Where to stay in Rome? Here is a comprehensive overview of Rome’s neighbourhoods to help you find the perfect place to stay in Rome!
You have booked your flight to Rome and now you need somewhere to stay in Rome… Rome’s city centre is not huge, and you can easily travel from one attraction to another on foot. However, walking around all day can be tiring and over-relying on public transport can be quite a wearisome experience.
This is why it’s worth finding out which of Rome’s neighbourhoods best suits your needs. Would you rather be at walking distance from public transport so you can easily enjoy some day excursions, or would you prefer to explore the city’s maze of narrow cobblestone streets on foot? Perhaps you want to be able to drive in which case you will need to find a parking space in Rome. Regardless of where you decide to stay, you will have a great time visiting Rome, but finding the right location for your hotel can make a big difference. What follows is a comprehensive guide to help you find the best neighbourhood to stay in Rome.
A touch of romance: Centro Storico (Old Town)
Photo credit: Flickr – Harold Litwiler
The Centro Storico (old town) is one of Rome’s most popular areas: a labyrinth of cobblestone streets lined with Renaissance palaces, Baroque churches, and majestic piazzas. The area houses the famous Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and you will be within walking distance of Rome’s major tourist sites. The only downside: Centro Storico is a costly neighborhood, where you will find more luxury hotels than hostels. That being said, you can easily rent short-term Airbnb accommodation in history-laden palazzos that are reasonably priced, particularly off season. In any case, we wouldn’t recommend staying in this part of the city to anyone on a tight budget.
The most authentic area: Campo de’ Fiori & the Ghetto
Photo credit: Flickr – Umberto De Peppo Cocco
Although they are technically part of the Centro Storico, the streets around Campo de’ Fiori are not home to famous landmarks, and are therefore quieter. They form a picturesque blend of cafes, boutiques, wine bars, and typical Roman restaurants called trattorias. Located southeast of Campo de’ Fiori is the former Jewish ghetto, a thriving and authentic neighbourhood boasting great restaurants. Campo de’ Fiori is definitely one of the best places to stay in Rome. Rent a flat in a street of the Ghetto area, and you’ll get a real taste of Roman life!
Tridente: A shopper’s paradise
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Yunker
In the northern part of central Rome – often called Tridente because of the trident shape formed by the three streets that run down from Piazza del Popolo – is where you’ll find fashion boutiques, concept stores, trendy bars, and chic restaurants. This district revolves around Piazza di Spagna, a popular tourist destination which was also an essential stop-off on the ‘Grand Tour’ in the old days. Visitors come here to climb the legendary Spanish Steps that lead to the Trinità dei Monti church, or simply to sit down and relax in the friendly atmosphere.
Relax in style: Via Veneto & Villa Borghese
Photo credit: Flickr – Donald West
Are you longing to be pampered in a luxurious setting? Right at the top of the price range, the large hotels in Via Veneto all have doormen in uniforms, and boast stunning marble floors, and luxurious spas. This street was once the vibrant and fashionable part of Rome during the Dolce Vita era in the 1950s. It has changed since, and is now packed with restaurants and bars that are basically tourist traps, so you’re better off finding a place to eat in other neighbourhoods. Via Veneto winds up to Villa Borghese, featuring its own cluster of luxury hotels.
Enjoy a ‘village’ atmosphere: Monti & Monte Celio
Photo credit: Flickr – Moyan Brenn
Once Ancient Rome’s red-light district, Monti is now a pleasant and trendy neighbourhood, lined with cool bars, pop-up stores, and great restaurants. Located at walking distance from the Colosseum, it’s a perfect location for sightseeing. Southeast of Monti, Cælius (or Monte Celio) is one of Rome’s seven hills, a rather quiet part of town known for its distinctive style and places to eat.
For lovers of good food: Testaccio & Aventine Hill
Photo credit: Flickr – N i c o l a
If you are looking to discover Rome’s culinary treasures,Testaccio is the place to be. An unpretentious, if not slightly banal neighbourhood that has spread around an old slaughterhouse and is now famous for its authentic trattorias. Not only is Testaccio home to Rome’s main market – an ideal place to indulge in gourmet shopping – it also houses many of the city’s trendiest nightclubs. A great place to visit if you want to enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife and mingle with the locals! A few streets to the north, you’ll find the calm, chic Aventine Hill neighbourhood. Mostly residential, this area is home to some quieter hotels that are within walking distance of Rome’s ancient sites.
To experience Rome’s buzzing nightlife: Trastevere
Photo credit: Flickr – John Kelly
A former working class neighbourhood, Trastevere has since become gentrified and is a favorite haunt for tourists. The area’s lovely paved streets are lined with ivy-covered buildings and dotted with tiny piazzas. Located beside the Tiber River, Trastevere is only a short walk from the Vatican and Centro Storico. It’s one of the best places to stay if you want to discover some of Rome’s excellent bars and trattorias. If you want to avoid noisy and crowded places, look for a place to stay in the quieter east side of the neighbourhood.
For day-trips outside of Rome: Termini
Photo credit: Flickr – David McKelvey
The area around Termini Station is a rather unattractive part of the city, that does not enjoy close proximity to Rome’s famous landmarks. Compared to the beauty of other neighbourhoods, you could even call it depressing. The area is packed with cheap hotels, but even if your budget is tight, only stay in the Termini area as a last resort. That being said, if you’re in Rome to visit the city’s surroundings or neighbouring towns, Termini offers all the necessary transport links.
The most sophisticated area: Prati
Photo credit: Flickr – Elizabeth Buie
Unless you’re a pilgrim, there’s not much reason to stay near the Vatican. Borgo Pio, the neighborhood just north of the Vatican, has a few good hotels, but is a bit dull after nightfall and its restaurants lack the panache of those found in the historic centre. Prati, which is further north, is far more upbeat. It’s an affluent neighbourhood featuring wide boulevards lined with cocktail bars and lively restaurants. Being further from the centre of the city, the area is home to a range of affordable hotels.
Main photo credit : Flickr – N i c o l a
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