When preparing your first trip to Rome, you may feel overwhelmed by the mountains of pasta and glorious historical sights that lay ahead. But before you can locate your favorite gelato stall and work through your bucket list, first things first: where is the best place to stay in Rome?
In comparison to the likes of Florence and Venice, the Italian capital is significantly larger and the points of interest are more spread out around the districts. This means that choosing the best part of Rome to stay in is crucial to ensure you spend more time sightseeing and less time riding the Rome Metro.
This is where my guide comes into the picture. I’ve rounded up the best areas to stay in Rome to help you decide which is most suitable for your personal requirements. For each neighborhood, I have provided pros, cons, and hotel recommendations.
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Table of Contents
Overview of Where to Stay in Rome
Once the realm of emperors, gladiators, and pioneers of our contemporary civilization, the modern-day city of Rome is a magnet for travelers of all types.
The city is blessed with fascinating historical attractions, delectable Italian cuisine, cool bars, swanky shopping districts, and a wide variety of tourist accommodations ranging from humble guesthouses to upscale hotels.
Rome is the capital city of both Italy and the Lazio region. Located 30 km (18.5 miles) from the west coast of central Italy, Rome spans an area of 1,285 km² and comprises 15 municipi (administrative areas) which are further divided into smaller districts.
The wider Metropolitan City of Rome spreads along the coastline from Civitavecchia in the north to Anzio in the south.
The inner city famously straddles across seven hills and every inch of it is teeming with historic sites, museums, art galleries, and trattorias. The best neighborhoods to stay in in Rome depend on what you hope to get from your trip.
As the capital, Rome is very well connected to the rest of Italy and other European destinations. Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) in Fiumicino is the main airport but flights also connect to Aeroporto Internazionale di Roma – Ciampino (CIA).
Trains connect Rome to other major Italian cities and regions. And, as they say, all roads lead to Rome which means you can visit the city as part of an Italian road trip.
Before you tackle my full guide, here is an overview of the best areas to stay in Rome with hotel recommendations for each neighborhood.
|Centro Storico (first-time visitors, sightseeing, walkability)
|The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel
|Monti (history, families)
|Kolbe Hotel Rome
|Esquilino (budget-friendly accommodation)
|Hotel Emona Aquaeductus
|Trastevere (atmosphere, local vibe, laid-back nightlife)
|Hotel Santa Maria
|Testaccio (foodies, local life)
|Gasometer Urban Suites
|San Lorenzo (nightlife, budget-friendly accommodation)
|Hotel Villa San Lorenzo Maria
|Prati (luxury, upscale dining and bars, shopping, vatican City)
|Ostia (history, beach, family-friendly)
|Alban Hills (nature, outdoor pursuits, family-friendly)
|La Locanda Del Pontefice
Best Areas to Stay in Rome
If you’re looking for more details to help inform your decision about where to stay in Rome then here we go. The following guide is packed with detailed guides to each of the top 9 best locations to stay in Rome based on whether you’re traveling on a budget, looking for luxury, or taking the whole family along.
1. Centro Storico – Best place to stay in Rome for first-time visitors
Welcome to the beating heart of Rome! Located on the right bank of the River Tiber within Municipio I, the Centro Storico is the first urban zone of Rome and identified by the initials 1A.
This is where you will find major landmarks and most of the best Rome Instagram spots such as the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori, and Largo di Torre Argentina. If you’re short on time and want to see the best of Rome in a day, this is definitely the best area to stay in!
If you’re a first-time visitor with a hunger for history and culture then Centro Storico is one of the best places to stay in Rome whether you’re flying solo, with your other half, or traveling as a group or family.
Besides the icons, this area is also packed with excellent restaurants, bars, and shops that satisfy all budget and travel styles. Hotels are pricier here as you are right in the thick of it but on the plus side, you will save money on transport as you can walk most places.
Centro Storico rubs shoulders with the neighborhood of Monti which is where yet more of Rome’s historic sites are located.
Pros and cons of staying in Centro Storico
- All the major tourist spots are on your doorstep
- The neighborhood is walkable for the most part
- Extremely crowded especially during the peak summer season
- The metro does not serve the Centro Storico which makes travel further afield more time consuming
Best places to stay in Centro Storico
Located in Rome, a few steps from Pantheon and 250 m from Piazza Navona, The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel features a panoramic terrace with views of the Pantheon and a bar. All air-conditioned, rooms come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, Nespresso coffee machine, Acqua di Parma toiletries, and a wardrobe.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Ponte Sisto
This former monastery overlooks a peaceful courtyard where an American buffet breakfast is served each morning. During warm weather, breakfast can be enjoyed out in the courtyard with a fountain, palm trees, and tables and chairs. Ponte Sisto Hotel is less than a 10-minute walk from Piazza Navona and 500 m from the tram and bus stops in Largo Argentina.
BUDGET – Hotel Barrett
Featuring free WiFi throughout and spacious air-conditioned rooms, Hotel Barrett is set opposite Torre Argentina in the historical center of Rome. Rooms here include a flat-screen TV, a coffee machine with free coffee pods, and a well-stocked minibar with free snacks and drinks which are refilled daily.
2. Monti – Best place to stay in Rome for history
Even if you aren’t a history buff, you can’t visit Rome without feeling inspired to dip into the city’s majestic past. You can barely walk anywhere in Rome without bumping into a landmark or relic from the city’s glory days yet no place chronicles the city as well as Monti, one of the best areas to stay in Rome for historical sights and landmarks.
Sandwiched between Centro Storico and Esquilono, Monti is the setting for Trajan’s Market, while the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are only a stone’s throw away. When you’re not engrossed in exploring these legendary sights you can meander through serpentine alleyways.
If you want to make your Rome trip even more memorable, Monti is the place where you’ll find most of the best hotels with views of the Colosseum.
Pros and cons of staying in Monti
- In comparison with the influx of visitors during the day, Monti is lovely and peaceful after dusk
- Staying here means you get to arrive early and beat the queues at the nearby attractions
- The area swarms with tourists during the day
Best places to stay in Monti
LUXURY – Kolbe Hotel Rome
Overlooking the Palatine Hill, Kolbe Hotel Rome combines medieval arches, exposed brickwork, and a courtyard restaurant. It has an enviable location in the heart of historic Rome. Medieval interiors mix with contemporary furnishings such as the leather couches and plasma-screen TVs in the hotel lobby. Some rooms have exposed brick walls and high arched ceilings from the 15th century.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Labelle
Hotel Labelle is in the historical center of Rome, a 5-minute walk from the Coliseum. This hotel is set right in the trendy Monti district. Labelle Hotel is on the 3rd floor of a historic building and offers spacious rooms with air-conditioning. The Labelle is 500 m from Colosseo Metro Station on line B. Public buses run on Via Cavour and on nearby Via Dei Fori Imperiali.
BUDGET – Nerva Boutique Hotel
Just 200 m from the Roman Forum and a 5-minute walk from the Coliseum, Hotel Nerva is located in central Rome. Each room at Nerva Hotel comes with air conditioning and satellite TV channels. They are fitted with elegant wooden furniture and have a private bathroom complete with a hairdryer and toiletries.
3. Esquilino – Best place to stay in Rome for budget-friendly accommodation
Esquilino is one of the oldest districts in the city and is situated on Esquiline Hill. That being said, it is a relatively overlooked part of the city as visitors navigate towards the most central or most picturesque areas.
Esquilino is situated in the east of Municipio I and connects to the rest of the city by metro, tram, and bus. In fact, it is the setting for Rome’s major train station, Roma Termini, which is handy if you’re traveling in Italy by train.
Esquilino is the best area to stay in Rome on a budget. The area offers a generous supply of low-cost hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. Besides the magnificent Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, there is less to see in the immediate surroundings.
However, there are a decent number of places to eat and shop which makes it worthwhile if you are looking to explore Rome without spending too much on accommodation and essentials.
Pros and cons of staying in Esquilino
- Extremely affordable hotels that are perfectly pleasant
- Convenient for Roma Termini
- You will need to rely more heavily on public transport to get around the wider city
- Esquilino has a grittier vibe than elsewhere in Rome
Best places to stay in Esquilino
LUXURY – Hotel Emona Aquaeductus
Hotel Emona Aquaeductus is a small villa with its own quiet garden set in central Rome, 500 m from Manzoni Metro Station on line A. Buses for the Vatican and Termini Train Station run from Piazza di Porta Maggiore 50 m away. Emona Aquaeductus Hotel provides free daily newspapers and a laptop in the lobby. Breakfast may be served in the garden.
MID-RANGE – The Cross Hotel
Offering a quiet yet central location, this 3-star hotel is set in a 19th-century villa, 8 minutes’ walk from St. John Lateran Basilica. It offers a garden terrace, air-conditioned rooms, and free Wi-Fi throughout. The Cross Hotel is 450 m from Manzoni Metro Station, for direct services to the Spanish Steps and the Vatican City.
BUDGET – Domus Sessoriana
Right next to the Basilica of Santa Croce, Domus Sessoriana is housed in a 10th-century monastery. You can enjoy the stunning views across Rome from the rooftop terrace. At this historical hotel, you are just steps away from the ruins of Roman temples and amphitheaters.
4. Trastevere – Best place to stay in Rome for atmosphere
Trastevere has transformed from a humble suburb to a cosmopolitan hub loved by Rome residents and tourists alike. It is situated on the left bank of the River Tiber which means having to cross over to the right bank in order to tour the major sights.
However, if you are looking to see beyond the hotspots and stay somewhere offbeat, or are re-visiting the city, Trastevere is one of the best places to stay in Rome.
During the day, Trastevere is a joy to potter around on foot while you take in beautiful churches and archaic architecture. Come nightfall, Trastevere springs to life as one of the liveliest nightlife spots in the city.
Take your pick from authentic trattorias, wine bars, and cocktail lounges. It’s not exactly a party area but if you’re a fan of unpretentious nighttime hangouts with a bohemian spirit then this is definitely the best area to stay in Rome for you.
Pros and cons of staying in Trastevere
- Staying in Trastevere gives you a different perspective on Rome
- Most of the hotels and guesthouses are independently owned and are inexpensive for such a popular area
- You can find many authentic trattorias nearby
- Accommodation options are more limited so you will need to book ahead to avoid disappointment
- Metro does not serve this district although there is decent tram coverage
Best places to stay in Trastevere
LUXURY – Hotel Santa Maria
The Hotel Santa Maria is set in Trastevere, on the bank of the Tiber River, which is one of the most charming and authentic neighborhoods of Rome’s historic center. Housed in a converted 16th-century convent, this is an intimate hotel that offers a personalized service. Its guest rooms all look out onto the internal garden complete with orange trees, flowers, and Mediterranean greenery.
MID-RANGE – Donna Camilla Savelli
Designed by Baroque architect Borromini, the Donna Camilla Savelli is a former monastery in Rome’s popular Trastevere area. It offers a garden, elegant and sober rooms, and free WiFi throughout. The property dates back to the 17th-century and features exposed wooden beams on the ceilings and precious stuccoes. The terrace at the Camilla Savelli offers views of the Eternal City.
Set in a historical building in Rome’s lively Trastevere district, Casa Di Santa Francesca Romana a Ponte Rotto offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. Classically furnished rooms at Casa Di Santa Francesca come with satellite TV and tiled floors. A sweet and savory breakfast is provided daily and can be enjoyed in the courtyard in fine weather.
5. Testaccio – Best place to stay in Rome for foodies
Nobody will blame you if you’re visiting Rome entirely for the purpose of Italian gastronomy! If food is top of your agenda then the best part of Rome to stay in has to be Testaccio.
This small neighborhood rests along the right bank of the River Tiber, 2 km (1.2 miles) southwest of the Roman Forum, and is served by the Piramide metro station and Roma Ostiense.
The main draw of this area is Testaccio Market where longstanding vendors entice you with their authentic food stalls. Besides the market, you will find adorable trattorias and cafes that sell traditional Roman and Italian recipes.
Basically, if you’re ready to branch out from the classic pizza and pasta dishes, Testaccio is the place to do it.
Pros and cons of staying in Testaccio
- More food options than you could possibly imagine
- Safe and appealing for families
- Far away from the main sites and will not appeal to travelers who aren’t foodies
- Limited nightlife while restaurants tend to close early (the market itself closes in the afternoon and does not open on Sundays)
Best places to stay in Testaccio
LUXURY – Gasometer Urban Suites
Gasometer Urban Suites offers spacious accommodation with free WiFi. This property features a shared rooftop terrace with city views. Both Piramide Metro and Ostiense Train Station are within 800 m of the property. The Colosseum can be reached by metro in just 2 stops.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Major Aventinus
Located 600 m from the Testaccio area and a short walk across the Tiber River to the Trastevere area, Hotel Major Aventinus offers rooms with views of the garden or street. Wi-Fi throughout is free. Circo Massimo Metro Station is a 10-minute walk away, while the Colosseum is 2 km from the hotel.
BUDGET – Hotel Santa Prisca
Located on the Aventino, one of Rome’s 7 hills, Santa Prisca is 10 minutes’ walk from FAO headquarters and 400 m from Piramide Metro Station. Parking and the internet are free. Hotel Santa Prisca is set in a central yet quiet area of Rome, next to a large park and 700 m from Giardino degli Aranci, a garden with breathtaking views across the historic center.
6. Quartiere San Lorenzo – Best place to stay in Rome for nightlife
Quartiere San Lorenzo is a small neighborhood that lies to the east of Roma Termini. Its proximity to the University of Rome gives you a hint at what differentiates this part of the city!
San Lorenzo is bursting with laid-back pubs and bars alongside low-cost eateries and accommodation that does not skimp on taste or comfort.
Alongside Esquilino, San Lorenzo is the best neighborhood to stay in Rome on a budget. Accommodation in this part of the city comprises no-frills hotels and simple guesthouses that help travelers stretch their funds.
Pros and cons of staying in Quartiere San Lorenzo
- Lively and fun nightlife with a great selection of friendly bars to browse
- Affordable accommodation and local restaurants mean you have more time
- The student vibe is not ideal for all travelers
- Limited number of hotels with more provision for apartment rentals
Best places to stay in Quartiere San Lorenzo
LUXURY – Ateneo Garden Palace
Featuring a relaxing garden and courtyard, the 4-star Ateneo Garden Palace offers free WiFi throughout, a 24-hour bar, and air-conditioned accommodation. The property is just a 5-minute walk from Rome’s Termini Train Station. Set in the buzzing neighborhood of San Lorenzo, this hotel is just 400 m from La Sapienza University.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Villa San Lorenzo Maria
Hotel Villa San Lorenzo Maria dates back to 1910 and was once a noble residence. Now it features elegant guest rooms on 3 floors. Many rooms open out onto the garden, while others feature a small, private balcony. Relax in the garden at this friendly hotel, set in the popular area of San Lorenzo in the center of Rome, surrounded by typical restaurants and cafés.
BUDGET – B&B Hotel Roma San Lorenzo Termini
Situated in Rome, within 15 minutes walk of Termini Station, B&B Hotel Roma San Lorenzo Termini features free WiFi throughout. The property is set in the San Lorenzo district, a 15-minute walk from Porta Maggiore. The number 3 tram stops right in front of the property, and links with the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, and the lively Trastevere district.
7. Prati – Best place to stay in Rome for upscale luxury
Prati is another option if you want to stay on the left bank of the River Tiber and would rather be away from the hustle and bustle of the touristic core.
The grand, art nouveau boulevards are awash with plush hotels, gourmet restaurants, stylish wine bars, and the coveted boutiques of Cola di Rienzo.
The Prati neighborhood backs right onto Vatican City and gives you a chance of beating the morning queues. Furthermore, simply cross over the river and you will have the expansive gardens that envelope Villa Borghese to explore.
This is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Rome for fine dining and a luxury stay and is perfect for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon. On the other hand, if you’re visiting with the intention to stock up on designer goods then Prati will make the process run like clockwork!
Pros and cons of staying in Prati
- If touring Vatican City is on your Rome itinerary then Prati is one of the closest neighborhoods you can elect to stay
- Fewer tourists stay in this part of the city
- Not the best location to stay in Rome if you’re planning on hitting up the main historic areas
- More expensive than the other areas
Best places to stay in Prati
LUXURY – Orazio Palace Hotel
Offering modern interiors and a relaxing garden, the Orazio Palace Hotel is located in Rome’s Prati quarter. Via Cola di Rienzo shopping street is just 120 m from the property, while Castel Sant’Angelo is a 10-minute walk away. Lepanto Metro is 600 m from Hotel Orazio Palace.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Diplomatic
Hotel Diplomatic is located just around the corner from Castel Sant’Angelo and across the river from Rome’s historic center. Service is excellent here and the hotel has a terrace. The Spanish Steps are 10 minutes walk away from the Diplomatic Hotel, as is Saint Peter’s Basilica.
BUDGET – The Boutique Hotel
In one of Rome’s elegant shopping and residential districts, The Boutique Hotel is within 700 m of Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican City. All air-conditioned rooms come with a Smart TV with streaming channels, a kettle, and a minibar. The private bathroom includes bathrobes and slippers, free toiletries, and a sensory shower.
8. Ostia – Best place to stay in Rome for family-friendly
Situated in the X Municipio on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ostia is the wildcard of my guide to where to stay in Rome. Although an extension of the city, it is 30 km (18.6 miles) outside of the Centro Storico and it takes around 1 hour to travel into Rome by public transport.
Ostia is where you will find the archaeological site of the old port of Rome and a scattering of museums. The site and modern settlement is a worthwhile day trip from Rome even if you decide not to stay here.
If this is your first trip to the city then Ostia is not the best location to stay in Rome as it will require too much travel when you want to tour the sights. However, if you are a returning visitor with a love of history and beaches, then Ostia is an excellent contender.
Ostia is also a great option for families as children will welcome the beaches as a way to break up history!
Pros and cons of staying in Ostia
- Ideal for avoiding the congestion within the city during the peak summer tourist season
- Very convenient for the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport
- Not suitable for travelers who want to spend most of their time exploring the city center
- Limited availability of hotels: most of the accommodations are self-catered apartments and holiday homes
Best places to stay in Ostia
LUXURY – Hotel Sirenetta
Set right in front of the beach in Ostia, Hotel Sirenetta offers free WiFi and classic-style rooms with air conditioning. Rome’s Fiumicino Airport is a 15-minute drive away. The property is an 8-minute walk from Lido Centro Train Station, which links to central Rome in 40 minutes. The archaeological site of Ostia Antica is a 15-minute train ride away.
MID-RANGE – Hotel La Scaletta
Set right on the seafront in Ostia, a 30-minute train ride from Rome’s historic center, Hotel La Scaletta offers rooms with air conditioning, Wi-Fi access, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. La Scaletta Hotel is a 10-minute walk from Lido di Ostia Centro Station, where you can catch a train to the archaeological ruins of Ostia Antica, as well as central Rome.
BUDGET – Hotel Ping Pong
Hotel Ping Pong is located in Ostia, just 50 m from the coast and its many beaches. It offers free Wi-Fi throughout, a sun terrace with panoramic views of the sea, and comfortable rooms with a private bathroom. Lido Di Ostia Centro Train Station, with its direct train to Rome, is a 15-minute walk from the property.
9. Alban Hills – Best place to stay in Rome for nature & hiking
And the second wildcard and final recommendation of the best areas to stay in Rome is another region beyond the city center. The Alban Hills is located 20 km (12 miles) southeast of Rome and is situated on the horseshoe-shaped quiescent caldera. Abundant in natural beauty and fresh air, the area is a popular vacation spot for Romans.
Together with the Parco dei Castelli Romani, the Alban Hills offers a wealth of hiking trails, wineries, bucolic villages and historical sites. You have ancient volcanoes, two picturesque crater lakes to explore as well as the remains of Pompey’s Villa, the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, and an ancient amphitheater.
This is the best location to stay in Rome if you want to mix up your city break with some nature and outdoor pursuits. It’s a lovely destination for couples and families alike.
Pros and cons of staying in the Alban Hills
- Lots of potential for fresh air in terms of hiking and open-air archaeological sites
- Provides a children-friendly yet romantic setting at the same time so it’s perfect for couples or families
- As with Ostia, you will need to factor in a 1 hour transit by public transport (40 minutes by car) in order to access central Rome
Best places to stay in the Alban Hills
LUXURY – Hotel Castel Gandolfo
With front views over Lake Albano in the Castelli Romani hills above Rome, the Castel Gandolfo is a charming 4-star hotel. The property has a private terrace with beautiful views of the lake, and rooms either overlook the town or the lake. Located in the historic old town, near the Pope’s summer residence, Hotel Castel Gandolfo offers extensive views of the lake and the hills.
MID-RANGE – La Locanda Del Pontefice
La Locanda Del Pontefice overlooks Castel Gandolfo’s lake and the Roman countryside. Many of the residence’s rooms offer panoramic views of Lake Albano. Located near Marino, La Locanda Del Pontefice is a great base for exploring the Castelli Romani and sampling the area’s wines.
BUDGET – Hotel Villa Degli Angeli
Hotel Villa Degli Angeli offers free parking and is set in Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence. It features spacious air-conditioned rooms, some with views of Lake Albano. The restaurant specializes in a mix of Italian and international cuisine.
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