Rome Itinerary with Top 27 Things to Do

Itinerary with Top Things to Do in Rome

You have decided to visit Rome, the capital of Italy and you are looking for the most beautiful places to visit and the best things to do?

You are in the right place!

Whether you have chosen to go to Rome as a couple or with your family, exploring this city with a very rich history and filled with magnificent monuments will, for sure, be an unforgettable experience for everyone.

To help you plan your trip, I’ve put together the complete guide to the Eternal City, with the 27 best things to do while in Rome.

It’s easy, it contains all the must-see places of interest to go to in Rome and the surrounding area!

In addition to my advice and tips, you will also find my example itineraries for visiting Rome in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days, as well as my selection of the best accommodation in the city according to your budget. 

So what to do and see in Rome? 

Visiting Rome: the must-sees

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

For those of you who wish to go to Rome, I have prepared detailed itineraries according to the duration of your trip. I recommend that you read them after reading this article.

You will find all the practical information and lots of good addresses in Rome. To read them, just click on the orange links below:

They will allow you to organize your trip super easily!

And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments at the end of the article. I will be happy to help you organize your stay.

1. The Colosseum in Rome and its Bloodthirsty Games

Because it is THE emblematic place of interest to visit in Rome, it is impossible not to start this top things to see in Rome with the famous Colosseum!

Located in the ancient center and able to accommodate more than 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the Roman world.

A lot of blood was shed in these arenas where the famous gladiator fights, wild beasts and Roman games were organized which always resulted in horrible deaths.

To visit the Colosseum during your tour in Rome, it is imperative to book your tickets in advance, otherwise you will have to queue for long hours.

The classic ticket includes priority entry to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill (which I’ll tell you about right after). It is reserved by clicking directly here.

There are also many other Colosseum tickets, some giving access to the 4th and 5th floor, the arena or the underground. And of course, you can also book a guided tour of the Colosseum (click here).

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

To visit several unmissable tourist sites in Rome and save money, I have a good plan for you: buy one of the Rome city passes.

You will have the choice between:

1) The Rome Tourist Card (click here to reserve it), also known as the “Rome City Pass” or Rome tourist card.

This Rome sightseeing pass, with no time limit and 100% mobile (no tickets needed!), gives you free skip-the-line entrances to the Colosseum and the Vatican + a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.

You will also be entitled to a reduction of more than 10% on the majority of other activities.

And what’s great is that the Rome Tourist Card also includes a free audio guide.

2) The Vatican and Rome Pass (Omnia Card) – click here : this is the most comprehensive card for visiting Rome.

You will get free entrance to the Colosseum and Vatican Museums + discounts at over 40 tourist sites + free public transport +  1 hop-on hop-off bus tour.

I personally saved more than 50 euros thanks to the Omnia card during my stay in Rome! (and a few hours of queuing :-P)

The Colosseum of Rome – A must do in Rome!
The Colosseum of Rome – A must do in Rome!

2. The Roman Forum

The ticket to visit the Colosseum also includes access to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill (which I tell you about just below). It would therefore be a shame to deprive yourself of the visit, especially since the 3 sites are attached to each other.

The Forum constituted the center of the city and one can thus observe the ruins of old markets and administrative or religious buildings.

However, there is no explanatory panel on the site so if you want to discover its history, I recommend that you opt for the small group guided tour of the Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill.

It’s the most complete and it’s available in English, Italian, Spanish or French, which is really handy!

The Roman Forum, Rome itinerary
The Roman Forum

3. Palatine Hill

This is the third site of Ancient Rome to be seen included in the entrance ticket to the Colosseum.

The Palatine Hill is one of the 7 hills of the city of Rome, but according to mythology it is above all the place where the city was founded by Remus and Romulus.

But yes you know, these 2 twins who would have been collected and raised by a wolf in a cave.

At the top of the Mount, you will also have access to this cave and to the ruins of the residences of historical figures such as that of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

The Palatine Hill, one of the 7 hills of Rome
The Palatine Hill, one of the 7 hills of Rome

4. The Piazza Venezia

Not far from the Roman forum, at the other end of Via dei fori impierali, is piazza Venezia which is the central square of Rome from where all the streets leading to the main tourist sites of Rome start.

It is here that you can admire the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, also called Vittoriano, a huge white marble building dedicated to the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II.

Next to the square is the famous Trajan’s Column whose bas-reliefs retrace the military conquests of the emperor of the same name.

I also advise you to climb on the roof of the monument. This is one of the best places to go in Rome to admire a superb panoramic view of the whole city.

Access is via a glass elevator located at the rear of the building.

Tickets for this lift must be reserved in advance by clicking here!

They also include the viewing of a 25-minute film on Ancient Rome, a ticket to the Risorgimento Museum and the National Palace Museum in Venice.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

Are you going to Rome?

You know it: the hardest part is certainly to find a hotel offering a good price/performance ratio!

And it’s even worse in the major European capitals.

And yes, the closer you get to your travel date, the less availability there will beTens of thousands of people will be visiting Rome on the same dates as you, and you can be sure that all the best-placed and best-priced rooms will have already been booked!

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is simple: do like me and plan ahead!

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.

To see the best deals in Rome right now, just click here.

Once your hotel is booked, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

The Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, in Piazza Venezia
The Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, in Piazza Venezia

5. The Capitol Square

Continue your tour of Rome on foot and climb the wide staircase leading to the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.

You will then come across Capitoline Square, the place where once stood the political and religious heart of the ancient city of Rome, and which was designed by Michelangelo himself!

You can admire there:

  • The Palace of the Senators
  • The Palace of the Conservators
  • The New Palace, which now houses the Capitoline Museum and the Museum of Art and Archeology with, among other things, the statue of the wolf suckling Remus and Romulus, which you have seen in all the history books.

If you want to visit this museum (one of the best museums in Rome), I strongly advise you to get your tickets in advance by clicking here!

Rome itinerary
Piazza del Campidoglio – What to do in Rome?

6. The Pantheon

To continue on the visit of the monuments of Ancient Rome, go to the Pantheon, certainly one of the best preserved buildings of the period.

Originally devoted to the veneration of the deities of mythology, it became a Christian church in the 7th century.

Inside, admire the huge dome, whose oculus (the opening in the dome) gives the place such a special luminosity.

To see in the Pantheon of Rome also the tombs of the famous artist Raphael and of Victor Emmanuel II (the same one whose building you could admire built in his honor in piazza Venezia).

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.

And for more detailed explanations, you can also choose a guided tour of the Pantheon by clicking here!

Rome itinerary
The Pantheon, a must-see free visit in Rome

7. The Piazza Navona

Right in the heart of the historic center and not far from the Pantheon, is Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful and famous squares in Rome.

Built on the old stadium of Domitian, it has kept its oval shape. We come here to admire its 3 fountains:

  • The Fountain of the Four Rivers
  • The Fountain of Neptune
  • The Moor’s Fountain

You will have the opportunity to have a drink or eat an ice cream on one of the many café terraces but beware, this place being very touristy, the prices are too!

Piazza Navona, Rome things to do
Piazza Navona

8. Trevi Fountain

What to do in Rome as a couple?

Go see the famous Trevi Fountain!

Also near the Pantheon, this is where the most famous fountain in Europe is located .

It is a must for any visitor doing some sightseeing in Rome, and especially for lovers. Countless marriage proposals have taken place at the foot of this fountain!

In the basin, many statues representing an allegory of the sea with the god Neptune on his chariot in its center. The tradition is that you throw in 2 coins, one to make a wish and the other to be sure to return on a trip to Rome.

Behind the fountain, a large baroque palace which contributes a lot to the charm of the place.

On the other hand, I warn you right away the place is crowded and you will have a hard time taking the perfect photo of the fountain with no head sticking out! Nevertheless, the Trevi Fountain remains a must-see place of interest in Rome.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

The Trevi Fountain owes its name to a young girl, who to save her virginity would have had to reveal the location of the source to the Romans.

Rome itinerary
The famous Trevi Fountain – Visit Rome

9. Enjoy Gelato in Rome (Italian ice cream)

After the Trevi Fountain, to recover from your emotions (if you’ve been proposed or got down on your knees sweating from stress!) or just to take a short break from your day’s journey, c It’s time to enjoy an ice cream.

You are in the ideal place, very close to one of the 2 best ice cream parlors in Rome: San Crispino located on Via della Panatteria. The queue is often impressive but the best things in life are earned.

And as opinions often differ on THE best ice cream in Rome, I also give you the name of the direct competitor of San Crispino, the “Giolliti” gelateria located in Via Uffici del Vicario with the same problem of queuing and multiple choices of scent.

And yes, as you know from our articles on Nice or Annecy, we are big fans of ice cream!

So, if I have a professional advice to give you, it’s: test both! It’s best to form your own opinion, isn’t it?

And if you have other places to go in Rome to eat ice cream, I’m waiting for your suggestions in the comments!

Rome itinerary

10. Visit the Vatican

Even if you are not a believer, a visit to the Vatican is a must during a stay in Rome.

It is the smallest country in the world and yet one of the most visited on a tour of Italy.

Only priests and nuns, certain dignitaries, guards, and of course the pope are allowed to live there, but fortunately some places are open to visitors.

Not to be missed during your visit to the Vatican, in Rome:

  • St. Peter’s Square
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • The Vatican Museums
  • The Sistine Chapel.

I give you all the explanations on these places a little further down in the article.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

To visit the Vatican and all these monuments without queuing, you can opt for the Vatican PassVery practical, it allows you to benefit from priority access to museums and a guided tour of the Basilica.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

A little anecdote about the guards : they are only of Swiss nationality and must of course be Catholics. He takes an oath of fidelity to the pope in person.

This tradition dates back to the sack of Rome in 1527 when the Swiss Guards protected the Pope during his escape from Castel Sant’Angelo.

Rome itinerary

11. St. Peter’s Square in Rome

You will enter the Vatican through the famous St. Peter’s Square. Every year it welcomes thousands of pilgrims and millions of tourists.

It is from this place that the Pope gives all these speeches from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica, which was built so that as many people as possible could see him.

Two colonnades surround the square, made up of nearly 280 columns and statues of 145 saints that surmount them.

In the center of St. Peter’s Square stands an Egyptian obelisk surrounded by two large fountains. It is from this square that the long queue to visit St. Peter’s Basilica starts.

Rome itinerary
The huge Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican

12. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica is particularly impressive to visit.

Inside you can admire many altars and monuments. The baroque style decoration is very rich. Four monumental pillars contribute to the grandeur of the place.

To see during the visit of the basilica:

  • The numerous funerary monuments of the popes
  • The famous statue of Saint Peter
  • The gigantic dome designed by Michelangelo.

It is from the right side of the basilica that you can  access the dome.

You’ll start with the easiest: take an elevator. Then it will get a bit more complicated because you will still have 323 steps to climb…

Be careful, it’s not made for claustrophobes because the ceiling is low and the corridors are narrow, but your effort will be greatly rewarded by the magnificent view of the city of Rome that awaits you.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

Access to Saint Peter’s Basilica is completely free  and there is therefore a very long queue at any time of the day.

To avoid wasting too much time, especially if you have planned to spend a weekend in Rome and want to see as much as possible, I recommend that you book a skip-the-line ticket or a guided tour. The 2 allowing you not to queue.

Also note that access to the dome is in all cases paying and must be reserved in advance.

Book your skip-the-line ticket or your guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.

If you have taken the Rome Tourist Card or the Vatican Pass, the guided visit to the Basilica is already included.

Rome itinerary
St. Peter’s Basilica – Visiting the Vatican

13. The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

This is the essential visit to do in the Vatican: the Vatican Museums.

These are more than 13 museums grouped together in a huge architectural ensemble over nearly 7 kilometers long!

Tapestries, paintings, sculptures, the museum houses an impressive collection of works of art, some of which are by Michelangelo, Caravaggio and even Raphaël. 

Among the list of items not to be missed are:

  • The Vatican Pinacoteca where Italian paintings are exhibited, in chronological order
  • Raphael’s rooms, where there are sumptuous frescoes retracing the history of the papacy
  • The gallery of geographical maps and its ceiling decorated with 16th century paintings
  • The Bramante Staircase, a particularly photogenic double-helix staircase that stands at the exit of the Vatican Museums.

To discover them, there are several possible itineraries ranging from 1h30 to 5 hours of visit. I therefore advise you to allow 3 hours on average to visit the Vatican Museums.

But rest assured all tours end at the very famous Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling painted by Michelangelo is one of the most famous works in Vatican City.

Please note: the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

As with the Colosseum, it is imperative to take a skip-the-line ticket for the Vatican Museums  if you do not want to wait at least 2 hours before entering.

Guided tours in French are also offered by clicking here!

And don’t forget that if you have purchased your Rome Tourist Card, the Vatican Pass or the Omnia Card you already have a skip-the-line ticket.

14. The Bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo

This is one of the other main tourist attractions in Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo. 

Just follow the Tiber to the Sant’Angelo Bridge and you will find the castle of the same name on the opposite bank. You can also reach the castle in just 5 minutes on foot from St. Peter’s Square.

The bridge is adorned with 10 statues of angels, all designed by Bernini. On the bridge you will have a magnificent view of the city and the river.

Castel Sant’Angelo, on the other hand, was built by Emperor Hadrian to serve as his mausoleum. But it subsequently played an important military role and served as a refuge for the popes during certain invasions, direct access had even been set up as far as the Vatican.

You can visit the castle, see the tombs and the former apartments of the popes. Also not to be missed: the view from the walkway.

Once again, I suggest you reserve your entrance tickets in advance.

Rome itinerary
The bridge and the Castel Sant’Angelo

15. Where to Shop in Rome

Still wondering what to do in Rome? I suggest you a little shopping session  in one of the 2 main streets lined with shops in the Italian capital:

1) The Via del corso  to do some shopping in Rome at reasonable prices with major brands such as Zara or H&M.

2) Shopping on the Via Condotti

If you have a higher budget  for your vacation in Rome or just want to admire the shop windows, continue your way on Via Condotti.

It’s a bit like our Champs Elysées with the long list of luxury boutiques there.

It is the most prestigious street to walk in Rome with brands such as Gucci, Armani or Prada.

Rome itinerary
Shopping in Rome

16. Spanish Steps

Via Condotti will take you straight to the charming Piazza di Spagna ( Spanish Square in English). Certainly one of the prettiest and most popular places to see in Rome, thanks to the very beautiful perspective it offers.

The Place d’Espagne is in fact at the foot of the monumental staircase that connects the square to the church of La Trinité-des-Monts, located on a hill.

The flowery staircase is the perfect place to take a short break. It also welcomes tourists but also many Italians who actually have a meeting place.

At the foot of the stairs is the Barcaccia fountain which adds to the charm of the place and brings a little refreshment.

Rome itinerary
Rome’s Spanish Steps

17. Visit the Churches and Basilicas of Rome

I continue this guide to Rome with a short tour of the many superb churches in the city.

As I told you, at the top of the stairs of the Place d’Espagne, is the Trinité-des-Monts church which offers a breathtaking view of the city.

Its location makes it one of the most famous churches to visit in Rome, but did you know that the city has no less than 900?

For lovers of these places of worship, some of which are true architectural gems, here is a short list (of course not exhaustive) of the most beautiful churches in Rome.

Start with the 4 largest basilicas in the world, which luckily are all in Rome:

Some other churches of interest to see during your walking tour in Rome:

  • Church of Jesus
  • Church of Sainte-Marie du Tastevère
  • Church of Saint-Pierre-aux-liens
  • The Basilica of Saint Clement
  • Church of St. Mary of the Conception
  • Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (my favorite in Rome)
Rome itinerary
The Basilica of Saint Mary Major Rome

18. Garden of Villa Borghese

North of the Spanish Steps is the largest and certainly the most beautiful park to stroll through during your Rome itinerary.

The Villa Borghese park offers some welcome calm after the hustle and bustle in the streets. You can stroll along the wide shaded paths and along the edge of a lake surrounded by temples, statues and numerous fountains.

The park also has a lovely botanical garden. To get there, go to porta pinciana or piazzale flaminio, the 2 entrances to the park.

Rome itinerary
The Garden of Villa Borghese

19. The Borghese Gallery

It is also in the park of Villa Borghese that one of the most visited museums in Rome is located: the Borghese Gallery.

Paintings and sculptures adorn and decorate the twenty or so sumptuous rooms of the villa of the Borgheses, a wealthy family that was very influential in the Roman aristocracy.

To hope to admire what is considered to be one of the richest collections of Italian works of art, it will absolutely be necessary to book your tickets as far in advance as possible (most of the time there are no longer any tickets offered directly at the counter because everything is already sold online).

20. Other Museums to Visit in Rome

Villa Borghese Park is also home to 2 other museums:

Besides the museums located in the park and in addition to the Vatican Museums, there are of course many others to see in Rome, such as:

  • The Capitoline Museums which I told you about a little earlier
  • The Palazzo Barberini known to house works by famous Italian painters. If you haven’t been able to get tickets for the Borghese Gallery, this is a good alternative.
  • The Palazzo della Cancelleria and its exhibition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Doria-Pamphilj Gallery houses paintings by Caravaggio
  • The Colonna Gallery dedicated to the Baroque period
  • The Palatine Museum which brings together all the elements discovered on the site of the Palatine Hill
  • The National Gallery of Ancient Art with a collection of Italian and European paintings. Go there to admire the works of Raphael or Caravaggio.
Rome itinerary
In the Borghese Gallery

21. People’s Square

We continue this list of things to do in Rome by Piazza del Popolo or People’s Square, which is located very close to Villa Borghese.

It is one of the major squares not to be missed in Rome with its set of fountains, its 3 churches and its obelisk.

From the square, climb the stairs to the top of the hill, you will have a beautiful view over the square to the Vatican.

Rome itinerary
The People’s Square

22. Trastevere and the Gianicolo Hill

On the right bank of the Tiber, on the same side as the Vatican City, I advise you to visit the Trastevere district.

This district is becoming more and more trendy and a bit “bobo” but for the moment it has retained all its charm. You will be (relatively) sheltered from the crowd to discover its typical and flowery little streets.

Here, there are no large historical monuments like in the rest of Rome, but a real “Italian style” district with its inhabitants.

In the streets, stop in the small shops of craftsmen and merchants. I personally visited it in October, but it seems that in high season there are a lot more people and that it suddenly becomes less peaceful!

Going towards the north of the district, climb the hill of the Janiculum to be able to admire a beautiful panorama of the city.

Rome itinerary
The Trastevere district

23. Where to eat in Rome: lunch in a trattoria!

The Trastevere district is also the ideal place to enjoy a pizza or good pasta in a traditional trattoria.

Full of authentic addresses with small terraces and all without tourists, it’s the perfect combination!

So I couldn’t continue this Rome tourist guide without giving you some nice places to eat in the neighborhood:

  • Roma Sparita : Large terrace, traditional Roman cuisine. Do not miss the restaurant’s specialty: the “cacio e pepe” spaghetti with Roman pecorino and pepper served in a cheese shell. This is our favorite value for money. Attention obligation to reserve.
  • Antico Arco : Excellent dishes (especially the risotto) and very good wine list. The plus: we bring you a sample of your spouse’s dish in a cup so that you can taste it.
  • Tonnarello : Excellent typical cuisine in a very pleasant setting. Generous portions at affordable prices.

Of course, if you’re not around for lunch, you won’t go hungry with the many choices of trattorias, restaurants and sandwich shops located right in the historic center of Rome :

  • Birra e sale : Located next to piazza Navona. The sandwiches are delicious and made with fresh products. To try in particular the charcuterie and cheese board.
  • Pizzeria Loffredo : Very good pizzas and fresh pasta. Wide choice of dishes. Friendly atmosphere and very welcoming staff. Please note that it is better to book. Perfect price / quality ratio!
  • Il Tamburello di Pulcinella : small family restaurant with cooking made by the mamma. Pizzas, pasta, desserts, everything is homemade and for a very reasonable price. A tip: remember to book

24. Field of Flowers

Since I made you salivate with my good addresses, let’s continue on this momentum.

To breathe in the good fresh produce and admire the bright colors, I advise you to take a short walk through the Campo di Fiori. Every morning (except Sunday) there is a fruit, vegetable, meat and fish market.

Although popular with tourists because it is located in the historic center of Rome, this small market has managed to retain all its authenticity. If you want to take advantage of your vacation in Rome to bring back good products from Italy, this is the ideal place because it is much cheaper than elsewhere in Rome.

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 the Campo di Fiori with a very nice guide and taste many local products.

This guided tour is so good that it is certified GetYourGuide Originals. Which means it’s satisfied or your money back!

Rome itinerary
The Marché de Campo di Fiori

25. The San Lorenzo district

Like the Trastevere district, the San Lorenzo district is less known to visitors to Rome and yet it deserves a little detour.

Originally a working-class district, it is now the student district since the Roman universities are located there.

Artists have also appropriated it and street art is very developed there.

For amateurs and if you are wondering where to go out at night in Rome, the nightlife is very important there and the beers are not at all expensive!

26. Aventine Hill

During your visit to Rome, you can discover a peaceful area, beautiful gardens and an incomparable view of the city, this is what the Aventine hill has to offer!

You can also add:

  • The Basilica of Saint Sabina in Rome
  • The famous surprise door, Piazza dei cavalieri di Malta through which people line up to look through the keyhole (I won’t say more!)

Oh and what’s more, the Aventine Hill will offer you one of the most beautiful viewpoints over Rome. Oh, did I already say that? ^^

Rome itinerary
Keyhole of the Aventine Hill – Rome

27. Visit the Catacombs of Rome

I will end with an unusual activity to do in Rome: the visit of the catacombs, in particular that of Sainte-Calixte. They are the largest in the city and extend over almost 15 hectares.

They served as cemeteries for Jews and Christians. On the walls you can see representations of Christian life such as baptism and scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

The visit to the catacombs of Rome must be done with a guide and lasts about 30 minutes, which is very practical if you have little time.

To book by clicking here!

If you wish to visit the catacombs of Rome during your stay, there is also the Crypt of the Capuchins, located in the city center, close to the Trevi Fountain. It is the easiest to access. You can buy your tickets directly here.

Other catacombs such as those of San SebastianDomitille or Priscille can also be visited.

Rome itinerary
The catacombs of Rome – Unusual visit to do in Rome

28. What to do around Rome?

Wondering what to do around Rome? Which city to visit next to Rome?

To help you, I have selected the best day trips from Rome.

What is very practical with this kind of organized tour from Rome is that you don’t have to prepare anything, everything is already included: return transport, guide, visits and sometimes even lunch.

Here is what I recommend you visit around Rome (click on the links in orange to book):

1) From Rome – visit of Pompeii and Vesuvius: for a whole day, discover the crater of Vesuvius and visit Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Maximum of 25 people per group.

2) From Rome – return shuttle to Pompeii : this shuttle service takes you to Pompeii and brings you back to Rome in the evening. Departure at 7:15 a.m. – Return at 7 p.m. You will have around 4.5 hours to visit Pompeii.

3) Rome: One Day at Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa:  Day trip from Rome to Tivoli to admire 2 of the most beautiful Renaissance-style villas in all of Italy. Round trip + visit of the villas and gardens with guide + meal included.

4) Tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast from Rome: the tour includes a guided tour of Pompeii and the discovery of the superb village of Positano, one of the most famous on the Amalfi Coast.

5) Day trip to Florence and Pisa to discover the 2 most beautiful cities in Tuscany: 3h free time in Florence and 1h30 in Pisa.

6) Day trip to Venice from Rome: you will take the TGV to Venice and have a day to take a gondola ride, discover Saint Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs.

Rome itinerary
Visit Florence from Rome

Visit Rome on foot

Here is a one-day itinerary to visit Rome on foot. It will allow you to discover a large part of the city and all the main tourist attractions.

To visit Rome on foot in 1 day, however, you will have to content yourself with seeing the exterior of the monuments.

If you spend more time in Rome, you can split this walk into several days : I show you how in my itineraries to visit Rome in 2, 3, 4, 5 days or even a week!

To begin this walking tour of Rome, first go to the Colosseum to admire its impressive architecture, then pass by the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, the 2 other sites of Ancient Rome.

Continue the walk by reaching piazza del Campidoglio, then piazza Venezia where you can admire the monument to Victor Emanuel II.

Enter the historic heart of Rome by heading to Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.

Then go north by Via Condotti to reach the Spanish Steps (Pizza di Spagna).

From there, join the banks of the Tiber and walk along the quays, to the bridge of Sant Angelo. You can cross it on foot to admire Castel Sant’Angelo.

Then take Via delle Conciliazione which will take you directly to St. Peter’s Square, the entrance to the Vatican. You will then be right in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Not bad to end this day on foot through the streets of Rome, right?

Rome itinerary

How many days to visit Rome?

How much time you want to spend in Rome will depend on what  type of traveler you are : fast and don’t like downtime, or like to take your time.

If you are a “fast” traveler, it is possible to visit Rome in 2 or 3 days. This is the ideal duration to discover the main places of interest of the Italian capital, without downtime.

If you are a “quiet” traveler or you have decided to visit Rome with children, then I recommend that you go to Rome for about 5 days, which will allow you to explore the attractions of the city at your own pace.

I have prepared itineraries for you to know what to do in Rome in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days and even for a week just below.

But beware, they are all based on whether you took skip-the-line tickets or Rome city passes to avoid queuing.

Without it, it is not possible to do everything in the day because you will lose too much time in the queues.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

I give you here the 2 passes that I recommend for a visit to Rome:

  • The Rome Tourist Card with visit to the Colosseum and the Vatican + guided visit to Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Enjoy free entry to top Rome and Vatican landmarks, skip-the-line tickets, free public transport, and a comprehensive hop-on hop-off city tour .

1 Day Rome Itinerary

If you only have one day to visit Rome, then you will have to focus on one thing: ancient Rome or the Vatican, for which I offer you a circuit a little further down.

For those who only have one day in Rome, I advise you to visit Ancient Rome. Here is a doable one-day itinerary:

  1. Start with a visit to the Colosseum, remembering to book your skip-the-line ticket / Rome Tourist Card / Omnia Card.
  2. Continue by the 2 other sites of Ancient Rome, automatically included with the Colosseum ticket: the Roman Forum and the hill of Palatine Hill for the view of the city.
  3. Then head to piazza del Campidoglio where you can visit the capitol museums
  4. Then reach piazza Venezia, with the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. You can take the elevator to end the day admiring the panorama of Rome.

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

Another solution for a whirlwind tour of Rome is to skip the tours inside the monuments.

In the latter case, it is possible to see the vast majority of the places described in this guide to Rome in one day.

It is nevertheless quite physical and you will have to walk relatively quickly, this is the route that I propose to you in the section “Visiting Rome on foot”.

Or if you don’t want to walk, opt for the classic hop-on hop-off bus tour (click here)!

Visiting Rome by bus is the best way to see everything in a minimum of time and very convenient if you can’t walk too much.

2 Days Rome Itinerary

For a 2-day stay in Rome, in addition to the first day presented above, I suggest you take a tour of the Vatican side:

  1. Start with a visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
  2. Continue to Saint Peter’s Basilica
  3. Visit Castel Sant’Angelo and admire the Sant’Angelo Bridge

3 Days Rome Itinerary

If you are planning a 3-day trip to Rome, take the itinerary of the previous 2 days and set off to discover the historic center:

  1. Start by reaching piazza Navona
  2. Go visit the Pantheon
  3. Stop at the Trevi Fountain
  4. Shopping Via Condotti
  5. Discover Rome’s Spanish Steps
  6. To end the day in peace, go to the Garden of Villa  Borghese
  7. If you have the time (and the motivation!), you can visit one of the 3 museums on the site.

All the details to visit Rome in 3 days can be found in our article: What to do in Rome in 3 days?

Visit Rome in 4 days

For a 4-day itinerary in Rome, you can take the opportunity to discover the other places of interest in this top:

  1. Take a trip to the Campo di Fiori market
  2. Take time to stroll around the Trastevere district
  3. Go quiet on the Aventine hill and enjoy the gardens and the view of Rome
  4. Visit one of Rome’s catacombs

All the detailed information to visit Rome in 4 days can be found here (click on the link): Visit Rome in 4 days.

What to do in Rome in 5 days

If you have 5 days in Rome, the last day you can opt for an excursion around Rome.

Several choices of day trip are possible from Rome:

6 Days in Rome: what to do and see?

Have you planned 6 days in Rome?

In this case you should do the 4 day itinerary and add excursions for the last 2 days!

1 Week Rome Itinerary

Detailed day-by-day itineraries for a week in Rome with all the visits to do, it’s in my other article: Visit Rome in 7 days.

Accommodation in Rome

There, on the other hand, it is more complicated, because in Rome, accommodation at a good price is not really easy, so we have selected our favorite hotels for you, each in a different price category!

One last tip: if you can, book now! There is a very high demand in Rome and the best hotels are leaving very quickly.

So where to stay in Rome?

  • 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!

If you want to save a little, you can find accommodation 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 is the ideal solution for small budgets!

Tips for your Rome itinerary:

If you have not found what you are looking for or if these hotels are not available on your dates, you will find a wider selection of accommodation in my dedicated article: Where to stay in Rome?

Visiting Rome with the family

To prepare your family stay in Rome, I have prepared a list of things to do absolutely with your children:

  • Visit the Colosseum of course. The monument will not necessarily interest them but the stories of gladiators and ferocious beasts without a doubt!
  • Go to the Trevi Fountain so they can throw a coin, or even several…
  • Have a picnic at Villa Borghese because visiting Rome with your family also means taking the time to enjoy a bit of greenery. There are also several playgrounds for children and you can also rent bikes and take a boat trip. There is also a biological park with thousands of animals. Tickets are on sale here!
  • Discover Explora, a very fun museum dedicated to children with lots of activities.
  • Taste a good ice cream, you will have no trouble finding ice cream parlors in Rome and it is impossible to visit Rome with children without at least tasting an Italian ice cream once, otherwise you will be treated as unworthy parents.
  • Take them to Gladiator School! Playful and instructive, your whole family (young and old) will be able to learn the combat techniques of gladiators dressed in traditional dress. If you are interested in this family activity in Rome, you can book it here.

What to do in Rome when it rains?

If during your trip to Rome you find yourself in the rain and you don’t know what to do, don’t panic!

I have prepared for you a list of things to do when it rains in Rome:

  • Visiting the city’s museums: given the number of Rome, this can keep you busy, especially if you want to visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
  • Go to the Pantheon. When it rains in Rome, the rain rushes through the central oculus of the Pantheon which is not covered and falls directly on the ground. The latter is bent and pierced with small holes so that the water can evacuate.
  • Go stock up on good local products at Eataly, a huge shopping center dedicated to Italian gastronomy. The hardest part will be to choose and not to exceed the authorized weight for the suitcase!
  • Discover the catacombs, an unusual visit to do in Rome when it rains.
  • Take part in an Italian cooking class to learn how to make fresh pasta or pizza dough.
  • Go kart indoors so as not to get wet: Beyond Roma, Karting Roma, Holykartroma.
  • Go bowling: Bowling Roma is closest to the city center, at 181 viale Regina Margherita.

What to do in Rome at night?

Here is a selection of tours and cool things to do in the evening in Rome:

  • Visit the Colosseum by night in VIP mode : you can visit the Colosseum and its basements with a guide after it has closed to the public. A super pleasant visit to do in the evening in Rome to avoid the crowds. Buy your ticket right here.
  • Discover the catacombs of Rome at night to be sure to have a little scare with this unusual visit! To book here.
  • Take a guided tour of Rome by Segway in the evening. Explore Rome by night for 3 hours with this great means of transport. You can book your segway tour right here.
  • Go for a drink in Trastevere, a major nightlife spot with its many bars.
  • Discover the squares and monuments of Rome illuminated and with far fewer people.
Rome itinerary
Visiting the Colosseum in Rome by night, an unforgettable experience!

Rome off the beaten track: the best underrated places to visit

In addition to this guide to the best things to do in Rome, I’ve written another guide dedicated to secret places and underrated attractions in Rome.

You will discover places unknown to most tourists such as:

  • The Doria Pamphilj Palace
  • The Sciarra Gallery
  • The Coppedè district
  • La voie Appienne (Ancient Appian Way)
  • The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità)

When to go to Rome?

From my personal experience, the best time to visit Rome is in spring and autumn, more precisely from April to June and from September to November.

These months offer pleasant weather and fewer tourists compared to the busier summer months.

However, Rome can be visited all year round!

If you don’t mind the crowds of summer holidays, summer is also a good time to explore the city. Just be prepared for busier attractions and potentially higher accommodation prices.

Either way, it’s really important to book your skip-the-line tickets (or even better, a Rome Tourist Card or Omnia Card ) and accommodation in advance ( click here to see the best deals and book your hotel) .

The winter months in Rome, from December to February, are generally cooler and wetter, but they also have their own charm.

During this period, you can expect fewer tourists, which means shorter queues and greater availability for popular attractions.

Plus, Rome’s mild winters still make exploring the city on foot quite comfortable. You might even be lucky enough to enjoy the festive atmosphere during the festive season, with Christmas lights, decorated shop windows and pretty Christmas markets.

So, if you don’t mind the cooler temperatures and occasional rain, a visit to Rome in winter can also be a wonderful and unique experience.

Whichever time period you decide to visit, you are sure to be captivated by Rome’s spellbinding beauty and remarkable history.

Rome Tourist Map

This tourist map of Rome, convenient to save on your phone, will certainly be able to serve you during your trip:

Rome itinerary
Rome tourist map

How to Reach the City Center from Rome Airport

If you are arriving at Fiumicino airport, you can book your transfer in advance by clicking on one of the links below:

For an arrival at Ciampino airport:

And you, what are you planning to do in Rome?

If you have any questions to organize your visit to Rome, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments.

Are you going to Italy? Read also

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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