Rome has over 350 bus lines with working hours from 5.30 am to midnight daily and with tickets (bigletti) that are also applicable for the tram and metro and are valid for 100 minutes. Also, you can use night bus services that function along the core routes. The major bus terminus is in front of Termini Station.
Since the Metro is not that well-connected to the historical center, a bus is the most convenient and cheapest way to reach any point of the city
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Honestly, buses are usually not checked by ATAC workers (only at the beginning, middle, and the end of each month some buses are checked), and many locals use them as free rides. Of course, you can also try to skip the ticket purchase, but be careful if an ATAC worker catches you, the fine starts from 50 euros.
Undoubtedly, public buses are the best option for short journeys and are usually used as a feeder service to the Metro and train networks.
The link to the official bus map of central Rome is here
Fortunately, you will always find a wide selection of routes going to the point you need, so that there is no high need in a bus map
Moreover, each bus stop in Rome has the routes with a clear explanation. There, you will find major stops along the way for all buses.
Most buses in the city-run daily from 5.30 am to midnight. Those buses that run during the night time have route numbers prefaced by an “N.” Don’t expect to get a seat during the daytime because frequently buses are crowded. Moreover, don’t expect that the transport will come on time.
Bus tickets are interchangeable with metro tickets. You can purchase one at machines at all metro, bus, or train stations. There, you will find self-service machines with different options for tickets: single ride, 24 hour-tickets, 3-day or 7-day passes.
The price for a standard ticket is 1.50 euro and it is valid for 100 minutes for bus, metro, and tram.
Roma Pass holders have unlimited use of the public transport while their pass is valid
Buses that are also frequently used by tourists:
Bus no. 116 runs across the historical center from Galleria Borghese, through Villa Borghese Park, down Via Veneto, and past the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon to Piazza Navona. Then, it pasts Campo dei Fiori, goes along the Tiber river to a stop near Castel Sant’Angelo and after, near St. Peter’s square. The 116T bus has the same route but includes stops near the opera house and other theaters in the streets southwest of Termini, and it doesn’t work on Sundays.
Bus no. 117 (Monday-Saturday) runs north-south from Piazza del Popolo, down Via del Corso, through Piazza Venezia, and goes through all main ancient sites like Roman Forum, Imperial Fori, and Colosseum. Then, it goes up along the Esquiline and Quirinal Hills, passes San Clemente church and San Giovanni in Laterano and goes back north by a different route with Santa Maria Maggiore, the Trevi Fountain area, and the Spanish Steps.
Bus no. 119 is the version of the 117 but diverts from Via del Corso to head across the river to Piazza Cavour and then back. It goes through Largo Argentina and before returning north past the Spanish Steps to Piazza del Popolo. However, the bus doesn’t continue south past of all Ancient Rome as 117 does.
Overall, it is convenient to use public buses in Rome because you will reach any point of the city and the system works well enough, except for the fact that frequently buses are late.
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Author: Kate Zusmann
For the last 10 years, I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, and shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is sharing my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)
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