Love it or hate it, you will almost certainly have to travel through Termini Station at some point during your stay in Rome. If you’re planning to move around a lot during your stay in Rome, it is well worth having your base here or closeby.
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Termini Station and Surroundings
The train station, an imposing white Italian marble structure, vast and airport-like, was conceived between the late ’30s and ’40s, around the Mussolini era (when “at least trains ran on time”, the old Italian saying goes), and embodies modernist and neoclassical grandiosity. In layman’s terms, that means it’s big. Really big.
While not exactly the apex of modernity, the area immediately surrounding the station has the closest thing I’ve ever felt to a “global city” feel. Rome’s first and only branch of Five Guys, for instance, is at Termini Station.
It could almost be a separate state – culturally, at least. There will be groups of South Americans clustered around bus stops selling homemade arroz con leche (rice pudding) in tupperwares, Rom gypsy musicians, bemused Japanese tourists, groups of nonchalant (and/or bored) West African men, day-tripping and flustered Milan-types, coffee drinking Egyptians playing backgammon at the halal kebab restaurants opposite, and everything in between.
A major travel hub (home to the bus terminus too), you can expect to find all manner of Rome accommodation in the area. That said, a mere five to ten-minute walk in every direction will take you to some perhaps more appealing options in terms of budget and overall aesthetic.
- North – There’s Piazza della Repubblica to the north, which adjoins Via Nazionale taking you all the way to the Roman Forums. Northeast will take you to Castro Pretorio and on to Piazza Bologna- a smart neighbourhood populated by locals and teaming with college bars and Nomentano’s beautiful people.
- Southwest – Monti, a charming, youthful, yet old-worldly neighbourhood brimming with shops, bars, restaurants, and a cosy feel. You’ll walk past the appropriately named basilica Santa Maria Maggiore on Via Cavour on the way. It’s pretty major.
- South – Vittorio Emanuele, home to Rome’s burgeoning international communities where you’ll find a huge indoor market and a plethora of east and south Asian restaurants as well as hotels and bars and the usual aperitivo fare.
- East – Will take you to San Lorenzo, a large student bar neighbourhood but with a warm and local feel and a good option for young couples looking to bar hop and admire interesting murals.
The Best Hotels Near Termini Station
Demand is high for budget hotels in Rome near Termini Station, but you will, however, find a cluster of more modestly priced hotels in the streets between Via Giovanni Giolitti (flanking Termini Station’s south side) and Via Napoleone III.
Hotel Generator on Via Principe Amedeo offers beds in dormitories. Touting itself as an “experience and design-led” hotel for price, aesthetic, and location, it certainly seems like your best bet for the area. They also offer group bookings.
If you’re open to going slightly further afield, just a couple of metro stops up from Termini on the B line is bustling (in a local way) Piazza Bologna.
There are plenty of guest houses in this area, and it’s also great for supermarkets and locally run cafes for cheap breakfast and lunch deals. It’s well connected to the metro (line B), and a host of buses go through the area.
Hotel San Giusto, a 2-minute walk from Bologna Metro station on Via Livorno.
Best for Groups
If you are looking for hotels close to Rome Termini train station, consider Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. One metro stop away from Termini on the A-line. While still busy (it’s still central Rome), there are supermarkets, a range of restaurants (not just Italian), and even an indoor market specialising in fish and foods from the north and west Africa as well as south and eastern China.
A good range of hotels and guest houses line the streets surrounding the piazza (more of a rectangular park). Hotel Orazia on Via Michelangelo Buonarroti is one.
Best for Single Travellers
Just one metro stop ride away from Termini is Cavour, in the heart of Monti. Well worth hitting up – it is classically Instagrammable Rome cute. Think black cobblestones, sun-baked, ivy-covered, pastel-coloured buildings, stylish boutiques, trattorias, gelaterias, and wine bars.
There’s even a surprisingly authentic ex-pat Irish pub there if you’re feeling nostalgic or just want to talk to some randoms in English for a while. Very safe and immensely walkable. You’ll feel like you’re in the thick of it. There’s lots of activity, and you’re only a ten-minute walk away from the Colosseum.
If you’re not doing Rome on a shoestring, then The Fifteen Keys Hotel on Via Urbana offers stylish and comfortable rooms right in the heart of the neighbourhood.
There are plenty of others to choose from too, but for a more budget-friendly option, friends who have stayed at the New Generation Hostel have had nothing but good things to say, so that would be worth checking out too.
Best for Families
Families travelling with young children and/or strollers may not exactly appreciate the sensory overload inducing bustle around Termini.
Fortunately, just a ten-minute walk or one metro stop away is Castro Pretorio. Less saturated; this area offers quieter streets, bars, and a couple of supermarkets nearby. Try chain hotel Meininger for a warm welcome and large and comfortable rooms.
Alternatively, five minutes from Termini and slap bang in the middle between Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and Santa Maria Maggiore is The Blue Hostel. It’s not a hostel in the traditional “youth hostel” sense, but rather a very stylish guest house catering to families as well as solo and group travellers.
Best for Couples
Head south on Via Marsala for ten minutes (on foot), and you’ll get to the crusty, dusty student district of San Lorenzo. It has fallen in a big way to the ubiquitous Euro graffiti – though some buildings are being refurbished, repainted, and somewhat restored to their early 20th-century splendour.
However, once you look past the grime, you’ll see a warm and friendly neighbourhood that, in the evening, springs to life with countless bars, restaurants, and music venues- all offering cut-price drinks and snacks to lure in the younger crowds.
Look for a room here for lots of places to go out without straying too far away from your hotel, with the added advantage of being close to Termini for any onward journeys the next day.
Rooms come in all shapes, sizes, and prices; a reasonably priced example is Hotel Felice on Via Tiburtina, with its attractive and characteristically shaped curved ceilings and convenient location. Supermarkets, bars, and cafes are in abundant supply, and it’s well connected to the centre.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something a little cosier and bohemian within walking distance of the Roman Forums, then Monti might float your boat a bit more.Urbana 33 is a cute B&B on Via Urbana run by a company specialising in accommodation solely in Monti.
Choose from a B&B, self-catered suites, or lofts on Via Cavour. If you value space and the option of being able to prepare your own meal occasionally- this could be a good way to go.
For a slice of hipster luxury, look no further than Soho House, located in San Lorenzo.
Its eye-watering prices are matched by its eye-watering 360-degree rooftop views as you bathe in the – yes – rooftop pool. Gym access, stylish bars, and restaurants are all on-site, with the added advantage of being able to “slum it” if you choose to by simply stepping out into the neighbourhood.
For something more tradish, there’s the grander-than-grand Palazzo Naiadi at Piazza della Repubblica. This curved 19th-century white marble building, overlooking the large and impressive Fountain of the Naiads (Fontana delle Naiadi), is only five minutes from Termini and offers city views, a spa, butler service, and the works. Operated by the Anantara group, which has hotels across the globe, luxury is kind of their thing.
Termini (the station as well as the area) is great in the literal and figurative sense, but it’s not for everyone. It’s crowded and, frankly, past the 11 pm mark, kind of sketchy.
If your priority is getting around easily and having a convenient base, then practically anywhere on the B line between Bologna and Laurentina is good. The further away you get from Termini and the historic centre (basically from Circo Massimo onwards), the more likely you’ll find something more affordable and possibly even more characteristic.
Piramide, Garbatella, and Basilica San Paolo are all close to the centre (in terms of metro stops). As neighbourhoods, they’re interesting and typically Roman in their own rights and may well offer you a side to Rome that you weren’t expecting.
Don’t be afraid to venture a little further out.
Termini. In Italian, it’s pronounced TER – mi – nee, not TER- min- eye.
It’s the Latin plural of Terminus. That’s because it is the terminal station of regional train and bus services. A very large bus station is located just in front of the train station.
End of the line(s).