For centuries Rome has been considered the center of the Western world. It is home to the Catholic Church and also the birthplace of Julius Caesar. Roaming the cobblestone pathway of Rome, one feels like they are jumping from city to city. From the ancient Rome of emperors and amphitheaters to the baroque Rome of immense squares, fountains, and florid churches to the Dolce Vita and Modern Rome where elegant boutiques and lively bars persist. Rome is a timeless city that effortlessly merges different vibes and atmospheres.
When visiting Rome, you will see modern buildings standing tall next to ruins that date back thousands of years. As you stroll Rome’s cobble streets you will come across scrumptious restaurants, buzzy bars, as well as opulent shopping centers that will blow your mind.
In this article, we will provide you with the ultimate guide to visiting Rome, so that you can seamlessly navigate its endless sites and attractions.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
Guide to Visiting Rome
Best Time for Visiting Rome – Guide to Visiting Rome
Fall is the best time for visiting Rome, as the city is absolutely stunning during that time. During the fall season, Rome is lauded for its warming sun, and soft-lit afternoons. If you are thinking about visiting Rome, make sure to go in early to mid-December as after that the religious visitors start piling up for the Pope’s Christmas address. You can also visit the city during January and February to get the most out of it.
Getting Around When Visiting Rome – Guide to Visiting Rome
Public Transportation – The city of Rome harbors an extensive and well-established public transport system that consists of buses, trams, a subway or metro, and trolleys. The fastest way to get around the city is via the metro. The metro has three lines, with a single journey ticket, that is valid for about 100 minutes, costing only 1.50 euros. Tickets for the metro can be bought at newsstands, and tobacco shops, as well as from vending machines at the stations. Contactless payment methods can also be used on the metro.
The public buses on the other hand can get you to areas that are not covered by the metro system. However, they are a lot slower as compared to the metro due to traffic jams. Tickets for buses cost the same as the metro i.e. 1.50 euros. For the buses, you can also purchase a one-day pass for 7 euros or a one-week pass for 24 euros.
If you are going to use public transportation a lot to get around the city, save some money by opting for the Roma Pass. The Roma Pass includes unlimited public transportation and also offers free access to some museums and discounts on others. You can either get a Roma Pass for 48 hours which costs 32 euros, or you can opt for a 72-hour Roma Pass, the price of which is 53 euros.
Taxis – If you are thinking about visiting Rome on a budget, then taxis are going to be your worst enemies. The taxis in Rome are extremely expensive with the meter starting at 4 euros and going up 1.20 euros per kilometer.
Ridesharing – You will be able to find Ubers in Rome, and they are usually cheaper than taxis. However, Uber is still expensive as compared to public transport. Therefore, if you don’t want to spend tons of money on transportation, it’s best to avoid both Uber and taxis and opt for public transport.
Bike Rental – You can also rent a bike to roam around Rome. Even though cycling around the city of Rome which has a scarily high traffic volume might be palpitating. However, fret not as the city has designated bike lanes, that make bicycling around Rome seamless and safe. The cost of bike rentals starts from 14 to 20 euros per day.
Car Rental – Unless you are a really good driver, who can maneuver their way easily through traffic, it’s best not to rent a car in Rome as the traffic there is absolutely terrible. And if you are leaving the city, it will be an absolute nightmare to get around and find parking. However, if you still want to rent a car make your way to Discover Cars which offers the best deals and discounts.
Neighborhoods to Tour When Visiting Rome – Guide to Visiting Rome
Lying across the Tiber River from central Rome is an old and charming neighborhood called Trastevere. This neighborhood might seem a bit far, but it is pretty easy to walk from here into the center. Moreover, the charmingly quaint neighborhood is also an ideal place to stay as it allows easy access to all the sites. Its cobblestone streets and quiet lanes lined with exceptional restaurants and bussing bars seem a mile away from the Eternal City. This neighborhood has always been the hub for artists and artisans and carries with it a boho feel.
A port of ancient Rome, Testaccio is a Tiber-side district lying south of the city center. The neighborhood was famously known as the location for the slaughterhouse of Rome. Nowadays the old slaughterhouse holds modern art exhibits, and the neighborhood is decked with trendy bars that add to its lively ambiance. As this is a working-class area, its restaurants here are top-notch and cutting-edge.
Monti is the neighborhood of hipsters that sits between Termini railway station and the Colosseum. In the olden days, Monti was the Suburra or slums, and more recently it was known as the Red Light district. However, in the last couple of decades, Monti went from rags to riches as the artisans, boutique stores, and bars transformed its cobblestone streets into a lively hub, giving it the name Rome’s nightlife capital.
Vatican City is the seat of the Catholic faith, with life revolving around the church of the Vatican. Tourists visiting Rome, mostly make their way to Vatican City for its museums and of course St Peter’s Basilica. However, there are other finds as well like its Chorus Caffe which is effortlessly chic, and the Auditorium Conciliazione concert hall.
If you are visiting Rome for all things ancient, then you will most probably spend most of your time wandering the streets of Campitelli. This neighborhood calls itself home to some of the most famous parts of the ancient Eternal City including the Palatine, the Campidoglio, and the Forum, with the Colosseum skimming its edge.
If you are looking to splurge a little make your way to Campo Marzio which has a unique talent for emptying the pockets of visitors. This neighborhood lies in one of the most ancient areas of Rome and pairs the Ara Pacis and Mausoleo di Augusto with chic and opulent shopping centers around the Spanish Steps and Via Condotti, finishing at Via del Corso, where the high-street stores reside.
Where to Stay When Visiting Rome – Guide to Visiting Rome
Rooms of Rome
Palazzo Rhinoceros, a 17th century palace residing near the Roman Forum was acquired by Fondazione Alda Fendi-Esperimenti, who then handed its renovators over to Jean Nouvel, a well-acclaimed French artilect. And from this collaboration bloomed a 24-apartment sanctuary that speaks a language of opulence, grandeur, and comfort. Below the Palatine Hill and near the Bocca della Verità, this accommodation is a site to behold and serenades its guests with mind-blowing Palatine views.
The apartments that are designed for longer stays, all have kitchens, and their own unique layouts with sliding steel walls, and contemporary furnishings. Even though the accommodation has a modern vibe Jean Nouvel preserved its historic significance by keeping some old paint intact as well as by installing window panels with photographs of the space before renovations.
Address of Accommodation – Via S. Remo, 3/int C3, 00182 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 345 178 1615
If mouth-gaping views are on your agenda, then book a stay at Palazzo Manfredi when visiting Rome. No other accommodation in the city of Rome can claim to have such mesmerizingly beautiful and jaw-dropping views as Palazzo Manfredi. Palazzo Manfredi is a modern and tranquil retreat that sits opposite to the Colosseum. Visit the rooftop of the restaurant to enjoy panoramic views of the city or book a room with a view to wake up to the sight of the world’s most famous buildings.
Address of Accommodation – Via Labicana, 125, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 7759 1380
Inn at the Roman Forum
History buffs and lovers will appreciate this place. Once you have had your breakfast make your way to the underground level, where archeologists have dug down to find Roman ruins that are part of Trajan’s Forum. Afterward, make your way with a drink in hand to the roof terrace of the hotel to enjoy stunning views of the Eternal City. The Inn at the Roman Forum is also located at an ideal location, right in the heart of ancient Rime, within walking distance of the Coliseum and Roman Forum.
The accommodation offers rooms that are equal parts modern and luxurious, harboring a flat-screen satellite TV and iPod docking station. WIFI is also free, and the hotel serves a deliciously rich breakfast buffet on the rooftop terrace, beyond which lie breathtaking views of the city.
Address of Accommodation – Via degli Ibernesi, 30, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 6919 0970
Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte
Want the royal treatment when visiting Rome? Well, make your way to the Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte which is as regal and royal as they come. Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte is the childhood home of a former French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte III, hence the royalty vibes. Housing a marble staircase that is nothing short of an architectural marvel, silken damasks clad walls, and coffered ceiling, opulence, and regality drips from every corner of the hotel. To strike a balance with its ancientness and regality, the hotel added a small touch of modernity to it. Its apartment-sized suits are more modern and contemporary as compared to the rest of the place so that guests won’t feel like an exhibit in a museum.
Address of Accommodation – Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 56, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 342 886 1007
II Campo Marzio
II Campo Marzio is a 13-room hotel that can be found residing within the grand Palazzo Magnani, an 18th-century mansion that lies in the super central Camp Marzio area. This accommodation is an intimate place, ideal for friends and family as most of its rooms are home with two double beds. When visiting Rome, if you plan on staying in this accommodation leave some space in your suitcase for a few bottles from the in-house liquor store. The liquor store sells decadent, exclusively brewed Italian booze.
Address of Accommodation – Via di Campo Marzio, 46, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 8115 7571
Hassler which comes under the ownership of Roberto Wirth has hosted many famous faces including Tome Cruise and Princess Diana. This famous and opulent grande dame lies perched at the top of the Spanish Steps and is a family-owned and run establishment. Hassler is a deliciously scrumptious, marble drench affair that radiates with the timeless essence of Rome. Its seventh-floor guests-only terrace offers 270-degree views of the sprawling Eternal City, showcasing the dome of St Peter’s straight ahead, as seagulls swoop overhead and the Spanish Steps unfurl beneath its foundation.
The rooms that the Hassler houses are elegant, modern, and simply divine, housing all the necessities and top-class amenities as well as free high-speed WIFI. The hotel also offers its guests free wellness facilities like a Turkish Bath, a gym, as well as a sauna.
Address of Accommodation – Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 699340
Where to Eat When Visiting Rome – Guide to Visiting Rome
Imàgo is an extraordinary Micheline-starred restaurant housed on the sixth floor of the iconic Hassler Hotel. When dining at the Imàgo, your eyes feats with your mouth. The views of the city are as deliciously scrumptious as the food served by the 29-year-old wunderkind Andrea Antonini. The food here offers an inventive mix of Italian and traditional Roman tastes. The six-course tasting menu along with multiple amuse bouchées includes a plethora of mouthwatering and stomach-grumbling food like spaghetti with mint, pecorino, and sea urchin, pumpkin flowers stuffed with prawns, and Coniglio al cacciatore.
Address of Hotel – Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 699340
Urbana 47 resides in Monti, the hipster heart of Rome. The restaurant offers locally sourced food with an extra zing that will surely electrocute your taste buds, making them dance in scrumptious delight.
Address of Hotel – Via Urbana, 47, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 4788 4006
Aroma is a rooftop view of Palazzo Manfredi hotel, that serves views along with scrumptious views. When visiting Rome, dine with a view of the Colosseum at Aroma, which has a retractable roof and glass doors that open. The executive chef of Aroma, Giuseppe di lorio drafted a menu that takes you on a wild journey through the classics of Rome that carry a hint of modernity to them.
Address of Hotel – Via Labicana, 125, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 9761 5109
To dine on a budget, make your way to Bistro64 which is run by a Japanese chef Kotaro Noda, who was awarded the Michelin star for his innovative and imaginative takes on the classic dishes of Rome. The restaurant is far cheaper than an average high-class restaurant in Rome with a five-course tasting menu starting from just 50 euros.
Address of Hotel – Via Guglielmo Calderini, 64, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 323 5531
Pipero is a sophisticated Michelin-starred restaurant where a gem of the culinary world Ciro Scarmadella runs its kitchen. However, the restaurant bears the name of its maître d’ and host Alessandro Pipero. Here you can try the innovative seven-course Carta Bianca tasting menu defected by the talented chef or stick with the traditional à la carte.
Address of Hotel – Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 250, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Phone – +39 06 6813 9022
Things to do When Visiting Rome – Ultimate Guide to Visiting Rome
When Visiting Rome, Explore the Colosseum
The Colosseum is the most famous attraction of Rome and is not to be missed even though the line of tourists might vex you a little. The Colosseum which was built in the 1st century CE, is nearly 2,000 years old and was the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire that could hold 50,000 to 80,000 people. During the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was used for several public events that included gladiatorial contests. The events involved dramatic plays, hurting animals, military re-enactments as well as executions. When the Middle Ages rolled around the days of the Colosseum being a ring of dread and death came to an end.
It was repurposed into housing, workshops, and even a Christian shrine. Now the Colosseum stands tall as a symbol of human brutality and cruelty and is visited by tourists from all around the world. You can get a 16-euro ticket that offers 24-hour access to the Colosseum as well as the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Or you can opt for a 2-day ticket for 2 euros that grants access to all the areas including the arena. You can also book a tour with the Walks of Italy for a more in-depth tour of the Colosseum with special access to the arena floor.
When Visiting Rome, See the Forum, and Palatine Hill
In the olden days, the Roman Forum was the seat of Ancient Rome, the center of Roman public life as well as the place from where Rome administered its empire. Nowadays, the Roman Forum tells a story of ancient and powerful times. It is now a two-hectare or five-acre site that is filled with the ruins of numerous important buildings amongst which, tourists and locals roam.
Lying next to the Forum is the Palatine Hill, which housed the Roman aristocracy in the olden times. The price of tickets for both sites ranges from 16 to 22 euros. For these areas, getting is guide is worth the money as they will offer you with context and knowledge that will truly bring these places to life.
When Visiting Rome, Tour the Vatican City
The Vatican City lies surrounded by the Eternal City and is an independent city-state. The Vatican City is the smallest city in the world, that gained full independence from Italy in the year 1929. Tour the Vatican City to see the home of the Pope, the Sistine Chapel, St, Peter’s Basilica, and other wonderful museums.
Make sure to dress appropriately because the Basilica has a strict dress code, and you must honor the place. You can get the tickets for 17 euros; you opt for skip-the-line tickets that cost about 27 euros. For a behind-the-scenes tour, book the Key Master’s Tour of the Vatican with Walks of Italy as it allows you to unlock the chapel in the morning and give you early access to the Vatican before the other tourist.
When Visiting Rome, Admire the Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain was built in the 18th century and was designed by Roman architect Nicola Salvi. The fountain was built at the ending point of the aqueduct that took water from the surrounding countryside and supplied it to ancient Rome. The Trevi Fountain is made of stone that was gathered from the quarry that lies just 32 kilometers away from the city of Rome. This emblem of Rome is a famous tourist point and has also starred in numerous films.
The fountain is surrounded by crowds at all times, especially at night, when the coupes come out to take romantic photos against the backdrop of the fountain and the starry night sky of Rome. The best time to see this beautiful fountain in its full glory without getting pushed oaring by hordes of tourists is just before breakfast. During this time the crowds are thin, allowing you to take in the beauty of the fountain. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, you will find your way back to Rome.
When Visiting Rome, Eat Your Way Around Trastevere
Trastevere is a picturesque, old, and charming neighborhood of Rome that was transformed from a working-class district to a bohemian neighborhood. This neighborhood tells a story of storybook romance with its winding, cobblestone-line alleyways and ivy-covered buildings. One can never get tired of strolling the streets of Trastevere. The neighborhood has a more authentic Roman feel to it, as very few tourists make their way to Trastevere as compared to the historic center, here you will find great food and wine and can also take part in a foodie tour that starts from 140 euros.
Cost of Visiting Rome – Guide to Visiting Rome
Accommodation – If you opt for a bed in a hostel dorm of 6 to 8 beds you will have to pay from 33 to 49 euros per night during peak season. However, in off season the price drops to 17 to 35 euros. Private rooms in a hostel cost 80 to 120 euros per night during peak season, and during the off-season, the same rooms cost 55 to 75 euros. Self-catering services and free WIFI are standard in Roman hostels while some take hospitality a bit further and also offer guests free breakfast.
The cost of a room in a two-star budget hotel starts from 60 to 100 euros per night in the peak season. Whereas, in the season the per night prices are 10 to 20 euro cheaper. budget hotels offer all the basic amenities such as TV, air conditioning, coffee, and tea maker, as well as free WIFI. When in Rome, you can also opt for a stay at a bed and breakfast that includes breakfast in the room rate.
You can get private rooms on Airbnb for 20 to 60 euros per night. Or you can rent an entire apartment from 80 to 125 euros per night. When it comes to luxury hotels, you will be paying anywhere from hundreds to thousands of euros per night.
Food – A meal with a glass of wine, in most casual restaurants in Rome, costs about 15 to 20 euros. Expect to add another 10 euros to that price if you dine at hot tourist sports. Pizzas, sandwiches, and paninis cost 4 to 8 euros. Whereas fast food is priced at about 8 euros for a combo meal.
In Rome, you can get a Chinese takeout for 5 to 10 euros, while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant starts from 30 euros. Expect to pay 4 to 5 euros for beer, and 3 to 5 euros for wine. Bottles of water for 1 euro in Rome, while you can get coffee for 1.50 euros. If when visiting Rome, you plan on cooking your own meals, expect to pay 55 to 65 euros per week for groceries.
Price Breakdown for Visiting Rome, Depending on Different Kinds of Travelers
|Average Daily Cost (EUR)
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