The Best Hotels In Cagliari: Where To Stay In Sardinia’s Capital

Finding good hotels in Cagliari is easy – even more so when you have a local telling you where to stay! The capital of Sardinia is packed with good accommodation options, and even though there aren’t many big hotels, there are plenty of smaller, cozy and stylish boutique hotels, and excellent places to stay for any interest and budget.

Cagliari, the city where I grew up, is tremendously underrated. Should you decide to visit, though, you will find a place packed with interesting, beautiful sites and where activities for tourists abound; a place that has retained all its local character and that – despite the reputation of Sardinia of being a rich-only destination, is actually quite budget friendly.

When people ask me where to stay in Cagliari, I know exactly where to point them. In this post, I highlight the nicest hotels in Cagliari spread across the 4 historical districts, plus the hotels you will find along Cagliari’s Poetto Beach. Ready to find your place to stay in Sardinia’s capital? Continue reading!

hotels in Cagliari
There are some small but great hotels in Cagliari

The Best Hotels In Cagliari

Overall best picks

Some of my favorite hotels in Cagliari are actually not in the 4 historical districts, or by the beach. They are centrally located and walking distance from all the main attractions and from good restaurants; perfect for business travelers; couples looking for a romantic getaway, or travelers on a budget.

Here they are:

  • T Hotel is centrally located, by the Teatro Lirico and in front of Parco della Musica, a lovely small park. It has spacious rooms, a fantastic spa and a lounge bar that makes fabulous cocktails that even locals enjoy. The reception area often hosts art exhibits. It’s perfect for business travelers. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
  • Villa Fanny is close to the University of Cagliari and to attractions such as the Roman Amphitheater and the Botanical Garden. It’s within 10 minutes walk from Stampace historic district, where you’ll find restaurants, bars and other attractions. All rooms are different, and all beautifully decorated; there’s a fantastic gourmet restaurant. It’s perfect for couples who are looking for a romantic getaway. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
  • Hostel Marina is in the heart of Marina district, an area that is packed with bars and restaurants. The hostel has both private rooms and dorms, and attracts a younger clientele. It is a socially active space, so it’s not uncommon to find events and art exhibits there. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

The nicest hotels in Cagliari’s Castello district

If you like the idea of staying in a place that oozes history and mystery, opt for Castello. This is one of the most photogenic areas in the city, with which writers of the likes of D. H. Lawrence fell in love. It is packed with some of Cagliari unmissable sights such as the Cathedral, the Towers, the Palazzo Viceregio and the Archeology Museum – all fantastic places to learn more about the history of Sardinia.

Castello has a few good restaurants, some of the best bars in town, and though public transportation doesn’t reach it (the streets are too narrow for buses!) and access to non-residents’ cars is limited to a few hours each day, it is within walking distance to a few bus stops. In Castello, you’re bound to find small guest houses, boutique hotels or good self-catering apartments.

These are the best places to stay in Castello:

if you plan to rent a car during your stay in Cagliari, check out the exact timings for entering the restricted area of Castello (it’s called ZTL, or Zona Traffico Limitato in Italian). Alternatively, park the car in one of the various parking lots right by the gates and walk to your hotel.

The nicest hotels in La Marina district

If you are like the idea of having bars, restaurants, shops and bus stops rights at your door, La Marina is where to stay in Cagliari. This is the most multi-cultural area of town, where the residents are a fun, beautiful mix of ethnicities, languages and cultures. Here you’ll find a good pizzeria, a local trattoria, a curry shop or a kebab shop right on the same street.

La Marina is the heart of nightlife in Cagliari. From Piazza Yenne, a favorite hangout of the locals, to the smaller alleys, there’s something for everyone. The area is also very photogenic, with narrow alleys, pretty churches, and lovely small squares.

These are some good places to stay in La Marina:

La Marina is closed to non-residential traffic, but you can count on the big parking lot at the train station, and on all the parking spots along via Roma.

Where to stay in Stampace district

If you like the idea of being in a well connected area, with access to bars, restaurants, and with a selection of interesting places to visit, Stampace is where to stay in Cagliari. This used to be Cagliari’s medieval working class district. Its name comes from the saying “stai in pace” (go in peace) used to farewell those that were at night had to leave the gated Castello district.

Nowadays, Stampace is a lovely area to walk around, where you can get lost in the narrow alleys with all the colorful houses, and where there is a good mix of ethnicities.

This is a selection of good places to stay in Stampace:

Stampace where Sant’Efisio parade starts, from the beautiful Sant’Efisio church, every year on May 1st – so if you are coming at that time of year, with the idea of having a vantage point to observe the parade, make sure to book well in advance.

The best places to stay in Villanova district

If you are looking for a quiet area, with little noise, where you will still find a good selection of bars and restaurants and that is minutes walk from the main attractions, Villanova is where to stay in Cagliari.

Villanova was founded in the 13th century, when peasants from the villages of the countryside around Cagliari started moving there for more business opportunities. The area has several beautiful churches – my favorite one is that of San Giacomo. In recent years its undergone lots of renovation works and become one of the trendiest areas in town.

There are some restaurants, a few good bars, and though the main shopping streets (Via Garibaldi, Via Sulis and Via Sonnino) are quite busy, the overall feeling you’ll get is that of being in a nice, quiet village where children still play ball games in the squares. This is also where Mercato di San Benedetto, Cagliari’s largest covered market, is located – perfect for your shopping needs!

Here’s where to stay in Villanova:

Access to non-residents’ cars to Villanova is limited, but there are a few large parking spaces right outside.

Poetto – where to stay in Cagliari for nature lovers

If you like the idea of easily accessing to the beach, a nature reserve and some beautiful urban hikes, Poetto is where to stay in Cagliari.

A 10 minutes drive from city center, easily reached by public transport, Poetto is the main beach in Cagliari, and a fantastic place to hang out in any season. There is a bike and running lane, plenty of small cafés and restaurants where to stop for a drink, and access to a fantastic lagoon and nature reserve where you can see pink flamingoes and many other birds. It’s no wonder this is one of the best beaches in Sardinia.

Not far from Poetto, you can access Calamosca for more beaches and for some easy yet rewarding hiking trails that will offer you incredible views of the city and of the coast.

Here are some nice places to stay in Poetto:

Poetto is perfect in the summer, when all businesses in the area are open. If you plan to stay there in the winter, make sure to check whether at least some the local restaurants and bars will be open daily.

Have you found where to stay in Cagliari? What are your favorite hotels in Cagliari?

Further Readings

Make sure to read my posts:

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