I’m off to Rome this time next week for my next solo excursion! I am going to be staying in a hostel again (I fell in love with the hostel culture last year when I went interrailing across Europe by myself) in a mixed dorm. Needless to say, I’m very excited as this is my first time visiting Rome.
Like last year, I decided on the city to visit and then picked my hostel. Picking a city in itself was a mission. It is ridiculous just how quickly prices go up. Whereas in March I was considering Madrid, price hikes quickly cancelled that city out. Thank goodness for Skyscanner and its blank destination option! Try it for yourself – pick a city to depart from, add in all the dates and traveller info and then keep the destination blank, it will give you a list of all the countries with the prices in ascending order. Makes it super easy to pick the cheapest places.
Rome was still pretty cheap in comparison with a bit of a tweak of dates and voila, BOOKED.
For more information on how I pick hostels and tips for picking hostels in general, read my hostels post. To that earlier post, I will add that I also keep in mind location and what the type of hostel I am looking at is, for example, according to the reviews and amenities, is it a chilled hostel? Is it a family orientated hostel? Is it a loud, party hostel? Is it mainly accommodating for solo travellers to small groups? Is it a hotel-style hostel?
I have personally found that booking into a hostel with a more lively atmosphere, or a party mindset, (some have a bar which is a giveaway of the atmosphere) is more fun as I have met and am more likely to meet more travellers that way. Hostels that have a bar or organise bar crawls or other group activities, whether daytime or evening, provide a chilled and less intimidating atmosphere in which to talk to other people.
In terms of location, I usually google the city and figure out what the main area of the city is, where the main tourist spots are and and then look at hostels accordingly. Living in London, I am aware that cities often have several hotspots so location isn’t my biggest concern as long as I am in the main radius of the city and able to walk easily between tourist spots, bars and restos and the hostel. Europe is good in that public transport links are very good too.
For Rome, I know that there are a few places I have to visit, such as the Colosseum, the Vatican City (the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, St Peter’s Square, Vatican museums etc), Castel Sant’Angelo, the Trevi Fountain and the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.
As well as this, I am looking forward to eating some amazing Italian food – pizza and pasta! – and GELATO! I think that speaks for itself. I am definitely going to come back heavier. Ha.
I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed for the weather and I’m definitely buying better trainers for all that walking around I’m going to be doing. I killed my feet with crappy plimsolls and sandals last year when I was interrailing. NEVER. AGAIN. And lucky for me, trainers are now both comfortable AND fashionable. Trip to Nike over the weekend me thinks.
ROME HERE I COME!