The best way to get the most out of your trip to this beautiful city is to do your homework (groan) but lucky for you, I’ve done all the hard work for you! Here’s how you can get around Rome on a budget.
Rome. The incredible, awe-inspiring, historic capital of Italy is home to some of the most influential architecture, art and food in the world. Being that the city has such a rich history and world famous historic ruins, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The list of places to visit in Rome is endless and you will need a minimum of three days and meticulous planning to cover most of its top attractions.
Applying for a Visa
If you are an Indian national, you will need a Schengen visa to visit Rome which follows fairly standard visa procedure. All the requirements and procedures involved in getting the visa can be found here
Flights to Italy are long and expensive, so make it worth the time and money invested by adding more than one city and/or country to your travel itinerary if possible (The Schengen Visa is valid for all 26 countries in the Schengen area so make the most of it)
The Roma Pass
Save some valuable time and money with the Roma Pass which grants you free use of public transportation, free entry to the first 2 visited museums and/or archaeological sites of your choice and a Concessionary ticket to all other museums and/or archaeological sites visited thereafter. Choose between the 72-hour pass and the 48 hour one but make sure to buy them in a few days before your actual trip(it takes 24 hours to get activated when purchased online) so that you can use the pass for public transport from the airport once you land in Rome. More information on the pass can be found here
Being that we live in an era of AirBnB, budget stay is not only easily accessible and convenient but also safe and reliable. Prices are very often cheaper than most hotels and customer reviews are very helpful in helping you find the perfect place to stay.
Most Churches (Including St. Peter’s Basilica) have a strict dress code so make sure to cover up if you do not wish to be turned away(carry a shawl with you for this purpose which you can store away once you move on from the churches)
A bottle of water will easily set you back a few Euros which you can easily save by carrying a bottle with you, the many water fountains around the city provide fresh and clean drinking water so you’ll never go thirsty.
While you can easily save money by packing your own food in the form of sandwiches, it would be a sin not to indulge in some mouth-watering Italian cuisine(When in Rome!). For the most delicious and authentic pizzas, pastas, paninis and desserts, speak to a local and get some scoop on where to find the best neighbourhood Trattoria.
While entry to most of the tourist sites in Rome will set you back a few Euros, here are some ways you can plan your trip so that you get the best for your buck-
Pack a comfortable pair of shoes
Walking through Rome will help you experience Rome like the locals do and most of the main tourist spots are in close proximity to each other thus saving you both time and money. There are many free walking tours available as well so do make sure to book your spot in advance here.
There are quite a few places you can visit in Rome for free like the Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and even St Peter’s Basilica (though they do charge for an entry to the top of the dome and is well worth the fee). On the last Sunday of every month, entry to the museums are free and on the first Sunday of the month, you can enter the great Colosseum(which would otherwise cost you 12 Euros) for no charge at all, so plan your visit accordingly.
Timing is everything
Head to Rome during the offseason (Nov-Feb) to avoid the overwhelming crowds and high peak season prices. While in Rome, head to the biggest attractions during lunchtime or just before closing as the crowds thin out towards the end of the day which means shorter waiting lines (win-win!)
Enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime trip by taking some time off from all the sightseeing to relax at a pizzeria or indulge in some gelato because before you know it, you’ll run out of steam (and time) and will regret not doing so once you return from your trip.
Rome is a truly captivating city and I hope these few tips and tricks help pack in as much as possible into your trip. So start packing and apply for that leave because Rome is waiting to take you away on a trip of a lifetime! Ciao!
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