The Neighborhoods of Venice, Italy: Which Sestiere You Should Stay In

May 09, 2012

If you’re deciding which sestiere of Venice to stay in, it helps to know the differences between them! From quiet Cannaregio to bustling San Marco, here’s our guide to Venice’s six main quarters—and which one is best for you.


One of the loveliest and most authentic neighborhoods in Venice, Cannaregio (above) is home to Venice’s Jewish Ghetto, the train station of Santa Lucia… and to the majority of Venice’s actual residents. They also have some of the most beautiful Hanukkah celebrations in Europe.

A canal Cannaregio, one of the Neighborhoods of Venice

A canal in Cannaregio

Sights to check out in Cannaregio include the Ghetto (one of the oldest in Europe), the Ca d’Oro (a gorgeous Venetian palace that you can enter and explore), the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (a gem of a church and one of the best examples of Venetian Renaissance architecture), and the Church of Madonna dell’Orto (the burial place of famed painter Tintoretto, as well as the home to some of his greatest works).

Stay here if: You want to be off-the-beaten-path and away from the  crowds; you want to experience Venice “like a local”; you’re trying to save money on accommodation; you want to get to Burano and Murano easily from where you’re staying (the express ferry to both islands, the #12, leaves from the Fondamente Nuova stop in Cannaregio). Here’s a guide to Burano – if you didn’t already want to go, it will definitely convince you.

Don’t stay here if: Your dream of Venice includes waking up and seeing the Rialto Bridge or St. Mark’s Basilica from your window (they’re each a 15-minute walk away); you know you’ll spend most of your time at Venice’s biggest sights, but you don’t want to walk much or take public transportation.

San Marco

St. Mark's Square, the heart of the Venetian neighborhood of San Marco.

St. Mark’s Square, the heart of the sestiere of San Marco

At one point or another, every traveler to Venice winds up in San Marco. This small sestiere boasts many of Venice’s main sights—which means that, while beautiful, it’s also now one of the most crowded, touristic, and expensive neighborhoods in Venice.

The top sights in this sestiere include St. Mark’s Square, and Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, and Harry’s Bar.

Stay here if: You’ve always dreamed of walking out of your hotel and right onto the Rialto Bridge; mobility is an issue for you and you’re planning on spending most of your time in Venice at the sights here; you want to do some serious designer shopping; crowds, especially between March and October, don’t bother you; you don’t mind spending a lot on food and drink. Did we mention that St. Mark’s is one of the coolest churches in Europe? Here are 6 reasons why you definitely need to see St. Mark’s during your visit, even if you don’t stay in the neighborhood.

Don’t stay here if: You want to be able to eat authentic, well-priced meals near where you’re staying; if you’re staying in an apartment and planning on cooking for yourself (it’s difficult to find markets or grocery stores here); the idea of fighting through crowds to get down a street isn’t your idea of a vacation; your idea of Venice is artisanal shops, not souvenir and designer stores; you’re hoping to see more Venetians than tourists; you’re on a budget.


A woman relaxes in the The Castello neighborhood of Venice

A local woman in Castello

Dating back to the 13th century, Castello is the largest of the sestieri, as well as one of the most local and authentic in Venice. Here’s where to see old women gossiping between windows and children kicking soccer balls in piazzas (or campi, as they’re called in Venice).

Castello grew up around a naval dockyard; today, one of its major draws is the Arsenale, once the largest shipyard in Venice, and today famously home to the Venetian Biennale. Other than the Arsenale, other sights in Castello include the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (one of the city’s largest and most important churches and the resting place for 25 doges), the Church of San Zaccaria (home to the most famous work by Giovanni Bellini, as well as paintings by Tintoretto, Tiepolo, and Van Dyck), the richly-decorated Scuola Grande di San Marco, and the Santa Maria Formosa church and campo (square).

Stay here if: You want to experience Venice “like a local” (although the western part, near St. Mark’s, is just as touristy as San Marco); if you want to save on accommodation; if you’re here for the Biennale; if you want to go to Burano and Murano if you want to get to Burano and Murano easily from where you’re staying (the express ferry to both islands, the #12, leaves from the Fondamenta Nuova stop near northern Castello).

Don’t stay here if: Your dream of Venice includes waking up and seeing the Rialto Bridge or St. Mark’s Basilica from your window (they’re each a 10- to 20-minute walk away); if you know you’ll spend most of your time at Venice’s biggest sights, but you don’t want to walk much or take public transportation.


The church of Santa Maria della Salute in Dorsoduro, one of the more tranquil neighborhoods of Venice.

The iconic church of Santa Maria della Salute is in Dorsoduro

Dorsoduro has the best of both worlds: a tranquil daytime atmosphere and one of the most happening nightlife areas, charming back streets and some of the city’s most interesting sights. If you want to stay in the area’s more charming quarter, make sure to stay in the area south of Campo Santa Margherita.

The biggest attraction in Dorsoduro is the Accademia, Venice’s most famous art gallery. Other sights include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (with a famous collection of modern art including pieces by Dali, Duchamp, Picasso, Mondrian, and Kandinsky) and the Church of San Sebastiano (famed for its cycle of paintings by Veronese, as well as paintings by Tintoretto and Titian). Meanwhile, students and the younger set love Campo Margherita for its laid-back bars and nightlife. The island of Giudecca, to the south of Venice, is also included in the Dorsoduro district.

Stay here if: You want to experience Venice “like a local,” but want to be near some of Venice’s most major sights; if you want to be near the Grand Canal; if you’re interested in Venice’s nightlife.

Don’t stay here if: You just have to stay near the Rialto Bridge or St. Mark’s Basilica; if you want to experience Venice’s charms but are only finding places that are in Dorsoduro’s area near Piazzale Roma.

Santa Croce

Fondaco dei Turchi, located in Santa Croce, the least touristy sestiere or neighborhood of Venice

Fondaco dei Turchi, located in the sestiere of Santa Croce

Santa Croce is home to some of Venice’s major transport hubs, including the main port and Piazzale Roma. It’s also the least touristy sestiere in Venice.

Tourist attractions are mostly in the district’s eastern area. They include the Church of San Giacomo dell’Orio, with its paintings by Lorenzo Lotto and Veronese, with its lively piazza, and the Fondaco dei Turchi, a 13th-century palazzo that later became a one-building ghetto for Venice’s Ottoman Turkish population and that, today, houses the Museum of Natural History.

Stay here if: You’re looking for cheaper accommodation; you want to be away from the tourists and the crowds; it’s important to you to stay within walking distance of the port or Piazzale Roma.

Don’t stay here if: You don’t want to walk or take much public transportation; you have limited time in Venice, plan to spend most of it at St. Mark’s and the Rialto Bridge, and want to stay near that area.

San Polo

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari church in San Polo neighborhood of Venice

Beautiful Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, located in the sestiere of San Polo

The smallest sestiere in Venice, San Polo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Today, it’s also one of the liveliest and most touristic districts, thanks both to its central location and to having big-ticket sights like the Rialto Bridge.

The bridge is the biggest attraction in San Polo, but others include the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto (perhaps the oldest church in Venice), the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (home to some of the most important paintings by Titian, as well as the artist’s burial place), the Church of San Rocco (famed for its cycle of paintings by Tintoretto), and the Campo San Polo (the second-largest square in Venice after Piazza San Marco, and once the venue for bullfights and masked balls).

Stay here if: You’ll be cooking at home (one of Venice’s best fish markets is here); you’re a bit of a foodie (some of Venice’s best restaurants are here); you want to be somewhat off the beaten path; you want to experience a local’s Venice; you’re interested in Venice’s nightlife.

Don’t stay here if: You want complete tranquility (this sestiere does get crowded, especially on the lane running from the Accademia to Rialto Bridge); you don’t want to walk or take much public transport.

Venice is full of beautiful of Sestiere or neighborhoods. Choose the right one with our guide on where to stay in venice.

by Walks of Italy

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Show Comments

142 responses to “The Neighborhoods of Venice, Italy: Which Sestiere You Should Stay In”

  1. Definitely going to use this for my next visit – thank you. Great blog. Ciao Francesca

  2. rich says:

    Great article. I very rarely leave comments (a bit selfish, I know) but once in a while, regardless how busy I may be, I feel I should give credit. 2 gold stars!

  3. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much! My husband and I are travelling to Venice for the first time and this was extremely helpful and informative!


  4. dana says:

    I can’t believe you left us hanging by telling us some of the best restaurants in Venice are in San Polo without telling us the names of those restaurants.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Ha! Good point, Dana. In San Polo, some of our favorite restaurants include All’ Arco (Calle Arco, San Polo 436); Do Mori (Sestiere San Polo 429, Calle dei Do Mori); Antiche Carampane (San Polo 1911, Rio Tera delle Carampane); and Osteria da Fiore (Calle del Scaleter). Enjoy!

  5. Judy says:

    Can you tell me the names of some good restaurants in Cannaregio?

    • Happy to, Judy! And it’s great you’re looking into this before you go, since finding good, authentic restaurants in Venice isn’t always easy. In Cannaregio, we like Casa Bonita (Cannaregio 492) for good fish at moderate prices; Da’A Marisa (Cannaregio 652b) for excellent meat or fish dishes; and Ca d’Oro (Calle del Pistor, Cannaregio 3912), which is one of the most famous cicchetti spots in Venice. (Find out more about cicchetti here). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • heidi schlossberg says:

        Hello Walks of Italy!
        I am an artist ( 2 D and 3D painting and most mediums), 48 and am getting older….BUT….. I studied Italian art History and focused on Florence and Venetian art and Venice… I LOVED your descriptions…. So, here is the dilemma: I DEFINITELY want to stay in a sestiere that is local . I love a nice room with comforts and amenities… I have asthma and am highly allergic to mold and mildew so it would be better if the hotel is recently renovated. I would lOVE a balcony on the room so my husband and I can sit and watch the sights..definitely prefer a quiet neighborhood with little tourist noise. I can walk about 15 minutes ( I’ve had knee and foot surgery) but it would be best if I am equidistant from the Accademia , scoulas as well as the best restaurants ( we are foodies!).I am also fine with renting a flat if it is cheaper and has a good view. My version of heaven is walking through museums,the churches, scoulas, etc from sun up to sun down. And I must see the Ca D’Oro in person ! Also, can you connect me with a NON touristy guide who can help me set up the trip in advance since I have a good breadth of knowledge in terms of the sights in Venice but need someone to help me put it together… I may change hotels if necessary to make accessing sights easier for me due to more restricted walking.. I will be coming in April or early May for 2 weeks. Thankyou! Heidi

        • Hi Heidi,
          Lovely to hear from you! We’d suggest you look at hotels or B&Bs in the Cannaregio area; for flats, check out the same neighborhood on a site like AirBnB or Wimdu. For guides, email us at [email protected] or see our Venice options here—all of our guides are true Venice experts and academics, so no worries about someone with the knowledge to help put it all together. We hope that helps, and let us know if we can do anything else!

  6. Danielle says:


    Thanks so much for the info. On my way to Italy next month and as I try to book accommodations, I am left wondering if I am booking in the right areas. This blog helped so much! I have a question that you may be able to help me with also, if we have to catch an early morning train, should we stay close to the train station or is public transport(or other transportation) in Venice fairly easy to get at 5 am?


    • Hi Danielle,
      Public transport is very tricky in Venice, since it’s only boats—and not much will be running at 5am—so we’d say, play it safe and book something closer to the train station. You also have the option of booking a taxi boat in advance, but the taxis are quite expensive.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  7. Teresa says:

    Thank you! This helped to clear a little bit of the fog in my brain. Venice seems so confusing to me! We will only be there for 1 night in early September. Arriving by train from Rome and boarding a cruise the next day. What is going to be the most convenient for us that is still halfway reasonable? Have no problem using public transit for sightseeing, but would rather not mess with it too much while dragging luggage. Thanks!

    • Hi Teresa,
      Yes, Venice can be confusing! Your options for getting around Venice are very limited—either public transport (meaning the water buses), water taxis (which are very expensive), or walking. The best method for getting from the train station to your hotel, and hotel to cruise, very much depends on where your accommodation is located! We can help if you can be more specific about where you’ll be staying.

      Also, you’ll find that with just a single day to sightsee, you’ll only have time to see the most major sights, like St. Mark’s, and therefore will probably be walking the most.

      Let us know if we can be of further help!

  8. siobhan says:

    This was a great post. I’ve been to Venice for a weekend before but just did the usual tourist spots. We are heading to Union Lido for a week this summer and intend spending a day and night in Venice before heading home. We love nice food, street cafes and markets etc but are finding it very difficult to choose an area to stay that is also close to public transport to get to the airport (Marco Polo). Can you please advise an area where we should stay or better yet a hotel?
    Many thanks and will defeinitely be revisiting and sharing your lovely blog with friends.
    Best wishes.

    • Hi Siobhan,
      We’re happy to help! We’d suggest the Cannaregio neighborhood, which is lovely, authentic, and convenient to getting to the airport. Accommodation there that gets good marks from clients includes Al Ponte Antico Hotel, Hotel Palazzo Abadessa, CA’ Fontanea and Giorgione Hotel, but of course it depends on your personal preferences and budget.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  9. Angela says:

    We are going on Princess Cruise in mid August. And plan to spend a night in Venice. Can you please suggest a place to stay (3 adults) and maybe places to go shop, do and eat too?
    With tons of thanks,

  10. Siobhan says:

    My sister and I are visiting Italy in July and intend spending a day and a night in Venice before coming home. We have been to Venice for a weekend previously and have done a lot of the touristy things and this time we would like to stay in an area that is convenient for getting to the airport in the morning but also that has some nice bars/restaurants/markets. Any advice regarding for a few nice (cheap but cheerful) hotels and an area would be very much appreciated.
    This was a very interesting article and I have really enjoyed checking out all your blog/website.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Siobhan,
      We’re happy to help! We’d recommend Cannaregio; look at B&Bs and/or apartments to find great locations on a budget. Al Palazzetto, the Chef’s Wife B&B and Alle Guglie B&B are all good options.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  11. Paul says:

    Great blog! My fiance and I were planning on going to Venice for our honeymoon in mid September for 3 days, could you please suggest a neighborhood and accommodation?

    Thank you so much,

  12. Great Blog…


    I was just wondering, my wife,the kids aged 8 & 5 and myself are heading to Venice for 2 nights in September, where would be the best place too stay. Im just dreading carrying all the luggage on a water taxi or bus.

    Cheers Paul

    • Hi Paul,
      That’s definitely worth considering! 🙂 Are you arriving by train or by airport? If by train, then we’d recommend the neighborhood of Cannaregio, which is home to the station and also lovely and authentic.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  13. Mony says:

    Hi there!

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! The information you are providing is very insightful. My question would be, would you know of any other accomodations in Venice besides the ones you listed in response to Paul? I have been looking at several hotels and all are booked for the time I will be in Venice. 🙁
    I would like to be somewhere that’s safe, affordable and accesses Burano and Murano easily without the expense of a water taxi.
    Thank you so much!


    • Hi Mony,

      Those are the ones we’re familiar with, but Venice has lots of accommodation options, so we’d recommend looking at a site like Tripadvisor or Venere to find other recommended hotels in the areas you’re interested in. 🙂 Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  14. Carlene says:

    Your website is just the thing I needed to assist me in determining where best to stay whilst in Venice. A perfect coverage of all areas.
    Thank you.

  15. lynda says:

    thanks for all your effort. I am going to Venice soon and have found the information here very useful. I want to stay in an area with small squares, bars and restaurants where locals go, yet be within walking distance of the major sights. Which would you suggest.
    thanks lynda

  16. Natanya says:

    Thank-you for taking the time to pass on all this information; I am so glad I stumbled across your blog!

    I am taking my boyfriend to Venice next March for his birthday and was struggling with the choice of areas to stay in. I think I will go with your recommendation of Cannaregio but have also been looking at hotels in Lido. Please can you advise on the Lido area at all?


    • Hi Natanya,
      The Lido is much less convenient to the main island of and sights on Venice, so keep that in mind. Also, in March, the beach at the Lido (the main reason most people want to go/stay there) will be quite cold!
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  17. Larry says:

    Great blog! May I ask your input on one specific decision? In two weeks, I will be arriving in Venice via plane, with carry-on luggage, on Thursday mid- afternoon, then going to my B & B near the Rialto Mercato vaporetto stop in San Polo. On arrival, I will be buying a vaporetto pass for several days. To get from the airport to the city, I understand I have two choices. I hear the bus, then Vaporetto #1 local, is faster and considerably cheaper, but that that vaporetto will be very crowded. And that the airport boat will be slower and cost more, but is a scenic way to arrive in Venice. Overall, which way is better, what should I choose? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Larry,
      We’d say go with the faster, cheaper option. It might be a little crowded, but if it is, then the airport boat probably will be, too. And you’ll have plenty of other chances for scenic boat rides and views in Venice (if you’re doing the pass, you can even just jump on the vaporetto whenever you want and cruise around, unencumbered by your bags!). At least when we’re coming off of a full day of travel, we like to get to our B&B and drop off our things as fast as possible 😉
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  18. Debbie says:

    We will be staying in the Dorsoduro area with our adult family in June 2014. Can you recommend some local places to eat . . . We are “foodies” and we don’t mind leaving the Dorsoduro area for meals. Thank you!

    • Hi Debbie,
      It’s good that you’re doing this research in advance! It can be hard to find an authentic, well-priced meal in Venice, so if you’re a “foodie,” we definitely recommend having a specific list of places in mind. In Dorsoduro, we like Ristorante La Bitta, La Piscina, Cantinone, and Al Bottegon; elsewhere, we like Casa Bonita (Cannaregio), Da’a Marisa (Cannaregio), and La Porta d’Acqua (Rialto). Also make sure you try out cicchetti (here‘s what to know about cicchetti and where to find the best cicchetti in Venice!).
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  19. Cindy says:

    We are going to be in Italy the 3rd week of Oct fior 2 days. Where is the best area to stay to be conveinent to see the most attractions.

    • Hi Cindy,
      It very much depends on your interests. Two days is hardly any time, though, so we’d recommend staying in a city and seeing only that one city—Rome might make the most sense, as it’s a good starting point for getting to know Italy.
      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  20. Sally says:

    We are flying to Venice n-Marco Polo next July for 2 nights before going on a cruise and I wondered where the best area/hotel to stay in would be? We are mid 40’s with 2 teenage daughters (16 & 13) and like modern but not too expensive!! Hope you can help as your other replies seem very helpful!!
    Thanks loads in advance.

    • Hi Sally,
      We’re happy to help! As you can see from the post and comments, we like Cannaregio and Dorsoduro, but it very much depends on exactly what you’re looking for; every neighborhood has a slightly different character. Enjoy your trip!

  21. Debra says:

    Thinking of going to Venice for 2/3 days. Have seen an offer at a lovely 4* hotel via Groupon but it is staying at Lido de Venezia (or something like that – apolgoies). Can anyone tell me if one would get a true feel for Venice staying here and also is it easy to hop over to see the sights on neighbouring islands? Any help would be appreciated.

  22. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I am so happy I stumbled on these blog and looking forward to out trip to Italy

  23. Danielle says:

    Thanks for the lovely introduction to Venice, v helpful in helping me narrow my choices!

  24. jann says:

    What a wonderful overview of (confusing) Venice. Thank you so much!! I found this after I had booked in Dorsoduro, but it looks like the right place for us.

  25. Bridget says:

    Thanks for all your interesting information on Venice. I will be in Venice with 2 girls (13 and 16) for a week in December. I am thinking of staying in self-catering accommodation in the Cannaregio area. What do you think? How easy would it be to get there from the airport.

    • Hi Bridget,
      We hope we’re not too late to help you! Your best bet if you stay in Cannaregio may be taking the Alilaguna ferry to Venice, which takes about 1 hour 20 minutes to get to the island of Venice front he airport and costs 15 euros each. Or you can splurge for a water taxi, which is always the easiest but most expensive option, as it costs about 100 to 120 euros (the price should be metered, not per passenger). However, Cannaregio is not much more difficult from the airport than Venice’s other neighborhoods, so we’d definitely recommend booking your stay there. Enjoy your trip!

  26. Bianca says:

    This is a great breakdown of the districts and pro’s and con’s but aside from always staying at hotels, if you like to be off the beaten path and want to live like a local during your few days in Venice, I always suggest staying in an apartment rental since you get more space and amenities sometimes at a better rate than hotels.

  27. Hannah says:

    This is great information; thank you for sharing. I plan to visit Italy in February for my birthday. I’m sure it will be on the cooler side. Are there any suggestions as to what to visit during that time, the best area to stay and where to eat? I will possibly be traveling alone so any suggestions on things for singles? I don’t necessarily have to stay in the touristy area but I want to experience some authentic food and do some shopping as well as take a gondola ride. Thank you!

    • Hi Hannah,
      We love the areas of Cannaregio and Dorsoduro, for either singles or couples! Venice doesn’t have as big of a “singles scene” as other cities (keep in mind it’s really a relatively small city, and mostly tourists!), but the bars at Campo Santa Margherita can be quite lively and fun. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  28. Marie says:

    This blog is AMAZING! I’m planning a destination wedding in Venice. Upon arrival, I’ll have 10-15 guests with me and would like to stay in a nice villa/ vacation rental for a few days. Preferably one with a nice garden or outside area. Any suggestions? I will consider all neighborhoods. I would like to do some sight seeing but wouldn’t mind taking a taxi or gondola. (probably won’t be doing too much walking). Also any suggestions on the best time of year to have an outside wedding in Venice? I must avoid high tide season, but I’d prefer to avoid the big tourist season and the high costs too. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thx!

    • Hi Marie,
      That sounds like a beautiful wedding! You’re going to be hard-pressed to find a roomy villa, or any place with a garden or outdoor area, on the island of Venice; as you can imagine, since it’s a city on an island, space is a rare commodity! If you’re set on a villa, you might consider a place on the mainland instead. Otherwise, we’d suggest you look at a site like to check out what apartment rentals might be available. For an outside wedding, April, May, and September will be crowded, but not nearly as much as July and August, and you’ll have little risk of acqua alta. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  29. Suzi says:

    Hi Walks of Italy. Your blog is so very helpful, thanks! Just a quick question- in July 2014 we are spending a couple of nights on Venice before we board for a Princess Cruise. We know we will be staying in an Air B’n’B accommodation, and we know where the cruise terminal is, and also where the main tourist attractions are (**all over the place!!!). What neighborhood would you recommend staying in so that we don’t have to travel heaps with bags to get on the cruise or walk forever to see the main attractions? Appreciate your help and blog in general! Thanks, Suzi

    • Hi Suzi,
      Santa Croce, Cannaregio and San Polo are all your closest options to the cruise port. Of these, San Polo is probably most centrally located and closest to the main attractions, but since the sights are scattered everywhere, as you note, be aware that you’ll be walking no matter what (which is part of the charm of Venice, of course!). Safe travels!

  30. Jen says:

    Hi! I’m planning a trip through Italy this year in April – starting our trip by flying into Venice and renting a car to drive through Milan, Florence, Tuscany and flying out of Rome.

    I have several questions – should we wait to pick up our car until the last day we’re in Venice? I imagine we won’t be needing to drive much while we’re there?

    Which area is the most convenient for shopping/food and nightlight – but close enough to the airport to pick up our vehicle?

    And which is the best way to get to/from the airport?

    I hope my questions make sense, thank you so much!

    • Hi Jen,
      We’re happy to help! First off, you not only won’t need a car in Venice, you won’t be able to drive one… with the exception of the parking lot, the island is pedestrian (and boat) only. You’ll have to take a boat or bus to the airport. The public bus is cheapest and fastest, with coaches run by ACTV and ATVO; both take you to Piazzale Roma. We think Cannaregio is one of the best areas on Venice to stay in, and as a bonus it is relatively easy to get to from Piazzale Roma. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  31. Michelle says:

    This has been so helpful!
    I am planning a trip to Venice this March with my 10 year old son. We saw a program on Venice and he has wanted to visit since!
    We are on a fairly tight budget, $100 a night (US) would be ok, can you reccomend a more child friendly area? We really want to experience Venice, not just be tourists,
    Thank you

    • Hi Michelle,
      We’d recommend Dorsoduro or Cannaregio. On an economical budget, make sure to look at the area’s B&Bs and apartments, not just hotels (which can be more expensive).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  32. jen says:

    What neighborhoods have English speaking schools or Catholic schhols? We want to teach there and live in a non-tourist area. Our kids will be 10 and 8. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jen, the main English speaking school in Venice is the ISVE, located in the Mestre area. You can find a complete list of schools and their contact information using Pagine Gialle, the Italian Yellow Pages.

  33. Carol says:

    Thanks so much for this information!

    Question… What is your opinion regarding the pros and cons of staying on the island of Giudecca?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Carol, Giudecca is a great place to stay in Venice as it is usually quieter and attracts less tourists, giving visitors a taste of authentic Venice. As an island, one con of staying in the neighborhood is having to take a 10-minute vaporetto ride to visit the main sights and neighborhoods, especially in the evening with reduced night service. Let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  34. Ken says:

    Wow! What a wonderful resource.

    I am in the initial stages of planning a 6-week visit to Italy beginning the end of Aug. 2014 to Venice, Tuscany (Lucca?), and the Amalfi Coast. Plans are to spend two weeks in each area. It seems somewhat daunting at this point, but I know it will all ‘come-together’.

    I’ve only been looking at your site for a short while, but I can tell that it will become my ‘go-to’ site for our trip.

    Thank you for all your hard work!

  35. Cathy says:


    I am planning to visit Venice 4th – 9th September. I am considering to stay at Cannaregio or at Calle Goldoni.

    I find your site very helpful, but I still need some advice. I am an amatuer photographer and taking photos is what I will be doing most of the time in Venice. Not just ordinary point and shoot. I specially like taking images around early morning, sunset and evening as well.

    I also prefer peace and quiet at night so I can sleep well. Perhaps Cannaregio is the place for me?

    How safe is it to travel alone with my camera early evening?

    Do you have private tour guides? Cost?


    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Cathy, we think Cannaregio would be an ideal area for you to stay in on your visit to Venice! You should have no problems traveling alone with your camera as the area is very safe. Our list of tours in Venice can be found here: as a photographer, we think you would love our VIP St. Mark’s After Hours Tour 🙂

  36. Vanessa says:

    My boyfriend is trying to book Venice for my birthday for 3 nights, but we have no idea where is best to stay. I like walking and exploring, and he doesn’t like spending massive of money… But we are both in our 20’s so would like to be near nightlife or at least decent restaurants please can you help

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Vanessa, we think Cannaregio would be the right area based on what you’re looking for due to its central location and generally less expensive hotels and restaurants. You may also want to look into renting an apartment for your stay to cut costs on lodging. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  37. Rachel says:

    Hi, thanks so much for taking the time to put together all this information! It is really helping my husband and I plan our trip to Venice in May. From all the info above Cannaregio sounds like a great place for us to stay and we are looking at booking one of your recommended B&B’s. We arrive at Marco Polo at 9.30pm Fri night, could you please suggest the easiest route from the airport. Thanks so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Rachel! So happy to hear that you find our advice helpful. The best way to get from the airport to Cannaregio would be to take the ATVO private bus to Venice, then taking the Number 1 vaporetto in the direction of San Marco the Ca d’Oro station. Buon viaggio and let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  38. Mary says:

    A very informative site. I am planning to visit Venice in May before taking the cruise. I would appreciate if you can guide me on the followings :

    1. how to travel from Venice ( expected to stay at Cannaregio area) to the pier ? Approx fare ? Pier address is : Staziane Marittima Port Station,

    2. I am interested in the Italian designed household (eg. candle holder, glasses,dinner set …etc). what is the best but not too expensive places to go ?

    Thanks very much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Mary! The best option to get from the city center to the pier would be to use public transportation. We’d recommend Alilaguna for around 8euro one way. Take the blue line to get to the Cruise terminal (timetable and map). You may be interested in a day trip to Murano or Burano for artisanal goods. Let us know if you have any questions!

  39. Nicole says:

    This is a really cool reference! So, my turn to throw out a scenario!

    A girl and I from work are going to be coming from Germany to Venice for two nights (Sat and Sun). We want to do at least one touristy outing, and it doesn’t even have to be an entire day of it. We would love a place with a view while also staying within a reasonable price, as in not an arm and a leg (ha ha…) Foodies and willing to wander!! What all would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance 😉

  40. Sara says:

    Walks of Italy, you really are awesome with your insights and feedback! so I read your suggestions on where to stay but i’m still a little bit confused. My girlfriends and I will only be spending one night in Venice so we do want to get the best out of it. We prefer not very local areas to stay but easily accessible to the important touristic sites which we should see. Night life is also a big plus! We love food and alcohol!! I’m honestly caught between Dorso Duro and San Polo, what do you think?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Sara! We think Dorsoduro may be the right neighborhood for you since it has great restaurants and nightlife, and is close to the city’s main sights. Buon viaggio and be sure to let us know about your experience!

  41. Carly says:

    First of all, would just like to say that this blog is amazing – thank you so much for putting all of this information together! My husband and I will be in Venice for only two nights in May for our honeymoon. As it is only a short time, we want to maximise our time. We will be arriving by rail from Milano. We are tossing up between staying in San Marco or Cannaregio ( I think I prefer Cannaregio though 🙂 )Can you please suggest where is easier to access the train station? We will be going from Venice to Bologna to stay with friends. Grazie mille!! 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Carly! Cannaregio is definitely closer to the Santa Lucia train station (about a 5-10 minute walk) so you may want to consider booking your hotel in that neighborhood. Do let us know if you have any other questions!

  42. Minas says:

    Hi there,

    Perfect work! Well Done.

    I am planning with my girlfriend to stay in Venice for four days (three nights) at the end of May. We are very keen on walking, but we would like to stay in a very central location to everything. We care about the price, but most of all we would like to have a very central location.

    Is the perfect location San Marco or San Paolo? Or you suggest something else.

    Thanks again!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Grazie, Minas! Have you considered Cannaregio? The location is very central and you can find many hotels at low prices. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  43. Carmen says:

    All the information from this website is great!
    One question please: I want to book a hotel that is located on Murano island, but my returning flight will be at 07.00 a.m from Treviso airport. Is the public transport working also at night, from this island to Venice?
    Thank you

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Carmen, you may want to consider spending your last night closer to the airport to avoid any issues with late night/early morning transportation. We would suggest something in Treviso or in Venice’s city center. Let us know if you have any questions!

  44. Alicia says:

    Hello – I am coming as part of my honeymoon from Australia in August this year. I am struggling with deciding where to stay. I have been to Venice before and stayed in San Marco near the Rialto. It was ok but feel like I didn’t get to experience the authentic restaurants and food.
    Most important for us – within walking distance to sights – not really interested in museums, would love a canal view with a balcony, would love to be close by to affordable authentic restaurants, lively night life but not clubbing, max budget 200 Euros.
    Any ideas?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Alicia, have you considered the Dorsoduro area? The neighborhood has the best of both worlds with a relatively low number of tourists, affordable prices, views of the canal and great nightlife. Let us know if you have any questions!

  45. Lourdes says:

    I am planning with my husband to stay in Venice for four days (three nights) at June…our trip will be 10 days in Italy. Venice (3) Florence (2) and Rome (3). Will be my first time in Italy…and I been reading differents blogs and this is awesome….Pls give me your advise reference the best sestiere to stay…After I found your blog….I think was San Marco…but now I believe is Cannaregio.

    Do you handle any other blog for Florence or Rome.?

    Thanks in advance

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lourdes! Thanks so much for your compliments. For which sestiere to stay in, it all depends on what you’re looking for 🙂 Let us know what type of neighborhood you’d like (close to center, off the beaten path, close to nightlife, etc.) so we can give you some advice. Free free to browse our blog for more travel tips in Florence, Rome and beyond!

  46. Deb F says:

    I was wondering if you recommend Hotel Albergo San Samuele? Also wondering what area this hotel is located in?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Deb! The hotel is a very central location, just 10 minutes from Saint Mark’s and the Rialto Bridge. We think it’s a great solution for it’s price and great location. Let us know if you have any questions!

  47. Deb F says:

    I sent you a post why was it not answered and then it was deleted?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Deb! Due to the high volume of comments sometimes we can’t respond right away. Do let us know if you have any other questions.

  48. Deb F says:

    Thank you for responding. Can you tell me is this a hotel or a hostel? I pulled it up again and it was listed under hostels.

  49. Deb F says:

    1 star it was highly rated by trip advisor?? 1 star I will not be staying there but I have to wonder if you have your facts correct.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Deb, although it as listed as 1-star hotel (basic budget hotel, most likely due to smaller sized rooms and simple accommodations), the hotel is acclaimed for its cleanliness, central location, price and staff. We’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have!

  50. Sarah says:

    thanks for this great overview. My husband and I will be staying in Mestre for a couple of nights in late June. We will have three days in Venice and are keen to explore by foot and public transport. Would you recommend the Dorsoduro area as a good place to wander around. We are keen to see the ‘real Venice’, eg whee locals hang out, and also where we can eat some good food and take some great photos.
    Thanks in advance for your help.


  51. Ketan says:

    I just came across your blog, and particularly this article…awesome…actually I just started planning for our upcoming visit to Venice, Florence and Rome (late, by some standards) and got wealth of info on Venice here…thanks for sharing.
    I take liberty to ask you some advice here:
    We are a family of five – my parents, my wife and daughter (11Y). We are looking for a nice apartment/hotel room, central and near to public transport. Basic idea is that if my parents, who are active but still want to have rest and head to room, they could do it easily. We are strict vegetarians, and I read that it would be better for us to rent an apartment so that we can have at least one meal at hotel/ apartment in case we do not find vegetarian food around.
    We are there between June 29 for 3 nights. Can you please advise area and few B&B’s / hotels? Budget is Euro 200 – 250/nt for full party.
    I have been getting some replies from B&B’s and I see lot of apartments in San Polo area.
    Thanks again, and apologies if there are too many queries in this post…

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Ketan, have you tried airbnb? There are lots of options for Venice and you just may find the perfect apartment you’re looking for. Let us know if you have any questions!

  52. Ralph B says:

    Good day Walks of Italy. I would like to seek for your advise. My wife and I will be travelling to Italy this September. We will be arriving in Rome at around 7 in the morning from Manila. We are going to meet with friends in Milan, but we are planning to go straight to Venice first and stay for 1 night before going to Milan. Can you advise me on how to travel from Rome to Venice (plane or train) and which area to stay in Venice. We just plan to walk around there, ride to gondola and relax. We like to stay in the area where it is near the area where we are going to arrive and depart to Milan. Thank you so much and more power to you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ralph! We suggest taking a train from Rome to Venice and staying in the Cannaregio area, which is close to the Santa Lucia train station. We’re here if you have any questions!

  53. Kim says:

    Hi Walks of Italy — We are heading to Venice in August and will be taking the train. We are staying in the area of the Santa Maria Frari Church and I was wondering what is the best way to get there from the train. Thanks so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Kim! Just so we can assist you better – will you be arriving at the Venice Mestre or Santa Lucia train station?

  54. Jack says:

    Hello , very nice blog but what neighbor hood would be the most convenient and affordable for our 3 day stay in Venice?? We are really looking forward to get out of Scranton PA. thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Jack! We suggest having a look at hotels and b&bs in the San Polo area! Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

  55. bajangyal says:

    Hi, my sister and i will be traveling to venice via euro rail in september but then leaving by airplane….what is the best place to stay that is convenient…our flight out is 10.20am so we want to make sure we have enought time to get to the airport. also what is the safest neighbourhood?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! We think Cannaregio would be a great option for you as it is a safe, centrally located neighborhood that is easily accessible to the airport. Let us know if you have any questions!

  56. NYCgirl says:

    This article is super helpful!

  57. Paul says:

    Thanks for some great advice
    We are planning to visit Venice next August after a cruise from Istanbul.
    We would like to stay in the Venice area for about 1week. We are thinking of a small village outside of Venice but with easy access to Venice. Inland or the beach would be ok but it must have character, tranquil etc. Where would you recommend

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Paul

      You know Mestre is really a lovely town, it’s the major base for visiting Venice so you won’t have difficulty finding accommodation and with a train station there it gives you easy access to visit other towns in the area. Bologna for one is a lovely and terribly under-rated city well worth a visit and San Marino further south is stunning. If you want a little beach time you could always spend a day or two in Lido, which is Venice’s own beach town – although not the nicest in Italy and terribly busy during the summer.

  58. Vilma Prado says:

    what is the cheapest transportation to get to San Marco area from the Venice Int’l airport?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Vilma, There are many ways to get into Venice from the Airport. One particular to the region is by water bus. You can take a water bus from the Venice Airport operated by the Alilunga company into Venice, for €13 or roundtrip for €25. The blue and red lines stop at St. Mark’s Square. However, the cheapest option is a regular bus. Read here for more information.

  59. Paul says:

    Fantastic blog. My wife and I will be bringing our 12 year old daughter and 9 year old son in the middle of July and Venice will be the first stop on a two week trip through Italy. We will be coming directly from the Venice airport and are currently looking at apartments to stay. Dorsudoro and Cannaregio seem to be the logical places to stay, but I would be interested in getting your opinion. Any restaurant recommendations as well as places to visit would be fantastic! Our children do have adventurous palates. We plan to walk and eat our way through Italy! Finally, how easy will this be to come directly from the airport with our luggage?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Paul,

      What a great trip! Depending on where you decide to stay (based on the article) we’d recommend looking into B&Bs as well as hotels. You can check out their reviews on a site like Tripadvisor or before reserving anything. From the airport you can take a water bus to a stop closer to your destination, from there, it’s just luggage on cobblestone, but with wheels it shouldn’t be too bad. As for eating your way through Venice, you’ll love our Venice Food Tour. Venice is a very touristy island and it can be very difficult to choose good restaurants, instead, our tour is guided by a local through Venice’s top markets, cafés, and its famous cicchetti bars. Have a great trip!

  60. Kylie says:

    Thank goodness I just stumbled upon your blog, wish I’d seen it a few years ago when in Rome and travelling to the Amalfi Coast! We are travelling to Venice in September and will be there for three nights all up: one night before departing on a cruise and two nights when the cruise returns. we will be travelling with our two sons aged 15 and 12 and my mother in law who is very active so is ok with walking. We’ve done plenty of travelling and don’t mind catching public transport. What area would you suggest? I have been looking at hotels in Cannaregio and would like something at least 4 stars. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kylie,

      Thank you! We’re happy you like the blog! We don’t have individual suggestions on hotels, but is a very useful site that lists all the hotels based on price, stars and reviews and often has great deals. Have a great trip!

      • Janice says:

        Hi, this is a great site.
        We are travelling to Venice from Treviso airport at the end of March. Can you tell me the best area to stay which is close to transport links. We plan to leave Venice and head for Florence by train so your help would be greatly appreciated.

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Janice,

          Thank you for then compliment! Venice is essentially an island so you’ll need to move about to get to the train station in any case. We suggest choosing the neighborhood that sounds the best for you and not worrying too much – the water boats are easy to manage and inexpensive! 🙂

  61. Andy Bogacki says:

    Hi Guys,
    Great Blog. The most helpful I’ve seen for visiting Italy.
    My wife and I are traveling by car and plan on staying 3 nights in Venice in Sept. Could you give me some practical advice on where to leave the car while we are staying in the city for those 3 days. Also I heard that the locals aren’t keen on the sound of suitcase wheels in the streets – so how do we get our luggage to a hotel without using an expensive water taxi.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Andy, we’re glad we can help! We usually suggest to return your rental car upon arrival in Venice, as parking can cost quite a bit. Still, this site lists your parking options if you decide to keep the car. To avoid the overwhelming sound of your luggage wheels on the cobblestones, you can take a water bus, called a vaporetto, for around the price of a real bus. Though of course, you will eventually have to get off and take your luggage to the hotel, we wouldn’t worry about that too much. Have a great trip!

  62. Andy Bogacki says:

    Thanks for the advice and pointing us to the “parking” link on your site. We’re using Peugeot Open Europe from France so can’t return the car until Rome. Are any of the parking garages “secure parking” options or do we not need to worry about that in Venice?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Andy,

      No problem, we’re happy to help! Most of the garages will be indoors and will have video cameras as well as men monitoring the garage. But note that contrary to rumor, you are not required to leave keys in your car; that’s true only at the Garage San Marco in the Piazzale Roma.

  63. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for this fantastic blog!

    My husband and I are traveling to Venice with our 6 month old. We arrive and immediately take a cruise for 7 days, then return to port and spend 2 nights in Venice prior to catching our plane. I am really struggling with finding a hotel that is convenient and accessible (I’ve been to Venice twice and know that its not the easiest city to get around in). We will have multiple bags and our son so I’d like something that it is easy to access from the port and easy to get to the airport as well as close to attractions (San Marco, etc) since we’ll have a lot to see in 2 days (my husbands first trip!). I’ll appreciate any travel/commuting trips and hotel suggestions. Thank you!! (and thank you for all of the restaurant suggestions above…I have saved them for our trip!)

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      We’re glad you enjoy the blog! While we don’t have specific accommodation suggestions, we find that the map feature on is very useful in deciding on a hotel based on location. With that, you can choose a hotel near to your cruise’s port. Venice has a lot to offer a first time visitor! If you and your husband would like an exclusive look at behind-the-scenes Venice, you might be interested in our after-hours St. Mark’s tour with the Doge’s Palace. Or, get the most out of your short time in the city with our Venice in a Day tour, which covers the top attractions in the city with our expert local tour guide!

  64. Jasveen says:


    Great blog! My husband came across this site while doing research for our honeymoon.
    We will be flying into Venice from Toronto and staying for 2nights before departing to Florence.
    We are thinking of staying in Dorsoduro and are wondering if you can recommend some affordable accommodations?
    If we plan on visiting the major attractions in San Marco, are we still close enough to do so? We don’t mind walking or taking transportation. Also, where can we purchase the passes for the water buses?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jasveen,

      While we don’t have specific recommendations for accommodations, we often use to find affordable hotels or b&b’s. We especially like they’re map feature to see where in the city we’ll be located – and how far from St. Mark’s Square! In any case, the water buses, or vaporetti, are easily to use. You can by tickets or multi-day passes at any of the bus stops throughout the city. Have a great trip!

  65. Michelle says:

    Hello! Thank you for this article! It’s been so helpful! My husband and I will be traveling to Italy in mid April for our 10th anniversary. It’s our first time, but we only have four days total, as it is the tail end of another trip. We were planning to fly into Venice, staying for two nights and then taking a train to Rome. What neighborhood would you recommend us staying in Venice? I am very interested in your Venice in a Day tour as well. Thank you for your help!