more bang for my meager buck
December 9, 2008 1:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Rome for one week in February. How can I cheap out on lodging while there?

I'm traveling with my boyfriend. The trip itself is only affordable to begin with because of the awesomeness of EasyJet. We're planning on trying to couchsurf but, if that doesn't work out, do you know of any hostels/hotels/monasteries where we can stay for less than 30euros/night total cost? (if you have any other advice on enjoying oneself in Rome while not spending much money, that's welcome too!)
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and his best friend went to Rome last spring and stayed at The Beehive. The dorm rooms there are 20-25 Euro a night, and there are also more expensive private rooms. The hostel was modern, clean, safe and had free wireless internet. It's also in a great location. They're planning a return trip and would have no hesitation about staying there again.
posted by heldincontempt at 1:50 PM on December 9, 2008

Fawlty Towers. 25 or 30 euros a night for a single -- I don't know if they'd let 2 people share one.

As the name suggests, they cater heavily to English-speaking tourists. There's a TV room, a patio, and a computer room that gives you free internet access till 11 p.m. (that alone could save you money, so I recommend loosening up on the "less than 30 euros" requirement). They provide fresh towels every day. It's like a very low-end hotel, but pretty impressive for a hostel. I'd go there again if I went to Rome. Warning: they don't take credit cards.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2008

Response by poster: Sadly, I don't think that places let two people share singles. :/

I am not too concerned with amenities (don't need internet, TV, included breakfast, etc) as long as I can shower without catching some sort of exotic fungus, and leave a shirt/book/etc in my room without it being stolen. The only time I plan to spend at the accommodation is time spent sleeping.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2008

Best answer: There are a couple of places on just above the $40 range, which is roughly 30 Euros per night.
posted by soelo at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2008

Well, if you go the way my buddy and I went, you can have the choice between the hostel that has no power, and staying in the 4th floor outdoor shed of the one that does have power, but is way overbooked. It makes for a good story, but I don't recommend it. Be careful - there are a lot of dubious places in a city like Rome.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 2:33 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: there are a lot of dubious places in a city like Rome

Are there ever! I arranged to be in Rome at the same time as some friends when we were all backpacking. They'd booked a place on that turned out to be way on the outskirts of town in a seedy apartment building next to a big highway. With no air conditioning and no moving air in the middle of a heat wave they resorted to drinking cheap rum to help themselves pass out, until the sound of the traffic woke them at 6am.

As for me, I had a small apartment that was converted to a hostel, two bedrooms with 10 bunks each, and it would have been fine except the manager also lived in the unit and was recovering from some sort of accident that had left him bedridden. He had an assistant who came in during the day but in the evenings it was just him. And a few times while I was there late in the evening I would hear him call out "hellooooo.... helloooo...." until somebody (me) went to go see what was up. Twice he had fallen off the bed and I had to lift him back up. Once he asked me to go throw away his empty wine bottles, because he wasn't supposed to be drinking (though he left a couple of wine bottles behind, he told me, winking, since his caretaker would never believe he had abstained completely). And one more time early in the morning he tried to send me on a wine run, but changed his mind. I guess he felt guilty, heh. (that was The Navigator, by the way).

I have nothing constructive to add, except to give you couchsurfing tips. As a frequent host in a high-demand city I have to turn away about 90% of the people who want to stay with me. The ones I do tend to accept, when I have a choice, are those who are looking for more than simply a cheap/free place to stay. Couch surfing is all about cultural exchange, meeting new people and making new friends. Make sure your profile and your request has some personality and character to it, and show some interest in getting to know your prospective hosts, and you'll have a higher chance of success.

And finally a quick search shows that it should be possible to find a hostel for 10 euro per night per person. Just make sure you read the reviews.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:11 PM on December 9, 2008

While it's going to be a bit more expensive than a hostel, my wife and I rented an apartment for the week we were in Paris for our honeymoon. It was a studio with a galley kitchen, within walking distance to everything, and it really made us feel part of the city (the company was actually called Paris! Be a Part of It!). It was also a nice way to save on food costs while we were there.

Looking back through my email it was 550 Euros for 7 nights.
posted by speeb at 5:37 PM on December 9, 2008

You say a week in february - does that week include Valentine's Day weekend?

I ask because typically V-Day sees a brief hike in prices in an otherwise rock-bottom month. On the other hand it's been a shit year for tourism here in Rome, which means either A) maybe the price hike won't happen at all or B) panicked owners will do the hike anyway to try and recoup some loss.
posted by romakimmy at 2:26 AM on December 10, 2008
posted by syzygy at 6:34 AM on December 10, 2008

Erp - sorry... I see you're trying to couchsurf already.

So I'll follow up with some more advice - make sure you locate the hotel / hostel on a map before booking. Some places claim to be close to the city center, or close to public transportation, but actually aren't. It can take some rooting around to find a place with a decent location.

You may want to check - I have used them to book my last couple of hotels in Italy, and have been satisfied with their services. I just checked Rome, and they list a few hotels that cost between €30 and €40 per night.

Good luck!
posted by syzygy at 6:40 AM on December 10, 2008

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