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Finding budget accommodation in Italy is a great way to save money when you travel. It can be difficult to find affordable accommodation in Italy, particularly cities such as Florence, Rome, and Venice.
We are here to help! This is the second installment in our series about how to travel to Italy…on a budget!
Find the best hotel websites… but contact the hotels directly
Research is the best way to find out what average hotel prices are in Italy. You can search Venere and find tons of reviews. These reviews are generally more positive than other reviews sites. Tripadvisor can also be a good option for hotels. Check out the top picks of travelers in your price range to see if they fit your criteria.
You should not book a hotel through a website if you don’t see it. To find out if you can negotiate a lower rate, call or email the hotel directly.
Do not automatically associate “hotel” with the word “hotel”.
The easiest way to save money on a hotel room in Italy is by booking online. Stay in a hotel. Italy has many other options that are often cheaper than a hotel. This blog will help you find the ideal hotel. These are our top picks.
We have already written a blog about how to stay at the best agriturismo accommodations in Italy, so we won’t go into detail. These are “farm-stays” where guests can stay on the family’s farm. They also have the option to cook their own meals. They come in a variety of styles, from rustic to luxurious, and each one has the same character as a hotel with a front desk. Plus, They’re cheap. Expect to pay between 30 and 50 euros per person depending on the season, region and dinner. This is a great choice for families with young children because it has lots of open space.
Google maps is a great way to locate agriturismi. There are so many places to stay in Italy that no review or booking site can cover all of them. We’ve stayed at hundreds over the years without ever having a bad experience. Click on the area in Italy you want to stay, and then enter “agriturismo” or “agriturismi into the search box. Click on the websites that appear and you’ll be able to view photos.
Stay in a monastery or convent
Staying in a monastery or convent is another way to save money and still experience the Italian culture. You can find them in historic buildings, in the city’s heart, or in the country. And they are so peaceful! Make sure to read the fine print. You might find that some stays have rules or curfews (e.g. no alcohol or noise after a specific hour). These rules are not for people who love to party in their hotel rooms. A double room in the city centre will cost between 60 and 100 Euros per night.
We like the Monastery stays website, which lists over 500 convents and monasteries, with options for guests from all over Italy. The site advises that you don’t expect luxury as this is not the monastery’s purpose. We like the idea of clean, simple, functional rooms and warm hospitality from our hosts.
B&B, or “pensione”
The United States tends to be more expensive for bed and breakfasts. They can be a great option in Italy though.
It’s becoming harder to find “pensione,” an old-fashioned accommodation in which an Italian rents out a few rooms in their home for a low price. B&Bs are a combination of three to ten rooms in a building that offers a mix of the amenities of a hotel (daily cleans, breakfast, etc.) and traditional pensiones (often family-run with an informal touch).
A double room in a central B&B will cost between 80-130 euros per night. These are included on Tripadvisor and Venere. You can also search them on other websites like HomeAway. You shouldn’t expect a big, American-style breakfast. Often, the breakfasts are light and include cold options. Some B&Bs don’t offer breakfast, but will give you a coupon for a local cafe. If you want a large breakfast, an agriturismo might be a better choice.
A villa or apartment
A short-term rental apartment is a great way to save money on costly city accommodation, especially for families. You have many options to rent a villa or home in the country. You have the advantage of having separate rooms for your family under one roof. Plus, you have access to a fully equipped kitchen so that you can cook at home. What’s the downside? Don’t expect concierge service. You should not expect concierge service when renting by owner. For more information, see our blog post 6 tips to book your short-term apartment or villa in Italy.
It used to be necessary to hire a rental agency that charged a commission to locate safe apartments. We like sites that allow you to search and book your apartment yourself, as well as photos and reviews from previous guests. These include HomeAway , HouseTrip and AirBnB . They hold the money to ensure there is no hanky panky before you deliver it to the apartment owners. You can also search for listings in Rome and other cities on Craigslist. However, scams are common. Never wire or send money to Craigslist posters in advance.
It’s really not necessary to stay in a hostel when there are so many other options for accommodation in Italy. If this is the case, then you should read our blog How to Travel Italy on a Budget. A bed in a central city hotel for one night will cost you between 20 to 40 euros per person . One of our favorites is Hostelbookers. It has guest reviews. We also love Hostelz which is a simple site that offers thousands of options for hostels around the world.
Be creative — think outside the box!
Another way to save money on hotels in Italy is by using this link: You can be creative about your location. This is something we hesitate to say, as there are worse things than walking 10 minutes each night through a dangerous area to reach your hotel or having to travel long distances to see the best sights. It’s a good idea to make a reservation for the exact location you envision. If you are excited about the narrow streets of Rome’s historic center, you shouldn’t book a hotel in the E.U.R. Business district.
Transport is also an important consideration. In many cities public transport is scarce or nonexistent at night, so taking a lot of cabs will negate any attempt to save money.
Sometimes, it’s possible to find what you are looking for, even if you go off the beaten track. Sometimes, this means staying in one place over another in the same area. For example, choosing Salerno to stay in over Sorrento in the Amalfi Coas .
Another example: Recently, we traveled to Venice. We stayed in an agriturismo for our first night. The agriturismo is tranquil, beautiful, and full of farm animals (and dogs). The Villa Mocenigo had even a 16th century villa. We stayed in an antique-furnished room and enjoyed homemade, farm-fresh meals.
The cost? 35 euros per person. We weren’t actually in Venice, but we were only a 20-minute drive away from the center. We were visiting Venice during high season so we could save money and be able to relax outside the chaos of the city. Although it might not be the best option for everyone, we found it to be a great choice for our trip to Venice.
Always weigh all options. Always ask why one neighborhood is cheaper than the others. There are many cheap options near the Termini train station in Rome, for instance. Why? The reason? Be aware of potential dangers and research thoroughly. But don’t forget to be creative.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about finding the best cheap accommodation in Italy.