Rome can be both a blessing and a burden at the same time.
As the capital of Italy, the capital of Catholicism, and the capital of the old Roman Empire – this single city alone can teach you all you need to know about ancient European history. But having a high number of famous historical attractions comes at the cost of a large number of tourists, and in turn: a pricier city than most.
Despite certain areas being more expensive than others, that doesn’t mean you can’t get by in Rome on a budget – you just need to know where to look.
Daily Travel Costs In Rome
Outlined below are the average costs you can expect to incur when visiting Rome as a budget traveler.
Cost of Food and Drink
This is an area where you need to be careful in Rome. My first time going, I decided after visiting the Trevi Fountain to wander into the closest luncheonette available. Big mistake. Not only was the food sub-par, but it was expensive. I’ll never forget that really bad €12 glass of wine.
Consider any eatery steps away from an attraction as a tourist trap. Elect instead to explore the cheaper panini and pizza shops that are away from city centers and tourist attractions.
- Breakfast: €3-€7*
- Coffee: €1-€2
- Lunch: €5-€10
- Dinner: €8-€20
- Beer/Wine: €2-€4
- Dessert: €2-€3
*Some hostels have a ‘free’ breakfast if you are tight on money. Although, don’t expect more than juice/cereal/croissant.
- Hostels: €20-€50.*
- Hotels: €50-€150
*Between the €40-€50 mark will most likely be for private hostel rooms, but at this price you are already in hotel territory, so why bother? Most hostels will average at €25.
There are many sights to see in Rome, and for a not-so-cheap city, you can get away with seeing most popular sites for free/relatively cheap.
- Spanish Steps: FREE (hang out and people watch!)
- Colosseum: €12
- Trevi Fountain: FREE (toss a coin into the fountain, legend says this will ensure your return to Rome)
- Piazza Navona: FREE (a popular spot for artists and street performers)
- Pantheon: FREE
- Vatican Museum: €17 for adults, €5 for students (FREE, the last sunday of every month)
- Villa Borghese: FREE (one of Rome’s most celebrated parks. Bike rentals are also available for €5/hour)
- Train to Airport: €10
- Taxi, Airport to City Center: €55
- Taxi in Rome: about €4/mile
- Roman Bus+Metro:
- B.I.T. (one way): €1.50 *must be used within 75mins of purchase.
- B.I.G. (1-day pass): €6
- B.T.I. (3-day pass): €16
- C.S.I. (1-week): €24
Best Time To Go
June through August are by far the most popular times to visit Rome, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best time to go.
Because of the overwhelming number of tourists, and pretty strong summer heat, you may find it more comfortable in the months of: April, May, September, and October.
That isn’t to say the summer months aren’t beautiful in Rome, quite the contrary, but if you’re interested in beating crowds, heat, and high hotel prices, the months I’ve listed may suit you better.
Rome is one of Europe’s richest historical cities and should be visited atleast once in everyone’s lifetime.