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Rome Public Transport Guide

Updated on January 8, 2014
Tram in front of the Colosseum
Tram in front of the Colosseum

Why is it important to be familiar with public transportation in Rome

Rome is the capital of Italy and the biggest and most populated city in Italy. If you plan to travel to Rome you should plan your trip carefully with all the details. You should also be familiar with Rome’s public transportation system. It is quite complicated and it can take you a lot of time if you are not familiar with it. Here you will find all the information you need to get yourself familiar with Rome’s public transportation system.

Rome from Spanish Steps
Rome from Spanish Steps

About Rome

Rome is one of the biggest cities in European Union. It has around 2.5 million population and lies around river Tiber and seven hills. These hills are Palation, Aventino, Capitol, Quirinale, Viminale, Esquilino and Celio. In the western part of the city lies the smallest independent country in the world Vatican. Vatican is the headquarters of Roman Catholic Church. Rome covers an area of 1285 square kilometers and it has 2200 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Bus in Rome
Bus in Rome
Tram in Rome
Tram in Rome
Metro in Rome
Metro in Rome
City Railways - Train from Rome to seaside
City Railways - Train from Rome to seaside

Public Transportation Networks

In Rome you will find four different transportation networks.

Buses

Buses are the slowest way to get from point A to point B but there is a big network of them. You will be able to come almost everywhere you want. Travelling with bus is not really comfortable because they are usually overcrowded. You will probably have to stand on the bus. For planning your route with bus try using ATAC route planner. Click here to go to ATAC route planner.

Trams

Rome’s tram network is not so big. It has six different routes mainly in the eastern part of the city. Trams are faster and less crowded than buses. If possible rather take tram than bus.

Metro

Metro in Rome is referred as “Metropolitana”. It has two lines and it is definitely the quickest way to travel through Rome. With only two lines you will have to be extremely lucky to get where you want only by underground railway. Probably combination of more networks will be required. “Metropolitana” is quick but can be really crowded. You should also keep your things close because of the pick pockets. It’s not rare that trains are so crowded you actually can’t embark the train.

City railways

City railways are quick and not so crowded. If you are taking longer trips (up to 30 kilometers) you should go by city railways. Here you have to be careful that metro ticket is enough and no additional payments are required.

Front view of the Rome public transport ticket
Front view of the Rome public transport ticket
Back view of the Rome BIT public transport ticket
Back view of the Rome BIT public transport ticket

Public transportation prices and tickets

Rome public transportation system has 4 different tickets at different prices

BIT 100 Minute Ticket

Price: 1,50 €

Ticket is valid for 100 minutes anywhere in Rome on city buses, non urban buses, trams and urban trains. With this ticket only one trip on underground railway is allowed. Also only one trip with second-class train is allowed. This means that if you use ticket for “Metropolitana” or city railways it’s not valid anymore. You also can’t take bus or tram and then go to the “Metropolitana” or city railways.

BIG Daily Ticket

Price: 6,00 €

It is valid for use on all public transport services within the metropolitan area of Rome on the day it is validated. Be careful ticket is valid for day on which it is validated and not for 24 hours.

BTI Tourist Ticket

Price: 16,50 €

It is valid for three days on all public transport services within the metropolitan area of Rome.

CIS Weekly Ticket

Price: 24,00 €

Weekly Ticket is valid for seven days on all public transport services within the metropolitan area of Rome.

I advise you to avoid buying 100 minute ticket because public transportation is slow, really slow. To come from one part of the city to the other part of the city it can take you up to two hours. And it would be magic that you wouldn’t have to switch lines to complete your route. BIG, BTI and CIS are the best option if you are doing sightseeing in Rome or staying in Rome for more than one day.

Rome Public Transport Ticket Machine
Rome Public Transport Ticket Machine

Buying a ticket

The best way to buy ticket is at the automated ticket machine. Ticket machines support around five languages, English included. They support payments with coins, notes and credit card. But not every machine will work properly. The best way to get ticket is to have coins with you. These machines are not at every stop. You will find many of them at the main train station “Termini”. If you don’t find ticket machine then you can buy tickets at tobacco stores. Tobacco stores have signs “Tabaccheria”.

You can also buy tickets at tobacco stores which are in Italy called "Tabaccheria"
You can also buy tickets at tobacco stores which are in Italy called "Tabaccheria"

Main Train Station in Rome - Termini

A markerTermini Rome -
Termini, 00185 Rim, Italija
get directions

Machine for validation of the ticket on bus/tram
Machine for validation of the ticket on bus/tram

How to validate your ticket

You validate your ticket on bus or tram. There are several machines on every bus or tram where you can validate your ticket. They are yellow and you just put the ticket in and then take it back. The time of validation will be printed on the ticket. If you are travelling with metro or city railway you have to validate ticker before boarding. This is simple because you open the gate to the railway stop with the ticket. You definitely won’t forget to validate your ticket.

Backside of the Rome public transport ticket explanation.
Backside of the Rome public transport ticket explanation.
Rome Tram Stop
Rome Tram Stop

Public transportation working hours

Bus network:

5:30-24:00

Tram network:

5:30-24:00

“Metropolitana”:

5:30-23:30 (Sunday to Friday)

5:30-00:30 (Saturday)

How to plan your route

The best way to plan your route is to use ATAC route planner

Otherwise you can use maps bellow. I advise you to check stops on the map bellow with stops on Google maps. That will give you better orientation. Remember Rome is hard city for orientation.

Rome Metro and City Railways Map
Rome Metro and City Railways Map
Rome Tram Network Map
Rome Tram Network Map

Safety and Security

Rome is a big city so prepare yourself it will be crowded almost wherever you go. Means of public transportation are no exception. Watch on your things because you can be pickpocket magnet quickly. Have your things in your pockets which are hard to reach. Do not let others to help you with your luggage. If you are wearing backpack ensure that you do not have expensive things in it. Otherwise I think Rome is not as dangerous as people are saying. Take care of your things and you will be okay.

This underground car is definitely not crowded for Rome
This underground car is definitely not crowded for Rome
Almost empty car - City Railways
Almost empty car - City Railways

How crowded bus in Rome looks like

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    • CYong74 profile image

      Cedric Yong 10 months ago from Singapore

      The limited time biglietto! And all the shady conspiracies to use it beyond the time frame ...

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