Rome is an enthralling city that combines rich history with a modern, bustling atmosphere. However, travelling to Rome does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Here are our top tips to help you experience the Eternal City in a budget-friendly and efficient way.
Plan Ahead and Do Your Research
Thorough planning and research are key to an efficient and cost-effective trip. Look for online deals and book your accommodation well in advance to get the best prices. Pay attention to the opening hours of places like the Vatican and museums you plan to visit so you can structure your day effectively. Moreover, consider purchasing a Roma Pass for unlimited access to public transportation and discounts at various museums and tourist sites.
Choose Affordable Accommodation
Rome offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options. From affordable hostels to budget hotels and even budget-friendly Airbnb rentals, you can find comfortable places to stay that won’t break the bank. Consider staying a little further from the city centre where prices tend to be lower.
Utilise Public Transportation
Rome’s public transportation system is quite extensive and affordable. Buses, trams, and the metro can take you to almost all parts of the city. Plus, public transportation gives you a real feel of the city and a glimpse into the everyday life of Romans.
Eat Like a Local
Avoid the tourist traps and dine where the locals do. Neighbourhoods like Testaccio and Trastevere are great for authentic and affordable food. Keep an eye out for the ‘Menu del Giorno’ (menu of the day) – a set meal that often includes a starter, main course, and dessert at a discounted price.
Free or Discounted Attractions
Many of Rome’s attractions are free or have specific days or hours when entry is free or discounted. For instance, the Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month, while the Colosseum offers discounted tickets for EU citizens under 25. Moreover, some of Rome’s most famous sights, like the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, are free to visit.
Take Advantage of Free Walking Tours
Free walking tours are a great way to explore Rome’s historic centre without spending a penny. They usually cover major attractions like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Roman Forum. Just remember, although the tours are technically free, it’s customary to give a tip to your guide.
Shop at Local Markets
Instead of dining out for every meal, consider shopping at local markets. Markets like Campo de’ Fiori and Mercato Trionfale offer a variety of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and bread at lower prices than most restaurants. This is a great way to enjoy a picnic lunch in one of Rome’s beautiful parks.
Drink from Public Water Fountains
Stay hydrated for free by refilling your water bottle at Rome’s public water fountains, known as ‘nasoni.’ The water is clean, safe to drink, and available across the city. This simple step can save you quite a bit over the course of your trip.
Finally, consider visiting Rome in the off-peak season (October to April) when flight and accommodation prices are generally lower. There are also fewer tourists, meaning less time queuing and more time enjoying the sights.