Hotels in Venice

Venice is one of the most romantic cities in Europe. Built over 117 islands in a shallow lagoon, the famous city has been a top destination for travellers since the 18th Century when young aristocrats flocked there as part of their ‘Grand Tour’.  Now thousands of tourists are drawn to the city each year to enjoy lazy gondola rides along the canals, see the famous St Mark’s Basilica, and rub shoulders with celebrities at the Lido di Venezia.

The centre of Venice is completely pedestrianised, so it’s a good idea to pack your comfiest pair of walking shoes. Failing that, bring your sealegs: you can get from point A to B using one of the city’s waterbuses.  There’s plenty to see and do in Venice, with most of the sights and hotels concentrated in the following neighbourhoods.

Cannaregio                                                                                                                                            

Grab a taste of local life in this traditional neighbourhood.  Buzzing bars and lively coffee shops line the streets, while the shops tend towards second hand books and fashionable clothes. The Rio Tera has a great market, where you can pick up the ubiquitous souvenir masks as well as fresh fruit and veggies to bring back to your hotel room.

San Marco

You can find most of Venice’s famous sights in this small district. Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Palazza Dandolo, and the Doge’s Palace are just a few. Sip a bellini in Harry’s Bar, a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, or indulge in a bit of window shopping. There’s a good selection of hotels in San Marco, so you won’t have to walk far to enjoy the highlights.

Castello

Venice’s most varied sestieri, Castello ranges from glamorous architecture in the West side to rustic residential areas in the East. Get away from the tourist trail and join the locals in the bars of Via Garibaldi, or take a wander to the public gardens, where you can see straight across to St Mark’s Square.

Dorsoduro

Artsy yet academic Dorsoduro is home to Venice’s museum quarter, university, and lots of boutique hotels. The atmosphere in the main square, Campo Margherita, is always buzzing. During the day it’s famous for its great food shops, and in the evenings the cafes come alive as youngsters sit outside enjoying their drinks.

Santa Croce

There are lots of hotels near the Piazzale Roma bus station: the only part of Venice connected to Italy by road. Santa Croce is the down to earth counterpart to central Venice, with Laundromats and graffiti as well as churches and palaces. There are plenty of quiet little squares where you can grab a bite to eat, too.

Lido Island

The trendy beach of Venice is a favourite celebrity hangout, hosting a large film festival every September. It has a completely different atmosphere from the rest of Venice, with a laid-back island feel.   Most of the beaches are privately owned by the island’s many hotels, but there is a public beach too.

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Venice Travel Guide

San Marco

Doge’s Palace

The Rialto

Built on a series of 117 islands in an Adriatic lagoon in the north of Italy, Venice is a strong contender for the most romantic city in the world, and justifiably so. Little changed for centuries, and with a long and fascinating history, the city is famous for its mysterious ...

Images by Flickr/escapio, Flickr/Navin75

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