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Exploring Rome in less than 24 hours – on the cheap

Rome 2015 MuslimTravelGirl

I went to Rome this month as a guest blogger for the TBDI which is part of the largest travel exhibition in Rimini Italy. It was great fun and even better because my mum managed to join me as well. Needless to say, she was ecstatic. 🙂

We went for about a week and of course on the go of exploring and seeing as much as possible. The event was in coastal Italy and in one of the most popular summer destinations Rimini. After the event, we head off to Venice ( review is coming) and Rome.

So what can you see in Rome for less than 24 hours? Well, I have to say that Rome is a city I would love to explore in much more depth and we are not over yet.

We arrived in Fiumicino Airport at 6pm and by the time we get to the hotel it was already 7pm. I had booked the Intercontinental De la Rome – the hotel is not closed for an upgrade and renamed Hotel De La Ville Rome opening in May 2019.

Back then it was an IHG hotel and I got a free night from a Thank you generous IHG promotions ( you can read about loyalty programs here. )

The hotel is next to the Spanish steps and there is a lift that can take from your the underground just a few steps from the hotel. We obviously didn’t know this so it took us 30minutes of walking with a heavy luggage. 😉

Initially, I was thinking of getting the City Tour bus like I did in New York last year but the time was limited and I read you still have to walk to certain places. So I opted to just explore the big attractions.

Attraction 1: Fontana Di Trevi

Rome 2015 MuslimTravelGirl10

Fontana Di Trevi at night time. Unfortunately, it is work in progress and we couldn’t take nice photos.

Once we dropped our luggage we headed out to see the Fontana Di Trevi. There was a Greek movie I remember from my childhood that the actors we throwing a coin in the fountain so I had to see it.

The fountain is smaller than I expected and it was closed for renotations. Open now as of 2019. I was disappointed for sure but it gives me another excuse to visit Rome once the renovation is completed.

Even the fountain was closed it is still beautiful architecture and there were many tourists in the area. I loved walking around the small streets and we even enjoyed a pasta in a local shop.

Rome is buzzing with life and it is one of my favourite things to see in big cities. Not only tourists walking around but also local youth.

Attraction 2: Vatican City

Rome 2015 MuslimTravelGirl


There is no way you can visit Rome and not go to Vatican City.

The smallest country in the world. From our hotel, it was really convenient to just take the underground and reach the Vatican city within 15minutes. Generally, I totally recommend using public transport as taxis are very expensive.

I had read online that it is best to go early in the morning if you want to avoid the queues. Since I am not very queue friendly we decided to wake up at 7 am and be there by 8 am latest.

Even at 8 am you could see people but it was relatively quiet, on the way out it was a different story.

Once you enter the Vatican city and you are at St Peter’s square you will have to go through security in order to enter the Basilica. Make sure you are there before 8 am because when we left at 10 am the queues were very very long. It is definitely worth visiting the

The Vatican is beautiful and I would love next time to visit the museums as well when I have more time. Considering that it is the centre of the Catholic church it gives you a sense of awe because of what it stands for. It also made me reflect a lot on religion since it is my hobby.

Attraction 3: Colosseum

Rome 2015 MuslimTravelGirl

No trip to Rome is complete without visiting the Colosseum. It is like going to Athens and not visiting the Acropolis. So we had to pay a short visit. We didn’t enter the tours since they take 2-3 hours and the queues were massive.

Really if you are going to Rome you might want to check out and buy your tickets in advance because you can easily spend half of your day in queues.

The Colosseum is magnificent and it is definitely worth seeing and reading its history. The building is smaller than I expected but the details on the oldest parts do make you appreciate the work and time it took to be built.

We spend about an hour walking around the Palatine Hill area and the Colosseum. The Palatine Hill is the centre of the Seven Hills in Rome and the most ancient part of the city.

Definitely, spend some time enjoying the surroundings.

Attraction 4: Spanish Steps / Piazza Di Spagna

Rome 2015 MuslimTravelGirl

Piazza Di Spagna, the Spanish steps and Fontana della Barcaccia are all located within the same area. Piazza Di Spagna is one of the most famous squares in Rome and a great tourist attraction. Next, to them are located the Spanish steps all 135 of them. They connect the church at the top of the hill Trinita dei Monti with the square providing easy access.

Also at the bottom of the stairs, there is a fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia. All have some interesting facts and it is definitely a nice area to visit. It is only 10 minute walk to Fontana Di Trevi as well so you can visit all of them in a day.

The area surrounding Piazza Di Spagna and the Spanish steps has some great architecture and it is also their shopping district with many brand names and exclusive shops located in the area as well.

One of the reasons why I picked our hotel is the area since it was centrally located which helped to explore the city faster. Review of the Intercontinental de la Ville Roma is coming soon.

This pretty much concluded our trip to Rome. Our flight was at 3 pm and we headed back to the hotel to pick up our luggage. Thankfully we didn’t miss our flight as we were very late.

Rome is definitely a city I would like to see again because I feel I just scratched the surface of what is there. But for 24 hours in town and a full cold, I feel we did pretty well.

Some Tips:

  • Take the underground when going places. The majority of the tourist attractions are accessible via the underground and it is easy to navigate. It costs 1,5Euro per ride or 7 euros for 24hrs. Taxis are very expensive so I would suggest you avoid them.
  • Book tickets for the attractions in advance to skip the queues. It costs a little extra but it can save you a lot of time.
  • Visit the Vatican early morning. They open at 7 am so I would recommend being there no later than 8 am.
  • If you can afford, book centrally or use some of the great IHG offers to offset the high cost of hotels in Rome. I used one of my free nights earned by their previous promotion saving me 400Euros.
  • If you have more time in Rome and you don’t want to pay for the expensive (14euro one way) Leonardo Express from the airport, take some of the coaches available for 5euro. They take double the time but can save you a lot of cash as a family.
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