You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a canal view in Venice. Photos by Tom Meyers
Who doesn’t dream of a canal view from their hotel room when visiting Venice? Ever since I started regularly visiting the city to review its hotels in 2001, I’ve always hoped that I would be able to fling my windows open in the morning to the sights and sounds of a passing gondola.
It hasn’t happened for a number of reasons.
First, and most obviously, cost: Canal-side hotels almost always charge more for the views. Venice has been welcoming tourists for hundreds of years, and those in the hotel business caught on long ago that they could charge more for rooms overlooking the city’s famous waterways, even the tiny, inconsequential canals.
Secondly, when I visit Venice for work, I’m almost always alone, and hotel owners almost always reserve their romantic canal-side rooms for doubles. Single rooms in Venice, in fact, are quite often afterthoughts (if they were thought of, at all).
While I can’t do much about the plight of the single traveler in Venice, I can offer some advice for budget travelers looking to book a hotel with a view. Fortunately, there are a few budget hotels left in the city with canal views. These tend to be romantic hold-outs who have chosen not to renovate themselves into four-star boutique properties with sky-high rates. (For that reason alone, we should support them!)
Here are five of my favorite affordable hotels in Venice that offer rooms with canal views. Note: As many of these offer only a handful of rooms with the views, be sure to be clear when reserving that you’re interested in a room with a view.
The view of a passing gondola from a room at the Doni. (And yes, the gondolier is texting.)
From €50 to €135
The Doni is a Cheapo classic, a small, family-run place located a couple of tiny bridges away from St. Mark’s Square. It’s an old fashioned and modest hotel, run by the grandchildren of the original owner. Four rooms at this creaky and unpretentious hotel have canal views.
The Locanda Silva is close to St. Mark’s Square, but hidden from the tourists.
From €50 to €140
Another sweet, family run hotel nestled along a quiet canal near St. Mark’s Square, the one-star Silva has low rates and simple rooms with AC. Modern art (painted by family members) hangs throughout, and six rooms look out to the small waterway. The Silva is a nice option for visitors wishing to be near San Marco, without sleeping in the midst of the crowds.
Guests at the Dalla Mora can also relax on the hotel’s roof terrace.
From €45 to €110
Perhaps the best deal in town, 10 of the 14 rooms at the one-star Hotel dalla Mora have prime canal views. The hotel is located in the charming Santa Croce neighborhood, a bit removed from the tourist bustle of San Marco, and offers very well-kept rooms with AC, and no TV. The Dalla Mora is also a family affair, run by two brothers who have created something special (and popular—book well in advance).
View of the Accademia Bridge and Grand Canal from the Hotel Galleria.
This one-star hotel is the most expensive on the list for a good reason: Its rooms don’t just look out to any old tiny canal, they open to the Grand Canal. Located quite literally at the base of the Accademia Bridge in Dursoduro, the Galleria is named for its neighbor, the Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice’s most important art museum. Rooms are lovingly decorated with old fashioned details, but the real star here are the views of the Grand Canal, bridge, or art museum.
View from the Antica Locanda Montin.
From €60 to €160
Situated along a small canal in Venice’s dreamy Dursoduro district, the Montin is a convenient restaurant-hotel combo with an impressive collection of paintings. Dine downstairs in its popular Venetian restaurant, then climb the staircase to your room, passing through a salon decked out in artwork. Rooms are simple, although dressed up with paintings, and two special rooms have small terraces overlooking the canal.
Looking for more affordable hotel options in Venice? Read all of our reviews in our Venice hotel guide.