As someone who lives in Rome, I’m always asked how to get the best experience as a first time traveler to the city of external love. And, because Rome is always packed with tourists almost everyday, traveling here might be something to tick off your bucket list.
Planning a trip can be both exciting and stressful, that’s why this guide helps to ensure you’re up-to-date with everything you need to know about visiting the beautiful Roma.
If you’re a first time traveler, Rome is a beautiful city worth exploring… that’s why I have these 6 tips to make the journey easier for you.
1. Book a tourist bus to take you around
If you don’t know this already, Rome is pretty big, and if you don’t want to have painful feet, you might want to book a tourist bus to hop on and off on. It also makes your traveling so much easier because you get to see the city faster than walking.
Even though I live in Rome, I know how tiring it can be trying to get from the Colosseum to Piazza di Spagna for instance. Plus, if you’re only in Rome for a few days, you’d want to see as much as possible.
Also, don’t forget to bring some comfy shoes. Rome’s roads aren’t the best, so high heeled shoes wouldn’t be a very good idea.
#2. Visit Rome during the summer months
One amazing thing about living or visiting Rome is the great weather throughout the summer. From May until September is a perfect time to come and visit because you’re guaranteed clear blue skies. So, you don’t need to pack super warm clothes during your stay.
But, if you visit during the winter, your experience might not be as pleasant as you may have anticipated. Rome does get chilly, and the frequent rain doesn’t help either.
3. Visit popular places later in the afternoon
The large crowds of tourists on a daily basis can make sightseeing a hassle, and quite honestly, it can be tiring trying to navigate your way around a lot of people.
That’s why visiting popular places such as the St. Peter Square (which as you’ve guessed it, can be terribly crowded) is better done later in the afternoon. But, it’s certainly not guaranteed since people tend to stay there for a longer period of time.
The great news is that if you’re worried about the sun setting before you take some amazing photography, not to worry. The sun doesn’t set until about 9pm during the summer months here in Rome.
#4. Modesty is key when visiting churches
One thing Romans don’t joke about is how respectful you’re dressed when visiting their churches (especially St. Peter). I can’t begin to tell you how often I’ve seen tourists refused entry into churches because their clothing was above their knees.
So, if you can, try and wear something modest on days you’d be visiting the church. It would certainly reduce any embarrassment or inconvenience you might experience.
#5. Book accommodation and flights in advance
While traveling to Rome can be exciting, accommodation and flight costs is a different story. That’s why it’s important to book your hotel and flight way in advance to enjoy a discount during your stay.
During peak season, hotel and flight prices sky rocket tremendously, and the last thing you’d want to do is pay 3 times the price you would’ve payed had you booked earlier.
Also, you can pack a few items in a carry-on luggage to save up on the cost of paying for large luggage. This only works if you’re staying for a few days though.
It’s also important to note that which hotel you book can make your travel experience better or worse. It’s a given that booking a hotel in the city centre is way more expensive than in Termini (a district in Rome). A lot of tourists prefer lodging in Termini because it’s close to the railway station and central to just about anything you need.
#6. Avoid taxi’s and stick to public transport
One thing I love about Rome is that getting around is fairly easy to do, especially from the Termini station. If you’re coming from the airport, you can save some money and opt for a train instead. From Fiumicino airport to Termini, for instance, a train ride costs 14 Euro currently per person and drops you right at the station.
Taking a bus is even cheaper, but takes much longer to get to your destination. Remember, trains do have a closing time which is usually right before mid-night. If you’d be landing very late, you might just have to take a taxi (which is not less than 50-60 Euros).