Where to Stay in Rome First Time: Top Picks for New Visitors


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Planning a trip to the Eternal City can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to finding the perfect place to stay. As a first-time visitor to Rome, you’ll want to find a neighborhood that offers a blend of history, culture, and convenience. With so many options to choose from, it might feel like you have to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to decide! But fear not – we’ve got you covered with some top recommendations for neighborhoods and areas to explore during your Roman holiday.

One of the best areas to stay for first-time visitors is the Centro Storico, a central location offering a true taste of Rome’s vibrant atmosphere. With easy access to iconic landmarks such as the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, you’ll be immersed in the city’s history while also being surrounded by a wide array of accommodation options. Another excellent choice is the Vatican City Area, which is not only ideal for those wishing to explore the Vatican but also provides easy access to the rest of the city through Rome’s public transportation system.

Did you know that Rome is home to more than 900 churches? As you explore the city’s sprawling streets, you’ll be amazed at the rich history and fascinating stories that await around every corner. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or an art enthusiast, Rome’s diverse neighborhoods offer something for everyone. So pack your bags and let the adventure begin – are you ready to discover the very best that Rome has to offer?

Choosing the Right Neighborhood

When visiting Rome for the first time, it’s essential to choose the right neighborhood for your stay. This will ensure that you have a fantastic experience while exploring this historical city. In this section, we’ll briefly discuss four popular neighborhoods for first-time visitors: Centro Storico, Trastevere, Monti, and Prati.

Centro Storico

Centro Storico, Rome’s historic center, is an excellent location for first-time visitors. This neighborhood is home to many of Rome’s major attractions, making it an ideal base for exploring the city.

Things to do

  • Visit Piazza Navona
  • Explore the Pantheon
  • Check out the Spanish Steps

Fun Fact: Centro Storico is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Rome, with a history dating back over 2,000 years.


Often considered the most charming neighborhood in Rome, Trastevere features narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful squares, and lively bars and restaurants. It’s an excellent option for those looking for a more local experience.

Things to do:

  • Stroll along the picturesque streets
  • Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria
  • Grab a meal at a local trattoria

Interesting Story: Trastevere was once inhabited by fishermen and sailors, giving the neighborhood its distinct maritime atmosphere.


Monti is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood located close to the Colosseum, offering a mix of ancient history and modern culture. This area is also known for its eclectic shopping options and bohemian atmosphere.

Things to do:

  • Explore the Roman Forum
  • Shop at local boutiques and vintage shops
  • Enjoy a meal at a hip restaurant or café

Fun Fact: Monti was once Rome’s red-light district but is now known as a hub for artisans and creative minds.


Located near Vatican City, Prati is an upscale residential district known for its elegant architecture and stylish shopping options. This neighborhood is an excellent choice for those interested in visiting the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Things to do:

  • Tour Vatican City and its museums
  • Shop along Via Cola di Rienzo
  • Relax in the beautiful Piazza Cavour

Interesting Story: The construction of Prati began in 1886, and it was one of the first neighborhoods built outside the ancient city walls.

Budget-Friendly Options

Rome, being a popular tourist destination, offers accommodations for all budgets. This section will provide you with budget-friendly options divided into hostels, bed and breakfasts, and boutique guesthouses.


  • The Beehive is a highly recommended hostel in Rome that offers affordable yet comfortable accommodation. Known for its warm environment and inviting atmosphere, it is perfect for first-time visitors.
  • Generator Rome is another excellent choice for budget travelers. Located near the Colosseum, this modern hostel focuses on socializing opportunities and features plenty of common areas where you can meet fellow travelers.

Bed and Breakfasts

  • For those looking for a more intimate setting, consider staying in a bed and breakfast near Termini Station. The Esquilino area is known for its affordable accommodations, making it a good option for budget travelers. The proximity to public transportation will make your sightseeing much easier.
  • According to the search results, Casa di Teli is a charming B&B located in Trastevere, offering a cozy atmosphere and situated close to many popular sights in Rome.

Boutique Guesthouses

  • Casa Pietra is a quaint guesthouse set in the Centro Storico, ideal for first-time travelers. Featuring friendly staff and a convenient location, it provides a perfect balance between affordability and comfort.
  • Coronari Palace, also located in the Centro Storico, is another great boutique guesthouse choice for budget-conscious visitors. The ambiance of this accommodation is both charming and welcoming, ensuring a pleasant stay during your time in Rome.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Rome’s districts, called Rioni, were first established in the 14th century? Many of the city’s neighborhoods still retain their historical character and charm, which is a key aspect of their appeal to travelers.

Things to do

While staying on a budget, don’t miss out on Rome’s numerous and awe-inspiring sights. Take a stroll through the Trastevere neighborhood to admire the beautiful streets, explore the ancient ruins at the Roman Forum, and don’t forget to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to this magnificent city.

Luxury Accommodations

Rome, the eternal city, offers a range of luxurious accommodations for first-time visitors. Experience the grandeur of this historical city while indulging in the finest creature comforts. In this section, we will explore some of the best options for a memorable stay in Rome.

Five-Star Hotels

One of the top luxury hotels in Rome is the St. Regis, which opened in 1894 as “The Grand.” As Rome’s first true luxury hotel, it has continued preserving its tradition of elegance and top-notch service. Another splendid choice is Martis Palace, which boasts an incredible roof terrace with a view, and is located next to Piazza Navona.

  • The St. Regis – Elegance and historical charm
  • Martis Palace – Roof terrace with a view of Rome

Historical Palazzos

For those who prefer staying in historical palazzos, consider booking a room at Casa Pietra or Coronari Palace in the heart of Centro Storico. These charming guesthouses offer friendly staff, fantastic locations, and a unique chance to experience Rome’s rich history.

  • Casa Pietra – Historical charm in Centro Storico
  • Coronari Palace – Great location and warm hospitality

Exclusive Apartments

If you are looking for a more private stay, Rome offers a variety of exclusive apartments to suit your needs. Booking sites like Booking.com offer fantastic options for luxurious apartments near popular sites like Piazza Navona and the Colosseum, complete with modern amenities and unparalleled comfort.

  • Exclusive apartments – Privacy and comfort
  • Proximity to popular attractions – Piazza Navona and Colosseum

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that the Trevi Fountain, one of Rome’s most popular attractions, collects an average of €3,000 in coins each day? The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic charity, to support social programs and help those in need.

Things to do

While staying in these luxurious accommodations, be sure to make time for activities such as exploring ancient Roman ruins, indulging in delicious Italian cuisine, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through the city’s charming cobblestone streets. Rome has no shortage of beauty, history, and culture to offer its visitors.

Family-Friendly Lodging

When visiting Rome for the first time, it’s essential to find accommodation that suits your family’s needs. This section will guide you through family-friendly lodging options, including kid-friendly hotels, apartments, and agriturismo stays.

Kid-Friendly Hotels

Some of the best family hotels in Rome include:

  • Internazionale Domus: A luxury option with spacious two-bedroom apartments, all equipped with kitchenettes.
  • Cosmopolita Hotel: A comfortable hotel with family suites, providing a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
  • Welcome Piram Hotel: This hotel features a convenient location close to major attractions, ensuring that families can easily explore Rome.

These hotels offer family-friendly amenities such as kids’ play areas, babysitting services, and child-friendly dining options.


Renting an apartment is another great option for families seeking a home away from home. Some recommended options are:

  • Peter’s Dream: A beautiful family-friendly apartment near the Colosseum, featuring three bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a sitting area.
  • Apartments near Piazza Navona: A central location ensuring easy access to the many historic sites and attractions Rome has to offer.

Staying in an apartment allows families to cook meals, have more space, and experience Rome like a local.

Agriturismo Stays

An Agriturismo stay is an excellent option for families who want to experience the Italian countryside while still being close to Rome. Agriturismo properties are usually located on farms or vineyards and offer a unique and rustic experience, combining both agriculture and tourism.

These stays provide a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing families to enjoy nature and discover Rome’s hidden gems off the beaten path.

Fun Fact: Rome is nicknamed “The Eternal City” due to its rich history and ancient origins, which date back to 753 BC. Enjoy exploring this historic city with your family and make unforgettable memories!

Safety and Convenience

When planning your trip to Rome, it’s important to consider safety and convenience when choosing the best neighborhood for your stay. We’ll cover proximity to attractions and transportation options to help make your first-time visit unforgettable.

Proximity to Attractions

One of the best areas to stay in Rome for first-time visitors is the Centro Storico, which is the historic center of the city. In this neighborhood, you’ll be within walking distance of some of Rome’s most famous attractions, like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain.

Another great option is the Monti neighborhood, which offers easy access to the main sites and is close to the train station. Monti also boasts a vibrant atmosphere with alternative bars and vintage shopping.

Transportation Options

Rome has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro system. Staying near the Termini Railway Station is a convenient option if you plan to travel beyond Rome’s city center. Alternatively, the areas around the Colosseum and Vatican City offer a more local feel and are well-connected to the public transportation network.

Fun Fact: Rome’s historic center is home to a weekday farmers market at Campo de’ Fiori, where you can stock up on local produce, cheeses, and more to create your own charcuterie board.

Things to do: While in Rome, make sure to visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Vatican Museums, which house the Sistine Chapel. For a taste of local life, explore the Trastevere neighborhood and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at a local trattoria.

Top Tips for First-Time Visitors

Booking in Advance

Booking your accommodation in advance is crucial when planning your trip to Rome. The city’s most popular neighborhoods, such as Centro Storico, can fill up quickly with fellow tourists. By securing your stay early, you’ll have access to the best deals and a wider selection of hotels or vacation rentals.

To find the perfect place for your stay, websites like Booking.com offer daily hotel deals and loyalty programs that include discounts, free breakfast, and room upgrades.

Considering the Season

The best time to visit Rome for first-time visitors is during the spring and fall, especially the months of May and October. During these times, the weather is pleasant and dry, and the city is adorned with beautiful blossoms or autumnal foliage.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Rome experiences high tourist traffic during Easter weeks, so it might be best to avoid visiting the city during this period.

Managing Expectations

While Rome is an incredible city with a rich history and countless attractions, it’s vital to manage your expectations regarding what you can see and do in a single visit. Be prepared for the large crowds of tourists, especially at popular spots like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain.

To maximize your sightseeing experience, consider visiting some lesser-known attractions like the weekday farmers market at Campo de’ Fiori or getting your morning coffee fix at local favorite cafes such as Roscioli.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Rome’s Pantheon, a 2,000-year-old temple-turned-church, is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world? Its impressive engineering and beautiful design are a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural prowess.

Things to Do

When visiting Rome, don’t forget to:

  • Explore the beautiful piazzas like Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo
  • Visit famous landmarks such as the Roman Forum, Pantheon, and Spanish Steps
  • Discover Rome’s numerous museums, including the Vatican Museums and Borghese Gallery
  • Taste delicious Italian gelato from one of the many local gelaterias
  • Indulge in Rome’s vibrant food scene by trying pizza, pasta, and other typical Roman dishes at local trattorias and osterias
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