Queen of the Adriatic
Choosing a hotel in Venice
Venice is such a popular and costly place to visit, it is recommended to book a hotel as far in advance of your trip as possible. This becomes an absolute necessity during the peak weeks of Carnival (usually around the end of February), the Venice Film Festival (late August-early September), Easter and Christmas. Keep in mind that prices vary markedly from high season to low.
Staying in Venice is expensive and hotels can be found everywhere in Venice, although many are not clearly marked. If you are looking to book online, browse our links to accommodation in Venice - these are updated hourly to provide you with the latest deals and special offers on hotels and holiday apartments in Venice.
A host of bed-and-breakfasts have opened up, and these provide good alternatives to hotels. Getting a hostel or budget accommodation in Venice is not always easy. Venice has the least dorm rooms and the most "ensuite" rooms in Europe. A three bed ensuite room for 25 dollars per person is great if you are a group of three people, you each pay 25 dollars and the room is yours. If you are a solo traveller and want to book the same room, you have to pay 75 dollars.
Where should I stay in Venice?
Travellers choose to stay outside the centre of Venice for a number of reasons. Avoiding tourist crowds is one reason given for avoiding central Venice, but actually there are parts of the island which are peaceful and down-to-earth. It is true that you can save money by choosing the Lido or Mestre as your base. There are a number of hotels on the main road near Marco Polo Airport. For a short trip, staying either near these transport hubs or near St. Mark's will help you make the most of your time. If you're planning a leisurely or romantic trip, seek out a slightly quieter location which might involve more walking or ferry trips.
Hotels in Venice
Venice's hotels are often accused of showing little charity toward the budget traveler, and their reputation may seem justified if you normally stay in a Motel 6 or a Holiday Inn back home. But it's important to remember that every towel, bar of soap, roll of toilet paper, bag of coffee, and loaf of bread must be delivered to your Venetian hotel by handcart or boat. Sewage may be stored in an underground cesspit and removed by barge. And labor isn't cheap in the Veneto region, which is the most prosperous area of Italy. In short, running a hotel in Venice is an expensive proposition, so it shouldn't be surprising that Venetian hotel rates are comparable to those in a large American city.
Central Venice is full of picturesque canals, narrow lanes, tourist thoroughfares and the occasional dodgy smell. The busiest tourist areas are around San Marco, Piazzale Roma and the railway station - although there are plenty of nice lanes, these areas are the most noisy and hectic. They are also the most convenient for sightseeing and travelling. For a short trip, staying either near these transport hubs or near St. Mark's will help you make the most of your time. If it's an extravagant holiday and your hotel has a water-entrance, you could splash out on a water taxi. Otherwise you will have to walk to and from the nearest vaporetto stop, transporting your luggage on arrival and departure. Before you book, check the location carefully and note how far the accommodation is from the nearest vaporetto stop, and how many canals - i.e. hump-backed bridges - you will need to cross. Smart hotels in Venice often quote prices for the room only, leaving breakfast as a very expensive extra (check when booking). Mini-bars and room-service are also very expensive. The prices start from $100 per night can go up to $300 per night. Avoid hotels on the Lido unless you're interested in a seaside resort vacation on an island that allows cars.