To make the most of your stay, we prepared a list of suggestions and essential tips that only locals would know. These are designed to help you have a great time, save money and avoid any potentially negative situations.
Don’t Forget to Bring Cash
While many places in Rome accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand. Many small restaurants and shops only accept cash or some credit cards, American Express is accepted in most shops in the center but not commonly on the outskirts.
At markets and street stands, prices can be negotiated when paying in cash, especially if you’re buying in bulk.
Protect Yourself From the Sun/Heat
When going out, don’t forget to pack sunscreen or a hat. The sun might not be out early in the morning, but it is bound to come out later on in the day.
Follow the Italian day Rhythm (Meals)
For lunch, we recommend eating at around 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Instead of having an early dinner, have an aperitivo where you can have a refreshment and finger food while enjoying the sunset, something all Italians do. I suggest getting the classic Aperol Spritz. Then at around 9:00 p.m., go out for dinner.
Leave Valuables at Your Accommodation
Pocket pickers take advantage of the large crowds, where pushing and shoving is not unusual, to take valuables. We recommend leaving anything valuable or important at your accommodation, especially if you are going out into the crowded center. If taking public transportation, please look out for your personal belongings. Use shoulder bags and fanny packs.
Learn Some Italian
While many locals in Rome speak English, learning a few Italian phrases can go a long way. It can help you get around and connect with the culture.
Take Your Time and Enjoy the City
Rome is a city that deserves to be savored, so don’t try to see everything in one day. Take your time to explore, enjoy a leisurely meal, and soak up the atmosphere. We recommend taking tours to get a clearer picture of the history behind everything, relax and settle back, we can assure you that you will be coming back, so no rush.
Try The Local Cuisine
Rome is famous for its delicious food, so make sure to try some of the local specialties. Don’t miss out on classic dishes like carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe. And, of course, don’t forget to indulge in some gelato and other Italian desserts like tiramisu, croccante della nonna, and mille foglie.
Dress in Layers and Dress Comfortably
The weather in Rome is constantly changing, one minute, it’s 120 degrees, and the next, it’s pouring rain. Dress in layers if you don’t plan on going back to the hotel throughout the day. Comfortable walking shoes are strongly suggested, especially in the rocky center. Wear light-colored clothing in the summer.
If you’re coming during high season, you can forget about booking tickets on sight. We highly encourage you to book all tours and tickets ahead of time. Most attractions have the option to book on sight, but everything will most likely be sold out, and if you are willing to take your chances, we can assure you that you will have to wait in long lines.
Ask for Pricing for Young Adults, Students, and Seniors
Most locations have a significant discount if you fit into their requirements. At the ticket booth, they usually ask for proof of ID, so don’t forget to bring it along.
Traveling on a Budget? Visit Museums For Free
Many museums in Rome offer free admission on the first Sunday of the month. This is a great way to save money and see some of the city’s most famous works of art. This can go a long way, especially if you’re in a group. You should be prepared to start your day early, especially for famous attractions.
Don’t Touch the Monuments
Rome is home to many historic monuments and structures, and it’s important to respect them. Avoid touching or climbing on them, some people take pictures on monuments when police and security aren’t nearby, but this can be dangerous and not to mention sanctioned.
Visit the City’s Many Parks and Gardens
Dress Appropriately When Visiting Religious Sites
Rome is home to many beautiful churches and religious sites, and it’s important to dress modestly when visiting them. This means no shorts or revealing clothing for both men and women. Bring a shawl or scarf to cover your shoulders. Most churches are ok with most choices of clothing as long as it is not vulgar, but the Vatican is quite strict with its dress code.
Visit Attractions In the Early Morning or Late Afternoon
If you want to avoid the large crowds and long lines, we suggest going for the early morning and late evening tours. The groups are smaller, so you get a more personalized experience with more time for pictures and questions. Early doesn’t mean 6:00 a.m. Starting your day at 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 is still a good time.
Don’t Forget to Validate Your Metro/Bus Ticket
If you’re taking public transportation in Rome, make sure to validate your ticket before boarding (bus, train, and tram). Failure to do so can result in a fine. You can also purchase a weekly/ daily pass, I suggest you download Ticketappy, where you can buy tickets minute to minute for any type of transportation.
Have a Backup Plan
Public transportation isn’t too reliable in Rome, especially in the summer. The metro breaks down, the buses are crowded with no AC, and the trains are often delayed. Taxis in Rome are very affordable. If you’re in a group, the cost of a taxi will probably be equivalent to the price of a bus or metro ticket.
Visiting Rome With Kids
Visiting Rome with your children? Here are some tips for families travelling with kids to Rome, practical suggestions, and activities for restless nippers hanging around with you.
Things to Avoid When Visiting Rome
Although Rome will astonish you with its beauty and richness, there are a few things one should avoid when visiting Rome.
Avoid falling into Rome’s tourist traps and scams, and enjoy this city in all its generosity.
By following these suggestions, we trust you’ll have a fun and safe stay, you’ll be able to navigate Rome with ease and enjoy everything the city has to offer. Apply these tips on your stay, you will for sure have a memorable and amazing experience.