Beds are in high demand in the Renaissance playground and art masterpiece of Florence. The Uffizi Art Collection, muscle-bound David, Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and heaping doses of Italian charm keep visitors swarming during most of the year. What was once the recipe for a suck-'em-dry tourism industry is now a lesson in modern day free market economics.
Florence Hotel Overview
The plethora of hostels, B&Bs and small hotels, nearly all of which can be found in walking distance of the historical center, offer competitive rates and a varied slate of amenities.
The good news is that when chosen wisely and well in advance, your Florence hotel need not break the bank! In fact, you will be able to snatch up a double room in high season for as little as €60—and that's with a private bath! Pass on the en suite and spend even less. Many of the hotels in Florence were designed with sinks, bidets and showers in the room, and thus offer comfy alternatives to the complete bath set.
And in a city as tiny as Florence, you'll be hard pressed to find anything that isn't a stone's throw from something fabulous.
On a general note, lower rates and a wider hotel selection are located near the train station and Piazza Santa Maria Novella. In distinction to larger Italian cities (like Rome, Naples and Milan) the area surrounding the Florence train station is relatively safe, and quiet at night. Most of the city's hostels and super budget operations are clustered here.
As for the rest of the city, rates and quality range widely. Oltrarno has a few gems, including a stellar convent, but unless you're planning to spend most of your time inside the Pitti Palace, hanging out on the Ponte Vecchio or romping through the Boboli Gardens, the area is a bit far from the center.
Budget Hotels in Florence: What to Expect
Modern renovations—elevators in particular—are a luxury on the budget hotel scene, especially in the Medieval quarter, and thus come at a higher rate. On the other hand, should you be willing to skip out on the elevator and air conditioning, there's a good chance you'll find a fresco, wood-beamed ceilings, original floors and some killer antiques in your room. What Florence hotels lack for in space and modernity, they most often make up for in Old World Italian charm.
Also, a note on bathrooms: Older buildings often translate to showers with “Italian-style drains.” While not a terrible travesty, these showers don’t have a divider between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, which means you end up with a soggy bathroom floor post shower.
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