Roma Termini is a huge train station. If you are planning on training around Italy at all, odds are you will be there at some point.
What We Thought of Our Experience
We were super on guard and prepared for this and it ended up being a fine experience. If you can navigate trains or public transport in other countries, you should be fine here, but pay attention to the below tips before you go!
Things to Know About Navigating Roma Termini
1. Get there early. Do yourself a favor and give yourself time to sort everything out. Even with these tips, the place is chaotic and being in a rush is no bueno.
2. It’s served well by public transport. We took a direct bus from our AirBNB in Trastevere.
3. Ignore those who ask if you need help. They don’t work for the station and will try to pickpocket or fleece you. Those that actually work there will be behind a desk or counter and will not actually seek you out.
4. Buy your tickets at machines or you can wait in line for a human. Yes, you can buy your tickets online ahead of time via RailEurope or similar sites. Remember to have cash if you don’t have a European credit card. Read more about using credit cards abroad here.
5. Waiting in line for a human wasn’t that bad. Your results may vary, but the line seemed to move quickly. We waited about 15 minutes after being confused by the machine.
6. Platforms are easy to find. Everything was pretty well marked.
7. There are plenty of food options. Nothing ah-mazing foodwise, but there are options and better than we’ve seen in other cities (Gare du Nord in Paris, I’m looking at you!). If you get there early and need a bite before getting on the train, you will be fine.
8. Stamp your ticket at the machine before getting on the train. This is not a subway/metro and there are no fare gates that prevent you from getting on the train. However, you need to punch/validate/stamp your ticket at one of the green machines before boarding (they look like this).
9. Watch your stuff, beware of pickpockets. Train stations generally are easy pickings for thieves. Do not leave bags unattended. Do not set your purse on the ground next to you.