Where to stay in Rome? Are you wondering what is the best area to stay in Rome? In this article, we look at the best neighborhoods such as the Historic Center, the Ancient Rome, Monti, Vatican and Prati, Villa Borghese, Termini and others.
Today’s city of Rome is an amazing mixture that resulted from 3,000 years of continuous development. The city’s landmarks will exhilarate even the most jaded of tourists. The city beguiles from its ancient classical buildings like the Coliseum, Pantheon, and Roman Forum to its unrivalled churches as the center of the Catholic Church.
St. Peter’s Church stands towering over the Vatican (itself an independent country within the city of Rome) as a monument to the brilliance of the leading architects and ambitious popes of the Renaissance. It should come as no surprise that there are many places to choose from when you are looking for where to stay in Rome.
Beautiful fountains and elaborate piazzas bring a baroque touch to the enchanting streets of the Italian capital. The city is simply teeming with invaluable wonders and treasures. These include world leading museums with their ancient statues, Renaissance era frescoes and Byzantine mosaics beckoning in churches rich with art, and baroque buildings fronting medieval plazas.
You can walk through the center of the city and effortlessly stumble upon the masterpieces of the European legends of art such as Caravaggio paintings, Michelangelo sculptures, Raphael frescoes, and Bernini designed fountains.
Coming to Rome is also about imbibing on Italy’s famed dolce vita life alongside the cultural and art treasures. You should not miss hours spent strolling lazily through charming streets, sitting at cafes lining the alleys, and watching people in beautiful piazzas.
At night the pace picks up as the fashionable people head out to the city cafes and bars for their aperitivo (drink and snacks) and to the trattorias for something more substantial to eat.
Where to stay in Rome: Best areas
You might worry that obtaining the right accommodation in a sprawling city like Rome could be a challenge. Rome is teeming with sightseeing places that you do not want to miss after all.
The good news is that there is an ideal place for everyone ranging from ancient and historic parts of the city to more modern neighborhoods.
People traveling alone, families traveling with kids, couples, classy individuals, and the hip will all love the atmosphere exuded by the “eternal city” provided they know the best personal area in which to stay in Rome. We look at the best areas to stay in Rome next.
1. Historic Center, best area to stay in Rome for first timer
The historic center is the beating heart of baroque era Rome. It is covered in monuments. Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers lying in the middle of the Navona Square is not to be missed. You can walk down the little Cuccagna Street to reach the Campo de Fiori. By day it is a tourist filled teeming market that turns into a center for aperitivos after night falls.
The Campo de Fiori proves to be the one historical square in the city that does not have a church. It does feature a monument to Giordano Bruno who became accused of practicing heresy before being burned at the stake back in 1600. In the ruins of Largo Argentina you will see many cats living.
While in the historical center, you should see the Sant Ignazio di Loyola Church. The church contains a dome that is fake but so well designed that you would never know it. The ancient Pantheon is also here and should not be missed.
According to local Romans, the best coffee to be had is found in the Sant Eustachio Square. Directly in front of it is Punto Gelato where you can enjoy an excellent ice cream.
This is an ideal place to stay in Rome if you are willing to pay more for the central location and you do not mind the big crowds. For people who want to walk to all of the big, impressive sites, it is also a great neighborhood.
While the metro does not have a stop here, you will not miss it. You can take in all of the historical sites by foot except for the Vatican. Getting to the Vatican from here is easy on bus 64 (which also goes to the Termini station), or alternatively you could take bus 81 to the Vatican via the Cola di Rienzo shopping center.
There are several good hotels to stay in Rome located in this area as well.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ROME IN THE HISTORIC CENTER
Piazza Del Gesu’ Luxury Suites: This hotel is found near the Pantheon, Campo di Fiori, and Piazza Navona. It is both stylish and historical, contained in a 1500s era building where it provides designer furnishings, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, mini bars, tea and coffee facilities, free toiletries, and slippers.
Palazzo Medusa: The Palazzo Medusa lies around 1,500 feet (500 meters) from the Piazza Navona. The lovely hotel is graced with a terrace featuring amazing views over Rome. It provides modern rooms that include air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, mini bars, toiletries, and slippers.
Navona Colors Hotel: A more reasonably priced three star hotel is the Navona Colors Hotel only 600 feet (200 meters) away from the Piazza Navona. The hotel is stylish and provides rooms complete with electric kettle, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, mini-bars, coffee machine, free toiletries, and flat screen TVs. Family rooms can be reserved here, so understandably this hotel sells out fast.
2. Ancient Rome, best neighborhood for sightseeing
This is the part of the Italian capital that people think of when they imagine the magnificent Rome. In this neighborhood you have the stunning remains of Ancient Rome, centered around the ancient empire’s forums and Coliseum. Here your imagination will be fired as you take in the incredible sites of the city that once ruled the classical world.
Sightseeing is the primary thing to do in Ancient Rome. There are a few nice accommodation choices but not much in the way of good places to eat or shop.
For these activities, you will want to head over to nearby Monti, which features trendy boutiques, fantastic restaurants, and beloved bars in its relaxed village like quarter (whose center is the Piazza Madonna dei Monti).
Here are some of the hotels you can choose from if you want to stay in Rome in the ancient part of the city.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN ANCIENT ROME
Hotel Villa San Pio: The three star Hotel Villa San Pio lies atop Rome’s verdant Aventine Hill. It is comprised of three individual villas and provides relaxing gardens as well as free parking. Rooms are elegant and showcase decorative walls and wooden floors here.
The Inn at the Roman Forum: For a classier and pricier option, you can try the Inn at the Roman Forum. Sitting in the center of ancient Rome, it is an easy walk to the Roman Forum and the Coliseum. The property features ruins within its bounds. The rooms themselves are modern and luxurious and include flat screen satellite TVs, free Wi-Fi and an iPod docking station.
Capo d´África – Colosseo: For a four star hotel choice in Ancient Rome, the Capo d’ Africa does not disappoint. It is encircled by wine bars and Italian trattorias. Luxurious in every way, the property is a mere five minutes by foot to the Coliseum. From the scenic rooftop terrace you can enjoy breakfast, snacks, and drinks.
3. Vatican – Prati, very covenient neighborhood
The place to stay for those who want to spend a great amount of time enjoying the Vatican is the Prati neighborhood. The locale lying between the Vatican and Sant’ Angelo Castle is known as the Borgo. It is incredibly old and populated by many quality local restaurants.
The Prati on the other hand was mostly constructed at the beginning of the 1900s and is paved in typical Roman style. With wider streets, the squares are also larger.
The most important things to do here in the Vatican are to see the Vatican’s Museums (these include the Sistine Chapel) and also Saint Peter’s Basilica.
After a day sightseeing, you can recharge at Makasar to enjoy some cakes, tea, and drinks. You also have Trattoria Gallobrillo if you are interested in good Roman food at excellent prices. After hours, the Dolce Maniera provides good snacks. Open around the clock, it will ensure that you always have something to eat.
Fantastic ice cream is on offer at Gelateria dei Gracchi. You can take this with you to magnificent Cavour Square (and take in the Palace of Justice) or the quaint Quiriti Square.
This is the neighborhood to stay in for exploring the Vatican most easily while being able to arrive ahead of the crowds to see the excellent museums. It will also allow you to come in time for the weekly free audience on Wednesdays with the Pope (when he is at home).
The historical center of the Catholic Church is easy to experience and explore when you are staying right by it.
There are metro stations at Lepanto and Ottaviano that run on Line A. You can also get to the Termini station on either bus 70 or 492.
On 492, you travel around the entire historical center of Rome to the Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and Largo Argentina. While this is a convenient bus line, remember that traffic can be severe here and will likely delay you.
Several excellent hotels are available here for your stay in Rome.
WHERE TO STAY IN VATICAN – PRATI
Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House: The fantastic four star hotel in this neighborhood is the Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House. It lies only five minutes by foot from the Cipro Musei Vaticani Metro Station. The hotel is fully modern and features elegant rooms, all of which include parquet floors, satellite TV, and air conditioning alongside mini bars complete with complimentary mineral water. The property offers the use of their free sauna, fitness rooms, and relaxation areas along with free Wi-Fi in the entire property. The restaurant offers a generous American-styled buffet while the bar provides snacks, appetizers, and drinks all day long.
Hotel Gravina San Pietro: A mere 10 minute walk from St Peter’s Square is the Hotel Gravina San Pietro. A modern hotel, it features stylish rooms that include air conditioning, mini-bars, free toiletries and Wi-Fi. The hotel is only five minutes to the San Pietro train station as well.
Hotel Emmaus: For a three star hotel that is only about 300 feet (100 meters) away from St. Peter’s Square, you can consider the Hotel Emmaus. It provides free Wi-Fi plus the advantage of being right in the middle of the Vatican action. You can take bus 64 to stop close by and have easy, fast access to the Termini Train Station.
4. Trastevere, best area to stay in rome for nightlife
Across the Tiber River lies the neighborhood that is called the most Roman one. In Trastevere there are several interesting and varied sites to see.
You should not miss out on the Renaissance era Villa Farnesina (complete with its frescoes by Raphael) or the Botanical Garden. It contains more than 3,000 different types of plants. There is also an incredible view of Rome from the Gianicolo Hill. They fire off a cannon each mid-day.
The neighborhood offers several other interesting things to explore and do as well. You should go see the Santa Maria Church in Trastavere.
There is also a great nightlife spot here in the Piazza Trilussa. Both pizzerias and restaurants here are affordable and serve high quality food. Carlo Menta and Da Poeta are two good spots to try.
Another interesting and unorthodox place to eat is the restaurant Cencio La Parolaccia. Part of the unusual experience dining here is that you are paying to be insulted in both English and Roman Italian.
This is a great place to stay in Rome for experiencing the local and international types of nightlife, long walks, and real local cuisine. It is not a good neighborhood if you like to go to sleep early or you sleep lightly. The crowds here are substantial, particular during the weekend.
There is not a metro stop in the area. You can take tram 3 over to Esquilino and the Coliseum or catch tram 8 to reach Largo Argentina. Bus 23 will get you close to the Vatican while bus 75 will drop you at the Termini Station.
There are also several high end hotels and a good budget B&B option in this district.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN TRASTEVERE
VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel: For a great four star hotel, go stay in Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel. The facility lies within a one-time monastery and boasts lovely gardens. The rooms are elegant and include air conditioning, Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, coffee and tea facilities. All rooms include a fantastic breakfast and parking on the property as well.
Hotel Ripa Roma: Another fabulous four star hotel is Hotel Ripa Roma. This modern property is only 150 feet (50 meters) from the tram stop that takes you to the historical center of the city. It provides a free gym as well as free Wi-Fi around the hotel. The suites and rooms are all air conditioned and large. These include mini bars, en-suite bathrooms complete with free toiletries, and satellite TV. The majority of them include a balcony too.
B&B Hotel Roma Trastevere: A good three star hotel is the B&B Hotel Roma Trastevere. It is only five minutes walk to the train station. All rooms here include air conditioning, satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi too. This is the more affordable, nice place for where to stay in Rome if you decide that Trastevere is right for you.
5. Villa Borghese, chic and elegant
The fanciest area in Rome is considered to be Villa Borghese. It has a rival in the Parioli district, but Villa Borghese triumphs because of its historic center location. The area is best known for the Spanish Steps. In the Piazza dei Poplo you will find the houses of a great number of famous individuals who once called Rome home.
You can walk in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn and have coffee in Caffe Greco where writers and poets such as Gogol, Stendhal, and Goethe drank their brew. Some autographs of these writers are still on display here.
Famous people from around the globe (as well as many international tourists) still come to Harry’s Bar and Via Veneto.
The park of Villa Borghese itself is worth a few hours of your time in Rome. This oasis is among the largest parks in the city and offers an ideal setting for picnicking, bicycling, or just strolling through the paths. It even has a worthwhile zoo that families with children will love right on the grounds (in the Villa).
The city offers the classiest shopping in Via Dei Condotti and has several great places to take a break. These include Laduree Macarons shop and the Babington Tearoom. For a memorable meal you will not soon forget you can book a reservation at the hottest Japanese restaurant Zuma found in the Fendi Palace.
It is a must to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Legend has it that this action will guarantee your return trip to Rome one day. Plenty of tourists take the time to visit the fountain, and the city collects over 700,000 euros in thrown coins from it each year.
This district is the place to stay if you do not mind high prices and you want to be in the middle of the historic center action where high end shops and trendy restaurants abound. It is also a good place to base and stay in Rome if you can not walk for long distances or you have children with you who tire easily.
Line A of the metro serves the district. You will find the primary stops are Barberini near the Trevi Fountain and Spagna right at the Spanish Steps.
The hotels found in this neighborhood are mostly high end and luxurious.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN ROME IN VILLA BORGHESE
Les Fleurs Luxury House: Only 300 feet (100 meters) from the Spanish Steps and adjacent to Via Condotti and its luxury shops lies Les Fleurs Luxury House. The hotel itself sits in a two story 1700s era building. You can count on large rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, mini bars, LCD TV complete with Sky channels, coffee and tea facilities, slippers, bathrobes, a shower or bath with hydro-massage features and toiletries. The only shortcoming to the property is that it does not include an elevator.
Relais Bocca di Leone: Another elegant property only 900 feet from the Spanish Steps and near the Spagna Metro Station is the Relais Bocca di Leone Hotel. It delivers elegant rooms complete with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, mini bars, toiletries, and flat screen TV.
Royal Rooms – Via Del Corso: A slightly more affordable option is the Royal Rooms that you will find around 1,350 feet (450 meters) way from the Spagna Metro Station. This property features rooms that include air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, mini bars, flat screen TV, and toiletries. It is near the important area attractions such as the Trevi Fountain, Piazza dei Poppolo, and the Spanish Steps.
6. Termini and Esquilino, best place to stay in Rome on a budget
Termini is the central transportation hub for Rome where the main train station is found. This makes it a very convenient place to stay in Rome.
It also offers some great attractions like the Baths of Diocletian (ancient baths that gave the area train station its name) and the National Roman Museum in Palazzo Massimo. Here you will discover one of the top archaeological and art collections on the planet, something not to be missed when in Rome.
In the station is a little known historical gem. If you go down to the underground level you are able to take in the Servian Walls historical remains. These were the original Roman walls constructed in the 300s BC.
If you are ready for some great food here, go to Eataly for their excellent local supermarket and the Piazza della Republica restaurant. You can take in the beautiful Fountain of the Naiads while you eat.
A single metro stop from Termini is Esquilino. This is central Rome’s most multicultural neighborhood that includes its own Chinatown. It is a good spot to stay in Rome if you enjoy hearing a variety of languages and being surrounded by international restaurants and shops.
Piazza Vittorio has gardens worth seeing and the Alchemic Door where supposedly practitioners could turn base metals into gold. There is also a close by high quality Italian and international food market Esquilino here for refreshments. Among the finest local bakeries in Rome, Regoli is found here as well.
Termini and neighboring Esquilino are ideal if you do not want to walk much. You can hop on the two metro lines that cover the center of Rome from here. On the A Line you are able to reach the Vatican, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and San Giovanni.
The Blue Line takes you to the Circus Maximus and Coliseum. You can also take bus lines from here to the big sightseeing attractions.
Bus 40 goes to the Piazza Navona as well as Castel Sant Angelo. On bus 64 you can reach the Vatican and Largo Argentina, while on bus 75 you get to the Circus Maximums, Coliseum, and Trastevere.
After 11 at night the area becomes deserted. Those looking to enjoy a late night party will not be so happy staying here. There are several good hotels in the area.
LODGING RECOMMENDATIONS IN TERMINI – ESQUILINO
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo: A great choice for a stylish four star hotel is the Best Western Plus Hotel Universo. It lies only 1,200 feet (300 meters) from the Termini Metro station as well as the train station. The hotel features modern styled rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and smart phone, mini bars, flat screen TV, and a kettle for tea making. The hotel also offers great free amenities including a Turkish bath, highly equipped gym, sauna, and a restaurant.
Dream Station: This more reasonably priced hotel is colorful and features modern rooms adjacent to the Termini Metro Station and across from the train station. Each room comes with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and 32 inch LCD TV. The property also offers a well-equipped kitchen for guests to use. It is only 20 minutes by foot to the Trevi Fountain and Coliseum.
Charm of Rome: A last affordable option in this neighborhood is the Charm of Rome B&B. It lies near the Vittorio Emanuele Metro Station and the Termini Train Station. The rooms here are modern and come with air conditioning, free Wi-FI, and toiletries. You can reach the Coliseum in about 15 minutes by walking.
7. Monti, one of the best areas to stay in Rome
Monti remains the oldest part of Rome. Once it was a dangerous neighborhood in which the gladiators lived. Today it is the pulsing heart of the city’s nightlife and the location of many fine Roman and fusion restaurants.
The shops here are vintage and hip. This district allows for views of the Coliseum from some of its streets.
You should not neglect to visit the Santa Maria Maggiore. It is among four different papal basilicas. Hidden in its treasures is the oldest known nativity scene constructed back in 1290.
There is also the Saint Peter in Chains Church that has a well-known Michelangelo sculpture Moses (with horns on his head). Even though it was based on a mistaken translation of the Bible, this is a worthwhile sculpture to see.
Nature lovers should stop in to see the Celio Park found in Monti. From the benches here you can take in an incredible vista of the Coliseum.
For anyone staying in the area, La Casetta a Monti offers a cozy cafe found in a little house covered in ivy. The breakfasts are worthwhile. You can go from this first meal of the day full of energy to experience the Coliseum that is only several blocks from here.
This is a great area to stay in if you love the mystery of ancient Rome including the gladiators and Forum. Monti is also an ideal base for people who love nightlife. It offers great aperitivos ahead of dinner and good drinks available well after midnight.
If you are a light sleeper, you should avoid staying here. The main streets in Monti stay crowded until the wee hours. For people who love vintage clothing and hip culture, it is a fun neighborhood.
The closest metro stations include Colosseo and Cavour on the Metro B line. You can also take bus 75 to Trastevere and bus 51 over to Via del Corso the primary shopping district. Several good hotels populate the area.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ROME IN MONTI
FH Grand Hotel Palatino: For a four star hotel found only five minutes by foot from the Coliseum, Grand Hotel Palatino is a great choice. The hotel features modern styled rooms and includes air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and mini bars. On site they have a restaurant featuring excellent Roman dishes and a bar.
Relais Monti: A lovely hotel that you will find 1,200 feet (400 meters) away from the Santa Maria Maggiore and 2,500 feet (800 meters) from the Coliseum is Relais Monti. The rooms include such amenities as Nespresso coffee machines, tea kettles, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, free toiletries, and mini bars.
Tre R Colosseo: A more affordable option in Monti is the Tre R Colosseo. Its best feature is the location that is only two minutes by foot from the Coliseum, making it among the most central of historic area hotels. The rooms are modern styled and include air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
8. Testaccio – Ostiense, good for food and restaurants
Testaccio – Ostiense is the part of central Rome that begins at the Circus Maximus and the Mouth of Truth (an ancient world lie detector). Sadly, most visitors do not explore past the Aventine Hill over to Ostiense Street. You will find the only pyramid in Rome here. It was built as a tomb in 12 BC for Gaius Cestius.
Behind the pyramid lies the non-Catholic Cemetery. Graves that you can visit here include those of Shelley and Keats as well as other well-known foreigners and Italians.
Down the street you come upon the Centrale Montemartini. This less publicized museum of the capital includes many ancient statues in some unusual industrial surroundings that make for an out of this world atmosphere.
Another Papal Basilica worth visiting is found here in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The interior cloister is from the 1200s. Close by is the Garbatella neighborhood where you can experience the way that current day Romans live. For fantastic nightlife that is not populated by tourists, try the Via Libetta here.
Testaccio is behind Ostiense. This is an interesting section of the fine pizzerias and Roman restaurants that also includes hopping nightlife. Students heavily utilize this area.
Because of its location along the Tiber River, Testaccio once held a port into which the city’s food supplies would arrive transported in amphorae the terracotta vessels. These vessels would then be broken and thrown into a hill that you can still see. It is supposedly composed of approximately 53 million broken amphorae.
This is a good choice of place to stay in Rome if you want to get away from the tourist hordes to experience life as a modern day Roman. It is a good base for families who bring children as well as for couples.
Close by metro stations include Piramide, Circo Massimo, and Garbatella. You can also take tram 3 to reach Esquilino, Coliseum, and Trastevere. Bus 75 goes to Trastevere and Termini while bus 280 will take you over to the Vatican. You have several good hotels here to consider.
WHERE TO STAY IN ROME IN TESTACCIO – OSTIENSE
Althea Inn Roof Terrace: A lovely guest house hotel in the area is the Althea Inn Roof Terrace. It lies close to the Piramide Metro Stop. The lovely property features modern styled rooms that come complete with air conditioning, free Wi-FI, coffee and tea making facilities, and a flat screen TV. They serve a delightful breakfast on the gorgeous roof terrace.
Seven Suites: For a more contemporary option, you can try the Seven Suites. This Testaccio neighborhood hotel is ten minutes by foot from the Piramide Metro Station. The rooms include a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, mini bars, electric kettles, and free toiletries for guests.
Hotel Villa San Pio: A three star hotel choice in the area is the Hotel Villa San Pio. Its best feature is probably its peaceful location on the verdant Aventine Hill of Rome. Three individual villas make up the property. Guests enjoy the quiet gardens and benefit from free parking. Rooms are elegant and include decorative walls and wooden floors here.
9. EUR Modern Rome Area, save some money in a very modern area
There is also a good place to see and stay in that is not in the heart of the historical center. This modern area begins behind the San Paolo Church and is called the EUR Modern area. The EUR is just south of the city’s center.
The area became constructed in the fascism period. Since then it has grown into a center for nightlife and a residential area.
Something not to be missed here is the Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. It includes an obelisk at the center that is dedicated to the famous Italian inventor. The Square Coliseum is today a Fendi palace that holds a cinema and free exhibition of the EUR lake and its little waterfalls that have only recently been opened up to the public.
People who love contemporary architecture also enjoy seeing La Nuvola, Rome’s recently built convention center. The Cloud by Fuksas draws in contemporary architecture enthusiasts like pilgrims.
Children are sure to love the LunEur. This theme park was recently renovated so be sure to spend some time here if you bring children on your trip to Rome.
This is a good area to stay in if it is not your first trip to Rome, meaning that you are already acquainted with the city’s historical sights and attractions. It is also a less expensive area to get a good hotel. People who appreciate modern architecture will really enjoy being based here.
The closest metro stops include the Eur Palaport and Eur Fermi on Line B. From here you can get the bus 714 to reach the Termini.
There are several high-end hotels here from which you can choose when you are looking for where to stay in Rome.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN ROME IN EUR AREA
Hotel American Palace Eur: The four star Hotel American Palace boasts being a historical property. It lies only 150 feet (50 meters) from the Laurentina Metro Station. The courtyard features fruit trees, and drinks are served here. The property offers a 24 hour free gym to its guests.
Ibis Styles Roma Eur: Another four star choice in the EUR district is the Ibis Styles Roma. It offers large and air conditioned modern styled rooms. The restaurant on site is good and provides a vast array of breakfast choices for guests of the hotel.
La Luna di Roma B&B: For more of a three star property you can try La Luna di Roma B&B. The property offers a furnished garden for guests to enjoy. Rooms are classically decorated and furnished. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. La Luna di Roma lies about 10 minutes by foot from the IFAD and Laurentina Metro Station.