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Where to head in Rome when the sun goes down



When it comes to having a good time, the locals in Rome really know how to party. Whether you're into the club scene, innovative cocktails or simply a laid back wine bar where you can share a glass of wine with some friends, 10Best has your go-to-guide on the hottest spots for nightlife in Rome!

Are you the type of person who likes to dance the night away? Testaccio is a mecca for nightclubs and when Romans want to party, they head over to this neighborhood. Akab is one of the most popular dance clubs in the area. Meanwhile, in Ostiense, Vinile is one of the most popular with the locals and back in the Centro Storico, Shari Vari Playhouse keeps night revellers shaking their things on the dance floor into the wee hours of the night.

Looking for something a little bit more low key and relaxed? Those not into the club scene might want to check out some of Rome's hippest wine bars and lounges that serve up some of the best aperitivo (Happy Hour) in the Eternal City. Salotto 42 is a posh place to hang out with friends over a glass of wine. The bohemians and artsy crowd gather nightly at Freni e Frizioni in Trastevere and for the best view in town head to the latest hotspot, The Court. For more excellent cocktails don't miss Drink Kong or The Jerry Thomas Project while in town. 

Drinks with friends, live music, relaxed or an all-night boogie - Rome after dark has something for everyone.


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The latest venture from the brains behind Rome's famed Freni e Frizioni and Jerry Thomas Speakeasy bars, Agaveria La Punta gives you an authentic taste of Mexico in the heart of Trastevere! With an impressive variety of mescal cocktails to choose from, and delicious treats like tacos, seafood ceviche and fresh guacamole, Agaveria La Punta is bound to impress. There are only a handful of tables so be sure to call ahead and reserve if you plan to have dinner, otherwise, swing by at any time of night for one of their delicious cocktails. TRAM: 3, 8, BUS: 3, 75, H.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Authentic Mexican cuisine, vibe fit out and excellent cocktails.

Maria's expert tip: Feast on the food and then stay for the drinks!

Read more about Agaveria La Punta →


Akab
Photo courtesy of Death Disco ddxxx


Akab has been a fixed staple and one of the most popular nightclubs in Testaccio for years. It's best known for the quality of live entertainment that it puts on. If you come here in the early evening, you're likely to hear some live rock and jazz music. After 11pm, the dance floor opens up and the music changes to house, dance, reggae, acid jazz, disco, funk and soul music. Like most dance clubs in this area, Friday and Saturday nights can be quite busy and it's best recommended you arrive early. BUS: 30, 75, 3. TRAM: 3. Metro: Piramide.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Akab offers one of the most diverse music sets on the Rome clubbing scene.

Maria's expert tip: Sundays and Mondays are reserved for private events.

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Bars are plentiful in Rome but there is one on the Rome nightlife scene that only makes a mean cocktail but provides for a truly unique night out. The Jerry Thomas Project is a speakeasy bar located in the historic center of Rome, right by Piazza Navona. You need a booking and a password to get in but the effort is truly worth its weight in gold. The bar staff are dressed in vintage 1920s get up and are truly a sight to be seen as they mix those cocktails away. The place is small (with a great use of space and even a piano as a table) and you can even smoke if you carefully follow the bar rules. Metro: Spagna.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Rome's most popular speakeasy was the first to open in Italy.

Maria's expert tip: Be sure to follow on social media for the entry password and don't turn up without a booking.

Read more about The Jerry Thomas Project →


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Freni e Frizioni


Freni e Frizioni (which literally means brakes and clutch)is perhaps one of the most happening places in all of Trastevere. The mechanic shop-turned hipsters' bar is especially popular during aperitivo time. The place gets jumping from 7pm onwards and features a mixed crowd of shabby chic bohemians, locals, tourists and American college students. This place does up a mean mojito for about 7-8 euros. During aperitivo hour (7-9pm), they also have a nice spread of finger foods and veggies to munch on. Freni e Frizioni stays lively well into the night as well. So if you don't make it for happy hour, grabbing an after-dinner drink here is also a good alternative. BUS:23. TRAM: 8.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This Trastevere institution is not only good value with their massive aperitvo buffet, but a cool and hip place to be.

Maria's expert tip: If you want a place to sit, this is not the place to do it. While they do have a few tables, mainly people come here to stand while sipping on their cocktails. There's not even all that much room in the bar itself. Most of the action and party spills out into the tiny little piazza that this bar faces.

Read more about Freni e Frizioni →


Salotto 42


Conveniently located across from the suggestive Hadrian's Temple, is a tiny sleek bar where locals go to see and be seen. The interior of this venue is modern and fashionable featuring plushy couches and chairs. The walls are adorned with contemporary art and design and fashion books are stacked against the walls. At night, Salotto 42 morphs into a buzzing cocktail bar for the hip, 30-something crowd. If there isn't anything that you fancy on the list, the bar staff are always happy to come up with something signature just for you. Closed in August. BUS: 80, 492, 62, 52, 53. METRO: Spagna.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Right in the heart of the historical center, Salotto 42 is the place to be for delicious cocktails.

Maria's expert tip: This bar is rather small which means it gets quite packed during aperitivo hour. When the inside becomes standing room only, most people tend to spill out into the piazza outside with their drinks

Read more about Salotto 42 →


Shari Vari Playhouse
Photo courtesy of Death Disco ddxxx


Shari Vari Playhouse has fast become the new It-girl on Rome's nightclub scene. The club, which was formerly known as the Supper Club, is huge and is conveniently located just around the corner from both Largo Argentina and the Pantheon. It has three levels of rooms to choose from with each featuring a different dance genre including hip-hop, retro, house and dance music. It attracts quite a stylish international crowd and very well-dressed Romans with a worldy attitude. To avoid disappointment, it's highly recommended to reserve a table. The club hosts regular themed events and promote these 'serate' on their website. BUS: 64, 40, 46. TRAM: 8

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Central and stylish, Shari Vari is perfect for a late night boogie.

Maria's expert tip: To get on the guest list or to reserve a VIP table here, contact Rome's PR guru and party guy Marc Cefaratti: 334 253 2673.

Read more about Shari Vari Playhouse →


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Ostiense


Located in the Ostiense neighborhood, which has long been home to many nightlife spots, Vinile is kind of a new kid on the block. Well, sort of. The venue is very well known to Romans with the old 45 Giri nightclub formerly holding residence here. Opened in late 2014, the venue is open from Tuesday to Sunday from aperitivo time right through to the wee hours of the night. During the aperitivo time and through to about 11:00pm there is live music with local and international performers ranging from folklore, rock, swing, blues, big band orchestra and jazz. The aperitivo is quite extensive and in an all you can eat buffet style. With it's high ceilings and floor to ceiling bar display, you could be mistaken for thinking you've walked into a New York club. After the live music ends, a DJ sets closes the evening. METRO: Piramide, TAXI from center around 15 euro.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Vinile offers different entertainment options every day of the week, making for a fun night out anytime.

Maria's expert tip: Get in early for aperitivo in the evenings as the place gets packed real fast!

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Drink Kong is more than just a bar. More than a venue. Rome may not have the cool or cosmopolitan reputation of a London, Tokyo or New York but things here are changing. And Drink Kong - the brainchild of cocktail guru, Patrick Pistolesi - brings to the Eternal City a style and concept never seen before. The space sees mixology, food, music, visual art and fun come together. Pistolesi is known locally as the guy who has revolutionized mixology in Rome and with his talented bar team Livio Morena, Riccardo Palleschi and Davide Diaferia; business partners Claudia Gianvenuti, Massimo Palmieri, Richard Ercolani and Ilaria Valeri; and chef Marco Morello (owner of Testaccio Market–'s FoodBox), has brought this new venture to life. In the main cocktail bar, you can drink and eat at the counter and the menu is an eclectic international mix with tacos, steamed buns, dumplings and even scones making the cut. In the Tokyo-inspire hidden bar–', the Ginza Room, private events and tastings take place. There's also the Music Hall with nightly live entertainment and on the way to the bathrooms (hot tip - don't miss them!), there are a couple of vintage 80s arcade games. So you could say, Drink Kong kind of has it all! Open nightly until late, except Mondays. METRO: Colosseo.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The coolest interiors and cocktails to match make Drink Kong one of the hottest places in Rome right now.

Maria's expert tip: Don't head here just for drinks, the bar menu is fantastic too.

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If a young, professional local crowd - the 'after work drinks' kind of crowd - is your thing, then you'll love Sorpoasso. All-day dining places in Rome are rare and this one's a gem. Grab a coffee and pastry up front, head to the counter for rare artisanal meats and cheeses, hit the cocktail bar any time, or get a table in the light, country-cool style back room for a meal. The food may sound simple, but it's carefully sourced and perfectly executed. The extensive wine list and taglieri - platters of salumi and cheeses - are standout. METRO: Ottaviano. Bus: 87, 23

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This is a hangout and place to be for locals in the Vatican area.

Maria's expert tip: Get in early if you want a table for aperitivo and for dinner, bookings are recommended.

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The Court is the high-end bar Rome has been waiting for. It has all the makings for perfection: it sits on a raised courtyard floor of a historic palazzo (the five star Palazzo Manfredi), chic furnishings and lighting designed by Italo-German architect Giorgia Dennerlei, expert mixologists and a Michelin star chef to curate the snacks. Oh and then there's the view. Well to be honest, the view might just make you disregard and forget all the rest. The Colosseum spreads out in all its glory right before you eyes as you catch your breath. Traveling and renowned cocktail man Matteo Zed has devised the drinks menu for the 7.5 meter bar with a focus on the seasons, signature favorites and what he likes to call, 'Forgotten Classics and Unforgettables'. His partner in crime managing the wine list is Gennaro Buono, the hotel food and beverage manager who won the best Sommelier of Italy in 2016. Aroma (1 Michelin star) sits on the prized rooftops of the hotel and Executive Chef Giuseppe Di Iorio, together with pastry chef Daniele De Santi, has created an elegant finger food menu to accompany your drinks. METRO: Colosseo

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Rome's bar with the best view in town is a must.

Maria's expert tip: Book in advance and spots here are limited.

Read more about The Court →


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Meet Maria Pasquale

Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne.

An award winning food and travel writer, in addition to 10Best USA Today she also...  More About Maria

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