Where to Stay in Venice: The Ultimate Guide

Planning a trip? Here's where to stay in Venice to live like a local and enjoy your stay to the fullest.

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Venice canal and colourful houses captured from bridge

A bucket list destination for many, Venice has it all: food, art, scenery. The “Bride of the Sea” lures millions of visitors every year; few, however, know how to unravel the city’s mysteries. Read on to find out Plum Guide’s top recommendations on where to stay to get the best out of your trip.

A city built on water, Venice is a beauty for the world to see. As soon as you step outside the train station or just off the bus in Piazzale Roma, the atmosphere changes. You have now left behind your frenetic life to experience a city with no cars, just long walks and scenic ferry rides.

Venice Canal View Gondola Buildings Sky Water

Although Venice is the perfect background to a love story where you’re swept off your feet by a charming Italian, don’t be fooled by its reputation of “city of love”. Quoting one of the city’s most prestigious residents, Peggy Guggenheim: “It is always assumed that Venice is the ideal place for a honeymoon. This is a grave error. To live in Venice or even to visit it means that you fall in love with the city itself. There is nothing left over in your heart for anyone else.”

Prepare yourselves for abundant wine, quirky bookshops, grand museums, and terraces with breathtaking views. Whether visiting for a few days or a whole week (maybe more, why not?) here's where to get your heart stolen where to stay in Venice.

Such a city deserves to be experienced authentically, local life included. Follow Plum Guide as we’ll lead you through the best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice and make your vacation unforgettable.

Where to stay

Santa Croce

Santa Croce is one of the six sestieri (districts) of Venice and one of its oldest neighbourhoods. The area is rife with history, from the ghost of philosopher Giordano Bruno haunting Palazzo Mocenigo to the not-so-secret crypt under the Church of San Simeone Piccolo, just in front of the train station.

The Church of San Simeone Piccolo, Venice

Being the hub of all public transport, Santa Croce is a perfect area to stay in for families with toddlers or for those visitors who either can’t or don’t fancy walking. Here you will find Venezia Santa Lucia train station, Piazzale Roma bus station and the imbarcaderi (water bus stops) for most ferry lines.

Enjoy your stay in one of our beautiful homes, just a few steps from local bacari (Venetian bars) or, if needed, your “local” Burger King”.

Dorsoduro

Buzzing with students running up and down bridges to get to class on time, Dorsoduro is one of the quietest and most residential areas in town.

With its picturesque and colourful corners and some of the best bars, this neighbourhood is made for those who are looking to enjoy the Venetian nightlife and art scene.

Enjoy a scenic walk all the way to Punta della Dogana following Fondamenta delle Zattere. This area is particularly loved by locals who often stop along the way for a gianduiotto, a chocolate hazelnut ice cream served in a paper cup filled with whipped cream. We know, even the description is mouth-watering.

Castello

Located a bit further down Piazza San Marco, Castello is one of the most delightful sestieri of Venice. The area is an off-the-beaten-path perk, where little or no tourists venture.

Surround yourself with locals and see how real Venetians live away from the crowds. Take the time to lose yourself in the many streets, bridges and canals that make this neighbourhood unique.

Are you an art enthusiast? Get a hold of our lovely local accommodation, at the perfect distance to reach the Arsenale, one of the main Biennale venues.

Cannaregio

Cannaregio often tops lists of where to stay in Venice – it's the heart of the city. Staying in this sestiere means waking up in one of the most colourful neighbourhoods of the world, where you can span from the most touristy spots to little oases of peace, such as the Jewish Ghetto.

Walk along Strada Nuova to shop your way from one souvenir stall to the other. Along your way, why not stop at Teatro Italia, a former theatre now converted to a supermarket? With its high ceilings and frescoed walls, buying your groceries will be a totally new experience.

San Polo

Venturing towards the “touristy heart” of Venice, you can’t miss San Polo one of the six districts of Venice and host of the Rialto Bridge. Built in the 16th century, this bridge represents Venice all over the world. What better area to stay and make your friends jealous of your fancy vacation?

San Polo is also home to the Rialto Market, a hub for Venetian life. You’ll see locals walking around and trying to find the best fish, chatting with the stalls’ owners, enjoying their community.

Why not join? There is no point in just taking pictures, our recommendation is to engage with locals and have a chat. They will love it, especially in these times of hardship for the Rialto Market.

San Marco

There’s nothing more central than San Marco. This is the place where all Venice’s most iconic monuments are located: Piazza San Marco, the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace.

If you want to be at the centre of the magic, this is your place. Stay in our welcoming homes in San Marco to be just a few steps from the most beautiful Piazza in the world.

Piazza San Marco Tower Basilica St Marks archway

The Islands

Consisting of a group of 118 islands separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges, Venice is an extremely varied city. Most visitors, however, stop at city centre, thus missing out the wonders the “Bride of the Sea” has to offer.

If you want your trip to be unique, the islands are some of the best areas to stay in. Immerse yourself in the Venetian life by staying in the kaleidoscopic island of Burano or the cheaper but charming Giudecca.

Are you an artisanship enthusiast? The island of Murano awaits you with its unforgettable glass-making workshops.

Lido is also another incredible destination, especially if you’re looking for a place to get your Italian tan. Home to the Venice Film Festival in September, Lido is the island where locals go to the beach. Feeling like a swim and a sunbathing session? Definitely avoid the canals and stay in this beautiful island.

Booked your flights already? Knew it. Hurry up and live your best holiday in the beautiful Venice, surrounded by art, tradition, and liveliness all at the same time. Our guide will help you find the best accommodation according to your needs. As for us, we'll be waiting here in Venezia, sipping our aperitivo with a view on the Grand Canal.

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