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Rome |The Ultimate Travel Guide

When to go, where to stay and what to do in the Italian capital.

Updated

Laneway in Rome, Italy

Walking through the historical capital of Rome is akin to walking through an open-air museum. Remnants of the mighty civilisation that once thrived as the Roman Empire live in every niggling detail, from crumbling stonework on public streets to masterful artworks in the corners of ancient churches.Today, the destination fondly referred to as the Eternal City, is the political seat of Italy, the capital of Catholicism and a mecca for history and culture fiends the world over.

It's a place where you can walk in the footsteps of gladiators, verse yourself in Renaissance and Baroque art and delight in real Italian pizza and gelato while people-watching inside open piazzas.

Our advice? Start you day off with an (Italian) espresso and equip yourself with our guide and prepare to wind back the years for the journey of a lifetime.

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Getting around in Rome

Once you're in the city centre, Rome is a very walkable city. Most of the more popular attractions are within walking distance of one another. Some attractions that are slightly further than walking distance, such as the Forum and the Colosseum, can be reached by public transport, which is cheap and easy to use.

To see all of the major tourist attractions in one go you could try the hop-on hop-off bus and bicycle and scooter rentals are available for those looking to explore Rome like a local.

Rome public transport

  • Types of transport: Atac is Rome's public transport service. It includes buses, trams and metro trains.
  • Paying for transport: Tickets can be bought from newsstands, metro stations, tobacconists and major bus stops. Bus tickets last for 100 minutes and you can make as many transfers as you like within this time. Metro tickets are valid for a single trip. Tickets must be purchased before you begin your trip. A single ticket costs €1.50. 1-3 day passes and weekly passes can be purchased.
  • Getting to and from the airport: The Leonardo Express train runs a service between the city centre and the Leonardo da Vinci Airport every 30 minutes. Tickets cost €11.00 and trains depart from the Termini train station in the city. The Terravision Shuttle Bus is €9.00 and also services the Termini train station and the airport. The bus takes 70 minutes while the train takes 30 minutes. Regular blue buses are also available from the airport and can be found on the ground level to the left of arrivals outside terminals B and C. Regular metropolitan trains cost €5.50 and stop at all stations going into the city.
  • Best apps for getting around: Rome bus allows you to check in real time the waiting time for your bus. You can also view the bus route, the locations of the bus stops and you can ask the app for information regarding upcoming stops by providing the bus number.

Rome metro map

Use this Rome metro map to plan your itinerary, decide where to stay for the easiest commute to attractions and see how you can get from the airport to your hotel via public transport.

Important tourist stations include Termini (Rome's central station), Colosseo (the Colosseum), Spagna (the Spanish steps) and Ottaviano S, Pietro (Vatican and the Sistine Chapel).

Rome car hire companies

Renting a car in Rome is not recommended, as driving is chaotic and finding parking is quite difficult. It's best to rent a car in Rome if you wish to travel out of the city to other parts of Italy.

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt and Maggiore provide car rentals from the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport. Use Drive Now to compare car prices and find the best deal.

Read our guide about hiring a car in Europe and get the latest deals

Taxis and rideshare

Taxis: Hailing a taxi on the street is uncommon and difficult. It is best to find a taxi at a taxi stand, which can be found at popular tourist spots. You can also call a taxi company to order a cab. Taxis are available outside arrivals at the airport. Use only white or yellow licenced taxis.

Rideshare: Uber is available and costs €60-€75 from the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport to the city centre.

Airport transfers in Rome

If you're looking to avoid taking public transportation or hailing a cab on arrival, consider pre-booking a transfer from the airport to your accommodation.

Private transfer from Fiumicino Airport to Rome
Private transfer from Fiumicino Airport to Rome

Viator

Shared transfer from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Hotels
Shared transfer from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Hotels

Viator

Private transfer from or to Civitavecchia, Rome or Fiumicino Airport
Private transfer from or to Civitavecchia, Rome or Fiumicino Airport

Viator

What to eat when you're in Rome

Choosing somewhere to eat in Rome is not an easy task. From Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants to family-run trattorias, it can take years to scratch the surface of the best places to eat in Rome.

The ​​Trastevere area has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and cafes, and some have an open dining facility on the terrace, providing a panoramic view of the historic buildings.

However, with a myriad of dining options comes numerous tourist traps, especially places serving overpriced, mediocre meals in the name of authentic Italian dishes. An easy way to spot restaurants you should avoid is to work out the type of customer they are appealing to.

Restaurants where flyers are being handed out to tourists, English-only menus, too-good-to-be-true combo offers, and signs declaring "Authentic Italian Food", all scream of places best avoided. To save you the search and keep you clear of tourist traps, we have listed the best restaurants in Rome to enjoy traditional Italian delicacies.

Food tours and cooking classes

If you are looking for a more engaging experience with Roman cuisine, you can participate in these food tours and cooking classes.

Read more on this topic

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