Rome Public City Bus Services

Everything You Need To Know About Using Rome's Local Public Bus & Tram Services

Rome Public City Bus

Typical Rome Public City Bus

Rome public buses run a very comprehensive and frequent system running from about 05:30 to midnight daily. These bus services are supplemented by night services that run all night along the core routes.

In the centre of Rome, where most visitors are, the major bus terminus is in front of Termini Station. Termini Station is the major public transport hub for central Rome and if you use public transport for sightseeing it will soon become a familiar place.

In general the public buses are used for very short journeys and as a feeder service to the Metro and train networks.

However, in the ancient centre of Rome, where neither the Metro or any railway line ventures, the bus is the only viable public transport.

Even so, the buses are constrained in this central area, far too big to travel along many of the roads. Buses trundle along just a few of the major road arteries so make sure you have comfortable walking shoes.

Bus Maps & Finding Your Way Around

There are a bewildering array of routes. Below is a link to the official bus map of Central Rome.

In the very centre of Rome the narrow streets mean all buses are channelled down a few major roads. You will often find you have a wide choice of routes going where you need as a result and have no need for a bus map.

Bus Map Central Rome

Bus Map Central Rome

Helpfully nearly all bus stops are very large with the routes stopping at the bus stop clearly displayed. Each route is detailed with the major stops along the way stated, (see image below).

Don't expect orderly queues where those waiting longest get on the bus first.

More than likely the bus will be crowded and there will be an undignified scramble onto the bus often with pushing past those trying to get off the bus.

Don't expect to get a seat either, if you do get one, treat it as an unexpected bonus. Clearly your chances of getting a seat are much better if you get on at the starting point of the bus.

Typical Rome Bus Stop

Typical Rome Bus Stop

Useful Routes For The First Time Visitor

Of the main 'must see' sights the Vatican, Spanish Steps and Colosseum / Forum are best visited by Metro if you can.

The ancient centre of Rome is a no go area for the Metro, you either need to walk (and walking is a very attractive proposition in Rome) or take the local bus.

Even these local buses cannot penetrate the narrow lanes of the ancient city centre - however there is a small network of small electric buses that can (see further down page).

Some key, frequent routes for the tourist are listed below, but there are many, many more.

40 (Limited stop express) - Termini - Piazza Venezia - Argentina - Piazza Pia (for St Peter's/Vatican)

64 - Termini - Piazza Venezia - Argentina - Vatican

62 - Repubblica - Spanish Steps - Piazza Venezia - Argentina - Vatican

81 - Vatican Museums - Piazza Imperatore (Spanish Steps) - Piazza Colonna (Trevi Fountain) - Piazza Venezia - Circo Massimo - Colosseum

60 - Termini - Piazza Venezia - Colosseum - Circo Massimo

H - Termini - Piazza Venezia - Argentina - Trastevere

8 (Tram) - Piazza Venezia - Argentina - Trastevere

Rome Bus, Tram & Metro Fares & Ticketing

Rome Public Transport Automated Ticket  Machine

Automated Ticket Machine

All local public transport is integrated in Rome. You have to purchase your tickets before you board any public transport in Rome. Most people will have a pass of one kind or another.

Tickets for both the bus system and Metro can be purchased from tobacconists, bars, or vending machines at metro stations and major bus stops. On both buses and metro there is a flat fare. whether you go one stop or to the end of the line. On buses your ticket is valid for 100 minutes allowing you to change buses using a single ticket.

Ticket Validation Machine For Rome Public Buses

Ticket Validation Machine

At Metro Stations there are ticket barriers where you have to insert your ticket to enter and leave the Metro Station.

On buses and trams you will find ticket validation machines similar to that pictured. If you have a single ticket then enter the ticket into the machine, if you have purchased a pass, you put the pass into the machine on your first journey. This stamps the date and time from which the pass or ticket is valid.

Groups of ticket inspectors from time to time descend onto a bus or platform to check all passengers have valid tickets. If not you will incur a heavy fine, playing the innocent tourist doesn't work.

Rome Bus, Tram & Metro Ticket Prices

Ticket options are:

  • B.I.T. Standard ticket, valid for one Metro ride or 100 minutes on all buses allowing transfers. € 1.50
  • 24 Hour Ticket - valid for unlimited metro, bus, and train travel within Rome for 24 hours from validation. € 7.00
  • 48 Hour Ticket - valid for unlimited metro, bus, and train travel within Rome for 48 hours from validation. € 12.50
  • 72 Hour Ticket - valid for unlimited metro, bus, and train travel within Rome for 72 hours from validation. € 18.00
  • C.I.S. €24.00. Weekly ticket - valid for 7 calendar days

Note: Public transportation is free for children less than 10 years old.

For more in-depth coverage of ticketing and tips on procurring your tickets we have a dedicated page linked below.

Rome Public Transport Ticketing - Full Details & Advance Purchase

City Centre Electric Bus Services

Rome Electric Bus

Much of the ancient city centre of Rome is just a maze of narrow lanes impenetrable to standard buses, and many of these areas are prime tourist stomping grounds like the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Campo De Fiori districts.

The small electric buses are very cosy with room for only a handful of people and either seem to be empty or jam packed. They are pretty frequent though.

Normal bus ticketing applies.

It seems a shame to take the bus through these lanes just made for walking and making your own discoveries.

However one route climbs the hill to Villa Borghese and terminates at the Borghese Gallery not visited by other public transport.

Tram Services In Rome

There is a small network of trams in Rome most of which do not cover the main districts of Rome frequented by visitors.

Tram Map Rome

Tram Map Rome

If you have time on your hands and want to see a little of the “real Rome” you can combine the number 3 and 19 trams to a pleasant window on suburban Rome. The number 19 tram, starts in a square outside the walls of the Vatican, on the main walking route between St Peter's Square and the Vatican Museum.

The 19 tram eventually takes you to the Villa Borghese Park where the number 3 tram joins the route for around 15/20 minutes from outside the Modern Art Museum. Changing to the number 3 tram You circuit the eastern side of Rome and swing around to the south of the city centre with good views of the original Rome walls, before passing the Colosseum and crossing over the river to Trastevere.

Trastevere is a major restaurant district and the number 8 tram connects you the short journey to the Piazza Venezia right in the hear of Rome by the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Museum.

Terravision Rome Airport Bus At Termini Station

Terravision Rome Airport Bus

Airport Bus Services

There are very cheap bus services to both of Rome's airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino. The market leader is currently Terravision to both airports but there are now several competing bus lines, where only a few years ago there were none.

The Rome terminus for all the airport bus services from both airports is Termini Station, the same railway station that the dedicated airport train from Fiumicino Airport arrives.

Unfortunately you cannot use Rome public transport tickets to either of the Rome airports by bus or train, but the airport bus fares are very cheap.

In Rome the various airport buses have their stops scattered all around Termini Station. Termini Station is the main transport hub in the centre of Rome, the main local bus station is in front of the railway station and it is the hub of the Rome's Metro system.

Of all of the four competing airport bus services Terravision is the only operator that has a formal ticket office and waiting room at Termini Station. This is inside the Terracafe, Terravision's own cafe and bar.

Rome Airport Buses (Fiumicino Airport) - Full Details

Rome Airport Buses (Ciampino Airport) - Full Details

Termini Station Rome

The area around Termini Station also has the largest choice of hotel accommodation in Rome from hostels right up to luxury hotels. For most independently minded visitors with one eye on the wallet its probably going to be the benchmark hotel district in which to seek accommodation.

Termini Station Rome - A Practical Guide For Visitors

Airport Train Service From Fiumicino Airport

The Leonardo Express Airport Train is a dedicated airport train taking 30 minutes to reach the centre of Rome (Termini Station) with a frequency every 30 minutes.

The only reason not to use the service is cost, it is around double the cost of alternative public transport options.

There is no direct train service to Ciampino Airport.

The Leonardo Express Airport Train - More Details

Rome Fiumicino Airport Bus

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