The Arsenale area of Venice - together with the Giardini Pubblici, and both in the eastern Castello - comes into its own during the Venice Biennale, the city’s international contemporary art and architecture show held in odd-numbered years. Other attractions in this area of the Castello include a maritime museum, San Pietro di Castello - the city’s cathedral when it was a Republic - and the beautiful 16th-century Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni. But If you want a ringside seat during the Biennale, choose one of the best hotels near the Arsenale.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, this area was the heart of the city’s maritime and military strength, home to the largest medieval shipyards in Europe and the base for around 300 shipping companies. By the end of the 18th century, however, when Napoleon took over the city, the wharves were largely destroyed, although it was rebuilt and used until WW1 by the Italian navy. The magnificent gateway, with its four Renaissance lions, remains.
The Venice Biennale is, naturally, tremendously popular so you need to book early to grab a room in one of the best Venice hotels near the Arsenale. Nothing here? Then widen the net and check out all our Venice recommendations, or contact a friendly guru for advice.
An adorable, typically Venetian B&B. Rooms exude understated charm and homeliness. Excellent views from the bedrooms and lovely breakfasts. A great value spot for central Venice.
Venice (Castello, 3608)
An elegant historic residence close to San Marco Square. Gothic-Byzantine architecture remains the hallmark of its restored interiors - period furnishings and 18th century paintings throughout the rooms. A great value choice for families, friends or couples.
A charming and romantic B&B with a beautiful garden and breakfast terrace. Design conscious rooms have white washed walls, clever lighting and sleek furniture. Great value and very pretty.
The Beggiato family open their doors and antique collection to give guests Lagoon views, a luxurious stay and Michelin star dining. Rooms are unique with an eclectic mix of curios and collectables. Enjoy the rare Venetian garden, the memorable dining experience and the Oriental Bar. Romantic stay.