This article will provide you with all the essentials for planning your trip from Dublin or Cork to Rome. From buying your flight to seeing the sights, we’ve got you covered from start to finish.
So pack your bags, dust off your passport, and prepare yourself for some amazing Italian cuisine because we’re heading to Rome, the Eternal City!
Before you leave
The Best Time to Travel to Rome
Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, there’s never a bad time to visit Rome. Each travel season has its own perks though, and you might prefer to visit in one season over another.
Springtime in Rome offers unique experiences like strolling through the city’s famous botanical gardens or joining in on Holy Week celebrations.
The weather is nice and the city isn’t yet full of tourists, making this a great time of year for visiting Rome’s famous sites. This season can be a bit rainy though, and flight prices tend to spike around Holy Week.
For those eager to explore every corner of the Eternal City, summer is the prime time to visit Rome. With up to 15 hours of sunlight a day, you can visit landmarks like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, and attend lively outdoor festivals like Lungo il Tevere and Roma Incontra Il Mondo.
Just remember that summer can be crowded and hot, with temperatures sometimes passing 32℃. It’s also the peak tourist season, meaning travel and accommodation prices are at their highest.
Fall offers a milder climate, perfect for exploring the city on foot. The decline in tourist crowds makes it an ideal time to explore the city’s historical sites like the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and Roman Forum with ease.
This is also a great time of year for food lovers to visit, as it’s the time for wine harvest and truffle season. Keep in mind that Fall in Rome can be very rainy, which might impact your outdoor plans.
Rome takes on a festive charm in winter, with Christmas markets and lights adorning the streets. It’s a great time to explore the museums and galleries, and this is the time of year you’re most likely to find deals for flights and accommodation.
However, the winter weather and shorter daylight hours may require some adjustment to your travel itinerary, so be sure to pack warmly and plan accordingly.
Booking Your Flight
Book flights in advance
When planning a trip to Rome, it’s best to book your flights at least one month in advance. However, for the best deals, we recommend securing your tickets three months ahead of time. Doing so can save you up to 65 % on airfare!
If your travel schedule is flexible, consider flying during the week rather than on the weekend. Evening flights are often cheaper than morning flights, even if it means sacrificing some sightseeing time on your first day. Try booking on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday for the best deals.
For unrivalled convenience, consider booking with Trazler— a smart one-stop platform that lets you reserve your flight, accommodation, and car transfers all at the same time. Keep in mind that holiday weeks like Christmas and Holy Week will likely be expensive, no matter how far in advance you book.
Flying from Ireland
If you’re travelling from Ireland, you have the option to fly to Rome from either Dublin Airport (DUB) or Cork Airport (ORK).
Your destination is most likely to be Rome’s main airport, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO), though a select few flights might also take you to Rome’s secondary airport, Ciampino Airport (CIA).
Direct Flights from Ireland to Rome take 3 hours, though your departure and arrival times will differ by 4 hours because Italy is one hour ahead. Keep this in mind while planning your itinerary!
Finding a place to stay
If you want to see as many sites as possible, consider staying in the Centro Storico (Historical Centre).
You’ll be just a short walk from wonders like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain, and major attractions such as the Spanish Steps, Colosseum, and Vatican City are all reachable within a 25-minute walk.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more luxurious stay, consider staying near Piazza di Spagna. At the foot of the Spanish steps, this area boasts fine dining options and high-end accommodations.
And if you want to go shopping, nearby Via Condotti is one of the world’s best places for designer shopping.
If you want to be in the heart of Rome’s local culture, Trastevere is the place for you. This vibrant neighborhood is home to some of the city’s best dining and nightlife.
You’ll also be within a 20-minute walk from attractions like the Circus Maximus and the Pantheon. This neighborhood is very lively and might be too loud for those looking for peace and quiet at night.
Budget-conscious travellers or those seeking convenient transportation options might prefer to stay near the Roma Termini station. This area offers quick access to public transportation and a range of budget accommodations, though some might find it less charming than other parts of the city.
Using Your Phone in Rome
If you have an Irish sim card, your phone will likely work in Italy once you enable data roaming. However, if you do need to buy a phone plan for your stay, consider buying a short-term plan from Flexiroam or Holafly.
You can also buy a sim card at the airport once you land.
Trazler Smart Tip: Pack a portable charger for your trip (and make sure to charge it before you leave!).
Before you leave for Rome, be sure to check the weather and pack accordingly. The city contains a lot of cobblestone streets, so don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes.
If you’re visiting during the summer months and plan to see religious sites, remember to pack a shawl or shirts that cover your shoulders.
It’s a good idea to bring cash and credit cards as some places will not accept credit cards, especially for small purchases. We also recommend packing an umbrella, and of course, making sure to pack your passport.
Once in Rome
Getting from the airport to your hotel
Whether you’re arriving at FCO or CIA, you can take a train, bus, taxi, or car transfer to your hotel.
From FCO airport, you can take the Leonardo Express train to Rome Termini Station for 14€. Trains run every 15-30 minutes and the journey to the city center takes 30-35 minutes.
From CIA airport, there’s no direct train to the city center, but you can take a bus to Ciampino station and then a train to Rome Termini Station for a total of 2-5 €. The whole journey takes 35-40 minutes.
Regardless of the airport you land in, we suggest buying your tickets in advance as the line to buy tickets in the airport can be quite long.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get to Rome, you can take a bus run by Terravision, Sit Bus, or Tam Bus for 6-10 € from FCO or 1-13 € from CIA.
Be prepared that the bus may be hot and crowded (especially in the summer months) and the journey can take up to 70 minutes depending on traffic.
Taxis are also available for a flat fee of 50 € from FCO or 30 € from CIA, though they can be more expensive if you are travelling outside the Aurelian Walls.
Most taxis will accept credit cards, but to be safe, ask if you can pay in cash before driving away from the airport.
For the fastest and most comfortable option, book a private car transfer. The car will pick you and any companions up at the airport and will drop you off at the door of your hotel without any unnecessary stops.
To find a car transfer that meets your needs, use a travel search engine to compare options based on the number of passengers, luggage capacity, and preferred waiting time. Consider using Trazler, where you can book your flight, hotel, and car transfer, all in one place.
Trazler Smart Tip: Taxis can only take up to 4 people and 4 pieces of luggage. If you are travelling in a large group or with a lot of luggage, you will save money by booking a private transfer.
Seeing the Sights
Public Transportation in Rome
To get around the city, you can purchase ATAC tickets which can be used on the metro, bus, or tramway. Individual tickets are 1.50 €, or you can buy an unlimited pass for 7 € for 24 hours.
If you want a pass that is valid for longer, you can also find 2, 3, and 7-day unlimited passes.
Creating Your Itinerary
To save both time and money, consider purchasing the Roma Pass tourist card.
It includes free admission to museums, discounts on shows and exhibitions, queue-free access to the Colosseum, free access to public transport, and a guide to the city’s main points of interest.
To avoid long queues at popular sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, we suggest buying your tickets online and in advance. This is especially important in the summer months when tickets can sell out weeks ahead of time.
Booking with a tour group can also provide significantly faster entry into Vatican City sites like the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Trazler Smart Tip: Save time and streamline your trip planning by creating a Google MyMaps itinerary, which visually maps out all the places you want to visit in Rome. You’ll save time by grouping nearby attractions, saving you from unnecessary travel back and forth across the city.
This guide aims to provide you with helpful information for organizing your trip from Ireland to Rome. With frequent flights from both Cork and Dublin, discovering the charms of this famous European capital has never been easier.
Trazler makes planning your trip a breeze. Our platform allows you to book flights, accommodations, and car rentals all in one place. With Trazler, planning a trip has never been easier!