“Rent an apartment in Rome instead of staying in a hotel. Our family is paying €160 per night for four, in the Centro Storico” — LAwoman
Will you risk your wallet in Rome this spring and summer? It’s easy enough to avoid the scam artists and pickpockets, but finding good value is a little trickier. We asked travelers on our Travel Talk Forums to reveal some of their insider know-how about the Eternal City.
When in Rome, do you spend like a Roman? Share your favorite tips.
1. “The Basilica San Clemente is free, and it only costs three euros to go into the excavations of the twelfth-century church, the fourth-century church, and the first-century house with its pagan temple to Mithras.” — Nikki
2. “Bars always have two different prices: If you have your coffee at the counter it’s cheaper than when a waiter serves it at a table.” — quokka
3. “For the art lover on a budget: Most of the art I saw in Rome is free. Where else can you see countless Caravaggios, two Michelangelos, and even more Berninis for the cost of the wear and tear on the soles of your shoes?” — amyb
4. “Instead of taking the Leonardo Express from Fiumicino to Termini, take the FR1 to whichever station is most convenient for you. The FR1 departs every 15 minutes (instead of every 30 minutes for the Express), costs only €5 (instead of €9.50 for the Express), and avoids the hullabaloo of Termini as well as the crush of jetlagged tourists with way too much luggage.” — Therese
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5. “The boat trips down the Tiber, from the bridge by Castel San Angelo to Isloa Tiberniam is only 1E [a great way to get from St. Peter’s to Trastevere or the forum.] — annhig
6. “One way to save on the expense of guided tours is to register online at Sound Guides (http://www.sound-guides.com/) and download the various free self-guided tours to your Ipod or MP3 player.” — monicapileggi
7. “I eat at working folks places, like the “Goose,” near the Vatican. Dinner (three courses) runs €20 with wine; if you leave hungry it’s your own fault.” — JoanneH
8. “Visit wine fill-up shops in Italy; get table wine from the cask for 2-3 euros a liter. In Rome we would get them filled at the Testaccio market, but as others said, there are lots of places. I will usually ask at the local bar where I go for my coffee.” — susanna
9. “Our old strategy is to look for the law courts in any big city. Nearby you will always find small restaurants that are geared to serve lawyers and their clients. Quick food at good prices. Usually a daily special priced well. If you find such a restaurant, go during the off hours, either early or late when the place is relaxed and not crowded.” — USNR
10. “Invest in the bus schedule — at any place they sell tickets. Cost is €4. It gives you all the routes, how long between buses, hours they run, where you hop on/off to transfer etc.” — JoanneH
11. “The smaller restaurants in Trastevere also offer better value for money than, say, the ones in the alleys near the Spanish Steps or any of the other areas in central Rome. ” — friendindelhi
12. For more on-the-ground information, see our Rome planner.
Photo credit: ©Istockphoto/ Hedda Gjerpen.