There is no doubt that Venice is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world by tourists and this fact, combined with the small size of the city, makes quality accommodations hard to find and prices high. This is even more painfully true during events that attract even larger crowds than normal, like the Carnival (Carnevale di Venezia) in winter and the Festa del Redentore in summer. If you plan to visit Venice at those times, you’d better book way in advance and be prepared to pay premium prices.
With this article, we would like to offer visitors to Venice some tips that we think will be useful when selecting a place to stay in Venice. Here are some of the options they will have to choose from.
The city of Mestre lies on the mainland right in front of Venice. If you come to the latter by car or train, you must pass right through it. If you have ever done so, you will have probably failed to notice it, since it is a nondescript industrial and commercial agglomerate that possesses no charm. Its main advantage is that there you will be able to find decent hotels at prices that can be as much as a half of what you’ll find in Venice. Connections to Venice proper are ensured by an efficient tramway that runs on the Ponte della Libertà that connects the island with the mainland and by trains, taxis and buses. Stay there if you’re on a budget and don’t care too much about commuting.
Do you want to be pampered and share your accommodation with the celebrities? Nothing spells Venetian tradition and luxury more than a place like Hotel Danieli. This is where Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie alight when they arrive in Venice in The Tourist, even though the scenes depicting the hotel in the movie were filmed in a different place (hint: you cannot actually see the Rialto Bridge from the Danieli’s balcony).
Looking for something more modern, but equally upscale: try the Hilton Molino Stucky. The advantage of luxury hotels is that you can almost always find vacancies there, as long as you can pay the price.
The boom of AirBnb has created an entirely new economy, where any kind of apartment or room in a tourist destination can be easily rented. Plenty of rooms are on offer in Venice via AirBnb, ranging from tiny attics with a shared bathroom, to bed&breakfasts, to real hotels. As always with AirBnb, exercise some caution and check the reviews with attention. By booking early, you can find some real bargains.
This is our favorite type of lodging in Venice, those quaint little hotels along a canal, with ancient furniture and a ton of charme. Find one with a terrace, where you can have breakfast atop the red tiled roofs of the old city, with a view on some baroque church, and your days will always start with a smile.
For our Venice Carnival photography workshop, we have selected for our guests Casa Nicolò Priuli, set in the middle of Sestiere di Castello, a short walk from St. Mark’s Square. The decor and atmosphere of Casa Nicolò Priuli are original of a late nineteenth century Venetian patrician residence, and the amenities and services offered in the common areas are typical of a modern residence.
As with all the other accommodations listed here, it pays to book well in advance and for our guests we have already booked a number of rooms, some of them with a gorgeous canal view. Check out our workshop page if you’d like to join us in Venice for the Carnevale!