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Rome, Italy - Tips on how to Save Money on Your Visit
Rome top 5 sights in a brief video
Are you planning a visit to Rome but would like to stay within budget? These tips will help you to save money and avoid the long queues.
I visited Rome last May for the second time in my life and had an amazing time with my friends. We enjoyed every minute spent in the city and even managed to save a couple of Euros due to our research on the internet. Based on our experience, I should also warn you that due to Rome’s and Vatican’s popularity, there’s a wide selection of accommodations,restaurants and programmes that you can choose from – this is very positive – however this also means that many of them are tourist traps where you could end up very disappointed for a very high price.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Airport transfer - Saving on taxi costs
You have just landed at one of the international airports, Ciampino or Fiumicino. To get to the city, you can choose from public transportation, airport buses and taxi.
Though it is not well advertised opposed to the airport shuttles there are public buses that takes to the metro and you can save some cents right in the first hour of your visit by planning ahead. For more information check the official website: http://www.atac.roma.it/index.asp?lingua=ENG
Taxi is the most expensive option with minimum 30 Euros per transfer.
Shuttle buses usually take passengers to Termini station for the price of 4-8 Euros and if your hotel is nearby then this is the best way to get there. On the other hand if your accommodation is another district, you will need to use public transportation from Termini station.
From Ciampino airport there's a bus connection to Anagnina metro station and will cost you around 1,50 Euros for a single ticket. http://www.atral-lazio.com/
The public transportation is quite good but be prepared that there are long distances between stations so you will need some good walking shoes.The daily ticket costs 6 Euros and with this you can travel on all city buses, metros, etc. Whereas a weekly ticket costs 24 Euros and a 3-day tourist ticket costs 16,50 Euros. Depending on the length of your stay, it might better suit you to buy a weekly ticket than anything purchase several daily tickets.
(Prices might change in the 2013.)
Accommodation - Saving time and a few Euros
Staying in Rome will not be cheap unless you have family or friends there to accommodate you. And the sooner you book your hotel room the cheaper options you will have. After our research online, we decided to rent a room in a bed & breakfast in the Testaccio district close to the Colosseo. Testaccio is a vibrant but safe district with great access to the main attractions of the city yet away from the souvenir shops. Our host was very welcoming, friendly, and provided plenty of useful tips along with a local map. She even picked us up from the airport when we arrived in the late evening and drove us home for no extra charge. The website is: http://www.bebtestaccio.it/
Whether you choose this b&b or another, my tip is to book accommodation in the city centre alike us so you can spend less time traveling and more strolling on the cobblestone streets of Rome.
Vatican Museums – Saving 15 Euros per person
On a regular day a single ticket to the Vatican Museums costs 15 Euros per person. But! Every Sunday entrance is free between 9am and 12.30pm (except for the last Sunday of the month). The queue is long to get in, calculate with a minimum 1 hour in line – actually this is true on every day not only on free entrance days - so I advice you get there early. For more information, visit the official website: http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-Info/MV_Info_Orari.html
Colosseo, Palatino, Foro Romano – Saving 8,50 Euros per person
Before the holiday we purchased the combo ticket online for Colosseo, Palatino and Foro Romano – three of the must-see attractions. This way we skipped the long lines, saved hours in line and some frustration for ourselves. The combo ticket costs 13,50 Euros http://www.ticketclic.it/gb/html/musei/colosseo.cfm but you must buy in advance and print out the ticket to take with you. If you purchase the entrance tickets on the spot, they will cost all together 22 Euros.
Are ice cream and gelato the same?
Map to the gelatería
Eating and drinking – Avoid bad experiences
Finding a supermarket in the city is a nearly impossible quest, on the other hand there are plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from. I must admit that the first evening we tried one of tourist special menus in a restaurant and regret it ever since. So my advice is to avoid these places in general and visit my favourite places where you will have great food on good prices and a fantastic gastronomy experience.
Gelato/Ice cream (in Trastevere district): This small gelatería is the locals’ best kept secret. It doesn’t even have a website, but you can find the shop opposite the Santa Maria della Scala temple - see map for directions.
Pizza (in Trastevere district): Dar Poeta. There’s usually a long queue in the evenings but it's worth the wait because you can get the most amazing pizza here topped with delicious buffalo mozzarella. http://darpoeta.com/
Sit down vs. take away - Saving 0,5-5 Euros per occasion
In cafés, panini shops, restaurants there is an extra charge if you sit down at a table and drink your latte or eat sandwich than if you ask for a take away. This extra fee could be 50 cents up to several Euros per order. For example a latte will cost 1-2 Euros more sitting down.
Drinking water – Saving 1-10 Euros per day
Rome is the city of temples as well as fountains. Wherever you go in the city centre you can find drinking water taps. Carry a water bottle and keep refilling it with fresh cold water whilst enjoying the sights of the city. This free water supply comes very handy especially in the hot weather that lasts from May to October in Italy.
Souvenirs – Saving a few Euros here and there
Shops close to main attractions tend to sell the same t-shirts, fridge magnets, calendars and other souvenir items on a much higher price than others. There’s nothing new about this, right? Then look around and fight against the temptation to purchase everything right away. Before buying a miniature Colosseo in one of the souvenir shops, look around on Campo di Fiori where you can find local products, such as olives, pasta, cooking spices, truffles - all in a fascinating market scenery. If you buy 3 or more items, ask for a deal and you can get an even better price at the end.
Enjoy your visit
I hope you found these tips useful and will help you in planning your visit to Rome, Italy. Wishing you a wonderful time in the 'Eternal City'. Ciao!
© 2013 Zsuzsi @ hubpages.com
© 2013 Zsuzsi