How Do You Use the Bus in Rome?

By Alice Nichols

How Do You Use the Bus in Rome?

When visiting Rome, one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around the city is by using the bus system. With an extensive network of routes covering all major attractions and neighborhoods, taking a bus in Rome is relatively straightforward. In this article, we will guide you through the process of using the bus system effectively.

1. Understanding the Bus Routes

Rome has an extensive network of buses operated by ATAC (Azienda per la Mobilità del Comune di Roma).

To navigate the bus system with ease, it’s important to understand the different routes available. You can find detailed information about each route on the ATAC website or at any local tourist information center.

1.1 City Center Buses

If you are staying in or near the city center, you will mostly use urban buses that connect various neighborhoods and landmarks within Rome’s historic core. These buses usually start with an “H” followed by a number (e.g., H3 or H8).

1.2 Suburban Buses

If you plan to explore areas outside of central Rome, such as nearby towns or attractions like Ostia Antica or Tivoli Gardens, you will need to use suburban buses. These buses usually start with a letter followed by a number (e., 218 or 870).

2. Purchasing Tickets

TIP: Before boarding a bus in Rome, make sure to purchase your tickets in advance as they are not sold onboard.

You have several options for purchasing bus tickets:

  • Ticket Kiosks: Look for self-service ticket kiosks at major bus stops or metro stations. These machines offer instructions in multiple languages and accept both cash and card payments.
  • Tobacconists: You can also buy tickets from tobacco shops (Tabaccheria) or newsstands displaying the ATAC logo.

    Just tell the shopkeeper how many tickets you need, and they will print them for you.

  • Mobile Apps: Download the “ATAC Roma” app on your smartphone to purchase tickets digitally. This option is convenient for frequent travelers as it allows you to buy multiple tickets at once.

3. Boarding and Riding the Bus

Once you have your ticket, it’s time to board the bus:

  • TIP: Validate your ticket as soon as you board the bus using one of the validating machines located onboard.
  • Wait at the designated bus stop and check if there is a sign displaying the bus number or route information.
  • When the bus arrives, let passengers exit before getting on.
  • Show your validated ticket to the driver or place it on the electronic reader if available.
  • TIP: If there are no available seats, hold onto one of the handrails or straps inside the bus for stability during your journey.

4. Understanding Bus Etiquette

To ensure a pleasant experience for everyone, follow these simple etiquette guidelines while using buses in Rome:

  • Avoid eating, drinking, or playing loud music while onboard.
  • Giving up your seat to elderly or disabled passengers is considered polite.
  • Keep your belongings close to you and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded spaces.
  • When reaching your destination, press one of the buttons near the exits to request a stop.

5. Navigating Bus Stops

Bus stops in Rome are usually marked with a sign that displays the bus numbers and routes serving that stop. Look out for these signs to ensure you are at the correct stop.

TIP: If you are unsure about where to get off, use a mapping app or ask the driver for assistance. They are usually helpful in guiding passengers.

In Conclusion

Taking the bus in Rome is an excellent way to explore the city while avoiding heavy traffic and parking hassles. By understanding the different bus routes, purchasing tickets in advance, and following proper etiquette, you can have a smooth and enjoyable journey through this enchanting city.