Today, we are going to talk about transportation. Sometimes we get too used to cities that have a huge public transportation system, specially underground trains. This is true in most American and European cities but in many places with long history, as Rome, it’s difficult to build an underground rail system without destroying ancient ruins. That is the reason why Rome does not count with an extensive underground rail system but, at the same time, it doesn’t need it.
It is really easy to move around Rome.
First of all, Rome has two airports, Ciampino and Fiumicino (most popular), both are at a distance of over 30 minutes from the city center which you’ll need transportation to. There are mainly 3 options: by train, around 15$, by Terravision Bus, around 5$, or by taxi, which has a set rate of 48/52$ to the center of the city aka. the Termini station.
I personally suggest the taxi option, if you guys are traveling in a group of 4 people, since it is inexpensive and convenient. If you prefer the bus option, I highly encourage to purchase the ticket online (open time). I still remember how we had to wait over 20 minutes because my group of friends hadn’t ordered it previously, and buses are less frequent after 8 pm.
Within the city, taxis won’t have fixed rates. they will run by meters, which can get more expensive. You have to be specially careful of the car you are going to ride on, several tourism in Rome had reported to travel websites their encounters with ‘fake taxis’. cars with a taxi sign, but lacking a legal registered taxi id, and no meter. it is obviously a scam, so please be careful.
The underground system, the Metro, has only two lines, but due to the size of the center of the city, it covers many of the popular touristic destinations. This system is pretty frequent and very accessible, very low fares and even lower if purchasing a 10 trips ticket or a day pass.
With the same tickets, you can use the buss and tram system, to reach where the metro can’t. Although, I encourage to walk from the metro, to the part of the city where the underground can’t reach, to enjoy the scenery and discover local stores and restaurants. If you can’t or don’t wish to walk, buses and trams are a great option, inexpensive, quite fast, but crowded at times.
SAVING MONEY in Rome is possible.
On a trip like this one, things like transportation and meals can hurt your budget. One aspect to take into consideration when traveling to Europe is, yes, tipping is considerate, but you are certainty not expected to tip a fixed amount (for example 15%) or tip at all. Specially you are not expected to tip for transportation services (unless it is a private chauffeur). When eating a meal at a restaurant, please check your bill. Most restaurants in touristic areas are overpriced and add a service charge disguised as “pane e coperto”, where they charge several $ to each person on the table for their service and basically, the table cloth and utensils you are eating with. It’s not much, but if you add it up at the end of the trip, maybe you wished to had chosen another route.
On my visit to Rome we experienced that by walking two or three blocks further from the monument/main sight, we were able to have a delicious local meal, and avoid the “coperto” charge, which we appreciated, and tipped the server. We also reduced our “fancy”/restaurant meals to one a day, and for dinner we just visited a local cafeteria, for coffee and a sandwich or a slice of pizza or mini calzone.
SAVING TIME, don’t waste the trip being in line.
Avoiding peak hours is not always possible, specially if you spend the whole day exploring, but try to find out, which monument has the longest lines, and try to visit it as early in the morning as possible. For example, if the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel opens at 9 am, be ready to arrive there before 9, by the time you leave, around noon, you’ll be thankful when you get to see the long lines that stretch streets away.
You lodging location can also save you time,
SAVING BOTH Time and Money.
Even though I hadn’t actually used this option, I’ve heard great things about the RomaPass. This pass costs 39E and it lasts for 3 whole days. It is very helpful since it gives discounts to most of the museums, monuments, and sites in Rome, and it includes free transportations on metro, bus and tram. It does NOT include discounts for the Vatican sites, nor transportation outside the city.
Hope you liked this post,
if you have any comments, questions or suggestion, don’t hesitate in commenting below or contact me.