Explore The Historic Castel Santangelo
On the right side of the Tiber River and just a short distance from the Vatican, you can find Castel SantAngelo also called The Mausoleum of Hadrian or Hadrians Tomb.
The castles initial purpose was to serve as the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Hadrian and his family. It was then later used as a fortress with prison and is now a museum. Apparently, the urns containing the ashes were placed in what is nowadays known as the Treasury Room deep inside Castel SantAngelo.
Its easily reachable within a 10-minute walk from Piazza Navona on the one side, or the Vatican on the other side of the river. The most scenic way to approach the castle is by crossing Ponte SantAngelo where you can admire created by the famous Italian sculptor Bernini.
The castle and the museum are open from Tuesday to Sundayfrom 9:00 am to 7:30 pm. On Friday its open until 10:00 pm. Regular tickets cost 20.50 per person, whereas people from 18-25 years only pay 9.50. Everyone younger than that only pays 5.50. Its possible to buy them online or at the cash desk.
If you have enough spare time, plan on visiting the Vatican Museums to admire the famous painting of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
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Where To Stay In Rome: Eur Modern Rome Area
Rome is not defined by its historical sites only. Behind San Paolo church starts its modern area EUR, located south of the city center. It was built during fascism and then became a residential and nightlife area.
Be sure you see Piazza Guglielmo Marconi with the obelisk dedicated to the Italian inventor at its center, the square Coliseum now a Fendi palace hosting a free exhibition and cinema, the Eur lake with small waterfalls recently open to the public after decades.
The newly built Rome convention center La Nuvola the Cloud by Fuksas is already a pilgrimages placefor lovers of the contemporary architecture.If you travel with children they will probably enjoy the LunEur a theme park opened last year after a renovation.
Stay here if this is not your first visit to Rome and you already know the historical center or if you dont want to spend much for your allocation. It is also great for those who love modern architecture. The nearest metro stops are Eur Fermi and Eur Palaport . You can take bus 714 to go to Termini.
Recommended Hotels in the Eur modern Rome area
Affittacamere Eur Nuvola
Overlooking lake Eur and a 10-minute walk from Eur Fermi Metro stop this B& B offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a shared kitchen.
You might also be interested in my 5 day Rome itinerary, and my Rome Food Guide.
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Throw A Coin In The Trevi Fountain
When you think about Rome, one of the first things you think about is the Trevi Fountain.
This is also free to view and is perfectly tucked inside Roman streets. It is almost surreal to be walking on the cobblestone streets and seeing this amazing fountain come into view.
The Trevi Fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and showcases the sea god Oceanus with his seahorses.
For a better experience, and maybe a photo opportunity, visit the fountain at sunrise. There are only a few people there and it makes for an amazingly intimate experience that you shouldnt take for granted. Just take a seat and stare at all the details in front of your eyes.
If you are to throw a coin in this iconic fountain, legend says that you will one day return to Rome.
Update: We went once at 7:30amit was PACKED already! This was in June, 2019. Give it a try anyways!!
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Colosseo & Imperial Forum: Best Location In Rome For Sightseeing
One of the most important archeological sites in the world, staying near the Colosseum allows you to see the symbol of ancient imperial Rome up close.
- Why is this the best area to stay in Rome:
- Connected by metro
- LGBTQ+ area
Whether youre an ancient history fan or you want to check out the quintessential Roman landmark, the Colosseo quarter is for you.
One of the most visited tourist attractions on earth, Parco Archeologico del Colosseo also includes the Flavian Amphitheater, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, the Domus Aurea and the Arch of Constantine. Together, they represent the most significant testaments to the political and religious history of the most powerful city in the ancient Western world.
On its northwestern end lies the Campidoglio or Monte Capitolino, the most important of Romes seven hills and home to the Capitoline Museums. Opened to the public in 1734, the Capitolini are considered the first museum in the world. Both the palazzi that host the museums and the trapezoidal central piazza were part of a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Not far, lies the neoclassical Monumento Nazionale. Built between 1885 and 1935, the immaculate white structure is humorously known by Romans as The Typewriter or The Wedding Cake.
Leading east from the Colosseum, Via San Giovanni in Laterano was officially designated in 2007 as Romes Gay Street, a gay and lesbian-friendly neighbourhood home to many LGBT-oriented venues.
Best Colosseum Hotels
Take A Break In The Park
Rome has some amazing parks.
Many are private estates of aristocratic Rome families now turned public parks and this means they have beautiful landscaping and sometimes gorgeous architecture.
The most famous of all is probably Villa Borghese, right in the center, but others are worth seeking out too. Villa Doria Pamphili in particular is a treat as it offers stunning views over St Peters dome.
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Where To Stay In Rome Before Cruise
If you were planning to spend a little time in Rome before heading out on a cruise, then it is likely that your cruise boat will be departing from Civitavecchia, a port that is some 80 km northwest of the city.
Your cruise operator will be happy to help you to arrange the best way to connect with your vessel, and so you can stay in any part of Rome that you choose. If you are staying for one, two, three, or four nights, just consult the relevant section of this Q& A for my advice on the best places to stay for that amount of time.
Top Things To See And Do In Esquilino
- Sip and sample your way through the bustling Mercato Centre.
- See the stunning architecture at the Basilica di Santa Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri.
- Quench your thirst and hunger at Bred Bottega Gourmet, where the sandwiches are to die for!
- Take a stroll around Piazza del Spagna and sit on the Spanish Steps.
- Take in the panoramic views of Rome from the rooftop of the Radisson Blu Es Hotel, where you can enjoy cocktails and DJ sets as you watch the sun go down.
- Walk up to Piazza del Popolo to see the oldest obleisk in the city.
- If youre staying a while in Rome, take a weekend trip from Termini Station to Pompeii.
- Learn to cook your favorite Italian fare by taking a cooking class with a local.
- Rent a Vespa and explore the city on two wheels. You know, like they do in the movies!
- Grab a seat and spend an afternoon people-watching over a cup of espresso at eBar.
- Take a food tour of Rome and explore its culinary secrets.
- Explore the ancient baths of Diocletian, the largest of the imperial baths that were built between 298 and 306.
- Indulge in Italian pastries and savour a cup of cappuccino at DAngelo Gatronomia Caffe.
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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.
The location is great, especially if you plan to visit the Vatican Museums, St. Peters Basilica and attend the Papal Audience. Its a huge plus, as you can get there early and avoid the crowds. Youll also be close to Castel SantAngelo, 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.
Piazza Navona & Campo De Fiori: Most Romantic Area To Stay In Rome
Located in the heart of Romes Old Town and surrounded by gorgeous historical buildings, Piazza Navona is one of the most charming squares in the Italian capital.
- Why is this the best area to stay in Rome:
- Heart of the city
- Old Jewish Quarter
- Charming streets and squares
Built between 1648 and 1651 on the site of a Roman-era stadium and commissioned by Pope Innocent X, Piazza Navona is one of the most famous monumental squares in Rome. Considered a symbol of Baroque architecture in the city, the piazza features Gian Lorenzo Berninis architectural and sculptural elements, including the Fountain of the Four Rivers, which represents the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile and the Río de la Plata, the four corners of the earth, as well as works by other masters such as Francesco Borromini and Girolamo Rainaldi.
One of the most visited squares in Rome, the piazza also hosts a market and has also become a place for meeting and performing street artists.
A 5-minute walk from Navona, Campo de Fiori is one of the most famous open markets in the Italian capital and the only historic square in Rome without a church. Popular among locals and tourists for its flowers, fresh produce and local delicatessen, the area is also a buzzing meeting point after sunset thanks to its wealth of restaurants, cocktail bars and terraces.
Best Hotels on Piazza Navona and Around
Hotel Indigo Rome St. George, an IHG Hotel
Hotel De Ricci Small Luxury Hotels of the World
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Best Hostel In Rome: The Romehello Hostel
Lively and vibrant, this is without a doubt one of the best of Romes budget accommodations. Located in the Esquilino neighborhood, this hostel is close to public transport, including the citys main train station, Termini Train Station, and is just a short walk to Romes top attractions and great restaurants. You can enjoy clean, classy, and comfortable accommodations in Romes beating heart, and save money by doing so. Its great location near the train station also makes it ideal for taking a day trip from Rome too.
Testaccio Neighborhood Coolest Place To Stay In Rome
Once a grungy industrial area, Testaccio has undergone a revamp in recent years. Upgrades to the local market and the old city slaughterhouse have helped turn this area from grimy location into one of Romes newest up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Testaccio is a hub for foodies, artists and fashionistas alike. Here youll find a myriad of things to excite your senses, from independent boutiques and jaw-dropping galleries to trendy street food stalls and eclectic restaurants. Explore Testaccio and discover a hidden gem in the Eternal City.
This is more of a local neighborhood, which means there are plenty of apartments for long-stay travellers, digital nomads and budget backpackers visiting Rome needing a cheap place with a washig machine for a few days.
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Trevi The Best Area To Stay In Rome Close To Most Attractions
Trevi neighborhood is all about tourist places. This small quarter turns around its claim to fame, the gorgeous Baroque Trevi Fountain.
A central historical hub, this quarter was ruled by the Colonna family during the Middle Ages. In the Renaissance, it was dominated by the presence of the papal royal mansion that today is the Quirinale presidential palace. A notable resident of this upscale Rome neighborhood was Michelangelo Buonarroti, who died here very old and alone.
With some great hotels near the Trevi Fountain, this is probably the best location to stay in Rome if you want to be in the heart of tourist life. Major attractions, restaurants, shops, cafes and all you can think of are here. Plus, with an easy walk, you reach Via del Corso, one of the most store-packed streets in Rome, and from there you will easily reach the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps and the rest of the citys attractions.
This is one of the best areas where to stay in Rome for 3 days if you are visiting for sightseeing and exploring the city center.
Many restaurants in this Rome neighborhood have probably tourist quality, but its not uncommon to find pretty good ones. For a delicious pizza a stones throw from the Trevi Fountain, I suggest Piccolo Buco that is also one of our favorite pizza places in Rome, Trattoria Al Moro , Colline Emiliane , Piccolo Arancio . For a good artisan gelato nearby, rely on San Crispino and you wont be disappointed.
What to see in Trevi area:
Best Hostel In Rome: The Yellow
While not the cheapest hostel, The Yellow is consistently named one of Romes best hostels. The Yellow isnt just a hostel but also venue for amazing local music, a place to meet locals and expats at the popular bar, a yoga studio away from home, and so much more. The Yellow has really worked hard to create a community around their hostel and it shows. The Yellow in Rome is ready to be your home in the Eternal City.
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Centro Storico For First
One of the best places to stay in Rome is Centro Storico . Honestly, this is a personal favorite of mine for places to stay in Rome!
Because its located in the center of the city, all the most important city attractions are right there Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain are all close by! Piazza di Spagna is only a 15-minute walk as well, which makes this area one of the best locations to stay in Rome for first-time visitors!
With iconic monuments in every corner, youll feel the history of the city and understand why Rome is the capital of Italy.
The best part of staying in one of the hotels in Romes city center is that youre in the middle of all the action. There are a few downsides, however. It can be a bit pricey. There are also no metro stops close by . But if you like the area and dont mind wandering around, then youll definitely enjoy it!
Here are some of my recommendations for hotels in Central Rome:
Top Things To See And Do In Testaccio
Photo: N i c o l a
- Climb to the top of Monte Testaccio, an artificial mountain made of broken Roman pottery, and enjoy the view.
- Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Rome in Piazza Testaccio, the perfect spot for an afternoon of people watching.
- Shop like a local at the Mercato Testaccio and enjoy sampling as many of the delicious treats and eats as you can!
- Dance the night away at Alpheus, where you have three rooms of great music to choose from.
- Enjoy amazing food and delicious drinks at On the Rox, a favorite haunt of tourists and locals alike.
- Sit back and relax while enjoying a lively atmosphere and urbane cocktails at Moonlight Café, the perfect place for drinks after a day of sightseeing.
- Rock out at Radio Londra, a fun club that caters to the punk rock and mohawked crowd.
- Browse works of art by local and international artists at Mattatoio, the Museum of Contemporary Art.
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Trastevere Area Best Neighbourhood For Nightlife
Trastevere has a long illustrious history and lots of character.
Here you will find plenty of churches , squares, fountains, and has been a favorite cool hangout spot with tourists since the early 2000s.
If you are looking for places to stay in Rome and food and nightlife are your things, this is the area for you.
Its restaurants are cheaper than nearer the main tourist sites, and the food is better.
Many family-run trattorias, as well as cafes, and lots of small but lively bars are scattered throughout the area.
The main square is always a sociable spot with live music and people sitting, sipping and chatting, and fairy lights line some of the streets giving a festive cozy feel year-round.
Where to Stay in Trastevere
- Best Air B& B in Trastevere: Elegant Trastevere Apartment: This elegant and welcoming apartment in the Trastevere district is right in front of Tiber Island in the center.
- Best Hotel: Hotel Ponte Sisto: Located steps from the River Tiber with views of Renaissance and Baroque Rome. Via dei Petinari 64.
Check out Availability and Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- Best Hotel Mid Range: Villa della Fonte: This terracotta-hued, ivy-shrouded gem is in a 17th-century townhouse. Via della Fonte dellOlio 8.
Check out Availability and Prices:Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Budget Hotel: Trastevere Manara: This hotel has fresh, bright bedrooms & new renovations in one of the most atmospheric areas.
Check out Availability and Prices:TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Visit Basilica Di Santa Maria Maggiore
Is there any city in the world with more churches than Rome? I really doubt it. Well ok, maybe there are but in Europe, Rome is definitely in the first place.
So during your time in the Italian capital city, youll most likely stumble across numerous churches in various shapes and sizes. One of the most stunning churches in Rome that you shouldnt miss is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Its considered to be the largest ancient Catholic basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome.
Although it may not look very spectacular from the outside, once youre inside you know why I put it on this list of the best things to do in Rome.
Inside, you can find various architectural styles, from early Christian to Baroque. Even though the basilica was restored and renovated in the 18th century, it retained the original bell tower, breathtaking fifth-century mosaics and marble floors from the medieval periods. The ceiling decoration is even from the Renaissance era.
Until almost two years ago, a small underground chamber under the altar was home to Jesus manger one of the most important Catholic relics. But then at the end of November 2019 and after more than 2,000 years, Pope Francis decided to permanently relocate it to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
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