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There are a surprisingly number of options under $50/night in Rome, many with 4-5 star reviews, if you're looking to visit on a tight budget. Budget conscious travelers love the $35/night Hotel Degli Aranci for its Art Deco style and world-class service; it is nearby the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Another favorite is the Hotel Alba Roma starting at $39/night which is near the Romanina Shopping Center and University of Rome Tor Vergata and offers scenic views as well as free breakfast. Hotel Prati is another favorite for those looking to save money, with a great location and extremely clean rooms, although travelers do tend to note the rooms are smaller. Lastly, the Park Hotel Dei Massimi is another popular choice close to the Olympic Stadium as well as St. Peter’s Basilica, starting at just $40/night.
Rome has no shortage of luxury hotels either, so if you want to live like a Roman God, you’re in luck. The five-star Hotel Splendide Royal is sure to delight between its luxurious rooms, on-site spa, and central location that is walking distance from the Piazza Trinita dei Monti. The Hotel Lord Byron is another excellent choice with its classic design, near the National Gallery of Modern Art. If you want a more contemporary hotel, check out the Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George which boasts modern rooms and contemporary art throughout the grounds. Another great option is the Portrait Roma which won the Travelers’ Choice 2015 Winner for Luxury. Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with the Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese for its lush amenities and world-class service.
If you want to stay at your favorite hotel chain and earn points during your stay, then you’ll be delighted to learn that Best Western, Choice Hotels, Intercontinental, Hilton and Marriott all have hotels in Rome. These hotels are generally competitively priced with others in the area, ranging from $80-200 a night depending on location and dates. The major chain hotels in Rome are generally upscale four- or five-star hotels with deluxe amenities, so you won’t feel like you’re on a business trip even if you’re staying at a business hotel.
Airbnb, a service that allows you to rent an apartment or house directly from its owners for a day, week, or longer durations, is also available in Rome, and could be a great choice. There are plentiful Airbnb options in Rome; however, don’t expect Airbnb to be your cheapest choice. There are few options under $100 per night, and are furthest from the city center. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll find many luxury apartments and condos for rent, but availability depends on when you stay.
Most hotels in Rome, Italy, are boutique or independent hotels, and with less than 100 rooms, are smaller than conventional hotels. While many of the major hotel chains are in Rome, the boutique hotels in Rome offer a great value and more authentic charm, so don’t shy away from a hotel you’ve never heard of. The Re di Roma, Hotel Delle Province, and the Eurostars Roma Aeterna are all great choices that earn top reviews from travelers on the lower end of the budget range, while the Starhotels Michelangelo, Hotel Diocleziano, and Albergo del Senato are well-liked on the more expensive side.
There are few options near the Fiumicino Airport as it’s not a popular tourist destination itself. The Hilton Rome Airport in the airport is a good choice; otherwise, you’ll can stay closer to Municipio IX at hotels such as the ibis Styles Roma Eur or the Hotel All Time Relais & Sport. An Airbnb is another great choice if you must stay near the airport.
Summer is the most popular time to visit, while winter is often the least crowded. Because Rome is home to the Vatican City, Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas are the busiest time, so avoid these dates if you don’t like crowds. October and November are known as the rainy months, which can reduce traffic but may also put a damper on your outdoor sightseeing plans, too. Spring is a great time to visit as the weather isn’t too hot and the crowds aren’t too bad, just plan around major holidays if you want to maximize your value.
Home of the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona, Centro Storico in Rome is quintessential Rome. The roads are narrow and the only way to get around is on foot, but the area is home to some of the most charming architecture, amazing food, and timeless artwork. The neighborhood also has fantastic night life, with street performers and live music at every corner. This is one of the most popular places to stay in Rome.
The Vatican Museums and St Peters are must-sees, as is the Sistine Chapel. Buy tickets in advance as these are very popular choices, especially around religious holidays. Expect crowds everywhere you go, but also expect to experience one of the most magnificent and ancient cities you’ve ever seen.
Another “must see” of your visit is Ancient Rome, which is home to the famous Colosseum, as well as the Imperial Forums and Circus Maximums. Because of these attractions, it is also home to many cheap hotels as well as plentiful dining and shopping choices. While you’re there, be sure to also check out the Piazza del Campidoglio, as well as the Palazzo Senatorio.
Located south of Vatican City, Trastevere sits along the river and is a very popular among tourists for its nightlife and more authentic character – the neighborhood is home to many locals as well as ex-pats, and is bustling with musicians, artists, academics, and writers. Trastevere is a great place to go for nightlife, unique dining experiences, or if you wish to buy art from an up-and-coming local artist. It is most popular among younger visitors. Wear comfortable shoes as it is easiest to tour the city by foot, as its cobbled streets and narrow alleyways do not make for easy passage by car or taxi.
Getting around by car is very difficult in Rome and not recommended, so opt for a taxi versus renting a car. Look for taxi stands located throughout the city, and use only official taxis to avoid con artists that are not licensed to work as a taxi cab. Taxis run on the meter system and are affordable for shorter distances. Taxi drivers are usually helpful and talkative, so ask them what sights to see and how to get around where you are visiting.
The Roman Metro system is fantastic – it is a subway system that has three lines (A, B, and C). You can buy tickets throughout the city for as little as 1.50€. There is also a bus system. If you plan to use the bus or Metro a lot, consider a day pass for 6€ which allows you to ride as many Metro and bus stops as you’d like.
Driving a car or renting a car is definitely not recommended for most travelers – the roads are very narrow and crowded, which will make your driving experience stressful and inefficient. There are many stories of tourists getting in fender benders as the drivers in Rome are aggressive and the traffic laws are loosely enforced, so driving is not recommended as it is both dangerous and stressful. If you want to control your own destiny and not rely on the Metro or taxis, rent a Vespa or moped which will allow you to enjoy the fresh Roman air and navigate the tight, bumpy roads, but even mopeds are risky due to the hectic traffic of Rome.
While you can’t stay in the Vatican itself, you can stay in the ward of Borgo or Prati. Be sure to check out the Sistine Chapel, home of Michelangelo's famous work, as well as St. Peters. Expect large crowds when you visit, and plan to travel mostly by foot. Borgo is the closest neighborhood and offers many great hotel options, while Prati is a little further away and is another popular choice. The Vatican Museums costs €20 per person, but the churches are free.
Italian food is the most common in Rome – especially pizza, pasta, and gelato. Dining can be expensive depending on what part of the city you’re located in, but you’ll be surrounded by amazing choices everywhere. Italy in general (and Rome in particular) is known just as well for its drinks as its food, from sparkling wine to artisan coffee. Italian wines are sure to delight, so ask your waiter for recommendations based on what you’re eating.
Rome is an art-lovers dream, from the famous and timeless work of Michelangelo and Raphael to the lesser known street artists, there is something for everyone. The Maxxi National Museum of Art is a must see for contemporary art fans, while the Palazzo Altemps has some of the best classical sculptures. The Auditorium Parco della Musica is known for Renaissance era art as well as live ballet and theatre, and the Santa Maria in Trastevere is home to The Basilica of Our Lady, Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece. Last but not least, the Galleria Doria Pamphilj contains artwork from many of the most well-known Renaissance painters including Raphael and is definitely worth checking out.
Rome can be very expensive, from the world-class wine and food to the priceless artwork, and it attracts a very affluent crowd; however, there are many cheap hotels to stay at, and many of the attractions are free to the public, allowing you to visit on the cheap, too. Visiting any of the churches are free, and you can pick up unlimited passes for public transport. Food and beverage options are abound at every price point. Museums and attractions will be your greatest cost outside of airfare and lodging, so consider multi-museum passes and book tickets in advance for the best rates.
The city attracts many tourists, so watch for pick pockets or con artists and use common sense good judgement at night. Guns are illegal in Rome and the crime statistics show little violent crime, but robberies are not uncommon if you’re not careful. Be alert at train stations or when anyone approaches you offering tourist information, and consider investing in a traveler’s wallet and using the safe in your hotel.
A good pair of walking shoes are a must, as much of Rome is best experienced on foot. Likewise, a map or Smartphone with an International plan will help you navigate the streets, and learn all about the history and art that surrounds you. The best thing you can do to visit Rome is to plan. Given the large crowds and many attractions, buy tickets in advance, and plan each day ahead so that you can enjoy Rome and avoid waiting in lines and fighting traffic.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.