Welcome to the eternal city of Rome, where ancient history blends seamlessly with modern life.
Steeped in historical and cultural marvels, this enchanting city offers a kaleidoscope of experiences to every visitor. So, keep reading for our ultimate Rome destination guide!
From iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Vatican City to hidden gems and charming parks, Rome has something for everyone to enjoy.
Embark on a gastronomic journey indulging in the flavors of Lazio’s cuisine and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Italy’s capital.
Italy on a Budget’s comprehensive destination guide will equip you with practical tips to navigate the city, save money, and make the most of your visit to Rome.
Exploring this iconic city on a budget is totally doable, especially with Italy on a Budget tours in and from Rome. Our budget-friendly activities mean you’ll have a great time without watching the pennies. Just get in touch to find out more about our must-see Rome tours!
Let’s begin our virtual journey to Rome, so you can learn everything you’ll need to have a good time in the capital city.
Rome’s history spans over two and a half millennia, leaving behind a treasure trove of historical and cultural marvels. Whether you’re interested in history and art, or simply looking at nice buildings, there are several essential Roman destinations.
No visit to Rome is complete without seeing the iconic Colosseum. This grand amphitheater is packed with history, so grab a ticket and learn about the place where gladiator contests and ancient spectacles once enthralled audiences.
The Roman Forum is often paired with the Colosseum on tours of Rome. This is another historic site of political and social life in ancient Rome, with well-preserved ruins for you to explore. Hundreds of years ago, this was the site of speeches, elections, gladiator matches, and more.
Marvel at the architectural brilliance of the Pantheon, the name of which means “temple of all the gods” in ancient Greek, an ancient Roman temple with a remarkable domed roof. This place of historical importance is well preserved and is now a Catholic Church.
Discover the spiritual heart of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City, home to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel). Did you know that the Vatican is also its own country? Whether you visit by night or day, the architecture is stunning.
Admire the awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica, a Renaissance masterpiece housing Michelangelo’s revered sculpture, La Pietà — a sculpture of The Virgin Mary and Jesus. The Dome is also a sight to behold, amongst other masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art
If you’re looking to discover even more cultural hotspots, join Italy on a Budget on our Rome in a Day Walking Tour. While Rome wasn’t built in a day, this tour is that length! Meet like-minded people, get tips to explore the city like a local, and make a wish in the Trevi Fountain.
Amongst Rome’s popular tourist spots, you can explore the city’s neighbourhoods and other points of interest with ease. As a very walkable city, it’s easy to discover brilliant hidden gems in Rome from restaurants and bars to bookstores and parks.
Stroll through Trastevere’s quaint cobbled streets, dotted with charming cafes, artisan shops, and a lively nightlife. This mostly car-free neighbourhood is across the Tiber River and has many delicious restaurants. Head to Piazza di Santa Maria for good eating.
As one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe, Rome’s Jewish Ghetto showcases a unique cultural heritage and excellent kosher dining options. You can also visit the Jewish Museum to learn even more about this area.
Visit the peaceful Aventine Hill to enjoy panoramic views of Rome and the serene atmosphere of the Orange Garden. From the garden, you’ll see the Tiber River, the Vatican, and more as Rome’s skyline stretches out across from this hidden gem.
Wander around the artsy neighborhood of Monti, filled with small galleries, vintage boutiques, and a bohemian ambiance. Visit Trajan’s market, a complex network of ruins, thought to be a former shopping centre for ancient Romans.
Discover the eclectic Coppedè neighborhood, known for its distinctive architecture and fairy-tale-like atmosphere. This hidden gem combines different architectural styles and the colourful buildings are adorned with mosaics, gargoyles, and frescos.
As the capital of Italy, Rome — and the wider Lazio region — has several signature dishes distinctive in the area. From pasta, side dishes, and wines, explore Rome through your tastebuds for an unforgettable experience!
Head to the local markets like Campo de’ Fiori and Mercato di Testaccio to experience the vibrant atmosphere and taste fresh produce and local specialties.
Savor the simplicity of Cacio e Pepe, a classic Roman pasta dish with pecorino cheese and black pepper. A hearty staple for a quick meal or lingering over with friends.
Indulge in the rich flavors of Carbonara, a creamy pasta dish featuring eggs, guanciale (cured pork cheek), and Pecorino Romano cheese. Perfectly suited to a glass of white wine.
Try the delightful supplì, fried rice balls filled with mozzarella and ragù (meat sauce), a popular Roman street food. Similar but not to be mistaken for arancini!
Delight in Carciofi alla Giudia, Jewish-style artichokes, a specialty with a crispy exterior and tender heart. Season with salt and lemon for a delicious side dish.
Treat yourself to the heavenly taste of gelato from the city’s best gelaterias, offering a variety of flavors and quality ingredients.
If you’re interested in learning how to make pasta, take a homemade pasta class with Italy on a Budget! This 90-minute class is in English and the best part? You get to eat what you make! Plus a delicious glass of wine and bruschetta.
If you prefer to eat your Italian food by hand, join our Make Your Own Pizza experience in a 90-minute workshop.
Rome hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, each offering a unique experience. It’s always worth seeing if your trip coincides with any local festivals — you never know what you may see!
Experience the Papal Audience at St. Peter’s Square on Wednesdays, for an opportunity to see the Pope up close. This opens at 9 am, but many people arrive up to three hours early to get a good seat.
Celebrate Easter in Rome with grand festivities, including religious ceremonies and special events at the Vatican. The week-long celebrations begin on Ash Wednesday and finish on Pentecost. You can also catch the Pope leading Easter Mass if you don’t mind a crowd.
Embrace the magical atmosphere of Christmas in Rome with beautifully decorated streets and festive markets. Visit the iconic Piazza Navona, also known as the Befana Christmas Market. Befana is an old woman celebrated for delivering gifts to children on Epiphany.
Join the city’s birthday celebration on April 21st, featuring parades, concerts, and historical reenactments. Many of the museums are free on this day, so keep your eyes peeled!
Enjoy Notte Bianca, or white night, a night-long festival in September, offering art, music, and cultural events throughout the city. The transport systems run all night long, so you can enjoy the festivities without having to worry about getting home early!
As the capital city, Rome is always popular year-round, which is why we recommend booking tickets in advance for major attractions to avoid long lines. If you’d prefer to have all your bookings for multiple attractions in one place, consider joining our Rome City Sightseeing Tour for a day, two, or more!
When visiting churches and religious sites, dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees. Take a scarf in your bag or wear longer clothing if you plan to visit any religious spots.
While we Italians are very friendly, a little Grazie goes a long way. We always recommend learning a few Italian phrases ahead of your visit. Trust us, the locals always appreciate visitors who make an effort to speak the language!
Stay hydrated and save money by using the city’s numerous public water fountains to refill your bottle. You can even get sparkling water from some fountains!
Rome’s historical center is best explored on foot, as it allows you to stumble upon charming piazzas and hidden corners. However, for longer distances, the city offers an extensive public transportation network.
As we said, you never know exactly what you’ll stumble onto when walking around Rome! The main city centre is very navigable, with plenty of gems waiting to be found. One of our favourite activities is picking an area and just seeing where we end up!
Utilize the extensive public transportation network, including buses and Metro, for longer distances. Tickets are easy to buy for both at bars, tobacconists, or vending machines at Metro stations and larger bus stops.
Consider purchasing a Roma Pass for free public transport and discounted entry to museums and attractions. The Roma Pass is last for either 72 or 48 hours and can be purchased online, at Tourist Infopoints in the city of Rome and the following ATAC – Subway ticket offices:
Metro A: Anagnina, Battistini, Lepanto, Ottaviano, Spagna
Metro B: Laurentina, Eur Fermi, Ponte Mammolo, Termini
Metro B1: Conca d’Oro
Ferrovia Roma-Viterbo: Piazzale Flaminio
Roma – Lido: Porta San Paolo
Live your Roman holiday like a local by hopping on a Vespa or renting a bike. There are several companies to choose from and you’ll need an International License if you’re based outside of the EU.
Join guided walking tours to gain deeper insights into the city’s history and culture. There are plenty to choose from depending on the area you’re interested in. For a whistlestop tour of essential Roman landmarks, take a look at our Rome in a Day Walking Tour.
Make the most of your vacation to Rome without having to worry about your budget. Through a little forward planning, the eternal city will offer a brilliant experience without breaking the bank.
As we mentioned, buying a Roma Pass offers free public transport and discounted entry to museums and attractions. It’s a great way to save money and see a lot for less.
Try delicious and affordable street food like pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) and supplì from local vendors. Stopping for a little snack as you walk the streets is a very Italian experience.
Take advantage of free entry days to attractions to keep your costs down. For example, the Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month.
Embrace the Italian tradition of aperitivo! Instead of a full dinner, bar hop for pre-dinner drinks and access to a buffet of snacks for a fixed price. Many bars offer specials and it’s a great way to mingle with the locals and soak up the nightlife.
Consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations like hostels or guesthouses. Booking in advance and comparing prices on different platforms can help you find the best deals — especially during the low season.
Rome experiences high tourist season from April to October, with the peak in May, June, and September.
During this time, the city can be crowded, and prices for travelling to Rome, accommodations, and attractions will be higher.
For a more relaxed experience with fewer tourists and potentially lower prices, consider visiting during the winter months from November to February, excluding the Christmas and New Year period.
Rome, the eternal city, invites you to unravel its historical, cultural, and culinary treasures. From ancient wonders to hidden gems, this vibrant metropolis has a magnetic charm that leaves no visitor untouched. If you can’t wait to visit, check out our Italy on a Budget Tours in and from Rome or get in touch with our local team!
Prepare to soak in the spirit of this fascinating city, enjoy its delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in its rich history. Whether you explore iconic landmarks or wander through the neighborhoods, Rome promises an unforgettable journey that will resonate with you forever.