How to Spend your Layover at Rome Airport
Airport layovers are usually a “necessary evil” to get to your final destination. Still, they don’t have to be. Verily, spending a few hours in a modern international aviation hub such as Leonardo da Vinci Airport can be a blessing in disguise. On the other hand, if you have plenty of time on your hands, nothing can stop you from paying a quick visit to the unique Rome. So, how are you going to spend your layover at Rome Airport?
Things to Do at Rome Airport
Short layovers may not give you a chance to explore Rome, but they at least allow you to benefit from Rome Fiumicino airport’s facilities and amenities. You can easily make the most of the FCO services as long as you are aware of your options. Hence, what are the top things to do at Rome Airport?
Fiumicino has been awarded the “Best Airport” award for three years in a row -a world record. Thus, the quality of the provided services is undeniable.
The Shopping Options at Rome Airport
FCO Airport features many shopping premises. Low-cost chains and luxury brands are accessible to FCO passengers planning on going on a shopping spree during their layover at Rome Airport. In fact, Fiumicino Airport hosts a vast majority of luxurious retail stores, being in sync with the city’s glamorous shopping scene. Most shops are located airside. In detail, if your destination is a non-Schengen country, you’ll have access to the vast Tax-Free Mall near Boarding area E, where you’ll find more than 50 stores, whereas if you are traveling to a domestic or Schengen location, you should head to Boarding area A, where lies the largest European Aelia Duty-Free. Moreover, you’ll find more shopping options scattered around the terminals.
Our Tip: Leonardo da Vinci Airport allows its passengers to use Personal Shoppers without extra charge. Hence, you can use this service to ferret out your desired products before arriving at the airport.
Drink & Dine at Rome Airport
From fast-food options to gourmet restaurants, FCO Airport can satisfy even the more demanding passengers. Expectantly, if you love pizza, pasta, and gelato, you’ll find yourself surrounded by countless options. Still, other cuisines are also thriving at the airport. Terminal 3 houses more eating and drinking alternatives. Conversely, terminal 1 offers fewer options, as the waiting time here is usually much shorter.
Our Tip: Once landing at Rome Airport, you may spot “Ottobot”, the robot dog delivering orders to Fiumicino passengers!
Exploit FCO Free Wi-Fi
Fiumicino airport’s passengers are free to use the airport’s Wi-Fi network. Thus, you can check your social, communicate with your loved ones, watch your fav TV series, or even finish any undone work project.
Rome Airport is a Digital Hub
Verily, FCO has a digital platform, allowing passengers to spend their spare time there in a pleasant way. For instance, 10 different short films per week are available on the platform. Moreover, with Digiport, FCO travelers can have all the necessary airport info on their smartphones, while Chatbot (available at the official Rome airport website and its Facebook page) will answer all your questions!
Leonardo da Vinci Airport’s Family Facilities
Rome Airport has all the necessary facilities to provide families with a hassle-free stay at the airport. From nurseries (near Gates A01, E11, and E44) and changing rooms to designated restrooms and strollers, FCO even houses two playground zones close by to each terminal’s baggage claim area (near Belt 10 of T3 and T1’s Belt 16).
Are you traveling with your furry friend? You’ll find a pet area outside Door 2 of terminal 3.
The Cultural Character of Fiumicino Airport
Wandering around the airport, you’ll find pianos available to guests. Thus, spontaneous “music concerts” are performed throughout the terminals, filling your layover experience with lyrical vibes. What’s more, sculptures and works of art are displayed all over the airport complex.
Rejuvenate yourself During your Layover
In other words, make use of the Leonardo da Vinci airport spa facilities to have your hair or nails done or even enjoy a relaxing massage session. Can you think of a more refreshing way to spend your stopover at Rome Airport?
Airport lounges are no longer only accessible to VIP passengers. Conversely, various lounge facilities are available to all FCO passengers for a fee. Hence, you can choose one of the Rome airport lounges and enjoy the luxury experience, relaxing in their lavishly-decorated interiors and exploiting all the provided services.
Check-in to the Airport Hotels
Although located in pre-security, the two hotels lying close by are the ideal options for passengers wishing to have a good night’s sleep. Air Rooms Rome Airport by Hellosky lies only 2 minutes from FCO terminals and offers day rooms as well, while Hilton Rome Airport is situated within a 10-minute walking distance, linked to the airport via moving walkways. Nevertheless, you should always keep in mind that hotels lie airside, meaning that you’ll have to pass through security to check in to either of them.
Our Tip: Smoking isn’t allowed at the airport. Still, you’ll find designated smoking areas throughout both terminal buildings.
Things to Do Near Rome Airport
Rome Fiumicino Airport is a modern and utterly passenger-friendly airport. Still, how can you stay in the airport when you have the chance to visit the one-of-a-kind Rome? In other words, exploring as much as you can of the numerous city’s attractions is the number one way to spend an onward long layover at Rome Airport. Hence, Rome is a 40-minute ride from FCO Airport with a Rome airport taxi or a private airport transfer, while the fast Leonardo Express train will take you to the city in just 32 minutes. Alternatively, the slower yet more affordable buses need around 50-60 minutes to reach downtown Rome. Therefore, if you have plenty of time on your hands, you should definitely opt for the ride from Rome Airport to city center. In any case, please keep in mind that you should be back at the airport two hours before your flight if your destination is domestic or European and three hours prior to your departure if your flight is intercontinental.
So, what are the best things to do during a long layover at Rome Airport?
Are you traveling with lots of luggage? The luggage storage area of Fiumicino Airport is located on the International Arrivals of T3 and is available from 07:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Stay Close to the Airport
You may not be able to make it to Rome, but if you have the chance, you should at least visit the closeby Ostia Antica. The old harbor city and one of the most important ancient ports features a highly interesting archaeological site and is the ideal way to take a glimpse of the old Roman Empire’s glory without straying too far from the airport. Verily, Ostia Antica is only a 15-20-minute drive from FCO Airport.
Colosseum and Roman Forum are Definitely Must-See Attractions
Little need to be said about these world-famous Rome attractions. If they are on your to-do list, you’ll have to decide whether you want to explore them “all the way” or just take a good look at them. Verily, visiting either of those sites (even more both of them) will be considerably time-consuming. Instead, you can wander around them, admire them, and still have the time to head to centro storico and walk around iconic sights such as Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Pantheon.
Visit Another Country
That is head to Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. From the breathtaking Piazza San Pietro to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and the stately Basilica, Vatican City is a not-to-be-missed experience when being in Rome. That’s the reason why waiting in lines can be overwhelming. Hence, you should make your reservation in advance and skip the lines to have time to visit the Vatican and be back at Fiumicino Airport on time.
Are you an Art-Lover? Head to Galleria Borghese!
The entire city is indeed like a giant museum. Nevertheless, Galleria Borghese should be among the top choices for your layover, not only for its magnificent collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities but also for its location. Verily, Galleria Borghese is actually the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. Thus, even if you aren’t quite impressed by the imposing building, you’ll certainly love its majestic gardens.
Castel Sant’ Angelo and its Distinctive Bridge
Another worth-mentioning alternative for your layover in Rome is the iconic Castel Sant’ Angelo. Depending on your spare time, you can opt for a full tour of the famous Rome castle or wander around and just observe the castle and its fort while enjoying your walk to the River Tiber.
Eat, Drink, and Shop
Besides sightseeing, Rome is famous for its culinary options as well as its shopping scene. Thus, no matter how you are going to plan your itinerary, you should, under all circumstances, drink an espresso or a Negroni, enjoy Italian cuisine or at least have a gelato, and pay a visit to the city’s boutiques. Even if you are on a tight budget, window shopping will still do the trick.
Hop-on Hop-off Buses
The most relaxing way to take a good look at as many Rome attractions as possible during your layover is to catch a hop-on hop-off bus. In that way, you’ll travel around the city hassle-free, alighting wherever and whenever you feel like it, and hop on again when you are ready for the next site.
Opt for a Guided Tour
If you want to avoid the hassle of planning and organizing your layover, you should settle on one of the countless guided tours around Rome. You’ll find various options. Therefore, whatever your places of interest are or your time frame, you can ferret out a tour suitable to your needs and preferences.