Where to Stay in Rome - the Ultimate Guide

The Plum Guide team share their suggestions for where to stay in Rome if you're a first time visitor


Find expert tips, here on Plum Guide. From where to stay, what to eat, and what to see in some of the world’s finest cities. Find expert-approved homes too: Plum Guide is a collection of the very best vacation rentals in the world, approved by our expert Home Critics after a rigorous 150 point test.


The Eternal City sure puts the ‘roma’ in romance. Italy’s capital is a vibrant mix of old and new, with ancient ruins standing alongside cafes with tables spilling out to the street, high-end shops and delicious dining. The art scene is just as varied. On one end of the spectrum you have the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo, and on the other, a colourful array of street art in gritty (and gentrified) Trastevere. 

Whether visiting Rome for a long weekend or settling in for a whole week, get ready for a whirlwind romance—if not with your special someone, with the city itself. From hilltop picnic viewpoints and golden statues to melt-in-your-mouth cheese, you’ll be living “La Dolce Vita” in no time. 

Follow our guide to the best areas to stay in Rome for tourists, so you can truly experience one of the greatest cities in the world.

WHERE TO STAY

  • Centro Storico
  • Campo Marzio
  • Monti (and the Caelian Hill)
  • Trastevere
  • Testaccio (and the Aventine Hill)
  • Campo de’ Fiori (and the Jewish Ghetto)
  • Tridente
  • Villa Borghese (and Via Veneto)
  • The Vatican and St. Peter’s Square
  • Prati

Centro Storico 

man standing in front of statue

Otherwise known as the historic centre of Rome, Centro Storico is everything inside the city walls including some of Rome’s major monuments: the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Colosseum to name a few. Keep in mind, there are several neighbourhoods within Centro Storico, and we’ve outlined the very best ones in this guide. Basically, if you want to be close to everything, pick a hood within Centro Storico.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Walkable cities, architecture, historic landmarks.

A TYPICAL DAY IN CENTRO STORICO: 

Spend a day exploring Centro Storico and you’ll cover quite a lot of ground. Kickstart your morning with an early visit to the Colosseum, as it can get really crowded later in the day, especially during peak seasons. Next, head to the Spanish steps for a brief reprieve and a spot of people watching. When you’ve mustered up that extra energy, climb up the 138 stairs to the top. Don’t worry, the view of Rome is more than worth the hike!

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Grey Gossamer

This calm and welcoming apartment feels like a breath of fresh air after a long day of sightseeing among the crowds. The design and decor is on the minimalist side, allowing small touches to make big statements—the tiles in the shower and exposed ceiling beams to name a few. The kitchen is well equipped for dinners in. You're on holiday of course, so if you choose not to cook at home, there a ton of cafes and street stalls to take your pick from in Sant’Eustachio.


Mint Humbug

This elegant home has an aristocratic flair to it. Personal touches make it extra cosy, like a working fireplace and rustic ceiling. While the bedrooms can get a bit dark—great for sleeping in late—lots of light enters the living room and dining room. This home is in a great spot, located between Piazza di Spagna and the Trevi fountain but on a side street with less foot traffic (and noise)!

Campo Marzio 

gray concrete building at daytime

Pope Benedict XIV instituted the Campo Marzio district in 1743 but the significance of this area dates way, way back. Temples and buildings appeared as early as the 5th century B.C. Today, the main attraction in Campo Marzio is the Pantheon in Piazza della Rotonda, a temple built in 27 B.C. Built solely of brick, you’ll note both Greek-style architecture and a cylindrical body.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:

Iconic monuments, local art, cityscape views.

A TYPICAL DAY IN CAMPO MARZIO: 

After a morning visit to the Pantheon, check out the Montecitorio palace. It boasts an Egyptian oblique of Pharaoh Osammetico II that was brought over to Rome from Heliopolis and transferred here in 1792. Come lunchtime, wander along Via Del Corso, taking in the many churches and palaces along the way. The avenue connects with the Piazza del Popolo, which is a popular hangout spot for both locals and tourists.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Mirtillo 

This elegant home is just about as close to the Spanish Steps as you can get! As if the location weren’t enough of a selling point, the indoor decor is equally impressive. every detail is well-thought out, from the high thread count bedsheets to the Sonos speakers. The bathroom is super airy and features some really nice tiling work. Then there’s the beautiful wooden ceilings paired with a crystal chandelier. You really can’t get more luxe than this.

Monti (and the Caelian Hill) 

cityscape suring dayt ime

As Rome’s oldest neighbourhood, there’s something extra magical about Monti. Thanks to its sloping hills, you’ll get some fantastic views of the Colosseum...not to mention an extra workout. 

On either side of Monti, you have the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Roman Forum, so it’s easy to get your bearings at any given time. The labyrinth of cobbled streets and side alleyways adds an element of whimsy to the already romantic neighbourhood.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Vintage markets, bohemian flair and low-key bars

A TYPICAL DAY IN MONTI: 

If you’ve kicked off your day with a visit to the Colosseum (Monti is super close), cool off with a beer in Piazza della Madonna de Monti or head to Piazza degli Zingari for homemade gelato. Fata Morgana serves up both traditional flavours and some unexpected ones, like Cherry and Beer and Gorgonzola. 

It’s Sunday Funday in Monti thanks to their weekly Mercato Monti. Sift through vintage clothes, accessories and jewellery - it’s a bit like digging for buried treasure, with mega brands like Vivienne Westwood and John Paul Gautier thrown into the mix.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Centurion Pink

This 2 bed, 2 bath apartment is ideal for couples and small groups. The sofa bed easily transforms into another bed which sleeps two. This apartment is equipped with modern appliances and carefully curated decor such as a red-stone bathroom, a hot pink accent wall and a copper nightshade. Plus, you’re mere steps from high-end restaurants and shops.


Centurion Flax

This home is slightly larger, featuring three bedrooms and two bedrooms. One of our favourite features of this space is the small balcony overlooking Via Palermo. In terms of style, you’re in for a real treat - soft colours work well alongside beautiful frescoes on the ceiling. It’s got a relaxing vibe, making this a perfect place to rest your head at night. The kitchen features a modern and sleek layout, plus some avant-garde, cutlery-themed artwork.

Trastevere 

clear drinking glass on brown wooden surface

Translating to “across the Tevere” (or the Tiber), you’ll note a decidedly younger vibe in Trastevere. As a former working class medieval district, gentrification has definitely taken its toll on Trastevere. What used to be a mostly overlooked neighbourhood is now brimming with outdoor cafes, microbreweries, inventive eateries and grungy tattoo shops.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Nightlife, cobbled streets, old Roman churches, river walks.

A TYPICAL DAY IN TRASTEVERE: 

In general, Trastevere is a really popular spot for university students spending a semester abroad and as such, there are tons of bars, restaurants and cafes at every turn. This shift really took shape in the 1970s when artists, bohemians and expats began flocking to the area. Trastevere really highlights Rome’s art scene and has been described by many as a ‘sensory overload’ (in the best way).

The Piazza di Santa Maria is a must-see. It’s one of the oldest churches in Rome and renowned for its 13th century mosaics by Pietro Cavallini. On a lesser scale, Trastevere has some pretty impressive street art - keep a lookout, as murals and graffiti are literally hiding in plain sight. For Instagrammable shots, capture the scene of colourful clothes lines swaying in the breeze or take the path leading to Janiculum (Gianicolo) Hill. It’s a bit of a hike but the views of the Pantheon’s dome, Capitoline hills and Vittorio Emmanuele II monument make it so worth it.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Il Mercante

Located across the River Tiber, this 2 bed, 1 bath home is on the funky side. Il Mercante is one of Rome’s most evocative streets, so of course the decor had to match that. The apartment welcomes lots of natural light and the stone fireplace is a nice touch (and functional), as is the original beamed ceiling.

Testaccio (and the Aventine Hill) 

black and gray motorcycle parked on street beside wall at daytime

A short walk from the Colosseum, south of the Aventine hill, is Testaccio. While it doesn’t have the glamour of other Roman neighbourhoods, it’s the grittiness that makes this hood so special. It’s also the go-to place for food lovers everywhere, partly due to its history as a working class district. That, and it’s where Rome’s massive slaughterhouse was located from 1888 to 1975.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Some of the best Italian food around, revamped neighbourhoods, food markets.

A TYPICAL DAY IN TESTACCIO: 

Start your visit with a pit-stop at the Testaccio Market. Opened since 2012, the market has created a major buzz, most notably, through tourism. Browse the stalls for fresh produce, meats of every shape and size, street food, sweet treats, wine and more. There’s even a deli run by Cristina Bowerman who is one of the few Italian women to with a Michelin star to her name. The deli is called Cups and while more casual than Bowerman’s Glass Hostaria, is a must-try.

Curious to step foot in the old slaughterhouse? Today, a portion of the space serves as a branch of the MACRO (Rome’s contemporary art museum) - other parts are dedicated to farmer’s markets, food festivals, a restaurant called Station di Posta and even a music school.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Centurion Silver

Located in the nearby Monti neighbourhood, this thoughtfully decorated apartment is the quintessential home away from home. Everything is new, works well and appliances are in excellent condition. There’s an elegant bathroom mirror for impeccable makeup application in the morning, as well as a pretty funky acrylic Kartell chair. 

Campo de’ Fiori and the Jewish Ghetto 

man spray painting Coliseum of Rome

Technically, Campo de’ Fiori, or “field of flowers” is not an actual neighbourhood but a piazza. As its name suggests, Campo de’ Fiori, or “Camp” for short is home to one of Rome’s most massive markets. By day, Campo is alive with outdoor markets, shops, restaurants, museums and cafes and come nightfall, the bar scene takes over.

In the southern part of Campo de’ Fiori is the old Jewish Ghetto. In centuries past, this was a tough place to live, and it was required all Jews live here until its abolition in 1882. The ghetto was walled in, crowded and prone to floods and disease. Today, however, the former ghetto is one of the best places to sample Roman-Jewish, as well as Middle Eastern, cuisine.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Roman-Jewish and Middle Eastern cuisine, Jewish history, architecture.

A TYPICAL DAY IN CAMPO DE’ FIORI: 

Spend your morning pursuing the fruit and vegetable stands at the open air market (open Monday through Saturday) - they open early and close whenever the food runs out, so it’s worth heading here first thing. Next, snap a photo in Palazzo Farnese. Built between 1514 and 1589, so many famous residents have lived here, including Pope Paul III, Cardinal Richelieu and the former Queen Christian of Sweden.

Make your way to the old Jewish Ghetto for a wander. The Via Portico d’Ottavia is the heart of the neighbourhood, while the Great Synagogue of Rome is the top attraction. The synagogue was built from 1901 to 1904 and showcases a style evocative of Babylonian and Persian temples. However, it was attacked by terrorists in 1982 and is now heavily guarded.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 

Persimmon

This 2 bed, 2 bath home can sleep up to six people. Location-wise, you’re very close to the Largo Argentina, which is believed to be where Julius Caesar was assassinated. The interior boasts a Japanese influence and structurally, the apartment is long and thin. That said, it’s laid out smartly, so you never feel too cramped. The standalone tub in the master bedroom is a treat after a packed day of sightseeing.


Curia

This home is full of contrasts, and that’s one of the things we like most about it. There’s an aluminium staircase and heavy wooden ceilings, along with antique marble window frames and pop art prints. The dark furniture paired with white walls gives off a clean and classic look. While it’s not the most modern of our homes, you'll really feel like you're in the beating heart of Rome. In fact, you’re just steps away from the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina.

Tridente 

top view photography of divided buildings beside road near cathedral under white and blue skies

Tridente gets its name from the three streets leading into it: Via di Ripetta, Via del Babuino and Via del Corso. The biggest attraction here is definitely Piazza di Spagna where the Spanish Steps are located. Then there’s Piazza del Popolo and the famous twin churches Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria di Miracoli. Of course, no trip through Tridente is complete without tossing a wish—in the form of a coin—into the Trevi Fountain.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Historic landmarks, bustling plazas, major photo ops.

A TYPICAL DAY IN TRIDENTE: 

Tridente can get pretty crowded, so make the most of your early morning with either a visit to the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can squeeze them both in before breakfast. 

Later in the day, stroll in and around Piazza del Popolo. Tridente is one of the poshest areas in Rome so be prepared to see some seriously alluring window displays. After all, a lot of big brands—like Fendi—choose Tridente as their flagship location.  

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


L’Architetto 

Sleeping up to six people across three bedrooms, this stunning home boasts views of the Vittoriano and is located right in the heart of the historical centre. The rooms are on the snug side—fairly normal in many European cities but may seem smaller than what you’re used to—and are artfully decorated. We love the sprawling glass conservatory space and the expansive rooftop garden. Definitely a rare find in Rome! 


Filo Black

Unlike the chaos of the Trevi fountain (just a few blocks away, by the way), this home is calm, quiet, and comfortable. The design is simple yet stylish and works to create a serene atmosphere. The midnight blue velvet chair is a true stunner and a perfect spot to sink into after a long day. There’s also printed wallpaper and modern chandeliers to liven up the space without being overdone.

Villa Borghese (and Via Veneto) 

For a true Roman experience, spend an afternoon walking in one of the most famous streets in Italy’s capital. After all, via Veneto is the setting of Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” It's people-watching at it’s finest, thanks to the area’s wide sidewalks and street-side cafes. It’s also home to the picturesque Villa Borghese park, and accompanying Galleria Borghese.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

People watching, the “La Dolce Vita” lifestyle, shopping, parks.

A TYPICAL DAY IN VILLA BORGHESE: 

Whenever the crowds of Centro Storico become too much, find your way to Villa Borghese. It’s the largest public park in Rome and ideal for just chilling out for a couple of hours. That said, you can walk the length of the park in about 45 minutes time. Alternatively, you can rent a bike and cycle your way through the greenery, stopping now and then for a refreshing gelato or espresso.

As for Via Veneto, expect everything to be 5 star quality. From luxury home rentals, swanky rooftop bars and designer shops, it’s your chance to be the star of your own Hollywood—or, in this case, Roman—movie. Prices are higher, so expect to spend a bit more here.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Fern Leaves

Aptly named, our Fern Leaves home is the definition of luxe whimsy. Much like its sister property, Fern Fronds, this home is extremely well kept and on a quiet residential street between the Borghese Gardens and Via Veneto; Piazza di Spagna is only a couple of minutes walk away. There’s a small yet charming balcony and a bathtub that has jacuzzi jets installed. Other luxurious decor includes a grand chandelier, tiled floor in the bathroom and patterned wallpaper.


Alabaster

If you’re travelling in a larger group and want the utmost in luxury, we recommend booking our Alabaster home. It sleeps up to 16 people and there are 8 bathrooms—a major perk by any standard! This home is located just south of the Borghese gardens and is a rare find not only in this area, but across Rome’s other neighbourhoods. The decor is simple chic and we’re huge fans of the cute balcony and elegant fireplace.

The Vatican 

people walking in front of white dome building

What many people forget is that Vatican City, while just outside of Rome, is its own city-state. The headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and where the Pope himself resides, the Vatican is one of those bucket list experiences you can’t skip out on. The Vatican Museums house all sorts of treasures, from ancient Roman statues to Renaissance frescoes and, of course, the famous Michelangelo ceiling.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Roman Catholic relics, world-renowned art and architecture.

A TYPICAL DAY IN VATICAN CITY:

Vatican City can be explored in a day (or less if you’re on a time crunch), and it’s pretty rad because it means you’ve technically visited an entire nation in the span of a few hours. As there are always lines to enter the Vatican, get up bright and early to minimise wait times. Inside is a treasure trove of religious artifacts, along with artwork of many forms.

After your visit, spend some time in St. Peter’s Square, also known as Piazza San Pietro. Located right in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica, up to 400,000 people can fit inside. Muster up some extra energy and climb to the top of the basilica’s dome - it offers a 360 degree view of the square and all of Rome.

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Parchment Scrolls

Located just across the River Tiber, this home oozes classical Roman style. Featuring a thoughtful mix of antique elements—ceiling beams on the painted doors, modern fittings, marble sink in the ensuite and an ornate fireplace. Outside, you’ll find the cobblestone lanes of Ponte and right across from the apartment is the Church of San Biagio. Our resident Plum Guide Home Critic, Stella, does note that the second bathroom shower is on the smaller side, but the location more than makes up for it. 

Prati

two clear wine glasses on brown wooden table

Translating to “meadow” in Italian, Prati is one of Rome’s more fashionable neighbourhoods. It’s also in a pretty sweet spot—being just north of the historic centre gives it easy access to Rome’s historic landmarks but far fewer foot traffic. Castel Sant’Angelo, Vatican City and St. Peter’s Square are within walking distance.

STAY HERE IF YOU LIKE:  

Calmer vibes, fashionable streets, wide boulevards, shaded piazzas.

A TYPICAL DAY IN PRATI: 

If Monti is your hip younger brother, Prati is the white-collar older sister. Take a breather in one of Monti’s luxurious palazzos. The wide, shady boulevards make for a much needed reprieve from the heat and hustle of Centro Storico. Or, snag a table at a cafe in the Piazza Cavour for a bit of people watching. Evenings are the best because you can note the difference in fashion, as locals shift from their work attire to more elegant ensembles.

Architecture is another draw of Prati. There’s both art nouveau and Umbertino architectural styles as well as some other fabulous buildings. Wander into Piazza Cavour and snap photos of two houses of the Supreme Court. The Palace of Justice is particularly decadent, with its huge rooftop sculpture made of bronze and depicting a four horse-drawn chariot.  

UNPACK YOUR BAGS HERE: 


Cavalieri

This cosy 1 bed, 1 bath home can sleep up to three people. It’s on the smaller size compared to some of our other homes, but perfect for a romantic getaway for two. What this apartment lacks in size, it more than makes up for in character. There’s a sun-drenched terrace great for enjoying a morning coffee or dinner in, as well as floods of natural light and exposed plaster walls. All in all, a great find.

BEST FOR… 

Whatever your tribe, we have a home away from home for you.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR FAMILIES: 

In short, we’d say Centro Storico. Kids can’t get enough of the Trevi Fountain and while a highly popular pocket of Rome, convenience is key when travelling with the whole family. The kids love tossing coins into the fountain and making wishes—to be fair, adults love it, too! Plus, most of the major monuments are nearby and accessible (a major perk for mothers with strollers). 

Alternatively, families can opt to stay closer to Rome’s other major landmark—the Colosseum. From the Trevi Fountain, it’s about a 20 minute walk, so either way, you’re in a great location to optimise your time.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR ROMANTIC GETAWAYS: 

To be fair, pretty much every inch of Rome is romantic anyway you look at it, but there’s something extra special about Villa Borghese and Via Veneto. Sightseeing can get stressful and there’s nothing like a walk in Rome’s biggest public park to recentre you and your partner. Picnic in a patch of grass or rent bikes and explore the park from tip to tip. 

As for Via Veneto, consider this an excuse to spoil your special someone silly. All the high-end shops are here, as are some dreamy cafes giving off a total “La Dolce Vita” vibe.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR ART LOVERS: 

For art of every size, shape and color, head straight for Trastevere. This neighbourhood had a bit of a makeover in the 1930s - that’s when expats and artist-types began moving to the former working-class area. Nowadays, the neighbourhood is thriving with markets, outdoor cafes, microbreweries and tattoo shops. There’s also lots of street art, so keep your eyes peeled. 

Make sure to take a peek inside the Basilica di Santa Maria for some very decadent mosaics.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR YOUNG TRAVELLERS: 

It’s a tough call but we’d vote Monti. As Rome’s first ward (rione), it’s somewhat ironic that it attracts the young and hip of the world in droves. In addition to cobblestone streets, there are antique shops, art galleries and some of the city’s trendiest restaurants. Our perfect day in Monti? A good book, a cafe with a view and a whole lot of people watching. Speaking of which, you’ll notice a mix of older couples keeping Monti traditions alive mixed in with a younger crowd of entrepreneurs, artists and students.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR SIGHTSEEING: 

This would have to be Centro Storico again, for obvious reasons. Aside from the Pantheon which we’ve already covered, you have the Santa Maria del Popolo Church, the iconic Spanish Steps and the even more iconic Trevi Fountain all within walking distance. Of course, the Vatican is another major stop for sightseers and you can easily spend an entire day exploring this very special city-state.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR NIGHT-LIFE: 

If you can’t make it to Trastevere during the day, explore this hipster hood by night instead. This eclectic area of Rome really comes alive after sunset, with countless bars packed with locals and tourists. Grab a few appetisers in Piazza Trilussa and then hit up the bars next to piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Mr. Brown is a popular, albeit quirky bar where you can listen to live music while BumBum di Mel is a go-to for dance beats.  

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR WALKING: 

So much of Rome can be explored on foot, especially the Centro Storico. That said, Caelian Hill, located in the famous Seven Hills of Rome and is easily one of our favorite spots to stroll. There are a few main attractions here including the Basilica of San Clemente and the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, both of which stand next to the lush Villa Celimontana Gardens. If you’re staying in the bohemian Monti neighborhood, Caelian Hill is a short walk away.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR WORK TRIPS: 

For those in Rome for work, you’ll likely want to stay near your office. That said, if you’re eager to soak in as much Roman culture as possible outside of business hours, we recommend renting a home in Prati. This neighbourhood is the definition of elegance, what with its upscale residential buildings (many boasting art nouveau style), fancy hotels and upscale eateries. Via Cola di Rienzo is the “it” shopping spot for luxury goods, in case you want to bring home something special for that special someone.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN ROME FOR FOODIES: 

Locals call Testaccio the “heart of Rome” and a big reason is because it’s home to some of the best food markets and restaurants. In fact, it’s where Roman cuisine was born. If you’re on a time crunch, consider signing up for a half-day guided food tour. You’ll try all the classic dishes, from pasta and supplies (fried risotto balls) to Italian cheese, prosciutto, salami and olive oil. Oh, and gelato. Lots and lots of gelato!


Stay in Paris and London's most beautiful homes

The Plum Guide finds, tests and reviews Paris and London's best holiday homes, so you don't have to.
Just 1 in 100 homes get the Plum stamp of approval.