Toby is an absolute babe and whisked me away to Rome for my birthday present this year. It was our first proper city break together (Amsterdam doesn’t really count) and there are definitely a few things I wish I had known before we went! Carry on reading to see my top travel tips for Rome!
Make a plan
We initially made the mistake of not coming up with a plan for the day which meant we kinda ended up just wandering around in circles and didn’t really do anything. For the remaining days, we made sure we had a plan the night before so we knew what time to wake up and get out of the hotel by and it made such a difference!
Hop on a bus
In my opinion, the best way of seeing all there is to see in Rome ~ if you fancy being a proper full blown tourist ~ is jumping on a hop-on-hop-off bus. There are eight or nine stops around the city and you can get on wherever you like, get off, have a tour or mooch around and then hop straight back on again. They’re so reliable and only cost €20 per person per day which we thought was an absolute bargain! Sit on the open deck to take the best snaps, rest your feet and and catch a tan!
Save money on coffee
Rome ain’t cheap, I’ll tell you that for free! Most coffee shops and cafes sell a latte for around €4-5 which is just insane and it all adds up! If you’re in the Trevi Fountain area, save your dough by picking up your coffee from the Magnum shop where they sell tasty lattes for only €1.30!
Take two pairs of comfy shoes
I have basically lived in Converse since I was eight years old so they’re without a doubt my favourite shoes to wear and I find them so comfy BUT one pair was not enough for Rome! We literally didn’t stop walking for three days and on the cobbled and uneven streets, it really batters your tootsies! In hindsight, I wish I had packed two pairs of comfy shoes because it’s nice to mix up what’s on your feet when they’re blistered and sore.
Take advantage of the water fountains
I think a lot of the hotels will offer you a couple of bottles of water complimentary so all you need to do to save spending on water is take them out with you and top them up whenever you see a fountain!
Be polite to the touts
Oh if I had a euro for every time someone tried to sell me a wooden elephant, bottle of water or parasol… There are so many people constantly trying to sell you shit (and I mean absolute shit) that it gets so frustrating and seriously does ya nut in but don’t be impolite back to them. We saw a big fight break out by the Colosseum because some american bloke was really rude to someone trying to sell him water and boy did it kick off! Just politely say ‘no thank you’ and if they keep insisting just repeat yourself but never swear at them or push them out of your way!
I’ll also mention here that if you have men coming up to you and handing you a bracelet, rose or wooden animal, don’t accept it as they’ll chase you up and make you pay for it! We didn’t actually experience this ourselves but we heard a lot of other people talking about getting stitched up because they fell for it!
Be prepared for lots of walking
I briefly touched on this when talking about comfy shoes but trust me, you really do need them because you’ll be walking miles! We’ve never really been on a proper city break before so neither of us were aware of how much trekking was actually involved. Make sure you bring water, blisters and sunnies or a hat if you’re walking long distances (around the city or when you’re on tours) because you’ll need it!
Buy lunch from the supermarket
On the first day we spent €20 on lunch which consisted of two sandwiches, a coffee and a Sprite – madness isn’t it?! So after that, we bought our lunches from Coop which only cost €7 each day and saved so much money. The sandwiches/rolls were even better from the supermarket anyway and we’d get a big bag of crisps as well which we’d snack on when we got back to the hotel before dinner so nothing got wasted. I honestly can’t recommend doing this enough if you’re on a budget!
Pre-book tickets or get a guide
The queues for big attractions like the Colosseum or Vatican City are two or three hours long and let’s be honest, nobody wants to be standing around in that in 30 degree heat. We didn’t pre-book tickets just because we ran out of time beforehand but we did go with a guided tour around the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum which only cost €30 each and meant we could skip the queues!
If you’re jetting off to Rome or another city sometime soon then I really hope these travel tips will be able to help! I sure wish we’d known about them before we went and I’ll definitely be bearing these all in mind on our next city break away!
Do you have any travel tips for Rome or have you been before?