The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide
The Gay Passport is your complete Gay Travel Guide. Looking to Drink, Play or Sleep we have reviews to help. Award-winning & Updated 2021.
As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Rome fascinates and charms with its centuries of history. From ancient Roman ruins to grand Renaissance palaces, there’s more to see here than you could ever fit into one trip. When you add in some of the best food in the world and a lively, varied gay nightlife, you have a gay destination to rival Berlin and London.
Like most European capitals, Rome isn’t exactly cheap to stay in. You can save a lot of money by visiting outside of the peak season in summer, and it might also be more comfortable – Rome in August is swelteringly hot and crowded with tourists.
There is a huge variety of accommodations available, from luxury 5-star urban resorts to stylish boutique hotels and cool party hostels. Once you get to the 4 and 3-star midrange hotels, you can find some really great value for money.
Legally all hotels are gay-friendly. Gay travelers should encounter no issues in general especially in the larger hotels and international chains. However it’s worth noting, the laws regarding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity are also less developed than in many other European countries.
Despite being the capital, Rome is not necessarily as progressive as one would hope. It is still quite a traditional city with a large population of conservative Catholic Italians, so discretion in terms of public displays of affection is advised outside of the city’s gay spaces.
Most gay visitors to Rome stay in hotels around the Colosseum in the Celio neighborhood. This area offers a great base to explore the sites and Rome’s gay nightlife.
Celio (R.XIX) – Home to Rome’s most famous landmark, the Colosseum, as well as to Gay Street, the closest Rome comes to having a gayborhood. This street houses some of Rome’s most beloved gay bars, such as Coming Out and My Bar.
The Roman city center is best explored on foot, so we have mostly included centrally-located hotels. The metro can be useful for covering bigger distances, but you will have to mostly rely on taxis for getting back from the bars – unless you are staying in one of the many gay-friendly hotels close to the Colosseum gay nightlife.
♥ Beautiful terrace seating during the summer months
♥ On a historic street and walking distance to several attractions
♥ Handy mobile phone in every room
This boutique-style 5-star is located in Via Giulia, a historic cobbled street that runs alongside the river in the lively Ponte district. It is 5 minutes from Ponte Sant’Angelo and 10 minutes from both St Peter’s Basilica and Piazza Navona.
Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George features contemporary design within a lovely traditional building. The rooms take inspiration from classic images of Italy, from Renaissance architecture to Fiat 500 cars. All of them include a Handy smartphone equipped with free and unlimited 3G/4G internet and international calls.
There are two restaurants, one serving truly authentic Roman cuisine and one with a more international menu (as well as the buffet breakfast). The latter is located in a pleasant internal courtyard, except in the summer when the whole thing moves to the hotel’s fabulous rooftop terrace. This comes with an exceptional 360° views of the city.
Hotel Indigo Rome features a spa with very good facilities and a wide range of luxury treatments. There is also a “mini-gym” with a selection of Technogym equipment.
♥ True luxury property
♥ Stunning views from the rooftop terrace
♥ Super convenient location for Rome sightseeing
Following extensive renovations, Sofitel Roma re-opened in late 2019. Guests will get to enjoy a brand-new version of the hotel from the mind of French designer Jean-Phillipe Nuel. The updated decor is a blend of Italian Classical style with French inspirations, following Sofitel’s tradition of blending local influences with their own French heritage.
Each of the 81 boutique rooms is decorated with relaxing tones of white and pastel, with nods to Rome’s centuries of history. They all feature amenities like Hermes toiletries, Bose docking station, and Sofitel’s wonderful MyBed bedding.
The hotel’s restaurant, La Terrasse Cuisine & Lounge, offers some of the best views in Rome along with high-end cuisine and top-notch cocktails.
Sofitel Roma has a great location for sightseeing, right on the edge of the beautiful Villa Borghese park and a short walk from the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Spagna metro station (Line A) is less than 10 minutes away and provides an easy connection to the rest of the city, including the Colosseum gay nightlife and Gay Village.
♥ Large and incredibly stylish suites
♥ Great options for big groups of friends
♥ Ideal location for sightseeing, with easy access to gay bars
Stendhal Luxury Suites specializes in high-end suites, all of which are stylishly decorated with modern, neutral design offset by playful and colorful touches. The suites are all spacious and feature gorgeous marble bathrooms with good amenities like a Nespresso coffee machine and free minibar.
Suites for up to four people are available, which is perfect for friends or two couples traveling together. These larger suites even have two bathrooms, one with a shower and one with a bath.
Stendhal Luxury Suites has a great location, within walking distance of Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and the Colosseum. The gay bars around the Colosseum are about a half-hour away on foot, and Barberini metro station (1-minute walk from the hotel) also provides a direct link to them through Line A.
♥ Fresh and modern design
♥ Good range of room sizes and styles
♥ Free mobile phone with data in every room
The Guardian Hotel has a fresh, young vibe with contemporary decor in tones of cool grey with pops of color. In addition to being impeccably designed, everything is perfectly clean and well-maintained by a team of efficient and helpful staff. Note, the hotel was previously called Smooth Hotel Rome Termini.
The rooms come in several sizes, from single to a five-person Family Room. All are aesthetically designed and have particularly comfy beds, and they all come with a free mobile phone with unlimited data and international calls.
The location is very convenient, halfway between Roma Trevi station and Villa Borghese Park. Castro Pretorio metro station (Line B) is just five minutes away and provides a direct link to Gay Village during the summer.
The Guardian Rome is among the top 60 hotels in all of Rome on TripAdvisor, and one of the highest-rated independent hotels in town.
♥ Great antique decor rooms
♥ Convenient transport links, Termini Train Station is 10 mins walk
♥ Free WiFi throughout and air-conditioned rooms
Hotel Canada is a comfortable 3-star hotel with a great Rome location and good value for money. The ambiance is old-fashioned without being outdated or too over-the-top. Antique items, grand curtains, ornate ceilings, and the occasional four-poster bed contribute to the Renaissance feel.
The hotel boasts great facilities, including excellent high-speed Fiber Optic WiFi and a pleasant cocktail bar. It is also very eco-friendly, using 100% renewable energy and a focus on recycling throughout the hotel.
Hotel Canada BW Premier Collection is close to Roma Termini, making it convenient for airport transfers and rail travel throughout Europe. It is also just a few steps away from Castro Pretorio metro station, which links to the popular Gay Village events during the summer through Line B.
♥ Stylish modern decor throughout the hotel
♥ Comfortable rooms with useful amenities
♥ Handy location close to Termini
The Republic Hotel focuses on sleek, contemporary design with muted hues, natural textures, and bright touches of color. There are 71 rooms available, ranging from a cozy double to a spacious 5-person suite.
All rooms are extremely clean and comfortable, and include a minibar, air conditioning, satellite TV, and a smartphone with unlimited free data and international calls. There is a tasty buffet breakfast on offer and a cool bar.
This gay-friendly hotel is close to Termini making it easy to reach from the airport and provides great metro links throughout the city.
♥ Excellent location for Colosseum gay nightlife
♥ Bright and colorful decor
♥ Great hotel amenities with a homey apartment feel
Appartamenti MarcoAurelio49 is located just a couple of minutes away from Gay Street near the Colosseum, making it a very gay-friendly Rome hotel option. The apartments feature very colorful (and occasionally a bit chaotic) design, perfect for those who like their hotel rooms unique.
All the apartments are very spacious and come with a very well-equipped kitchenette. This includes a fridge, modern induction stovetop, microwave, toaster, and Nespresso machine. You also get all the conveniences of a hotel, from free toiletries and cleaning service to the helpful team of concierge staff. A small in-room breakfast is available, and they also offer a free grocery delivery service if you want to use that kitchen.
Appartamenti MarcoAurelio49 has a Superb rating on Booking.com and a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
♥ Clean, comfortable, modern rooms
♥ Excellent location close to major sights and transport links
♥ Great value for money as a central location hotel
Hotel Central Lodge offers great value for money, with basic, modern accommodation in the heart of Rome city center. The design is very minimalist, featuring occasional splashes of bright color, especially in the tiled bathrooms. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with basic facilities including a mini-fridge and a safe.
This gay-friendly hotel is located between Roma Termini and the Colosseum (about a 15-minute walk to either), making it convenient for transport, sightseeing, and gay nightlife. Vittorio Emanuele metro station (Line A) is just a block away and provides a handy transport link to further-afield tourist attractions like the Vatican.
♥ Cool design throughout the hostel
♥ Great range of private and dorm accommodation
♥ Close to Roma Termini station
MEININGER Hostel is a cool hotel with a cinema theme located just north of Termini station. While this is a little bit removed from most of the attractions of the city center, the proximity to Termini metro station means everything is easily accessible.
Most of the accommodation is private, with rooms ranging from single to 6-person. There is also a 6-person shared dormitory available. All of the rooms are spacious, colorful, and practical – even the single room is much roomier than usual.
There is a fun hotel bar that is a good place to meet other people and a fully-equipped modern guest kitchen in case you want to make your own meals. It’s got a bit of a party hostel vibe, so it’s more suited to those who want to enjoy Rome’s nightlife.
♥ Very close to major landmarks and walking distance to Trastevere gay bars
♥ Gorgeous high-end Italian design throughout the hotel
♥ Great facilities including an outdoor pool and excellent spa
This urban resort is a sleek and stylish five-star option on the banks of the River Tiber. The design is contemporary with touches of Italian classicism, and the result is both atmospheric and supremely tasteful. Note, the Villa Agrippina Gran Melia was previously referred to as just the Gran Melia.
All the rooms feature high-end amenities like Nespresso coffee maker, cascade shower, and Clarins toiletries, and they are all spacious. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but for an extra tier of luxury upgrade to a RedLevel room. These come with a whole bunch of extra perks like a private welcome with sparkling wine, a la carte breakfast, bubble baths, access to the RedLevel lounge, and preferential booking at the restaurant, spa, and Balinese beds by the pool.
As well as a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, the hotel is home to a luxury spa with excellent facilities. These include a sauna, Turkish bath with aromatherapy, sensorial showers, ice machine, outdoor plunge pool, and exclusive treatments by Clarins. Access to the spa is free for RedLevel guests.
Gran Melia Rome is located very close to the Vatican. St Peter’s Basilica is 10 minutes away, while the entrance to the Vatican Museums is 20 minutes away on the other side of the walled city. The gay bars in Trastevere (Beige, Garbo, and Frene i Frizoni) are about a 20-minute walk away. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the Villa Agrippina Gran Melia is one of the most booked luxury gay-friendly hotels in Rome.