How to Spend a Weekend in Rome On a Student Budget

Feb 11, 2019 11:01:00 AM / by Daniel Arnabar

In this week's post, Daniel finds himself in Rome for the weekend and outlines the costs associated with visiting Italy's capital city. He debunks the myth of having to break the bank to have a good time by sharing cost-effective travel options. Enjoy this city through Daniel's photos and favorite moments!

When in Rome…you don’t have to break the bank. Coming to Italy, I had always heard how expensive Rome was and how it was an avoidable tourist trap. However, in visiting, I can tell you that this is not the whole truth. Yes, you can spend a ton of money, and yes, the city is very touristy, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Car in RomeROMA.

Rome is an immensely popular city. It can be expensive, but it’s also beautiful and hypnotizing. Here’s how to do it in 2 days and on a budget.

Architecture in RomeYou will find yourself tripping a lot as it’s hard to not look up at the incredible architecture.

1. Transportation from Florence

Finding an affordable train to Rome from Florence is a fairly straightforward process online. We booked the day before we were planning on leaving and spent 23 euros on a 3.5-hour ride (it could be 1.5 hours but it was 40 euros more).

2. Living Accommodations

As far as staying in Rome, we booked an AirBnB a little north of the center for 100 euros a night (coming out to 20 euros per person).

Views in RomeTwo of the views from our AirBnB.

Caffe in Rome
Within a couple blocks of our place we found a small coffee shop where we had an amazing (and fairly cheap) breakfast.

3. Transportation within Rome

Rome is a huge city and moving around can take up a lot of time, especially if you’re staying outside of the main areas. We decided to buy a 48-hour Metro pass for 12.5 euros. This really wasn’t necessary for what we ended up using it for. I’d recommend rather paying for each ride, which runs you 1.50 a pop.

4. Sights!

One of my favorite things about Rome is how accessible the major sights are. You have access to most of the city’s beauty for absolutely no charge. This is something that you must take advantage of.

Colosseum in RomeThe Colosseum: a must-see in Rome.

However, in order to get a more complete experience, you can spend 18 euros on a pass that gives you access to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, as well as Palatine Hill. For that price, you really get more than you could ask for.

Horses Around RomeHorse-drawn carriages outside of the Colosseum.

Lucky for you, these three sights are all concentrated in a small area. You can hit all of them within the span of just 3-4 hours! Perfect for a morning expedition before grabbing a panino for lunch.

Arch of ConstantineThe Arch of Constantine is literally right next to the Colosseum and offers its own unique grandeur.

Roman Ruins
The Roman Forum.

Church Statue in Rome
Walking up a hill overlooking the Forum, you can find a small church.

This next sight might be out of the way if you stay close to the center, but for us, it was only a 20-minute walk and was one of the highlights of our visit. Villa Ada Savoia sits a little north of the city center and is filled with incredibly beautiful open spaces. It was filled with horse-drawn carriages, vendors, bikes, picnics, and dogs—lots and lots of dogs.

Villa Ada Savoia ParkVilla Ada Savoia is one of Rome’s hidden gems, where you can find some serenity and escape the ocean of tourists.

Although we didn’t plan on actually entering Vatican City, we spent half an hour in St. Peter’s Square marveling at the beauty of Michelangelo’s Dome.

Vatican CityMichelangelo’s Dome from St. Peter’s Square.

Now that you have some insight into the things you can do in Rome, I hope that you too get the opportunity to explore this city and discover it’s 3,000 year-old beauty without hurting your wallet too much.

FriendsTill next time, Rome.

Thanks, Daniel!

Daniel Arnabar


Daniel Arnabar is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2019, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Daniel's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture