Where to Stay in Rome: Best Neighborhoods & Hotels

Martina Rosado
Written by
Last update:

Rome’s top neighborhoods

Rome is an endlessly fascinating city and you can spend weeks exploring the city just on foot, which is how the Romans conquered it in the first place. But if you are limited on time, here are the top neighborhoods to stay in and explore the city by day and night.

Camerino

Located just to the southeast of the Vatican, this neighborhood is easily accessible by public transport and is a short walk to the Piazza Navona. This neighborhood is often filled with tourists in the evenings. It’s filled with restaurants, shops, and bars along with the occasional buskers making a living.

Colonna

Far less touristy than the Piazza Navona or Trastevere, these streets south of the Vatican are an important part of Rome’s history. Shops and restaurants line the street and many have already closed for the night by the time the day trippers reach this area.

Trastevere

Known best for the Lady of Fortuny and the Bridge of Trastevere, this is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in to truly get an Italian feel for the city. The streets are narrow with apartments on both sides and the many small pastries shops make it possible to survive on gelatos alone. Many home-loving Italians call this area home and have turned the narrow streets into living and working spaces.

Centro Storico

The main historical area of the city, the Centro Storico is home to the Vatican, the cathedrals, piazza Navona, and many other popular attractions. This area is also home to a massive number of places to eat and shop. The neighborhood is also home to the Jewish Ghetto and an area that was once the Jewish Ghetto. You must keep an eye out for the signs that tell you this area is now a no-go zone, even if you are a tourist.

Best Places to Stay in Centro Storico

When it comes to visiting Rome, most of the best attractions and sites are within the city center. Centro Storico (the historic center) is the wealthiest section of Rome and really has few areas to stay. The hotels are all very old and beautiful but not able to handle many people. The area is very touristy, so you’re likely to find an English-speaking tour guide guiding you around the city.

Centro Storico Hotels:

Best Places to Stay in Trastevere

Trastevere is the oldest section of Rome (some of the oldest section of Rome, actually). While it’s not as touristy as Centro Storico, it still has enough sites to make a stay here worthwhile. There are plenty of hotels in this area but most are of a very low quality. You may try to stay in the back streets if you want to avoid the crowded main avenues, but this may be harder to do in peak season.

Best Places to Stay in the Gianicolo

The Gianicolo is the hill that many people climb to get to the Castel S. Angelo. High season is the worst time to try to catch a view of the Castel from this viewpoint. The views are usually crowded, and you can easily get caught in a lot of traffic trying to get to the top.

Monti

Monti or Monti district is the most central district of the capital city of Rome, Italy. The "Monti" name refers to the quartiere of Borgo Monti, and is represented in the official Rome urban planning record by the acronym "E.U.R." (Ex Urbe Roma), meaning "From the end of the ancient Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance."

Monti is a rione (quarter) of Rome located in Municipio I, along the east border of the city. Monti is the smallest district (rione) of Rome, but also the most interesting.

Monti's street pattern is distinctive and somewhat chaotic. Its positions of former fortification, dating back to the Imperial era, have been preserved curiously better than elsewhere, even more than in the historic centre. Most of the Monti streets still show the original layout, despite the recurrent building works going on along the whole district. This peculiarity has led the Monti area to be characterized as a “contrada irregola”, an irregular quarter.

Best Places to Stay in Monti

Berardi Castle is a luxurious hotel in the Monti neighborhood. It is right in the center of the town and close to many restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. Monti is a great choice for a stay since it’s centrally located and many attractions are in the nearby area.

It has a cozy, old-fashioned ambiance with polished marble floors all throughout. It has a private courtyard that welcomes guests into a comfortable atmosphere.

The rooms are also spacious and have quite high ceilings. They have three different types of rooms for guests to choose from. All of them have private balconies, large bathrooms, and thick walls.

The neighborhood is also home to twenty different residential buildings, which are being meticulously restored. The proprietors of the hotel were attracted by this area because they believe it will grow in popularity in the future.

Celio

Walking distance to many restaurants, bars and shopping. The neighborhood is very lively and vibrant and the best place to stay if you plan to be in Rome during the summertime and on weekends. There are lots of cafes, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Expect heavy noise at night.

For accommodations, choose Pensi, Agoraz and Imperial.

For affordable eats, stop into Il Fucile, La Taverna di Ai piacentini, Trattoria Orchidea and Max.

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with Pastaria Saporibi, or try Novembar, which is a family owned eatery that specializes in traditional Roman cuisine.

Where to Stay in Celio

When I come to Italy, I always stay in the Celio neighborhood. The hotel I stay in is called the “hotel Solo nel Celio,” located in the center of Rome. It’s clean and comfortable, and the location is definitely a plus. Plus, if you book on the low end, you can get excellent rates for the area.

When check-in, they question you about your health and get a hotel doctor to make sure you are up to speed with any vaccinations you may need.

If you don’t want to stay in the center of Rome, you can also stay in a hotel near the Vatican, which is amazing. All in all, either location is great, as long as you are willing to walk a little in order to get around.

If you have a friend or companion with you, there are many other neighborhoods to visit and explore. They are located nearby transportation into the city.

Tridente and Spanish Steps

The bustling Trastevere is the heart of Rome. So many of the monuments you see are from the 1600s and have been preserved over the years.

Located just next to the center of the city and near all the major attractions, this is where you will find the most hotels and restaurants.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, are located in a gorgeous park right next to the central Termini train station. The Steps, as they are often called, are also known as the Scala Santa which means Holy Stairs. They are the largest group of surviving ancient steps in Rome. It’s an impressive spot to take in the sights and sounds of the city.

The area is full of cafes, patisseries, hotels, and attractions. You can enjoy a gelato, and there is a great open-air market that offers all kinds of foods and souvenirs.

The Spanish Steps primarily house old churches, but there are plenty of new ones to see as well. On the top level of the stairs is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The interior of the church is beautiful, and boasts one of the most famous and beautiful mosaics in the world.

Best Places to Stay in Tridente

The Tridente area is a great, if slightly touristy, area to stay in. It’s a short walk from Trastevere and the Spanish Steps. It is also a short walk from all major historical sites in the city.

The neighborhood itself is also nice, with lots of restaurants, cafes, and gelato shops.

You could stay in an apartment in the area, but for a great experience, stay at the St. George. It is a luxury, old-world hotel with as much style as it has amenities.

This place has a gorgeous, old-world interior and a staff that is as elegant as the decor and service.

The hotel has a Michelin star restaurant, Il Toreador, that serves both a buffet and a prix fixe menu. It’s a great place to eat, but if you want to also have the experience of staying in an elegant hotel, the St. George is the place for you.

Located just off the De’ Lorenzi Road, in the Tiber Island area, the neighborhood itself is a bit of a high class at this point in time. It’s a lovely area to stay in, but it doesn’t have the history and authenticity of Trastevere.

For truly authentic Italian, stay in Trastevere.

Trevi

The tr’s worta the Riparian district because the alimentari, which are small grocery stores that sell cheese, pasta, milk, cheese, and all the other basics, are much like in America, their primary focus is to serve locals, but they will also package their food and sell it to tourists.

This area, and particularly the Piazza di Spagna, are popular with tourists. The tr’s closest to the Pantheon, so it’s a nice jumpto for people who are looking for an easy, straight shot to the Pantheon. Although it’s not the cheapest place to stay in Rome, it’s relatively affordable, and it’s close to everything.

You can get to the Mykonos restaurant by doing a U-turn at the top of the steps when you turn right from the Pantheon. Mykonos is a Greek restaurant known for its grilled meats and fresh salads. You won’t find anything Italian on the menu, except for maybe some pasta, but once you’re there, you’ll change your mind about Greek food and begin to see it as another cuisine rather than a health-food fad, like vegan or raw.

Best Places to Stay in Trevi

This is the popular tourist destination in Rome. It is the most visited landmark in Rome and is a must-see when in Rome.

Piazza di Trevi is a square located steps from the Trevi Fountain and it is here where people often want to stay. It is a really beautiful spot, and people who enjoy beautiful scenery will enjoy their stay there. Most people who stay in Trevi have a lovely time.

There are some really nice hotels in this neighborhood, although not many. There are a few nice hotels with pools for example the Palazzo delle Sibille, which is a bit pricy. Another option is Hotel Cairoli, but it is further from the main square.

The cheapest and most likely the best choice is Hotel San Francesco, which is located just a few streets away from the main square. This hotel is a good choice for an affordable price with great decor.

Termini

Best Places to Stay in Termini

Termini Station is located in Piazza dei Cinquecento, along the main railroad station and the bus station. Termini is located at the center of Rome and is very well connected, especially with regards to transportation. This area will take you everywhere in Rome plus is home to most of the best accommodation in the city.

It’s the perfect base of operations to see all the sights as it is close to anywhere in Rome. Termini is very busy, and the station itself is beyond chaotic. The best way to navigate it is to know the things to avoid and to be able to use the stations to its fullest potential.

The street inside the station could be described as a war zone with vendors hawking at you from everywhere plus there are people pushing and shoving to board or disembark trains.

When you do step inside the station, it’s almost as if you’ve entered a different world and you can be nearly overwhelmed by the multitude of people around you.

If you want to stay in the middle of Rome, Termini is your best option. If you will be mainly with tourists, you will have the best experience staying here. Don’t expect the hotels or hostels to be good, however. There is no nightlife in Termini as it is considered a working neighborhood.

Vatican & Prati

The center of Vatican City and the surrounding area is known for its historical buildings, museums, and monuments. However, the area is mostly residential with compact, picturesque streets. It offers a variety of accommodations for tourists, including hotels, apartments, and B&Bs.

Many wealthy Romans have built homes here over the years, so there are many palatial residences of varying sizes. This is the most diverse area of Rome, with museums, churches, and gardens, all within walking distance.

Casina Valadier is the preferred lodging for couples looking to save money, and the luxury boutique Raffael Hotel offers a charming experience.

Due to the proximity to the Vatican, overnight stays are available here. Note that the area is quite safe.

Prati is also a close-knit cluster of restaurants, shops, and bars, making it a great place to walk around and grab something to eat. It has a vibrant and diverse community, making it a wonderful place to chat with locals and find the little cafes that are a hallmark of any neighborhood. The Romanesque Basilica of Saint Peter has been here since the 4th century.

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. It has been a place of worship for four millennia and is the official burial site of popes and saints. The Cathedral of St. John Lateran is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.

Best Places to Stay in Vatican & Prati

Vatican Rental Information:

You should choose a location that does not require you to be in walking distance to the Vatican and is convenient for public transportation.

You should have a decent sized kitchen to prepare snacks for your guests.

Prati Rental Information:

Prati is the best neighborhood to rent on the north side of your map, because that is where most of the restaurants, shops, and bars are.

Prati is also the best neighborhood on the south side, because it is near the Metro station and is close to other attractions, such as Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

You should choose a location that does not require you to be in walking distance to the Vatican and is convenient for public transportation.

You should have a decent sized kitchen to prepare snacks for your guests.

Suggestions:

Hotel K in the Vatican

You will need to use economical accommodations when staying in the Vatican, so Hotel K’s location is perfect for convenience. It is close to the Vatican while also providing easy access to the Metro.

Trastevere

As Rome’s most popular neighborhood, Trastevere will undoubtedly be one of your favorites while in the Eternal City. Trastevere is filled with restaurant, cuisine, history, art, and its own square.

Trastevere is also know as Pomerenees, for a priest named Pomerius and a noble named Lesius.

The name “Trastevere” refers to the area’s location between the Tiber River and the Tiber Island, in the “ghetto milanese.”

You’ll have the best views of the city from your hotel room at the Five Stars Hotel Beverello, Rome. Quaint, old-world charm fills this mansion hotel in Trastevere, which offers vintage rooms and suites and hotel rooms with windows view the Tiber River.

Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere church, which is famous for its rainbow-colored facade. There you can see the mortal remains of Saint Francis of Assisi. It was here that he is said to have died in the 1240s. And not far away is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which is the oldest church in Rome, dating from the 4th century.

Best Places to Stay in Trastevere

Our favorite Trastevere hotel is the Centrale Hotel. Its central location, lovely decor, and courteous staff made this our favorite. Alternatively, the Piazza Di Spagna Hotel is also a very romantic choice. It’s a very private hotel with its own private garden where you will feel like you’re staying in your own oasis amongst the hustle and bustle. Both of these luxurious hotels are located only a few minutes’ walk from the Trastevere and Testaccio metro stations.

For budget travelers, the Aulodge Rome Trastevere is the answer, and for those who want to stay in the historical center of the city, the Ennio’s Roma Hotel is your best bet.

Our Favorite Hotel Rating System

The Hotels Reviewed by The Expat Shopper are chosen based on the following factors.

Via Veneto & Villa Borghese

Via Veneto is the most upscale of the neighborhoods, which brand themselves to be a “destination for art and culture.”

This area was the home of writers and artists, who now make it one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Rome.

Aside from shopping and art, it’s also home to the city’s impressive Baroque Rome’s cathedrals, churches, and chic boutiques.

This neighborhood is shaped like a one-way street with numberous Italian trattorias, wine bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Another feature on Via Veneto are Villa Borghese, Largo Santa Cecilia, and Largo Argentina. It’s important to note that the entrance to Villa Borghese is across the street from Palazzo Barberini, an impressive example of Renaissance architecture located in the Piazza Barberini, and close to Castelgandolfo, the location of the Pontifical Villa of Castel Gandolfo.

The neighborhood is home to part of the Villa Spalletti, the Villa Casaccia, and Villa Bichi. Near Via Veneto are Villa Pamphili, Kinkochie, San Marcello al Corso, and the Villa d‘Este.

Best Places to Stay in Via Veneto

Via Veneto is the big artery running through the center of Rome. It’s lined with high-end hotels and is very convenient to most of the major attractions in Rome.

It’s most famous by association, however, as the glamorous street of movie stars and musicians for which it was known in the 20th century.

For the average tourist, it’s probably not a good place to stay, as the hotels are not particularly cheap. In addition, this area has a reputation for being potentially dangerous, so stay alert and make sure to take an arm with you as you stroll.

As far as a place to stay in Via Veneto, you should probably plan to stay inside the Olympic area, off the main road. The area is a little bit quieter and has some cute shops and a great gelato place within walking distance.