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Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

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London, United...
posts: 8
reviews: 2
Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

I was just after information and advise on a trip to rome,

It's my first time abroad so i'm a total rookie on travelling, me and my GF are going for 4 days Our Hotel is pretty central so we will walk to most attractions. We want to see most of the attractions, and are after pointers, tips;

Is it better to buy the tickets online or while you're there?

What websites would you recommend?

How much money would be needed per day?

Also how long does it take to visit the main attractions?

We would like to see Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palestine, The Vatican, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and any others anyone can suggest :).

Another thing are the pickpockets as bad as people say? I will be taking my DSLR would an across body strap and having my hand on it be enough? Will probably have neck pouch for any money aswell.

Wow thats alot, I'll look forward to seeing the replies!

Glasgow, United...
posts: 300
reviews: 15
1. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!


Rome is an amazing place and 4 days should let you see lots of it but I would suggest you plan ahead and make a sort of itinerary of the main attractions you would like to see everyday then fit in some other things while you are there. Lots of what you would like to see will be near each other so it's good to group attractions together. You can also get the Hop on Hop off bus or go n a free walking tour on your first day/night to help get your bearings, and you'll be surprised how close most things are.

For the Colosseum and Vatican I would advise booking in advance as it means you don't have to queue and you could book the underground tour of the colosseum which is only a few euros more and is definitely worth it.

Where is your hotel? When are you going?

Rome can be done on a budget or in luxury as it all depends on what you want. There are loads of restaurants and snack bars which can be really cheap or expensive, the last time I went the most expensive meal was over 100 euros (in a gorgeous restaurant in Piazza Navona) and the cheapest was 15 euros for both of us.

As for pick pocketing I have been lucky enough to visit Rome 3 times and have never encountered any problems. As you are from London you will know what it's like in any big city with lots of people, especially in crowded areas like the underground and on buses, so keep your wits about you and you will be fine.

Glasgow, United...
posts: 300
reviews: 15
2. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

If it helps I did a short message about my last trip which was for 4 days and may give you some ideas.

If you click on my name it is under the title

"Quick summary of amazing 4 days in Rome ”

07 October 2011, 11:00

London, United...
posts: 8
reviews: 2
3. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

Sounds like you had an amazing trip! That underground tour of the Colosseum sounds amazing plus the extra views!

Thanks for the info, our hotel is on Via Nazionale (If thats how you spell it), so its not a bad location. I'm jealous of your Jacuzzi, that must be nice after a long day walking.

I will get writing the itinerary, we are going this month aswell by the way. I suppose with the pickpockets is just don't have your stuff so they can conveniently swipe it.

Where did you book your tours and tickets from?

Glasgow, United...
posts: 300
reviews: 15
4. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

Your hotel is in an ideal location, we stayed a bit further out near the Galleria Borghese (which I would recommend you visit as it has fabulous collection of art and also a huge park). The jacuzzi was a pleasant surprise and as my bf liked to walk EVERYWHERE it certainly came in handy lol!

To book your tickets for attractions always use the official sites rather than a tour company as it will save you money

Booking the Colosseum underground tour The official website is


Select ticket online then click on the "book single" option, agree to the terms, then pick your date. At this point all the tour and ticket options will pop up. If you wish to take the underground tour in English simple click on the "underground tour" option. this is the English tour. It is definitely worth it to pay extra to see this and you also get a guide to tell you about it and answer all your questions. The tour itself lasted over an hour and you can then walk about the other sections of the Colosseum for as long as you like (just watch out for the Gladiators posing for pictures with you when you exit unless you want to pay for the privilege)

For the Vatican you book direct through their official site where you email them your request with your details and they email back within a few days to say whether they will confirm your request.


There are quite a few different options for visiting the Vatican and you could spend years and still to see everything so check what it is you want to see, the museums, the basilica, the necropolis (we did this and again it was fascinating, I had no idea there was an underground area).

Galleria Borghese must be booked in advance as they have limited entry and you must book your date and time but lots of other things you will be able to pay at the time or just marvel at the amazing Churches and sculptures that are free all over the city.

There are also free walking tours which take place several times everyday from the Spanish Steps, which are good to take you around Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps etc and give you a bit of history along the way. These are good to help get your bearings and although technically free the guides rely on tips and will tell you about other paying tours they offer but to be honest I always enjoyed visiting places at my own pace and using a good guide book along the way.

I could go on about this amazing city all night as it is truly a wonderful place so any other questions you have please ask and ill do my best to help.

London, United...
posts: 8
reviews: 2
5. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

Thanks for all this info! You are really getting me excited! The fact you have been on all these tours and are pleased is an amazing sign! I'll book them tours soon. Yeah i think we will be more like you in taking things at our own pace, much better that way!

This is my first experience on Tripadvisor and you have really been helpful thanks a lot! I'll probably be looking through your comments in the hotel as well!

Glasgow, United...
posts: 300
reviews: 15
6. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

Glad to help! If you haven't noticed already I love Rome and got loads of advice from other Tripadvisors which meant my last visit was exactly what I wanted.

I look forward to reading your trip report once you have been

Glasgow, United...
posts: 300
reviews: 15
7. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

One last thing - STAY AWAY from restaurants/cafes that have no menu outside or on the tables! One of my favourite places for drinks and food or just enjoying the night is Piazza Navonna and although some of the places can be reasonably priced we once stopped for a drink in the afternoon whilst watching a street performer and ordered a coffee and a bottle of Peroni which was very enjoyable until the bill came and we had been charged almost 20 euros!!

Definitely paid attention to menus after that

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
posts: 3,491
reviews: 125
8. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

Hey there

Don't worry about pickpockets. It's so exaggerated. Rome is a very safe city, so as long as you take reasonable precautions, you'll be fine.

Also, what time of the year are you travelling? You may not need to pre-book your tours. I was in Rome a few weeks ago and just walked straight up to the ticket window in the Colosseum and took the underground tour without any on-line mucking around.

The Hop On Hop Off bus is not a good idea - IMO - in Rome. It can't go into the historic centre (i.e. Piazza Navona/Pantheon/Trevi etc.) so it's not all that great to get your bearings. It's also expensive. Just get a good map and walk. You may get lost but that's half the fun.

Another thing - with regards restaurants, you'll always pay extra to sit outside (as the above poster found out in the Piazza Navona). Check for service charges - most places add 15% - so there is essentially no need to tip. However, I always tip if the service has been extra attentive. Avoid like the plague any restaurants or trattorias that have multi-lingual menus - the ones near the Vatican are examples - the food is awful - as are the prices.

Isola d'Ischia...
posts: 17,788
reviews: 2
9. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

You'll perhaps find this useful - a PDF of February's "A Guest In Rome", one of the local listing magazines that's good for stuff perhaps not in your guidebook....


For some help with the practicalities, try also the tourist board's website:


.... from where this, although a little old and scrappy, might be worth a quick read as well:


Generally, prices aren't too different from London - although rather more museums etc charge entry fees, for which, if you happen to be here in Italy on Valentine's day, there's a nice offer again from the Culture Ministry...... a "2 for 1" deal on entries for couples at the various state sites, museums etc.

Haven't seen an English version, but put Valentine in the forum's search box for previous discussions!


They say "All" - so you can expect the popular places to be especially busy that day, just as the Palatine Hill was when I caught this....


Have a great time!


Rome, Italy
posts: 1,342
reviews: 22
10. Re: Holiday to Rome! Tips and Advise please!

My (humble) advice:

- Don't buy food/water from the carts you'll find near major monuments. They're overpriced, their food's mediocre; not only Rome's tap water is free but it tastes good, it's fresh and, above all, healthy - you can (or, better - you should) refill your bottle at the small, cast iron fountain called "nasoni", but watch out for signs reading "non potabile" (not drinking water).

The same can be said about the guys who sell fried chestnuts - they overcharge locals as well. And their chestnut suck, but that's another story...

- Always ask for receipt. Always.

- Ticket checkers WILL check your ticket (not always, though; moreover, they seem to prefer central bus routes and, sometimes, the Metro). So rember to validate your ticket; most Romans will carry a seasonal pass, that's why you won't see many locals validating their tickets.

- When visiting the Vittoriano, keep quiet (you're visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, after all) and don't even think you can sit/eat on its steps;

retired Carabinieri officers are patrolling the premises and are watching for anyone to slip up. Oh, and they'll blow their whistles at you (nice!).

- In my opinion, the whole pickpocket thing has been overstated: I've never seen one "in action" nor was I (or someone I know) ever pickpocketed. But, again, I'm a local so keep your eyes open and exercise common sense when near the "touristic" stations of the underground/train station/#64 bus.

- If your schedule allows it, try the Janiculum hill - there's a magnificent view of the city. And, it's a very pleasant area for a stroll with statues, a park, a lightouse (yes, a lighthouse) and a howitzer that fires at noon.

- Trastevere is a lovely neighbourhood, true, but don't believe guidebooks when they'll tell you that "Trastevere it's the most Roman neighbourhood". That was 30 years ago, and the "real Rome" now lies somewhere else.

Source: myself, Roman born and bred!

Edited: 8:33 am, February 10, 2013