by Stefanie Michaels
“Roma”, the city that captivates travelers to visit by the millions each year, makes it Europe’s #1 tourist destination. For Rome on a budget, whether it be for first time visitors or repeat tourists heading back to Rome, there’s never disappointment with the endless experiences available, if even just by walking its streets. Whether visiting the Forum or Vatican, to navigating through a bustling contemporary city, there’s certainly a lot to see.
People always inquire with me about when the best time to visit actually is. I prefer the cooler shoulder periods of April-June and September-November. Travel during these off-peak times is more affordable, less crowds, and weather is milder than the extreme heat associated with a Roman Summer. I tend to hedge away from December, because of the masses that come in to attend festivities at the Vatican, especially during the Christmas season. Prices can spike during this time.
Another perk to traveling off-peak is the pricing on hotels (even luxury ones), which offer reduced pricing or even complimentary nights with certain bookings. A little investigating on the actual hotel’s website could mean deep savings versus using third party booking engines.
Anywhere travelers go in Italy, there’s never a bad meal to be had there. Especially, in Rome, where neighborhood trattorias are plentiful and reasonable. For pizza and pasta lovers, local eateries are insanely good. Needless to say, one won’t starve in Roma!
There are two sites I always check out for touring the city. Walks of Italy and Tours By Locals. Some tours can be pricy on their own, but when working with group tour companies such as these examples, there can be discounts. For history buffs, spending a little extra on a guided tour, can mean the difference between what a traveler takes back in knowledge or not. Often times there are promo codes offered to maximize cost savings. Also, check out the Omnia Pass multi-pass for discounts and fast track to major attractions.
Another way to see the Eternal City, is with Free Walking Tours Rome. Booking ahead of time is mandatory with this company. It might not be as comprehensive as other tours, but in their 2-hour tour, travelers will get a pretty good overview of antiquities and history.
Walking Rome’s must-sees can be exhausting, but renting a car and attempting to merge into Roman traffic is a whole other adventure unto itself, as well as adding a costly tab onto a budget.
Instead, opt to utilizing the rails– all lines connect to the main Termini railway station. Buses are also a solid transit option, and a great way to connect with locals. These are also found in front of Termini Station. One Metro ride costs €1.50. Or consider purchasing a 24-hour ticket– €7.00 will get bus, train, and metro access within the city.
Stefanie Michaels, aka ‘Adventure Girl’, spends more than 180 days a year on the road seeking out great spots for adventures, dining, shopping, hotels and more. Dubbed “America’s Sweetheart” by Vanity Fair Magazine for being one of Twitter’s first icon’s to reach over 1 million followers, her fans continue to grow across all of her digital media platforms. Follow her @adventuregirl as she shares photos, updates and more.