The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do

 In Budget Travel, Europe, Italy, Weekend Getaways

Last week as part of a 4 day Italian adventure I touched down in Rome for just under 36 hours. Rome was a city I’d heard so much about (particularly as a romantic getaway destination) but this was the first time I’d actually gotten the chance to explore.

Let me first just say that visually, Rome is one of the most unique cities i’ve ever set my eyes upon.

Romantic. Timeless. Historic.

Just a few words that I would use to describe this city, Italy’s capital. With a population of over 2 million people, Rome is known for its raw beauty, evident history, it’s infinite charm and of course, the famous Italian cuisine. You betcha. All the pizza and pasta you could dream of. Get your loose fitting clothes at the ready, you’re in for a treat  feast!

Renowned as the birthplace of Gelato and Cacio é Pepe (a delicious cheese and pepper pasta dish) and the home to the colosseum, the eternal city of Rome offers so much for a weekend adventure. Notepads at the ready…

Though my visit was a fleeting one, I fell in love with the exquisite roman architecture that filled my vision around every corner I walked.  Based on what I did, what you guys recommended to me on Instagram and what I didn’t have time (but wanted) to do here’s my…

Guide to visiting Rome during summer

THE ULTIMATE ROME CITY GUIDE

Getting to Rome

Rome’s main international airport, Fiumicinio airport, is accessible from London on a direct flight with a duration of less than 2.5 hours. The airport is located 32KM outside Rome and has a direct metro link straight into the city. 

Another option includes flying to Ciampino airport, a smaller and less known airport located 15KM from the city centre.

Book your EasyJet flights here or check flights on SkyScanner here from other destinations.

If you’re looking to arrive by train the main city train station is Roma Termini Station. 

Getting from the airport into the city centre

From the airport you have a few options:

  • Frequently running every 15 minutes, the dedicated airport train, Leonardo Express Airport train takes 30 minutes to reach the city centre stopping at Termini station. It is the fastest mode of transport but the most expensive paying €14 for a one way ticket
  • For €9 round trip, the Terravision bus takes you to  Termini station in 55 minutes. Taking the more scenic route, this cheaper option will definitely save you money.
  • If you fancy a private transport then opt for taking an Uber to your accommodation.
  • Rent a car from the airport

Download the Citymapper app if you plan to use public transport. It will adjust your location to Rome (if you’re familiar with using it elsewhere) and it will give you your best option from A to B!

Budgeting for Rome

Rome is considered one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe, and for good reason. During summer they draws in the tourists who all gather to revel in it’s beauty. This can mean that around the popular locations, restaurants and bars can be pretty pricey.

Some people would say Rome is overpriced, but with a little research and preparation, you can easily find the cheaper options while exploring Rome. You’ve just got to do a little research and dig a little deeper into the side streets. Basically like any other popular city, if you’re on a budget, avoid the busy tourist traps when it comes to eating and drinking.

For example, eating within eye distance of the Colosseum expect to pay €15 + on a simple dish. Whereas, walking 5-10 minutes you will find hidden gems like La Pace del Cervello, a beautiful candle lit restaurant with a much cheaper menu and €3.50 glasses of wine. 

Example spending in Rome:

  • €14 Airport Train into city
  • £139 for one night at Royal with views of the colosseum (epic)
  • £75 return flights from London
  • €10 for an Aperol Spritz over looking the colosseum

Use this link to get £25 off of your first Airbnb booking.

Book your stay at Royal House here for a hotel with views of the colosseum (so reasonably priced!)

Most museums have free entry on the first Sunday of every month but get there early to avoid the crowds!

THE ULTIMATE ROME CITY GUIDE

Getting around Rome:

There are plenty of options for getting around Rome. From big red buses to Vespas, you will not be stuck trying to figure out the best ways to getting around Rome.

Options:

  • Bus- Rome has over 350 different bus lines and due to the limitations of the Metro, the bus service offers the most and is your best option for getting around Rome.
  • Metro- Running from 5:30am to 11:30 PM and like the underground, the Metro system is one of the fastest and most reliable ways of getting around Rome. The Metro Line contains 3 different underground lines (A,B and C line), however, it’s not very extensive but does stop at the major attractions throughout the city.
  • Hire a moped! I hired an electric one for the day from Bici Baci for just €39 (€300 deposit)
  • Hop On/Hop off-  With onboard audio guides, the big red bus is a fun way to see the city

You can check out the prices for single, 24 or 72 hour ticket passes  here.

Note: You are trusted to buy a ticket. A single ticket is €1.50 and is valid for 100 minutes, allowing you to switch bus or metro lines if there is no direct service. It is your responsibility to stamp your ticket before your journey or else you could face a hefty fine!

You can buy a 48 or 72 hour Roma Pass that gives you free transport on ATAC public transport networks including trams, buses, metro A, B, B1 and C and railway lines. It also offers 2 free museum entries and lots of discounts to events, exhibitions and tourists services.

THE ULTIMATE ROME CITY GUIDE

My favourite places to eat and drink in Rome

In Rome we were spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Every corner there was some form of cafe or gelato shop but word of advice – wear your comfiest pair of trousers that leaves that extra bit of room for dinner!

Here’s some of my favourite spots and some I’d heard about but didn’t get the chance to experience.

  • Doucento Gradi – a famous sandwich shop that prides itself on using the freshest ingredients while spending a little.
  • Romolo nel Giardino – a charming little restaurant located in the heart of Trastevere. Have a true Italian pizza experience! This district is full of authentic and local bars for some after dinner drinks.
  • Taverna del Seminario – just 5 minutes from the Pantheon this restaurant is the perfect spot after a long day of exploring. I was pretty shocked to see 4 courses for €15.
  • Royal House rooftop – a great rooftop bar for drinks looking over the colloseum. This was our hotel too!
The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do
THE ULTIMATE ROME CITY GUIDE
The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do
THE ULTIMATE ROME CITY GUIDE

Sightseeing in Rome

1. Take a guided tour of the Colosseum. 

Book a guided tour of Romes most famous monument. If you are a student or european between the ages of 18 and 25 the ticket price is only €7.50.

2. Discover the underground Catacomb tombs.

Dive into the underground world and take a guided tour of the ancient Roman Catacombs. Don’t forget to prebook your reservation here. 

3. Hire an electric Scooter from Bici Baci

The shop is just a 10 minute walk from the Colosseum. There’s so much to do and see in Rome and grabbing scooters is such a fun and efficient way to fit it all in. I hired an electric scooter (with helmer) for just €39 for the day (€300 deposit).

4. Take a cooking class with kitchen of Mamma

Bring some traditional Italian secrets back home to your kitchen by taking part in an authentic Italian cooking class at the “Kitchen of Mamma”.

5. Explore Rome with a free bike tour

Free bike tours Rome has so many FREE tours to offer. From a morning tour to a night time tour it is the perfect way to see the city and save some money for……Gelato!

6. Grab some gelato at the oldest ice cream parlour in Rome

Discovered in 1900, Giolitti paved the way to traditional Italian Gelato by opening up Romes very first ice cream parlours. With two locations in Rome you’ll never be stuck for some delicious desert.

7. Make your own pizza at Amore

Just steps away from the Trevi Fountain, Learn to cook your own pizza with only the freshest Italian ingredients in the heart of Rome.

8. Indulge in Roman history at the Caracalla’s Thermal Baths

Hire an audio guide and step back in time as you explore some of the best preserved ancient ruins in Rome. Check out some events and exhibitions that take place at the Caracallas’s baths. 

9. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and make a wish. 

Get up early and avoid the crowds by visiting the Trevi Fountain at 6am. Over 3,000 euro is emptied from the Trevi Fountain every night so you can imagine how busy it can get! It is early but it is so so worth it when you see it in all its glory. Don’t forget to pack some coins and have your wish ready.

10. Treat yourself to a wine and food tour

Choose your experience then dine, taste and learn with Wine Tasting Rome. A foodies dream.

11. Check out the art and graffiti at Ostiense

Perfect spot to grab some pictures!

12. Visit the Oldest Church in Europe

The Pantheon is by far one of the most exquisite locations in the heart of Rome. Filled with untouched history, the Pantheon has to be on the top of your list.

13. Experience the best panoramic views of Rome

Villa Borghese is a hidden gem that offers one of the best panoramic views of the Eternal city. 

14. Visit the smallest country in the world – The Vatican city 

The Vatican City is home to the pope and is an independent city-state that covers just over 100 acres, making it one-eighth the size of New York’s Central Park. Tip- A dress code is required to visit the Vatican.

15. Stroll through the Orange Gardens at sunset.

Walk through the picturesque alleys of Aventine hill and take in all the breathtaking views of the Italians capital.

Have You Been to Rome?

Where were your favourite spots?

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie.

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPENDING A WEEKEND IN ROME, ITALY
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPENDING A WEEKEND IN ROME, ITALY
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