If ancient architecture, antiquities and sun-soaked piazzas make your heart race, then Rome is sure to put a smile on your face. A bustling yet enchanting capital city like no other, it seduces all those lucky enough to wander its charming streets.
The currency in Rome is the Euro (EUR). Change your spending money into Euros at home before you go, or in one of the city’s foreign exchange bureaux. Alternatively, take your debit or credit card with you and withdraw spends directly from an ATM; if you do this, make sure the rate the bank offers you on withdrawal suits you.
Dining out in Rome
Few cities in the world outperform Rome when it comes to serving up tasty, heart-warming, comforting cuisine. Italian food is all about friends and family, living in the moment and savouring your food in good company.
Traditional Italian dishes such as pizza and ravioli have become known and loved around the world, but lesser known Italian delicacies such as ciceri e tria, a delicious dish from the Salento region made with chickpeas and noodles; saltimbocca, succulent veal wrapped with prosciutto and sage then marinated in wine or oil; or even focaccia di recco, an insanely tasty take on cheese on toast using Cresenza cheese, should be tucked into during a stay in the city. We’re starting to drool just thinking about it…
Like many European cities, eating out in Rome isn’t cheap, but the electric atmosphere infused in the city’s streets and ristorantes more than makes up for it. Expect to pay around £13 for a basic meal for one, rising to £21 for a three-course meal in smarter surroundings.
The price of drinks
Drinking in bars and restaurants may not be particularly cheap, but what you lose in value for money, you gain in quality and choice. From limencello to Campari Spritz, Pinot Grigio to Prosecco, a whole host of tasty alcoholic tipples awaits you. If you’re more of a Birra Moretti kind of person, expect to pay around £3.60 for a pint in a restaurant, or £1.35 in a supermarket. A glass of Prosecco costs around £4 in a bar or restaurant, with hot drinks such as a latte or cappuccino costing around £1.
Of course, the more central you are, the more you should expect to pay. If you’re on a tight budget, looking for a bar or restaurant slightly away from busy tourist hotspots is always a good idea.
In the summer months, temperatures in Rome can reach up to 30˚C, so make sure you’re armed with plenty of water when visiting all the city has to offer. A 1.5-litre bottle of water in a supermarket costs around 20p, with a smaller 0.33cl bottle costing 50p in a restaurant.
Out and about
From the Colosseum to the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome is brimming with cultural treasures and ancient history. No trip to the city is complete without a tour of the Colosseum; entrance costs around £11 for adults and is free for under-17s, with reduced rates available for EU citizens aged 17-25.
For those of you looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a trip to the nearby town of Tivoli is sure to take your breath away. Situated just 20 miles from Rome, this small town is bursting with beauty; from its thermal baths to the natural park of Villa Gregoriana. A bus ticket to Tivoli will cost around £3-£4.
Alternatively, why not head underground and explore Rome’s mysterious crypts and catacombs? Guided walking tours of the city’s ancient underground labyrinths cost in the region of £60-£70 per person.
If you’re keen to revel in Rome’s religious history, a trip to Vatican City and its museums is a must. Entry costs from around £14.
How much spending money should I take to Rome?
Like most capital cities, Rome isn’t a cheap destination. If you’re self-catering, budgeting around £60-£80 per person per day for food, drink and activities should cover costs. If you’re staying in full-board accommodation, £40 per person per day should leave you with enough money to cover activities and indulge in a gelato or two on those hot summer days.
Tipping in Rome
Tipping isn’t expected in Rome. If you see the word servizio added to your bill in a restaurant, then service charge has already been added. Most importantly, forget about percentages when tipping; if you would like to leave a tip after eating, £1-£2 per person is generally appropriate in most situations.
Taxi drivers, porters and housekeepers don’t expect tips either, and although gratefully received (in most cases), don’t leave one unless you feel compelled to do so after receiving particularly good service, for example.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.