Roma, the eternal city; this historically rich and beautifully picturesque locale is an amazing vacation destination for a summer European escape. Often the only problem visitors seem to have in Rome is the expense! It is a well traveled city, after all, all roads do lead to Rome, but despite, or perhaps because, Rome is such a well known and highly sought travel destination it can be a very expensive European city to visit.
There are some cost saving tips when traveling to Rome on a budget that can free up some funds to experience more of the city and see and experience some of the amazing sites, sounds, and tastes the city has to offer.
The first question that comes to mind, after securing the airfare, for any traveler is where to stay during your holiday? There are many amazing hotels in Rome, but they often come with high cost and can quickly eat away at your travel budget. There are also many accommodations that are exclusive to Rome, like convents (which lend toward creating the atmosphere for visiting nearby Vatican City), however, most of these are in fact hotels run by companies rather than authentic convents, but it can often lend a unique alternative to traditional hotels and at a slightly lower cost. The best option is often bed & breakfasts, guest houses, and hostiles. There are many lovely options to be had; tripadvisor.com is an excellent source for these accommodations. Once you’ve found an accommodation you’re interested in it is best to contact the owner/owners directly, they can often get you a better deal than what is listed on the travel websites and they can be a wealth of information on how to navigate local transportation to the hotel when you arrive.
Once you’ve arrived and know where your staying the next question most people have on their mind is how will I get around the city? The best way to see Rome is to do a lot of walking, but there will be times where you may need to get around a bit faster than your feet may take you. The airports are actually outside of the city, so you’ll need to get transportation to and from the airport as well. There are several options for transportation in Rome: bus, metro (there are only two lines the red and the blue so it is very easy to learn the routes), taxis, and motorbike rentals. Taxis are the most expensive option and not recommended for the budget minded traveler. The bus routes and metro are often the best option for many tourists. If you’re staying for more than a day or two in Rome then you may want to consider the unlimited ride, 3-day or 7-day tickets for the metro, this can ultimately save quite a bit in the long run since each ride on the metro will cost you 1 Euro (this doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can add up). If you’re feeling adventurous and have some experience on a moped or motorcycle you may want to consider a motorbike rental, it’s a great way to see the city and get around for experienced riders!
The last major concern most travelers have is how to stretch my budget so I can see all the sites I want to and still have enough to eat? The best way to save on your food budget is to stay in accommodations with a mini fridge in your room. There are many good supermarkets around the city, especially if you’re staying in a B&B or a guesthouse (which are usually located in local neighborhoods outside the city center), where you can find delicious varieties of food that will help cut costs tremendously. While walking around town a good alternative to a pricey meal is a street vendor cart where you can get lunch (often not the most nutritious option) for less than 5 Euros! There’s also the option of gelato for lunch (not recommended for those with special dietary concerns or those trying to loose some weight) which will cost you under 3 Euros in many cases; plus you’ll burn off a lot of the weight you would gain from the gelato walking around town! Everyone should experience a fine Italian meal while in Rome, but a cost saving option may be to dine out for lunch when many restaurants have smaller versions of their dinner options for a much smaller price. This works out well because in many cases you wouldn’t be able to take your leftovers with you anyway! Many tour groups also include lunch on their sightseeing tours, this is another great option for travelers to experience fine Italian cuisine and squeeze in sites and entertainment along the way!
No matter what the budget for travel it’s always nice to have a little extra to make the trip home with; so hopefully some of these cost saving tips can aid in that outcome. As always, safe and happy travels!