Updated: November 10, 2017
On This Page
- The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
- The Best Hotels in the Historic Center
- The Best Hotels near the Vatican
- The Best Hotels in the Ancient Rome Area
- The Best Hotels near Trevi Fountain
- The Best Hotels in Trastevere
- The Best Hotels near Villa Borghese
- The Best Hotels near Termini
- The Best Hotels in Testaccio & Ostiense
Rome Tips and Recommendations
- When is the best time to visit Rome? Rome is a great year-round destination – but the best months are April, May, September, and October.
- The best neighborhoods for visitors to Rome are Historic Center & Jewish Ghetto (ancient sights, atmospheric streets, shops, restaurants), Ancient Rome & Monti (the Colosseum et al, trendy village vibe in Monti, bars and boutiques), Trastevere (picturesque area, lively restaurant and bar scene, walking distance to the center), and Vatican & Prati (St Peter’s, Sistine Chapel and great restaurants in Prati).
- The absolute best hotels in Rome: Hotel Hassler (for luxury and personal service) • Villa Spalletti Trivelli (old world charm and a stately setting) • Hotel Campo de’ Fiori (prime central location, fun, quirky decor) • Portrait Suites (a romantic boutique bolthole)
- The best restaurants in Rome: Armando al Pantheon (for classic Roman cooking by the Pantheon) • Romeo (modish eatery and contemporary creative cuisine) • L’Asino d’Oro (mid-range Monti restaurant specialising in Umbrian dishes), • Aroma (only in Rome – Colosseum views and Michelin-starred food)
- Best place for gelato (Fatamorgana – creative flavours in branches across the city), bakery (Forno Roscioli – a heavenly find in the historic center), cheese (Volpetti – a historic deli in the Testaccio neighbourhood), wine (Trimani – has a huge selection of international wines near Termini), cafe (Caffè Sant’Eustachio – central cafe famous for its coffee), pizzeria (Da Remo – no frills Testaccio place specializing in Roman-style pizza), takeaway (Pizzarium – gourmet sliced pizza near the Vatican Museums), chocolate (Confetteria Moriondo & Gariglio – magical confectioners’ in the historic center).
- Best Things To Do in Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s (3 hours/skip the line) • Ancient Rome & Colosseum Tour (3 hours/skip the line) • Food Tour of Roman Neighborhoods (3.5 hours)
The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
- Inn at the Roman Forum – Ancient Rome
Hotel phone: +39 06 6919 0970
An elegant boutique hotel offering stylish rooms, a quiet back street location, and its own ancient ruins – it sits over a 1st century BC tunnel. Rooms are individually decorated with a mix of contemporary décor and original fittings, and there’s a lovely panoramic terrace. The forums and Colosseum are an easy walk away.
- Hotel Campo De’ Fiori – Historic Center
Hotel phone: +39 06 0608
Right in the heart of the action, this welcoming four-star enjoys a prime setting just off Campo de’ Fiori. Inside, the look is modern baroque with dripping chandeliers, bold colours, plenty of gilt and quirky contemporary touches. Up top, a terrace offers unforgettable rooftop views.
- Palazzo Cardinal Cesi – near Vatican
Hotel phone: +39 06 684 0390
On the monumental approach road to the Vatican, this four-star is just a stone’s throw from St Peter’s Basilica. It’s a traditional affair with classically-styled rooms and a lovely internal cloister.
- J K Place Roma – near Trevi Fountain
Hotel phone: +39 06 982634
Since opening in mid-2013, this uber-stylish boutique hotel has won many plaudits. Its magazine-worthy decor marries comfort with a contemporary design aesthetic, and its location is excellent, near top shopping strip Via dei Condotti.
- Villa Spalletti Trivelli – Villa Borghese
Hotel phone: +39 06 4890 7934
A stately mansion set in the middle of Rome, this is an oasis of old-fashioned charm and calm. It’s a picture of classic elegance with antique furniture, polished wood and traditionally furnished rooms. Outside, the manicured gardens are a lovely place to relax.
- The St Regis Rome – near Termini
Hotel phone: +39 06 47091
An opulent five star housed in a 19th-century palazzo near Piazza della Repubblica. Much loved by rock stars – both Madonna and the Rolling Stones have stayed in recent years – it has classically styled interiors, a popular butler service, and a wonderful in-house spa.
- Palazzo Montemartini – near Termini
Hotel phone: +39 06 45661
A recent opening, Palazzo Montemartini is a modern five-star near Termini station. The surrounding area is not the most interesting but the hotel scores for its bright, naturally-lit rooms, sharp contemporary design, and decadent spa.
- Hotel Hassler – near Trevi Fountain
Hotel phone: +39 06 699340
The elder statesman of Rome’s hotel scene, the Hassler continues to impress. As well as old-school luxury and all the five-star trappings, it boasts a spectacular location at the top of the Spanish Steps, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Imàgo.
- Eden Hotel – Villa Borghese
Hotel phone: +39 06 478121
A friendly five-star just off Via Vittorio Veneto, the Eden is walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese park. Service is excellent, rooms feature antiques and deep carpets, and there’s a great rooftop restaurant with fabulous views.
- Hotel Raphael – Historic Center
Hotel phone: +39 06 682831
The ivy-clad facade of this historic hotel is a landmark in central Rome. Inside, it’s similarly striking with a collection of Picasso ceramics in the lobby, a floor of minimalist Richard Meier designed rooms, and a spectacular rooftop restaurant.
- Portrait Suites – near Trevi Fountain
Hotel phone: +39 06 6938 0742
More a luxury guesthouse than traditional hotel, this discreet hideaway offers 14 suites in the heart of Rome’s swish shopping district. Owned by the Ferragomo fashion house, it’s a masterclass in modern styling and boasts unforgettable views from its rooftop terrace.
- Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel – Villa Borghese
Hotel phone: +39 06 854421
A little way out of the centre, this is a large five star on the edge of Villa Borghese park. Unlike many more central hotels, it has an excellent swimming pool, as well as high class spa facilities. The overall décor is traditional.
- Grand Hotel de la Minerve – Historic Center
Hotel phone: +39 06 695201
Occupying a grand 17th century palazzo near the Pantheon, the five-star Minerve is one of Rome’s longest-standing hotels. Its public rooms are glamorous, particularly the glass-ceilinged Art Deco lobby, whilst guest rooms reveal a sober, restrained look.
- Hotel Majestic Roma – Villa Borghese
Hotel phone: +39 06 421441
The neoclassical Majestic is one of several hotels on broad, tree-lined Via Vittorio Veneto. Rooms are individually styled but most come with parquet floors and traditional décor. Barberini metro station is a short walk away.
- Hotel de Russie – near Trevi Fountain
Hotel phone: +39 06 328881
From Picasso to Leonardo DiCaprio, artists and actors have long appreciated this legendary hotel near Piazza del Popolo. Rooms are modern and understated, there’s a beautiful garden bar, and the hotel’s spa is reckoned to be one of the best in Rome.
Historic Center & Jewish Ghetto
Bulging into the Tiber west of Via del Corso, Rome’s historic center is the core of the city and one of its most beautiful neighborhoods. Amidst its labyrinthine alleyways and romantic piazzas, you’ll come across headline sights such as the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, as well as a whole host of churches crammed with artistic treasures. In fact, pop into almost any church around here and you’ll come across a masterpiece or two. The area is made for leisurely strolling and there are many captivating streets to explore, such as Via del Governo Vecchio, a handsome cobbled lane lined with fashion boutiques and vintage shops. Over on the other side of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Giulia is another charming strip with its orange trees, private galleries, and discreet luxury hotels. At some point, you’ll almost certainly end up in Campo de’ Fiori. By day, this buzzing piazza hosts a colorful produce market but at night it transforms into an open-air pub and its bars and cafes fill with hard-drinking tourists and young locals. For a more relaxed drink, search out Sant’Eustachio, a cafe which serves some of the best coffee in town, or Barnum Cafe, a favorite of mine which does great cocktails. Another lively spot is Via del Portico d’Ottavia, the main drag in the atmospheric Jewish Ghetto. This heats up in the evening as crowds of diners flock to its many restaurants and trattorias to sample the city’s best Roman-Jewish cuisine.
The Best Hotels in the Historic Center
- Hotel Raphael • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 682831
- Hotel Campo De’ Fiori • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 6880 6865
- Grand Hotel de la Minerve • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 695201
- Hotel Indigo Rome – St George • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 686611
- Hotel Ponte Sisto • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 686 3100
The Best Restaurants in the Historic Center
Emma (chic pizzeria; Roman thin-crust pizzas; international craft beers)
Roscioli (upscale restaurant in a historic deli; classic Italian food; booking essential)
Armando al Pantheon (local institution near the Pantheon; traditional Roman cooking; reservations recommended)
Casa Coppelle (charming central location and intimate atmosphere; Italian-French food)
Piperno (formal, old-fashioned Ghetto restaurant; authentic Roman-Jewish cuisine)
Vatican & Prati
Whether you’re a first time visitor or a seasoned Rome veteran, it’s impossible not to be dazzled by the Vatican and its treasures. Technically, the Vatican is a separate country – it has its own army (the Swiss Guards), its own official language (Latin), and its own king (the pope) – but in practice it’s a neighborhood in northwest Rome. The quickest way of reaching it is by metro to Ottaviano, but for a more dramatic approach, walk in via Ponte Sant’Angelo, the monumental bridge that crosses the Tiber by Castel Sant’Angelo. Once you’ve crossed the bridge, look left and there, at the end of Via della Conciliazione, is St Peter’s Basilica. The huge basilica is a thrilling sight from outside but it’s even more impressive inside, and it’s well worth braving the queues to enter and see the lavish marble interior. If you’ve got a head for heights, you can also climb the dome and admire the amazing views. Adjoining the Basilica is the Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano, seat of the pope’s official residence and the Vatican Museums. This vast museum complex is laden with world-famous masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s legendary Sistine Chapel frescoes. After you’ve covered the main sights, you’ve pretty much exhausted the Vatican. At this point, I’d recommend heading over to nearby Prati. An elegant district of straight avenues and upmarket residential blocks, Prati has some great shopping on and around Via Cola di Rienzo, as well as a vast number of restaurants, trattorias and takeaways. These get very busy at lunchtime when the lawyers and media execs who work in the area emerge for a bite to eat. The atmosphere quietens at night, although you’ll still find pockets of life. One of these is Alexanderplatz, Rome’s most famous jazz club, where big-name Italian and international musicians regularly perform.
The Best Hotels near the Vatican
- Palazzo Cardinal Cesi • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 684 0390
- Villa Laetitia • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 322 6776
- Isa Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 321 2610
- Dei Mellini Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 324771
- Vatican View Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 6830 8456
The Best Restaurants in the Vatican & Prati Area
Pizzarium (Rome’s best sliced pizza; creative toppings and premier ingredients)
Settembrini (trendy upscale restaurant; contemporary Italian food and classy wine list)
L’Arcangelo (perennial favorite; onus on traditional Roman fare but also innovative modern dishes)
Romeo (modish eatery; everything from takeaway panini and pizza to upmarket restaurant food)
Il Sorpasso (hip restaurant-bar with cool white tiled look; popular with local lunchers)
Ancient Rome & Monti
Wherever you go in Rome you’ll come across reminders of the city’s ancient past. But the greatest concentration of ruins lies in the area southeast of the historic center. Here you’ll find the Colosseum, gleaming after a multi-million euro clean-up, the Forums, and the Palatine, where Romulus and Remus supposedly founded the city in 753 BC. Nearby, the Capitoline Hill is home to one of Rome’s top museums, and the mammoth white Vittoriano looms over Piazza Venezia. Once you’ve checked out these awe-inspiring sights, head down to Monti, a cool enclave sandwiched between Via Cavour and Via Nazionale. In ancient times, Monti was Rome’s red-light district but it’s far from seedy these days. It’s now a favorite haunt of Rome’s young, creative set and exudes a laid-back village vibe. Fashionistas come here to shop at the hip boutiques on Via del Boschetto and to bargain hunt at the Mercatino di Monti. This weekend market is a browser’s delight with stalls selling everything from objets d’art to second-hand books and vintage clothes. Students and trend-conscious drinkers meet at popular bars such as Fafiuché and Ai Tre Scalini, whilst tourists and in-the-know diners flock to the many excellent restaurants. The center of action is Piazza Madonna dei Monti, but there’s also plenty going on around Via Leonina and Via Urbana.
The Best Hotels in the Ancient Rome Area
- Inn at the Roman Forum • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 6919 0970
- Palazzo Manfredi – Relais & Chateaux • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 7759 1380
- Fortyseven Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 678 7816
- Forum Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 679 2446
- Duca D’Alba Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 484471
The Best Restaurants in Ancient Rome & Monti
L’Asino d’Oro (highly rated Monti restaurant; great Umbrian food)
Terre e Domus (modern restaurant near the Imperial Forums; regional Lazio food and wine; busy at lunch, quieter at dinner)
Aroma (rooftop restaurant of five-star Palazzo Manfredi hotel; creative cuisine and Colosseum views)
Trattoria Valentino (classic trattoria; bustling atmosphere; traditional Roman staples)
Cavour 313 (historic Monti wine bar; huge choice of wine; platters of cheese and cured meats)
Tridente & Trevi Fountain
Named after the trident shape formed by the three roads that converge on Piazza del Popolo (Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso and Via del Babuino), this is a posh, touristy part of town. There are several big-hitting sights such as the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, but the main activity here is shopping. The area’s upmarket streets are awash with designer boutiques and flagship stores selling everything from top of the range homeware to killer heels and diamond-encrusted watches. If you’re in the market for a Prada bag or a Bulgari bracelet, Via dei Condotti is the place to go, but you’ll also find plenty of shopping action on Via del Corso and Via del Babuino. In the heart of the district, Piazza di Spagna buzzes throughout the day as tourists mill around the square and footsore visitors rest up on the Spanish Steps. To escape the throngs, search out Via Margutta, filmmaker Federico Fellini’s former home street which is now lined with art galleries and antique shops. From Piazza di Spagna, it’s about a 15-minute walk down to the Trevi Fountain, Rome’s largest and most extravagant fountain. There are always crowds here but don’t let that put you off. It’s an impressive sight and tradition holds that if you throw a coin into the fountain you’re sure to return to the Eternal City.
As well as sightseeing and shopping, this neighborhood boasts several historic watering holes. There’s the Antico Caffè Greco, the one-time haunt of Casanova and Goethe, and the Canova Tadolini, a cafe housed in the former studio of sculptor Antonio Canova. For cocktails and an A-list setting the Bar Stravinskij in the swank Hotel de Russie is hard to beat.
The Best Hotels near Trevi Fountain
- Hotel de Russie • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 328881
- Hotel Hassler • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 699340
- J K Place Roma • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 982634
- Portrait Suites • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 6938 0742
- Babuino 181 • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 3229 5295
The Best Restaurants in the Tridente and Trevi Fountain Area
Enoteca Regionale Palatium (smart wine bar serving regional Lazio specialties – cured meats, wines, cheese)
Il Margutta RistorArte (arty decor and high-end vegetarian cuisine; good value weekend brunch)
Gina (designer cafe popular with well-heeled shoppers; panini, pastas, and posh salads)
Dal Bolognese (historic restaurant on Piazza del Popolo; draws a moneyed, good-looking crowd)
Antica Enoteca (popular wine bar near Spanish Steps; frequented by tourists and the occasional local)
With its colorful buildings, picturesque streets and vibrant piazzas, Trastevere is one of Rome’s best-looking neighborhoods. In a former life it was a working class district, but these days it’s gone cosmopolitan and it’s now home to a multinational crowd of artists, expats, and students from the American St John’s University. Entering the neighborhood from Viale di Trastevere, Via Lungaretta leads down to Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, the charming main square and a popular hangout. Fronting onto the piazza, the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of several historic buildings containing fantastic art treasures. Two others worth searching out are the Chiesa di San Francesco a Ripa, which has a stunning sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Villa Farnese, famous for its Raphael frescoes. The district’s medieval alleyways are also a sight in themselves, and it’s always enjoyable to stroll around, browsing the small artisan shops and lapping up the bustling local vibe. For a change of pace, head up Via Garibaldi to the Janiculum Hill where you can admire unforgettable views over Rome’s higgledy-piggledy rooftops. Trastevere is great to explore by day but it comes into its own at night when it turns into party central. Popular bars such as Freni e Frizioni burst into life and the district’s many restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias fill with tourists and Romans out on the town. Things can get pretty hectic, though, especially on hot summer nights when the festive atmosphere lasts well into the small hours.
The Best Hotels in Trastevere
- Gran Melia Rome • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 800 788 333
- Hotel Donna Camilla Savelli • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 588861
- Trilussa Palace Congress & Spa • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 588 1963
The Best Restaurants in the Trastevere
Glass Hostaria (Michelin-starred restaurant; creative fusion fare from one of Rome’s top chefs)
Paris (formal old-school restaurant; traditional Roman cooking; charming al fresco terrace)
Osteria La Gensola (stylish trattoria known for its quality seafood)
Fatamorgana (fabulous gelateria; classic Italian flavors and original gourmet creations)
Pizzeria Ai Marmi (authentic old-school pizzeria; marble topped tables and no frills)
Villa Borghese, Barberini & the Quirinale
Whilst still prime tourist territory, this extensive area is less frenetic than many other parts of town. The crowds are less overbearing and while there are shops to browse, the main draw is Villa Borghese. Once the private estate of a 17th-century prince, Rome’s most famous park is a great place to slow down and enjoy a relaxed wander. There are several excellent museums dotted around the greenery, including the awesome Museo e Galleria Borghese. This is one of Rome’s best art museums and it’s well worth the hassle of having to pre-book your ticket. For wonderful rooftop views head to the Pincio section of the park. From Villa Borghese, Via Vittorio Veneto snakes down the hill back towards the center. This tree-lined boulevard was the epicenter of Rome’s dolce vita in the late 1950s and early 60s. And while it no longer pulls in the celebs like it used to, it still looks the part with its five-star hotels and swish pavement restaurants. The area south of Piazza Barberini features some of the city’s finest baroque architecture. A spectacular example is Palazzo Barberini, home to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. An easy walk away, Palazzo del Quirinale is another striking baroque building. This is the official residence of the Italian President, and visits are by guided tour only. If that doesn’t appeal, there are magical views to be had from the piazza outside.
The Best Hotels near Villa Borghese
- Villa Spalletti Trivelli • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 4890 7934
- Eden Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 478121
- Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SPA • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 854421
- Aldrovandi Villa Borghese • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 322 3993
- Rose Garden Palace • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 421741
- Hotel Majestic Roma • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 421441
The Best Restaurants in the Villa Borghese Area
Colline Emiliane (specializes in food from the Emilia-Romagna region; expect egg pastas and rich meat sauces; book ahead)
Ristorante Oliver Glowig (two Michelin starred restaurant in the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese hotel; superlative contemporary cuisine and prices to match)
Casina Valadier (upmarket Villa Borghese restaurant; classy location, refined cuisine and stunning views)
Termini & Around
Centered on Rome’s principle transport hub (Stazione Termini), this is not the most attractive part of town. But give it a chance and you’ll discover that it has some terrific museums and churches, as well as several cool eateries and bars. Overlooking the bus station on Piazza dei Cinquecento, the Museo Nazionale Romano: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is one of my favorite museums in Rome. It has some amazing ancient sculptures and a series of sensational Roman mosaics. If you’re into mosaics, you’ll also enjoy the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica di Santa Prassede, a little known church hidden away in a quiet back lane. East of Termini, San Lorenzo is a studenty area full of bars and underground clubs. Another ‘in’ neighborhood is Pigneto, situated between Via Prenestina and Via Casilina. Once the haunt of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, this graffiti-clad area was a non-descript suburb until the hipsters moved in and transformed it into a happening nightlife zone. The hub of the action is Via del Pigneto, scene of a lively daily market, but you’ll also find bars and restaurants in many of the surrounding streets. Places to try include Co.So, a trendy cocktail bar, and Necci, a historic local hangout.
The Best Hotels near Termini
- The St Regis Rome • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 47091
- Boscolo Exedra • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 489381
- Hotel Diocleziano • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 4890 0767
- Palazzo Montemartini • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 45661
- Leon’s Place Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 390 689 0871
The Best Restaurants in the Termini Area
Trattoria Monti (relaxed, highly-rated trattoria; regional food from Le Marches; booking essential)
Agata e Romeo (high end restaurant; modern takes on classic Roman dishes)
Panella L’Arte del Pane (a cafe, fast-food set-up; great choice of pastries, panini, sliced pizza)
Primo al Pigneto (trendy, brasserie-style Pigneto restaurant; creative Italian cuisine)
Pasticceria Regoli (old-school pastry shop; delicious traditional dolci)
Testaccio & Ostiense
A little off the tourist radar, Testaccio and environs are well worth exploring. For sightseers, the main draw is the Cimitero Acattolico, a lovingly-maintained cemetery where Romantic poets Keats and Shelley are buried. Overlooking the site, a large 1st-century pyramid makes for an unusual landmark in the midst of the traffic. Uphill from Testaccio, the Aventine is a much sought-after residential district that boasts one of Rome’s great curiosities – a perfectly framed view of St Peter’s dome through the keyhole of the Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta. Foodies will love Testaccio. For centuries the area was home to Rome’s main slaughterhouse and many of the city’ signature dishes were developed by cooks using cheap off-cuts from the butchered carcasses. The graffiti-splayed former abattoir now houses the MACRO contemporary art gallery at the bottom of Via Galvani. Testaccio is also home to a lively covered market and one of Rome’s best delis, the fabulous Volpetti. For night owls, the area is a nightlife hotspot and young party-goers swarm to the clubs on Via di Monte Testaccio. Extending south of Testaccio, the former industrial zone of Ostiense is one of Rome’s hottest neighborhoods. Some of the city’s top clubs are here, set in abandoned factories and warehouses, and a large student population ensures there’s always a buzz. You’ll also find fashionable foodie outposts such as Eataly, a giant gastro mall dedicated to Italian food, and Porto Fluviale, a vintage-styled restaurant and bar complex.
The Best Hotels in Testaccio & Ostiense
- Hotel San Anselmo • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 570057
- Abitart Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +39 06 454 3191
The Best Restaurants in the Testaccio & Ostiense Area
Da Felice (popular local institution; classic Roman food; reservations a must)
Flavio al Velavevodetto (laid-back trattoria; earthy, no-nonsense pastas and hearty meat dishes)
Da Remo (no-frills pizzeria; excellent thin-crust Roman pizzas; expect queues)
Checchino dal 1887 (formal restaurant; meaty Roman staples such as coda alla vaccinara – oxtail)
Eataly (modern food complex with a range of restaurants, wine bars, pizzerias)