Expect to Spend: Rome

Expect to Spend: Rome - Rome, Italy

Market Campo dei Fiori

The morning market at the Campo dei Fiori offers some Cheapo eating.

Rome ain't cheap. Hotel rates in particular can feel over the top. Lodgings in this city are eternally in demand, and Roman hoteliers know it. However, unlike cities such as London or Stockholm where everything is downright pricey, Rome is pretty much an affordable place to eat, drink and get around.

You can mull over these discrepancies while riding the bus or metro (for €1) back from your huge pasta-and-wine dinner (a steal at €10) to your cute but small hotel room (an agonizing €145) near S. Maria Maggiore. Rome isn't the steal it used to be, and tourist traps abound, yet food, public transportation and museums are all reasonable. Just avoid taxis, especially at night. They're extremely expensive.

And with a little determination you can find reasonable deals in expensive Rome that won't break your budget.

The Welrome Hotel has comfortable rooms near the station from €60 a night.

Hotel Rates

Average hotels in central Rome generally run from €100 to €175 a night, depending on location and amenities. But doing your research, you should be able to score a pension or a simple hotel for as little as €55. Check out our listings to get some budget-savvy ideas.

Check out the Beehive Hotel with great decor, inexpensive rates and a great location or the Colors Hotel if you’re looking for an extremely cheap stay—dorms from €18.

For more information on this subject, read our article on what to expect from Rome's hotels.

Restaurant Prices

Rome's remarkable restaurants can seem quite pricey at first, but don't freak out. Move past menu pages listing entrees and appetizers and check out the fixed-price menus. These meals usually include a first, second and third course (and might also include dessert, bread and wine). Fixed-price menus are far less expensive than a la carte dining. And while many of these menus serve up tourist schlock (can you say "lasagna al forno?"), they can also provide a great, inexpensive introduction to Italy's staple dishes. Expect to spend about €15 to €20 for a fixed-price meal.

As a general rule, it's better to pick restaurants tucked away on side streets. The restaurants and trattorias lining popular boulevards and squares tend to dish up mediocre tourist-trap fare.

If you just want something small to nibble on, you've got plenty of options. You can grab a slice at a pizzeria (ask for "pizza rustica" or "pizza a taglio"), and wine bars serve small cheese platters and sliced meats plates perfect for munching. You can always duck into a cafeteria or snack bar and find something small to satisfy your appetite.

Supermarkets and small specialty stores, of course, are the cheapest places to buy food. A grocery store is a great place to stock up on snacks to eat and drinks to sip while walking around town. Grocery stores in Rome also sell full meals, perfect for enjoying on this or that (take your pick!) picturesque square.

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