The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in Cairns, Queensland

Relax by the charming tree-lined outdoor pool at the Lilybank Bed & Breakfast
Relax by the charming tree-lined outdoor pool at the Lilybank Bed & Breakfast | © Lilybank Bed & Breakfast / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
4 November 2021
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You’re not alone if you’re looking for cheap hotels in Cairns. As the Great Barrier Reef is right beyond the shoreline, you’ll want to devote every cent possible to witness this amazing natural wonder. Thankfully, this coastal city has its share of budget-friendly accommodations that make the whole year the best time to visit Cairns. Come grab a priceless memory without emptying your bank account when you stay at these cheap hotels in Cairns – bookable with Culture Trip.

Palm Royale Cairns, for pool views that don’t cost a penny

Large outdoor pool at the Palm Royale Cairns reflecting the sand-coloured buildings and tall palm trees surrounding it as well as the blue sky
© Palm Royale Cairns / Expedia
Hot tub? Check. Pool? Check. Chequebook? No worse for wear when staying at Palm Royale. No matter your room size or budget, you’ll still be treated to a room with a balcony overlooking the pool or garden. Did we mention that there are two tropical pools, one beach-style and one a lap pool, that join the cold-water spa? Makes you wonder if you should take the money you’re saving on the nightly rate to buy a new one-piece.

Nightcap at Edge Hill Tavern, for a nightcap, of course

Modern bedroom at the Nightcap at Edge Hill Tavern with a double bed (with white bedlinen and an orange and a red pillow) and a calming blue feature wall
© Nightcap at Edge Hill Tavern / Expedia
Even on the tightest budgets, you’ve got to have enough coin for at least one nightcap in the tavern when you’re staying at Nightcap, right? Split a studio queen room with a friend you don’t mind shacking up with. Fast food and a kebab shop are right next door, which means a basket of chips should pair perfectly with a pint if your wallet allows.

Floriana Guest House, for a quiet space by the pool

Room at the Floriana Guest House with eclectic and rustic furniture and decor
© Floriana Guest House / Expedia
If you’ve got a small budget, love historic art deco architecture and don’t mind the sounds of the sea drifting into your room, then the best time to visit Cairns is anytime you can sneak off into a room at Floriana Guest House. The poolside attic room is fabulous, sitting in its own building and giving you a private balcony and kitchenette. This affordable abode is perfect for brewing up coffee, throwing on a pair of board shorts and diving into a book about backpacking Cairns on a budget.

Gilligan's Backpackers Hotel & Resort, for affordable all-day and all-night fun

Birds-eye view of people at the palm-tree-lined outdoor pool at the Gilligan's Backpackers Hotel & Resort
© Gilligan's / Expedia
If there’s one of the cheap hotels in Cairns you want to be holed up in for the night, it’s gotta be Gilligan’s. This hotel has dorm rooms available, and trust us, with a great swimming pool and even a nightclub, all of which you can access for free, is well worth the visit. Once inside, the bar is where you’ll be keen to spend dollar bucks.

Cairns City Palms, for going without a car in Cairns

Clean bedroom at the Cairns City Palms with white floor tiles and dark furniture
© Cairns City Palms / Expedia
A 10-minute cab from Cairns Airport will speed you to Cairns City Palms. This family-friendly motel is no more than a 20-minute walk from downtown, adding to your reasons to forego the rental car when you choose this cheap accommodation in Cairns. Save more by cooking meals in your fully equipped kitchen or efficient kitchenette – though a cheap cup of coffee can be found at Jamdrop a hop, skip and a jump away.

Coral Tree Inn, for the arts and Cairns Aquarium

Long wooden tables under an awning facing the pool at Coral Tree Inn
© Coral Tree Inn / Expedia
The Coral Tree Inn feels more like an underwater oasis than a budget accommodation in Cairns. Splendid sea-style rooms painted in serene salmon and cool blue colours wash over you with ocean vibes. Such surroundings will get you jumping into your swimsuit and over to the oceanside pool. If rain clouds blow through, you can quickly run between the raindrops and get to Cairns Aquarium or Performing Arts Centre before you’re soaked.

Inn Cairns Boutique Apartments, for exploring the city on a dime

Rooftop terrace at the Inn Cairns Boutique Apartments with a blue carpet and cream-coloured pillars and walls
© Inn Cairns Boutique Apartments / Expedia
Free parking in the CBD is reason enough to drop your bags at Inn Cairns. Public transportation is right outside of your self-contained apartment, but you’ll see just how close all of Cairns attractions are when you step onto your private balcony. The ZOOM and Wildlife Dome, Cairns Museum and Cairns Art Gallery are within a block’s walk, allowing you to instantly pop back home for lunch in your apartment’s kitchen.

Lilybank Bed & Breakfast, for service-fee-free tour reservations

Lounge area at the Lilybank Bed & Breakfast, decorated in warm yellows, browns and reds
© Lilybank Bed & Breakfast / Expedia
Cheap hotels in Cairns may give you a free cup of tea or two, but Lilybank Bed & Breakfast ups the ante by providing a tour booking service for free. You’ll spend the same as you will with the operators and Lilybank will even throw in complimentary transfers. When you’re not snapping photos from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, you’ll be sharing Instagram stories of the resort-style pool and stunning gardens. If only all of Cairns cheap hotels were as posh as this one.

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