What to Know About Your First Trip to Rome

An unforgettable experience awaits when you visit the Eternal City. Learn everything you need to know about planning your first trip and make the most of your time in Rome with these helpful tips!


Traveling to Rome can expose you to a range of exciting architecture and art, as it’s filled with lots of cultural experiences that you should take advantage of, but if you have never been, it might seem intimidating as well. Not to mention, it’s a different culture and language that may take getting used to. However, even first-time visitors can prepare ahead of time to make their time as enjoyable as possible. The trick is to do your research before you go.

What to Know About Your First Trip to Rome

Get Your Tickets Ahead of Time

There is nothing worse than planning to visit a certain area and finding there is already a wait to get tickets, and this can lead to a wasted day. You can avoid the lines by purchasing tickets ahead of time. There are museums in the area that allow you to purchase tickets to skip the lines. In fact, a few areas require you to get tickets in advance to prevent overcrowding there. 

The same is true of airfare and accommodations. Purchasing your plane tickets ahead of time ensures you can find a good deal, and finding accommodations sooner means you might not have to pay peak prices. Traveling to Rome can be an expensive undertaking, but you can make the trip more affordable by getting a personal loan to help cover the cost. If you are trying to decide if this will work for you, you will need to know more about the pros and cons. You can review a guide with more information.

Stay Safe and Healthy While in Rome

Rome does not have any health hazards, but there are still a few ways you can stay healthy while visiting the area. Summers get extremely warm, and many areas, such as the Forum, don’t have much shade, so you might be in the sun a lot. It’s important to dress for the weather and make sure you always have a water bottle with you. 

There are many public drinking fountains, so you have no excuse not to keep them filled and drink from them often. You will want to wear sensible shoes, especially if you will be exploring the city on foot at all. You may climb long staircases, walk around ruins, or explore cobblestone streets. You should wear shoes that are comfortable and that won’t give you blisters after wearing them for a long time.

The city itself is generally safe, but you should always be careful when you are in an area that is unfamiliar to you. Since it’s a popular place for tourists, you should be aware of theft, especially in areas like Saint Peter’s Square and the Colosseum. Be alert while using public transportation as well. Make sure your phone, wallet, and other valuables are in a front pocket or a crossbody bag that you wear in front of you. It’s much easier for a pickpocket to reach into a backpack than a bag you can see at all times. If you do experience theft, report what happened to the local police as soon as possible.

Have Cash With You

Italy, as a whole, is a cash economy, which means you will want to have cash on hand at all times when you are in Rome. Smaller shops appreciate cash even more than larger ones. Larger restaurants and stores will often take cards, but they may not allow a group of people to split the bill. That means one person will need to pay with their card and have the rest of the group pay them back in cash.

Know How to Avoid Looking Like a Tourist

If you want to get a true local experience, you’ll want to avoid looking like a tourist. The way you dress can set you apart from the rest of the tourists. It’s always safe to go with something black and an accent piece, such as a scarf or piece of jewelry. Generally, smart casual is the way to dress, and you’ll want to stay away from sweatpants and athletic shorts.

Understand Specific Local Laws

The number of careless tourists in Rome has made it necessary to pass a few laws on how to respect the area. It was common for tourists to leave trash all over the area before there were anti-littering laws. Now, you could face a ban from the area or a hefty fine if you are caught breaking one of the rules. You will need to avoid wading in any of the fountains, moving wheeled items up the historic stairs, or sitting on the Spanish Steps. 

Escape the Crowds

Rome is a very crowded city, and it can be hard to enjoy some of the more popular areas with so many other people there. The trick is to plan carefully and go at less popular times. November to March is considered the off season, and there aren’t as many tourists in the area. Many spots are better to see early in the morning, although other areas might be better in the afternoon. Getting off the beaten path can also help you avoid too many crowds. Consider taking a back route or going down a side street. Look for attractions that are not as well-known and see if they will be less crowded for you.

In Conclusion

Your first trip to Rome can be overwhelming, so it’s important to know a few things before you go. Make sure to bring cash and dress like a local to get the full experience. Always be aware of your surroundings and carry your valuables with care. Finally, do some research on when it is best to visit each attraction and look for quieter streets to explore. Following these tips will give you the best chance of having a great first trip to Rome. Have fun!

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