After recently travelling in Rome on a long weekend break, I realised there are a few things I wish I knew beforehand. So here are my top 5 tips for travelling in Rome.
1. Double check how far away your hotel is from main central Rome.
If your hotel is more than a 30 minute journey via public transport then your hotel is probably not in central Rome and you will probably find it hard getting there. Take my hotel for example, it was in the middle of nowhere and the metro line (Line C) was half built, so it took a lot of map reading to find out how to continue on the journey. That was until we saw signs on the floor that lead you to the next nearest station by walking. (The bright orange ones lead you to Line A, the blue lead you to Line B, and green to Line C.)
2. Rome is cheaper than you think it is.
Most people will assume that Rome is expensive because it is in Italy and is the capital; however it is a much different story once you’re there. Dinner shouldn’t cost you more than £20 (27.16 euros) per person for around two to three courses. The metro costs £1.10 (1.50 euros) for 100 minutes, £5.15 (7 euros) for 24 hours and £10.34 (14 euros) for a week; which is pretty cheap compared to London. Other than that there are many stalls placed everywhere around Rome that sell almost everything momuments gift shops sell but at a much lower price. For example, I brought a mini Colosseum statue for 1 euro that in the Colosseum gift shop cost around 6 euros. But I will admit that there are hundreds of designer stores that you can go to if you do decide to take a little extra cash and buy yourself a whole new wardrobe. (I almost did)
3. Only get in a white marked taxi.
White marked taxis’ are legal ones that have a meter to give you an accurate prices for your journey and do not try to rip you off for being a tourist. A 45 minute journey, shouldn’t cost you any more than 40 euros. If you get into an unmarked black, or any other colour, taxi you are looking at paying anywhere between 70 to 100 euros. If you’re going from Fiumicino airport it will most definitely cost you 70 euros, as that’s what we paid for a shared shuttle in a black unmarked taxi to our hotel. (Can’t moan too much, the guy was doing us a favour and he didn’t know where the hotel was.)
4. Decide what monuments you want to see before you get there.
There is no point turning up to Rome for a short weekend break and not knowing exactly what you want to see because you may not get to see it all. For my trip away, my boyfriend and I decided to make a plan of what we were going to do and what we would see day by day. We were only there for four days, so it made sense. Yet, we still ended up going into random basilicas and monuments that were didn’t know existed and changing the plan daily. As long as you know the big ones you want to go see, you should be alright. Places like the Colosseum, Vatican City and St John in the Lateran should definitely be high up on your list.
5. You will get exhausted really quickly.
Rome requires A LOT of walking and I mean a lot. You can literally walk from one monument to another but that is at the expense of your poor feet. You could walk all the way from the Colosseum to Vatican City if you chose to, but your feet would kill by the end of it and so will your back. The main thing is to make sure you rest enough each night. Rome is lively in the evenings, and dinner doesn’t start till at least 7:30pm so you do not need to be up at 7am every day because you’re not likely to be home until after midnight if you truly want to see Rome; which means sore feet for you. On my short trip, my longest day lasted about 15 hours walking. Leaving our hotel at 9am, we traveled to the Vatican then got an open top bus to the Pantheon; walked from there to the Trevi Fountain; then went for a guided tour of the crypts and catacombs; then went to find somewhere for dinner; then had a guided walking ghost tour from the Pantheon back to Castle Saint Angelo (just outside Vatican City) which ended at around 11:30pm. We didn’t get back into the hotel room till around 12am. So yeah, you will do so much walking that you need to make sure you rest just as much.
But all in all Rome is the most beautiful city I have been to and I cannot wait to go back one day and to explore more of Italy in the future. This city should definitely be in your top 5 places to visit, and if it’s not then you need to make some changes to your list because I promise you you’re missing out!
(Part 2 coming soon! Check out the haul of stuff I brought in Rome, including two items from Lush)