How to Travel from Paris to Rome by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

The sun sets over the Roman Forum and Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Chase Dekker Wild-Life Images / Getty Images

Paris and Rome are two of the most popular cities to visit in Europe. Paris, the city of love and light, is the most visited city in Europe due to its famous Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and the Louvre. Rome is also a major player thanks to the Colosseum and mouthwatering Italian cuisine. Although they're 880 miles apart, the two cities are easily paired together for a European vacation—especially in the peak tourist season of summer when there are more flights and trains. Or, you can make a road trip out of it and stop at some of the sights along the way, such as Lyon, Milan, and Florence.

How to Get from Paris to Rome
  Time Cost Best For
Train 10 hours (with transfer) from $67 Enjoying the scenery
Bus 22 hours from $50 Bragging rights
Plane 2 hours from $20 Quick and cheap travel
Car 14 hours 880 miles (1,416 km) Freedom to explore

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Paris to Rome?

You don't have to worry about blowing your budget on airfare, as you might be surprised how cheap flights are in Europe. For the route between Paris and Rome, the most affordable carriers include budget airlines like Ryanair, Easyjet, and Vueling, with flights starting for as little as $20. Next, Alitalia and Air France come in as good medium-choice options, usually a bit more expensive but with more lenient baggage policies.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Paris to Rome?

It's always nice when the cheapest way to get somewhere is also the quickest. Flights from Paris to Rome take only two hours if you fly direct, by far the fastest method of travel. Even once you factor in all of the extra airport hassles like checking in and going through security, you'll still save several hours by taking a plane.

Keep in mind that there are four airports around Paris and two airports around Rome, and some airports are not as close or convenient to reach as others. If your flight is from Beauvais–Tillé Airport (75 minutes north of Paris) to Ciampino Airport (a half-hour southeast of Rome), you'll have to factor in the extra time of transportation to and from the airports.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

The driving distance between Paris and Rome is 880 miles (1,416 kilometers) and takes about 14 hours. The fastest way to go is on the French Autoroute to the Italian Autostrada, which has a higher speed limit, but you'll have to pay tolls. From Paris, travel south through Lyon and cross the French-Italian border heading to Turin; here, the roads open up to stunning views of the Alps in northern Italy. Then, go east to Bologna and turn south toward Florence, where you'll cruise through Tuscan vineyards and countryside before ending in Rome three hours later.

The perk of driving is you have the flexibility to make detours or stops to see some of the best sights, cities, and scenery across France and Italy. If you can, extend your stay to make the most of your road trip.

If you're planning to rent a car and not return to Paris, keep in mind that rental companies often charge hefty fees for returning a car in a different country from where you picked it up.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

Travelers have a few options for train travel between these two capital cities, depending on how much time you have and what type of journey you're looking for. If you leave Paris in the morning using the two fastest methods, you could be in Rome that same night. But if you have the time to take the train, make the most of the trip by spending at least one night in your transfer city as well.

  • Fastest and Cheapest: The quickest route involves one transfer in Turin, Italy, and can be done in a single day if you like. You'll first book a train from Paris Gare de Lyon station to Turin's Porta Susa station through the French national railway, SNCF. From there, use the Italian railway services Trenitalia or Italo to book the second leg from Turin (Torino) to Rome. Be aware that trains depart from Turin from Torino Porta Susa station or Torina Porta Nuova. To avoid changing stations in Turin, book your departure point from Porta Susa as well.
  • Nearly as Fast and Cheap: Instead of changing trains in Turin, take the train from Paris to Milan, and change trains there instead. The total trip takes slightly longer, but it can still be completed in a single day if you wish and fares are comparable between the two options. Book tickets using SNCF for the first leg and Trenitalia or Italo for the second leg, or use RailEurope to book both trips together on one website for a small fee.
  • Overnight Option: Although the overnight train takes longer, it's arguably more time-effective since you don't lose out on a day of sightseeing (although many would consider the views from the train just as good as city sightseeing). Use Thello to book an overnight train from Paris to Milan, connecting to a morning high-speed train from Milan to Rome. You won't get the same impressive views in the dark, but you will save money on a night of accommodations.

Is There a Bus That Goes From Paris to Rome?

The bus is the least convenient option as it takes roughly 22 hours, includes transfers, and usually doesn't save you any money. Eurolines is the main bus company that serves routes between Paris and Rome, but it is slow and relatively expensive, so compare other bus routes on sites like GoEuro and FlixBus. Don't assume the bus is the most budget-friendly option, as flights are usually significantly cheaper.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Rome?

During student holiday periods, such as summer break, Christmas vacation, and the week leading up to Easter, flights and trains tend to go up significantly in price. Travel in May or September if you can for warm weather without scorching heat and great flight deals. For even cheaper deals, travel midweek and spend the weekend around Rome.

Spring is one of the best times to visit Rome for pleasant weather and before the huge summer crowds arrive. Fall is typically the wettest season, but temperatures are comfortable. And even though winter is cold by Roman standards, it's much milder than the snowy winters of northern Europe. Plus, everything is much cheaper during the low season (apart from Christmas break).

What's the Most Scenic Route to Rome?

The train isn't the fastest or cheapest way to get from Paris to Rome, but it's an all-time favorite route of travelers for being the most relaxing method and for the breathtaking scenery. Don't think of it as a wasted travel day spent in transit, but rather a day zipping through the unbeatable scenery of the French countryside, Tuscan vineyards, and the snow-covered Alps. It's sure to be the most memorable train ride of your life.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

If you're flying into Rome's main airport, Leonardo Da Vinci Fiumicino Airport, then the easiest and fastest way to travel to the city center is via the Leonardo Express train. It goes directly from the airport to the Roma Termini train station in just 32 minutes and costs 14 euros, or about $17. There are also commuter trains that make the same route and cost half the price, but they'll take about twice as long with all of the intermediate stops.

For an even cheaper ride, several different bus companies shuttle passengers to the city center for as little as $6 if you book online in advance. It might take up to an hour, especially considering Roman traffic, but there are more destination options if you aren't heading to Roma Termini.

What Is There to Do in Rome?

Rome is one of the most iconic cities in the world and one of the most-visited places in all of Europe. History buffs, art lovers, and foodies all have something to enjoy, and simply walking through the city is like taking a stroll through a museum. Ancient ruins pop up around every corner, with the Colosseum and Roman Forum being two of the best-preserved. More recent sites that are obligatory stops include the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, best enjoyed at night when the lights are on and the crowds have thinned out. Possibly the best part of visiting Rome is the food, and the most delicious place to start is the outdoor market Campo de'Fiori. Try typical Roman dishes such as carbonara pasta and pasta amatriciana, ending the meal with an espresso and a heaping scoop of gelato.

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