Where to Stay in Rome: 15 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

Aerial view on Rome, Italy

Ah, Rome, the Eternal City, known for its Spanish Steps, central church, and many a fountain— a prominent one goes by the name of Trevi. We’re sure you’ve heard of it, haven’t you? Even if you haven’t, everyone’s due for a wish… so toss that coin over your shoulder, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

Rome is one of the most beloved, beautiful places in the world, and traveling there is a must-do for any sightseer. From its historic heights to its palm trees, there are plenty of things to explore, and it’s important to choose a central place to stay. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of where to stay in Rome, alongside the best areas and neighborhoods for you to explore.

Below, we get into the nitty-gritty details about what hotels and B&Bs we recommend, depending on your needs. Likewise, we consider what’s appropriate for families and couples, and the best places to scratch that explorer’s itch.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and get ready for a trip you’ll never forget!

TL;DR:

Best Areas to Stay in Rome:

  • Area for first-timers/tourists – Piazza Navona
  • Area for budget travelers – Esquilino
  • Area for luxury travelers – Trastevere
  • Area for safety – Prati
  • Area for families – Aventino
  • Area for couples – Centro Storico
  • Area for foodies – Trastevere
  • Area for nightlife – Trastevere

Best Places to Stay in Rome:

These six accommodations prioritize convenience in location, style, and flair unlike any others, so each one made our list of expert picks.

Best… Our Pick Location Average Price per Night
Luxury hotel Hotel de la Ville (a Rocco Forte Hotel) Piazza di Spagna $1,650-2,000
Hotel Rossi Hotel Esquilino $100-170
Bed and Breakfast SM Vatican Relais B&B Piazza del Popolo $180-330
Apartment Rental Elite Rome Apartments Piazza di Spagna $230-350
Guesthouse Cathy’s Luxury Home Piazza Navona $140-200

Areas and Neighborhoods in Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Saint Angelo Bridge and Tiber River in the sunset.
krivinis / Adobe Stock

As you go downtown, exploring the many options before you, it becomes apparent just how large Rome is. There are many places to see, stretching far beyond the Tiber River and the famed Roman Forum.

Ancient Rome was big, so it should be no surprise that current Rome is gigantic, too. When it comes time to pick the neighborhood you’d like to stay in, how do you decide, and what do you need to know? We’ll help you narrow it down.

It can be said that all of Rome’s neighborhoods are the “best.” They’re unique in their ways, fantastical and historic, and completely within walking distance of so many sights, but what are the most conveniently located places, close to the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, or Villa Borghese Park? We’ve got the answers to all those questions.

In this definitive breakdown, learn about the top neighborhoods recommended for first-time or otherwise visitors in Rome. Likewise, if you’re searching for a perfectly located, tastefully decorated daydream or somewhere to stay that costs a little less, then you’ll find luxury and reasonable hotels interspersed throughout our favorite locales.

See Related: Things to Do in Rome & Places to Visit

1. Centro Storico

Aerial view of the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy.
Boris Stroujko / Adobe Stock

Centro Storico, Rome’s historic center, is a special place that truly embodies the spirit of the city. In fact, it’s probably what you picture when you’re asked to imagine Rome: the city’s first urban zone, Centro Storico expands over the city with wide, open arms. It encompasses Trevi, Colonna, Campo Marzio, Ponte, Parione, Regola, Sant’Eustachio, Pigna, and Sant’Angelo, all to varying degrees.

What makes the historic center special? We think the real question is, what doesn’t? There’s nowhere more convenient for all of Rome’s must-see sights. In Centro Storico, an intricate weaving of tangled streets and Baroque architecture await, with access to the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and so, so much more.

When you wander around Centro Storico, you can navigate its many hidden gems (so many fountains!), easily reach the Metro, and travel to other districts, all within an afternoon.

Other than its immediate vicinity containing just about everything you need, Centro Storico promises other perks. It often appeals to families, if not everyone; as a large, well-known area with much to see and do, you’ll find your bases covered.

Its scenery and famous landmarks are condensed in one area, and there are plenty of exciting features for tourists. From shopping to sightseeing, you’ll find something fun no matter your age!

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2. Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna, Rome, as seen beside the fountain and below the Spanish Steps.
Vladimir Sazonov / Adobe Stock

Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Square, is famous for a reason; named after the Palazzo di Spagna (otherwise known as the Embassy of Spain) and home to the Spanish Steps, this square is known around the world for its fountains, statues, and 135 artful stairs.

The center of the piazza hosts the famed Fontana della Barcaccia, sculpted by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. To the right, the old home of English poet John Keats is situated on the corner. To the left sits Babington’s tea room, a historic building that houses an old English tea shop.

Piazza di Spagna is a wonderful area to stay in, due in part to its perfectly central location. The other perks—of which there are many—have more to do with the sights. The Column of the Immaculate Conception rises in nearby Piazza Mignanelli, while the famous steps themselves ascend the steep slope of Pincian Hill to reach the church above.

What else is there? You can explore the aforementioned sites, like Keats’s humble above, or you can widen your sphere. From Piazza di Spagna, you can visit the Trinità dei Monti or the church connected to the Spanish Steps; you can visit Villa Borghese Park or ogle the Grand Villa Medici. Here, you’ll have access to landmarks that not all tourists see but all would admire if they had the chance.

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See Related: Best Castle Hotels In The World

3. Trastevere

The cozy streets of Trastevere, Rome, Italy.
Ekaterina Belova / Adobe Stock

Its pedestrian streets are cobbled with stone and frequented by foot traffic rather than cars, its nightlife is busy, and its style unique; where in the world are we? The answer is simple: A lovely medieval neighborhood right across the Tiber River—and in fact, its name reflects just that: trans Tiberum, or “beyond the Tiber,” is the origin of Trastevere.

While this area might not be the historic center, it does boast its robust past. Originally inhabited by the Etruscans, its admittance to Rome came later than other districts; still, with narrow streets and hidden churches, when you explore Trastevere, you’ll find it perfectly encompasses just what you’d imagine the old city to be. It’s classy, ensconced in vivid colors, and flush with street food and fine dining restaurants.

Here, you can do anything from shop (’til you drop!) to stop by a museum, try real Roman pizza, go on a walking tour, or kick back in a piazza while you listen to local musicians. Trastevere is an excellent place to stay because of its coziness, warmth, and one undeniable truth—the entertainment.

If you’re looking for nightlife, you’ll find it here. Trastevere is known as a hip, trendy spot for young people in Rome, whether they’re locals or visitors. Put your dancing shoes on, swing by a bar, and see what makes this showstopping spot number three on our list!

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See Related: Day Trips from Rome, Italy

4. Piazza Navona

The main fountain in Piazza Navona, Rome.
ecstk22 / Adobe Stock

Of all Rome’s squares, Piazza Navona is likely their most famous—and for good reason. Its design, age, and beauty make for an incredibly memorable stop, whether you’re looking to get a portrait from a local artist or grab a pasta lunch.

That’s right; we said “portrait!” Piazza Navona famously hosts dozens (if not hundreds) of artists daily—all of whom boast their own particular styles and mediums. Sit for a while, and you’ll have your likeness scrawled in charcoal on paper. Each creator is incredibly talented, providing a unique and personal experience you won’t be sure to forget.

Moreover, Piazza Navona is conveniently located, so you can access several sights just by walking—Santa Maria della Pace and Fontana del Moro, to name a few. Likewise, if you’re looking for a quick drink, alcoholic or otherwise, plenty of places in the vicinity can please.

Step off to the side of the square, and you’ll see many restaurants boasting superior views—some of which are better than others. Here, you can easily find a rooftop terrace overlooking the Piazza Navona and enjoy your beverage in the late afternoon sun.

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5. Aventino

The trees over the Aventine Hill, Aventino, Rome.
ValerioMei / Adobe Stock

Have you ever visited a city that’s so busy, so full of things to see and do, that their lesser-known quarters are bypassed? Yes? Well, if you ask us, Aventino is one of such places. While popular in its own right, not many tourists go straight for the Aventine Hill when they’re visiting the city… And we think they should!

As one of the original seven hills of Rome, Aventino boasts views unlike any other in the city. Should you choose to stay here, you’ll find you have easy access to various notable sights (including the Colosseum), as well as lesser-known spots, such as Rome’s rose and orange gardens.

Despite being relatively unknown compared to their counterparts, the aforementioned gardens have a long, lush history; in fact, this section of the Aventine Hill has been totally dedicated to flowers since the third century. According to Roman history (as scrawled in their annals), these flowers were part of a temple devoted to the goddess Flora, who was celebrated during the holiday “Floralia.”

If you’re looking for more history, mystery, or tasty drinks, we’ve got that covered, too. Not far from Aventine Hill are the sites Fontana del Mascherone, the Basilica di Santa Sabina, as well as some entertainment: A warm-weather concert series called Melodies and Wine, which offers classical music, authentic Italian vino, and a stunning panoramic view of the city at sunset. What else could you need for a good night out?

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6. Monte Mario

The path on Monte Mario, overlooking the city of Rome.
ValerioMei / Adobe Stock

When you hop off the plane at Rome Fiumicino, one of the first things you’ll consider is your hotel. After a long trip, there’s nothing like resting in your room, if only for a short while.

During your first visit, you probably want to be as close to the sights as possible. For that, Monte Mario provides.

Monte Mario, better known as a large hill that rises in the northwest, has long overlooked Rome; located on the right bank of the Tiber River, it’s slightly outside the boundaries of the ancient city but still spans several neighborhoods. On a map, you’ll see that it stretches from the first municipality to the fifteenth. But what makes it special?

Monte Mario is one of the best places to stay in Rome because it is widespread and promises a particularly scenic view of the surrounding areas. Here, you’ll be able to see the Vatican alongside a litany of other architectural monuments, as well as the Alban Hills in the distance. Isn’t that something?

What’s more, it has its observatory, connected to the Rome Observatory. Alongside its famed natural reserve (considered one of the most beautiful parks in Rome) and many churches, Monte Mario will fill your flora and architecture fix. This is where to be if you need a breath of fresh air.

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See Related: Tantalizing Types of Italian Food to Try

7. Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo's central square, with few people walking in it.
Vladimir Sazonov / Adobe Stock

While we’re hard-pressed to call any part of Rome a more “recent addition,” you’ll find there are more than a few structures that fit the bill. When exploring such an ancient city, it’s funny to think that Piazza del Popolo, designed in the early 1800s, is relatively young, but it’s true.

As a large square in central Rome, Piazza del Popolo is an ideal place to stay—with much to see and do, you’ll have access to places all over the city. In fact, its name translates to “People’s Square,” and the piazza, popular as it is, has earned that designation.

Here, there are a multitude of fountains to explore, including but not limited to Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) in the west, Rome between the Tiber River and the Aniene River in the east, Fontana dell’ Obelisco in the center, and finally, a statue of the famous she-wolf feeding Romulus and Remus.

There’s more to see than pretty sculptures, though. History meets the modern era when you head around the corner, where you can explore the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, located nearby, and the famous Alfieri Leather Store. Buy unique leather souvenirs before you go to the church of Saint Mary for a beautiful walk-through.

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8. Quartiere Nomentano

Villa Torlonia in Quartiere Nomentano.
Sophie Botta / Adobe Stock

Welcome to Quartiere Nomentano, otherwise known as the fifth quarter of Rome. Its name comes from an ancient road, Via Nomentana, which runs northeast of the city and still exists in small segments.

Despite its status as a largely residential area, Nomentano is a great place to stay for travelers looking for a “genuine” Roman experience. It’s trendy and relaxed, all the while maintaining some of Rome’s classic bustle in certain sections—Piazza Bologna, for one. If you’re in need of a lazy afternoon, stop by the square for a coffee and park yourself at the pizzeria up the street.

We recommend Quartiere Nomentano for first-time visitors because if you choose a hotel here, you can manage a practical rate while remaining close to popular areas of the city. This locale is near the Rome Tiburtina railway station, so you can travel with ease; with a little bit of bus and train-hopping, you’ll be headed to the places you’re most eager to see.

Looking for entertainment in the area without taking a tram or train? Nomentano’s got it. Check out Teatro Italia, Villa Torlonia, Villa Blanc (and its park), as well as nearby Quartiere Coppedè. Sounds like a good way to spend the day to us!

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See Related: How Much is a Trip to Italy: Average Cost Per Day

9. Vatican City

Aerial view of St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square with Christmas tree on it
a_medvedkov / Adobe Stock

When you’re in Rome, you want to see some of the famous sights, don’t you? It’s not all about hotels with spacious rooms and a rooftop bar; sometimes, you need a great view of the Spanish Steps, an easy walk through the Roman Forum, or proximity to Termini Station. The area in and around Vatican City makes for plenty of popular hot spots within walking distance, accessible public transport, and other main attractions that will make your stay in Rome unforgettable.

Religious or not, Vatican City is an incredibly important stop on your trip to Rome—not to mention a great area to stay in. Conveniently located in central Rome, Vatican City State is technically a landlocked independent country. It has been such since 1929 and remains under the exclusive authority and jurisdiction of the Holy See.

Staying here, your proximity to the microstate (it’s historically a city-state, and an independent country), will allow for easy access to an assortment of cultural sites. Whether said sites align with your personal beliefs or not, there’s much historical value to each of them; these of course, include the Vatican Museums, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and more.

On top of that, if you’re shopping for souvenirs, you’re in for a treat: Vatican City has no taxes. The state itself relies upon donations, admission fees, and the sale of its wares. So, how about that? Any purchases you make will be duty-free—talk about a blessing!

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See Related: Amazing Ancient Ruins & Archeological Sites of the World

10. Piazza Barberini

Triton Fountain in Piazza Barberini.
Polifoto / Adobe Stock

Contrary to other parts of the city, Piazza Barberini is not thousands of years old; rather, it was built in the 16th century, which makes it older than some of its sister piazzas. Naturally, it has a history of its own, and that history makes it a Centro Storico must-see—particularly for fans of the arts.

Named after Palazzo Barberini, a well-known Baroque palace, Piazza Barberini hosts Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s famed Fontana del Tritone, or Triton Fountain. This beautiful addition to the piazza boasts blue water and fantastic sculpting. If you’re a fan, you can find another fountain (Fontana delle Api) crafted by Bernini on nearby Via Vittorio Veneto.

Art is one thing Italian piazzas might be known for, but there are more activities you can enjoy in the area. If you’re looking for a nice way to spend the afternoon, there’s much to see in and around Piazza Barberini.

It’s located near the Trevi Fountain, the Basilica di Sant’Andrea, I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma, and other activities—you can even take local cooking classes if you’re up for it. Tour on foot, exploring the finest fountains in the world, then whip up your own dinner. Who doesn’t love pasta by hand?

Walking back to your accommodations will be easy—after all, you’re just staying around the corner. Piazza Barberini’s central location allows for the ultimate convenience in exploration and navigation alike.

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11. EUR

Aerial view of Rome's modern EUR district.
Stefano Tammaro / Adobe Stock

Next up on the list is EUR (pronounced eh-oor), a residential and business district in the southwest part of the city. We know what you’re thinking—why here? Is it really a must-see stop? Well, spoiler alert: We’re here to tell you that it is!

EUR (which stands for “Esposizione Universale Roma,” or “Universal Exposition Rome”) has its own colorful history. Stretching from its selection as a site for the 1942 World’s Fair to its later status as a major business headquarters, there’s much more to see in this district than you might expect.

What makes EUR unique isn’t just its history. Known for “rationalist” architecture, it differentiates itself from the rest of Rome in a big way: ambitious design meets urban complexes in sky-high towers that rise to meet the clouds, and tourists are drawn to those differences.

Likewise, underground galleries and an artificial lake make for a truly interesting scene—in fact, it’s been a film spot for multiple movies, including La Dolce Vita (1960) and Boccaccio ’70 (1962).

Some specific buildings of note include the following: Palazzo dei Congressi, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, and Basilica parrocchiale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo (Congress Palace, the Central Archive of the State, and Saint Peter’s Basilica, respectively). Take a bus, and you’ll knock out these tours early in the day!

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12. Trieste

Chandelier hanging just before the entrance to Quartiere Coppede, Rome, Italy.
Fly_dragonfly / Adobe Stock

Looking for a more relaxed place to take your vacation? Maybe all you want to do in Rome is enjoy the sunny Italian weather and take a stroll through one of its many parks. If that’s the case, there are certainly options for you—not all of Rome is besieged by busy passersby! Plenty of great alternatives if you’d like to enjoy a more downplayed trip. Trieste, the 17th quarter of Rome, is one of those places.

A fantastic location for first-time visitors and frequent-Italy-fliers alike, Trieste has a long, vibrant past. With evidence of human presence dating back to prehistoric times, there are some old settlements—and even a basilica!—whose remains exist even now, which you can see from some points around the area.

Trieste itself is located in the north and central areas of the city, where you’ll find a series of beautiful parks, as well as many family-friendly facilities. You’ll enjoy a visit to Quartiere Coppedè, whose Piazza Mincio proudly displays a lovely frog-topped fountain. Enjoy an espresso at a local bar, and see where the wind takes you.

If you’re looking for something a little spookier, there are cemeteries (Catacombe di Priscilla) to explore. Step inside a cool, historic building and study the walls, the art; think of the centuries of people who’ve stepped across this threshold. You’re now one of them.

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See Related: Day Trips from Florence, Italy

13. Esquilino

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome.
fabiomax / Adobe Stock

Esquilino is another fantastic location for low-key and/or budget travelers looking for something to do. A haven for aficionados of all kinds—that includes food, art, books, and other subjects—this central location at the heart of the city is incredibly multicultural and diverse.

Part of Rome’s historic center, Esquilino is quite cosmopolitan despite being established circa 578–535 BCE. It combines its Italian and Etruscan past with a truly worldly perspective; foodie or not, you’ll find yourself tempted by the widespread variety of ethnic food available (which is not always the case in Italy). Esquilino offers international cuisine, lovely piazzas (including Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II), and more, all for your perusal.

On top of its array of multicultural restaurants, Esquilino is rife with locations of historical significance. Multiple archaeological sites span the centuries, from the Porta Maggiore to the Temple of Minerva Medica, and old aristocratic villas still stand proud in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

In other words, when you visit Esquilino, you’re signing yourself up for great restaurants, a totally centralized location, and easy access to history. What’s not to love?

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14. Monti

The center of Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, showcasing its famous fountain.
Polifoto / Adobe Stock

If you choose to swing by Monti while visiting Rome, you’ll find it’s reminiscent of places you’ve seen before—Trastevere, for example—and it’s certainly popular with young people! Monti’s distinct small-town vibe, despite its presence in the big city is a virtue, and it’s a refreshing stop on your journey.

Being something of a rest area, Monti demands pausing and taking a breath. It’s located within walking distance of nearly every site you’ll be exploring, so when you inevitably reach it, you’ll know it’s the ideal spot to break from all the sightseeing.

One of the traits that differentiates Monti is that it’s big on the arts and fashion scene, as clearly shown by one of its top attractions: Palazzo delle Esposizioni, or loosely, “the exhibition center.” This location is an art hub by all rights, as the building contains a cinema, a bookstore, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and an art gallery.

What’s more, Monti is a popular stop for locals. You can feel like a real Roman sitting by Catecumeni Fountain, people-watching and enjoying a spot of gelato.

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See Related: Best Beaches in Italy to Visit This Summer

15. Prati

The church across the river in the heart of Prati, Rome, Italy.
Kavalenkava / Adobe Stock

Last but certainly not least, the district of Prati is our final recommendation. Known to be fashionable, luxurious, and overall lovely, this area is a must on the list of places to visit; not only is it reasonably priced, but it lives up to its name: “Prati” means “meadows,” and it certainly feels like a floral, abundant place!

Located north of Centro Storico, west of the Tiber, Prati is near Castel Sant’Angelo and Vatican City. What makes this location special is its many stunning palazzos, broad, tree-lined boulevards, and shops that will take your souvenir haul to the next level. So, if you’re ready to throw some money down, Prati’s Via Cola di Rienzo is where you’ll want to be.

The attractions don’t end there. Piazza Cavour is one of its more famous stops, near the beautifully ornamental Palace of Justice; here, you’ll observe its gorgeous late Renaissance and Baroque architecture until you’re ready for something new. Sit in the square, visit a nearby restaurant, and enjoy the afternoon.

When your adventures around Piazza Cavour end, take advantage of Prati’s proximity to Vatican City—its nearness means easy access to the Vatican museums if you haven’t already seen them!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where is the best place to stay in Rome?

The following areas are ideal for visitors of all ages: Centro Storico, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, and Trastevere.

Is Rome a walkable city?

Rome is a walkable city, despite being quite spread out. You can travel along the main roads on wide sidewalks, and plenty of areas are restricted to pedestrian traffic only.

How many days should a tourist spend in Rome?

The best course of action would be to stay at least four days. This period will allow you to see anything you’d like with additional space allotted, such as tours, shopping, and so on.

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Lana Valente
WRITTEN BY

Lana Valente

A bona fide expert in budget travel, Lana has been to 25 countries across four continents (although she hopes to round that up to seven soon!), as well as 29 U.S. states. She has a penchant for country hopping and proudly presents tips and tricks to help our readers do the same. Lana is currently based near Philadelphia, but spends a significant amount of time in Italy with family.

She's fluent in three languages - English, Italian, and American Sign Language - and, through her studies, has been inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars and the Gamma Kappa Alpha Italian Language Society.