Where to Stay in Cagliari [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

We’re heading to the land of fresh pizza, aromatic pasta, espresso filled streets and countless vintage wines. This is… Cagliari, Sardinia.

We’ll discover where to stay in Cagliari by exploring the areas of Castello City Centre, Castle of San Michele, Stampace, La marina, Poetto, Quartu Sant’Elena, Spiaggia Margine Rosso.

Sunset on Cagliari, panorama of the old city center with traditional colored houses, mountains and beautiful yellow-pink clouds in the sky, Sardinia Island, Italy

You don’t wanna end up in a random place possible while you travel to Cagliari, so we’ll also look at the places you should avoid staying at. Cagliari gives off old town and slow living vibes and lives by the saying  “la dolce far niente” (sweet doing nothing).

Cagliari is a historical city, and it has been inhabited dating back to prehistoric times. The city has been ruled by a variety of different civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Pisans, Aragonese, and Savoyards, each leaving their own unique imprint on the city’s architecture and culture.

❤️ Best Area first timersCastillo city center
💸 Best Luxury HotelHoliday Inn Cagliari, an IHG Hotel
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesStampace Home
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelLuceNova Suite Guest-house
🛏️ Best Budget HotelB&B St. Remy
✨ Best HostelHostel Marina

Below are 7 of the best neighbourhoods in Cagliari to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best places to stay in Cagliari for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.

We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Cagliari so you can use this as a go to guide.

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Castillo City Centre – Where to stay in Cagliari with Tourists

Why stay in Castello city center?

With the Mediterranean coast and Sardinian life as a backdrop, the Castillo city center is a piece of Italy that should never be forgotten.

As a tourist, Castillo city center is where you want to be. The city center is inspired by the meaning of its name which refers to “castle”. The city walls are made of ancient stone that makes you feel as though you’re in the midst of a castle.

Castello City center is perfect for those who want to see cathedrals, historic buildings, museums, terraces and important landmarks and want to see all the best touristy things to do in Castello. 

Things to do in Castello city center

The Castello district is also home to many cultural and historical landmarks such as the Cagliari Cathedral, the Bastione di Saint Remy, and the Royal Palace of Cagliari.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria is recognized as one of the most important landmarks in Castello. Built in the 13th century in Pisan Romanesque style, the cathedral has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries, including the Baroque façade that was added in the 18th century.

The Bastione di Saint Remy is a terrace from which you can see the city and the Gulf of Cagliari. It was built in the late 19th century and has since become a symbol of the city and is a perfect way to end a full day of exploring.

Top 4 favorites accommodation options for Castillo city center

Best places to stay in Castillo city center

Budget accommodation in Castillo city center

Mid range accommodation in Castillo city center

Family Friendly accommodation in Castillo city center

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Castillo city center

panoramic view of Cagliari city centre, most important city of south Sardinia, Italy

Castle of San Michele – Where to stay in Cagliari for History Lovers

Why stay near the Castle of San Michele?

The castle is a beautiful way to appreciate how far architecture and human civilization has come since the Roman Empire.

Staying nearby means you can easily explore this historic fortress and learn about its fascinating history. The Castle of San Michele is also well located in the Castello district, which is the historic center of Cagliari.

The Castle of San Michele is on the outskirts of the city, in a quiet neighborhood that encourages its visitors to take their time as they walk through the ancient Sicilian walls.

Things to do near the Castle of San Michele

Start off with a tour of the famous Castle of San Michele. The castle itself is a historic landmark and is open to visitors.

Guided tours are available to explore the castle’s history and architecture. This is your chance to learn more about the community that frequented the castle in the past.

Nearby you could also check out the National Archaeological Museum which features a large collection of artifacts from the prehistoric Nuragic civilization, as well as artifacts from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

Also, take a walk along the Bastione di Saint Remy which is made up of an impressive balcony that can be found on the southern edge of the Castello district

Top 4 favorites accommodation options near Castle of San Michele

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ruins of ancient castle of San Michele quarter in Cagliari city, south Sardinia, Italy

Stampace – Where to stay in Cagliari with Family

Why stay in Stampace?

Stampache is the perfect getaway area for those with families. The area doesn’t have overwhelming nightlife that could wake the kids, has a backdrop that will make the kids think they’re in the movie Tangled and has a wide variety of activities to do that please both the parents and the teens.

Stampache is centrally located and transport is readily available, making it an easy destination to navigate, especially when you’re carrying everything but the kitchen sink from home with you.

Things to do in Stampace

Explore the Stampace Market. Let each family member pick out a local delicacy to taste and learn about. The local market is held every morning in Piazza Yenne, the main square of Stampace. It offers a wide range of fresh produce, meat, cheese, and other local products, as well as clothing and souvenirs.

Take in the architecture and culture of this Italian destination by walking along Via Manno. Perhaps play the “I spy” game and find all of the most popular areas and things native to Stampace.

Slow down the day at the Church of San Giuseppe and the Church of Sant’Anna which offer a welcome, calming presence after gallivanting around the town.

Top 4 favorites accommodation options for Stampache

Best places to stay in Stampache

Budget accommodation in Stampache

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Castello quarter aka Casteddu e susu (meaning Upper Castle in Sard) old medieval town city centre in Cagliari, Italy

La marina – Where to stay in Cagliari on a Budget

Why stay in La Marina?

Now we all know that Amalfi and Positano and Capri are iconic Italian coastal towns that everyone should visit in their lifetime.

However, some of us are not on Below Deck Mediterranean, so, an alternative to these high-cost tourist clad places is La Marina.

You’ll still get rainbow seaside homes etched into the cliffside and an exorbitant amount of fishing boats passing through the quay but you’ll get it all at a fraction of Amalfi’s price.

La Marina also has a lively nightlife that will one hundred percent make you believe you truly are in the heart of Amalfi.

Local delicacies are freshly and slowly prepared unlike high efficiency tourist areas that lose the italian culture while trying to appease the masses in other parts of Italy.

Things to do near La Marina

Check out the Bastione di Saint Remy, which also doubles as a great viewing spot from which you can see the city from above, especially if you go at sunset to watch the sky turn orange.

You’ll also be able to learn more about Sardinia, its history and the cultural influence of Italy in general.  

La Marina has a long street that is lined with local fisherman, delicacies and boutiques right on the marina.

Whilst walking through the streets, you’ll also be able to experience a seaside view, resulting in a balmy, salty breeze hitting your skin. Making it hard to ever leave.

You must also try the traditional Sardinian cuisine, such as fresh seafood, pasta, and local wines. Some popular options include Sa Domu Sarda, Ristorante Sa Mesa, and Trattoria L’Altra Bottiglia.

La Marina is a great place to meet the locals and experience traditional Cagliari all within the budget.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for La Marina

Best places to stay in La Marina

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in La Marina

Budget accommodation in La Marina

Mid range accommodation in La Marina

Family Friendly accommodation in La Marina

Affordable Luxury accommodation in La Marina

CAGLIARI, ITALY - neighborhood La Marina - Sardinia

Poetto – Where to stay in Cagliari near the Beach

Why stay in Poetto?

Poetto is known for its calm, Mediterranean waters that are native to the Sardinian coastline. The picturesque beaches stretch for almost 5 miles along the coast.

If you stay in Poetta you’ll be spoiled for choice regarding sunning spots, water sports, beachside cafes, restaurants and ocean bars.

If you’re a water baby and live for the feeling of salt on your skin and sand between your toes, the best place for you to stay in Cagliari is Poetto, due to its location and easy beach access. 

Additionally, Poetto is a super spot for those who prefer an active vacation, with a variety of activities that get the heart pumping.

Things to do in Poetto

Try your hand at surfing in the sky. Poetto is a nice spot for kitesurfing, thanks to its steady winds and calm waters. There are several kitesurfing schools in the area that offer lessons and equipment rental.

If you’re an explorer, you’ll want to climb The Sella del Diavolo (Devil’s Saddle) which is a rocky promontory from which you can gaze over the ocean and cityscape.

The hike is easy, with several trails that lead to the top, which can be experienced no matter the time of day.

For a different outing, head to the Molentargius-Saline Regional Park: This park has a wide variety of bird species, including flamingos and is a perfect spot for bird watching and hiking.

After a packed beach day, unwind by attending a concert at L’Anfiteatro Romano which is a Roman amphitheater that dates back to the 2nd century AD.

Top 3 favorites accommodation options for Poetto

Best places to stay in Poetto

Budget accommodation in Poetto

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Areal view on Cagliari with green forest a port with boats famous beach Il Poetto and mountains in Sardinia Italy.

Quartu Sant’Elena – Where to stay near Cagliari like a Local

Why stay in Quartu Sant’Elena?

If the nomad life is for you – A life filled with new experiences, new friends and new places to call home, then this next destination will have you experiencing a hand over heart moment.

Experience Sardinia with the most qualified people… The Sardinians of course! Quartu Sant’Elena is where the local Sardinians live, eat and play… Now you’re going to have a taste of local living too.

Quartu Sant’Elena is also known for its appealing natural beauty, cultural heritage, central locations and safe village.

Things to do in Quartu Sant’Elena

You have to tick off some of the local favorites such as the Church of Sant’Elena,  the Molentargius-Saline Regional Park, the Museo del Territorio, the town center and the Festival of Sant’Efisio.

The Church of Sant’Elena is a beautiful 16th-century church which you’ll find in the center of Quartu Sant’Elena. The church has a striking bell tower and is decorated with Sardinian frescoes and sculptures.

The Molentargius-Saline Regional Park is a nature reserve located just outside Quartu Sant’Elena but is a cool way to experience the outdoors.

The Museo del Territorio is a small museum located in Quartu Sant’Elena where you’ll be able to learn more about the community you’re staying with and their traditional crafts, agriculture, and local customs.

Quartu Sant’Elena is a cute town center with narrow streets and colorful buildings that the locals are oh so proud of, and for good reason.

The town comprises the best Sardinian cafes, restaurants, shops and bars. You haven’t experienced Quartu Sant’Elena without spending a couple of afternoons chilling in the town. 

The Festival of Sant’Efisio is a major, traditional, local religious festival that takes place in Cagliari and Quartu Sant’Elena every year on May 1st.

If you go, you’ll join a procession of locals in traditional dress, who walk from Cagliari to Quartu Sant’Elena to honor the saint. Could you BE any more local?

Top 4 favorites accommodation options for Quartu Sant’Elena

Best places to stay in Quartu Sant’Elena

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Quartu Sant’Elena

Budget accommodation in Quartu Sant’Elena

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CAGLIARI, ITALY - People swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful Spiaggia di Mari Pintau beach in Quartu Sant Elena, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Spiaggia Margine Rosso – Where to stay near Cagliari for Relaxation

Why stay in Spiaggia Margine Rosso?

After jumping into the ocean, walking miles through various cathedrals and filling your days with as much stimulation as possible, just before you head home.

Why not stop off at this last destination in Cagliari that will refresh you and offer a relaxing end to the trip. Nothing but sun, sleep and sundowners in Spiaggia Margine Rosso.

Spiaggia Margine Rosso is known for its quiet, laid back atmosphere, convenience and secluded beaches that aren’t packed with racing jet skis and beach volleyballs flying into your face.

Things to do in Spiaggia Margine Rosso 

Although Spiaggia Margine Rosso is a quiet and secluded area on the southern coast of Sardinia, there are still plenty of things to do for visitors.

Spend your days beach hopping along some of the best in Sardinia such as Spiaggia del Riu de sa Marginedda, Spiaggia di Foxi ‘e Sali, and Spiaggia di Solanas. 

The area around Spiaggia Margine Rosso has a multitude of traditional Sardinian villages that you can meander around and enjoy your last 2 days or hours in Sardinia.

Within the villages, you’ll find several restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Sardinian dishes, such as roasted suckling pig and seafood pasta.

Top 4 favorites accommodation options for Spiaggia Margine Rosso

Best places to stay in Spiaggia Margine Rosso

Budget accommodation in Spiaggia Margine Rosso

Mid range accommodation in Spiaggia Margine Rosso

Family Friendly accommodation in Spiaggia Margine Rosso

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Spiaggia Margine Rosso

Quartu: panoramic view of Poetto beach in Red Margine - Sardinia

Areas to Avoid in Cagliari

Cagliari is a safe space for travelers, however, you should be wary of traveling to San Michele and Poetto beach late at night.

You’ll also want to avoid Via Roma late at night as this street is known for its high-end shops and restaurants, which can be crowded and attract pickpockets.

Sant’Avendrace and San Benedetto are two  neighborhoods that are located outside the city center and are not recommended to be explored at night.

Remember to be aware of your surroundings, do not carry valuable items, and avoid deserted areas or poorly lit streets at night.

But let’s not end off on a bad note, Cagliari is a great alternative to more popular tourist destinations like Amalfi and Positano with beaches, sights and culture that could potentially be even better than Sardinia’s more frequented areas.

Cagliari is a diverse part of Sardinia that fulfills the wishes of digital nomads, history lovers, tourists, families, beach bums, local seekers, and the chilled traveler.

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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