Where to stay in Rome: an overview of different neighbourhoods

You probably have a good idea of what you want to see in Rome, but where to stay? For first time visitors, it can be difficult to decide exactly where to stay in Rome– you might not have a good sense of geography, or the atmosphere of different neighbourhoods. What do you value most? Good transport links? A buzzing nightlife? Affordable accommodation? Read on to find out the best neighbourhood to suit your needs.

Termini: choice and convenience

 As you would expect, there’s a huge choice of accommodation to be found near Rome’s main train station, ranging from cheap and cheerful hostels like the Beehive to fancier places like the Radisson Blu, which has a rooftop swimming pool. When you’re choosing where to stay in Rome, convenience and transport links are normally a priority, and you can’t get much more convenient than Termini. It’s a transport hub with trains, trams and buses going all across the city, and with good links to the airport and the rest of Italy.

The downside of Termini is that certain streets can be noisy and chaotic, and you might feel unsafe near the station late at night. If you choose to stay near Termini, we recommend choosing a hotel at least a few streets away from the station, and preferably on the side near Piazza Indipendenza, which tends to be quieter. Slightly further afield but much nicer is Monti – just one metro stop from Termini, it’s one of Rome’s coolest neighbourhoods, combining historic beauty with a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene.

Centro Storico: experience the beauty of Rome

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The Spanish Steps in the Centro Storico

The historic centre of Rome is the ideal option for first-time visitors to Rome – you’re within walking distance of attractions such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, and you’re surrounded by all the beauty and history of the Eternal City. The centre of Rome is very walkable, and if you’re based in the centro storico you’ll be able to do most sightseeing without having to rely on public transport, making it convenient for Rome tours. The neighbourhood is also very safe.

Hotels in the centro storico are generally expensive, and if you stay right next to a major attraction such as the Spanish Steps, you might get fed up of the crowds of tourists. But for atmosphere and convenience, this area is hard to beat.

Trastevere: atmosphere and nightlife

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Ponte Sisto in Trastevere

This is the Rome of paintings and postcards – picturesque back streets and palazzi overgrown with ivy. Trastevere has long been a favourite destination for visitors to Rome, as it’s a lively neighbourhood with a distinctive character. In the morning you can enjoy the sense of authentic neighbourhood life as you explore the markets or enjoy a coffee in the piazza, while in the evening there’s a great nightlife. Trastevere really comes alive at night, its bars and restaurants attracting visitors from all over the city. While Trastevere is perfect for exploring nearby neighbourhoods on foot, the lack of a metro station could be considered a disadvantage, as you may have to rely on Rome’s notoriously unreliable buses. Certain parts of Trastevere can also be very noisy and crowded at night, so for a good night’s sleep, avoid accommodation based too near the centre (Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere).

 San Giovanni and Testaccio: local life


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A view of Testaccio and Aventine highborhoods

Where to stay in Rome if you want to live like a local? There are two neighbourhoods that offer the perfect balance of authenticity and convenience. San Giovanni/Re di Roma is a large residential neighbourhood well-served by the metro and buses, and, depending on where you stay, within walking distance of the Colosseum. Testaccio is a formerly working class neighbourhood with great transport links and some of the best restaurants Rome has to offer. Both neighbourhoods offer good value accommodation, convenient transport links and a refreshingly authentic atmosphere, far away from the tourist hordes. They might be considered less picturesque than other parts of Rome, but they have their own charms. If you’re planning a longer stay in Rome, or it’s not your first time, you might enjoy living alongside the locals in San Giovanni or Testaccio.

For more advice on planning your trip to Rome, don’t hesitate to contact us at Roads to Rome Private Tours!

Read more: The best things to do in Testaccio(USA Today)