07 Nov Staying in Venice for one night
As part of our two week Italy itinerary we spent one night in Venice. Although our time there was short, we walked around a lot and got to see both the popular spots and some quieter areas of Venice.
Where to stay in Venice for one night
Due to being on a budget, we had considered staying off the island, on the mainland Mestre area. We looked around and found a highly rated hotel in Venice within our budget. Staying on the island allowed us to see Venice in the early morning and at night. We were also able to head back to the hotel for a quick rest in between lots of walking.
Tip: We were glad we had a backpack and didn’t have to deal with a suitcase in Venice.
Venice hotel review
Our hotel in Venice was Hotel Filù. It is a short walk from Santa Lucia Station and located along the Cannaregio Canal. Housed in a building from the 800’s the hotel interior is bright and modern. We booked one night in a small double room on booking.com for 130 euro. On arrival, we were given an upgrade to the double room which is larger. They also have a superior double room with canal views.
Our room was a good size with a comfortable bed. Some reviews mention a night club nearby. We did hear very faint music and the occasional loud person but it didn’t bother us. I’m not sure whether other rooms would be worse. The staff at Hotel Filù were friendly and welcoming. We were able to leave our bags before check-in and after check-out. When collecting our bags we were told we could sit and rest in the lounge area and use the restroom before we left.
The location was fantastic. It was right on a canal! Walking distance to the train station and everywhere else. We didn’t have the hotel breakfast, opting for a croissant from a nearby pasticceria. If you are looking for a budget-friendly hotel in Venice we can recommend Hotel Filù. The hotel is small so book early to avoid missing out, click here to check availability and prices now.
How to make the most of your short time in Venice
I have read so many people that say the city underwhelmed them, it’s overrun with tourists and they didn’t enjoy their time there. We really enjoyed every minute of our time in Venice. The city is built on water and being there felt surreal. The busy boat-filled grand canal, the small canals filled with gondolas and the quiet canals in the backstreets. We didn’t feel the need to do anything. Simply wandering around and experiencing Venice was enough for us.
Sure, some areas were crowded and tour groups frustratingly got in our way but finding times and spots that were quiet allowed us to see the true beauty of Venice. Here are some tips so hopefully you get to experience Venice as we did.
Get lost! It’s the best way to see Venice.
It’s hard not to get lost in Venice, even if you don’t plan to. The narrow alleyways call you into them. We walked from our hotel to the area near St. Mark’s Square three times, each time taking a different path. It wasn’t always intentional, we often thought we knew the right way only to be lead somewhere else. There was always something interesting to see.
How to avoid crowds in Venice
Venice can be overwhelmingly busy, swarming with tourists and large tour groups. You can avoid the crowds and enjoy a truly wonderful, peaceful Venice.
Visit in the shoulder season
We were in Venice in October and I thought areas, especially St. Mark’s square were crowded. I have seen photos from summer time and there are a lot more people. I can’t imagine it would be very enjoyable. If you can travel in the shoulder seasons. If you must visit during peak summer months than follow our tips of how to avoid the crowds, you will want to get away!
Get out early
Staying overnight gives you an advantage so, make the most of it and head out early. Popular sights like the Rialto Bridge were almost empty whereas the day before in the late afternoon it was full of people.
We walked the same streets as the previous afternoon in the morning and could barely recognise them. Street vendors were setting up for the day, shops were still closed and we passed by parents with children heading to school on scooters. We felt like we were seeing the real Venice. The city where people live normal daily lives, not the overrun with tourists nightmare others have spoken of.
Get away from the main areas
We were so surprised that even in the middle of the afternoon when it was hard to walk through streets that were so crowded, we found whole areas free from people. Walk away from the populated spots and into the residential streets. Wander around past canals and gorgeously warm-hued homes and you will feel like you’re in a completely different place.
As I said above it’s hard not to get lost in Venice. Tight little streets and alleyways wind in different directions. Just pick a quiet one and stroll along seeing where it takes you. Maybe have a map handy, to eventually find your way back!
Where to get a view of Venice from above
You can go up the St. Mark’s bell tower for a view over Venice. It wasn’t open when we were there early in the morning and later on it had a long line up. We chose to go over the water to the bell tower on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Read my post here.
Is Venice kid-friendly?
We didn’t have our kids with us on this trip but we felt that Venice would be kid-friendly. Sure you would have to watch them when walking alongside the canals but most walking paths take you over the canals via bridges. It wouldn’t be ideal to visit with a stroller due to all the stairs. Riding in a boat and simply watching all the different types go past would be entertaining. There are lots of store windows full of interesting items like elaborate masks and beautiful glass. We think our kids would love wandering around Venice and would definitely consider visiting with them.
Is one night in Venice enough?
I definitely advise against doing a day trip in Venice and suggest you stay at least one night. Even with walking so many km’s during our time there we still had areas we didn’t see. We felt we had enough time to experience Venice and really appreciated being able to see the true beauty of this magnificent city on the water. If we had another night in Venice we would have gone over to the islands of Murano and Burano.
Disclaimer: Links in this post are affiliate. Purchasing through them earns us a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
View the rest of our Italy trip itinerary