Rome, the city of historic ruins, art, and culture, is a bucket-list destination for many travelers around the world. However, it can be an expensive city to explore, from accommodation to food and transportation. But fear not, budget-friendly travel in Rome is possible with a little planning and the right knowledge. In this article, we will provide you with the ultimate guide to budget-friendly travel in Rome, including tips, tricks, and information on how to make the most out of your trip without breaking the bank.
Getting to Rome
By Air: Rome has two major airports, Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) and Ciampino International Airport (CIA). Fiumicino is the larger and more commonly used airport, with direct flights from major cities all over the world. Ciampino, on the other hand, is a smaller airport with low-cost airlines operating flights to and from European cities.
By Train: Rome is well-connected to other major Italian and European cities by rail. There are also a few high-speed train options that cover long distances within Italy, including Rome to Florence, Rome to Milan, and Rome to Naples.
Getting Around Rome
Public Transportation: Rome has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro lines. You can purchase a daily or weekly pass, which allows you to use all public transport within the city.
Walking: Rome is a walking city, with most of its major attractions within walking distance of each other. Walking is also a great way to explore the city’s narrow streets and hidden alleyways.
Biking: Rome has several bike rental options, with both guided and self-guided tours available. Biking is a great way to explore the city’s less crowded areas, especially its parks and gardens.
Where to Stay in Rome
Hostels: Hostels are the most budget-friendly options in Rome, with prices starting as low as €10 per night. Many hostels offer private rooms as well, which are still cheaper than hotels.
Airbnb: Airbnb is another budget-friendly option in Rome, especially if you’re traveling with a group or family. You can find entire apartments or houses for rent, with prices starting at around €50 per night.
Budget Hotels: Rome has several budget hotels with prices starting as low as €30 per night. These hotels usually offer basic amenities and are located in central areas of the city.
Eating in Rome
Trattorias: Trattorias are traditional Italian restaurants that offer simple, homemade dishes at reasonable prices. They are a great option for budget travelers who want to experience authentic Italian food.
Pizzerias: Pizza is a staple of Roman cuisine and can be found in almost every corner of the city. Pizzerias offer a variety of toppings and sizes, with prices starting at around €5.
Street Food: Roman street food is a must-try for every budget traveler. Some of the most popular street food items include supplì (deep-fried rice balls), porchetta (roasted pork), and panini (Italian sandwiches).
Tourist Attractions in Rome
1. Colosseum: The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome and a must-visit for every traveler. Tickets cost €16 per person, but you can also buy a combined ticket for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, which costs €18.
2. Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica: The Vatican Museums house some of the world’s most famous art and sculptures, including the Sistine Chapel. Tickets cost €17 per person, but you can also book a guided tour for around €30. St. Peter’s Basilica is located within the Vatican City and is free to enter.
3. Pantheon: The Pantheon is a well-preserved Roman temple that dates back to 126 AD. It’s located in the heart of Rome’s historic center and is free to enter.
4. Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is a Baroque masterpiece that’s known for its stunning architecture and clear blue waters. It’s located in the Trevi neighborhood and is free to visit.
5. Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps are a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals alike, offering a great view of the city from the top. It’s located in the Piazza di Spagna and is free to visit.
6. Villa Borghese: Villa Borghese is a sprawling park in the heart of Rome that offers stunning views of the city and is home to several museums and galleries. Entry to the park is free, but tickets to the museums and galleries start at around €10.
7. Roman Forum: The Roman Forum is a sprawling complex of ruins that was once the center of political and social life in ancient Rome. Tickets cost €16 per person, but you can also buy a combined ticket for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, which costs €18.
8. Piazza Navona: Piazza Navona is a lively square in the heart of Rome that’s surrounded by stunning Baroque architecture and a stunning fountain. It’s free to visit.
9. Castel Sant’Angelo: Castel Sant’Angelo is a Roman fortress that offers stunning views of the city from its terrace. Tickets cost €15 per person, but you can also book a guided tour for around €25.
10. Villa Doria Pamphili: Villa Doria Pamphili is one of Rome’s most beautiful parks, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s free to enter.
Q: Is Rome safe for budget travelers?
A: Yes, Rome is generally safe for budget travelers. However, as with any tourist destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid crowded areas during peak hours.
Q: What’s the best time to visit Rome on a budget?
A: The best time to visit Rome on a budget is during the shoulder seasons, which are spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). During these months, you can find cheaper accommodations and fewer crowds.
Q: What’s the cheapest way to get around Rome?
A: The cheapest way to get around Rome is by using public transportation, such as buses or metro lines. You can purchase a daily or weekly pass, which allows you to use all public transport within the city.
Q: What are some budget-friendly things to do in Rome?
A: Some budget-friendly things to do in Rome include visiting free attractions such as the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, or Villa Borghese, exploring Rome’s lesser-known neighborhoods, or enjoying an Italian gelato from a local gelateria.
In conclusion, budget-friendly travel in Rome is possible with a little planning and the right knowledge. From cheap accommodations to delicious street food, there are plenty of options for budget travelers who want to explore Italy’s capital city. Remember to book attractions in advance, opt for public transportation, and seek out the lesser-known neighborhoods and attractions for a more authentic experience. Happy travels!