Going around rome is quite easy. Make use of the integrated card system of the subway (metropolitana or metro), l'autobus or pullman (buses) and trams or simply ATAC (Agenzia per i Trasporti Autoferrotranviari del Comune di Roma) You can buy ATAC tickets from any local tabacchio or bar.
Tickets that cost 1euro is valid for 75minutes from the time is has been stamped and worth all bus/tram rides you can plus 1 metroride.
Ticket that cost 4euro is valid for the whole day with trams, buses and subway.
There are also tickets valid for 3- days (best recommended for tourists, costs 11euro), 1 week and one-month (should you need to stay longer in Rome). Just ask the local tabacchaio for the best advise.
The easiest way to cover large distances, cheaply, is the Metro. All day tickets are an excellent value, currently just 4 Euros. The Metro system is divided into Linea ‘A’ and Linea ‘B’ that cross paths only at Termini Train Station. Even the farthest metro stops take about 15 minutes to get to Termini. This will give you access to cheaper and better hotels. Mornings and afternoons on weekdays get very busy around central Rome, so be prepared to push yourself onto a train. You need to be quick as the trains do not hang about. Keep your valuables safe! You may also be serenaded by street musicians on the trains. The metro stops are relatively clean and are safe. The odd beggar looks at you, just ignore them. Buy a good map and it will show all the metro stops.
The Cavour area is good for restaurants.
Sciopero, or strike, is the nightmare of the tourist in Italy, and especially in cities like Rome where people don't find driving too comfortable (I disagree - driving in Rome is an excellent experience, but that's the subject of another tip).
A bit of planning can avoid the inconveniences of a strike. In particular, the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure has a good website where all the planned strikes are listed. The website (in Italian) is continuously updated. And before you say anything, I'll admit: strikes are pretty much the only well-planned thing in Italy.
All major night busses cross the place in front of the Termini station. The busses are leaving every 30 min. If your are not in the centro storico it's better to take the night busses than to take a taxi. Especially on Satturdays you have to wait for a long time for taxis!
You can buy tickets from the driver which isn't possible on day busses.
To download the pdf-file whit all lines click on the link.
Rome has a easy and great metro system, as of September 2009 a new line was still being built but they keep running into sites underneath modern Rome, site are clearly marked, but be careful of pickpockets on the train, foreigner's stand out like sore thumbs here !!!!! We bought a 3 day metro card for 15 Euro's good for the metro and buses !!!!
We found it very difficult to figure out the bus routes in Rome. Even when I pressed a tour guide for information his answer was "the buses are for the locals you won't be able to figure them out". We also found the Metro stops were very limited. My tip: bring some good walking shoes because you will be doing a LOT of it!
From the airport to Termini
- Best way to commute is using the bus which is found at the parking of Terminal 1. It will cost you about 15 Euros for a return journey and drops you at Termini Station
- Roma Pass is really helpful as it allows you to use it for 3 main attractions (e.g. Forum, Colosseum, etc.)
- You can use it on all the buses and metro within Rome. The metro is really good with only two lines running. I used to walk a lot and hop from bus to bus. Just locate the next M sign when you are lost on a bus and hop down. It's the safest way to get back to your destination.
Why do people keeping saying that Rome is small and walkable, and you don't need public transportation? Is it some sort of "truism" that everybody believes without checking it out??
Rome is huge and you will definitely need to take trains/metros/buses/trams/mini-buses at some point along the way. Asking for directions, people said - oh, it's "just over there." What a lie.
We walked miles and miles, many of them in circles, to get where we wanted to go. We were totally exhausted and were extremely grateful for the 11 Euro 3-day transportation pass we bought. It was a lifesaver. We were really and truly sad when that little card expired. We used it endlessly to save a few steps, because believe me, the steps add up!
The pass, called a Biglietto Turistico Integrato (BTI), can be purchased at Termini train station, "tobacco shops" and metro stations. Sometime you can get them at newsstands. Remember: You can't buy them ON the train or bus. You need to purchase them ahead of time. They only become active after you validate them (i.e. get them stamped), so you can buy a few if you are planning to be around for more than 3 days.
Rome has a great integrated public transport system which includes the metro and buses.
The best way to take advantage of it is to get a ticket from one of the many tabachi stores. Validate the ticket on your first trip and then just hop on and off at will. There are tickets for one day, three days or a week so get the one that suits the length of your stay in the city.
The buses and trains come regularly and frequently so there is no need to worry about a timetable. A route map is all that you need and the bus will drop you very close to where ever it is that you want to go.
The metro is a little less convenient as there are only two lines which run roughly east-west and north-south. They will, however, get you to the general area then you either walk or get another bus.
There are relatively few trams in the city. If you are lucky enough to find a convenient line for you, it's a much nicer ride than bus and metro, and a good alternative to private transportation. One of the most popular is the #8 which goes from Argentina through Trasevere - you will see "Casteletto" bound for Trastevere (with a stop by Trastevere train station) from Argentina in Rome center - or "Argentina" bound from Trastevere for the Rome center. They are rapid, frequent and always good.
There are a few others as well, including one by the Vatican at Piazza Risorgimento - calculate your trip on the ATAC site below.
The bus network is extensive and will cover most tourist needs. As a resident, you'll find buses poorly documented, often crowded, schedules unreadable/not adheared to. Indications at bus stops are not decent, with strange gothic signs to signal anomalies.
I refuse to board an overcrowded bus & find the next one not far behind.
That said, you will be able to use the ATAC English website below to calculate a specific route with assurance. I use their site regularly.*
All tickets ("biglietto") must be pre-purchased and are available for sale at ATAC counters, tabacchi (tobacco stores) newsagents, and at automatic ticket dispensers. You must be able to tell the cashier WHICH ticket you want to purchase. Tickets must then be validated (stamped) on board the bus at the beginning of the journey to avoid a hefty fine - inspectors are now on board checking as of November 1, 2009. The cheapest ticket, the Biglietto Integrato a Tempo - BIT costs EUR0 1.00 and is valid for up to 75 minutes of travel on ATAC buses, or for one trip on the metro or suburban train lines.
Day (BIG) and week (CIS) passes - valid on all transport in the municipality - costs EURO 4 and EURO 16.00 respectively. Monthly passes are also available. The BIRG pass covers a day's worth of transport within the Lazio region, and costs between EURO 2.50 and EURO 10.50 (depending on the number of zones covered).*
If you are in Rome for 3 days or more and visiting museums, see my tip re the ROME PASS - it will save you time & money.%*
If you are here in Rome for awhile and consider day trips, the Roma&Più Pass is for you! Exactly like the Roma Pass… but whereas the Roma Pass is for the city of Rome, the Roma&Più Pass is for the city of Rome AND the province of Lazio. Currently the Roma&Più Pass is €25. So what do you get for your two extra Euro?
On the transport section of the pass you get the same benefits as the Roma Pass AND you can ride the extra-urban COTRAL coaches (regional bus line), and the regional railways of Trenitalia (2nd class). So in the province of Lazio, you can use your Roma&Più Pass to head to Tivoli on the COTRAL bus or regional train. You can ride trains – other than the Met.Ro trains in and around Rome – as long as you stay in the first three zones of the Trenitalia map! If you are looking to get out of the city to Lake Braciano, than this pass works for you.
Be aware, but according to the lastest updates on the Roma Pass website (April 27, 2009), ROME PASSES ARE NOT ACCEPTED on the Leonardo Express from FCO to Termini or on the FR1 train from the Airport into town. Trenitalia will not compromise their big money-makers!
Using the Roma&Più Pass you will also have access to Museums and sites in the Province, not just in Rome… so you get a few more opportunities to get discounts or free entry. This is primarily more of a benefit for day trips.
These are the spiffiest new buses in Rome!! You can conveniently buy your ticket right there on the bus so you won't see those transportation ticket-enforcers here. Plus, I've never seen it too crowded and it arrives/departs often. The #116 is my daily ticket to ride as the it starts/ends at Via Veneto/Villa Borghese and it goes all through the best stops in the historic center - Barbarini, Spagna, Tritone (for Trevi), Via del Corso, Campo di Fiori, Via Guilia (at the Tiber where you will pass underneath the specatacular ivy covered bridge of Michaelangelo), then crosses over the bridge just below Castel Sant Angelo and ends by the Vatican/Gianicolo Station - its a lovely ride to then hop on the nearby bus going up to the top of Gianocolo.
My fabvorite mini grey electric bus winds all through Villa Borghese and circles near the Borghese Museum - exits Villa Borthese at San Paolo del Brasile (Via Veneto) before arriving at the last stop around the corner on Pincio. A bus ride in Rome doesn't get any better than this. I don't like the Metro - use it only where I have to - but here is a good deal in Rome for 16 Euro you get a week's pass on public transportation.
We found the bus system in Rome very easy to use. Take a bus back to the central (rail) station to change to any bus on the line. Must validate all bus tickets before boarding bus at orange stamping machine.
3 Day ticket 11E, 1 Day Ticket 4E. (Can transfer on single ticket within 75 minutes – stamp one end on first bus, stamp other end on second bus).
Just a note--we used the Roma card for bus and subway travel during 3 trips to Rome in the past few months. They system is great and easy to navigate, and the subways are fine, but buses can be a different experience. I remember reading one guidebook that said 'women may be uncomfortably close to strangers' but it was a lot worse than that. Women, pay attention--just don't get on a crowded bus in Rome. I swear they are pervert magnets, and a less crowed bus will be along shortly. The 64 in particular is crowded very often, I was groped and worse on two out of three trips.