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If I had to make just one recommendation for where to stay in Rome, it would be Yellow Hostel. It's one of the best-rated hostels in the city, and for good reason.
It's affordable, it's got a fun atmosphere without being too noisy, and there's a fabulous common room and hostel bar for you to get full use of. As an added bonus, it's within walking distance to one of the best pizzas in the city, and it's also close to the main train station.
If you can afford to spend an extra few dollars a night for a stay in their dorm room, it'll definitely be worth it.
Hostel Alessandro Palace
If you love social hostels, this is easily the best hostel for you in Rome.
Hostel Alessandro Palace is fun—there's simply no other way to describe it. Staff members hold plenty of bar events onsite, like free shots, bar crawls, karaoke, and happy hours for guests. There's also a rooftop terrace for hanging out with other travelers during the summer, a social lounge with a TV for when the weather isn't as nice, and a secure keycard system to keep your things safe while you're outside exploring.
Pensione Ottaviano is close to Vatican City, so it's a great base if you're looking to explore the micronation rather than the city of Rome. The hostel is clean, the staff is friendly, and the price is low.
Be aware that it does get noisy, so if you have problems sleeping, look elsewhere.
If you're heading to Rome, you're most likely planning on hitting up Vatican City at the same time. This small nation is the world's smallest city, and you can explore the entirety of it in just one day.
If you're hoping to check out Vatican City while you're in Rome, BellaRoma Guesthouse is a well-located hostel to stay in.
It's not the most modern of hostels, but if you're looking for an affordable place to rest your head before you head out to see the Vatican, this is the place for you.
If you want to explore more of Rome itself, opt to stay somewhere else.
Security is a priority at Friends Hostel, so if you're feeling anxious about your safety in Rome, this is the place for you. You'll be given your own set of keys to your dorm when you check-in (which is rare for a hostel), and that means that you can be sure your room will be locked while you'll be outside exploring.
It's about the small touches, too. At Friends Hostel, you'll be given free snacks on arrival and the staff is welcoming and enthusiastic.
Are there any downsides? Friends Hostel is actually more like a hotel than a hostel, so it doesn't have the most amazing atmosphere or a particularly lively common room. This may be ideal if you're a couple hoping for privacy and peace on a budget, but if you're a solo traveler and hoping to make travel friends, you may want to look elsewhere.
M&J Hostel is one of the cheapest options for Rome, but, as always when it comes to travel, keep in mind that you do get what you pay for.
For example, you'll be expected to pay 3 euros for bed linens when you arrive at the hostel (and can't bring your own with you!), the buffet breakfast is a whopping 7 euros, and free Wi-Fi is limited to just the common room.
If, however, you're short on cash, stay at this well-located (it's two minutes from the central train station) and inexpensive hostel, but don't be surprised if you feel like they're trying to get as much money out of you as possible.
Youth Station Hostel
If you're looking for cleanliness and a modern hostel, look no further than Youth Station. It was renovated in 2016 and offers beautiful furnishings and beds.
There are plenty of other benefits, too: Youth Station Hostel doesn't charge city tax (99% of the hostels in the city do), so you'll save money by staying there; the hostel has both air conditioning and a heater for the rooms; lockers for guests to use in the dorms; and free Wi-Fi in every room.
Hotel and Hostel Des Artistes
If you're looking for solitude in a great location of Rome, Hostel des Artistes is the place for you! The hostel is located just a 10-minute walk from the central city station, which makes arriving and departing super-easy, and it's close to all of the city's main attractions, too.
The staff is friendly and helpful, providing you with a map of the city when you arrive, and offering advice if you require some.
Any downsides? You have to pay 2 euros a day for Wi-Fi. While the internet is slower in Italy than in most Western European countries, plenty of hostels do offer free internet.
Updated by Lauren Juliff.