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.

places to stay in Rome

The historic center is perfect to explore the city

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).

Make sure to read my post All The Food In Rome You Should Eat: 25 Delicious Dishes.”

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

There are many excellent areas 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

Chester Suites

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.

My Bed Vatican Museum

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.

Town House 57

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

The RomeHello

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.

Free Hostels Roma

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.

New Generation Hostel Santa Maria Maggiore

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

Holiday Home Morin 10

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.

Now Apartments

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.

Residenza Gonfalone

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.

best area to stay in Rome

The historic center is probably the best area 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.

Best places to stay in the historic center:

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:

best places to stay in Rome

Monti is among the areas to stay in Rome for easy access to the Colosseum

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:

places to stay in Rome

If you want to stay close to the Vatican, you should stay in Prati

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:

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:

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.

best area to stay in Rome

Trastevere is one of the nicest areas to stay in Rome

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:

Best places to stay in Rome

The incredible views from the Aventine

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:

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:

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:

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Discover where to stay in Rome - via @clautavani

Find out where to stay in Rome - via @clautavani