Last updated on January 04th, 2023
Rome, or the Eternal City as it is sometimes known, is the vast capital city of Italy. This enthralling city is situated in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula along the shores River Tiber. Bursting with culture, elegance, exquisite gastronomy and rich history, Rome is a beautiful place to visit all year round. The fascinating neighbourhoods in the city offer distinct attractions, and there’s definitely something for everyone.
Take a trip to Rome to experience history, art, and architecture, as well as the culture and delicious Italian cuisine. You will also love the mild climate of the city, and the views while you are there are simply unforgettable.
The Trastevere area exudes a sleepy village-like vibe and is home to outdoor cafes, tattoo parlours, microbreweries, and markets.
Monti is a charming district with winding cobbled streets, antique shops and artisans selling handcrafted wares. You will love the quirky bars and fine dining while you are here, and the relaxed vibe will make you want to extend your stay.
The architectural features you will find in the Prati neighbourhood effortlessly draws visitors in. It is also in close proximity to the Vatican City where you will find many hotels and attractions such as St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel.
The Tridente neighbourhood is home to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, as well as some of the best high-end shopping streets in Rome.
Testaccio is an area in Rome with old-school trattorias and hip street food joints, along with a thriving music and arts scene. History in this district also runs deep with sites such as Pyramid of Cestius providing evidence of this claim.
Visit the Parioli neighbourhood for a less chaotic pace and some of the best restaurants and hotels in Rome. There are also beautiful public parks and cultural museums in the area.
The Ostiense district is the place to be for art lovers, with many delights such as contemporary galleries and ancient marble statues. There are many cocktail bars and restaurants here as well, and for a fun night out, you will love the clubs and music venues in the area.
Another area you might not want to miss out on is San Giovanni, a neighbourhood that is brimming with churches, statues, museums, towers, and historical buildings.
You can explore Rome on foot, but you will quickly discover the city is quite hilly. Public transport is more convenient, with readily available taxis and buses. Cheap Rome hotels can be found all around the city, but hotels near Termini train station are more budget friendly, as is accommodation outside the city centre.
What’s the best area to experience the city as a local or when visiting the first time, what’s the best district for shopping or for nightlife, or where to stay on a budget or when on a honeymoon (couples)? Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Rome Italy.
Quick Overview – Contents
- What is the Best Area to Stay in Rome
- Best Area for First Time Visit
- Best District for Nightlife
- Best Neighbourhood for Local Experience
- Best Neighbourhood to Stay for Honeymoon (Couples)
- Best Area to Stay for Shopping
- Where to Stay in Rome Before Cruise
- Where to Stay outside City Centre
- Where to Stay in Rome on a Budget
- 5 Best Neighourhoods to Stay for Tourists
Where is the Best Place to Stay in Rome?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): Historic City Centre (Trevi – Piazza Navona – Pantheon)
If you are visiting Rome for the first time, the Historic City Centre is a great place to start. Piazza Navona is a square here that was built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, which was erected in the 1st century. The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi at the centre of the piazza is quite a sight to behold, and you will also be impressed by the Sant’Agnese Agone church. Pantheon is a former Roman temple that was built in 125 A.D and is one of the best-preserved buildings of the ancient civilization. The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and the only aqueduct that continued to function right throughout the Middle Ages due to its underground construction.
Where to Stay in Rome City Centre
- Best Luxury Hotels
J.K. Place Roma • Villa Spalletti Trivelli – Small Luxury Hotels of the World
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Albergo del Senato • Tree Charme Spagna Boutique Hotel
- Best Cheap Hotels in Rome
Hotel Domus Praetoria • Hotel Nuova Monaco
- Best Bed & Breakfast in Rome
San Pietro Grand Suite • B&B La Maison de Jo
- Best Budget Hostels in Rome
The RomeHello • Free Hostels Roma
What is the Best Area in Rome to Stay?
Where to stay in Rome for best nightlife? Trastevere – Monti
Trastevere is one of the livelier districts in Rome. Explore the narrow alleys, trattorias, small markets, and artisan workshops during the day. The neighbourhood is even more fascinating at night. Grab a bite to eat at Piazza Trilussa, and for a heavier meal, head to the Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Grab cocktails at Almalu Trastevere or Bar San Calisto before partying the night away at Rabbit Hole Club Roma or the Meccanismo Bistrot. The nightlife in Monti is equally exciting. Some notable bars and nightclubs in the area include Blackmarket, where you can enjoy a great glass of wine or cocktail, and Drink Kong if you would prefer late night drinking and partying.
What’s the best neighbourhood in Rome for local experience? Trastevere – Ostience
For an authentic experience in Trastevere, visit the Campo de’Fiori market. You can get a lot of grocery shopping done while you are here, with food items such as herbs, spices, limoncello, fresh meat and pasta being sold. This is also a great place to buy reasonably priced souvenirs. However, be careful with your purse while you are here especially when it is busy. Ostiense has earned a reputation as a gourmet district due to its many restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops and pizzerias in the area. Make a stop at La Dogana Food for some fusion cuisine that consists of Chinese and Japanese with some Italian specialities.
What’s the best district to stay in Rome for honeymoon (couples)? Spanish Steps (Spagna) – Trevi and Piazza Navona area – Hotel with Rooftop Terrace or B&B
The Spanish Steps are quite popular with couples and honeymooners, and with good reason. In springtime, the steps are lined with pots of blooming azaleas, making a great spot to take some memorable photos with your significant other. While at the Trevi Fountain, you and your partner can take turns tossing coins into the waters. Remember to make a wish before tossing a coin over your left shoulder. After exploring the monuments of Piazza Navona, stay at the Hotel Raphael. The location is in close proximity to all the major attractions, and there is a great rooftop bar where you can enjoy amazing views of the city.
Best neighbourhood in Rome for shopping? Spanish Steps (Spagna) – Monti – Prati
The busy and fashionable street of Via dei Condotti is a designer shoppers’ paradise. Whether you intend to buy designer brands or you are just window shopping, you will love taking a walk down Via dei Condotti. Renowned brands you will find here include Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Gucci, and Luis Vuitton among others. Via del Corso is a remarkably straight street lined with major retailers such as Nike and Zara, as well as smaller Italian retailers. Via Cola di Rienzo is another great location for a shopping spree. It is less crowded than Via Corso, with a great mix of Italian and international brands.
Where to stay in Rome before cruise? Historic City Centre – Civitavecchia (Port)
Wondering where to stay before embarking on your cruise? The Rome Historic City Centre has many wonderful hotels such as the Pantheon Royal Suites, a beautiful modern hotel in Piazza del Rotonda with scenic views of the Pantheon. The Arch Rome Suites is another great hotel in the Historic City Centre with stellar reviews. Hotel San Giorgio is a good choice for a pre-cruise stay if you are departing from Civitavecchia with excellent staff. The location of the hotel also allows you to access both the city and the sea.
Where to stay outside Rome city centre? Gianicolense – Nomentano – San Giovanni
If the hustle and bustle of the City Centre become too much for you to handle, there are many places outside it for you to stay. San Giovanni is a beautiful district with places of interest such as The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore which is full of admirable frescoes and The Opera del Duomo Museum where you will find works of art such as the sculpture of Giotto’s Bell Tower. Stay at the Eurostars Roma Aeterna or Hotel Re di Roma while you are here. Another noteworthy neighbourhood in the outskirts of the city centre is Nomentano, a quiet area with sights such as the expansive Villa Torlonia complex that includes an 18th-century villa that was once owned by a Roman noble family. Eateries here include the Roman pizzeria MangioFuoco, and Piazza Bologna’s Ba Ghetto, an acclaimed kosher Roman restaurant. Find reliable and top-notch accommodation at Hotel Villa Morgagni or Hotel Santa Costanza. Gianicolense is another great district in the outskirts with fascinating attractions such as Tomb of Epinicus and Villa Doria Pamphili, a historic residence that includes the second largest public park in Rome. Stay at the EcoHotel Roma or the Hotel Poggio Verde Roma for stellar accommodation.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on your trip, visit the Esquilino neighbourhood Rome just south of Termini, where you will find rich culture and diversity of people. The ancient Severan Walls just outside Termini’s entrance mark the 4th-century city limits. Explore the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore at the northwestern corner of the district, and at the opposite end of the area, discover the Basilica of Santa Croce di Gerusalemme, a 4th-century church. Other notable attractions include the Museum of Liberation, which is exclusively dedicated to the Nazi occupation and subsequent Allied liberation of Rome, and the Museum of Oriental Art.
The 5 Best Neighbourhoods in Rome (Roma) for Tourists (First Time Visit)
1. Historic City Centre (Trevi – Spanish Steps – Pantheon)
Kick off your tour of the Rome City Centre at the Trevi Fountain. It is fed by the Acqua Vergine, which has been bringing water from the eighth mile of the Via Collatina since 19 B.C. Refrain from climbing into the fountain since it is illegal.
Pantheon is a vast concrete structure with a perfectly hemispherical dome that is perfect displays Roman architecture at its finest. The tombs of the first kings of Italy are within the Pantheon. A great way to finish your tour of the City Centre is by climbing the 138 stairs of the Spanish Steps to experience the breathtaking views at the top.
- Best Properties: Hotel Vilòn – Small Luxury Hotels of the World – A World Aparts – 68 Barberini (Guest House)
- Best Cheap Hotels: Hotel Condotti • Hotel Navona
The Vatican City is a tiny country within Rome that is filled with attractions such as the world famous St. Paul’s Museum, Sistine Chapel, the Castel Sant’Angelo, and the fascinating Vatican Museum.
Make a stop at Prati, which is not too far from the Vatican, for some retail therapy on Via Cola di Rienzo. After a day of shopping, grab something to eat in magnificent restaurants such as La Pratolina and Luma Bistro in the area.
- Best Properties: Hotel Isa – Vatica B&B Roma (Bed and Breakfast)
- Best Cheap Hotels / Great Value : Eccelso Hotel • Domus Terenzio
Although Termini Train Station area is not as popular as some other Rome destinations, there are some wonderful places you can visit such as Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme, a neo-renaissance palace that displays classical art collection, and decent eateries in the trendy Pigneto.
An added advantage is the relatively cheap accommodation in the neighbourhood. A budget hotel with great reviews where you can stay is Hotel Leone.
- Best Hotel: NH Collection Palazzo Cinquecento
- Best Cheap Hotels / Great Value: Hotel Leone • Bloom Apartment by La Griffe (Guest House)
One of the must-see attractions in Rome is the Colosseum, the grand oval amphitheatre in the city centre. With almost 2,000 years of history, the Colosseum is the greatest tourist attraction in Rome, along with Vatican City.
To avoid the huge crowds that normally flock the area, arrive early in the morning or buy an entrance ticket in the Palatine Hill. If you are not a big fan of crowds, opt to visit the Monti neighbourhood nearby. Snag an outdoor table at La Bottega Del Café, which overlooks the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, or dine at La Casetta Della Madonna which is just as scenic.
- Best Accommodation: The Rooms of Rome – Palazzo Rhinoceros | Designed by Jean Nouvel
- Best Cheap Hotels / Great Value: Hotel Terme Olimpia • Nerva Boutique Hotel
Explore Trastevere, a popular and vibrant neighbourhood in Rome. Take a stroll through the picturesque cobblestone streets that are flanked by ochre-coloured buildings. Discover the Basilica of Santa Maria, one of the beautiful churches in Rome.
If you are lucky, catch a concert at Piazza Trilussa, which is right on the river, and when you get hungry, order a delicious pizza from La Boccaccia, and later on in the night, sample craft beer and interact with locals at Freni e Frizioni.