A Roman Holiday: A Weekend Under 100€
Rome, the Eternal city, a place everyone must see at least once, and you don’t need to be a princess to afford it (if you haven’t seen the classic film with Audrey Hepburn, check it out). Rome is ancient and beautiful, and brimming full of history and art!
As a young couple, any trip Lorenzo and I took to Rome had to be done on a budget, an extreme budget (under 100 Euros for a weekend including two nights)! Here are a bunch of ideas and tips to make it possible for everyone to see this incredible city!
- Couch surfing-free! I cannot vouch for this personally in Rome but I have friends who highly recommend it. This just depends how adventurous and social you are, seeing as you’re crashing in someone else’s home.
- Airbnb– this could be your priciest option but it is also the best option if you want your own place or a bit more privacy. I love airbnb and have been using it to find my accommodations when on vacation for years! I have also stayed at a range of places, from entire private homes to even the rare shared room. Whatever you’re looking for it is very easy to find. If you’re traveling in big groups this is the easiest way to have your own space at a fraction of the price of hotel chains. In Rome I’ve stayed at three different homes, shared space, private, and whole homes and was very happy with all of them. I split this place with three friends and was oh so happy with it!
- Hostels– 5-30 Euros. Since Rome is such a common city for tourists and backpackers it is full of hostels. Hostelworld.com has a very thorough list and you can find exactly what you want with the filters for all female/male rooms, co-ed and even private rooms. Co-ed shared rooms are generally the cheapest and I have never had any problem with them. The people are always open minded and staying in hostels is particularly great if you’re travelling alone to meet friends who you can explore the city with.
- My favorite hostel that is conveniently located near the main train station is called Roman holiday and has dorm style rooms, it is very clean and I have stayed there twice. Check it out here.
- Another one all my friends love is They Yellow also conveniently located near the station. It also include a great bar/pub, which in my opinion has both positive and negative features. It is a great way to easily socialize and have a quick bite of food, however, it can make a bit of a noisier stay as the bar is open quite late.
The best way to save money on a trip is by going to a supermarket and eating in (Airbnb rentals or hostels generally have kitchen access) or picnicking as much as possible. Luckily, there are tons of great spots to have the most luxurious picnic imaginable such as near the fountains in Villa Borghese. Also while you’re at the supermarket pick up a bottle of wine. Some of my favorite kinds come from the south such as Nebbiolo and Primitivo which are very strong red wines. Drinking in public spaces is completely acceptable and you can find many people sitting on the steps in Trastevere drinking wine and socializing. It is a great way to save money and still have a night out!
Of course, pizza is a must when in Italy and fortunately it is very affordable (if they asking more then 15 Euros run!! Normally a pizza costs in Rome 7-12 Euros), look out for the tourist traps though! Most of the restaurants in the heart of the city near the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia cost A LOT, and are rarely the best. Look down the little side streets or even on the outskirts of the city! Click here for the link to one of my favorites and it has gluten-free pizza as well.
Another great thing you can enjoy while out is breakfast at a local cafe! It’s super affordable, a cappuccino normally ranging between 1.30-2.50 € and a coffe about 1.00-1.50€, plus the croissants that are filled with cream, chocolate or marmalade (yum!) cost about 1.00-2.00€. That means you can enjoy a delicious breakfast out in the city for about 4.00€!!
Other tips and Advice:
*Travel during the off season (peaks for Rome tourism range from May-August and then the christmas holidays)
*Stay on the outskirts of the city! Restaurants, hotels, and airbnbs are often cheaper the further away you are from the heart of the city. This may seem like a pain because of the commute, however parts of EUR (the more residential part of Rome are very conveniently connected with the metro so it will take less than a half hour to get into the heart of Rome.
*Book in advances! This can save you so much money, and if you’re looking for a central location this will guarantee you get the best price for your lodging. Booking later could mean that you have to pay more for a normally low rate hostel.
*NEVER take a taxi if you can avoid it. They are extremely expensive and generally not much faster than public
transport due to the crazy traffic in Rome (safety tip: never take an unmarked taxi! Many unmarked drivers will try and get you in the airport and charge you a fortune, go to the taxi stand and wait even if there is a line). Use the public transportation or enjoy the city by walking for kilometers.
*Take walking tours, most are free and many are self guided and can be found online. If you are on a huge budget this will save you money compared to trying to see every museum which can get costly. There is so much beauty and art outdoors that you can see for free! Here is a site that offers several different self guided tours around Rome!
One of my favorite ways I have heard Rome discribed is by the words of Anotole Broyard: “Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.” For me, Rome was the most beautiful backdrop to the start of my love story with Lorenzo, it was the place where I met life long friends, and a city that continues to inspire me to study history and the art. Rome will always remain one of my most beloved places filled with life changing memories. I hope that readers will realized that regardless of having a limited or small budget, you can still wander in this remarkable city.
Thanks for reading!
PS: Most these photos come from a dear friend of mine who I met while in Rome, her work is amazing make sure to check it out here!