Where should your hotel be in Rome?

Finding a hotel in Rome isn’t exactly easy. Not because there aren’t any. There are a ton of hotels spread all over town. And that is where the challenge lies: where are should your hotel be if you want to make the best of your limited time in Rome?

First of all: Rome has an excellent public transport system. This system will take you from wherever your hotel might be to the city center no problem. But if you have a choice, there are some things that might make your stay just a tad more enjoyable.

So, what is the prime location for hotels in Rome?

The above map (link to the full map here) shows you 2 areas where I would pick a hotel. The green area is the prime location if you want to be right in the thick of it. The yellow area is a good alternative to the prime location.

This is doesn’t mean you should be within either one of these area’s to enjoy your stay in Rome. If you can find a great deal outside of these zones, don’t be afraid to go for it. But do make sure you have a subway station or train station nearby so you can get to the city center quickly.

The prime zone

The prime location for hotels is right in the city center. Especially near the Piazza Navona is a great place to stay. It is very close to St. Peters Basilica, the Vatican Museums and even the Trevi Fountain is close by.

If you are going to stay in this area, you’re in for a treat. However, make sure you bring good shoes. Rome’s subway system has an obvious hole in the middle, right in this green area. There are a lot of bus services but chances are you’ll be walking to most places as they are relatively close.

The Panteon
The Pantheon is right in the middle of the prime zone.

If you can’t walk large(ish) distances, you might want to consider staying in the yellow area on the map. This area has better infrastructure when it comes to subway access, trams and even trains.

Hotels in this area are popular and they do command a premium most of the time. If you want to visit Rome on a budget and want to stay in this area, try coming to Rome in the off season. This will keep the costs in check and even in the dead of winter, Roman weather is usually quite decent. Just don’t expect 25+ degrees.

The ‘other’ zone

The yellow zone is not a ‘if you have no other choice’ kind of deal. Here you can find hotels that will cater to every price point and they are not far from the city center. In this zone the access to the subway system is the most important thing to take into account. You will have to make use of public transport quite a bit as you are not close enough to all the sights simply to walk there.

If you can’t walk large distances, this area might just punch your ticket as the public transport is much better than in the ‘prime’ zone. If you want to visit the city center, you’ll still have to rely on busses as there aren’t any subway lines underneath the very heart of the city.

You can get amazing views from up high
You can get amazing views from up high near the Spanish Steps.

Depending on the area you chose in this zone, you’ll be close to one of the major sights. For example: if you are sticking to the north of the zone, you’ll be close to the Vatican or the Spanish Steps. In the south, you’ll be close to the Colosseum.

Where should you stay?

If you can afford the prices and can walk longer distances, then go for the green/prime zone on the map. Check if it is possible to travel to Rome in the off season if you want so save a bit, because prices vary quite a bit depending on the season.

If you don’t want to walk as much as you’ll have to in the green/prime zone, then the yellow zone is your friend. Stay close to the subway stations and make sure you are close to one of the major attractions that draws you to Rome. This way you’ll have easy access to it on foot and to the rest of the city by subway. In this zone prices vary too depending on the season, so even here you might want to take a look at traveling in the off season.

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