Guide to Rome

There’s no need to be overwhelmed when planning a trip to beautiful Rome. Our simple guide will help you to experience the very best that the city has to offer!

There are few cities more famous than Italy’s capital, Rome. Renowned for its ancient architecture, impressive artworks, and mouth-watering cuisine, the city is full of incredible things to discover. But with so much to see planning a visit can be intimidating. Here are some top tips for finding where to stay, getting around, finding the best meals, and seeing Rome in a different way…

Where to Stay in Rome

Rome Accommodation

Not sure which of the hundreds of hotels to choose from? You can begin your search by narrowing down the area in which you want to stay. Each neighbourhood in the city has its own charm: Trastevere is a lively district with great nightlife, Testaccio has incredible food options, and Aventine Hill is the perfect romantic spot that enjoys a feeling of exclusivity. If you want to be amongst the action, then Historic Centre will place you right in the heart of it. And if you’d prefer to be close to the ancient ruins, then you can stay in the Ancient Rome neighbourhood. Rome is a relatively safe city but the only area that is described as unsafe is around Termini station. Despite this, the Termini offers good options for budget accommodation, and it is close to a few great museums and basilicas.

How to Get Around Rome

Rome Tram

Luckily, many of the city’s attractions can be seen on foot but if you’re looking to visit multiple sites in one day, or you just want to give your feet a rest then you need another option. Although it is easy to hop in and out of taxis, it could end up costing you an arm and a leg. The most cost-effective way to travel around the city (and feel like a local) is by using public transport. Trains and trams are available, but the best way to travel is by bus. Know that tickets aren’t available on the buses and so they must be purchased in advance from convenience stores and from vending machines at train and metro stations. Single trip tickets are available, but we would recommend you buy a travel card, allowing you to make multiple journeys and see several of Rome’s incredible sights!

Where are the Popular Attractions in Rome?

Rome Attractions

Rome is full of so many spectacular sites that it’s certainly a challenge to visit them all. Luckily, numerous landmarks are located close to each other, so you can visit a few within a relatively short space of time. Vatican City, the smallest country in the world, is a fantastic example of a place in Rome where you can tick off several important artistic and cultural attractions in a relatively short space of time. With 54 museums bursting with masterpieces by the likes of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Bernini, plus its incredible square and basilica, The Vatican makes for a perfect (and packed) day out.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to delve into the ancient history of Rome, then you can head to Palatine Hill and the nearby Roman Forum where you can see multiple temples, crumbling palatial remains, and the iconic Colosseum nearby. Or if you’d like to stay within the heart of the city and wander its streets in search of archaeological wonders, then you can stroll through the Historic Centre that contains 90% of the city’s tourist sites.

How to eat in Rome

Eat in Rome

Avoid the tourist traps, order like a local, and try some amazing Italian food by following these simple rules in Rome:

  1. Don’t choose a place with a picture menu and avoid menus that are too big. Restaurants with smaller menus will likely focus on something they do well, and they need not show a photo to convince you.
  2. Order coffees at the bar to save you from paying a hefty service charge. Coffees shouldn’t be very expensive in Italy, so if it looks a little on the pricey side, then avoid! Also, avoid milky coffees like cappuccino after 12pm if you don’t want to be met with a raised eyebrow.
  3. Try an aperitivo and have a late dinner. Evening meals are enjoyed later in Italy, with the early evening dedicated to the ritual of aperitivo. Eat and drink like a local by stopping at a small bar before dinner, ordering a few snacks and enjoying a glass of something delicious!
  4. Order house wine. One of the great things about Italy is its wine, and if you’re looking to try some of its best drops, then you don’t need to spend all your euros, simply try the wine selected by the establishment. Trust us, it’ll be great!
  5. Try a cooking class! Not only is this a great experience, but it’ll also provide you with an excellent chance to try authentic Italian food and learn to cook it yourself.

See a different side of Rome

With so many people flocking to Rome every year it may seem impossible to experience the city without being surrounded by tourists. But there are ways to experience the city uniquely and avoid the crowds as you go.

First, don’t travel there during August and Easter. The former is scorching hot and filled with holidaymakers, and the latter experiences massive crowds for the Pope’s procession. Second, visit somewhere off the beaten track like Ostia Antica, the old seaport of Rome. Though it’s not the world’s best beach, it offers a quieter, affordable outing near Rome filled with sun and seafood. Third, make sure you book skip-the-line tickets before your museum and gallery visits to avoid wasting time in long lines with hundreds of others. Finally, take a night tour. See the city away from the busy crowds as lights illuminate it, literally casting a new light on the way you see the city.

So, there you have it, some simple tricks and tips to help you plan your holiday in Rome. Happy travels!

Related article: Top Things to do in Rome.

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