Bus passes the Colosseum, Rome Public transport in Rome – Image courtesy of www.foyerphatdiem.com

How to get around Rome

While Rome is a large, sprawling city, the historic centre (centro storico) is relatively compact; distances are not great and walking is the best way of getting around.

Elsewhere, there is a choice of public transport options, including buses, trams, the metro and a suburban train network. The main transport hub is centred at Stazione Termini.

The Metro provides a convenient and fast way to get around the city, and while public buses are much slower you do get to see more along the way.

Bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and cars are all available for hire.

Taxis may be difficult to flag-down on the street but can be found at taxi ranks or booked by phone.

Transport options in Rome

Rome’s public transport system includes the metro, buses, trams and suburban trains, which are mostly operated by ATAC (www.atac.roma.it).

All tickets must be pre-purchased and are available for sale at ATAC counters, tabacchi (newsagents) and at automatic ticket dispensers at stations.

The cheapest ticket – Biglietto Integrato a Tempo (BIT) – is a single ticket that costs €1.50 and is valid for up to 100 minutes of travel. During that time it can be used on all forms of transport, but only once on the metro.

The Roma Pass is valid within the city boundaries and is available as a one-day, two-day, three-day and seven-day pass: Roma 24h (24 hours) - €7; Roma 48h (48 hours) – €12.50; Roma 72h (72 hours) – €18; and CIS (weekly ticket) – €24.

Public-transport tickets are valid on all buses, trams and metro lines, except for routes to Fiumicino airport.

Metro: The Metro (underground rail) is quicker than surface transport, but the network is limited. Two main metro lines serve the centre, A (orange) and B (blue), meeting at Stazione Termini. Trains run every five to 10 minutes between 5.30am and 11.30pm (to 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays).

To reach the Trevi Fountain (Barberini), Spanish Steps (Spagna) and St Peter’s (Ottaviano-San Pietro) take line A; for the Colosseum (Colosseo) take line B.

All stations on line B have wheelchair access and lifts except Circo Massimo, Colosseo and Cavour. On line A, Cipro and Termini are equipped with lifts.

Bus: The main bus station sits in front of Stazione Termini on Piazza dei Cinquecento; other hubs are located at Largo di Torre Argentina and Piazza Venezia. Buses run from 5.30am until midnight, with limited services throughout the night.

Tickets are valid for all forms of transport. Children under 10 travel free.

Rome’s night bus service is marked with an 'n' before the number, and bus stops have a blue owl symbol. Departures are usually every 15 to 30 minutes, but can be much slower.

The most useful routes, include n1, which follows the route of metro line A; n2 follows the route of metro line B; and n7 Piazzale Clodio, Piazza Cavour, Via Zanardelli, Corso del Rinascimento, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Venezia, Via Nazionale and Stazione Termini. For route planning and real-time information, check out the Roma Bus phone app.

Tram: Rome has a limited tram network. For route maps see www.atac.roma.it.

The most useful lines, include line 2 – Piazzale Flaminio to/from Piazza Mancini; line 3 – Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia to/from San Lorenzo, San Giovanni, Testaccio and Trastevere; line 8 – Piazza Venezia to/from Trastevere; and line 19 – Piazza del Risorgimento to/from Villa Borghese, San Lorenzo and Via Prenestina.

Taxi: Official licenced taxis are white with a taxi sign on the roof and Roma Capitale written on the front door along with the taxi's licence number.

You can hail a taxi on the street, but it’s often easier to wait at a taxi rank or book by phone. Taxi ranks are located at the airports and several locations locals around the city centre, including Stazione Termini, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Barberini, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Venezia, the Pantheon, the Colosseum and Piazza del Risorgimento.

Within the ring road, flagfall is €3 between 6am and 10pm on weekdays, €4.50 on Sundays and holidays, and €6.50 between 10pm and 6am. After which it’s €1.10 per kilometre. (Official rates are posted in taxis and at https://romamobilita.it/it/media/muoversiaroma/muoversi-taxi).

With the exception of the set fares to/from the airports, it's best to go with the metered fare, never an arranged price.

To pre-book a taxi, call Radio Taxi (tel: +39 06 3570), Radio Taxi Samarcanda (tel: +39 06 5551) or Pronto Taxi (tel: +39 06 6645). Or use a taxi app, such as ChiamaTaxi or MyTaxi.

Note: When you order a cab by phone, the meter is switched on straight away and you pay for the cost of the journey from wherever the driver receives the call. Tipping is not expected.

Car hire: Car hire companies in Rome include Hertz (www.hertz.it), Avis (www.avisautonoleggio.it), Europcar (www.europcar.it) and Maggiore (www.maggiore.it). Cars are available at the airport, railway station and hotels.

You need to be at least 21 (age limits can vary depending on the car category), have a credit card and an EU driving licence or an International Driving Permit (IDP).

While hiring a car for a day trip out of town is worth considering, driving in and around Rome is not recommended given the traffic conditions and the numerous restricted driving zones (ZTL) within the city center.

Most of Rome’s historic centre is closed to unauthorised traffic from 6.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 6pm Saturday, and from 11pm to 3am Friday and Saturday. Restrictions also apply in many other districts.

Evening-only Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs) restrict traffic from 9.30pm or 11pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays (and Wednesdays and Thursdays in summer). All streets accessing the ZTL are monitored by electronic-access detection devices. For more information, check https://romamobilita.it.

EU driving licences are recognised in Italy. Holders of non-EU licences should get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to accompany their national licence (available from your national motoring association).

Traffic in Rome drives on the right-hand side of the road. It’s mandatory to wear seat belts, drive with your headlights on outside built-up areas, and carry a warning triangle and fluorescent vest in case of a breakdown.

Riding a scooter or motorbike is faster in Rome, and makes parking easier, but it's no place for learners. A car licence is required to ride a scooter and bikes up to 125cc, but for anything over 125cc, you'll need a motorcycle licence. Wearing a helmet is compulsory on all two-wheeled vehicles.

Motorbikes and scooters are available for hire at Bici & Baci (www.bicibaci.com).

Blue markings denote pay-and-display parking. You can pay for tickets at the meter or the nearest tobacconist. The most convenient car park is at Villa Borghese and is open 24 hours. Other car parks are located at Roma Termini and Roma Tiburtina stations.

Bicycle: With several steep hills, treacherous cobbled roads and heavy traffic, the centre of Rome isn't much fun for cycling. However, you can hire bikes from several companies including Service Center Appia Antica, Bici Pincio, Eco Move Rent, Red Bicycle, TopBike Rental & Tours and Villa Borghese Bike Rental

RomaRentBike (www.romarentbike.com), offers bike rental and bicycle tours.

Bikes can be transported on certain specified bus and tram routes, and on the metro at weekends and on weekdays from 5.30am to 7am, from 10am to noon and from 8pm until the end of service. However, some line A stations are off-limits to bikes, including Spagna, Barberini, Repubblica, Termini, Vittorio Emanuele and San Giovanni.

Bikes can be carried on the Lido di Ostia train on Saturday and Sunday and on weekdays from the beginning of service to 12.30pm and from 8pm until the end of service. You have to buy a separate ticket for the bike.

On regional trains marked with a bike icon on the timetable, you can carry a bike if you pay a €3.50 supplement.

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Latest update: How to get around Rome: 3 July, 2020

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