Finding a decent place to stay in a top European city for under $200 per night can be a spirit-crushing challenge. To lighten your load, we’ve listed a few of our favorite inexpensive haunts in 10 of Europe’s top cities.
Hotel Künstlerheim Luise
This hotel’s name, which means “home for artists,” suggests a bohemian commune, but all the residents are paying guests. The Künstlerheim is one of Berlin’s most original boutique hotels, with each fantastically creative room in the 1825 house or new wing — facing the Reichstag — styled by a different artist. Memorable furnishings range from a suspended bed and airplane seats to a gigantic sleigh bed and a freestanding, podlike shower with multiple nozzles. (photo, right)
This former in-town mansion, or palacete, provides a splendid drawing room, a location nearly dead center between all of Barcelona’s main attractions, views over the leafy tree-lined tunnel of Rambla Catalunya, and a 24-hour free buffet. Ask specifically for one of the exterior rooms; the interior rooms on the elevator shaft can be noisy.
The name says it all. The owners of this hotel took three classic Georgian houses near St. Stephen’s Green, added a modern extension, and opened one of Dublin’s best-value hotels. So you get an 18th-century-Dublin experience — high ceilings, original fireplaces, antique gilded mirrors — at guesthouse prices. Within the hotel, Maguires is a cozy, unpretentious little pub.
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The exterior of this 19th-century building is an architectural extravaganza, complete with kiosk corner turret, Art Nouveau-y portals, and redbrick trim. Inside, rooms are white, modern, and casual, and some have adorable views overlooking the canals. (Sleepers bothered by noise should opt for rooms in the rear.) The breakfast room is idyllic, and the friendly staff will encourage you to help yourself to a welcome drink at the check-in minibar when you arrive.
This eccentric town house is another trendy address in London for fashionistas, actors, and musicians. Often used for fashion shoots, the kitsch bedrooms veer wildly from Moroccan fantasy (the “Casablanca Nights” room) to acres of plaid (“Highland Fling”) and satin (“Enter the Dragon”); you’ll probably want to take some photos of your own here. Triples and family rooms are ideal for groups looking for space and style.
Room Mate Mario
More than just a good deal, this modern and stylish hotel is in the city center, steps away from the major sites and nightlife. Although somewhat small and limited in services, its bold modern style — white, gray, and black tones — and friendly service are a breath of fresh air from the options of traditional and neoclassic hotels in Madrid.
Each room is unique, but a general 19th-century theme of Empire furnishings and paintings dominates, with a Montmartre cabaret theme in the new breakfast room. Wireless Internet is available in the lounge bar. About half the rooms have tiny step-out balconies. Room 25 has a long round-the-corner balcony; room 16 is popular for its historic ceiling fresco and moldings.
The bright neoclassical facade and art nouveau details have been lovingly restored on this 19th-century building. Although the street is quiet, a few minutes’ walk will get you to bustling New Town. The suites on the top floors offer a nice view of the historic district. In 2002 the hotel opened an annex, the Dependance Anna, in the central courtyard of the block with 12 less-expensive rooms.
Albergo del Sole al Biscione
This little gem in Campo de’ Fiori has one of the quaintest multilevel terraces in old Rome; stunning views are guaranteed, with center stage taken by the great dome of Santa Andrea della Valle. Don’t be put off by the hotel’s neon-ish sign out front — the atmosphere inside is cozy, with open-beam ceilings and old-fashioned furnishings. Modern comforts include an elevator. Rooms are set out in simple pensione style, featuring early-20th-century wardrobes and veneer bed frames.
The Calcina sits in an enviable position along the sunny Zattere, with front rooms offering views across the wide Giudecca Canal. You can sunbathe on the altana (wooden roof terrace) or have afternoon tea in one of the reading corners of the lounge, which has flickering candlelight and barely perceptible classical music. A stone staircase (there’s no elevator) leads to the rooms upstairs, which have parquet floors, original art deco furniture and lamps, and firm beds. The Piscina bar serves full meals at lunch and dinner.
Prices listed are for a standard double room in August, at 1 euro to $1.37 or 1 British pound to $2.03. Prices reflect advertised rates; confirm these rates before booking your room.