It is true that Rome is an expensive city. But the good thing is that your Rome visit does not need to be an expensive trip, if you are prepared in advance. Here are a few ways you can take the top of your budget so that you can still enjoy all that Rome has to offer.
Walking is best for sightseeing
If you are already in rome the best way to get around is to walk between all the major attractions. Distance are short and there is nothing better than walking through all the history and the stories of Ancient Rome. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes for long walks on cobblestoned lanes, and clothing that is appropriate for the season.
Use Buses or trains for Rome airport transfers
Rome has 2 airports and both have cheap and fast connections to the city centre. It is important to plan your trip from the airport as taxis and private transfers to hotels can add up. The routes into the centre of town are different depending on which airport you are flying in to:
Fiumicino Airport to Roma Termini (Rome’s transport hub)
Fiumicino or FCO is the most common airport for travellers to fly into Rome, and there are two ways to get into the city centre depending on where you are going:
SIT Bus Shuttle leaves from Terminal 3 and goes to both Piazza Cavour and Termini for 8€ one way. Terravision bus service leaves from Terminal 3 and goes to Termini Station for 4€ one way. All the bus services have similar prices and routes, the biggest difference is their start and finish times.
From Ciampino Airport
Ciampino or CIA is further inland to the south of Rome and is a far less used airport for flying into Rome.
By Train - You can catch the Atac F20 line to the Laurentina Metro Station for 1.50€ which leaves every 20 minutes. The only issue with this is that the train station is not at the airport. You need to catch either the Atral or Cotral bus to the train station for 1.20€, plus the 1.20€ that they charge for each piece of baggage.
By Bus - You can catch a bus directly from the airport to Roma Termini in the city centre. The buses only have their final destination so you don't have to worry about missing your stop. The SIT bus Shuttle costs 5€ and Terravision costs 8€, and both take about 45 minutes to reach Roma Termini depending on traffic.
Stay in apartments near metro stops
Accommodation in Rome can get a bit pricey, especially in peak tourist months. Here are a few options besides forking out for an expensive hotel suite:
There are many beautiful places that you can rent through AirBnB, so make sure you have a look on this website before booking usual accommodation styles. It is a good idea to find a host that is along one of the main subway lines (A or B) so that you can stay connected and get around easier. It is also important to note that prices are usually lower from November to February. Here is a list of best areas to stay in Rome.
Hostel dorm room
Dorm rooms are a classic budget traveller option, and there are many options that are located very close to the central train station. The cheapest rooms are usually the mixed dorm rooms, which are often under 20€. Some hostels to check out are places like The Yellow, Generator Hostel Rome and Alessandro Downtown.
Eat smart and local, in Rome
You don't have to spend a lot of money to experience Rome's culinary delights. Try some of these ideas as you make your way around the city:
Eat Pizza or Pinsa
There is a seemingly endless supply of pizza in Rome, and it is a great way to fill up fast without breaking the bank. Go check out Forno Roscioli in Via dei Chiavari, 34.
If you haven't had enough pizza, you could try Italy's version of a mini pizza call a pinsa. These are slightly smaller, more oval shaped pizzas, and places like Pinsere (Via Flavia, 98) have a large range of gourmet flavours to try.
Snack on local fried fish
If you have had your fill of pasta and pizza, Dar Filettaro a Santa Barbara is one of the best places to buy fried fish and is a must-try place to eat (Largo dei Librari, 88).
Gelato and sorbet is a great filler
Italian gelato and sorbet can be found everywhere throughout the city, and it is a relatively cheap gourmet snack that will take the edge of the heat in the hotter Roman months. It is a great (and cheap) way to keep you from getting too hungry and over-ordering the main meal.
Eat at local markets
Rome has several high quality local food markets for trying out food from local chefs, and one of the most central markets for a quick bite to eat is in the Mercato Centrale, which is conveniently located in the central train station. There is a large range of vendors and it is an inexpensive way to try something new
Choose local nightlife
Going out to town for the night can be an expensive venture, but there are some options for making sure you don't blow the budget on your evening out.
Walk through Via della Lungara or San Lorenzo
These two areas are relatively inexpensive, and wandering through them will reveal many bars with music and interesting events every night of the week
Check out the events run by the Rome Municipality
Usually the least expensive excursions are events and shows that are run by the Rome Municipality. These can include a range of music, dance, cinema, sport, theatre and guided tours. Check out their website to find out which events are being held during your time in Rome.
Browse local guides in advance of your trip
Websites such as Rome Today can offer a large range of information on local events. Check out their website to find some unique and exciting events on offer that don't all involve spending money out on the town
Go to/from Airport with Enjoy car sharing
If you have to go to Fiumicino or Ciampino airport, you can also go with Enjoy’s car (car sharing). So, if you miss or don't like the bus or train, don’t worry because taxi is not the only way!
You can book a car for 0,25€/min. There is a park area at Fiumicino airport for 20 cars, on the terrace of B parking in front of Terminal 1; a park area at Ciampino for 10 cars, into P5 car park.