How do I get to Rome from the airport?

rome-cityscape
Rome cityscape (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Just as the Eternal City has myriad sights from across the millennia, there are also myriad ways to get from the airports into the city.

Where do I start?

Rome has two airports, so you first need to know where you’ll be landing. Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is the most likely choice; more than 85% of passengers flying to Rome arrive at this airport near the Mediterranean, some 35km west of Rome. All four terminals are convenient to the airport’s bus stop, train station and taxis.

Ciampino–G B Pastine International Airport (CIA), a small airport 12km southeast of Rome’s centre, is primarily served by budget airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air. It’s linked to central Rome by dedicated buses and a faster – although slightly complex – bus-train connection.

Both airports have WiFi.

What’s the best way to reach Rome?

Taxi, train or bus are your best options, although your choice will depend whether speed, cost or convenience are most important. Don’t bother renting a car; the only reason would be if you’re going elsewhere in Italy. Parking is a huge issue in Rome, along with traffic and an ancient, confusing road layout.
All transit options from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini
All transit options from Ciampino Airport to Rome Termini

rome-airports-termini-station
Rome airports in relation to Termini station

Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini

Taxi

This is simplest way to get to central Rome – although not recommended for people who are time- or budget-sensitive.

Public Taxi
Cost Fixed fares to central Rome, an area defined as “within the Aurelian Walls”: €48; this includes the Vatican and other main hotel areas except for the hotel-dense area northeast of Termini Station. A map of the fixed-rate area should be posted inside the cab.
Duration 45–90 minutes, depending on traffic
Frequency Leave on demand
Hours 24 hours
Pros
  • Ease of journey, especially if you have lots of luggage
  • If you’re in a group of two or three, the fixed cab rate is competitive with the express-train and taxi-transfer combo
Cons
  • Rome taxi drivers have a reputation for scams; don’t pay extra for more than one passenger, luggage, time of day, false claims the ride is outside the fixed rate area, etc.
  • Traffic jams mean the trip can take 90 minutes or more
TIP Avoid taxi hassles by arranging for a car and driver to meet you at the airport. Many hotels and Airbnb hosts offer this service for rates that start at €50.
Train

The non-stop Leonardo Express from Fiumicino to Termini Station is usually the overall quickest and easiest choice – but the Regional Express FL1 train, which has eight stops into Rome, may be an even better choice for savvy travellers staying in other parts of the city. Both services are operated by Trenitalia.
Book the Leonardo Express from Fiumicino to Termini Station
Book the FL1 into central Rome

Leonardo Express
Cost €14 one-way
Duration 32 minutes
Frequency Every 15–30 minutes
Hours From around 6.20am–11.20pm
Pros
  • Fast and frequent direct service to Termini Station
  • Jet-lagged passengers don’t have to worry about getting off at the wrong station
  • Connects to taxis plus local buses and the metro at Termini Station
  • Termini is the main station for trains from Rome to the rest of Italy
Cons
  • You must validate your ticket before boarding the train to the airport or you’ll be fined €50 (there’s no need to do this going from the airport)
  • Termini Station and the surrounding area are usually crowded and chaotic; walks to buses and the metro are long
  • Trains use platforms 23 and 24 at Termini, which are out of the way
TIP If returning to the airport, buy your ticket when you arrive at Termini to avoid the hassle later. Just don’t forget to validate your ticket before you board your train.

Leonardo Express passengers get a discounted rate on Fast Track service in Terminal 3 and airport lounge access.

FL1 train
Cost €8
Duration 35–50 minutes
Frequency Every 15–30 minutes
Hours From around 5.30am–10pm
Pros
  • Serves smaller Rome train stations: Trastevere (good for the Vatican area), Ostiense, Tiburtina
  • Rome’s smaller stations are easier to navigate than Termini
  • Cheaper than the Leonardo Express
  • Interchanges with the Metro at Ostiense and Tiburtina
Cons
  • Slower than the Leonardo Express
  • Makes many stops, so it requires more concentration
  • Experience with Rome transit is useful
TIP Plot out your hotel location to see if taking the FL1 will save you hassle and money compared to going via Termini.
Bus

Several companies make the run from the large bus stop area near Terminal 3 to Termini Station, with Terravision having the most frequent service. Fares are cheap, but the journey can be long given traffic on Rome’s roads. From Termini you can complete your journey via a taxi, local bus or metro.

NOTE: Don’t book your bus ticket in advance via the web as you may find a better offer once you’re at the bus stop.

Terravision
Cost €5
Duration 60–90 minutes
Frequency Every 30–60 minutes
Hours From around 5.30am–11pm
Pros
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Buses are first come, first served, and you may have to wait for an empty one. Once you buy your ticket, you can’t switch to another company’s bus.
  • Traffic can cause delays
  • Termini Station and the surrounding area are usually crowded and chaotic, walks to local transport can be long.
TIP At the Fiumicino bus stop, compare services before buying your ticket as there may be another company’s bus leaving before Terravision.

Ciampino Airport to Rome Termini

Taxi

The simplest way to reach central Rome, although not always the easiest and definitely not good for budget-conscious travellers.

Public taxi
Cost Fixed fares to central Rome, an area known as “within the Aurelian Walls”: €30; this includes the Vatican and other main hotel areas except for the hotel-dense area northeast of Termini Station. A map of the fixed rate area should be posted inside the cab.
Duration 30–60 minutes depending on traffic
Frequency Leave on demand
Hours 24 hours
Pros
  • Ease of journey: put luggage in the cab, hop in and get out at your destination.
Cons
  • Cost
  • Rome taxi drivers have a reputation for scams; don’t pay extra for more than one passenger, luggage, time of day, false claims the ride is outside the fixed rate area etc.
  • Traffic jams mean the trip can take 60 minutes or more
TIP Avoid taxi hassles by arranging for a car and driver to meet you at the airport. Many hotels and Airbnb hosts offer this service for rates that start at €30.
Train

From Ciampino airport, an airport shuttle bus runs every 30 minutes, costs €1.20 (plus €1.20 for each piece of luggage) and takes five minutes to reach Ciampino city train station. From here, regular trains run direct to Termini.
Book the train from Ciampino to Termini

Train
Cost €1.50
Duration 15–20 minutes
Frequency Every 15–30 minutes
Hours From around 5.30am–11pm
Pros
  • Cheap and fast to Termini Station
Cons
  • Bus transfer from airport to Ciampino train station
TIP Pack extra light to ease the train-bus connection and avoid extra fees on budget airlines.
Bus

Several companies make the run from Ciampino to Termini Station, with Terravision having the most frequent service. From Termini you can complete your journey via a taxi, local bus or Metro.

NOTE: Don’t book your bus ticket in advance via the web as you may find a better offer once you’re at the bus stop.

Terravision
Cost €5
Duration 40–60 minutes
Frequency Every 30–90 minutes
Hours From around 5.30am–11pm
Pros
  • Cheap
  • No transfer
Cons
  • Once you buy your ticket, you can’t switch to another company’s bus
  • Traffic can cause delays
  • Termini Station and the surrounding area are usually crowded and chaotic, and walks to local transport can be long
TIP At the Ciampino bus stop, compare services before buying your ticket as there may be another company’s bus leaving before Terravision.

How can I reach my hotel from Termini Station?

There are three main ways to reach your hotel from Termini Station whether you arrive from your airport via bus or train.

Public Transit
  • BIT standard ticket costs €1.50 and is good for 100 minutes of travel
  • Buses and the Metro serve most parts of Rome from Termini
  • In the oldest parts of the city, the closest stop may still be a long walk from your hotel
  • Often very crowded and confusing
  • Consult the bus, tram and Metro map
Taxi
  • Costs €6–20 depending on distance. Luggage costs €1 for each bag after the first and there’s a surcharge late at night.
  • Easiest way to reach hotels, especially in the oldest districts that are long walks from bus and metro stops
Walking
  • Free
  • Dozens of hotels are a short walk from Termini
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