The Best Budget-Friendly Hotels to Book in Italy

Budget stays are easy to find in Italy, from historic hideaways in Palermo to beachside retreats in Sardinia
Budget stays are easy to find in Italy, from historic hideaways in Palermo to beachside retreats in Sardinia | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Abigail Blasi

Holidaying on a budget: in Italy, it’s easy. It’s not just the charming pizzerias or extensive public transport systems that are kind to your wallet – there are cheap stays aplenty, too, whether you prefer a seaside resort or a city B&B. With so many historic hideaways in this country, bags of character come practically guaranteed – but in some cases you’ll get spas, serene gardens and free minibars thrown in as well. Here, we round up a selection of the best budget hotels in Italy, all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Hotel Panorama, for panoramic city views in Bologna


Traditional room with two twin beds, peach walls, antique chairs and flower-patterned tile floors at Hotel Panorama, Bologna
Courtesy of Hotel Panorama / Expedia

The clue is in the name at the Hotel Panorama in Bologna. It’s an old-fashioned place with an old-school pensione atmosphere, where the rooms have either patterned tile or parquet floors and shiny bedspreads. There are great views – either over the jewel-green countryside beyond Bologna’s city limits or over the russet-red townscape of this university town’s colonnaded streets and medieval towers. You’re also right in the centre of the action: only 300m (1,000ft) from Piazza Maggiore, the Due Torri and the Neptune fountain.

2. Hotel Belvedere, for cave rooms with a view in Matera


Room in white with exposed beam ceilings, four-poster bed with sheer white curtains and light brown bedding at Il Belvedere, Matera
Courtesy of Il Belvedere / Expedia

The town of Matera in the southern region of Basilicata clings above a ravine. The town, resembling an elaborate nativity scene, would be dramatic enough amid the seemingly barren stony landscape, but the houses also harbour a secret: they’re built above and into the natural caves that dot the top of the gorge. Hotel Belvedere is one of the town’s hotels that have rooms built into the caves, with a belvedere (beautiful view) across the town from its terrace.

3. Marulivo Hotel, for a stay in a former monastery in Cilento National Park


Rooftop seafront deck with tile floors, dining tables, ochre walls and potted cacti at Marulivo Hotel, Cilento National Park
Courtesy of Marulivo Hotel / Expedia

In the Unesco-listed Cilento National Park, the Marulivo Hotel is one of the top cheap hotels in Italy for its glorious location. This is the kind of place that makes for an almost cartoonishly ideal Italian getaway: a former monastery with terraces overlooking the sea, with some exceptional sunsets to boot. Rooms elegantly combine wrought-iron bedsteads, wood beams, ornate metal lanterns and yolky yellow or exposed stone walls, and proffer more dreamy views across the countryside and Palinuro Coast.

4. Hotel Bolzano, for a Scandi in the Dolomites


Crisp bedroom in white and light wood decor with flatscreen TV and mountain views at Hotel Bolzano
Courtesy of Hotel Bolzano / Expedia

Cool, pared-down, minimalist rooms with blond wood and abstract art are the name of the game at Hotel Bolzano, a fantastic budget hotel in Italy’s gateway to the Dolomites. You’re in a stylish launch pad for winter or summer sports. There’s a Scandi vibe to the look of the hotel, including the Eiffel-style chairs and colour pop walls in the dining rooms, and it’s only 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre, and 20 minutes’ stroll from the ski slopes.

5. Hotel Park, for outdoor adventures around Lake Como


Among the best cheap hotels in Italy, the Hotel Park makes the list for its marry-me location. On the eastern shore of Lake Como, it’s close to Lecco, a picturesque town blanketing the banks of the lake. You’re perfectly placed here for cycling, walking, boating and lazing on the nearby beach. Rooms are plain and simple, allowing you to concentrate entirely on the endless blue of the lake if you book a lakefront room (rooms at the back overlook the mountainside).

6. Arcobaleno, for dining on roast suckling pig in Cagliari


Queen bedroom with exposed stone wall, high ceilings, rustic traditional furnishings and tile floors at Arcobaleno, Cagliari, Sardinia
Courtesy of Arcobaleno Rooms / Expedia

Arcobaleno (“rainbow”) is a great budget hotel choice in the Sardinian capital. Weirdly, there’s not a rainbow in sight: rooms are calm and serene, with white walls and exposed brickwork. It’s worth paying the extra euros for a superior double, which comes with a balcony overlooking the city; splashing on a suite gets you a chandelier. A recommended cheap hotel in Italy, this place lets you stay in the centre of Cagliari, within easy reach of a plate of delicious su porcheddu (roast suckling pig).

7. Hotel San Moisè, for proximity to St Mark’s Square in Venice


Ornate Venetian bedroom with gilded bed and mirrors, brocade linens and curtains and Murano chandelier at Hotel San Moisè, Venice
Courtesy of Hotel San Moisè / Expedia

In a historic 17th-century house on the San Moisè Canal, this is one of Venice’s finest cheap hotels, in a remarkable location only minutes from St Mark’s Square. You’d never think this was a budget option: check out the quintessentially Venetian, gilded, palatial rooms, with their ornate gold-framed beds, mirrors and Murano glass chandeliers. There’s the added attraction of an ochre-painted, greenery-filled courtyard, shaded by a vine and hung with fairy lights.

8. Le Clarisse Trastevere, for a Tuscan vibe in Rome


Simple bedroom with exposed brick, rustic wood furnishings, white linens and tile floors at Relais Le Clarisse, Trastevere, Rome
© Livia Hengel
Set around a leafy, shaded terrace in movie-set pretty Trastevere, Le Clarisse is among Rome’s best budget hotels. Rooms have a Tuscan feel, with polished terracotta floors and wood-beamed ceilings. It sits in the Trastevere backstreets, all ivy-draped buildings and sunny terraces, where you’re only a short stroll from Ponte Sisto across the Tiber River. The district is packed with atmospheric bars and superlative neighbourhood restaurants serving steaming plates of Roman staples such as amatriciana and cacio e pepe.

9. Suites Trastevere, for exceptional hospitality in Rome

Bed and Breakfast

Room with twin beds and trompe-loeil mural of Roman ruins and trees covering the walls and ceiling at Suites Trastevere, Rome
Courtesy of Suites Trastevere / Expedia

Located in one of Rome’s most charming neighbourhoods, with washing flapping between ochre-painted 17th-century townhouses and cafe tables on cobbled squares, Suites Trastevere has rooms that look much more expensive than their budget: they have been beautifully muralled with paintings of Roman sights such as the Trevi Fountain or views across the rooftops. It’s also a cosy, friendly B&B, where the helpful owners go out of their way to accommodate guests’ needs, and you’re within easy reach of Trastevere train station.

10. Harmony BB Palermo, for a home-away-from-home in Sicily

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Traditional bedroom with brass bed, red duvet, Persian-style rugs and antique dresser at Harmony BB Palermo
Courtesy of Harmony BB Palermo / Expedia

From the sink-in sofas and kitchenettes to an all-inclusive snack policy, this brilliant-value B&B in Palermo feels more like a good friend’s house than a hotel. Unlike in most friends’ houses, however, you’ll get art-splashed rooms with private bathrooms and mini-bars, and a central location by both the park-lined waterfront and the ornate Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi museum. Every apartment comes with a balcony, so enjoy your fluffy local brioche breakfast al fresco, soaking up the sounds of Sicily.

11. Iperbole Suite, for a design-forward couple's getaway in Sicily

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse

Minimalist modern bedroom with angular recessed grey and white ceiling, wood floors and white curtains at Iperbole Suite, Palermo
Courtesy of Iperbole Suite / Expedia

Some wallet-friendly pads can compromise on design, but not this one – clean crisp whites, funky tiled floors, sink-in bathtubs and clever built-in tables to save space all come as part of the package. You’re in the heart of Palermo, just off shopping drag Via della Libertà, so never far from the action, and because neither children under four nor partying groups are welcomed, couples can count on peaceful, low-key vibes, too. The perfect place for a romantic getaway.

12. B&B di Camilla, for sipping Chianti in a garden in Tuscany

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Queen room in beige and white with sloped exposed-beam white ceilings, wood floors and chandelier at B and B di Camilla, Pisa
Courtesy of B and B di Camilla / Expedia

Welcome to a pretty little Pisa pad that delivers proper luxury at a steal. The cream and taupe decor is enviably chic – especially in the main lounge, with its soaring beamed ceilings, book-lined fireplace and Insta-worthy breakfast spread of sticky pastries and tea in silver pots. The clutch of romantic, subtly lit bedrooms are lovely, too, but the real star? A private garden full of trees: the ideal spot for sipping a glass of feel-good Chianti on a warm evening.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Alicia Miller.

For more options, check out the best hotels in Italy, bookable with Culture Trip. Enjoy a stay in the charming coastal town of Sorrento by seeing the best boutique hotels in Sorrento.

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