In December of 2018 I was lucky enough to get last minute cheap flights to Rome when Ryanair launched a sale. I travelled to Rome for two days with my mum and sister, and we definitely managed to pack that time and get our value for money.
Where to Stay:
Before travelling we were given a piece of advice – don’t stay near the main train station, stay in the area near the Pantheon instead. Honestly, this made our trip. We were within walking distance of so much culture, food and shopping. The Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain were both under a 10 minute walk, there are restaurants and cafés everywhere, and its just a very nice area to walk around.
There is also a metro station in this area so you can get to any other places you want to go very easily.
We stayed in a lovely little Airbnb – it was a mini “hotel” with a few large rooms, and breakfast vouchers for a nearby cafe included as we were the first guests and they weren’t fully set up yet for breakfast.
There’s so much to do with your time in Rome. I already mentioned the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon – both of these are definitely places to have a wander, but you wouldn’t spend a whole afternoon there.
If you’re in Rome obviously the Colosseum is a must. There are student deals offered here, and entrance into the Colosseum will also get you into the Roman Forum. If you’re looking for the best place to get pictures, halfway around there’s a platform where you can see the whole place and it’s perfectly symmetrical and balanced.
Inside there’s also a lot of information about the history of the Colosseum to follow. Depending on how much time you have you could spend minutes or hours here.
I would also recommend going to the Vatican. We also travelled there by Metro, however we got off at the wrong stop and ended up walking up a much longer back way. Inside the Vatican there are so many different buildings you can go to – we spent most of our time in St. Peter’s Basilica. Unfortunately we never actually made it to the Sistine Chapel as we just ran out of time, but we still managed to see a lot in the Vatican.
The area around the Pantheon/ Trevi Fountain also seems quite lively at night. Although we weren’t looking to actually go out, we wandered around the streets later in the evening and it was a really nice time to just soak in the atmosphere.
Where to Eat:
If there’s somewhere you won’t be stuck for food, it’s definitely Rome. Walk down any street and you’ll find an abundance of restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops. You do need to accept that you are in the land of pizza and pasta, other than that your choice is mostly salad. However, the pasta and pizza are freshly made in most restaurants, and it shows. It is some of the most divine pasta you’ll have in your life.
When it comes to breakfast, if you don’t want pastries every morning your best bet is to find a shop and stock up on breakfast biscuits/cereal. For coffee, it’s definitely some of the nicest you’ll come across but for the best value look for the smaller, authentic Italian coffee shops. Here you’ll pay €1.50 for the nicest coffees Rome has to offer, instead of €3.00 in the tourist areas. Limoncellos is somewhere I would definitely recommend for good coffee.
Where to Shop:
Rome has shopping to fit every budget. Every designer/ brand has a store in the area surrounding the Spanish Steps, if you are looking to spend more money. If, like me, you’re on a lower budget, this area offers Kiko Milano makeup, Sephora, Zara, Bershka and loads more. I always find these shops have a much better selection abroad than they seem to in Ireland!
There are also many smaller Italian shops around this area too – it’s definitely one to explore.
That’s all of my advice about Rome. I’m working on some more exciting content that’s different from these travel guides so stay tuned for that!