Planning a trip to Rome but on a tight budget? This complete travel guide will show you how to visit Rome without breaking the bank!
It’s always difficult to say which are the most beautiful cities in the world, but I must admit that Rome is in my personal top 3. Rome is a unique city with a millennial history and I’m always happy to visit the Italian capital.
It’s quite sad to see how in the past few years it has been poorly managed but despite the problems of this city, Rome is still very beautiful. Since it’s so popular this also means that it’s very crowded pretty much all year round. So visiting Rome can be quite expensive, especially if you have a family and children. So here you can find a few tips for visiting The Eternal Capital on a low budget.
1 – Visiting Rome on a budget: how to get to Rome
If you live in Europe you have the great advantage of being able to travel for less money. Europe is the best continent travel-wise. These are some of the options you have:
Train: Booking your trip a bit in advance will help you to find good deals to get to Rome by train. Many offers for Frecciarossa trains are only valid if you create an account on their website and since it doesn’t cost you anything I recommend you to do so.
Car: If you are traveling alone or as a couple, a great way to save money is car sharing. There are several services that allow you to find other passengers and the most popular in Italy is Blablacar.
Bus: Flixbus was not welcomed in Italy with open arms by the bus companies already working in the market and it is easy to imagine the reason. The prices are very low, especially if you choose the night-time route (which also allows you to save one night in the hotel).
Airplane: If you live far away from Rome, perhaps none of the options mentioned are ok for you, and the only solution for getting to Rome is by airplane. Even in this case, however, subscribing to several websites of low-cost companies will help you to find the best deals.
2 – How to get around Rome
- Walking: Rome is a relatively compact city with many attractions located within walking distance of each other. Walking is a great way to get around, as it allows you to discover hidden gems and explore the city’s winding streets and alleyways.
- Public transportation: Rome has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, and the metro. This is a convenient and affordable option for getting around the city, especially if you are staying in a central location. Buses are a cheap way to move from one point of the city to another but keep in mind that the way they are managed is shameful, to say the least (especially considering that Rome is the capital): you’ll often have to wait half an hour and sometimes an hour before the bus that you were waiting for arrives. The price is 1.5€ per ticket and is valid for 100 minutes. The most convenient way to purchase a bus ticket is by downloading the Mycicero APP. You can top up your Mycicero account via Paypal and then purchase the ticket. Remember that once you have purchased your ticket, you must activate it BEFORE getting on the bus.
- Bike rentals: Renting a bike is a fun and eco-friendly way to get around Rome. There are several companies that offer bike rentals, and you can easily find them near popular tourist attractions.
3 – Where to stay in Rome on a low budget
Most likely, unless you have relatives or friends in Rome, the hotel will be the biggest expense of your stay in the capital. Everyone has different needs: some prefer to spend a little more but to stay in the city center, others prefer to save as much as possible and then get around the city using public transport. In any case, you can find what you need by looking for the best deals on Booking.com
4 – Things to see in Rome for free
Many of the things to see in Rome are fortunately free (such as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, etc.), while for some others you’ll have to pay but if you go on the first Sunday of the month almost all the museums are free. Here is a partial list of these museums:
- Roman Forum
- Baths of Caracalla
- Domus Area
- Borghese Gallery
- Markets of Trajan
- National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo
The Vatican Museums (absolutely not to be missed) have instead a different day of free admission. I suggest you check the official website for updated dates. Usually, it is the last Sunday of the month.
Keep in mind that there will be a lot of people and you’ll have to choose what to see carefully as some museums are huge and in a single day you can’t see all of them.
You might also want to consider joining one of the free walking tours in Rome. Here the complete list.
5 – What to eat in Rome on a low budget
Food is, after accommodation, the second most expensive thing when traveling. Having said that, eating in Rome is relatively cheap. If you want to find some good restaurants at discounted prices check Groupon. Otherwise, a regular meal in a restaurant with pizza and water should cost less than 10€.
Although Rome is the capital is not a particularly expensive city for tourists who plan their trip in advance. Avoid the holidays and if possible travel during the week. Check in advance when the museum is closed and when they have a free entrance. If you do, you will enjoy the eternal city without going bankrupt.