When all roads lead to Rome, getting around the Eternal City can seem like a daunting task but once you know the basics it’s easy to venture onto public transport to explore the sights! With the major attractions so spread out, using the bus and underground system is the best way to make the most of your time in Rome. Read on for top tips on how to master the chaos of one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
If you plan on seeing the sights in Rome, bring good shoes and get walking! Once in the Centro Storico (historical centre) of Rome, walking is by far the best option. Many of the major attractions, including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona, are all reachable in a day’s walk. There are many signs around the city which will point you in the right direction – so grab that camera and get moving!
METROS AND TRAINS
Roma Termini Station
Roma Termini Station is at the heart of the chaotic transport hub that is Rome. Aside from Rome’s underground metro lines, Termini also connects regional trains to the surrounding Roman countryside and intercity trains to the likes of Naples, Florence and Milan. For more information on the train system, check out our blog on trains in Italy.
Rome’s public transport is run by ATAC and includes buses, metros and trams. The metro operates daily from 5.30am to 11.30pm and to 1.30am on Friday and Saturday nights. Metro A and B lines crossover at Termini and will be the best choice for exploring the sights.
- Barberini – Trevi Fountain
- Spagna – Spanish Steps
- Ottaviano – St. Peters and the Vatican
- Colosseo – Colosseum, Roman Forum
- Cavour – Monti area
- Circo Massimo
Mini buses in Rome
Buses will take you anywhere in Rome – but be prepared for them not to function on the Google Maps schedule! All buses run until around midnight when a range of night buses begin operating until the early hours of the morning.
Main bus hubs can be found outside Termini, in Piazza Venezia, Largo di Torre Argentina and regional buses leave from Tiburtina.
A little note on safety: Don’t forget to stay alert and aware when travelling in Rome, especially by night. Always pay close attention to your belongings as pickpockets can strike at any time, particularly when embarking or disembarking public transport.
Public transport tickets are available in the following locations:
- Tabacchi stores
- Machines at train/metro stations
One-off tickets are valid for 100 minutes for multiple use on the full array of buses and trams or for one metro ride. If you’re using public transport extensively in a short time frame then it’s worth getting a day pass (€6), three-day pass (€16.50) or a seven-day pass (€24).
Don’t forget to validate (stamp) your ticket on the yellow ticket machines that can be found on all buses and trams and entrance gates to the metro!
For sightseeing, the Roma Pass and Omnia Vatican and Rome Pass also include free public transport across Rome.
Taxis lining up at red taxi stands
A taxi is never far away in Rome! In general, taxis that are driving are busy and cannot be hailed but there are so many taxi ranks around the city that this is never a problem. Major taxi stands can be found at Termini, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Barberini, Piazza di Spagna and Colosseo. Official licensed taxis are white with an ID number and ‘Roma Capitale/Comune di Roma’ on the side and official rates are posted on the inside of taxis next to the meter.
BEST TRANSPORT APPS
Download Moovit from Google Play or the Apple Store
Moovit will be your absolute best friend in Rome. It shows updated bus schedules, metro and tram times and uses GPS tracking to ensure vehicles are running on time. It also shows the closest stops and send you notifications when it’s time to get off. The app is free to download and takes all the stress out of travelling in Rome!
Hiring scooters is a quick and fun way to zoom around the city
Another option is to bike, scooter or car share your way around the city. Ecooltra is just one of these share systems and allows you to hire scooters anywhere in Rome! All you need is your full driving license and you’ll be free to pick up any one of the green Ecooltra scooters using the app. If you prefer travelling on four wheels, apps for car sharing include Car2Go, Enjoyand Share’ngo.
Elebikes are another fun way to see the city and can be rented from the Piazza Navona/Campo de Fiori area. Electric bikes come fully charged for up to 40km for around €5 an hour.
Using apps such as MyTaxi or calling (06 0609) is also an easy way to catch a taxi, but keep in mind that the meter is switched on straight away and taxis from Termini will incur an extra fee. A journey from one side of the city to the other should cost €10-€15.
ARRIVING AND DEPARTING
Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport
Leonardo da Vinci Airport, better known as Fiumicino, is Europe’s 6thbiggest airport and sees a massive 35 million people pass through its doors every year. Located 30km west of the city centre, it is connected by a range of buses and direct trains.
The Leonardo Express train will take you into the centre of Rome in approximately 32 minutes. Tickets cost €14 and depart every 15 to 30 minutes from 6.23am to 11.23pm. Regional trains take a little longer and stop in Trastevere, Termini, Ostiense and Tiburtina. They leave every 15 to 30 minutes and run via Rome’s metro, costing €8 from any standard ticket machine.
The trains are a quick and easy option but for a little more comfort, I highly recommend taking one of the direct buses. The SIT shuttle runs to Via Marsala 5, by Termini and to Via Crescenzio near the Vatican every 30-45 minutes. The bus takes about an hour, have free WiFi and cost only €6. Tickets are available on board. Cotral and Terravision buses operate for the same price and stop at Termini and Tiburtina – the two major train stations in Rome.
White city taxis line up directly outside the airport for a set fair of €48, valid for up to four passengers, including luggage. Journey time is about 45 minutes depending on traffic. Beware of private taxis from someone who approaches you, as you cannot be sure of the rate they may charge or additional ‘tolls’ they add along the way.
Ciampino is the hub for European low-cost carrier Ryanair and is slightly closer to the city centre. Bus services are by far the easiest way to get into town taking only around 40 minutes. Terravision and SIT buses are reliable and tickets can be purchased on board. Taxis to and from Ciampino take around 30 minutes depending on traffic with a set rate of €30.
Getting around can be quite the adventure. The city appears to run on its own schedule and you never know what could be just around the corner! Hopefully these tips will get you navigating the city like a local in no time – and don’t forget to have fun and see the sights on your way!
When planning your Rome vacation, it’s important to consider how you will get to your hotel from one of the two airports flying into the capital. Here are some top tips that will help you make it to your hotel hassle free, as well as some handy hints on the best ways to get around Rome.
It’s worth remembering that when you land in Italy you are no longer in a native English speaking country. This can prove to be a little tricky at times, so it’s always good to have a copy of your hotel name and address printed.
From Fiumicino Airport to Rome City Centre
If you land in Fiumicino, when you exit the arrivals hall, you may well be bombarded with drivers offering to drive you into Rome in a taxi. They will want you to take one of their illegal cabs. Our advice is to totally ignore them and keep walking. They can be very persistent, so it’s best not to respond or make eye contact.
If you’re looking for a taxi into the city, you will find these directly outside as you exit the airport. Be sure to take an official “White Taxi”. There is a flat rate of 48 euro* from the airport into the city center. It’s best to confirm this with your driver before getting into the taxi. Although it is written in English on the outside of the car, some drivers will turn the meter on and charge you more if the meter exceeds this amount. There is a fee for luggage which is around 1 euro* per piece.
Many of you may have the Uber app on your phone and find this more convenient. However, in Italy, we only have Uber Black, which means it will be much more expensive than a regular taxi, starting from around 60 euro* per one way trip.
Fiumicino benefits from being well connected by trains and buses. The cheapest option to get into Rome is to take a bus. These are located at the very far right as you exit the terminal building. There are various buses and the prices range around the 5 euro* mark per person. The trip will take around one hour.
The other alternative is a train. There are two trains that leave from Fiumicino. These trains are easily accessible from the airport terminal and you simply follow the signs as you exit.
The fastest train is the ‘Leonardo Express”. It’s a direct train that will take you to Termini Station, which is the central station in Rome. This leaves every thirty minutes. Tickets cost 11 euro* and are available at the ticket counter. Should you buy it at the departure platform, they are a little more expensive at around 15 euro*. It’s really important to stamp your ticket in the yellow validation machine before boarding the train.
If you are a family of 4 or more, you are actually much better off taking a taxi. It’s cheaper and will drop you directly at your door.
The other train that departs from the airport terminal is part of the metropolitan train system. This however, does not stop at Termini. You will need to get off at Tiburtina Station or Ostiense and then connect to the Rome Underground Metro system. Tickets for this train are around 6 euro*, however, this may be the least convenient way to get into Rome from the airport.
From Ciampino Airport to Rome
If you are flying into Ciampino airport, similar rules apply, avoid those offering you taxi’s as you exit in the arrivals hall and keep walking. As you exit the terminal you have a few choices. Should you decide to take a taxi, again, look out for the official “White Taxi”. They also have a fixed rate of only 30 euro* direct from the airport into the city. As mentioned above, it’s always good to confirm this price with the driver beforehand. There have been a number of cases recently where drivers are demanding 40 euro*. You will see the pricing printed on the outside of the vehicle. You are advised not to get into a taxi that is refusing the price written on the outside of the vehicle.
The other option from Ciampino is the bus. You will find these situated on the left hand side as you exit the airport. The price is around 5 euro* per person. These buses will take you directly to Termini Station, from there you will be able to get a city center taxi or connect to the underground metro system.
Top Tips when travelling in Rome
The fastest and easiest way to get around Rome is on the underground metro system. Tickets are 1.50 euro* per trip. In many cases, it works out much cheaper to get a Daily metro card that you can also use on the buses and trams for unlimited or even a weekly travel.
Should you wish to take a taxi around town check that the ‘Tariffa’ is set to ‘1’. Many taxi drivers in Rome, have it set to 2 or 3 (which is a higher rate used for travel outside the city) to make a few extra euros. The fare will however always start at 3 euro or 6.50 euro depending on the time of day.
Generally, taxi drivers in Rome are very honest, but it’s always good to be aware. If you suspect a taxi driver of scamming you, take a picture of their ID number, and the license plate. This will always work in your favor and they are more likely to change their tune.
(*Prices quoted in this blog are correct at time of posting in October 2017)