We are here to help you choose where to stay in Rome based on why you want to visit the city.
Are you a first-timer? Are you on a budget? Do you want to be in the center of it all? We’ve got you covered.
On the surface, Rome can seem confusing, chaotic, and completely overwhelming.
But, once you understand the layout of the city and how to navigate the different neighborhoods, you’ll see that Rome is actually laid out pretty logically.
We took our expertise and paired with a local expert to bring you the most comprehensive guide on choosing the best neighborhood in Rome.
Depending on what you are looking for, be it romance, nightlife or that local vibe, you will find something for everyone.
Where to Stay in Rome, Italy
If you want to take in the charm of Rome and still be walking distance to the historic center then Trastevere is the best location to stay in.
If you are visiting Rome for the first time then we recommend the Centro Storico neighborhood. It has most of Rome’s main attractions and is the cultural heart of the city
Typically you can get a great feel by spending 3 Days in Rome. It gives you enough time to take in the major sights and experience the culture of Rome.
Other Rome Neighborhoods
Here are the best neighborhoods in Rome to stay in. We have broken them down by interest to make it easier.
- Vatican City/Prati: Best Neighbourhood for Local life
- Centro Storico: Where to stay in Rome for the first time
- Monti: Best Area to stay in Rome with Families
- Trastevere: Best Neighbourhood for Nightlife
- Testaccio: Best Neighbourhood for Food and Restaurants
Get your bearings with this Map of Rome Neighbourhoods
Rome has many small neighborhoods and has a compact, walkable city center like other European capitals such as Edinburgh or Vienna.
When we first visited Rome for the first time we stayed in the Centro Storico neighborhood (central Rome) right near the Colosseum.
It was a perfect place to stay for a first-time visitor as it is central to so many sights.
If you are a returning visitor then I suggest you look into staying in Trastevere as it can give you a more local feel if you want to delve a little more into Roman life.
The Best Neighborhoods in Rome
1. Prati Neighbourhood near the Vatican City
The Vatican City is one of the world’s smallest states, at 17sq miles.
It is the home of the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, where its head, the Pope, resides and does most of his work with his elaborate team.
Step inside the Sistine Chapel an hour before it opens to the public on this special access Vatican tour.
There are quite a few good bars and restaurants around the main tourist streets and by the main sights.
Staying here means you are right by public transportation, with one of Rome’s major train stations being Vaticano, the metro station, and walking distance to St. Peter’s Square.
Where to Stay in the Prati Neighborhood
- Best Air B&B: Vatican City Apartment: This bright and breezy apartment is situated just steps from Vatican Museums.
- Best Hotel Luxury: Villa Laetitia: A stunning boutique hotel in a riverside art-nouveau villa. It is located at Lungotevere delle Armi 22.
- Best Hotel Mid-Range: Hotel dei Consoli: A short stroll from the Vatican museums is this elegant imperial style with whirlpool and roof terraces.
- Best Hotel Budget: Casa di Accoglienza Paolo Vi: This tranquil convent run by nuns lets you be first in line for the Vatican Museums.
Our #1 Money Saving Tip in Rome
You can get it for 3 days and it includes all of these and more:
- Enjoy fast-track entry to Rome’s historic sites, such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Colosseum, with a 3-day combined city pass.
- Free entry into top attractions
- Free Hop-on Hop-off bus access for the duration of your pass
- Also, take advantage of FREE UNLIMITED PUBLIC TRANSPORT.
2. Centro Storico Area: Where to stay in Rome for the first time
In our opinion Centro Storico the best is to stay in Rome if you are visiting for the first time. It’s near everything!
The lines of the Colosseum, Roman Forum with the outline of columns of Castor and Pollux and Septimus Severus seen from the Palatine Hill at sunset make you feel as if you have been transported back to the glory of Rome.
Pair that with the beauty of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and you can understand why The Center of Rome is magical.
Don’t forget to walk a little and check out the Spanish Steps, Campo de Fiori and the beautiful Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo.
This is a fantastic place to have a base if you plan on spending a lot of time in its many attractions.
It’s only two downsides are price – there are a lot of 5 star hotels here so the cost is higher than in other areas, but if your budget isn’t tight, it is wonderful to be based here, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Where to Stay in Centro Storico
- Best Air B&B: Colosseum Apartment: Located in front of the Colosseum with a living room with a sofa bed, table for 6, a bedroom and a loft with two double beds and a kitchen with everything you need.
- Best Hotel Luxury: Inn at the Roman Forum: This chic friendly boutique hotel has its own ancient ruins and a panoramic roof terrace. It lies hidden behind a quiet street near the Imperial Forums.
- Best Hotel Mid Range: Relais Palazzo Taverna: This six-room boutique hotel is in a 15th-century palazzo. It is not only a beautiful place but it also serves breakfast in your room.
- Best Budget Hotel: Amico Hotel: This hotel is in a great location. Close to the Train station. The rooms are clean and the staff is very friendly. It offers Free Wi-fi and the rooms also have A/C.
- VIP Colosseum At Night Tour With Underground & Arena Floor – Step inside the Colosseum after it closes and enjoy it with only a handful of other people on this very special tour.
- Skip the Line: Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill – With a maximum of 15 visitors in your group, you’ll be able to hear and interact with your guide, as they tell stories and give you context in order to truly appreciate the Colosseum.
3. Monti: Best Area to stay in Rome with Families
Monti is by far one of the most charming neighborhoods in the eternal city and a perfect place to stay for families.
Monti is home to churches, its namesake square Piazza della Madonna dei Monti and most recently many small artisan businesses, hip restaurants, bars, and wonderful shopping.
It is filled with varied restaurants offering traditional Roman fare, Spanish, French and Asian foods in venues from casual street food carts, to chic dress code applicable restaurants.
Its position, lying between Termini Station and the Colosseum, makes it very accessible to all the main sights.
Its charming cobblestone streets will have you endlessly strolling the neighborhood taking in the beautiful Piazzas and stunning architecture.
Where to Stay in Monti
- Best Air B&B: Apartments by Maria: New apartment, spacious and pleasant. Family atmosphere, quiet and safe area 15 meters from metro stops. Breakfast included.
- Best Luxury Hotel: Villa Spalletti Trivelli: The boutique hotel inside a mansion fitted out with 16th-century tapestries antique books and period furniture. Via Piacenza 4.
- Best Mid Range Hotel: Hotel Laurentia: This attractive 19th-century townhouse has some rooms overlooking the pretty market square. Largo de Degli Osci 63.
- Best Budget Hotel: Generator: Slick simple rooms near Termini Station with a 1970s Chinatown style rooftop lounge. A great choice if you are on a budget.
4. Trastevere area: Best Neighbourhood for nightlife
Trastevere has a long illustrious history and lots of character.
Here you will find plenty of churches (but to be fair, that could be said of almost any area in Rome), squares, fountains, and has been a favorite cool hangout spot with tourists since the early 2000s.
If you are looking for places to stay in Rome and food and nightlife are your things, this is the area for you.
Its restaurants are cheaper than nearer the main tourist sites, and the food is better.
Many family-run trattorias, as well as cafes, and lots of small but lively bars are scattered throughout the area.
The main square is always a sociable spot with live music and people sitting, sipping and chatting, and fairy lights line some of the streets giving a festive cozy feel year-round.
Where to Stay in Trastevere
- Best Air B&B in Trastevere: Elegant Trastevere Apartment: This elegant and welcoming apartment in the Trastevere district is right in front of Tiber Island in the center.
- Best Hotel: Hotel Ponte Sisto: Located steps from the River Tiber with views of Renaissance and Baroque Rome. Via dei Petinari 64.
- Best Hotel Mid Range: Villa della Fonte: This terracotta-hued, ivy-shrouded gem is in a 17th-century townhouse. Via della Fonte dell’Olio 8.
- Best Budget Hotel: Trastevere Manara: This hotel has fresh, bright bedrooms & new renovations in one of the most atmospheric areas.
5. Ostiense – Testaccio: Best Neighbourhood for Food and Restaurants
This working-class district popularity has grown over recent years mainly due to its reputation as a great spot for traditional Roman food, especially meat-based dishes.
Testaccio has grown up around its former slaughterhouse, and Butchers who worked in the city’s abattoir used to be paid in cheap cuts of meat as well as money.
It is home to Rome’s traditional nose-to-tail cuisine.
This area is dotted with old-style trattorias that serve traditional dishes like coda alla vaccinara translates as ‘oxtail cooked butcher’s style’ and pasta with pajata.
If you are an adventurous eater then this is the area you want to base yourself in.
Make sure to check out the restaurants on Via del Portico d’Ottavia for some incredible dishes or jump on a food tour to experience it all.
Where to Stay in Testaccio
- Best Air B&B in Testaccio: Cozy Studio in the Heart of Rome– Unwind in this cozy and bright studio in Testaccio where you will live the real Roman experience.
- Best Hotel: Hotel Sant’Anselmo– A romantic hilltop hideaway housed in an elegant villa. Located at Piazza Sant’Anselmo 2.
- Best Hotel Mid Range: Hotel Lancelot– Striking views, great location close to the Colosseum and family-run hotel with terraces.
- Best Budget Hotel: Althea Inn– This friendly B&B is in an apartment block near the Aurelian Walls and Tesstaccio’s nightlife.
After all its years of existence and so many ups and downs, Rome is still clearly one of the most impressive cities in the world by anyone’s standards.
It can be enjoyed year-round and offers sights, events, and food to suit every taste.
And however many visits you’ve had, before you leave, remember to give a coin or two to the Trevi Fountain, to make sure it won’t be your last.
More Information for your trip to Rome
- 22 of The Best Things to do in Rome
- 3 Days in Rome: the Perfect itinerary
- 20 Free and Cheap Attractions in Rome
- Places to Visit Near Rome: 10 Off the Beaten Path Destinations
- Gladiator School in Rome
- Ancient Rome in Photos
Read all of our articles on Italy in our Italy Travel Guide
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