Rome Nightlife: The Ultimate Guide for 2023
No other city in Italy delivers a night out quite like Rome. Sure, Milan and Turin are cool, but they’re a bit sanitised, a bit northern European—more ‘German cool’ than Italian chic. And if that’s your thing, you might as well catch a Ryanair flight to Berlin and go the whole hog at Berghain.
Florence is fun for a night out or two: it’s small, you can walk everywhere, and if you make it until dawn, you can experience the world’s best sunrise from Piazzale Michelangelo. But Rome hits differently. Rome is huge. Rome is chaotic. Rome is really, really fun. The Tipsy Team have written this guide for people looking to party in Rome. You’ll find all the best clubs where to dance until dawn, and some handy tips for orienting around the Italian capital.
Oh, and if you want to meet travellers like you on a fun, boozy night out, make sure to join us on our Tipsy Tour of Rome!
How is the Nightlife in Rome?
Rome’s nightlife generally revolves around neighbourhoods or quartieri.
The capital is vast and not particularly well connected (on a busy weekend night it can take over an hour via Uber to get across town from Trastevere to Pigneto), and so people tend to plan their nights out around certain areas, and so they don’t stray too far from where they live—should they set out intending to return home alone. 😉
Generally, people in their twenties tend to start around Trastevere and finish up at one of the clubs in the trendy districts of Testaccio or Ostiense, less than an hour across the river. Or they might join the students around San Lorenzo, where the drinks are cheap and crowds are bustling, before finishing in one of the clubs around Pigneto.
Crowds in their thirties and forties tend to stay more around the historic center, especially the bars between Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps, or else go for dinner and drinks in the chic but costly neighbourhood of Prati, around the Vatican.
Because Rome’s historic centre is too far away for many Romans living on the outskirts, you’ll find pockets of nightlife throughout the city’s peripheral areas, especially Ponte Milvio in the north or Centocelle in the south. There isn't any real reason for tourists to visit these areas unless there happens to be a particular artist in town who’s playing at one of their venues.
Best Squares in Rome
Much of Rome’s movida (nightlife) starts off in its piazzas, where people meet to wind down, socialise, and sip away on cheap drinks purchased from the surrounding bars or supermarkets.
The best squares in Rome for this evening drinks are Piazza Testaccio (in Testaccio), Piazza Trilussa (in Trastevere), Campo de’ Fiori (Historic Centre), Piazza Navona (Historic Centre) and Piazza della Madonna di Monti (in Monti, just a short walk from the metro station Cavour).
Piazza Trilussa is by far the wildest, especially on a Friday and Saturday night, when you can barely move for the number of people. It’s situated alongside the River Tiber in the Trastevere district, which is rammed with crowds after sunset during high season. For fancy cocktails, check out Freni e Frizioni just above Piazza Trilussa; for something cheap and cheerful, visit any of the minimarkets around the area, buy a bottle, and they’ll open it for you.
Cross the road, and cross over Sisto Bridge, and before long you’ll be in Campo de’ Fiori, another popular nightlife spot. Once a bustling hub of Roman nightlife, the square has become a little more touristy in recent years, and you can expect to pay a little over the going rate for drinking there. But if you don’t fancy shedding an extra couple of euros, check out Caffè Peru just around the corner.
Piazza Testaccio is a favourite among families during the evenings, with local kids converting the square’s big open space into a makeshift football pitch. But as the evening progresses, a sizable crowd gathers, especially in and around the longstanding bar Oasi della Birra (Beer Oasis).
Something else that makes Testaccio a great starting place for your night out is its restaurants. You won’t find better hearty, meaty Roman food than here - and after dinner and drinks, younger crowds will find plenty of clubs hewn into the district’s ancient manmade mountains, Monte Testaccio.
Piazza della Madonna di Monti is also a great square from which to start your night out (and is pretty close to the meeting point for our Rome Tipsy Tour). Since Covid, Rome’s police have clamped down on people sitting on its marble fountain centrepiece, but people still congregate to meet here before keeping the night going in the hilly, cobbled district of Monti.
Best Bars in Rome
Suggesting the best bars in Rome is about as subjective as it gets. Some people’s idea of the perfect bar is a quaint enoteca wine bar with an attentive sommelier and a long list of regional reds; others is a bustling, jostling beer joint with dozens of draughts on tap. Here we’ve tried to include something for everyone
Bar San Calisto
Address: Piazza di S. Calisto, 3, 00153
Open: Mon-Sat 6 am - 2 am; Sun 7 am - 12 am
Since my poor student days, Bar San Callisto has been my go-to bar in Trastevere. Every night, this historic no-frills bar is packed to the rafters with locals, students, and the occasional overwhelmed tourist, while the square outside is bustling with life, loudness and occasional live music. The drinks are cheap (€2.50 for a large Peroni and little more for an Aperol Spritz) and the area bustling, making this a great place to start your night out in Rome.
Freni e Frizioni
Address: Via del Politeama, 4, 00153
Open: Daily, 6:30 pm - 2 am
Phone: (+39) 06 4549 7499
If you find yourself in Trastevere, or the adjacent Piazza Trilussa, check out Freni e Frizioni for chic and classy cocktails. The cocktails cost anything from €8 for a traditional Aperol Spritz up to €12 or above for something more complex but they lay out an aperitivo buffet at the bar until around 10 which customers can help themselves to.
Bar del Fico
Address: Via della Pace, 34, 00186
Open: Mon-Sat, 8:30 am - 1 am
Phone: (+39) 06 6889 1373
For more than 100 years, Bar del Fico has been a favourite of bohemian Romans, offering a decent drinks list and spartan, no-nonsense decor that spills out onto the cobbles of the street in front. Its decadent reputation has waned in recent years as the bar has refined its aperitivo offering for younger crowds and curious travellers, but Bar del Fico still retains its historic charm.
Head around the corner and you’ll find Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: part tattoo studio and piercing parlor, part hangout space with cool rock’n’roll vibes, established by an acclaimed Canadian-born tattoo artist who’s been living in Rome for years. Drop in for a lasting souvenir from your time in the capital.
Address: Via del Plebiscito 101B, 00186
Open: Daily, 11:00 am – 03:30 am
Phone: (+39) 06 6920 2208
There’s stiff competition between the best Irish pubs in Rome. But if size really is the most important factor, Scholars Irish Pub wins by a country mile.
Not only is Scholars Lounge the biggest and most popular Irish pub in Rome, but it’s also run by real Irish staff and not by Italians putting on an accent. Scholars is a multiple international award-winning bar—the Daniel Day-Lewis of Irish pubs in Rome.
It’s also situated smack bang in the city centre and easily reachable from Rome’s central bus hub, and the world’s most terrifying roundabout, Pizza Venezia.
Bar dei Brutti
Address: Via dei Volsci, 71-73, 00185
Open: Daily 11:30 am - 2 am
Situated in the heart of Rome’s studenty San Lorenzo district, Bar dei Brutti (the Bar of the Uglies) is the coolest, cheapest and shabbiest dive bars in Rome. And we love it. This is the perfect place to start drinking, after a nearby dinner in one of San Lorenzo’s trattorie or pizzerie, before moving on to one of San Lorenzo’s smaller hidden nightclubs or jumping in a taxi over to the neihgbouring district of Pigneto.
If you prefer the intimate, old-world feel of a speakeasy, check out our definitive guide. Most are situated in or around the historic centre, and are open until 3 or 4 am.
Best Clubs in Rome
While Rome excels in bars and restaurants, it comes up short in comparison to other European capitals for its choice of nightclubs. Rome simply can’t compare with the likes of London or Barcelona (where we also run Tipsy Tours, which you can find through the links before). But it does have a few consistent performers, which we’ll outline below.
Just a quick word of advice: before coming to Rome download the Dice app to find live events, concerts and DJ sets in Rome. Also feel free to ask your guide and host/ess on your Rome Tipsy Tour, as locals tend to be in the know about where’s hot and where’s not in their city.
Circolo degli Illuminati
Address: Via Giuseppe Libetta, 1, 00154
Open: Thursday-Sunday, 7 pm - 4 am
Phone: +39 3283464266
Situated in the industrial district of Ostiense just beyond the southern extremity of the historic centre, Circolo degli Illuminati offers a guaranteed good night out within a reasonable distance of the centre. You can easily reach it via metro (getting off at Garbatella on the Metro B line) or by bus or taxi, getting off on the Via Ostiense.
Circolo degli Illuminati consists of several large rooms and a couple of bars, which can comfortably pack in plenty of people. Check out their Instagram page for the latest events and artists. You’re well advised to book in advance by calling or WhatApping them on here.
Sanctuary Eco Retreat
Address: Via delle Terme di Traiano, 4A, 00184
Open: Thurs-Sat, 6 pm - 4 am; Sun 12 pm - 2 am
Situated smack bang in the centre of Rome, just a 10-minute walk from the Colosseum, Sanctuary is the go-to club night at weekends for locals and tourists alike.
By day, Sanctuary is a lush, shaded oasis with a small but pretty pool, bar and plenty of beautiful young people lounging around drinking spritz and shooting selfies. By night, Sanctuary transforms into a club with decent DJs and a young, but often painfully all-too-self-aware crowd of partygoers.
Any Given Monday
Address: Via Celsa, 6, 00186
Open: Mondays 11 pm - 4 am
Monday might not offer the wildest night out in Rome’s weekly calendar, but for non-stop party people (or, just, students) Any Given Monday is a fun, frantic failsafe.
Oh, and it’s also the best place to go after taking a Monday Tipsy Tour. 😉
Entry costs €5 and usually includes a drink. Make sure you add yourself to the list before to avoid disappointment and check out their Facebook or Instagram page for a flavour. Just bear in mind that the crowd is quite young (mostly because everyone has work the next day).
Best Concert Venues in Rome
Address: Via Cardinale Merry del Val, 14, 00153
Open: Thurs-Sun, 9 pm - 3 am
Phone: (+39) 333 603 4906
Situated just off Viale Trastevere, Alcazar Live is a hub of live music, theatre and art performances—with a small restaurant thrown in for good measure. Admittedly, it can be a bit strange busting moves on the dancefloor below while well-dressed restaurant-goers munch their way through sirloin steaks above, but hey—c’est la vie—that’s a Roman venue in a nutshell.
Thursdays are dedicated to live music jam sessions while international guests and DJs grace its stage at weekends, with a major focus on Soul, Funk, R'n'B and disco and house.
Address: Via dei Cluniacensi, 68, 00159
Open: Friday-Saturday 7 pm - 2 am, Sunday 6 pm - 1 am
Hacienda guarantees a good night out for local and international live acts and decent DJ sets mixing international and Italian music. The spacious indoor and outdoor venue has recently hosted Ireland’s post punk sensation The Murder Capital and Goldie. Check out their Instagram page to see what’s coming up around the time of your visit.
Address: Via Giuseppe Mirri, 35, 00159
Open: Wednesday - Saturday 7:30 pm - 2 am, Sunday 12 pm - 12 am
Situated a 20-minute walk from Tiburtina Station, not far from Pigneto, Monk is one of Rome’s coolest cultural events centres and concert venues. It boasts plenty of indoor and outdoor space, a decent bar, and a stage with excellent lights and sound system. Recent international acts have included Timber Timbre and Nathan Fake. Check out what’s on through their Instagram page and book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
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