A fascinating combination of historical magnificence, mind blowing food, excellent gelato and fab student hang-outs, Rome is a top choice for youngsters wanting to explore, discover and experience new places.
Whether you’re studying history, art, politics, science (or any other subject for that matter), this city abounds with potential for learning and broadening the mind. Known as the ‘Eternal City’, this marvellous capital is the cradle of western civilisation and has always been a destination that has attracted tourists in their droves, leading to restaurants and attractions hiking up the prices. That said, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy this city on a student budget.
Here is my snapshot of some of the best and most affordable places to go if you are in Rome but need to keep an eye on your spending.
Find Your Feet
My first suggestion for anyone visiting this Italian city would be to buy multiple tour tickets. These not only let you skip the big queues, but they also offer great cost-effective packages. Think about what you want to visit and then choose the package that suits you.
The wonderful thing about Rome is that you actually don’t need to go inside anywhere to appreciate a lot of the architecture and monuments. They are strewn across the city and as long as you keep your eyes peeled and remember to look up as well as down, you will be greeted with amazing features round every corner. Make sure you head to Piazza Navona, one of the most significant squares in Rome. Stunning Baroque architecture surrounds you and makes you feel as if you are in an open-air museum.
It is hard to believe but you can even get into the Vatican for free. On the last Sunday of every month, the place offers free passes. Of course, if you are not visiting on this particular weekend, you will have to pay but you can save cash on the tours by booking onto a shared experience rather than private one.
The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatino
If you are an EU national between the ages of 18 and 25, you can get a discount on a combined ticket here. You just need to remember your passport. Booking in advance online also gets you a price reduction.
Casa Del Cinema
This fabulous innovation is more than 25 years old and was set up with the aim of bringing free cinema to the city. Why not give it a go and watch a daily screening? Films are always shown in the original language. I love it here, especially on a warm Italian summer’s day!
Sala 1 Gallery
Hosting magnificent contemporary exhibits, this art museum is completely free. Only open 4.30-7.30pm, it is a great place to pop into before heading out for the evening.
Cities can be expensive places when it comes to eating out, but if you know where to go, you can eat like a king without spending a fortune.
Who doesn’t love a typical panini? Tricolore Panini on Via Urbana offers hearty sandwiches, filled with some deliciously local flavours and all at student-friendly prices. The rabbit meat is a great option.
Rome has a very distinctive style of pizza – pinsa – that really must be experienced. Pinsere is definitely my favourite place to indulge in these oval shaped breads crammed with yummy toppings. Prices are so reasonable here that a whole pizza is around the same price as that of a slice of pizza in other places.
A great traveller spot, this laid back café serves great coffee and has lots of room for hanging out, reading, catching up with your emails or just relaxing.
Pasta has got to feature on your holiday menu when in Italy. For a delicious, yet totally affordable bowl of tasty filling pasta, head to Pastificio on Via della Croce. While the décor and style of the place is simple, the food is excellent; it is cooked fresh and you really get your money’s worth.
This is a really incredible city to visit, so don’t let being a student stop you from exploring. If you are savvy you can get a true feel for the place, see plenty of the main attractions and eat well too!
Where to Stay
Casa Della Salita – Apartments are definitely the more sociable option when travelling with friends, and this bright and airy offering comes with kitchen, communal seating area and a dining table. Sometimes you’ll prefer to relax in the comfort of your own surroundings and enjoy a few drinks with your friends rather than heading out – this apartment is ideal for that!
Exe International Palace – A charming place to stay, theExe International Palace is located in a gorgeous nineteenth century building close to all of the main attractions. Clean and smartly furnished, the hotel offers that all-important free Wi-Fi and an extensive American breakfast. More local fare is served at the International Café Restaurant later in the day. I love that fact that this place has a lively bar that stays open late and serves great cocktails. This is ideal if you are a group of friends who enjoy socialising on your holidays.
How to Get to Rome
Ryanair is the airline of choice when it comes to flying from London to Rome. Offering competitive prices and a direct service to Rome Ciampino Airport, it is a great option for budget travellers. The flight time is less than 2 and a half hours and the airport is only a short 40 minute drive from the city centre.
On arrival, I suggest getting a shared transfer with Shuttle Direct to your hotel. With the option to pre-book from the UK, Shuttle Direct offers a reliable, comfortable and efficient service. You will be met at the airport and taken direct to your final destination. A hassle-free transfer that avoids public transport is definitely the best way to start your trip.
- UK to CIA: 2 hours 25 minutes
- CIA to Rome Distance: 17 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 44 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
For reliable and efficient airport transfers, Shuttle Direct offer everything you need. We take pride in offering a personal, friendly and professional service that can be booked on a private or shared basis. Competitively priced, we offer a pre-bookable option too.