Rome is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and is one of the destinations that you shouldn’t hesitate about. It’s true that the Greeks, Persians, and Egyptians were famous for their brilliant architectures, but the Romans just did it better. Rome is one of the very few European cities left that offers a strong mix of culture, a fight between keeping the history, maintaining the old and embracing the modern. Although Rome is very safe, being one of the biggest destination for tourists in Europe, Rome also became an attraction to a very unattractive scene. Here are my best tips to help you make the most of your trip:
Purchase tickets online
You need to purchase all your tickets in advance if you want to avoid queueing. It saves you time and sometimes it even costs less. For some attractions (The colosseum in particular), showing the tickets on your phone isn’t enough, so make sure to print them ahead of time as well.
Free entry to museums
On the first Sunday of each month, the entrance to the museums is free. Isn’t that just awesome? This includes a lot of famous places like the Colosseum, Altare della Patria, the Forums and much more…
Don’t take a taxi from the Airport
Let me first start with saying that many taxi drivers will try to overcharge you, but still apart from that, the taxi prices in Rome are very expensive! Take the train instead. It is much cheaper and also fast. There is a train service that links from Fiumicino and Ciampino Airport to Termini station, the center of town every half an hour or so. Inside the city, the Metro/bus are your friends.
Unfortunately, like in all the big cities, pickpocketing is a thing. Make sure to keep an eye on your belongings especially in crowded places and metros/buses.
Beware of posing for pictures with strangers
And with strangers I mean the people dressed like famous figures or weird characters, usually in front of museums or a touristic attraction. They’ll offer you a picture implying it’s free and make you pay for it after (possibly holding your camera, which is a trick they use to force you to pay to get your camera back).
I swear there’s more than Pizza and Pasta in Rome
Try different things out. Rome offers much more than just pizza and pasta (Carciofi, Puntarelle, Filetti di baccalà fritti…). Also, avoid touristic traps as often as possible and eat local.
Learn to say few words in Italian. Things like “Hello”, “Thank you” and “Excuse Me” are very easy to remember and is still considered better than nothing. Don’t except all Italians to speak English back to you, many don’t.
Don’t buy water
Water prices in Rome are expensive. Instead, carry a bottle around with you and fill it up in various places for free.
Tipping is not necessary
Unlike many places, tipping in Rome is not necessary and Italians are very unlikely to tip unless it’s a very exceptional service. Don’t sweat about it.