Our expert guide to using public transportation in Rome including tickets and pass options plus tips for families travelling Rome with kids in tow.
Rome is a big, sprawling city with an extensive network of public transportation options. Buses, trams and metro lines cover most of the city but the system is not straightforward to use.
Poor information, erratic timetables and excessive crowds are the norm and they can be so frustration for the inexperienced visitor to ruin their visit to Rome.
If you aver heard people saying Rome left them cold and irritated, it usually has to do with the Rome public transportation system!
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In Rome, there is reason to madness (most of the time) and knowing what to expect will go a long way to make the use of public transport in Rome if not pleasant, at least not a vacation killer.
These are our tops tips on how to use public transportation in Rome.
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How to get from Rome airport to your hotel
Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci (aka Fiumicino, FCO) and Ciampino (CIA). Fiumicino is the biggest and the one served by national, international and intercontinental flights operated by full fare and low cost airlines.
Ciampino is the smallest airport and is the one with Ryanair flights. This airport used to be a small military one, has few facilities and it has grown in popularity and use only in the last decade when regular low cost flights made it a majour contender to Fiumicino for access to Rome.
The experience in the two airport is very different. Fiumicino is large and modern while Ciampino is small and equipped with a only a few shops and food options. Both are connected to the city centre by several transport options including train, bus and taxi (for Fiumicino) or bus and taxi (Ciampino)
Fiumicino airport to Rome centre transport FAQ
What is the cheapest way to get from Fiumicino to Rome city centre?
The cheapest way to gt from Fiumicino airport to Rome city centre is the bus. In 2018 the service costs 5 euro each way.
How much is a taxi ride between Fiumicino and my hotel?
The exact cost of the ride will depend on the location of your hotel. However, taxis operate on a flat fare system that will bring you to most locations in Rome for 60 Euro.
Do I need a car seat on Rome taxis?
Car seats are not compulsory in Rome taxi and taxis are usually not equipped with them.
How long does it take to get from Fiumicino to Rome city centre?
The train from Fiumicino to Rome termini takes about 30 minutes. The bus takes about 55 minutes and potentially more, depending on traffic.
Fiumicino to Rome city centre by taxi
The easiest way to get from Fiumicino airport to Rome city centre is to get a taxi.
Official ones are white, they line up just outside the arrival terminal and are governed by a flat fare system. A ride into Rome currently costs 60 euro and there are signs all around the taxi station and inside the car confirming what to expect in terms of charges.
The flat fare brings you inside the metropolitan area of Rome and covers most tourist areas: do expect to pay more if you are significantly outside of the centre, especially if on the opposite part of town from the airport.
Despite this good organisation, your first impact with the taxi system in Rome is likely to be overwhelming.
The arrival hall of Fumicino is always jam-packed with people and several taxi officials with white shirts and badges approach travellers offering taxi rides. These officials are actually legit but you would be excused to think they are not, considering how insistent they are.
You can either ignore them and just go outside and line up, which is what we usually do, or follow them: in this case, just make sure you get onto a white taxi and confirm the flat fee, just in case.
If you are travelling from Fiumicino to Rome with kids by taxi, be aware that taxis do no carry car seats and they are not compulsory.
To be safe, we highly recommend you bring your own: the ride between Fiumicino and Rome city centre includes a stretch of motorway and traffic in the city is heavy so I believe the extra safety is worth the hassle.
Fiumicino to Rome city centre by bus
Outside Fiumicino arrival terminal you will also find buses connecting the airport to Termini station, the main trasport hub of the city. Buses are the cheapest way to get to Rome city centre and are a good option if you are on a budget. if your hotel is walking distance from termini station or if you have the time to then hop on a city bus to get to your accommodation.
Currently the bus fare from Fiumicino airport to Rome city centre is 5 euro and children under 4 go free. The buses are operated by Terravision and have a luggage storage compartment.
Fiumicino to Rome city centre by train
Another convenient way to get to Rome city centre from Fiumicino, a mid-way between taxis and bus both in terms of speed and price, is the Fiumicino – Rome Termini Leonardo express train. The Leonardo express has its terminal inside Fiumicino airport and a the far end of termini station and the ride takes about 25 – 30 minutes.
Tickets can be bought at the station (ticket counter, machines and newsagents) and you need to stamp them at the machines located at the platforms before boarding. Make sure you take the time to do this: the tickets is not valid unless it has the correct time stamp and checks on board are regular.
At present, the cost of a Leonardo express ticket is 14 euro per adult. Kids under 4 go free and kids between 4 and 11 go free if accompanied by an adult (1 child per adult). Currently the trains run every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time of day between 5.30 and 22.30.
Rome Ciampino to Rome city centre FAQ
Ciampino is connected with Rome city centre by bus and taxis.
What is the cheapest way to get from Ciampino to Rome city centre?
The cheapest way to get from Ciampino to Rome city centre is by bus. The service leaves from outside the airport terminal and bring you to Rome Termini for the cost of 5 Euro. Children under 4 go free.
How much is a taxi between Ciampino and Rome city centre?
Ciampino taxis operate a flat fare currently set at 50 euro for rides between the airport and the main city metropolitan area.
Ciampino to Rome city centre by bus
If you are on a budget, the cheapest way to reach Rome city centre from Ciampino is the bus. The service is operated by Terravision and will bring you to Rome Termini, the main public transportation hub in Rome city in a little less than an hour.
While convenient in terms of cost, this service operates along very trafficked roads so I do recommend to evaluate the time you have available and the level of tiredness before as the journey can get very long.
Ciampino to Rome by taxi
During peak arrival hours taxis are stationed outside Ciampino airport. They operate a flat fee into Rome city centre that is currently set at 45 euro. This feel will bring you to most locations in the Rome metropolitan area. However, should you have a hotel very far away form the centre (the definition of ‘centre’ is pretty generous) check with the driver before boarding.
If travelling from Ciampino to Rome city centre with children, be aware that car seats are not compulsory in Rome taxis and are usually not available. We highly recommend you bring your own: traffic in Rome is manic and taxi drivers are in a hurry!
Ciampino to Rome by train
Ciampino is a town in its own right and as such as a train station with a regular service to Rome. However, the station is not right at the airport and to reach it you would need to get a local bus and then wait for the next commuter trains.
While I believe this is worth mentioning as an option, I never use it as I believe unless your accommodation is just beside the train stations served by this train, it is just not time efficient.
How to get around Rome by bus, tram or metro
Public transportation in Rome comprises of metro, bus and tram lines.
The metro is the fastest way to get around but only serves limited locations. Buses and trams are more convenient in terms of locations but can prove hard to get at busy times: be prepared for a very snug journey for the most popular areas!
Public transport stops in Rome are yellow. Depending where you are in the city, they either simply display a list of the routes served by that specific stop or have an electronic display showing the next bus due. Tram stops are usually less served by the trams do operate well and are often less crowded.
You have several types of buses: standard, express and small electric ones that serve the historical city centre. The ticket are the same for all these buses and can be bought at newsagents and metro lines.
Type of Rome public transportation tickets available
Single ride (BIT): 1.50 euro. The ticket must be stamped at the start of your journey and is valid for 75 minutes. You can use it to transfer from one bus to the other
Day ticket (BIG): 4 euro. Valid for one day on all Rome public transportation options including bus, tram and metro. You must stamp the ticket at the start of your journey and show it to the officials when boarding the metro
3 days / 1 week tickets (11 euro / 16 Euro). Valid on all transport options including bus, tram and metro
Using public transportation in Rome with strollers and kids
Rome is not a stroller friendly city. While efforts are in place to help families use public transport (kids go free) the system is hardly accessible by people with wheels and the crowds make it often hard to even board the bus.
If you are lucky to get on off peak travel time, you can board with the buggy and leave it open in the designated area. At peak times, be prepared to fold the buggy and possibly to have to wait for more than one bus before boarding.
On the metro accessibility varies on the station you need. In general, I am sad to say the overall metro experience in Rome with a stroller (or even without) is not a positive one so if you take this route, just be prepared to see the least glamorous and efficient side of Rome.
Other Rome travel cards and private tours
Several bus companies offer special deals, travel cards and tourist routes convenient for visitors who may need to cram in a lot of sites in a shot amount of time.
Among the most popular there are:
Rome 110 open
Departing from Rome Termini station this bus service costs 15 euro and connect about 40 of Rome most famous sites. You can buy tickets in the station or on board (additional charge for on board tickets 50 cents)
Another service connecting some of Rome’s ancient sites including the baths of Caracalla. This one costs 8 Euro (9 if the ticket is purchased on board) and comes with a live commentary by a tour guide
Chrsitian Rome as hte name suggests connects some of Romemain churches and basicilas. This servies oeprates as a hop on hop off tour and curently costs 13 euro for the day
The OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card is a sightseeing pass which price includes entry to top attractions in Rome and the Vatican City as well as a Fast Track Entry, a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, free guidebook and travel card.
Rome hop on hop off by Greyline
Hop on hop off bus service around Rome with commentary in several languages on a double-decker bus.
Rome hop on hop off by the Big Bus Company
I hope you found this guide to pubic transportation in Rome useful. Safe travels!
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