Rome is by all accounts the city of love – a place where, around every corner, you’ll stumble upon epic monuments and cute coffee shops in equal measure.
Whether you travel to Rome to eat the amazing food (pasta and gelato!), admire the Colosseum, or simply to enjoy the atmosphere, there is something in Rome for everyone.
However, Rome can also be overrun with tourists. Moreover, this is Italy’s capital city and the largest metropolis in the country with a price tag to match, meaning it can be overwhelming to decide where to stay in Rome!
Fear not travelers, this epic neighborhood guide to Rome will cover everything you need to know!
We’re going to cover the best areas to stay in Rome, as well as what to see and do within each neighborhood. We’ve put together a thorough list of our favorite hostels and hotels in Rome too, so you don’t have to waste time searching Google looking for them.
Near the end of this guide, we’ll also talk about a couple of places to avoid in Rome so keep an eye out for that as well.
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips – These are the Best Areas to Stay in Rome
- Rome Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods in Rome to Stay in
- 1. Centro Storico Neighborhood – Best Area to Stay in Rome for First Time Visitor
- 2. Esquilino Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Rome on a Budget
- 3. Trastevere Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Rome for Nightlife
- 4. Testaccio Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Rome
- 5. Monti Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Rome for Families
- BONUS: Castelli Romani – Best Place to Stay Outside of Rome
- Review of the Best Places to Stay in Rome
Quick Tips – These are the Best Areas to Stay in Rome
Centro Storico – Where to stay in Rome for first time
Esquilino – Where to stay in Rome on a budget
Trastevere – Where to Stay in Rome for nightlife
Testaccio – Coolest place to stay in Rome
Monti – Best neighborhood in Rome to stay in for families
In a Hurry? Here’s Where to Stay in Rome for One Night:
- Sip and sample your way through the bustling Mercato Centre
- Learn to cook your favorite Italian fare by taking a cooking class with a local
- Rent a Vespa and explore the city on two wheels
Rome Neighborhood Guide
Rome is an ancient and majestic city. One of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, Italy’s capital and largest city enchants more than 4.2 million tourists each year.
Known as the Eternal City, Rome has a rich and diverse history that spans millennia. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site welcomes visitors to explore its historic sites, see its romantic palaces, relax in its spacious piazzas, and indulge in its delicious foods.
Divided into 15 administrative districts, Rome is home to a variety of unique and captivating neighborhoods. We recommend that you explore three or four neighborhoods on each visit to Rome depending on the purpose of your visit.
To help you find the best neighborhoods in Rome to stay in, we will break down the top activities and attractions by your travel interests in each district.
At the heart of the city, you have the Centro Storico. One of the oldest parts of Rome, this neighborhood is where you’ll find beautiful squares, ornate churches, the famous Pantheon, and a number of delicious Italian restaurants. With so much to see and do, this is our top pick for where to stay in Rome for your first time.
Southeast of the center is the modern district of Esquilino. A mosaic of styles and cultures, this vibrant neighborhood boasts a number of great accommodation options for travelers of all ages, styles, and budgets.
Monti is a charming neighborhood to the west of Esquilino. Located just close enough to the city, Monti has it’s own unique and rebellious vibe. Home to the iconic Coliseum, Monti is an ideal base and where to stay in Rome for families.
Continue traveling southwest and you’ll pass through the neighborhoods of Trastevere and Testaccio. Two of the hippest pats of the city, these districts attract the young and fabulous to their trendy bars, bustling clubs, and stylish independent boutiques. Either distrtict is a fantastic place to stay for the younger crowd.
Still not sure where to stay in Rome? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered below.
Home to more than 3.7 million people, Rome is a sprawling and massive city. Thankfully, it boasts a robust public transit system that can take you throughout the city with relative ease.
But Rome is a city best explored on foot. To make the most of your time in the Italian capital, choose an area that will cater to your interests. Do you want to enjoy the cultural and historic side of the city? Or maybe you want to explore Rome after dark? Perhaps you want to indulge in la dolce vita. All of these things are possible but will be easier if you stay in the right area.
5 Best Neighborhoods in Rome to Stay in
Here are the best areas in Rome to stay in, broken down by interest.
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Rome
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Centro Storico is the historical and cultural heart of Rome, where most of Rome’s most famous attractions reside. This part of the city is a maze of winding cobblestone lanes and picturesque piazzas. Built in the Renaissance-style, this area of the Rome is packed with romantic cafes, authentic restaurants, stylish boutiques and iconic sights around every turn.
Centro Storico is one of the best neightborhoods to stay in Rome if you’re visiting the city for the first time. Enjoy world-renowned attractions, like the Pantheon, pleasant piazzas and delicious restaurants all at your doorstep by staying in the city center.
Top Things to Do and See in Centro Storico
– A former Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a church dedicated to the seven planetary divinities. Pop in and take a look at the stunning marble interior of this iconic location.
– Walk the elegant and colorful Spanish Steps between the Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita Dei Monti.
– Make a wish as you toss a coin into the magnificent Trevi Fountain.
– Enjoy an apertivo and watching the world go by in Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful Baroque squares in the city.
– Visit the Palazzo del Quirinale, the residence of the Italian president and a former summer home of Gregory XIII, which was built in the late 16th-century.
– Be amazed at the ornately decorated Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a stunning palace that is home to galleries of amazing works of art.
– Enjoy a moment of peace at Chiesa del Gesu, an elaborated decorated church.
– Explore the rich history of the Roman Empire at the Museo Nazionale Romano.
Best Hostel in Centro Storico: Sandy Hostel
Sandy Hostel is the closest hostel to the Centro Storico neighborhood. Located in lively Monti, this hostel is a short walk to Rome’s most popular tourist attractions. On the 4th floor of a townhouse, this charming hostel features shared and private rooms and has a welcoming and cozy atmosphere.
Best Hotel in Centro Storico: Hotel Caravita
Hotel Caravita is situated at the heart of Rome. Just steps from the city’s most iconic sites this hotel is the perfect base for exploring Rome. Hotel Caravita’s rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the property boasts a relaxing sauna and an on-site café.
Feel refreshed and rejuvenated at delightful three-star hotel
Best Hotel in Centro Storico: Argentina Residenza Style Hotel
Argentina Residenza Style Hotel is a chic and modern property at the heart of the city. Made up of nine rooms, this cosy hotel provides guests with comfortable rooms and contemporary amenities. Enjoy free wifi and an on-site bar and lounge at this stylish four-star hotel.
Best Airbnb in Centro Storico: Modern Compound with basic amenities
For 2 to 4 people visiting for the first time, there is nowhere better to stay than in the heart of ancient Rome. The 35sqm, second-floor apartment is within a walking distance from the Angelo Castle, Vatican Musem, and the Colosseum. With basic amenities like a mini-fridge, stove, you can prepare meals in the apartment or walk to the open-air market nearby.
This central Rome neighborhood is where classic charm and modern magnetism meet. It’s a melting pot of diversity and is home to great cuisines from around the world. Often overlooked by tourists, this charming neighborhood is one of Rome’s best-kept secrets.
Esquilino is also the best places to stay in Rome on a budget. A short walk to the city centre, here you can enjoy all the perks of downtown at a fraction of the price. Packed with inexpensive hotels and backpacker hostels, there’s something for travelers of all styles and budgets in Esquilino.
Top Things to See and Do in Esquilino
– Sip and sample your way through the bustling Mercato Centre.
– See the stunning architecture at the Basilica di Santa Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri.
– Quench your thirst and hunger at Bred Bottega Gourmet, where the sandwiches are to die for!
– Take in the panoramic views of Rome from the rooftop of the Radisson Blu Es Hotel, where you can enjoy cocktails and DJ sets as you watch the sun go down.
– Learn to cook your favorite Italian fare by taking a cooking class with a local.
– Rent a Vespa and explore the city on two wheels.
– Grab a seat and spend an afternoon people watching over a cup of espresso at eBar.
– Explore the ancient baths of Diocletian, the largest of the imperial baths that were built between 298 and 306.
– Indulge in Italian pastries and savour a cup of cappucini at D’Angelo – Gatronomia Caffe.
Best Hostel in Esquilino: The RomeHello Hostel
Lively, colourful and vibrant, you won’t find a better hostel in Rome than the RomeHello Hostel. Located in the Esquinillo neighborhood, this hostel is close to public transit, the city’s main train station, and just a short walk to Rome’s top attractions and best bars. Enjoy clean, classy and comfortable accommodations in Rome.
Best Hotel in Esquilino: Hotel Tito Rome
This three-star hotel is centrally located in Rome. It is a short walk to both the main train station and the city’s top tourist attractions.
Each of the hotels 17 rooms is tastefully decorated and features modern amenities. Guests can enjoy a relaxing glass of wine on the outdoor terrace after a long day of sightseeing.
Best Hotel in Esquilino: Hotel Gabriella Rome
This quaint three-star hotel is a great base for budget travellers visiting Rome. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars, and is well connected via public transit.
Recently refurbished, each room is air-conditioned and features a mini-bar. Enjoy a delicious breakfast or evening drinks at the on-site restaurant and lounge.
Best Airbnb in Esquilino: Cabin Chic Retreat
Stay in a charming room close to the Colosseum. The apartment has four bedroom, two bathrooms and a spacious kitchen which will leave home cooks will be pleasantly surprised by the generous amount of counter space.
Located on the west side of the Tiber River, Trastevere is one of Rome’s best neighborhoods, if not then the most charismatic one, at least. Whimsical and charming, this district is made up of twisting alleys, local markets, artisan boutiques and quaint cafes.
By day, Trastevere is a quiet Italian village, but by night, this neighborhood comes alive. One of the hottest and liveliest districts in Rome, Trastevere is where you’ll find trendy bars and hip nightclubs. This is the area to stay in if you want to dance the night away and experience a slice of Roman nightlife.
Top Things to See and Do in Trastevere
– Watch the world go by over an apertivo (or two) at Bar San Calisto.
– Excite your senses at Cioccolata e Vino, an inventive cocktail bar where shots are served in tiny chocolate cups, which are both delectable and delicious!
– Down a pint at Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, a cosy pub offering up 15 craft beers on tap and countless more by the bottle.
– Enjoy a lively night of cocktails and fun at Freni e Frizioni.
– Serving up more than just coffee, Coffee Pot is a great place to spend a night drinking exciting cocktails and sampling exotic eats.
– Spend a night savouring glasses of wine and stellar food at Enoteca Ferrara.
– Good drinks and a great atmosphere await you at Big Hilda Pub, the perfect stop for afternoon pints.
– Dance the night away to alternative tunes at Big Star Pub, the hottest spot in town for the young, hip and trendy.
Best Hostel in Trastevere: Hostel Trustever
Hostel Trustever is a great mix of vintage and modern. Vibrant and eclectic, this hostel is ideal for travellers looking to experience Trastevere’s nightlife scene.
Boasting a bar, restaurant, spacious rooms and a relaxing garden, this hostel has everything you could possibly need for a great vacation in Rome.
Best Hotel in Trastevere: Residenza San Calisto
This rustic and funky hotel is located at the heart of Rome. A short walk to the city’s top attractions, this hotel is close to restaurants, bars and the city’s hottest nightclubs. Comprised of 6 rooms, this delightful hotel has an on-site restaurant and bar and offers free bike rental to guests.
Best Hotel in Trastevere: Hotel San Francesco Rome
This three-star hotel is a great mix of modern and rustic. Featuring spacious rooms, guests can enjoy free-wifi and daily breakfast throughout their stay.
Hotel San Francesco Rome is surrounded by restaurants and bars and is just a short walk from the centre of Trastevere and Rome’s most popular clubs.
Best Airbnb in Trastevere: Picturesque 16th Century Home
This 16th-century building is located just 350 meters from the Pantheon and 700 meters from Piazza Navona. Perfect for two couples or a family of four, the Pantheon 2 offers a great check-in experience, two sparkling clean rooms and air conditioning in a fabulous location right near to many popular restaurants, clubs, and bars.
Once a grungy industrial area, Testaccio has undergone a revamp in recent years. Upgrades to the local market and the old city slaughterhouse have helped turn this area from grimy into one of Rome’s newest up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Testaccio is a hub for foodies, artists and fashionistas alike. Here you’ll find a myriad of things to excite your senses, from independent boutiques and jaw-dropping galleries to trendy street food stalls and eclectic restaurants. Explore Testaccio and discover a hidden gem in the Eternal City.
Wonder what to do in Rome for 3 days? Head over to our insider’s Weekend in Rome guide!
Top Things to See and Do in Testaccio
– Climb to the top of Monte Testaccio, an artificial mountain made of broken Roman pottery, and enjoy the view.
– Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Rome in Piazza Testaccio, the perfect spot for an afternoon of people watching.
– Shop like a local at the Mercato Testaccio and enjoy sampling as many of the delicious treats and eats as you can!
– Dance the night away at Alpheus, where you have three rooms of great music to choose from.
– Enjoy amazing food and delicious drinks at On the Rox, a favourite haunt of tourists and locals alike.
– Sit back and relax while enjoying a lively atmosphere and urbane cocktails at Moonlight Café, the perfect place for drinks after a day of sightseeing.
– Rock out at Radio Londra, a fun club that caters to the punk rock and mohawked crowd.
– Browse works of art by local and international artists at Mattatoio, the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Best Hostel in Testaccio: Dreaming Rome Hostel
You won’t find a better hostel in Testaccio. Located in the centre of the neighborhood, this hostel is close to restaurants, bars, galleries and the city’s top tourist attractions. Offering private and shared rooms, this hostel also provides guests with a great breakfast and modern facilities.
Best Hotel in Testaccio: Re Testa
This contemporary and minimalist hotel is ideal for couples and solo travellers visiting Testaccio. Situated in the middle of the neighborhood, this hotel is within walking distance of Testaccio’s trendiest bars and world-class restaurants.
Comprised of 35 recently refurbished rooms, it is clean, comfortable, and well-equipped for your stay in Rome.
Best Hotel in Testaccio: Santa Prisca
Santa Prisca is a quaint hotel in the centre of the city. Close to Testaccio’s top attractions, this hotel is well connected to Rome’s most famous historic and cultural sites.
Each of the hotel’s rooms is quiet and clean and features air conditioning and cable TV. Enjoy delightful Italian fare and tasty drinks at the restaurant and lounge bar.
Best Airbnb in Testaccio: Architectural Rome Dream House
Want Rome grandeur? This gorgeous Casina Testaccio apartment has every modern amenity you can think of. It’s one of the most spacious and highest rated Airbnbs in Montreal and at its current price – it’s a steal, especially when comparing it to similarly priced hotel rooms in the area.View on Airbnb
Monti is one of the most central neighborhoods in Rome but feels like a whole different world. A charming district made up of winding streets, intricate architecture and grand piazzas, Monti feels like an oasis of calm at the centre of chaos.
A short walk from the city’s top attractions, including the Coliseum, Monti is a great base for families. Tucked away in Monti’s quaint cobbled streets are a myriad of restaurants, shops, and family-friendly activities. A great blend of alternative and arty, this neighborhood is where you and your family can truly experience la dolce vita.
Top Things to See and Do in Monti
– See the monumental and elaborately decorated Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome.
– Indulge in delicious and authentic Italian pizzas, pasta, and more at the family-friendly Taverna Romana Monti ’79.
– Marvel at impressive ruins of the magnificent Roman Colosseum.
– Visit the Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, known to be the first church in Christendom.
– Explore the ruins of Domus Aurea, an imperial estate built in 64AD.
– Wish for good luck and prosperity as you toss a coin into the Fontane Di Roma.
– Wander the sprawling ruins of the Roman Forum, a massive district of temples and public spaces from the 7th-century BC.
– Buy everything from local handicrafts to delicious treats at the Mercato Rionale Monti. Kids will love sampling all the candies, treats and pastries on offer.
– Cool down on a hot day at Gelateria S.M.Maggiore, where you can sample some of the best gelatos in the city.
Best Hostel in Monti: Blue Hostel
Built in a converted 17th-century convent, Blue Hostel combines historic charm with modern elegance. Providing double, triple and family-sized rooms, this hostel comes equipped with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and LCD TVs. Walking distance to the Colosseum, this hostel is close to Rome and Monti’s top tourist attractions.
Best Hotel in Monti: Italia Hotel Rome
This charming hotel is located at the centre of Rome’s Monti district. Perfect for families, couples, and friends, this hotel is close to the city’s most famous cultural sights. Comprised of 35 modern and spacious rooms, this hotel two-star hotel features a relaxing rooftop terrace and chic coffee bar.
Best Hotel in Monti: Domus Romana Hotel
Charming and traditional, this four-star hotel is perfect for families visiting Rome. Ideally located in Monte, Domus Romana Hotel is close to popular tourist attractions and activities. Outfitted with spacious rooms, this hotel offers guests a wide range of features including a sun-soaked terrace, comfortable lounge, and on-site bike rental.
Best Airbnb in Monti: Zen retreat with a hammock
This Japanese inspired apartment is perfect for a good night’s sleep after exploring the city. The modern furnishings are artistically designed to help you relax. With a working space, hammock, gym and hot tub.
BONUS: Castelli Romani – Best Place to Stay Outside of Rome
If you’re sick of the chaos of the big city and want to get away, then head for the hills. Not the Tuscan hills for that matter – the hills of Castelli Romani.
The Castelli Romani region is like a whole different world compared to Rome: slow, peaceful, bucolic, and agrarian. This region is perfect for those who need a breath of fresh air and is our choice for the best area to stay in outside Rome.
The Castelli Romani is a volcanic region that is mostly defined by hilltops villages, gorgeous lakes, and wineries. The lakes themselves look miniature versions of the ones you see in the Azores and the wine ain’t too shabby either (try the whites).
Top Things to See and Do in the Castelli Romani
– See where the popes go on vacation at Castel Gandolfo
– Chill out at Lago Albano
– Admire the azure waters of Lago di Nemi
– Check out the multi-colored houses of Rocca di Papa
– Visit the opulent villas of Frascati
– See the flower carpets of Genzano following Corpus Christi
– Walk a bit of the Via Francigena
– Gorge on the local delicacy – porchetta
– Get lost in the labyrinth of Ruspoli Castle
Best Hostel in the Castelli Romani – Wiki Hostel and Green Village
This is a great hostel for those who want to escape the craziness of Rome and just chill out with fellow travelers. That means that Wiki Hostel and Green Village has everything you could need to chill out i.e hammocks, gardens, sauna, pool, cafe, free breakfast, wine, and even weed! Yes, this hostel, reportedly, has a legal marijuana shop on site!
Wiki Hostel also organizes lots of social events including pasta & pizza nights, wine tastings, sauna parties (whatever that implies…) and walking tours. The staff is also very communicative when it comes to organizing transfers from the city so you don’t have to worry.
So, is Wiki Hostel too good to be true? Guess you just need to stay here and find out 🙂
Best Hotel in the Castelli Romani – Villalbert
Hell yee I want my own villa in the hills outside of Rome! And you should too!
Villalbert is a private residence in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking the waters of Lago Albano. It comes equipped with everything you could possibly want and, as an added bonus, a BBQ and terrace for overlooking the lake.
The design is a strange mix of rusticness and bouginess (not sure how we feel about the blue suede chairs…), the likes of which will make for great ambiance if you have friends over.
The villa sleeps up to 4 people and has free parking.View on Booking View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in the Castelli Romani – B&B Vistalago – Casa Fragola
This Airbnb is located next to Albano at Lago di Nemi. It’s a more traditional hilltop villa but is actually quite spacious (room for up to 6 guests). There’s a large terrace overlooking the lake and lots of strawberry-themed decorations around; hence the name fragola.
Since this Airbnb is run as a B&B, you’ll even have cleaning service most every day.View on Airbnb
Areas to Avoid in Rome
Rome isn’t always whimsical – this is still, after all, a big city that suffers from big city problems. While these problems are pretty minor compared to other cities, there are still some places to avoid in Rome. Take note of the following:
– Busy areas, like tourists attractions and the metro, are where pickpockets like to work. Be aware of your things when you’re in crowded places.
– The rowdiest nightlife areas are Testaccio and San Lorenzo. There’s nothing particularly dangerous about them but their energy can be a little aggressive. If you’re looking for where to stay in Rome with kids, avoid these neighborhoods.
– If there are truly areas to avoid in Rome, then they are most likely on the edges of the city. Trullo is often considered one of the worst neighborhoods in Rome (again, relative quality) and the Eastern suburbs – e.g. Rebibbia, Tor Bella Monica – tend to be rundown as well. Thankfully, there’s no reason for tourists to come to these anyways.
– On a lighter note, try to avoid Rome’s ultra-touristy places during the day – these are usually overrun from shortly after sunup to sundown and can be a pain. Visit the Colosseum very early in the morning and/or see the Trevi in the middle of the night. (The Centro Storico is safe at night.)
Review of the Best Places to Stay in Rome
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the best places in Rome to stay at! We’ve listed our top hostel pick in Rome below, but make sure to check out our full post on Rome’s Best Hostels.
Best Hostel in Rome: The RomeHello Hostel
Lively and vibrant, you won’t find a better hostel in Rome. Located in the Esquilino neighborhood, this hostel is close to public transit, the city’s main train station, and just a short walk to Rome’s top attractions and best bars. Enjoy clean, classy and comfortable accommodations in Rome’s beating heart.
Best Hotel in Rome: Italia Hotel Rome
This charming hotel is located at the centre of Rome’s Monti district. Perfect for families, couples and friends, this hotel is close to the city’s best tourist attractions.
Comprised of 35 modern and spacious rooms, Italia Hotel Rome is a two-star hotel features a relaxing rooftop terrace and chic coffee bar.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Rome
With so much to see and do in Rome, you definitely want to pick the perfect place to base yourself for your vacation in Rome. We’ve listed Rome’s best neighborhoods based on your interests; whether you’re traveling as a group, family, want to see the top sights or experience the nightlife, this guide will have you covered!
If you’re still not sure where to stay in Rome, we highly recommend The RomeHello Hostel for solo travelers and groups alike and Italia Hotel Rome for more privacy. They are two of the best places in Rome to stay at.
Still itching to learn more about traveling Rome? Read our Rome Backpacker Travel Guide for travel tips, itinerary advice, costs, and more.
Our Italy Travel Guide is an epic compilation of everything you need to know before backpacking Italy, including costs, where to visit, and how to travel around Italy.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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