It is one thing to know that you want to visit Rome. It is another thing entirely to decide where to stay in Rome. The city is divided into numbered rione and every neighborhood has its pluses and minuses depending on if you want to be close to the major sites or if you want to avoid the crowds.
I can sympathize because 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? Luckily, I live here and so I can offer a few real suggestions in this case.
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).
Where to Stay in Rome
- 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. Want to stay in Monti? Here is a list of accommodation options.
- 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. Want to stay in Trastevere? For a list of the neighborhood’s hotels, B&Bs, and apartments, here is where to stay in Trastevere.
- 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. Or you can stay nearby in Aventino or Piramide.
- 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 incredible 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 closest options will be the Colosseum (line B) or the Spanish Steps (line A). Here are hotel and apartments in the centro storico.
- 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. Here is where to stay near Prati.
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!