How to totally explore Rome on a student budget in three nights!


As a student, Rome may not be your first choice for a holiday due to it being labelled as an expensive place for tourists to visit. However, if Rome is on your 2020/21 bucket list, there is no excuse why you can’t visit this beautiful city and finally tick one place off your bucket list.
As Italy’s capital, Rome boasts a wealth of history and culture, and attracts around 27 million tourists annually. And the best thing about Rome is that most of its attractions are free to visit. It is impossible to cover all of Rome’s history in just a few days so the itinerary below ensures that you will visit many notable attractions and leave feeling satisfied that you have made the most out of your trip.
There isn’t really a right or wrong time to visit Rome as long as you avoid the school holidays, public holidays and weekends to get the cheapest prices for your flights and accommodation. We went in July after finishing uni for the summer break and it was the height of the summer with temperatures about 35 degrees. (You will definitely need suncream if you want to travel Rome during the summer!). So, if you’re not a fan of the heat, Rome is a cooler, more pleasurable place to explore in the spring and autumn months.
We used to book our hotel but there are other sites such as which offer cheap deals too. For flights, we used to check the cheapest airlines and found direct flights with Ryanair from just £49.98 return.
Rome has two airports Ciampino and Fiumicino, and both are about 25 minutes from the city centre. There are direct links to the centre from both airports by train or if there is a group of you travelling you could split a taxi fare for €12-15 each.
 Day 1
We booked an early flight which worked out the cheapest and also meant that once we landed in Rome we had the whole day to explore.
Head straight to the hotel to check in and drop off your luggage.
No doubt after all that travelling, you and your fellow travellers will be hungry so why not visit a local pizzeria to experience some authentic Italian pizza.
After lunch, we headed to the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine. If you want to visit inside the Colosseum, make sure you purchase your tickets before you travel (prices from €12).
We headed back to the hotel to freshen up for the evening, stopping by a local supermarket on the way to stock up on drinks and snacks. As it had been a long day, we had a chilled evening wining and dining in local bars.
Day 2
We got up early and had a buffet breakfast in our hotel for €10. This included English and continental breakfast, as well as unlimited coffee, tea and juice so we were very satisfied.
Before we came to Rome, we purchased tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus for just €28 for a day pass on  This is the best way to cover most of Rome’s major attractions especially if you are just visiting for a few days. The tour includes audio description about each attraction so don’t forget your earphones! We didn’t get off at every stop as some sights were easily visible from the bus. However, for Vatican City, you will need to get off and walk across the bridge to visit the area. Tickets to access the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel start from €28.
After all that exploring, unwind with some Italian food and cocktails.
Day 3
We used our last full day in Rome to explore the inner city sights that are not as accessible by the hop-on bus. We grabbed breakfast in a local cafe as we headed towards the Piazza di Spagna where the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain are located. We then wandered the streets and did some shopping.
We stopped by a gelateria and tried some traditional gelato which was cheap (€3) and delicious.
As a treat, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for our last evening meal. My friends had never been to a Hard Rock Cafe before so they enjoyed the experience and the food. And, as a fan, I was very happy to purchase another t-shirt for my growing collection and to remember my trip.
Day 4
We had a morning flight so we checked out early and travelled to the airport where we had some brunch before our flight home.
We had an amazing time exploring Rome even though it was only for three nights and we didn’t find it too expensive either.
Charlotte Jones
Author: Charlotte Jones

I’m Charlotte Jones, a recent MA graduate in Literature and Culture from the University of Birmingham. I enjoy writing on a range of personal interests including food, travel, lifestyle and fitness.