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Best Place to Stay in Rome: Districts and Neighborhood Guide

best area to stay in rome

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Looking for the best place to stay in Rome? The Eternal City has thousands upon thousands of accommodation options and it can get overwhelming. In this guide we cut straight to the chase and tell you the best districts to stay in depending on your style of travel, who you are traveling with and the length of your stay.

Plus, we’re sharing our pick of the best hotels, apartments and AirBnBs in each area.

Summary of the best places to stay in Rome

Here’s a quick summary of Rome’s neighborhoods. For a detailed description of which travelers they suit best read the detailed descriptions including hotel and AirBnB selections below

  • Pantheon / Piazza Navona / Campo de’ Fiori – best for first time visitors. Easily walk to major sights of the city and enjoy the atmosphere of one of the greatest cities on earth
  • Piazza di Spagna – home to luxury hotels and high end shopping. Being close to the gardens at Villa Borghese means this area of Rome is also great for families
  • Trastevere – charming neighborhood close to the historic center known for small cobbled streets and a thriving restaurant scene
  • Colosseum / Monti – an interesting combination of ancient sites and bohemian neighborhood. Not as easy to walk to other sites from here
  • Vatican / Prati – elegant residential area that is a useful base for St Peter’s square and the Vatican Museums
  • Roma Termini / Esquilino – best area in Rome for budget travelers and those needing quick transit out of Rome
  • Testaccio – interesting neighborhood with great restaurants and bars plus specialty shops

Pantheon / Piazza Navona / Campo de Fiori Area

Pantheon area - best place to stay in Rome

Our absolute favorite area to stay in Rome is right in the heart of the historic center. Surrounded by the city’s history and iconic monuments, you immediately feel at one with the city. In this area you’ll find the Baroque splendor of Piazza Navona, bustling Campo de’Fiori market and of course the magnificent Pantheon which has stood in place for 2,000 years.

And to top it all off, you can walk easily to the major attractions in Rome. The Colosseum, St Peter’s square and Trevi fountain are all around 20 minutes from this area on foot. So there’s no need to navigate public transport. Simply wander and soak up the wonder that is Rome.

The Pantheon area is also a great place to eat. You’ll find classic gelato bars like Giolitti as well as some of the best pasta restaurants in the city – Roscioli is where we go for our carbonara fix!

BEST FOR: All travelers and especially first time visitors wanting to explore all the highlights of Rome on foot

Hotels near the Pantheon

AirBnBs near the Pantheon

Looking for an apartment? We handpicked the best AirBnBs near the Pantheon – click here to view

Read: our full guide to best places to stay in the pantheon area

Piazza di Spagna

best neighborhood rome - spagna

Also in central Rome, the area around the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna is the place to stay if you are looking for a luxury hotel or apartment, fine dining restaurants and one of the best designer shopping streets in the world – Via Condotti – on your doorstep. Close by you’ll also find the Trevi fountain and Villa Borghese. The famous art museum is set within beautiful parks and gardens making this area perfect for families too.

The Piazza di Spagna area is great for getting around on foot with the most popular attractions within walking distance. It also has the advantage of having two Metro stops – Spagna and Barberini – if you need to go further afield.

Make dinner reservations at La Terrazza for Michelin starred dining with unparalleled views of the city. Or take your morning coffee at Antico Caffé Greco just as poets Keats and Byron did 200 years ago.

BEST FOR: Luxury hotels and shopping in central Rome. Families will enjoy the gardens at nearby Villa Borghese 

Piazza di Spagna hotels

  • LUXURYJ.K. Place Roma – modern designer opulence abounds in this new 5 star hotel with exclusive rooftop terrace
  • LUXURYHassler Roma – expect the very best at the place celebrities from all over the world stay when in Rome
  • MIDRANGEIl Campo Marzio – 4 star hotel with beautifully appointed rooms in historic palazzo setting
  • BUDGETCharme Spagna – lovely 3 star hotel with modern interiors and two terraces for guests’ enjoyment

AirBnBs near Piazza di Spagna

Find your perfect apartment stay in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna district. Some of these stays have views of the Trevi fountain!

Trastevere

rome districts - trastevere

If your vision of Rome is of shuttered houses looking out over cobbled street and buildings hung with vines, then Trastevere is the district that is right for you. This traditional neighborhood on the west bank of the Tiber River charms even the most hardened souls with its tiny bars and restaurants, quirky churches and museums and small piazzas.

Though it is not quite in central Rome, Trastevere is close enough to everywhere you want to go by foot in around 30 minutes. There is also a tram service that will take you to the Colosseum and Monti district. You’ll find fewer hotels here but an abundance of Airbnbs for budget to midrange travelers.

You won’t go hungry with some of the best local restaurants close by including Dar Poeta – a famous Roman pizzeria – and classic trattoria Da Enzo al 29 where the cacio e pepe tastes all the more delicious thanks to its traditional atmosphere. In summer the banks of the river are lined with tempting food stalls.

BEST FOR: Romantics and foodies looking for a charming local neighborhood close to the historic center

Hotels in Trastevere

  • LUXURYGran Melia – one of the top 5 star hotels in Rome with seasonal pool for hot summer days
  • MIDRANGEVOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel – this former monastery is now a lovely 4 star hotel with a terrace
  • BUDGETHotel Santa Maria – comfortable and clean, the hotel has a pretty orange garden for summer breakfasts

AirBnBs in Trastevere

If you’re looking for a cosy home away from home in the Trastevere district then browse these lovely apartments on AirBnB.

Read: our full guide to best places to stay in Trastevere

Colosseum / Monti

best rome neighborhood - colosseum monti

Imagine waking up to see the Colosseum out of your window. That could be you if you stay in the Monti district of Rome. South east of the historic center, Monti is an up and coming neighborhood with bohemian flair known for hip shops and cafes and of course the city’s most iconic monument is its crowning glory. Plus the Roman Forum monuments are right there at your feet.

Most of Rome’s main sights are reachable on foot from the Colosseum and Monti areas however the Vatican is perhaps a little too far. You can however make use of the Metro stations at Cavour or Colosseo to get around town. And if you want to have dinner in Trastevere, it’s only a few tram stops away.

Staying local, vegetarian and vegan restaurant Aromaticus is an insight into modern Roman cuisine. If that’s not your style there are plenty of traditional restaurants like La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali where you can get a classic carbonara. But, for fine dining cuisine with the best views of the Colosseum, you can’t go past Aroma at the Palazzo Manfredi hotel.

BEST FOR: Lovers of ancient history and those wanting to explore a bohemian area of Rome

Hotels near the Colosseum

  • LUXURYPalazzo Manfredi – 5 star luxury abounds throughout this hotel with the hero views of the Colosseum
  • MIDRANGEMercure Roma Centro Colosseo – the consistency you expect from Mercure plus a pool with Colosseum views!
  • BUDGETHotel Romano – clean and simple, friendly hotel with a wide variety of room types

AirBnBs near the Colosseum

Wake up in the heart of ancient Rome when you choose one of these stunning apartments near the Colosseum.

Read: our full guide to best places to stay near the Colosseum

Vatican / Prati

vatican area rome

The elegant Prati district next to the Vatican City is a popular area to stay if you want to spend most of your time in Rome exploring the Vatican Museums, visiting St Peter’s basilica and attending a Papal audience. Known for wide boulevards and sophisticated shopping streets, fewer tourists visit Prati and it has a gentrified neighborhood feel. The area closest to the Vatican up to Castel St Angelo retain some narrow cobbled streets however.

A 30 minute walk over the Tiber will take you to many of the sights of Rome. The Colosseum is out of reach on foot unfortunately but the Lepanto and Ottaviano Metro stops in the district are useful for getting around.

If you love pizza then one of Rome’s most famous stores, Pizzarium is found behind the Vatican Museums. Otherwise head away from St Peter’s square to Hostaria Dino e Toni for a big plate of carbonara. Grab a gelato at Fatamorgana next door before a leisurely stroll along the river to admire Castel Sant’Angelo and the magnificent Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II.

BEST FOR: Those wanting to access the Vatican as the main purpose of their visit to Rome

Hotels in the vatican / prati district

prati / Vatican AirBnBs

There are no AirBnB listings in the Vatican City however you’re just steps away from St Peter’s square at these popular stays.

Roma Termini / Esquilino

rome termini station

Rome’s central station – Roma Termini – is one of the busiest in Europe and you will find many hotels in this area. Like most station districts however, proximity to transport equates to a lack of charm. This is a useful area to stay if you have only one night in Rome and need to access the train station early in the morning or late at night. You’ll also find the most budget options here. If you’re traveling solo or as a family and want to explore at night this probably isn’t the area for you as it has a reputation for being a little seedy.

The sights of the historic center are within walking distance of Rome Termini. You can reach the Trevi fountain in around 15 minutes and the Colosseum in just over 20 minutes. However getting to the Vatican is quickest by Metro or bus. There are stops at the Vittorio Emanuele and Termini stations.

When you get hungry there are a number of decent eateries inside the station itself at Mercato Centrale – an upscale food court. For your mandatory pizza fix head to nearby Forno Roscioli Pietro or for pasta, the cacio e pepe Trattoria Da Danilo is as good as it gets.

BEST FOR: Budget travelers or those needing a quick stay and departure from Rome

Hotels near roma termini

  • LUXURYSt Regis Rome – opulent and grand with all the amenities you would expect at a 5 star hotel
  • MIDRANGELiberty Boutique Hotel – contemporary styling and a rooftop terrace are features of this 4 star hotel
  • BUDGETFloris Hotel – great value modern budget accommodation close to Roma Termini station
  • HOSTEL –The Beehive  – one of the top rated hostels in Rome over many years

AirBnBs near roma termini

Our pick of the AirBnB apartments close to Roma Termini station have all the comforts you need for a short stay in Rome.

Testaccio

testaccio rome

The Testaccio / Ostiense area is a just outside Rome’s central historic district, tucked away behind Aventine Hill. This local neighborhood has interesting sights, wonderful restaurants and interesting specialty boutiques to explore. Of particular interest is Rome’s Non-Catholic cemetery where poets Keats and Shelley were laid to rest. And right next to it you’ll find a 2,000 year old pyramid, the tomb of a Roman senator.

There are only a handful of hotels in the Testaccio area but you’ll get great value if you choose an AirBnB. And, if you’re driving, this is an area where parking may be more readily available.

While you can walk to the Colosseum and ancient sites from Testaccio, you will need to uses buses or the Metro to reach most of the other attractions in the city. The Piramide Metro station is on Line B and you can change at Termini for the Vatican and Spanish Steps.

Historically this area has been known as the food bowl of Rome and that tradition continues today. In Testaccio you can dine at Felice where traditional dishes are the order of the day. Or to discover the best in modern Italian produce and cuisine head to Eataly Roma close by. There’s also the Testaccio market where you can pick up fresh fruit and vegetables and tasty street food.

BEST FOR: Longer stays where eating and exploring a neighborhood is your priority rather than seeing the sights

Hotels in testaccio / ostiense

  • MIDRANGEHotel Abitart – a design led 4 star hotel close to Ostiense train station and Eataly with parking available
  • BUDGETHotel Santa Prisca – comfortable 2 star hotel on Aventine Hill with free parking!

AirBnBs in testaccio

You’ll find larger AirBnB apartments in Testaccio. Browse our favorites here

Where will you stay in Rome?

rome hotel with view

The rione or districts of Rome each have their own unique charm. Whether you’re staying for a night or two or are soaking up the city over a week, choose the area that’s right for you and enjoy all that the Eternal City has to to offer on your doorstep. But, if exploring ancient sites, gushing fountains and pretty piazzas is your ideal Roman holiday, you can’t beat staying in the historic center with the Pantheon close by.

Read: our complete Italy accommodation guide

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