For those who don’t know I used to work as a travel agent. Of course this meant a lot of my time was spent searching for holidays and wonderful getaways for many a client. Now however, I focus solely on my own breaks and those of friends (if they ask for some advice). One thing I always remember coming up is how customers would LOVE to visit Rome but were a little afraid of the cost of it. Yes it’s a capital city so of course there are heightened costs in certain areas… but here’s some tips to get you booked on a budget.
Firstly, I’ll point out I’ve been to Rome 6 times, it is my FAVOURITE city in the world. Gelato, Pizza, Italian men, Art, History… HEAVEN to me. I’ve picked up a few tips that have allowed me to visit so often.
Going out of Season:
Yeah yeah, super obvious – air fares are dramatically cheaper out of season. I don’t mean you have to bare winter in Rome albeit beautiful with the Christmas tree next to the Colosseum but in May they often have lower fares. Check out Ryanair’s costs 9-12 May Manchester-Rome …they come in at £55 each return.
Take Hand Luggage only:
If you’re visiting Rome for a few days you really don’t need too much. Pack lighter and save on the ever increasing costs for putting luggage in the hold. P.s. Sometimes… just sometimes airlines let you put it in the hold anyway!
Consider staying away from key sites:
You will be paying £££’s more if you want a room overlooking the Trevi Fountain. Consider staying a few streets away and 1) it will be quieter and less crowded 2) it will save you lots of money. Meaning you can spend more on that fabulous gelato. Alternatively look for the hidden gems amongst the city. A cheeky air bnb may be available overlooking one of the key sights and if you find a good host you’re onto a winner.
Eat on the outer streets:
Avoid the main squares, hide away from the major shopping streets… take a few steps away from each and you’ll find behind hidden restaurants off much quieter streets. These often have menu ‘touristo’ – a cheap alternative to a brilliant dinner. They cook large amounts in bulk (for example lasagne, or gnocchi) and dish this up for a quarter of the price in your tourist areas.
Get a pass:
If you’re wanting to visit lots of key attractions then save money by combining these into a pass. The Roma Pass can be bought as a 2 or 3 day pass and features most of the key attractions in the city.
Visit for free:
Did you know you can visit the Vatican museums on the last Sunday of the month for free? Just be prepared to queue- but when isn’t there one?
Here’s a list of other free spots to hit:
- The Pantheon (check out that Oculus!!)
- St. Peter’s Basilica (I recommend looking at Michelangelo’s stunning Pieta – on the right as you walk in)
- Sit on the Spanish Steps
- Get a free tour!
Most of all enjoy wandering the beautiful city. As they say, Roma… non basta una vita- a lifetime is not enough!