Getting to grips with public transportation in Rome is relatively straightforward. The bus, tram, metro and urban train services of the city centre and inner suburbs are easy to use and as efficient as the traffic-choked streets allow. Though beware: pickpocketing is a problem on buses and metros, particularly major tourist routes that connect the city’s biggest attractions, notably the 64 and 40 Express between Termini and the Vatican.
Children travel free on city transport until their tenth birthday, so if you’re on a day out with the family you can explore the best things to do in Rome without having to worry about spending a fortune getting around (leaving you with more cash to splash later on in the city’s ample restaurants and bars). Older children pay the full price for single-journey and one- or three-day bus passes.
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Public transportation in Rome
Buses are by far the best way to get around the city for tourists. The most up-to-date bus maps can be bought at news kiosks, with regular bus services running 5.30am-midnight daily, every 10-45mins, depending on the route. The doors for boarding (usually front and rear) and alighting (usually centre) are clearly marked, and a sign at each bus stop displays the lines and routes they take.
Note that the express buses make few stops along their route: check before boarding so you don’t get whisked past your destination. Keep your eyes peeled for the small fleet of electric minibuses too, which serve the centre by navigating centro storico alleys too narrow to accommodate regular buses.
Rome has three metro lines. Line A runs from south-east to north-west; Line B runs from EUR to the north-eastern suburbs; the interchange is beneath Termini mainline station. Line C runs from the eastern suburbs as far as Lodi, but will eventually link with Line A at San Giovanni and with Line B at Colosseo.
Tram routes mainly serve suburban areas. An express tram service – no.8 – links largo Argentina to Trastevere and the western suburbs. The first stop is now in via delle Botteghe Oscure, on the corner with piazza Venezia.
Planning a trip to Rome?
It would take a lifetime to see everything Rome has to offer, but 48 hours is just enough time to visit the city’s main attractions, enjoy leisurely strolls in the historic center and eat your way through some of Rome’s best restaurants. And with a sunny Mediterranean climate, Rome is a great weekend escape in every season.