Finding accommodation in a new city for the first time might be challenging, especially when the city is as sprawling and full of unmissable sightseeing places as Rome is. If you are wondering on where to stay in Rome this article will help you familiarize with its main areas that are well connected and highly recommendable for your stay. From the most ancient parts to the modern neighborhoods, there is something for everybody. Families with children, solo travelers, new couples, hipsters and classy people will enjoy the atmosphere of the Eternal City in the right neighborhood. Let’s start your journey.
A local’s guide on where to stay in Rome
Where to stay in Rome: Termini – Esquilino central station area
If you come to Rome by airplane,your journey through to the Eternal City will probably start from the central station. There are several convenient options that connect it to the airports – Leonardo express train for 14 euro one way from Fiumicino airport or several shuttle buses from both Roman airports –starting from 4 euro one way. Here you will find lots of hotels for all the budgets, from the inexpensive bed & breakfasts to five stars hotels with luxury suites and spa.
Don’t miss the National Roman Museum at Palazzo Massimo with one of the best art and archaeological collections in the world and the nearby Baths of Diocletian, ancient thermal baths that gave the name to Termini train station. The station itself contains a hidden secret too – at the underground floor you can still see the remains of the Servian walls, the first Roman walls built in the IV century BC. Treat yourself at Eataly – local food supermarket and restaurant in Piazza della Repubblica, while admiring the gorgeous Fountain of the Naiads.
Esquilino is only one subway station away from Termini. It is the most multicultural area of central Rome with a local Chinatown. If you like to be surrounded by ethnic shops, restaurants and different languages, choose your accommodation here. Don’t miss the Alchemic Door in the gardens of Piazza Vittorio, a place where different metals allegedly could be transformed into gold. After searching for the secret of the door you can visit the nearby food market Esquilino that has fresh Italian and international food, great for a light meal. One of the best artisan bakeries in town – Regoli is also located here.
Stay here if you are not much of a walker. Both subway lines that serve the city center converge here. The A line goes to San Giovanni, Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps and the Vatican. The blue line will lead you to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus.If you don’t want to use the subway there are several bus lines for the main sightseeing places: bus 64 to Largo Argentina and the Vatican, bus 40 for Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo, bus 75 to the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and Trastevere, bus 714 to Eur. If you are a solo traveler who wants to party until late in the night it is maybe better to avoid this area, after 11pm it becomes empty and might look fearful.
Recommended Hotels in the Termini – Esquilino central station area:
Charm of Rome
This modern B&B is located close to the Termini Train Station and the Vittorio Emanuele Metro station. It offers modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and toiletries.
This colourful hotel offers modern rooms opposite the train station, and next to Termini Metro station All rooms offer free WiFi, air-conditioning and a 32″ LCD TV. There is also a fully equipped kitchen on the premises that guests can share.
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
This 4-star stylish hotel is located 300m away from the train station and the Termini Metro station. It offers modern rooms with free WiFi, air-conditioning, a flat screen TV, a mini bar, a kettle and a free smartphone. Other hotel amenities include a restaurant and a free wellness area, with a sauna, a well-equipped gym and a Turkish bath.
The heart of the baroque Rome is full of monuments. The steps of the people who made history are still alive here. The Fountain of Four Rivers made by Bernini at the center of the Navona square is marvellous. Follow the tiny Cuccagna street and get to the Campo de Fiori – a lively yet quite touristic market by day, aperitivo place by night. This is the only historical square in Rome without a church but with a monument of Giordano Bruno who was accused of heresy and burnt here in 1600. Check the cats that live in the ruins at Largo Argentina. Don’t miss the Sant’Ignazio di Loyola church with a fake dome designed so well that it looks real and the Pantheon. Romans say the best coffee in town is at the Sant’Eustachio square. A good ice-cream can be found at Punto Gelato right in front of it.
Stay here if you are short on time, if you don’t mind to spend more for the location and if you don’t dislike crowds. This area is also great if you want to walk everywhere. There is no metro but you probably won’t need it. Everything in the historical center except the Vatican is at the walking distance, take bus 64 to the Vatican and to Termini station, bus 81 to Cola di Rienzo shopping street and to the Vatican.
Recommended Hotels in the Navona square – Campo de Fiori area
Located just 500 m away from Piazza Navona, this beautiful hotel has a terrace with fantastic views over the city. It offers modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, mini-bar, satellite TV, slippers and bathroom toiletries.
Navona Colors Hotel
Located just 200m from Piazza Navona this stylish hotel offers rooms with free Wi- Fi, air- conditioning, electrc Kettle, coffee machine, mini bar, flat screen TV, and free toiletries. There are also family rooms available. This hotel sells out fast so book early.
Piazza Del Gesu’ Luxury Suites
Located in the heart of Rome, close to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Campo di Fiori this stylish hotel housed on a 16th century building offers rooms with designer furnishings, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, mini-bar, satellite TV, slippers, free toiletries, and tea/coffee making facilities.
Where to stay in Rome: Spanish Steps – Via Veneto area
This is the most fancy area in Rome, which disputes the title with the Parioli district and wins because it is located in the historical center. Spanish Steps and the nearby Piazza del Popolo were the home of many famous people who used to live in Rome. Audrey Hepburn came here for a walk. Poets and writers like Goethe, Stendhal and Gogolsipped a cup of coffee at the historical Caffè Greco. It still has some of their autographs. Via Veneto and the historical Harry’s bar keep attracting famous people and tourists from the whole world. Plan a few hours in the nearby Villa Borghese – one of the biggest Roman parks great for cycling, for a picnic or for a stroll. If you travel with children they will enjoy a visit to the zoo located inside the Villa.
Babington tearoom and Ladurée macarons shop are a must after your shopping in the classiest part of the city – via dei Condotti. Don’t forget to throw a coin to the Trevi fountain to ensure you will return to Rome in the future. Be sure you book in advance for an unforgettable dinner at Zuma in the Fendi Palace – the trendiest Japanese restaurant of the moment.
Stay here if you don’t mind expenses, if you like to be in the historical center, surrounded by chic restaurants and first class shops. Choose this area if you travel with children or if you can’t walk for miles. The hotels in this area are luxury ones, as well as the apartments. The line A serves the area – the main stops are Spagna at the Spanish steps and Barberini not far from the Trevi fountain.
Recommended Hotels in the Spanish Steps – Via Veneto area
Royal Rooms – Via Del Corso
Located just 450 m away from the Spagna Metro station, the Royal rooms offer free Wi-Fi, air- conditioning, a flat screen TV, a mini bar and toiletries. Famous attractions like the Spanish steps, Piazza del Poppolo, and the Trevi fountain are close by.
Relais Bocca di Leone
Located just 300 m away from the Spanish steps and close to the Spagna Metro station the RElais Bocca di Leone hotel offers elegant rooms with free Wi-FI, air-conditioning, mini bar, tea/coffee making facilities, flat screen TV and bathroom toiletries.
Les Fleurs Luxury House
Located just 100 m away from the Spanish steps and next to Via Condotti with the luxurious shops this hotel is housed in a 18th century 2-storey building. It offers spacious rooms with free wi-fi, air-conditioning, mini bar, tea/coffee making facilities, an LCD TV with free Sky channels, bathrobes, slippers, toliletries and a bath or shower, both with a hydromassage feature. Please note that there is no lift in the building.
Where to stay in Rome: Monti – Colosseum area
When ethnic shops from the previous area leave the space to fancy hipster and vintage shops you know you are at Monti. At a certain point from one of its streets you will see the Colosseum for the first time. It is a terrific emotion. Monti is the oldest area of Rome, it used to be a dangerous place where gladiators used to live. Now it is the heart of the local nightlife, home for many restaurants with Roman and fusion cuisine.
Don’t miss Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four papal basilicas that hides amongst other pieces of art the oldest nativity scene made in 1290. Saint Peter in Chains church hosts one of the most known Michelangelo sculptures – Moses with horns on his head, based on an erroneous translation of the Bible used at that time.If you miss some nature check the Celio park located here, you will find a bench with an amazing view of the Colosseum that is almost always empty. If you decide to stay in this area, have breakfast at La Casetta a Monti – a nice tiny ivy-covered house with a cozy café in it and then explore the Colosseum located only a few blocks away.
Stay here if you like the area of the ancient Rome, Forum and gladiators. You will actually find some of the modern gladiators near the Colosseum who will ask you for money if you take a picture of them. Monti is a great area for party people as there is always something to do, from an aperitivo before dinner to drinks after midnight. Probably not the best for the light sleepers, at least if you will choose one of the main streets that are usually crowded till late. It is the right place for you if you like vintage clothes and the hipster culture.
The nearest subway stations are Cavour and Colosseo (metro B). Bus 75 goes to Trastevere, bus 51 to Via del Corso, the main shopping area.
Recommended Hotels in the Monti – Colosseum area
FH Grand Hotel Palatino
Located just a 5 minute walk from the Colosseum and 100 m from the Cavour Metro station this modern hotel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, mini bar and a satellite TV. Other hotel amenities include a bar and a restaurant that specialises in Roman dishes.
Located 400 m away from Santa Maria Maggiore and 800 m away from the Colosseum this beautiful hotel offers rooms with a Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, a kettle, and a Nespresso coffee machine, air-conditioning, mini bar, and free toiletries.
Where to stay in Rome: Ostiense – Testaccio area
The area that starts at Circus Maximus and continues to the most ancient lie detector – the Mouth of Truth is well known to the most but few visitors go beyond the Aventine hill to Ostiense street. At the beginning of it there is a well-preserved Pyramid, the only one in Rome, a tomb for Gaius Cestius built in the 12 BC. Behind it you can visit the Non-Catholic cemeterywith graves of Keates, Shelley and many famous Italians and foreigners. If you follow this street you will see on your right Centrale Montemartini, one of the less known museums in Rome that displays ancient statues in industrial surroundings creating a surreal steampunk atmosphere. From here you can walk to another Papal Basilica, St. Paul outside the Walls that has a graceful XIII century cloister inside. If you want to know how modern Romans live, spend some time in Garbatella neighborhood located nearby. Via Libetta is great for local nightlife with almost no tourists.
Behind Ostiense lays Testaccio, the area of typical Roman restaurants and pizzerias and a lively nightlife neighborhood, mostly for students. Located near the Tiber river, it used to host a port through which food supply arrived in the city in terracotta vessels called amphorae, that were broken and disposed to form a hill that still exists and is said to be composed of around 53 million broken vessels.
Stay here if you want to be far from the touristic crowds and live like a Roman. The area is suitable for couples and families with children. The nearest metro stations are Circo Massimo, Piramide and Garbatella. Tram 3 will conveniently get you to Trastevere, Coliseum and Esquilino. Take bus 75 to Termini and Trastevere and bus 280 to go to the Vatican.
Recommended Hotels in the Ostiense – Testaccio area
Althea Inn Roof Terrace
Located near the Piramide metro stop, this beautiful guest house offers modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and tea-coffee making facilities. Breakfast is served in the beautiful roof terrace.
Located in the Testaccio neighborhood, and a 10-minute walk from the Piramide metro station, this contemporary hotel offers rooms equipped with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, electric kettle, minibarand free toiletries.
Where to stay in Rome: Trastevere area
Cross the bridge from Testaccio to the other side of the Tiber river and you will be in the most Roman neighborhood. Don’t miss the opulent Renaissance Villa Farnesina with Raphael frescoes and the Botanical Garden with over 3000 species of plant life. If you like the views, go to Gianicolo hill where a cannon is fired everyday at midday and the view of the city is stunning.
Visit Santa Maria in Trastevere church. Be sure you live piazza Trilussa – the nightlife area and its affordable restaurants and pizzerias with a very simple design but a high quality food, like Da Poeta or Carlo Menta. If you want to eat in an unusual place go to Cencio La Parolaccia – a restaurant where people pay to get insulted in both Roman dialect and English.
Stay here if you want to enjoy Roman and international nightlife, genuine food and long walks. Not suitable for light sleepers or for people who go to bed early. Avoid it if you dislike crowds, especially on weekends.There is no metro nearby. Tram 3 goes to Coliseum and Esquilino and tram 8 to Largo Argentina. Bus 75 will leave you at Termini station and bus 23 near the Vatican.
Recommended Hotels in the Trastevere area
VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel
Housed in a former monastery with a beautiful garden it offers elegant rooms with Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities, excellent breakfast and on-site parking.
B&B Hotel Roma Trastevere
Located just 5 minutes away from the Trastevere train station this hotel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV with Sky channels and air-conditioning.
Where to stay in Rome: Prati – Vatican area
If you want to spend a lot of time in the Vatican, consider staying in Prati area. The area between Sant’Angelo castle and the Vatican called Borgo is ancient, full of good local restaurants and covered with typical Roman pavement – sampietrini but Prati was built mostly at the beginning of the XXth century. Here the streets are wider and the squares bigger.
After you visit the Saint Peter’s and the Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel check the small gem Makasar for a sweet pause of tea, cakes and drinks. Trattoria Gallobrillo offers Roman food and great prices. For a snack check Dolce Maniera – the place is open 24/7, so you will never be hungry. Don’t miss the ice cream at Gelateria dei Gracchi. You can take it to the small and cozy Quiriti square or to the majestic Cavour square where the Palace of Justice is located.
Stay here if you want to explore the Vatican, to avoid the crowds to the Museums, to arrive early at the free audience with the Pope that takes place every Wednesday morning when the Pope is in town and to see mostly the historical center.
The nearest metro stations are Ottaviano and Lepanto, both line A. Buses 70 and 492 go to Termini station. 492 passes through the whole historical center, to Piazza Navona, Largo Argentina and Trevi fountain. It is very convenient for tourists but consider that you may get stuck in traffic for some time.
Recommended Hotels in the Prati – Vatican area
Hotel Gravina San Pietro
Located a short 10 minute walk from St Peter’s square and 5 minutes away from the San Pietro train station this modern hotel offers stylish rooms with free Wi-Fi, air -conditioning, a satellite TV, a mini bar and free toiletries.
If you are looking for an apartmet with kitchenete Residence Prati is for you. Located near the Lepanto metro station. The apartments are equipped with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV,toiletries, tea/coffee making facilities, kitchenette, refrigerator, and more.
Where to stay in Rome: Eur – modern Rome area
Rome is not defined by its historical sites only. Behind San Paolo church starts its modern area – EUR, located south of the city center. It was built during fascism and then became a residential and nightlife area. Be sure you see Piazza Guglielmo Marconi with the obelisk dedicated to the Italian inventor at its center, the square Coliseum – now a Fendi palace hosting a free exhibition and cinema, the Eur lake with small waterfalls recently open to the public after decades.
The newly built Rome convention center – La Nuvola – the Cloud by Fuksas is already a pilgrimages placefor lovers of the contemporary architecture.If you travel with children they will probably enjoy the LunEur – a theme park opened last year after a renovation.
Stay here if this is not your first visit to Rome and you already know the historical center or if you don’t want to spend much for your allocation. It is also great for those who love modern architecture. The nearest metro stops are Eur Fermi and Eur Palaport (line B). You can take bus 714 to go to Termini.
Recommended Hotels in the Eur – modern Rome area
Affittacamere Eur Nuvola
Overlooking lake Eur and a 10-minute walk from Eur Fermi Metro stop this B&B offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a shared kitchen.
Located just a 5-minute walk from the EUR Fermi Metro Station this modern hotel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and an LCD TV with Sky channels. The sports and concert venue PalaLottomatica is 10 minutes away.
Nadia Plamadeala moved to Rome in 2007, graduated in Intercultural Mediation at Sapienza University and found her passion in tourism, writing, and cross-cultural communication. Her project “Understanding Italy” helps expats to immerge into the Italian culture while realizing and valuing their own cultural heritage. The aim of it is to spread the knowledge about Italy and make people fulfill their dreams in this magnificent country.
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