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Big Mama, Rome
Big Mama

Nightlife in Rome: 13 best places to party the night away

From burlesque clubs to cocktail hotspots, nightlife in Rome is so varied and oh-so-very fun. Night owls, get ready

Written by
Emma Gordon
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The first thing to know about the nightlife in Rome is that it all kicks off late. Good news for night owls, but even those who prefer an early night are best served to stay up late here. Rome is one of the great party cities in Europe, a conveyor belt of controlled chaos that covers everything from rooftop bars to stylish clubs via dive bars and the rest. You name it, you can drink in it here. 

Have a lie-in, enjoy an afternoon nap after hitting up the many awesome things to do here. Enjoy your dinner in a darling restaurant after 9 pm, and get ready for a spot of partying post-midnight. 

Best nightlife in Rome

Jerry Thomas Speakeasy
Jerry Thomas Speakeasy

1. Jerry Thomas Speakeasy

What is it? Tucked away through a hidden door inside the trendy Osteria delle Coppelle, this cool spot is great all year round; just make sure you know the secret code to get in the door, and some of Rome’s best cocktails await you!

Why go? You’ll be rubbing shoulders with Rome’s young and beautiful crowd – and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into the Prohibition era. The mezcal-based cocktails are their speciality: it would be rude not to sip one!

Baja
Baja

2. Baja

What is it? This fancy floating conservatory-looking structure looks like something out of a Fitzgerald novel but is actually a former harbour barge that floats on the Tiber river in the heart of Rome. One of our favourite hangouts when the weather is good.

Why go? This hotspot offers live music and cocktails made with local, organic ingredients. Tip: if you want a highly coveted window seat, put on your glad-rags! (Romans also flock here for Sunday brunch.)

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Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà
Photograph: Courtesy Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa'

3. Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà

What is it? In the heart of Trastevere, the crowds at this wonderfully-named dive bar (loosely translated, it means ‘What the hell are you doing here?’) often spill out onto the street. Offering a huge selection of craft beers, it’s a place for making new friends.

Why go? Trust us, it might look rough around the edges, but it makes for a great night out. Don’t judge this book by its cover! Nearby is Piazza Trilussa, where you can drink al fresco side-by-side with the young Roman crowd, students and tourists alike.

Gay Village
Gay Village

4. Gay Village

What is it? This legendary outdoor gay club runs throughout summer in the trendy Testaccio neighbourhood. It’s a place to really let your hair down. Glitzy carnival dancers perform on stage as DJs play music to get everyone dancing.

Why go? It’s worth every penny of the €10-15 entry fee. You can view the fun from a private terrace above, but, let’s be honest, you almost definitely want to be down in the crowds where all the action (yes, ‘action’!) really happens…

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Bar del Fico
Bar del Fico

5. Bar del Fico

What is it? A lively bar in a quintessential square behind Piazza Navona, Bar del Fico buzzes with hipsters and old men. The former come for the abundant aperitivo spread and excellent mojitos; the latter for playing chess.

Why go? Sit at one of the tables beneath the old fig tree, which gives the picturesque square and the bar their names. If you get hungry, Da Francesco next door does a decent pizza.

Ai Tre Scalini
Ai Tre Scalini

6. Ai Tre Scalini

What is it? A popular Roman hangout that serves a vast selection of wines, beers and simple but delicious food until 1am. Put your name on the list and head outside to sit on the eponymous ‘three steps’ while you wait for your table.

Why go? Chow down on local specialities like lasagna ai funghi and ricotta di bufala with truffle honey. If you’re not ready to go home afterwards, head to the nearby piazzetta, where Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome With Love’ was filmed.

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Vinile
Vinile

7. Vinile

What is it? In the non-touristy Ostiense area, this retro jazz, swing and soul venue has a different live band every evening. It’s impossible not to tap your toes to the beat here, even if you’re not brave enough to get up on the dancefloor.

Why go? Looking to improve your dancing skills? Swing dance lessons are held in the hours before live music commences. Just grab a partner and join in! Don’t be shy.

Marmo
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Federica G.

8. Marmo

What is it? Located in a former marble workshop next to Verano cemetery, Marmo (translating as ‘marble’) is a lively venue in the buzzing, alternative San Lorenzo neighbourhood. Open from 6.30pm until 2am.

Why go? Rather than the usual DJ sets found elsewhere, the policy here is strictly live music only. And their cocktails, designed and served by some of the best mixologists in town, are infamous. Sign up for the membership card to queue jump.

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Alcazar
Lorenzo Monacelli/Info@lorenzom

9. Alcazar

What is it? Open until 2am, this former cinema has been converted into a cultural concept space, where you can find everything from arthouse cinema screenings to jam sessions, art exhibitions and funk bands.

Why go? You can satisfy your every cultural need here. And what’s more, if you head upstairs, you’ll find their hostaria: a restaurant with a great view of the stage from above and a menu rich in locally-sourced produce.

Sharivari
Sharivari

10. Sharivari

What is it? If you’re in the centre of Rome and looking for something a little more lively than a wine bar that’s also not full of teenagers, try Sharivari Play House. It’s a private club and restaurant that hosts themed nights.

Why go? Head to the venue down a small side street near Piazza Navona, and you can dance the night away to hip-hop, R&B and retro tunes, espresso martini in hand. Or opt for a table to enjoy people-watching from the side of the dancefloor.

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Voodoo Bar
p&p fotografia

11. Voodoo Bar

What is it? Having opened in 2017, Voodoo Bar fast became a favourite place to see and be seen. Revellers sip on fun, fruity cocktails at the Caribbean bar or share sushi and tapas at the Tropical Restaurant.

Why go? Follow the candlelit path into the park to party the night away with live music and DJ sets at this Latin-American-style outdoor club. If it all gets too much, enjoy their ‘chilling zone’ – you can even get a massage! Best of all, it’s free entry.

Burlesque @ Micca Club
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/sunshinecity

12. Burlesque @ Micca Club

What is it? If you’re looking for something a little different on your night out, head to the centre of town, and you’ll find Micca: a feast for the eyes. This Burlesque club will show you a good time.

Why go? The entry fee includes an aperitivo (drink and finger food) or dinner, and the show. Choose to sit in a box for more luxurious viewing. A naughty but nice evening out!

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Borgo Ripa
Photograph: Courtesy Borgo Ripa

13. Borgo Ripa

What is it? Describing itself as ‘super social’, this large, leafy courtyard is where the ‘it’ crowd gather on summer evenings to drink wine and flirt. It’s a meeting place for hip young Romans. Can we still say hip? We just did.

Why go? Stay for dinner, or just an aperitivo, until the wee small hours. Home to a hotel, church and gardens, the grounds of Donna Olimpia Pamphili are not to be missed.

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