridge. Along the way, there are dozens, if not hundreds of accommodation options.

When it comes to where to stay in San Marco you are spoiled for choice. Everything from 5-star luxury suites to cheap and cheerful budget hostels can be found here. It’s pretty perfect in that sense.

At the very heart of San Marco, you will find Santo Stefano. This is one of the lesser visited landmarks in the neighbourhood. If you can give a little extra time to this vast 13th-Century Gothic church, do. You won’t regret it.

Things to Do in San Marco

  • Take a wander around Saint Mark’s Square, try and get that all important photo without any other travellers in the snap!
  • Marvel at the 13th-Century splendour of Santo Stefano
  • Ride a gondola past the picturesque Doge’s Palace, take a tour inside if you have time
  • Duck beneath the Bridge of Sighs, your gondolier will point it out!
  • Observe the exquisite art at Grassi Palace
  • Enjoy everything from textiles to photography at the Palazzo Fortuny Museum

Where to Stay in San Marco

Best Budget Hotel in San Marco – Santa Margherita Guest House

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Santa Margherita Guest House is the best budget hotel in San Marco

For a cheap and cheerful option, Santa Margherita Guest House is pretty impressive. Each room features modern furniture and cool blue tones.

The bathrooms are modern and bright, the whole place is immaculately clean. The free breakfast makes for great value for money.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in San Marco – Palazzo del Giglio

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Palazzo del Giglio is the best mid-range hotel in San Marco

Palazzo del Giglio offers everything you could wish for in a hotel, including a laundry service, coffee bar, and free, unlimited WiFi.

All rooms have air-conditioning which is a treat after a long day exploring San Marco, especially in the summer. Rooms are ornate yet cosy and comfortable.


Best Luxury Hotel in San Marco – Palace Bonvecchiati Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Palace Bonvecchiato Hotel is the best luxury hotel in San Marco

For a taste of luxury in San Marco be sure to stay at Palace Bonvecchiato Hotel. They have their own sauna and spa and wellness centre.

Guests can make use of the well-equipped fitness centre too. The rooms are simply beautiful and all have a private ensuite bathroom.


Neighborhood #2 - Santa Croce

(Where to stay in Venice on a budget)

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Santa Croce is our pick for where to stay on a budget in Venice

If you are travelling on a budget to Venice think about staying in Santa Croce. Being a little out from the main touristic hub of San Marco makes the accommodation prices, in particular, drop dramatically.

Staying in Santa Croce allows you to get to grips with Venice at its most authentic. This area is just as historic as San Marco but perhaps less obviously so. Santa Croce also encompasses the San Polo neighbourhood.

As the gateway to historic Venice, Santa Croce is a long established port neighbourhood, famed for its fish markets. Stroll the water’s edge of an early morning and even to this day, you will see local fishermen coming into port ready to sell their fresh catch. Just as their forefathers would have done in the 13th-Century.

What you will no doubt come to love about Santa Croce is the comparative quiet of the area. It is possible to have a whole street to yourself, even just for a moment. Here you can get to know the locals, try your hand at Italian and learn about life in this truly unique city.

Things to Do in Santa Croce

  • Take a relaxing stroll through Giardini Papadopoli
  • Enjoy views of the canal and count the gondolas on Constitution Bridge
  • Step back in time and broaden your mind at the Natural History Museum
  • Wander the streets to find the hidden Ponte delle Tette
  • Watch the world go by in Campo San Polo
  • Take in the Gothic glory of Basilica dei Frari

Where to Stay in Santa Croce

Best Budget Hotel in Santa Croce – Ai Tre Ponti

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Ai Tre Ponti is the best budget hotel in Santa Croce

Ai Tre Ponti is a great budget hotel in Santa Croce. The rooms are cosy and all offer a different view of the city. This is a classic Italian bed and breakfast. The homecooked breakfast adds great value for money and is a great way to start the day.


Love History? These are the 25 COOLEST historical facts about Venice!

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Santa Croce – Arlecchino Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Arlecchino Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Santa Croce

Humble and cosy, Arlecchino Hotel is an excellent mid-range option in the heart of Santa Croce. Offering just 22-rooms there is a boutique feel to the hotel. There is a personal service afforded to all. Breakfast is included in the room rate and they cater for all diets.


Venice’s MUST DO activities! Check out our guide about the AMAZING tours in Venice!

Best Luxury Hotel in Santa Croce – Hotel Olimpia Venezia

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Hotel Olimpia Venezia is the best luxury hotel in Santa Croce

With a modern outlook but a heritage design, Hotel Olimpia Venezia is the definition of Venetian luxury. Guests can even make use of the tanning beds.

This is a great hotel for families as they offer a babysitting service, day or night. All rooms have air-conditioning, minibar, and unlimited WiFi.


Neighborhood #3 - Cannaregio

(Where to Stay in Venice for the nightlife)

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Cannergio is our pick for where to stay in Vienna for nightlife

Upon initial investigation, during daylight hours it may appear that Cannaregio is a sleepy backwater. Do not be fooled but this neighbourhood’s daylight disguise. Come dusk Cannaregio comes alive. If you are a night-owl looking for an adventure after dark in Venice, Cannaregio is the place to stay.

Although Venice does not have the party-hard vibe you would find in other European nightlife neighbourhoods, there is a classy drinking culture that is really rather enjoyable to experience. If you can get a table overlooking the Rialto Bridge at sunset you are in for a treat.

As the clouds dance in the sky and the blue turns to orange, red and eventually black, you can sip on a cocktail and embrace the high-class charm of Venice.

What makes Cannaregio such a great place to stay is that it offers you the best of both worlds. San Croce and San Polo lie immediately over the canal. Cocktails in Cannaregio by night, culture in San Croce by day; perfect.

Things to Do in Cannaregio

  • Look left and look right at Ponte delle Gugile
  • Explore art from all over Europe at the European Cultural Centre in Palazzo Mora
  • Walk in the footsteps of the world’s greatest explorer Marco Polo, at Marco Polo’s Home
  • Learn about the Jewish influence on the city at the Jewish Museum of Venice
  • Grab some nibbles and sip cocktails at The Holy Drinker
  • Enjoy the exquisite Venetian architecture of Campiello L’anconeta – a quieter spot to snap those people-free shots!

Where to Stay in Cannaregio

Best Budget Hotel in Cannaregio – Venice My Friends

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Venice My Friends is the best budget hotel in Canneregio

Venice My Friends is a locally run bed and breakfast in central Cannaregio. There is a real homeliness to Venice My Friends, the rooms are bright and spacious. Many rooms have long windows that open up to reveal beautiful views of the canal and classic Venetian street opposite.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Cannaregio – Arcadia Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Arcadia Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Canneregio

Arcadia is a boutique style hotel with just 17-rooms. Each room features its own unique style and design elements. All rooms have a private ensuite bathroom with walk-in shower cubicle. There are complimentary toiletries and tea and coffee in each room. Guests are free to use the fitness centre.


Best Luxury Hotel in Cannaregio – Grand Hotel Dei Dogi The Dedica Anthology Autograph Collection

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Grand Hotel Dei Dogi is the best luxury hotel in Canneregio

This 5-star hotel is one of the best in Venice, not just Cannaregio. Grand Hotel Dei Dogi is a lavish hotel offering both suites and private rooms. The spa and wellness centre is modern and chic, yet the rooms are ornate and opulent; the contrast really works. Their restaurant is fantastic.


Neighborhood #4 -Dorsoduro

(Coolest place to stay in Venice)

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Dorsoduro is our pick for coolest place to stay in Vienna

For both the more esteemed and the more experienced traveller Dorsoduro is the coolest place to stay in Venice. Those who are more worldly-wise may be seeking something a little out of the ordinary for their stay in Venice and Dorsoduro certainly provides just that.

The perfect amalgamation of San Marco, Santa Croce, and Cannaregio, Dorsoduro has a little bit of everything. There is a wonderful selection of cultural and historical gems to explore. There is something of a high-class nightlife scene and there are budget accommodation options too.

There is an understated coolness to Dorsoduro, an unfussy charm that makes you feel at one with the city. For foodies or fans of quaint coffee shops, Dorsoduro is the dream. Seemingly around every corner, there is another cute cafe shop that simply must be tried. Let the caffeine high commence!

For an art-fix be sure to visit the famous Gallerie dell’Accademia. This gallery is home to an incredible collection of works dating back to the 13th-Century. You can explore the works of Canaletto, Titian, Tiepolo and more.

Things to do in Dorsoduro

  • Travel back in time and enjoy art from the 13th-Century onwards at the Gallerie dell’Accademia
  • Get your contemporary Russian art fix at the VAC Foundation
  • Learn how gondolas are made in the traditional way at Squero di San Trovaso
  • Marvel at the gold leaf mastery at the Scuola Grande dei Carmini
  • Snap that quintessentially Venetian shot at the Palazzo Giustinian
  • Sip cocktails with locals a The Caffe Rosso

Where to Stay in Dorsoduro

Best Budget Hotel in Dorsoduro – Santa Margherita Guest House

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Santa Margherita Guest House is the best budget hotel in Dorsoduro

Santa Margherita Guest House is a cosy and homely hotel in central Dorsoduro. There is a 24-hour front desk and the staff will always help in any way that they can. The rooms have a simple design and have all the modern amenities you could ask for. Each room conveniently comes with a kitchenette.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Dorsoduro – Antica Locanda Montin Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Antica Locanda Montin Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Dorsoduro

Set in what looks like a ramshackle building, Antica Locanda Montin Hotel has a lot of character. Immaculately clean and loved by all who visit, the hotel has a relaxed and welcoming feel. Ideal for unfussy travellers who are looking for a place to sleep and shower.


Best Luxury Hotel in Dorsoduro – Palazzo Veneziano

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Palazzo Veneziano is the best luxury hotel in Dorsoduro

The best luxury hotel in Dorsoduro is Palazzo Veneziano, no doubt about it. The lavish rooms have wide windows that open up to offer spectacular views of historic Venice. The rooms have incredibly comfortable double beds with a real duvet and scatter cushions. The suites feature spa baths and a mezzanine floor.


Neighborhood #5 - Castello

(Where to stay in Venice for families)

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Castello is our pick for where to stay in Venice for families

Castello is a great place to stay in Venice for families. With the liveliness of San Marco without the hustle, and with plenty of space to spread out, Castello is ideal. There is a little bit of everything here and it is all within an easy walking distance. Perfect for if you have little ones in tow.

The churches of Castello are often overlooked in favour of the guidebook favourites like Basilica dei Frari. San Francesco dell Vigna, for example, is a magnificent Franciscan church that is home to an impressive bell tower. In addition to the architecture, San Francesco dell Vigna is home to a wonderful collection of religious fine art.

Did you know that Venice’s widest street can be found in Castello?

Once a water-filled canal, Via Garibaldi is now a wide, pedestrianised street. Lined with a fabulous array of cafes and bars, Via Garibaldi feels likes a village within the city. There is just a different feel to the place.

You have to experience it for yourself. You will also find a vibrant produce market on Via Garibaldi. There is just so much fresh fish to choose from!

Things to do in Castello

  • Experience the art and architecture of San Francesco dell Vigna
  • Take a wander down Via Garibaldi and visit the produce market
  • Admire the ships and battlement at Venetian Arsenal
  • Have a lazy afternoon stroll in Giardini della Biennale
  • Learn about Venice’s former rulers at Museo di Palazzo Grimani
  • Observe the 9th-Century facade of the Church of San Lorenzo

Where to Stay in Castello

Best Budget Hotel in Castello – Hotel Commercio & Pellegrino

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Hotel Commercio & Pellegrino is the best budget hotel in Castello

For a cheap and cheerful hotel in Castello, Hotel Commercio & Pellegrino ticks all the right boxes. The rooms are basic but feature classic Italian design elements. All rooms have their own ensuite bathroom with heated towel rail and walk-in shower. Guests have free and unlimited WiFi access.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Castello – Hotel Nuovo Teson

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Hotel Nuovo Teson is the best mid-range hotel in Castello

Newly refurbished and featuring all the modern amenities you could wish for, Hotel Al Nuovo Teson is an affordable option in Castello. You will find the hotel within a short walk of Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni. It is the service that really puts them head and shoulders above the rest; outstanding.


Best Luxury Hotel in Castello – Ruzzini Palace Hotel

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Ruzzini Palace Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Castello

Ruzzini Palace Hotel is an exquisite hotel in central Castello. Your every need is catered for and more. The hotel can arrange a rental car for you, do your laundry and they have a babysitting service too. The rooms are spacious and there are family rooms available. Breakfast is included in the room rates.


Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Venice

Venice is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities on the planet – the food, architecture, and overall vibe are unlike anywhere else on earth!

Are you still having a hard time picking where to stay in Venice? Don’t worry – we know there’s a ton of choices. We recommend booking at Pallazzo del Giglio – our pick for best mid-range hotel in San Marco.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in San Marco – Palazzo del Giglio

5 COOLEST Neighborhoods in Venice [[date]!]

Palazzo del Giglio is our top hotel pick in all of Venice!


Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Venice

Venice is a city full of magic, mystery and history. It’s incredible views, iconic canals and world-renowned cuisine are just a few of the reasons that millions of tourists flock to this Italian city each year.

To recap; our top pick for where to stay in Venice is Cannaregio and our favourite hotel is the Arcadia Hotel. Featuring stylish décor and comfortable amenities, this luxurious two-star hotel is the ideal oasis at the centre of the action.

What are your thoughts? Did we miss any of the best places to stay in Venice? Let us know in the comments below – safe travels!

PS Check out our top 5 neighborhoods in Milan, the best hotels in Milan, the coolest things to do in Milan and the best day trips from Milan.


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If you liked this article, then check out our other AMAZING guides to save you time and money on your trip!

About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.

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