The famous saying holds that all roads lead to Rome, but what about the roads within the city? How should you move around Rome? what are the prices? And how do you deal with the number of buses? All the tips and recommendations on the means of transportation in Rome are in front of you.
Discover Rome through your feet
The cheapest and most enjoyable means of urban transportation is a pair of legs. Rome is a spectacular city – full of culture, beauty, and history, and the city center is full of attractions: from the Colosseum to the Spanish Steps. For this reason, most of the tourists who come to Rome do not often leave the boundaries of the bustling center and prefer to do so on foot. Walking through the alleys and streets of the city allows you to discover more and more magical parts of Rome: impressive churches, ancient ruins, ice cream parlors and pizzerias, etc. Since the distances in Rome are relatively short, and the streets and squares are spacious, it is highly recommended to see Rome on foot, jumping from site to site, while soaking up the sun and the Italian atmosphere.
Public transport in Rome
Public transportation in Rome is not among the best and most sophisticated in Europe, but it definitely does the job. The transportation lines are well networked, and you can reach every corner of Rome at any time. To travel on the various means of transportation, you need to purchase a travel card and activate it. The travel ticket can be used on all available means of transport – metro, train or bus – and it must be validated at the validation device that will be placed on the means of transport itself or at the entrance to the station (in the metro, for example). An active card is a card that has been stamped with the validation device, and the date and time of validation are indicated on it.
Important tip: It is important to validate the card, and this is because traveling without a card or without a valid card (even if you have it with you) is an offense, and means an immediate fine of €50.
Types of public transport tickets in Rome
In Rome, tourists will be able to purchase different types of travel tickets depending on the time of their stay in the city, and according to the nature of their trip. As mentioned, the travel tickets are valid for all means of transportation, so if, for example, you purchase a ticket on the metro, you can use it later also on the bus or tram.
- BIT is the cheapest card and is usable for 75 minutes from the moment of its validity in the various means of transportation in the city. Its cost is 1.5 euros and it is mainly effective for short and one-time trips in the city. Please note: in the metro, this card can only be used for a one-way trip (even if it is within the 75 minutes).
- BIG is the daily ticket that allows unlimited free travel, in all means of transportation in the city from the moment you validate the card until midnight of that day. Its cost is 6€ and it is recommended to purchase it in the morning to use it for the whole day.
- BTI – three-day tourist card. The card is valid for three days from the moment you activated it and costs €16.
- CIS – weekly free. Similar to the three-day ticket (only for a week). The ticket is valid for all means of transport for seven days and its price is €24.
Tourists who plan to stay longer in Rome, of course, also have their two-month and two-year card that pays. The tickets can be bought from machines placed in every metro station, convenience stores or newsstands. It is also possible to purchase tickets via SMS, but for this you will need a local SIM card.
Rome’s metro system has only three lines, and is currently the smallest metro system in Europe. However, the metro is well networked and reaches the most important landmarks in the city. For example, by traveling with the orange line you can reach destinations such as: the Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon; By traveling with the blue line you can reach the Colosseum or Termini Central Station, and from there catch an express train to the airport. The metro lines are convenient, easy to use and arrive frequently, operating hours are between 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Because the metro lines in Rome are few, there is a high chance that you will have to use buses to get to the district you want. Traveling by bus in Rome is not the most user-friendly and sometimes even a little confusing, but it is necessary to get to specific points around the city. Today, Rome operates over 300 bus lines, of which 20 are night lines, reaching more than 8,000 bus stops. The roads and traffic in Rome are complicated and crowded, so the buses are often not punctual, and you may find yourself waiting for them for long minutes. Please note that it is not possible to buy a bus ticket, but you can purchase a ticket at any newsstand or kiosk.
Common types of buses:
- Urban Lines – the daily lines of Rome marked with the letter U, and are the most common buses. Operates between 5 am and midnight.
- Night Buses – the night lines marked with the letter N, are active at night: midnight until 5-6 am.
- Express) X) – the express lines intended for longer trips to the outskirts of Rome.
- Exact) E) – these lines connect the city center with the nearby neighborhoods. operate on regular schedules.
How do you catch a bus? The bus transportation routes in Rome are quite cumbersome and not easy to find your way around. The most important information is at every bus stop, and it includes the route and the schedule of the bus line. Today, in many stations you can find screens that report in real time the arrival times of the buses.
An important reminder: even if you see passengers who do not validate their travel card – it is important to validate your travel card on the bus stamping machine, and this to avoid a fine. There are situations when in Rome you should not act like a Roman…
Rome’s trams are usually cleaner than the buses and are also considered by many to be more romantic. However, there are only six lines, and the fact that the tram network does not reach the city center makes it less attractive for visitors. Although it is a less recommended option for tourists, it is very convenient to use the tram to reach the wonderful and very interesting neighborhood of Trastavera. The trams operate at the same time as the buses operate from 5:30 in the morning until midnight.
Unfortunately, taxi drivers in Rome have a bad reputation. Many of the tourists and locals pay a higher rate and fall for the deceitful acts of the drivers. Also, travel prices in Rome are considered quite high compared to other European cities. For this reason, this option is less recommended, but if you are already using taxis, it is important to check that it is an official taxi (in white, with the inscription Taxi) or to order a taxi from a reliable taxi company. It is better to determine the price of the trip in advance or run a meter.
mopeds and bicycles
To experience Rome in the best and most authentic way, it is highly recommended to do it like the locals. Because the traffic in Rome is dense and the roads are narrow, the amount of mopeds in Rome is huge. It is very easy to find dozens of shops throughout the city that allow you to rent a scooter at a daily/weekly rate, and after you have rented one, all that remains is to ride carefully through the city streets and the many cars that move along them.
Bicycles – similar to many European capitals, cyclists in Rome are an integral part of the urban landscape. There are also bike rental stations in Rome by the hour, and their use is limited to one day, when every day the bike must be returned to one of the rental stations. To rent the bike you have to purchase a usage card which you load with money, with the minimum cost for loading is 5 euros. A bicycle is a wonderful way to get to know the city and also to get fit “on the road”.