Around Vatican City & Prati
For most visitors, this is a rather dull area in which to be based. It’s well removed from the ancient sites, and not a great restaurant neighborhood. But if the main purpose of your visit centers on the Vatican, you’ll be fine here, and you will be joined by thousands of other pilgrims, nuns, and priests.
Ancient Rome, Monti & Celio
There aren’t many hotel rooms on Earth with a view of a 2,000-year-old amphitheater, so there’s a definite “only in Rome” feeling to lodging on the edge of the ancient city. The negative side to residing in this area—and it’s a big minus—is that the streets adjacent to those ancient monuments have little life outside tourism. There’s a lot more going on in Monti, Rome’s oldest “suburb” (only 5 min. from the Forum). It is especially lively after dark (so expect noisy streets until late). Celio has even more of a neighborhood vibe, and a local, gentrified life quite separate from tourism.
If you are after a little more space than an affordable hotel room usually provides, Residenza Leonina ★, Piazza degli Zingari 4, (tel) 06-48906885, has a few modern, spacious apartments in the heart of Monti. Prices range approximately 120€ to 200€ per night, and you can get better deals if you book direct. Tip: One of central Rome’s best gelato vendors is literally on the doorstep. Temptation will be hard to resist.
The Centro Storico & Pantheon
Travelers who want to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of Rome’s lively Renaissance heart will prefer staying in this area over the more commercial Tridente district or quieter Vatican. You’ll be looking at a lot of walking, but that’s the reason many visitors come here in the first place—to wander and discover the glory that was and is Rome. You’re also within walking distance of the Vatican and the ruins of Ancient Rome. Many restaurants and cafes are within an easy walk of all the hotels located here.
Tridente & the Spanish Steps
The heart of the city is a great place to stay if you’re a serious shopper or enjoy the romantic, somewhat nostalgic locales of the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. But expect to part with a lot of extra euros for the privilege. This is one of the most elegant areas in Rome.
Via Veneto & Piazza Barberini
If you stay in this area, you definitely won’t be on the wrong side of the tracks. Unlike the streets around the rail station, this is a beautiful and upscale commercial neighborhood, near some of Rome’s best shopping.
Known for its concentration of cheap hotels, the Termini area is about the only part of the center where you can bag a high-season double for under 100€. The streets around Termini station are not the most picturesque, and parts of the neighborhood are downright seedy. But it’s very convenient for transportation and access to most of Rome’s top sights: Termini is the only spot where Rome’s two Metro lines intersect, and buses and trams leave from the concourse outside to every part of the city.
There are some upscale hotels around here, but if you have the dollars to spend on a truly luxe hotel, choose a prettier neighborhood.
This was once an “undiscovered” neighborhood—but no longer. Being based over here does give some degree of escape from the busy (and pricey) centro storico, however. And there are bars, shops, and restaurants galore among Trastevere’s narrow, cobblestone lanes. The panorama from the Gianicolo is also walkable from pretty much everywhere in Trastevere.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.