Combining more than 2,500 years of history with mouthwatering Lazio cuisine, ancient temples raised by powerful emperors with some of the world’s most exquisite art collections, Rome is the enthralling Eternal City at the very heart of Italy. First-time visitors are often sent into a stupor by the whizzing Piaggio scooters and the babbling fountains, but the energy is all part of the charm. Escapes are possible, too, thanks to pine-scented parks like the Villa Borghese or the solemn churches, of which there are more than 900!
If you’re planning a jaunt to see the Roman ruins and great Vaticano dome this year, you might want to consider booking your accommodation via Airbnb. Not only do the rentals there offer great bang for your buck, but they come in all shapes and sizes, in all sorts of exciting corners of the capital. Read on for an area guide that highlights some of the best Airbnb pads of all…
Airbnb is one of the go-to accommodation resources for travelers lucky enough to be hitting the Eternal City. It’s totally legal in Italy and is a great way to discover stays that aren’t your run-of-the-mill hotel. Some requirements are in place. For example, you’ll need to provide a copy of your passport on check-in. What’s more, there’s a tourist tax of 3.5 EUR per person, per night on stays of up to 10 days. The host of the Airbnb will usually take care of all that for you.
Where should I stay in Rome Airbnb?
Rome is a vast city that spreads all the way from the Mediterreanan coast to the foothills of the Sabina ranges. There are some neighbourhoods you simply have to know about. The Centro Storico (1) is chief among them – it’s where you’ll delve into medieval Rome and its famous piazzas. Trastevere (2) is south of that and over the river, offering a foodie haven that’s romantic to the T. Prati (3) and the Tridente (4) combine nearer to the Vatican and sights like the Spanish Steps. Testaccio (5), meanwhile, is for the travelers who love to explore more local districts that don’t have the crowds, while Termini (6) is well-connected and easy on the wallet.
Endless sights and historical attractions
People watching on the piazzas
Loads of great historic Airbnbs
The busiest part of the city
Rome is a city of many layers. The remnants of its medieval era unfold where the Centro Storico buts up to the bends of the Tiber River. It’s Rome at arguably its most Italian, what with cobbled alleys, hidden plazas, and vast piazzas popping up all over the place. Some gathering points are legendary. Just check out the gorgeous Piazza Navona and its babbling fountains. Also don’t miss Piazza della Rotonda, where the Pantheon stands tall. Basically, history buffs, food lovers, people watchers – this one’s got something for everyone!
On the western banks of the Tiber, Trastevere unfolds in mosaic of crooked cobbled lanes and ivy-scrawled houses. Foodies come in search of traditional Italian pasta houses and osterias, which spill onto the corners under overhanging balconies and blooms of bougainvillea. Photographers adore the area for the Instagram-worthy architecture. Mainly, though, it’s for loved-up couples looking to tap into Rome’s romantic side.
Widely hailed as the home of some Rome’s most affordable Airbnb rentals, Prati is a grid of crisscrossing streets that lurks behind the great redbrick Castel Sant’Angelo. The location is downright perfect if you’re coming here to tour the Vatican Museums and see the Sistine Chapel – they are right on the doorstep. Families should also feel at home on account of the tourist-friendly vibe and the international array of eateries. Don’t want pizza? How about Filipino, Indian, or just a spot of fast food?
Budget travelers and backpackers have been making use of the hostels and guesthouses of the Termini area for decades now. It’s not going to win any prizes for good looks, but there’s plenty to be said for the down-to-earth atmosphere and the bargain-friendly Airbnb offering. What’s more, Termini – being close to huge Termini station – is one of the main transport hubs of Rome. You can hop on the metro here and be in the Colosseum or Vatican in no time. Or, you can escape to Ostia on the coast, or even Florence for a day trip.
You’ll probably recognise a lot of what you see in Tridente. Formed by a trio of major thoroughfares that converge on the fantastically lively Piazza del Popolo, this is the stomping ground of the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and the Mausoleum of Augustus. Add to that strips of high-fashion retailers and jewellers and viola: You’ve got one of the most exclusive corners of the city.
Lived-in Testaccio is drawing more and more travelers with the promise of a glimpse at authentic Roman life. It’s got the best of both worlds, because the Colosseum and Roman Forum aren’t too far up the Tiber, but you still catch earthy pizzerias (try the wonderful Remo) and local marketplaces doing their thing. The most eye-catching landmark in the area is the Piramide di Caio Cestio – a strange ancient pyramid that not many visitors will see.
Few Airbnb rentals capture the exquisite grandeur of the Eternal City quite as well as this stunning stay in the midst of the Centro Storico. Gold-rimmed furniture and marble-carved fireplaces abound inside, below ceilings that display stunning frescos from a time gone by. The bed is super inviting, the bathroom is inlaid with elegant tilework, and even the stairs leading up ooze a certain age-old atmosphere.
Located just above the square where Julia Roberts was filmed arriving in Rome in Eat, Pray, Love,this charming two-story townhouse gets you right into the centre of the city. It’s compact inside but has a large kitchen-diner area with an open window onto the street. There’s only a single bedroom but lots of extra sleeping space in the common areas.
Clean, characterful and with just a touch of Roman regal elegance, this compact flat can sleep up to seven. However, it’s the location in the midst of the capital’s main sightseeing district that really gives it a pull for families. A few steps away and you’ll be gazing at the Trevi Fountain. A few more and you’ll be climbing the Spanish Steps. You get the idea!
You can score your very own Roman palazzo in the streets in front of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum with this top-quality rental. It hosts up to 20 people at a time, across nine separate bedrooms. There’s no compromise on style – the whole place channels touches of Italian rusticity into a thoroughly cutting-edge interior with a flat-screen TV and beautifully fitted kitchen.
The deluxe Jacuzzi Suite is a sure way to treat your other half on a trip to Rome. It’s got a private entrance that comes in from the heart of the uber-romantic La Trastevere area. That leads to a peaceful space with its own hot tub set into the ground. The bedroom and bathroom are both clean and contemporary.
Rome has a reputation for having some of the most expensive hotels in Italy, especially during the summer high season. Thankfully, Airbnb in the city can offer great value for money. Be sure to check out the generous monthly and weekly discounts that are available, or search for a place that lets you share the cost of the stay with your whole travel group. Lots of listings also usually come with self-catering spaces to help cut costs when you’re on the ground.
It’s important to remember that Airbnbs aren’t the same as hotels. For that extra level of service, you might want to consider a stay in an establishment like The Building Hotel. It’s a 4-star option in the vicinity of Termini that’s roughly in line with the cost of a flat rental. However, it also adds on a private spa, daily housekeeping, and breakfast buffets to fuel those sightseeing outings each day.
The Colosseum, the ruins of ancient temples, the great dome of St Peter’s, the Vatican – Rome is a wonderworld of amazing sights and attractions. Around them swirls a city of pizza-rolling trattoria and bustling piazzas that rarely fails to beguile travelers. Choose your hotels or Airbnb to kick-start your trip to the enthralling Italian capital today. Also read our guide: Rome to Venice.