Where to Stay in Rome (For First-Time Visitors)

A full guide to where to stay in Rome, Italy for first-time visitors (+ the best hotels and apartments near Piazza Navona and Colosseum).

Rome is located in the central part of the Italian peninsula. Initially built on seven hills, the city has spread during its 3000 years of existence.

Rome was the heart of the ancient Roman Empire and today it’s the capital city of Italy. Also, the city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. It has always been a centre of power, religion and culture. No wonder why it’s called the Eternal City.

For a perfect trip, follow my complete guide for 4 days in Rome. It covers all the must-see sites, including helpful tips on how to skip the lines.

Choosing where to stay in Rome can be overwhelming, especially when it’s your first time to the city. What is the best location to stay in Rome? Should you choose a place near to Colosseum or Spanish Steps or Termini station?

River Tiber divides the city into two halves. On the east side, you’ll find most of the tourist attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain. The west part is dominated by Vatican City and Trastevere, the most picturesque neighbourhood.

In this article, I cover the most preferable places to stay, plus the most popular Rome hotels in these areas.

Where I stayed

I’ve been several times to Rome, staying in a different location every time. However, my favourite area is around the Trevi Fountain. It’s the heart of the city, the most central location, ideal for first-time visitors. Rome is not a small city, but from here you can walk almost everywhere. And in case you need public transport, the red metro line A is at hand. 

My favourite hotel to stay in Rome: U-Visionary Roma Hotel
Why: fantastic location near the Trevi Fountain and a metro station
What I like: spacious rooms, great panoramic rooftop bar and restaurant

And being not far from Vatican City is a huge advantage, as you can get there early and avoid the crowds (which are huge). Plus, you can take late-night photos of the beautifully illuminated St. Peter’s Basilica.

Most popular hotel in Rome

Looking for the best hotel to stay in the heart of Rome?

Then check out H10 Palazzo Galla – it’s the most popular hotel in the historic centre of the city.

H10 Palazzo Galla – Most popular

H10 Palazzo Galla occupies a beautiful bourgeois building from the end of the 19th century. The hotel features a fantastic location, right in the historic centre of Rome, a few meters from Piazza Venezia and the Roman Forum. Many historic sights, including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Colosseum are only a short walking distance.
Why book – great location for sightseeing, modern spacious rooms, panoramic rooftop terrace

trevi fountain

Where to stay in Rome (for first-time visitors)

Best area to stay in Rome for a first-time visitor

What is the best area to stay in Rome for first-time visitor?

If you look for the most central place, choose the area around Piazza Navona and Pantheon. It’s the perfect location for first-time visitors because you’ll be within a few minutes walk to most of the major attractions.

Don’t forget to buy a fast-track entry to Colosseum in advance (the lines are hours long).

This area, overload of beauty, is the heart of the Historic Centre. Tiny cobblestone streets lead to quaint piazzas and picturesque fountains. Ancient ruins, Baroque churches, Renaissance palaces, you’ll find it all here. Just walk out of your door and you’ll find yourself surrounded by centuries-old history.

It’s a wonderful place to wander both day and night. Moreover what could be more magical than looking out of your hotel window to the incredible sights of the Eternal City.

Why stay near Piazza Navona and Pantheon

  • stay here if you want to experience the real Rome and to walk everywhere
  • a great number of good restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops around
  • you’ll be at walking distance from the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trastevere and Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Campo De’ Fiori, a lovely area for aperitivo, is just around the corner

Hotels near Piazza Navona (Best for couples)

Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj – Most popular

The hotel has an unbeatable location – right next to Piazza Navona. Housed in a historic 17th-century palace, the hotel features unique rooms. A rooftop bar gives you the chance to enjoy a fabulous 360 degrees view over the city. The rooms are spacious with every modern facility available. It’s the perfect place for your Roman vacation.
Why book – ideal location for tourists, right on Piazza Navona, unique rooms with original frescoes, awesome staff

Palazzo Navona Hotel – Best rated

It’s a stylish 4-star hotel less than 100m away from Piazza Navona. A great, convenient location to explore the highlights of the city. Modern and tastefully decorated rooms. In addition, the hotel provides a smartphone so you can easily navigate your way around the city. Don’t miss the happy hour at the rooftop bar.
Why book – prime location, next to Piazza Navona, modern air-conditioned rooms, comfortable beds, great rooftop bar

Hotels near Piazza Navona (Best for families)

Hotel Lunetta – Most popular

Lunetta is a 4-star spa hotel only 200m away from Piazza Navona. The air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms feature an elegant design. The spa area boasts an indoor pool, a Finnish sauna and a Turkish bath. Plus, the rooftop bar is great for some coffee or cocktails.
Why book – 200m from Piazza Navona, air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms, indoor pool and rooftop bar

Hotel Martis Palace – Best rated

Hotel Martis Palace is one of the best-rated hotels near Piazza Navona. The location is fantastic – only 50 away from the piazza. Most of the attractions are easily walkable from here. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar with 360° panoramic views of the historical city centre. The rooftop bar is a perfect place to enjoy sunset views and a drink before dinner.
Why book – next to Piazza Navona, rooftop bar with panoramic views, comfy soundproofed rooms

Luxury hotels near Piazza Navona

Hotel Raphael – Most popular

If you look for a luxury stay just right next to Piazza Navona, then Hotel Raphael is your place. The location is ideal both for sightseeing and going out at night. Good-sized rooms with excellent amenities, comfy beds and huge bathrooms with Bvlgari toiletries. It’s all you need for the perfect Roman holiday.
Why book – next to Piazza Navona, amazing rooftop restaurant, delicious organic breakfast, air-conditioned luxurious rooms

The Pantheon Iconic Hotel – Best rated

The 5-star hotel is located just a few steps away from the Pantheon. It’s the best place to stay in Rome if you’re looking for a luxury vacation. The air-conditioned rooms come with a Nespresso coffee machine and Acqua di Parma toiletries. Also, a free smartphone with internet access and unlimited calls is provided. The continental breakfast features seasonal and local products.
Why book – next to Pantheon, panoramic terrace with city views, free smartphone with internet access

Apartments near Pantheon

Sant’Ivo Apartments – Most popular

Sant’Ivo Apartments are perfectly located, 200 away from the Pantheon. Quiet, bright and airy apartments, close to grocery stores and restaurants. Beside the apartment’s private balcony, there is a wonderful shared rooftop terrace.
Why book – 200m from Pantheon, close to grocery stores, shared rooftop terrace

Eve Luxury Apartments Pantheon – Closest to the Pantheon

Eve Luxury Apartments are only 50m away from the Pantheon. Well equipped, modern and tastefully decorated, it’s a great base to explore the city. It’s close to a grocery store, a 24-hour taxi stand and countless restaurants.
Why book – 50m from Pantheon, modern air-conditioned apartments, close to grocery stores

Rome city view

Termini – Where to stay in Rome for one night

If you’re in the city for a night, choose accommodation near Termini Railway station. The area is very convenient for transport links and travelling to the rest of Italy. Getting to both airports is also easy – just take the Leonardo Express train or any of the numerous shuttle buses.

Both metro lines intersect here at Termini station. The blue one takes you to the Colosseum, while the red one to Spanish Steps and Vatican City. Plus, a lot of the tourist attractions are within walking distance. The Historic Centre is about 1km away.

Why stay near Roma Termini

  • stay here if you need a convenient area and want to be close to all public transport
  • numerous shuttle buses to Ciampino and Fiumicino Airports (plus an express train to Fiumicino)
  • the two metro lines give easy access to the city
  • Termini station is a starting point of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours

Hotel Artemide – Best rated

Artemide is set in a 19th-century building, 500m away from the Termini Station. It has a great location, near restaurants, bars and shops. In addition, you can enjoy an excellent rooftop restaurant and a spa centre with a sauna and a Turkish bath.
Why book – 500m from the Termini Station, excellent rooftop restaurant, wellness centre, modern air-conditioned rooms

iQ Hotel Roma – Most popular

iQ Hotel Roma is in a safe area, only 300m away from the Termini Station. Comfy, well-equipped rooms with memory foam beds and blackout curtains. The breakfast is excellent and has plenty of vegan options available. It’s a great place to stay in Rome for families and couples.
Why book – 300m from the Termini Station, comfy rooms with blackout curtains, excellent breakfast with vegan options

Palazzo Naiadi – Luxury option

Palazzo Naiadi is one of the closest 5-star hotels to Termini Station. Plus, it’s just a few steps from the Repubblica metro station. The hotel features a wellness spa area and a rooftop bar with amazing views of the city.
Why book – next to Termini Station, panoramic rooftop terrace with seasonal plunge pool, mahogany bathrooms

Spanish Steps

Where to stay in Rome for a honeymoon

Rome is great for honeymooners! Around every corner, you’ll encounter charming squares, centuries-old ruins, elegant palaces and cosy little restaurants. The perfect setting for your romantic trip. Yet, there is one important question – what is the best area to stay for a honeymoon?

If you’re visiting Rome for a honeymoon, the area around the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountain is the ideal choice for you. It’s a fancy and cosmopolitan place with a lot of history, home to many high-end boutiques, chic restaurants and gorgeous Neoclassical buildings.

The beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese are just around the corner, providing the perfect setting for a romantic walk. Plus, the area is less touristy than Piazza Navona (except around the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps of course). Still, most of the tourist attractions are within walking distance.

Why stay near the Spanish Steps

  • stay here if you’re planning a romantic trip (or some serious shopping)
  • you’re at walking distance to Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo and many more
  • the metro provides quick access to the rest of the city
  • Via Condotti hosts some of the best haute-couture boutiques
  • the romantic Villa Borghese gardens are just around the corner
  • take an evening walk along the Tiber River

Daniel’s Hotel – Affordable luxury

The hotel is set on a quiet street close to Via Condotti and Via Del Corso, two of the most famous shopping street in Rome. Trevi Fountain is just a 5min walk. The romantic boutique rooms give you a feeling like staying in an old Italian palace. And the best part – the breakfast is served on a rooftop terrace with gorgeous city views.
Why book – 200m from Spanish Steps, next to shopping street, luxurious air-conditioned rooms, rooftop terrace

Hotel Splendide Royal – Most popular

Housed in a 19th-century monastery, this unique hotel overlooks the beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese. The spacious rooms are designed with extreme elegance and class. The Mediterranean restaurant offers magnificent views of the city’s rooftops. It’s the most romantic place to stay for a honeymoon!
Why book – next to Villa Borghese, housed in a 19th-century monastery, restaurant and terrace with views of city’s rooftops

Hassler Roma – Best rated

If you look for a 5-star treatment with an ideal location, then Hassler is all you need. The hotel is located on top of the Spanish Steps and a few minutes from the main shopping street. In addition, Hassler boasts a wellness spa and a rooftop restaurant with stunning views.
Why book – right next to Spanish Steps, Michelin-starred restaurant, wellness centre with sauna and Turkish bath

Where to stay in Rome for nightlife

If you’re visiting Rome for nightlife, stay in Trastevere or Campo de’ Fiori.

Where to stay in Rome for nightlife

  • Campo de’ Fiori – the best location for nightlife with numerous aperitivo bars (and close to tourist attractions)
  • Trastevere – a charming area with hundreds of little trattorias, restaurants and bars (a little far from historic sites)


Trastevere is a good area to stay in Rome for nightlife. The neighbourhood is situated across the Tiber within a short walk from the Historic Centre. It’s a picturesque district with winding cobbled streets and vibrant piazzas. Filled with hundreds of little trattorias, restaurants and bars, it boasts some of the best nightlife in Rome. It’s the ideal spot for a nighttime aperitivo.

The only drawback is that there is no metro nearby. The closest metro station is Circo Massimo, about 1.5km away. Yet, if nightlife is what you’re looking for, there is no better place to be.

VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel – Most popular

This 4-star boutique hotel is perfectly situated for exploring Trastevere. A lot of local trattorias, bars and shops within reach. You’d feel like stepping back in time as the hotel is housed a 16th-century historic building.
Why book – in the heart of Trastevere, inner garden, quiet air-conditioned rooms

Campo de’ Fiori

However, if you look for a more central area with a vibrant nightlife, then Campo de’ Fiori is the place for you. It’s a popular aperitivo area right in the heart of the city. The best part is that it’s on a walking distance from the major attractions. However, it misses the charm of Trastevere.

Hotel Smeraldo – Most popular

Hotel Smeraldo is the most popular hotel in Campo de’ Fiori area. It’s perfect for travellers interested in nightlife and sightseeing. The hotel features modern comfy rooms and a rooftop terrace.
Why book – 200m from the popular square of Campo de’ Fiori, roof terrace with a cocktail bar, air-conditioned rooms


Where to stay in ancient Rome

The area around the Colosseum is the oldest one in the Eternal City. It’s the perfect location to stay if you want to experience ancient Rome.

It’s a charming place, filled with ancient ruins and centuries-old history. Plus, you’ll find also a lot of traditional trattorias, wine bars and great aperitivo spots.

Moreover, the area is very convenient, as there is a metro station right opposite the Colosseum. It’s easy to get to Termini Station, Spanish Steps and Vatican City. As for the Historic Centre, it’s only a 15min walk from here.

Why stay near the Colosseum

  • you’ll be in the heart of ancient Rome, surrounded by history and centuries-old buildings
  • easy access to the Colosseum (to beat the queues in the morning)
  • getting to Roma Termini and Vatican City is easy (using the metro)

Hotels near Colosseum (Best for couples)

Hotel Capo d’Africa – Best rated

Hotel Capo d’Africa is one of the closest 4-star hotels to the Colosseum. Although located in a very touristy area, the hotel is down a quiet side street. Breakfast is served on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Colosseum. It’s a great way to start your day.
Why book – 300m from Colosseum, rooftop terrace overlooking the Colosseum, quiet air-conditioned rooms

Roma Luxus Hotel – Most popular

Roma Luxus Hotel is only 300m away from the Roman Forum and 600m from the Colosseum. Housed in a historic 18th-century palace, it’s a very chic place. The breakfast is good and features plenty of choices and a great coffee.
Why book – 600m from Colosseum, spacious air-conditioned rooms, excellent breakfast

Hotels near Colosseum (Best for families)

Monti Palace Hotel – Most popular

Although situated 600m away from the Colosseum, the location is more than convenient. The metro station Cavour is right next to the hotel. Modern and stylish rooms with a contemporary touch.
Why book – 600m from Colosseum, next to metro station, rooftop bar

Hotel Palazzo Manfredi – Luxury option

For a view to Colosseum right from your hotel window, stay in Hotel Palazzo Manfredi. It’s a 5-star luxury hotel less than 100m away from the Colosseum.
Why book – 100m from Colosseum, next to metro station, rooftop terrace, spacious rooms

Vatican City

Where to stay near the Vatican City

If you look for a quieter area close to public transport and attractions, then the Prati neighbourhood is the best choice.

Don’t forget to buy a fast-track entry to the Vatican Museums in advance (the lines are hours long).

The location is great, especially if you plan to visit the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and attend the Papal Audience. It’s a huge plus, as you can get there early and avoid the crowds. You’ll also be close to Castel Sant’Angelo, which is a lovely sight at night.

The area is well connected to the rest of Rome, as the red metro line A has two stops near the Vatican.

Why stay near Vatican City

  • easy access to Castel Sant’Angelo and Vatican Museums (to beat the queues in the morning)
  • well connected to the rest of the city and Roma Termini (red metro line A)
  • quiet area with many local trattorias and gelato shops

Hotel Vespasiano – Closest to the Vatican

Vespasiano is a boutique 4-star hotel housed in a typical Roman building. It’s one of the closest hotels to Vatican City. Also, the hotel is just a short walk from the metro station Ottaviano. A perfect base to explore the Vatican and the rest of the city.
Why book – next to Vatican City, close to metro station, spacious air-conditioned rooms

Hotel Della Conciliazione – Most popular

Della Conciliazione is located on a cobblestone street with many restaurants, cafes and shops. It’s right in the middle between Vatican Museums and Castel Sant’Angelo. The rooms are spacious and comfortable with excellent air-conditioning.
Why book – 250m from Vatican City, direct link with Termini train station (bus line 40), spacious air-conditioned rooms

Gran Melia – Luxury option

Gran Melia is one of the best places to stay in Rome, near the Vatican. The location is more than ideal – 400m away from the St. Peter’s Basilica. Plus, Trastevere and the Historic Centre are within a walking distance. This 5-star hotel features a beautiful garden and a wellness spa centre with swimming pool and a Turkish bath.
Why book – 400m from Vatican City, wellness centre with outdoor swimming pool, Nespresso machine

Trianon Borgo Pio Aparthotel – Apartments

The aparthotel offers comfy and modern apartments with a fully equipped kitchen. Breakfast is served on the top floor with some amazing views of St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition, a big grocery store is available just around the corner. A great place for a family stay.
Why book – 200m from Vatican City, rooftop terrace, quiet spacious apartments, next to grocery stores

What is the best hotel location in Rome for you?
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About the author

Avatar Milena Yordanova
I am a full-time traveller and I have visited over 20 countries across 2 continents. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.


  1. We stayed at IQ Roma. Perfect location – close to Termini station and major attractions! In fact, it was one of the best hotels we stayed in Europe during our vacation.

  2. Hi I’m staying at Eitch in 2 weeks. When is the last time you stayed there ? I’m reading mixed reviews. Thank you .

    • Hi Barbara,

      I stayed there before the covid pandemic, about 4 years ago. Still, when I look at the reviews at the moment, more than 90% are excellent (not only on Booking.com, but also on Tripadvisor and Google Maps). Keep in mind, that in general the 4-stars hotels in Italy have the quality of 3-stars, especially if they have a central location. In addition to this, many are lacking a real reception, or they occupy only a few floors of a building, etc. Noise is often a problem if the hotel is housed in an old building or the location is central. Breakfast is usually limited and focused on sweet pastries.

      You can find better hotels near Roma Termini (please see my recommendations in this article), but in this case you have to sacrifice the location. 🙂

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