Rome is one of those cities that is so well documented, in so many different ways, that’s it’s hard to say anything new about it, however, based on our 4 days in Rome these were our tips, favourite places to eat and things we did in Rome.
Rome is so filled with history that you could overload very easily, yet it doesn’t get boring if you mix it up. Between the history of the city, the piazzas, the people watching and the food it makes roaming the streets super fun.
In a city so big, everyone always asks the same question… what area do you stay in?
Well, to start with. Rome has 13,451 (actually) options to choose from. So take your pick! Hotels, hostels, Airbnb’s, & bed and breakfasts are just a few of your choices and the budget ranges immensely. Depending on what you’re after or what type of vacation you’re on can depend on where you stay. For us as constant travellers & carrying large backpacks we chose to stay right near the main Train Station- Roma Termini. (see map).
This area worked best for our needs because it was the cheapest and the most convenient, especially since all the main attractions are in walking distance. We knew we would be arriving in Rome by train and it meant less walking to the hotel not to mention it was very easy to get around the rest of the city by foot or bus.
Rome on a budget
- All of the historical sites are within walking distance and quite close together, it is possible to take buses between the sites but this way you can’t stumble upon things during a walk so we chose to do a lot by foot. The buses are cheap (€1.50) but the more we saved on buses, the more we spent on ice cream so it was a no brainer;).
- We strongly recommended downloading Rick Steves audio tours. He has one for almost every attraction in Rome and it will cost you nothing.
- Buy your tickets online to the Colosseum and the Vatican City. You can avoid long lines on both of these for pre-purchasing tickets. There will be lines for security that cannot be avoided but you can avoid the ticket booth lines. Vatican city allows you to skip the line into the museums with your selected time slot.
- There are water fountains located throughout Rome so bring a water bottle and fill up as you go.
- Consider a free walking tour
- Consider the Roma Pass or Omnia card if you plan on visiting multiple museums.
- 1st Sunday of the Month, the museums are freeeeeeeee!
Sites to Visit in Rome
Most if not all people will know of the top sites in Rome so we won’t bore you with details of every one of them but these are the sites we saw. As you can see below, a lot of these are free.
- Colosseum & The Roman Forum – Tickets purchased online were €14 or €12 at the door.
- Pantheon – Free
- Trevi Fountain – Unfortunately it was under construction when we were there but it’s free to see.
- Spanish Steps – Free
- Pizza Navona – Free, really cool place to people watch or grab a drink outside at one of the restaurants.
- Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel – Skip the line tickets online are €20 each, or €12 at the door. Sistine Chapel, you must cover your knees & shoulders. The artwork in the Sistine Chapel was incredible. How Michelangelo painted the roof upside down, God only knows.
- Vatican Gardens – Free
- St Peters Square – Free. The Pope is there on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 am.
- St Peters Basilicia – Free
- Walk, Walk, Walk!
Where to Eat in Rome
To find recommendations on where to eat, make use of travel blogs and Foursquare. We found TripAdvisor to be misleading for restaurants.
We were in search of finding the “perfect” Carbonara pasta, as it originated in Rome. After doing some research we settled on a restaurant by the name of Roscioli. It was a “gourmet grocery shop” along with a restaurant. Nearby they have a takeaway pizza/bakery place called Antico Roscioli. Both of these were so good! The only downside was it wasn’t very budget friendly but well, when in Rome?!
Fact: Carbonara originated in Rome and it isn’t as we know in America or Australia, in fact, they don’t even use a cream at all. The dish has only 5 ingredients, pasta, cheese, egg, bacon & black pepper.
Secondly, for a change from gelato, it is worth a visit to the Magnum Pleasure Store. Here you can create your own Magnum with 3 different toppings and flavours. We may or may not have gone back here 3 times during the 4 days. So many different options to choose from, one was never going to be enough!
Etabli was a trendy bar/restaurant located just off the side streets of Piazza Navona. Great salads & other irregular dishes.
Nightlife in Rome
A popular nightlife area is Trastevere. A trendy neighbourhood just over the bridge. There are plenty of restaurants (but be wary of the tourist trap restaurants ) to begin your night followed by plenty of bars to check out after dinner.
- Bir & Fud for a huge range of craft beers and appetizers.
- Big Hilda Pub for happy hour cocktails and small plates.
- Mr Brown for a cool dive bar experience with very energetic and friendly staff.
- If you’re after a quick meal before drinks, or a meal after drinks get a bloody (cheap) delicious crispy pizza from La Boccaccia. The best pizza we had in Rome.
Passport in hand, feet sore & full and content stomachs we moved onto our next Italian city… Florence!
Married Days survived: 170