Best Travel Tips for Rome Italy (2020)
Heading to Rome soon? First timer? No worries! I have compiled some of the Best Travel Tips for Rome so you can avoid any trouble while you are in this Foreign country.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ROME?
If there is something I always get asked about my travel tips for Rome, this is the question.
When is the best time to travel Rome?
Truthfully, I’d say anytime is the best time to visit Rome.
Visiting Rome depends on your groove and what you can handle and compromise.
Spring and Summer in Rome are the most popular with Tourists.
During this season the weather can be warm and humid and with the heaviest tourist traffic.
Also, since these two seasons are popular for the tourist, you can expect the prices of accommodation is quite expensive.
But if you are willing to shell out a few bucks then you can go and see Rome during Spring and Summer and enjoy the Dolce Vita under the basking sun.
Fall and Winter are equally beautiful in Rome.
It has a unique charm that you can only feel if you go on these seasons.
It has smaller crowds so you can enjoy the slow walk on the streets of Rome and be amazed by the century-old structures and relive the history.
Also, since these seasons are considered lean, you can grab some discounted room rates and generally cheap prices.
I like to visit Rome somewhere between Mid August to Mid September.
The days are relatively long so you can squeeze in as many activities you can during the day and the temperature is really nice.
The famous sites are also less crowded compared during Spring and Summer season so you can enjoy more.
HOW TO GET TO ROME?
Although it is said that all roads lead to Rome, there are only 2 Airports in Rome.
Fiumicino for international flights and Ciampino for local and European flights.
When I traveled to Rome, I flew to Ciampino Airport via Ryanair because I was coming from Bratislava.
Ryanair is a major budget airline and a good way to travel cheap in Europe.
Fiumicino and Ciampino are well connected to the city center. The easiest way to go to the Center is by Taxi, Bus or Train.
When you arrive at the airport, you can easily see some booths offering tickets to the city center.
It is cheap and you will have a lot of options.
Just one note, when we got there, we bought a ticket from one company that includes one bus ride and a train ride to the Termini because that was the fastest route.
However, we were not informed that some parts of the Metro Station were not working during that time because of some repairs going on so we ended up taking the bus to the city instead.
So if you want to take that route, please do your research and check with your accommodation for any updates in the Transportation system of Rome.
Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, the Metro Station repairs and maintenance is already finished.
MOVING AROUND ROME
Sure you can take a taxi but be prepared to get ripped off.
I find it very expensive and some of the drivers are dishonest especially when dealing with tourists.
So unless you are sure of your dealing capabilities, you are better off with some other options like bus or train.
The train and Bus in Rome is quite efficient.
Remember to always validate your ticket when you are riding public transport especially on the Bus.
If you get caught with an invalidated ticket be prepared for a hefty fine.
I’d say Rome Center is pretty much walkable.
It is one thing I like about this city. You can see so much even just by walking around.
I wrote a Rome Travel Itinerary with FREE Printable Travel Planner, where I shared how to maximize the number of things you can see in an area just by walking.
USEFUL TIPS FOR ROME
1.Download an offline google map
This one is at the top of my travel tips for Rome because it is really important.
It is so easy to get lost in this city and sometimes you do not have a quick access with a free wifi so a handy map is quite a necessity.
Also Rome is known for its labyrinth-like streets.
It is so easy to get lost.
Though it is all part of the adventure, but if you are pressed in time sometimes getting lost is not an option.
2. Be mindful of the dress code
This is another important thing to remember.
Most of the attractions especially religious sites like churches and museums have strict dress codes.
If you are not dressed appropriately, they may decline your entry.
Be prudent and just follow the rules.
I remember one girl made a commotion because she was denied of entrance to the St. Peter’s Basilica.
She was wearing sleeveless shirt and a shorts.
It may be her choice of outfit, but there are rules and we have to respect them.
Rule of thumb, show less skin.
For girls, never wear a short or a mini skirt. If it can not be avoided, at least bring something that can cover your legs like a scarf.
For boys, don’t wear shorts and sleeveless shirts like Sandos. It is a No No!
3. Get a data plan or a Portable wifi
Sometimes when you are walking you may need to search for something like the best place to eat in Rome or a nearby public toilet.
Happens to me all the time.
Because I have to walk a lot, I have to drink a lot that means more toilet time.
There are some public toilets in Rome you just need to find them.
Wifi is not always available, so having a data plan or a portable wifi can come in handy.
4. Be careful with Scams
I am not sure if it is everywhere in Europe, but in Rome it is!
There are heaps of scammers in Rome.
Even though I have read about it, I was still surprised to see it for myself how rampant it was.
One rule to get by, ALWAYS SAY NO!
There are a lot of men who will approach you and offer you many things, I say do not prolong the conversation and just give them a firm NO and walk away immediately.
Believe me that this is thy best way to do it.
This may sound a bit rude, but it is for your safety.
I saw two poor Koreans who can barely speak English and they were scammed by these two men who were first giving them some flowers and then asked them to pay after.
It is sad because thay might have a bad memory about Rome already because of this.
But it does not have to be like that if you will just avoid and ignore them at all times.
Pickpocketers are also common in Rome so be always mindful of your stuff.
I advise to get yourself a belt bag and keep all your belongings in front of you all the time.
5. Stay hydrated
Especially if you are traveling during the Spring or Summer season when the weather can be really hot.
Europe Summer can be unforgiving with the heat waves.
This was never an issue for me since I am used to the hot weather of the Philippines but if you are not anything like me always keep yourself hydrated.
Bring a water container with you.
I like Rome because there are a lot of water Fountains that you can refill your bottle anytime.
Some of them are even cold water so it is refreshing during a hot summer day.
6. Book your Tickets for the Popular sites in advance
Rome is one of the most famous tourist destination.
Millions of travelers visit it every year for a holiday.
Take Vatican Museum for example. It is visited by an average of 50,000 every day. EVERY DAY.
Lines to the Museum can really get crazy. Real CRAZY!
I could not exaggerate it enough.
I went there knowing I can manage the line if I come early.
I went as early as 6:30 AM to get in the line first. I did.
But the museum opens at around 9:00 AM and when it opens, it prioritize those who have bought their tickets online in advance.
So I waited approximately four hours in the line to get inside.
Imagine 4 hours wasted when I could have seen something else.
Though it was not so bad because I got a free ticket from a stranger when I was in the line waiting, but it’s not always like that.
So do not test your luck and just buy your tickets in advance.
Be mindful too. Because there are some sites that sell over priced tickets so I suggest to go directly to the Vatican Museum website to book your tickets online.
Some of the tourist sites are also the same such as Colosseum.
So if you also plan to go to these sites make sure that you book your tickets ahead.
If you need some help with planning for your Rome Travel, download my FREE TRAVEL PLANNER. It is the best guide for your next adventure to Rome.
7. Bring Cash
Though most of the places already accept major Credit Cards, there are still some establishments that accept cash only.
So be prepared and keep extra Euros in your pocket.
Some small change can come in handy too if you want to buy a cup or cone of gelato or a kilo of grapes. They are really cheap and ranges between 1.5 to 3 Euros.
I wrote a blog about the Best gelato and desserts that you should try in Rome so make sure to check that out too.
8. Be aware of Coperto
Coperto is the term for table service in Italy.
It usually around 1 to 3 Euros or can be 10% of you meal and charged for every person who sits in the restaurant.
The Restaurants should tell you about this beforehand, but if not, do not be surprise when you see it in your bill.
Also, most restaurants bring out and put a basket of bread in the table.
It is usually with a charge unless they said it is free (which I think never happens in Italy haha)
So if you do not want bread and do not want to be charged extra for it, tell the waiters or the staff in advance or if possible right after you sit.
We were a victim of it.
They brought us bread and even though we did not eat it we were still charged for it.
Though the food was really nice my husband felt overcharged and over all experience was not good.
So be aware of it and let them know in advance so you will not be charged.
9. Wear comfortable shoes
Ladies, I know that you want to wear those fancy shoes and your wedges for your outfit. I feel you.
But also, I know how difficult it is to wear those high heels. So I advise you to skip them.
You will do a lot of walking in Rome.
I wore a sneakers with bad soles and I suffered.
Rome streets are filled with cobble stones, while it is nice for your Instagram picture, it is not friendly for your feet.
So make sure to wear a comfortable shoes.
10. Get Travel Insurance
This is really necessary especially if your local insurance in your country does not cover it.
Hospital expenses in Europe are generally expensive and you can get caught in a big mess if you do not have travel insurance.
I was never a fan of Travel Insurance before I met my husband because I thought it is just a waste of money.
What could happen to me? I try to be safe as much as possible.
But accidents do happen, especially in ways that we do not expect so I think it is better to get prepared.
So there you have it. My top 10 best travel tips for Rome Italy.
I hope these tips for traveling to Rome help you with your planning .
If you ever need more information about Rome Italy like the best travel guide, where to eat cheap or where to find the best gelato in town head over to my Travel Series for Rome Italy and get more information about this lovely city.
Or have you been to Rome? Any tips to share with me?
Let me know in the comment below. I would love to hear from you.
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