Touring Rome on 50 euros a day

A Rome sightseeing guide for budget-conscious travelers

It's hard to answer when people ask how much they should budget for spending money per day in Rome. The answer obviously depends on the lifestyle of the traveler, and what kinds of things are non-negotiable while touring.

Back in college, I went on a backpacking trip with my best friend. At the time we managed to scrape by on about 30 US dollars per day to sleep, eat, and sightsee. My friend managed to do this while still buying at least three cans of coke (at about 3 dollars each) per day, normally from an obvious tourist trap of a snack mobile parked about ten feet in front of the Eiffel Tower.

While such a budget would now be impossible (Yikes, how many years HAS it been?!), my tastes are no longer those of a backpacker, and so I'll write about what it would now take to keep a city gal such as myself sheltered, fed, and entertained.

As lodging in Rome can really throw off a daily budget, I won't include in my daily tally. Let it suffice to say that a bed in a shared dormitory goes for about 23 Euro, and a Room at the five star Hotel Hassler sells for about 600 Euro per night. Somewhere in that range, a bed to suit your needs and your wallet awaits you in Rome.

I would budget a minimum of 50 Euro per day to cover your basic needs (shopping not included) and Rome sightseeing agenda. Calculate that you are likely to spend around 10 Euro per day in entry fees to monuments like the Vatican Museum or to see the ancient city, etc, that will leave you 40 Euro or so per day for food, drink, bus tickets, etc. Tours in Rome normally start at about 20 Euros, so as much as we advocate entrusting your Rome sightseeing wishes to a qualified guide, we'd better leave the tours out of the equation for now as well.

Here's how it's done. Most hotels, hostels, and B and B's offer complimentary breakfast. Eat up! Save money at lunch time by having "pizza a taglio" (pizza by the slice) and a drink. If you get hungry mid afternoon, 1.50 Euro will buy you a heavenly cone of gelato which will keep your bellies pleasantly full for a few hours. Save the real meal, your precious Euros, and your appetite, for dinner. A nice dinner in a typical Roman restaurant can be had for about 20-30 Euro per person including wine.

Published on December 9th, 2009
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