Rome is undoubtedly one of the most touristy and most often visited places in Europe, so planning a trip on a budget may seem like an impossible task at first. I visited, for the first time ever, earlier this month, and was completely prepared to spend a fortune – I thought, it’s Rome, after all.
But, surprisingly, I ended up spending about a quarter of what I thought I would, thanks to a bit of research and a couple of tips I picked up along the way. So, to help you get the most out of your trip, I collected some of my best tips on how to visit Rome on a budget and still have an awesome time below.
1) Ignore insistent street vendors
One of the most frustrating things about navigating the city centre (apart from the insane amount of tourists everywhere) is the hordes of street vendors trying to sell their products – from umbrellas to cheap sunglasses and everything in between. Some of them are harmless – there’s always someone selling bottled water near major tourist attractions, and they usually leave you alone – but more often than not, they can be quite insistent.
Possibly the worst and most annoying type is the one offering roses to unknowing passers-by – which seems innocent enough. Until you actually accept the rose, thinking it’s a nice gift, and realise they want to charge you for it. Many people feel too embarrassed to give them back at this point, so they end up paying – but you shouldn’t have to. Don’t feel bad about giving them back – or better yet, just ignore them and walk away before they can approach you.
2) Avoid the Leonardo Express
One of the best tips we got from our Airbnb hosts pre-trip was to avoid the Leonardo Express (which connects Fiumicino Airport with the city centre and Termini station) and opt for one of Rome’s commuter trains instead. Unlike the Leonardo Express, these trains don’t go to Termini station, but stop at Rome’s secondary stations – such as Roma Tuscolana, Ostiense, Trastevere, and so on.