We all know how great and beautiful Rome is, so for just today, we are going to forget all those good things you know, and we are going to focus on the things not to do in Rome, that way, you will be able to have a much better trip.
1) Don´t take a taxi at the airport
It´s very important that you have this tip in mind because you will save a lot of money. As soon as you get out of the airport, you will see tons of taxis offering you a ride to the center of Rome…Well, they are very EXPENSIVE.
For a 30/35 minutes ride they could literally charge you between 30€ and 60€, and the thing is that you can just take the bus (that will only take around 10 minutes more), and you will pay a million times cheaper price.
2) Don´t buy individual tickets
Of course, if you are not planning to use the public transport in Rome and you just want to use for a one-time ride, then just buy one, but if your idea is to do long distances, buy bono for 1,3, or 7 days…It´s better.
While one ticket will cost you around 1.5€, for a whole day you will only pay 6€, and you will be able to use it as many times you want. For 3 days, you will pay 16.5€, and for 7 days (which is the option we bought), we paid 24€.
This will save you money, but also a lot of walking time. We have to remember that Rome is a huge city and it´s better if we try to avoid walking all the time.
3) Avoid paying the most typical touristic penalty fee
When tourists see that there is no need to show the bus ticket, they decide to not buy it at all and pray for the police to not check on you.
The results are that the penalty fee for not buying the ticket for the bus are one of the most commons in all Rome…and it is not worth it!
You will have to pay 50€ (if you pay in less than 5 days, if not it will be 100), plus the ticket price and a management of 3.40€.
4) Be careful with illegal taxis
This is something that happens all over the world, so it won´t probably surprise you, but in Rome there are also many illegal taxis. This means that one side, they are less safe, and on the other side, they can price you whatever they want.
To avoid going in illegal taxis, just check before getting inside if they are registered and if they have taximeter.
5) Don´t drive in Rome
Rome is a city where most of the important buildings are located in the historical center, so, although It may look huge, you will “always” have the option of going walking, and if not, it´s much better to take the bus or the metro…It´s important that you don´t rent a car.
The city is an authentic chaos to drive, people in Rome can be a little bit aggressive when driving, and the worst of all is that in a big part of the historical center you won´t even have access unless you are a resident, and if you, thinking they won´t see you, there are so many cameras, that you probably get fined for it.
6) Don´t go to restaurants in the main plazas
All over Italy you will be able to have delicious food, and in Rome although it´s a more touristic city, there are also incredible places to eat…You just need to do good research about it.
Our recommendation is to avoid the restaurants that are located near the famous monuments, there are exceptions, but in general, these are tourist traps! They have a very simple and decent menu, but expensive prices.
What we did before travelling to Rome was looking for recommendations on where to eat in Rome. That way, we made sure we tried the best food of Rome.
7) Watch out for “Pizza slices”
One of the most typical things in Rome is ordering pizza square slices, there are many places where they sell them. Normally you can buy them for just 3€ or if not, the price would depend on the weight of the slice.
Well, we have to tell you that in the majority of the locals, these slices are very average. They are preheated, the bread is not recent, and, in our opinion, they were not very good. We preferred paying more for a bigger typical Italian pizza.
8) Ask for tap water
This is something that nowadays happens all over the world, you ask for water, and they always bring you a bottle that is normally quite expensive. Well, just so you know, the tap water of Rome is incredibly good, so if you want to save some money, don´t be shy to ask for tap water instead of bottled water.
You will also be saving the use of plastics…It´s a win, win situation.
9) Buy your tickets for the tourist attractions online
On our list of dos and don’ts in Rome we also need to mention that it´s better if you buy your tickets online. Well, it´s not just that is better, it´s also that with the Covid situation, there are some places where that will be your only option.
Many people go to the Colosseum thinking on buying the tickets over there, and the truth is that if you do that, you probably won´t see it.
There are also places like Sant´Angelo Castle, where you CAN buy it at their stan, but we still recommend you getting the tickets online, that way you can skip the line and you don´t need to wait so long.
10) Don´t wait until the last day!
This is something you need to keep in mind, specially if you are going on high peak season, buying your tickets for the monuments with just 1,2, or 3 days it´s almost impossible. We would advise you to buy them as soon as you know you are going to Rome, specially for the Colosseum, the Vatican City and the most important places.
There are seasons where you need to buy tickets for the Colosseum with not just weeks ahead, but months.
If you go during low season, this is not so necessary (See here the what´s the best time to go to Rome), but we still believe it´s good to check it out, just in case.
11) Don´t go half naked!
During winter there are never problems with this, as it´s cold and we always wear long pants and a coat because it´s cold, but the summer in Rome is very hot and it´s very common to go with shorts and a t-shirt…well, if that´s your case, no matter how hot it is, you will need to take a jacket with you.
In almost every single church of Roma, and specially, at the Vatican City, they are very strict with not showing you arms or your legs. So…If you don´t want to miss any of these cool places, take something that can cover you.
12) Obey the police!
I know this sounds stupid, but there are many tourists that don´t do it and they have to pay for it later, so I think we have to make a reminder.
At “Piazza di Spagna” there are many police officers that are trying to make sure you don´t sit down at the famous stairs. Well, people still do it, and it´s true that at the beginning they just give you a warning, but if you do it more often, they can fine you with a 200€ penalty fee.
The same happens with Trevi Fountain… Just don´t get inside of it! In this case, they won´t give you a warning they will probably just fine you.
13) Always book a guided tour for the important places
There are some cities where you can just walk around the city, discover the places by your own and read information on Google, well, Rome is not one of those cities. We tried to visit the Roman Forum and the Colosseum without a guide, and we were very lost.
These places have such a huge history that it´s almost mandatory to have someone telling you the stories. Believe us, you will be thankful after that.
14) Reserve a hotel at the center or near a metro station
We keep saying it, you will be tired of walking in Rome! The distances are very big and there are so many places to visit that you don´t ever take a rest. The best thing to avoid being so tired is, one, buying a bono bus card, and the second one, is having the hotel located in the center or near the metro station.
This will save you 20 minutes go and back to your hotel every single day.
15) Don´t accept FREE things!
No one gives things for FREE, and in Rome they will offer you many FREE things, so just don´t take them.
The street sellers are always giving you these FREE things, and at the first moment you accept them, they will get very aggressive with you to pay them for what they have just gave you.
We had a not so good experience with this near the Sant´Angelo castle, so if someone gives you Free things, just say NO, THANK YOU.
Do you know any other things not to do in Rome?
That´s it! That´s the end of our list of dos and don’ts in Rome! We are sure it will be useful for your trip. Remember to enjoy, but always be aware of things, because in big cities there are always people trying to take advantage of tourists.
We write these types of blogs, so we all can feel more secure when travelling. So if you know any other things we can add to this list of “What not to do in Rome?”, tell us so we all know about it.