Discover the live music bars Rome will keep you coming back for! What are you into? Heavy metal? Rock music? Pop? House? Indie? Country? Jazz? Would you like food with that? Local? Fine dining? American? Or would you rather have a few beers and do the singing yourself? What kind of music scene strikes your fancy? Something small and chic, big and grand, or perhaps even on a boat?
I’ve chosen a wide range of the best live music venues in Rome. Whatever live music venues in the eternal city you’re hoping for, I bet I’ve found it!
1. Live Piano at Antica Biblioteca Valle
Largo del Teatro Valle, 9, 00186
Ever dreamt of going to “Rick’s Café” in Casablanca, ordering a gin and tonic and listening to Sam (Dooley Wilson) play the piano? Well, Antica Biblioteca Valle is where Humphrey Bogart
himself chose to go. It has undergone big renovations since those days of “La Dolce Vita”. Less than 2 kilometers from the must-see Colosseum
, this is one of the most central live music bars Rome has.
What’s more, it has a decent bar and restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner. The food is not cheap but the selection of tasty dishes with an emphasis on Mediterranean flavors is top notch. The space itself has a modern but informal decor. Most importantly, there is great piano music. “Play it Sam!”.
Genre: Jazz & Classical Piano
Entrance Fee: Free
2. Sing with strangers at The Yellow Bar
Via Palestro 40-42, 00185
This is an international bar in every way: food, music, and people. If you’re looking for authentic Rome, this isn’t it. However, if you’re looking to meet and mingle with like-minded travelers (and have a late night of dancing!), then this is the place for you. The hostel across the road, “The Yellow Hostel”, ensures a regular supply of traveling folk. The Yellow Bar is super friendly: that goes for the staff, as well as the customers who go there.
Americans will feel particularly welcome here as the food is a choice between Italian or American. The food is good and it’s also cheap: double win! Every night the pub has something exciting taking place. Usually, it’s music (karaoke, DJs or live music) and it carries on until the early hours (4am). This place gets busier as the evening rolls on which is great, but service can slow down as a result. If you’re hungry, get your food order in early!
Genre: Party Music
Entrance Fee: Free
3. Mix it up at Le Mura
Via di Porta Labicana 24, 00185
Le Mura which literally means “the wall”, based on its proximity to some nearby Roman walls, is very central (San Lorenzo). If you’re worried about not finding enough live music in Rome, Le Mura is one of the live music places in Rome hosting different acts every day of the week! This is quite a rare feat in itself, but even more unusual is the quality doesn’t suffer as a result of the quantity.
This is one of the best alternative bars in Rome! It has a real mix of genres, from rock, jazz and blues to techno, experimental music, local artists and DJs on the weekend! You’ll need to buy a year’s membership at the bar (which is common at late night music bars) for just €5. It’s more than worth it. Besides the live music every night, they also have space to mingle and enjoy a game of table football!
Genre: Mixed (rock, jazz, techno, experimental, electronic and more)
Entrance Fee: €5
4. Save the blues for Big Mama
Vicolo San Francesco a Ripa, 18
Located in the bohemian and funky area of Trastevere, one of Rome’s hidden gems
, Big Mama has been around for a while. It has cemented a reputation for itself as the ‘home of blues in Rome’
. This isn’t an old title, they still have big blues names playing there. If you’re not a fan of this music, there’s no need to get the ‘blues’. They often open the stage up to other genres too! Rock, jazz and local musicians frequently take the stage.
You can reserve a table in advance which is a sensible thing to do as the bar usually fills up. The music starts at 10:30 pm: the perfect after-dinner treat! The clientele are a little older here than most live music bar venues. Taste must improve with age!
Entrance Fee: €10 entry (this includes free entry every day for a month)
5. Keep it local at the Sinister Noise Club
Via dei Magazzini Generali, 4, 00154
Although Sinister Noise Club is relatively central, located in Aventino. Fun fact you might learn from a Rome walking tour
: Aventino is where (the story goes) Remus decided to set up his tent. It was the location he chose, in a contest against his brother Romulus, to determine who will be the official founder of Rome. It’s a cool location, right next to the River Tiber!
In spite of this, the club is tucked away and can be hard to find. Although, in this age of Google maps, it shouldn’t be a problem! I’ve even included a handy map to guide you to all the top live music bars in Rome (at the bottom of the page).
Here you’ll find some of the best local indie, alternative and rock bands in the city (so it’s worth venturing out to get to this club). There’s also a really great selection of local craft beers and cocktails. You can either chill upstairs for free or go downstairs and enjoy the music (there’s an €8 entry charge). I highly recommend going downstairs!
Entrance Fee: €8
6. Jazz it up at Gregory’s Jazz Club
Via Gregoriana 54/a, 00187
If there’s one genre of live music bars Rome can spoil you with, it’s jazz. Gregory’s Jazz Club isn’t just one of the best live jazz bars, it’s one of the best live music bars in Rome. Friday is their biggest day of the week because that’s the night Emanuele Urso’s orchestra plays. They are absolutely incredible, and their set changes often: watch them twice or three times if you can!
Gregory’s Jazz Club isn’t just about Fridays. Every night they have great jazz. If you want live music in Rome and jazz is your jam, even just a little, you won’t regret coming here. It’s a fun atmosphere and the food is tasty too, although perhaps a little pricey. It’s right in the heart of the city so it should be easy to find your way home when the night comes to an end!
Entrance Fee: Tuesday – Thursday €15; Friday – Sunday €20
7. We Will Rock You at Jailbreak Live Club
Via Tiburtina 870, 00159
Are you a fan of Freddie Mercury? Then you might well be a fan of this place. Jailbreak is a centrally located rock club and easy to find. It draws a young crowd of rock lovers. That’s no surprise as everything about this place is rockin’ (in both senses of the word). It is a main artery of underground rock in Rome and hosts old cover bands (yes, including Queen!). Jailbreak is also a space for emerging talent.
There’s some good grub here as well, and it’s quite reasonably priced (compared to other venues of this type). They closed down for a bit, but now they’re back up and running and better than ever. Rock around the clock!
Entrance Fee: Varies, based on who’s playing
8. Enjoy rock, blues & steak at Boogie Club
Via Gaetano Astolfi 63/65, 00149
From the outside, the Boogie Club doesn’t seem like much, an unloved bar for older locals perhaps? Inside is a different story. It looks a bit like an Irish bar. Even the food menu is quite “pubby”: not many options but they do a darn good steak. They also have craft beers, Italian wine and cocktails. Ask for a “Cicci” cocktail. You won’t find the ingredients anywhere on the internet: you’ll have to ask the barman!
It has some big differences to an Irish pub though. Swap the Guinness for a few televisions (to watch live sports) and change the smoky backroom for some excellent live rock and blues bands. This is a great place to listen to high-quality music with pub grub, a good choice of drinks and a fun, lively atmosphere. Let’s boogie!
Genre: Rock & Blues
Entrance Fee: Free
9. Anything Goes at Fonclea Pub
Via Crescenzio, 82a, 00193
This is three live music bars Rome can treat you to in one! From rock and jazz to folk, bluegrass, Latin-American music and more, Fonclea Pub has it all! It first opened its doors in 1977 and has become a well-known name to music lovers in Rome. It’s particularly known as the perfect venue for more intimate performances. You know, when you feel like you could walk on stage any time and (almost!) feel welcome.
A lot of bands love that intimate feeling too, and so it’s not hard for the Fonclea Pub to find great acts. Some more famous bands to have played here include; Chet Baker, Harold Bradley, Keith Tippett, Jivin’ Aces, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Amy Stuart and many, many more. The venue is divided into two parts: a quiet room for eating (simple food, reasonably priced) and talking and a not so quiet room for live music! This is quite possibly the best music pub Rome has!
Genre: Mixed (rock, jazz, folk, bluegrass, Latin-American music and more)
Entrance Fee: Free
10. Whatever floats your boat at Lian Club
Lungotevere Dei Mellini 7, 00193
(Sant Angelo Bridge near Vatican City, Rome)
To quote “The Lonely Island”, “I’m on a boat, I’m on a boat”! Lian Club can boast the unbeatable venue of being on a boat. It’s relatively new to the list of live music bars in Rome but it’s already “making waves”. Excuse the pun but it’s true. The music is varied but expect to hear lots of jazz and electronic beats. It has quite a party vibe and so the music will most likely complement this: DJs are the number 1 variety of artist here. You might be surprised then to hear it also does really great food and that it’s not overrun with tourists! Come aboard!
Entrance Fee: €10
11. Ronnie Scott’s or Cotton Club?
Via Bellinzona, 2, 00198
Cotton Club doesn’t seem like the other live music bars in Rome. It looks more like a high-end Brooklyn, London or New Orleans jazz bar. It’s no facade (although it is also a blues and “big band” venue). Cotton Club is regularly the setting of big band names. Even the owner is the famous British actress and singer Minnie Minoprio.
It might have big names and big sounds but it’s a civilized venue. Enjoy a relaxing (but fun) meal at the restaurant here. If you want to have dinner and watch jazz, you can get the “Dinner and Jazz Special” for €35. If you’d prefer to separate the two, why not fill up on a food tasting tour
beforehand and just pay €15 for entry plus a free drink?
Entrance Fee: €15
12. Variety is the spice of life at Contestaccio
Via di Monte Testaccio, 65, 00153
Contestaccio is relatively large, compared to other live music bars Rome has waiting for you. Indoors, there are four rooms with modern decor to compliment the food and live music on offer. Outside (al fresco!), there is an outdoor garden and terrace often filled with locals deep in conversation. It’s popular among locals, but it still caters to foreign tastes.
The restaurant has traditional Italian food, as well as American and vegetarian options. There’s a great drinks selection and the music is good quality and free too! There’s a real mix of genres here: rock, funk, electronic and everything in between. That sounds like all music but the theme is very much upbeat!
Genre: Mixed (rock, funk, electronic and more)
Entrance Fee: €5