A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Rome

Are you traveling to Rome for the first time and looking for a place to stay in the city? Worry not! This post will tell you exactly where to stay in Rome, sharing tips on the best areas, the best hotels, hostels and even the best apartments in town, with options for any budget.

Rome is the most visited city in Italy and one of the most visited cities in the world. Packed with incredible sights, this is a city that has an incredible historic and cultural heritage, thriving with events, arts and more. The best thing about it is that despite being a popular tourist destination, Rome has managed to retain all of its local character, and a vibe which is truly unique.

Rome is the kind of place you are going to love or hate – there is no middle ground for it (personally, I love it with all my might!). It is lively and chaotic; colorful, artsy and sophisticated. It is dirty – there’s no denying that. And it is also very expensive – it is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. So although you can find some great places to stay in Rome, you are going to have to dig carefully to find a good deal.

Continue reading this post to discover where to stay in Rome.

where to stay in Rome
There are many excellent areas to stay in Rome

The Overall Best Places To Stay In Rome

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 top picks in town.

Chester Suites – Best hotel in Rome

Absolutely plush rooms and an excellent location in the heart of Rome make this small hotel one of the best places to stay in Rome. Guests can easily reach Vatican City, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo (and from there Villa Borghese and the lovely tree-lined Via Veneto) and the Spanish Steps. 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.

The RomeHello – Best hostel in Rome

This excellent hostel is very conveniently located in the heart of town, at a short distance from the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, as well as Via Veneto. 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. You can count on free Wi-Fi too. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Holiday Home Morin 10 – Best apartment 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.

best places to stay in Rome
Monti is among the areas to stay in Rome for easy access to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum

Where To Stay In Rome: The Best Neighborhoods

Monti – Where to stay in Rome for: History lovers

Between via Nazionale and the Colosseum, near Ancient Rome, Monti is where to stay in Rome for first timers. In Roman times, this was where gladiators lived. Now, you won’t find their quarters but a bunch of hipster bars and coffee shops – though great restaurants are somehow lacking.

Staying in Monti means being at walking distance from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and at a one metro stop from Termini, where you can catch transportation to anywhere else in the city (or out of the city).

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 close to St. Peter’s Basilica, Prati is where to stay in Rome. This pleasant area is well-connected to the rest of town, very safe, affluent and green – lots of trees lining the streets. There are some good restaurants, some good mid-range accommodation options, and a nice daily market. Depending on where you stay, you will be at a short walking distance from places such as Piazza del Popolo and Villa Borghese.

LOCAL TIP: The area around Piazza Cavour is where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in this “Rione” of Rome.

Best places to stay in Prati and Vatican area:

best area to stay in Rome
The historic center is probably the best area to stay in Rome

Historic Center – Where to stay in Rome for: First Timers

Much like Monti, the Centro Storico – as we say in Italian – is where to stay in Rome if it’s your first time in town. This is a busy area, probably a bit noisy, but you’ll have easy access to places such as Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and other must-see.

The area has no shortage of places to eat (think Michelin-starred restaurants or the many trattorie of Via Margutta), cafés, and small interesting shops. The two main downsides is that it’s not a cheap area 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.

GOOD TO KNOW: This part of town is also called Tridente. It’s an area that includes three straight streets that depart from Piazza del Popolo and go southwards, forming a triangle.

Best places to stay in the historic center:

The area of Testaccio has a great local feel

Ostiense and Testaccio – Where to stay in Rome for a local feel

Ostiense and Testaccio are lovely areas, located one next to the other. Ostiense was once a working class district and now home to Roma Tre University; whereas Testaccio is a popular local spot for being home to Porta Portese, the most famous second-hand market in town, and has a lot of interesting street art.

All of them are well connected to the rest of Rome via public bus. There you will find nice restaurants and budget trattorie; cool bars; plenty of shopping opportunities; as well as beautiful squares and interesting sights such as the Mouth of Truth, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the non-Catholic cemetery.

Best places to stay in Ostiense 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, a maze of narrow, cobbled alleys that has become the center of nightlife in Rome.

This neighborhood is packed with good small restaurants (Cencio La Parolaccia is the most famous one) and bars, but being so lively, it’s also very noisy – so don’t opt to stay there if you are a light sleeper.

Keep in mind that 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.

Best places to stay in Trastevere:

Best places to stay in Rome
The incredible views from the Aventine

Aventine Hill – Where to stay in Rome for: Romance

Thought to be the most romantic neighborhood in Rome, the Aventine where you will find the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden), a fantastic spot to catch sunset and views of San Pietro. Other than that, it’s actually a bit off the tourist path, so less crowded with tourists.

Best places to stay in Aventino:

Esquilino – Where to stay in Rome for: Budget friendly options

I stayed near Vittorio Emanuele metro station and enjoyed it. Esquilino – the area that goes from Termini Station all the way to San Giovanni in Laterano church – is a part of town you inevitably go by during your trip. I used to live there, near Vittorio Emanuele square, and enjoyed it.

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, local markets and good mid-range accommodation options. It is a fairly international neighborhood, as there are a lot of second generation immigrants and students.

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.

Best places to stay in Esquilino:

Final Tips On Where To Stay In Rome

I hope this post is of great help in finding accommodation in the marvelous Eternal City. Every neighborhood mentioned 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.

One thing to keep in mind when looking for a place to stay to stay in Rome is that the city is literally packed with tourists in high season – between April and October. That’s why I recommend making advanced reservations.

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:

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

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