I’ve been lucky to spend several weeks in Venice this year, as the #wombatsTraveller Ambassador for wombat’s Hostels. I spent my time exploring the city and finding the best budget and free things to do in Venice, learning more about Venetian culture and of course eating all the amazing food in Venice! Since it opened in July, the new Wombat’s City Hostel Venice Mestre has become my home from home and is hands down the best place to stay in Venice on a budget.
I had complimentary stays at Wombat’s Venice as I am the #wombatsTraveller ambassador for wombat’s Hostels, but I always share my honest opinions.
Where to Stay in Venice on A Budget
Wombat’s Venice is on the mainland in Mestre, just across the water from Venice Island. This means you will be away from Tourist Central, in the up-and-coming area of Mestre, just a short train ride from Venice itself.
Wombat’s the City Hostel Venice is right next to Mestre train station and has an entrance leading directly to platform 1 of the station, so you can walk off the train and into your hostel room within minutes.
On the one hand, you might prefer to be on the island of Venice, but you will pay a lot more for the privilege! Remember too that although it is closer, if you are staying on a different island like Giudecca or Murano for example, you will have to pay the €7.50 fee on the Vaporetto to leave your island to get to Venice. From Mestre you can take the train for €1.35 or bus for €1.50, so Mestre really is the best place to stay in Venice on a budget.
What Makes Wombat’s the Best Place to Stay in Venice?
I’ve been spending quite a lot of time with the team from Wombat’s and they are only too aware of the problems caused by over-tourism in Venice. Choosing Mestre as a location was no coincidence. They wanted to be outside the tourist centre of Venice, giving visitors the chance to save money by staying in a hostel in Venice away from the crowds, and by showing that there is far more to Venice than canals and gondolas. With plans to help budget travellers enjoy responsible tourism in Venice, they want to encourage visitors to spend several days in Venice, wandering off the beaten path to find authentic experiences, and exploring the Veneto region beyond Venice Island.
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Safety at Wombat’s the City Hostel Venice
Mestre used to have a bad reputation, but recent developments have transformed the area around the train station. Several hotel and apartment chains have also opened up new properties here in Mestre, making way for new opportunities and a pristine area which has the potential to grow in the next few years. The walk to the nearby supermarket isn’t the most pleasant at night as you walk underneath a bridge and through a carpark, but there are still plenty of people around, so I didn’t feel worried.
At Wombat’s the City Hostel Venice, like the other Wombat’s Hostels, you can only access the room floors with a key card, which also opens your room and your locker if you are in a dorm. The reception is open 24 hours a day, and I felt very safe here. The staff are fab too so if you have any concerns about anything they will help you out.
Rooms at Wombat’s the City Hostel Venice
As the hostel is brand new, everything is beautifully clean and modern. The dorm rooms are very spacious and simply decorated, each floor with its own colour coding for the curtains and paint. Each dorm has an ensuite toilet and separate shower, and the sink is also separate. The bunk beds have sturdy metal frames, so even the lightest sleeper should get a great night’s sleep without the bed creaking and wobbling! Each has its own light, plug socket and USB charging point too. Large lockers are provided in the dorm rooms, which open using your room key card.
The private rooms are also ensuite, with comfortable double or twin beds.
All the rooms are temperature controlled by a central system, designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. You can also open the windows for some fresh air if you like!
Breakfast at Wombat’s Venice
Breakfast isn’t automatically included in the standard rate, but you can add it on for a few euros (€5.90) to chow down on the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, served from 7.30am to 10.30am every morning. The buffet includes boiled eggs, cereal, fruit, bread, jams, yoghurt, chocolate spread and a selection of cheese (including mini mozzarella balls!), cold meats and olive paste. It’s a delicious way to start the day and filling up on breakfast might mean you can skip lunch, so it’s a great option if you’re backpacking Venice on a budget!
Facilities at Wombat’s the City Hostel Venice
As with all Wombat’s Hostels, a communal guest kitchen is available where you can cook up your own food if you don’t want to eat out in Venice. There aren’t many hostels in Venice which have a kitchen so that is a definite plus. However, it is quite small and does get busy around mealtimes so bear that in mind. There is a large supermarket around the corner where you can buy stuff to cook or eat at the hostel too.
There is a laundry here with four machines and four dryers. Pay at reception and they’ll give you tokens to use for the machines.
There is wifi throughout the building and a cool co-working area next to the reception where you can set up a laptop and get some work done if you’re that way inclined. On the upper levels if you have a bed near the window the signal doesn’t always reach that far but closer to the door it works well.
Every Wombat’s Hostel has its own bar, the WomBar, and Venice is no different. At check-in you’ll get a voucher for a free drink, so head on down to check it out and meet fellow travellers. Keep an eye out for the Happy Hour deals, and any special events going on. The last time I was there we had Karaoke, which was great fun, but there will be more events as the hostel and staff get in the swing of things.
If you’re hungry but don’t want to cook or go out, then the WomBar serves some food too – nothing fancy but you can get a lasagne, mini-pizza or savoury cake here for a few euros.
Is Wombat’s Really The Best Hostel in Venice?
I certainly think so yes! And judging from the reviews on Hostelworld it seems like a lot of people share my opinion. It’s clean, spacious, friendly and excellent value, and for me is the best place to stay in Venice on a budget. Remember that the hostel only opened in July 2019, so it is still early days but already things are more streamlined as the staff and the building grow into a really cool hostel.
How To Book
You can book your stay directly at the Wombat’s Hostels website here for the best rates and special offers. You can also book on Hostelworld here if you want to check out more of the reviews before you book.
If you’re planning a visit to Venice, let me know what you think – do you agree is this the best place to stay in Venice on a budget? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave your comments below.
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