The Best Budget-Friendly Hotels in Italy

Budget stays are easy to find in Italy, from historic hideaways to beachside retreats
Budget stays are easy to find in Italy, from historic hideaways to beachside retreats | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alicia Miller
2 December 2020

Holidaying on a budget: in Italy, it’s easy-peasy. It’s not just the homely pizzerias or extensive public transport systems that are kind to your wallet – there are cheap stays aplenty, too, whether your thing is 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.

Hotel Bellagio, Lombardy

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Hotel Bellagio / Expedia
It may be famous for celebs, but Lake Como needn’t be spendy. Run by a local family for three generations, this cheap and cheery pad in atmospheric Bellagio has the same glittering water views that other hotels charge hundreds for. You’ll have to earn that bird’s-eye perspective – it’s a 38-step climb from the cobbled village square to the hotel – but the ‘inconvenience’ is more than worth the savings. Especially when there’s chilled prosecco waiting on the sun-drenched terrace.

Harmony BB Palermo, Sicily

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
Map View
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 breakfast al fresco on fluffy local brioche, soaking up the sounds of Sicily.

Iperbole Suite, Sicily

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
Map View
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.

B&B Alex, Rome

Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Courtesy of B and B Alex e Cris / Expedia
Location, location, location – this cosy, thrifty B&B, set in an 18th-century townhouse, is just moments from transport hub Termini Station, which means the whole of Rome’s sightseeing is more or less on your doorstep. Decked out with floral bedspreads, it’s got a bit of a “staying with your Italian nonna” vibe to it, but it’s precisely this kind of friendly, family-run feeling that makes it charming. Handily enough for families with older children, triple rooms are available, too.

B&B di Camilla, Tuscany

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
Map View
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 silver teapots and sticky pastries. The clutch of romantic, moodily 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.

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  • Hotel and Spa Riviera Castelsardo, Sardinia

    Map View
    Courtesy of Hotel and Spa Riviera Castelsardo / Expedia
    You’ll find it hard to leave the pool at this bargain of a spa resort in Castelsardo, an ancient citadel town on Sardinia’s cove-carved north coast. The enticingly aquamarine waters are fitted with hydrotherapy massagers, to pamper those muscles while you simultaneously soak up the southern Mediterranean sun. Of course, you’ll want to make the most of the other facilities, too: Finnish sauna, Turkish baths, Ayurvedic treatments, and the only thing more indulgent than the spa-lounging: a lobster feast in the glassy, sea-facing restaurant.

    Luigi Apartments and Rooms, Sardinia

    Map View
    Courtesy of Luigi Apartments and Rooms / Expedia
    Pretty Pula, with its golden sands, grand 16th-century tower and al fresco restaurants, is Sardinia’s south-coast pin-up – and these self-catering apartments are conveniently located just a kilometre outside of town. Great for families on a squeezed budget, larger apartments sleep four and come with all the kitchen kit you need for self-catering – though who wants to cook when you’ve got roast suckling pig just round the corner at Casa di Nonna.

    Sa Fiorida Apartments, Sardinia

    Map View
    Courtesy of Sa Fiorida Apartments / Expedia
    Check into one of these peaceful holiday villas, surrounded by lush private gardens, and you’ll really feel like a local. In the mornings, you can head to the nearby sea shallows for cooling dips; come evening, you might barbecue freshly landed fish on your private terrace. Volleyball courts, a watersports centre and boat hire are all nearby to keep your family entertained, and with some villas sleeping up to 10 people, no family’s too big to enjoy the experience.
    These recommendations were updated on December 2, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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