Where to Stay in Rome

Top Tips

RomeBy Flickr user Sean MacEntee

Discover the best neighbourhoods in Rome to stay in, whether you're here to see the ancient sights, or the modern ones, to eat and drink well, to shop well, or just experience la bella vita of Rome.

Neighbourhood Guide to Rome

Central Rome MapImage:Rome districts.svg

Once the centre of the world, Rome is still an awe-inspiring city, with an incredible history and an incredible collection of art and monuments. The food, drink and architecture of Rome is also enticing, as are the marketplaces, and the very life of Rome. The idea of sitting in a sunny Roman piazza admiring the view, and the people, is bellísima for many. Rome has expanded as it’s aged, and contemporary Rome includes several previously separate towns, across a city connected by a small metro and rail system, and a much more useful bus service. There’s also a tram service, but it doesn’t reach the centre of town. Central Rome is officially broken up into 22 rione, which are relatively small districts or neighbourhoods, and our guide treats some rione as stand alone neighbourhoods, and amalgamates some into the colloquially named neighbourhoods most commonly used today.

Recommended Neighbourhoods

Centro Storico

Centro StoricoBy Flickr user Deensel

The Centro Storico, or Historic Centre, or City, of Rome, is the area around where the ancient city centre stood, and where you’ll find many of Rome’s ancient treasures, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum and the Spanish Steps. And it’s great for centuries old piazzas filled with small shops, cafes and bars. This isn’t one neighbourhood, though, there are many districts within it, from Tor di Nona, where you’ll find the Pantheon and the Piazza Venezia, the Celio of the Colosseum and Constantine’s Arch, and the Campo Marzio, which is where you’ll find the Spanish Steps. But this whole area is ‘old Rome’, if that’s what you’re looking for, and crammed with cafes, bars and restaurants, littering the architecturally magnificent squares and piazzas.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: central, historic, beautiful, atmospheric
  • Cons: busy, touristy
  • Ideal For: first time visitors to Rome, travellers who want to explore on foot

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Centro Storico.

The Pantheon and Tor di Nona

PantheonBy Flickr user Deensel

The Pantheon is one of Rome’s great sights, a building that’s been in continuous use as a temple or church since its completion in about 126. So many people stick a pin in the map here and work out where to stay around that pin. The pin is close to the Piazza Navona and a short stroll from The Vatican too, and while it’s understandable that you’d assume this part of town is really touristy, you’ll find the sophisticated bars, restaurants and shops in this part of town are popular with Romans too. It’s lively here; there's always something to do, and often music will be playing somewhere nearby. This isn’t the best part of Rome for public transport, but there are plenty of bus stops, and a lot of the main sights are within walking distance.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: historic, beautiful, great bars and restaurants, within walking distance of many major sights
  • Cons: not great for public transport, busy
  • Ideal For: people-watchers, couples, people who want to explore on foot, history-buffs

Discover our recommended hotels close to Rome’s Pantheon and Tor di Nona.

The Spanish Steps and Campo Marzio

Spanish StepsBy Flickr user Marco Vech

The Spanish Steps empty beautifully into the Piazza di Spagna with its elegant fountain, and this iconic Roman location is another spot where people place their map pins. It’s central, gloriously Roman, with its parping scooters, numerous churches and elegant decay, and there’s a great range of cafes, restaurants and bars. This is where you’ll find the Via di Condotti, which is lined with fabulous Italian designer boutiques: one of the ‘richest streets’ in Rome. But the Campo Marzio is also perfect for deli-eating, with plenty of local shops serving those who live and work in the area; the Campo Marzio market itself is a ‘working’ market too. It’s a central spot, within walking distance of many of Rome’s sights, but also close to the Flamino metro stop.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: bellissima! historic, great for shopping, great for eating and drinking, iconic
  • Cons: busy,
  • Ideal For: first timers to the city, history buffs, designer shopping

Discover our recommended hotels close to Rome’s Spanish Steps and Campo Marzio


CelioBy Flickr user Fred Romero

Central, especially for the Colosseum and the imperial heart of Rome, Celio is surprisingly green and residential. It’s not known for its restaurant scene, but it does have a collection of buzzing bars, cafes and restaurants on the Via di S. Giovanni, and you’ll find plenty of Michelin stars in the next suburbs over. It’s clean and safe (perfect for families) and well loved by its locals, and it has its own noteworthy collection of churches in a city full of noteworthy churches. The Colosseo metro station is close by, linking you easily with the rest of Rome.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: green, residential, central, historic
  • Cons: residential, limited choice of restaurants and cafes
  • Ideal For: families, those who like to escape tourist bustle, historic-buffs, church-aficionados

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Celio.


MontiBy Flickr user cogito ergo ima

The Monti neighbourhood is right in amongst Rome’s major sights, with the Colosseum on its south western border. And it’s super central; Termini Station is close to its north eastern border, and the metro Colosseo, and Cavour are close too. Within the neighbourhood you’ll find some really great boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. Today Monti is hip, its narrow, pastel-coloured streets lined with cool places to eat, drink and stay, but this used to be a poorer part of town, much loved by artists and musicians, so it still has an arty vibe. The Piazza della Madonna dei Monti is the area’s main square and a really good place to start your explorations, or to people watch. Trajan’s Market is another great local sight, it’s been a market since 900, and before that it was walled off and flooded and used for mock naval battles.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: very central, within walking distance of major sights, great restaurants, bars and cafes, great people watching, lively
  • Cons: busy
  • Ideal For: foodies, travellers who want to explore on foot, night-owls

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Monti.

Around the Campo de’ Fiori

Campi de FioriBy Flickr user Sarah Castillo

The Campo de’ Fiori is Rome’s largest market, and still a daily event, with vegetables, fish, meat and cheese on sale daily. It’s also just one square to the north of the Piazza Navona, and one to the east of the splendid Palazzo Farnese, so it’s pretty much slap bang in the middle of Rome’s hustle and bustle, and one of the best places in town for people watching from a cafe or bar. The architecture in this part of Rome is the sort of thing many people travel to Rome for, grand, Baroque and elegant, with plenty of marble statues. And the little streets and alleyways are lined with places to eat, drink and shop. This part of Rome is relatively well connected to the rest of the city by tram and bus routes, you’re also within walking distance of the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Via del Corso and Trastevere and the Colosseum. The Vatican and St. Peter’s Square is only a 15minute walk, as are the Spanish Steps.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: great markets, excellent places to eat and drink, lively, local, elegant architecture, central
  • Cons: busy
  • Ideal For: foodies, architecture-appreciators, people who want to explore on foot

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori.


TestaccioBy Flickr user meaduva

Testaccio is a pretty hip neighbourhood today, but not especially pretty. Twenty odd years ago it was known for its fantastic butchers, but it's so central that gentrification was always just a matter of time. So its reputation has gradually altered from produce to cuisine, and now it’s a great place to eat and drink, day and night, and well into the night! Testaccio Market is still one of the best in Rome, with the family names behind the stalls remaining unchanged for generations, but the building you see today is all new, and it is becoming a tourist attraction with it.  But this is still the sort of place you’ll see locals shopping, and there are exceptional delis too.  Testaccio’s non-Catholic cemetery is where you’ll find the graves of both Shelley and Keats. And it is just down the Aventine Hill, so not far from Termini Station, and also only about 30 minutes walk from the Colosseum.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: great restaurants and bars, lively nightlife, great markets, historic
  • Cons: busy (lots of tourists as well as locals), not beautiful
  • Ideal For: foodies, night-owls, romantics

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Testaccio.

Aventine Hill

Aventine HillBy Flickr user Stefano Costant

Green, elegant and residential, the Aventine Hill area is a beautiful, and relatively quiet, part of Rome. Graced with interesting architecture, especially churches, which form a ring around the hill, this is where you’ll find the Santa Sabrina, Rome’s oldest basilica. The Aventine Hill is also where you’ll find Rome’s Rose Garden, and the Knights of Malta keyhole, which is a well known view, allowing you can see all the way to the dome of St. Peter’s and The Vatican. This is the southern most of Rome’s seven hills, and definitely a good choice if you’re coming to Rome by car, because there’s a choice of hotels here with parking! Trastevere railway station is just across the Tiber, and the Roma Porta San Paolo station is close too, so the Aventine Hill is fairly well connected to the public transport network, only four stops from Termini Station. But you will find your choices of places to eat and drink out very limited compared to other neighbourhoods.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: quiet, residential, and relaxing for Rome; green, elegant, beautiful views
  • Cons: limited choice of restaurants and cafes, residential
  • Ideal For: couples, those who like to escape tourist bustle, families

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Aventine Hill.


TrastevereBy Flickr user Christopher Joh

Translating to ‘Beyond the Tiber River’, the Trastevere neighbourhood runs sort of along the Tiber, from the Vatican to the train line, passing the Basilica di Santa Maria. Colourful and lively, this neighbourhood is a maze of alleyways between elegantly crumbling palazzi and beautifully grand sprawling piazzas. As well as the famous laundry strung between the buildings (the most photographed washing lines anywhere!), these alleyways are full of traditional feeling Italian restaurants, bars and cafes, and this is a great place to go out of an evening.  While you’re on the ‘wrong’ side of the river for many of Rome’s most popular attractions, it’s a beautiful walk across one of the many bridges, and you’re close to the train line too.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: great atmosphere, wonderfully traditional looking, lively, great restaurants and bars
  • Cons: noisy of an evening
  • Ideal For: foodies, travellers looking for a local feeling neighbourhood, night-owls

Discover our recommended hotels in Rome’s Trastevere neighbourhood.

Prati, Aurelio, Borso and around Vatican City

Vatican CityBy Flickr user Giuseppe Milo

It’s possible to stay inside Vatican City, but space is notoriously limited, so you might want to consider Prati, Aurelio and Borso too. Prati is just to the north, Aurelio to the west, and Borso is between Vatican City and the Tiber. These neighbourhoods are all good when it comes to public transport, because you’re close to Metro line A, and to railway stations. And, aside from Vatican City itself, they’re all pretty good value when it comes to accommodation and food, having more of a residential feel than Rome’s more central neighbourhoods.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: close to The Vatican and St. Peters, good transport links, quieter, affordable
  • Cons: a residential feel when it comes to cafes, bars and restaurants, not central
  • Ideal For: history-buffs, Vatican-visitors, families

Discover our recommended hotels around Rome’s Vatican City.