“If I could live in one city and do every single thing I do there, I would choose Venice. You can't turn your head without seeing something amazing.” - Nile Rodgers
Venice, a city made up of 121 islands and a network of bridges and canals, is famous all over the world for its lagoon, architecture, and its historic and cultural heritage. After all, from the Canal Grande to the Biennale and Guggenheim, there are lots of things to do in Venice.
Are you the kind of person who leaves everything to the last minute? Are you wondering where you can stay when you go to Venice?
Since 1171, the city has consisted of 6 sestieri (neighbourhoods): Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, Giudecca, San Marco, San Polo, and Santa Croce. The city covers 41,317 hectares (of which historic centre covers 800) and is home to some 261,905 (2017).
In this article, we’re going to have a look at finding accommodation in the city.
A Quick Look at Accommodation in Venice
Italy is the third-largest Eurozone economy and one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
Many go to Rome, Naples, Sicily, or Apulia to see Roman ruins, historic monuments, beautiful beaches, and to enjoy Italian cuisine. It’s hard to get bored in most Italian cities and Venice is widely considered one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Whether you go for the Carnival of Venice, Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), the bridges, the gondolas, or the Grand Canal, you should know that there are always plenty of tourists in Venice.
Venice is visited by over 30 million tourists each year; less than Paris but more than Amsterdam.
It should be mentioned that Venice is very expensive and far from being good value for money. Like all touristy cities, the prices go up.
There are six neighbourhoods where you can find accommodation in Venice: San Polo, San Marco, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Croce, and Giudecca. If you head to Venice in the summer, expect to pay even more.
You need to choose the neighbourhood in accordance to the cost of rooms but also according to the sites and monuments you want to see and don’t forget that you’ll be walking around lots in Venice. The city of Venice is an absolute labyrinth so check where you’re staying and whether it’s near a jetty.
You need to book your hotel in advance and compare prices.
Not able to stay in the Venetian Lagoon, by the Saint Mark’s Campanile or Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs, or the Doge’s Palace?
You can always stay in the city of Mestre! The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, is trying to move the centre of Venice to the mainland in the city of Mestre. To find accommodation, you might want to check how long you’re staying for. For short stays: you can find hotels or youth hostels.
So what if you want to stay for a few months or longer?
For example, you might want to rent a flat in Venice yourself or share.
Find out more about visiting Venice.
Using Airbnb to Find Accommodation in Venice
Airbnb is a great site for finding private holiday accommodation. Of course, there’s a lot more on offer in Mestre than in Venice itself.
For example, you can find accommodation for between £60 and £100 a night for two people in Venice or between £40 and £50 on the mainland in Mestre. It’s almost half price! Of course, you then have to get public transport to Venice. There are buses, trains, and Vaporetti (boat-buses).
The Vaporetto is the main type of transport around Venice, too. It’ll allow you to travel around the Grand Canal, the Venetian Lagoon, and get to the other islands including Murano, Burano, Chioggia, Mazzorbo, Torcello, Lido, etc.
So how much do Vaporetto tickets cost?
A trip costs €7.50 but you can get ACTV passes: 24h: €22, 48h: €30, 72h: €40, and 7 days: €60.
Keep in mind that the cost of accommodation will depend on what you book. A double room in a guest house, a private room in a flat, etc.
The price also varies according to where you stay in Venice. For example, it costs more to stay in San Marco than in Cannaregio or Castello. However, San Marco is far more touristy than the other neighbourhoods. It might be a good idea to stay further away from it in one of Venice’s other neighbourhoods.
If you want the authentic Venice experience, you should immerse yourself in the atmosphere and lose yourself in the city’s many alleys.
Discover some great things to do in Venice.
Using HomeAway to Find Accommodation in Venice
HomeAway is another platform you can use to find accommodation in Venice. It operates on a similar presence to Airbnb but the accommodation tends to be cheaper there.
For example, you can find stuff for around £80 a night but on average you’ll be looking at between £150 and £300 a night with some accommodation costing as much as £3,000 a night. Of course, the latter includes luxury hotels.
With accommodation costing between £150 and £200 a night, your budget can quickly get out of control. There’s a huge difference in price if you choose to stay in Mestre with accommodation costing between £40 and £300 a night. Of course, this all depends on the type of accommodation you opt for. You can find rooms in basic hotels for £40 a night, a room in a house for around £50 a night, and flats for around £100 per night.
Accommodation is often more affordable in Mestre than in the historic centre of Venice. If you choose to stay in Mestre, you can save money by getting a 2, 3, or 7-day ACTV pass.
Find out more about the different parts of Venice.
Other Types of Accommodation in Venice
The internet is a great place to find accommodation in Venice.
So aside from Airbnb or Homeaway, what other options are there?
You could always visit the hotel comparison site Booking.com. Lonely Planet also has lots of information on accommodation in Venice including luxury hotels on the Grand Canal and the Riva Degli Schiavone as well as youth hostels on Giudecca. Accommodation tends to be around 40% cheaper outside of the busy periods and there are also a plethora of travel blogs online where you can find out more about where to stay.
So where should you stay in Venice? Are you looking for one of the cheaper neighbourhoods?
Cannaregio, the former Jewish quarter and ghetto, is a good bet. In the northwest of the city, you’ll find a mix of tourists and Venetians. It’s now quite a trendy and young neighbourhood. Castello is popular for being quite quiet. In the spring and summer, rich tourists tend to head to the Lido. This is a 12-kilometre island full of beaches, bars, and cafés. You might be interested in staying on the island of Giudecca, the former working-class neighbourhood. Of course, gentrification happened and young wealthy professionals who found the island affordable have changed it somewhat.
Find out how long you should spend in Venice.
Are you ready for an unforgettable trip?
If you want to learn some Italian before you go, consider getting help from a private tutor on Superprof. There are plenty of language tutors offering one or several of the main types of private tutorial: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, or group tutorials.
Group tutorials have several students being taught by a single tutor. Since all the students in attendance are sharing the cost of the tutor's time, they tend to pay less per person per hour. Of course, this means you won't get as much individual attention as you would from your tutor in the two following types of private tutorial.
Face-to-face private tutorials are between you and your private tutor and you'll be offered a bespoke and tailored service. Your tutor will work with you and your learning objectives to ensure you get the most out of every hour you spend together. Of course, with the tutor spending a lot of time outside of your tutorials planning your course and gathering materials, these tutorials tend to be the most costly. However, they're also the most cost-effective.
Finally, online tutorials tend to be cheaper than face-to-face tutorials but dearer than group tutorials. With just one tutor and one student, you can enjoy the benefits of a face-to-face tutorial for less since the tutor has fewer outgoings and can schedule more tutorials per week, allowing them to charge less per hour.
Before you choose your tutor, outline your learning objectives and budget so you have a good idea of what you're looking for. Don't forget that many tutors offer free tutoring for the first hour so you can see what they offer and whether you get along.
Find out the best Italian courses here.