Rome: How to save money and skip the queues
There's so much to see and do in Rome, organising your trip can feel overwhelming. Whilst exploring the capital's shadowy lanes, street art and eateries is part of the fun, the major tourist attractions are likely to be on your list too. We've put together some tips to help you save money across the city and skip the queues at some of these popular sights.
Nº 1 - TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE SUNDAYS
All state-run museums (Herculaneum, Pompeii, Colloseum, etc.) are free for everyone on the first Sunday of every month, so it’s worth planning your trip to make the most of it.
Nº 2 - CHOOSE AN APARTMENT OVER A HOTEL
We’ve began using Air B&B a lot more often on city breaks recently as the apartments are just so damn cheap! We managed to get a spacious one-bedroom apartment in hip Trastevere for £55 a night, and the hosts also gave us recommendations of good places to eat and drink in the city. If you use this link, you can save £26 on your next booking too!
Nº 3 - DOWNLOAD FREE AUDIO GUIDES
We swear by Rick Steve’s Europe guides. Sure, they’re a little corny but it saves you buying an audio guide at each attraction. With an average cost of around €5, it can add up.
Nº 4 - BUY YOUR COLLOSEUM ENTRY AT THE ROMAN FORUM
You can purchase a combined ticket for the Colloseum, Roman Forum and Palatine for €12, which is valid for two days. Whilst you can book online and pay the €2 fee, it’s worth heading down to the Forum entrance to buy on the door, where you will queue for a far shorter time (for us it was under five minutes around 11.00am mid-July). You can then use the shorter queue at the Colloseum for people who already have their tickets.
Nº 5 - CHECK CONCESSIONS
Students under 25 and individuals from EU Member States can receive extra discounts, so it’s worth asking at every attraction you visit.
Nº 6 - BOOK ENTRY TO THE VATICAN MUSEUMS IN ADVANCE
The line to get in to the Vatican is astonishing and when we visited in the summer it was horrendously busy inside. Do yourself a favour and swallow the €4 fee for booking online a day or two before.
Nº 7 - DINE AWAY FROM THE MAIN TOURIST AREAS
Areas around the main sights are tourist traps and typically rather expensive, so walk fifteen minutes in any direction and you will soon come across well-priced local cuisine.
Nº 8 - TAKE A CHANCE ON LAST-MINUTE ENTERTAINMENT
We saw that Madame Butterfly was playing outdoors the Ancient Baths of Caracalla, but the cheapest tickets we could find online were around €40 and right near the back. We turned up at 8.45pm (the performance started at 9.00pm) and asked about any student, Member States, other concessions we may be eligible for. The ticket attendant looked us up and down, sweaty and dusty after a day of sightseeing, and offered us €10 tickets each five rows from the front. See what's on during your visit.