The charming and historic metropolis of Rome is a wonderful city that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. But planning a cheap holiday in the Italian capital is not an easy task. For this reason, we’ve put together some useful tips that could help keep your spending to a minimum.
1. Transport from the airport to Rome
Rome has two airports, Fiumincino and Ciampino – all low-cost flights operated by airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air are handled by the Ciampino airport, while most major airlines fly to Fiumincino.
If you fly into Ciampino, there are two ways to reach Roma Termini, the city’s central train station. Your first option is to take a bus (the Schiaffini line) to the metro station “Anagnina” and from there grab the metro to reach the city center. Alternatively, catch a train going to the Ciampino station and then hop on a bus. The cost of either option is around € 3.
If your flight takes you to Fiumicino (also known as the Leonardo da Vinci airport), the cheapest way to get into town is by regional train (Roma Ostiense) + metro (line B to Termini) for a total cost of 2.90 €.
2. Where to sleep
To save money, avoid crowded touristic locations. If you don’t like the idea of finding accommodation on the outskirts of the city, pick a centric but less popular area. This way you can still see and experience the best of Rome without spending too much money.
When it comes to shops, restaurants and public transportation, these are some great affordable options: Nomentano, St. John, Ostiense, Monteverde, Flaminio, Trieste and Monte Sacro.
3. Listen to the Romans!
Locals know best so don’t be afraid to ask them! Romans are friendly, talkative people who will surely tell you which restaurant serves the best pasta or where you can savor the finest gelato in town. In general, tratorrias are the ideal type of restaurants if you wish to try basic, economic, homely meals.
4. Steer clear of important events
Easter, Christmas, May Day… if you’re travelling on a budget, avoid visiting Rome during peak season when prices are at their highest!
5. Rome, an open-air museum
While museums are often an important part of the travel experience, these can also be relatively costly. Instead, walk the streets of Rome and admire the city’s impressive architecture, ancient churches and Roman ruins, charming squares and historic stairways…and best of all, it’s free!
6. The best free experiences in Rome
- Visit the Jewish ghetto quarter on Tiber Island where you can find many charming street cafes and taverns.
- Go for a stroll along the Tiber River.
- Admire Rome’s skyline from the Gianicolo hill.
- Have a picnic near Villa Borghese.
- Walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali – in this area you will come across numerous monumental squares built by Roman emperors.
- Watch street artists perform at Piazza di Spagna.
- Visit the Porta Portese flea market where you can find just about anything!
- Stop at the Orange Garden and catch a glimpse of St. Peter’s from afar.
- Discover the tombstones of famous writers at the English Cemetery.
- Venture out and explore the narrow streets of Trastevere.
Check out our other low cost guides: