Rome is a fantastic city but it can be insanely overwhelming. From the thousands of years of history to explore, to the world class museums and the desire to eat gelato at all hours of the day, there is so much to see and do in Rome. Alex lived in Rome for four years and I lived there for two and a half years and we did not even scratch the surface of what you can see and do there. We did however, pick up some helpful hints that we thought we would share with you. These are all things that Alex and I learned through trial and error and believe me you do not want to make some of these mistakes. So here are our handy tips for visitors to Rome.
Have euros before you land in Rome. While Rome is becoming more credit card friendly, it is still a city that runs on cash. You would think that a city that runs on cash would have working ATMs at the airport but from our experience, the ATMs are almost always out of order. It is always best to have some Euros before you land in Rome, even if its just 100e. That would be enough to last you for a day to reach the city and grab some food until you find a working ATM.
Speaking of the the airport if you plan to take a taxi you should know that all taxis from the airports are a flat fee. Never ride a taxi from the airport with the meter on. Make sure that you stand in a taxi line at the airport and make sure the taxi that you are taking has Roma Commune sticker. This way you know that the taxi is legal and that you will get a fair rate. You can also pick up legal taxis at Taxi Stands; most taxis will ignore you if you flag them down on the streets and go straight to the Taxi Stands. One of the largest Taxi Stands is just outside Termini Train Station where both metro lines connect.
Or you can always just take the Leonardo da Vinci express train from the airport to Termini. It is by far the easiest way to get into the city from the Leonardo da Vinci airport. You can then take a taxi from there and there is less of a chance of being ripped off. If you are flying into Champino you are better off just taking a taxi, there is a bus but it is not very frequent.
When it comes to taxis it can be a little tricky not to be ripped off. When you decide to take a taxi make sure that the meter is on and should be on Zone 1 if you are within the city walls of Rome. If you get in and they either don’t put on the meter or put it on Zone 2 you will be overcharged. If you feel you are being overcharged begin to write down their taxi ID number and ask for their name. Then mention the Codice Fiscali, the tax police, this generally will make them return the meter to its proper price.
If you plan on taking public transportation just invest in a day pass or week pass. They allow you to ride the bus or metro as many times as you want within the time limit. It is way less of a hassle to buy a week or day pass than trying to buy a new ticket every time; except for the metro most of the ticket machine are always broken or the buses just don’t have places you can buy tickets on board (even when they say they do), plus the only take coins and it must be exact change. Take my advice and just buy the pass, you do not want a 100e fine just because the machine was broken. The tickets are easy enough to buy and you can get them at a tabacchi or at the metro, ask for un biglietto per un giorno (a day ticket) or un biglietto per una semana (a week pass). Also if you use the machines at the metro there is an English button.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Tips for Visiting Rome.
Also you can check out our Rome City Profile for more information on restaurants, tours, and other advice we have picked up along the way! And always feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about Rome or want some recommendations!
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