Rome city guide

Whoever comes to Rome for a visit will find something to their liking. The entire historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and so are a number of other monuments in the city. The Vatican City, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel are among the most famous tourist attractions in the world. There are beaches nearby and the food is of course excellent.

All about Rome

How to get there

Forum Romanum Rome
Forum Romanum

Rome has two airports. The main international airport is called Leonardo Da Vinci. It is located in nearby Fiuimicino and can be reached by bus and train. The second airport is located in Ciampino, in the city’s outskirts and is mostly used by the budget airline RyanAir. Ciampino can only be reached by bus. For both airports there are fixed taxi rates from the center of Rome.

Rome has several railway stations, the most important one being Roma Termini. The other main train stations are Tiburtina and Ostiense. Tiburtina is also home to Flixbus, Europe’s main long distance bus company.

Cruise ships arrive in Civitavecchia, a small town north of Rome. There is a direct train line between Civitavecchia and Roma Termini.

Public transport inside Rome

Public transport inside Rome is run by the company ATAC. It consists of a metro system, bus and tram lines. There is one unified system for the tickets, which you can even use on some train lines. The company Co.Tra.L is responsible for most of the bus system to other cities in the province and several parts of Latium. From the central station, it is usually easy to reach most attractions either by bus or tram.

Accommodation in Rome

Booking.com has over 14,000 accommodation options in Rome, from the cheapest hostels, B&B’s and apartments to the most exclusive luxury hotels. Rules about the Rome tourist tax (contributo di soggiorno) and how much and when you have to pay can seem slightly murky.

Where to eat and drink

Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome
Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

Traditionally the Trastevere and Testaccio neighborhoods are the places to be in the evenings. Of late, Monti, the city’s oldest district, and Pigneto, Rome’s hipster neighborhood have also become popular. San Lorenzo is the university district and is rife with cheap restaurants and pubs.

Tourist information

There are several tourist information offices in Rome. They can be found at the airports, at the main railway station and near the most important attractions. Don’t expect a high standard of service. The Roma Pass is sold here, but the Omnia Card is not. Usually, but not always, you can get a free map here. Recently, some public toilets, called P-Stops have been opened. Here you can also get tourist information.

Museum passes

There are a number of museum passes, some of which also include pubic transport. The most famous ones are the Roma Pass and the Omnia Card. It is recommended to read up first, because they are expensive and not equally useful for everyone.

What to do in case of theft or illness

Though Rome is not a violent city, it does have a big problem with pickpockets. There are several things you need to in case important belongings (passports, credit cards, valuables) are stolen. In case you have an accident or a serious illness, you go to a Pronto Soccorso (“First Aid”) in one of the city’s hospitals. This is a completely free service, even for non-Italians.

Food

Even 20 years ago, there were very few supermarkets in the center of Rome, but nowadays each district has several. They usually stay open till around 8 PM. Each district also has a daily fruit and vegetable street market, open from 7AM till 2 PM (except on Sundays). Restaurants are generally open from around 1 PM till 4 PM and then again from 7 PM till often after midnight.

Vatican City Rome

Fountain St. Peter's Square Rome
One of the fountains in St. Peter’s Square

Whoever visits Rome should spend at least one day at the Vatican City. A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica will take at least one hour, and that is not even counting the time you will have to wait in line, or the time getting to the dome, in case you decide to do so. It is highly recommended to make a reservation for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. There are also some rules you have to bear in mind, and possible useful recommendations on our Vatican City FAQ page.

The river Tiber and its Bridges

Ponte Rotto and Isola Tiberina Rome
The Ponte Rotto and Tiber Island

The Tiber may not be as impressive as the Thames or the Seine, it is still a magnificent part of Rome’s heritage. Its most picturesque point is near the Trastevere neighborhood and the Isola Tiberina, a small island in the middle of the river. It is connected to the banks by two of Rome’s oldest bridges, the Ponte Fabricio and the Ponte Cestio. Other beautiful bridges are the Ponte Sant’Angelo and the Ponte Sisto. The Ponte Milvio has the most interesting history.

Day trips from Rome

The most popular day trip in the province of Rome is probably Tivoli, with the Villa d’Este, Hadrian’s Villa and a cute historical center. Castel Gandolfo, Ariccia and Frascati are the most interesting ones of a group of hill towns known as the Castelli Romani.

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