Are you planning to visit Rome soon? Rome, the capital city of Italy, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The city is renowned for its rich history, culture, architecture, and great food. Before you travel to Rome, there are some essential things that you need to know to help make your trip a success. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know before visiting Rome.
1. About the city
Rome is the capital of Italy and its largest city, with a population of around 3 million. The city is built on seven hills and is considered one of the oldest inhabited areas in Europe. Rome’s city centre is like one big open-air museum, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located within Rome is the world’s smallest independent country, Vatican City, which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.
2. Map of Rome
Most of Rome’s famous attractions are located east of the Tiber River. For orientation, let’s start with the Colosseum, which is located centrally, right next to the famous Roman Forum and Antara della Patria. South of the Colosseum, you will find Circus Maximus, an ancient chariot racing stadium, and the ruins of the Terme di Caracalla, ancient Roman baths. Rome’s main train station is located northeast of the Colosseum. If you go northwest of the Colosseum, you will find the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, and Villa Borghese Gardens. Right above the square towards the west, you can find the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and when you cross one of the beautiful bridges there, you will first see the famous Castel Sant’Angelo and finally Vatican City.
3. Weather and Climate
Rome has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot and humid summers. Temperatures in winter typically range between 32 and 53 Fahrenheit or 0 to 12 degrees Celsius. Rain is common in winter, especially in the summer, which is also the wettest and most humid month. Weather in the spring is unpredictable, and average temperatures range between 41 and 73 Fahrenheit or five to 23 Celsius. Summers are hot and humid, with little rain, and temperatures usually range between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 to 32 degrees Celsius. Fall is generally nice and still warm and dry, from 44 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 to 26 degrees Celsius. However, these are just averages, and weather can be different when it travels, so make sure to check the weather forecast before travelling.
4. Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Rome is between April and May in the spring and September to November in fall when the weather is cooler. It is still pleasant to walk outside, and the crowds of tourists are gone. You can usually wear a light jacket. Probably the least convenient time to visit Rome is in August when it can get extremely hot and humid, and there are crowds everywhere. In any case, if you’re travelling to Rome in summer, don’t forget to bring a hat and figure out when it’s the best day and time to see the attractions by checking Google to see how crowded a specific location is at a certain time of day.
5. Where to Stay and Price of Accommodation
Since Rome is a relatively small city, most of the tourist attractions are in walking distance of each other. To stay close to major attractions, we recommend that you stay somewhere between the Tiber River and the Termini train station. This way, you will be surrounded by famous attractions, the best restaurants, and the traditional Roman atmosphere. If you want a truly authentic experience and don’t mind spending a little more
Rome is a generally safe destination, so you shouldn’t be too worried about specific areas to avoid. However, like all major cities around the world, you should pay attention to pickpockets, especially in crowded areas close to major attractions. Use common sense and watch your valuables, and if you need emergency services, dial 112.
7. Best Apps to Use
Your smartphone can be your best friend in Rome, and there are several useful apps that you can download. Wi-Fi Map or Wi-Fi Finder can help you find Wi-Fi throughout the city, and Google Maps or Apple Maps can help you navigate the city by foot, public transportation, or car. TripAdvisor and Yelp are great for finding restaurants, hotels, and museums with good reviews, and Rome Guide Civic Terrace and MICU Roma provide up-to-date tourist information about Rome.
8. Food and Drinks
Rome offers some great restaurants, and we suggest using Yelp or TripAdvisor to find a nearby place with good reviews. Try to avoid sitting down in the restaurant next to major attractions, as many times you can find a much better price-quality ratio restaurants a street or two away from the main locations. An average price for coffee is one euro for an espresso and one euro up to 3-4 euro for a cappuccino. An average price for an inexpensive to mid-range restaurant meal is 10 to 15 euros for lunch and between 15 and 20 euros for dinner. Pizza will typically cost you between 3 and 5 euros, and you will pay about two to two and a half euros for two scoops of amazing Italian gelato.
9. Free City Tours
Walking tours of Rome are a great way to discover the city’s rich history and legends. Many tour guides offer free walking tours, and you can check our travel guide for links to free guided tour websites and additional interesting tours in Rome.
10. Best Free Views of the City
You can enjoy several amazing views of Rome for free. The Altar of the Fatherland or Altare della Patria is located in the center of the city with great views in all directions. The Pincio Terrace, stretching directly from the beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese, is located above Piazza del Popolo. And the Gianicolo Terrace is located on a hill just behind Vatican City.
Before you go to Rome, make sure to check out our travel guide, a mobile-friendly PDF document that you can store offline on your phone. It covers the top 10 major attractions in Rome, including maps, links, opening hours, and other information, as well as additional attractions. By following these tips, you can avoid the hassle and stress when you’re in Rome and have an amazing time exploring this fascinating city.