Rome is a unique city with thousands of years of history, unique artworks, magnificent architecture and a vibrant cultural life. Since you are here, you must be preparing to explore this city, and you are in the right place. In this guide, you will find all the details you need to know before going to Rome and all the practical information you will need to plan your trip. From travel budget to best times to visit the city, from transportation alternatives to accommodation recommendations, culinary stops, and shopping suggestions, I will cover every detail. Here is your ultimate Rome travel guide.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Rome

  • Rome is the capital of Italy and is located in the Lazio region. I can say that it corresponds to the knee of the boot-shaped map of Italy.
  • You need a Schengen visa to go to Italy.
  • Euro is used as the currency.
  • The Vatican, which is considered the smallest country in the world, is located in Rome.
  • Rome is generally a safe city, but you need to be careful about the pickpockets who can be anywhere.

When to go to Rome?

Rome has a Mediterranean climate and it is not a very cold city. I had the chance to visit Rome in all seasons, I even came across snowfall, which is not very common. It is a city that can be visited easily in all seasons because if it gets very cold, you have many alternatives to visit indoors. My last visit was at the end of February. It was sunny and spring-like for three days, but on the last day it rained and stormed badly. The advantage of going in the off season, in other words in winter, is that the hotels are more affordable. In summer, it gets a bit too hot, hotel prices go up a lot and it is also the most crowded period. Therefore, I think the best time to go to Rome is April-May and September-October. I suggest you pay attention to the dates of Easter to avoid the crowds.

How Many Days to Visit Rome?

Rome is a city very full of life. History in every corner, culture and art in every corner. There are also a lot of nice dishes to try. I am sure you can discover a brand new place in Rome even if you stay for weeks, but for limited time, I think the ideal time to spend in Rome can be 4 days, or at least 3 days. Rome doesn’t make much sense as a weekend destination, but if you want to see it once, skip the museums, savor it, and come back again, why not. In conclusion, the time you spend exploring Rome depends entirely on you and your expectations from the city. However, considering the richness the city has to offer, I suggest you spend as much time as possible.

Rome Accommodation Guide

In terms of accommodation, the colorful streets of Trastevere can be a good option for those who want to catch the rhythm of local life. Centro Storico, around Navona and Pantheon, are the most central places. For those looking for a little more luxury, Spagna around the Spanish Steps may be ideal. Esquilino and Monti neighborhoods are both easily accessible and affordable options. Prati may also be an option with its proximity to the Vatican. These neighborhoods are my top priorities for accommodation in Rome. I have prepared a much more detailed guide on accommodation in Rome, be sure to read that article. There are spot-on hotel recommendations according to the neighborhoods.

Where to stay in Rome?

Click here to check all suitable hotels in Rome.

Rome Transportation Guide

Let me first talk about how to get from Rome airport to the city center. I used the bus, it was the most convenient way of transportation and I was in no hurry, it takes 1 hour. I paid 10€ for a round trip ticket from Fiumicino airport with Rome Airport Bus, it goes directly to Termini, so I reached my hotel easily. Among the other ways to get to the city, FL1 train is 8€ one way and takes 30 minutes but does not go to Termini. Leonardo Express costs 14€ one way, takes 32 minutes and goes directly to Termini. If you take a taxi, the fixed price is 48€ one way.

Now let me tell you how to get around Rome by public transportation. If you are staying in a central place, you can reach many places on foot. In other words, you can visit Rome without using a car except the airport, but be ready to do 15-20 km a day. Metro and buses are actively working as public transportation. I bought a 3-day unlimited card, I didn’t use public transportation on the last day, and if I had, I would have bought a single ticket. The single ticket costs 1.5€ and is valid for 75 minutes. You have to validate the tickets before you use them, if you get caught without validation you become a stowaway. I haven’t come across any controls in Rome so far, but the fine is 104,90€, 54,90€ if you pay within 5 days. There are unlimited cards for 1-2-3 days. 1 day card is 7€, 2 days card is 12.5€ and 3 days card is 18€. Make sure you get it approved the first time you use it, there is no need to get it approved again afterwards. If you take the metro for the first time, it is already approved automatically, you don’t need to do anything additional. You can get these cards from the machines or counters at the airport.

Rome Food Guide

I came back from Rome like a giant ball of carbs. They are really good at bread and pasta. Among the main flavors you can try when you go to Rome, I can list traditional pastas such as carbonara, amatriciana, cacio e pepe, thin and crispy-bottomed Roman-style pizzas, street delicacies such as suppli and trapizzino, appetizers such as artichokes and zucchini flowers, desserts such as tiramisu and gelato.

I have prepared a much more detailed Rome food and drink guide. You can find where to eat and what to eat, which are the best places there.

While we are on the subject of food and drink, I wanted to remind you that there are many fountains with drinkable water in Rome, so don’t pay for water.

Rome Shopping Guide

On your way back from Rome, you can buy traditional Italian leather goods or handmade products. Streets like Via del Corso and Via Condotti are the best places to shop. In addition, the historic streets and neighborhoods of Rome are full of small shops where you can buy handicrafts from local artists.

Italian cheeses, drinks, pastas and olive oils are some of the most delicious souvenirs you can buy in Rome. The daily market in Campo de’ Fiori is a good option for fresh produce and Italian gourmet products.

Antique lovers can visit the Porta Portese flea market, open on Sundays.Brand-conscious fashion lovers can find world-famous Italian fashion houses and international luxury brands on Rome’s luxury shopping streets, Via dei Condotti, Via del Babuino and Via Borgognona.

Things to do in Rome

Rome is the largest open-air museum in the world. The Colosseum, the heart of ancient Rome, the Pantheon with its magnificent dome, the Trevi Fountain, the majestic Vatican City and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel are among Rome’s must-see sights. In addition, the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona, the romantic view of the Spanish Steps and the ruins of the ancient Roman Forum are other important places that complement the historical and cultural richness of the city. Read my article where I tell you all the places to visit in Rome in detail and give you a ready-made route day by day.

If you are going to visit many museums in the city, check out the city cards that offer certain discounts.

Day Trips from Rome

If you have more than 3 days in Rome, you might want to visit the surrounding areas. I list the closest and most beautiful options from Rome. You can take day tours or go by train. The times I have given below apply to the train, it may be different by car.

  • Orvieto – 1.5 hours
  • Napoli – 1.5 hours
  • Floransa – 1.5 hours
  • Pompeii – 2.5 hours
  • Amalfi Sahilleri – 3 hours
  • Siena – 3 hours

Is Rome Cheap or Expensive? Rome Travel Budget

Rome is a city that can be traveled on any budget. Although there are museums with entrance fees, there are many things to do for free. There are very elegant restaurants as well as delicious street food and local eateries. Again, there are accommodation options for every taste and budget. Now let me talk a little bit about the prices.

Street food usually varies between 2-5€. A meal in local restaurants varies between 5-10€. In more touristic places, a meal varies between 15-25€. Of course, there are also much more luxurious restaurants.

For accommodation, budget-friendly hotels or hostels are available for 30-60€. More moderate, decent hotels are usually around 80-120€. It is possible to find more affordable houses on Airbnb.

Based on my experience, I would also like to give you average spending budgets. I think a budget-friendly trip to Rome can be around 60-80€ per day including accommodation and a middling trip to Rome can be around 150-200€ per day including accommodation. Luxury travel is open-ended so I won’t go there.

If your budget is limited, let me give you a few saving tips. On the first Sunday of the month, many tourist attractions that are normally paid are free, you can plan your travel dates this way. Carry a water bottle with you and drink from the fountains all over Rome. Rome’s street food is so good that you can easily fill your stomach with them. If you are going to drink coffee in a place, don’t sit, drink standing up. You can stay in a local’s house with Couchsurfing or you can stay in a hostel in shared rooms for a very reasonable price. You can explore the city completely on foot.

I stayed for 3 nights and 4 days and spent 250€, that is 62.5€ per day. This included only food and drink and transportation in the city. I was comfortable with food. I already wrote the transportation prices above. Since this was my 4th visit to Rome, I did not enter the museums and archaeological sites with paid entrance. Accommodation will vary according to your choice as I mentioned above and your transportation to Rome will be determined by your ability to find cheap flight tickets.

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