Where to Stay in Rome: 5 Best Neighborhoods for a Roman Holiday

Planning a trip to Rome?

The thing I hate most about traveling agonizing over where to stay.  I don’t mean which kind of hotel – I travel on a budget and am not picky about amenities, but I love to stay in central but authentic neighborhoods.

So where to stay in Rome?

It can be hard to know where the best neighborhoods to stay are when you are visiting a city for the first few times.

Here is where to stay in Rome (or, at least where I would stay if I were planning a quick trip to Rome):

  1. Monti: Nestled in between the Colosseum and Via Nazionale, Monti is picturesque and convenient. The neighborhood boasts great wine bars and boutiques, and some good restaurants, though it might not be my first pick for food.  However, location, location, location.  Walking distance to the Colosseum and Roman Forum is hard to beat.  Plus, if you have a train to catch, the Cavour metro (line B) is only one stop from Termini. Since Termini is also where lines A & B cross, this means less transit time if you are planning to see the sights via public transport. This would be my top choice for where to stay in Rome on a first visit.
  2. Trastevere: Trastevere is popular with visitors for good reason- it is adorable. The neighborhood has some of the most charming streets in Rome, with cobblestone walkways which curve around ivy draped corners in such a way that I STILL get lost sometimes. Trastevere is popular for going out at night, (case in point: La Punta and Niji on the same fabulous little street). Trastevere is located just across the bridge from the heart of the historic center. Food options are diverse, though you have to be on the lookout for traps.  The one drawback is that there is no metro stop, so you will have to become familiar with buses, trams or local trains if you plan to use public transportation.Rome Food Tour in Trastevere
  3. Testaccio: Hello, bias! Have I ever mentioned Testaccio? No?Ah yes, Testaccio is my hood. Life here centers around the market and the main piazza. There are lovely restaurants serving Roman classics at affordable prices.  Located between Piramide and Trastevere, the neighborhood has great transportation options, as well as plenty to see. Book a tour to explore Monte Testaccio, or take the time to wander through the non-Catholic cemetery.  There is really only one hotel in Testaccio, and the B&B scene has yet to catch up.  Holiday apartments and Airbnb are probably your best bet if you want to experience life like a Roman in this quickly changing neighborhood.
  4. Centro Storico: If you are going to do Rome, then really do it. The historic center (or “centro storico” in Italian) is easy to navigate by foot. Stay near the Pantheon and you will find yourself 5 minutes from the Trevi Fountain in one direction and 5 minutes from Campo dei’ Fiori in the other.  The incredibly location makes it a great place to stay during a trip to Rome. It may not be the cheapest option, but it is certainly not a bad one.  The one drawback is that you will be so comfortable that you might not make it OUT of the center. This would be a shame since Rome has so many interesting and distinct neighborhoods to explore. Oh, also, no metro stops. Your closet options will be the Colosseum (line B) or the Spanish Steps (line A).
  5. Prati: Ok, this is a bit of the wild card option when it comes to where to stay in Rome. I would suggest you look towards Prati if you want a taste of traditional, if exclusive, residential Rome. Convenient for Vatican visits or exploring Castel Sant’Angelo, Prati is a quieter side of Rome. It has greenery and wide avenues that are lacking other parts of the city. Metro Line A makes it easy to get into more central Rome, but with great restaurants and an authentic daily market (mercato trionfale), you might be content to stay put and enjoy life as a well-heeled Roman.

Any other suggestions? Did you come to Rome and discover another neighborhood?

Let me know your recommendations on where to stay in Rome!

P.S. if you are still picking your travel dates – here is a post on when to visit Rome as well!

11 Comments

  • Reply Regina March 23, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Natalie, We were in Rome last February and stayed in the Sallustiano hood. It was an Airbnb apartment on Via Piave just off XX Septembre. Great location for restaurants, bus stop and the Termini just a few blocks away. Lots of sights were an easy walk. We really weren’t into the nightlife except for just strolling the streets. I would recommend it!

    • Reply Natalie March 24, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Hi Regina! Wonderful tip! It is so quiet up there but so central. Also close to Come il Latte for gelato and Pinsere (one of my favorite places for cheap eats in Rome!)

  • Reply Regina March 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Forgot to mention a great market right at the end of our street!

  • Reply Barbara March 23, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Natalie
    I loved your article. It gave me a lot of info for my next trip to Rome and I was happy I had chosen a hotel in one of your areas on my last trip. My question is — do you have “where to stay” suggestions for Milan, cinque Terre, Naples or Amalfi area??
    Thank you

    • Reply Natalie April 2, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Hi Barbara! When we go to Amalfi we actually stay in Salerno. For the others, I haven’t been enough times to be able to say for sure, but I will try to put this together for the future!

      Sounds like you have quite an Italy trip planned!

  • Reply DMae March 24, 2017 at 3:57 am

    I stayed in Pigneto on one of my trips to Rome where I rented a wonderful one bedroom apartment. It was a bit distant to the popular sights for a ten day visit, but once I got the hang of the busses and trams, I found it to be easy to get around the city. Nice markets, friendly people, street art, simple to get around the neighborhood for everything I needed.

    I would have rented the same place again for my next trip but it wasn’t available, so Pigneto will have to wait for another trip!

    • Reply Natalie April 2, 2017 at 7:39 am

      DMae– you were so lucky to discover Pigneto! True it does take a bit more coordination with public transportation, but it comes with the added upside of being one of the most popular neighborhoods for Romans to go out!

  • Reply Monica Soladay March 25, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Natalie! I was in Rome in September and stayed on Via Margutta at Hotel Art. LOVED being on Via Margutta, which is wonderfully quiet in the a.m. but with some interesting shops and just a short walk to the Spanish Steps, Via dei Condotti, Piazza del Popolo, Ara Pacis, etc. One big plus for me: a vegetarian restaurant, il Margutta RistorArte, was blocks away. A really good tasting menu! (Three words: parmigiano ice cream). Hotel Art’s sleeping floors were a little worn (particularly the hallways), but the staff were amazingly helpful and the included breakfast was pretty decadent. I would stay there again, mostly for the street. Love your blog!

  • Reply Monica March 25, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Natalie! I was in Rome in September and stayed on Via Margutta at Hotel Art. LOVED being on Via Margutta, which is wonderfully quiet in the a.m. but with some interesting shops and just a short walk to the Spanish Steps, Via dei Condotti, Piazza del Popolo, Ara Pacis, etc. One big plus for me: a vegetarian restaurant, il Margutta RistorArte, was blocks away. A really good tasting menu! (Three words: parmigiano ice cream). Hotel Art’s sleeping floors were a little worn (particularly the hallways), but the staff were amazingly helpful and the included breakfast was pretty decadent. I would stay there again, mostly for the street. Love your blog!

    • Reply Natalie March 26, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Hi Monica! You found one of the most beautiful streets in Rome! What a wonderful place to stay. (And I still really need to try that vegetarian restaurant!!)

  • Reply Dorothy Singh April 22, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Hi Natalie
    First things first” you lucky girl” living in Rome. I visited Rome last July and fell in love with it. Stayed at an Airbnb in San Giovanni and loved it can’t wait to get back this time would like to try Monte, and stay longer!!!!
    Warm regards
    Dorothy

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