Rome is a huge city, 10 times bigger than Paris: districts in Rome are many and it’s not easy to choose the best one for you. To clear your mind read our overview of the best districts to stay in Rome: you will find a description of each area and how to reach the nearest subway station.
Let’s focus on your needs: what are your priorities when choosing your accommodation? Low budget? Proximity to the City Centre? Nightlife and Restaurants? Subway stations at hand?
Keep in mind that despite being one of the biggest cities in Europe, Rome has just two subway lines: line A (red) and line B (blue) which cross at Termini, the main train station. Easy Peasy! At Termini station you will also find the fast track train to Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo Express) and coaches to both Fiumicino (cheaper than the train) and Ciampino airports.
- The City Centre
- Termini - Esquilino
- San Lorenzo
- Piazza Bologna
- Rione Monti
- Prati - Vatican
- Jewish Ghetto
- Flaminio - Parioli
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The City Centre
Romans have been discussing for years, about what “city center” includes. Everything which lies inside the walls? Ok, but which walls? The Aurelian Walls? The train ring? Whatever the exact boundaries may be, if you can afford to rent an apartment or hotel in the city center you will have all the best monuments in Rome within easy reach: Navona Square, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, People’s Square, Via del Corso (the main shopping street), the Colosseum. Accommodations in the area are very expensive, so you can choose these areas only if you have a high budget. If you want something in the center but more affordable, opt for St. Peter’s area or Termini station.
Choose the City Centre if: you are not on a budget and you want the highlights of the city to be within walking distance.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE A (red) “Flaminio”, “Spagna”.
GUIDES ABOUT ROME CITY CENTER:
- Visiting Sant'Eustachio District in Rome
- Visiting Trevi district: 5 things you can't miss
- Visiting Parione Neighborhood
Termini - Esquilino
It is very easy to find a cheap accommodation near the main train station in Rome: this area is a plethora of 2-3 stars hotels and b&b and even if there is nothing beautiful to see here, the area is quite safe and you have both underground lines and tons of buses at your disposal. In fact Termini might be one of the most convenient districts to stay in Rome. Five minutes walking from the station you will enter another district, Esquilino (one of the 7 hills of Rome), the immigrant district of the city. You can walk here to explore its Chinese shops for jewelry and clothes, food shops from all over the world and a huge market.
Choose Termini area if: you want to stay close to the main train station; you travel on a budget; you want to take the bus instead of the subway.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE A (red) and B (blue) “Termini”.
Within 10 minutes walking distance from Termini station you will enter the picturesque San Lorenzo district. Once a working-class neighborhood, now it is mainly known as the University district. “La Sapienza” University lies here and being the biggest in Europe it is inhabited by hundreds of students, who love the vibrant nightlife and the many buses and trams which stop in its streets. San Lorenzo is indeed full of pubs and shops and it is nice to have a nice pizza or a sandwich, but they are open until late and youngsters are very loud: it might not be the best idea to stay in this area if you want a quiet place to sleep or if you are traveling with kids!
Choose San Lorenzo if: you travel with friends and want to mix with Italian young people
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Termini”, “Policlinico”.
Not far from San Lorenzo district, most of the apartments here are rented to students: the area is absolutely not touristy, but if you find a b&b or a flat here, it might be a convenient area to stay. It is very well connected with buses and Line B of the underground (Bologna STOP). Restaurants, shops and supermarkets are also available and are often open until late.
Choose Piazza Bologna if: you want to save money; you need to easily reach the city center or the main train stations.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Bologna”.
If you love vintage shops and independent boutiques and are in the search of the typical roman “trattoria” (rustic restaurants), nice pubs and tea rooms, the perfect place to stay in Monti district. Once the red-light district of Ancient Rome (Suburra), Monti is now a maze of medieval cobblestoned alleys, with many restaurants and shops. It is ideal if you want to be near the Colosseum and Roman Forum area and if you want to stay well connected to the subway (the nearest stop is Cavour on Line B). In the area there are also two beautiful Churches to visit: the Basilica of St. Mary the Mayor and St. Peter’s in Chains, where you can admire the impressive sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo.
Choose Rione Monti if: you love boutiques; you want to taste local food; you want to visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Cavour”.
GUIDE ABOUT MONTI:
Prati - Vatican
A bit further from the historical center, but still very well connected is also the Prati district. Having been built in the 19th century, its spacious streets cross forming a grid, which makes it easier to orientate and wander around. Its proximity to the Vatican, the presence of the line A stops Ottaviano and Lepanto make it a very popular area for tourists, which can find quite a few of hotels, b&b and apartments to rent. The area is often crowded, due to the presence of the Civil Tribunal, many office and shops, mainly lined on the streets Via Ottaviano and Via Cola di Rienzo.
Choose Prati if: you want to visit the Vatican; if you wish to stay in a safe area but you don’t mind the crowds; you want to do some shopping away from the city center.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE A “Lepanto”, “Ottaviano”.
GUIDES ABOUT NEIGHBORHOODS AROUND VATICAN CITY:
The name of the most traditional area in Rome comes from the river Tiber (Tevere): Trastevere means “across the Tiber”! If you want a taste of the local nightlife, genuine food and beautiful corners and alleys to take a snap at, Trastevere is the place for you. Ok, there is no subway station around here, but you will never get bored, with all the pubs, places for aperitifs and “trattorias”, small theatres and street artists performing in its small piazzas. During the day you can also explore great boutiques and independent shops and the amazing Church of St. Mary in Trastevere. When choosing a play to stay in Trastevere avoid the main streets, as locals are open until very late at night: stay away from Vicolo de Cinque, Vicolo del Bologna and via della Lungaretta if you want to get a good night sleep.
Choose Trastevere if: it is one of the ideal districts to stay in Rome if you want to go to the pub or to a nice traditional restaurants for dinner; you want to breathe the real atmosphere of Rome; you are not a light-sleeper; you don’t mind walking or having to wait for a bus.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Circo Massimo” (20 mins walking). To reach the Colosseum take the 75 bus; for the Vatican the 23 bus to Clodio then walk 15 mins; to reach the Spanish steps take the 63 bus.
MORE ABOUT TRASTEVERE:
This district lies south of the Aventine Hill and is one of the less touristy areas in Rome. It is a modern, urban place, providing markets, shops and some of the best restaurants, bakeries and clubs in town. It is an ideal place to stay if you want to avoid the crowds but you are still looking for a safe area, close to the subway: Line B stop Piramide will easily get you to the center and to Termini Station and you can even take the train to get to the seaside area of Ostia and its amazing archaeological area!
Choose Testaccio if: you want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city center; you want nice places to get dinner and aperitifs.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Piramide”.
MORE ABOUT TESTACCIO DISTRICT
The Roman Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico, in Italian) is a beautiful witness of one of the oldest Jewish community in Europe. It is in the city center, not far from Piazza Navona and the River Tiber, from the amazing Campo de’ Fiori market and from the Theatre of Marcellus, also known as the “mini Colosseum”. Wandering in this area you will be able to visit the Synagogue, the Mouth of Truth and the many traditional Jewish shops and restaurants: you HAVE to try their delicacies, especially their amazing fried artichokes!
Choose the Jewish Ghetto if: you want to explore the Jewish shops and food and explore a fascinating part of the city center.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Colosseo” (20 mins walking). To reach the Colosseum take the 87 bus; for the Vatican the 81 bus; to reach the Spanish steps take the 80 bus.
MORE ABOUT JEWISH GHETTO IN ROME:
Not far from Testaccio, lies another great district of South Rome. The name Ostiense originates from the name of the street that connects Rome to the district of Ostia, famous for its seaside resorts and to host one of the biggest archaeological areas of the region. Both youngsters and adults come to Ostiense to have aperitifs or dinner and later join one of the many clubs and pubs to have some fun. Some of the best venues are: “Doppio Zero” and “Porto Fluviale” for aperitifs, “Dogana” for buffet dinner and “Vinile” to dance and drink a cocktail. The nearest underground stop is the same as Testaccio, “Piramide” on line B, but there is also a train at Ostiense Train Station to reach Fiumicino Airport and Tiburtina Station.
Choose Ostiense if: you plan to visit Ancient Ostia or go to the seaside; you want nice places to eat and have a drink.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE B (blue) “Piramide”
Flaminio - Parioli
None of these two areas are in the center of Rome, but they are by far the poshest and most elegant district in the city. If you choose to stay in a hotel in Flaminio-Parioli you will pass beautiful villas, Museums, Gardens and elegant cars: most of the inhabitants are wealthy Romans, foreign embassies, lawyers, doctors and politicians. In Flaminio area you will find the Maxxi Art Gallery, the Auditorium (venue for concerts and plays) and the Flaminio Stadium (where most of the Rugby matches take place), while Parioli is near to the biggest gardens in Rome, Borghese Gardens and Villa Ada, as well as the GNAM (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) and Ponte Milvio, where you can find many clubs and restaurants.
Choose Flaminio or Parioli if: these are the best districts to stay in Rome if you want to visit museums and gardens; you want to attend rugby matches, you want a super safe and elegant area; you don’t mind not having a subway line close to your accommodation.
Nearest Subway Stop: LINE A (red) “Flaminio” (depending on your accommodation's address it can be up to 20 mins walking).
Have you chosen your place to stay? What is the best district to stay in Rome according to your experience? Leave your comments below or on our social media accounts! And remember: once you've chosen your accommodation to call us to organize your tours of the city: walking tours of the city center, driving tours, day trips from Rome, guided visits of the Colosseum and the Vatican… We are here for you!