How to Travel Solo to Rome on a Budget

Rome in Italy is synonymous with being expensive, and no wonder you must be wondering how to explore the wonders of Rome on a budget. So, to ease you out a little bit, I have some insider tips and tricks on budget travel in Rome. Read along to plan your solo travel to Rome on a budget.

1. Travel solo to Rome on off-season.

If you have a flexible schedule, hit the winding streets of Rome in the off-season. By off-season, I mean the little period between the festive seasons in winter. For example, a few weeks before and after Christmas and New Year can be a favourable time to travel to Rome alone without going flat broke.

You will witness a whopping price drop, especially in accommodations. You can also stay in hotels in the central location of Rome, a distant dream in peak season on a budget.

Besides, there are many perks to exploring Rome in the off-season. The way Rome looks in between this time with smaller crowds is surreal. You will be awestruck at this un-chaotic sight of Rome, I bet. And as a bonus, you can explore many holiday attractions, which remain open even after the festivals. 

2. Filter through flights and book in advance.

Now that you know the best time to travel to Rome on a budget, it’s time to filter through flights. Needless to say, flights to Rome are the cheapest during winter. However, when on a shoestring budget, it is advisable to opt for Ryanair instead of other major airlines. It is a budget-friendly carrier and connects you to the city via Ciampino airport. 

And, yes, no matter which airline you book and which airport you land on, book in advance. It is only wise to do so to fetch mind-blowing deals.

3. Select a location.

For staying in Rome, every location is safe for solo female travellers. But given that you are in Rome on a budget, it is best to skip the Centro Storico area. Rather pick locations in the Trastevere, Testaccio, etc., for staying the night.

These neighbourhoods are light on pockets. Minus the touristy crowd, you will witness the real Rome in these areas.

4. Weigh your accommodation options.

Being on a budget opens doors for quite a few accommodation options. You can select as per your preference and budget. 

First, the best budget-friendly accommodation option is the hostels in Rome. They are cheap, and a lot of fun! In fact, on or not on a budget, while travelling solo, hostels should be your go-to option for staying. Per night stay at hostels starts from €15.

Budget hotels in Rome are a good choice as well. Surf the net in your chosen area and book your stay before avoiding any hassle.

You can also book a night stay at religious institutions. Yes, you read that right. Many religious institutions offer accommodations in Rome at an affordable rate, and it does not sound very appealing. Considering you are on a budget, it is a great option for accommodation!

5. Explore the eternal city on foot – walk the winding streets of Rome. 

Without a doubt, the world-famous cobbled streets of Rome are best explored on foot. With the city being tightly-knitted, all the popular attractions in Rome are at a stone’s throw distance from each other. Thus, walking around the city is more convenient. And, of course, it won’t cost you a penny! 

Besides, you never know what surprise awaits you on your next turn on the street. So, wear comfortable shoes and get going on your Roman adventure. 

In addition, you can partake in a free walking tour, and they are far better than paid guided tours. Also, apt for first-time visitors to the city.

6. The cheapest way to get around Rome is public transport.

rome on budget

Make public transport your companion on your Roman holiday. In place of taxis, use public transport wherever possible in Rome. The city is well-connected by trains, metros, and buses. 

And availing of these public transport gets easier with the transport tickets. The tickets are available in several options, and you get one depending on your time in the city. That said, you can purchase the transport ticket from any metro station in Rome.

Name of the Transport Ticket

Cost (approximately)


One-way ticket


75 minutes

Metro-Bus 24 hours


Until midnight of the day from the ticket is purchased

Metro-Bus 48 hours


48 hours

Metro-Bus 72 hours


72 hours

Weekly Pass


7 days

7. Book tickets on the first and last Sunday to visit the expensive museums in Rome at zero-cost.

Honestly, this trick is a saviour, and it helped me save a lot of Euros on my solo trip to Rome. So, mark the first and last Sundays on the calendar to avoid exceeding the budget while touring the top-tier museums in Rome.

Why? Because the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Castel Sant’Angelo offer a free tour of these museums on the first Sunday of every month. You can also visit the Sistine Chapel for free on the last Sunday of the month.

Keep in mind to book the free tickets in advance. They do sell out like hotcakes!

8. Have the time of your life enjoying these things to do in Rome on a budget.

Even though I am more fan of doing the non-touristy things in Rome, I could not skip the touristy part. Quickly scan through the touristy yet budget-friendly things to do in Rome: 

  • Climb the 174 steps of the iconic Spanish Steps to glimpse Rome from the top.
  • Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain for free and confirm your return to Rome in the future.
  • Spend an evening at the all-time favourite Piazza Navona. This happening place ensures to keep you thoroughly entertained.
  • Take yourself out for a rowing session in Villa Borghese. Guess how much it costs? It is for only €3.
  • Get a free entry to the Pantheon and admire its jaw-dropping architecture, especially the dome.
  • Go on a treasure hunt of the churches of Rome. They effortlessly represent the grandeur of Rome. You get to witness the art and architecture, history and heritage, all at a glance for free.
  • Pay a mandated visit to St. Peter’s Basilica. In Rome, you cannot sin not exploring this gem.
  • Ride through the Appian Way to see the not-so-common sight of Rome.

9. Eat like a local.

Rome and its love for street food are undeniable. It is delicious, filling, and above all – inexpensive. There are affordable food joints spread across the city; all you have to do is join the queue. Wait for your turn and be delighted with some Italian delicacies. Suppli, tramezzino, pizza by the slice, trapizzino, gelato, crepes, espresso, etc., are all great for cheap eats in Rome. Every item costs between €1-10.

To call it a night, you can wrap your eating in Rome on a budget by digging in some pasta alla carbonara at trattorias. It is where the locals go, costing you around €10-20.

10. Choose aperitivo over a fine dining experience. 

An aperitivo in Rome is like a pre-meal drink combined with happy hour! When you buy a drink in Rome, it has a buffet of quick bites with no extra charges. Some cafés in Rome even offer delectable aperitivo that satisfies your stomach for dinner. A drink usually costs €10-12.

Pro Tip: Stand at the bars in Rome to avoid extra charges. 

11. Drink from the fountains.

rome on budget

The Romans built the aqueducts for a reason, right? Till today many of the aqueducts are in function. They supply water to the uncountable fountains of the city. And, yes, the fountain water is safe to drink, except for the big monumental ones. You can save a lot on bottled water by carrying a water bottle, refilling it, and staying hydrated throughout the day at no cost. 

12. Say yes to house wine!

You can order house wine if you can’t resist tasting the restaurant food. It will be a lot cheaper than any other bottle of wine, and Vino Della Casa (House Wine) is drinkable and light on the pocket. Besides, you also have the option to choose from red and white!

13. Get yourself a Roma Pass. 

You probably have heard about this already. Rome on a budget is best done with a Roma Pass. You do not have to compromise the Roman splendours to be on a budget. Whether you are in for three days in Rome or more, purchase a Roma Pass to cut costs. It lets you enter the major attraction of Rome for free. Also, you have access to all public transport with the pass. 

A 48-hour pass costs €32, and a 72-hour pass costs €52. Remember, the passes are non-refundable.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the daily budget in Rome:


Cost in Euros

Hostel room for a night


One-way transport ticket


Street food


Drinks at bar


Dinner at Trattorias


By now, you must have understood the statement – a solo trip to Rome costs a fortune is partially correct. Although Rome tends to linger on the expensive side, you can chalk out your Roman holiday on a budget incorporating all these little tips. 

For assistance planning your itinerary, refer to my blog post: How to Explore Rome.


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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