Rome Public Transportation

by Olivier De Winne
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Rome is a big city and you would expect it to have good transport facilities to be able to go from point A to point B. The good news is that Rome public transportation is very cheap for a European capital.  On the other hand, there is missing metro access to the historic center of Rome but this will be improved once the construction of the new metro line C is complete.

To get around Rome using Rome public transportation, you need to buy a transport ticket or travel card that matches your needs.  Rome public transportation tickets include the metro, buses, trams, and urban trains. Tickets can be bought in Metro vending machines, convenience stores or newsagents.

When I first visited Rome, I made the mistake of buying the wrong Rome public transportation ticket. When I say wrong, I mean that I lost money by buying a 3-day tourist pass ticket when I didn’t need it. To help you buy the most cost-efficient ticket, this helpful guide will detail all the different ticket prices.

Best Value Rome Public Transportation Tickets

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

There are plenty of different Rome public transportation ticket options to choose from according to your personal situation.  To compare, we are going to use the single 100-minute ticket, because you will see it is the best option almost every time.

Colosseum italy
Colosseum italy

1. Rome Public Transportation – 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 make this ticket less expensive than the single 100-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.

2. Rome Public Transportation – 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.

3. Rome Public Transportation – Three Day Pass (Roma 72H)

If you are visiting Rome for a long weekend, then you could consider buying a three-day pass.  The three-day pass is valid for 72 hours from first validation. The cost of this ticket is 18 Euros, so if you want to save money, you need to use your pass more than 12 times during the 3-day period.

If you want to visit some sites during your weekend away, it may be better to buy a 72 hour Roma Pass priced at 52 Euros.

 What is a Roma Pass?

A Roma Pass is a cultural card for tourists and gives you the following benefits for 72 hours:

  • Unlimited Free use of the public transport for the duration of the card;
  • Free entrance to a choice of 2 museums/archaeological sites/experiences;
  • Reduced price tickets to all other museums/archaeological sites/experiences visited afterwards.
  • 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 at the Colosseum.)

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

trevi-fountain-rome
trevi-fountain-rome

4. Day Tickets (Roma 24H)

As the name of the ticket implies, this day ticket is valid for 24 hours from first validation  It allows you unlimited transport for a whole day. The cost of the ticket is 7 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.

5. One-Way Ticket (BIT)

The one-way ticket is valid on Rome’s public transport for 100 minutes. It is valid for one single journey even if you use different lines without passing through turnstiles. The cost of this ticket is 1.5 Euros.

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 Buy Public Transport Tickets in Rome?

You can buy public transport tickets in some convenience 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 all 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 Buying St Peter’s Dome Tickets?

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 finished yet.  For now, there aren’t any major attractions on this line.  Line C will be completed in 2025 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 100-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 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 from Fiumicino Airport to your hotel in Rome, 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 to Validate Tickets in Rome?

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 will be fined!

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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