We got to Rome, Italy in the morning, after flying all night, and we were so excited. This was our very first time to Europe and our first trip without our kids in 4 1/2 years. We weren’t sure how long it would take to get to the hotel. After we got to the airport, we caught the train into Rome and then walked to our hotel.colosseum rome

Hotel Milton Roma was near the Roman Colosseum. We knew the general area and were pleased when it took us less than 40 minutes to walk there. We got all situated and took a much-needed nap. After a two hour nap, we were ready to go. Only one little hang-up, we forgot all of our travel books! Oops. We knew the Colosseum was down the road so we headed out here is what we first saw along our walk. I have included a little guide they had that explains what it used to be.


Roman Forum Rome Italy

Roman Forum

Roman Forum Rome Italy
Colosseum in Rome Italy

colosseum rome

As we walked along I was surprised to see how cheap things were. Tourists with a minimal budget shouldn’t worry about the entertainment or food costs when they reach Rome. Much to my surprise, there are plenty of things to do for free or with just a few Euros in your pocket. Five Euros (approximately 6.8 dollars at the moment) are enough to buy a decent lunch or a special souvenir from Italy’s capital.

Where to stay in Rome

Eating cheap in Rome

If you plan a budget trip, you would be better to avoid all the traditional fancy restaurants, situated close to Rome are all kinds of tourist attractions. Stroll along the narrow streets of the ancient town and discover the places where locals like to eat their dinner or morning snack. Rome provides many cheap alternatives to elegant restaurants. You should stop by a fast food (rosticceria) for great cooked lasagna. A self-service cafeteria would be a good choice to taste a cheap insalata, whereas a bar (tavola calda) or pizza shop would be the best place for a takeout pizza slice. With five Euros, you can buy:

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* Slice of pizza

At pizza shops, slices are sold by weight. For a quick and cheap snack, you should ask for due etti (200 g). It will cost you less than five Euros depending on the pizza type you choose and the location of the shop. The closer it is situated to the city center, the more expensive it is.

* Panini (hot sandwich)

For a quick meal, you should find a bar that usually serves ready-made grilled sandwiches. You will pay around two Euros for one panini with pancetta and cheese.

* Insalata

For a cheap and healthy lunch, tourists should taste Italian salads. Most of the self-service cafeterias have insalata in their menus. You should try one with mozzarella and tuna. You will pay around 4.9 Euros.

* Ice cream (gelato)

This dessert is one of the famous Italian delicacies. The cheapest way to eat it is to buy a cup or a cone from one of the numerous gelaterias in Rome, and then stroll along the boulevards or sit on a bench in one of the famous piazzas. With five Euros, you can eat two ice creams.

* Bottle of mineral water and a juice (bibita)

Buy a half-liter mineral water with just one Euro and you will discover it is free to refill it from the public taps found all over town, especially near big Roman fountains. A natural juice might cost more than five Euros a glass, but you can buy a can of soda juice with less than three Euros. 

* Glass of wine

Ask for a glass of wine when you choose to eat dinner in one of the bars called tavola calda. You will pay around 2.7 Euros. Beer is more expensive than wine. One bottle costs about four Euros.

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Things to buy for 5 Euros or less in Rome

You will not feel rich with just five Euros in your pocket, but you can buy a few things with this amount of money.

Public transportation tickets

One Time Integrated Ticket (Biglietto semplice) costs one Euro and is valid for 75 minutes on any transport means around Rome. With four Euros, you can buy a day ticket (Biglietto giornaliero), valid for 24 hours.

A ticket to visit museums

Rome’s many museums are not a cheap entertainment choice. Though, there are some of them that have symbolic fees. For five Euros, tourists can visit Palazzo Barberini, the home of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, one of the most important art collections in Italy. Another place to visit with a small fee is the Capuchin Crypt. Each tourist should pay a symbolic tax, but not less than one Euro, to enter the catacombs decorated with skeletons and bones.

Souvenirs from Rome

Friends and relatives usually expect holiday gifts when you return home. With five Euros, you can buy two or three souvenir magnets with representative images of Romeís attractions. The price depends on the souvenir shop’s location or your negotiating talent.

Travelers who spend one holiday in Rome on a budget should also write a list of the tourist attractions that are free to visit: the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Saint Peters Basilica, and other beautiful churches.

Read Next:

How to Spend 48 hours in Rome

Rome with Kids

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Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner! My second favorite site to find flights is Momondo, another great site for finding cheap flights.

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.

Rent Clothes

Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!

Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Discover Cars.

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