The Solo Travel Guide to Rome

The Solo Travel Guide to Rome

Beautiful Rome. The famous and beautiful city of love is not only for couples; it is also a great place to visit as a solo female traveler. Anna here, the co-founder of I lived in Rome for almost a year and I return whenever I can. I’ve developed a deep affection for this charming city. Rome is a place I could call home if I didn’t love my nomadic life as much as I do.

If you’re considering exploring Rome as a solo traveler, let me encourage you—it’s a fantastic place. One of the best cities on earth! However, there are a few things I believe you should know beforehand to ensure you feel safe and enjoy the city.

I’ll be sharing safety tips, my favorite things to do, some hidden gems, and even handy tips on how to meet fellow travelers or locals. So, let’s dive into the wonders of Rome together.

Why Rome is Perfect for Solo Travelers

Safety First: Rome boasts a reputation for safety, and I do confirm it is a safe city. You can explore the city’s enchanting streets with confidence, whether it’s day or night. I went out so many times and never felt unsafe. Nevertheless, as in any big city, you should pay attention to pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas. The areas where more pickpockets happen are the areas surroundings of the Colosseum, Fontana di Trevi, Pantenon… and also the metro line A.

Easy to get around: If you choose your location wisely, you can go on foot to many interesting buildings and places. Also, public transport is easy to use and an efficient way to get around. Metro and Bus will take you everywhere you need to. In case you want to do a day trip, the train can bring you also further away.

Warm Welcomes Await: Rome’s people are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. Whether you’re seeking directions to a landmark or engaging in casual conversation over a cup of coffee, you’ll feel safe and welcome. It is also quite easy to connect and mingle with locals, so make sure you start conversations if this is something you are interested in.

Vibrant Hostel Culture: Rome offers a wide range of accommodation options tailored to solo travelers. From upscale apartments and Airbnb to beautiful hostels. With affordable prices and plenty of hostel events and activities, you’re sure to find the perfect base for your solo adventures. Check out our recommendations for the top hostels in Rome, curated especially for solo adventurers.

Best Things to Do Alone in Rome

From exploring ancient ruins to savoring gelato in picturesque piazzas, Rome offers solo travelers a wealth of unforgettable experiences. Here are some of the best things to do alone in Rome:

Explore the Historic Center: Wander through Rome’s historic center. You can visit iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, Fontana de Trevi, Spanish Steps, and Piazza del Popolo on foot easily.

Climb the Spanish Steps: Ascend the Spanish Steps to enjoy panoramic views of the bustling Piazza di Spagna below. These iconic steps have served as a runway for fashion shows numerous times. Want to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy? Pop in your headphones and play one of your favorite songs. People-watching to the beat of t”Single Ladies” was one of my favorite pastimes in Rome.

Visit the Trevi Fountain: Admire the baroque masterpiece’s grandeur and beauty, and take a moment to soak in its magical ambiance. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain and make a wish, following the tradition believed to ensure your return to Rome. The saying goes also: If you wanna find Love in Rome, toss 2 coins, and if you want to find the love of your life, toss 3 coins. I do recommend you visit it early in the morning as it is much more peaceful.

Enjoy Gelato in Piazza Navona: Indulge in Italy’s famous gelato while people-watching in Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most beautiful squares.I recommend sitting near Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers and attempting to identify the four rivers represented: The Nile, Rio de La Plata, The Ganges, and the Danube. Would you like some clues?

  • Nile: Look for a veiled figure.
  • Rio de La Plata: Identified by a figure with silver coins beside it.
  • Ganges: Recognizable by a large figure with an oar.
  • Danube: look for the presence of horses.

Vatican City: Wonder at masterpieces of art and the treasures of Vatican City, including the Vatican Museums, and the marvelous Sistine Chapel. Remember you must cover your knees and shoulders to get in.

Walk Along the Tiber River: Take a stroll along the Tiber River, where you can enjoy scenic views of the city and its historic bridges. Stop by Ponte Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sisto for panoramic vistas.

Explore Trastevere: Wander through the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, known for its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and lively atmosphere. Discover hidden gems, artisan shops, and authentic trattorias tucked away off the beaten path. My favorite place to eat here is Osteria Nannarella.

Visit Villa Borghese: Wander through the lush gardens in Villa Borghese and enjoy your time. This park is also a good place for journaling. if you visit Villa Borghese during the afternoon, make sure you stay for sunset. The Terrazza del Pincio is one of the most spectacular places to witness the sun’s descent in Rome.

Join a Guided Tour: Wanna meet other people or gain deeper insights into the city’s history and culture?  Join a guided tour of Rome’s highlights, such as the Colosseum, Vatican City, or the historic center.

Download my secret guide to Rome – it is free!

Discovering Rome alone

Sleep: Where to Stay in Rome for Solo Travelers

Finding the perfect spot to lay your head in Rome can significantly enhance your solo travel experience. Here’s a guide to the best neighborhoods and accommodations that cater to solo adventurers, ensuring safety, affordability, and a chance to meet like-minded travelers.

Best Neighborhoods for Solo Travelers

Trastevere: Trastevere is the neighborhood we all have in our minds when thinking about Rome. Narrow cobblestone streets, stunning churches, vibrant piazzas, and plenty of cafés and trattorias. It’s a lively area known for its bohemian atmosphere and bustling nightlife, making it ideal for solo travelers seeking a lively yet authentic Roman experience.

Termini: for those who want to stretch the budget, Termini is the place where you’ll find the cheapest accommodations. Let me be honest with you. Termin is not beautiful. It is just convenient. When I was living in Rome it was not a good neighborhood at all, but I think they improved it so much in the last few years I would stay there if my budget was low. All night buses stop in Termini, so if you want to party this is your safe bet to be able to get back home with public transport. Nevertheless, when walking there at night you might see some homeless people and find it a bit dirty.

Top-Rated Hostels for Rome

The Beehive: this cozy homey hostel is the favorite among all female solo travelers I met during these years.

Yellow Hostel: for those who want to party but not going out, Yellow Hostel is one of the best party hotels in Rome. They have comfy dorms and a bar on site with music events and parties.

Check our article with the 3 best hostels in Rome.

Staying in an Airbnb in Rome offers solo travelers an affordable and flexible accommodation option, providing a local experience with insights from hosts. Here you have the best Airbnb in Rome.

Food: Solo Dining

Dining alone in Rome might be a bit challenging, as some restaurants won’t offer a table for one. However, you will be able to enjoy the local cuisine.

How to Enjoy Dining Alone: Tips and Etiquette

Sit at the Bar counter: Many restaurants and cafes in Rome have bar seating – ask to be seated in “al Bancone”. Actually, in the cafés you can save money by having your coffee at the bar counter instead of sitting. This offer is also a chance to interact with the waiters. Romans are known for their hospitality, and the staff may offer valuable insights into the menu or local culture

Be Open to Conversations: strike up a conversation with those around you. Romans are known for their friendliness, and dining out offers a chance to connect with locals and fellow travelers over a shared love of food.

Take Your Time: Rome is a city meant to be savored slowly, and dining alone allows you to do just that. Resist the urge to rush through your meal and instead relax, enjoy the food, and soak in the ambiance of your surroundings.

Pizza al Taglio: look for places that sell pizza slices. This is the greatest opportunity to try different flavors when eating alone.

Recommended Solo-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants

Tazza d’Oro: This historic café is famous for its rich and aromatic coffee. Located near the Pantheon, it’s a great spot to enjoy a traditional Italian espresso or cappuccino. There is no sitting area, so you’ll blend in the counter bar with other tourists and locals easily.

Retrobottega: an innovative place with a pop twist. You can sit at the counter and enjoy the spectacle of what happens in the kitchen. If you want to fully enjoy the experience, ask to be seated at the communal table and order a tasting menu.

Bir & Fud: You can eat at the counter, and the selection of craft beers is among the best in the city, both in quality and quantity. I am sure that after the second pint, your inclination towards socializing will experience a sharp increase.

A Solo Traveler’s Itinerary

I recommend joining a walking tour (free or paid) on your very first day. This way, you can meet other travelers, and learn about the history of Rome. Wanna do it on your own? Follow my day-by-day itinerary. I tried to cover the must-visit spots and hidden gems across Rome.

Day 1: Exploring Ancient Rome

  • Morning: Begin your day at the iconic Colosseum, where you can marvel at the grandeur of ancient Roman architecture. Continue to the Platinum and once you go out check the square and the monument Vittorio Emanuele.
  • Afternoon: Stroll in the city center. You will be able to see the Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish steps, Piazza Navona… They are all next to each other.
  • Evening: End your day with dinner at a traditional Roman trattoria and savor classic dishes like carbonara or caccio e pepe.

Day 2: Vatican City and Artistic Treasures

  • Morning: Visit Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, and explore St. Peter’s Basilica. You can also climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking views of the Vatican Gardens and Rome.
  • Afternoon: Discover the Vatican Museums, home to one of the world’s most impressive art collections and the Sistine Chapel.
  • Evening: Take a stroll along the Tiber River and each the historic Castel Sant’Angelo. Enjoy the sunset from the terrace overlooking the river before heading for dinner.

Day 3: Hidden Gems and Local Delights

  • Morning: Explore the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, known for its narrow cobblestone streets. Visit the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the oldest churches in Rome, and admire its stunning mosaics.
  • Afternoon: Spend the afternoon wandering through the peaceful gardens of Villa Borghese.
  • Evening: Head to Pincio for panoramic views of the city at sunset.

Self-Guided Walking Tours and Group Tours

Self-Guided Tours: It is very easy to explore the city center on foot. Download a map or use a smartphone app to guide you through the city’s historic districts, with stops at major landmarks and hidden spots.

Free Walking Tours: There are many free walking tours in Rome. You can either find them with your hostel or accommodation or simply google it.

Group Tours: Joining a group tour can be a great way to meet other people.

Meeting People & Socializing in Rome

There are many opportunities to meet new people and socialize in Rome. Romans are very talkative, and a simple contact could lead you to many conversations. Nevertheless, we are not all comfortable when talking with strangers on the street, so here you have some tips on meeting people during your travels

Tips on Making Friends in Rome

Attend Social Events: Keep an eye out for social events happening in Rome, such as meetups, language exchange gatherings, or cultural festivals. These events provide opportunities to interact with locals and fellow travelers in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Join Group Activities: Participate in group activities or tours that align with your interests, such as cooking classes, art workshops, or outdoor adventures. These activities offer a chance to bond with like-minded individuals while exploring Rome’s attractions or pursuing shared hobbies.

Visit Social Venues: Hang out at social venues like bars, cafes, or parks frequented by locals and expats. Strike up conversations with people you meet and be open to making new connections. Popular areas for socializing in Rome include Trastevere, Campo de Fiori, and Piazza Navona.

Use Social Networking Apps: Utilize social networking apps or websites to connect with people in Rome who share similar interests or hobbies. Platforms like Meetup, Couchsurfing, or Facebook groups often host events or gatherings specifically for travelers and expats looking to socialize.

Take Language Classes: Enroll in language classes or conversation exchanges to improve your Italian skills while meeting new people. Language schools and cultural centers in Rome offer classes and events where you can practice Italian and mingle with fellow language learners.

Local Meetups, Events, or Language Exchange Groups Explore Meetup groups in Rome that cater to various interests, including outdoor activities, cultural exchange, language practice, and social gatherings. Joining these groups allows you to connect with locals and fellow travelers who share your passions.

Couchsurfing Events: this platform can be a good place to check local meetups and meet people.

Facebook Groups: Search for traveler groups in Rome on Facebook. These groups are often filled with people looking to meet up, share advice, and organize social events.

Local Workshops and Classes: Consider joining a workshop or a yoga class during your stay. This is a great way to meet locals and fellow travelers with similar interests.

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