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Planning A Trip To Rome Is Easy With Our Complete Guide

If you are planning a trip to Rome and you want to make sure you think of everything you will need to enjoy your trip, we are here to help with this guide.

Planning A Trip To Rome - Amazing Churches

Amazing Churches

When you are planning an international trip, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all that you need to think about. This guide will help you think through all the things you should consider before you come to Italy, but understand that we are pretty robust planners, so some of these things might seem ridiculous if you prefer a more flexible approach to travel. 

How Many Days In Rome Do You Need?

You can certainly get a good feeling for the city in as little as three days, and if you plan to continue your vacation to other cities in Italy, three full days is a good amount of time. If you are only coming to Rome, I would suggest at least a week so that you can enjoy everything the Eternal City has to offer at a more relaxed pace.

What Is The Best Month To Visit Rome?

Tourism in Rome is definitely year round, which is good and bad. There really isn’t a month when you can totally miss the crowds, so be prepared for a line or the need for reservations whenever you plan to come here. 

The positive side is that you can come here in late January and all the sites, restaurants and hotels are available with a smaller crowd. My favorite time of the year to come to Rome used to be in the Fall, but the crowds are still pretty big. Now, my favorite time in Rome is in January and February because the winters are very mild, it isn’t rainy and you won’t get overheated walking around. You might not have a strong desire for gelato, but it is still available.

Planning A Trip To Rome - Roma Pass

Check Out The Roma Pass

How Much Is A Trip To Rome, Italy?

This depends on a number of considerations, like when you will be traveling, what level of service you will expect at your hotel and restaurants, how you will get around the city. For a VERY rough guide, here are some costs for low season and high season:

  • JFK –> FCO Flights on ITA ($882/$1864)
  • 5-Star Hotel Per Night ($820/$757)
  • 3-Star Hotel Per Night ($205/$241)
  • Restaurants can cost from $20/Person on up, depending on the style
  • Public Transportation is: €1.50/ride
  • Taxis around the historical center range €10-€20
  • The sites generally range from free to €20 per person
Planning A Trip To Rome - Don't Miss These Sites

Don’t Miss These Sites

How Do I Organize My Trip To Rome?

This is why we are here. Take a look at the steps below that include pre-trip planning, what to pack, where to stay, getting around Rome, things to do in Rome, where to eat and some other travel tips. 

Pre-Trip Planning For Rome

These are some important things to do well ahead of your trip to Rome in order to make it as successful as possible.

Getting To Airport

You should compare the costs of driving yourself and parking at the airport versus planning a taxi, car service, shuttle bus or limo. Depending on the length of your trip, it should be obvious which is cheaper and which is most convenient for you. You might be surprised if your trip is long enough, renting a limo is cheaper, and so much cooler.

Plan And Reserve Popular Sites

It is no exaggeration that even in the winter months you will want to plan and reserve access and/tours for the most popular sites in Rome, like the Vatican museums, the Colosseum, The Roman Forum And Palatine Hill. Luckily these can be done online and usually with English translations, so no reason not to get those locked down before you arrive, and here is a guide for buying tickets for the Colosseum, and more.

Planning A Trip To Rome - Planning Flights

Planning Flights

Check Passports, Share A Scan, Print A Copy To Carry

Your passport can really trip you up when you are planning an international trip. Of course you need a valid one, but it also can expire within three months, even if you are only in Rome for a week. Make sure you have a lot of time left before expiration.

Also, scan a copy and send it to your emergency contact as well as saving a copy online, like on Google Drive, and for a true Belt And Suspenders approach, print a copy to carry with you. If this seems like a lot, be aware that you are required to have documentation on you at all times in Italy. If you lose your passport, these copies will save you a ton of hassles.

Check Cell Phone Coverage

Having a cell phone in Italy is important, so you will want to make sure it works or you make plans to get a Rome SIM card. If you are going with your US carrier, then you will need to buy an International plan with voice and data.

Planning A Trip To Rome - Seasonal Beauty

Seasonal Beauty

Convert Your $ To €

ATMs work well here, but be sure to let your bank know that you will be traveling internationally so that they don’t freeze your card thinking that the transactions are fraudulent. You might consider taking a second card just in case there are problems. I had that happen with my local bank who promised me there was no problem, yet I couldn’t get any money out. Switching banks solved the problem. You should also plan to convert some USD to EUR to ease your arrival. For our family, having €500 seemed prudent, but you can get by with much less, maybe €100.

Load Up Phone With Entertainment, Audio Tours

It is a long flight and international travel has built-in downtime, especially if you have a connection, so you will want to bring your own entertainment. Books are possible, but they take up a lot of space. I would suggest downloading eBooks, podcasts and movies for your easy entertainment.

Pictures Of Medication

If you take medication, take pictures of the bottles so that if you lose your bags or something else happens, you can get a refill. Your prescriptions aren’t valid here in Italy, but it would be obvious you aren’t running a scam and the Pharmacies in Rome have a lot of leeway to help people.

Put Mail On Hold And Possibly Tell The Police

Don’t forget to put your mail on-hold while you are out of the country. Stacked up mail is a pretty obvious sign that you aren’t around and thieves might consider your house a nice target. We used to also alert the police in our quiet suburb. In theory, they would occasionally drive by to check to see if anything looks amiss, but to be honest, I don’t know if they did but it is just a little more piece of mind.

Planning A Trip To Rome - Book Train Tickets

Book Train Tickets

What To Pack For A Trip To Rome

Packing for international travel can get pretty complicated because of the opposing forces of wanting to pack as light as possible versus not wanting to forget anything. The good news is that apart from medication, you can easily get anything you forgot here in Rome, so the risk is low. There are a ton of packing guides online written by and for women, so here are some packing guides to help men pack:

Where To Stay In Rome

Two things you will need to determine is the level of service that you want from your hotel and which part of the city you will want to stay in. I would recommend staying in the historical center of Rome. Further out from the center will be cheaper, but you will spend your time traveling from the hotel to your sites or meals every day. Here are some recommendations for hotels of various levels and in different areas around Rome:

The Best Way To Get Around Rome

Rome is definitely a walkable city, but you might also want to save some time with public transportation or with a taxi. Here are some articles that I think will help your planning:

Things To Do In Rome

There are plenty of things to do in Rome, but you want to make sure you are seeing the highlights first or if this is a second or third time visiting Rome, here are some itineraries that will help you plan your visit:

What To Eat In Rome

Rome has an almost endless supply of amazing restaurants, so it can be a challenge to decide where to get started. You will want to make reservations for dinner, and probably lunch, but unless you want to go to a really popular restaurant, a day or two ahead should be enough time. Here are some suggestions that should only be considered a starting point:

Get Started Now Planning Your Trip To Rome

This guide for planning a trip to Rome is just a starting point, you should be sure to check out some YouTube videos, travel books and other travel bloggers to get a complete picture of the options available to you when visiting Rome.

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