Before visiting Rome, I spent hours and hours searching through different travel websites, blogs and forums to determine how much my trip to Rome would cost me. Not only are there a range of different factors such as accommodation and flights but also other factors such as spending money, attractions and landmarks as well as many more! Even the smallest of things such as travel insurance can't be overlooked especially when travelling internationally, these prices seem to increase dramatically in consideration of my health as well as the tablets I’m currently on. I kept every single receipt from the moment I booked my flights and hotel to the moment I got on the plane at Rome which marked the end of my trip. There are 7 different factors which compiled my budget:
Flights to Rome are generally very inexpensive for those travelling within a 3 hour radius, such as from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Denmark to name a few. Regardless, if you book flights in advance then you’re more than certain to get the best deal whereas if you book last minute then you’ll be expected to pay a premium price for leaving it so late. Luckily for me I was able to book return flights with easyJet for £78.03 which included a seat reservation on my outbound flight and my inbound flight back to London Gatwick. Additionally I paid an extra £7 to go “Hands Free”, meaning I could put my cabin bag under the plane and avoid the rush for the overhead lockers. The flights itself was booked in May 2019 for January 2020 and as I travelled outside of school holidays it led to my flights being reasonable cheaper compared to flights during February. EasyJet only allows one type of service onboard which only allows passengers to one piece of hand luggage and a small handbag or rucksack. EasyJet provided a great service for both flights, especially when the plane faced a lot of turbulence on the returning flight from Rome to London Gatwick. Whenever I travel to countries that are only a short journey from London I always use easyJet since they mostly provide a reliable service for inexpensive prices. If you want to find out more information regarding easyJet then click here to see whether easyJet are worth flying with for their inexpensive tickets. If you want more information regarding easyJet Plus, a service providing additional benefits and extras for an annual fee, then click here to read more.
As Rome attracts nearly 10 million tourists throughout the year, as people travel from far and wide to visit the Colosseum, The Vatican City, The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill as well as the hundreds of different landmarks and activities that Rome offers. There are thousands of different accommodation options in Rome, each located near to a popular tourist destination and important landmark, in turn increasing the price drastically and some establishments wanted upwards of €100 for one room for one night while providing some amenities but the unique selling point being that they were located next to The Vatican City. Either way, I began searching for accommodation in Rome by using Booking.com to search through and narrow down my choices of accommodation for a hotel in Rome, rather than searching for a hostel or an apartment. From there I narrowed my search down to hotels that were located within the city of Rome but far enough away from major attractions to prevent overpaying for a room that would’ve otherwise been a lot more inexpensive. After an extensive search of hotels located near Termini Station, a major transport hub in Rome allowing visitors to use various transport links to get around the city, since it was the most inexpensive but most reliable place to stay throughout my time in Rome. With a list of a handful of hotels located near Termini Station I did my own research into the hotel’s reviews from TripAdvisor which was very surprising yet I’m grateful I digged deeper into people’s experiences with certain hotels. One of the hotels I favoured came out to be one in which residents were woken up constantly by thin walls, they found bed bugs and other insects in their room as well as being greeted by rude staff. I finally decided on the hotel I wanted to stay at: Relais de l'Opera which cost £95 per person, as there were two of us travelling. This price was based on a 3-night stay which included a double room with a double bed, an spacious room with lots of different amenities both in the room and the hotel itself. The hotel prided itself on their high rating from previous visitors as well as their high standards, to which I can vouch for, as our stay was perfect from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.
Transport was one of the first factors I considered before even travelling to Rome since it would be the main factor involved in getting to and from the airport as well as travelling throughout Rome. While planning my itinerary I researched where certain shops, landmarks and attractions were and from there I researched how to get there from Relais de l'Opera. As mentioned before, Relais de l'Opera was located near Termini Station which has various transport links including access to the Metro, buses and trams. Another station which was located just a few minutes walk from Relais de l'Opera was Repubblica Station, which connects with various stations such as Spagna, Ottaviano and Flaminio on Line A. Even though I had planned to walk to the majority of the activities and landmarks I planned to visit in Rome, I wanted to make use of the transport links available to me, especially when travelling back to Relais de l’Opera when it got a lot darker at night. Since I was unsure as to when I would need to use the Metro, I only bought tickets when needed - essentially “Pay As You Go”. As I only used the Metro 3 times, with a journey costing €1.50, it set me back €4.50 for three journeys, with each ticket allowing me 100 minutes on the Rome Metro system which was an added bonus. Another aspect of transport that I used throughout my stay in Rome was the Leonardo Express, which is run by Trenitalia, connecting Rome Termini and Fiumicino Airport. One ticket, with the only option being First Class, cost €14 per way, per person. This method of transport was not only quick and efficient but was very inexpensive in comparison to a taxi service which would’ve cost almost triple. As I only used the Rome Metro system and the Leonardo Express throughout my trip with no private taxis taken, it brought my total for transport to £27.50 (€32.50).
One of the most important factors travellers should consider before booking their flights and accommodation for Rome, or any holiday in general, would be purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance is so important as it prevents travellers from being out of pocket as well as being covered for their gadgets, baggage, flights or anything that may misfortune travellers throughout their trip and most importantly their health. As I say, you cannot put a price on health, but while buying travel insurance I was more than happy to pay £8.52 which was a Single Trip Insurance which covered mostly all of the factors mentioned above. Even though I thankfully didn’t need to use my travel insurance, I was more than grateful to have it if I did need it.
Attractions & Activities
Attractions and activities can range in price depending on the budget of the person travelling as well as what they plan to do throughout their stay in Rome. For example, if a traveller wants to visit The Colosseum then it’ll set them back €16, this price including entry to The Roman Forum, Palatine, Imperial Forums Archaeological Area as well as if there’s any additional exhibitions currently being held. Although, if a traveller wants to visit The Colosseum but wants a private tour then this could cost as much as €100 depending on the company you decide to book with. The same rule applies for those wishing to visit a range of different museums while in Rome, as some museums offer free admission whereas others operate on a basis where visitors must pay and in some cases reserve a ticket. For example, tickets to The Vatican Museums can be reserved or be bought on the day, although I would advise those planning to go that reserving a ticket allows visitors to skip the queue to which the line looks never ending. As I wanted to see Rome but was unsure of what to see and where to visit, I participated in two walking tours with a company called Rome Free Walking Tours. Rome Free Walking Tours operate on a “Pay-As-You-Feel” basis which makes travellers not feel obliged to pay for a service that they didn’t enjoy or deem worthy of a monetary tip. However, these two tours provided by Rome Free Walking Tours were thoroughly enjoyable and informative, which allowed me to learn more about Rome while seeing the highlights of the city. Since I enjoyed these tours I was able to leave monetary tips for the guides services and since they reply on tips for their work. More information regarding the debate where “Free Walking Tours” are actually free can be read more thoroughly by clicking here. Throughout my time in Rome I also visited St Peter’s Basilica which allows free admission on the basis that visitors queue up and then become subject of a security check. It should be noted that most attractions and places to visit are free to see, it shouldn't be deemed expensive as people only pay for what they wish to see. In total I spent £38.79 (€46) on attractions and activities in Rome, which include visiting The Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, The Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps, The Pantheon and the numerous piazzas across Rome as well as participating in two walking tours. All tickets were booked in advance via CoopCulture where you're able to buy tickets that allow visitors to skip the line but unfortunately not being able to modify or cancel these tickets before or during your trip.
Rome is home to many designer shops including Gucci, Dior, Bulgari and Dolce & Gabbana, making it an exclusive shopping destination to those who want to treat themselves to luxurious items. Even though these shops caught my eye and ideas of these items filled my head, I soon got brought back to reality when I received a text from my bank stating that I should make sure I have enough money to cover future payments. Either way, I was able to put some money aside for souvenirs for family members and friends, this came out to a lot more than I was expecting. In St Peter’s Basilica there’s the opportunity to buy glass containers with a silver oxidised medallion of The Vatican City printed on the front, which cost a mere €3 which can be filled with Holy Water. This water has been blessed through a public blessing in St Peter’s Basilica by Pope Francis, which made it a perfect gift for my family and friends who are religious. Other items were available to buy from St Peter’s Basilica such as rosary beads, small charms and a range of other items in relation to religious themes and Pope Francis. Although, there are a range of souvenir shops located outside of The Vatican City and around Rome which are considerably cheaper but come without the notion that it was bought on holy land. These souvenir shops are perfect for those wanting something very small to those wanting something very large, with reasonable prices wherever I visited. In one shop I found a snow globe priced at €2 whereas another shop located next to The Colosseum was priced at €7 simply because of the location. In total I spent £40.90 (€48.50), this is quite a lot on souvenirs but considering it’s very unlikely that I’ll return as well as buying for a wide range of family and friends, it seemed reasonable.
Food & Drink
It's very hard to determine how much travellers should budget when travelling to Rome for food and drink. There are people who don't mind a €1 slice of pizza and a €3 pastry or piece of cake whereas there are others who prefer to dine in more fancier and therefore more expensive restaurants. I had three meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner and sometimes a quick snack. Within the price of the room rate breakfast was included, Relais de l’Opera offered a wide spread of continental items as well as a selection of cooked items leaving us spoilt for choice. In this section I include snacks bought from Coop and a small corner shop near the hotel, as we were able to put them in the minibar provided to us by Relais de l’Opera. The minibar was also used by the hotel to offer soft drinks to visitors, which were priced at €1 per item, which was a lot cheaper than buying the item from a supermarket so of course I took full advantage. Every person has different tastes in food as well as some having dietary requirements which makes it hard to pinpoint a budget for food and drink. I budgeted €30-40 per day:
TOTAL SPENT FOR 4 DAYS IN ROME: £352.39 (Approximately €417.87)
As this was my first trip to Rome I had planned that I would spend a lot, especially with accommodation and shopping since it would be unlikely that I would return to Rome as I’ve now been there. There wasn’t one category that dominated the majority of my expenses except for the flights and hotel, which is expected since they’re unavoidable to get at a very low price. However, I preferred flying with easyJet from previous experience as well as knowing I’d be in good hands with Relais de l’Opera. As I split the expenses with the person I was travelling with, it made it a lot more affordable and overall made the trip more enjoyable. Others may prefer airlines, hotels and dining at restaurants that cost less whereas others may pay for more if they want to experience Rome in style and luxury.
Tips and tricks for all aspects of travelling, most of which include saving money.