Rome , the picturesque capital of Italy, is certainly considered by many people to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Every year millions of tourists from around the world come to visit the Eternal City and its many attractions that one must definitely see in his lifetime.
If you’ve never been to Rome before, it might seem a bit expensive at first glance. We’ve gathered some practical advice here from both our personal experience and the messages we’ve received from our readers, to make sure your trip to Rome won’t cost you a fortune. Here’s what you need to know.
When arriving to the airport, do not take the train from the airport to Rome’s center!
When you reach the airport in Rome, you will be presented with two options to get to the tourist center: the fast Leonardo Express train, or the bus. On average, a trip with the train for two will cost around 14 EUR. However, many locals recommend that you take the COTRAL bus, which will instead cost as little as 3.5 EUR.
Therefore, keep in mind that even though it might take just a bit longer to reach the center with the bus, you will be saving around 50 EUR in total for a both-way trip for two!
Don’t book a hotel in the city center!
When visiting Rome, most people would consider staying in a hotel right in the heart of the city. However, we’ve found that a 2-star hotel in the center will cost you TWICE as much as a 4-star hotel a bit further away, towards the city outskirts.
Therefore, why not benefit of higher quality services for almost half the price? We would recommend staying at the Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna Hotel. They offer great accommodation and very good food.
When searching for a hotel, find something that is not extremely central but is close to a metro or bus station. This is extremely important as it will save you a lot of time, and it guarantees easy access to any parts of this beautiful city.
Use the metro instead of the bus or taxis.
Taxis in Rome can be a bit pricey. The bus is also a practical alternative, but however, from our experience, we would recommend using the metro as often as you can. It is a very cheap and fast means of transportation that can get you easily from one point to another.
When we visited Rome, we were able to get a 4-day pass for the metro which ended up costing us only 16 EUR. We also tried the bus, but especially during rush hours it can take more time to get to where you need.
The waiting lines at the Colosseum won’t take as much as you think!
As soon as you reach the Colosseum and start waiting to buy your ticket, you might be approached by different people that will be happy to sell you tickets that guarantee you “faster access”, for a small fee.
Other individuals might start making assumptions such as “the average waiting time is around 30 minutes” and offer you the chance to skip the line by joining one of the organized groups, for another fee.
This being said, in our experience, we skipped all these offers, and ended up only waiting around 10-15 minutes at most. The price was 12 EUR/p which we consider affordable, especially given the beauty of the Colosseum – an experience that you’ll remember. There’s no need to pay extra, since the waiting lines don’t take nearly as long as some people would say.
Access to the St. Peter’s Basilica is free.
First and foremost, let’s get this one straight: there is NO entrance fee for getting in the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican.
There is a small price you have to pay, however, if you want to get to the dome; this one is 8 EUR if you want to take the elevator, and 6 EUR if you feel like taking the stairs (551 steps).
Depending on the time of the day you reach the Basilica, you might need to wait more or less in line for bag checks. As usual, you will find the guides trying to earn some extra money by giving you a chance to join their groups for a faster waiting time; and they will ask for around 15 EUR. We wouldn’t recommend going with them, though – our friends reported that on their visit to Rome they only waited around 15 minutes at a rush hour, as everything was moving swiftly and smoothly.
Rome is an amazing city that will definitely impress you through its historical attractions and welcoming locals. Don’t say “no” to a stunning Rome vacation simply because some argue that it’s expensive – it’s definitely not.