For the time traveler, Rome is the quintessential soul of Europe. Its name evokes images of once-powerful emperors and popes, resilient roads that have resisted millennia of time and tide, impressive subterranean aqueducts, and the many impressive tunnels that have since been recognized as the longest in the ancient world. And then—the Roman Colosseum. Yet while the eternal city is without a doubt exquisite, it can be expensive. For instance, a bottle of coke at the Piazza Navone may set you back 8 euros. And average hotel prices hover uncomfortably around $133.


Yet there are some simple budget-saving hacks and tricks that can make it possible for a traveler to Rome to live on $50 a day. Of course, they’ll be some trade-offs depending on the traveler’s taste and style. However, by and large, one can still have both comfort and convenience at that budget-friendly price point. Let’s explore.

This Is How You Can Save On Your Food Budget when visiting Rome

While there’s no sincerer love than the love for food, and food is part of what makes a trip truly memorable, cash is still king. For travelers who want to save on food while on a visit to Rome, one time-honored trick is to take a meal on the goat one of the many hole-in-the-wall pizzerias. Don’t worry about how you’ll locate them, these pizzerias are almost omnipresent. Whether you love them crunchy or cheesy, $3.5 for a decent-sized Pizza looks like a fair bargain. But there are other restaurants as well. Carlo Menta, in the picturesque Trastevere area at the heart of the city, is one such place. Carlo Menta may not be great, but it’s not gross either. There, travelers can savor a well-sized Margherita for $4.5 and other pasta dishes at the same price level or lower.

But there are other eateries as well, whose food offerings are affordable, while still gratuitously doling out delicacy and decency. There’s Trattoria da Mamma in the quaint Nomentano district where you’ll enjoy a full two-course meal for about $10. At Ivo a Trastevere, a budget traveler can grab white pizza with salmon, prepared with the famed Ivo dough, for as little as $8. Travelers may pay a little more at La Tavernetta 29 or at Ai Marmi pizzeria located on Viale Trastevere. However, considering the food quality and quantity at these eateries, you may not get a better deal on the dollar. With a little ingenuity, travelers can even save more cash by sharing meals. For deserts, avoid the ones offered at the restaurants. Instead, head out to a local Gelataria, and enjoy delectable Gelato for less than $2. For wine, house wine is almost always cheaper than bottled wine. If you have to eat at a restaurant, avoid ones on the main streets, and do lunch instead of dinner.

Better still, food is way cheaper at grocery stores or local food markets. This can be a great option if staying at an Airbnb or anywhere else where cooking is an option. But you can eat at a local food market also. While many travelers prefer the Campo de' Fiori because of its central location and attractions, Mercato Trionfale offers better price bargains.

  • Mercato Trionfale Location: Via Andrea Doria 41, 00192 Rome Italy.
  • Open: 8:00 - 15:00. For best deals, be an early bird.

This Is How You Can Save On On Local Travel in Rome

There are also many ways a traveler to Rome can stretch $50 on local travel. Before we explore these options, it’s important to note that it’s always cheaper to travel anywhere during the off-season. And for Rome, that’s between September and April. January or February will certainly offer the best price points. During the actual visit after landing, one will need to forget about Uber and other cabs, especially if he or she wants to save on local travel costs. Public transportation offers cheaper travel alternatives.

A good option is to use the metro. A single ticket will set a traveler back by €1.50. This ticket will cover one metro ride, one train ride, and a limitless number of bus rides provided the bus rides are within 100 minutes of ticket validation. While these daily tickets may look affordable, the 24, 48, or 72-hour ticket options, costing €7, €12.5, and €15 respectively― may be cheaper― considering these tickets offer an unlimited number of rides within urban territories. The weekly( €24) and monthly( €35) subscriptions are even better.

Your legs can also help you save. For those staying in a central area, buying 2 or 3 €1.50 tickets may be all they’ll need. But here’s another little-known trick. For a trip you can do by train, you can avoid the €1.50 daily metro ticket and use the €1.00 daily train ticket run by Trenitalia.

  • Where to buy €1.00 Trenitalia tickets: Newsagents, stationery shops, vending machines, or ticket booths. Travelers can also download Trenitalia App and buy tickets directly.

RelatedA Travel Guide To Rome: 10 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip

Activities That A Traveler Can Do On A Budget in Rome

For starters, many museums, parks, and galleries open their gates free to the public every Sunday of the month. These include the Roma Forum, the Colosseum, the Caracalla Thermal Baths, and the Museum of Modern Art, which houses over 20, 000 works. But some places, like the Vatican, are free on the last day of the month. There are many other free activities you can do in Rome without opening an already thin wallet.

Next: 10 Best Hostels In Rome To Save You Money