The skyline of Rome, Italy

Six tips for visiting Rome - from a local

Story

The Eternal City of Rome is one of the most visited capitals in the world. Because of that, a trip there can come with logistical difficulties. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time in Rome, including how to avoid long lines, save money, and find the best food in town.

1. Plan at least three days for Rome

Rome has a lot to offer, especially for first-time visitors. Be sure to spend at least three days in the Eternal City to savor all the best views and the most delicious meals. If you stay for less, you might find yourself rushing from place to place without the adequate time to fully enjoy all the gorgeous ancient monuments and sights.

Moreover, some attractions (such as the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums) can easily take up more than half of your day each.

The interior of the Colosseum

2. Pre-book entrance tickets in advance for Rome's major attractions

Rome is pretty much always filled with tourists, even in the winter (the low season). So, it’s important to book entrance tickets to popular attractions before arriving in person.

The Colosseum and the Vatican Museums are two of the most visited attractions in the world. Be sure to visit their respective websites to reserve your spot because otherwise, you can easily spend hours and hours waiting in line. In the scorching hot summer, this is especially unpleasant.

3. Save money with the Roma Pass

There’s a 48-hour or 72-hour Roma Pass that will allow you to get into a certain number of museums or archeological sites for free. The 72-hour pass, for example, gives you two free skip-the-line admissions to museums (or ancient sites like the Colosseum). It also gives you discounted ticket prices for all other museums that you visit afterwards!

4. The best food in Rome is in Trastevere

While the centro storico (historic center) has lots of good restaurants, the best food in town is in the foodie neighborhood of Trastevere. This area is a great place to go for a stroll before dinner; the streets are less touristy, and the atmosphere is calmer, too. When you’re ready to eat, Nannarella and Tonnarello are some great options.

The skyline of Rome, Italy
Looking up at the remarkable ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome
An old doorway in Rome

5. Watch out for pickpockets in Rome

This is perhaps the most important travel tip for Rome: the pickpockets in town are extremely skilled at what they do. Having spent 12 years in Rome, I personally don’t know anyone who hasn’t gotten pickpocketed at least once here (including myself and my family).

Be especially careful when visiting popular attractions, or when taking the metro and buses. Always, always keep your bags within sight, and never leave a bag hanging off a chair at a restaurant. Rome is, in fact, the second most pickpocketed city in Europe (the first one being Barcelona).

6. Buy bus tickets before boarding

You cannot buy bus tickets onboard, and will have to buy one at any of the tabacchi (a tobacco shop) or edicole (newsstands) around the city. A ticket costs €1.50 and is valid for 75 minutes on any public transport, including the metro and trams.

In many cases, you’ll find that you can use the metro to get to where you want to go. If that’s the case, it’s definitely a faster and more convenient option. However, there are only 3 metro lines in Rome, so you might need to use a bus or tram sometimes.

Share this article

Jiayi Wang

Author - Jiayi Wang

Jiayi Wang is the writer and photographer behind The Diary of a Nomad, a travel and photography blog with a special love for less visited destinations. Having been raised in Italy since she was six years old, Jiayi calls Rome home.

Last Updated September 6, 2021

Italy

Italy is one of those countries that has something for everyone, from food, beaches and mountains to art and ancient history.
© 2021 Faraway Worlds.