How to Get Around in Rome: Guide to Public Transportation
A trip to the capital of Italy is a fascinating adventure. Everyone will find something interesting in this city: the ancient monuments and the Colosseum, rich expositions of museums, fountains, and cathedrals.
The best way to get around the centre of Rome is on foot. So you can enjoy the architecture of the city and get to know it better. But, unfortunately, many of the city's streets are too narrow for public transportation.
If you decide to visit the whole capital of Italy or go to the Vatican, it is best to use public transport.
Streetcars, buses, subway, and electric trains are integrated into a single transport network. Just buy a single ticket to travel.
Our article will help you plan your route and choose a convenient mode of transportation in Rome. You'll learn all about Rome's subway, streetcars, trains, and buses. We'll tell you the latest ticket prices and how you can save on travel fares.
Passes in Rome
In Rome, there is a single travel card for all modes of transport. It is called «BIT» (biglietto integrate a tempo).
Where to buy tickets
The main rule is to buy your ticket in advance! Drivers sell them only at night.
During the day you can buy tickets:
- in vending machines - the most convenient way;
- at press kiosks;
- at airport and train station sales points;
- at the ticket offices of carriers.
The ticket vending machines are easy to use. First, you need to select the language (e.g., English), the type of ticket, and their number. Then, you can pay by card or cash.
By the way, the maximum amount of change in the machine is 4 euros. So have some coins or small bills.
In the evening (after 21:00), ticket offices and kiosks are closed. At this time you can buy a ticket from the driver, but it will cost more. So be prepared to pay 1.5 times more.
A ticket will be validated each time you ride. Buses, streetcars, and trolleybuses have composters. You can't confuse them - they are yellow machines at the entrance. Put the ticket inside to punch it. It should show a mark on it with the current date and time.
Sometimes the system fails (for Roman transport, this is normal). In that case, you can write the time you got on the ticket yourself.
Passes are activated by simply touching the composter sensor. In the subway, there are turnstiles for this purpose. Tickets are put into them, and Roma Pass cards are attached to the scoreboard. Otherwise, you won't get to the trains.
How much does it cost to travel on public transport in Rome?
The cost depends on the type of ticket or pass you choose. In the table, we have collected all available options. Choose any depending on the duration of your trip.
- One-Time (BIT). Valid for 100 minutes. Price - 1,5 EUR.
- Unlimited for 24 hours (24 ore). Valid for 24 hours. Price - 7 EUR.
- Unlimited for 2 days (48 ore). Valid for 48 hours. Price - 12,5 EUR.
- Unlimited for 3 days (72 ore). Valid 72 hours. Price - 18 EUR.
- Unlimited for a week (CIS, carta integrata settimanale). Valid for 1 week. Price - 24 EUR.
- Monthly name card (Metrebus Card). Valid for a month. Price - 35 EUR.
- Monthly total (Mensile Impersonale). Valid for a month. Price - 53 EUR.
- Annual (Annuale Roma). Valid for 1 year. Price - 250 EUR.
Single ticket (BIT) can be used in buses, streetcars, subways, and trains. It is valid for 100 minutes. You can travel on any transport during this time, even with transfers (except metro and trains). However, you cannot transfer to another line or bus (after the subway). Therefore it is better to choose unlimited passes for traveling on different types of transport.
Important: Be sure to activate your ticket every time you enter the cabin. This rule applies to transfers. And do not buy tickets in advance. They "burn out" at 0:00.
Are you planning to get to know the city better? Then get an unlimited ticket for 24, 48, or 72 hours (Roma 24/48/72). With it, you get on any vehicle and go. The number of trips is not limited. Only the bus from the airport does not accept such passes. You have to pay for travel on it additionally.
The unlimited weekly pass (CIS or carta integrata settimanale) is issued for a specific person. That is why it requires your personal information. It is valid from the moment of activation until midnight of the seventh day.
The pass can be prolonged for a month. But it is not so easy to do:
- Go to the ATAS office;
- Buy a personal card (carta d'identiti);
- Pay 5 euros;
- Buy a ticket.
Important: The ticket must have your carta d'identiti stamped on it.
If you stay in Rome for a long time, it is better to buy an unlimited monthly travel card - Metrebus Card. The card comes in two varieties:
- The name card for 35 euros;
- Non-named for 53 euros.
When you apply for a name, you need to make a copy of your passport, fill out the form, and give it together with your documents to the cashier. The conditions for using the monthly pass are the same as for the others.
The only thing is that it is not valid outside the city. In the suburbs, you should buy a separate ticket.
Children do not need a pass. If a child is under 10 years old, he can go with you for free.
Are you planning to have the best time in Rome? Then get a tourist card Roma Pass. With it, you will open all the transport routes and a lot of excellent bonuses.
In total, there are two types of cards: for two and three days. Their main difference is the duration and price. For example, a tourist card for 72 hours allows you to visit two museums. However, with the Roma Pass 48 hours, you can see only one.
But the main advantage of the card is saving money for travel around Rome. With it, you can freely ride streetcars, buses, or the metro. Some suburban trains also support tourist cards. For example, the electric trains to Viterbo and Lido.
Even from the airport Ciampino you can easily take a bus number 720 to the station Laurentina. You do not need to buy an additional ticket.
Roma Pass is ideal for independent tourists. With it, you will have access to the Charta Roma application with a map of the city. A paper version with a list of available museums and tourist services you'll get with Roma Pass.
The cost of the card for 2021:
- For 48 hours - 32 euros;
- For 72 hours - 52 euros.
You can buy it at tourist information desks, ticket booths, museums, and on the website. When ordering online, keep in mind that the card must be picked up within 24 hours. So leave your request just before you arrive in Rome.
Roma Pass is a personalized card. It must be filled out - write your name and surname (in Italian or English). Also, indicate the date of activation. Be prepared to show your ID card at the first request of the controllers.
What else does the tourist card provide? Great discounts at the partners of the service:
- Ecobike bike rental centers, Ecobike Roma, Rome Rent Bike;
- state museums. For example, in the Colosseum, you can get without queuing;
- souvenir stores;
- Travel agencies and tour bureaus Fun Tour, Rex Tours, Rolling Rome Segway & Colf-Cart Tours, Safari d'Arte.
Buying a card more often than not proves to be a very lucrative option. Travel and admission prices in Italy are high. So adults can save a lot on a trip with Roma Pass. But children under 10 years old do not need the card. Travel and most of Rome's museums are free for them.
We do not advise to tempt fate and go to Rome without a ticket. If the controller catches you, you will pay a fine of 50 to 100 euros. Therefore, it is much cheaper to buy the correct ticket.
You have only two days to pay the fine. After that, if you are late, the amount increases several times - from 200 to 500 euros. And information on fines is transmitted to the Embassy. You do not want to have problems when leaving the country, do you?
How do you travel around Rome?
Rome is a city for walking. Here you can and should walk a lot. Anyone who has ever been to the Italian capital will tell you this. Each street is full of interesting places and attractions. Especially a lot of them in the center.
By the way, in historic districts of Rome, traffic is prohibited. So you can walk through them only on foot. So just wear comfortable shoes, take your camera and go for a new experience!
We advise you to plan your route. Choose the most exciting places to see and estimate the distance between them. Although on the Internet a lot of ready-made walking routes in Rome. Just download them and print them out.
Another way to plan a trip yourself is to install a special program for your phone. You only need to specify interesting attractions and museums. Then, the app will do all the work for you.
In walking, there is always a risk of getting lost. Rome is no exception. Locals do not always understand English. Therefore, it is better to install a map or navigator on your smartphone.
On public transport
The Roman subway is the fastest form of urban transport. But its network is underdeveloped. It has only three branches:
- orange - A;
- Blue - B;
- Green - C.
You can transfer from the orange to the blue branch. Get off at the station "Termini Station". You can move to the "San Giovanni" or "Colosseum" stations from the A line to the C line.
The Roman authorities have repeatedly tried to expand the subway. But the construction has been frozen each time. Under the ground - a huge number of archaeological artifacts.
The subway is very convenient for independent exploration of the city. Its main advantages:
- speed - you will get to the right place faster than by any ground mode of transport;
- accessibility - trains go to almost all major attractions;
- price - no need to overpay for a cab or transfer buses.
Interesting for visitors to Rome is the green subway line (C). A museum is open at each station. Do you want to get acquainted with its exposition? Then, buy a ticket with a guided tour.
The A and B lines pass by the most popular tourist spots in the city. They take you to the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Vatican Museum.
Disadvantages of the Roman subway:
- little branching - the subway doesn't cover all areas of the city;
- safety. Pickpockets and petty thieves are pretty common in Rome. So be careful in the subway and watch your personal belongings. This is especially true for rush hours;
- the lack of escalators in stations is a serious problem for travelers with the luggage;
- crowds of people in the morning and the evening.
Travel on the subway is paid with passes, single tickets, or Roma Pass. Every day from 5:30 to 23:30. On Friday and Saturday, trains run longer - until 01:30. You will not have to wait long at the station. On average, trains come every 3-10 minutes.
Streetcars and trolleybuses
Love the cityscape? Take a ride on a Roman streetcar. The vintage orange trains have been preserved here. Sit through Fellini's films and feel like you're in one. And for a more comfortable ride, take the modern green streetcars.
There are 6 routes in the city. All are far from the center, so they are not very popular with tourists. The most interesting for you will be the following streetcars:
- No.2 Piazzale Flaminio - Piazza Mancini;
- No.3 Porta Maggiore - Piramide (via the Colosseum and the Great Circus);
- No.8 Piazza Venezia - Trastevere (via the Pantheon);
- No.19 Piazza del Risorgimento - Villa Borghese.
The most important thing when riding the streetcar is to pay attention. It is not customary here to announce stops. So you have to warn the driver by pressing a button.
Not in time - you risk going far from the planned place. However, it has its romance. In Rome, there are always interesting attractions, even far from the center.
The streetcar timetable is the same as the bus timetable. The first trains go on the route at 5:30. The movement ends at 00:00.
There are trolleybuses in Rome, too. But the trolleybus routes are not diverse. There is only one in Rome - №90. It will take you from Largo Labia to Termini Station.
This is the most convenient way to get around Rome. There are more than 300 routes in the city. The network is quite wide and covers all districts. So you're sure to get to any point of interest.
Moving around Rome this way is very convenient. You will find the schedule at the stops. But keep in mind that Italians are not punctual. The bus can be late or not come at all. So get out early and be prepared to wait.
Start of most routes - 5:30. Buses finish work at 00:00.
You did not have time to leave before midnight? Don't worry. In Rome, there are night routes - autobus notturni. You can tell them apart by the letter n and the picture of an owl added to the number.
At night, there are only 20 bus routes. They depart from Piazza Venezia, and Termini Station stops. The interval of movement is from 15 to 60 minutes. Tickets are sold to the driver. The routes end at 5:30.
Day buses are of two types:
- regular (urbana) you recognize by the symbol U in front of the number. The color of cars is yellow or red;
- express (espressa) are marked E. The color is green. In the timetable, they are marked with a green square.
Get on the bus at the front or back doors. But it is necessary to go out in the middle doors.
You must tell the driver that you want to get off. Press the button in the salon. The message "Fermata prenotata" will appear on display. It means that the driver will stop at the place you want.
Italian buses may pass by. So wave your hand if you want to get on the route you want. Worker strikes are also not uncommon in Rome. If you see "Sciopero" in front of your desired route, choose another way to get around.
To see the city choose the following buses:
- No.40 express will take you from Termini Station to the Vatican. There are not many people on it. In addition, on this bus you will get to the Vatican as quickly as possible;
- No.64 also goes to the Vatican. However, it takes much longer;
- No.40 from Termini Station to Angel's Castle will take you to the highlights of Rome. All the major attractions are located along this route;
- No.85 takes you to the Colosseum;
- No.87 connects the Colosseum and St. Peter's Square in the Vatican.
Rail transport (electric trains)
The main railway station in Rome is Termini. Trains from all over Europe and local trains come here. You'll need them for trips to the sea, for example to Nettuno. And in the suburbs of the capital are many interesting places. Again, trains can get you there quickly and easily.
Take the train from the airport. Two or three times an hour you can get to the city with the Leonardo Express. The shuttle will get you there in half an hour. And there is no need to stand in traffic jams or overpay for a cab. The ticket costs 14 Euros. Buy it on the platform or at the airport terminal.
It's also possible to save on travel from the airport. Just take a regular train. Of the disadvantages of this method of travel:
- It takes twice as long to get there;
- you need to change trains in Trastevere.
By private (or rented) transport
If you want to save nerves, it is better to give up renting a car in Rome. Traffic in the city is heavy. In addition, the historic center is closed to traffic during the day. Massive traffic jams, problems with parking - all this does not dispose to a quiet rest.
A private car is useful only for trips to the suburbs. You can rent a car directly at the airport. The most popular car rental services are:
- Europcart, etc.
The choice of cars in them is quite wide. There are economy and business class cars. The cost is determined individually, taking into account your driving experience and the duration of the lease. But on average, the price tag is 60 euros a day.
When processing a rental agreement, you need a passport, an international driver's license, and a bank card to pay the deposit. In addition, the car will be given to you only if you have been driving for more than 1 year.
Motorcycles and electric scooters
To travel around Rome, it is better to choose a scooter. It is maneuverable and easy to handle. But most importantly, it's great for riding in the middle of city traffic and narrow streets. You can ride it all over the capital of Italy or go to the Tyrrhenian Sea coast.
The electric scooter is suitable for fans of independent travel. If standard excursions are not to your liking, get behind the wheel of a Vespa moped. The city will open all its secrets and the most mysterious corners.
In addition, on a scooter, you can quickly move around the historic center of Rome. Unfortunately, cars are not allowed there, and walking on foot can be difficult.
To drive a motorcycle or scooter, you will need a license category A or B. Driving experience must be at least 3 years. Rental prices range from 40 to 150 euros per day.
A bicycle is not the best way to get around the city. The landscape in Rome is mostly hilly. The constant ups and downs are not fun. Add to that the lack of bike lanes, paving stones, and terrible traffic.
In the Italian capital, a bicycle is more of a way to relax. You can rent one and ride through shady park alleys. For example, go to Villa Borghese Park.
The Pantheon, Capitoline Hill, and Colosseum areas are great places to ride. From time to time, public transportation is blocked here, and the roads are empty. You'll drive up to the famous landmarks in peace. Just don't disturb pedestrians.
Bike rentals in Rome have more disadvantages than advantages. Among them:
- traffic jams on the roads;
- rarely available bicycle parking;
- the possibility of being hit by a motorist;
- High crime rate - local thieves steal bikes.
If you decide to rent an iron horse, go to a rental place. In Rome, they are few compared to other European capitals. This is because bicycles are not included in the system of urban public transport.
The most popular rental services are:
- Service Center Appia Antica;
- Bici Pincio;
- Bikes Booking;
- Eco Move Rent.
Ask your hotel about the possibility of renting bicycles. Many large hotels provide such a service. And city rental centers are located near the main attractions of Rome.
It takes only a few minutes to sign a rental agreement for your two-wheeled friend. But for this, prepare in advance a set of documents:
- Roma Pass tourist card;
- a completed questionnaire (you will be given it on the spot).
Carefully read the terms of the contract. It often may include items that are not favorable for tourists. There must also be a prescribed term for the rental bike. But you can always return it earlier.
Many rentals in Rome offer a wide range of bikes. Employees will select the most suitable option for you: men's, women's or children's. Also, managers will adjust the height of the handlebars and seats to your height.
The cost depends on the duration of the lease. For the first half-hour, you can ride for free. If you rent a bike for an hour, you pay 1 euro for it. Each subsequent hour is more expensive.
In addition, you will be asked for a deposit of 30 euros. Once you return the bike to the parking lot, you will get your money back.
Cabs are the choice for comfort lovers. Not surprisingly, the prices for their services in the Italian capital are high. Ordering a car for one will not be profitable. But a company of three or four people can save on fares with a cab.
In Rome, all local cab drivers are licensed. And for a trip with an illegal cab driver, there is a decent fine - a minimum of 500 euros.
Cars are easy to find on city streets: they are painted white or yellow, have "checkers" and a plate with the inscription "Servizio Pubblico". Cabs can be found at special parking lots near major attractions and bus stops. Among the taxi companies in Rome, the most popular are Taxi6645, Samarcanda, Asso taxi.
The fare is determined by the meter and depends on the time of day. At night the fares go up by 30%. But even in the daytime, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for your ride. After all, a cab in Rome is considered the most expensive in Europe!
Getting into a cab in the daytime will cost you 3.5 euros. Further, the cost will be calculated depending on the distance of a trip:
- the first 3 km - 8 euros;
- then - from 1,1 to 1,6 euros for a kilometer.
Additionally, you have to pay for the downtime in traffic jams. And they on roads of Rome are not uncommon.
At a cab choice in the capital of Italy, we advise to consider the following nuances:
- Make sure the driver turns on the counter when he gets in. Otherwise, you will pay a huge amount for the trip.
- Prepare cash in small denominations. Local cab drivers often refuse to give change.
- Write the address on a piece of paper or show your business card to the cab driver. Many drivers do not speak English.
- Ask for a receipt and keep it after your trip. In any disputed situations, you can go to the municipality.
Italian drivers are very emotional. In disputed situations, defend your rights or call the Carabinieri. Representatives of the authorities will always be on the side of the tourist.
You can call a cab in Rome by phone. But it will be more convenient to install the application on your smartphone. In addition to the usual Uber and Kiwi Taxi, there are AppTaxi and Chiama Taxi.
On tour buses (hope-on/hope-off)
An excellent option for exploring the Eternal City is sightseeing buses. They work on a system Hop-On Hop-Off. It allows you to move along the planned route at a pace that suits you.
You can get off at any stop along the way and sightsee, go inside, or take pictures. Then you just get on the next bus and go on your way.
There are three types of tour bus fares in Rome: 24, 48, or 72 hours. But on weekends and holidays, there are no sightseeing tours. The center of the city is blocked. Take it into account when choosing a ticket.
Hop-On Hop-Off buses run 10-20 minutes. In summer, they go more often, but wanting to ride them many times more.
In general, this type of travel in Rome is very advantageous. Among its advantages:
- reasonable price - from 14 to 28 euros;
- a full program and visiting all the major attractions - Via Marsala, the Colosseum, the Great Circus, the Trevi Fountain, etc.;
- audio guide in English;
- wi-fi on board.
There are several companies in Rome that organize Hop-On Hop-Off tours:
- Big Bus Tours;
- Grayline Tours;
- City Sightseeing Tours.
Is there an Uber in Rome?
Yes, the app is available in the Italian capital. You can pre-book a car or call a cab. The service offers several fare options:
- Black Saver - the cheapest;
Using the application in Rome is convenient and profitable: city cabs will cost you considerably more.
Is it possible to walk around Rome in one day?
To see the whole city, you won't need more than a week. Rome is one big open-air museum. And it's not tiny, either. So do not advise to run around Rome in an attempt to see everything at once. Instead, it is better to choose a couple of districts and take a stroll through their cozy streets.
Walking is good for wandering among the majestic houses, architectural monuments, and fountains. But to get to them, take a bus or subway. You can also rent a scooter. It's extremely popular in the city.
How much does it cost to get from the airport to the center of Rome?
The distance between Rome and Fiumicino Airport is 30 km. You can get there on public transport:
- Leonardo Express train to Termini station. The cost of an adult ticket is 14 euros. Children under 12 years ride free with adults. You do not need to pay extra for luggage. Journey time - 32 minutes;
- Regionale train. You may need to change trains. The train does not reach the Termini station. The cost of an adult ticket - 8 euros. Children also travel for free;
- bus to Termini station. This option is the cheapest. The ticket costs only 7 euros.
A company of several people can take a cab. The fares are fixed and are listed on the car doors. The cost of a trip from the airport to different areas is as follows:
- to Tiburtina station - 55 euros.
- to Ciampino airport - 50 euros.
- to Ostiense - 45 euros.
- to the port of Civitavecchia - 125 euros.
Do not agree to drive on the meter. Many cab drivers offer this option to tourists. However, such a trip will cost you many times more.
How to order a cab in Rome?
There are several ways to order a cab in Rome:
- choose a car at a special parking lot;
- call by a phone;
- send SMS;
- to order through an application.
Option #1: you can order a car by phone by dialing:
- Chiamataxi tel. 060609;
- Cooperative Radiotaxi tel. 0663898
- Cosmo tel. 06 88177
- La Capitale tel. 06 4994
- Pronto Taxi tel. 06 6645
- Tevere tel. 06 4157
But it's a way of getting around that requires knowledge of the Italian language. In addition, the trip will cost you 3,5 Euros more. Remember that the meter is turned on when you call the cab driver, not when he arrives at you.
Option #2: install a phone app - Uber, Kiwi, AppTaxi, Chiama. Their menus are in English. And you will see the cost of the trip at the time of ordering. In addition, it is convenient to pay by card.
Option #3: Ask the hotel staff. The reception will always help to call a cab and advise on all matters.
You don't speak Italian well? Order an English-speaking cab. VOLANDO and Rim-Taxi companies provide such service. You can get a taxi with an English-speaking driver for about 5-10 Euros. He will take you to the right address and help with currency exchange or hotel check-in.