The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions

By Anna Veselova-SolovoniukJan 27, 2024 20:58 PMVenice
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The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
Venice is a city on the water that stays in your heart. Source: Photographer Chait Goli/Pexels

Venice is special and different from many other tourist cities in the world. The uniqueness of the architecture makes life in Venice special. The city on the water can give the most vivid impressions to the tourist who knows in which area of Venice is the best place to stay and what to see in it.

We offer our detailed overview of the best areas of Venice for a tourist stopover so that you can put together a vacation relative to your expectations. Remember that Venice's transportation system is drastically different from other cities, so be sure to learn as much as you can about it. And we'll reduce stress and save you money on transportation by walking you through the best places to stay in Venice to feel like a local. Travel tip: buy waterproof high socks to wear over your shoes, you should always have them on hand.

With our list, you'll be able to visit unique establishments, sample the best experiences, and be within walking distance to the most popular attractions and activities the city on the water has to offer. This is important, as water transportation is quite expensive and is used more as a standalone experience than a regular way to get there. Choose your best neighborhood in Venice based on your list of desired experiences.

The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
The Rain Palace in the tourist district of San Marco, Venice. Source: Frans van Heerden

San Marco is Venice's most touristy neighborhood

If you want to be in the thick of things and see all the sights of Venice from postcards and glossy covers, San Marco will be your destination. Here you will find the main cathedral of the same name and the Rain Palace, visit the La Fenice Theater and enjoy the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. After admiring the central center you can go to St. Mark's Bell Tower and visit the most famous bridges of Venice, two of them are Ponte dei Sospiri and Rialto. On reaching the second one, don't miss the shopping center T Fondazo Dei Tedeschi, on its roof you will visit one of the most beautiful observation decks in Venice.

Where to stay

Of course, being the most popular tourist area of San Marco is also the most expensive area of Venice to stay in. And besides, the conditions and amenities often do not match the inflated price. Poor window noise insulation and constant crowds can ruin any comfort. However, if you're willing to turn a blind eye to little things like noise and prices and be in the center of everything most impressive consider comfortable stops in Venice like: Ca Del Campo, Rosa Salva, Albergo Firenze, Hotel Luna, Hotel Alla Angelo, and Hotel Concordia.

The price range will start from 200 euros per night.

What to try

The best restaurants and bars in Venice, and perhaps Italy, are waiting for you in San Marco. There are plenty of places where you can enjoy a variety of pizzas, pastas and seafood dishes. To experience the full flavor and not be left with the feeling that you have been cheated, use this list:

  • Ai Due Vescovi
  • Osteria Fanal Del Codega
  • La Caravella
  • Ai Do Leoni
  • Gio's

The bars in the San Marco neighborhood can be a special experience. These fashionable establishments offer a full list of high-end hot drinks and the services of professional mixologists.

  • Bacaro Jazz
  • Tarnowska's American Bar
  • Devil's Forest Pub
  • Tutto a posto Venezia

What to see and do

Apart from the main sights we have described above you should take water trips. The most popular transportation along the Grand Canal is the Vaporetto, while the most exclusive is of course the Gondolas. There is also a third option of motorboats if you want to ride with the wind.

Do you wish to enjoy it? Choose a gondolier and you won't go wrong. Tourists are offered a variety of slow routes with the background singing of Italian songs. This experience is a must for a complete experience in Venice.

The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
Venice's transportation system is unique and atmospheric. Source: Photographer Helena Jankovičová Kováčová/Pexels

Castello - amenities and proximity to the center

A very nice neighborhood bordering San Marco, but you'll be surprised at how much the crowds are reduced. It's mostly centered around middle class Venetian Italians, so you can immerse yourself in the somewhat casual atmosphere of the locals and enjoy in detail the beautiful architectural choices and the picturesque green gardens of Venice.

Where to stay

The Castello neighborhood is probably the best place to stop in Venice. Its streets hide many good and luxurious places to stay in Venice. You will be able to choose windows overlooking the canals or green park areas. If you want comfort and luxury choose a room in Ca' Bragadine Carabba , but if exclusivity and privacy are your goal consider staying in moored boats, such as the Yacht Freedom at Santa Elena harbor.

What to try

Castello is one of Venice 's budget-friendly neighborhoods. Its castle-like streets and squares have establishments for every size of wallet and are characterized by the consistent quality of their services. Pizza will be waiting for you around every corner in the form of small street stalls or cozy restaurants. And, if you want to add a touch of romance to your snack, head to Corte Sconta. Settle down on the romantic patio and enjoy seafood dishes and the best Italian wines.

Those on a modest budget can expect delicious home-cooked Italian cuisine on Piazza Via Garibaldi at Trattoria alla Rampa.

Don't stray far from Via Garibaldi, it's home to the most popular local bars where value for money is matched.

If you want to drink a colorful apperol in an incredibly beautiful place fold your route to Bar Il Paradiso and get your best Venice sunset to boot.

What to see and do

Sometimes you only need to take a long walk to be impressed. The Castello district serves as a hub for a variety of organized activities that will entertain you just outside. For a focused walk, you can choose the Venetian Arsenal. The 1100 year old building hosts many exhibitions, plays and concerts that are worth a look.

Of course you should visit I Giardini della Biennale and Parco delle Rimembranze - these gardens are breathtaking in their beauty, which can easily be compared to Eden. For a deep dive into local life, visit the Libreria Acqua Alta bookstore. Not at all to buy a book in Italian, but to see the peculiar arrangement of books. Because of frequent floods, books are placed in special tubs, boats and suspended from the ceiling. It's an incredible sight.

The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
Colorful Venice in the rays of warm sunshine. Source: Photographer dalia nava/Pexels

Dorsoduro is a vibrant neighborhood in Venice

Another location close to the center is waiting for you in the Dorsoduro district of Ven ice. It is the starting point of the University of Venice, which has defined the character and atmosphere of this part of the city. Dorsoduro is connected to the central district of San Marco by a bridge, which is located right on the territory of the Academy. And the numerous vaporettos will quickly take you to the main sights.

Architecture in this part of Venice is a bit modest, but only if you take the central district as an example. Here you can look at the palazzos and admire the canals, and, most importantly, do not spend a lot of money on tasting Italian food and drinks. Luxury dining options can also be found here to make one of your evenings special.

Where to stay

There are plenty of bed and breakfast hotel options in the area for the budget traveler. For a reasonable amount of money, you can get a very nice place to stay. If you as a tourist want something special, consider the old building in which you will find the Galleria Hotel. This is a very nice stop in Venice overlooking the Accademia Bridge and the Grand Canal. The interiors maintain a luxurious historical ensemble, so you'll feel like an expensive tourist.

What to try

The Dorsoduro neighborhood is a target for gastronomic tourism. You'll eat where the neighborhood's residents do, which means you won't spend a lot of money on homemade Italian food, which is a reflection of the culture. Small cafes are filled with the aromas of pizzas, pastas and delicious pastries. Keep an eye out for locals to unravel their favorite places to grab a bite to eat. And we recommend a visit to Estro, where the wine cellar is an experience in its own right and the menu features the best oysters in Venice.

Nightlife is still a novelty for Venice, but remember that you're in a student neighborhood. The University Quarter and the Campo Santa Margherita institution can make your night active. Piazza Bacaro can also give you evenings of wine tasting and delicious Italian appetizers. You can go from bar to bar here, enjoying the music and atmosphere.

What to see and do

Walking around the neighborhood can help you discover colorful hidden stores with souvenirs used by the locals and where you won't be charged a fortune for a magnet or mask. In addition, if you walk to the end of the eastern part of the neighborhood you can see the "waterway", which is very impressive with the skill of captains on boats of all sizes.

There are enough diverse art galleries in the neighborhood to introduce you to the best works of Bosch, for example. One of the galleries you can discover at the Academy.

The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
Gondola - the charm and romantic atmosphere of Venice. Source: Photographer Paolo Sbalzer/Pexels

San Polo is the best neighborhood to ride a gondola in Venice

If you look at the neighborhood from above, you'll notice that it looks like a maze. Densely packed houses intertwine to form narrow streets that often lead to dead ends, so it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your navigator. The main attraction of the St. Paul neighborhood is its namesake square, the second largest in Venice. This is where the active evening life of this part of the city is concentrated and some very colorful tourist stores.

Where to stay

The area is not particularly touristy, so there won't be much choice in hotels, but it will help to avoid being expensive. You can even take advantage of private apartment deals to provide your own kitchen if your budget isn't geared towards restaurants and cafes. San Polo has a marvelous Rialto market to help you with grocery shopping. In addition to private offerings, guesthouses can be found in this area of Venice. Consider Ca' Angeli, a rather cozy hideaway in Venice with only 6 rooms. From the windows of the rooms you can see the Grand Canal, which is of course a plus to your experience. A bit of luxury and Venetian gilding will be found at Locanda Sant'Agostino Hotel . Its rooms are comfortable and located near the Rio di San Polo.

What to try

If you have already reached the Rialto market, discover the fish market in the San Polo neighborhood. It neighbors the Rialto and provides such a variety of marine delicacies that it's hard to imagine.

Choosing between cafes and restaurants you can pick something for snacking and something for a special occasion. For an impressive outing, head to Cantina do Mori - it's about quality, popularity and high ratings.

Pizza and beer nights are a separate kind of treat in Venice. Just head out to Piazza San Polo and enjoy at tables outside, such as at Birraria La Corte.

What to see and do

Sightseeing highlights include the Rialto Bridge, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Cathedral, Campo San Polo, Scuola San Rocco and San Dacomo di Rialto Church.

The best thing to do in Venice's San Polo neighborhood is to take a gondola ride. You may not save much money, but you'll avoid the crowds for sure. The gondoliers are more pleasant and can tell you a little about their favorite city on the water.

The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
Your weekend in Venice can be a romantic escape. Source: Pixabay/Pexels Photographer

Giudecca is a neighborhood for an elegant stopover in Venice

Staying with the Giudecca neighborhood you'll be completely dependent on water transportation if you want to get close to popular attractions. However, for an escape as a couple or alone, it's an absolutely wonderful choice for privacy. A great place to see life in Venice through the eyes of a local who work hard Monday through Friday, and try to relax on the weekends. This neighborhood was built by Andrea Paladio and is now considered part of Dorsoduro, but its architecture, charm and atmosphere are completely different.

Where to stay

Here you can find absolutely romantic elegant hideaways with comfortable beautiful rooms and nice extras for two. A local celebrity is the Hotel Cipriani. Its pool and restaurant on a large terrace overlooking the canal will make your Venice vacation a resort experience. The second winner of a luxury vacation in Venice in the Giudecca area is the Hilton Molino Stucky. You will get the best observation deck with a bar in addition to a comfortable room.

For a budget stay in Venice, consider the Generator Hostel. It has both shared and private rooms for overnight stays.

What to try

You'll find pizza everywhere, but for an exclusive and memorable tasting or special evening, choose Trattoria Ai Cacciatori. Its umbrellas are located right next to the canal, which will add an extra romantic backdrop to your sparkling glasses of wine on white tablecloths.

Impress your partner with cocktails at the aforementioned Hilton Molino Stucky hotel , more specifically at its Skyline rooftop bar. It's the best angle on the bright lights of La Luminaria. The price for cocktails includes the price for the panorama, but it's worth it.

What to see and do

The modern architecture of the buildings is certainly not the same as the old styles, but for a nice stroll amongst the beauty, it's fine too. And if you can appreciate the reinterpretation and second life given to buildings, you'll be impressed by several of the neighborhood's sites.

Here you can learn many secrets and mysteries that are not attainable in the beautiful picture of the center. Talk to the locals and they will share with you interesting nuances of life that you won't find anywhere else.

Another thing to do in the neighborhood can be shopping. Local stores offer many of the same goods as the center, but at an adequate price.

Remember that the center is only 20 minutes away by boat. So the Giudecca neighborhood can be used as a place to stay.

The best neighborhoods in Venice for a comfortable stay and convenient location to popular attractions
Enjoy walking around Venice. Source: AllPhoto Bangkok/Pexels Photographer

Cannaregio is a neighborhood with a train station in Venice

The presence of the Santa Lucia train station has made this area of Venice overcrowded with locals and tourists. However, it has had a positive impact on infrastructure and small businesses. Here you can find many craft stores and a variety of stores with incredible decorative items that you want to buy as a souvenir. The distance to the central area of San Marco is only 20 minutes on foot or by water, so this area is very convenient for overnight stays.

Where to stay

There's a haven for every budget, but let's go for the average bed-and-breakfast. If you're on a quick weekend trip, use the very nice Ca' Dogaressa location for an overnight stay. It's only 10 minutes from the train station, and there's plenty to see and do around the area.

What to try

Plenty of pizzerias, coffee shops, and street snacks keep the budget traveler happy in this neighborhood. But there are some unique and luxurious establishments here that are a particular delight. Il Paradiso Perduto is a restaurant where a portion of sea delicacies can be safely ordered for two. Don't miss the unique experience at Trattoria dalla Marisa - there's no menu here, you'll be served whatever has been cooked today.

Take a stroll along Fondamenta della Misericordia. Here you can choose your own place for an evening aperitif according to your taste and preferences. Order cecchetti to accompany your drinks to blend in with the local crowd.

What to see and do

Want to learn about the history of the neighborhood head to the Museo Ebraico di Venezia. A tough but very impressive experience that will tell the story of the time when the neighborhood was a Jewish ghetto. You can walk through the synagogues with specially organized tours, otherwise you won't be able to open their doors. A visit to the cemeteries on San Michele Island can be a special experience and a deepening of the culture. The lack of land makes a difference in the traditions of burial and maintenance of the deceased.

Tip: strolling through the less touristy streets of Connaregio can reveal unique places and locations that remain hidden from the average Venice visitor.

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