This city guide includes the top budget good authentic local eats in the city as well as the best city transportation options and airport transportation. I give some of the best budget trendy hostels in the city as well as other cool boutique hotels.
How to get there
There are two international airports in Rome, Ciampino Airport (CIA) and Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO). Leonardo Da Vinci Airport has a 30 minute express train to Termini Station. Leonardo Da Vinic is the biggest and most important airport in Rome and Italy. Ciampino airport is 7 miles outside the city and the second most important international airport in Rome. The local train is the fastest option to get into the city center from the airport and the options are detailed below. Taking a taxi into the city center will start at 40euros compared to 8-14 euros to take a train. Private driver transfer services will be even more expensive than taxi services. The bus is ironically the same price as the cheapest train ride which is the fastest and most effective transportation into the city center. Dealing with luggage and bus transfers in a new city is not as effective as the clear and direct train route into the city center.
Train from Fiumicino Airport to Rome City Center
The train ride is a 31-minute direct shuttle train to Termini, Rome’s main train station. Trains come every 30 minutes between 6:38am and 11:38pm. The ticket is 14€ one-way making it not the best choice for groups, the Leonardo Express goes direct to Termini, Rome’s central station where you can take the Metro A and Metro B lines and many buses going all over the city.
Sabina-Fiumicino line FR1
The Sabina-Fiumicino line (FR1) is the more budget option for 8€ a ticket one-way. The stops are at Trastevere, Ostiense, and Tiburtina stations. These stations are in some of Rome’s most popular neighborhoods and easily go to the city centre by public transport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes during holidays, from 5:58am-11:30pm.
You can purchase tickets online here. You can also buy tickets at the machines on the train platforms. Attention! Before getting on the train you need to validate your ticket in the bright yellow machines on the train platform. You can buy tickets online in advance here.
Ciampino Airport to the city centre
This is the airport where the smaller budget airlines fly into the city. So depending on your ticket this is the airport you will be brought into. The perks are that it is smaller and less stressful and packed than Fiumicino Airport. The airport is around 12km south of the city center. This is definitely the airport that makes it harder to get to the city center. It may be worth paying the extra money to get a ticket that takes you into the main airport that has a budget direct easy train into the city center. Sometimes trying to cut corners with budgets we think harder not smarter. There is no train at this airport! You are pretty much left at the mercy of bus systems with luggage or very expensive car/taxi pickups. There are three main bus options laid out below.
Atral bus (run by Cotral and Schiaffini)
- To Termini Station: The buses leave Ciampino airport between 05.30am- 10.50pm. Tickets cost 3.90€ one-way and 6.90€ return. Tickets can be purchased on the bus, online, and in the airport hall of arrivals.
- To Anagnina Station – The buses leave Ciampino airport between 06.10am-10.40pm every 40 minutes. Tickets cost 1.20€ one-way, making this the cheapest bus, but luggage is another 1.20€ . You can purchase tickets on the bus, at the information booth in the airport hall of arrivals, and online.
This is the direct bus that goes straight to Termini station from Ciampino airport to Termini station. Tickets can be purchased online or at the airport for 4€ one-way. The train leaves between 08.15am- 12.15am and departures are related to flight arrivals.
This bus is almost the same as Terravision and there is not much difference between them. You can purchase tickets online or on the bus for 4€ one-way. Buses leave the airport between 07.45am-11.15pm.
This is an Apulian street food budget sandwich shop and is currently rated the number one budget good eats in the city of Rome. Everyone raves about the bread, fresh ingredients and bruschetta. This location is near the Vatican and great for a quick lunch spot. Their bruschetta with different toppings is the number one seller with a glass of wine for a quick snack or meal.
Cost: $4 – $11
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11am-8pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 12pm-10pm
Mizio’s Street Food
This is a great place for a budget delicious local meal for dine in or take out. Their sandwiches are huge and fresh. They have great cheese, breads and wine. These are the best thickest filled sandwiches in town with amazing cheese and salamis you can sample first before they make your sandwich.
Cost: $ cheap
Hours: 9am-8pm daily
This is a great budget delicious lunch place only and is not open for dinner! They say this is the best panini in Rome.
Cost: $6 – $17
Hours: Sunday-Saturday 10 am-3:30pm
Pizza E Mozarella
This place has local delicious pizza and calzones on a small budget. They offer pizza wood fire cooking classes as well. The pizza is quality with all of the toppings and bread. This place is the top rated pizza place in Rome. There are also lots of creative toppings and unique combinations like a broccoli, eggplant, squash and much more. This location is very close to the Pantheon.
Cost: $ budget
Hours: 11am-9pm Monday-Saturday
The Rome Hello
This is a colorful modern hostel that has lots of cool wall murals, large lounge hangout areas and is a clean nice budget option for travelers. This hostel is a 3 minutes walk from a metro station and 2 km from the Colosseum located centrally in downtown. There are mixed dorms as well as female dorms. Breakfast is free and there is a bar/grill and communal kitchen area as well as free wifi. This hostel has lots of activities and every Tuesday brings in a local chef for cooking classes with a real local Italian chef!
Cost: $50usd/night , BOOK & SEE HOSTEL HERE
The Beehive Hotel & Hostel
This is a budget modern boutique hostel/budget hotel. The mural walled colorful artistic courtyard filled with comfy lounge furniture is a hot spot for afternoon hangouts after tours of the city. The hostel is a 2-minute walk from the Roma Termini Station, a 3-minute walk from a metro stop and 3 km from the Colosseum. There is a vegetarian cafe, a garden and cooking classes offered in this modest hostel. There are mixed and female dorms with shared bathrooms and balconies in the rooms.
Cost: $60USD/night, BOOK & SEE HOSTEL HERE
Casa Fabbrini Boutique B & B
This trendy B&B is located in the Tridente district, it was restored in a 16th-century townhouse and is 6 minutes’ walk from the Spanish Steps. It’s a 7 minutes walk from Spagna metro station, and 8 minutes’ walk from Piazza del Popolo. The rooms in the B&B are wood-beam ceilings in a country decor style; a special suite has a 4-poster bed and a snug terrace. There is free Wi-Fi, loaner iPads and flat-screen TVs, and safes. There is free breakfast with homemade pastries.
Cost: $120USD/night, BOOK HERE
This modern artistic hotel is 3.1 km from the Colosseum and 4 km from St. Peter’s Basilica. The minimalistic modern styled rooms have minibars, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi; most have balconies. There is free breakfast. There’s also a hip bar, a gym and upscale spa. Parking is available for a fee.
Cost: $140USD/night, BOOK HERE
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This hotel has the most killer view of St. Peter’s Basilica from the rooftop hangout lounge that is magical at night when it is lit up. This hotel is in a 14th-century stone building is within a 7-minute walk of Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, and 2 km from the Colosseum. The rooms have with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Breakfast is free. There’s a rooftop bar, plus a chic spa built into the ruins of the ancient Theatre of Pompey offering an indoor pool with massage jets, a sauna and a steam room. This modern hotel has the coolest lit up underground sleek spa area and brick modern aesthetic hangout lounge and bar that is artistic.
Cost: $200USD/night, BOOK HERE