Where to Stay in Venice on a budget: 5 Best areas and hotels

Wondering where to stay in Venice on a budget? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Venice on a budget and the best budget-friendly hotels to stay in each neighborhood.

Venice is generally considered to be an expensive city. As a popular tourist destination, the prices for accommodation, dining, and attractions tend to be higher compared to many other cities.  

Accommodation prices in Venice can vary significantly depending on the location, season, and level of luxury. Hotels near major attractions such as Piazza San Marco or the Grand Canal tend to be more expensive. 

Dining out in Venice can also be costly, especially in popular tourist areas. But, there are more affordable options available if you venture away from the main tourist spots and explore the less crowded neighborhoods.

Additionally, transportation costs within Venice can add up. Water taxis, gondola rides, and vaporettos are the primary modes of transportation in the city, and their fares can be relatively expensive. But, walking is a popular and cost-effective way to get around, as the city is relatively small and easily navigable on foot.

While Venice can be an expensive city to visit, it is still possible to find more budget-friendly options for accommodation, dining, and transportation if you plan carefully and explore beyond the most touristy areas.

Where to Stay in Venice on a budget?

The best areas to stay in Venice on a budget are Cannaregio, Castello, Santa Croce, and Dorsoduro on Venice island, and Mestre. These areas offer more affordable accommodation options compared to the bustling tourist areas like San Marco and San Polo.

Planning your trip ahead of time and visiting during the less crowded months can help you find better deals and lower rates on accommodation in Venice.

Overview of the best neighborhoods to stay in Venice on a budget

Here is an overview of recommended areas:

CannaregioLocated in the northern part of Venice, Cannaregio is a charming and authentic district that offers a more local experience, budget-friendly accommodations, reasonably priced meals and drinks.
CastelloThis easternmost district of Venice is a residential area with narrow alleys and quieter streets, great base to escape the crowds. You can find some affordable accommodations here, especially if you book in advance.
Santa Croce Located in the western part of Venice, Santa Croce is close to the train station and offers easy access to public transportation. Santa Croce is less touristy and offers a more local atmosphere.
Dorsoduro is a vibrant area that is home to the Accademia Gallery, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and several prestigious art schools. Great area for budget travelers interested in art, culture, and a lively nightlife.
Mestre is not technically in Venice but is located on the mainland, just across the Venetian lagoon. Mestre is well-connected to Venice by frequent trains and buses, making it a viable option for those on a budget.
Map of best areas to Stay in Venice
Map of best areas to Stay in Venice

5 Best areas to Stay in Venice on a budget

1. Cannaregio

Cannaregio is often recommended as a good area to stay in Venice on a budget. It is one of the largest sestieri (districts) in Venice, located in the northern part of the city, stretches from the train station area to the north and east, all the way to the northern lagoon.

Cannaregio offers a range of budget-friendly hotels, hostels, and guesthouses compared to the more touristy areas like San Marco. You can find a variety of options that suit different budget ranges.

Additionally, Cannaregio has a vibrant local atmosphere with plenty of local shops, markets, and restaurants, making it a great place to experience authentic Venetian life. You can explore the district’s narrow streets, visit the Jewish Ghetto, and enjoy the quieter canals and squares.

Keep in mind that Venice as a whole can be an expensive destination, so budget options might still be relatively pricey compared to other cities. It’s a good idea to book your accommodation in advance to secure the best deals.

In addition to the Jewish Ghetto and Santa Lucia train station, Cannaregio is home to other attractions such as the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Fondamenta Misericordia, Strada Nova, the Ca’ d’Oro, Calle Varisco, which is Venice’s narrowest street.

While Cannaregio may not be in the heart of the main tourist areas, it is still well-connected and within walking distance to many of Venice’s top attractions. The Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square can be reached by foot or public transportation.

Overall, Cannaregio is a great base for budget-conscious travelers looking for a more local experience while still being within reach of Venice’s main attraction.

Best places to stay in Venice in Cannaregio on a budget:

  • Budget: Locanda Casa Martini, this accommodation offers air conditioning rooms, close to vaporetto station and the train station.
  • Budget: Palazzo Cendon Piano Antico, great accommodation, located within easy access to Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station, Vaporetto water bus, Cà D’Oro, and Rialto.
  • Budget: Aquavenice Locazione Turistica, a guest house offers easy access to Santa Lucia Train Station, Venice Casino, and the ferry stop for the airport.

2. Castello

Castello is the largest sestiere in Venice and offers a mix of residential and tourist areas. It is generally more affordable compared to other popular areas like San Marco.

In Castello, you can find budget-friendly accommodations such as guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and smaller hotels. Additionally, there are local markets and grocery stores where you can buy food and supplies at lower prices compared to the more touristy areas.

Castello is also known for its charming narrow streets, picturesque canals, and historic sites like the Arsenale and the Giardini della Biennale. It offers a more authentic and local experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

However, Venice as a whole can be quite expensive due to its popularity as a tourist destination. While Castello may offer more budget-friendly options, it’s still a good idea to plan and book in advance to secure the best deals and make the most of your budget.

Best places to stay in Venice in Castello on a budget:

  • Budget: Foresteria Valdese Venezia, budget-friendly accommodation in the historical center of Venice, easy reach from Santa Maria Formosa Church, Saint Mark’s Square,  and Rialto Bridge.
  • Budget: Hotel Commercio & Pellegrino, located right in the heart of Venice, easy walk from the famous Piazza San Marco.
  • Budget: Hotel Da Bruno, 3-star hotel, conveniently located between Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. 

3. Santa Croce

The Santa Croce neighborhood is one of the six sestieri (districts) of Venice. Located in the western part of the city, Santa Croce is situated on the mainland side of the Grand Canal, opposite the San Polo district.

Santa Croce offers a slightly more local and residential atmosphere compared to some of the more touristy areas of Venice. It is characterized by its charming squares, such as Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio and Campo San Giacometto, where locals gather and socialize.

One of the notable landmarks in Santa Croce is the Church of San Giacomo dell’Orio, a beautiful medieval church with a tall bell tower. It is one of the oldest churches in Venice and features impressive artworks inside.

The neighborhood is also home to the Ca’ Pesaro, an impressive palace housing the International Gallery of Modern Art and the Oriental Art Museum. The Ca’ Pesaro is a great place to explore contemporary and modern art collections.

Santa Croce is well-connected to other parts of Venice by vaporetto (water bus) and offers easy access to the Santa Lucia train station and the Piazzale Roma, the main gateway for cars and buses entering the city.

Santa Croce offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options compared to more touristy areas like San Marco.

Santa Croce is known for its authentic Venetian atmosphere, so you can experience a more local and genuine side of Venice. You’ll find small, traditional restaurants and local shops that often offer better prices than tourist-oriented establishments.

Despite being on a budget, staying in Santa Croce doesn’t mean missing out on the main attractions. Many of Venice’s popular sites, such as the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, and the Doge’s Palace, are within walking distance or a short vaporetto (water bus) ride away.

Best places to stay in Venice in Santa Croce on a budget:

  • Budget: Hotel Arlecchino, budget-friendly hotel, conveniently located in the Santa Croce district, close to Piazzale Roma square with connections to train, bus, and ferry.
  • Budget: Casa Burchielle, centrally located close to Piazzale Roma Vaporetto water bus stop and Santa Lucia Station.  
  • Budget: Hotel Olimpia Venice, BW Signature Collection, 3-star hotel, located close to the Grand Canal, the Basilica dei Frari, and the municipal car park in Piazzale Roma.

4. Dorsoduro 

Dorsoduro is a charming neighborhood known for its authentic Venetian ambiance, vibrant nightlife. It offers a more local and less touristy experience compared to central areas on Venice island.

Dorsoduro is home to several prestigious art galleries, museums, and cultural institutions such as the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It’s an excellent choice for art enthusiasts and those interested in Venetian culture.

Dorsoduro is home to several universities, including Ca’ Foscari University, which means it has a vibrant and youthful ambiance. The presence of students and locals going about their daily lives gives it a more authentic and less touristy feel.

Compared to areas like San Marco or Cannaregio, Dorsoduro tends to offer more affordable accommodation options, including budget hotels, guesthouses, and hostels.

Dorsoduro offers beautiful views of the city and canals. You can take a leisurely stroll along the Fondamenta delle Zattere or enjoy the stunning vistas from the Punta della Dogana.

Despite being less crowded, Dorsoduro is within walking distance or a short water bus ride from popular attractions like St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. You can easily explore Venice’s highlights without staying in the busiest areas.

Best places to stay in Venice in Dorsoduro on a budget:


5. Mestre 

Mestre is located on the mainland of Venice and offers more affordable accommodation options compared to Venice island’s historic city center. It is well-connected to Venice’s main attractions by public transportation, such as buses and trains, which run frequently and have lower fares compared to water taxis in the city center.

In Mestre, you can find a variety of budget-friendly hotels, hostels, and guesthouses that offer comfortable accommodations at more affordable prices compared to staying in Venice’s historic districts. 

Additionally, the cost of dining and shopping in Mestre is generally lower than in the city center.

Although Mestre is well-connected to Venice, it is still a separate location. If your main goal is to explore the historic sites, museums, and iconic landmarks of Venice, staying in Mestre means you’ll need to account for travel time to reach these attractions.

While Mestre doesn’t have the same charm and architectural beauty as the historic center of Venice, it can be a practical choice for budget-conscious travelers who don’t mind a short commute to the main attractions.

Best places to stay in Venice in Mestre on a budget:

  • Mid-range: Hotel Garibaldi, set in the pedestrian area in Mestre’s historic center. There are frequent bus runs to Venice island and the Lagoon.
  • Budget: Hotel Venezia, free parking for cars, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops, within 15 minutes walk from Mestre Train Station.
  • Budget: Hotel Adria, located only 15-minute walk from Mestre Train Station, with frequent links to Venice island.

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In conclusion, Cannaregio, Castello, Santa Croce, and Dorsoduro, and Mestre are the best places to stay in Venice on a budget. Cannaregio offers a local vibe and proximity to the train station, while Castello provides a tranquil atmosphere near major attractions. 

Santa Croce for easy access to the island’s transportation hub, Dorsoduro appeals to art enthusiasts and party goers, and Mestre suits budget-conscious travelers seeking a convenient base outside the city center. 

I personally spent 5 days in Venice and chose to stay in San Marco due to its prime location and proximity to the major attractions, but next time I will try to book a hotel in Cannaregio, which will allow me to explore the more local side of Venice with more affordable options.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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