Rome2rio is a search aggregator that gives an overview of different travel options between two or more destinations, including by train, bus, plane, ferry, and car. It’s especially useful for sussing out all your ground transport options or quickly comparing the time and cost of traveling by plane vs. train, bus, car, or ferry.
What Rome2rio is good at:
- Comparing transportation options between destinations. Rome2rio searches for train, bus, ferry, and flight options between locations, and shows the driving distance for trips by car so you can quickly and easily see which option is best for your timing and budget
- Easy booking. Once you’ve chosen the best option(s) for you, you can often book tickets right from the website, and if not, Rome2rio will refer you to the right place
- Finding transportation between destinations that aren’t major hubs. Rome2rio is especially helpful for finding transport options between smaller destinations that may not be served by plane
- Viewing attractions along a route. Particularly beneficial for road trips, Rome2rio shows you what you can see and do along the way
What Rome2rio is bad at:
- Results are inconsistent. For some operators, you can see schedules and ticket prices within Rome2rio, and other times you’re shown price estimates and directed offsite to the transport company website (or an online travel agency) for schedules and actual ticket prices
- Initial price ranges shown can be very wide, especially on flights. You need to search specific dates to get an actual price, otherwise it’s a very broad estimate, and price estimates are for the whole journey, so if you’re searching for a route from one city to another, it will add the cost of transit from the city center to the airport, not just the flight
- Flight search. The flight search capabilities of Rome2rio aren't as robust as options like Google Flights and Skyscanner; you have to know where you're starting from and where you want to go and there are not many flexible booking options
- Estimating the cost of driving. Driving cost estimates give a range for fuel only (and it's a big range) and do not include rental car prices or tolls
- App functionality. You cannot use the app to plan a route with multiple stops; you can only do this via their desktop or mobile website.
How to use Rome2rio
Let’s say you found cheap tickets to Amsterdam, but where you really want to go is Rome and you aren’t sure if you should travel by ground transport or plane to get there. This is where Rome2rio works its magic. Start by putting in the departure location and destination; you don’t need to add dates at this time.
If you like, you can be more specific with your departure and arrival locations, so since you plan to arrive to Amsterdam by plane and head straight to Rome, you can set your departure from Amsterdam Schipol (AMS) instead of the city of Amsterdam.
Or, if you have an idea of where you want to end up in Rome, you can right-click the location on the map and select it as your destination. Maybe you want to end your journey to Rome at the Vatican. Just click “To here.”
Viewing results on Rome2rio
On the left hand side of the results page, you’ll see the travel duration and price estimates for each type of transport available. You can see that flying is likely the best option here, as it’s the quickest and can cost as little as $70.
However, you can view overland options as well. When you click on the arrow next to “Train,” you’ll see a breakdown of your rail route, including the individual ticket cost estimates and exactly which trains you’ll need to take from which train stations.
You can see here that you’ll need three trains total: from Amsterdam Centraal to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof to Munich’s München Hauptbahnhof, and then München Hauptbahnhof to Rome’s Roma Termini.
You’ll need to select trains leg by leg. When you click on one, Amsterdam to Düsseldorf, for example, you’ll choose your date and number of passengers and then you’ll be shown a number of options and their prices.
You can also choose a bus route, which will take longer but may allow you to visit some places you wouldn’t otherwise visit. In this case, it’s Lucerne via Flixbus.
Rome2rio also gives you information about driving between two destinations, including distance, time, and fuel cost, but it doesn’t include the cost of car rental fees or road tolls. If there’s ridesharing available (like BlaBlaCar in Europe), it will also give information on that cost.
Booking with Rome2rio
You’ll book each leg of the trip individually by choosing the cheapest or most convenient options for each segment. Sometimes you can book on the Rome2rio site and in other cases, you’ll book directly through the official rail company or an online travel agency (OTA).
You’ll be able to tell which because at the bottom of the page after you’ve selected your options, it will say “via” and either Rome2rio or the name of a transport company or OTA. Here the tickets are sold by a British OTA called Loco2. When you click “proceed to payment,” you’re directed to their website.
Adding multiple destinations on Rome2rio
Rome2rio is great for creating a travel itinerary between multiple destinations, especially more off-the-grid locations that can be a little harder to research. Maybe you want to work your way down from Amsterdam to Sardinia, with a stop in Bern along the way, as well as a quick visit to the small Italian town of Pavia.
To add additional destinations click the pink “+” sign. Remove destinations by clicking the “x” next to the dialogue box. Move destinations around in order by dragging the dialogue box to where you want it to be.
Rome2rio breaks down the route very clearly, but in this instance, you have to book each leg separately. So, if you want to see how to get from Bern to Pavia, you’d click on the Bern itinerary. It lists each of your travel options, with the most ideal option being first.
It’s not the most straightforward route, but it gets you where you need to go.
You won’t always be able to book directly through the website, but Rome2rio will inform you where to book (in this case it’s Swiss Railways).
For the Rome-to-Sardinia leg, you have the option to take a ferry (although flying may be cheaper). Rome2rio also tells you how to get to the terminal in Rome for your ferry to Sardinia.
When you check out the ferry prices, you’ll see that you can’t book directly through Rome2rio, but the aggregator lets you know which operators service the route and gives an estimated price, duration, and frequency. It’s up to you to compare actual prices and schedules on their websites to see which suits you best.
If you’re spending a lot of time working on an itinerary, you can save your trip by creating an account and hitting “Save trip” in the top right corner. You can also share the itinerary with friends and family, or you can change your language or currency.
Adding attractions along a route on Rome2rio
Another handy tool from Rome2rio: you can research the attractions you’ll find in each destination or along the way. Just click the “Things to do” button at the bottom of the results menu.
This shows you popular things to see and do, and it includes estimated tour prices and the ability to filter by type of attraction (like museums, parks, castles, and more).
If you’re driving between destinations, you can trace your route and easily find things to do (denoted with various icons you can click for more info) along the way or a short detour off your route.
You’re not always going to find the cheapest routes with Rome2rio, but it’s an excellent site to add to your travel planning toolkit. Its map features are great for visual learners and it’s a handy one-stop site for exploring all your transportation options, comparing different itineraries and pricing, and finding things to do along the way—especially for overland travel.