If you are in process of planning a trip to Rome, you are in the right place. My husband and I visited Rome a few weeks ago and wish we knew off all the mistakes tourists make when visiting Rome for the first time, that would have saved us a few days.
If you are still unsure why Rome should be your next destination you should read all the reasons why it should be on your list for 2020.
Without wasting any more time lets look at all the Donts for first time travellers to the City of Rome.
Avoid food near attractions
Rome is a very walkable city, if you are budgeting 2-4 days for Rome, chances are you will end up walking a lot that is exhausting. When it comes to food, it is very tempting to find a place near the Trevi fountain or the Pantheon. But if you are remotely a foodie like me, you don’t wanna do that. Food places near attractions are over priced for one and don’t deliver the authentic Italian cuisine you have been waiting to try out. Don’t waste your meals and try to find a place that is a little further out.
Book museum tickets in advance
We learnt this the hard way, cities like Rome, Florence and Venice are comparatively smaller cities and have an advance booking option for a reason. Specially around peak time there is a cap of how many visitors they can allow in their museums and art galleries at a time. So book in advance!
Wasting your time standing in line for Vatican City and Colosseum
You are probably wondering why this is a mistake people make. Let me tell you why: Even though it is cheaper to skip the guided tour and buy a ticket only it does eat up a lot of your time. In peak seasons you can expect to be waiting outside the Colosseum and Vatican City for 2-3 hours just to get in. Our hotel had an agreement with a tour company and we ended up buying skip the line tickets along with guided tour for both Vatican City and Roman Colosseum and believe me it was worth it. Specially for Vatican City since its so busy for one, we skipped all the line ups and had a semi private group of 6 people. Our guide was very knowledgable and friendly and we thought it was worth paying a few extra bucks.
Playing it safe and touristy
Our best day in Rome was spent doing things outside of all the normal touristy stuff. On day 2 Shams and I walked to this hood where locals hang out called Trastevere. Trastevere is a beautiful neighbourhood with small dainty individual shops and amazing food!
Skip sight-seeing buses
Rome is a very walkable city and you don’t need to get one of the sight seeing buses. Sure its convenient but taking one of these after our Paris trip was a little disappointing. We had a great experience with Sightseeing buses in Paris as they had a lot of information to share unlike Rome where the buses had music on 70% of the time. It just felt like a fancy transit bus. If you don’t plan to walk look at other transit options that are way cheaper.
I hope this post gave you some insights on what to expect on your trip and the common mistakes tourists make when visiting Rome.