From touchdown to downtown – getting from Rome’s airports to the city centre

From Rome Fiumicino Airport

Fiumicino Gate - IMG_1193 by Nicola since 1972Most visitors start their holiday in Rome by arriving at Leonardo da Vinci Roma – Fiumicino Airport, more commonly known as ‘Fiumicino’, or by the code FCO. Fiumicino is Rome’s main airport for domestic and international flights and, as a result, is the largest and most heavily trafficked. It has four terminals – inexplicably named 1,2,3, and 5 – which serve all major carriers, as well as budget airlines, such as Vueling, easyJet, and Jet2. As you might expect for such an important airport, the shopping and dining is top-notch, with familiar Italian-label shops and high-quality food places throughout the terminals.

Located by the coast and 32km south-west of Rome, Fiumicino is easily reachable by car, hired transfer service, bus, and two regional train lines. It's best to keep in mind that neither Rome traffic nor drivers are ever predictable, so the approximate 40-minute trip can turn into well over an hour when driving.

Travelling to Rome’s city centre by train

The local train is the fastest option to get from Fiumicino to the centre of Rome. The train station is located in front of Terminal 3 arrivals and there are two types of train that take you to Rome’s centre: Leonardo Express and Sabina-Fiumicino FR1.

Leonardo Express by henribergiusWhy take the Leonardo Express?

The Leonardo Express is a 31-minute direct shuttle train to Termini, Rome’s main train station. Trains run every half hour starting between 06.38 and 23.38. Though at 14€ one-way it may be less economical for groups, the Leonardo Express goes direct to Termini, Rome’s central station where you can take the Metro A and Metro B lines and many buses going all over the city.

Why take Sabina-Fiumicino line FR1

The Sabina-Fiumicino line (FR1) is less expensive at 8€ a ticket one-way and often more convenient as it stops at Trastevere, Ostiense, and Tiburtina stations. These stations are in some of Rome’s more popular neighbourhoods and are easily connected with the city centre by public transport. Trains leave every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes during holidays, with the first one leaving at 05.58 and the last one leaving at 23.28.

Where can you buy train tickets?

Train tickets can be purchased online, from the designated ticket machines at the entrance to the platforms or from other authorised selling points such as the newspaper kiosk next to the ticket machines. Before you get on the train, tickets must be validated by inserting them into the bright yellow machines that you will see by the platforms. Also bear in mind that if you’re intending to catch another form of public transport when in Rome to take you to another part of the city, you will need to buy a Metrebus ticket which you can buy on arrival in the city.

Taking a bus from Fiumicino

Terravision-Bus-by-Mr-MPD-7There are five bus services offering transport from Fiumicino to Rome and the bus stations can be found at Terminal 2 and 3 arrivals. Depending on the service, tickets cost 4-8€ one-way and the journey between Fiumicino and Rome is approximately 40 – 70 minutes, depending on how many stops it makes and traffic.

  • SIT BUS Shuttle connects Rome Fiumicino Airport (Terminal 3) with Piazza Cavour and Termini Station in Rome. You can buy tickets on board the bus or online for 8€. Buses leave 08.30 – 00.30.
  • TERRAVISION is one of the cheapest ways to get from Fiumicino to the city centre at 4€ one-way. It goes from Fiumicino (Terminal 3) to Rome’s Termini Station. Book your tickets online or on arrival at the airport. Buses run from 05.35 – 23.00.
  • TAM BUS links Fiumicino (Terminal 3) with Termini Station and Ostiense Station in Rome. You can buy tickets online or directly on the bus which cost 4€ to Termini Station and €6 to Ostiense Station. Buses run from 08.00 – 23.20.
  • SCHIAFFINI departs from Fiumicino (Terminal 3) and goes to Termini Station in Rome. Tickets cost 4€ one-way which you can buy at the airport. Buses leave from 06.30 – 21.50.
  • COTRAL service links Fiumicino (Terminal 2) with Cornelia Station (Metro line A) from 05.10 – 20.10 and EUR Magliana (Metro line B) from 05.30 – 21.00. They also go to Tiburtina Station and Termini Station and Cotral provides a night bus going to these destinations. Tickets can be bought from a sales point (tobacconist or newsagents) and also directly on the bus, although they are more expensive if you buy them here (7€).

Taking a taxi from FCO to Rome

Taxi-Rome-by-rmloweYou can catch a taxi in front of each terminal (arrivals). Look for the official white taxis clearly marked with the Comune di Roma name and symbol on the door and the licence number. Avoid hired car ‘buskers’ – suited men who will offer you transfer service for a flat fee. They are not official drivers, nor particularly reliable.

Although the reputation of the taxi service in Rome isn’t the best, recently there have been efforts to improve the overall service. Taxi transport to the city centre has been standardised by the authorities of Rome at a flat fee of 40€ which includes four passengers and all bags. (It is important to note that ‘city centre’ refers to the area within the Aurelian/ancient walls – all other destinations are charged by the meter.) So if there are four or fewer of you and you’re headed within the Aurelian walls, don’t accept drivers who try to negotiate the price.

Private Airport Transfer - booking online



Airport Transfer with a Private Car Service

The easiest way to get to the city center of Rome from the airport is in a private airport transfer. Pre-book your ride before you go and a chauffeur driver will be waiting for you inside the arrivals hall with a name shield. You will ride in a premium vehicle on the way to your apartment, where you will be able to relax and know you will be dropped off at the correct address. There is no need to wait in line for a taxi, and it is about the same price as a taxi in Rome. Our recommended company for this service in Rome is myDriver Airport Transfer Rome.

From Ciampino Airport to the city centre

Most 08.52 Rome Ciampino Airport by lairdscottbudget airlines to Rome fly into Ciampino Airport. Smaller and less frantic than Rome Fiumicino Airport, Ciampino is approximately 12km south of the city centre. Over the past few years it has undergone a makeover and now has two terminals and a nice selection of shops and food places.

Although it’s closer, Ciampino Airport is not as well connected to the city centre. It does, however, have various travel options to choose from – taxi, private transfer, rail, or coach.

Coach

There are a few coach services which provide transport between Ciampino Airport and Rome. At the airport the coaches are parked in designated bus bays opposite international departures. They will take you to either Termini Station or Anagnina Station.

Termini is the main station in Rome located in the centre (about 40 minutes from the airport depending on traffic) from where you can take both metro lines and many buses to other parts of the city. Anagnina is on the outskirts of Rome (about 20 minutes from the airport depending on traffic) and from here you can catch the metro (line A) which will take you into the city.

If you want to use the metro or bus service within Rome to get to another part of the city after your transfer from the airport, you will need to buy a Metrebus ticket for 1.50€ (one-journey). You can do this on arrival at Termini or Anagnina from a ticket machine or newsagents.

Atral bus (run by Cotral and Schiaffini)

  • To Termini Station – buses depart Ciampino airport between 05.30 and 22.50. Tickets cost 3.90€ one-way and 6.90€ return. You can buy these directly on board the bus, online, in the airport hall of arrivals, or other authorised selling points.
  • To Anagnina Station – buses depart Ciampino airport between 06.10 and 22.40 every 40 minutes. Tickets cost 1.20€ one-way, so it is the least expensive option, but if you have luggage you have to pay 1.20€ on top of this. You can buy tickets on board the bus, at the information box in the airport hall of arrivals, online, or other authorised selling points.

Terravision bus

This bus takes you from Ciampino airport directly to Termini station. You can buy tickets online or at the airport for 4€ one-way. This service operates between 08.15 and 00.15 and departures conveniently coincide with flight arrivals.

SIT bus

This offers a very similar service to Terravision and there is not much to distinguish between the two. You can buy tickets online or on board the bus for 4€ one-way. Buses depart the airport between 07.45 and 23.15.

Train-Rome-by-jimmyharris7Train

There’s no train station at Ciampino airport, but there are Cotral/Schiaffino buses departing every 30 minutes to the closest one train station, which is just 5-10 minutes away. You can buy tickets on board the bus for 1€. From the local station there are trains to Termini (located in Rome) which depart every 15 minutes. The cost of a ticket is 2€ which you can buy at the train station from the ticket machines or newsagents. Before getting on board, make sure that you validate your ticket by stamping it in the machines by the platform.

Taxi/private transfer

When you leave the arrivals hall, you will be inundated by taxi drivers competing for your business. Look for the official white taxis clearly marked with the Comune di Roma name and symbol on the door and the licence number. Avoid white, unmarked Multipla cars – they are not official drivers, and not particularly reliable

Taxi transport to the city centre has been set at a fixed rate of 30€. This fee includes four passengers and all bags so if there are four or fewer of you, don’t accept taxi drivers trying to negotiate prices. (It’s important to note that ‘city centre’ refers to the area within the Aurelian walls – all other destinations are charged by the meter.) Although much as been said about the poor quality of Roman cab service, there has been a strong effort to improve the quality of the service over recent years.

A pricier option is to hire a limo service, which will cost approximately 50-70€. The best option is to pre-book a limo service which can be done through your hotel and added to your final bill. Limo transfer service is by far the least stressful option as they are clean, reliable and accommodate all special requests such as baby seats and extra baggage.

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