How to get around Rome: Rome transportation guide for all types of visitors

by marta

Our Rome transportation guide shows the best way to get around Rome, with options for all types of travel including airport connections and inner city transportation.

If you are planning a trip to Rome, chances are you already have a list of Rome main attractions you know you want to see.

You may even have an itinerary, with what you intend to see when, but you may be stumped about the more practical details of your day: how do you get from one Rome attraction to the other?

Figuring out how to get around Rome, is not easy if you’re never been to the city, but I am here to help!

In this guide, you will find my best tips on how to get around Rome, when and how to use Rome’s public transport service, when to rely on taxis and additional helpful transport options in the Eternal City.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Piazza Navona in Rome
view of piazza Navona in the morning. Rome. Italy.

Rome Transportation Guide options at a glance

Means of TransportBudgetBest forSuited to
On Footlowcity centerPeople without mobility issues
By Public Buslowlonger distances in city center/ suburbsPeople who can handle tall steps and crowded buses
By Metro (subway)lowlonger distances in city center/ suburbsPeople who can handle tall steps and crowded buses
By hop on hop off bus tourmediumlonger distances in the city centerAll
By Golf Cart Tourhighcity center and main Rome landmarksAll
By Vespa/ Mopedmediumcity center, suburbsSolo travellers, couples, over 18s with suitable driving licence
By Electric Bikemediumcity center, suburbsOver 18s
By Bikelowcity center, selected areaExperienced urban cyclists
By Taximediumcity center, suburbsAll
By electric scootermediumcity centerOver 18s

How to get around Rome: airport to hotel connections

Rome has two airports, Fiumicino/ Leonardo da Vinci (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA).

To go from Fiumicino to Rome you can choose:

  • Train Leonardo Express Airport Shuttle
  • Bus shuttle
  • Taxi
  • Private airport transfer

You can read here >>> my complete guide: how to get from Fiumicino Airport to Rome city center <<<

Ryanain plane

From Ciampino, you can choose between:

  • Bus shuttle
  • Taxi
  • Bus + train service

You can read here >>> my complete guide: how to get from Ciampino Airport to Rome city center <<<

Once you have made your way to the city, you have several ways to navigate Rome.

The best way to around Rome: inner city transport guide – Walking around Rome

If you like to walk and have no mobility issues, by far the best way to get around Rome is on foot.

Rome city center is not small however, it is rather compact and many main attractions are close to one another.

To give you an example, you can walk from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain in about 8 minutes, and from Piazza Navona to the Pantheon in less than 5!

If you have accommodation in the city center, which I consider the best area to stay in Rome, you are likely to be able to walk everywhere: you will probably end your day clocking in well over 20,000 steps, but you won’t feel them along the way as the city will keep delivering beaitufl corners and unexpected gems every step of the way!

See here >>> How far are Rome main attractions from one another? <<<

Trevi Fountain in the evening with lights on

The advantages of getting around Rome on foot are:

Budget: you can spent a whole day in Rome sightseeing on foot for absolutely free

Sights: Rome city center is a true open air museums and most of its gems and secrets can only be spotted on foot, venturing into its small streets and hidden piazzas

The low environmental impact of walking and the exercise you get are of course added values too: it’s even easier to indulge in that extra slice of pizza and that gelato, after walking all day, no?

For walking in Rome, good shoes are paramount. Find here >>> the best shoes for Rome travel <<<

Roman Forum with Colosseum: one of the best photo spots in Rom

Exploring Rome by public bus or tram

Rome has a large network of buses and trams, managed by the local public transportation company ATAC.

Buses are a good option for longer inner city journeys and are cheap. However, in most cases a joinery on a Rome bus is not a pleasant experience.

Rome buses have an erratic timetable (usually not shared with the users and not respected anyway), they are often so busy you feel like you are standing in a sardine can and they are only accessible via tall steps, that make them hard for anyone without anything less than excellent mobility.

There are of course exceptions: some lines are often ok during off peak hours and if you’re not in a hurry it is often not too much of a bother having to wait for a bus.

However, the systems is far from flawless so, as much as possible, I recommend you avoid it or embrace it as ‘local experience’!

Trams are usually a little less busy and, often it is even possible to find a seat. If you have accommodation along the tram line, they are good option.

You can find here >>> my complete guide to using the bus in Rome <<<

bus in Rome

How to get around Rome by metro

Rome has a metro system which serves a few main landmarks are areas such as the train station, the Vatican and the Colosseum, among others.

Despite constant work on the network unfortunately the Rome metro system is all but flawless.

Compared with other cities in Europe, the network is limited, dirty and often erratic, with stations poorly or not at all accessible and old trains.

Despite this bleak introduction, the metro in Rome is excellent if you are staying further out of the center and close to a stop so I believe it belongs in this Rome transportation guide!

In that case, with the right expectations, you will find that the system does its job… most of the time!

I recommend you only plan on using the metro if you have no mobility issues, can walk up and down steps and you don’t have children in strollers – Rome’s metro is not stroller friendly.

Moving around Rome by hop-on hop-off buses

Hop on Hop off buses are a good option to go from one of Rome’s attractions to the next. However, they are rather pricey and they still require you to do some walking, so it is important to evaluate well if they are a good solution for your needs specifically before committing.

The main things to know about Rome hop on, hop off buses is:

There are several lines and several providers, covering different parts of the city. Since they are independent one from the other and business competitors, it is paramount to choose the line that best suits your needs as you won’t be able to use your ticket on any other.

Since buses are bulky, they are not able to reach inner piazzas, smaller streets or leave the main roads.

This means that you will often have to walk from the stop to the attractions: it may be only a few minutes, but if you have mobility issues, it is important to know they will not simply drop you in front of attractions as they usually cannot access the inner part of the city centre.

Hop on hop off buses in Rome are expensive and only really good if you take them several times in one day. in the city centre, you will often find yourself walking instead, as there are many attractions at a short distance one from another.

I recommend you plan a precise itinerary before opting for a hop on hop off bus tour as transport to make sure you make the most of your ticket.

Exploring Rome by Golf Cart Tour

Golf Carts are a popular tour option in Rome.

They are not a means of transport you can just flag on the streets and hop onto; however, they are a great way to discover the city without having to walk and without having to worry about erratic bus schedules or traffic.

They are particularly popular with families with kids, anyone who cannot walk loping distances but also people who want to spend a fun afternoon with a guide and Romes’ beautiful breeze in their hair!

The advantages of a Golf Cart Tour are:

  • No walking needed: the cart will be able to reach even small streets and attractions precluded to big buses so you won’t have to walk much, to at all
  • Open sides offer great views
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Experienced guides can help you understand what you are seeing and give you the lay of the land.

You can find here >>> our favorite Golf Cart Tour in Rome <<<

Exploring Rome by Vespa

Riding a Vespa is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Rome. However, it is not for the faint of heart!

Photos of vespa experiences show people whizzing along the Colosseum with Rome’s warm air caressing their skin and indeed, this is just what a vespa drive in Rome feels like.

Scooters are parked on the city street in Rome, Italy

What the photos do not say though is that the experience also comes with cars beeping at your, crazy traffic from all sides, potentially slippery cobbles and the need for a lot of traffic awareness at all time.

I do not want to discourage you about vespas, they are really fun: however, if you are not used to city traffic, have never driven a vespa style scooter or you are hoping to ride with your child, please experience Rome traffic first or consider a tour with an experienced driver.

If you want to drive your own, I recommend you book a vespa with a good cancellation policy and leave the tour for day 2 or 3 in Rome, so you can first see if the traffic is manageable for you or too stressful.

Please note: to drive a vespa, you need a suitable driving licence and to be of legal driving age in Italy.

Have a look here >>> at vespa booking prices and rules in Rome <<<

Moving around Rome by bike

Bikes are getting more and more popular in Rome, mostly in response to unmanageable car traffic.

However, Rome is not a bike friendly city, especially in the city centre.

Built on seven hills, Rome has a lot of uphill areas that make cycling rather tiring.

On top of this, many areas of the city center have cobbles, which are dangerous on bikes, and the traffic is so busy and fast, it requires bikes to be extra careful at all times.

Like for the Vespa, I recommend you come to Rome and see the traffic and landscape situation before committing to exploring by bike. At quieter times it can be a fun way to see the city; at busier times you may find it overwhelming.

In general, I only recommend using bikes in Rome if you are an experienced city cyclist: I do not recommend renting them with kids, unless you to car free areas to areas served by cycling lanes (ask your bike rental shop for cycling maps of Rome).

Find here >>> example of Rome bike rental with prices <<<

bike in Rome
Parked bicycle with Rome cityscape on the background, Italy

Getting around Rome by E-bike

E-bikes are going though a surge in popularity in Rome and are indeed a better way to explore the city than standard bikes as they will assist you on the many hills of Rome!

Like bikes and vespas, e-bikes in Rome are potentially dangerous for traffic.

As said above, bike lanes in Rome are few and far between, especially in the center, and cars are not gentle – they will beep at you, try to overtake you and, in the mess of Rome’s traffic, they may also not see you so you have to be alert and super careful at all times.

Need to know: e-bikes are motorized and therefore follow minimum age requirement for driving just like scooters and vespas. If visiting Rome with kids, ask your e-bike rental place what the requirement are to avoid disappointment.

Find here >>> Rome E-bike rental example with prices <<<

How to get around Rome by Taxi

Taxis are the most convenient option to get around Rome for distances you cannot cover on foot.

Official taxis in Rome operate with a meter and you never have to discuss or haggle with the driver as all fares as available in the cab, so you always know what you get.

While not the cheapest option, taxis are a great solution especially in the evening.

You can find here >>> our guide to using taxis in Rome <<<

At the time of writing, Uber is only available in Rome in the expensive ‘Uber Black’ option, which offers no advantages vs an official taxi.

However, Uber recently announced a new agreement reached with Rome taxi drivers so this may change soon. I will update this Rome transportation guide as soon as standard Uber in Rome becomes available and I can report based on personal experience.

Taxi in Rome
Taxi cars on the city street. Rome taxi sign, Italy

Moving around Rome by electric scooters

A Rome transportation guide would not be complete with a mention of electric scooters, a means of transport you will encounter often in Rome city center, usually unruly parked on pavements!

Electric scooters became available in Rome a couple of years ago and have received mixed reactions.

On one had, they are convenient and fun; on the other hand, the mix of cobbles, traffic and poor regulations have made them one of the most dangerous means of transport in Rome, for number and seriousness of accidents.

Like for vespas, mopeds and bikes, I recommend using caution if planning on using an electric scooter in Rome and see in person what Rome traffic feels like before committing.

If you decide an electric scooter if for you, you can find into on how to rent one in Rome here.

So, what’s the best way to get around Rome?

As you can see from all the examples above, the best way to get around Rome is on foot and by taxi.

However, several alternative options are available to suit most types of travelers so you know that, no matter what, you can explore Rome at your own pace.

I hope you enjoyed this Rome transportation guide and it helped you plan your stay.

Safe travels to Rome!

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Photo of Piazza Navona in Rome with overlay text ' How to get around Rome Transportation Guide'

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