Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

6 days in Rome - schedule tours or go it alone?

6 days in Rome - schedule tours or go it alone?

Old Mar 19th, 2007, 08:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
6 days in Rome - schedule tours or go it alone?

Is there any benefit to taking a guided tour vs. sightseeing on our own? This will be our 1st time in Rome and our hotel (Hilton Cavalieri) is pretty far from the center action. I know the tours can be pretty expensive and I definitely don't want to pay for something if it's not needed (I'd rather spend it on food and wine). I am open to ALL recommendations and advice from all you who have been there and done it.
If we do a tour, any experience w/ Vatican Tours Inc.?
MSSOLL is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,744
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

On my last trip, I had 5 days in Rome. I decided to take tours at the sights where I felt I would get the most out of it. I did 2 tours with Context Rome, Antica Rome and Arte Vaticano and was very pleased with both. I felt it was worth the cost.

There are other tour companies that charge less. I liked Context Rome's in depth tour/lecture and the small groups, limited to 6.

I also did a tour of Nero's Golden Palace with an English speaking archeologist. Facinating, but I understand it's closed at this time.

I had no problem at all finding my way around Rome (solo), even locating some of the churches I specifically wanted to see. It's a very walkable city, but I don't know how far out your hotel actually is. You may be riding the Metro or spending more money on taxis.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We loved our Ancient Rome tour with ICON and they are reasonably priced.
motor_city_girl is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think a tour at the Forum is a must. You can get an inexpensive one freom the Forum staff. There are inexpensive tours of the colloseum that begin right outside the main entrance.
At St. Peter's there are students who offer very good "free" (tips ok) tours. You can also get a very good audio tour of the Vatican museum in the museum.
I recommend all of these and they are very inexpensive.
Most professional tours will be better (depending on many variables,they may be a LOT better), but they do cost more and sometimes tie your schedule down.
You'll need to save some money for taxis back to your hotel at night.
jabez is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 589
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some of the best sites like the Domus Aurea and the Scavi require that you join a tour group for admittance. Others, like the colosseum, offer inexpensive recorded narration earphones at the entrance. Those combined with a good guidebook are all that I need to enjoyably soak up the scenery. But if you don't like reading and want to inject a few more euros into the local economy then why not hire a tour guide?
bobludlow is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 961
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just talked with a friend last night who said if they ever returned to Rome they would take some tours....they and another couple were each robbed once when doing it on their own..(but from what she said I think it was THEIR OWN FAULT). Open wallet in back pocket on a city bus, and setting a pack on the shelf behind them in a fast food!!!)

Having said that,: and back to the subject;
Though my husband and I like to browse places on our own and usually do,, I think it's good thing to take a basic inclusive guided CITY tour...it gets you an overall view of a city. You can then return to places that interest you.~~~~especially the FIRST time to a city. WE often do that , as we don't stay too long in places. It's usually well worth the money,and one gains a lot of information about the cities.
mari5 is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am a very independent traveller who also believes that there is time and place for tours. I prefer private and small and for Rome (my 10th or so trip but am bringing 7 friends who have never been) I booked private tours for the mornings to see Vatican and St. Peters and another to see the Colosseo and Forum. IMO, it is worth it for some of these sites. I got far more out of my third visit to the Forum when I hired a guide.

There are just some occasions when tour guides are a good investment.
kfusto is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,744
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regarding Mari's comment: In my opinion, "robbery" means a more aggressive, physical confrontation involving a weapon. Sounds to me like Mari's aquaintences were victims of pickpocketing and theft, and of their own carelessness.

By the way - whether you are using tour guides or not has NOTHING to do with getting pickpocketed!
Dayle is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jul 22nd, 2006 04:58 AM
Jun 1st, 2006 01:39 PM
Jan 3rd, 2006 02:16 PM
Jul 18th, 2004 08:32 AM
Feb 16th, 2004 03:30 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:59 AM.