A trip to Rome on the cheap


visit rome on the cheap

How to visit Rome on the cheap

We’ve been back from our amazing trip to Rome, Italy for 21 days. For an anxiety driven person that’s long enough to understand that I did not get Ebola while riding the trains, buses, and subways while over there. Whew! Yes, I was worried about that.  We had an amazing trip. We saw things that were built before Christ was even born. There’s very little here in America that’s been around that long. There’s such rich history and incredible architecture to be seen here. 

roman forum

Here’s how we visited Rome, Italy on the cheap. 

Our first thing we did was purchase our tickets (6 months) ahead of time and book our hotel. We went through a travel agent and did this. We did purchase insurance because in this day and age you just never know what could be around the corner. Insurance, so that if we had a bad storm and couldn’t fly out, we were okay. If a volcano erupted and stopped flights in or out we would get another flight another day. Get the insurance you never know when you might need it. 

naples street view

After we purchased our tickets we bought Rick Steves Italy 2015 (well we actually bought the 2014 book). This book we took everywhere we went. It gave us the confidence to take one taxi when we first arrived to get to the hotel. The rest of the time we rode the bus, subway and train. Rick recommends a lot of things that were spot on. We bought Roma passes and Omnia passes because of him. That allowed us to walk right in the Vatican(while there was a huge line waiting to get in) and then got us into 2 other museums for that price. It also gave us one of those double-decker open air buses for us to ride around the city and go from one museum to another. It was fabulous. The thing about these passes is that they are good for 3 days in a row. So after you use it one time you have 2 more days to finish using it. Since we weren’t with any formal touring companies this worked perfect for us. My mom had been on those formal tours in the past and she wasn’t a fan. She felt rushed everywhere they went, they had bad food and were not able to see what they wanted to see. So we did it all ourselves and had a blast and ate amazing food. 


Make  no mistake we walked 8-10 miles each and every day. And it was worth it. I’ve had so many people tell me they’d never do that. You are missing out on the trip of a lifetime. It was so incredible. Those 8-10 miles were so worth it. Our hotel gave us a map that we used to get us around the city. The lady at the front desk also helped us understand the subway system. My son used that map to get us everywhere. We’d walk to the subway and take it to the next tourist spot. He had never been on a subway and neither had I. He was a great navigator. Our hotel was 2 blocks from the subway. We did that on purpose too. It made a huge difference. We were always able to get to our destination and back without any problems. 

Check back next week as I begin to write about each of the famous locations, food and people we saw and went to! My next segment is How to Eat on the Cheap in Italy. Check out my article on the views of the Coliseum.

55 Replies to “A trip to Rome on the cheap”

  1. WOW! I want to go! You walked 8-10 miles a DAY!? That’s amazing, but I can see that it would be totally worth it!

  2. I have always wanted to visit Italy, looks like an amazing trip, and finding ways to save and still see the things you want to see is perfect! I don’t think the walking will be a big challenge for me as I live in NYC and it’s a walking city for sure!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  3. Going to Italy is surely on hubby and I’s bucket list, but we have held back because of the expense. I look forward to reading the rest of your series so we can make it happen for us too!

  4. Rome can be a very very expensive vacation, looks like you had great info on how to lower the costs while still having so much fun! I’ll have to try some of those tips next time Im there.

  5. Rome on the cheap? I’m in. I have a plan to go in a couple years. I’ll keep these tips in mind.

  6. I love those books. We had one for back home and it was neat all the things we never saw even though my whole life was there. I am glad you were able to enjoy your trip, obviously the bus system there is better than here in the states – you could not get me to board a bus here for anything.

  7. I love discovering new cities by foot. (I tend to run in cities that are new to me.) I’m so jealous of your trip! Can’t wait to hear more about locations you saw in Rome!!

    1. the reason we went through a travel agent was to get insurance and because we needed someone who had been there before and could tell us where to stay that would be close to the subway, food, etc. I’m not sure it would have saved you money if you did it by yourself unless you had a friend who had just been there. Does that make sense?

  8. That is a dream trip for me! Great tip on getting the insurance. There are just too many things that could go wrong, it would be silly not to have it!

  9. This would be such a great trip to go on. I love your tips and doing Rome on the cheap. I didn’t think Cheap and Rome go hand in hand. Now that it can be done, I will have to try it out.

  10. I’m with you in that I really like to do all that walking and see things. You were smart to choose a hotel situated by public transportation.

  11. OMG! I would LOVE to go to Rome. Thanks for this great post. Now if I ever get there, I’ll know how to save my money for cool keepsakes.

  12. I love the Rick Steves trip suggestions. I also think its great that you show travel can be done on a budget. Money shouldn’t keep you from seeing the world and places you’ve always wanted to go.

    1. he had a free download for pompeii that we listened to as we walked the ruins. Can’t beat free! 🙂

  13. Walking is part of the experience in most cases. There are so many things to see and so many things to smell along those walks that make your experience even more special!

  14. These are great tips. If I ever get the chance to travel there, I will be sure to do all that you recommend!

  15. Rome is such a magnificent city. It is fascinating to drive down the modern highway with ancient ruins right next to you. Almost surreal.

  16. Rome is one place that my husband and I have been talking about seeing. I think we might be going in the next year or so. This is great advice and I appreciate the tips and look forward to what you share down the road.

  17. I bet those were the coolest 8-10 miles of walking ever! Oh the sites you saw!! I’d love to visit myself!!

  18. Those are some great tips! We love traveling, but money is always our chief concern! We usually only go when we have some way to dramatically cut costs!

  19. Whenever Rick Steves is on the television I sit and watch. Makes me feel like I’m visiting right along with him and I reminisce about my times in Italy.

  20. This is awesome. Rome is one of the places I would love to visit someday. So much history and beautiful wonders to be seen.

  21. Rome was one of our least expensive trips too, in most part for us because the flight tickets were less than most anywhere else. I loved going, I’d love to go back too.

  22. Sounds like you had a good time exploring. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your trip in future posts.

  23. I would love to go to Rome and I would probably have to go on the cheep so this is just fantastic thank you ! x

  24. wow talk about one awesome vacation… Thanks for the tips and ideas, One of my dreams is to someday head over there 🙂 and thanks for sharing the pictures with us

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