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The Rome City Bus Is Easy And Convenient For Getting Around

The Rome city bus is an great option for visitors wanting to get around the city and this guide will help plan your next visit with some helpful information.

Rome City Bus - straps on bus

Hang on to the straps!

Rome has a very comprehensive public transit system, including buses, that are run by ATAC and can be used for shorter trips around the city, reaching more remote parts of the city, as well as connecting you to the Metro and regional train hubs for longer distance travel.

The main bus terminal is at Termini station, which makes it convenient for traveling to the city and being able to switch from one mode, like trains or subways, to another like buses or trams.

What Is The Rome City Bus Timetable?

The majority of the buses run from before 6:00am to after midnight, while some of the main routes will run all night. There are also different schedules for holidays so you want to be sure you are looking at the right schedule.

City Buses and Tour Buses In Rome

It’s important that you are able to tell which are the public buses and which are the private ones for tourists. There is nothing wrong with the tourist buses as they provide visitors with a valuable service but my focus here are the low cost city buses that, with a little planning, can get you to wherever you want to go in Rome.

The sightseeing buses are usually multilevel, sometimes open on top and have vendors trying to sell you on their service as you walk by a popular tourist site. If you want to spend the day hopping on and off a bus at each site, this is probably for you, but if you just arrived at Termini station and need to get to your apartment rental in Prati, the municipal bus is what you need.

Rome City Bus Tickets

The name of the game with bus tickets in Rome is: Options! You can buy a ticket (biglietto) from a tobacco shop (tabaccheria), a green newsstand (edicola), bars and vending machines at major subway and bus stops, like Termini.

Rome City Bus - Bus Stop

How Much Is A City Bus In Rome?

Currently, these individual ride tickets cost €1.50. You can also buy tickets via a smartphone app, like B+, MyCicero, Tabnet, Ticketappy and Dropticket. My experience has been with MyCicero and would also be my recommendation.

How Much Is A 3-Day Metro Pass In Rome?

There are other options if you plan on using the buses multiple times and these are the multi-day passes, like the 24H (€7.00) / 48H (€12.50) / 72H (€18.00) passes which are unlimited in their usage from the time of validation.

Ticket TypePriceValidity
BIT€1.50100 minutes
MULTI-BITfrom €3.00 to €15.00100 minutes x2, x3, x5, x10
CIS€24.007 days from the first validation
ROMA24H€7.0024 hours from the first validation
ROMA48H€12.5048 hours from the first validation
ROMA72H€18.0072 hours from the first validation
Roma Pass 48 Hours€32.0048 hours from first validation on public transport and in the museums of the circuit
Roma Pass 72 Hours€52.0072 hours from first validation on public transport and in the museums of the circuit
FreeFreeFree for children up to 10 years old

Another option which we had used many years ago is the RomaPASS. This is a great option for tourists who are in Rome for only two or three days. In addition to unlimited use of Rome’s entire public transportation network, you get access to museums, discounts for attractions and services as well as free access to toilet services of the P.Stop network.

Flagging Them Down

Please remember that, unlike a Metro, if nobody signals to the driver that they want to get off, it’s possible the bus will run past the stop. While you are riding, make sure that you find and press the red signal button before you want to get off, and when you are waiting at the stop, just make eye contact and give the driver a gentle wave to make sure he notices you.

Rome City Bus Ticket Validation

Each bus will have at least one functioning ticket validation machine, which is a yellow box mounted on a pole, and when you have a single ride ticket, which is valid for 100 minutes, you will need to validate it immediately upon entering the bus.

Rome City Bus - Ticket Validation

While in Rome, Italy, be sure to validate your bus tickets in one of these.

Basically, this starts the clock ticking on the 100 minutes available to you, so if you are riding multiple buses to get to your destination, as long as it fits in 100 minutes, you are good to go, but any longer and you will need to buy another ticket. This is one reason you should consider how often and how long you will be riding the bus because it may be more cost effective to buy an unlimited ticket.

I strongly recommend making sure you have a validated ticket while riding a bus. You may look around and notice that not everyone goes directly to the validation machine when they get on the bus, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of risk. They may have validated on another leg of their journey, have a multi-day pass or bought their tickets on a smartphone app like MyCicero. I have seen on multiple occasions the inspectors coming on board the buses and fining people without a ticket, to the point of one man having been taken into custody by the police because he felt like aggressively arguing with the inspectors. Be safe, enjoy your trip and buy a ticket.

Safety In Rome

A helpful tip from the great Rick Steves is that while violent crime in Rome is very rare, petty crime like pickpocketing is more common. Pay close attention to your surroundings by making sure your purse or wallet is secured. One bus line, the 64, which runs from Termini to the Vatican is particularly dubious and according to Mr. Steves is nicknamed the Pickpocket Express, so please be careful.

Check The Rome Bus Schedule

Pay close attention to deviations to the schedule. This will happen occasionally when there is construction or an event that will block the streets, so it’s important to be aware of any changes so that you can actually reach your intended stop. Apps like MyCicero will make you aware of these deviations and you can also check with the ATAC website for any status updates.

Rome City Bus - Municipal

Roman Buses

Rome Bus Maps

For a very detailed map of the bus system, you should check out the ATAC website. These maps might be a little intimidating because of their complexity, so another approach would be to use Google maps, which has all the stops and which lines service them. You can also check out the maps and planning tools available on the smartphone apps, like MyCicero.

Other Post You Might Like

If you enjoyed this information on getting around Rome by bus, then here are a few other posts that might interest you. They describe other aspects of the transportation system in Rome, Italy, both public and private:

Final Thoughts On Getting Around Rome

Using the Rome city bus is a great way to get around the city and they should definitely be used to get a broader exposure to the city. Between the buses, subways (Metropolitana) and trains, you can get to any place you need to in Rome, Italy and beyond at a very reasonable price. Enjoy your travels!

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