Where to stay in Venice?

In the heart of north-eastern Italy lies Venice, a one-of-a-kind city that draws travellers with its irresistible charm. Renowned for its captivating canals, which serve as roads and reflections of architectural marvels, Venice weaves a unique tapestry of art, history, and romance. When in Venice, embrace the enchanting ambiance of the city and create unforgettable memories by gliding along its picturesque canals in a gondola, immersing yourself in the timeless allure of this iconic experience.

Our favourite places to stay, towns and villages:

  • The best neighbourhoods and places to stay in Venice
  • Activities on the islands around Venice
  • The gastronomical delights of Venice

In this sublime city, Secretplaces has carefully handpicked a selection of luxury hotels in Venice as well as a curated list of the best boutique hotels in Venice, to assure you a lavish experience, as the place asks for. Or, you can choose from our stylish bed and breakfasts in Venice, located in perfect spots of the city. But, if you prefer to self-cater, we have chosen an array of charming holiday apartments in Venice.

The best neighbourhoods and places to stay in Venice

Welcome to Venice, a fascinating city where romance, art, and history all come together. You may observe the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica and the ancient Doge's Palace at St. Mark's Square, where your adventure begins. Take a walk through the city's little lanes and across its picturesque bridges to experience its dreamy atmosphere. Discover the famous Rialto Bridge, a work of architecture that overlooks the Grand Canal and provides very nice city vistas. Explore the "calli," or small alleys, and take in the lively ambience of the neighbourhood markets.

Gondola rides are a must-do activity when visiting Venice since they give you the chance to experience the city's distinct splendour from the water. Don't miss the vibrant Rialto Market, where you can sample regional cuisine and glimpse Venetian daily life.

Explore the Jewish Ghetto, one of the oldest ghettos in the world, with its rich history and cultural significance, including historic synagogues and Jewish heritage sites.

Admire the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute's beautiful architecture, a majestic masterwork that stands as a sign of thanks for the city's freedom from the plague.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Accademia Gallery, which display outstanding works from many eras, are excellent places for art aficionados to visit. As dusk comes, go for a stroll, to enjoy the beautiful aura of the city illuminated by soft streetlights. Explore off-the-beaten-path areas like Cannaregio and Dorsoduro for a more serene and authentic view of local life to get away from the masses.

San Marco: San Marco is the best known and busiest district in Venice. Here you can find St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. The district is full of tourists, restaurants, stores and souvenir stores. You can stay here in the centre of the city and easily reach all the sights by foot. Browse our selection of boutique hotels in Venice for a beautiful place to stay.

Cannaregio: Cannaregio is one of the larger districts in Venice and has a relaxed vibe. Here you will find many local restaurants, bars and stores. The district is also known for its Jewish ghetto, the first ghetto in Europe. Make yourself at home in one of our luxury hotels in Venice overlooking the water.

Dorsoduro: Dorsoduro is an artistic and cultural centre in Venice. Here you'll find the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Gallerie dell'Accademia. The district is also known for its many bars and restaurants. Get a taste of the Italian flavour here in one of our small bed & breakfasts in Venice.

San Polo: San Polo is the oldest district in Venice and has a lovely atmosphere. Here you will find many local markets and products as well as some authentic accommodations at still affordable prices.

Santa Croce: Santa Croce is the district closest to the train station. Here you will find many budget hotels and self-catering apartments.

Castello: Castello is also a larger district in Venice and has many hidden treasures. Many local artists live here, not without reason the district is also known for the Giardini della Biennale, where various exhibitions are set up and visited every year.

Good to know about Venice:

First, there are no cars in the city, only boats and gondolas. Also, there are many bridges that might be difficult to access for wheelchairs and strollers. So, for those who find it difficult to walk, it is best to find out in advance about possible routes and transportation options.

A trip to Venice is a captivating and enchanting experience filled with art, history, romance, and the unique charm of navigating its picturesque canals.

Activities in Venice

It is not just the city of Venice, the highlight of the region, that should captivate all your attention. You can also explore the nearby islands, where a variety of well-known sites and unforgettable experiences are waiting for you. Visit Burano, a kaleidoscope of vibrant houses. Discover the fine artistry of lacemaking at the Museo del Merletto while strolling the lovely neighbourhoods.

In Murano, observe as expert craftsmen turn molten glass into incredible sculptures as they practice the longstanding craft of glassblowing. Investigate the Murano Glass Museum to learn more about the history of glassmaking on the island.

Escape to the Lido, where you can enjoy the sandy beaches and the laid-back seaside atmosphere. Swim in the Adriatic Sea, enjoy the sunshine, and rent a bike to tour the island's luxurious Art Nouveau houses and avenues lined with trees. If visiting in September, attend the renowned Venice Film Festival, where cinematic masterpieces are shown.

Find more about Giudecca, a serene haven just across the Grand Canal. Admire the palazzos while strolling along the waterfront pathways and taking in the panoramic vistas of Venice's skyline. Visit the Church of the Redeemer, a masterpiece of architecture that offers peace and time for contemplation.

Travel to Torcello, one of the Venetian Lagoon's oldest towns. Explore the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, which is covered in fascinating Byzantine mosaics that symbolize biblical scenes in precise detail.

Venice gastronomy

Venetian gastronomy is a true delight for food enthusiasts, and a reflection of the city’s historical influences and unique geography, offering a rich culinary tradition influenced by both land and sea. The cuisine of Venice is characterized by its emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, simple yet flavourful preparations, and a harmonious blend of flavours.

When travelling to Venice, there are some staple foods that you need to try, and prepare to be mind blown! Starting from Bigoli in Salsa, a thick, whole-wheat spaghetti-like pasta, typically served in a simple sauce made from onions, anchovies, and olive oil. Or, Risi e Bisi, a creamy risotto made with fresh peas and sometimes includes pancetta or prosciutto for added flavour.

Again, make sure to try the Baccala Mantecato, a creamy spread made from whipped cod, olive oil, and garlic.

But, most importantly, when in Venice, you need to absorb the culture of Aperitivo and Cicchetti, treasured traditions, where locals and guests assemble in small wine bars, called Bacari, and engage in a pre-dinner ritual. Enjoy the art of Cicchetti, delicious bite-sized bites that are coupled with a refreshing beverage, such as Aperol Spritz, while taking in the lively conversation and joy of the aperitivo hour.