If you’re looking to save money when visiting Rome, there are a few tips to keep in mind. These include tips regarding transportation, lodgings, dining, and even water.
Number One: Lodgings. When first arriving at the airport in Rome, you will have to take some sort of transportation into the city. My bus ride took about forty-five minutes. We arrived at night, and we were exhausted having come from the U.S. and been on a connecting flight from London.
When we arrived at the airport, therefore, we immediately went to a booking station inside the airport. When you approach these kiosks, you are asked how much you would like to spend per night, and then the employees book a hotel for you through a computer. This is an excellent service, but there are ways to save money. Keep your wits about you and you could come out getting a great deal. Low-ball your estimate of what you’d like to spend. If a number comes to mind, cut in by one-third and see what comes up. Ask for something that’s on the subway line, but not within the main tourist area. These hotels are likely to have bigger rooms with bathrooms in them (a definite plus) for far less than Rome.
In addition, off-the-beaten-path hotels will likely have small local family-owned restaurants nearby who will be very appreciative of your business. A hotel we found featured a woman who spoke five languages and an up-all-night bakery/dessert shop right across the street. The restaurant around the corner took Euros, American dollars and American Express Traveler’s Checks we hadn’t had a chance to convert to Euros. We spent a couple of dollars on the subway fare for the day and rode about ten minutes into the city.
Another great way to save money on lodgings once you’ve settled into your first hotel (if you plan on staying in more than one), is to go to the Rome Termini station (the main train station which connects all of Italy in a vast rail network). Representatives from area hotels will be on hand trying to coax you out of line at the booking kiosks with deals at their own hotels, armed with brochures. Politely decline their offers several times and watch them keep lowering the price. Then offer to take the room, but only if you can have that low rate for two nights instead of one. My husband and I got a $150 a night room for $60 a night using the “no, thanks” method.
Number Two: Food
There are some absolutely wonderful restaurants in Italy, of course, where you can actually