Italy is a gorgeous country, and Rome needs to be at the top of that list of yours because it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. There’s really nothing quite like it. However, to be able to get the best out of your trip to Rome, we’ve compiled a list of tips that you should keep in mind so that you can really experience this city at its best.
Know where to stay
This is obviously a given for any kind of vacation to anywhere in the world. With Rome in particular, you want to make sure that you get a place that is located in the city center so that you’re able to get everywhere you like and not worry about it being too far away. If you’re looking to stay at a hotel, then you need to keep in mind that they can be quite pricey and generally fully booked, so be sure to do so in advance. There are other options that are not as pricey, such as going for Airbnb or at a ‘pension’ which are Italy’s traditional bread and breakfast options.
How to utilize your time
There are a number of ways to ensure that you get the most out of your trip by saving time, especially if you’re only going for a couple of days. When it comes to visiting the Colosseum, you can either just have a look from the outside or skip the line altogether. You can do this with the Vatican museums as well. These tickets need to be bought in advance and you can specify which area you’d like to visit. This way you get to skip the long lines and see what you like without wasting time. If you go to the Pantheon, 30 minutes before its closing time, you can get quick access as well.
First sunday for first visit
A smart move to make would be to arrange your visit, if possible, to sit on the first Sunday of the month. By doing so, you grant yourself free access to a number of sites, such as art galleries, museums, archeological sites and even parks.
Get food recommendations from a local
To avoid ridiculous crowds and to also get the best food, get in touch with a reliable local contact. They can let you know which restaurants are most frequented by tourists, so you can avoid those, and which ones are lesser known yet serve amazing food. By doing this not only do you save time, but you also get to experience a different, more rustic and traditional part of Italian cuisine that you’re bound to never forget because you will feel more immersed in the culture by doing so.
Keep cash on you
One factor that is imperative for you to remember is to always carry cash and coins with you. There are hardly any places in Rome that takes credit cards, and it would be a disaster for you if you’re moving around and you rely solely on your card and then get stuck when you find out you can’t use it! So always have a good amount of cash on you. But keep it safe because there are some spots where pickpockets roam, so just be alert and keep your money somewhere safe where you can keep a close eye on it.
Know the dress code
In general, Rome is a pretty relaxed city when it comes to the dress code. The only time you need to be considerate is if you’re planning to visit any of the churches. In this case, you need to dress more conservatively to be respectful of their traditions and religious culture. You might also want to get a bit dressed up for dinner dates simply because it’s so romantic!
Buy your tickets beforehand
Most of the time, you can actually get around Rome by foot, or even rent out a bicycle if you like. But just in case, buy yourself your bus tickets in advance because in Rome, you can buy them on the bus itself. It makes sense to just get one beforehand in case you find yourself too tired and would like to use the public transportation instead.
Dinner time is a bit late
If you’re the kind of person who likes to have an early dinner, then you might need to change that while you’re in Rome because proper dinner at most restaurants is served at around 8pm. You could always pop in for what is known as an ‘apertivo’ before that time.
Learn the basics
It will make your whole experience so much easier if you learn a couple of basic phrases in Italian, just so you can get around comfortably and also to help you blend in a lot easier. This will come in handy when you want to get around, or if you plan on doing a bit of shopping, or even if you want to get immersed in the culture a little bit more than most tourists do.
Monday’s are off
It’s important to note that for most of the city, Monday is considered to be a day of rest, so try not to make any grand plans if you have a Monday in your trip. You could just keep it for relaxation and perhaps a bit of light shopping and eating. Or if you’re only going for a couple of days, try to keep Monday off the schedule entirely.
By keeping the tips we’ve provided in mind, you’re going to have a much more fruitful experience when you visit the beautifully rich and historic city of Rome. By understanding how to get around will give you more freedom to explore, and you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of time and money as well. Learning a few phrases will go a long way with the locals, which will help you to become more immersed in the culture and explore aspects that most tourists don’t get the opportunity to see.