One of the most romantic and historically significant cities in the world can often come at quite a price for unsuspecting travellers. But, having spent a weekend there for barely anything, we found that you really don’t need to splash the cash to have the city break of your dreams. Read on for your one-step survival guide to visiting this incredible city on a budget.
It Starts With Flights…
One thing we should start with is picking your time. Our trip to Rome was a completely on-the-spur trip and we really wouldn’t have it any other way. Knowing where you want to visit it just the first step, pull up the monthly grid on your flight search (or search by cheapest month if you really have no boundaries) and drop your pin on the price, date and time that suits you. Whilst there are two airports in Rome, we found that the smaller airport of the two (Ciampino) was a lot cheaper with the more low-cost airlines stopping off here so this is definitely something to factor in when picking your flights.
Getting to the Centre and your hotel
Arriving in the early hours of the morning, we were resigned on having to fork out on a taxi fare to our hotel but, luckily for us, Rome has a fantastic public transport system and since we only travelled with hand luggage we were all set. A bus stops just outside of the terminal ready to take you to the train station (you can buy your tickets on the bus) where you can find easy instruction on how to get to wherever you need to go. A short train ride later and we were all there!
Where to Lay your head
If you book a package holiday you will get a package price. If you are willing to spend time looking however, there are a treasure trove of hidden gems lining the side streets supplying a room and bathroom for a ridiculously small amount. We struck lucky with ours (as massive history nerds) when we realised that if we leaned out of the window we could see the Colosseum! You will be spending the majority of your time in Rome sightseeing and sampling the beautiful Italian food so don’t bother wasting extra pennies on a hotel with all of the trimmings.
Your Saving Grace
If you will be visiting a lot of sights, and who wouldn’t, I would highly recommend picking up a Roma Pass at the airport. Not only do you get your transport included, you also get access to Rome’s biggest attractions for a lot less. Factor into this you smugly walking past lines of impatient tourists as they queue to buy their tickets, simply scanning your pass at the gate, and we have a winner!
Let’s Talk Food
As extremely tempting as it might be to simply plonk yourself down at the nearest eatery upon leaving a tourist site, don’t. These are ridiculously set up for tourists and will charge accordingly. Instead, take a wander down one of the side streets and take your pick of the charming eateries you will find there. It is definitely worth it and both your stomach and wallet will thank you!
Our personal treat was getting up early and grabbing breakfast to-go from a cafe across from the Colosseum (and close to our hotel) and sitting overlooking the amazing Roman Forum as we enjoyed our feast.
Talk to your Hotel’s Front Desk
Or the lady who gave you the keys to your room… From the best places to eat out on a budget to special offers for those in the know or even a friend who can give you a ride to the airport in the front of their van wearing an immaculate suit (totally did not happen to us), these lovely ladies and gents are invested in making sure you have a good time and, living there themselves, know all of the best corners to be in. So why not get some tips from the locals whilst you are there?
Ready to jet off to explore the beautiful Rome for yourself? Check out my Instagrammer’s guide to Italy’s capital city for my favourite places to snap away at. And, as always, check back soon for more travel tips and inspiration from my travels.