Like many southern Italian cities, Rome has a somewhat confusing public transport system. Here is a quick transport guide to help you make the most of your time in Rome.
Know before you go
The best thing about Rome’s transport system is that it has integrated tickets for metro, tram, buses. It also integrates trains within the city. You can buy your tickets at the vending machines inside the metro stations or at tobacco shops throughout the city.
- A single ticket costs 1.5€ and is valid for 100 minutes from the moment you stamp the ticket. You have to validate the ticket as you get on the bus or tram and it is valid for 100 minutes. If you have to switch buses for example, you don’t need another ticket. If you use the metro, you have to validate the ticket as you enter the station and the ticket is valid for the 100 minutes, even if you take a bus after you exit the metro. There is one limitation, one ticket is only valid for one metro ride.
- The 24 hours ticket costs 7€ and is valid for unlimited metro, bus and tram within 24 hours from the first stamp.
- The 48 hours ticket costs 12.50€
- A 72 hours ticket costs 18€
- A 7 days ticket costs 24€ and is valid until midnight of the 7th day, regardless of the time of the first stamp on the first day.
For short trips, a good option is to use a Roma Pass which includes unlimited transport for the 48 or 72 hours option, one or two museum or archaeological sites entrance and discounts for any others of the list.
If you’re staying close to the city center you might not need to use the public transport much. Rome is pretty easy to walk and there is always something to discover around you.
If you have a choice, don’t hire a car in Rome. The traffic is really crowded, at least in the morning and evenings and parking is almost impossible. Most locals’ cars have side scratches which can be a real problem with insurance. I’ve also seen a lot of broken glass from smashed car windows, especially on the riverbanks so if you are driving, don’t leave anything in the car.
There are 3 metro lines in Rome. You can see the metro map here. Piazza di Spagna stop on the A line will take you very close to The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon. Also on line A, Ottaviano stop will take you close to the Vatican Museum. On the other hand, line B will get you to the Colosseum. On weekends, line B is replaced with bus services because of construction work to connect Lines B and C in the Colosseum Area.
Some bus lines are very crowded at all hours and also popular with pickpockets. The most “popular” are buses 64 and 40. For some attractions out of the city center a bus or a tram might be necessary. Ideally get them at the end of the line if you don’t want to wait indefinitely or hope to sit down. Also, use mooveitapp for dependable directions and times. Google maps can tell you how to get from point A to point B, but there are a lot of detours and delays in Rome that mooveitapp handles better and doesn’t leave you standing in the station as maps app left me a couple of times.
There are a few train stations in Rome, other than the main station called Stazione Termini. The metrebus ticket covers train rides within the metropolitan roman area too. For example, to get to Ostia-Rome’s closest beach, you can take the train from Porta San Paolo station, with the same 1.5€ ticket.
I hope this post about the transport system will help you plan your time in Rome. I’ll refer in every post about Rome on the specific ways to reach attractions out of the city center.