Rome traffic is rightly described as chaotic. All types of vehicles and tens of thousands of visitors wind through some narrow streets of the medieval city center.
Rome on foot
In Rome, you will go inevitably much on foot. Many sights are close together and the use of public transport or hop on hop off buses is only worthwhile for the longer distances.
Depending on where your accommodation is located and which parts of the city you want to visit, you’ll need ATAC Metrebus tickets or Hop on hop off Tickets or a City Pass, which includes transport and museum entries.
To avoid the car traffic in Rome, you will find some routes in our article about the Rome city center.
Traffic lights for pedestrians
The yellow phase is often very long especially for pedestrian traffic lights. Many traffic lights in the Center therefore also display the seconds to the next red light.
Pedestrian traffic lights show often only a few seconds green and jump immediately on yellow. At normal walking speed, you can mostly venture on the road if it is not an extremely wide road. If the pedestrian lights are red, you should quickly clear the road.
ATAC metro, bus and tram in Rome belong to the public transport in the metrebus system. Here you will find information and tips on the use of public transport.
It’s amazing that the public transport in Rome is so cheap. In every adventure park, you will pay much more for such adventures!
Information on possible connections and departures to the city in Rome are not readily available and also not reliable. The app is recommended which provides good results. Moovit integrates the data of the public transport company ATAC with the real-time data of the users of the app. Also Google maps gives good results for your route planning.
In public transport and in large gatherings of people, you should be aware of pickpockets. You will find a few tips in our post Pickpockets in Rome!
Important lines in Rome
Since in the subsoil of Rome practically everywhere archaeological sites are concealed, the construction of metrolines is almost impossible. Thus, only two lines cross the city, the line A from the southeast to the north west, and the line B from the east to the southwest.
Line C leads from San Giovanni in an eastward direction into the outer districts along Via Casilina.
We have put together some lines of urban transport in Rome for you which will take you to important sights.
Important bus routes in Rome
Bus 23: from the St Peter’s Basilica to St. Paul outside the walls
Bus 40: express line from the central railway station Termini to the Vatican
Bus 62: Connects the Tiburtina railway station to the Vatican. When traveling through the center, it stops in Via del Tritone, near the Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps, as well as in Via del Corso, Piazza Venezia, Torre Argentina and Piazza Navona.
Bus 64: Crosses the center on the way from Termini station to St. Peter’s. This line is one of the main attractions for tourists and pickpockets. Important stops are Piazza Venezia, Torre Argentina and Piazza Navona.
Bus 115: From Via del Corso to the Gianicolo and on to Trastevere – unfortunately only very sporadically
Bus 118: From Piazza Venezia to the archaeological area of Via Appia Antica and further to Villa dei Quintili and back
Bus 218: From San Giovanni to the Catacombs San Callisto, San Domitilla and San Sebastiano, and further to the pilgrimage site of Divino Amore
Bus 492: From the Vatican through the center and via Termini to the Basilica of St. Lawrence and on to Tiburtina station
Bus 792: From St. Paul outside the walls to St. John (San Giovanni)
Important metro stations in Rome
Metro A: important stops:
- Anagnina: Regional bus connection to the airport of Ciampino and various regional bus routes to the Castelli Romani
- Cinecittà: City bus line 520 to Ciampino airport
- San Giovanni: Basilica, Shopping street “Via Appia Nuova”
- Main Station Termini
- Barberini: At the beginning of Via Veneto, to the Trevi Fountain (on Via del Tritone)
- Spagna: City Center, Spanish steps
- Flaminio: Piazza del Popolo, local railway line to Viterbo
- Ottaviano: St. Peter’s square and Vatican museums are around half mile away on foot
Metro B: Important stops:
- Tiburtina railway station: Starting point of the regional buses heading East
- Main Station Termini
- Cavour: Access to the neighbourhood of Monti
- Circo Massimo
- Station Ostiense / Pyramide – Transit to the train to Ostia and to the regional trains, Eataly, foreigners cemetery, Porta Portese
- San Paolo: Basilica and transition to the train to Ostia
- EUR Palasport: The EUR was built before the Second World War for a planned world exhibition
- Laurentina: Starting point of the regional buses heading south
Important tram lines in Rome
Tram line 2: from Piazzale Flaminio to the Auditorium, Ponte Milvio and Foro Italico
Tram line 3: A very scenic ride from Trastevere train station, past the pyramid and more across Coliseum, San Giovanni, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, monumental cemetery Verano and University to the Zoo (back from Villa Borghese)
Tram line 8: from Piazza Venezia to Trastevere and continue on the Circonvallazione Gianicolense
Tram line 19: From Piazza Risorgimento (near the Vatican) to the Zoo and on to St. Lawrence and the monumental cemetery Verano
Connections to the periphery
Train to the sea at Ostia: By metrebus ticket to the sea, departing from the Pyramid / Ostiense metro station with stops at the Basilica of San Paolo and Magliana you can get off at the stations Stella Polare, Castel Fusano and Cristoforo Colombo parallel to the coast. Read also A day in Ostia
Train to the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo: line FL4 at irregular intervals from the main station Termini. Castel Gandolfo is no longer part of the urban area and you have to redeem a ticket (current price 2,10 €) per direction or a three-zone card.
Train to Tivoli: departure from Termini railway station or Tiburtina station. With the unique Villa d’Este, Tivoli is above Rome in an easterly direction.
Villa Adriana is at irregular intervals with regional buses of COTRAL from Tivoli Piazza Garibaldi (Villa D’Este), the footpath from Tivoli railway station is about 2.2 miles. COTRAL provides also bus connections from the metro stop Ponte Mammolo (line B).