Rome is a wonderful place to explore on foot because the historical sites are close together and the public transport leaves little to be desired. However, if you're lazy to walk and not good with the guidebooks, another option is to go on an open top bus.
It's not the best way to discover Rome but it will bring you close to most of the major spots. It will cost about Euro 13 which will include the price of the ride & audio guide. You can hop on & off as much as you like or stay on board for a panoramic 90 minute tour.
when Rome is very crowded especially on hot days why not take a tour on one of the open topped busses to get an overview of the city
there are several to choose from, one specialises in Christian sites, another on Ancient Roman ones, and others are a mixture of both, you can get on and off as often as you wish to visit your must see places and of course there is a commentary on the bus for information about the things you see
although you should be able to join the busses at any stop we found it best to go to Termimi, one young lady on the 110 bus would not let us board without a ticket and would not sell us one, at Termini there are ticket sales booths for the busses, and the busses stop there for longer
We used Green Line Tours, a shuttle bus around the city, which we could hop on and off, tickets were £14 and valid for a 24 hour period. The office is located a few minutes walk from the Termini Railway Station in Rome, and just off via Cavour.
Frequent departures from 9:30am - 6:30pm
The Shuttle tour will stop near the following places of interest. The letter in brackets refers to the relevant bus stop:
Terminal Via Farini 5A (A)
Fontana di Trevi / Piazza Spagna Via del Traforo 132 (B)
Via Veneto / Via Vittorio Veneto 27 (C)
Villa Borghese / Piazza delle Canestre (D)
Vaticano / Via della Conciliazione 4 (E)
Piazza Navona / Pantheon / Corso Vittorio Emanuele 178 (F)
Piazza Venezia / Piazza Venezia 3 (G)
Bocca delle Verità/Circo Massimo / Via della Greca 11 (H)
Colosseo Via San Gregorio 30 (I)
I was a bit disappointed with this tour. The commentry didn't always synchronise with what we were seeing.
However, it does have stops that correspond to all the major tourist sites and it's an easy way to travel between them.
It cost €13 when I did it.
We actually took our Rome excursion thru NCL Jade - our cruise ship. There was a tour bus (hop on hop off bus) available in Rome and normally we would recommend this as a great alternative to seeing a city in a short time.
Open-top hop-on, hop-off bus with ear-canal audio.
Route: Stop 1 is at Termini, but we boarded at stop 2 Piazza Venezia for stop 3 Colosseo, stop 4 Terme di Caracalla, stop 5 Porta di San Sebastiano, stop 6 Parco Regionale Appia Antica, stop 7 Valle della Caffarella, stop 8 Catacombe di San Callisto, stop 9 Catacombe di San Sebastiano, stop 10 Cecilia Metella, stop 11 Sant'Urbano, stop 12 Capo di Bove, stop 13 Stadio delle Terme, and stop 14 Bocca della Verità.
Price: € 10,00 per person over 24hrs. Tickets can be bought online, at the stop or on the bus. We bought our ticket from a roving salesman hovering near the stop.
The good: Easy way to visit the lesser-known attractions Rome has to offer, such as the massive Baths of Caracalla, the many sites along the Appian Way, the Catacombs, and the Mouth of Truth inside the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
The bad: The quality of the ear-canal audio that narrates information about the attractions en route is rather poor and crackly. Almost better just to sit back, relax and enjoy the views.
The Tour Bus take you to the exactly points.
You can take that bus on the train station. You can buy the ticket on the morning and then took it arround 8am or 9am and then get off the bus the times that you want, and take other to continue the tour. The bus picks you up every 30 minutes in determinates stops near the tourist place. The last bus ride arround the 8:30 pm. I arround 8 dollars by day.
We took the Red tour bus one evening and went back to get a 3 day pass the next day.... after waiting 40 min and watching 3 buses pass us by, they were all full. We decided the bus pass was not a very good deal if you could not actually get on one!
So..... If you are a group of 3 or more people I would recommed cabbing it to and from your pick of sites, you'll save time and probably spend about the same amount of money, collectively.
Every city you will find them, and always recognizable on the red color
To those who's time is limited in Rome this red bus is very handy, stops to all sightseeing places, so you won't miss anything if you take the tour bus
You'll get a headphone with a translation and a handy map.
You may hop-on and off anytime you want. You can choose between from 24 to 48 hour card
Rome is huge, and walking around to the sites can sometimes exhausted and with the red bus you are free to stay on board at all time
The two days card cost 25 euro - single day card 20 euro
I saw a few of these buses aorund, but if I compare their frequency to the city of London or Paris, there are far fewer. I think this is because they are just not as popular to use in Rome. Many roads (most I would say) are far too narrow for buses to travel down, and one would miss out on many sights! It was a lovely day though when I took this and viewing must have been good from on top of the bus. I definately prefer to just walk :)
I found a relatively easy and inexpensive way to see the main attractions within Rome--ciao Roma Trolley tours. The trolley has specified timed stops so you can hop on and off at your leisure, moving on to the next location when you are ready. They have pre-recorded information about the sights in numerous languages. Price is 30,000 lira per person per day.
This is for info as never taken them but saw a bunch running around all over Rome full of people. The idea is if with limited time they take you quickly to all the main sights;then if you have more time pick the ones you like best to come later independantly.
you have the terravision buses
and the Tambuses
I did took the above from the airport fiumicino in and the ride was great.
and many others here
For your first day in Rome, just to get an impression of where everything is, try the sight seeing tourist bus.