Why stay in Florence?
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of those cities that most people would say they "have to" visit - regardless of the cost. And Florence isn't a bargain city, especially when you're talking about accommodations. Prices for beds have been rising in recent years, especially in the historic (and tourist-filled) center. Generally speaking, to get cheap accommodations of any kind you'll need to stay outside the old center of the city. The area around the main train station (not far from the center) is a little cheaper, but can be a little more unsafe at night - especially for women traveling alone.
Having said that, it is still possible to find relatively cheap - and great - hostel accommodations that are just a short walk from most of the things you'll want to see in the city of Florence. And keep in mind that hostels are no longer restricted to young backpackers - they are all-ages affairs these days that offer cheap rooms and an opportunity to meet other travelers. Most even have private rooms with private bathrooms if you'd like a little more space to yourself.
One of the notable Florence hostels is the Ostello Gallo d'Oro, which is just a ten-minute walk from the Duomo. Breakfast is included and the gregarious owners make this more like a bed and breakfast than a hostel. There is even free WiFi and web access in the rooms. Places like Luna Rossa, sitting one block from the central train station, and Leonardo House, a one-minute walk from the Duomo, don't even have dorm rooms available - everything is private rooms - but the prices are competitive with some of the dorm-style hostels in the area. Some area hostels with dorm-style accommodations include the International Student House Florence, which is about a two-minute walk from the central train station, and Archi Rossi Hostel, with is also near the train station and which serves a free breakfast to guests and has 24-hour Internet access. And if it's nice weather, you might even consider camping with someplace like Plus Camping Michelangelo - the tents are already there for you, complete with real beds, sheets, blankets and pillows. Sitting near the Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the beautiful city of Florence, this could be the ideal spot to lay your head after a museum-filled day.
If none of these properties is exactly what you're looking for, there are plenty of Florence hostels to choose from.
What else do you need for your visit to Florence? You can search for international airfare to Florence and read more about what to do and see in the city with our Florence Travel Guide.