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The Best Way To Experience Rome - Tour Company Or Private Guides?

Gowithguide travel specialist O.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Gowithguide travel specialist O.

Last updated : May 22, 20248 min read

Travel Tips

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ See Rome's incredible ancient history through our highly rated Rome private tours.


Ancient, medieval, or renaissance - Rome is one of the few cities in the world that can boast a deep and immersive history during virtually every era of human history. Experiencing the culture and architecture of Rome has to be on the bucket list of every avid traveler, and in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the best ways to experience the wonders of this ancient city. 


Should you rely on a guided tour arranged by a travel agent, or make your own way by hiring a private guide to experience the city at your own pace? 


Of course this depends on exactly what you want out of your trip, and how you prefer to travel in general, but in this article we’ll be investigating some pros and cons of both routes in a number of important categories. 




To make your way across Rome you have several options available, from public transportation, private cars, and of course experiencing the city at its most intimate but time-consuming way - on foot. 


The option you choose here depends on where you want to go and how much time you have in the city. Seeing the most famous landmarks can be done via public transport and putting your feet to the concrete, but if you are pressed for time, you can also utilize more traditional tour buses or taking a taxi or Uber to your destination. 


The city offers a combination of tram, subway, and bus options for getting around - with several types of ticket available. A good thing about Rome’s transport network is that public (ATAC) tickets are valid for both metro, trams, and buses (except tourist buses) - meaning you can use the same ticket for both your metro and subsequent bus ride. 


For ease of use, we would recommend either the Roma 24H ticket (allows travel for a full 24 hours), or the Rome Metro Card, which while more expensive also gives one access to the city's fleet of “Hop on Hop off” sightseeing buses. These buses make their way around the city’s most famous landmarks, departing every 10 to 20 minutes or so. 


One final thing to remember when riding the trams or public buses is to ‘stamp’ your ticket when you get on. There will be a machine located either toward the front or back where you validate your ticket as soon as you get on. Not doing this is the same as riding without a ticket, and you risk being fined if a conductor is on a ticket inspection round. 


We would recommend a mix of the above, with a focus on public transportation and walking. But now you may be asking, “How do I use public transport? I don’t speak Italian, what if I get lost?” Well, we have good news for you on that front. By hiring one of our vetted private tour guides, you can retain the peace of mind that is standard in larger tours, while paying less and receiving a much more intimate travel experience as you make your way through the city. 




What’s the cheaper option, taking a large guided tour or hiring a private guide? You may be tempted to think that the private option would be more expensive, but this is not necessarily the case. 


Utilizing one of GoWithGuide’s private tour guides, you can experience ancient Roma via a day tour for as little as $80 USD per person, far from the hundreds of dollars that may be required when booking a traditional tour experience. 


Many of our guides also offer the ability for guests to customize their tour, meaning you can craft a travel experience that fits your budget. A private guide also provides the obvious benefit of a much more intimate travel experience. Instead of being just another face in the tour group, you can enjoy the benefits of being the focus of attention - asking questions, chatting, and hearing unique stories from those who have spent years in the city. 




Now that we know how to get around Rome, and roughly how much it may cost, let’s investigate the convenience of choosing either a guided tour or a private tour. A guided tour company can offer you a much more structured experience, guiding you from start to finish as if on a theme park ride. 


This approach definitely appeals to some, but other people may prefer something with a bit more room for exploration and unique experiences. This is where a private guide may appeal more to your tastes. As mentioned previously, a private tour has the advantage that the customer can customize their experience to suit their needs, while also having peace of mind in the sense that your guide is an experienced resident of the city who knows their way around the place. 


This means you get the convenience of relying on your guide, while simultaneously having the freedom to change things around if you prefer. Want to have a relaxing breakfast before you start your tour? You can do that. Would you like to meet your guide to meet you at a specific station, or even at the entrance of your hotel? You can do that too. You can also receive great advice regarding what to do after your tour has been concluded. Looking for a unique restaurant for dinner? Or perhaps you’re interested in visiting some of the less known areas of the city - your private guide can help you with your post-tour plans as well. 


On the other hand, a private tour which you organize by yourself also faces some risks. What if the guide doesn’t show up? What if there’s a dispute regarding payment? Here at GoWithGuide we aim to fill in those gaps and offer our guests true peace of mind. If a guide fails to show up for whatever reason, guests will receive a full refund from us, so there’s no need to worry about losing money.


All of our guides are also carefully vetted by our team of quality assurance experts, each featuring their own routes, knowledge, and experience. This is particularly important for those guests who may be looking for something a bit different from the standard tour package. 



Larger tour companies offer a more preset and standardized experience, but the downsides are that you cannot change things up as you go along, and your guide will need to focus on the entire group instead of being able to give you individual attention.


With a private tour, you have the ability to switch things up, and you get 100% of the guide’s attention to yourself as you make your way through the winding ancient streets of Rome. Whichever you choose is ultimately up to you, but we would highly recommend giving a private guide a chance if you haven’t before. 


You can check out our wide selection of Rome guides and activities here

Lazio Tour Guide - Alvise D.

Alvise D.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)

Ciao, I was born in Rome, I'm a proud Roman and I've spent all my 62 years in this wonderful city. I've been running my Fiat 500 vintage car tours experience for the past 8 years. It's the ONLY company in Rome offering this kind of FANTASTIC treat for experienced and discerning travellers. From your message and the information gathered from your website, I understand you wish to offer to your customers top quality and real local experiences far above usual touristic mass services. My promise: to show with passion to your customers the untold and true stories behind the historical Rome. There a quite a lot of spots and corners of Rome which are unknown to tourists and even to locals. Astounding places, off the-beaten-tracks, which wait to be discovered by discerning travellers, away from usual itineraries followed by big double-deck buses. I'm an enthusiast guide and I love passing my passion for Rome to customers that are not content of fast and dull tours. Narrations of each tour is custom made, according to the interest of each single customer. If your customers are searching for a unique, local, enthusiastic Italian experience, well, I'm definitely the right person in Rome. I'll lead them through the MAGIC of Rome aboard our vintage Fiat 500 cars and let them experiencing one of the best 5 tours of their life. The tours normally include foto shooting with customers cameras, and a creamy double expresso or cappuccino in a true local coffee bar. Happiness exists, make it happen! Alvise                                                                                                                                  

Lazio Tour Guide - Ekaterina V.

Ekaterina V.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)

Hello! I have been living IN Italy since 5 years and have some years of experience in the sphere of communication and accommodation (in Rome and Brussels). Lately I have decided to start my own tours as a communication assistant and organisator. Together with me works my husband and a professional Italian guide. I speak 4 languages and have strong organization skills, this is why I believe I could provide a high quality support to travelers.                                                                                                                                  

Rome Tour Guide - Andrea P.

Andrea P.


We have been accompanying our clients to the most fascinating places in Italy for many years, sharing with them all our tourist knowledge that we have learned over the years. In each tour we have tried to leave our clients a unique experience. Our tours are private tours throughout Italy, offering maximum comfort by traveling comfortably in a Van or with a car with an expert driver and a guide professional. We pick-up our clients to there hotel and take care of them for all the day trip.                                                                                                                                  

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