Let me give you some Rome travel advice after backpacking Italy and going to Rome two separate times. There are some places that I think you will really enjoy when backpacking through Rome.
The places I list are only the places that I actually went, as I can’t give you an accurate account of places I haven’t experienced. I always say that the best things that happen when you are traveling, are not from going to every tourist place you are supposed to go. They are about experiencing all of the small things spontaneously that make up the whole of what you take in. Rome is the embodiment of this. Because you can go there and set a schedule to see all of the places. My Rome travel advice is to live spontaneously and wander around. Be an explorer and not needing to “get done” seeing places. You know what I mean if you have traveled extensively. Traveling isn’t about making “seeing places” an accomplishment.
Rome Travel Advice
Where to go
Colosseum – When you think of Rome, you think of the Colosseum and the Vatican. So no matter what your opinion of the Colosseum is after you visit it, you have to go check it out. I took a million pictures from the inside and outside. Without knowing much about the history of the Colosseum before visiting, besides that gladiators fought to their deaths. It was an astonishing monument. One that is currently being renovated. But to be honest, the best part about the Colosseum was being able to take pictures of the rest of the city from the very top. The inside of the Colosseum is nice to look at for about five minutes, and then I was ready to go. Check out for yourself though!
(Note – Most of the pictures in this article expand if clicked on, to get a more detailed view)
Vatican City at night – I didn’t get a chance to take a tour of the Vatican during the day, which I regret. Because I have heard it is amazing. But I did walk to the Vatican at night. I didn’t get inside of course, considering it was 3 in the morning. It was mesmerizing checking it out at night though.
Circus Maximus – This is where they would have chariot races in the 6th century BC. It is just a big open field now.
Market at Campo Dei Fiori – I went here at night. It is a big square full of restaurants and bars. And markets where you will find the best fish and vegetables in the city.
The Pantheon – I really enjoyed the area around the Pantheon. It is a big square full of vendors trying to sell you selfie Iphone holders and restaurants. But the Pantheon itself is pretty amazing. Did you know the top of the Pantheon is wide open. so when it rains, water comes through directly below into a drain that is perpendicular?
Check out the street artists – One of the top pieces of Rome travel advice is to check out the street artists! I came across a few different spray paint artists that were making spectacular pieces of art. Check it out below.
Get some pizza! – This is as far north as I went, where the pizza was still really amazing. I know there are DEFINITELY places up north where you can get really good pizza. But in my experience farther north than this (Florence) the pizza goes downhill fast.
Altar of the Fatherland – The largest monument in Rome. And another great place to take pictures of the city.
Imperial Forum – Another cool monument that has been partially destroyed by pollution.
Trastevere– This is the place you want to go to if you are looking for night life. All kinds of bars and restaurants, along with narrow streets full of apartments. The night life is popping as all of the students in Rome live around this area.
Rome Travel Advice – Where should you stay?
I stayed at 3 separate hostels when I was in Rome, and had three completely different experiences. One of the hostels had no hot water, another one was amazingly clean, and the third one was the party hostel. All three had things that I liked and disliked. They were all worth the experience though.
I stayed at this hostel the last couple of nights in Rome. I wanted to stay some place where I could meet a lot of different people, and a place that had a common area. This is the place if you are looking for that. Yea I would love it if every hostel was extremely clean and fancy, but that’s not how hostels are. Plus, after you stay at a few hostels that are expensive, you realize meeting people is the most valuable experience. This place is about a half mile walk from the Rome Termini. Which isn’t bad, but you will have to walk a ways if you want to get to all of the big tourist attractions.
Location 7/10 – I give this a decent rating because if you arrive at the Rome Termini, it’s easy to find. However, the location isn’t very good in relation to the tourist attractions.
Cleanliness- 8/10– Surprisingly, after reading the reviews that said this place isn’t very clean, I found it to be just fine. Maybe it was because I had traveled for so long, I was used to it. Everything is relative, but it seemed clean for a hostel. The shower was clean and they provided clean blankets and sheets.
Price 10/10 – I only paid 9.99 a night in Euros to stay here. If you are on a budget then I definitely suggest that you stay here. This was by far the cheapest hostel I stayed at in Rome.
Atmosphere 8/10– I shared a room with 7 other people, which I didn’t mind. I met people from all over Europe. And they have a common room that’s a pretty decent size with a bar. If you want to party, this is the place to go. I was there on a Sunday and Monday in late November though, and it wasn’t as busy as I think it could be.
Overall – 8/10– You can look up other people’s reviews on Hostelworld.com, but I definitely recommend this hostel.
I only stayed at this hostel for one night. It was a little bit more expensive, but they did provide a continental breakfast. And it was a little bit nicer than the other two that I stayed at.
Location 9/10 I liked the location of this hostel, as it was in between the Termini and all of the tourist attractions. And it had restaurants and a few supermarkets around it.
Cleanliness 9/10– This was the cleanest hostel I stayed at in Rome. Everything looks brand new, and you get new sheets every night. The bathroom was large, where in most hostels it is very small.
Price – 7/10– I paid about 25 Euros for this place. It was nicer than the other two, but I only like to spend 25 Euros on a hostel very rarely when I am traveling. The breakfast was included, but it was only coffee and bread.
Atmosphere 7/10 – I met a few cool people at this hostel, but it was more of an individual hostel. Where most people are with a friend or two, and are doing there own thing.
However, there was a common area where I met a few people.
Overall – 7/10
This was the first hostel I ever stayed at. I was with my friend and it seemed like a good location, so we went for it. The main attraction was that it is on Via Cavour which is the main strip that leads straight to the Colosseum.
Location – 10/10– Perfectly located between the Termini and the tourist attractions off Via Cavour.
Cleanliness – 7/10 – The night that I stayed there, the hot water was not working. The bathroom wasn’t very clean. The room was decent. I got a blanket and clean sheets. But the overall cleanliness of the hostel could have been better compared to the other two places I stayed at.
Price – 6/10 – I paid 20 Euros a night, and after staying at many hostels across Europe, I didn’t see the value in spending that much at this hostel.
Atmosphere 6/10 – No common area. I met a few different people in the rooms which was nice, but that is the only place that you will meet people. Because when you leave your room, it is just a hallway that leads to the exit or the bathroom. If you are at this hostel, you are in your room.
Overall – 6/10 – I wouldn’t stay at this hostel again if I went back to Rome, as there was hardly any value in it.
My Rome travel advice should be taken with a grain of salt. I’m not questioning my experiences, but rather letting you know that everyone’s experiences are so varied. I met people who LOVED the Colosseum and others who didn’t. The one place that always got high praise that I didn’t check out though, was the Vatican. And don’t overlook all of the amazing churches throughout the city. It’s really whatever experience you want. You can party, you can sight see, and you can eat good food. Make sure you check out the gellato if it is your first time in Italy at all. But the best Rome travel advice I can give is to wander as much as possible. This is the absolute best way to travel.