The choice of accommodation, when visiting Venice, is essential. Where is the best place to stay is not a one-size-fits-all answer, but it depends on many factors. If you are considering finding a hotel in Mestre to visit Venice, read this post.
Mestre and its surroundings
Mestre is a city, just across the bridge, the Ponte della Libertà, that which connects Venice with the mainland. In addition to Mestre, there are other satellite areas that can be considered when looking for accommodation, As regards the areas immediately adjacent to Venice, Mestre, Favaro, Campalto, Tessera, and Marghera are within the same Municipality
(it is essential to consider the cost of public transportation. For example, if you choose to stay in Marcon, you will pay more for the public transportation).
Is it a good idea to stay in Mestre to visit Venice?
People, who come to visit Venice, often consider the idea, of staying in Mestre and its surroundings, as a way to save money. On average, accommodation in Mestre costs less than in Venice (whether we are talking about hotels or apartments): this is certainly true.
Some accommodations are also equipped with parking (some have parking already included in the price, others do not, always check when booking) an element that can be significant if you arrive by car.
On average, the two areas (Venice and Mestre) are well connected by public transport as there are many commuter workers and students who move daily in one direction and the other.
An important piece of information: the center of Mestre is not well connected to the airport at all. In fact, there is a bus line, number 15, which however has bizarre times stopping quite early in the evening and on Sundays it has only one scheduled ride every hour. One thing to consider. Obviously, the alternative of the a taxi remains valid. So if you are looking for savings and you have a car, Mestre could be a good idea. But continue reading on to understand exactly where to book your accommodation.
Staying in Mestre to visit Venice is a bad idea if…
However, as I said at the beginning, staying in Mestre could also turn into a bad idea. In particular for me there are conditions in which where I do not recommend it.
One of these is certainly having children, perhaps under 10 years of age. Going back and forth could be particularly tiring. Venice tends not to be an easy city to get around with children, especially in summer with high temperatures and humidity and almost no chance of throwing to find comfort yourself under a fresh tree. Staying in Mestre would mean adding travel times.
Even if you like to go to the hotel to bring you back/refresh yourself before dinner to rest or freshen up before dinner, I don’t recommend choosing Mestre: once you’re back on the “mainland”, in fact, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to get back on the means of transport back to Venice. At that point better to dine in Mestre.
Even if you like coming back late in the night, it’s better to stay in Venice: despite having night connections with the mainland, in many districts the connections stop around midnight and you risk having to take a taxi to get back. Not to mention that the evening/night buses are often more crowded than the daytime ones as they are less frequent.
Furthermore, in my opinion, if you are only spending one or two nights, it is better to stay in Venice so as not to waste too much time and enjoy the always very pleasant evening atmosphere in the summer.
How to choose the best areas to stay in Mestre
When choosing the best areas to stay, the first thing to consider is are the connections through public transport. In fact, it is strongly discouraged to reach Venice with your own car, above all for a question of parking costs. On many weekends, the parking easily reach saturation, so without a reservation you will only waste time along the Ponte della Libertà.
In principle, always look at the distance from the bus stop closest to the hotel: be careful of hotels in the shopping center area because in the evening you may find very few bus rides and you may find yourself passing through areas that are not exactly pleasant.
The best areas are those that can be reached with direct rides and connections even in the evening and at night. Surely the area around the center of Mestre (Piazza Ferretto) guarantees the greatest and best possibilities of movement having more bus lines and the tram that guarantees a direct connection. Furthermore, in this area, it will also be easy to dine if one of the evenings you want to stay on the mainland.
The area around Mestre station is also a good choice in terms of travel. Here you have choices of even newly built hotels at affordable prices. What could be less beautiful is moving around that area at night: like all stations in the world, in fact, the one in Mestre is not particularly safe, indeed perhaps it is even a little worse than the others. So you can choose this area if, for example, you are not alone.
Another good choice may be the area of Marghera, for apartments, but here the buses are quite crowded and therefore it could prove to be a rather tiring experience.
The Campalto/Tessera area (and Favaro) can be an excellent choice. The connections are from early morning until after midnight and the buses are frequent. Here the only big problem is that of eating out, because unfortunately the choice is not varied and even the supermarkets are small.
Furthermore, the Campalto/Tessera area can be a good choice if you arrive late by plane (it is 8/10 minutes max from Marco Polo airport) or if you leave early in the morning.
Staying in Mestre in a Hotel or Airbnb?
It’s time to face The Question: hotel or apartment? Again, I don’t have a single answer to offer you, but I’ll make some considerations.
Let’s say that the reason for choosing the apartment for me is: to stay more than 3 or 4 nights. In that case, it may happen that you may want to have dinner at home one evening after doing some grocery shopping.
The theme can be the same if you travel with children and want to have healthy meals and maybe a little cheaper (but for children the above also applies).
Another good reason is if you travel with friends and you like to share a moment of relaxation with cards or board games when you return: the apartment can be a good choice.
Please pay attention: you are a guest in a building where people and families live who will have their normal life and are not on vacation. Maybe there are children who go to bed early, people working from home, and doctors or nurses returning after night shifts who want to rest: in short, the watchword is respect and as little noise as possible.
Remember that, when handing over the keys to the apartment, the person checking in must ask you for the id documents of everyone present: if he/she doesn’t do so, he is violating an Italian law.
The concept that if you are in a hotel the reception is open 24 hours a day always applies: if you are a person who prefers this type of security, always consider it.
What to do in Mestre
If, in addition to visit Venice, you decide to take a walk in Mestre as well, maybe you could have some pleasant surprises. From an architectural point of view Mestre cannot be defined beautiful but the area of Piazza Ferretto can be pleasant.
On Wednesdays and Fridays, there is the outdoor market where you can take a pleasant walk (on Saturdays in Marghera, a market also frequented by the Venetians who have their special stalls where they can go for shoes and clothes).
In Mestre there is also a museum, called M9, that tells the story of the twentieth century in Italy: it is a museum based on interactivity and certainly innovative from many points of view. The architecture of the museum itself is beautiful and pleasant.
If you are wandering around Mestre, don’t forget to taste the tramezzini (soft bread sandwiches) which are a local specialty here. As like in many cases, everyone has their favorite place of eating tramezzini, definitely two places to visit are La Perla in Via Mestrina and Caffè Commercio in Piazza Ferretto.
Among the things for which Mestre is famous there is also ice cream: the local ice cream shop Chocolat (with three locations) In fact, Chocolat has repeatedly won the three cones of Gambero Rosso, a very important prize award in Italy).
If you want to relax, there are also spas and wellness centers at good prices.
If you decide to spend more than a few days in the area then than Mestre can be an excellent starting point for exploring the Treviso and Padua areas (even by train).
Where to eat in Mestre
What is not lacking in Mestre are places where to eat and there are places for all budgets.
Any dinner, given that you are on vacation, should begin with an aperitif.
This is my list of place of for aperitif:
Osteria Birraria La Torre – Piazza Ferretto area
Petit Bistrot – Piazza Ferretto area
Wishy Bar – Piazzale Sicilia area
Gino’s – Piazzale Sicilia area
Beyond the garden – Piazza Ferretto area
High water – Piazza Barche area
Hostaria Vite Rossa – Corso del Popolo
For dinner you can have good pizza at Da Pino in Piazzale Candiani. In Piazza Ferretto there is also a pub, McOnor Pub, where you can taste club sandwiches (another local speciality). For club sandwiches (here you must have a car) Stinger and Ferovecio are also very popular.
For other more original and local little places, I recommend Fermenti right next to the Toniolo theatre or Lupo Nero, very local and popular both for aperitifs and for dinner. If, on the other hand, you love good meat, the right address is Ristorante La Torre.
You can find good fish at Casa Fortuna.
If you like love outdoors solutions, Forte Marghera is your place (take a look at how to reach it if you don’t have a car): it is a beautiful space in the middle of greenery where you can eat informally, from meat to pizza or even just go for a beer after dinner. It is the prefered place where to spend summer in Mestre.
There are also many ethnic restaurants as well many “all you can eat” sushi. With regards to Chinese restaurants, I would like to point out Jixiang (at the beginning of via Piave) while if you want something absolutely original with an ethnic mood I absolutely recommend Itaria which is a truly original sushi proposal.
If you intend to dine on the weekend always call to make a reservation.
Have you got a more complete idea of whether it makes sense for you to stay in Mestre? Let me know and if you want to take a food tour in Mestre, don’t hesitate to contact me.