Where to Stay in Rome

ItalyRome › Best Places to Stay
Updated: February 22, 2024
By Santorini Dave

Our Favorite Hotels in Rome

• 5-Star: Hassler
• 4-Star: ArtemideSinger Palace
• 3-Star: Palm GalleryHT6 Hotel
• Near Pantheon: Hub
• Spanish Steps: Hassler
• Colosseum: Palazzo Manfredi
• Trevi Fountain: Relais Fontana
• Piazza Navona: Bio Raphael
• Jewish Quarter: Chapter Roma
• Vatican: Palazzo Cardinal Cesi
• For families: Internazionale Domus
• For couples: Inn at Roman Forum

Best places to stay in Rome, Italy.
1. Palazzo Cardinal Cesi • 2. Santa Maria • 3. Internazionale Domus • 4. Hassler • 5. Bio Raphael • 6. Hub • 7. Singer Palace • 8. Relais Fontana • 9. Chapter Roma • 10. HT6 • 11. Inn at Roman Forum • 12. Palazzo Manfredi • 13. Artemide • 14. Palm Gallery

Best Areas to Stay in Rome

Tourists at Rome Termini Station.

Good hotels near Roma Termini Train Station:
St Regis (5-star) • Palazzo Montemartini (4-star) • Des Artistes (3-star)

The Best Rome Neighborhoods

For first-time visitors, Rome can seem chaotic and confusing. But once you’ve found your bearings, you’ll find it has a surprisingly compact center and you’ll be able to do much of your exploring on foot.

Most sightseeing in Rome is concentrated in the area between the city’s main transport hub, Termini Train Station, in the east, and the Vatican City in the west. The Vatican, technically an independent country, is one of Rome’s most awe-inspiring areas and contains two must-see attractions: St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums’ Sistine Chapel. Though there are no hotels within the papal enclave itself, the surrounding neighborhoods (especially Prati) offer plentiful lodging.

Trastevere neighborhood in Rome.

Me and my boys along the Tiber in Trastevere, Rome.

The Historic Center (Centro Storico) occupies the right bank bulge on the River Tiber, opposite the Vatican. We’ve divided the area into two, the elegant northern half (Tridente and Trevi Fountain) and the bustling southern section, which includes the old Jewish Quarter. Directly to the south, the Colosseum and the Forum anchor Ancient Rome, along with the village-like Monti neighborhood nearby. North of Center, the extensive park setting of Villa Borghese is ideal for recharging your batteries. The more distant southern neighborhoods of Trastevere and Testaccio are a little divorced from the main sightseeing trail but are popular nightlife and foodie hubs.

Best hotel near Roman Colosseum.

The Palazzo Manfredi is the best hotel near the Colosseum. Stunning views during breakfast and dinner at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant are a highlight.

Rome is a hilly city. The original city was built on seven hills east of the Tiber River: Palatine, Aventine, Capitoline, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, and Caelian. The Vatican, Pincian, Janiculum, and Sacred Mount hills were outside the boundaries of ancient Rome, but have since been integrated into the modern city.

While you can cover a lot of ground on foot, you’ll probably need to use public transportation to see all the main attractions. A metro system with three underground lines traverses the city (Termini and San Giovanni are its main interchange stations), but as these bypass the main Vatican and Historic Center neighborhoods, you’ll likely need buses or taxis at some point. The same tickets and passes can be used for metro, bus, tram, and regional train lines – single rides are just €1.50, with one-day passes €7. See the atac transit website for schedule, route, and fare information.

The Best Places to Stay in Rome

Where to stay near Spanish Steps in Rome.

The 5-star Hassler Hotel is visible in the background at the top of the Spanish Steps. (Directly behind the palm tree.)

Hotel for families in Rome.

Our suite at the Internazionale Domus Hotel. A fantastic place to stay for families. Great location near the metro and Spanish Steps.

More Notable Rome Hotels

Guide books for Rome.
I bought, read, and highlighted-extensively the most recent Rome guidebooks from Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, and Rick Steves. Here are some of their most interesting hotel picks. (I highly recommend buying one of these books for your time in Rome.)

Lonely Planet:
Argentina Residenza Style Hotel (Historic Center, $$$) – Prime central location housed in a former monastery.
B&B Arco Del Lauro (Trastevere, $$) – Idyllic setting for couples and honeymooners.
Vatican Style (Prati, $$) – Close to St Peter’s. Light-filled rooms with modern decor.

Babuino 181 (Spanish Steps, $$$) – Spacious rooms and apartment-size suites.
Residenza Paolo VI (Vatican, $$) – Across from Vatican City. Rooftop terrace (where breakfast is served) overlooks St Peter’s Square.
Hotel San Francesco (Trastevere, $$) – Local feel; bright rooms.

Rick Steves:
Hotel Lancelot (Ancient Rome, $$$) – Elegant 60-room hotel with affordable rates. 10-minute walk from the Colosseum.
Hotel Albergo Santa Chiara (Pantheon, $$) – Steps from the Pantheon. Family rooms, air-con, elevator.
Hotel Modigliani (Termini, $$) – Delightful 23-room hotel with clean, bright style.

Best Places in Rome for…

  • Best New Hotels in Rome
    In the last few years Rome has had a steady stream of new luxury hotels. (The Four Seasons, Rosewood, and Nobu plan openings in 2024 and 2025.) Here are the most popular recent openings:
    Hotel VilònSix SensesBulgariMaalot RomaEDITION
  • Best Neighborhoods to Stay for First Timers: Historic Center and Trastevere
    The Historic Center is hard to beat for a first-time visit to Rome. It’s one of the city’s most beautiful districts and is perfectly placed to explore just about everywhere. Amongst its historic lanes, you’ll discover all manner of delightful shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Trastevere is another district that makes a fabulous first impression with its medieval streets, vibrant piazzas, and buzzing atmosphere. While not the quietest part of town, Trastevere offers some great (and cheaper) accommodation options.
Best area in Rome to stay for first time visitors.

My favorite neighborhood in Rome is Trastevere – a lively walkable area with good restaurants and nightlife. Santa Maria is a great hotel close to the action.

  • Best Neighborhoods for Nightlife: Trastevere, Historic Center and Pigneto
    Trastevere is one of Rome’s most lively districts. Its colorful lanes are awash with bars and cafes, and every night it buzzes with activity as crowds of locals and tourists pile in to enjoy the party vibe. (The Hotel Santa Maria is one of the area’s most magical places to stay.) Bar San Calisto is a justly popular 1960s throwback, but we also like Big Star Bar Diner for cocktails and live music, dive bar Mr. Brown Pub, and no-frills craft beer specialist Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà. Back over the river, the Historic Center sees plenty of after-hours action with everything from swish designer bars to relaxed neighborhood cafes and piazza-side hangouts, especially around Piazza Navona (try La Botticella) and Campo de’ Fiori (Il Baretto is a good choice). For a more alternative scene, head to studenty San Lorenzo or to Pigneto, a trendy hub of bars and clubs east of Termini station – Club 55, Giove Live Music, and Spirito are fun spots here.
  • Most Romantic Neighborhood: Aventine Hill
    With a lofty hilltop location, memorable views, and elegant Art Nouveau villas, the Aventine is a wonderful area for couples and honeymooners. It’s a little off the main tourist path and doesn’t offer much accommodation (the San Anselmo and Villa San Pio are especially romantic and charming), but that just adds to its air of exclusivity. While there aren’t many must-see sights here, the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) is a divine spot to catch the sunset, and the Villa del Priorato di Malta boasts a fabulous keyhole view of St Peter’s Basilica.
  • Best Neighborhood for Food & Restaurants: Testaccio
    For an authentic culinary experience, head to Testaccio, the birthplace of Rome’s traditional nose-to-tail cuisine. The neighborhood is brimming with exceptional, time-honored trattorias to explore. Highly recommended establishments include Ristorante Pecorino, Osteria degli Amici, Taverna Volpetti, and Osteria San Giorgio, but you’ll find plenty of other delightful options as well. For lunch it’s hard to beat the Mercato di Testaccio, where stalls such as Casa Manco (pizza) and Mordi & Vai (panini sandwiches) knock out superb street food at low prices. For pizza and supplì (rice balls) head to Trapizzino. Rome is also famous for its Jewish cuisine, originally developed by cooks confined to the city’s Ghetto. For a taste, try one of the excellent restaurants along Via del Portico d’Ottavia, in the old Jewish Quarter of the Historic Center.
A food tour in Testaccio.

A guided food tour that we did in Testaccio.

  • Best Neighborhoods for Local Vibe: Ostiense and Testaccio
    South of the city center (but easy to reach by metro), the Testaccio and Ostiense neighborhoods offer a slice of authentic Rome. There are a handful of attractions (the Mattatoio and Centrale Montemartini art galleries, the tombs of Shelley and Keats in the Non-Catholic Cemetery), but this area just as much about its shops, neighborhood markets, and popular eateries than its tourist sights. In particular, up-and-coming Ostiense is known for its street art and murals by Italian artist Blu (and others), the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls (the supposed resting place of St Paul himself), vegan restaurants like Romeow Cat Bistrot, and Eataly Roma, the global Italian food emporium housed in the old Ostiense Station.
  • Best Neighborhoods for Sightseeing: Ancient Rome, Historic Center, and Vatican/Prati
    There are three main sightseeing areas in Rome: Ancient Rome, the Historic Center, and the Vatican. Ancient Rome, centered on the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, is home to the city’s most celebrated ancient ruins. To the north, the Historic Center is scattered with artistic treasures and headline sights such as the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. Across the river, Vatican City features St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, home of the Sistine Chapel. All three areas have a good variety of hotels.
  • Good 3-star Rome hotel with central location.

    The HT6 is a good affordable hotel in Rome’s Historic Center.

  • Best Neighborhoods for Shopping: Historic Center, Monti, Trastevere
    Rome’s designer boutiques cluster in the streets close to the Spanish Steps and the Viadei Condotti. Mainstream and chain fashion stores can be found on Via del Corso a little to the west, as well as Via Coladi Rienzo (in Prati), while indie shops line Via del Governo Vecchio. Narrow Via dei Coronari and the nearby streets are known for antiques, as well as fashion. You’ll find smaller alternative stores in Monti (like Flamingo Vintage, Radiation Records, and Pifebo Vintage Shop), as well as in Trastevere. The Almost Corner Bookshop in Trastevere is one of Rome’s best English bookshops. If you’re around, don’t miss the Sunday flea market at the Porta Portese, with hundreds of stalls stretching down Via Portuense to Trastevere train station (come at 7am to peruse the best bargains).
  • Rome Without a Car
    Having a car in Rome is a hassle and unnecessary expense. Rome’s public transportation system includes the Metro (subway), buses, and trams, providing visitors with ample ways to get around the city. Walking through Rome’s picturesque streets is often the best way to explore the city. Major attractions such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps are within walking distance of each other. Rome’s historic center is compact and pedestrian-friendly, making it perfect for leisurely strolls (though the cobblestone streets are not stroller friendly). For slightly farther distances, consider renting a bicycle or using electric scooters, both readily available throughout the city. Taxis and rideshares are also options, but be prepared for slower travel times during peak traffic.
Where to stay near Trevi Fountain.

The J.K. Place hotel has a great central location (10-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain) and a luxurious charm.

  • Safest Areas of Rome
    Rome is a safe city, with no dangerous areas in the city center. For a quiet, well-connected neighborhood, consider Prati. Easily accessible by metro and conveniently located for the Vatican, Prati offers an abundance of affordable hotels and eateries. Another peaceful (at night) central area is the upscale district surrounding the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. Known as Rome’s designer shopping hub, this area becomes delightfully serene once the stores and boutiques close for the day.
  • Unsafe Areas of Rome
    The area around Termini station is often made out to be a dangerous area at night, but with so many people around at all hours you are unlikely to experience any problems (as always, be on the lookout for pickpockets and phone snatchers). The neighborhoods reporting the highest crime rates in Rome tend to be on the outskirts of the city to the east and south – but few tourists visit those areas.

The 8 Best Areas in Rome for Tourists

1. Historic Center (Centro Storico) and Jewish Quarter

Pantheon in Rome.
A map of the Historic Center & Jewish Quarter in Rome, Italy.

For the heart of the action, Rome’s Historic Center is the place to be. It is a touristy part of town but locals also enjoy its excellent restaurants and trattorias, fashionable boutiques, and busy bars and cafes. Those staying in Centro Storico will have top sights such as the Pantheon, Museo di Roma (Palazzo Braschi), Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Spada Gallery, and the Piazza Navona’s grand Neptune Fountain at their doorstep – as well as countless historic churches (like Borromini’s Sant’Ivo and the Gesù, mother church of the Jesuits) and cobbled lanes to explore. Campo de’ Fiori is one of the city’s liveliest squares, home to a produce market and the famous monument to Renaissance thinker Giordano Bruno, while the Palazzo Altemps displays the Museo Nazionale Romano’s best statuary.

The southern section of the historic district encompasses the old Jewish Quarter (or “Ghetto”), home to the impressively grand Tempio Maggiore, the great Synagogue and Jewish Museum, plus the Fondazione Museo della Shoah, which is a moving reminder of the Holocaust in Italy. Locals flock to the Roman-Jewish restaurants on Via del Portico D’Ottavia (featuring dishes like artichokes alla giudia and anchovy pie), while its ancient portico leads to the ruined Temples of Apollo Sosiano and Bellona, and the Teatro di Marcello, a smaller version of the Colosseum founded by Julius Caesar.

The boundary between the Historic Center and Ancient Rome is marked by traffic-snarled Piazza Venezia, dominated by the monumental Altare della Patria (or “Vittoriano”), commemorating Italian Unification.

The Historic Center is carpeted with hotels, so you’ll find plenty of choice in Rome’s most central and liveliest district. But be aware that there are some downsides here, too: it’s the busiest part of the city and is often overwhelmed by tourists, rates tend to be expensive (though we’ve listed some good bargains below), and its narrow streets are far from the nearest metro stations (the closest public transport options are trams and buses on the periphery).

Best place to stay in Historic Center of Rome.

Views of Rome from the rooftop restaurant at Bio Raphael.

2. Tridente and Trevi Fountain (Historic Center)

Tourists sightseeing at Trevi Fountain in Rome.
A map of the Tridente & Trevi Fountain neighborhoods in Rome, Italy.

The northern half of the Historic Center is characterized by the area known as the “Tridente”, named after the three streets that run south from Piazza del Popolo in the form of a trident: Via di Ripetta (to Piazza Cardelli), Via del Corso (to Piazza Venezia), and Via del Babuino (to Piazza di Spagna). Upmarket, elegant, and touristy, this area encompasses Rome’s top shopping strip, Via de’ Condotti – running east from Piazza di Spagna, home to the Spanish Steps, the Keats-Shelley House, and Babington’s 19th-century tea room. 600 meters south from Piazza di Spagna lies one of the city’s most popular attractions, the Trevi Fountain of La Dolce Vita fame – plan to visit very early if you want to avoid the crowds.

Nestled among the high-end designer boutiques and prestigious flagship stores, the historic district boasts charming cafes, such as the iconic Antico Caffè Greco, and several sophisticated bars frequented by affluent Romans and visiting celebrities. Notable attractions include the colossal Mausoleum of Augustus and the adjacent Museo dell’Ara Pacis, showcasing a Roman altar within its contemporary architecture masterfully designed by New York-based Richard Meier. Additionally, the Tempio di Adriano presents a rare, preserved façade of a Roman temple on site. For an immersive experience of Rome’s finest Renaissance art, visit the awe-inspiring church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which proudly displays masterpieces by Caravaggio and Raphael. While the Tridente district bustles with activity during the day, it transforms into a serene haven come nightfall.

There’s a huge choice of hotels here, mostly expensive, though there are still a few bargains to be had. And while it’s great to be in the heart of things, note that this area can be jam-packed with tourists during the day and that the metro and most buses bypass this area, meaning more walking (or taxis) for you.

3. Ancient Rome (including Capitoline Hill and Monti)

Hotel in Monti and Ancient Rome.
A map of the Ancient Rome and Monti in Rome, Italy.

Sightseeing is the main activity in Ancient Rome, the part of town centered on the Colosseum and ancient forums (Foro Romano is the most famous of these). There are several good accommodation options here, but fewer decent restaurants than in other areas. The main attractions begin on the Capitoline Hill, behind the giant Altare della Patria; the statue-lined Cordonata Capitolina staircase leads up to the Michelangelo-designed Campidoglio square, home to the Santa Maria in Aracoeli church (with frescoes by Pinturicchio) and Capitoline Museums, with their world-class collections of ancient sculpture and art. Ancient Rome stretches out to the southeast from here, the most densely packed section of Roman ruins in the city; the huge site of the Roman Forum (including Palatine Hill), the Imperial Forums, Trajan’s Markets, Domus Aurea (the remains of Emperor Nero’s palace), Arch of Constantine, and the Colosseum itself are all unmissable. Where possible, book tickets and time slots in advance online, as the crowds here can be overwhelming.

A short hop away, Monti is a favorite haunt of Rome’s boho set and exudes a laid-back village vibe from its hip boutiques, popular bars, and excellent restaurants. The center of action is Piazza Madonna dei Monti, but there’s also plenty going on around Via Leonina, Via Cavour, and Via Urbana. Make time for the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, home to Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, Leah, and Rachel (and the supposed chains of St Peter).

There are a few hotels near the forums, but these tend to be expensive and a little out of the way. In contrast, are are plenty of cheap hotels in Monti (which is much livelier) and east of the Colosseum (in Celio), but these are often poor quality.

4. Trastevere

Trastevere neighborhood in Rome.
A map of the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, Italy.

Across the river from the Historic Center lies Trastevere, a charming maze of medieval streets and lively piazzas. This area is home to several noteworthy sites, including art-adorned churches such as the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, the Basilica of Santa Cecilia (with frescoes by Cavallini), and San Francesco a Ripa Grande, which houses Bernini sculptures and De Chirico’s tomb. Additional attractions include the 16th-century Palazzo Corsini, which houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art and Rome’s Botanical Garden; the Villa Farnesina, adorned with Raphael’s stunning frescoes; and the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, which documents local history. Every Sunday, the Porta Portese flea market takes place from 7 am to 2 pm.

During the day, Trastevere is perfect for leisurely exploration, but it truly comes alive at night, bustling with tourists and locals alike. Trastevere offers a diverse dining scene, from Michelin-starred restaurants to authentic neighborhood pizzerias and cozy cafes. To reach Trastevere, stroll across the picturesque Isola Tiberina in the middle of the Tiber River, crossing the Ponte Fabricio — an ancient Roman bridge built in 62 BC.

Trastevere is rich in character but not as convenient for sightseeing as the Historic Center; it’s not on the metro lines, but is linked by buses and trams. Because of this, it’s generally cheaper to stay in Trastevere than in the city center, with more B&Bs, apartment rentals, and family-run guesthouses to choose from.

5. Villa Borghese and Barberini

A side street in the Villa Borghese area
A map of Villa Borghese & Barberini in Rome, Italy.

Northeast of Rome’s Historic Center lies Villa Borghese, the city’s Central Park. This green oasis provides a perfect respite and houses several exceptional art museums, including the renowned Borghese Gallery (advance booking required), Villa Medici, and Museo Carlo Bilotti. On the park’s north side, you’ll find the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art and the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, which showcases precious artifacts from the ancient Etruscan civilization. The park’s Terrazza Viale del Belvedere offers great views of the Historic Center, the Vatican, and Piazza del Popolo.

Leading up to the park from Piazza Barberini, the wide, tree-lined Via Vittorio Veneto is lined with luxurious hotels and elegant sidewalk restaurants. Along this avenue, you can also visit the Museo e Cripta dei Frati Cappuccini, a medieval monastery and crypt, the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Barberini Palace, and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna.

Quiet at night, this area is well positioned for exploring the city while also offering some relief from the crowds. You’ll find very expensive chain hotels (the W, Westin, etc) south of the park.

6. Termini Station and Around

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore near Termini Train Station.
A map of the Termini Station area in Rome, Italy.

Most of Rome’s budget accommodation is found in the area around Stazione Termini. This not the most attractive part of town, but nor is it as bad as it’s sometimes made out to be, though its facilities, restaurants, and cafés are squarely aimed at tourists. There are several exceptional museums nearby, such as the Baths of Diocletian and the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, as well as remarkable churches like Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri and the grand Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore.

To the west, discover a collection of majestic baroque palaces, including Palazzo del Quirinale, Italy’s presidential palace (accessible by guided tour only). Nightlife in the area is concentrated in two areas east of Termini: youthful San Lorenzo and Pigneto, a shabby-chic quarter full of bars and trendy restaurants.

Despite being a long walk or ride from the Historic Center, this is a massive tourist hub – and can be very convenient if traveling by subway or train. Though much of the budget accommodation here is of poor quality, we’ve listed the exceptions below; the best hostels in Rome are also here. There are also some big five-stars in the area, notably the St Regis.

7. Testaccio, Aventine Hill (Aventino), and Ostiense

Honeymoon hotel for couples in Rome.
A map of the Testaccio, Aventine Hill, and Ostiense neighborhoods in Rome, Italy.

Located south of the city center and off the tourist radar, Testaccio is a former working-class neighborhood on the rise. It features intriguing sites such as the church of Santa Maria Liberatrice and the Mattatoio art museum, housed in a repurposed slaughterhouse. Nearby, you’ll find the Non-Catholic Cemetery, the final resting place of Romantic poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats, as well as the striking Pyramid of Caius Cestius. Testaccio is best known as a culinary hotspot, boasting authentic trattorias, traditional Roman cuisine, and food stalls within the indoor Mercato di Testaccio. The area is also home to popular clubs and discos that attract a youthful weekend crowd.

While accommodations are limited in Testaccio, the neighboring Aventine Hill offers several romantic retreats. Here, you can stroll along Via Santa Sabina to experience the famous “keyhole” view of St. Peter’s through the gate of the Priory of the Knights of Malta, or visit the ancient Basilica di Santa Sabina all’Aventino, the Municipal Rose Garden, or the Orange Garden, boasting stunning views of the city. To the southeast, explore the expansive Roman Baths of Caracalla, set amid picturesque parkland.

Further south, the unassuming Ostiense neighborhood is home to Centrale Montemartini, a former power plant converted into a classical art showcase for the Capitoline Museums.

Though metro connections are good down here, accommodation choices are few, making for a far less touristy experience. The best hotels tend to be scattered around the Aventine Hill, while Testaccio is the domain of small guesthouses and apartment rentals.

Best place to stay for couples in Rome.

The San Anselmo is ideal for couples and honeymooners.

  • Best Hotels in Aventine Hill, Testaccio, and Ostiense
    Villa San Pio • Hotel phone: +39 06 570057
    San Anselmo • Hotel phone: +39 06 570057
    Seven Suites • Hotel phone: +39 06 574 8106

8. Vatican and Prati

Vatican, Rome, Italy.
A map of the Vatican & Prati areas in Rome, Italy.

On the left bank of the Tiber, Vatican City is home to some of Rome’s greatest sights. Throughout the day, crowds flock to St Peter’s Basilica, Bernini’s Piazza San Pietro, and the vast Vatican Museums; home to the Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and a mesmerizing cache of art treasures. It’s essential to reserve ahead for the museums and to arrive as early as possible at St Peter’s (which is free but has long lines for security checks).

Though small in size, the Vatican captivates visitors with its rich history and cultural significance. As there are no accommodations within its walls, most travelers opt to stay in the adjacent Prati district. Characterized by its modern, grid-planned layout and elegant Art Nouveau architecture, Prati emerged as an upscale residential area in the early 20th century. This neighborhood offers excellent shopping opportunities, particularly along Via Cola di Rienzo, as well as a plethora of dining options that include restaurants, trattorias, and takeout establishments. While Prati bustles with activity during the day, it settles into a more tranquil atmosphere at night. However, lively pockets remain, including Rome’s oldest jazz club, Alexanderplatz. Other noteworthy attractions include the family-friendly Leonardo Da Vinci Experience and the imposing Castel Sant’Angelo, a grand, circular fortress built atop Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum by medieval popes, which now houses a fascinating museum.

There’s a huge stock of hotels in Prati to the north and east of the Vatican; most of it is affordable and pretty good value, comprising numerous B&Bs and small hotels. You’ll find even cheaper options to the south and to the west (Aurelio) – stay here if looking to save money.

Rome hotel near Vatican with swimming pool.

Villa Agrippina Gran Meliá has a relaxed vibe while being within an easy walk to the Vatican.

Other Rome Neighborhoods

We’ve covered our favorite neighborhoods to visit and stay in more detail above, but with more time the following districts are also worth checking out:

  • Flaminio: North of the Historic Center and accessible by tram or bus, Flaminio is home to the futuristic Auditorium Parco della Musica, a concert hall designed by Renzo Piano, and the equally mind-bending MAXXI, the National Museum of Contemporary Art by Zaha Hadid. Just across the river you can watch some of the best European football at Stadio Olimpico, home of Italian Serie A teams AS Roma and Lazio. Great hotels here include Maison Flaminio, Guest House Vignola, and B&B Casa Cimabue.
  • Appio Latino (San Giovanni): Situated opposite the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) and Sancta Sanctorum (the Pope’s chapel), the imposing Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, also known as Rome’s cathedral, commands the northern section of this district. The area also encompasses the expansive Parco dell’Appia Antica, situated along the historic Appian Way. This vast green space is ideal for hiking and biking while also housing the city’s renowned catacombs, subterranean burial grounds that served as the final resting place for Rome’s early Christian communities – most notably at the churches of San Sebastiano and San Callisto. Other highlights include the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, the Villa of the Quintili, and the medieval Church of San Nicola (Castrum Caetani). You’ll find plenty of cheap guesthouses in the northern section, including Domus Appia 154 and King Plaza B&B, both convenient for the metro (Re di Romastation).
  • EUR (Esposizione Universale Roma): Constructed under the reign of dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1930s and largely completed for the 1960 Olympics, this southern business district features an array of parks, lakes, and monumental Fascist-era architecture. But it is the assortment of museums that captivates visitors, including the National Museum of the Middle Ages, National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography, National Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions, and the city’s Planetarium. EUR is an easy daytrip via metro from the city center and not worth staying overnight – the hotels down here are nothing special.
  • Tivoli: For those with extra time, a highly recommended day trip is to Tivoli, situated in the Simbruini Hills approximately 18 miles northeast of Rome and accessible by a 50-minute local train ride. Tivoli’s highlights include the ancient Roman Villa Adriana (Emperor Hadrian’s grand palace ruins) and the Renaissance-era Villa d’Este, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Additionally, Tivoli boasts an impressive array of monuments, Roman ruins, palaces, and churches to explore. Those opting to spend the night will find Antica Villa di Bruto and B&B La Panoramica to be excellent, romantic options.
  • There’s not much point in staying near Rome–Fiumicino International Airport unless you have a very early flight. If you do need to stay here, the most convenient option is the in-terminal HelloSky, but the upmarket QC Termeroma just outside the airport is much better quality and the Sleep’n go Hotel is much cheaper.
Best 3-star hotel in Rome's Historic Center.

The Campo de’ Fiori hotel has a fantastic location in Rome’s Historic Center.

Rome Travel Tips

  • Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) is located about 22 miles (35km) southwest of the city center. Frequent Leonardo Express trains (every 15 minutes) shuttle between FCO and Termini Station in around 30 minutes; taxis charge a fixed rate of €50 for the trip into central Rome. Ciampino International Airport (CIA) is much smaller, located 7.5 miles (12km) southeast of central Rome, serving low-cost flights from Ryanair and Wizz Air. Travelers from Ciampino must take a taxi or bus/train combination to get into the city center.
  • With few exceptions, almost everyone you are likely to deal with in cosmopolitan Rome will be able to speak English (or at least understand some), but it’s a good idea to learn some basic words and numbers in Italian before you go. Outside of the city, things change dramatically – few people in rural Lazio speak English, especially in the older generation.
  • A confusing array of tourist discount cards is offered for Rome – as always, these are a good value only if you intend to do a lot of sightseeing in a short amount of time. (Given how busy Rome is, though, the ability to gain fast track entry is definitely a bonus.) If you expect to spend a full 8 hours a day sightseeing, the 72-hour Omnia Card (€129) is the best option – it’s the most expensive card, but covers the most sights, public transport, and a hop-on hop-off bus (but not transport to Fiumicino airport). The Roma Pass is much cheaper and offers entry to two museums over 48 hours (€32) or 72 hours (€52); it includes free public transport (again, not to Fiumicino airport) and reduced admission to many other sights. The Vatican Museums are not included. If your primary focus is St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel, look into the Vatican City Pass.
  • Bike rental is available in Rome through bike share schemes like Lime, Dott and Tier – e-scooters are also popular. With its hills, congested streets, and limited bike lanes, Rome isn’t a great city for biking, but there are some wonderful trails to seek out, especially the Lungotevere path along the Tiber.
  • Roads in the city center are narrow, often one-way, and usually congested. Driving into Rome by car isn’t recommended unless you’re used to Italian roads and rules, and know where you are going to park (which can be expensive).
  • Free wi-fi is available at both Rome airports, and at cafés and museums around the city. You can register for free access at thousands of free wi-fi hot spots throughout Rome and Italy.

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio. Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loved Greece, travel, and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers on a mission to deliver the most helpful travel content on the internet. We specialize in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece and recommend the best hotels, best neighborhoods, and best family hotels in top destinations around the world. We also make hotel maps and travel videos. I can be contacted at dave@santorinidave.com.

  1. Live Music in Rome

    I will be traveling to Rome in April. Looking for a classy club or a nice place with live music. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Spirito (Every Thursday)
      Big Mama
      Alexnderplatz Jazz Club
      Gregory’s Jazz Club (Live shows Tuesday to Sunday)

  2. Central Rome Hotel Close to the Sights

    Hi Dave!
    I am only in Rome for one 1 day/night and would like to be close to everything! Our budget is around 200-300 Australian dollars. Could you please recommend a hotel that is central to everything.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Forum Hotel is a wonderful moderately-priced hotel close to many of the most popular historical sites in Rome.

  3. Best Rome Area for Restaurants

    Is there one Rome neighborhood or street that is best for foodies? Looking for the highest density for local wonderful restaurants. Thank you, B.B.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      South of the city center, Testaccio is a foodie hotspot. The neighborhood, which once housed the city abattoir, is considered the home of traditional Roman cuisine and there are several restaurants and trattorias specialising in old-school city cooking. It also boasts a hugely popular no-frills pizzeria (Da Remo) and a fabulous deli (Volpetti), reckoned by many one of the best in town. For street food, there’s Trapizzino, a cult takeaway selling chunky wraps made with pizza bases and a choice of fillings, and a number of food stalls at the neighborhood market. A few years back, one of Rome’s top chefs, Cristina Bowerman, opened a hip multi-functional food space in the district. Called Romeo e Giulietta (Romeo and Juliet), it features a pizzeria, restaurant, cocktail bar and deli.

  4. Best Non-touristy Area of Rome

    We have 10 days in Rome and looking for a non-touristy area with good local restaurants, markets, etc. Would still like to be close to central sites and attractions (say, within 20 minutes by public transportation). What areas of Rome should we consider? Thanks!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The obvious place that springs to mind is Testaccio. This is a former working class neighbourhood that’s now one of Rome’s top foodie hotspots. Its weekday market has some great food stalls and there are a number of trattorias and restaurants specialising in traditional Roman cuisine. It’s also famous for its nightlife with several popular clubs on Via di Monte Testaccio. Accommodation wise, there are a few top hotels nearby on the Aventine hill. As far as position goes, it’s two metro stops from the Colosseum and within walking distance of Trastevere, another lively and good-looking area. Alternatively, consider Prati near the Vatican. This is a smarter, more upmarket area with lots of good accommodation. It’s well positioned for St Peter’s Basilica and is an easy metro ride from Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps. It’s also good for shopping and has some excellent eateries, ranging from trendy bars to neighbourhood pizzerias and fine dining restaurants.

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