Seeing the Best of Rome, Italy on 50 Euros A Day

Rich with history and arrayed with architectural wonders, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  The Eternal City features countless landmarks such as St. Peter’s in the Vatican City and the ancient Roman Coliseum, which makes it a destination most people long to visit at some point in their life.  However, vacationing anywhere can be expensive, and Rome is no exception to this rule.  If you are not careful you can easily spend hundreds of dollars each day during your stay in Rome, as expenses will quickly add up between lodging, food, transportation, and sightseeing costs.  However, this does not have to be the case.  Break out your map of Italy, because even if you are on a shoestring budget it is still possible to have a memorable experience in Rome spending 50 Euros (about 65 U.S. dollars) or less per day as long as you keep in mind a few important tips.

Lodging

Just as they are in the States, hotels in Rome can be rather pricey.  In fact, if you are planning on staying in a hotel you probably should not factor in the cost of lodging into your 50 Euro per day budget, because you are likely to spend at least that amount each night for a hotel room.  However, if this is not possible staying in a hostel is always an option.  The MJ Place Hostel is located right in the heart of Rome, and room prices start as low as 20 Euros per night.  You should be warned that you will sacrifice some privacy by staying in a hostel as you may have to share a room with strangers, but you will definitely save money.  If you are feeling truly adventurous and brought the right gear, you can also camp just outside the city for only about 8 Euros a night.  This will, however, add some transportation costs as you will need to take the bus into the city.

Food

Rome is renowned as a center of culinary excellence, so even if you are on a strict budget you will not want to miss the opportunity to take in some local fare.  If you are staying in a hotel or a hostel, it would be a good idea to load up on the complementary breakfast in the morning so you will have at least one meal taken care of.  For lunch you have nearly infinite options for food that is both excellent and cheap.  A large slice of pizza from the famous Antico Forno Roscioli bakery will set you back less than 2 Euros.  You can also find a plethora of street vendors who can provide you with a great meal for fewer than 10 Euros.  Many of these feature food from all over Italy, so you can sample the whole gamut of Italian cuisine.  Dinner will cost you a little bit more, but you still don’t have to break the bank.  Instead of a big restaurant you should consider trying out a trattoria.  These businesses are family-owned, and can usually give you an authentic Italian dining experience for under 30 Euros.

Transportation

Obviously taking a cab is always an option, but frequent taxi rides can make your Roman vacation expensive very quickly.  Don’t expect to take a cab anywhere for less than 5 Euros, and if you are going more than a couple kilometers you could end up spending most of your daily budget just getting around the city.  Your best option is walking, if you can manage it.  Rome is a beautiful city, after all, so you should take full advantage of the scenery by slowing down and taking a stroll.  If you need to get across town, however, your best bet is public transit.  A single ride ticket on a bus or train will set you back 1 Euro, but a three-day pass is only 11 Euros.

Mueseums, Etc.

Admission to the various museums and tourist attractions in Rome can eat up a large amount of your budget, but they don’t have to.  The museums in the Vatican City offer free admission on the last Sunday of every month, so if you plan your trip right you can save big.  You should also check about the various packaged deals available for Rome’s tourist destinations.  Many of these bundle transportation passes and multiple museum entries for less than 30 Euros, which will help to make for a Roman holiday that is both memorable and affordable.

Article written by Charlie Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog. Follow his globe trotting wine drinking exploits on twitter @twoguyswine