Do you want to visit the Eternal City, but you don’t want to spend a fortune? After 10 visits to Rome, I’ve been trying to discover the best ways to save money on the trip. Now, I’m going to share with you my ultimate tips for a budget-friendly holiday! So if you’re asking how to do Rome on a budget, or how to do 3 days in Rome on a budget, where are the best places to stay in Rome Italy on a budget, sightseeing in Rome on a budget, or which are the best places to eat in Rome Italy on a budget, here come the tips!
How to do Rome on a budget – visiting Rome on a budget
It can be a short city break or a longer period, the Eternal City is AFFORDABLE to anyone if you know the right tricks! I know many of you want to get answers on stuff like how to do 3 days in Rome on a budget, the best places to stay in Rome on a budget, or the best shopping in Rome on a budget, so I’m here to help!
Here are those tricks to visiting Rome on a budget!
1. Avoid the summer and the tourism high season!
The first thing I learned in the past years, is that the best period to visit Rome is between the middle of September and the middle of May. During the high season, even the best places to stay in Rome Italy on a budget are costing more.
Accommodations have a year-round price schedule, and in high seasons, the prices go up. So if you have the freedom to pick the time of the year when you’d want to travel, my first tip for visiting Rome on a budget is definitely to avoid the high season, a.k.a. the summer!
2. Best places to stay in Rome Italy on a budget – Termini
The first question you have to answer is this. What are your expectations? If you’re planning 3 days in Rome on a budget, or even more, you must want to know the best places to stay in Rome Italy on a budget. Here’s what you should consider:
If you’re looking to explore and visit as much as possible, and do Rome, Italy on a budget, here’s my advice:
You can save a bunch of time & money if you look for accommodation in the historic center of Rome!
In the historic center, the Termini area is where you’ll find the best low-budget hotels in Rome. You can find plenty of hostels and budget-friendly hotels on every street around. Literally! Most of the hostels in Rome have rooms with 4-6-8 beds which are even cheaper (around €10-15/night).
WARNING! Like every train station’s neighborhood, Termini isn’t the safest side of the city. But don’t worry, the authorities are present in this neighborhood in a bigger number! So if you don’t wander in the middle of the night on a hidden street, and you avoid engaging with strangers, there’s nothing to be afraid of! I’ve been on solo trips to Rome 5 times, and 3 times of these, I’ve been staying near Termini train station.
The safest nearby streets are around the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. I personally have always booked my stay at Hostel Beauty. It’s on the second street near the basilica and three streets away from the train station. The staff is nice and the rooms are reasonable for the price. The price/night is around €15 – €20, depending on the type of room and the period.
3. Best places to stay in Rome on a budget – Trastevere and the area of Vatican City
The second cheapest area is around the Vatican city, in Trastevere and the Prati districts. There are nice B&B-s, 2-3 stars hotels for a lower budget (From €25/night), so if you prefer a vibrant place with traditional Italian buildings, you will love these neighborhoods! In Trastevere, I’m always staying in Orsa Maggiore Hostel for Woman Only, and I love it! It’s absolutely safe, and it’s just 10 minutes away from the Piazza Navona. This place is perfect for TRAVELER GIRLS – click on the link and check it out!
Trastevere is one of the best places to stay in Rome on a budget, not just because you can find mid-budget, cute accommodations, but the neighborhood itself is magical and very Italian. You will definitely enjoy staying in Trastevere, also if you’re visiting Rome on a budget! Let’s move on to my next tips on how to do Rome on a budget!
4. Public transport in Rome
As I mentioned in my previous article, there is no point in taking a taxi in Rome! The public transport is pretty great (when they’re not holding strikes) and it’s one of the best ways if you’re asking how to do Rome on a budget! The ticket will cost you €1.50 and after validation, you can use it for 100 minutes.
If it comes to visiting Rome on a budget, I suggest doing some walking tours as well, because the city center is unbelievable, and you will be seeing and exploring many hidden beautiful things along the way! The routes are listed at each bus stop, also nowadays google maps (or similar) can give you the full route, no matter where you’re heading to!
If you’re not sure about the bus stop names, ASK SOMEONE! Just to give you a heads up, there are many Italians who don’t speak English at all! But don’t worry, it is pretty common to end up gesturing around with someone, in order to understand each other. At least you can learn some typical Italian hand gestures like this.
Sightseeing in Rome on a budget is definitely by using buses and walking. Since Rome it’s walkable, that’s my other highlight for sightseeing in Rome on a budget!
5. Best places to eat in Rome Italy on a budget
On my first 4 trips to Rome, I was very short on money (never spent more than €300)! This way, I had the chance to experience and learn how to do Rome on a budget! But, where are the best places to eat in Rome Italy on a budget?
Keep in mind that tourist areas are very expensive and there are very few places with great quality stuff! Having a cappuccino around the main sights will cost you 2-3 times more than if you would’ve walked down a few streets!
Let me give you an example: on Piazza Navona, a cappuccino can cost you up to €8, while a few meters away, on the street called Via Governo Vecchio it is just €3. It’s the same with souvenir shops, as in these busy places everything has 5 stars prices. If you don’t want to spend all your money on souvenirs, look for these little kiosks on the streets. Prices are usually half compared retail prices.
What I suggest is if you’re asking for the best places to eat in Rome Italy on a budget: Get all your essentials in supermarkets! If you prefer to eat in, look for places a bit farther from the main attractions, and you’ll find loads of nice and affordable bars and restaurants! Check out my suggestions for the best places to eat in Rome, Italy on a budget! Go for bars that offer sandwiches (panini) or tramezzini, or even pizza al taglio (pizza slices). These are usually the cheapest way to eat well, something tasty, and not pay a fortune! Italian street food is amazing anyway!
6. Sightseeing in Rome on a budget
Another important point to visit Rome on the budget is sightseeing! But how to do sightseeing in Rome on a budget?
The first step is to skip the public transport, and skip the hop on – hop off. Rome is very walkable, so just take your map and walk! You can also do 3 days in Rome on a budget by just walking with my walking itinerary!
The hop on – hop off is great when you just want to see everything fast but not actually experience the city of Rome. Also, if you buy your tickets for attractions in advance online, you can avoid waiting in lines, and those skip-the-line tickets that cost a fortune on sight!
Rome is magical, and as I said, it’s super walkable! All the main attractions are very close to each other. Make a list of what you want to see and just go and discover! With a great plan, you can easily walk around each famous spot without spending a cent! Now let’s move to my last highlight on how to do Rome on a budget!
7. Best shopping in Rome on a budget
When it comes to souvenir shopping, the best way to save money, if you avoid the souvenir shops, and you’re looking for these small kiosks on the street. Everything is usually half price. At least! So the best shopping in Rome on a budget for souvenirs are the kiosks on the streets. Since they are outside, they don’t pay rent for a store, and the prices reflect that.
Now, when it comes to clothes and accessories, the best shopping in Rome on a budget is Via del Corso. Following the street Via del Corso which links Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Popolo. There are plenty of shops like Zara, Mango, Tezenis, and many other trending mid-price brands. Another shopping street I really love is Via Nazionale which links Piazza Venezia with Piazza della Reppublica. On this street, you can find many budget Italian brands as well. Enjoy!
Wrapping up: How to do Rome on a budget
So, we covered 3 days in Rome on a budget, the best places to stay in Rome Italy on a budget, sightseeing in Rome on a budget, but also the best places to eat in Rome Italy on a budget. Oh, and we finished the list with the best shopping in Rome on a budget! Now, as we reached the end of this article, let’s see how to calculate Rome on a budget:
If you manage to get a great deal on the accommodation, you’ll spend €10-15/night. For food and drinks calculate around €20-50/day, depending on how many times you want to eat in a restaurant. Add to this the cost of transportation, which depends really on how often you need to use it.
As I have mentioned, I was able to enjoy Rome for 3-4 days, four different times with a budget of €300. So I know it is possible! In case if I missed something, or you’ve got a question, please leave a comment below! For now, these 7 were my top highlights for visiting Rome on a budget.