2016 Update: We've closed comments on this post. If you're looking for a hotel in Mestre that's convenient to the Venice Marittima cruise basin, we suggest reading the Mestre Hotels for Cruise Passengers page of the Venice Mestre & Marghera Hotels guide at our travel-planning site, Veniceforvisitors.com. (And if you're already booked into a hotel in an inconvenient location, we suggest that you cancel your reservation and book a hotel that's more practical for cruise passengers.)
In a recent post titled "Trains from Mestre to Venice, and parking in Mestre," we offered suggestions for money-conscious tourists and motorists who might be thinking of staying in Mestre, on the Venetian mainland, instead of in Venice's historic center.
First, some basics:
- Mestre is at the foot of the causeway that leads from the Italian mainland to Venice's historic center and cruise port, which are about 4 km or 2.6 miles offshore.
- Although Mestre is often described as an "industrial suburb," it's actually part of the Comune di Venezia, a.k.a. the City of Venice. It's a pleasant, prosperous town with a population of nearly 186,00 and a thriving commercial center with a number of historic buildings from the 12th through the 19th Centuries.
What does Mestre have to offer cruisers? Mainly this:
- If you're laden down with luggage--as cruise passengers often are--you can take a cab from Marco Polo Airport to a hotel in downtown Mestre for about a dozen euros. When you're ready to board your cruise ship, you can hire another taxi to the cruise terminal (either Marittima or San Basilio) and ride directly to the ship for 25 euros or less.
As a bonus, Venice's historic center is only a 10- to 12-minute train ride from the Mestre Railroad Station, so you can easily sightsee before or after your cruise even if you've chosen to stay on the mainland.
We'd like to make one thing clear: We prefer staying in Venice's car-free historic center ourselves, and we think it's your best choice if can manage it. But if you lack the strength or enough hands to wrestle suitcases filled with tuxedos and evening gowns over Venice's footbridges, a taxi-accessible hotel in Mestre is likely to be a practical and less stressful alternative.
For more information about Mestre, including how to get there and where to stay, see our 23 pages of Mestre travel advice and photos at Veniceforvisitors.com.
BELOW: Shoppers on the Piazza Ferretto in downtown Mestre's pedestrian zone.