Thankfully, your night in the Eternal City doesn’t have to end after the museums close and the sun goes down. In the dazzling metropolis of Rome, the magical streets comprising the city center come to life under the stars! For this reason, Rome is a great place for travelers who want to explore the local nightlife scene, let loose, and party the night away on their unforgettable trip to Italy’s capital.
Whether you prefer to have a quiet drink in a classy setting, dance all night long, or take part in something totally new, this city definitely has all that you are looking for and more. This Rome nightlife guide will cover everything from aperitif culture to the best rooftops, bars, speakeasies, live music venues, and clubs in the city. Furthermore, we will give you the inside scoop on how you can enter Rome’s most famous monuments at night!
Do as the Romans Do: Indulge in a Traditional Aperitivo
One of the most popular drinks served for an aperitif is the Spritz, an alcoholic cocktail made with Aperol or Campari liqueur and Prosecco!
While planning your trip to Italy, you probably have heard the word “aperitivo” come up more than a few times. So just what is this beloved Italian phenomenon? Well, to put it simply “aperitivo” is the Italian word for “aperitif,” which refers to a drink served before dinner that builds up your appetite and gets your metabolism going. In Italy, dinner is typically served around 8 or 9pm, but some Italians definitely eat later than that as well. So, to pass the long time between lunch and dinner, people opt to have an aperitif with the drink of the choice (alcoholic or not) along with some tasty finger foods ranging from meats and cheeses, to bruschetta and olives.
Besides being a perfect opportunity to try the local cuisine, aperitifs makes for a great social outing with friends or family. Most restaurants and bars in Rome offer long “happy hours” for great aperitivo deals so finding the perfect place to enjoy your tasty evening snack should not be too hard. However, we recommend Salotto 42 located near the Pantheon for a trendy atmosphere, Freni and Frizioni in Trastevere for a huge vegetarian-friendly buffet, and Ai Tre Scalini in Monti for amazing craft beers. What a perfect way to get the evening started, am I right?
Take in the Views on One of Rome’s Rooftops
Live “la dolce vita” by sipping a cocktail and watching the sun go down on one of Rome’s stunning rooftop bars
Who doesn’t love a good rooftop?! In Rome, you have plenty of options to choose when it comes to stellar views of the city skyline. To start, Les Etoiles Rooftop Cocktail Bar is located on the terrace of Hotel Atlante Star. Being just steps away from Vatican City, you’ll find unbeatable views of St. Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’Angelo from the top while you enjoy a fine glass of wine or champagne. Zuma is another luxurious rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar that is located on two floors of Rome’s iconic Fendi Palace. Here, you can enjoy Japanese cuisine, delectable cocktails, and have exclusive views of the city.
The last rooftop I will mention is the Minerva Roof Garden. Here, you can dine or sip a cocktail while taking in views of the Pantheon! Sounds amazing, right? It sure is- but views like this come at a price, so be prepared to spend big for something you could get for much less elsewhere. Also keep in mind that rooftops at establishments like this in Rome frequently host events and can get quite packed especially during busy season, so make sure to reserve a table in advance if you want to get the best views possible.
Looking for spectacular views of the city but don’t want to spend big? We have you covered. Make your way up one of Rome’s seven hills, climb the stairs of the Vittoriano, or head to the lookout point on top of Piazza del Popolo in Villa Borghese!
Rome’s Thrilling Live Music Scene: Jazz, Opera, & Beyond
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a breathtaking performance in one of Rome’s diverse music and event venues
If you’re like me and love listening to live music during your night out on the town, you’ll love taking your pick of all of the venues Rome has to offer! For one, AlexanderPlatz, located in Rome’s Prati district near the Vatican, is one of the oldest Jazz Clubs in Italy and showcases live jazz performers and groups each night. This underground venue, complete with a fully functioning bar and restaurant, has an intimate atmosphere and hip decorations such as the neon blue sign repping the club’s name. If rock, R&B, or funk is more your scene, check out Alcazar in Trastevere, an old theater transformed into a hip music venue with a bar and dance floor that has gained a ton popularity with Rome’s young adults.
But wait, Rome’s nightlife scene offers way more options where that came from! If you fancy an elegant night out on the town, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera puts on breathtaking performances ranging from classical symphonies and ballets, to world-renowned operas in a gorgeous theater that first debuted in 1880. Or, if you happen to be in Rome during the summer, a magnificent stage is set up in front of the ancient ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. Besides boasting a stunning backdrop typical of Rome, this venue hosts world-renowned acts such as Andrea Bocelli who will open up the 2020 concert series this upcoming June. Another alternative summer concert venue is Villa Ada, a beautiful outdoor park that features a picture-perfect lake and plenty of food vendors for all of your late night cravings!
Get a Taste of Local Nightlife in Trastevere, San Lorenzo, or Campo de’ Fiori
Live like a local and grab a beer at one of Trastevere’s most popular pubs
If you want to see where the locals go to spend their nights off, head to the bustling districts of Trastevere, San Lorenzo, or Campo de’ Fiori. We will start this discussion off with Trastevere, which literally translates to beyond the Tiber river. Let me tell you, there is definitely a reason why people cross the bridge from the city center to get here- this neighborhood is ridiculously charming and is full of Roman nightlife after the sun goes down! With countless restaurants, pubs, wine bars, and clubs to choose from in all price ranges, you’ll never find this area empty. For a pub with extremely cheap drinks, check out the local favorite Bar San Calisto, where a glass of beer costs just around 2 euro.
The neighborhood of San Lorenzo is also exploding with a rich nightlife culture. Since it is located next to the large University of Sapienza, students often frequent this part of town to find relatively inexpensive drinks and places to dance in trendy discos. For these reasons, San Lorenzo is usually packed with locals on Friday and Saturday night, but tourists are few and far between.
Another part of Rome with tons of things to do after hours is Campo de’ Fiori. Besides housing some of the most popular student bars in Rome, you can also often find live music and people enjoying a drink in the historic square. Nearby, you can also find Abbey Theatre, an Irsih pub that is a popular hit with students and locals alike. Since Campo de’Fiori is located in the heart of the city center and is just a short walk away from landmarks such as Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo, exploring the surrounding streets under the stars is a fun activity in itself!
Rome’s Unique After Hours Experiences
Have you ever seen fire dancers on stilts? You can witness this spectacle and more at Rome’s unique tiki themed bar!
Craving a one-of-a-kind experience in the Eternal City? For all of you adventure seekers, there are a ton of interesting ways to spend your evening. For one, you can head to Voodoo Bar, a glamorous outdoor / indoor venue with a tropical tiki theme. Located near the Colosseum, this fascinating spot is complete with multiple bars, a dance floor, artisan vendors, and even a sushi bar. There are also adorable umbrellas, comfy daybeds, and even an outdoor swimming pool to help pull the tiki theme together. If you happen to attend one of their special events, you may even witness a parade complete with people of stilts, drummers, and live snakes!
Another unique way to spend the evening is at Rome’s Ice Club. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like- a bar made entirely out of ice that even features frozen ice sculptures of ancient Roman monuments and leaders. Don’t worry too much about the cold however, because they will provide you with a cloak at the entrance so that you can stay warm while drinking your cocktail served in an ice cone. While it may be a little tacky, it is an interesting experience if you have never been to a place like it before- plus it is centrally located near the Roman Forum and Colosseum.
Discover Rome’s Speakeasy Bars – But Make Sure You Have the Password Ready!
Take a step into the past and enjoy a drink- prohibition style!
Who doesn’t love a good speakeasy? Getting dressed up and entering Rome’s exclusive speakeasies makes you feel as if you are living during the 1920’s prohibition! One of my personal favorites is the Jerry Thomas Project known for its top shelf cocktails, candlelit atmosphere, and upbeat jazz music. Located near Campo de’ Fiori in Rome, this tiny speakeasy is actually pretty hard to find- and that’s because there are no signs to be found that mark its entrance! You are not allowed to enter this 1920’s style pub without a password and the only way to get it is to correctly answer the quiz on the website. After you receive the password and find the correct address, a tiny door will slide open so that you can tell the bartenders the secret password to get in.
Another speakeasy in the city center is Club Derrière. Though you don’t necessarily need a password to get in, the bar has a pretty unassuming entryway for being located in such a busy area. On the inside, you’ll find medieval decorations, comfy seating areas, and even a bookshelf that serves as a secret passageway- to the bathroom that is. The drinks are also so tasty that celebrities are rumored to frequent this exclusive speakeasy! With Rome being such a large and old city, there are plenty of other old fashioned bars to choose from as well. However, keep in mind that drinking in Rome at speakeasies like this can get pretty expensive, averaging at around 15 euro for one cocktail.
Hit the Clubs and Dance All Night
Bust a move on the dance floor in one of Rome’s popular discos!
Rome’s clubs may not have the best reputation for being the nicest or the cleanest, but they are a great place to let loose, have fun, and dance the night away! Some popular dance clubs for a night out that feature upbeat dj sets and electronic music include: Goa Club, Circolo Illuminati, Nice, and Vinile. Rome is also home to many LGBTQ+ friendly nightlife spots such as Coming Out and Muccassassina at Qube.
While clubbing in Rome, you may encounter a strict dress code at some places so be sure to dress in your best attire and get there early to be ensured entrance. Since a lot of the places mentioned above are out of the city center and hard to reach to with public transit, make sure that you plan a way to get back to your accommodation in advance. We recommend using the Free Now (formerly MyTaxi) app which basically works the same as Uber, but is for taxis!
Explore Rome’s Most Famous Monuments at Night!
You could be one of the few people to enter Rome’s Colosseum at night on one of our specialized after hours tours!
Exploring Rome’s monuments doesn’t have to end after the sun goes down! On our exclusive Colosseum Under the Moon Night Tour, you will gain VIP access to see the iconic Flavian Amphitheater after the gates to the public close. If you want to feel like even more of a celebrity, you will have the grand halls of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel practically to yourself on our Vatican Under the Stars Tour with the Sistine Chapel!
In our opinion, seeing these Roman classics at night is a pretty magnificent way to end an evening in the Eternal City. Best of all, the amazing nightlife scene in Rome will still be waiting for you once you finish- if you still have the energy to go out that is. No matter how you choose to spend your evening, we hope that it will be a night to remember!
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Thanks for reading our travel guide to Rome’s nightlife scene! Did you know that we offer a variety of top rated tours and luxury experiences in gorgeous regions and cities across Italy? For more information or to arrange a tour check out What a Life Tours or contact us by phone +39 06 88975757/+39 334 7273299 (WhatsApp), or email at [email protected]!