Finding where to stay in Rome, the gorgeous capital of Italy, can be easier said than done. But with the tips shared in this post, you won’t have to worry a bit.
Rome is the most visited city in Italy and one of the most visited cities in the world – and for a good reason. The Eternal City is packed with many incredible sights, and its atmosphere is truly magical. Whatever your travel tastes and your budget needs, you are bound to find something to keep yourself entertained.
This is a city with an incredible historic and cultural heritage. Events happen round the clock. You will find incredible archeological sites, beautiful churches, and fantastic examples of modern and even street art. You can spend years exploring Rome and never quite get done.
Make sure to read my post “30 Unmissable, Fun And Cheap Things To Do In Rome.”
Rome is lively and chaotic; it is colorful, artsy and sophisticated. It is dirty – there’s no denying that. But you can’t help falling in love with it. What I love about Rome is that for as touristy as it is, the city has retained its character. This is a place where you will find an incredible mix of locals who’ve lived there for generations; expats who now call the city home; and tourists who are there for a short period of time.
I should also add that the Italian capital is expensive (one of the most expensive cities in Europe). While you can find an excellent selection of places to stay in Rome, you are going to have to dig carefully to find a good deal, and grab it as soon as it comes, before someone else does.
In this post, I will help you find where to stay in Rome, selecting the best areas to stay and pointing out to the best places to stay in each of them.
Finding Where To Stay In Rome
I lost count of how many times I have been to Rome. In fact, at some point I have even lived there as I attended a course on travel design. I lived in Esquilino back then, between Vittorio Emanuele and San Giovanni in Laterano. I loved the area. It felt local, despite being very international, and it was lively yet quiet.
In case you haven’t realized yet, I love Rome through and through. I honestly think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world (if not the most beautiful!), with so much to offer, so much history and culture. Every time I visit, I marvel at the magnificent archeological sites; I visit the cat sanctuary at Largo di Torre Argentina and I indulge in the best street food and gelato you can find in Italy (in my humble opinion, obviously).
Since I have vowed to get to know the city better, every time I go to Rome I stay in a different area.
Finding good hostels or excellent hotels in Rome is not hard. The good news is that there are many good places to stay. The bad news is that the city is literally packed with tourists in high season – between April and October. That’s why I recommend making advanced reservations.
What you should know when looking for where to stay in Rome is that some areas are significantly more chaotic than others; you may encounter a lot of traffic or noise coming from bars and restaurants. On the other hand, quieter areas with fewer hang out places may have less options for eating out.
Sure enough, you have to consider the area where to stay in Rome if you are a light sleeper – I spent most of my time in Esquilino using ear plugs to sleep as the noise was a bit too much for me!
If you feel stuck in your search for the best place to stay in Rome, stop worrying! I am here to help.
Continue reading to discover the best places to stay in Rome.
Where To Stay In Rome – The Best Options
Before I get into a detailed description of each best area to stay in Rome, let me get straight to the point and mention my favorite hotels and hostels in town.
Best hotels in Rome
Absolutely plush rooms and an excellent location in the heart of the historic center of Rome make this small hotel one of the best places to stay in Rome. Guests can easily reach the Vatican, Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo. Rooms are insulated so you won’t have to worry about the noise coming from the street. It’s excellent value for money. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
If you want to have easy access to the Vatican Museums and to Saint Peter’s Basilica, this is the place for you: it’s located right on the other side of the street. The spacious rooms are decorated in classic design, and there even is a common kitchen for guests. Breakfast is included in the price. You can’t beat it in terms of value for money, especially when it comes to its location. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Another excellent property close to the Vatican. In this case, rooms are very modern, if only a bit small. Guests can require an airport shuttle and, depending on their booking, breakfast is included in the price. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Best hostels in Rome
This excellent hostel is very conveniently located in the heart of the historic center of Rome, very close to the Spanish Steps. It’s very budget friendly and offers a selection of dorms as well as private rooms. The common areas are modern, comfortable and perfect for socializing. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
This hostel is in a perfect location, close to the church of San Giovanni in Laterano and to Basilica di San Clemente, in the heart of Esquilino. It features comfortable private rooms and very modern and perfectly equipped dorms. There is a well equipped kitchen and a fabulous terrace to hang out on sunny days. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
In the heart of Rione Monti and close to Santa Maria Maggiore church, this hostel is at a mere 10 minutes walk from the Colosseum. It features private rooms as well as dorms. It’s not the most budget friendly hostel in town, but it’s worth the price to stay in a comfortable, well located place. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Best apartments in Rome
This modern studio apartment in the area of Prati is perfectly equipped for a comfortable stay. It fits up to 4 guests so it is a great budget friendly option for a family with kids. Click here for the latest rates.
This apartment is very close to Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo and comfortably fits up to 4 persons but it is especially good for couples looking for a romantic getaway. It’s very well equipped, with a modern finish. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
A great one bedroom apartment nicely located between Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori. It comfortably fits a couple. The bigger apartment with two bedrooms is perfect for a family or for a small group of friends. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Continue reading for my tips on where to stay in Rome.
Where To Stay In Rome – The Best Neighborhoods And Places To Stay
Historic Center – Where to stay in Rome for: First Timers
If it is your first time in Rome, there is no question: the Historic Center – or Centro Storico, as we say in Italian – is the best area to stay in Rome for you. This is a busy area, probably a bit noisy, but you’ll have easy access to most of the attractions in town – places such as Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the like.
Another advantage is that you’ll have no shortage of places to eat, cafés, and small interesting shops. The two main downsides is that it’s not cheap to stay there and that there is no real metro station other than at Piazza di Spagna – which opened again in May 2019 after months of being shut down for restoration works.
TIP: Make sure to book a guided walking tour of Centro Storico to get a proper introduction to the area. There even is a free walking tour you can book here.
Best places to stay in the historic center:
- Now Apartments is a fully equipped apartment located close to Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo. It’s perfect for couples but it’s also suitable for families with children. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- The Bridge Suites only has 5 rooms, so attention to detail is virtually perfect. Rooms are plush, with modern, warm decor. A good breakfast is included in the rate. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Residence Il Vittoriano is at 10 minutes walk from the Pantheon. It has plain, modern, clean and comfortable rooms. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Esquilino (including Termini and San Giovanni) – Where to stay in Rome for: A more local feel / Budget friendly options
All people visiting Rome end up in Esquilino at some point during their trip. This is where Termini Train Station is located and it is likely you’ll take the train or bus from the airport that leaves you right at the station.
While the immediate surroundings of Termini aren’t exactly the best place to stay in Rome (it’s chaotic, noisy and it can be dodgy), if you go deep into the heart of Esquilino, in the area of Vittorio Emanuele or near San Giovanni, you will find a neighborhood that is full of character. It’s international for a lot of immigrants live there; but these have become an integral part of the Roman community and just as much local as everyone else who’s lived in Rome for generations.
Esquilino is also where attractions such as San Giovanni in Laterano are located, as well as Basilica di Santa Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri. It’s also where my absolute favorite restaurant in Rome – Trattoria Vecchia Roma – is located (make sure to book it in advance as it is always packed). To top things off, it’s way more budget friendly than the historic center.
TIP: Book a guided tour of the Basilicas and the Catacombs to make the most of this fantastic area. You can reserve it here.
Best places to stay in Esquilino:
- The RomeHello is a fantastic hostel that is at the same time budget friendly and stylish, with comfortable dorms and excellent social spaces which are perfect for socializing. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Free Hostels Roma is close to the church of San Giovanni in Laterano and to Basilica di San Clemente. It has comfortable private rooms and as well as well equipped dorms, a good kitchen and a terrace to enjoy on sunny days. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Roman Holidays Cuore dell’Impero is a very good bed and breakfast with nicely decorated rooms. A very good breakfast is included in the price, making it very convenient. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Monti – Where to stay in Rome for: History lovers
Between via Nazionale and the Colosseum, Monti easily wins as one of the best places to stay in Rome. Historically a red light district of Rome, and the place where gladiators used to base themselves, it now is an area packed with hipster bars, coffee shops and nice boutiques. If there is one thing missing that’s a selection of excellent restaurants (there are some, but they aren’t my favorite).
The main reason you should pick Monti as your area where to stay in Rome is that in terms of location it can hardly be topped. You will be walking distance from the Colosseum, and at a one metro stop distance from Termini, where you can catch transportation to anywhere else in the city (or out of the city).
TIP: Remember that you need to book your visit of the Colosseum well in advance. You can make reservations here.
Best places to stay in Monti:
- Colosseum Palace Star has larger than average rooms which are all beautifully decorated and very comfortable. Some rooms have a balcony, all of them have views of the Colosseum. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Maison Imperiale has small-ish rooms but makes up for it with impeccable service and excellent location. Breakfast is typically Italian and included in the price of the room. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Aenea Superior Inn has good sized rooms (the triple is much larger than the rest) that are classically decorated. Some rooms have views of the Basilica di Santa Pudenziana. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Prati and Vatican – Where to stay in Rome for: Easy access to the Vatican
If you want to be the first getting in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning, then Prati is where to stay in Rome. This area is very safe, affluent and green – lots of trees lining the streets. There are some good restaurants, a nice daily market, and it’s an overall very pleasant area of town.
LOCAL TIP: The area around Piazza Cavour is where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in this “Rione” of Rome.
TIP: It is absolutely necessary that you get a skip the line ticket to visit the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, or else your risk being stuck in the line. Get yours here.
Best places to stay in Prati and Vatican area:
- My Bed Vatican Museum is located right on the other side of the entrance to the Vatican Museums. It has spacious rooms and a common kitchen for guests. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Town House 57 has very modern that are a tad small. Breakfast is included in the price. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Holiday Home Morin 10 is a modern studio apartment that can comfortably fit up to 4 guests – so perfect for a family. Click here for the latest rates.
Ostiense, Garbatella and Testaccio – Where to stay in Rome for: An affordable area that is still very local
Ostiense, Testaccio and Garbatella are one next to the other and are among the nicest places to stay in Rome. Here you will find nice restaurants and trattorie that don’t cost an arm and a leg; cool bars to hang out at night; plenty of shopping opportunities; as well as beautiful squares and a lot of interesting sights. This part of town is where the Mouth of Truth is located, and it’s home to Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the non-Catholic cemetery.
Testaccio is home of one of the most famous second hand markets in Rome – Porta Portese. Garbatella, built as a social experiment in the 1930s, is one of the most pleasant and peaceful areas of Rome. Ostiense is where some parts of Roma Tre university are located, so it is a young area thriving with life.
If you decide to base yourself in this part of town, you will be able to count on very good public transportation to explore the rest of the city.
TIP: Make sure to go on a guided street art tour of Testaccio, Ostiense and Garbatella. It’s a great way to get to know the area. Book it here.
Best places to stay in Ostiense, Garbatella and Testaccio:
- Seven Suites offers modern, comfortable rooms. Some have a nice balcony. It’s a 10 minutes walk from Piramide metro station. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- San Anselmo is actually located in Aventino, at about 10 minutes walk from Piramide. It features absolutely plush rooms. Breakfast is included in the price. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Keep in mind that the choice of places to stay in this part of town is a bit more limited so booking in advance is truly necessary! You may want to look into the nearby Aventine for more hotel options.
Trastevere – Where to stay in Rome for: A fantastic night scene
Trastevere is located on the other side of Testaccio, once you cross the Tiber River. It’s one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Rome. It’s a maze of narrow, cobbled alleys that has become the hotspot of Rome in terms of nightlife, as it is packed with good small restaurants and bars.
There are two downsides to Trastevere. As it is very lively, it’s also very noisy – so don’t opt to stay there if you are a light sleeper. Also, there is no metro stopping there, which means you’ll either have to walk everywhere, or have to familiarize yourself with the – at times complicated – bus system.
TIP: Make sure to try the amazing street food that you can find in Trastevere. You can book a street food tour here.
LOCAL TIP: If you get a chance, go eat at Cencio La Parolaccia. It’s a famous trattoria where you will literally get insulted by the staff. It’s surreal, but funny.
Best places to stay in Trastevere:
- Horti 14 Borgo Trastevere is a very modern small hotel with cleanly decorated rooms overviewing a well kept garden. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel is a fantastic hotel housed in a former monastery, with gorgeous, spacious and incredibly comfortable rooms. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Rhea Silvia Luxury Trastevere 2 is a lovely hotel with beautiful modern rooms. Breakfast is included in the price of the room. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Aventine – Where to stay in Rome for: Romance
Thought to be the most romantic neighborhood in Rome, the Aventine is where to stay in Rome if you are a couple on a honeymoon looking for a place where they can admire the city from above. The Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) is a fantastic spot to catch sunset and views of San Pietro. Other than that, it’s actually a bit off the tourist path – which may be a welcome thing if you don’t want to be surrounded by crowds of other tourists.
TIP: There aren’t that many places to stay in Aventino, so make sure to book yours in advance.
Best places to stay in Aventino:
- Hotel Villa San Pio is located in an absolutely gorgeous setting, as it is immersed in a well kept garden. Rooms are decorated in a classic / antique style. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- San Anselmo offers plush rooms and an excellent location, as it is just 10 minutes away from Piramide metro station. The price quoted includes breakfast. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Final Tips On Where To Stay In Rome
I hope this post is of great help in deciding where to stay in Rome. This is an incredible city, and every neighborhood mentioned here has something to offer. The great news is that for as large as the city it, it’s not too difficult to navigate – the public transportation system is more than decent, despite the complaints or locals and some occasional mishaps.
I have always found Rome to be safe; however you should be aware that areas that are crowded with tourists such as the train station – especially Termini Station – are often the target of pickpockets. Keep a low profile and mind the scams – ie people offering to help you with your tickets, or with your luggage.
The only areas that I recommend avoiding are those that are very far from the center – ie Tor Bella Monaca, Torre Maura and Rebibbia. But why would you go there anyways? They are just residential, really.
Further Readings About Rome
If you are only spending a short time in Rome, you may find my itineraries helpful:
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In A Day
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In 2 Days
- The Perfect Itinerary For 3 Days In Rome
- A Fantastic Itinerary For 4 Days In Rome
- A Wonderful Itinerary For 5 Days In Rome
- A Great Itinerary For A Fabulous Week In Rome
If you are one of the lucky ones that can stay a bit longer, you may also want to get out of the city for a day trip. In this case, make sure to read my post “20 Great Day Trips From Rome.”
For more tips on how to skip the tourist lines when in Rome, read the following posts:
- Seven Smart Ways To Get Tickets To The Colosseum And Skip The Lines
- How To Get Tickets To The Sistine Chapel And The Vatican Museums And Skip The Line
- How To Get St. Peter’s Basilica Tickets And Skip The Line
- Seven Smart Ways To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets And Skip The Lines
- A Complete Guide To Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica Dome
- A Complete Guide To The Pantheon
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