Rome is an ancient city packed full of thousands of years of history. Layers of culture, delicious food and, of course, romance mean this jewel of European cities attracts many thousands of visitors all year round.
Once the head of the Roman Empire and regarded to be the birthplace of Western civilisation, the Italian capital’s history spans 28 centuries. Much of Rome’s stunning architecture can be attributed to the Renaissance when work was undertaken to create a city that was the creative and cultural capital of the world.
Rome became the birthplace of both Neoclassicism and Baroque styles; and it’s home to The Vatican City, where the Pope lives.
In this post, we'll cover:
Rome’s top neighborhoods
Food is also a big part of what makes the city what it is – when Italians think of Rome they think of carbonara, and this delicious dish can be found everywhere, as well as Roman pizza, which is extremely thin and tasty. From world-class dining experiences in stunning locations, to eating pizza fresh from the oven at a street side eatery, Rome is a city for eating.
So, boasting the best food in the world, a center with historic monuments around every corner, the colosseum, the Vatican City, museums, bars, restaurants, cultural events and incredible architecture it is no wonder that Rome is one of the top destinations in Europe. With all of these wonders to explore and a mass of culture to wallow in, we have rounded up the best neighborhoods in order to help you decide where to stay in Rome.
The streets of this central district are alive with the past and present – a vision of the romance of Rome, the Centro Storico is a warren of atmospheric alleyways weaving around a historic centre. Renaissance palazzi and baroque churches are dotted along every street and most of the famous tourist sites are in walking distance. Wander the streets, visit the sites, eat delicious food and enjoy what the centre of Rome has to offer.
Rich in history, culture and culinary delights in abundance, Navona Square and the Pantheon in the Centro Storico district are full of indulgences of Roman proportions. Take a stroll around the Piazza Navona with a gelato in gaze in awe at the tasty treats on sale at the many trattorias, boutiques and bakeries.
Whilst the central location does mean there are a lot more tourists here, there is a wealth of hotels to choose from and what more could you want from your trip to this ancient city than to stay right in the heart of all of that history?
It isn’t exactly budget accommodation, however. With the location also comes Michelin star dining and high end boutiques galore – so strap on your Roman sandals, get glammed up and take in all the luxury that Centro Storico oozes.
Best Places to Stay in Centro Storico
Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj Hotel – Set in a stunningly elegant former palace dating from the 17th century (designed by renowned Baroque architect Francesco Borromini), this hotel is as much about its traditionally decorated, classy rooms as it is about its great location. It’s a mere block away from the landmark that is Rome’s Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon – a storied ancient Roman temple – is just a few minutes walk away. This 4-star hotel even features a restaurant/bar that looks out over the Piazza Navona itself.
Hotel Smeraldo – Within walking distance of both the Campo de’ Fiori square as well as the famous Piazza Navona, Hotel Smeraldo is well positioned as a base to explore the historic center of Rome. Other historic sights, as well as bars and restaurants, are just a stone’s throw from here. Back at this 3-star hotel, which has been recently renovated, the rooms are decorated in a classic style with wooden furnishings and marble bathrooms. There’s a tasty buffet breakfast on offer here, plus a roof terrace cocktail bar.
Monti is one of Rome’s first and oldest districts. A quirky, classic, eccentric neighbourhood in the centre of the city, it has a history of being home to some of Rome’s poorest inhabitants. Nowadays, with its central location in walking distance to most of Rome’s top attractions and streets lined with quirky cafes and fun street performances, it is the hip neighbourhood to hang out in.
Monti’s bohemian atmosphere fills the old streets as visitors are lured down cobbled lanes, into tiny shops and past locals calling to each other.
The Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, a picturesque square with a delicate old fountain at its centre, is perfect for people watching: children play barefoot, older people chat about their day. The pace of life in this quarter is local and charming.
Best Places to Stay in Monti
Roma Luxus Hotel – This 5-star hotel certainly offers everything you need when it comes to a luxurious city stay. The bathrooms are marble and the rooms themselves are decidedly upmarket – you could even choose to stay in a suite which boasts whirlpool tubs and views of the city. The Roma Luxus Hotel serves up unique Asian-Mediterranean fusion food in its cool bar. Location wise, you’ll be within easy walking distance of a lot of Rome’s best attractions, including the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Via Nazionale.
FH Grand Hotel Palatino – This upscale hotel really offers the chance for you to stay in extra sophisticated surroundings. Not only are the rooms quite opulent (with upgraded ones featuring marble bathrooms and balconies), but there are three restaurants onsite – one of which is an elegant piano bar with beautiful fixtures and furnishings. There’s also a free breakfast, which is always appreciated, and you can get room service too. This 4-star hotel also makes getting around the city easy; Cavour metro station is a mere two minutes from here.
Hotel Centro Cavour – Unfussy and modest, the rooms at this 3-star hotel nevertheless offer up a good base for exploring Rome, with a metro just two minutes’ walk away, the Colosseum 10 minutes and even Rome Termini station only 15 minutes away by foot. There’s plenty to do and various transport options just on the doorstep. The rooms may be a little small but they still offer city views and the cleanliness is good too. Guests will receive a free continental breakfast.
A Rione (that’s ‘area’ in Italian) that is rich in layers of art history, Celio offers a residential village feel in the center of the city.
Humble in the gargantuan shadow of the Colosseum itself, which is just a couple of blocks away, during the day the streets in Celia can be a little bit packed with tourists, but the rest of the area has a laid back, provincial pace of life with narrow grids of streets and a leafy park.
Being Rome, of course, Celio is not short of its own history. Three small local churches The Basilica of San Clemente, the Church of San Giovanni e Paolo al Celio and the Basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati are crammed full of intricate and intriguing discoveries just waiting for urban wanderers to come and explore them.
And as evening falls Celio hots up with a vibrant restaurant culture which isn’t quite as fine dining as other districts in Rome – but if you are looking for an open-minded place to party, Celio is well known to be home to many of Rome’s most buzzing gay bars.
Where to Stay in Celio
Hotel Capo d’Africa – Mere minutes from the Colosseum and transport connections, the grand Hotel Capo d’Africa is the place to be to really soak up the city in style. Here you can dine on their terrace (at a restaurant boasting seasonal cuisine) with stunning views of the city which only get better when night falls. There are two bars here as well as a complimentary breakfast buffet. If you want to, you can rent bicycles here to pedal around the city.
Tridente and Spanish Steps
To the North of the centre of the city is Tridente, named after the apparent triendent shape of the roads leading from Piazza del Popolo. Tridente is a buzzing, vibrant area that draws big crowds and it is not hard to see why. Tridente and the area adjoining it, the Spanish Steps is one of the most charming areas of Rome.
In fact this area is famous for being one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in the whole of the city. The Tridente also draws busy shoppers out to spend their cash on haute couture and that something extra special (and extra expensive!).
Once you need a break from all of that shopping, you can while away an hour or so sat on the Spanish Steps themselves. Originally built in the 1720s to connect the Church of the Trinita dei Monti with the Bourbon Spanish Embassy below, the butterfly shaped staircase consists of 135 steps built in elegant baroque style. The steps have long had a tradition of being a meeting place and general hang out for Rome’s artists.
Today, the steps and the plaza below today are still abuzz with Rome’s creatives and are a fantastic spot to sit and people watch. The area is also crammed full of high-end boutiques selling designer goods and small but ultra-luxurious hotels.
Best Places to Stay in Tridente
Rome Style Hotel – The fantastic early-1900s building located down a charmingly picturesque street is just one thing that is just wonderful about Rome Style Hotel. The sleek rooms – featuring marble bathrooms and flat-screen TVs – are another. The complimentary breakfast is perfect to set you up for a day of seeing what Rome has to offer. It’s not just a great place for sightseeing (the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are mere minutes from here), there are fashion boutiques dotted around this cool little area, which makes exploring extra fun if you love shopping.
Hotel Mozart – You can get around Rome pretty well thanks to Hotel Mozart’s proximity to Spagna metro station – it’s just eight minutes away. The bustling Piazza del Popolo, as well as the stunning Baroque palace of the Villa Medici, are very easily walkable. There are richly decorated rooms on offer, including suites with huge TVs and private terraces. There’s a cozy lounge here too, complete with a fireplace, as well as a seasonal rooftop bar, Turkish bath and even the added bonus of a complimentary breakfast.
Hotel Condotti – Truly as close to the Spanish Steps as you’re going to get in a hotel (they’re just a two-minute walk away), the rooms here are upmarket and decked out with warm, homely hues. These also include everything you’ll need to make your own coffee, too! You’ll get a free breakfast at Hotel Condotti in a similarly homely, traditional-style dining room – which is a great start to a day of exploring Rome (easily done thanks to the nearest metro station being just a few minutes’ walk from here).
The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s iconic sites and is on nearly everyone’s Roman itinerary. A big draw for tourists from all of the globe, the historic Trevi fountain is one of Italy’s biggest attractions, not only for its history and beauty but also for its superstition. It is said that travelers who throw a coin over their left shoulder with their right hand will one day return to Rome.
Staying right in the heart of the historical city close to the Trevi fountain is an unbeatable experience. The area is doubtlessly packed with a plethora of tourists during peak hours but remains charming regardless.
With excellent connections to metro line A, which runs past the Vatican and Termini, Trevi has a whole host of hostels for you to base yourself in for your Roman adventures as well as a wealth of surprisingly reasonably priced restaurants serving tasty food to delight your taste buds.
Best Places to Stay in Trevi
Harry’s Bar Trevi Hotel – If you were looking for sleek rooms and boutique-style design, you need look no further; this definitively 5-star hotel lives up to its rating. It’s actually built directly above the archaeological site of Vicus Caprarius-la Città dell’Acqua. Literally one minute walk away from the world-renowned Trevi Fountain (hence the name), this hotel offers room service too – but it would be a shame to miss out on the chic restaurant or the piano bar boasted by this cool hotel.
Hotel 87 eighty-seven – Elegance (and comfort, of course) is the name of the game at this 4-star hotel. There’s nothing quite like sinking into a canopy bed at the end of a long day exploring Rome, or having a blissful shower under the spa-style showers. There’s a complimentary breakfast on offer, a rooftop garden (seasonal) complete with bar and hot tub, as well as a cocktail lounge. Location wise, you’ll find this place just four minutes on foot from the Trevi Fountain and the nearest metro station, too.
Trevi Beau Boutique Hotel – Another hotel that’s very close to the famous Trevi Fountain (one minute on foot), Trevi Beau Boutique Hotel features contemporary rooms; some of these come with stylish parquet floors and wood paneled ceilings. One of the coolest things about this hotel is the building itself, which dates back to the 17th century. The complimentary breakfast isn’t bad either! Getting around Rome is a breeze thanks to Barberini metro station being just six minutes away on foot.
Areas around major transport hubs in big cities don’t often have good reputations, but choosing to stay near to Rome’s central train station may not be such a bad idea. Termini – named after the station, Roma Termini – has travel links across the city as well as across the whole of Italy. Whilst most of Rome’s budget accommodation can be found in Termini, nowadays this often means the cute, quirky and creative.
Termini is also in walking distance to some of the most intriguing and interesting neighborhoods that Rome has to offer including San Lorenzo Neighborhood which is home to the University La Sapienza, and Pigneto where a creative community lives and works and cool hotspots and funky hangouts are everywhere.
To the north of the Termini Station is the 17th century church Santa Maria della Vittoria, where you’ll find Bernini’s masterpiece Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.
Best Places to Stay in Termini
NH Collection Palazzo Cinquecento Hotel – It’s not just the grand nature of this hotel that makes it 5-star; if you are looking for a location that’s great for train travel, you can safely say the setting is 5-star too. Right next door to Rome’s Termini train station, it’s perfect for travel not just around Rome, but Italy, too. The front garden at this hotel even comes with its own set of Roman ruins! The rooms are modern and comfy, and the bar and restaurant come with garden views.
Hotel Artemide – Housed in a historic 19th-century building (complete with a magnificent stained glass dome in the elegant lobby), this hotel is just a 10-minute walk from Rome Termini station, which makes traveling around by train very convenient indeed. Aside from the sleek, modern rooms on offer (boasting one of our favorites: rainfall showers), there’s a bar, a restaurant with its very own rooftop terrace, and even a spa. Hotel Artemide is a mere 15-minute walk to the Spanish Steps.
Hotel The Building – Set in a historic building, Hotel The Building may be a short walk to Termini station, but it’s also much closer to the Castro Pretorio metro station, which makes getting around Rome pretty easy. To match the elegant setting of the building itself, there’s a piano bar, the chance to dine al fresco on a charming terrace, as well as plunge pools (indoors and outdoors) – plus its very own spa. It’s also near to Piazza Alessandria with its many dining and drinking options.
Vatican & Prati
The Vatican City is well known to be an independent state unto itself; in fact it is officially the smallest in the world. Home to the Catholic religion, the world famous Vatican City attracts millions of visitors a year. As one of the top attractions in Rome, the area around the Vatican, including the Prati, is a fantastic place to stay whilst visiting the city.
The Prati district has many good restaurants for you to sample the fresh and authentic taste of Rome. Due to its proximity to The Vatican City, Prati is often very busy with tourists by day but with the evening a much more residential feel falls over the area’s streets. And whilst you might expect the accommodation here to be only high-end, there is a merciful amount of affordable accommodation to suit all price ranges.
This quiet and clean district is safe and it is easy to travel to other popular areas such as Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona and Pantheon by a long(ish) walk or by taking the metro. The Piazza del Risorgimento transportation hub is close by with trams and buses readily available.
A top global attraction, a safe neighborhood and excellent transport links, what more could you need to help you get the most out of your trip to Rome?
Best Places to Stay in Vatican & Prati
NH Collection Roma Giustiniano Hotel – Featuring relaxed rooms, some of which come with their own terraces or balconies (and all of which boast flat-screen TVs and rainfall showers), this 4-star hotel offers its guests a free breakfast. That’s a good way to start a day of visiting Vatican City, which is only two kilometers from here. Back at the hotel, everything is sleek and contemporary, including the restaurant and gym. The restaurant itself, you’ll be pleased to hear, serves up local Roman cuisine.
Hearth Hotel – Practically next door to Vatican City itself, Hearth Hotel is a refined accommodation option with modern rooms featuring terraces, views of the Vatican (which are pretty incredible), and a complimentary buffet breakfast. It’s set in a building from the 1900s, which gives this 3-star hotel tons of character. You’ll find an onsite bar with a laid-back atmosphere as well as its very own wine shop. The Ottaviano metro station is just a hop, skip and a jump from this hotel, too.
Infinity Hotel – This 3-star hotel and its posh rooms – complete, of course, with stylish decor done in minimalist fashion – puts you in the prime position for exploring the best that the Vatican City has to offer. The Sistine Chapel as well as St. Peter’s Basilica are within easy walking distance. The nearest metro station is a simple four-minute walk away, too. Here, you can start the day with a complimentary breakfast and end the day with a couple of drinks in the hotel’s courtyard bar.
If you want all the vibrancy of the Italian capital, but less of the crowds, then staying in the Trastevere area is for you – just across the Tiber River away from the main attractions, this quarter is captivating in its authenticity.
Charming cobbled lanes, narrow alleyways and ivy-strewn buildings are home to local bars and family owned eateries as well as fine dining. As such this area is packed with accommodation housed in charming, historic buildings.
Wander and get lost among the culture and atmosphere, explore the stunning 12th century Santa Maria in Trastevere church, and sip on a coffee in the Piazza Santa Maria whilst watching the buskers. As night falls get swept up with the nightlife on decadent cocktail terraces, indulge in the true la dolce vita whilst eating authentic wood fired margherita pizza and dance late into the night in the local clubs.
Best Places to Stay in Trastevere
VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel – Mere steps from the leafy Parco del Gianicolo, this 4-star hotel has one thing that we really love about it – the building. It’s in a converted 17th-century convent that practically oozes character and heritage. There’s a banquet hall (complete with Renaissance-era paintings), a bar and lounge, a charming cloister garden – plus the rooms are tastefully done. It’s just a one minute stroll to the nearest bus stop, which makes it easy to get to St. Peter’s Basilica two kilometers away. We really like the breakfast; it’s American style and very hearty.
Hotel Ripa Roma – The onsite amenities at Hotel Ripa Roma are definite pluses: there’s a restaurant here that serves local Roman food as well as a cool bar. Not only that, the rooms can be equipped with video game consoles on request! Or personal trainers, if that’s more your thing. The immediate area may not be abuzz with activity, but a walk just a few minutes north of this 4-star hotel will have you in the midst of many restaurants and bars.
Via Veneto & Villa Borghese
Northeast of Rome’s tourist zone, close to the Spanish Steps and with access to the metro at the Barberini station, the small area of Via Veneto & Villa Borghese is laden with laid back luxury. One of the most exclusive areas of the city, Via Veneto & Villa Borghese was once the Hollywood of Europe.
The rich and famous used to frequent the districts bars and cafes and hang out in its sprawling villas during the 1950s and 60s when the Cinecittà film studios were still functioning.
Those heady days of Hollywood might be long gone but the glamour and the decadence remains inside the walls of the iconic cafes and luxury hotels. Via Vinto is a long, tree lined avenue whose pavements are home to stylish cafés which were once the epitome of Rome’s upscale style. Ultra-high-end hotels are abundant in the area and sit next to embassies and official buildings.
The Villa Borghese park lies at the northern end of Via Veneto, is beautifully laid out oasis with a boating lake, stunning flowers and picturesque pathways. A great place to take a break from all of the site seeing, the park is also home to several museums.
Best Places to Stay in Via Veneto
Ambasciatori Palace Hotel – This is one heck of a stately hotel; think huge staircases, pillars, marble floors, antique furniture, and classically decorated rooms. If that sounds like you, you’ll love it here. It’s set in a beautiful, neo-classical building which dates back to the early 20th century. The amazing setting doesn’t stop there, though; even the bar features ornate decor and intricately ornamented ceilings. This 5-star hotel is two minutes walk to the nearest metro station, as well as just over a 10-minute stroll to the Trevi Fountain.
La Residenza – The rooms may be simple at the traditional La Residenza, but this 4-star hotel still has its own picturesque little garden as well as a cocktail bar. There’s free parking as well as a complimentary buffet breakfast. You can also order room service here – what more do you need? Location-wise, this place is only ten minutes away from the Trevi Fountain on foot, and very close to the Barberini metro station, making it easy to get around the city.
Hotel Imperiale – Virtually a stone’s throw from the nearest metro station (Barberini), Hotel Imperiale is under a 10-minute walk to the iconic Trevi Fountain. The location is good but the setting of the hotel itself is the best thing about this place; the building dates back to the 19th century. As such, the interiors match its grand history. The rooms boast beautiful wooden floors, classic decor, a sleek restaurant, and a very posh lounge to recline in after a long day of getting around Rome.