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Where to Stay in Catania, Sicily

where to stay in catania sicily

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Planning a trip to the beautiful island of Sicily and wondering where to stay in Catania? Nestled between the imposing silhouette of Mount Etna and the dazzling Ionian Sea, this ancient port city should not be overlooked.

Moving onto an important question, where should you situate yourself? Catania has something for everyone, whether a relaxing beach vacation in the nearby seaside village of Aci Castello or within walking distance of Centro Storico.

Finding the best place to stay in Catania is challenging, as you want to find the optimal spot for your interests. Let’s dive into some of the city’s top areas and best Catania hotels, using this article as your personal guide for where to stay in Catania, Sicily.

Best Places to Stay in Catania, Sicily

There are many exceptional places to stay in this city, but here are the top contenders.

Centro Storico/Old Town

old town catania where to stay

Centro Storico is a good starting point for staying in Catania if you love history and culture. Being a central part of this city’s history, you’ll find reminders of the past in the ancient ruins, Baroque architecture, and energetic markets.

At the heart of the Old Town is the Monastery of San Nicolo, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. Built in 1703, it represented the wealth of the Benedictine order, as seen in the exquisite geometric and floral floor mosaics, the stunning reliefs, and the baroque bell tower.

Now, it is part of Catania University, as its library is a study space for many students. Another highlight of Centro Storico is Via Etnea, Catania’s main shopping street. You’ll find many locals and tourists on this lava rock-paved street, from chic boutiques, including Cemento Fashion, to European designer stores like Max Mara and Elisabetta Franchi.

places to stay in catania sicily

There’s also the Greek-Roman Theatre on Via Vittorio Emmanuele II, which dates back to the 4th century BCE when gladiators fought to the death. That said, wherever you stay in Centro Storico, you’ll be close to historical landmarks like the Fountain of the Elephant.

Good to know: As it’s Catania’s historic center, most of the hotels here are more on the pricey side.

Best for: First-timers and intrepid sightseers

Luxury: Liberty Hotel

Liberty Hotel is a classy Catania boutique hotel with antique furniture, a tasty continental breakfast, and friendly customer service. It is situated in an early 20th-century Art Nouveau villa and has exquisite interior design and comfy furnishings.

Rooms are spacious and have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. Plus, you can ask the concierge to arrange tickets to the opera, as it’s only 15 minutes walk from the Bellini Theatre. Then, have a nightcap at the hotel’s bar, whether that’s a shot of limoncello or amaretto  >> Check Rates and Availability.

Midrange: Duomo Suites & Spa

Another central option that’s just a bit more affordable is the superb Duomo Suites & Spa. From the major sights you can see, from the roof terrace to a complimentary bottle of wine in your room, there is much to love about this perfect hotel.

With nifty kitchenettes, spacious bathrooms, and comfy bedding, the pristine rooms are the ideal spot to end your day after seeing all the best things to do in Catania >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget: Narciso Katane Suites

Narciso Katane Suites is one of the top budget-friendly accommodations in Centro Storico, as it’s close to tourist attractions, like the Greek-Roman Amphitheatre and Castello Ursino. This apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, vibrant decor, and free parking.

You’ve also got access to a private balcony, a comfortable bed, and a coffee pod machine, which is ideal for getting an early start. Next, it doesn’t matter when you come in winter or summer, as it has both air conditioning and heating added, so you’re sure to be comfy >> Check Rates and Availability.

San Cristoforo

san cristoforo catania hotels

If you prefer to be further from the bustle of the historical center, San Cristoforo is a sensible spot in Sicily’s second-largest city. It’s still close enough to the action but far enough that you can find some great cheap hotels.

For history buffs, Castello Ursino is one of the top places to visit in Sicily, as its impressive design and well-preserved nature show glimpses into the area’s past. Despite being damaged by earthquakes, enemy forces, and the eruption of Mount Etna in 1669, the castle has been restored several times. Today, you can learn more about its chaotic history since 1239 in its attached Civic Museum.

Want a glimpse into the bustling life of local fishermen? La Pescheria is an outdoor fish market offering fresh trays full of clams, fully descaled swordfish, and more. You can order directly from these fishmongers or venture around the market — as some of Catania’s best seafood restaurants sit in the surrounding area.

Lastly, Porta Garibaldi is a historical landmark that pays homage to the villages and lives destroyed by the 1669 eruption. Its inscription “Melior de cinere surgo”, written under the arch, loosely translates to “I rise from the ashes even more beautifully.”  

Good to know: This is a great area to base yourself if you want easy access to Catania Airport, as it’s only 10 minutes away.

Best for: History buffs and budget travelers

Luxury: Ursino’s Luxury

Around 2,000 feet from Catania Centro is the delightful Ursino’s Luxury, a bed and breakfast. It has all you need for an enjoyable stay, including delicious breakfast options, a well-stocked kitchen, a hot tub, and private parking (costing an additional €15 per day).

The spacious rooms have air conditioning, 4K flat-screen TVs, and en-suite bathrooms. In addition, it’s within walking distance of Castello Ursino, lovely restaurants, and the Roman Theatre of Catania >> Check Rates and Availability.

Midrange: Catania House

Right on Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, you’ll find Catania House, a magnificent guest house. This is one of the best accommodations for large groups and families in Catania, Sicily, as it has spacious rooms, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning.

The guest house is in a family-friendly neighborhood and not far from the main attractions, like the Greek-Roman Amphitheatre – 820 feet away and Castello Ursino – around 1,320 feet from the small hotel. All the rooms are pristinely cleaned, and the beds ensure a comfy night’s sleep >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget: Etna Rooms

For one of the most affordable options in San Cristoforo, Etna Rooms will delight you with its shared kitchen, en-suite bathrooms, and proximity to the Acquicella Train Station. This guest house has many delights, including an espresso machine with pods, snacks, and complimentary drinks.

In addition, the host places a significant role in making your stay in Catania a pleasurable one by being responsive and helpful, keeping rooms clean, and offering airport transfers at a small additional charge. In addition to this, various major sights are easily accessible from the guest house >> Check Rates and Availability.

San Berillo

catania hotels

Another fantastic neighborhood in central Catania is San Berillo, as it’s home to the city’s main square, Piazza del Duomo. This makes it an ideal spot to base yourself when visiting Sicily, as it has many popular hotels.

Piazza Duomo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Catania Cathedral. This cathedral, also known as the Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agata, is named after the patron saint of Catania. She is celebrated in the first week of February with a massive feast, parades, and firework displays.

You can access the cathedral for free and see its Baroque architecture and picturesque frescoes all week from 7 am until 12:30 pm and 4 pm until 7 pm. There are some incredible sights below the cathedral, including the Roman ruins, built between 1078 and 1093. You can only access this via guided visits like this underground Catania tour.

Another place to check out in San Berillo is Piazza Stesicoro, which has incredible architecture, a monument dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini, and the Roman Theatre. It’s also home to the grand Palazzo Tezzano, which has stood here since the 18th century.

Good to know: San Berillo is the starting point for various tours, whether a Mount Etna trekking trip, a guided city walking tour, or a Catania street food tour.

Best for: Those with a bigger accommodation budget and architecture aficionados 

Luxury: Palazzo Sangiorgio

Palazzo Sangiorgio is one of the best hotels in Catania, with a rooftop hot tub, private balcony views, and luxurious rooms. The hotel is within walking distance of Palazzo Biscari, Piazza Duomo, and the Massimo Bellini Theatre.

Want to simmer down after a busy day exploring? The hotel has a wonderful spa, where you can get various treatments, from facials and body scrubs to couple’s massages. Alternatively, you could sink onto one of their comfortable beds while enjoying a drink from the minibar and watching a movie on the flat-screen TV.

All in all, Palazzo Sangiorgio is one of the best places to stay in Catania, with its variety of facilities, like babysitting services and bicycle rental — it’s also pet-friendly >> Check Rates and Availability.

Midrange: Centre of Light

If you’d prefer cooking inspired by Sicilian cuisine, then the Centre of Light in the city center is ideal. It’s beautifully designed with abstract art, wooden flooring, and views of Catania.

Moreover, its modern kitchen, balcony, and two bedrooms make it suitable for trips with friends, family, or just your partner. Then, there’s the convenience aspect: a seven-minute walk from Catania Centrale train station, a laptop-friendly workspace, Wi-Fi, and free parking on the street >> Check Rates and Availability.

TIP: When booking on Plum Guide, use the code Untold5 for a 5% discount.

Budget: Habitat

Looking for a budget hotel in San Berillo? Habitat is one of the best cheap hotels in Catania, with a delectable variety of breakfast options, a modern interior, and incredible staff.

The hotel also has convenient options for all travelers, from the private parking facilities to its proximity to attractions, such as the Massimo Theatre and Piazza del Duomo. Each room in this hotel has fantastic amenities, like a spacious walk-in shower, powerful air conditioning, and a comfy bed >> Check Rates and Availability.

Nicolosi

catania where to stay

Just 30 minutes outside Catania central, and right by the foot of Mount Etna on Sicily’s east coast, is Nicolosi, a quaint commune. Nicolosi is often called the “gateway to Mount Etna” because of its location at the volcano’s base. You can take guided tours, hike, or even take a cable car and off-road vehicles to reach higher altitudes on the volcano.

This is the perfect place to stay in Sicily if you love exploring nature or hiking, as it’s close to several mountains. Additionally, it’s a good starting point for visiting lovely seaside towns like Taormina or Naxos.

Nicolosi is also ideal for people who don’t love the bustle of Catania and travelers who want to save on accommodation, as hotels and apartments here are often cheaper. Some top places to visit include Museo dell’ Etna and the Astrophysical Observatory.

If you’re interested in adventure activities, the Monti Rossi Adventure Park offers zip-lining and other outdoor adventures in a scenic setting.

Good to know: For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take this round-trip cable car and 4×4 bus tour of Mount Etna. It gives you skip-the-line access and includes a tour guide.

Best for: Hikers and older couples

Luxury: Críu Boutique Hotel

Críu Boutique Hotel might be the best place to stay in Catania, Sicily, for a chic and deluxe hotel experience. With its minimalist aesthetic, calming interior, and attentive service, your time here will be relaxing.

Another advantage of staying at this small hotel is the locally sourced food and freshly squeezed juices. From the top-quality cold meats served at breakfast to the large pizzas on offer at dinner, you won’t want to leave.

In addition to this, the garden, the shared lounge, and the luxurious rooms are all incredibly tranquil spaces to enjoy your vacation >> Check Rates and Availability.

Midrange: Il Borghetto di San Giuseppe EtnaRooms&Apartments

Prefer to spend a bit less on lodging? Then, II Borghetto di San Giuseppe EtnaRooms&Apartments is the perfect hotel for you. There are various options, including apartments and double or triple rooms.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll have access to a stunning garden with a terrace, a great kitchen, and all you could need for an enjoyable stay. Lastly, the attention to detail, like the excellent breakfast offered, makes it even better >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget: Hotel Alle Pendici

Another homely option is Hotel Alle Pendici, which is ideal for saving money for nearby tourist attractions like Mount Etna. The staff here is amicable and offers a daily breakfast of delectable homemade Sicilian pastries, cakes, and savory items. All rooms have air conditioning, heating, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi >> Check Rates and Availability.

READ: Our guide to Renting a car in Italy for help exploring the island.

Aci Castello

where to stay in catania sicily italy

The ideal place to stay in Catania as a beach lover is Aci Castello, with its sea breeze and private beach clubs. It’s just six miles north of the city and cheaper than staying in Catania.

This is a terrific spot to base yourself if you want to enjoy the sea or for venturing to the Cyclopean Isles. Aci Castello is renowned for its Norman Castle, situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. The castle was built in the 11th century and provides stunning panoramic coastline views.

It’s also home to the Church of St. John the Baptist, located in the heart of Aci Castello, and features Baroque architecture. This area is close to Aci Trezza, a small seaside village, and while Aci Castello itself has rocky shores, there are nearby beaches where you can relax and enjoy the sun and sea. Lido dei Ciclopi is a popular beach in the region.

Good to know: It will take 20 to 40 minutes on a train to get here from central Catania.

Best for: Beach lovers

Luxury: Grand Hotel Faraglioni

Grand Hotel Faraglioni is among the best hotels Catania offers, with a private beach area, panoramic ocean vistas, and room service. Start your day with a delicious breakfast and a sea view before heading to the beach.

You can swim in the Ionian, get a tan, or ask the concierge to arrange a snorkeling adventure, a day trip to Catania, Syracuse, Etna, or a boat excursion. Then, end your night with an enjoyable meal and sink into bed >> Check Rates and Availability.

Midrange: East View

East View is a great studio apartment just off the seafront as an alternative to the previous luxurious option. Whether enjoying a cappuccino on the balcony or whipping up a meal in the open-plan kitchen, it’s ideal for couples.

It also has some delightful modern design touches, like the colorful carpets and exposed brick. There’s also space for working if you’re visiting Catania on business, and the Wi-Fi is excellent >> Check Rates and Availability.

TIP: Use the code Untold5 for a 5% discount on Plum Guide.  

Budget: La Castellese

For budget travelers, La Castellese is a top choice. This is because it’s a lovely bed and breakfast with stunning bedrooms, enjoyable breakfast choices, and terrific value for money.

While it’s a bit further from the beach, it is close to several restaurants and a bus station and has an on-site mini-market. You’ll also appreciate the complimentary toiletries in the en-suite bathrooms, the coffee and tea-making facilities, and the charming terrace >> Check Rates and Availability.

Acireale

places to stay in catania sicily italy

Another superb seaside village to visit in Catania is Acireale, a charming town located on the eastern coast of Sicily, not far from Aci Castello. Acireale’s rich cultural heritage, lively events, and architectural beauty make it a delightful destination for those exploring the eastern coast of Sicily.

This area is well-known for having some of the best dining options near Catania. For a classic Sicilian meal, head to Vico Proiette Ristorante. For seafood lovers, Trattoria La Grotta is ideal. It’s also a hotspot for magnificent Baroque architecture, such as the Cathedral of Acireale and the Basilica Collegiata di San Sebastiano.

Lastly, Acireale is home to Museo Opera dei Pupi, where you can catch a puppet show. This art form is a huge part of Sicilian culture and tradition.

Good to know: If you want to see a puppet opera, it’s best to arrange this in advance, as the museum is often closed.

Best for: Foodies

Luxury: The Ponderosa

The Ponderosa is a brilliant option for large groups and families, located high in the hills and overlooking scenic ocean vistas. It has space for six guests, three bedrooms, four beds, and three bathrooms.

It’s also got a majestic outdoor swimming pool, a huge kitchen to delight foodies, and a patio space. So, if you’re looking for a place to entertain with some fabulous surroundings, book a stay here >> Check Rates and Availability.

Midrange: Grande Albergo Maugeri

Grande Albergo Maugeri is set right in Acireale’s historical center, just a five-minute walk from Acireale Cathedral. The spacious rooms have lovely oranges and green pops, adding to the atmosphere.

It’s also got some fantastic public areas, like the stylish bar and the ornate Opera Prima, the on-site restaurant. Shuttle services can take you to II Faro Capomulini Private Beach >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget: Jonio B&B

Who says you have to spend a lot to have a good time? The owners of Jonio B&B certainly don’t, as they provide all you need for an excellent vacation.

This includes air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, coffee machines, and free Wi-Fi in all rooms. The shared kitchen is perfect for making a quick breakfast before heading out for the day—various attractions, including Villa Belvedere and some lovely restaurants >> Check Rates and Availability.

LISTEN: To our podcast episode all about Captivating Catania – Sicilian city of charm.

Where to Stay in Catania – All Wrapped Up

stay hotels in catania sicily

There are many options for where to stay in Catania, whether in the city center neighborhoods of Centro Storico or San Berillo or the further afield Nicolosi or Aci Castello.

One thing’s for sure, visiting Catania is one of the best things to do in Sicily. You’d regret not coming here with its enchanting history, Baroque architecture, and delectable food.

What are you waiting for? Sicily’s second-largest city beckons for you. All you need to do is book a plane ticket.

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