Tips and tricks for enjoying Rome and travelling to Rome – transport, how to get to the city centre, accommodation, prices in Rome, food and restaurants and other things to do before your trip.
Transport to Rome
The basic rule for transport in Rome is – be careful. The legendary passion and temperament of the Italians is multiplied on the road. Chaos everywhere. You’re at a crosswalk, aren’t you? Nobody cares.
Transport from Rome Airport to the city centre
There are 2 airports in Rome – Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA). Both airports are accessible by bus to the city centre. The train is also an option, which is faster but more expensive.
Fiumicino Airport is less than an hour from the centre. Ciampino Airport is a little closer – you’re 40 minutes from Termini Central Station. Read our detailed guide on how to get from Fiumicino Airport to the city centre.
I would call the bus ride an experience. You won’t forget this one. And I think in Italy it doesn’t matter which driver you go with. We were almost as blown away as the Colosseum. Those who didn’t hold on tightly were flying. All this with icy calm. The driver. Not the passengers :).
Both airports can be reached from Termini Station. Buses stop on the right side of the station (on the right side in the picture). Buses from Fiumicino Airport and Ciampino Airport stop right behind each other.
Public transport in Rome
In Rome, you can get around by metro, bus, tram and, in some places, by train. Only the subway is reliable. The metro runs from 5:30-23:30 and until 01:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Buses are available from 5:30-00:00. Night buses run between midnight and 5:30am. Rather sporadically and not on time.
The metro system in Rome is simple – 3 lines A, B, C. If you plan to move around the centre, only lines A and B will be of interest.
Use the Red Line A to get to the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps or the Vatican, for example. The Blue Line B takes you to the Colosseum and Old Rome. You can download a map of the metro in Rome at this link.
Tickets in Rome
- €1.50 – metro in one direction and bus services valid for up to 100 minutes (for metro only valid if you do not leave the turnstiles)
- 7 € – all public transport connections valid for 24 hours
- 12,50 € – all public transport connections valid for 48 hours
- 18 € – all public transport connections valid for 72 hours
- 24 € – all public transport connections valid for 1 week
- Unlimited free transport with Roma Pass
Public transport is free for children under 10 years of age. Older children already need a regular ticket.
You can buy your ticket at newsagents, newsstands, small grocery stores or vending machines in the metro. Please note: Tickets cannot be purchased from the driver. This should be kept in mind especially at night, when only night buses run.
Mark your ticket before you ride. On buses and trams, mark your ticket at the small yellow machines when you board. You don’t have to show it to the driver.
From March 2023, you can now pay for transport in Rome with your contactless card (or smartphone or watch). If you’ve paid this way in another city, it works exactly the same. When you board, you hold your card up to the reader and wait for the light to turn green. This will deduct the normal ticket price – you don’t need to buy a ticket.
If you change trains, you can always insert your contactless card into the reader again (even if the 100 minutes for which the tickets are valid have not yet elapsed – you will not be charged again within 100 minutes). In some metro stations, you will also need to present your card when exiting to go through the turnstiles.
For everything to work well, you must use only one card per person and not change payment methods within the same journey (card, mobile, watch).
See more tips, how to save on transport and sightseeing in Rome.
Parking in Rome
Rome is the third busiest city in Europe. With their mood, it’s probably a foregone conclusion that parking is going to be a real hassle. Avoid parking in the centre if you can. Park on the outskirts of Rome and take public transport to the centre.
There are several parking zones in Rome, all of which are colour-coded:
- blue zone – paid parking. Short-term parking is usually cheaper and, with a few exceptions, is not charged on Sundays and public holidays.
- white zone – free, but max. 3 hours. They are mostly located near major hospitals and in the city’s tariff zones. Only residents with a permit are exempt from the time limit.
- Yellow zone – the zone is for disabled persons and persons with disabilities.
- Pink Zone – free parking for pregnant women and new mothers near outpatient and hospital facilities.
Up-to-date detailed information about parking in the centre of Rome – number of parking spaces and price.
Where to stay in Rome?
If you’re visiting Rome for the first time, the best place to stay is the area between the Vatican to the west and Termini Central Station to the east.
You’ll be close to all the main sights, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the aforementioned Vatican. The historic centre of Rome is easily walkable.
You can just wander around the narrow streets and you will always come across a gem. What’s more, the centre is compact and once you’ve walked around a few times, you’ll get the hang of it relatively quickly.
First tips on where to stay in Rome are just minutes from Termini Station, where you arrive from Fiumincino or Ciampino Airport.
There are a number of good restaurants, grocery stores (Coop) and metro links nearby. The A line takes you to the Vatican in a few minutes, while the B line takes you to the Colosseum or Caracalla Baths to the south.
Some of the alleys are not the cleanest, but this is not unusual in Rome. I still remember the crazy mess at the Colosseum. And now for the tips:
- Hotel Impero – cheap hotel with excellent breakfast and roof terrace; older facilities but clean and cosy; quiet at night
- Hotel Fiorenza is an ideal choice for those who are looking for a really cheap hotel and don’t mind simple and smaller rooms (but clean); some rooms have a shared bathroom; quiet street
- Hotel Nord Nuova Roma is located on a busy street but has double glazed windows to avoid most noise; roof terrace for evening seating; comfortable beds and overall very pleasant rooms
- The Hive hotel – trendy hotel with modern and clean rooms; rooms and suites for up to 4 people available; spacious roof terrace with seating and restaurant
We’re moving more towards the center. If you want to soak up the unmistakable atmosphere of Rome, a stay in the very centre is ideal. My tip is the guesthouse L’antica Locanda Dell’Orso with 2-3 bed rooms near Piazza Navona.
Great value for money considering the location in the historic centre. A 10-minute walk to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Castel Sant’Angelo and a short walk to the Vatican and even closer to the Pantheon. The Colosseum can be reached in half an hour by walking through the historic centre.
The last tip is Roma Camping In Town. The ideal place for those who spend more time in Rome and are looking for accommodation where they will have more peace and quiet outside the centre of Rome. Families with children will also enjoy it here, as there are plenty of activities including a playground and in summer you can cool off in the swimming pool.
There is a choice of bungalows or cottages with kitchen. Even though the campsite is outside Rome, it is easily reached by metro line A, where you just change to a bus at Cornelia terminus, which will take you to the campsite in a few minutes. You can reach the Vatican in 20 minutes and Termini Central Station in 35 minutes.
We’ve created a detailed guide on where to stay in Rome (best neighbourhoods and hotels, a map and how to get from your accommodation to the sights or the airport).
When to go to Rome?
Most people plan their exploration of Rome for the summer season. For our part, we can recommend visiting Rome at any time of the year except the summer season. Why?
- Save on flights – airlines usually run special deals for the rest of the year.
- You’ll also save on accommodation – hotels in Rome are up to twice as expensive in high season.
- You won’t be pushing through millions of tourists. In those narrow streets. In Rome, the main attractions like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain will still be packed with tourists. We’re talking about Rome. But compared to summer…
- There’s no danger of not being allowed into the Vatican with your shoulders exposed or your shorts above your knees.
- In August there are siestas in Italy and Italians retreat in large numbers to Sicily and Sardinia. Many shops may be closed. Not supermarkets.
- Service tends to be better in low season.
- In summer, Rome is really hot. The pavements are hot and the only place to cool off is in the local parks and gardens.
What to see in Rome?
I’ve already devoted several articles to sightseeing in Rome, so you can get some inspiration there:
- What to see in Rome, including entrance fees and opening times
- Rome in 3 days: complete itinerary including map
- Rome in one day
- What to do in Rome?
- Vatican Museums
- Sistine Chapel
- The best museums in Rome
- Monuments of ancient Rome
Choose from a selection of popular tickets in Rome:
How to save money on sightseeing and transport in Rome?
It’s very easy to save money in Rome with the Roma Pass. With it, you get free entry to the most famous sights and reduced admission to many other places. The card also includes unlimited travel around Rome and the use of information points with public toilets and the possibility to charge your phone (always handy in cities, what are we talking about).
Roma Pass is available in 3 variants:
- Roma Pass 48 hours – free entry to the first monument you visit (I recommend choosing the Colosseum first to save the most) and reduced admission to all other monuments you visit within 48 hours. Unlimited travel for 48 hours in Rome on top of that.
- Roma Pass 72 hours – free entry to the 2 sights you visit first (such as the Colosseum and Capitoline Museums) and reduced admission to all other sights you visit within 72 hours. Here, too, unlimited travel is valid for the duration of the card.
- Roma Pass in combination with the Omnia Card – you get the benefits of the Roma Pass for 72 hours, as well as free admission to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and a 72-hour sightseeing bus ride that takes you around Rome’s biggest attractions (you can get off and back) at any time.
I have written in this article about whether the card will pay off for you and a detailed guide.
Where to eat in Rome?
It would be a sin not to taste the local cuisine. But if you head to the first restaurant somewhere near the main tourist attractions, you might be a little disappointed and wonder, “Is this the famous Italian cuisine?” So where to go for great food in Rome? Let’s take this one at a time:
What are the supermarkets in Italy?
Let’s start with the most basic – supermarkets and food stores. In Rome you can easily shop at Lidl, LD Market, Penny Market, Eurospin, In Mercato.
Farmers’ markets are a must in Rome. You can buy local ingredients and eat well.
- Mercato Testaccio Farmers’ Market – the best of the best. For some, not only in Rome. It can be found 3 km southwest of Colosseo. It is open every day except Sunday from 7am to 3:30pm.
- Look for the Mercato Centrale Farmers’ Market right at Termini Station. They are open all year round from 8am to midnight.
- The Campagna Amica Farmers’ Market can be found west of Palatino Hill and the Colosseum. Right across the street from the Circus Maximus ancient sports venue. You can come here on Wednesdays and weekends from 8 am to 3 pm.
- Campo de’ Fiori farmers’ market in the square of the same name, if you’re looking for something more central towards the Vatican. It is open every day except Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm.
Fast food in Italian style
Pizza and paninis are the most common form of fast food here. In the case of pizza, it works by just showing your hands how big a slice you want. Have you heard of trapizzino? This is a stuffed pizza pocket. It has several branches in Rome. One of them is located in the Testaccio district.
A renowned street food place is PanDivino, for example. You can find it 600 metres from the Pantheon, if you walk towards the Vatican. The student district of Trastevere across the river is also known for its cheap food and markets.
Restaurants in Rome
For typical Italian food, look outside the centre. You won’t usually find it in tourist restaurants. For that, you’ll definitely find it in the Testaccio and Garbatella districts. South of the Colosseum. It’s alive here. It’s bustling not only with restaurants, but also bars and cultural events.
The best neighbourhood to eat in is generally the Trastevere neighbourhood across the river from the centre. Almost every restaurant here has great food and good prices.
How to fit in with the Italians?
- Italians are coffee lovers. They always have it AFTER they eat.
- Cappuccino is only allowed until 11am for breakfast.
- Fancy a latte? Then in Italy you will get a cup of hot milk. To get the classic latte as we know it, order a latte macchiato.
- Want to save money when drinking espresso? Step up and it will set you back €1-2. Stay seated and you’ll pay 5€.
- You don’t order ice cream by the scoop, but by the size of the cone.
- Choose a restaurant where there is no English menu.
- Ask for “vino della casa”. You get cheap but good local wine.
- A typical Italian breakfast consists of coffee or cappuccino, cornetto (similar to a croissant) and orange juice. In Italy they are not used to salty breakfasts.
- Going out to dinner? Don’t be surprised if many restaurants are still closed at 6 or 7 pm. In Italy, you dine late.
- Try “aperitivo”. It is a kind of pre-dinner served between 6 – 8 pm. You can order pizza, nuts and other snacks along with Aperol.
- Tipping is not customary in Italy. At least as far as typical authentic restaurants outside the main centre where the locals go. Instead, you will automatically be charged a coperto. This is the service charge and the bread that is on the table. Look for the fee on the ticket under servizio.
Prices in Rome
How high are food prices in Rome? Below are the prices of selected foods:
- Milk 1 l – 1,40 €
- White bread 0,5 kg – 1,54 €
- Eggs 12 pcs – 3,31 €
- Chicken breast 1 kg – 9,16 €
- Apples 1 kg – 2,22 €
- Bananas 1 kg – 1,73 €
- Tomatoes 1 kg – 1,49 €
- Rice 1 kg – 2,04 €
You will pay about 5-7 € for a pizza. A meal in a restaurant will cost you an average of €25 per person. In the centre, a few euros more. There is an automatic charge for coperto (about €3) or bread, which you can refuse.
Drinking water is free and comes from the mountains outside Rome. Drink it at the fountains, called nasoni. You squeeze the opening with your fingers from underneath and from the top you can drink comfortably through the other opening.
How to get from Rome to the sea?
From Rome you are at the sea in a few dozen minutes. If you have enough time, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. Count on the fact that most of the beaches around Rome are private. These beaches are called stabilimenti. You’ll pay €10 – €30 per day. What do you get for that? A clean beach, sunbed, umbrella, changing room, outdoor shower, good access to water and toilets.
Let’s start with the best one. It’ll take you the longest to get here of all the options, but it’ll be worth it. The beach has won awards for its water quality, cleanliness and environmental friendliness. Most of the beach is private. The small town of Sperlonga with its white houses is worth a visit in itself.
How to get to Sperlonga Beach from Rome? Take the train at Termini Station and travel to Fondi-Sperlonga Station. Take the bus directly to Sperlonga.
Santa Severa is also north of Rome, just 1 station before Santa Marinella. From the beach, you’ll be treated to an impressive castle.
How to get to Santa Severa Beach from Rome? You get on the same train as if you were going to Santa Marinella. You’ll get off at Santa Severa station. It’s a 20-minute walk to the beach.
The closest (and most crowded) option to get wet after marathons of Roman sightseeing is the beach at Ostia Lido. You can also stretch out your towel in the public areas. The beach isn’t as beautiful or the water as clear as some of the other beaches, but you’ll be refreshed.
How to get to Ostia Lido from Rome? You take the metro B to Piramide station. At the station, after getting off, follow the signs that lead you to the train to Roma – Lido – up the escalator and to the left. Get off at Lido Centro.
Santa Marinella is a small town north of Rome with nice sandy beaches. Both private and free access.
How to get to Santa Marinella Beach from Rome? The town can be reached by train from the main stations in Rome (Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, San Pietro). You can choose from 2 to 3 connections per hour. The beach can be reached in 5 minutes from the station.
Fregene is located north of Ostia. It is especially popular with young people as there are many bars and nightclubs. The Singita Miracle Beach Club is a famous bar, where pillows are spread across the beach in the evening and a gong sounds at sunset.
How to reach the beach in Fregene from Rome? Take the train from Termini Station to Fregene, where you get off at Maccarese – Fregene station. From there, take the local bus, which runs at regular quarter-hourly intervals.
Anzio is south of Rome. It’s a bit further, but the journey is worth it. The clean beaches and water have won the Bandiera Blu award for quality, cleanliness and environmental friendliness. When you get tired of lounging on the beach, explore the ruins of Emperor Nero’s ancient villa.
How to reach Anzio Beach from Rome? Anzio can be reached by train from Termini Station to Anzio Colonia Station. Several nice beaches are just a few steps away. Want more privacy on the beach? Get off at the next station, Nettuno.
The town of Sebaudia is located even further south of Anzio. The connection here from Rome is not ideal. That’s why the beaches are not crowded.
How to get to Sebaudia Beach from Rome? At Termini Station, take the train to Priverno-Fossanova and take the COTRAL bus to Sebaudio. The beach is reached by wooden stairs.
Ladispoli is a resort north of Rome with a long beach.
How to get to Ladispoli Beach from Rome? You take the train from most stations in Rome to Cerveteri-Ladispoli station. You are at the beach in 10 minutes.
More tips on how to enjoy Rome a little more
A typical very informal greeting is ciao (something like the Czech čau or German servus). In shops and older people it is better to greet more formally:
- Biongiorno – Good day
- Buona Sera – Good evening
- Grazie – Thank you
- Gelato – Ice cream
- In Italy, it is customary to give 2-3 kisses on the cheek.
- Don’t be surprised by the afternoon siesta, the so-called riposino. Usually between 1pm and 4pm in smaller towns or smaller shops.
- Carry cash, especially coins. In Rome, they’ll let you use the toilet in restaurants. For a small fee.
- Speaking of toilets, a lot of places don’t have a toilet with a seat. Just don’t be surprised.
- Beware of street vendors. Especially at the Colosseum. They’re so intense, you want to smash the selfie stick they’re offering you into their face.
- Keep an eye on things. There’s theft everywhere. It’s just that in Rome there’s a bit more theft.
- Choose proper footwear. Rome is typical of its uneven cobbled pavements.
Map of Rome
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of Rome. Click on the top left of the map to see separate layers with places marked. You can hide and show the different layers, or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places mentioned in the Rome guide. If you want to save the map, mark it with an asterisk. For a larger version, click on the icon in the top right corner.
These were our tips on how to enjoy travelling to Rome. Do you have a question? Ask in the comments below. Have a safe journey!
More about Rome
THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ROME: In our article on what to visit in Rome, you will find detailed descriptions of the most beautiful places, including information on admission fees and opening times. We also have special guides for the monuments of ancient Rome or the best museums in Rome.
We’ve created a detailed guide to the Vatican that tells you everything you need to know before your visit.
ACCOMMODATION IN ROME: We’ve created a detailed guide on where to stay in Rome (best neighbourhoods and accommodation on a budget, a map and how to get from your accommodation to the sights or the airport).
HOW TO ENJOY ROME: For tips on the best things to do in Rome, check out our article on what in. We also share some tips on how to save in Rome. In a separate article, you can find out about all the ways to get from Fiumicino Airport to the centre of Rome.
Travel to Rome FAQ
Air transport is the cheapest. You can get return tickets to Rome for as little as 9 hundred. Find out more in this detailed guide, which will take you through not only transport to Rome (plane, bus, train, car), but also parking in Rome and public transport.
The sea is a stone’s throw from Rome. In this article you will find tips on the most famous beach resorts, including transport links from Rome.
Hostels, hotels, Airbnb, but also campsites right in the city. You will find everything here. Read more about how accommodation prices fluctuate and where to look for the best ones.
In Rome you will satisfy your taste buds perfectly. But not everywhere. Tips on supermarkets, farmers’ markets and restaurants where you can get a lot of music on your plate for little money + information on price ranges and Italian eating habits that will come in handy when dining out. Read more in the article.