8 Best areas in Rome for nightlife From a Local

If you’re wondering whether Rome has a good nightlife, the answer is yes. 

In this article, I’ll share all my knowledge about my hometown to let you know which are the best areas in Rome for nightlife. So, if you enjoy ending your day with a visit to bars and restaurants, listening to live music, or dancing until the early morning hours, I recommend reading this post until the end and taking notes.

Rome is a large city with more than 20 neighborhoods. Nightlife is not limited to one neighborhood. Regarding the best places to go out in Rome, locals opt for one of the areas I am about to recommend.

Some areas, like Monti and Parione, are right in the historic center, while others, like Ostiense and Pigneto, are just outside the center.

8 Best areas in Rome for nightlife in 2024

1. Monti

Monti is my favorite neighborhood in Rome’s historic center. Every time I visit it, day or night, the vibe I feel wandering its streets tells: I’m in Rome, I’m happy to be here, and I’m feeling great! This vibe is carried by both travelers and locals who frequent the Monti area. Travelers aren’t too many here because this neighborhood is outside the typical tourist routes. However, with just a 5-minute walk, you can reach the Colosseum. In fact, the Colosseum is always within reach; just look out on Via dei Serpenti St. to see a unique view of Rome’s most famous monument.

Start your evening at one end of Via dei Serpenti St., where you’ll find Piazza della Madonna di Monti. Locals call this place “la Piazzetta di Monti,” and it’s a gathering spot for those who live or work in the area, both locals and expats. Friends meet here to chat during the aperitivo hour (roughly from 6 to 9 pm); they sit on the steps of the fountain or simply stand, sipping a drink and enjoying the evening that has just begun.

You can grab a drink at the nearby Café Bar La Licata (by the way, this bar is also famous for its hearty and varied breakfast/brunch offerings). After the aperitivo, explore some of the most characteristic streets in the neighborhood in search of a place to eat at: 

  • Via degli Zingari St
  • Via del Boschetto St
  • Via Urbana St

These are must-sees.

For dinner, I usually head straight to Via Urbana. Vehicle traffic is restricted on this street, so I love walking here. Here are a few restaurants I recommend in Monti.

  • Ristorante Pasta Urbana – Pasta is the star here, but the other dishes are excellent as well.
  • Aromaticus – A bistro that values sustainability and also sells aromatic plant seeds and displays books on plants and health. They have delicious vegetarian options.
  • Grazie a Dio è Venerdì – Here you’ll also find pizzas, close to the popular Piazza degli Zingari.
  • For street food, options are endless. In the nearby Via Leonina, you’ll find pizza by the slice at Pizza Drinks & Food. Zia Rosetta on Via Urbana offers typical Roman bread with various fillings.

For post-dinner things to do in the Monti neighborhood, I recommend heading to Charity Café Jazz & Blues Club, where you can enjoy live music and cocktails. 

If you’re interested in having a drink and a chat without live music instead, some cute bars include:

  • Libreria Caffé Bohemien – A vintage-style bar with carved wood furniture and vintage finishes (note the coffered ceiling) and shelves full of books.
  • Kon’forme – A small, intimate bar.
  • Blackmarket Hall – A multi-level retro-style venue with unique cocktails.

2. Parione

Parione is the most central neighborhood of the ones I’ll cover in this post about the best areas in Rome for nightlife. I’m talking about the neighborhood with Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful squares in Rome and the world. This means that this area is dense with travelers, but that shouldn’t deter you. Just explore the alleys to discover the most authentic spots and create the perfect atmosphere for your night out in Rome.

One advantage of the Parione district is that, being extremely central, you’ll find a wide variety of bars, restaurants, trattorias, and cafes. I’ll give you some ideas to create the perfect itinerary in Rome by night.

As you know, in Rome, as in the rest of Italy, evenings start with an aperitivo, which consists of a drink and yummy starters. One of the most popular places for aperitivo in Rome is Piazza Campo dei Fiori. Perhaps you’ve already been here; it’s the one with the sculpture of the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno in the center. 

Restaurants like Roma Beer Company, which offers cuisine and beers, line the square.

Besides Piazza Campo dei Fiori, I recommend visiting Piazza del Fico and the adjacent streets, where there’s a lively evening atmosphere.

3. Trastevere

The photo depicts in the foreground a plate of bucatini all'amatriciana arranged on a wooden table over a simple paper placemat. The pasta dish looks inviting, with the creamy sauce of tomato sauce and chunks of guanciale. There is another plate with the same food opposite the first one and two glasses.
Pasta in Trastevere

If Parione is travelers’ favorite neighborhood in Rome’s historic center, Trastevere is the favorite one just beyond the historic center. 

It’s just outside, to be precise. Trastevere is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Rome in itself, but it also has a lively nightlife. Here, expect to find more travelers than locals, at least on weekdays.

Trastevere is a neighborhood with a strong identity; those who were born and raised in Trastevere proudly say, “I’m Roman, from Trastevere,” as if to say, “I possess the quintessence of Roman-ness!” 

Until the 1970s, Trastevere was a place where Roman youth gathered to socialize and sing “stornelli,” rhyming songs in Roman dialect. 

Back then, foreigners were a minority in Rome’s nightlife. Today, it’s different.

The combination of trattorias, wine bars, and cafes that dot Trastevere is made possible by the thousands of travelers who stroll around the neighborhood each night. Here, every evening of the week, you’ll find people coming to have fun, socialize, and enjoy local cuisine.

Start with an aperitivo. For a casual and affordable drink, go to Bar Meccanismo. The bar is right next to Piazza Trilussa, where locals gather in the evening to chat by the steps near the fountain of Ponte Sisto Bridge. Taking a walk on the small Ponte Sisto at sunset is a must. One of Rome’s most beautiful bridges is exclusively for walkers, and some street artists display their art on the bridge.

Near Piazza Trilussa, you’ll also find a shop that serves Trapizzino, a Roman street food delight: a piece of fragrant pizza bread filled with a small portion of a typical Roman or Italian dish. If you’re a foodie, you can’t miss it.

But Trastevere also caters to more sophisticated palates. For an aperitivo, you can also visit the winery and restaurant Enoteca Ferrara, specializing in Venetian wines and traditional dishes, always cooked excellently. The ambiance is understated but refined, perfect for a romantic aperitivo and dinner.

For dinner in Trastevere, there’s plenty to choose from; the imperative is to choose Roman dishes or pizza. There are many excellent trattorias in Trastevere; here are a few:

  • Trattoria Pizzeria Carlo Menta is a great compromise between quality and price, with fast service.
  • Osteria Cencio la Parolaccia is a historic osteria that also hosts Romanesque-themed cabaret shows.
  • Pizzeria dar Poeta is one of the best pizzerias in Rome.

Regarding bars, two of the most famous in Trastevere are Public Trastevere and The Rox, which also features a DJ set.

If you’re looking for something softer, with the possibility of enjoying both cocktails and tea, Chakra Café is the place for you.

Trastevere has the best Rome nightlife for solo travelers.

TIP: Rome is a safe city day and night, but if you're a female solo traveler in Rome, I recommend reading my article about safety for female travelers in Rome.

4. Testaccio

Outdoor wooden tables at the Città dell'Altra Economia festival center in Testaccio, Rome, at sunset time. The sky is blue-orange in color. A few young women and men are sitting at the tables, chatting and drinking beer. Above the tables are wires holding a colorful sign, a bit folded over, you can't read the lettering.

Testaccio, one of the best areas in Rome for nightlife, is popular among locals, but for travelers, it’s still off the beaten path. 

The neighborhood is located southwest of the historic center, along the Tiber River. Foodies may have read about it in travel guides, as Testaccio is home to the city’s best food market, offering fresh food stalls and all kinds of prepared dishes.

Testaccio comes alive at night just a short walk from the market, along Via di Monte Testaccio St. Here, one after another, you’ll find cocktail bars/disco bars, some with multicultural themes:

  • Ch 18 87
  • Shake
  • Caruso Latin Club
  • Radio Londra (house club)
  • Charro Café

So if you’re up for dancing in Rome near Trastevere, head to Testaccio, take a stroll, and choose the bar that inspires you the most. 

As for dining, Testaccio holds two of the best restaurants in Rome:

  • Da Flavio al Velavevodetto offers typical Roman cuisine (I recommend making a reservation).
  • Da Remo a Testaccio is an excellent pizzeria (I recommended to make a reservation here too, especially on weekends).

Testaccio is a gathering place for university students and young adults in Rome. Those who come here aren’t just looking for fun but also for an alternative social scene that’s more inclusive of ethnic minorities and has space for art. 

In the structures of the Ex-Mattatoio (ex-slaughterhouse), the Città dell’Altra Economia (City of the Other Economy) has developed, which by definition is a place where culture, community, and economics are experienced differently. 

Renovations of the external and internal spaces have followed the principles of bio-architecture. The bistro Café Boario offers dishes made with organic ingredients. Inside the Città dell’Altra Economia, there are festivals and concerts, including the Testaccio Estate, one of Rome’s most important summer festivals.

5. Ostiense

Ostiense is a rather large district located south of the historic center. You can easily reach it by Metro B, Garbatella stop. Here, you’ll find the Roma Tre University, one of the three most important universities in Rome. Therefore, Ostiense offers some of the best dance clubs in Rome for students:

  • Vinile: A vintage-style club where DJs play vintage music.
  • Goa Club: An industrial-style club with DJs playing house and techno music.
  • Neo Club Roma
  • Planet Roma: This club has multiple rooms and offers live music too.

These venues offer enough fun things to do in Rome for young adults.

But don’t think that this neighborhood is only good for extreme partying. Outside the clubs, there’s an intellectual, artistic, and contemporary atmosphere. 

I think about Caffé Letterario, a bistro born on the side of a public library, with vintage-industrial decor. It’s one of the best cafes in Rome and also offers themed evenings, such as tango dancing classes, live music, or book presentations.

At Romeow Cat Bistro, you’ll find excellent vegan food and can enjoy it surrounded by relaxed cats.

You’ll find most restaurants around the intersection of Via Ostiense St. and Via del Porto Fluviale St.

Taking a walk through the nightlife venues in the Ostiense neighborhood is also a perfect way to conclude your visit to the Garbatella area, which boasts some of the most pleasant urban architecture in the city.

6. San Lorenzo

If I were to describe the San Lorenzo neighborhood in a few words, I would say it’s the artistic release valve of La Sapienza University, the most renowned university in Rome. In fact, the campus is right next to the San Lorenzo neighborhood.

San Lorenzo also borders the Termini district, which houses the central train station, an area where many foreigners live, and many others are just passing through.

The soul of San Lorenzo is like this: multicultural, intellectual, artistic, and philosophical. There’s also a significant level of active participation in political life through neighborhood committees.

In this neighborhood, Radio Onda Rossa was born 30 years ago, the only independent radio station in Rome.

The choice is yours, whether to experience an intellectual evening or get lost in bars, or both.

The atmosphere in the venues is informal, so leave your designer clothes at home (if you have any!).

When I go to San Lorenzo, I first take a stroll in two of the most unique bookstores in Rome:

  • Giufà Libreria Caffé specializes in illustrated stories by small (and very talented) authors.
  • Tomo Libreria Caffé has also a co-working space.

Both offer drinks, aperitivo, desserts, and some simple dishes.

Then, if I were you, I’d check out the Tibur, one of the few cinemas in Rome that offers films in their original language.

As for having a beer, the choice is abundant. 

  • Sally Brown is a ska/punk-themed pub. 
  • Luppolo specializes in hard-to-find craft beers and charcuterie and cheese boards. 
  • Roof Top Garden Aperitivi comes alive during the aperitivo hour and is located on a terrace. 

All are welcoming and informal place in line with the spirit of the San Lorenzo neighborhood.

Or you can do as I do, since I don’t like to sit at a table for too long. Grab a drink and a slice of pizza al taglio, typical Roman street food, at La Piazzetta Pizza in Teglia shop, and sit at Piazza dell’Immacolata. This is the social center of the neighborhood, with long marble benches where friends gather to chat for hours at night, surrounded by bars and restaurants.

You can find live music at Wishlist Club and Container.

TIP: If, like me, you’re a passionate chocolate lover, go to SAID dal 1923. An old chocolate factory is now also a bistro that serves the best hot chocolate in Rome and chocolate-based dishes. 

7. Pigneto

If you’re planning to explore offbeat nightlife in Rome, you can’t miss spending a night in Pigneto. The neighborhood is located to the east of the historic center and you can reach it in about 10 minutes by tram from Termini. There’s also a metro stop, Linea C “Pigneto.”

The evening and nightlife offerings in Pigneto have grown significantly in the last 10 years, transforming this humble residential neighborhood into a social hub for subcultures. 

Today, Pigneto is one of the best areas to stay in Rome for nightlife, provided you like simple, spontaneous atmospheres and bars where you can feel comfortable with a casual look. Pigneto is a crossroads for artists, university students, young and not-so-young workers, musicians, drinkers, and left-wing people.

One of Italy’s greatest philosophers of the 20th century, Pier Paolo Pasolini, used to frequent Pigneto, especially Café Bar Necci dal 1924. Here, you can have an aperitivo before continuing your evening at Fanfulla 5C, a club with live music and indoor smoking (so be aware if you’re not a fan of smokers).

If you love listening to live music in an alternative space, I recommend checking out the program of MONK Roma, a club with ample indoor and outdoor spaces that also offers a bistro and restaurant service.

Let’s go back to the beating heart of Pigneto by night. A part of Via del Pigneto St. has been closed to vehicular traffic for several years. Here, you’ll find a succession of bars and restaurants, some excellent and affordable. From Pigneto metro station, you can reach it with a short walk to the east, crossing the Ponticello Pigneto bridge.

In the western part of the neighborhood, there are also notable places. For example, Spaghetti a Mezzanotte, where you’ll find pasta late into the night, the S02 wine bar, which has a wide selection of natural wines, and the Giove Live Music Club.

To truly discover everything the neighborhood has to offer, you should explore it thoroughly. Many young people who have moved to Rome from various parts of Italy have chosen the Pigneto neighborhood as their regular residence. Many believe it’s the only “right” area to party in Rome. For me, who don’t like to drink, Pigneto can be a bit monotonous unless there are live music nights.

If you prefer to spend the evening in a place with a more unique architecture, read the next paragraph.

8. Città Giardino

Searching for answers to the question ‘where is the nightlife in Rome’, you might come across areas of the city that even guidebooks don’t know about. This is the case for the Città Giardino area. It’s a part of the Montesacro district, northwest of the historic center.

In the last twenty years, there has been a significant increase in apartments rented by students and young workers from other parts of Italy in the area. Consequently, the number of bars offering aperitivo and cocktails has tripled. The bars are spread throughout the area between Piazza Sempione, Viale Tirreno, and Parchetto di Conca d’Oro.

Città Giardino is located on a natural hill near the confluence of the Aniene and Tiber rivers. Here, in the early decades of the last century, an urban architectural project gave birth to an ideal neighborhood. The houses are low, designed for a single family, and have private gardens (a rarity for a metropolis like Rome). The style of the houses is “barocchetto,” which combines elements of Italian architecture from the 16th and 18th centuries. The streets where the houses are located are deliberately curvilinear, avoiding the typical grid layout of Roman cities.

In short, this is not only one of the best areas in Rome for bars and restaurants, but it also features pleasant architecture. So, arrive here before sunset and take a walk through the streets with typical Città Giardino houses.

I’d start the night with an aperitivo at Vineria 19, which offers wines and pinsa (Roman pizza made with three different types of flour). Then continue with live music and food at the Riverside Food Sounds Good Club.