Your first day in Rome might be frustrating as you struggle to find your way around. After all, it is a huge city – the world’s seventh most populated, with a metro area of 2.7 million people and an inside surface area of 800 square miles. Take some time to be patient, read the tips in this article on how to use the public transport system, and then use some of these tricks to find your way around Rome…
How to Start Your Journey in Rome:
When you arrive in Rome, it is a good idea to visit a tourist information office. There are many such offices in Rome, but the most central is at Via Parigi 5, near Termini central station. You will find this office helpful even if you do not plan to use public transport; it is an excellent place to find maps and guides of Rome (including a map of the public transport network) and learn about city events. There are also tourist information offices at Fiumicino Airport, Ostiense train station, Piazza Navona, Via Cavour and the Trevi Fountain.
The staff in these offices will be able to help you with your questions about how to get around Roma. You might also want to look at their web page, which contains far more information than you would find in any of the offices mentioned. On this website, you will find links to all public transport and local information on what sights to see and monuments to visit – so it’s a good idea to bookmark this site before you leave home.
It is also useful to visit the Roma Pass information centre in front of the Colosseum. Here you will find leaflets and maps of all the public transport, and this office can answer many of your questions about how to make your way around Rome. The one bad thing about this office is that it can get crowded sometimes, so it might be better to visit their Colosseum Tour website.
Here we have some tips on getting around Rome by public transport so you can visit all the beautiful sights and monuments in this magnificent city.
1. City’s Public Transport:
The city’s public transport network includes buses, trams, metro trains and regional trains. The buses are run by ATAC (Azienda Trasporti Autonomy Concessionari – “Self-Administered Transport Operators”), and the metro is run by ANM (Azienda Nazionale delle Ferrovie Dello Stato).
2. Get Tickets & Travelling Cards:
A “ticket” for bus, tram and metro transport is based on the distance travelled. There are single tickets (cheaper than round-tripping), daily and weekly passes, travelling cards for groups of two or more people, and one-day tickets (cheaper than the weekly ones), which are good for any day up until midnight. You can buy these from the ticket tills at stops along the route – so you don’t have to have exact change.
Your first journey on the bus or metro will cost 1.5 Euros; the price is based on how far you travel. It is unnecessary to keep the ticket after you have tapped it in at the start of your journey, so if you want to save money, you could try folding it up and keeping it in your pocket.
3. Check Price:
You’ll find a button inside each vehicle that will display how much your fare costs, but don’t rely on this as it may not be working properly (or may be out of order). When the vehicle approaches a station, the driver will announce how much money should be given to the conductor, who will check all tickets against the pass. If you have used your card or ticket, the conductor will note this on his computer and deduct this amount from your card. There is a small fee for processing these transactions, so don’t forget to give him your pass/card.
Many trams have doors on both sides – but open only one at a time. It would help if you waited for the doors to open when a tram approached a stop and stepped inside. At some stops, there will be only one door opening, so you should stick to that side of the tram.
4. Take Camera With You:
It is best not to use your camera or phone when waiting for a bus or metro train as it can distract other passengers from being aware of their surroundings – especially if you are standing just in front of or behind someone else and they accidentally bump into you.
5. Carry Debit and Credit Cards:
You’ll find plenty of places to buy transport tickets when you visit Rome. You can also use your credit card to pay for them at the ticket vending machines, which are easy to use and found at each stop. You have to select the kind of ticket you want (for bus, tram or metro), insert your card into the slot and follow the instructions on the screen.
Remember that if you are travelling with children under 10 years of age or with a companion who is over 65 years of age, you qualify for a discount on your ticket.
6. Get Tickets Easily:
If you have trouble being served by the ticket vending machines, there will always be an attendant at the station’s ticket office. Also, there are several ATAC information offices in the city where you can buy tickets. The one near Termini central station is at Via Parigi 5.
There is also a choice of regional tickets, which you can use on regional trains or ferries. These do not qualify for the discount on children under 10 years old, so they are not advised. You will find ticket offices at Termini station, Colosseum, Lido di Cinecittà, Ostiense and Stazione Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci airport. Look out for the signs with red fronts to distinguish them from the other ticket offices.
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7. Easy to Navigate Places:
You will find that the stations are generally easy to navigate after you have been there a few times. Follow the signs as they are clearly marked on the walls and floor. You’ll also find maps and information in the ticket offices or on their website, and it’s best not to worry too much about finding your way around because if you get lost, you can always ask someone – most people in Rome are very helpful and willing to assist you with directions.
It may be best to use the ATAC ticket machines to buy your tickets because if you have problems using them, there will usually be an attendant in the office who will help you. Remember that you need to set coins in the slot at the beginning of your journey, so keep these handy. You can also buy your tickets at any ATAC information office or from newsagents or supermarket checkouts.
8. Hire Guide:
If you are looking for sights, go to the daily guide published by ATAC , because it has a lot of information about transport destinations, so you can use either the metro or tram and then walk to your destination. You can also open up your copy of Rome by Michelin since this is an excellent guide to where you can see all the important attractions in Rome, or pick up one of their leaflets available at newsagents and supermarkets.
You can also take Colosseum Underground Tour if you want to explore the underground area of the epic wonder.
Rome is a fantastic city which has a lot to offer. You may find it difficult to get around on your own until you have been there for a few days, but even if you’re staying for a short period, this isn’t an issue as there are so many places to visit.