I’ve visited many a European capital in my days but felt that reading about Rome beforehand was necessary to have an enjoyable experience. A capital city with some of the most famous ancient landmarks of the world, it is understandable that the city witnesses flocks of tourists, especially in the summer. However, for me, visiting Rome was different to visiting Paris, different to London, my home. And so I have compiled this list of my top tips for travelling in Rome.
Top Tip #1:
A top tip for travelling in Rome is bring an empty water bottle. There are public drinking fountains everywhere and it’s cold and refreshing! A great contrast to the heat in Rome during summer months!
Top Tip #2:
When travelling in Rome you don’t need to tip. Most restaurants include a service charge so you don’t need to (unless you want to). Just check the bill to see if service charge is included before you decide to tip.
Top Tip #3:
Another top tip for travelling in Rome is to check the service charge. Hotels also include a service charge so check before you book. Our hotel had a 6 Euro charge per person, per night. It can certainly add up!
Top Tip #4:
Be prepared to walk… A Lot. Whilst Rome does have a metro system it isn’t well positioned to get you right to the tourist spots (because of all those ancient ruins getting in the way!). As a result you will be walking around a lot. I was averaging about 25,000 steps a day and that was without getting lost.
Top Tip #5
A top tip for travelling in Rome if you are to use public transport, buy your tickets at the Tabacchi. Look for shops or in some cases a little cafe that has a T sign sticking out of it to point you in the right direction. The equivalent of a UK corner shop, it will sell all tobacco products and bus tickets which can also be used on the trams. Train tickets must be purchased at the train station.
Top Tip #6:
A well-known top tip for travelling in Rome is to book tickets online for tourist attractions. There’s no need to wait in those ridiculous queues. Prices do seem to differ on various booking sites so it is best to use the official website. Alternatively you could get a Roma pass which gives discounted admission to various tourist sites and can be used on public transport.
Top Tip #7:
Top tips for travelling in Rome for EU citizens; check if the attraction offers a reduced fare. EU citizens are entitled to a reduced fare for tourist attractions. (more reasons not to leave!)
Top Tip #8:
It is worth getting to attractions early in the summer as there are so many people and it’s so hot. Go early when it is quieter and cooler and enjoy a siesta to catch up on sleep like the Italians do! This was the Vatican at 11am!
Top Tip #9
My final top tip for travelling in Rome is don’t eat or drink at establishments close to tourist spots. As others will advise you, these restaurants charge more and some even have a separate menu with hiked up prices just for tourists as a helpful taxi driver pointed out to us. Apparently the food isn’t as tasty either.
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