Before visiting Rome, make sure you have a very good idea of the things you want see and do there; there is so much Rome has to offer that it is difficult to do it all in a short period of time. We had five nights there and found that that was a good amount of time to see most everything that interested us, but, I know I could’ve used a couple more days to experience the city more, rather than just the tourist areas.
While I’m sure most of the main tourist attractions you have heard of and/or would be priorities to see for anyone visiting Rome, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican, and more, here are some tips that might help make your stay in Rome as cost-effective as possible. Be aware that Rome is a very expensive place, as is most of Italy, so hopefully some of these tips help you out a bit:
1) Roma Pass – The Roma Pass is a must if you plan on seeing a lot in a short period of time. You can purchase it at several convenience shops in Roma Termini, the main train station in Rome. Basically, the Roma Pass gives you two free entries to any main attraction (including the ones I mentioned above) and the rest of your entries for a discounted rate. As well, the Roma Pass covers all your metro tickets. As I said above, it is a great thing to have if you’re seeing a lot in a short period of time, since the pass is only valid for 72 hours as soon as you purchase it. And the pass is 25 Euros in total, but definitely worth it, not only for cost, but for convenience.
2) Cost-Free Attractions – There are several cost-free attractions that are likely on most people’s must-do list. The Pantheon is not only free entry, but absolutely gorgeous inside. When we went they had scaffolding around most of the outside, but walking into the magnificent domed space was incredible. Not much to do inside (likely don’t need more than 15 minutes there) but with free-entry, this must-see attraction is also a must-do. Also, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are of course ree as well, as they are a fountain and set of stairs respectively. These are two very tourist-clogged areas, but climbing the Spanish Steps or tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain are musts in Rome.
3) Guided Tours? – Guided tours aren’t always the best way to go when see attractions in any city (nor the most cost-efficient) but Mike and I took an amazing guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. We woke up early to see the Vatican before the lines (though even arriving there before 8am there were already lines). As we approached the Vatican, we were stopped by a lady who offered small guided tours of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel; she was very nice, spoke great English, and told us her tour groups were at most 6 people in total. Sure enough, by the time the tour left, only four of us had signed up; Mike, myself, and a couple from The Netherlands. She took us on a tour that skipped all the lines to the Museum and showed us things that we would have likely missed without her and learned a lot of interesting information about works of art that we would have never known had we not taken the tour. Honestly, the tour felt like a private tour of an incredible place, rich with history, and allowed us to appreciate everything we saw so much more than if we’d gone without a tour. I can speak for Mike too when I saw it was one of the highlights of our trip, and for 30 Euros, it was definitely worth it!
4) Plan Your Itinerary – Rome is an incredible place, parts of it entirely stuck in the past. The Colosseum was absolutely magnificent, St. Peter’s Basilica was breathtakingly large and beautiful, and the Baths of Carcalla were very interesting and surprisingly large. There is so much to do that planning your time there is a priority. If you schedule your time well, you can see so much in a very short period of time. Make the most of your stay here; the history is awe-inspiring!
Hopefully those tips help you out if your planning to visit Rome, which I definitely suggest you do. It’s one of the most famous and rich-in-history cities in Europe it would be a crime not to.