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8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome (Travel Guide)

Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 04:20 am

8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome (Travel Guide), New7Wonders of the World: What Is Your Favorite?

Rome is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and we will tell you the tourist traps to avoid in Rome for your next trip.

Rome, a city rich in history and culture, draws millions of tourists each year. While it offers countless genuine experiences, it also has its fair share of tourist traps. Being aware of these can help you enjoy a more authentic visit. Here’s a guide to some common tourist traps in Rome and better alternatives.

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Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome

1. Restaurants Near Major Landmarks

8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: Restaurants located immediately next to major attractions like the Colosseum, Vatican City, or Trevi Fountain often cater to tourists, featuring overpriced menus and subpar food.

Alternative: Walk a few blocks away from major tourist sites to dine. Areas like Trastevere or the Jewish Ghetto offer fantastic dining experiences with more authentic Italian food at reasonable prices.

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2. Street Vendors Selling Souvenirs

Why to Avoid: The souvenirs sold by street vendors near popular tourist spots are usually overpriced and can be low quality.

Alternative: For quality souvenirs, consider visiting local shops or markets like Mercato Monti or Mercato di Testaccio. These markets offer unique items and a chance to support local artisans and businesses.

3. Hop-On Hop-Off Buses

Why to Avoid: These buses can be expensive and often get stuck in Rome’s notorious traffic, wasting your valuable sightseeing time.

Alternative: Rome’s historical center is compact and most sites are within walking distance of each other. Alternatively, use the public transport network, which is economical and covers most areas of interest.

4. Gladiator Photo Ops Outside the Colosseum

8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: Individuals dressed as gladiators outside the Colosseum often charge high prices for photos and can be aggressive in soliciting tips.

Alternative: Enjoy the Colosseum on your own or with a licensed guide. For great photos, find less crowded spots away from the main entrance.

5. Vatican Museum Tours

8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: Many tours sold on the spot can be overpriced. Some unauthorized tour guides might not offer the depth of knowledge or the experience you’re paying for.

Alternative: Book tours in advance through reputable sources or directly from the Vatican’s official website. This way, you ensure a high-quality tour at a fair price.

6. Coffee or Gelato Near Big Attractions

8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Rome (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: Establishments located right next to major attractions typically charge a premium for coffee, gelato, and other snacks.

Alternative: Venture into side streets for cafes and gelaterias where locals go. Not only will the prices be lower, but the quality will often be better too.

7. Taxi Scams

Why to Avoid: Taxis picked up directly in front of a major tourist site or the airport can sometimes be unregulated and may overcharge unsuspecting tourists.

Alternative: Use official taxi stands or request a taxi through a reliable app where fares are tracked and regulated.

8. Pasta-Making Classes

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Why to Avoid: While some classes are genuine, others can be quite expensive for the experience they offer.

Alternative: Do thorough research and read reviews to find a class that offers a hands-on, authentic experience, possibly in a local’s home.

By avoiding these tourist traps, you’ll not only save money but also enjoy a more genuine experience of what Rome has to offer. Enjoy your travels with these tips in mind, and you’ll likely have a richer, more enjoyable visit to the Eternal City

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