The first time I visited Rome, I did it solo. It was back in 2003, when I was rocking a purple and gray flip phone and a brand new Nikon Coolpix camera. That was the first time I had ever traveled to Italy, and I was headed to Florence, where my old college roommate lived. I had only six days total for my trip, so I planned a one-day trip to Rome, and boy was it eventful. I ended up losing the fast train on my way back, as well as leaving behind my address book with my friend’s phone number. She had no idea why I never made it back to dinner, and there was no such thing as wifi, or WhatsApp, or even social media.
Returning to Florence was a little crazy as I missed the fast train and had to take the local train at very late hours, but luckily I have learned from my mistake. Luckily, I have visited Rome 5 more times since then! I love Rome. I love getting lost in the streets of Rome, as every corner you turn, it’s like a movie or storybook. There are so many neat activities to do, including many free and outdoor ones. One can totally plan a trip to Rome on their own.
Top Tips for Visiting Rome On Your Own
Plan out an itinerary based on the number of days you will be staying. I recommend at least 3 full days if it’s your first time, especially as a family. If you’re traveling as a couple, you can do 2 full days and a half-day. This will, of course, depend on whether you love to visit lots of churches and museums. If you do, then at least 4 nights, if not 5, in Rome for sure. When visiting Italy, I always aim for at least 9 days total.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Rome?
I have visited Rome in the months of August, October, November, and December. For me, the best time to visit Rome is in October. This is a time when there are fewer tourists and the weather is lovely. Additionally, this is the beginning of the low season, which means you will find more affordable lodging options and cheaper flights.
Rome COVID Travel Restrictions
Italy has totally opened up for travel mid-2022, and there are no COVID restrictions to enter at this time. There is still a mask mandate for public transportation, such as buses and trains, and this is scheduled to end on September 30, 2022.
Southern Italy has some travel restrictions in the Amalfi Coast region. During the weekends in July, and for the full month of August and Holy Week in 2023, they are adopting a selective entrance of cars to the area. They are basing who enters by license plate, so if you’re planning to visit the Amalfi Coast during your trip to Rome, then read up on the latest news here.
how much is a trip to rome, italy for 2
My husband and I are mid-budget travelers who love a slower pace of travel with a focus on food and drink experiences. We also love shopping in Italy and tend not to book paid tours. Whenever we’re planning a trip to Italy, we aim to find flights for less than $600 each. We fly out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale Airport. There are some great deals from John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International Airports up north. I recommend you sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights so you can be in the loop about deals.
We love traveling to Rome in the fall. As we know, it’s considered low season, and we find better deals. For hotels, we plan on budgeting around $100 a night, which used to be a lot easier to do. Before the pandemic, you could find hotels and B&B’s for $75 a night, but not anymore. We love using booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, and VRBO for finding hotel deals.
Once we find our hotel, we budget $100 daily for food and wine, which we do go over budget a few times. We then calculate other transportation costs: Will we visit another city and take a fast train? Will we book a car for anything? And so forth. We love using the Rome2Rio website to find transportation options for when visiting other cities in Italy.
Where to stay in Rome
Rome is divided into sections called Riones, which are like neighborhoods. My favorite neighborhood to stay in Rome is Monti. I like it that it’s about a 10-15 minute walking distance from all the main attractions, while also keeping its non-touristy Roman appeal. This area is closer to the Colosseum and Forum. They also have great restaurants and bars.
Here are a few videos of some places we stayed in Rome.
My sister stayed at this one near Spanish Steps
@fusetravels When your sister stays at beautiful AIrBNB in Rome #romehotels #airbnbitaly #italytravel2022 #italytrip2022 #europetraveldiaries ♬ Coastline – Hollow Coves
This is the Airbnb we stayed in Monti area with my family.
@fusetravels Our 3 bedroom @airbnb in #montirome #travelingwithteens #italy2022🇮🇹 #italytravel2022 #pandemictraveldiaries #rome2022 #visitrome ♬ Home – Edith Whiskers
We have stayed at the following: ( Jen, I will get links for these)
- Hotel Michelangelo
- Hotel 77th
- Roman Forum Apartments
- Trastevere Hostel
Sign up for my Free Italy Guide for more tips on where to stay and exact listing links.
In general, when booking hotels, you should try and stay at one hotel for each city; this will save you time on the check-in and check-out, giving you more time to explore. I love using Booking.com, Expedia, or Airbnb to book my Rome accommodations.
Do You Need to Know Italian before Visiting Rome?
In our last visit to Rome (March of 2022), I noticed a much higher number of English-written menus at restaurants, and even more people speaking English. Nevertheless, it is a great idea for you to learn some phrases like, “Do you speak English?” “Good Morning.” “Can I have the menu?” “How much does this cost?” You can easily find these on YouTube or Google. Just make a list of common translations in notes that you can carry with you. Also, you can use something called Google Translate, or even the Google Lens to translate any menus that they may not have in English.
What to do Before Leaving for Rome
Now that you have your dates, budget, flights, and a place to stay, it’s time to start planning your packing list and itinerary. For us, this starts with a Google Doc or MacBook Notes. I actually write out a list like this:
Day 1 – Leave for Rome
Day 2 – Arrive – Check for early check-in – Walk around the hotel area
Day 3 – Visit Colosseum/Forum – Campo de Fiori Dinner in Monti
Day 4 – Trevi Fountain – Spanish Steps – Shopping – Pantheon
Day 5 – Vatican – Dinner Trastevere
Day 6 – Head to the next location
From here, I check out which tickets I need to purchase in advance. I also will check about restaurant reservations, as it is best you do them. I don’t make all of the reservations before I leave, but I do start checking for them. I use an app called TheFork.
Some other helpful websites to book activities and transportation are:
We then make sure we have our travel essentials
- International Adaptor
- Packing Cubes (can’t travel without them)
- Outfits are planned based on the season and things we will do. Here is a blog post about how to plan your outfits for Italy
- Shop for any new outfits needed, but usually will shop in Rome for new items
- Order Euros at the local bank
- Bring portable charger
- Make sure you have good wifi, either via your phone company or get something like Travel Wifi
- Have the most comfortable shoes ever
How Many Euros to Take On Trip to Rome
This is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on what you will do there. We recommend you take at least 300 Euros to pay for your airport transportation, which can cost from $50-$70 Euros, and also for change to buy things like gelato and coffee. You also can check if you will need any cash for tours that may only take cash, and plan it out that way. If you plan to use the ATM in Rome, make sure you use one that is from a bank and not from the ATM that says Euronet. You will pay much higher fees with the Euronet ones.
Some cards don’t charge transaction fees, so check the cards you have.
Rome Airport to City
The airport is about 40 minutes from the city center. You can take the train, which is located right across from the airport when you get out, or you can arrange for paid transportation. We have only done the train once, as we are typically just too tired from the flight. We always contact our hotel or Airbnb to arrange transportation for us. It is standard 50 euros for a couple, and it was 70 euros for a bigger van with a family of five.
Traveling Around Rome
Rome is a very walkable city. However, we learned the very hard way that you should not leave all Rome transportation to your toes. They have great public buses and electric trains that can help you prevent some calluses on your feet. You can also buy the Roma Pass to use the metro/bus and save on museum ticket entrances.
Another option is to take the hop-on hop-off bus. This can get costly if traveling with many people, so check out your options. A more expensive alternative is to have paid car service or private golf cart tours. You can also choose to do a Vespa tour (something on my forever bucket list to do).
Taking the Bus in Rome
You can purchase bus tickets at places called tabaccheria (which are shops that sell cigarettes and tobacco), or you can get a 48- or 72-hour Roma Pass. This pass will allow you to ride all types of public transportation. There are bus stops everywhere, and you just use your maps app on your phone to learn which bus route and which direction you need to catch your bus. We still get this mixed up at times, but if you follow the direction listed on the bus stop sign, you can see if you are on the right side of the road.
The location you would like to end up at needs to be listed after the location you are at, so further down the list. If it’s before, you are on the wrong side of the street. Just cross over to the other bus stop.
What to Do in Rome for Free
After doing all the budget-crunching and planning, it’s refreshing to know that Rome is a magnificent city with many free things to do. Sprinkle some in each day to feel that the city is paying you back just for coming to visit. You can see monuments like the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon for free. You can also people watch at piazzas like Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori. Just walking around Rome is magical. Other free monuments in Rome include St. Peter’s Basilica, The Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, Via Appia Antica (a 350-mile ancient road), Trajan’s Column, and the Jewish Ghetto area in Rione Sant’Angelo. There are also free walking tours in basically every city in Europe. We recommend you take cash for a tip, as these tour guides work really hard. For a bigger list of free things to do in Rome, visit this Lovely Planet Blog Post.
What to do in Rome with Teens
I wrote a blog post about my trip with my teens, but essentially you need to check in with your kids and see what they’re into. What is it they want to see? Have them help with the planning. My teens really loved gelato, shopping (H&M & Zara), the Colosseum, and eating. They didn’t like the walking so much, so we made sure not to overplan activities in one day. For more tips on traveling with teens to Italy, check out my blog post, traveling to Italy with Teens.
What to do in Rome as a Couple
One word, Aperitivo. Rome is a fantastic city for date nights. We love to eat and drink, so Rome can be super romantic. Apertivio, which is their happy hour, starts a little later. It starts more like 7 pm. We love the bars located in the Monti area, like Black Market, and bars in Trastevere. Our favorite place for charcuterie boards is a place called Cantina de Papi. It is a small butcher-shop-like hole in the wall, but it serves the best custom charcuterie board ever!
Other romantic ideas in Rome:
- Eat dinner at a fancy restaurant
- Have a date at a rooftop bar
- Do a Vespa tour
- Cruise Tour on Tiber River
What to Do in Rome by Yourself
Rome is an incredible city to explore by yourself, even if you’re a first-time traveler. There are so many things to do, and you will end up meeting people along the way. If I were to explore Rome on my own, I would join a free walking tour, bar hopping tour, or a food tour. This would be a great way to socialize and explore this gorgeous city. One thing is for sure, you won’t be bored in Rome.
Final Thoughts on how to visit rome on your own
In today’s digital age, it is super easy to plan a trip to Rome on your own. You can book almost everything online by yourself and set up an amazing itinerary. You can check out TikTok videos from creators that are locals, travel agents, seasoned visitors like me and more. and learn so many cool things. Don’t forget to sign up for my free Italy Guide below.