Where to stay in Rome – What you need to know

Best areas to stay in Rome

Best areas to stay in Rome for first time visitors

Rome is one of those cities that has it all: romance, great food, history, art and glamour. Everything you need you will find in this ancient gem sparkling in the heart of Italy.

Not unlike other European capitals like Madrid or Berlin, Rome is a big city with lots of different districts with different vibes and styles.

But no matter what your travel style is, Rome has a wide range of accommodation options to cater for every traveller and budget.

Staying in Rome is not cheap though. As with its northern cousin; Venice, Rome accommodation can be overpriced and underwhelming at times. So it’s best to shop around different areas and get a sense of what other travellers are saying about the place before you book.

In Rome, you will usually find lower rates in the winter time (January through March) while spring and summer usually see prices skyrocket (particularly on the dates around Easter holidays). Autumn is probably the best time to visit the Italian capital as temperatures are mild and hotel prices are easier on the pocket.

Here you can find a comprehensive list with the best areas to stay in Rome for first time visitors so that your visit to the Italian capital is perfect.

Accommodation options in Rome

Hotels in Rome

Top hotels and cheap stays in the Italian capital.

Rome Hostels

Great hostels and shared accommodation in central Rome.


Apartments

Independence! Book an apartment in the Eternal City.

Pensions & B&B

Pensions, bed and breakfast and homestays in Rome.

Best areas to stay in Rome for first time visitors

1. Top Choice: The Old City

Staying in Rome's Old Town

Staying in Rome’s Old Town

Il Centro Storico contains everything most people dream about for their stay in Rome: a labyrinth of cobbled streets with dim light and atmospheric alleyways full of Renaissance palaces, baroque churches and stately squares.

Being the tourist area par excellence in Rome, hotels here tend to be a bit expensive but if you look carefully (and if you plan your trip in low season) you can stay in a historic palace for a few days without paying too much.

There are several areas that comprise the Historic Center of Rome, including:

2. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most exciting areas to stay in Rome. Its narrow streets are filled with antique shops, art, crafts, cafes and restaurants. Something interesting is waiting for you on every corner.

Piazza Navona is one of the busiest squares in Rome and it buzzes with life both day and night. Nightlife is super exciting and has lots of options. There are no metro stations around, but there are other transportation alternatives.

The area is very central and most of Rome’s most important tourist attractions are within easy reach.

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Staying Around Piazza Navona in Rome

Staying Around Piazza Navona in Rome

Staying Around Piazza Navona in Rome

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Why stay in this area:

  • Beautiful Piazza Navona
  • Very central
  • Shops and markets
  • Close to the attractions
  • Hotels with charm
 

 

 

3. Roman Pantheon

This is a great starting point for those who like to discover a city on foot, as the ancient Roman Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, the ancient Roman Forum and the ancient Roman Pantheon are in the same area and are easily accessible.

Many of the streets surrounding Piazza della Rotonda are blocked by traffic so strolling through the narrow cobblestones surrounding the ancient Pantheon is a pleasure. Another highlight: nightlife here is very lively, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes with guaranteed fun.
There is no metro stop near the Pantheon area, however, it is very well connected with other means of public transport, such as small electric buses, which are the only ones able to meander through the narrow streets.

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Dormir en Roma - Cerca del Panteón

Dormir en Roma – Cerca del Panteón

Alojarse en Roma cerca del Panteón

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Why stay in this area:

  • Spectacular Roman Pantheon
  • Great starting point for a visit
  • The oldest area of Rome
  • Nearby most highlights
  • Great barroque churches
 

 

 

4. Around Fontana di Trevi

The place where you can find the most famous fountain in Italy (and we could arguably say the world) thanks to movies like La Dolce Vita, in which Anita Ekberg bathes right in the Fontana Di Trevi. Of course much has changed since Fellini shot this scene and now it is practically impossible to see it without a horde of tourists and their corresponding selfie sticks.
The legend surrounding the Fontana Di Trevi tells you that if you toss a coin over the shoulder directly to the fountain, you will ensure your return to the Eternal City.

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Visitar Roma - Fontana di Trevi

Staying in Rome – Fontana di Trevi

Staying in Rome - Fontana di Trevi

Why stay in this area:

  • Fontana di Trevi
  • Very central
  • Lots of things to do
  • Great food
  • Shops and markets
 

 

 

5. Campo dei Fiori and Jewish Ghetto

This area is also part of the Historical Center, but it is a bit less chaotic thanks to the lack of famous tourist attractions, which makes it very interesting in other aspects. The maze like streets full of cafés makes Campo dei Fiori one of the most picturesque areas of the city, full of independent design boutiques, wine bars and trattorias.

To the southeast, you can find the old Jewish quarter, an atmospheric neighborhood with some restaurants.

Campo dè Fiori is a pleasant pedestrian area. This area is particularly lively and even more so at night. With Trastevere and Piazza Navona, this is one of our favorite areas to stay in Rome and also a great starting point for sightseeing around the city.

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Alojarse en Roma - Mercado de Campo dei Fiori

Staying in Rome – Campo dei Fiori

Staying in Rome - Campo dei Fiori

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Why stay in this area:

  • Best market in Rome
  • Really central but not as hectic
  • Walking distance to most attractions
  • Great restaurants and shops
  • Charming cobbled streets
 

 

 

Other areas to stay in Rome

6. Trastevere & Gianicolo

Trastevere, which means “beyond the Tiber”, is one of our favorite places in Rome. This old area is lively and very pretty, with narrow streets closed to traffic where discovering the city on foot is a real pleasure. The best thing to do here is to let go and lose yourself in the streets of Trastevere.
Restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs abound in this area. The nightlife is vibrant and you will have the opportunity to see the locals exercising the bella figura (that Italian philosophy of looking and behaving well to extol their aesthetic virtues, always).

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Although Campo dei Fiori and Pantheon are only a few minutes walk away, there are plenty of buses, trams and taxis for you to take you all along and across the Tiber.

On the other hand, Gianicolo, which is itself an extension of Trastevere, is another area where you can enjoy some of the best panoramic views of Rome: up to the hills of the Castelli Romani, on the other side of the city, can be seen from here.

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Ponte Fabricio Roma

Staying in Trastevere

Staying in Trastevere

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Why stay in this area:

  • Alternative vibe
  • Best restaurants in Rome
  • Relatively central
  • Connected by trams
  • Great nightlife
 

 

 

7. Piazza Spagna and around

A single word is used to define this area: shopping! Locally known as “the Trident”, due to the shape of the three roads that start from Piazza del Popolo, Via del Corso and Piazza Venezia, it is home to the most important Italian brands in the fashion and retail industries like Gucci, Armani, Versace or Prada to name a few.

A great thing about this area is that many streets (including Via Condotti and a part of Via del Corso) are closed for most traffic.

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Only electric taxis and buses venture into the mass of tourists.

The core of the area is the Piazza di Spagna, one of the best places to exercise the ancient and interesting art of watching people go by. This piazza is one of the most expensive areas to stay in Rome and most of the accommodation here falls in the category of ultra luxury.

To see and be seen is the leitmotif of Via Veneto. Elegant and exclusive, do not expect too much if you’re looking for cheap hotels here. This was where Fellini found the perfect place to portray the glamor of Roman society for his famous film, La Dolce Vita.

In this area the porters of all the hotels are uniformed, the buildings have marble floors and have ostentatious spas with which we all dream.

Via Veneto meanders to leafy Villa Borghese, where you can stop for a while if you fancy a break from the turbulent pace of tourist Rome.

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Roma desde Piazza Spagna

Roma desde Piazza Spagna

Dónde me quedo en Roma - Spagna

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Why stay in this area:

  • Exclusive vibe
  • Luxury shopping
  • Stylish restaurants
  • Well-connected
  • Piazza Spagna
 

 

 

8. Termini

Probably the cheapest area to stay in Rome, its hallmark is the monumental railway station of Termini, point of origin and end of a great portion of Italian trains.

However, the charms of Termini are rather few and are concentrated in the area of Piazza della Repubblicca and further south in the area of Santa Maria Maggiore.

It is a relatively central area but at the same time lacking, for the most part, of interest. It can become dangerous at night. It is best to keep your guard up if you are staying in this area, particularly around the train station.

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Santa María la Mayor

Santa Maria Maggiore

Staying cheap in Rome - Termini

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Why stay in this area:

  • Cheap hotels
  • Ethnic restaurants
  • Well-connected by metro
  • Airport Train
  • Bars and pubs
 

 

 

9. Testaccio & Aventino

If food is your priority (we don’t blame you) Do yourself a favor and stay in Testaccio. A modest district that grew up around a former slaughterhouse and is now known for its authentic and wonderful trattorias. Testaccio is also home to Rome’s leading gourmet food market (a great place to look for gourmet souvenirs).

A few streets north, but not far, is the quiet Aventine Hill, one of the most exclusive enclaves in Rome. It is a large residential part, but it houses some hotels that offer peace and tranquility a few steps from the ancient Roman monuments.
Here you can also appreciate excellent views of Rome from the Parco Savello, the Basilica of Santa Sabina and the famous view of St. Peter’s Cathedral through the keyhole of the church that is Right on the top of Aventino Hill.

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About the Author

My name is Luis Cicerone. When I was little, I would walk around the house with an atlas in my hand. My rainy Sundays were spent memorising maps and capitals. At fifteen I did my first solo trip and since then I travel whenever I can. I work in travel marketing. I love photography, movies and cat videos.

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