Since the metro lines of Rome are rather limited, visitors will most likely need the bus public transport system to get to certain parts of the city. It may not be the most comfortable or punctual form of transportation. Nevertheless, to get to certain monuments and museums it is essential to use the bus.
Currently, Rome has 338 bus lines that run throughout the day, 22 night buses and 8,260 stops. As traffic is an important issue in Rome, do not get impatient if the buses are delayed or if you get stuck in traffic jams, as it is most likely to happen and at any time of day.
Presently, Rome has a fleet of buses that includes electric,, conventional, diesel and hybrid vehicles.
Types of buses
In Rome there are various types of lines, these are the most popular:
- Urban lines (U): The large majority. They start between 5 am and 6:30 am and finish at midnight.
- Night buses (N): These lines operate while the urban lines "rest", that is to say, between midnight and 5:00-6:00 am.
- Express (X): These lines are for the outskirts of Rome, for longer journeys.
- Exact (E): These lines link the centre with the surrounding neighbourhoods. They run on fixed timetables.
How to catch a bus?
Rome’s bus routes are possibly the most complex of Europe. The most important information is found on each bus stop.
This includes the bus’s route, the first and last bus and its timetable. Although this does seem straightforward, once there, having waited 30 minutes without seeing one bus drive past, things might seem a littly trickier.
The good news is that many bus stops now include screens with the number of the bus and when the next is due to arrive.
Where to buy a bus ticket?
Bus tickets can be bought in any metro station, news-stand or convenience stores. If you are planning on using the bus regularly, we recommend you buy a few at a time or get a travel card, which might be a better option.
Always validate your ticket
Although it might seem like nobody in Rome validates their ticket, that is because they have monthly passes which don’t require to be inserted into a machine. However, tourists must insert their tickets in a validation machine.
Map of routes and journey planner
If you want to find out more about the different bus routes in Rome, or would like to plan a journey, check out the official bus website:
If you’d like more information on the fares, discounts and the several travel cards, check out our article on tickets and travel cards in Rome.