The Eternal City where all roads lead to, - one of those places which seem to have the whole world inside… An ancient city of triumphal arches and fence plays has become a centre of Christianity.
With plenty of museums and galleries to select from, Rome is the ultimate destination for a European vacation and we bring you a selection of cheap hotels in Rome. Enjoy the world’s best foods and historical objects while living close to the action in our hand-picked selection of hotels.
Rome, city on seven hills on the banks of Tiber river, capital of modern Italy, one of the oldest cities in the world, ancient capital of Great Roman Empire. During centuries on the territory of modern Rome numerous buildings and monuments were constructed to represent the spirit of certain time. As a result, Rome really has it all – from ancient diggings that refer to BC times to monuments and buildings of our times. There is hardly a person who hasn’t heard of Coliseum, Fountain de Trevi, Vatican… But even regular streets of the city are so unique that can be hardly mixed up with any other city in the world. It’s not surprising that all the speciality of the city is loved by movie makers – Rome has become the beloved scene for detective and romantic films. And fair enough, Rome possesses a lot of mystery and romance.
Rome is among those European cities where there is no such thing as ‘low season’, its hotels are always full, no matter if it’s August or February outside. That is why we highly recommend booking accommodation in advance, especially if your preferences are towards hotels in the centre of Rome. And of course there’re numerous hostels and backpacker places in the centre as well, for those on a budget. Great variety of accommodation options, sights, cuisine, and cultural events leaves no chances for bad impressions.
Ok, so you’ve booked a hotel in Rome, what next? Think through your route: there’re monuments, interesting places and buildings at every step in Rome, try not to miss on anything. So, what to include on your list?
Here we could have tried to list all the places that are worth visiting when in Rome, but that would probably be insane, therefore we stick to most well-known and recognised all over the world.
- And the first association with the Eternal City is Coliseum, ancient amphitheatre with a capacity of over 55 thousand people. A place where fence plays took place in ancient times, and where the powerful Emperor with public took control over the destinies of brave gladiators.
- Close by are diggings famous under the name of Roman Forum. It’s a great complex of ancient ruins of temples, public places and arches, centre of ancient city of Rome, dug under the modern Rome. You’re welcome to stroll along Forum and try to imagine how it looked like years ago.
- Roman Pantheon or the temple of all Gods, - is an ethnic temple which was reconstructed in 7th century to become Christian. It is famous or the burials made inside it. In ethnic times this temple was devoted to Roman Gods Jupiter, Venus, Neptune, Mercury, Pluton, and Saturn. The first that catches an eye in the temple is a huge whole in the dome with a diameter of 9 metres. Its history dates back to ethnic times when a sacrificial altar was placed under it. This temple is one of the best saved buildings of the epoch of Emperor Adrian. It’s free to visit Pantheon, and on the Plaza in front of it you can buy one of the most delicious ice-cream in Rome.
- Piazza Navona has become extremely popular thanks to novel ‘Angels and Demons’ by Dan Brown as well as the movie. It’s the exact place where one of the most dramatic scenes takes place. And it’s not surprising – there’s always an atmosphere of a festival on this square, and numerous tourists as well as the citizens relax next to the Fountain by Lorenzo Bernini known as The Fountain of Four Rivers – Ganges, Danube, Nile and La Plata. Why these rivers? These are the biggest world rivers also symbolising 4 continents: Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
- It already sounds like there’s way too much to see and you’ll have to come back one day, doesn’t it? To make sure you do that just throw a coin into the Trevi fountain. This fountain located on the piazza de Trevi is a façade of Palazzo Poli, and its central figure is a sculpture of Neptune surrounded by allegoric figures representing storm, calm, health, wealth, summer, spring, autumn and winter.
- A country in the city. Is it possible you might ask? The answer is yes, if we speak of Vatican, the smallest state in the world with population of only 836 people. Though it’s a great prove that ‘the size doesn’t really matter’ as Vatican is the centre of Roman-Catholic church, residence of the Pope and the world centre of Catholicism. Of course to say you’ve actually been to Vatican you should visit St Peter’s Cathedral, which greatness and beauty can impress anyone. Besides, make sure you also visit the Palace of Sixtus where Sistine Chapel is placed. By the way, it’s strictly prohibited to take photos of it, therefore if you plan on breaking this rule, make sure in advance the flash is switched off.
What is it important to know before you go to Rome?
- there’re two international airports in Rome, Fiumicino or airport Leonardo da Vinci, and Ciampino. Both airports are around half an hour drive from the city centre if no traffic. If you don’t want to depend on such a changeable aspect as traffic, you can use aero express which departs from the central station Termini. By the way, a lot of budget 3 star hotels in Rome are concentrated around this station as an important strategic point in the city centre allowing to be walking distance away from most sights as well as only a stone throw from the railway station;
- thanks to the narrow streets in the city centre there’re always traffic jams. As a result, if you’re in a hurry the best option is to catch an underground. There’re only two lines in Roman underground, A and B, and it operates from 5.30am to 11.30pm. Be the way, there’re almost no stops in the centre, just those close to Vatican, Coliseum, and Piazza di Spagna. Why is that? The only reason is that you can hardly dig a tunnel and not come along an ancient something;
- an alternative for trips along the city centre is one of the tourist buses operating with the scheme ‘hop on, hop off’ with 10 to 20 stops on their way. You’re free to ‘hop off’ on any stop and wait for a next bus after checking out the surroundings. It costs from 15 to 25 eur to travel by such a bus for a day;
- if you decide to use a taxi we highly recommend looking for yellow cars with «servizio pubblico» sign. The service is paid according to the counter but excludes tips. If you’re using taxi on weekends, holidays or at night be prepared to pay more;
- hottest months of the year are July and August with temperature up to 40 degrees above zero. During winter it’s 5-10 degrees above zero, and snow is something citizens are lucky to see not frequenter than once in 10 years. Oh, for summer trips keep in mind that air conditioning in the room in hotels lower than 4 stars is a rare guest. If it’s an important position please make sure you check in advance;
- time difference with Greenwich is 1 hour;
- a lot of museums are closed on Mondays, others accept tourists only by prior notice. Therefore don’t forget to book your tickets in advance, especially if we talk about Vatican;
- banks where you can exchange currency operate Monday to Friday till 4pm;
- a lot of shops and small cafes are closed from 1pm to 4pm, hottest period of the day. Though it’s different in the tourist centre of the city where almost everything operates with no breaks;
- festival days in Italy: 4 November, 8 December, 6 January, 25 April, first Sunday of June;
- main shopping streets of Rome, Via del Corso, Via del Tritone, Via Nazionale. Here main shops and boutiques are concentrated. Rome is famous for a great choice of goods made of leather, knitting, beautiful underwear and accessories. Prices in Rome are lower than in Milan though a bit higher than in Naples. From 15 January and from 16 August sales season starts where discounts come down to 70%. A lot of city centre hotels make special offers for shopping lovers these days.