Wondering whether Rome is expensive to visit?
Then you’ve come to the right place as I’ve written a complete guide to answer the question of “Is Rome expensive?”
Rome is one of the most popular cities to visit in the whole world. But it’s also a city associated with luxury.
This leads many people to wonder whether Rome is expensive.
I had this question too but after visiting Rome for myself, I feel confident enough to answer this question once and for all.
So let’s get into a complete guide to “Is Rome expensive?”
Is Rome Expensive?
Personally, I don’t think there is a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer to whether or not Rome is expensive.
I would say it’s expensive compared to countries in Southeast Asia or South America, for example, but it’s not as expensive as the US or even some countries in Europe.
I’ve visited cities in Europe like London and Amsterdam, both of which have been more expensive than Rome.
And obviously, the notoriously expensive countries like Iceland or Switzerland are more expensive than Rome too.
So if you are used to the typical prices in Europe in countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, etc., then you won’t find Rome expensive. But you won’t find it cheap either, prices are pretty much just the same.
But if you aren’t used to the prices in Europe, then you might find Rome either expensive or cheap depending on where you come from.
To give you an idea of how much I spent in Rome, I spent €308 over 4 days. But I was visiting Rome on a budget, so I was trying to spend as little money as possible.
A typical daily Rome budget is about €140 per person per day including accommodation.
Unfortunately, Rome is getting more expensive as time goes on. This is down to the increased cost of living and other things which are happening everywhere, but there are also some things in Rome which are beginning to raise their prices.
For example, the Pantheon in Rome. When I visited, it was completely free to go inside. But as of mid-2023, you need to pay €5. It’s a small charge, but it’s the little things that add up.
Being the capital city of Italy, Rome is also one of the most expensive cities. But not the most expensive. The most expensive city in Rome to visit is probably Venice in my opinion.
And also as one of the most popular destinations in the world, this makes Rome slightly more expensive. As the good old “supply and demand” model works, more people wanting to visit Rome leads to higher prices.
Rome is one of those cities where you can easily visit and spend thousands and thousands, staying in a hotel near the Colosseum, having a romantic photoshoot by the Trevi Fountain and enjoying delicious 5-course meals.
On the other hand, you can easily visit Rome on a shoestring budget, drinking tap water, staying in a hostel, taking free walking tours and eating from street vendors.
But as I said, Rome isn’t the most expensive place in Europe, not by a long stretch. It’s somewhere in the nice middle ground, average, so to say.
So to answer the question of “Is Rome expensive?” – it’s pretty much the same as other popular European cities.
How Much Is Accommodation In Rome?
Accommodation in Rome is where there is the biggest difference in prices– the biggest range.
Rome is known for being a city of luxury with romantic 5-star hotels perfect for a honeymoon or Valentine’s gift.
But there are also lots of great hostels in Rome, my favourite is the Freedom Traveller Hostel.
If you choose to stay in a hotel on the higher end of the scale, you’re looking at around €200 plus, with pretty much no upper limit.
Or if you choose to go the other end of the spectrum, a hostel will set you back about €20 a night.
Of course, there are plenty of hotels in the middle, costing from €80-120 for a decent mid-range hotel. I recommend the Raeli Hotel Regio which offers comfortable stays for affordable prices.
The good thing about Rome is that you won’t be spending too much time in your room, as there are so many things to see that make Rome worth visiting.
But speaking in terms of prices, assuming you get a mid-range hotel, the prices in Rome for hotels are pretty much the same as anywhere else in Europe.
It’s when you go for luxury hotels that prices start to increase rapidly because Rome is such a popular city for romantic trips.
How Much Are The Tourist Attractions In Rome?
When it comes to tourist attractions in Rome, the prices balance out to be reasonable in my opinion.
For example, spending €30 for a good tour of the Colosseum might seem expensive, but it’s a bucket list experience and for many people, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And trust me, it does not disappoint.
But while taking a tour of the Colosseum costs money, one of the best things you can do in Rome is to simply see the Colosseum at night, which is completely free to do. Sitting on the wall by the Colosseum and admiring the view is one of my favourite memories from Rome.
So straight away, there are two things to do with the Colosseum, and only one costs money. I know it doesn’t exactly work this way, but in my head, it means you pay once and have two experiences. That’s what I mean when I say things balance out.
Another example, it costs €17 for a ticket to the Vatican Museums, which again, is an unbelievable experience, getting to see the Sistine Chapel is a moment I’ll never forget.
But the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and more all don’t cost a penny.
So some things cost money, some things don’t, and everything balances out to be pretty reasonable.
I can’t really give an estimate on how much I would put aside for things to do in Rome, as some people do lots of things like take a tour to Pompeii, while some people stick to the free activities.
What I will say is that I spent about €120 on things to do in Rome, and I did some things that most people would skip, such as visiting the zoo and taking a tour of the Stadio Olimpico.
How Expensive Is Food In Rome?
I actually found the food in Rome to be pretty cheap.
Granted, I only ate pizza and pasta the whole time!
But I only paid between €8-14 for a pizza, in Italy.
Most of the time it would cost me more for a pizza in the UK.
So overall, I was pretty happy with the food prices in Rome. My favourite restaurant was Mariuccia where I had the tastiest pizza of my whole trip.
But if you choose to have longer meals, with more courses, prices will quickly rise. Alcohol in Rome is pretty reasonably priced though, especially wine since it is produced not too far from the city.
One top tip for finding the cheaper (and better) restaurants in Rome or any city around the world, is to walk a few streets away from the tourist attractions.
In restaurants like Mariuccia which I mentioned above and Tonnarello, another favourite of mine, I saw local Italians eating in them, so I knew 1) they wouldn’t be a rip-off or tourist trap and 2) the food would be good.
And this was the case. The trick works literally anywhere. Just walk a few streets and find where the locals are eating. The food will be both cheaper and tastier.
Going back to price, I would say €10-15 for something quick like pizza or pasta, or €30-50 for a three-course meal with drinks.
You also don’t have to tip in Rome, it’s not expected the same way it is in the US. It’s a great way to recognise good service, but it’s not mandatory.
How Much Is Public Transport In Rome?
Taking public transport is one of the best ways to get around Rome, and just like everything else in the city, the prices are in line with other cities in Europe.
Rome’s integrated public transport network is operated by ATAC, which includes buses, trams, metro, and a few urban railways.
The pricing is designed to be affordable, with a single ticket that covers all modes of transport for 100 minutes costing just a couple of euros.
If you’re in Rome for a decent amount of time, I recommend buying the passes like the 24, 48, or 72-hour tickets, or maybe even the weekly pass, which offers unlimited travel within the specified time, saving you money and simplifying your travels.
Note that these do not include transport from Rome Fiumicino to the city, or vice versa.
And also, you can’t buy any tickets on the buses in Rome, you need to have prepaid for them either online or at one of Rome’s stations. The most convenient is probably either Roma Termini or the one by the Colosseum.
But price-wise, the public transport in Rome is pretty affordable.
Is Rome Expensive: FAQ
Below are some questions related to visiting Rome on a budget along with my answers to each question.
When in Rome, dining out can vary in price. For a quick meal at an inexpensive restaurant, you might spend around 10 to 15 euros. If you’re sitting down at a mid-range place, a three-course meal could cost between 30 and 50 euros per person. Remember, you can save money by eating like a local—enjoying a slice of pizza or a panino from a street vendor.
For a pint of beer in Rome, prices typically range from 4 to 6 euros. It can be more expensive in touristy areas so for a budget-friendly drink, find where the locals go and drink there.
On average, most people aim for about 150 to 200 euros daily in Rome, covering food, transportation, and accommodation. This should give you a comfortable buffer for dining out, entrance fees, and a nice place to sleep.
Rome can be a bit pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s more affordable than many Northern European cities. The key to Rome is balance—splurge on a few must-see attractions but also mix in some free activities like exploring its historic streets and piazzas.
Final Thoughts: Is Rome Expensive?
And there you have it, a complete guide to “Is Rome expensive?”
Remember, my answer is, it’s a pretty average European city when it comes to prices.
You can easily visit Rome and splurge thousands, but you can equally visit on a shoestring budget.
It’s a very versatile city and it makes for an unforgettable visit!
Now that you know how expensive Rome is, the next thing on your trip-planning agenda is to begin to plan what you’re going to do when visiting Rome for the first time.