Are you having trouble deciding where to stay in Rome? 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 in Rome? Are you on a budget? Do you want to be in the center of it all? We’ve covered you with a breakdown of the best neighborhoods to suit your needs.
We took our expertise and paired with a local expert to bring you the most comprehensive guide to choosing the best neighborhood in Rome. You will find something for everyone, depending on what you are looking for, be it romance, nightlife, or that local vibe.
Where to Stay in Rome, Italy
On the surface, Rome can seem confusing, chaotic, and completely overwhelming. But, once you understand the city’s layout and how to navigate the different neighborhoods, you’ll see that Rome is laid out pretty logically.
Rome has many small neighborhoods and has a compact, walkable city center like other European capitals such as Edinburgh or Vienna.
- Centro Storico – Where to Stay in Rome for the first time
- Vatican City / Prati – Where to Stay in Rome for Luxury
- Monti – The best area to stay in Rome for Families
- Trastevere – Where to Stay in Rome for Nightlife
- Ostiense / Testaccio – Where to Stay in Rome for foodies
- San Lorenzo – Where to Stay in Rome on a Budget
Here are the best neighborhoods in Rome to stay in. We have broken them down by interest to make it easier.
The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Rome
In a hurry? Here are our top recommendations for hotels and apartment rentals in Rome. We don’t stay in Hostels so we cannot recommend any however, you can look up Rome hostels on TripAdvisor.com
- Luxury Hotel: St. Regis Rome
- Mid-Range Hotel: Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria
- Budget Hotel: Amico Hotel
- Family Hotel: Hotel Artemide
- Boutique Hotel: Nerva Boutique Hotel
- VRBO: Colosseum View
When we first visited Rome, 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, 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.
1. Vatican City / Prati – Best Neighbourhood for Luxury Accommodation
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 many 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 Hotel Luxury: Villa Laetitia: A stunning boutique hotel in a riverside art-nouveau villa. It is located at Lungotevere delle Armi 22. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- Best Hotel Mid-Range: Hotel dei Consoli: This elegant imperial style with a whirlpool and a rooftop terrace is a short stroll from the Vatican museums. Check out Availability and Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Hotel Budget: Casa di Accoglienza Paolo Vi: This tranquil convent run by nuns lets you be first in line for the Vatican Museums. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- Best Air B&B: Vatican City Apartment: This bright and breezy apartment is just steps from Vatican Museums. Check out the Availability and Prices on VRBO
2. Centro Storico Area – Where to stay in Rome for the first time
In our opinion, Centro Storico is the best place to stay in Rome if you are visiting for the first time. It’s near everything! This iconic neighborhood, a treasure trove of ancient landmarks and vibrant street scenes, is perfect for those seeking a culturally rich Roman experience.
Staying in Centro Storico means you’re at the epicenter of Rome’s endless historical, cultural, and gastronomical delights, making every moment of your stay unforgettable.
Its 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 Apartment Rental: Amazing Suite Centro Storico – Luxury suite in the heart of Rome. King size bed, bathroom, lovely living room with kitchenette. Apartment is located a few steps from Trevi’s Fountain, Pantheon, and more. View of Vittoriano in Venezia Square. Check out the Availability and Prices on VRBO
- 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. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- 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. Check out Availability and Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- 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. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Things to do in Centro Storico
Begin your exploration at the Pantheon, an architectural marvel, before strolling to the nearby Piazza Navona, where artists and street performers enliven the atmosphere.
Don’t miss the chance to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, ensuring your return to this eternal city. History buffs will relish the Roman Forum, a short walk away, offering a glimpse into ancient Rome.
Culinary adventures await in the local trattorias, where you can savor authentic Roman delicacies like carbonara and cacio e pepe. As the sun sets, enjoy an evening walk along the Tiber River, or explore the charming, narrow streets of the Jewish Ghetto, rich in history and unique eateries.
Centro Storico is where ancient Rome comes to life. Don’t forget to walk a little and check out the Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, Campo de Fiori, the beautiful Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, 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. Pair that with the beauty of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and you can understand why The Center of Rome is magical.
Looking for a great Rome Itinerary? Check out our 3 Days in Rome post for information on all the top attractions, including hours of operation and cost.
3. Monti – Best Area to stay in Rome with Families
Monti is one of the most charming neighborhoods in the Eternal City and a perfect place to stay for families. The lines of the Colosseum,
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 ranging from casual street food carts to chic dress code-applicable restaurants.
Its position 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.
Suggested 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 to appreciate the Colosseum truly.
Where to Stay in Monti
- Best Apartment Rental: Colosseum View Incredible terrace view of Colosseum right across the street, 3 bedroom, two bath. Terrace with gazebo, kitchen and living room. Check out the Availability and Prices on VRBO
- Waldorf Astoria
- 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. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Laurentia: This attractive 19th-century townhouse has some rooms overlooking the pretty market square. Largo de Degli Osci 63. Check out Availability and Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Budget Hotel: Generator: Slick, simple rooms near Termini Station with a 1970s Chinatown-style rooftop lounge. It’s a great choice if you are on a budget. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Things to do in Monti
Monti is near Centro Storico and is easily accessible to many of Rome’s major tourist attractions. From the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, you will see many of the top monuments in Rome in a short amount of time. After exploring places like the Colosseum, have a glass and relax at Piazza Della Madonna Dei Monti. Trajan’s Market dates back to 100 AD and was the world’s first shopping mall. See Trajan’s Column, the Library, and the Museo dei Fori Imperiali.
4. Trastevere Area – Best Neighbourhood for nightlife
If you are looking for places to stay in Rome and food and nightlife are your things, this is the area for you.
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.
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 Apartment Rental in Trastevere: Elegant Trastevere Apartment: This elegant and welcoming apartment in the Trastevere district is right in front of Tiber Island in the center. Check out the Availability and Prices on VRBO
- Best Hotel: Hotel Ponte Sisto: Located steps from the River Tiber with views of Renaissance and Baroque Rome. Via dei Petinari 64. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- 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. Check out Availability and Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Budget Hotel: Trastevere Manara: This hotel has fresh, bright bedrooms & new renovations in one of the most atmospheric areas. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Things to do in Trastevere
We loved staying in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, which offered a local vibe. Known for its cobbled streets and historic charm. There are many things to see in this neighborhood.
The Ponte Sisto is a beautiful pedestrian bridge connecting Campo de’ Fiori and Trastevere, offering stunning views of St. Peter’s Basilica. Piazza Trilussa was named after the local Roman poet Trilussa; this piazza is a historical and cultural spot reflecting the bohemian spirit of the area.
One of Rome’s oldest and most ornate churches is located in this neighborhood; the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is known for its unique architecture and stunning 12th-century mosaics.
5. Ostiense – Testaccio – Best Neighbourhood for Food and Restaurants
This working-class district’s popularity has grown over recent years mainly due to its reputation as a great spot for traditional Roman food, especially meat-based dishes. This historic area, known for its authentic Roman spirit, offers a blend of culinary delights, cultural experiences, and historical treasures.
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 and 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. You want to base yourself on this area if you are an adventurous eater. 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 Apartment Rental in Testaccio: Cozy Suite in Testaccio– Unwind in this cozy and bright studio in Testaccio where you will live the real Roman experience. Check out the Availability and Prices on VRBO
- Best Hotel: Hotel Sant’Anselmo– A romantic hilltop hideaway housed in an elegant villa. Located at Piazza Sant’Anselmo 2. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- Best Hotel Mid Range: Hotel Lancelot– Striking views, great location close to the Colosseum, and family-run hotel with terraces. Check out Availability and Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Budget Hotel: Althea Inn– This friendly B&B is in an apartment block near the Aurelian Walls and Tesstaccio’s nightlife. Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Things to do in Testaccio
Exploring the vibrant Testaccio neighborhood in Rome is a must-do for anyone staying nearby. Start your adventure at the Testaccio Market, a paradise for food lovers, where you can savor traditional Roman street food and fresh local produce.
Art enthusiasts will appreciate the contemporary art displayed at the MACRO museum in a former slaughterhouse. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Monte dei Cocci, a unique archaeological site made entirely of ancient Roman pottery shards.
For a taste of local nightlife, Testaccio’s clubs and bars come alive after dark, offering a genuine Roman experience. Finally, indulge in classic Roman cuisine at one of the neighborhood’s renowned trattorias, where dishes like carbonara and amatriciana are served with true Roman flair.
6. Lorenzo – Best Neighborhood for Budget Travelers
Experience the vibrant heart of Rome by staying in the San Lorenzo neighborhood, an eclectic and artistic district perfect for travelers seeking a blend of historic charm and contemporary culture. This Rome neighborhood is perfect for those on a budget. Young adults, foodies, and art enthusiasts particularly like this location. Being close to Sapienza University, you can count on having a fun hip experience.
San Lorenzo offers an array of boutique accommodations, from cozy bed-and-breakfasts to stylish hotels, ensuring a memorable stay. Discover local art galleries, savor authentic Roman cuisine at bustling trattorias, and enjoy the lively nightlife.
San Lorenzo’s central location spanning from the Termini Railway Station to the Verano area makes it a convenient base for exploring Rome’s iconic landmarks. Embrace the dynamic spirit of Rome in San Lorenzo – a top choice for an authentic Italian experience.
Where to Stay in San Lorenzo
- Suggested Apartment Rental San Lorenzo: San Lorenzo Guest House sleeps four people with one bedroom/one bath. It is a 10-minute walk to the University of Roma-La Sapienza. Check Prices and Availability on VRBO
- Luxury: There aren’t specific luxury hotels in San Lorenzo, but Hotel Laurentia is a highly rated hotel with a bar, 24-hour reception, and free Wi-Fi throughout. See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com.
- Mid-Range: The Villa San Lorenzo Maria Hotel is well-reviewed and offers good value. See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com.
- Budget: The B&B Hotel Roma San Lorenzo Termini has been rated as the best value among 101 hotels in San Lorenzo and appears to cater to more budget-conscious travelers. See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
- Limited Services: Sonder San Lorenzo offers a limited-service property, which might be a more affordable option for those looking for essential amenities. See rates and Availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
Things to do in San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo is known for its bohemian atmosphere and bustling nightlife. Visitors can explore the local art scene at its numerous studios and galleries or shop at its local boutiques for vintage clothes and handcrafts.
It is known for its lively nightlife with various bars and clubs that come alive after dark, making it a popular destination for those looking to experience Rome’s vibrant night scene. If clubbing isn’t your scene, San Lorenzo has many restaurants and cafes offering traditional Roman dishes, perfect for foodies wanting to taste authentic local cuisine.
And don’t miss visiting the Basilica di San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura. This is one of the seven pilgrimage churches in Rome and is a beautiful example of early Christian architecture.
Our #1 Money-Saving Tip In Rome
- 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.
You can get it for three days, including all of these and more: BOOK YOUR OMNIA PASS NOW!
Rome Neighborhoods Guide FAQs
What is the best area to stay in Rome?
The best area to stay in Rome largely depends on your preferences and interests. For a blend of history, culture, and easy access to major attractions, the Centro Storico, or Historic Center, is unparalleled. This area is home to iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon. It’s ideal for those who want to be in the heart of Rome’s ancient history and vibrant street life.
Where should a first time tourist stay in Rome?
First-time tourists should consider staying in the Centro Storico in the Piazza Navona or Pantheon area. This central location is not only picturesque but also convenient, placing visitors within walking distance of famous sites, charming cafes, and shopping streets. The area around Vatican City is also recommended, offering a quieter atmosphere while still being close to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.
What is the safest part of Rome for tourists?
For tourists concerned about safety, the Prati district, near the Vatican, is a great choice. This upscale area is known for its safety, elegant streets, fine dining, and shopping options. Another safe and serene area is Aventino, a more residential neighborhood, offering a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Is it better to stay in an Airbnb or hotel in Rome Italy?
Deciding between an Airbnb and a hotel in Rome depends on personal preferences and the nature of your trip. Airbnb can offer a more authentic living experience in residential neighborhoods, often with more space and kitchen facilities – ideal for longer stays or families. Hotels, on the other hand, provide convenience, professional service, and amenities such as daily cleaning, in-house dining, and often, staff who can assist with tours and local recommendations. We have found AirBnBs to be more affordable in Rome offering a better location for less money.
What areas of Rome to avoid staying in?
While Rome is generally a safe city, there are areas where tourists might prefer to avoid staying. The area around Termini Station, despite its convenience for transportation, can be crowded and feel less safe at night. The Esquilino district can be a bit chaotic and is generally less polished, though it does offer some budget accommodation options. Additionally, staying in the suburbs far from the city center is less recommended for tourists, as it can be inconvenient for sightseeing and experiencing the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
How long do you need to spend in Rome?
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.
More Information for your trip to Rome
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 taken to Rome, before you leave, remember to give a coin or two to the Trevi Fountain to make sure it won’t be your last.
Read all of our articles on Italy in our Italy Travel Guide
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