Rome Travel Tips For First-time Visitors

  • By Glenda Dangis
  • 12 September 2018 - 5 min read
Rome Colosseum
The inside view of Colosseum, a famous historical identity of Rome.

Glenda who is a follower of Finnoy Travel has visited Rome twice. In her guest post, she describes 5 practical tips for first-time travellers in Rome. Read her tips and make your journey smoother.

I have been to Rome twice, summertime third week of July 2017 and second week of August 2018. The City of Rome offers a lot of places to visit and things to do especially if you are interested in Ancient Roman history. Visiting this historical city provides an opportunity to taste varieties of authentic Italian foods. More interesting, if you are a Roman Catholic like me, Rome is a must place to visit. I would like to share my Rome Travel Tips with Finnoy Travel readers.

Tip 1: How to Reach the City from Rome Airport

Rome has two airports but I landed in Fiumicino Airport Terminal 3 which offers a lot more direct flights from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. During my first visit, I took the Leonardo Express airport train to Roma Termini (Rome main railway station) which costs 14 euros for one way. The train trip takes about 30 minutes with regular departures every 15 minutes. There are ticket machines available in the airport (remember to validate your train ticket, see details below). There are cheaper options like a local train which has few stops and you can also choose to travel by bus to reach the city centre. On my second visit to Rome, I took a taxi from the airport. Taking a taxi might be a good idea if you have large luggage and kids travelling along with you. Remember they have three types of taxis, the Uber Black Taxi which is a bit more expensive, the White Taxis: Roma Taxis (SPQR on the door) and Fiumicino Taxis (UTF). I took Roma Taxi, which is less expensive. Taxis are available just outside the airport’s terminal arrival. You can also book one from Fiumicino Airport taxi websites. A Roma taxi fixed rate is 48 euros to central Rome and might be more depending on your destination. Taking a taxi would be less hassle for carrying luggage but won't excuse you from the traffic to the city centre especially during rush hours. The trip might take more or less one hour.

Train is the fastest mode of transportation to reach the city centre of Rome from the Fiumicino Airport.

Tip 2: Public Transportation in Rome

I have stayed in the city for 4 days and 3 nights. I have bought a 72-hour transportation ticket that costs 18 euros. This ticket gave me access to use all the city’s public transportation like buses, trams and metro. A one-way ticket (75 mins from the validation) costs around less than 2 euros. When buying a ticket, you have to validate it to any machines found inside the bus, tram or metro/train stations to avoid fines. Expect random ticket inspections. I have travelled mostly by tram and metro in visiting famous attractions of Rome. During summer, there are a lot of tourists. Public transportation most of the time are crowded. So great advice is to be attentive always. Be aware of pickpockets.

Tip 3: Book Tickets to Rome Attractions in Advance

Visiting tourist attractions like the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica Church, Vatican museum, and Sistine Chapel requires one to have long queues. Fortunately, you can book ahead of time through the official website of Rome for ticket reservations if you want a fast track. They are also offering to skip the line tickets on the spot which will cost you about double the price of the entrance tickets. It is advisable to plan which place you will visit first. Remember also the days of Papal Mass in the Vatican (St.Peter's Square) which will be expectedly crowded. You also need a ticket if you want to attend Papal mass, tickets are free. Please check Papal Audience official website for more details.

St. Peter
A stunning view of the St. Peter's Square in the Vatican taken from St. Peter's Basilica Dome.
Palace of the Governorate of Vatican City State
The Palace of the Governorate of Vatican City State. This photo is taken from the St. Peter's Basilica Dome which is accessible with an elevator up to the 5th floor for a 5€ entrance fee.

Tip 4: Take Advantage of Water Faucets

The experience in Rome as a whole was great. Different kinds of restaurants are everywhere which have average prices. Water is not a problem because they have potable water faucets in almost every tourist spot. During summer, this is a big relief while exploring in the middle of a hot day. The temperature in Rome is around 28-37 °C. It is advisable to carry with you your sunscreen lotion during the day. And lastly, shops are on summer sale which is also a good idea to shop if it's on your list ;).

Tip 5: Continue from Rome to Nearby Cities

Have a trip to any of these places: Tuscany (Florence & Pisa), Milan, Venice or Naples if you have more time. It would be nice to take a train trip and I can assure you, you will enjoy the view of the Italian countryside.

The article was contributed by Glenda who is our Finland-based reader. Please comment below if you have any feedback. Feel free also to share the article with your friends who are travelling to Rome.

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Destination: Italy

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Thanks for sharing this great travel and informative post and I appreciate it.