With much of Rome's best attractions located in the city center, most of the Eternal City can be explored on foot. But for a few attractions, such as Vatican City, you’ll likely want to rely on public transportation, which is run by the ATAC and includes buses, trams, metro and a suburban train network. The main hub is Stazione Termini, and tickets are valid for all forms of transport. Here’s everything else you need to know about navigating Rome.

Editor's note: during COVID-19 there may be additional travel restrictions. Check the latest guidance in Rome before planning a trip, and always follow local government health advice.


The metro is quicker than surface transport, but the network is limited. Two main lines serve the center, A (orange) and B (blue), which cross at Stazione Termini. Trains run between 5:30am and 11:30pm and to 1:30am on Fridays and Saturdays.  

Tips for traveling on the Metro: Take line A for the Trevi Fountain (Barberini), Spanish Steps (Spagna) and St Peter’s (Ottaviano-San Pietro). Take line B for the Colosseum (Colosseo).

A bus outside the Colosseum in Rome
A bus outside Colosseum, Roman Forum and Esquiline area ©Will Salter/Lonely Planet


Rome's main bus station is in front of Stazione Termini on Piazza dei Cinquecento, where there’s an information booth. Other important hubs are at Largo di Torre Argentina and Piazza Venezia.

Buses generally run from about 5:30am until midnight, with limited services throughout the night.

Rome’s night bus service comprises more than 25 lines, many of which pass Termini and/or Piazza Venezia. Buses are marked with an “n” before the number and bus stops have a blue owl symbol. Departures are usually every 15 to 30 minutes, but can be much slower.

For destinations “out of town” in the surrounding Lazio region, Cotral buses depart from numerous points throughout the city. The company is linked with Rome’s public transport system, which means that you can buy tickets that cover city buses, trams, metro and train lines, as well as regional buses and trains.

There are a range of tickets including a daily BIRG (biglietto integrato regionale giornaliero) ticket, which allows unlimited travel on all city and regional transport until midnight on the day it's activated. It’s priced according to zones. 

Tips for traveling by bus: n1 follows the route of metro line A, n2 follows the route of metro line b, n7 stops at Piazzale Clodio, Piazza Cavour, Via Zanardelli, Corso del Rinascimento, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Venezia, Via Nazionale and Stazione Termini. For route planning and real-time information, Roma Bus is a useful phone app.

Explore iconic Rome


Rome has a limited tram network. For route maps see www.atac.roma.it.

Tips for traveling by tram: The most useful lines are 2 Piazzale Flaminio to/from Piazza Mancini; 3 Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia to/from San Lorenzo, San Giovanni, Testaccio and Trastevere; 8 Piazza Venezia to/from Trastevere; and 19 Piazza del Risorgimento to/from Villa Borghese, San Lorenzo and Via Prenestina.


Apart from connections to Fiumicino airport, you’ll probably only need the overground rail network if you head out of town. Train information is available from the customer service area on the main concourse in Stazione Termini. Alternatively, check www.trenitalia.com.

Buy tickets on the main station concourse, from automated ticket machines or from authorized travel agencies – look for an "FS" or "biglietti treni" sign in the window.

Rome’s second train station is Stazione Tiburtina, four stops from Termini on metro line B. Of the capital’s other train stations, the most important are Stazione Roma-Ostiense and Stazione Trastevere.

A couple rides bikes along  Appia Antica in Rome.
Bikes are a great way to explore Rome's parks. Pictured here, people cycling along Appia Antica ©filippo giuliani/Shutterstock


The center of Rome doesn’t lend itself to cycling: there are steep hills, treacherous cobbled roads and the traffic is terrible. But bikes are a great choice for exploring the city’s parks.

Bikes can be transported on certain specified bus and tram routes, and on the metro on weekends and on weekdays from 5:30am to 7am, from 10am to noon and from 8pm until the end of service. However, some line A stations are off-limits to bikes: Spagna, Barberini, Repubblica, Termini, Vittorio Emanuele and San Giovanni.

Bikes can be carried on the Lido di Ostia train on Saturday and Sunday and on weekdays from the beginning of service to 12:30pm and from 8pm until the end of service. You must buy a separate ticket for the bike. On regional trains marked with a bike icon on the timetable, you can carry a bike if you pay a €3.50 supplement.

There are several places to rent bikes in Rome, including Service Center Appia Antica, Bici Pincio, Eco Move Rent. Red Bicycle, TopBike Rental & Tours and Villa Borghese Bike Rental.


Driving around Rome is not recommended. Riding a scooter or motorbike is faster and makes parking easier, but Rome is no place for learners, so if you’re not an experienced rider, give it a miss. Renting a car for a day trip out of town is worth considering, however.

Most of Rome’s historic center is closed to unauthorized traffic from 6:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 6pm Saturday, and from 11pm to 3am Friday and Saturday. Restrictions also apply in Tridente, Trastevere and Monti; evening-only Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs) are operative in San Lorenzo and Testaccio, typically from 9:30pm or 11pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays (also Wednesdays and Thursdays in summer).

All streets accessing the ZTL are monitored by electronic-access detection devices. If you’re staying in this zone, contact your hotel. For further information, check Roma Mobilita.

For information on driving license and road rules, check out Italy’s national motoring organization, Automobile Club d’Italia. 

To rent a car you’ll need a driving license (plus International Driving Permit if necessary) and credit card. Age restrictions vary, but generally you’ll need to be 21 or over. Car rental is available at both Rome’s airports and Stazione Termini. Note also that most Italian rental cars have manual gear transmission.

Reliable operators of scooter rentals include: Eco Move Rent, Treno e Scooter and On Road. Prices range from about €30 to €120 depending on the size of the vehicle.


Official licensed taxis are white with a taxi sign on the roof and “Roma Capitale” written on the front door along with the taxi's license number.

Always go with the metered fare, never an arranged price (the set fares to/from the airports are exceptions). In town (within the ring road) flag fall is €3 between 6 am and 10 pm on weekdays, €4.50 on Sundays and holidays, and €6.50 between 10 pm and 6 am. Then it’s €1.10 per kilometer. Official rates are posted in taxis and at Roma Mobilita.

You can hail a taxi, but it’s often easier to wait at a taxi stand or call for one. There are taxi stands at the airports, Stazione Termini, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Barberini, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Venezia, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Belli, Piazza Pio XII and Piazza del Risorgimento.

To book, call the automated taxi line, which sends the nearest car available; a taxi company direct; or use the ChiamaTaxi app. MyTaxi is another good app. It allows you to order a taxi without having to deal with potentially tricky language problems.

Tip for taking a taxi: Note that when you order a cab, the meter is switched on right away, and you pay for the cost of the journey from wherever the driver receives the call.

Tourists stroll along Via Giulia in Rome
Tourists strolling along Via Giulia under Arco Farnese in the historic center of Rome, Italy ©Zoia Kostina/Shutterstock

On foot

Rome is a sprawling city, but the historic center is relatively compact. Distances are not great, and walking is often the best way of getting around.

Accessible travel in Rome

Rome isn’t an easy city for travelers with disabilities. Cobbled streets, paving stones, blocked pavements and tiny lifts are difficult for wheelchair users, while the relentless traffic can be disorienting for partially sighted travelers or those with hearing difficulties.

If you have a visible disability and/or appropriate ID, many museums and galleries offer free admission for yourself and a companion.

Getting around on public transport is difficult. All stations on metro line B have wheelchair access and lifts except Circo Massimo, Colosseo and Cavour. On line A, Cipro and Termini are equipped with lifts. Note, however, that just because a station has a lift doesn’t mean it will necessarily be working.

Bus 590 covers the same route as metro line A and is one of 22 bus and tram services with wheelchair access. Routes with disabled access are indicated on bus stops.

Some taxis are equipped to carry passengers in wheelchairs; ask for a taxi for a "sedia a rotelle" (wheelchair). Fausta Trasporti has a fleet of wheelchair-accessible vehicles that can carry up to seven people, including three wheelchair users.

If you are driving, EU disability parking permits are recognized in Rome, giving you the same parking rights that local drivers with disabilities have.

Tips for accessible travel: Check out Village for All and Tourism without Barriers for information. Or download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides. There are also several travel agencies that can help, including Rome & Italy, Accessible Italy  and Sage Traveling.

Transport passes

Public-transport tickets are valid on all buses, trams and metro lines, except for routes to Fiumicino airport. Children under 10 travel free. Ticket options are as follows:

BIT: (A single ticket valid for 100 minutes; in that time it can be used on all forms of transport but only once on the metro) €1.50
Roma 24h: (24 hours) €7
Roma 48h: (48 hours) €12.50
Roma 72h: (72 hours) €18
CIS: (weekly ticket) €24
Abbonamento mensile: (a monthly pass) For a single user €35

Buy tickets from tabacchi (tobacconist's shops), newsstands and vending machines at main bus stops and metro stations. Validate in machines on buses, at metro entrance gates or at train stations. Ticketless riders risk a fine of at least €50. The Roma Pass (48/72 hours €28/38.50) comes with a travel pass valid within the city boundaries.

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The 9 best neighborhoods in Rome
When is the best time to go to Rome?
The 12 best parks in Rome

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