8 things you need to know before visiting Rome

Well hello to you my reader chums! Rome, my favourite ever European city is one of the most extraordinary places you'll ever visit. The city's combination of historical beauty, the rustic food scene and charming locals will always leave my heart wanting more.

I’ve visited Rome twice now, once in the autumn and the other time in the summer with my sister – and on both occasions I loved every minute. When travelling to a place you pick up some hints and tips along the way, and as I’ve graced the streets of Rome twice, I’ve gained a little insight to share with you.

8 things to know before visiting Rome

Here are 8 things you need to know before visiting Rome...

All the top sights are in walking distance

One of the most convenient things about visiting Rome is how close all the main sights are from each other. It makes looking around and doing the typical ‘tourist things’ easier and also means if on a time limit; you can see all the sights pretty quickly.

8 things to know before visiting Rome

Piazza Venezia is home to the renowned Altar of the Fatherland monument and practically the ‘centre’ point for all tourist attractions. Behind the monument stands the Roman Forum and the famous Colosseum (I’d say 10-15 minute walk). The Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps are a little further out but still well within the 20 minute walking mark, along with Piazza Navona, the Parthenon and Piazza di Spagna. The only main sight, located a lot further out is St Peter’s Square and St Peter’s Basilica, as these are in the Vatican City. Despite the longer distance, the Vatican City is easily accessible by Metro or bus.

Stay near the city centre

When booking accommodation for Rome, I’d highly recommend staying in or near the city centre. On my first trip there with my sister, we made the mistake of booking a hotel further out, having to figure out public transport and travel in everyday.

On the visit with my boyfriend, I learnt from my mistakes and booked a guest house in the centre of Rome, located five minutes from the Spanish Steps and it made seeing the city a lot easier. It meant if we wanted to head back in the day from exploring or get changed for dinner, we only had to go on a short walk, instead of getting a long bus journey home. There’s also a misconception that staying in the centre is going to be expensive; however that’s not the case. I found many cheap hotels, guest houses and Air bnbs when planning the trip – and would recommend you do a lot of research to find the perfect place for your trip.

Go in off peak season

Travelling off peak season is always a bonus because it means less crowds and lower costs – and this is especially important in Rome. Rome is a very popular tourist spot, more so than many other European capitals, that planning the correct time to go is crucial.

I think the best time to visit would be either the spring or autumn, as both periods still have the warm weather without it being overwhelmingly hot, and crowds tend to be sparser. If you like hot weather however, summer can be a good time to go. Even though kids are off school, many locals go on their own holidays in the summer to escape the city heat, so crowds are levelled out and it’s not as busy as you may think. Winter however, is probably the quietest time to visit and the coolest.

Be aware of scams around St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica is one of my favourite spots to see – and should definitely be high on your list when visiting Rome. One thing you may notice when you’re walking around the St Peter’s Square area however is people offering you ‘fast-pass’ tickets to the Basilica. These aren’t real and please don’t fall for them – it’s a scam. Entering the Basilica is free, and there is no way to skip the queue at all; you’ll have to line up like everyone else.

8 things to know before visiting Rome

In the Vatican City, you will however need to pay for the Vatican museums and the Sistine chapel which is found in the museums – you can get fast-pass for this.

Learn a bit of Italian

Despite not common knowledge, and this goes for most of Italy not just Rome, that many Italians can often find it quite insulting if you don’t speak some of their language.

My advice to you then would be learning a few common phrases and be prepared to use them, rather than expecting Italians to speak your language.

Book airport transfers in advance

It goes without saying I’m a bit of travel addict, however one thing I always forget to do is book airport transfers – and it always works out more expensive on the other end. Taxis to and from Rome airport have a flat rate of 60 euro – and to save a bit of cash, I’d recommend downloading the Uber app or book a transfer in advance.

Bus & metro tickets

If you are going to be using public transport on your trip, there are a few things to know.

For the bus, you can’t actually purchase tickets on the bus but need to get them from shops with the label ‘T’ outside; these can be cafes or newsagents. Simply go up to the counter and ask for a bus ticket. The metro like all European metro lines can be bought on the machines at the station; there’s no need to go anywhere prior to buy your tickets.

Dine in Piazza Navona

8 things to know before visiting Rome

One of my favourite, charming spots in Rome is Piazza Navona. The live music, characteristic restaurants and local artists selling their paintings is a beautiful setting for dinner. If you get the chance, enjoy dinner at dusk in this Piazza. The place lights up, music plays and it there’s a romantic ambience in the air.

I hope you enjoyed this travel post. Have you visited Rome?

Thank you for reading <3


  1. Perfect tips! I am planning an off season visit to Rome, but we'll see if we manage to realise that plan lol


  2. I've never been to Rome so these tips are really helpful! Lovely blog post, Della! 😊

    Shirley | https://shirleycuypers.blogspot.be


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