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  • Writer's pictureNathaniel Mellor

Rome's Termini Station vs. Rome's Tiburtina Station

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

What's the difference between these two T-named train stations in Rome?

 

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If you're in a rush and don't have time for the whole article, Roma Termini is in the center of the city and easier to get to and from. Roma Tiburtina is located on the "outskirts" of the city and is a little harder to get to and from.
 

If you've never been to Rome, and you're starting to look at train tickets, flights, and general information about where to stay (best neighborhoods, etc.), it also makes sense to know where the train stations are. Unlike most of America (which is where I'm from, and what I'm used to), train stations are centrally located. They're almost always easy to find, can help you center yourself, and usually have a wide variety of transportation available for getting around the city.


Rome is no exception.


While Rome does have a fair amount of train stations, there are arguably only two that will concern you and they are Roma Termini (also called Roma Centrale because it's "central") and Roma Tiburtina.


While confusing the two isn't the end of the world by any means, it can put a little hiccup in your trip, and it's best avoided.


So, which is which?


Roma Termini

Gone are the days of gorgeous train stations, the sound of whistles, and the fever-pitch of "goodbye". Well, they might exist somewhere, but not Rome. Paris gets pretty close, I think.


While the station isn't a classically beautiful one (faster trains causing more vibrational problems which leads to more modern stations that can handle those sorts of vibrations) it has its own kind of charm. A view over all of the tracks from an eating gallery above, a variety of lounges and places to buy food, and tons of monitors showing arrival and departure times. Plus, the station is surrounded by [mostly fast food] restaurants, which makes finding lunch ridiculously easy.


As mentioned above, also called Roma Centrale or Rome Central, Roma Termini is the main train station in Rome. (Wow, that's a lot of "Rome" in one sentence.) Not only is it used for regional and national trains to practically everywhere in Italy, it is also a hub for city buses, two of the three Metro lines (A and B), and two tram lines.


This means, for those intrepid travelers among you, once you get to Termini, you can pretty much get anywhere else in Rome.


Location


For those of you wondering, "Well, how "central" is it exactly?" here's a link to Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/zZfxZfd7HTkhaNDJ6.


As you can see, it's the perfect location if you're only staying in Rome for a night or two. Butting up against the up-and-coming chic neighborhood of Monti with its vintage stores and fancy food, it's also within walking distance of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. If you want to browse some food, Roma Termini is just down the street from Nuovo Mercato Esqualino, one of Rome's largest indoor markets (it was outdoors, but it moved indoors) for fish, vegetables, meat, cheese, anything you desire, as long as it's food.


Arriving from the Fiumicino airport

As mentioned in this article, there are a few ways to get to Roma Termini from the airport. The main ways are to use the regional train, the direct train (Leonardo Express), or any of the myriad of airport buses. The buses are usually a good deal slower (traffic isn't amazing in Rome) but they're also a lot cheaper, usually a few euros. Trainline* and BusBud* have tons of options for getting from FCO (or CIA) to Roma Termini.


Pros

A wide variety of nearby hotels to choose from, ranging from cheap hostels to luxury hotels.

Surrounded by restaurants for all price points.

Centrally-located. Easy to find on accident.



Cons

No parking. Well, there's some parking, but really, not parking.

More expensive compared to Tiburtina.

Loud if you're staying nearby. Not just the trains, but there are tons of people as well.



Roma Tiburtina


Tiburtina is the less-famous big train station in Rome. You will rarely see it in movies, and unless you're checking out some of the less-seen parts of the city, you're probably not going to stumble onto the station while walking.


While it also dates back to the late 1800s, it was used as a local train station before being converted to a regional train station. Then it was bombed in the Second World War. Of course, it's been rebuilt since then and in the past decade has been "re-branded" almost as a kind of hub for high-speed trains.


While Roma Termini is in the middle of Rome (and thus hard to build new tracks to allow for more/better high-speed trains), Tiburtina is on the "outskirts" (relatively speaking, it's still very much in Rome) and it has the benefit of space. More than car parking (of which there is a lot), this also means it's easier for buses.


Due to its location on the outskirts, it's incredibly close to the highway entrance/exit, which means almost all buses from Rome will leave from Tiburtina. Maybe not all but certainly 90% of buses that are going someplace outside of Rome and its suburbs.


For whatever reason, it's also a lot cheaper to get to. Even from places like the airport, which is interesting, becasue it's an extra fifteen minutes away (give or take) compared to Termini.



Pros

Tons of parking; something like 100,000 parking spots.

Best place to get a bus (if there are options from other stations).

Cheaper to arrive here than Termini, if looking to stick to a tight budget.


Cons

Is a little out of the way.

Mainly caters to buses and cars, so their food options inside are heavily limited.

Limited hotels nearby.

Has a general soul-sucking vibe.




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