Venice Mestre is located on the mainland side of the lagoon, an 11-minute train ride to Venice. More residential and industrial, Mestre offers tempting low prices on accommodation for those visiting Venice on a budget.
While Mestre is close to Venice, it is definitely not the same as Venice. The trouble with staying in a suburb of a city built on islands is that Mestre is a rather unremarkable town that is simply nearby a one-of-a-kind city. (And I say that as a person who really wanted to give Mestre a chance to stand on its own).
Here is what you need to know about staying in Mestre, and the best Venice Mestre hotels to choose if you do decide the mainland city is right for your next trip to La Serenissima.
- The most appealing thing about Mestre is it’s proximity to Venice. While the city does have a medieval central square, it lacks the charm, beauty, and canals of Venice. The historic center is a 20-minute walk (or 10-minute tram ride) from the Mestre station. Piazza Ferretto is filled with cafes for a coffee or aperitivo. It sits in the middle of Mestre’s shopping district and it close to the M9 museum, one of the top things to see in the city.
- Mestre is well connected to Venice by train, tram, and bus. These trips take just over 10 minutes to cross the lagoon and cost less than €1.50 per trip.
- Mestre is significantly cheaper than Venice. A comfortable, updated hotel room can be found in Mestre for less than €100 a night and hostels are even more affordable. Restaurants are also much cheaper on average. Plus, this pizzeria 3 miles outside of town is said to have the best pizza in the country according to Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading food guide.
- Mestre is well connected to the rest of Veneto too. You can reach both Padova and Treviso within 20 minutes for €4 or less. This makes the city a good base for exploring more than just Venice itself.
- Outside of the small city center area, most of Mestre is filled with apartment buildings constructed in the 1960s and 70s. There is little for visitors to see and do in Venice Mestre.
- While Mestre is close to Venice, going through the Mestre and Santa Lucia train stations every day will absolutely cost you time. However, tickets are only €1.35 each way.
- In order to make the most of the limited hours you have in Venice, you will likely want to purchase vaporetto (water bus) tickets, which will add to the expense.
- If you visit during a heatwave, Acqua Alta, or with kids, you will probably want to head back to your hotel during the day to take a break. This is much less convenient when you stay outside of the city.
- The city of Venice was previously planning to institute a fee for day-trippers. This was put on hold because of COVID-19’s impact on tourism but could come back in the future, leading to another added cost.
Venice Mestre Hotels
If you do plan to stay in Mestre in order to visit Venice, it’s best to stay near the train station. There are several new hotels and hostels which offer modern and affordable accommodation options. All are placed so you can be on the train station platform within 10 minutes making it possible to leave your door and be standing next to the Grand Canal in 25 minutes. The best places to stay in Mestre include:
This was where I stayed in Mestre. For me, it was the perfect fit because it offered a functional kitchenette inside the comfortable hotel room. It bills itself as an apart-hotel, because the rooms are a mix of apartment living and traditional hotel accommodation. I appreciated the fast Wi-Fi and a 24-hour front desk. The AC was a lifesaver in summer, as well. The hotel is near several other hotels, so there is not much in the way of atmosphere, but it was easy to walk directly to Platform 1 at the train station in less than 10 minutes.
The Hilton Garden Inn in Venice Mestre is located between Venice Airport and Venice. If you are looking for affordable but airy rooms and a traditional hotel experience for a fraction of the price, this is one of your best bets. Rather than being by the train station, the hotel is close to one of Mestre’s main parks. They also have a large swimming pool, which is hard to find in this part of Italy. Public buses pass every 10-15 minutes and will get you to Venice’s Piazzale Roma on the other side of the lagoon in about 10 minutes. The foolproof trip is easy to make, and the trip back to the airport is just as simple.
Wombats Hostel is a short walk from the Venice Mestre train station and the new hostel is modern and clean. The dorm rooms are basic but painted cheery colors and have lockers for your stuff. The entire hostel is spotless and spacious. More importantly, there is AC and a popular bar with a relaxed atmosphere. You can find double rooms with a private bathroom for less than €50, or you can get a bed in mixed dorm for under €20/night.
If you are looking for the liveliest place to stay in Mestre, it has to be ao. A&O is a mix between a hotel and a hostel, with both private rooms and dorms. It is absolutely massive and always has a young crowd hanging out in its front lounge. The hostel is a short walk from the train station and offers great value for price. The quadruple rooms with a double bed and bunkbed would work well for a family, while the on-site bar will appeal to those without little ones in tow. There’s a great buzz without descending into a party atmosphere.
I have stayed at Leonardo brand hotels around the world and always find them to be a great value. The 4-star Leonardo Royal Hotel is an 8-minute walk from Venice Mestre train station. It is popular with business travelers because, in addition to lovely rooms, they have great meeting facilities as well. There is a huge spread at breakfast and friendly front desk staff to help you make the most of your stay.