Are you organising your visit to Rome and don't want to leave any loose ends? You're right, because the Eternal City has a lot to offer and there's no time to waste. So if you've already booked your Vatican ticket or your guided tour of the Vatican, I've put together this handy little guide so that, wherever you are, you can get to the Vatican according to the time and budget you have available.
Walking from the centre of Rome, because walking is always a pleasure
Walking in Rome will always be my favourite method of transport (and definitely the cheapest!). There isn't a street, corner, fountain or square that doesn't deserve a visit or a photo. And you can only do that if you walk every single one of its narrow streets, not just the most famous ones in the centre.
If you find yourself visiting the historic centre of the city, the best thing to do is to make your way to the Vatican on foot. Take it easy, stop when a façade or square catches your eye and enjoy the walk.
Walking distances from the key points of the city
- From Piazza Spagna: it will take you 33 minutes to walk all the way through the centre and across the Tiber in front of Castel St'Angelo - spectacular!
- From Piazza Navona: it will take you 24 minutes walking through the most beautiful streets of the city.
- From Campo dei Fiori: only 24 minutes, a very short walk!
- From Isola Tiberina: 36 minutes walk along the banks of the Tiber - a dream!
- From Trastevere: 38 minutes walk along an authentic Roman route.
- From the Colosseum: 50 minutes. This is probably the longest walk, but you will cross the entire city and enjoy the spectacle that this city has to offer.
By bus from the centre
If you don't feel like walking or you prefer to save your strength for the visit to the Museums and the Basilica, getting to the Vatican by bus is also easy, comfortable and very cheap. The closest bus stop to the Vatican is in Piazza del Risorgimento, from where you will only have to walk 5 minutes to the door of the Museums or St. Peter's Square.
Depending on where you are, you may also reach Via di Porta Cavalleggeri or Via Leone IV and Via degli Scipioni. Check timetables and fares on Rome's official public transport website.
Most recommended lines
- Bus lines to Piazza del Risorgimento: the most popular ones are 49, 32, 81 (crosses the city from the Colosseum), 982
- Bus lines to Via Leone IV with Via degli Scipioni: 492, 990
- Bus line to Via di Porta Cavalleggeri: 64 (this bus is very popular because it connects Termini Railway Station with the Vatican.
- Other recommended lines: 62 (connects the city's key tourist attractions, such as Piazza Venezia to the Vatican) and 40 (also from Termini).
Use the tourist bus, if you have a ticket
If during your trip to Rome you have decided to buy a ticket for the Rome tourist bus, don't hesitate to use it as a method of transport. It's usually very convenient because it connects the main tourist attractions of the city, so since it has unlimited trips and stops, don't hesitate and get to the Vatican in the famous red double-decker bus.
By metro from anywhere in the city
Although there are not many lines in Rome, the Vatican is well connected by underground transport, the Rome Metro. The most convenient station is usually Ottaviano, because it is the closest, but if you don't mind walking a bit, you can also get off at Cipro or Lepanto. The ticket costs only €1.5, so this is definitely one of the cheapest ways to get to the Vatican.
- Line A: The best way to get to the Vatican is to take Metro Line A, which also passes through the main points of the city, such as Piazza Spagna or Termini train station, and get off at Ottaviano-S. Pietro. From there it's an easy 5-minute walk to the Vatican (follow the souvenir stalls and you won't get lost).
By Tram, for an authentic experience
Rome still has some tram lines and although it's not always the most practical (you'll find it's not well connected to the historic and tourist centre of the city), depending on where you're staying you may find it convenient to use the tram. You can find prices and timetables on Rome's official public transport website.
The nearest tram line is number 19 and will drop you off in Piazza del Risorgimento (it's the last stop on the line, so you can't miss it). You may find it useful if you are staying near Villa Borghese or are wandering around there or the Bioparco before your visit to the Vatican.
By taxi for added convenience
The taxi service in Rome works quite well: there are plenty of taxis available on the street and the main tourist attractions in the city have taxi ranks where it won't take you more than 5 minutes to catch one.
Prices are reasonable for this type of service, but I recommend that you have a clear itinerary (to avoid being given an extra ride) and that you ask the taxi driver to put the meter on before starting the route to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In principle, it shouldn't cost more than €15 from the centre of Rome.
By Uber, which also operates in Rome
If you are looking for a convenient, door-to-door service, the best option is Uber. You can request it from the APP whenever you want, you will know the route to follow and you will have a clear idea of the price of the journey regardless of the traffic you may encounter along the way. Plus, you'll save having to take out your card or cash to pay.
By car2go or electric car if you dare to brave the Roman traffic
In the last few years, Rome has seen a proliferation of car rental services by the minute to get you from one part of the city to another. If you are already familiar with this service, you probably have the Share Now or Car2GO APP, one of the most international services, downloaded on your smartphone.
On the app's map you can see how many cars are available near your location, book one with a single click and in a few minutes you will be at your destination. The vehicles are usually "Smarts" or similar, of a very small size, which makes parking in the city centre or near crowded areas much easier.
However, bear in mind that traffic in Rome can be chaotic and you'll have to be careful not to park your car in a no-parking zone (it's usually very well signposted). Best of all, the price is usually no more than €5 if you've parked your car somewhere in the city centre.
By bike or scooter, if you want to make your trip to Rome go on wheels
Just as there are Car Sharing services, you will find that Rome is literally full of scooters. There are several local and international companies that, from the APP, allow you to rent a scooter or a bike by the minute so you can move around the city at your own pace. This is usually quite convenient, quick and cheap.
But again, keep in mind that traffic in Rome can be a bit chaotic and that there are many pedestrian streets in the centre where it is better not to venture. Let's roll!