Rome’s alluring charm is hard to deny and so, being a tourist hotspot it can often be expensive, especially if you end up sitting down in a tourist trap. Even if you are careful and do your research there will still most likely be costs that you had not planned for.
But don’t worry, here are 10 cool tips that we have compiled to save you time and money and make sure that you travel Rome and the Vatican City without wasting money and precious moments.
Tips to save money and time in Rome
Visit during the off-season
This is a no-brainer but, undeniably an effective tip. Generally, Rome and the Vatican are quite busy from May until the end of October. But, travel between November to April and you can expect lesser crowds, availability of affordable accommodation, and lovely weather. Although winter in Rome could be rainy, there is nothing like walking down the rain-soaked beautiful streets in Rome with the slick cobblestone streets. With this said, you should try to avoid Easter and Christmas as many people are attracted to the Vatican City during these times.
If you can see a monument from the restaurant, you can generally assume exuberant prices.
When you visit Rome, it will be hard not to want to sit at a restaurant in Piazza Navona, or a wine bar looking over the Colosseum. However, if you are on a budget then we do not suggest this as you are most definitely going to pay a lot for your view. These places are not necessarily tour traps, and the food / service may be excellent, but it will be expensive. We suggest walking just one block away from the Vatican, or the Colosseum and you will come across many eateries with Romans eating in them. Going slightly off the beaten track, and eating where a Roman would, you will definitely find great food at honest prices.
Grab a bite to go, or stand at the bar.
Rome has so much to see that your itinerary will be full, if you do not plan well you will be running short of time to cover it all. When you go sightseeing in Rome, you should now always waste time (and money) sitting down for your morning coffee, or when buying a sandwich. When visiting a cafe-bar in Rome, like most of Italy, you will almost always find 2 prices listed for food and drink. One price is for standing at the bar (or take away), and the other more expensive price is if you wish to sit down at a table. So, if you are stopping in for an espresso or a croissant (cornetto in Italian) or even a panino, stand at the bar to drink / eat it, or take it to go and find a bench to sit on and eat your food there.
Search online for special offers
There are some great offers available that can help you save both time and money. If you do your research, you would find our tours of the Vatican are some of the least expensive that you will find online. Taking advantage of these special offers will allow you to visit the Vatican with an expert guide and, while skipping the lines and leaving you with some extra bucks to spend on other things.
When it comes to eating out, there are many new bars and restaurants in Rome which have special offers in order to
Bring a reusable water bottle
Visiting Rome and the Vatican in the summer months can be very very hot and you will need to keep hydrated. But buying bottles of water is not only horrible for the planet and unnecessary if you have a reusable bottle. There are fountains all across the city that supply clear, fresh drinking water that is safe to drink. The small fountains which are around the size of a fire hydrant are commonly referred to as ‘Nasone’ (big nose), because the spout on the fountain resembles a big nose. You will see Romans and visitors alike filling up their bottles and you should do the same. Just carry a bottle and fill it up as you go around the city. If however you see ‘’acqua non potabile’’ written within a clear view of the fountain then the fountain is not fit for drinking, these signs are mainly on ornamental fountains.
Plan each day carefully and include free sites whenever possible.
Covering so much within a limited period can be tiresome, however, with a little planning this issue could be sorted. On Mondays, most national museums and galleries are closed, but, this of course excludes the Colosseum and the Vatican. The Vatican Museums are generally closed on Sundays, excluding the last Sunday of the month when they are open and free. So, if you are in Rome on the last Sunday of the month then you can visit the Vatican Museums free of charge. You will not be able to skip the often long lines however you will be able to save quite a bit if you are travelling with your family. On the first Sunday of the month the Colosseum is also free so double check your itinerary to see if you are in Rome during these days.
Another great way to fit in all of the sites in your short time in Rome is to visit sites at night. For example, the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and countless other beautiful areas are always free to enjoy, and most beautiful at night so visit once the sun goes down. A great way to do this is to go for a Rome evening tour, which we call La Dolce Vita Tour. Join us to save money and time on your Vatican City tours by skipping the lines while we lead you through some of the most beautiful sites in the western world.
Use public transport or electric bicycles and scooter rentals.
If you are late for your Vatican City tour and need to get to the meeting point on time then a taxi is the way to go. But if you are not in an immediate rush then buy a ticket from a ‘Tabacchi’ and hop on the bus or tram. The tram Line 3 for example passes many great monuments such as Rome’s Piramide, Circus Maximus, Colosseum, Basilica of San Giovanni and also Porta San Paolo which is an ancient gate into Rome, A ticket which is valid for 100min from when you first stamp it, and costs only €1.50 which is very inexpensive for a capital city.
Rome has also been bombarded with electric bikes and scooters in the past year so download the rental App on your phone, charge up your account, then scan your ride and hop on and off when you want. You would be saving time, money and have an adventure on the go. Do not forget your safety gear! Try out these tips when you land in Rome, you will get through your trip feeling happy, energized, and fulfilled without spending a fortune. The city is so amazing that in no time you would yearn to be back for a second trip. See you in Rome!!