Home to the world famous sights of the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Vatican city and the Trevi Fountain, it is a city of wonders, and one you NEED to visit. Famous for being over-priced and considered a “tourist trap”, we were worried we would never be able to visit Rome on a budget- but we were very wrong indeed, and will show you the secrets of having an amazing time in Rome without the huge price tag.
Our budget: £180. This included, flights, accommodation in the centre of Rome for 4 nights, and our spending money. HOW?! I hear you cry….Let us show you!
Al Viminale Hill Inn & Hotel. A wonderful three star, quaint, chic hotel in the Termini area of Rome. All the major cities in Rome can be reached within a 10 to 15 minute walk from this hotel, which makes it the perfect location in Rome! The rooms are comfy, with wonderful views of the city, and they offer you a free bar with coffee and tea making facilities that can be used 24/7! They provided fridges which was perfect for storing cold meats and breads to make some sandwiches, & to keep insulin and other medication cool! Staff are super friendly and helpful! TIP; request a top floor room, for the best morning view!
The cost? £64- total price for the whole stay (flights and hotel). Ammmazzzziinng value. Our top tip here is to use booking.com look for your accommodation in Rome! You can then crosscheck the prices against alpha rooms or travelrepublic to find the best deal. You get major discounts compared to other sites; and we have used them countless times for bookings with no problems- they are trusted websites on trustpilot and have the best prices for city centre locations in Rome!
**CITY TAX; Rome has a city tax per night per person depending on the hotels rating; ours was €4 per night which equated to €32 for our entire trip**
We know some people couldn't find the exact deal we got with this hotel (I think we got SUPER lucky!), but I've rounded up other great accommodation choices in Rome for three different price ranges. This is perfect for accommodating your Rome on a budget itinerary.
£ Termini Colosseum
££ Vacanze a Roma
£££ Augusta Lucilla Palace
Don't forget you can use Airbnb too to check for decent deals in and around Rome.The metro is easy to use as are the trains, so a good way to see Rome on a budget is to stay a little outside and metro or train it into the city! You can get £25 off your first booking (if you've never signed up before- use a different email and card if so :P ) with this link.
One word, Ryanair. As much as I can think of countless faults with them as an airline; their low fares cannot be one! If you book in advance you can get flights for as little as £30 return. Remember that the peak season in Rome runs from May to September, so prices may be a little higher- although nothing too extreme with Ryanair.
The cost? £46 per person return. This includes 10kg hand luggage which is the perfect amount for a city break! No need for a big suitcase.
Other airlines such as EasyJet can offer good discount deals, but I typically find Ryanair cheaper.
Getting to your hotel, and getting around Rome costs very little! Terravision offer a bus to Rome Termini station for €4 each way; this operates from both airports in Rome, and the station is the perfect location to reach your onward destination.
If you are in the vicinity of Rome, you will not need to use buses or the metro- put on your best walking shoes and everything is within distance, you will be surprised at how close everything actually is! If however, you're taking a trip a little further out, hop on the metro for €1.50 per journey! Cheap as chips!
The best thing about Rome is that a lot of the major sites cost nothing! And the ones that do require a fee, can be reduced if you have an EU passport. Here are my top 6 sights for Rome on a budget;
FREE. Although you may want to spend 5 cent to throw your coin in the fountain! Don't forget your camera to take an iconic photo. Lot's of great places to eat around here, but they are a little pricey because of their location.
€13 without an EU passport, and €7.50 with a passport. This is an absolute bargain for arguably three of the best sites Rome has to offer! The ticket is valid for 2 days so if you are getting a little tired- go home, refresh and head back the next day!
TOP TIP: Head to the Colosseum after 3pm- we queued for 15-20 minutes, which flew by, compared to the hour long queues at the start of the day. We would also suggest buying your tickets at the entrance for Palatine Hill- there is virtually no queue and you can complete these two venues before heading off to the Colosseum at 3 o'clock!
Alternatively, for just €23 you can purchase this tour and skip any queues altogether. Do what suits you.
Free! Doesn't cost a penny to view this wonderful building. Once you're finished you can walk to Piazza Nova to sit by the fountains and indulge in some famous gelato, which is cheap.
To walk around the city..it's FREE! To visit the infamous St Peter's Basilica, it won't cost you a penny, and even if you aren't religious; it's a magnificent church full of history, extraordinary architecture and art & it's the world's largest!.
TOP TIP: you have the opportunity to go into the Dome, it costs €6 to walk up the steps (only do this if you are capable- it's steep!) or €8 to take the lift, we took the lift, as it is a killer on the feet! You will be greeted with the most AMAZING views of Rome, it is not to be missed, and the perfect location to take some great photos.
These are quite expensive unless you are a student! Full price is € 16,00 and reduced price is € 8,00. If this is something you are interested in, then it is definitely worth an investment. For us, it wasn't worth the money and we were quite satisfied with what we had already seen. But I do here it is beautiful, and it can be included in some package tours which are listed below.
TOP TIP- On the last Sunday of every month, it is FREE to visit the Museums from 9am to 12.30pm! So check your calendar and take advantage.
Free! Unfortunately under construction when we visited; but a great location to grab a gelato from the many stores within its vicinity. It also features a long road of designer shops finishing with the House of Valentino, which if you love designers is perfetto- unfortunately designer stores didn't fit within our budget.
Rome has so much to offer and with over 900 churches to its name, there are some special gems that often get overlooked! The perfect way to discover these and other hidden gems of Rome is to take a FREE Rome walking tour, and yes, it really is free! You book online in advance and have the choice of a day tour or an evening tour. We opted for the evening tour as the weather is a good temperature at this time! The tour runs from 5.30-7.30pm and is a wonderful, informative tour of the streets of Rome ending at the Trevi Fountain! You can check out more about this tour here.
It costs €3 for a 20 minute row boat trip, and the lake is beautiful and it's super cheap to rent out bikes to explore the surrounding gardens and sights! ( Around €12 for an hour!) Cheap thrill and honestly a beautiful and hidden gem of Rome. I don't know why this doesn't make the tourist guides as often.
Don't miss it.
If you want to bring your family and friends back a gift from Rome, you can do so at a low cost! Fridge magnets are €1 and key chains are also €1. I love to collect key chains from every city I go too- but now my keys are getting a little heavy!
One last thing….I warn you now- you will be bombarded with the words “selfie stick” on every step you take in Rome. I met a girl in the queue who bought one, it didn't work, she wasted €5. Bring one with you, and just politely say no to those selling (its illegal for them to sell- so do not encourage it!)
**2018 and you will still be bombarded with selfie sticks...and anything else that's a "craze".
Check out our blog for tips on eating and drinking in Rome on a budget!
We have proved to you that Rome can be done successfully on a budget, what are you waiting for? Plan your next adventure now!
I recommend this tour for a few reasons: