Best Tips on How to Use Rome Public Transportation – Best Value Tickets – Airport Transfers - Off The Tourist Treadmill

Best Tips on How to Use Rome Public Transportation – Best Value Tickets – Airport Transfers

Rome is a big city and you would expect to have a lot of transport facilities to be able to go to point A to point B. The good news is that Rome public transportation is very cheap for a European capital.  I wish this was the same for London. We are going to write in more detail about all the ticket options but, as an example, you can buy a public transport ticket valid for 75 minutes for 1.5 Euros.

During our last visit, we noticed that they were improving the transport with the new metro line C, which was partially open.  When this line is completed, I would say that Rome transport will be very good as there was missing metro access to certain areas of Rome.

Rome Best Value Public Transportation Tickets

When I first visited Rome, I made a mistake by buying the wrong ticket. When I say wrong, I mean I lost money by buying a 3-day tourist pass ticket. I’m going to detail all the different ticket prices, so that you will be able to buy the most cost-efficient ticket.  You will notice that the passes with fixed number of days aren’t particularly cost-effective.

What are the Different Types of Public Transport Tickets in Rome?

There are plenty of different options to choose from according to your situation.  However, we are going to use the single 75-minute ticket as a comparison, because you will see it is the best option almost every time.

Colosseum italy
Colosseum italy

Rome Public Transport – Monthly Ticket

If you are planning to stay in Rome longer than two weeks, then you need to consider the monthly ticket.

The monthly ticket (the tessera mensile) costs 35 Euros.  You need to make more than 23 journeys to be this ticket less expensive than the single 75-minute ticket.  At first glance, it looks a good value ticket, but be aware that the monthly ticket starts on the first day of the month and finishes on the last day of the month. This means that if you buy your ticket on the 15th day of the month, your monthly ticket will automatically stop on the last day of the month, meaning that you have just 15 days.  However, this monthly ticket can still be a good option if you are planning to travel a lot.

Rome Public Transport – Weekly Ticket

If you are staying in Rome for one week, then perhaps the weekly ticket is best for you.  The weekly ticket is valid for seven days and it expires on the seventh day at midnight. So that means, if you buy your ticket on Monday after lunchtime, your ticket will expire on the following Monday at midnight. As you can see, you immediately lose some time.  This can be a few hours or even almost a day depending on when you buy your ticket.

Spanish-Steps
Spanish-Steps

The price of the Rome weekly public transport ticket is 24 Euros.  If you compare it with the single ticket, you need to use the Rome public transportation system a minimum of 16 times or more than 3 times a day.  This is probably not the best choice for most visitors.

 Rome Public Transport – Three Day Pass (BTI)

If you are visiting Rome for a long weekend, then you could consider buying a three-day pass.  The three-day tourist pass is valid for 3 days but not 72 hours.  This means that your 3 days does not start when you buy the ticket!  If you buy your pass in the afternoon, you will have two and a half days to use your ticket on public transport. The cost of this ticket is 16.5 Euros, so if you want to save money, you need to use your pass more than 11 times during the 3-day period. If you want to visit some sites during your weekend away, it may be better to buy a Roma Pass.

 What is a Roma Pass?

A Roma Pass gives you the following benefits for 72 hours:

  • Free use of the public transport;
  • A choice of 2 museums/archaeological sites/experiences;
  • Discounted tickets to other museums, exhibitions or events;
  • Priority entrance to the Castel Sant’Angelo and Musei Roma;
  • Reserved entrance to the Colosseum but pre-booking is required.  (For more detailed information about all the experiences available at the Colosseum and Colosseum ticket prices, read our useful article about How to skip the line in Colosseum.)

You can buy the Roma Pass here: https://www.romapass.it/en/the-cards/

trevi-fountain-rome
trevi-fountain-rome

Day Tickets (BIG)

As the name of the ticket implies, the day ticket is valid for one day, from the moment you buy it until midnight.  It allows you unlimited transport for a whole day. The cost of the ticket is 6 Euros, so you need to use public transport more than 4 times to make it worthwhile. If you are visiting different sites and spending time queuing, then it is unlikely that you will use your day ticket more than 4 times.

One-Way Ticket (BTI)

The one-way ticket is valid on Rome’s public transport for 75 minutes. The cost of this ticket is 1.5 Euros and, as you can see from the information above, it is likely to be the best choice of ticket for most visitors to travel around Rome. Don’t forget that you will spend time visiting the attractions.  Although the city is big, most of the time you will walk from one place to another because there is plenty to see on the way.

The one-way ticket was the smartest choice for us, but you need to do your maths and see which ticket is the most cost-effective for your itinerary and travel plans.

Where Can I Find Public Transport Tickets in Rome?

You can buy public transport tickets in some stores, newsagents or at ticket vending machines. You will find ticket vending machines in every metro station. In big metro stations, you will also find cashiers where you can ask for information about your journey and buy tickets.  Most of the time they direct you to use the ticket vending machine.

The ticket vending machine is a good option because you can choose the language (helpfully, everything was then in English for us). You need to have notes or coins, as the machines don’t take cards.  Another tip is that the ticket vending machines will never give you more than 6 Euros change, so if you use a 10 Euro note, you need to spend a minimum of 4 Euros.  If you are using a 20 Euro note, you need to spend a minimum 14 Euros. Be prepared with enough change before going to buy your ticket!

Where is my Rome Public Transportation Ticket Valid?

You can use different kinds of transport in Rome with your public transport ticket. You can use either metro, buses, trams and urban trains.

Rome Metro Lines

There are three different metro lines in Rome:

 Line A is the line you are going to use the most often as this line connects with most tourist sites:

Metro Station Tourist Attraction/Interest
Tremini Rome Railway
Spagna Spanish Steps/Villa Borghese
Barberini Trevi Fountain
Cipro – Musei Vatican Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel
Ottaviano St Peter’s Basilica

On the metro map, Line A is orange.

If you are planning to visit St Peter’s Basilica whilst you are in Rome and want to climb the dome, read our post to know Is it Worth Climbing St Peter’s Dome?

Line B intersects with Line A at Termini station.  You will use this line to visit the Colosseum, Palatine hill or the Roman Forum. On the tube map, Line B is blue.

Line C is not yet finished.  For now, there aren’t any major attractions on this line.  Line C will be completed in 2022 and will intersect with Line B at the Colosseum. On the tube map, Line C is green.

 Rome Metro Opening Times

Rome’s metro lines open at 05:30 and the last metro trains leave the end of the line at 23:30 on weekdays and 01:30 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Rome Buses

Rome buses operate from 05.30 to midnight each day. During the night, there is a service on the core route. The main bus terminal is in front of the Tremini railway station. The buses are a good solution to visit the ancient centre of Rome which the metro and trams don’t serve.

Rome Public Transportation Bus
Rome Public Transportation Bus

Rome Trams

Rome’s tram network has 6 lines and 192 stations covering a total of 40 km (24 miles). The trams are a good option to avoid being stuck in traffic.

  • Line 2: Piazza Mancini to Piazzale Flaminio
  • Line 3: Piazza Thorvaldsen to Piazzale Ostiense
  • Line 5: Station Tremini to Piazza dei Gerani
  • Line 8: Piazza Venezia to Via del Casaletto
  • Line 14: Station Tremini to V.le Palmiro Togliatti
  • Line 19: Piazza Risorgigimento to Piazza dei Gerani

Rome Urban Trains

You can use three urban train lines with your ticket: Rome to Lido, Rome to Viterbo or Rome to Giardinetti. This means you can visit the beach with your single 75-minute ticket.  This journey will cost you 1.5 Euros each way to go to the Lido which is very good value if you fancy a day trip from the city.

Rome Public Transportation Train
Rome Public Transportation Train

Can I Go to the Fiumicino Airport with my Public Transport Ticket?

Unfortunately, you can’t use the Rome public transport ticket to go to Rome’s airport, but it is very easy to commute to and from the airport. There are two trains which run from the airport to the centre of Rome (Tremini station). You need to head to Terminal 3 and from here you can choose to take either the express train direct to the centre in 30 minutes or a slower regional train which makes regular stops. The regional train is cheaper and maybe a very good option if your hotel is in Trastevere or Ostiense, as the train stops in these areas.

If you prefer a direct transfer to your hotel, you can use the services of a private driver.  This option is more expensive but gives peace of mind. See below for different options.

How Do I Use my Ticket?

You need to validate your ticket when use public transport in Rome.  In the metro, this happens automatically as soon you pass the barrier. On the back of your ticket, the turnstile will print the hour, date and expiry time of your ticket. (Look for “scadenza” which means deadline.)

On the buses or tram, you need to validate your ticket yourself at the small machine which will be attached to a post at the bus or tram stop. Be careful!  If you don’t validate your ticket, you can be fined 150 Euros!

For more information about Rome and to know everything about the best experiences/attractions to visit, read our helpful article about Is Rome Worth Visiting? 21 Reasons to Visit Rome.

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