Do you know in Italy, there is only Roma Termini is named with this “Termini” word? Somehow, I guess it’s related to Italian’s emotion to the antique Roman Empire and the famous phase “All Roads Lead To Rome“! However, even with a good sense of direction, I was confused in Roma Termini once or twice (maybe more). I’ve run crazily in the train station. I’ve killed my time when my train got delayed or I missed one. I’ve discovered shortcuts and their accessibility after my recent home-moving. Today’s goal is to share as more as I know about Roma Termini and my suggestions for who’s going to or leaving from Rome by trains. It might be not complete enough, but at least, it is much better than Google Map!
"Roma Termini is a giant who's always busy, therefore confusing for everyone." First I have some basics before starting with more personal tips for the goal of no hassle, no time-wasting, no risk of missing a train!
The platform with the smallest number starts from left side (near Via Marsala)
If you are really in a rush, make sure your ticket is in your hands
Look at the correct information board, otherwise you will never find your train number while becoming nervous
How NOT To Miss Your Train
Check & Buy Your Ticket Online
There are 2 absolute advantages of checking and buying your tickets online.
- You avoid getting a ticket of a wrong train in rush or confusion. In Italy, there are inter-city, regional, fast trains but also the most rare local slow trains. For example, from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini, there is Leonardo Express with a price of €14 and it is non-stop and only takes you 20mins. There is another regional train to Termini too. But it will cover all small local stations and you have to change the train in Roma Tiburtina. It will take 1 hour and 15 mins for you to reach Termini. The only good thing is it costs only €8.
- Sometimes, you can get a small discount comparing to buying the ticket at the last minute in the station (if it is a fast train ticket). Considering a fast train from Rome to Milan, I even managed to get an offer of the 1st class with a price under 30 euro. For the budget travelers, it is always great if you can compare the offers in advance, right? Also, online booking can secure a seat if you travel in the peak season. Disadvantage is, if your travel plan is changed or you missed the train, you have to take some effort to change your ticket in the ticket office which I will mention later.
Buy Your Ticket Quickly & Easily On Site
3 Extra Tips About Those Machines
- Not all the machines accept all methods of payment. For example, some accept notes, coins and cards, some like only cards, and others prefer coins and cards but not notes! Check the machine instruction and signs on the machines, if it doesn’t have an insert slot for cash and note, it’s clear that is a card-only machine.
- If you’ve got a contactless one, great! If you don’t, watch out the little instruction how you swap your card, make sure the card chip side is towards the correct direction (there is a small instruction printed right next to the slot), otherwise the machine cannot get your money, and you don’t get the ticket!
- The clicking is a bit mis-matching to your finger touch-point. Don’t be panic, if it doesn’t answer you. Just try to move your finger a bit and click again. If it still doesn’t work, don’t waste time there, switch to another machine.
Personally, I have another 2 things
- Don’t try to buy a ticket for a train is leaving in 5 minutes, because it just won’t show up when you search the ticket in the selling-system! Which means, you need to arrive in the train station at least 10 mins earlier, given that your train platform is right in front of you.
- Don’t try to get the “help” from the non-staff people in the station. Roma Termini is a public place. Everyone can go, stay, and try to make money there. On the many mornings, I see tourists buying tickets from the machines while half-accepting the help of a guy or a girl (obviously not a station staff). They click on the screen and take the ticket for them. When it’s done, they also take away the changes before they can recognize what is happening! Image if you put a 50 euro bank note? I appreciate others’ help, but only if I ask for it or I accept it with my consciousness and willingness.
- Of course, you can always go to counter to buy a ticket. It’s easy to find the ticket offices in the station. In the peak season (normally in summer), you will also find a stand-along red box with a staff inside. Even, before you enter the station from the main entrance, there is a red van and that is a ticket office too!
Check Timetable In Advance
The most traditional way is to check the printed timetable. I know it sounds very grandma, but I find it really practical! The timetable is almost everywhere if you pay attention to the walls in the station. You can find all the stops of your train, each stop with precise time (if your train is on schedule that day), and even the platform number (if there is no big chaos that day)! Lovely right?!
Arrive At Least 20 Mins Earlier
Enter The Station By The Correct Gate
The fastest way to get to your platform given that you know which platform, is to enter the station by the right gate!
We talk about main entrances, but there are two small side gates. One is on Via Marsala, the other is on Via Giovanni Giolitti. Both gates are connected with the underground tunnel, from where you can reach the platform directly. Important thing is you know which platform you shall go because each board only shows the matching platform’s current train information.
Recently I find a “back door” on Via Giovanni Giolitti crossing Via Mamianin (almost at the end of the station). That gate leads you to the platforms 25-33 directly.
Main entrance gates open 24/7, while two small side ones close around 10pm, and the “back door” may be 1 hour later (around 11pm).
There Are Underground Tunnels
If you are going to change a train, knowing the tunnels will be absolutely helpful and time-saving!
The basic one is the one connects the two small side gates. In that long tunnel, you always find a small digital panel to mark each platform and the real-time train information. However, unless the train is very much nearby or already on the platform, the panel won’t show anything. So, again, knowing the platform for your train is important!
There is another hidden tunnel which less people use. It connects those hidden platforms. So, for example, you get off from platform 1EST and walk towards platform 1. Then you will see a tunnel entrance right at the end of platform 1 (in front of the staff lifts). From there, you travel all the way to where Leonardo Express is, and from there you can reach the last few hidden platforms within 2 mins.
Read The Information Board With Calm
How NOT To Be Offline
How NOT To Feel Boring (If Your Train Is In 1 Hour)
Eating & People Watching
Culture & History Discovery
Skin care & Make up: Sephora, L’erbolario, LUSH, MAC…
Clothing & Shoes: Victoria secret, Calvin Klein, Mango, NIKE, Foot Locker…
Lifestyle: Dmall , Flying Tiger…
Food & Beverage: Mcdonald, Venchi, GROM…
Last but not least is the ultimate department store COIN…
How NOT To Get Lost (For Really Urgent & Important Issues)
Service Offices & Ticket Offices
The biggest office is right in front of the main entrance, on the ground floor. The Italians do have their Italian-English accent, but as long as you can explain your request clearly, it’s no problem. Again, I strongly suggest not to take any “help” from the free-runners-but-non-staff in the station
There are other smaller offices on the underground floor of Termini. Also a special office for buying yearly train tickets is near the connection tunnel to the metro.
Roma Termini Staff & Volunteers
The station staff normally is in dark blue/navy uniform and some staff and the official volunteers will be in red. You can also find a security staff for help or instruction.
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