4 Days Rome Itinerary
Are you going to leave for 4 days in Rome?
To help you prepare for your trip, I have concocted the ideal 4 days Rome itinerary for you.
First I give you some good tips to avoid the queues, then I have organized a detailed day-to-day program for you to optimize your visit to Rome.
Everything is of course accompanied by my best advice and tips to make the most of your stay!
At the end of the article, also find my selection of the best hotels in the city according to your budget and ideas for activities specially adapted for a family trip.
So what to do in Rome in 4 days?
Our advice: save time and avoid the queue in Rome!
It’s no secret that Rome is ranked among the most touristic cities in the world.
The capital of Italy and its emblematic monuments such as the Colosseum or the Pantheon are on many people’s bucket list! The downside is that you often have to be prepared to queue for several hours at the entrance to each site.
Fortunately, there are various tricks to avoid queuing and optimize your visit to Rome in four days.
You have 3 solutions to not waste time and avoid queuing during your 4-day Rome itinerary. I’ll explain everything in detail below:
1. Rome City Pass
If you want to save as much time as possible during your 4-day Rome itinerary, the first solution is to get the “Rome City Pass”, also called Rome Tourist Card.
This super convenient City Pass lets you skip the lines by gaining direct access to the city’s most famous sights.
Another undeniable advantage: this pass is 100% digital. Your skip-the-line tickets are sent directly by email, which means you don’t have to travel around Rome to look for the collection office.
What is included in the Pass:
- Ticket for the Colosseum with audio guide + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill (in the program of the 1st day of our itinerary)
- Skip-the-line ticket for Saint Peter’s Basilica + audio guide (on the second day’s program)
- Visit of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel (optional, but I recommend it because I include it in the program of the second day)
- 10% discounts on museums (Castle of Sant’Angelo, Borghese Gallery), guided tours (Tour of the catacombs, Rome by bike) and excursions in the surrounding area if you continue your 4-day stay in Rome with another city Italian: Venice or Florence for example.
2. Omnia Card
Second solution to visit Rome in 4 days on foot and benefit from quick access to the most important attractions: buy the Omnia Card, also called “Vatican and Rome Pass”.
The operation is the same as the previous pass, namely that it saves you from queuing, but it is more complete. Namely that it is valid for 3 consecutive days from the moment of its activation.
So you won’t be able to use it on the fourth day. This is why on day 4 I have provided you with mostly free visits to take full advantage of the benefits of the card, the previous 3 days.
You must book it online and then exchange the confirmation voucher that will be sent to you by email for the Omnia Card, once you arrive in Rome.
What is included in the Omnia Card:
- Priority entrance to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (in the program of the second day of your vacation)
- Skip-the-line ticket for St. Peter’s Basilica + audio guide (also in the schedule for the second day)
- Visit of Saint-Pierre prison + audio-guide
- Admission to the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran and the cloister + audio guide
- 2 free entrances of your choice between the following tourist sites
- The Colosseum (in the program of the 1st day)
- The Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (in the program of the 1st day)
- Castel Sant’Angelo (on the program for the second day)
- The Borghese Gallery
- The Capitoline Museums
- Free access to all public transport for 3 days in Rome (ideal for getting around quickly, if you don’t want to do everything on foot)
- Discounts for museums and activities
- 1 ticket for a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Rome
- 1 map of Rome
If you hesitate between the Omnia Card and the “Rome City Pass”, it will depend on whether you want to take public transport and what you want to visit:
- If you don’t want to visit the whole Vatican or take public transport, the Rome City Pass will be cheaper.
- If you want to visit as many things as possible in Rome at the Vatican during your 4 days, the Omnia Card is the best choice.
It’s simply the most complete map to visit Rome in a few days!
3. Skip-the-line tickets for tourist attractions in Rome
The last solution is to buy your skip-the-line tickets one by one, according to your program for visiting Rome in 4 days.
There are some for all the historical monuments to see and the activities to do in Rome during these 4 days.
Just click on the name of the monuments below for more info and to reserve them.
- The Coliseum
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- The Capitoline Museums
- The pantheon
- The churches of Rome
- Villa Borghese
- The Hop-on Hop-Off tourist bus
- The catacombs of Rome
Last tip for a perfect 4 day stay in Rome
If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you have them!), I highly recommend that you book your accommodation.
And yes, Rome is quite simply one of the most touristic cities in the world and the hotels offering the best value for money fill up very quickly.
Being used to travelling, I can guarantee you that it’s always by going as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best accommodation.
It would be a shame to partly ruin your stay in Rome by finding yourself in a terrible hotel that will have cost you a fortune, right?
So take 5 minutes now to take a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Rome.
And if you like a hotel, book it!
Cancellation is often free, it’s quick, easy, and it will protect you from the inconvenience of finding nothing, except mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.
Once you have booked your hotel or apartment, it’s time to continue reading this guide!
Visit Rome in 4 days: the best itinerary
Discover now my 4-day Rome itinerary, with the program of day-to-day visits.
I assume here that you are spending 4 full days in Rome and that you have opted for one of the “City passes” or taken your skip-the-line tickets in order to maximize the number of visits.
And if you need help planning your stay, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments!
So what to visit in Rome in 4 days?
Day 1: Ancient Rome
The visits of day 1:
A. The Colosseum
B. The Roman Forum
C. The Palatine Hill
D. The Piazza del Campidoglio / The Capitoline Museums
E. The Piazza Venezia / The monument to Victor Emmanuel II
A. Visit the Colosseum
To start this 4-day Rome itinerary, there’s nothing like a visit to the Colosseum.
This emblematic monument of the city, the largest amphitheater in the Roman world, is also one of the most famous.
At the time, the Colosseum could accommodate up to 50,000 spectators who came to watch the Roman games and the cruel gladiator fights. The Colosseum was primarily intended to entertain the people, but not always in a macabre way.
It was also a place of theater where plays and other battle re-enactments were staged, without a single drop of blood.
Today, the Colosseum has lost none of its splendor despite a few missing pieces. It is possible to visit the first and second floors, the arena as well as the underground passages where the animals were imprisoned.
Be aware that without a skip-the-line ticket, you will spend more time waiting in line than visiting the Colosseum. It is therefore imperative to buy them in advance.
Tickets for the Colosseum also give you access to the Forum and the Palatine Hill.
As not all Colosseum tickets are always available (for a given date there are a limited number of tickets of each type, and they sell out very quickly!), the orange links will take you directly to the page with all Colosseum tickets.
Just choose the one that suits you best on this page.
Of course, if you already know your travel dates, book quickly to be sure you can visit the monument.
Among all these entrance tickets, there is still one that I prefer for its price/performance ratio: the Colosseum + Arena + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill skip-the-line ticket.
You can also opt for the guided tour of the Colosseum which will allow you to learn much more about the history of this impressive monument, it is this ticket: Guided tour of the Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill.
And if you don’t have budget restriction and want to do the VIP Guided Tour: VIP Guided Tour: Colosseum (+ Undergrounds + Arena) + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill.
It will allow you to access exclusive places such as the arena or the underground passages of the Colosseum.
B. Palatine Hill
The logical continuation to continue your first day in Rome, after the Colosseum, is to visit the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum which are located right next to it.
These two sites are included in the ticket for the Colosseum so it would be a shame to skip them. Especially since they will immerse you in the atmosphere of ancient Rome.
The Palatine Hill is, according to legend, the living place of the famous Romulus and Remus.
These two twin brothers abandoned and taken in by a wolf would have founded the city from this hill.
Wander among the ruins and discover a breathtaking view of the monuments of Rome from the top of the mountain. Also, don’t miss the residence of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.
C. Discover the Roman Forum
A few steps from the Palatine Hill, you will inevitably come across the Roman Forum.
This is the third historical site not to be missed during your 4 days in Rome.
The Forum was something of a city center at the time. You will notably discover the ruins of administrative buildings, temples and also those of the old market.
Again, I advise you to choose the guided tour if you want to have explanations about this place because there is no sign. Book here!
D. The Piazza del Campidoglio / The museums of the Capitol
After this dive into ancient Rome and having discovered 3 essential places of a 4-day tour in Rome, I suggest you go to Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Square in French), the former political and religious heart of the city.
You can get there in just 15 minutes on foot from the Forum.
This superb square imagined by Michelangelo is surrounded by the Capitoline Museums.
These museums are in fact the Palace of the Senators, the Palace of the Conservators and the New Palace.
You can visit them and admire famous paintings (by Tintoretto and Caravaggio in particular), statues (including that of the Wolf nursing Remus and Romulus) and other sculptures.
E. The Piazza Venezia / The monument to Victor Emmanuel II
A 5-minute walk from Place du Capitole, now reach Piazza Venezia.
This is the central square of Rome, from where all the streets start that will lead you to the different sites to visit during your 4-day stay in Rome.
This square is recognizable by the huge white marble building erected there: the Victor Emmanuel II Monument. You can also admire Trajan’s Column a few meters away and its relief drawings representing the military conquests of the former Emperor.
Not bad for a first day in Rome, right?
Day 2: Vatican
The visits of day 2:
A. Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
B. St. Peter’s Basilica
C. Castel Sant’Angelo
A. Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
I suggest that you spend this second day of your four-day itinerary in Rome by visiting the smallest country in the world: the Vatican.
What I advise you is to start with a cultural morning by visiting the 13 Vatican museums.
They are all grouped together in a large set of buildings and organized into different tour routes. These range from a duration of 1h30 to 5 hours. Of course, you don’t have to visit everything in detail (watch out for overdosing!) and skip certain sections.
Whichever route you choose, you will end the visit with the highlight of the show: the famous Sistine Chapel built in the 15th century.
This very small chapel features several paintings by the greatest Italian artists, including the very famous ceiling fresco painted by Michelangelo.
For this visit to the Vatican Museums, save yourself the 2-hour queue and consider taking a skip-the-line ticket in advance.
Access to museums is included in both the Rome Pass and the Omnia Card.
B. St. Peter’s Basilica
After this rewarding morning and a good lunch in one of the many restaurants surrounding the Vatican, continue with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica.
Erected on the huge and famous square of the same name, this basilica, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most visited monuments in the world.
Inside the monument you will have the opportunity to admire the superb baroque decorations, the vaults of the former popes, the statue of Saint-Pierre as well as the huge dome that we owe once again to Michelangelo.
If you wish, you can also climb the dome to enjoy a very beautiful panoramic view (access to the dome is subject to a charge).
There’s always an endless queue at the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica (not least because the visit is free), so as usual don’t forget your skip-the-line ticket!
Tips for your Rome itinerary:
Don’t miss to admire the many columns surmounted by statues of Saints, the Egyptian obelisk and the two majestic fountains in Saint Peter’s Square .
C. Castel Sant’Angelo
To end this second day of your 4-day Rome itinerary in style , leave St. Peter’s Square and walk down Via della Conciliazione to arrive in 10 minutes on foot at Castel Sant’Angelo.
Surmounted by a statue representing an angel with outstretched wings, this castle built under the orders of the Emperor Hadrian, was a precious refuge for the popes during the enemy invasions. The popes had direct access to it from the Vatican and could take shelter there quickly in the event of an attack.
The castle can be visited in 1 to 2 hours. In particular, you will be able to see the former apartments occupied by the popes, several tombs, and walk along the walkway to enjoy a very beautiful view.
Leaving the castle, go through the Sant’Angelo bridge. It leads to the other side, passing over the Tiber, and also offers a very pretty view of the river and the city.
Day 3: The Historic Center
The visits of day 3:
A. Piazza Navona
C. Trevi Fountain
D. Via del Corso / Via Condotti E. Spanish
F. Villa Borghese
Let’s go for this third day of your four-day Rome itinerary, this time devoted to discovering the historic center.
I suggest you start by taking a walk around Piazza Navona, one of the most famous and beautiful squares in the city.
Very touristy, this square is surrounded by many restaurants and cafes that will give you the opportunity to have a good breakfast in the open air.
In the center of Piazza Navona, take the time to admire the 3 fountains and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the place, while attending street performances.
B. The Pantheon
A must-see monument in Rome, the Pantheon is the second stop on this day in the historic center.
It is located very close to Piazza Navona and dates from Ancient Rome.
The Pantheon notably houses the tombs of Emperor Victor Emmanuel II and the famous painter Rafael.
Inside, you can admire the superb dome and its occulus letting in light.
Tips for your Rome itinerary:
Since July 2023, access to the Pantheon is chargeable and requires an entrance ticket (cost: 5€). To visit it, you must therefore book your ticket on the official website.
And if you want more historical information, I advise you to take the skip-the-line ticket with an audio guide here.
C. The Trevi Fountain
Another key point of interest in the city, the Trevi Fountain awaits you just a 10-minute walk from the Pantheon.
You have certainly already heard of it since it is the most famous fountain in Europe. Photographed from every angle for decades, this fountain still attracts crowds.
According to tradition, two coins are tossed there : the first to make a wish and the second to make sure you return to Rome.
Whether you play the game or not, the Trevi Fountain is in any case a very beautiful work of art representing the God Neptune and highlighted by an imposing Baroque monument in the background.
D. The Via Condotti
I now suggest a little shopping session, since visiting Rome in 4 days leaves plenty of time for window shopping!
Starting from the Trevi Fountain, take Via del Corso where you will find several ready-to-wear brands in affordable price ranges.
Continue a little further on Via Condotti on which this time you can admire the boutiques of the great Italian designers such as Prada or Gucci.
If you’re not a fan of shopping, you have the right to hurry up, because anyway, this path takes you straight to the next stop of your 4-day stay in Rome.
E. The Spanish Steps in Rome
After a hundred meters of walking on Via Condotti, you will come to Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the grand staircase overlooked by the Church of the Trinité-des-Monts.
With its cobblestone floor, its fountain and its typical “dolce vita” atmosphere, this square is one of the most popular and convivial in Rome.
Lots of ice cream parlors, shops and street entertainment will allow you to have a great time there.
F. Villa Borghese
And to end this third day in Rome, there’s nothing like a walk in the fresh air.
Leave the Spanish Steps on the north side and continue on foot to the entrance of Villa Borghese.
This peaceful green space is recognized as the most beautiful park in the city. Take the time to stroll through the alleys and discover the many fountains and statues that border the lake. A very quiet little walk for this 4-day vacation in Rome.
You will also have the opportunity to visit the botanical garden and some museums if you wish:
- The Borghese Gallery which presents a collection of paintings and sculptures. Skip the line tickets here, enjoy!
- The National Etruscan Museum and its collection of pre-Roman objects and jewelry
- The national gallery of modern and contemporary art with in particular paintings by Van Gogh and Cézanne.
Day 4: Walk in Rome
The visits of day 4:
A. The Campo di Fiori market
B. The Trastevere district
C. The Aventine hill
D. The catacombs of Rome
A. The marches of Campo di Fiori
You have the chance to spend 4 days in Rome , which gives you time to get off the beaten track for this last day.
I suggest you start by taking a trip to the Campo di Fiori market, located in the historic center.
The market is open every morning except Sunday, and allows you to discover the local gastronomy and admire the bright colors of Italian fruits and vegetables.
It is an authentic and the cheapest market in Rome. This is the perfect opportunity to bring back some Italian specialties in your suitcases!
Tips for your Rome itinerary:
If you want to discover the gastronomy and typical specialties of Rome, I recommend that you book a gastronomic guided tour. You will have the chance to walk through Campo di Fiori with a very nice guide and taste many local products.
This guided tour is so good that they give you a full refund if you’re not happy with it!
B. The District of Trastevere
Near the Vatican on the right bank of the Tiber, the Trastevere district is a quiet and authentic place to stroll.
Even if it is more and more popular with visitors, it is a real Italian working-class district with a little less tourists and without historical monuments.
It really is a very charming place with many flowery cobbled streets, small friendly squares lined with cafes, artisan shops and merchants.
Be sure to climb to the top of the Gianicolo hill, to the north of the district, to admire a superb panoramic view of Rome.
C. The Aventine Hill
To continue this 4-day itinerary in Rome, I suggest you go to the Aventine hill, on the other side of the Tiber, about twenty minutes walk from the Trastevere district.
If you don’t want to walk, you can also take the bus to get there in 10 minutes.
The Aventine Hill is another peaceful area of Rome, with lots of gardens and stunning views of the city.
You will also have the opportunity to visit the Basilica of Santa Sabina and try to elucidate the mystery of the surprise door in Piazza dei cavalieri di Malta.
Don’t wonder why all these people are lining up to look through the keyhole of this door, test yourself and you will understand!
D. The Catacombs of Rome
You have already arrived at the end of this 4-day stay in Rome.
To end on an original note, I suggest a visit to the catacombs of Rome.
The catacombs of Saint Calixte are the largest in the city and extend over 15 hectares. They once served as a cemetery for Jews and Christians.
You will be able to see tombs there but also scenes of life engraved on the walls. This is a visit of about 30 minutes, with a mandatory guide.
The catacombs of Saint-Sébastien, Domitille, Priscille as well as the crypt of the Capuchins can also be visited. The latter is also the easiest to access and it is located very close to the Trevi fountain. You can buy your tickets directly here.
And here I have given you all my advice for visiting Rome in 4 days! Spend one last night at the hotel before taking your return flight the next day.
Accommodation in Rome
You now know how to visit Rome in 4 days, you just have to know where to sleep!
It is not easy to find cheap accommodation in Rome, so we have selected our 5 favorite hotels for you, each in a different price category.
A word of advice: if you can, book now! There is a very high demand in Rome and the best hotels are leaving very quickly.
- Biancaluna: B&B located near Termini Station, 1.5 km from the Colosseum. Modern, comfortable and very clean room from 70€. Most: the reception and the advice of visit, the location. An excellent choice for cheap accommodation in Rome!
- Hotel Balilla: Located 1.6 km from the Colosseum and near a metro station. Well-equipped and quiet double room, impeccably clean, from €99, breakfast €5. Most: the friendly staff, the comfort of the beds, the location 10 minutes walk from the Colosseum. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio in Rome!
- Chez Alice Vatican : Located 450 meters from St. Peter’s Square. Contemporary room with neat decoration from €100 per night, breakfast included. Most: ideal location, terrace with a view of the Vatican, warm welcome.
- MZ Hotel: Located towards the Campo di Fiori and not far from the Pantheon. Modern and welcoming double room from €150, breakfast at €12. Most: the location close to the historic center, the warm welcome, good bedding, new hotel.
- Roma Luxus Hotel: Luxury hotel located just 400 meters from Piazza Venezia. Elegant, contemporary and chic double room from €300 per night, breakfast at €20. The pluses: the design of the rooms, the 5* service, the quality of the breakfast, the spa, the top staff. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay in Rome!
- NH Collection Roma Fori Imperiali: This 5* hotel located right next to the Roman Forum offers sublime rooms with neat decoration from €580, breakfast included. The pluses: the exceptional location, the caring staff, the view, the comfort. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Rome!
And for a wider selection of hotels, classified by neighborhood and by budget, I strongly advise you to consult our article: The best hotels to stay in Rome.
And if you want to save a little, you can stay around Rome. I recommend that you opt for the comfortable camping option with one night in a bungalow. Camping Village Rome is located just 15 minutes by car from the Vatican and offers chalets and bungalows from €30 a night.
Comfortable, clean, air-conditioned and modern, it’s the ideal solution for cheap accommodation in Rome.
Visit Rome in 4 days with the family
Have you decided to visit Rome with your children for 4 days?
You will have no problem following our program of visits.
And if you want to add a really cool and quirky activity, I recommend taking them to Gladiator School.
Dressed in the traditional attire of gladiators, they will be able to train for combat in a very playful atmosphere. A confirmed gladiator diploma will even be given to them at the end.
You can book this family activity by clicking here.
A picnic in the gardens of Villa Borghese also allows your children to enjoy a pleasant moment. You can, after eating, let them play in the various playgrounds, rent bikes for a ride and why not offer them a boat ride on the lake.
There is also a zoo with over 1000 animals in the gardens. Tickets are on sale here!
Another activity idea: the Explora museum. You can visit this fun museum on the third day since it is located near Villa Borghese . Interactive and filled with fun electronic and manual games, this museum is a kid’s paradise. Count about 2 hours of visit.
Finally, I can also recommend this Italian cooking class followed by dinner which is a very pleasant and unusual activity to do with the family. Near the Trevi fountain, have fun concocting an authentic Italian pizza under the guidance of a chef before tasting it during a full dinner.
This pizza preparation course + dinner must be booked by clicking here.
More things to do and see in Rome in 4 days
Do you still have time after following our sightseeing program for 4 days in Rome?
Feel free to read our comprehensive guide to the city. You’ll find even more things to do and see to end your 4-day vacation in Rome in style.
Just click on the link in orange: What to do in Rome? The ultimate guide!
And who knows, it might make you want to extend your stay in Rome or visit the surrounding area!
Map of your 4-day Rome Itinerary
To help you visualize your itineraries during these 4 days in Rome, I made you a map listing the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow. You will then be able to view the routes for each day.
Now you know how to visit Rome in 4 days!
Need help organizing your 4-day Rome itinerary? Do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.
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