Guide to using buses in Rome: how to pay for public transport and where to buy bus tickets in Rome
Now that you’re coming to Rome you should know that unlike many European capitals, the public transportation system in Rome isn’t as vast and efficient. In fact, did you know that Rome only has three metro lines (part of the Metro Line C is still under construction)? That means that your best option to get around the city is by bus. Unless you have your own vehicle, you will most probably be using public transportation in Rome. While often running late, Rome’s bus network is vast and will get you anywhere, unlike the metro which only connects certain areas of Rome. So let’s get to it, here’s the complete guide on how to use buses in Rome.
How much do buses cost in Rome?
Bus tickets cost €1.50 and are valid for 100 minutes from first activation. Remember, as soon as you get on the bus you must validate your ticket in the machine found near the doors. Not validating your ticket is the same as not having one and you are risking a €50-100 fine. If the ticket validation machine isn’t working, use a pen and write the date and time you got on the bus, this way you won’t risk any fine.
Where to buy bus tickets in Rome?
Unlike most countries, you cannot buy a bus ticket directly on the bus (except on a few bus lines), which means you have to buy tickets in advance. But it’s quite easy and there are numerous options, here’s how to buy a bus ticket in Rome:
In Italy, Tabacchi shops are the go-to shops for many different purposes: buying cigarettes, buying public transportation tickets and paying your bills, to name a few. Just go to any Tabacchi in Rome (the shops with the black and white T sign) to purchase your bus ticket. If you’re staying in Rome for a while and are planning on using the public transportation system often, we recommend you get a monthly pass, which you can top up at most Tabacchi shops.
The newsstands you see spread around the city are called edicole. In addition to purchasing magazines and newspapers, they also sell bus tickets.
The MyCicero App
If you want a more on-the-go option for purchasing your public transport ticket in Rome, download the app MyCicero, available for iPhones and Androids, to easily purchase tickets whenever you want. Since you have to top up your account before being able to purchase anything on the app, we recommend you do this in advance. This app can be used to buy bus ticket throughout all of Italy.
The metro, bus, and tram use the same public transport tickets in Rome. So you can purchase your bus tickets directly at the self-service machines found at all metro stations. In addition to purchasing a single-ride bus ticket, you can also purchase the 3-day or 7-day passes. While single-use tickets can be used for 100 minutes from activation, they are only valid for one metro ride. However, you are still allowed to use the same ticket for as many bus and tram rides you like, until your 100 minutes are up.
If you’re touring Rome for a few days, consider purchasing the 48 or 72 hour Roma Pass for visiting cultural heritage sites and accessing public transit with one card. Tourists can purchase their Roma Passes online before arriving to Italy and begin their exploration of the most exquisite monuments, museums, and archeological sites for discounted prices. Skipping long ticket lines, visiting a network of 50 galleries and museums, and using public transportation with ease makes Roma Pass a must-have resource for exploring Rome.
Types of public transport tickets in Rome
You can buy different public transportation tickets and travel cards in Rome depending on how often you use public transportation, ranging from 100-minute use (€1.50) to a one-year pass (€250). The single use bus ticket, also known as the 100-minute ticket, can be used for the metro for only one ride, but is valid for unlimited use for trams and buses, as long as it’s within the 100-minute time from activation. Children under 10 years old can ride public transit for free, but for adults there are other tickets for unlimited use for 24 hours (€7), 48 hours (€12.5), 72 hours (€18), and one month (€35 or €53 for a transferable, multi-person use ticket). Discounted tourist tickets for 72 hours (€16.5) and one week (€24) are also available.
Rome Bus Map
What’s not covered by Rome public transport tickets
While the same ticket will allow you to travel on buses, trams and metros, they aren’t valid for other means of transportation. These include:
- hope-on hop-off sightseeing buses
- trains to and from Rome’s Civitavecchia port (cruise port)
- buses to and from Rome’s Fiumicino airport
- buses to and from Rome’s Ciampino airport
- the Leonardo Express train