Lets get down to the nitty gritty bits of the costs involved in spending a weekend in Rome. Like any city you hear the usual chant of ‘…oh that’s expensive’ and whilst this is true, there are always ways to make your holiday cheaper if you know how, where and why.
Getting an airport bus into any city is a standard process, right? No, not when arriving into Rome Ciampino – for us anyway, so don’t let me put you off!
We headed to to bus stop where there were about 5 different bus companies and we waited and waited. Watching two bus loads of people arrive, disembark and then we watched longingly as the empty bus drove off and never returned. After about 40 minutes there were now a lot of people waiting to get on this one bus that was now over an hour late. Eventually we decided the take our chances on a different bus. We had left before the original bus we were waiting for had even turned up! The bus company that we used was SIT and I would 100% recommended to use this one.
Local Buses and Tickets:
The airport bus (SIT) will drop you off beside the Termini, the train station. Which by the way is not a place to hang about in, especially not as dusk falls. Once at the Termini you can either get the metro, a tram or a bus to your final destination.
It is worth noting that the metro only has two lines. These go nowhere near the old town in the city, therefore unless your hotel is near a metro stop then you may be better off getting a bus as they go all over the city.
Similarly the tram only goes to certain areas of the city. Although it has a lot more choice of stops and lines than the metro. We decided to use the buses as conveniently there was a bus stop right outside our hotel.
Using the buses to get around during the day is easier than it may first appear. I hate getting buses in the UK but in Rome were pretty straight forward. Buying bus tickets you would think to be a simple task like in the UK. However in Rome you must purchase your bus tickets before you get on the bus. How and where I hear you saying. Well there are ticket machines dotted around the city, and most often found in squares or at newspaper stands.
When searching for a hotel in Rome I can across a lot of different districts – 22 to be precise! We found a hotel in the area of Prati across the river and right near Castel Sant’Angelo. The hotel we booked was actually individual rooms within an apartment building. This was a really nice as we got to see an authentic Italian building. Walking through the massive wooden front doors and we went up in the old fashion wooden elevator. Which reminded me of the film ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ and into a very spacious room with a private bathroom.
Be slightly wary and check out all your options before making a decision with accommodation. Even the well known and loved Generator Hostel is located in the district near the Termini. The area that most locals will tell you to stay away from especially as night.
Personally the Prati district was absolutely perfect for us, as it was just outside of the city centre meaning it was less busy. There are various squares and things to see in the area and of course plenty of restaurants. I believe some of the food walking tours even take place in Prati because it has some amazing restaurants.
Food! The topic everyone talks about when in Italy. The Italians love their food and I felt only too obliged as to follow their lead. Of course like anywhere there are luxury, mid range and budget restaurants. It is all about doing a bit of research beforehand. This was our intention on our first night. However as we heading for a restaurant recommend by our hotel owner, we were told that it was fully booked! So what else to do but go and drink all the prosecco we could find. Followed up after a few hours with a takeaway pizza!
Moving swiftly on, for dinner that evening we headed to the vibrant district of Trastevere. The up and coming district in Rome for young and vibrant people! We caught a bus across the river and headed to a restaurant with good reviews, Dar Poeta. When we arrived there was a queue so we knew we had found the right place. Here we paid roughly 10-15 euros for a pizza, depending on your topping etc. The restaurant is known for it’s chocolate calzone which smelt amazing! But whatever you do only order the small one, even between two or more of you. The large one is ridiculous!
I need to mention the takeaway pizza shops as they are so tasty! I could have eaten pizza from there all day. In Rome you will find tiny shops dotted around that sell pizza by the slice, and often potato croquettes or arancino (another great Italian delicacy) for a very reasonable price.
Go and see this stunning ancient city for yourself!
- Airport bus to city (Termini) – 5.00 Euro per person (SIT).
- Airport bus to airport – 6.00 Euro per person (yes it is slightly more on the way back to the airport).
- Bus tickets around town – 1.50 Euro per journey (one way) per person.
- Ara Pacis Inn for 2 nights for 3 people – 140.00 Euro including breakfast.
- Takeaway pizza and arancino – 4.00 Euro + (depending on how hungry you are).
- Gelato – depends where you are, the more expensive a scoop is the nearer you are to a tourist attraction.
- Bottle of Prosecco and hot snacks – 25.00 Euros for it all.
- Pizza @ Dar Poeta – 10.00 Euro + (depending on what you have) plus whatever you wish to drink.
- Pasta @ local restaurant for lunch was around 10.00 Euro pp.
- Colosseum entrance (also gets you into the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill) 7.50 Euro if you are under 25 otherwise it is 13.00 Euro pp.
- Glass elevator inside the Altare della Patria – 7.00 Euros per person.