Is Rome Expensive? A Rome Trip Cost Guide

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by Olivia Ellis

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While planning for your vacation, your Rome trip cost will undoubtedly be in your mind. You’ll wonder, is Rome expensive? How much will I spend on different meals and sites I would like to visit?  Luckily, Rome is a city that can truly be enjoyed on any budget.

Keep reading below to better acquaint yourself with how much you should expect to spend on an average cost of a trip to Rome. 

Rome Trip Cost Guide

Travellers to Rome will find the city to be one of the most expensive in Southern Europe and can expect to spend roughly €65-265 (roughly $71-290 USD) per person per day.

However, these prices will vary depending on how you choose to allocate your budget across accommodation, transport, food, activities and entertainment as well as your overall travel preferences.

Accommodation Prices

No matter the type of accommodation you are looking for, there are various options for accommodation in Rome.

For cost-efficient or solo travelers, a hostel in Rome may be the best option for you on your trip. The average cost for a bed per night at a well-located and nice hostel is about €20. This is a perfect option if you are trying to keep a minimally low Rome trip cost. 

The benefits of staying at hostels range from free drinks and coffees, as well as free events including walking tours of the city. My recommendations for hostels are either the RomeHello or The BeeHive, both are independent hostels with a great atmosphere, hostel events, and are centrally located.  

The iconic Trevi Fountain in Rome
The iconic Trevi Fountain in Rome

If your Rome travel cost offers more flexibility on paying a bit more for privacy and other amenities, you may prefer to stay in a mid-range hotel such as Domus Palatina

The average cost per night that you should expect to spend at a mid-range hotel is about €80-100. These tend to be centrally located with basic amenities, usually include breakfast, and are well suited for couples or friends. 

For those that are looking to splurge a bit more, you may prefer to book your stay at a nicer hotel in Rome such as the Barberini Dream. These are found all over the city, with many luxuries and amenities, and many offer beautiful views of the city to wake up and fall asleep to. For these nicer hotels, expect to spend an average of around €200-300 per night.

Keep in mind that accommodation prices in Rome in winter can be lower compared to the summer months.

Transportation Prices

Rome is an incredibly well-connected city with various modes of transport. Those being metro, bus, tram and my favorite, your own two feet.

You’ll first wonder how to reach the center of the city from the airport. From Fiumicino airport, you can take the Leonardo Express to Termini Station for €14 or a regional train for about €4 that takes you to various local train stations in the city depending on your accommodations.

My recommendation is the Terravision bus which also takes you to Termini station for about €6 – you can book in advance here.

From Ciampino airport, your options are either the Terravision bus (it can be booked here) or you can take a taxi for €30-35 anywhere within the Aurelian walls of the city center. 

Termini Station is also incredibly well connected to other major Italian cities such as Florence, Venice, Milan, and Naples. You can check schedules here.

Rome Termini Station
Rome Termini Station

The ATAC transportation system of Rome includes the metro, busses, and trams. To keep your Rome trip cost low, I recommend taking as much public transportation as possible and avoiding high taxi fees. 

You can purchase the same ticket for all three modes of transport at a tabacchi (tobacco) shop, newspaper shop, or the ticket stations at each metro stop. Each ticket is €1.50 and lasts for 100 minutes on whichever mode of transport you need to reach your destination. 

There are also passes available for either €7 for 24 hours, €12.50 for 48 hours, or €18 for 72 hours. This way if you know you will mainly use public transportation, you are going to save some money. 

Rome is also extremely walkable and most destinations within the center can be reached by foot, which also gives you an incredibly unique and beautiful walk. Who knows what you may pass or what delicious food you would have missed if you hadn’t walked to your next destination? 

Rome is an open-air museum and is best enjoyed if you take it slowly and fully take in the scenery and history on pretty much every corner. This way you may also stumble upon corners and neighborhoods off the beaten path that you can’t miss.

If you are staying out of the center of the city it may be a bit more difficult to walk everywhere throughout your trip, but many modes of transport can take you to the center from your hotel’s location.

Pantheon in Rome
Pantheon in Rome

Food Prices

One of the best parts about planning a trip to Italy is the food. Italy is truly one of the finest food havens in the world and for good reason. But will the food prices hike up your Rome vacation cost? They don’t have to! 

There are various options for food in Rome for every budget, whether you choose to keep it cheaper and mainly eat street food, or you prefer to dine at a nicer restaurant.

If your hotel or hostel doesn’t include breakfast, the best way to do it is Roman-style. Head to the nearest “bar”, and order a cappuccino or espresso and a cornetto (Italian croissant). Any more than €3.50 for both is considered overpriced and likely isn’t going to be as high of quality.

One of my favorite ways to grab something quick, delicious, and affordable for lunch or dinner in Rome is to head to a spot to grab pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice). You can savor some of the most delicious pizza of your life either at a bakery that offers this and other tasty options or at specific spot only offering pizza al taglio. 

Italian Cornetto filled with Pistachio Cream
Italian Cornetto filled with Pistachio Cream

Here you will have various options of pizzas and other Roman fritti (fried foods) and will be able to choose the size of each slice you would like to try and you pay by the weight. This is a great option as you are also able to try different varieties without having to try an entire pizza. 

Some of Rome’s most famous foods are street foods, and these are the delicious pieces of the city that will you keep you coming back for more. My recommended street food in Rome include La Renella, Trappizino and Suppli.

For more of a mid-range restaurant, you have options of either a pizzeria or trattoria. Pizzerias are sit-down restaurants with pizza as the star of the show. Trattorias are usually family-run establishments loved by locals.

Here you will find home-cooked style Italian food and lower costs than an osteria or ristorante which are more expensive and closer to a fine dining experience.  

In a mid-range restaurant, prices are fairly average and will set you back about €40-60 for two people. This includes ½ liter of wine, a starter or antipasti, pasta or pizza for two, and a dessert. Keep in mind that most trattorias in Rome will close after lunch and reopen for dinner later in the early evening.

Some Trattoria recommendations include Ivo a Trastevere and Mimi E Coco.

Another option for meals in Rome is set menus. These are usually offered at trattorias in the city and are most common for lunch. The average cost for a set menu is €18-20 per person and typically includes water, wine, bread, a first (pasta or risotto) and second course (meat or fish), and sometimes dessert or fruit after your meal. 

This is a good option if you are looking for more of an all-inclusive option and also want to save some money on your Rome trip cost. I also suggest being careful looking for a set menu restaurant as many of these cater to tourists and the quality of food won’t be as high. 

There are wonderful set menu restaurants in the city but these will be found off the beaten path away from the main tourist streets. A great option for a set menu is Trattoria Der Pallaro

Cacio Pepe - a typical Roman dish
Cacio e Pepe – a typical Roman dish

Activities Prices

Rome is a city full of things to do, experience, and attractions to see with many options depending on the type of traveler you are and what you wish to get out of your trip.

These are going to be one of the top things as well that you think about when you are thinking of the average cost of a trip to Rome.  From classical museums to walking tours, there is something for everyone no matter the cost that you are looking to spend.

Museum fees average around €15 per person, but it is also important to note that there are various discounts for EU youth between 18-25, children, and students. You will need some form of ID to prove eligibility but this is a wonderful scheme that if eligible, you can save a fair amount of money. 

A fun option to explore the city on foot is to sign up for a walking tour. These are a bit more expensive from around €30-40 but offer a unique view of the city with a knowledgeable guide. You can book one in advance here.

My favorite is a food tour, these are typically more expensive from €45-90, but include many stops that allow you to try different Roman delicacies. This is a good way to get your dinner and to do some sightseeing along the way! You can book one in advance here.

Colosseum in Rome

One of the few historical sites that you need to pay for is the Colosseum. The cost is €16 per person, includes both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and is valid for 24 hours. 

Tickets must be prebooked online and cannot be purchased in person. If you prefer to book with a tour guide, expect to pay a bit more but this is a great way to see the Colosseum in an organized way without being too overwhelmed. You can book one in advance here.

One of the biggest benefits of visiting Rome especially if you want to keep a low Rome trip cost, is that it is one of the biggest open-air museums in the world. The rest of the historical sites including the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps are all free to visit, wander in, and take your time in history. 

I recommend either visiting these in the morning or evening as crowds during the day can become massive making the experience a lot less enjoyable. You can also find free walking tours that only really expect a small tip at the end. These are usually very informative and interesting with fun guides.

There are also plenty of different types of museums in Rome depending on your interests. From the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art to The Vatican museums, there are various options throughout the city. A ticket to the Vatican Museums costs €17 on the higher end and the average price of other museums is around €15. 

St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican
St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Entertainment Prices

After sightseeing throughout the day, there is no better way to wind down than with the Italian Aperitivo. Aperitivo deriving from the Latin “aperire” which means to open the stomach, is essentially an Italian cultural ritual similar to a happy hour that takes place typically between 6:00 and 9:00 P.M. 

Bars and pubs will offer snacks and small bites along with a drink ranging from €10-15 depending on where you decide to go. These can range from chips to sandwiches to a buffet-style offering. 

Nightlife in Rome is a booming scene with many fun areas to go out in and have a drink or two under the Roman moonlight while mingling with locals or people-watching. 

Options for grabbing a drink range from a cheaper €3-5 glass of wine or beer to a more upscale cocktail bar where you can expect to pay upwards of €12-15 for a cocktail or prices starting from €25 for a bottle of wine. Many bars also offer happy hour just for drinks with a reduced price on wine, beer, or cocktails. 

Apertivo Plate in Italy
Apertivo Plate in Italy

Is Rome Expensive? Average Rome Trip Cost

Below is a categorized breakdown for those wondering what the average cost of a trip to Rome will be. Rome is a city that can be visited as a budget traveler but isn’t one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe.

This is the average expected amount per person per day in Rome for budget to mid-range travellers, assuming you are splitting the costs of a hotel room between two or staying in a dorm.

Accomodation: €20 – 150 / Night

Transportation: €5 – 10 / Day

Food: €20 – 40 / Day

Activities: €15 – 50 / Day

Entertainment: €5 – 15 / Day

In general, if you’re looking to enjoy yourself a little more than pinching pennies on your trip, enjoy a few meals out and a museum or two, you can expect average daily costs to be roughly €65-265 per day. 

This also doesn’t include any pre-trip expenses such as flights or travel insurance. For travel insurance, SafetyWing is a popular option if you’re travelling to Rome on a budget. They offer affordable and flexible travel medical insurance policies. 

Roman Forum
Roman Forum

Though it is a major European capital with plenty of places to spend your money, a Rome trip cost doesn’t have to completely break the bank.

Are you wondering whether Rome is expensive? Have any questions about prices in Rome? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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