Mixing ancient Roman ruins, renaissance art and contemporary Italian cuisine, Rome is an unmissable destination in Southern Europe. The city is crowded, dirty and noisy, but it’s also full of charming side streets to explore and ancient ruins that will set your imagination on fire.
There are hundreds of cheap hostels in Rome offering shared accommodation for backpackers and budget-conscious travellers. You can also find more upscale options in the form of boutique hostels and B&B’s that offer private rooms and give you a chance to escape after a day of sightseeing.
Hostels in Rome aren’t just a place to put your head. Some of the best hostels in Rome have their own rooftop terraces and private gardens where you can make some new friends on a warm summer evening. If you prefer to party, there’s also a great selection of hostels that put on regular social events at the bar, offer free welcome shots and organise pub crawls around the city.
Are you looking for price, proximity or peace of mind? The Termini District has the best selection of cheap accommodation in the city, and as the name suggests, it’s extremely close to the Roma Termini railway station, which makes it easy to get in and out of the city as part of a longer trip.
If you’re more concerned with being in the heart of the action and having easy access to all of the best tourist attractions, then you’ll want to consider The Historical Centre. Finally, there’s the Trastevere Neighbourhood, which offers a slice of tranquillity in the city. You’ll pay slightly more to stay in the area, but it also gives you access to a selection of Rome's best cheap restaurants and wine bars.
There is no shortage of ancient ruins to explore. Take a stroll through the Pantheon, a former temple that was once dedicated to the pagan Gods of old Rome, or walk in the shadows of The Colosseum and try to put yourself in the shoes of the gladiators pitted against fierce opponents and animals.
For something a little different, why not spend the afternoon people watching from the Spanish Steps? You could also spend some time exploring the lanes and piazzas of Trastevere, or one of more than 2000 fountains dotted around the city. That includes the exquisite Trevi Fountain, which is filled with nearly 3000 euros every day – which goes to food and social programs around the world.
If you prefer to explore a city through its food, then Rome will not disappoint. The Historic Centre is a good starting point, but watch out for tourist traps. For a more authentic experience head out to some of the quieter residential areas where you can find authentic local cuisine.
The Metro in Rome consists of only two lines, so it’s worth getting familiar with the buses if you want to avoid walking everywhere in the city. You can buy tickets from newsstands, tobacco shops and automated ticket vending machines at most Metro stations and a few larger bus stops.