Rome, the Eternal City, is a treasure trove of ancient monuments, stunning architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine. The Italian capital attracts millions of visitors each year, but many are deterred by the perception that a trip to Rome is expensive. Fear not, as it is possible to explore Rome on a budget without sacrificing quality or missing out on the city’s wonders. With careful planning and some insider knowledge, you can enjoy Rome’s charm without breaking the bank. Follow our guide below for a fantastic, affordable Roman holiday.
Choose Affordable Accommodation
Accommodation costs can be one of the biggest expenses when travelling, but with the right approach, you can save a significant amount. In Rome, consider booking a stay at a budget hotel, hostel, or an Airbnb. For a truly authentic experience, look for accommodation in less touristy neighbourhoods, such as Trastevere, Testaccio, or San Lorenzo. These areas not only offer cheaper accommodation but also provide a glimpse into the everyday life of Romans.
Book Attractions in Advance
One of the most iconic landmarks in Rome is the Colosseum, and you cannot leave the city without visiting this awe-inspiring monument. Save on ticket costs by booking in advance, and to make it even more convenient, you can book here for your Colosseum visit. Many other attractions, like the Vatican Museums, also offer discounted rates for advance bookings. Additionally, consider investing in a Roma Pass, which grants access to several attractions and public transportation at a reduced price.
Explore Free Attractions
Rome is filled with countless free attractions that are perfect for budget-conscious travellers. Wander around the ancient Roman Forum, admire the Pantheon’s majestic dome, or toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Stroll through beautiful parks like Villa Borghese and Villa Ada, or visit the Basilica of St. John Lateran, one of the four papal basilicas. The city’s many piazzas, such as Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo, offer fantastic people-watching opportunities and picturesque settings.
Make the Most of Public Transportation
Rome’s public transportation system is efficient and affordable, making it easy to explore the city on a budget. Buses, trams, and the metro are all available for a low fare, and day or week passes can be purchased for additional savings. When planning your itinerary, try to group attractions close to each other to minimise the time spent on transportation and maximise your sightseeing experience.
Eat Like a Local
One of the best ways to save money while travelling is to eat like a local. In Rome, this means indulging in delicious street food and dining at budget-friendly trattorias. Keep an eye out for pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice), supplì (fried rice balls), and panini (sandwiches) at various street vendors and bakeries. For an affordable sit-down meal, try a neighbourhood trattoria where you can enjoy pasta, pizza, or Roman classics like cacio e pepe and amatriciana. Remember, a meal in Rome is incomplete without a scoop of creamy gelato from one of the city’s many gelaterias.