Venice Hostels for Carnival
There are few festivals in Italy that can compare with Carnival in Venice for color, over-the-top costumes, and history – images of party-goers in masks and elaborate Medieval-esque gowns and hats are almost synonymous with the canal city, and no matter what time of year you visit you’ll find Carnival-inspired accoutrements for sale in just about every tourist shop window.
But as you can well imagine, Carnival also attracts hordes of tourists every year – and when you consider that finding a cheap place to stay in Venice is challenging even when it’s not Carnival season, you’d be remiss if you didn’t research (and book) hostels in Venice for Carnival long before the big celebration.
Unfortunately, Venice doesn’t have a huge number of hostels to choose from whether it’s Carnival or not – and some of the hostels are only open in the summer. There are countless hotels on the islands, and many of them are 1- and 2-star places that are comparable to a private room in a hostel, so they’re definitely worth checking out if you’re having trouble finding an available bed in one of the genuine hostels in Venice.
The good news is that Carnival (which is Carnevale in Italian) kind of takes over the whole city, so you don’t necessarily need to stay in one particular area to be within easy reach of the festivities. What’s more, getting around Venice is easy with the vaporetto bus-boats, or just by walking.
>> Read more about how to find Venice Carnival travel deals
Hostels for Venice Carnival
Ostello Venezia, also called the YHA Ostello della Gioventù, is Venice’s only HI hostel. It’s located across the canal on the Giudecca Island in an old (and fully renovated) granary. Because the Giudecca isn’t connected to the other Venetian islands by a bridge, you’ll need to factor in the costs and time involved in taking the vaporetto back and forth to Carnival events – but beds at this hostel are cheap and plentiful, so that will definitely help with your overall trip budget.
There are male-only and female-only dorms at Ostello Venezia, as well as some private rooms and smaller dorm-style rooms if you’re traveling with a small group. From some of the dorm windows you can even get a view of St. Mark’s Basilica across the water. All bathrooms are shared in the hallway and the hostel has a cafeteria area with a TV. It’s not the most comfortable common room ever, but the staff is super nice and the price is right.
A Venice Fish
Located in the Cannaregio district of Venice near the city’s train station, A Venice Fish hostel occupies an old Venetian palazzo. The interior isn’t institutional feeling at all, rather it’s warmed by wooden beams in the ceilings and big Murano glass chandeliers.
There are dorm-style rooms and private rooms available at A Venice Fish hostel, and guests enjoy free breakfast as well as free dinner every night. Also included in the price of your bed are linens, internet, and WiFi. It’s a hostel with a family and social atmosphere.
Camping Fusina Tourist Village
You might instinctively turn up your nose at the word “camping” when you’re thinking about a visit to Venice in February for Carnival, but Camping Fusina Tourist Village in Venice isn’t really camping. Yes, during the summer or nicer weather you could pitch your own tent for a super cheap accommodation option – but in cooler weather, the campground also has lots of cabins and what they call “maxi-caravans” (mobile housing) you can rent cheaply.
It should be noted that Camping Fusina Tourist Village isn’t on the Venetian islands, but rather on the mainland. You can reach the islands in 15 minutes by boat, and the campground enjoys nice views of the islands, so if you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Venice during Carnival where you can also get a little peace and quiet away from the festivities, then this might be a good option for you.
While it’s not really accurate to call Dimora Serenissima a hostel in the traditional sense, it’s definitely a good choice for Venice if you’re looking for budget beds. Rather than a hostel, this is a network of apartments and rooms for rent – you check in at one central reception area and they bring you to the place where you’ll be staying in the city. So while you won’t necessarily know where in Venice you’ll be staying, you’ll be sure of a few things.
First of all, every Dimora Serenissima room has a private bathroom, whether they’re inside the bedroom or outside the bedroom – at least you know they’re not shared. All rooms have a TV and small fridge, and linens and towels are included in the price and changed every three days (if you stay that long.) If you have a concern about your room being in a certain part of the city, be sure to tell them that when you’re booking.
Absolut Venice is, as they themselves put it, a guesthouse – not a hostel. They’re located a short walk across the Grand Canal from the train station in the Santa Croce district, so it’s easy to reach them whether you come in by train or by bus (or car, if you’re crazy enough to drive to Venice!).
Although this isn’t really a traditional hostel, the people who run Absolut Venice do suggest that it’s best suited to friendly people who like socializing with like-minded travelers (although if you’re looking for a late-night party hotspot, this isn’t it). Towels and linens are available for rent, and you’ll pay a small supplement upon arrival for use of the kitchen and internet, but guests can get free guided tours of the city.
photo by Alaskan Dude
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