The Hostel Girl’s Rome Travel Guide
I often get asked by readers which destination would be best for their first solo travel experience. And because of the beauty of the city, the endless number of free things to see and do, and the range of culture that exists there, my first suggestion is always Rome, Italy!
The Beehive Hostel
If you’re looking for a calm environment to relax in the hectic city of Rome, then you won’t find anywhere cozier than The Beehive Hostel. Known to many as the oasis in the centre of Rome, The Beehive offers dormitories for budget travellers, as well as comfortable double and twin private rooms in one of their three locations near Termini train station. With family dinners once a week, story telling events once a month, and some of the best knowledge of Rome, The Beehive Hostel is one of my homes away from home… even my mum loved it!
Address: Via Marghera, 8, 00185 Roma
The Yellow Rome
Those looking for an international party in Rome needn’t go any further than The Yellow Hostel. With one of the busiest bars in the city running live music, 90s themed dance parties, beer pong tournaments, and a basement club every night of the week, you’ll be getting a lot less sleep but you’ll definitely leave with stories to write home about. That’s if you want anyone to know what you got up to…
Address: Via Palestro, 51, 00185 Roma
Roman Street Art
With so many historic sights dotted across the centre of Rome, the street art in the outer neighbourhoods is easily missed. But if you’ve got the time, venturing out into the neighbourhoods of Quadraro, Ostiense, and Pigneto will give you the opportunity to view Rome through the eyes of contemporary, local artists…fantastic street artists to be precise!
Also, there is an incredible tour company called Scooteroma who can show you the best of the city’s street art on the back of a Vespa—an opportunity not to be missed!
The Trevi Fountain at Sunrise
One of Rome’s most famous sights, it’s not a surprise that the Trevi Fountain is absolutely packed with tourists on a daily basis—even in the quieter seasons. But if you can get up for dawn and aim to visit before 8am, then you’ll find it a lot less crowded. The colours around the Piazza at sunrise are pretty magical, too!
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
By far one of the most stunning churches in Rome (in my opinion) is the St. John Lateran Basilica. With intricate Cosmatesque-style mosaic floors leading up to the canopied high altar, this basilica was completed in the 18th century and is free to enter.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Cosmatesque mosaic style, Personalised Italy runs a fantastic Cosmatesque Walking Tour that guides you through the history of the technique and some of Rome’s oldest churches.
Address: Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano, 4, 00184 Roma
The Palazzo Massimo (National Roman Museum) houses some of the best-preserved remains of ancient Roman interior decoration, including a still-vibrant fresco of an entire room, and huge mosaics in their complete form. It’s a hidden gem that many tourists overlook, but you’ll get a truer sense of how the Ancients lived from inside this museum than just by browsing the brick and marble ruins around the city.
Address: Largo Villa Peretti, 2, 00185 Roma
When it comes to having a sit down meal, it’s very rare that I go anywhere but Mamma Angela’s. The food is very rich, and they offer a four course menu which will have you sleeping for the rest of the afternoon! But their Cacio e Pepe with king prawns is one of my favourite dishes in the city, especially when paired with one of their local bottles of wine.
Address: Via Palestro, 53, 00185 Roma
Mercato Centrale is the newest place to taste the entire range of the best Roman cuisine on offer. Situated at the back of the main train station, Termini, Mercato Centrale is an indoor market with specialities such as Trapizzino (the famous pizza cone!), and the delicious Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) pasta.
Address: Roma Termini, Via Giovanni Giolitti, 36, 00185 Roma
Freni e Frizioni
Freni e Frizioni is a lively bar close to the River Tiber that offers some of the best aperitivo in Rome. The tradition of aperitivo is the combination of a light pre-dinner cocktail with free snacks included in the cost of the drink. And the best on offer is at Freni e Frizioni. Expect to see a lot of hipsters and students in this dimly-lit and jostling bar.
Address: Via del Politeama, 4/6, 00153 Roma
Caffè Fondi is by far one of my favourite live music venues in Rome. It’s very small, with just five tables inside and a cosy, sheltered terrace on the street outside. But their unique cocktail range is exquisite, especially when sipped to the sounds of an acoustic set on stage.
Address: Via Magenta, 61, 00185 Roma