Rome transportation - how to get around

The Rome Transportation system makes it easy to get around the city - find out how to get tickets, how to get in and around Rome, whether kids ride free, and much more.

bus in romeThe bus system in Rome is extensive and allows you to get just about anywhere you want to go.

Rome transportation options

One of the most important things that can affect your visit to Rome is deciding how you will get around.

Walking is always my first choice, because there is so much to see on foot, and also because I love the exercise.

And, Rome is pretty compact and you can walk easily from monument to monument, piazza to piazza. Plus you get to peek into doorways along the way.

But it's not always feasible to walk as a means of sight-seeing in Rome, due to weather, tiredness, trying to fit in a lot of stuff in a day, hurt knees, little ones, etc. 

Other than walking, here are the best ways to get around Rome:

Finally, here's how to know how to get where you want to go in Rome:

No matter what season you visit Rome, here are 4 things never to leave at home:

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Public Transportation - ATAC & Cotral

Rome's public transportation is run by ATAC (Azienda Tramvie ed Autobus del Comune di Roma). Once you open the site, you can choose English from the language menu at the top.

The ATAC system includes the Metro (underground/subway), Bus, and Tram

ATAC is complimented in certain areas of the city by Cotral, a private company, who offer bus and overground train services. The best example is the train that takes you to Ostia Antica/Ostia Lido (Beach).

ATAC & Cotral Tickets

You can get a single-use ticket, a daily ticket, 3-day ticket, or longer.

At the end of 2023, ATAC and Cotral introduced new ticket machines at all metro stations, major bus stops and other key locations where you can purchase rechargeable/reloadable tickets.

The aim of these is to reduce the number of single use tickets (and therefore the card they are printed on) being issued.

While a positive step forward for sustainability, this has meant that purchasing single-use tickets at Tabacco shops and news kiosks, as was the norm until recently, has become more difficult. 

I'd recommend getting yourself a rechargeable ticket on your first day in Rome, and top it up as and when you need it, keeping it safe for the duration of your trip!

If you purchase any of the above tickets you can use them on the Cotral Rome network (even if they are labelled as ATAC most of the time!). 

Note that you can also use your debit/credit card on 'tap and go' sensors at most metro stations, avoiding needing to purchase a ticket. 

Children under 10 ride free on all ATAC transportation, and must be accompanied by an adult.

Do this, or risk getting fined...

You must validate your ticket on any public transport journey or risk being fined by ATAC/Cotral inspectors.

At Metro stations this is easy to do; you'll need to enter your ticket in the barriers when accessing the platforms, validating in the process.

On bus or trams you'll need to board and then put the ticket into the small machines often mounted on the handlebars at the front, middle and rear of the vehicle. The machine will stamp the time on your ticket, validating it.

If you do not do this and an inspector asks to see your ticket, you will likely be fined at least 60€. That's the cost of a good lunch or dinner, so not worth risk considering the cheapest ticket is only 1,50€!


Local tip: Some times its impossible to validate your ticket - maybe the barriers at a metro station are open, or a bus is too busy to reach the machine. In this case, write on the ticket the time you boarded your train/bus/tram - show this to an inspector if requested, who will accept this as a makeshift validation 👍

Rome Transportation - Metro

The Rome Metro or underground is an easy, quick way to get around parts of Rome.

a metro train at the station in romeThe Metro is one of the easiest methods of transport in Rome.

At least, the parts not full of underground Roman ruins

The metro runs daily from early until late, with the exact timetable varying according to works and special events in the city. 

Find out everything you need to know about riding the Rome Metro on my dedicated page.

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Rome has an extensive bus system, allowing you to get almost anywhere in Rome, even to many areas outside Rome.

a bus in romeThe Rome bus system is inexpensive and easy to use to get around Rome, especially if you use an app to tell you which one(s) to take.

It's the slowest way to go, but it can be an adventure and/or scenic if the bus isn't too crowded.


There are a limited number of trams in Rome, all part of the ATAC Rome public transportation system.

tram in romeThe trams in Rome are limited but they go far and can be useful if you have a specific destination outside the center.

The trams are all in strategic spots, connecting to either a metro or bus stop, making it very easy to get quickly to locations the metro cannot always go, such as the auditorium or MAXXI museum.

The Rome ATAC tickets are not valid for the following means of Rome transportation:

Hop on / Hop off bus

Many open-bus companies offer hop-on / hop-off service in Rome, and they all offer pretty much the same route.

You will see the main tourist attractions of Rome, such as the Colosseum, Vatican, Pantheon, Palatine Hill, etc.

hop on/off buses romeIn front of the Palatine Hill, you can see many different brands of Hop-on / Hop-off buses waiting to take off.

Because they are hop-on/hop-off, you could use this double decker bus both as a means of Rome transportation and also as a way to sight-see.

The hop-on/hop-off bus is also a great option if you want to take in the sights in a day and/or if you are short on time and just want to get an overview.

Click here to read my page about the the Hop-on Hop-off bus tours in Rome.

Click here to book your Hop-On/Hop-Off bus tickets.


I know that many visitors to Rome are wary of taking a taxi in Rome.

Unfortunately, there have been too many tales of people being ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers.

taxi queue at rome termini stationTaxis are a common form of Rome transportation. Just know the rules so you have peace of mind.

But I am here to tell you that most Rome taxi drivers are honest.

And there are ways to take a taxi and make sure you do not get hustled.

And taking a taxi in Rome can be a good thing when you are tired and hot and just want to get quickly back to your hotel or apartment.

For details on how and where to get a taxi, costs, and how not to get ripped off, visit my dedicated page about taking a taxi in Rome here.

Private car hire

You may want to hire a private car while in Rome.

Typically, people book these to get between Rome and the airport or between Rome and the cruise port city, Civitavecchia.

Many people also opt for a private car hire to take a private tour in Rome, or to get them to other nearby spots such as Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Florence, etc.

The best way to hire a private car in Rome is to book in advance.

This way you know exactly what kind of car you are getting and you know the price in advance.

The worst way to take a private car anywhere in Rome is by picking up one as you would a taxi.

Unfortunately, here, again, you may get taken advantage of.

Click here to book your private car for airport transfer.

Click here to book your private car for Civitavecchia port transfer.

Click here to book a private tour of Rome with limo and driver.


Sorry but I must strongly urge you not to use a car as a way to get around Rome.

rome trafficDriving is probably the worst choice as a means of Rome transportation. Try to avoid this if you can!

If you are renting a car and driving in or out of Rome, fine.

But there is no need for a car in Rome, it's not easy or cheap to park it, and you risk getting slapped with hefty fines for driving in restricted areas that you may not be able to recognize.

Vespa / motorcycle

As a means of Rome transportation, you can rent your own Vespa (scooter) or motorcycle if you feel comfortable navigating Rome streets and traffic.

You can also take a tour of Rome on a Vespa/scooter.

This is one of the most fun ways to tour the city. It's easy, safe and allows you to cover a lot of ground. You will be a passenger and get to look and film as you go. You'll wear a helmet and the drivers go very slowly, but you also get that feeling of zipping around Rome as the Romans do.

Click here to rent a Vespa while in Rome.

Click here to book a Vespa tour of Rome!

Ready to plan your trip?

Book your train

Planning to travel between cities in Italy and other parts of Europe?

Use Trainline to see all the different options available across the different rail companies.

Find your hotel

Find your perfect place to stay in Rome.

Use to choose between hotels, guesthouses, and self-catering apartments in neighborhoods throughout the Eternal City.

Buy your TurboPass

Purchase the convenient Turbopass and visit all of Rome's top attractions including the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Vatican.

With one handy pass, it's all included.

Bicycle - from e-bike sharing to rentals to tours

I have a bicycle but rarely use it as a means of Rome transportation, preferring to use it for a leisurely ride along the Appia Antica or along the Tiber.

But ever since the electric bike-sharing programs began and these bikes started popping up everywhere in Rome, I must say I find them quite useful.

Electric bike-sharing services like these Jump bikes by Uber can be a fun and way of getting around Rome.

First of all, the bikes are electric which makes riding them a breeze even up small hills.

Second of all, you don't have to worry about where to park them (except of course you do have to make sure you do not park in a prohibited area. The app you use to rent the bike will let you know.)

All you need is the app for the product you want to rent. I have found you can download an app, sign up, and rent one of these electric bikes in a matter of minutes.

You could also choose to rent an electric bike for longer than just a one-time use, and enjoy it as a means of getting around Rome for a day or longer.

Beware, though, that they do not come with helmets so you are taking a risk. Drive slowly, obey traffic laws, and stay safe!

Click here to rent an e-bike.

Click here to book an e-bike tour along the Appia Antica.

You can also rent bicycles on the via Appia which is a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday (because on Sundays the Appia Antica is closed to car traffic).

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Electric scooter

Lately it's all the rage in Rome, and it seems in many cities around the globe as well, to rent an electric scooter or bicycle as a means of getting around Rome.

By rent I mean for one-time use.

There are many brands in Rome that rent these electric vehicles.

A big one is Uber, so if you already have an Uber account, you are set. They use Lime as their intermediary rental app so you'll need to download that if you don't have it already.

Many tour companies are now offering electric bike tours. This is really fantastic because you can see a lot while exercising but without it being too strenuous.

All you need is the appropriate app. Enter your details and payment method and you're good to go.


Segway can be a fun way to get around Rome but given that we barely have bike lanes in Rome, going around on a Segway may not be a very good option as a means of Rome transportation. 

Segway tours are popular in Rome, allowing you to cover a lot of ground.

More than anything it could be a fun thing to rent one in the Villa Borghese park, or take a Rome Segway tour.

Golf cart

A golf cart is another comfortable, albeit limited, form of Rome transportation. You can rent a golf cart in the Villa Borghese at two locations - one at the Pincian hill and the other inside the park.

Inside the Villa Borghese there are a couple of spots where you can rent wheels like Segways or golf carts. Your best bet is to ride them around inside the park as opposed to using them as your means of Rome transportation.

Rates range from around 25 Euros per hour.

You must be over 18 and possess a valid drivers' license.

The golf carts may be taken out of the park but if you are not comfortable driving around Rome, you will probably not want to use this as your means of Rome transportation.

At best, it could be a fun way to spend some time in the park.

Your best bet if you want to sight-see by golf cart is to take a tour and let someone else take you around.

Horse and carriage

Hiring a horse and driver to get around Rome is probably one of the least useful in terms of getting around.

It's more of a touristic experience that will allow you to enjoy a little bit of the sites from the comfort of a slow-moving, open-air carriage.

Getting around Rome by horse and carriage can be romantic but the options are very limited and it's also an expensive way to get around Rome.

While it may seem romantic, it's also been fraught with controversy over the years.

Some horses have collapsed and even died and the city keeps banning the buggies, and is not currently issuing new licenses.

As of December 2020, the carriages are banned from city streets and may only operate in historic villas (like the Villa Borghese or Villa Celimontana) or public parks.

One final note - this is a very expensive form of Rome transportation so if you do it, negotiate the price in advance so you know what to expect.

How to know how to go - apps for transport in Rome

Wondering how to know how to get from point A to point B in Rome? There's an app for that!

Well, there are a few apps and also a few websites that can help with easy directions, whether you're walking, taking public transport in Rome, transport in Italy, or driving.

Public transportation apps for Rome

  • Google maps - they are connected to Rome's ATAC transport system in Rome and also to other transport systems across Italy. Note however that the Metromare metro line from Rome to Ostia Antica and Lido di Ostia is not on Google Maps. 
  • Apple maps - if you are using an iPhone or other Apple device, you may want to use the built in Apple maps which is also connected to Rome's ATAC system as well as other Italy transport systems in other cities.

Taxi apps for Rome

Both of these apps are free and easy to use and allow you to pay with credit card. You can track where your taxi is while you wait for it:

  • Free Now (previously mytaxi)
  • ITTaxi

Directions in Rome and in Italy

Here are some of the best and easiest to use apps and websites for getting directions in Rome and in Italy:

  • Rome2Rio - Also sometimes mis-named "rome to rio", this app is not about going from Rome to Rio per se. It's a great app that gives you complete directions literally from start to end, as in, "walk 20 feet to the end of the street. Wait for the bus, once off the bus, walk 2 blocks, then get the tram", etc. It will give you all the steps so you know truly how to get from point A to point B. It will give you options including public transportation, driving (with options for Uber/Lyft/similar or taxi, if applicable), local, regional, and international trains, flights, and more. It's a really complete direction system and easiest to use on a website where you can see the full map.
  • Waze - Waze is similar to Google Maps and especially helpful when driving.

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