Where to stay in Rome
Like all European capital cities, Rome has a wide range of accommodation choices. Rome is one of the most expensive cities, however, whilst some of the most sought-after areas can be expensive, there are options for every budget. As Rome is such an old city, you may find accommodation is not as modern as you may be used to and facilities like air conditioning and elevators are not standard.
Where to stay of course depends on what you want to do while on holiday and how you like to travel If you will spend most of your time at the Vatican, then staying on the west side of the river is for you, or if you want something a little quieter, perhaps the Aventine or Trastevere are for you.
Many visitors tend to stay in central Rome, within the ancient city walls, prices and the pace of life vary as you get further out.
Termini station is the main transport hub of the city. Not the most attractive part of town, but it has excellent links to anywhere in the city and a number of museums and beautiful churches on its doorstep. It is only 10 minutes’ walk to the colosseum or piazza Barberini and the Trevi fountain. The student area San Lorenzo is nearby with a vibrant atmosphere and slightly further away is the shabby-chic Pigneto which has great bars and eateries.
Perfect for people who want convenience and are on a budget.
Accommodation: Most of Rome’s budget accommodation is in the area around Stationed Termini – some of it very good value. Here there is everything from hostels, cheap B&Bs and budget hotels. There are also some large luxury hotels on the other side of the station heading towards Castro Praetorio. Apartments and Airbnb are less abundant here.
Trastevere is a quaint district across the river from the main attractions, the name literally means ‘across the river’. Trastevere hasn’t changed much since medieval times and has narrow cobbled streets with ivy strewn buildings. It isn’t connected to the metro/underground line, but is serviced by the bus (H from Termini station and Piazza Venezia, Tram 8 from Piazza Venezia. It has lots of independent shops and a great variety of eating and drinking spots with a sociable vibe; this is where the Romans come on a Saturday evening.
Perfect for those who want something a little offbeat and lively or looking for nightlife.
Accommodation: There are some hotels, but Trastevere is the place to find quirky apartment rentals and Airbnb.
If you want something quiet, look between Viale di Trastevere and the river like Tiber Island, Porto di Ripa Grande and Via di Porta Portese. If you want to be at the centre of it all Vicolo del Cinque, Piazza Trilusa, or Piazza S. M. in Trastevere, but these areas can be noisy until late.
Is a quiet and refined neighbourhood with modern European charm. Prati is one of the newer areas of the city that has managed to escape the chaos of the centre. The long wide avenues are a change from the rest of the city and there are more affluent Romans here than tourists. The area has plenty of restaurants and a central high-end shopping street, Via Cola di Rienzo, where the Romans come to window-shop and take a stroll ‘passeggiata’.
Prati is well situated for visits to the Vatican and is perfect for groups of pilgrims. Older visitors will welcome the flat paved streets after navigating the cobbles and potholes of the historic centre and hotels here are more likely to have lifts/elevators.
Perfect for those who want a calmer pace, a more residential area and convenience for the Vatican.
Accommodation: Prati has over 700 hotels so there is plenty to choose from, classic and modern. Apartments and Airbnb are also available, although may not be blessed with elevators.
The area around the pantheon and piazza Navona is the most enchanting in Rome. Surrounded by ancient monuments, baroque squares and breath-taking fountains, this is the heart of Rome. Most of the major attractions are within ten minutes’ walk and the area has a plethora of attractions, restaurants and shopping.
Perfect for those who want to be at the centre of it all, looking for a romantic spot and older travellers who don’t mind spending big.
Accommodation: High-end hotels abound in this area as well as boutique B&Bs and luxury apartments. Airbnb rentals are also available, some have terraces on the upper floors with great views.
Spanish steps / Barberini
Piazza di Spagna is the heart of neoclassical Rome and is central to the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the Villa Borghese nearby. Considered the most elegant, it is the wealthiest part of Rome and is known for its high-end shopping and haute couture. Via del Babuino from piazza di Spagna to Piazza del Popolo is Rome’s New Bond Street – no prices in the window.
Perfect for those who want a luxury holiday and are not on a budget
Luxury hotels abound in this area, surrounding the Piazza and at the top of the Spanish steps. Via Sistina, Piazza Barberini and the famous Via Veneto are home to Rome’s most exclusive 5 Star hotels. Apartments and Airbnb are limited in this area and are more of the penthouse variety - this is prime real estate so prices are the highest in Rome.
The Aventine hill sits above the circus Maximus and has wonderful views of the palatine hill and the city. A quiet and affluent neighbourhood, this is the place to sty if you want to be close to the centre but not in the thick of it. The Aventine is a choice for those who enjoy ancient monuments; the circus Maximus, Baths of Caracalla and Colosseum and forum are nearby. There are also some beautiful churches on the Aventine as well as Rome’s not so well-kept ‘secret keyhole’. The Rose-garden is alive with colours in May and above it is the orange garden with stunning views.
Perfect for those who want tranquillity and don’t mind hills and some walking.
Accommodation: The Aventine has a number of highly rated hotels, many of them are former villas as this is an affluent neighbourhood. There is also a good choice of Apartment rental and Airbnb options, prices are a little lower in other parts of the city, but for the same quality stay. The Aventine is a tranquil haven and so restaurants and shopping are a little further afield. Testaccio, Rome’s foody heaven is nearby.