Europe Chevron

Italy Chevron

Rome Chevron

The 26 Best Things to Do in Rome

By Maresa Manara and Katie Parla

In such an ancient and dense place, prioritizing which corners to see can be an overwhelming task. How do you even start to figure out what to do in Rome? To shed some light on that impenetrable question, we've pulled together a list of world-famous sites and lesser-known destinations—museums, markets, archeological and architectural marvels—that will provide you with the full spectrum of outstanding experiences the Italian capital has to offer. Whether you have only a day in the city or a couple weeks (or return visits) to explore every detail, this list will help you pull together an itinerary you won't forget.

Read our complete Rome travel guide here .

Every review on this list has been written by a Condé Nast Traveler journalist who knows the destination and has visited that activity. When choosing things to do, our editors consider landmarks and experiences that offer an insider’s view of a destination, keeping authenticity, location, service, and sustainability credentials top of mind. This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Image may contain Architecture Building Indoors Museum Art Painting and Person

Palazzo Spada Arrow

Near Campo dei Fiori yet blissfully uncrowded, Palazzo Spada is a striking historic palace built in the 16 th century and redesigned by Roman architect Borromini in the 17th century. Inside there’s a rich art collection with Renaissance and Baroque masters, and outside there’s a peaceful courtyard where eight impressive colonnades create a mesmerising optical illusion. The palace itself is exquisitely Baroque, with elegant, perfect symmetry and ornate decorations. Inside, there are walls plastered in frescoes, immaculate stucco work, and grand halls of opulent, gilded marble. Palazzo Spada houses an incredible art collection, with paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts by artists including Titian and Caravaggio. Don’t miss the Borromini Perspective Gallery, a masterclass in optical illusion where a corridor appears to be much longer than it actually is.

Image may contain Architecture Building Cityscape Urban Landscape Nature Outdoors City Sky Horizon and Scenery

Monte Mario Nature Reserve Arrow

A hike through this huge nature reserve—the highest of Rome’s ‘seven hills’—makes for a great alternative to Villa Borghese, with a fraction of the crowds, and fantastic views over the city. The Monte Mario Natural Reserve spans around 100 hectares, with nature trails wending through canopies of oak trees, pines and cypress trees. There’s a rich array of wildlife, including hawks, kestrels, foxes and hedgehogs. It couldn’t feel farther from one of the world’s biggest cities. There’s a number of different walking trails throughout the reserve, some more difficult (and steep) than others. Take a taxi there from the historical centre—it’s a seven minute drive away.

Image may contain City Road Street Urban Architecture Building House Housing Villa Path Arch and Gothic Arch

Case Romane del Celio in Rome Arrow

Underground beneath the Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo, this heritage museum shows how Roman daily life has changed over the years. There are 20 rooms showing ancient Roman homes, shops and shrines. It’s cheap to get into and relatively quiet, even on weekends. This is one of the best preserved examples of ancient Roman domestic architecture. The houses date back to the second and third centuries AD. They were part of a larger residential complex, possibly belonging to a single aristocratic Roman family. One of the most remarkable features is the underground area known as the hypogeum —a subterranean complex of chambers and passageways. Visitors can explore several interconnected rooms, including reception areas (atria), living quarters (cubicula), kitchens, and courtyards. The houses are decorated with colorful frescoes, intricate mosaics, and marble floors, showcasing the opulence and artistic sophistication of the Roman elite.

San'Ivo alla Sapienza Rome

Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza Arrow

Most artists and architects working in the characteristically ornate and emotional Baroque style leaned heavily on color and materials to create strong visual impressions. Not Borromini, in this magnificent church originally designed for the Università di Roma. Using simply molded stucco forms and daylight, the maestro created an interior space that's at once intimate and infinite, simple and complex. If you've seen Bernini's interior design at St. Peter's Basilica, this is a great place to see how his rival achieves absolute architectural perfection without using scale and color as a crutch. There's no guide. Walk in, take a seat, and take it in.

The Best Beaches in Italy

Matt Ortile

Around-the-World Cruises: Everything Travelers Need to Know About These Epic Voyages

Scott Laird

The Best Things to Do in Panama: Surfing, Coffee Tastings, and Private Island Stays

Siobhan Reid

A Summer Capsule Wardrobe Will Simplify Your Packing Process

Meaghan Kenny

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj Rome

Galleria Doria Pamphilj Arrow

This museum houses Rome's largest private collection, a trove assembled by the Doria, Pamphilj, Landi, and Aldobrandini families and brought together through marriage. It’s set in a noble palace still owned by the Doria Pamphilj family and the ornate halls provide a grand setting for such an overwhelming amount of art. The collection is acclaimed among 16th and 17th-century art aficionados but is off the average visitor’s radar even though it's located just off Piazza Venezia and close to the Forum.

Villa Pamphil Park Rome

Villa Doria Pamphilj Arrow

Rome's largest public park is divided into manicured gardens, stretches of forest, pine groves, and bits of wild vegetation. There are wide open fields, as well as intimate nooks for romantic picnics. It's a perfect destination for runners or cyclists who want to get in a few miles without the nuisances of car traffic and smog. Whether you visit for a stroll, a meal, or a workout, be sure to have a map. The place is huge and some exits spit you out into residential neighborhoods.

Image may contain Building Architecture Arched and Arch

Colosseum Arrow

If you know the background of the building, a visit to the Colosseum will be truly amazing and totally live up to the hype. The place was used for wild beast hunts, public executions, and gladiator fights for several hundred years, then became a condo of sorts as medieval Romans made their homes in the hulking ruins. Spend a little time on the second story exhibition area, check out the artists' renderings of the building's ancient and medieval incarnations, and you'll be anxious to learn more.

The back room of the main hall of the old Pharmacy and Apothecary Farmacia di S. Maria della Scala in Piazza della Scala...

Ancient Pharmacy of Santa Maria della Scala Arrow

Entering this ancient apothecary, the oldest in Europe, feels a little like stepping back in time. You enter through the ground floor of the building, which is now a functioning, modern pharmacy, before heading upstairs to the ancient iteration. Visitors are welcomed by a friar, who talks you through the various herbs, potions, unguents, balms, and oils that they used to heal the ancient Romans. He knows his stuff. Ask him to show you some of the original wooden furniture from the 18th century, and the instruments they used for weighing ingredients and making the medicines. Look out for the teriaca, a potion created and used by Romans as an antidote—ingredients include viper meat.

Maxxi National Museum Of 21St Century Arts Via Guido Reni Rome 4 A 00196 Roma Italy Architect Zaha Hadid Architects 2009...

MAXXI Rome Arrow

MAXXI is the kind of place you go to spend half a day, with no plans other than to take the entire place in. Designed by Zaha Hadid, this is Rome’s museum for all things contemporary, with exhibitions spanning modern fashion, cinema, art, and architecture. Heck, it’s worth visiting just to check out the building, a piece of art in itself. The labyrinthine space at MAXXI is astounding. It gets busy, but there's so much space that you wouldn't notice. Big, wide halls give way to rooms of different themes and sizes, resulting in five floors of non-stop, incredible artwork. Spaces range from performing arts to galleries with modern artworks to open cinemas. For some, this might feel a little incoherent, but it helps if you take it in as a whole rather than different spaces.

Capitoline Museums Rome

Capitoline Museums Arrow

Home to one of the finest collections of ancient sculpture in Rome (and therefore the world), the Capitoline Museums are—weirdly—rarely crowded. They attract school groups, local history and art buffs, and travelers, all of whom tend to meander through the museums' various buildings, two of which were designed by none other than Michelangelo. Thanks to its collection and its proximity to Rome's main archeological attractions, it's a logical place to stop after visiting the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

Palatine Hill and Imperial Palaces Rome

Palatine Hill Arrow

The Palatine Hill is a big, sprawling open-air museum. There are emperors' palaces, manicured gardens, medieval churches, and a terrace overlooking the Forum and beyond. The admission fee is about $18 and covers the Roman Forum and Colosseum, too, making it a pretty great deal. Although the Palatine has monuments from every major era in Rome's history, the real draw is a first-century palace built by Domitian, a mad emperor with a very serious architecture addiction.

Jubilee Church rome

Jubilee Church Arrow

Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso, also known as the Jubilee Church, was designed by American architect Richard Meier as part of the Vatican's grand church-building and city revival program leading up to the Millennium Jubilee, a Catholic pilgrimage year held in 2000. The church is free, though getting there may cost you. It's about six miles from central Rome, so a taxi could easily cost more than €25 ($28). Alternatively, you can reach the church via public transport for €3 ($4) round trip.

San Zeno Chapel at Santa Prassede

San Zeno Chapel at Santa Prassede Arrow

The San Zeno Chapel is a small chapel and major pilgrimage destination inside the church of Santa Prassede (aka Saint Praxedes). The church, chapel, and mosaics all backdate to the 9th century when Pope Paschal I built the chapel and its Byzantine mosaics for his mother. Because the chapel houses the remains of a pillar believed by many Catholics to be from the Flagellation of Christ, it draws some pilgrims. Other visitors are travelers specifically there to see the Byzantine mosaics.

Domus rome

Domus Aurea Arrow

A sprawling palatial pavilion built by emperor Nero in the 1st century that will blow you away with the design taste and command of concrete and space on display. You can only visit on weekends—the site's under restoration during the week—but admission includes a guided tour. Ours was led by an archeologist who not only worked on the site but was totally obsessed with it; the passion made for a terrific tour. Try your luck.

Image may contain Plant Food and Vegetable

Mercato di Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo Arrow

Despite being Rome's largest farmers market, the Mercato di Campagna Amica remains down to earth and not at all corporate—as demonstrated by the fact it's only open on weekends. The stalls adhere to the "0 km" philosophy, shorthand for products made or grown within 100 kilometers from the point of sale; and vendors come mostly from Lazio, Rome's home region. It's a crash course in the local leafy greens, amusing in their number and variety, especially to visitors from northern climates. Both the olives and the olive oil you'll find here are worth a splurge, but one of the market's best uses is as a source of super-fresh (and super-cheap) picnic material. Grab some bread, a little fresh pecorino, a few slices of prosciutto, some fruit, and make yourself a lunch.

Villa Farnesina Rome

Villa Farnesina Arrow

The Villa was the private residence of Agostino Chigi, one of the Renaissance's richest men; he liked to showcase his wealth by hiring artists to paint elaborate frescoes on the walls and ceilings in his palace. That makes this a great place for Renaissance fans who want to take their time and see the art in-situ without the crowds. Thanks to Raphael's emphasis on mythological themes, it's also a great place for kids who know about the Roman gods—or want to!

Janiculum Hill Rome

Janiculum Hill Arrow

This is a leisurely stroll beginning in Trastevere and winding up via Garibaldi to the top of Janiculum Hill. The mood changes from urban at the beginning to monumental at the end; it's a bit of work, but rewards those willing to do it with a unique perspective on Roman history and some of the best views of the city. Best to do the walk during the day, or early in the morning if it's summer. If you're on a tight schedule, don't want to brave the hill in the heat, or just want to get a view, skip the hike and take a taxi directly to Piazzale Garibaldi.

best travel guide for rome

Vicus Caprarius Arrow

This museum takes you beneath the Trevi district, through an intricate maze of ancient vestiges to the archaeological ruins of Vicus Caprarius (which roughly translates to “City of Water”), an old Roman apartment complex dating back to the first-century A.D.. You get to see first-hand how the rich Romans lived, using their very own aqueduct–the same one that feeds the Trevi fountain–for their running water. The entrance is unassuming, and if you hadn’t been told it was there it would be easy to walk right past. There’s a fairly comprehensive website but all bookings are made (and confirmed) via a Whatsapp chat. Skip the guided tour—there were 8 of us in the tour group, but we shared the same (small) space with  self-guided individuals, many of whom had just showed up and booked on the day. If you're keen on a post-museum cocktail, head upstairs to Harry's Bar.

Santa Maria del Popolo

Santa Maria del Popolo Arrow

Santa Maria del Popolo is a Renaissance church at the edge of Piazza del Popolo and just within Rome's 3rd-century walls. It was decorated during Rome's most recent artistic peak, the 15th to 17th centuries, and is packed with masterpieces. The church is free, though some coins will come in handy for turning lights on in chapels. The place mostly draws visitors on the Caravaggio trail. Two canvases painted by that controversial and innovative artist hang in the chapel next to the main altar.

Trajan's Column at Piazza Venezia Domus Romane Rome Tour

Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini Arrow

The Domus Romane are ancient Roman villas and other structures that were abandoned in antiquity, filled in with debris, and inadvertently used as foundations for Palazzo Valentini, a Renaissance palace turned government office building. They are now underground, obscured by buildings and pavement just beside Piazza Venezia. Booking is required and must be done online.

Santa Maria in Trastevere Church Rome

Santa Maria in Trastevere Arrow

There are hundreds of churches in Rome, but Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the most breathtaking. Not only are the mosaics and gilded ceiling spectacular, the very skeletal structure of the church is mind-boggling. The columns that support the nave and separate the aisles are single, solid pieces of granite that were lugged across the river in the 12th century after being plundered from the 3rd-century Baths of Caracalla. The church will help you develop a taste for medieval Rome, a period often outshined by the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Palazzo Massimo Rome

Palazzo Massimo Arrow

The Palazzo Massimo's building itself was built by Jesuits in the late 19th century and was only turned into a state-owned museum in 1980. It's next to Stazione Termini, Rome's busiest station, yet few travelers make the trip to see the museum's masterpiece-packed halls. The collection is a mix of Classical sculpture, Imperial frescoes, and Hellenistic baroque-style statuary. After the Vatican Museums and Capitoline Museums, the Palazzo Massimo is a must for ancient art lovers.

Rome Testaccio Market

Testaccio Market Arrow

This market in one of Rome's most bustling central neighborhoods has all the usual suspects: bread bakeries, produce stalls, fishmongers, butchers, and delis. You'll also find seasonal vegetables like artichokes or zucchini, cuts typical of the local cuisine like tripe and liver, and little chewy pizzas common to Roman bakeries. If you're looking for lunch (or to stock a picnic), hunt down takeaway stalls like the stellar Mordi e Vai, which serves Roman sandwiches near the Via B. Franklin exit. The stalls on the eastern side of the market mainly sell clothes, shoes, and housewares. There's even a hair salon, in case you're needing a touchup.

Image may contain Home Decor Window Curtain Shutter and Window Shade

Pigneto Arrow

Pigneto is popular with Italian college students and twenty- and thirty-somethings who frequent the bars on the "Isola," a pedestrianized stretch of Via del Pigneto, the neighborhood's central artery. It's also a destination for Pasolini fans who visit the streets that were the backdrop for his Neorealist films. It's an acquired taste and may feel too rough-around-the-edges for some, but anyone interested in urbanism and street art, or just thirsty to explore neighborhood's outside of Rome's historic center, will enjoy it.

Image may contain Ruins Human and Person

Baths of Caracalla Arrow

The Baths of Caracalla were a massive public bathing complex built in the third century. Throughout the year, the site is open during the day for visitors to stroll through ruins that were so magnificent they inspired the Main Concourse at Grand Central Terminal. Each summer, the city of Rome's Opera company performs at the Baths, using the towering brick ruins as a backdrop. The contrast of the ancient buildings, celebrated operas, and modern acoustics and lighting is stunning.

best travel guide for rome

Quartiere San Lorenzo Arrow

This working-class neighborhood near Termini station first gained international prominence when Soho House opened their Rome outpost a few years back. Since then, it’s evolved from a rough-around-the-edges student hangout into a decidedly bohemian district, with street art, street food, lively bars, and cool fashion boutiques. To get the most out of the neighborhood, visit in the late afternoon, when fashion boutiques like L’Anatra all’Arancia and La Maison de la Mode will still be open. Refuel with a coffee at the diminutive Giufà Libreria Caffè bookstore-bar, then check out the street art around Via dei Sabelli and Scalo San Lorenzo. Stop by Blackmarket San Lorenzo for a pre-dinner cocktail and vegetarian small plates, or pop into Sanlollo for pizzas, bruschetta, and salted cod. Gelato San Lorenzo does some of the best ice cream in town, all of it organic. Still, don't bring your parents or your fussiest friends here; rather, come with someone who’s up for a cheap-ish night out in a gritty but very cool neighborhood.

Recommended

Palazzo Roma

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions ), our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing and account-related emails from Traveller. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

10 top things to do in Rome in 2024

Virginia  DiGaetano

Feb 29, 2024 • 13 min read

best travel guide for rome

Here are the best things to see and do on visit to Rome © RossHelen / Getty Images

One thing every Roman and visitor can agree on is that there is no shortage of things to do in Italy's charismatic capital.

The biggest challenge on a trip to Rome will be discerning your must-see sights, while also accepting it's impossible to fit everything into one vacation. There may be historical monuments, museums and ancient sites around every corner but there's more to this city than standing in the long lines often required to view them up close.

The Eternal City is massive, endlessly entertaining and some of your best times will involve wandering down random streets and watching the world go by with an espresso in hand. Get planning now with our ten favorite experiences in Rome.

1. Lose yourself in Ancient Rome (but not all in one day) 

Any Italian will tell you how downright anarchic Rome is and immediately after, every one of them will say, “but Rome is Rome.” There is simply no place like it in the world, and the only thing to do is abandon yourself to all of its chaotic charms. Even though you are extremely likely to meet hordes of people at any moment, how could you possibly skip the very sites that make the city extraordinary?

It would be bananas to visit Rome and not stand in front of the Colosseum , even though you’ll be one in a sea of gladiators-in-training. You must stand underneath the dome of the Pantheon  even though you’ll wait in a considerable line ( one you’ll now pay for , fyi). And though you’ll be surrounded by cameras, souvenir sellers and tour groups, it would be almost unthinkable not to witness the singular beauty of the Trevi Fountain .

So don’t. Take it all in and let the experience find you. Touch the walls of ancient buildings and think about how they’ve been standing for millennia, or fix your eyes on the impossibly intricate carvings of marble and statues. Wander around the major sights, stumble across the minor ones and remember that you only have to move one or two streets over to find yourself in a calm corner of the capital.

Planning tip: When you make your plans in Rome, space out the heavy hitters and give yourself time to soak everything in at a pace that suits you. If you’re only in Rome for three days, think about dedicating a half day to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum , and then leave yourself the rest of the afternoon or evening to stroll through other parts of town that are a little less trafficked. Plus, that leaves you plenty of time to… 

2. Learn the subtle art of the aperitivo

Don’t call it happy hour, because the aperitivo is so much more than a discount drink after a day at the office. And trust me, there is a science to doing it right: the aperitivo is a pre-dinner drinks ritual meant to whet the appetite, not satiate or drown it in cheap booze. Though one can probably find evidence of such imbibing throughout human history, the modern aperitivo dates back only a couple of centuries to the popularization of vermouth and other herbal drinks in the late 1700s.

Since then, Italians have been unwinding with friends and beverages before settling in for dinner and doing so in ever more creative ways. These days, the aperitivo is increasingly varied and always accompanied by snacks, which have also become more elaborately prepared for pairing. Just don’t fill up on any of it – after all, it is but a prelude of what is to come at dinner. 

Local tip: Rome is one of the best cities in Italy to sample a wide range of aperitivi , as every bar does things slightly differently and there are far worse ways to spend one’s time than sampling them all. If you’re in the market for luxury, try snagging a spot on the coveted rooftop of Terrazzo Borromini overlooking Piazza Navona . If your tastes run trendier, check out the mixology at Freni i Frizioni in Trastevere . For a classic Roman moment, head over to Ai Tre Scalini in Monti, where the vine-covered streets provide a beautiful backdrop for the most poetic of  aperitivi .

The sun sets over a river, with the skyline dominated by a huge domed building

3. Spend a day in the Vatican City

Whether you go as a tourist or a pilgrim, the impact of seeing the Vatican for the first time is hard to overstate. From the outside, this half-kilometer-square city-state is dwarfed by the imposing dome of St Peter’s Basilica and framed by the long embrace of Bernini’s square: this alone is enough to make it worth the trip, but once you step inside the Vatican buildings you cannot help but be taken aback.

Start at the Vatican Museums , a complex of 26 structures that spans 7km (4.3 miles) of halls and galleries. While you could spend an eternity craning your neck to see it all, a few hours is enough to get a sense of the unparalleled catalog that the Museums contain. Finish by heading through the claustrophobic staircase (you’ve been warned, but it’s worth it) to the Sistine Chapel , still breathtaking no matter how many people are there sharing the view.

After you’ve hopefully stopped for lunch and a refresh, the Dome awaits. St Peter’s Basilica is a marvel of engineering, architecture, and sheer will: after all, it took more than a century to bring into being and it passed through the hands of many of Italy's most iconic figures along the way. Everything about the Basilica is imposing, so don’t be surprised if the sheer scale of it is overwhelming on the first visit. That’s just another reason to come back. 

Planning tip: A dress code is still enforced pretty strenuously. To be safe, wear pants or skirts that cover your knees and tops that cover your shoulders. When in doubt, bring a light scarf with you (it's always worth having a scarf in Rome !).

A large room with people admiring art. There's a huge marble sculpture in the center of the room

4. Work your way through Rome’s museums 

Although the Vatican Museums are amongst the largest in the world, they are far from the only ones to visit in Rome. What’s more, many of the city’s most interesting museums are slightly off-piste for most visitors, so you may find yourself enjoying an unexpectedly peaceful afternoon in even the busiest periods of the year. In a city overflowing with history and culture, there’s a museum for everyone.

If you can’t get enough of Ancient Rome, the Capitoline Museums on the Campidoglio offer that and more, with works dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 17th century. For an even deeper dive into historical artifacts, the National Roman Museum houses a priceless collection in four separate buildings around the city, each a work of art in its own right.

Classical art lovers are spoilt for choice as well: from the Galleria Borghese to Palazzo Colonna , there are majestic collections around just about every corner. But there’s always space for more, and modern art has a well-established place in Rome. The National Gallery and MAXXI have incredible collections from contemporary artists, all of which are worth seeing. 

Local tip: If you like to hunt around, go on the lookout for Rome’s eight “ small museums ”, each of which is located around the city and some in the strangest places. Oh and bonus, they’re all free to enter ! 

5. Head underground to discover hidden history

Hiding in (almost) plain sight next to the Colosseum, the Domus Aurea is one of the most enigmatic and least explored remnants of Ancient Rome. The sprawling complex was built sometime after the fire of 64CE that destroyed much of the city, under the order of Emperor Nero.

Over time it was buried and remained undiscovered until the Renaissance when intrepid artists like Ghirlandaio and Raphael did their version of urban spelunking to witness the painted “underground grottoes”. You don’t have to be nearly as athletic to get there today: the Domus Aurea underground tour offers an incredible chance to tour some of the ancient palace. It maintains a cool and constant underground temperature, making it the perfect place to escape the Roman sun. 

Local tip: The Domus Aurea is also home to a cat sanctuary – if you’re a cat lover, try to spot the friendly felines hanging out among the complex.

A pathway lined with trees that have bent over it; at the end is the iconic Roman skyline including a large dome

6. Take in the views from the city's hills

It’s easy to forget the sheer scope of the city when you’re shuffling through jampacked cobblestone alleys, and it makes all the difference to remind yourself of it now and then. Greater Rome covers nearly 500 sq miles, though the vast majority of its most well-known sites are located within a much smaller area of about five sq miles. Luckily, there are a few key points around the city center where you can get a sense of where you are and admire the beauty of this ever-expanding metropolis.

Climb up the Janiculum Hill for one of the most impressive panoramas you’re likely to see and if you time it right, you may be there for the cannon shot that fires every day at noon (don’t worry, they’re blanks). If you’re wandering during the golden hour (right before sunset), make your way to the Giardini degli Aranci on the Aventine Hill for a perfectly framed picture that no camera could ever capture. Enjoy the walk back down through the frequently overlooked Rose Garden , which offers its own unique perspective on the neighboring Palatine Hill.

Detour: If you’ve got the time and a bus map, head to Parco Mellini in Monte Mario outside of the city center for a dramatic view that stretches far beyond the Aurelian walls. 

7. Shop sustainably in Rome's secondhand stores 

Though you’ll find every designer in the world has a shop somewhere in the city, Rome has a fabulous thrift shop and market culture where you can find clothing, antiques and just about anything else you could imagine. The Mercatino dell’Usato chain has stores all over the city, and many are an adventure in themselves for people who love scouting out finds. If you’re near the Aventino, check out tiny Affare Fatto , a thrift store that often has eclectic furnishings left behind by diplomats leaving for their next mission. 

But the open-air markets are an entity unto themselves, and if you are soothed by the chaos of commerce, this could be the itinerary for you. The market at Via Sannio near San Giovanni has a bustling vibe and is open almost all week with antiques, jewelry, clothing and small independent producers alongside vintage sellers. Time it right to find the ecosolidale market open on Via del Porto Fluviale in Ostiense and you may just get the couture purchase of a lifetime.

If you’re in town on Sunday you cannot miss the mind-boggling Porta Portese market, which takes over the district just south of Trastevere with kilometers of curios. Don’t be surprised if you find a famous designer rummaging along next to you. If you need to keep up on secondhand Rome, black-belt-level thrift shopper Desirée at the Pewter Thimble has you covered. 

People relax under pink-blossom trees or play games on the grass in parkland

8. Experience the best of Rome’s many parks 

Rome has a lot of parks. In fact, Rome has the most hectares of greenery in Europe and each of its parks serves an important historical, cultural and natural purpose for citizens and travelers alike. Though it may not be the first thing that you think of when you start filling out your wishlist of things to do in the city, you don’t want to miss the chance to wander through some of the most beautiful urban oases in the world. 

The most famous park in Rome is undoubtedly Villa Borghese , and with good reason. Covering 80 hectares (197 acres) of the Pinciano district in the city center, the park has boating, tons of trails, theaters, and of course the Galleria Borghese Museum. But other green spaces abound in the city, and each one provides a refuge from the heat of the summer or the occasional winter gray. Check out the intimate Villa Celimontana near the Colosseum or the Parco del Colle Oppio for a different view of the iconic stadium (that also includes a skate park).

Detour: For those looking for less manicured nature, sign up for a bike tour of the Parco della Caffarella , one of the most untouched areas in the city. And while you’re there, take a walk back in time along the Appia Antica , a site so inspiring that it will put to rest any rumors of Rome’s impending demise.

9. Taste local produce at Rome's incredible markets 

It wouldn’t be a Roman holiday without copious amounts of food, the quality of which will leave you pining for its equal once you’ve returned home. And while you could spend a lot of time (and money) sampling restaurants around the city, make better use of both by getting to know the food markets all over Rome.

If you’re coming and going from Termini station, you’ll be spoilt for choice at the Mercato Centrale , which brings together chefs and producers from all over Italy under one postwar roof. Steps away, the  Nuovo Mercato Esquilino is a feast for cooks looking for more niche fruits, vegetables, and proteins; you’ll find halal butchers selling alongside pig farmers from the Roman countryside, and fresh fish from the Adriatic. 

If you start to get peckish as you head towards the Tiber, make a detour to the Mercato Testaccio for local cheeses, cured meats, veggies, and wines that would make any picnic rival a fine dining experience. Should you be further north near the Vatican, the Mercato Trionfale is the largest in Rome and guaranteed to have something for everyone. For weekend warriors braving the crowds at the Circo Massimo , the nearby Campagna Amica market is a fantastic place to test out your Italian, since you won’t go wrong with whatever you wind up buying. 

Local tip: Aperitivo starts at lunchtime on Saturdays and Sundays, meaning you should too. 

10. Eat out at Rome's best restaurants

For every majestic monument or glittering tribute reaching up to the heavens, everyone knows that the real reason we come to Rome is to eat. But Roman food, once religiously tethered to the traditional “quinto quarto” philosophy of using every part of an animal, has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years.

Young chefs are reinterpreting the classics, resulting in the explosive flavors of Santo Palato in San Giovanni and the home-style goodness of Romanè in Prati. Vegetarians and vegans are also well served in the capital: from the picturesque Mater Terrae in Piazza Navona and the stealthily innovative Rifugio Romano near Termini Station to the irrepressibly lovable Romeow Cat Bistrot in Ostiense, there is no shortage of meatless options in the Eternal City. 

Of course, if you’re in search of the classics, they’re right there too. Reserve early and often at Armando al Pantheon , and hope that someone cancels at Felice a Testaccio so that you can get your cacio e pepe  (pasta dish with cheese and pepper) done just the way you dreamt of it. Nothing will ever taste quite like the bread from Antico Forno Roscioli , and no one will ever be able to convince you that the slabs of pizza from Gabriele Bonci’s Pizzarium aren’t crumbs sent to lead you straight to heaven.

Local tip: Ever wondered why Italians gasp when you order a cappuccino after a meal? They normally drink coffee after eating as a tool for digestion, as the acidity and caffeine help to speed up the process. By now they’re pretty used to non-Italians asking for milky beverages after a meal but if you want to do like the Romans, skip the dairy (or try a macchiato).

This article was first published Sep 11, 2015 and updated Feb 29, 2024.

Explore related stories

best travel guide for rome

Apr 19, 2024 • 4 min read

A new walkway will make it easier to navigate Rome's ancient sites. But what does it mean for the locals?

best travel guide for rome

Feb 27, 2024 • 6 min read

Three friends jumping with happiness next to their car with palm trees in the background

Feb 19, 2024 • 7 min read

best travel guide for rome

Jan 11, 2024 • 8 min read

5Shops-Rome-Hero-Image.png

Jan 3, 2024 • 4 min read

Italy's Medieval le Marche

Oct 17, 2023 • 10 min read

September 2, 2016: Flames shooting from a mutant vehicle at Burning Man in the evening.

Jan 2, 2023 • 12 min read

People walking along a dirt path next to the ruins of an ancient Roman aqueduct in Rome

Feb 28, 2022 • 5 min read

Crowds of people fill Times Square at low light.

Sep 18, 2020 • 6 min read

October 31, 2018: Three friends in costume and makeup in the zócalo (city square) for the Día de los Muertos festival.

Aug 9, 2020 • 4 min read

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Rome Travel Guide

Last Updated: September 13, 2023

the ruins in Rome, Italy

Considered the center of the western world for centuries, Rome is the birthplace of Caesar and home to the Catholic Church. It’s also bursting at the seams with ancient historic ruins and tons of delicious restaurants (I particularly love Trastevere for food), bars, and world-class shopping.

Here you walk down the street and see modern buildings next to ruins dating back thousands of years.

It’s a city filled with life, beauty, and charm that appeals to travelers of all stripes. Backpacking here is popular with budget travelers on Eurotrips, history buffs come to explore the ruins, couples visit Rome on honeymoons, and the jet-set splash out on the city’s upscale dining and nightlife.

No matter your interests, Rome has you covered.

This budget travel guide to Rome can help you plan your trip, navigate the endless amount of sites and attractions, learn how to get around in the chaos, and save money in one of the most expensive cities in Italy !

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Rome

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Rome

Wide street filled with people and basilica at the end in Rome, Italy

1. Explore the Colosseum

Even though the line of tourists can seem endless, the Colosseum is not to be missed. Built in the 1st century CE, it is nearly 2,000 years old and was the largest amphitheater in the entire Roman Empire (it could hold 50,000-80,000 people). During the Roman Empire, it was used for gladiatorial contests and other public events including animal hunts, dramatic plays, executions, and military re-enactments. From the Middle Ages onwards, it was repurposed into workshops, housing, and even a Christian shrine. Admission is 16 EUR for a ticket that offers 24-hour access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum (though not the Colosseum’s arena). A two-day ticket with access to all areas (including the arena) is 22 EUR.

For an in-depth tour with special access to the arena floor, book a tour with Walks of Italy . They run the best tours in the city and use expert local guides who ensure you have fun and learn a ton. I always take their tours when I’m in Rome.

2. See the Forum and Palatine Hill

The Roman Forum was the seat of Ancient Rome. It was the center of Roman public life and the place from which Rome administered its empire. Today, the forum is a two-hectare (five-acre) site filled with ruins of countless important buildings amongst which you can wander around. Next to the Forum is Palatine Hill, where the Roman aristocracy lived. Admission to both is 16 EUR or 22 EUR (depending on which combination ticket you purchase). It is also worth getting a guide to give you context and bring the ruins to life. You can book a tour with priority skip-the-line access for 64 EUR.

3. Tour Vatican City

Vatican City is an independent city-state surrounded by the city of Rome. It gained its full independence from Italy in 1929 and is the smallest city-state in the world. Don’t leave Rome without spending some time here to see the home of the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and all of the wonderful museums. (Please dress modestly as the Basilica has a strict dress code). Tickets are 17 EUR while skip the line tickets cost around 27 EUR. Keep in mind that tickets sell out weeks in advance (especially in the high season, so you’ll want to plan this one in advance).

If you want a behind-the-scenes tour with VIP access, book the Key Master’s Tour of the Vatican . You’ll get to help unlock the chapel in the morning, giving you access to the Vatican before all the other tourists enter. It’s an amazing, unique opportunity with limited space so be sure to sign up in advance!

4. Admire the Trevi Fountain

The 18th-century Trevi Fountain was built at the ending point of the aqueduct that supplied ancient Rome with water from the surrounding countryside. Designed by Roman architect Nicola Salvi and composed largely of stone from a quarry just 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the city, the Baroque fountain is a true emblem of Rome and has been featured in numerous films. It is always crowded, especially at night when couples come for a romantic picture. The best time to see this beautiful fountain is before breakfast when the crowds are thin. Tradition says that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, you’ll find your way back to Rome. (The thousands of euros thrown into the fountain each day are donated to charity).

5. Eat your way around Trastevere

Other things to see and do in rome, 1. take a free walking tour.

Walking tours are a wonderful way to learn about a city. I recommend Rome’s Ultimate Free Walking Tour or New Rome Free Tours. Their tours cover all the highlights and can introduce you to the city on a budget. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!

If you’re looking for a paid guided tour that goes above and beyond, check out Walks of Italy . They have expert guides and can get you behind the scenes at the city’s best attractions. They’re my go-to walking tour company!

2. See the churches

Rome has a ton of churches so don’t hesitate to wander into them as you pass by to take in the art, sculptures, decorations, and stained glass. The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, dating back to 440 CE, is one of the most impressive. It’s covered in 5th-century mosaics which display 36 scenes from the Old Testament. Other noteworthy churches include the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, one of the few Gothic churches in Rome and known for its deep blue vaulted ceiling; and San Giovanni in Laterano, the official cathedral of Rome which apparently is home to the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul.

3. Explore Ostia Antica

The ruins of the ancient Rome port of Ostia Antica are well worth a visit. About 2,000 years ago, this place was a bustling commercial center and home to 60,000 people. Now you can wander the ruins of the docks, apartments, mansions, baths, and warehouses. You should plan at least a half-day for this trip. Entry is 12 EUR. City Wonders runs half-day tours for around 58 EUR.

4. Tour the Pantheon

The Pantheon looks today much like it did nearly 2,000 years ago before it became a church (it was originally a Roman temple). Hadrian built it over Agrippa’s earlier temple, and it has been around since 125 CE. As soon as you walk through the heavy bronze doors and across the marble floors, you can look up and marvel at the largest unreinforced dome ever built. It’s by far one of the best-preserved buildings in the world, as its been in use continuously since its construction. Entry is free.

5. See the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, built in the 1720s, are a long and grand staircase in Rome with the Piazza di Spagna at its base and Trinità dei Monti looming at the top. While the Spanish Steps were once a social hub on which you could hang out and people watch, sitting on the steps is no longer allowed. This is part of new preservation measures enacted in 2019, intended to ensure that the monument will be around for generations to come. While you can’t linger on the steps, visiting this iconic sight is a must, and you can still climb them to get to the top.

6. Check out the art museums

If you enjoy art museums, Rome will not disappoint. There are a ton of great ones here, several of which are some of the highest-ranking in the world. The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna is a good starting point as it is home to several Italian masterpieces. The Galleria Borghese is also excellent as it boasts a garden villa filled with Bernini sculptures and artwork from Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and other masters. Cardinal Scipione Borghese originally commissioned this collection. For something different, check out MAXXI, Rome’s first national museum devoted entirely to contemporary art.

7. Partake in La Settimana dei Beni Culturali

This is a 10-day event that occurs every May. During this cultural heritage week, all governmentally owned and operated landmarks, museums, and archeological sites offer free admission. There aren’t any other deals better than this! Be forewarned, these sites get really crowded so arrive early.

8. See a show

Aside from beautiful auditorium complexes, Rome often hosts world-class operas and concerts performed by international musicians. The Olympic Stadium is a hotspot for summer concerts and the Auditorium in Viale Pietro de Coubertin and at Parco della Musica holds events year-round. Ticket prices vary but expect to pay at least 25 EUR.

9. Visit Castel Sant’Angelo

This structure was built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian at the end of the 1st-century. During the course of history, it has also served as a papal residence and a prison. As you may know from The Da Vinci Code , there’s a passageway here that runs into the Vatican. It was designed as an escape passage for the Pope in case of an emergency, and it was actually used in 1527 by Pope Clement VII. You can visit the castle and look around the exhibits; there are seven levels in total. The Terrace of the Angel has some amazing city views. Admission is 14 EUR while Get Your Guide offers reserved tickets for 23 EUR.

10. Explore the Catacombs

Rome has three major sets of catacombs that are open to the public – the Catacombs of Praetextatus, the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, and the Catacombs of San Callisto. Some of the underground crypts are adorned with sculptures and frescoes. San Callisto is the most popular, with a labyrinth of galleries extending about 19 kilometers (12 miles) long and 20 meters deep. Admission to each catacomb is 8 EUR.

11. Take a cooking class

If you’re a foodie, taking a cooking class in Rome is a must. I like Walks of Italy as they offer some my favorite cooking classes, including a pasta making class. Their classes are around 3 hours each and are super insightful. You’ll not only have fun but you’ll learn a lot too. Prices vary but expect to spend around 50-90 EUR. Eat and Walk Italy runs tours for around 60 EUR.

12. See the Roman Appian Way

This ancient road connects Rome all the way to Brindisi. It was finished in 312 BCE and it’s so well preserved you can see the ruts in the stones left by chariots. There are lots of interesting highlights along the way, including the Catacombs of San Callisto and a huge mausoleum for Cecilia Metell, a Roman noblewoman. A lot of people rent a bike to pedal the path, but I think walking is the best way to go. You’ll be following in the footsteps of the ancient Romans! If you’d prefer a tour, Walks of Italy runs an Ancient Rome walking tour that covers the Appian Way (as well as the Park of the Aqueducts below — and much more!).

13. Hang out in the Park of the Aqueducts

This large, green park is part of the Roman Appian Way and home to some of the ancient aqueducts that once carried millions of tons of water into the city from the mountains. Although the park is located on the outskirts of the city, it’s a really great place to go and just hang out with the locals. Pack a lunch and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the shade of some 2,000-year-old monuments.

14. Visit Piazza Navona

This is one of the most beautiful public spaces in Rome. It’s home to Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, with its stunning statues representing the great rivers of the world. The entire oval-shaped piazza is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, shops, and the Museo di Roma. Nearby, you’ll find Via della Pace, one of the city’s most photogenic streets. Pull up a chair at a sidewalk cafe and take it all in.

15. Wander around Centro Storico

Spending an afternoon getting lost in the maze of cobblestone streets in Centro Storico is one of the best free things you can do in Rome. Wind your way through the narrow alleyways and streets, admire the churches filled with Baroque art, pause for a coffee, and do some shopping at the many boutiques.

16. Climb Gianicolo

Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill offers the best views over Rome. It’s a famous spot for young lovers and tourists and from here you can see some of the city’s best attractions, including Palazzo Venezia and the Spanish Steps. It’s beautiful at dusk, but if you come in during the day, prepare for the cannon firing at noon (it has been happening daily since 1904).

17. Take a food tour

To learn more about the history and culture behind Rome’s cuisine, take a food tour. It’s the best way to eat your way around the city sampling the best eats Rome has to offer while learning what makes the cuisine unique. Devour Tours runs in-depth food tours led by expert local guides that will introduce you to the food culture and its history. If you’re a foodie like me who wants to learn more about the history and culture behind each dish, this tour is for you! Tours from 69 EUR.

For more information on other cities in Italy, check out these guides:

  • Cinque Terre Travel Guide
  • Florence Travel Guide
  • Milan Travel Guide
  • Naples Travel Guide
  • Pisa Travel Guide
  • Sorrento Travel Guide
  • Venice Travel Guide

Rome Travel Costs

View over pastel colored buildings and terracotta rooftops in Rome, Italy

Hostel prices – For a bed in a dorm with 6-8 beds, expect to pay 33-49 EUR per night during peak season and 17-35 EUR off-peak. Private rooms go for 80-120 EUR per night during peak season and 55-75 EUR off-peak. Free Wi-Fi and self-catering facilities are standard and many hostels also include free breakfast.

Budget hotel prices – Two-star budget hotels start at 60-100 EUR per night. Prices are about 10-20 EUR cheaper per night in the off-season. Expect basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, TV, AC, and a coffee/tea maker. There are a number of bed and breakfasts that include breakfast in the room rate.

On Airbnb, you can find private rooms starting around 40-60 EUR per night and entire apartments for 80-125 EUR per night. Expect to pay double (or more) if you don’t book early.

Average cost of food – Italian cuisine is beloved around the world, though every region in Italy offers its own distinct flavor. Tomatoes, pasta, olives, and olive oil form the backbone of most meals, with meat and fish and various cheeses rounding out the menu. Gelato is a must also. You can find dishes from across the country in Rome, as well as tons of international fare; it’s the best foodie city in the country.

Most casual restaurant meals with wine cost around 15-20 EUR. In tourist hot spots, add another 10 EUR to that.

Quick eats like pizza, paninis, and sandwiches cost 4-8 EUR. Fast food (think McDonald’s) is around 8 EUR for a combo meal. Chinese takeout costs 5-10 EUR for a main dish.

If you want to splash out, a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant starts at 30 EUR.

Beer costs around 4-5 EUR while a glass of wine costs 3-5 EUR. For non-alcoholic drinks, a latte/cappuccino is around 1.50 EUR and bottled water is less than 1 EUR.

Most restaurants will also add a 2.50-3 EUR coperta (cover charge) to your bill. No way to get around it.

If you plan on cooking your own food, expect to spend around 55-65 EUR per week on groceries. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, seasonal produce, and some meat.

Backpacking Rome Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker’s budget in Rome, you’ll spend about 60 EUR per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel, cooking all of your meals, limiting your drinking, taking public transportation to get around, and doing mostly free activities like free walking tours and visiting free sights like the Parthenon and Spanish Steps. If you plan on drinking, add another 10 EUR to your daily budget.

On a mid-range budget of 160 EUR per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, eat out for most meals, enjoy a few drinks, take the occasional taxi to get around, and do more paid activities like touring the Colosseum and visiting the Vatican.

On a “luxury” budget of 275 EUR or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink as much as you want, take more taxis, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Rome Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

It’s easy to blow a lot of money in Rome as it’s one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cut your costs. Here are some of the best ways to save money in Rome:

  • Stay outside the center – If you are open to staying on the outskirts of Rome, you can save a lot of money on accommodation. Food outside of the city is much cheaper as well, and it’s easy to take the train to Rome for your sightseeing.
  • Eat cheap – When eating in Rome, opt for sandwich and pizza places as opposed to touristy restaurants. For really good, inexpensive food, visit Trastevere across the river.
  • Cook your own meals – If you’re on a tight budget, skip eating out and cook your own meals. If you have access to a kitchen, you’ll be able to save a fortune.
  • Get a tourist card – If you are going to see a lot of museums, consider buying one of Rome’s many budget cards such as the Roma Pass, the Omnia Card (for Rome and the Vatican), or the Colosseum Full Experience ticket (which grants access not only to the Colosseum but several other iconic sites). You pay one flat fee for all the attractions and can save a good amount of money in the process.
  • Pass on the bread – Some restaurants charge you extra for bread they leave on the table — but they won’t tell you about it until the bill arrives. Send it back if you don’t want to be tempted.
  • Drink the tap water – When eating out, ask for tap water or you will automatically get expensive bottled water included on your bill.
  • Buy your wine at supermarkets – You can buy a great bottle of wine for 6-10 EUR at the store. It’s much cheaper than the bar.
  • Stay with a local – Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds or couches for free. It’s the best way to save money while connecting with a local who can share their insider tips and advice.
  • Go on a free walking tour – This is a great way to learn the history behind the places you are seeing and get your bearings. Rome Free Walking Tour has a few tours that can show you what the city has to offer. Just don’t forget to tip your guide!
  • Get a transportation pass – A 24-hour transportation pass for the metro, bus, and trams is just 7 EUR. It’s the best way to get around the city on a budget.
  • Take advantage of free museums – On the first Sunday of the month, dozens of museums and galleries around the city have free entry, including the Colosseum, the Borghese, and the modern art museum (among many others). And on the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are free. Just expect crowds!
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe. You’ll find clean drinking fountains all over the city.

Where to Stay in Rome

Rome has tons of fun, affordable, and social hostels. My recommended places are:

  • YellowSquare
  • The Beehive
  • Palladini Hostel
  • Alessandro Palace Hostel and Bar

For more hostel suggestions, check out my list of the best hostels in Rome .

How to Get Around Rome

People cycling on the street in Rome, Italy

Public transportation – Rome has an extensive public transportation network consisting of buses, a subway (metro), trams, and trolleys.

The metro is the fastest way to get around the city. There are three lines and a single journey ticket that’s valid for 100 minutes is 1.50 EUR. You can pick up tickets from local tobacco shops, newsstands, and vending machines at the stations. You can also use contactless payment methods on the metro.

The bus can get you into the areas not covered by the metro system, but it’s a lot slower than the subway due to constant traffic jams. Tickets are 1.50 EUR.

You can purchase a one-day pass for unlimited travel for 7 EUR. A one-week pass costs 24 EUR.

If you’re going to be using the public transportation system a lot, the Roma Pass is your best bet as it includes free access to some museums, discounts on others, and unlimited public transportation. It’s 32 EUR for 48 hours and 53 EUR for 72 hours.

Taxis – Taxis are very expensive here so I don’t recommend taking them. The meter starts at 4 EUR and then goes up 1.20 EUR per kilometer. Avoid them at all costs!

Ridesharing – Uber is available in Rome and their prices are usually cheaper than taxis. That said, they’re still not super cheap so skip Uber too!

Bike rental – Bicycling around Rome may seem a little scary with the high volume of traffic (and the hills), but there are bike lanes around the city center that make it possible. Bike rentals start at 14-20 EUR per day.

When to Go to Rome

Peak season is during the summer, from June through August. You’ll be constantly competing for views at Rome’s main tourist attractions, but the weather is also fantastic during these months (although sometimes it’s unbearably hot and humid). Temperatures during this season average around 27°C (81°F), but in August, temperatures soar above 32°C (89°F) per day.

If visiting in the summer, wake up early to beat the heat and the crowds.

Personally, I recommend visiting during the shoulder season, which is from April-May and late September-October. It’s slightly less chaotic than the summer months, and the temperature is pleasant, hovering around 18°C (64°F). That said, post-COVID, tourism has grown so much that even those times of the year can still be pretty crowded.

Winter is from November to March. This is the off-season in Rome but the city is never quiet. Although there are fewer travelers around, you can still expect a bustle of activity everywhere you go. Temperatures during this time range from 4-15°C (39-59°F).

How to Stay Safe in Rome

Rome is a very safe place to backpack and travel — even if you’re traveling solo and even if you’re a solo female traveler. However, petty theft can be a problem here so keep your valuables secure and out of sight. Pickpockets are very active around Rome’s main attractions such as the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Square so stay vigilant.

It’s also not uncommon to get ripped off in this city. You should never buy tickets from unofficial ticket offices. If you are approached by someone selling skip-the-line tickets, ignore them. Also, always make sure your taxi driver is using the meter.

If you’re worried about getting scammed, you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

If you experience an emergency, dial 113 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Rome Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • Walks of Italy – This walking tour company provides inside access to attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock and they have some of the best and most insightful tours in all of Italy.
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Rome Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Italy and continue planning your trip:

The 6 Best Hotels in Florence

The 6 Best Hotels in Florence

Where to Stay in Florence: The Best Neighborhoods For Your Visit

Where to Stay in Florence: The Best Neighborhoods For Your Visit

Where to Stay in Milan: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Milan: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

The 6 Best Hotels in Milan

The 6 Best Hotels in Milan

The Best Walking Tours in Florence

The Best Walking Tours in Florence

The 8 Best Hotels in Rome

The 8 Best Hotels in Rome

Get my best stuff sent straight to you, pin it on pinterest.

  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs
  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes

How to Plan an Unforgettable Trip to Rome, According to Local Experts

Whether your tastes swing towards art and architecture, high-end shopping and dining, or browsing markets and munching on street food, it’s an exciting time to visit Rome.

Elizabeth Heath is a writer and editor living on a hill in Umbria, from where she writes about travel in Italy, the rest of Europe, and farther afield.

best travel guide for rome

Best Hotels and Resorts

Best things to do, best shopping, best nightlife, best restaurants, best time to visit, how to get there, how to get around.

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

For me, the Eternal City is eternally fabulous. No matter how crowded it gets, how dysfunctional its current government is, or how many bad pizzas there are in ratio to good ones, Rome remains. It’s persisted and resisted for more than 2,775 years, and even at this ripe old age, Rome is still evolving. 

It’s an exciting time to visit Rome, and even for people who live there, the flurry of post-pandemic activity in the travel sector has been dizzying. “Archaeological sites that have been fenced-off for years are now accessible to visitors, there’s a host of innovative new tour options, and I can barely keep up with the number of absolutely stunning luxury hotels that have opened ,” says Travel + Leisure contributor and Rome resident Laura Itzkowitz, who also writes about Rome in her newsletter, The New Roman Times . “It’s a delight to see so much investment in the city and so many new ways to experience it.” 

No matter how you decide to see the city or whether your tastes swing towards art and architecture, high-end shopping and dining, or browsing markets and munching on street food, Rome gives you options. We asked Itzkowitz and some other Rome travel experts to weigh in on their favorite places and experiences to recommend in eternal Rome.

Top 5 Can’t Miss

  • Swoon over the cityscape. Few things are as romantic as Rome at night from a vantage point like the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola or the Capitoline Hill.
  • See marble turn to flesh. At the Galleria Borghese, Bernini’s lifelike sculptures are a gazillion times more impressive than what you remember from art history class. 
  • Do the Full Monty of Italian dining. Bring your appetite and go big, with antipasto, pasta, main course, and dessert at a homey trat like Da Enzo da 29.  
  • Get up early. At least once during your stay, request an early wake-up call to discover a deserted city. ArcheoRoma can lead the way. 
  • Shop at a market. If you don’t buy produce, trinkets, or street food at a real Roman market like Testaccio or Campo de’ Fiore, have you been to Rome? 

Courtesy of Bettoja Hotels

Palazzo Vilòn

If there’s one thing our experts agree on, it’s that Palazzo Vilòn luxury apartment is the most sumptuous new address in Rome. Nicole Bono, luxury travel and events planner with Bono Events International says, “When they open the doors for you, your jaw will drop.” Gary Portuesi, a T+L Top Travel Advisor with Authentic Explorations , says that at Vilòn, “you get to live like a Roman aristocrat in an intimate palazzo in the best neighborhood.”

Singer Palace

“I'm in love with the Singer Palace these days,” says Bono of this 19th-century beauty in the former Singer sewing machine headquarters. “It's family-owned, and that is felt with every single detail in this property. You're truly cuddled from the moment you walk in the door till your last Spritz before you leave.”

Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel

T+L readers’ favorite hotel in Rome is also a hit with Portuesi, who raves about its “with its unique and secluded Mediterranean tiered secret garden walking distance from the Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi and Piazza del Popolo.” The hotel’s Stravinskij Bar remains one of Rome’s most elegant locales for a cocktail.  

Hotel Mediterraneo

Every time I exit Termini Station, I sigh with comfort at the sight of this trusty four-star in a fascist-era Art Deco building. Stepping through the doors feels like stepping back in time, in a good way, with old-school service, a delightful lobby bar, and humongous suites, some with skyline views of Rome.

Christopher Larson/Travel + Leisure

Basilica di San Clemente

For a real sense of how Rome’s history is layered like a lasagna, head to this church near the Colosseum — or rather, underneath it. An atmospheric archaeological area beneath the not-too-shabby 12th-century church holds an even earlier Christian church, which lies on top of a pagan altar and an ancient Roman apartment building.  

ArcheoRunning

If you’re a runner, join archaeologist, guide, and running enthusiast Isabella Calidonna on an early morning jogging tour through Rome's truly magical empty streets. (Trust me, it’s okay if you run slowly.) If you’re not a runner, don’t sweat it — she’ll be happy to do the same informative tour at a walking pace. 

Via del Governo Vecchio

Spend a late afternoon vintage shopping on my favorite street in Rome , then stick around for an aperitivo, followed by pizza and gelato. If that trifecta of Roman drinking and eating isn’t enough, this splendid street near Piazza Navona has a buzzy but manageable bar-hopping scene. 

Largo Argentina

Want to stand at the very site (or very near it, anyway) where Julius Caesar lost his life? Long visible only from street level and best known as a cat sanctuary among picturesque ruins, the archaeological area at Largo Argentina site is now open to the public, thanks to funding from Bulgari . The Curia of Pompeo, where Caesar got shivved, stands near the ruins of four ancient temples.

Galleria Borghese

Reserve your tickets in advance and prepare to be overwhelmed by the beauty here, both of the ornate salons of this noble palace turned art museum, and the amazing works inside, including Bernini’s spellbinding "Rape of Proserpine" and several Caravaggio paintings.

Testaccio Market

This sprawling covered market in the working-class Testaccio neighborhood offers an authentic slice of Roman daily life. Even if you’re not shopping for clothing, produce or fresh fish, stop for some of Rome’s best street food, especially a suppli at Food Box or a drippy panino at Modri e Vai. 

Itzkowitz is a fan of this artisan jeweler in Monti and even had owner Antonio design a pair of custom earrings for her wedding. If you don’t have time for a made-to-order bauble, the shop has many original designs, many of which feature colorful gemstones.

Essenzialmente Laura

For a real only-in-Rome gift or souvenir, Portuesi refers friends and clients to the perfumery of Laura Bosetti Tonatto, who’s made custom scents for celebrities, royals, and aristocrats, including Queen Elizabeth II. “You can create your own perfect perfume or find the scent you love,” he says. 

La Bottega del Marmoraro

It’s hard to imagine a store like this anywhere else — a tiny workshop on pretty Via Margutta where stone carver Sandro Fiorentino tinks away at marble plaques by hand. “I love to bring out-of-town visitors here,” says Itzkowitz. “Prices start at around 15 euros, which means you can find an affordable, handmade souvenir.”

Courtesy of Hassler Hotel

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola

Some of the best things in Rome are free, including the views from this monumental fountain high on the Janiculum hill. It’s one of T+L’s top underrated things to do in Rome . Fans of the Oscar-winning film “Rome, the Great Beauty” will recognize this majestic spot.

This classy bar offers great cocktails and light bites with a sublime view. “A table there in the stunning Piazza di Pietra,” says Bono, “with the incredible Roman columns all lit up is truly magical, and it feels like it's just there for you."

Hassler Hotel 7th Floor Terrace

The recipe for an unforgettable Roman evening: Start with panoramic city views from atop the Spanish Steps, stir in a specialty cocktail, garnish with some elevated aperitivo fare, and drink it all in at one of our favorite family-run hotels in Italy and one of the absolute best in Rome.

Da Enzo da 29

Despite its near-legendary status and the long lines for a table (Enzo doesn’t take reservations), Itzkowitz says a meal here is “worth the wait and lives up to the hype — every time.” She’s a fan of the handmade tonarelli cacio e pepe but says that the food here is consistently good across the menu. 

Trattoria Da Cesare Al Pellegrino

This new-in-2023 sister property of a neighborhood favorite in residential Monteverde brings hearty, traditional Roman pasta and meat dishes to the centro storico. “Run, don't walk,” says Bono, “because this city location is super charming, and tourists haven't found it yet.”

Pro Loco Pinciano

Portuesi says you’ll feel like a local at this super-casual pizza and pasta joint just outside the city walls, where the emphasis is on ingredients and wines sourced from the surrounding region on Lazio. Charcuterie platters are delicious and abundant here. 

L'Antica Pesa

Regularly named one of the best restaurants in Rome, this Trastevere culinary landmark is, per Portuesi, “a standard and consistent classic” and worth crossing the river for. Head here for a special dinner or when you’re ready to go big (before going home, maybe?) and order an appetizer, pasta (primo), meat, and dessert for the full Italian dining experience.

You’ve heard all the warnings about visiting in high summer, but if that’s the only time you have to visit, Itzkowitz says to do as the Romans do: rest in your cool hotel room in the afternoon and venture out again in the early evening. Bono agrees that summer can be...sticky but adds, “Those summer sunsets on a rooftop with an Aperol spritz certainly make for that 'Dolce Vita moment' we all crave.”

Portuesi recommends November, as it’s still relatively warm and the crowds have thinned out; January, when sale season starts; or April and October. “Tourists might still be there, but the colors of spring and autumn are amazing, and temperatures are on the warm side.” I love visiting in January or February when the crowds are much more manageable, and if you’re lucky, you can catch some lovely, crisp, sunny days.

Most visitors fly into Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino Airport (FCO). From there, you can take a 30-minute non-stop train to Termini, the central station, and take a taxi, Metro, bus, or tram to your accommodation. A cab from FCO to anywhere inside the Aurelian Walls costs 50 euros. Ride-sharing services other than Uber Black are not available in Rome. 

Rome’s historic center is primarily flat and highly walkable. Many visitors take the Metro to reach the Vatican Museums, then walk back into the city from there (or take a cab from St. Peter’s Square). 

Buses and Metro, both run by ATAC , are also reliable ways to get around, though depending on the distance, walking may be faster. Note that taxis in Rome cannot be hailed on the street. Instead, they wait at taxi stands or ranks generally located near tourist areas. 

I strongly recommend against renting a car in Rome, as traffic and parking are a mess and the centro is a maze of one-way streets, many of which are pedestrian-only. If you pick up a car in Rome for a more extended tour in Italy, make sure you have your route mapped out in advance — and nerves of steel. 

Related Articles

Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

The best things in life are free.

Sign up for our email to enjoy your city without spending a thing (as well as some options when you’re feeling flush).

Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

Love the mag?

Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. Sign up to unlock our digital magazines and also receive the latest news, events, offers and partner promotions.

  • Things to do
  • Restaurants
  • Los Angeles

Get us in your inbox

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Rome

20 travel tips every first-time Rome visitor should follow

Whether you are a Roman novice or expert, these travel trips for Rome should be followed at all times

Livia Hengel

Don’t get us wrong, Rome is a very friendly place. But it’s not always the easiest to navigate. And unless you want to find yourself waiting for a coffee for three hours or queueing for the Vatican for three hours, there are some things you should know before you go.

And don’t panic. Our local writer Livia Hengel has the inside scoop on every rule, custom and hack for the big city. If you want to absolutely smash a weekend in Rome, read this list (and read it before you go. Trust us). Here is every travel tip you’ll need to do Rome as the Romans do. 

RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Rome  🍝 The best restaurants in Rome 🏛️ Unmissable attractions in Rome 🛍️ Where to go shopping in Rome 🏨 The best hotels in Rome

Livia Hengel is a writer based in Rome. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines . 

An email you’ll actually love

Travel tips for visiting Rome

Don’t order a cappuccino after noon

1.  Don’t order a cappuccino after noon

You may or may not have seen this one crop up on TikTok from time to time. But basically, don’t you dare order a cappuccino after noon. Cappuccinos are thought of as heavy drinks more suitable for breakfast, and paired with a cornetto. If you’re craving one in the afternoon, order a caffè macchiato instead. 

…But gelato is acceptable any time, any season

2.  …But gelato is acceptable any time, any season

Great news for gelato lovers. You can order one of these bad boys anywhere, anytime. Before lunch, after lunch, whatever you desire. The gelato world is your oyster in Rome, and their flavours change seasonally, so you’ll never get bored. Think ciccolato fondente (dark chocolate), pistacchio and mandorla (almonds). Delicious. 

Buy Vatican tickets online to skip the line

3.  Buy Vatican tickets online to skip the line

Housing one of the world’s greatest collections, the Vatican Museums are one of Italy’s most popular attractions, visited by over 5 million people annually. Though you’ll inevitably face a crowd, you can skip the long lines by purchasing your museum tickets on the Vatican website. The extra Euros for booking online are well worth the time you’ll save by not waiting in line.

Free museums on first Sundays

4.  Free museums on first Sundays

Rome’s state-owned museums, galleries, archaeological sites, parks and gardens are free on the first Sunday of each month, so be sure to drop by and soak in some art if you’re in town these days. Lines quickly form outside the main attractions, so plan to show up early or visit a lesser-known destination (warning: you’ll still need to pay a fee to browse through special exhibitions).

Note museum closures

5.  Note museum closures

Many of Rome’s city and state-owned museums, like Galleria Borghese and Palazzo Barberini, are closed on Mondays, so plan your schedule accordingly. The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays instead, so they’re very crowded on Saturdays and Mondays; if you can, try to visit Tuesday through Friday.

Order coffee at the bar

6.  Order coffee at the bar

Have you guessed the Italians are quite particular about their coffee yet? Coffee etiquette actually makes up a fair few of the biggest culinary crimes you can commit in the capital.  You might notice people in Rome tend to order an espresso and drink it standing up, before even leaving the bar. That’s the way things are done. Italians don’t order coffee from the table and have it brought to them, and in fact, that’ll likely slap you with service charge and almost double your bill. Do as the Romans do, and neck that espresso before you go anywhere. 

Buy bus tickets ahead of time

7.  Buy bus tickets ahead of time

Rome’s public transportation leaves much to be desired, but if you need to take a bus in the city centre, stock up on bus tickets ahead of time because you can’t buy them on the bus. You can buy tickets at any  tabaccheria  in the city, little convenient shops that are designated with a large T. Tickets are €1.50 each, or opt for a 24-hour, 48-hour or weekly ticket for a discounted price. Tickets are valid for all forms of public transportation in Rome (bus, metro, tram and local train).

Take your bus ticket straight to the beach

8.  Take your bus ticket straight to the beach

Speaking of public transportation, your €1.50 ticket is also valid on the local commuter trains in Rome, including a line that goes straight to the beach. You can catch a train at the Piramide Metro Station that will take you directly to Ostia Lido, Rome’s local beach. Although it’s not the most glamorous beach near Rome, Ostia is perfect for an inexpensive day trip, with some sunshine and fresh seafood.

Dress modestly in church

9.  Dress modestly in church

Rome has over 900 churches that house some of the city’s most beautiful works of art, so don’t miss stepping inside to marvel at their treasures, whether you’re devout or not. Just be sure to dress appropriately to enter these holy spaces: women’s shoulders should be covered, and skirts should hit at or below the knee, while men should wear pants or shorts that extend to the knees. Linen pants are a great option for the summer, and a scarf is a perfect last-minute cover-up if you’re wearing a tank top.

Watch your bags

10.  Watch your bags

Always be mindful of your bags on public transportation and around key tourist attractions. The city is safe, but petty crime is rampant, especially on crowded buses and metros. Thieves in Rome are stealthy, so always keep your bags zipped and held in front of you; wallets should ideally be tucked in your inner jacket pockets. Some thieves also snatch bags, so keep them in close reach at all times.

[image] [title]

Discover Time Out original video

  • Press office
  • Investor relations
  • Work for Time Out
  • Editorial guidelines
  • Privacy notice
  • Do not sell my information
  • Cookie policy
  • Accessibility statement
  • Terms of use
  • Modern slavery statement
  • Manage cookies
  • Advertising
  • Time Out Market

Time Out products

  • Time Out Worldwide
  • Android app

Rome   Travel Guide

Courtesy of joe daniel price | Getty Images

best travel guide for rome

24 Best Things to Do in Rome

Take time to enjoy  la dolce vita  – even a week isn't long enough to experience everything Rome has to offer. From historic tours through ancient Rome to admiring art-filled institutions to climbing the Spanish Steps or  St. Peter's Basilica ,

  • All Things To Do
  • 1-Day Itinerary
  • 2-Day Itinerary
  • 3-Day Itinerary

best travel guide for rome

Colosseum (Colosseo) Colosseum (Colosseo)

U.S. News Insider Tip: A normal ticket includes the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (valid for 24 hours) and you can visit all three in one day. It doesn't include a visit to the Colosseum's underground tunnels. For that, you'll have to book a guided tour. – Laura Itzkowitz

The site of many bloody gladiatorial fights, the Colosseum, which was opened in A.D. 80, could then hold about 50,000 spectators. With a circumference of 573 yards and sitting on marshland, experts say the Colosseum is an engineering wonder… not to mention an animal and human rights atrocity. Not only were gladiators pitted against each other, but gladiators fighting animals and animal-on-animal fights were common as well. Today, it's considered one of the world's most famous landmarks .

best travel guide for rome

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

U.S. News Insider Tip: The Vatican Museums contain some of the greatest artworks ever made, but it's also one of Rome's most crowded spots. Consider paying a bit extra to join an early morning tour before the museum opens or check for late opening hours. – Laura Itzkowitz

While Vatican City is home to both the Roman Catholic Church's governing body and its leader, the pope, this small nation within Rome offers a wealth of attractions open to visitors of any faith.

best travel guide for rome

St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) free

The epicenter of Roman Catholicism, St. Peter's Basilica is centered in Vatican City and is renowned for its stunning architecture. What's more, it's open daily for free. (Though it's closed on Wednesday mornings for pope appearances.) Many visitors enjoy trekking to the top of the dome. For a fee of 8 euros (about $8.65), you can climb the 551 steps to the summit; for a fee of 10 euros (about $10.80), you can take an elevator to a terrace where you'll climb just 320. Regardless, you'll take in a panorama of Rome's spectacular landscape. If you've come hoping to catch a glimpse of the pope, you should consider attending the Wednesday General Audience, when he addresses the crowd in St. Peter's Square with prayers and songs. It's free to attend, but tickets are required ; you should request them well in advance of your visit. You'll also want to make sure he is in residence; check the Vatican website to view the schedule. No ticket is required to see the pope on Sundays, when he usually address the crowd in St. Peter's Square at noon.

Keep in mind that this is an active church with daily Mass services. Likewise, a stringent dress code is enforced: No short skirts, low-cut tops, hats or bare shoulders, and be sure to cover any tattoos. Because St. Peter's Basilica is one of the area's major attractions, there is almost always a long queue – though it tends to go fast. Recent travelers recommend you spring for a tour guide ; the depth of insight they bring to the basilica really makes the experience. For more information on tours, read our tips for visiting the Vatican and its attractions.

best travel guide for rome

Popular Tours

Skip-the-Line Group Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Skip-the-Line Group Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

(6484 reviews)

from $ 54.23

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour

(32415 reviews)

from $ 109.56

Departure by MiniVan from Rome City to Rome Fiumicino airport FCO

Departure by MiniVan from Rome City to Rome Fiumicino airport FCO

(8 reviews)

from $ 69.23

best travel guide for rome

Roman Forum Roman Forum

Though it's not as popular as the  Colosseum  (but located nearby), the Roman Forum is more interesting, according to some reviewers. The Roman Forum comprises much of the Ancient Rome's most important structures, from shrines to government houses to monuments. Although much of the complex is in ruins, you can see the remains and imagine the former glory of the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus and the House of the Vestal Virgins, among other structures.

Recent travelers called a visit to the Roman Forum a "must," but they do advise future visitors to rent or stream an audio guide or sign up for one of the best Rome tours (according to reviewers, little is written on the informational plaques). Past visitors also suggest allotting plenty of time to see the ruins and wearing weather-appropriate attire as there is little to no shade at the site.  

best travel guide for rome

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) free

A must-see on many travelers' itineraries, the Trevi Fountain is situated amongst a high concentration of hotels , shopping and nightlife in the Trevi district. Finished in the mid-1700s, the Trevi is a powerful example of a baroque design with a distinctly mythological character. The god of the sea, Oceanus, emerges from the pool, flanked by his trusty Tritons. 

According to Roman lore, throwing one, two or three coins into the Trevi, with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you'll return to Rome; you'll fall in love with an attractive Roman; and you'll marry that same Roman. An added bonus? The city collets the money tossed into the fountain and donates it to a local charity.

best travel guide for rome

Pantheon Pantheon

U.S. News Insider Tip: After visiting the Pantheon, stop for an espresso at the historic Tazza d'Oro Caffè or walk a few blocks to the old-school gelateria, Giolitti, for a cone of the good stuff. – Laura Itzkowitz

The Pantheon, a former Roman temple and now a present-day church, is known for its perfect proportions, which is amazing, seeing as it was raised in A.D. 120. While you're there, you can also pay your respects to Raphael, as well as Italian kings Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, who are all buried there.

best travel guide for rome

Piazza Navona Piazza Navona free

U.S. News Insider Tip: To enjoy a coffee or Aperol spritz on the piazza, grab a table at Camillo, but if you want to eat, it's best to avoid the tourist trap restaurants on the piazza and explore the side streets instead. – Laura Itzkowitz

The centuries-old Piazza Navona is perhaps one of the best-known public squares in Rome. People sipping coffees while watching street performers and artists fill the square. Cafes abound, and there are a number of shops, too, although recent visitors said both tend to be expensive. You'll also find a number of impressive monuments, including one by Gian Lorenzo Bernini ( Fountain of the Four Rivers ) and another by Francesco Borromini (Sant'Agnese in Agone). 

best travel guide for rome

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi free

Much like Piazza del Popolo , Piazza Navona 's centerpiece features an obelisk. However, in this case, the obelisk is surrounded by one of Bernini's masterpieces: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. The four figures at each corner of the statue are a personification of the four rivers best known to Europe in the 1600s. The rivers are the Ganges (Asia), the Danube (Europe), the Nile (Africa) and Río de la Plata (Americas). Animals, plants and other iconography help to further differentiate the four nudes.

Travelers invariably have high praise for the fountain's artistry, saying that it is a must-see.

best travel guide for rome

Arrival by Luxury Van from Fiumicino airport FCO to Rome City

(7 reviews)

from $ 71.26

Rome: Colosseum with Arena and Ancient Rome Tour

Rome: Colosseum with Arena and Ancient Rome Tour

(3527 reviews)

from $ 55.22

Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Guided Tour

Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Guided Tour

(4448 reviews)

from $ 59.76

best travel guide for rome

Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) free

U.S. News Insider Tip: During the era of the Grand Tour, the area around the Spanish Steps earned the nickname of the English Ghetto. Immerse yourself in the area's English past with a visit to the Keats-Shelley House or afternoon tea at Babington's. – Laura Itzkowitz

Found at the Piazza di Spagna, the Spanish Steps (which get their name from the nearby Embassy of Spain among the Holy See) are another must-do for many travelers. Here, visitors can tread the same stairs that writers and artists have climbed for centuries. The steps are especially alluring come spring when they're flanked by blooming azaleas.

best travel guide for rome

Piazza del Popolo Piazza del Popolo free

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you want to do some people-watching on the piazza, skip the expensive and overrated Rosati and go to Canova across the piazza instead. It was frequented by famed filmmaker Federico Fellini, whose drawings decorate the halls inside. – Laura Itzkowitz

Piazza del Popolo is yet another Roman square where you can take in phenomenal architecture and magnificent sculpture. The square dates back to the mid-1500s and is the historic center of Rome. In fact, three major roads intersect here: Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso and Via del Babuino.

best travel guide for rome

Galleria Borghese Galleria Borghese

U.S. News Insider Tip: Don't forget to purchase your timed ticket in advance. Afterward, spend some time strolling through the Villa Borghese park, which has attractions like a little lake, a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and a few small museums. – Laura Itzkowitz

A favorite among travelers to Rome, the Galleria Borghese is half-villa/half-museum, and it has some resplendent gardens, too. Originally commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 17th century to shelter his massive art collection, it's now considered one of the premier art galleries in the city. The villa's extravagant rooms, spread across two floors, are filled with famous works, including Canova's Venus Victrix, Bernini's sculptures David and Apollo and Daphne, and Caravaggio's "Boy with a Basket of Fruit" and "David with the Head of Goliath," among other masterpieces.

best travel guide for rome

Campo de' Fiori Campo de' Fiori free

The Campo de' Fiori is worth visiting twice in a trip – once during the day for its bustling market, and again as the sun sets for its convivial nightlife. According to historians, the Campo de' Fiori looks much the same as it did in the early 1800s, except for the numerous pizzerias, cafes and gelaterias that line the periphery.

Recent travelers raved about the people-watching throughout the day; the fresh veggies and fruits at the market and the hopping bar scene at night. Some warned that the market is overrun with tourists and not the most authentic market experience in Rome. Even if you don't plan on eating or buying anything within the area, the architecture alone may be enough of a draw, as it was for some.

best travel guide for rome

Church of St. Louis of the French Church of St. Louis of the French free

If you're a fan of Caravaggio, you'll want to visit the San Luigi dei Francesi, or the Church of St. Louis of the French. Inside this church near  Piazza Navona are three of the baroque artist's works, including the "The Calling of St. Matthew" (one of his most famous paintings), "Saint Matthew and the Angel" and "The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew."

Recent visitors recommend stopping in the church, especially if want to get a glimpse of some of Caravaggio's most famous works. Several reviewers recommended reading up on the works before visiting as there is no information within the church. However, you can access a prerecorded audio tour by downloading it to your smartphone from a QR code available on-site.

best travel guide for rome

Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel with St. Peter's Basilica Tour

(2415 reviews)

from $ 49.80

Skip the Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Basilica & Papal Tomb Tour

Skip the Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Basilica & Papal Tomb Tour

(3138 reviews)

Colosseum & Ancient Rome Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Colosseum & Ancient Rome Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

(20185 reviews)

from $ 65.29

best travel guide for rome

Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini)

The  Musei Capitolini  (Capitoline Museums) dates back to the 1400s, and it holds Rome's symbol, the bronze Capitoline She-wolf. According to lore, the wolf nursed the half-wolf, half-god founders of the city, twins Romulus and Remus. Its namesake museum contains busts of Roman emperors, statues – including a famous one of Marcus Aurelius – and paintings by Caravaggio and Battista, among others. It also offers spectacular views of the Roman Forum .

Several travelers mention that though the Capitoline Museums wasn't high on their list of things to do or see, they're very happy they did see it. Reviewers also urge visitors to look up at the magnificent ceilings. Some note that the museum has a bit of an odd layout with little information about the paintings. Others say the staff can be rude.

best travel guide for rome

Trastevere Trastevere free

If you want a look at the real Rome, experts and travelers strongly recommend you visit Trastevere. Located southeast of Vatican City, this neighborhood is home to the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, as well as numerous restaurants and neighborhood shops (it's often compared to New York City 's Greenwich Village or Paris 's Left Bank thanks to its charming cobblestone streets and narrow roads). 

Although a little farther from the city center, Trastevere is a hit with visitors who appreciated the distance, noting that after so many days weaving through crowds and getting stuck in tourist traps, it's nice to explore a quieter neighborhood (with cheaper, more authentic food). Travelers also said they felt like they experienced a genuine look into life as a Roman after having visited Trastevere.

best travel guide for rome

Santa Maria della Vittoria Santa Maria della Vittoria free

This featured chapel from Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" is now heavily trafficked by Robert Langdon wannabes. But baroque art fans might want to brave the crowds for a look at Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Cornaro Chapel, which features the Ecstasy of St. Teresa statue.

Recent visitors can't stop gushing about Santa Maria della Vittoria. Many said the church is nothing short of stunning, noting that the detail of Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is truly incredible. However, travelers also noted that the church is relatively small compared to some of the city's other masterpieces, so prepare for a tight space during peak tourist season (summer). Others warn of odd opening times.

best travel guide for rome

Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo

The Castel Sant'Angelo has had many purposes over its lifetime. Originally built as a mausoleum for Roman emperor Hadrian, the castle has also been a place of protection for popes during invasions, papal residences, military barracks and a prison. Today, it's a museum showcasing not only the site's military history but also incredible frescoes (which were added to the building when the castle became a residence).

For many visitors, admiring the frescoes and learning the history of the site made for a pleasant stop. However, the top draw for many are the views. The top floor terrace (Terrace of the Angel) provides outstanding vistas of Rome.

best travel guide for rome

Basilica di San Clemente Basilica di San Clemente free

Archaeology buffs might find the Basilica di San Clemente interesting as it's a veritable nesting doll of churches. It's a second century pagan temple, underneath a fourth-century church, which is underneath a 12th-century church. Enter the 12th-century church from the street level, take stairs down to the fourth-century one and finally end up at a shrine for Mithras, the god whom was known to gain popularity in the second and third centuries. The oldest structure is believed to have been an ancient mint.

Travelers are fascinated by the story of the church and recommend visiting for the history lesson that it provides. Past travelers also said you should ignore the panhandlers who linger around the church, as some pretend to be affiliated with the church and tell visitors they can't enter unless they give a donation. The church is free to enter, but there is a fee to go down to the lower levels, which people say is worth the cost. To visit the lower levels, you'll pay 10 euros (about $11) for adults and 5 euros (about $5) for students up to age 26. Children younger than 16 explore for free.

best travel guide for rome

Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum Guided Tour

(2525 reviews)

from $ 66.39

Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano Day Trip from Rome

Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano Day Trip from Rome

(2913 reviews)

from $ 126.16

Colosseum Arena Floor & Ancient Rome | Semi Private Max 6 People

Colosseum Arena Floor & Ancient Rome | Semi Private Max 6 People

(779 reviews)

from $ 137.23

best travel guide for rome

Ancient Appian Way Ancient Appian Way free

The Ancient Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) has a history that dates back to 312 B.C. and includes the site of Spartacus' execution (in 71 B.C.), the tomb of Caecilia Metella, and many a Roman military march. These days, it stretches for 38.5 miles, though several monuments and historic sites are centered around an approximately 2-mile stretch along Parco dell'Appia Antica. The park sits roughly 2 miles south of the Colosseum . 

Recent visitors said the Appian Way is worth the long trek. Some even recommend hiring a tour guide to tag along with you, as even the smallest details along the walk provide a lot of insight into days past. Many agreed that visitors should come prepared with good walking shoes and water. Other advised visiting during the day as some areas can be seedy at night. 

best travel guide for rome

Colle del Gianicolo Colle del Gianicolo free

To the west of the Tiber River (near another top attraction,  Trastevere ), Colle del Gianicolo, or the Janiculum Hill, is just waiting to be climbed. Although a hike, the site provides unobstructed, panoramic views of the Eternal City. Once at the top, visitors will be able to spot some of Rome's most famous buildings, including  St. Peter's Basilica  and the Altare della Patria. Interestingly, since it sits outside the ancient city, it's not considered one of the seven hills of Rome. Along with the spectacular views, you'll also spot a few monuments, including the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, or Il Fontanone, which was originally built in the early 1600s.

Travelers report being impressed by the views of Janiculum Hill, with many recommending a visit at sunrise or sunset for a truly breathtaking experience. Though many don't consider it a "must-see," especially for first-time visitors, reviewers did concede that a trek here offers a nice respite from the city's crowded tourist spots.

best travel guide for rome

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Rome is full of aristocratic palaces whose splendors are hidden behind closed doors. One such place is the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj right on the bustling Via del Corso. Enter and you'll find yourself in a quiet courtyard that feels a world away from the crowds. Upstairs, spend some time marveling at the hall of mirrors, which looks like a smaller version of the one at Versailles , with gold-framed Venetian mirrors, antique statues and chandeliers. The palazzo dates all the way back to the 16th century and the gallery that encircles the courtyard was renovated in the 18th century, with the paintings that form the family's private art collection still displayed as they were in the 1700s. Among them are paintings by Raphael and Caravaggio. In the Velázquez Cabinet at the end of one of the halls is a marble bust of Pope Innocent X by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and a portrait of the pope by Velázquez.

For a few extra euros, you can also visit the "secret apartment," which is supposedly still used sometimes by the princess. Inside it, you'll see the family's furniture and personal objects, like a desk with writing implements, hairbrushes and beds. It's far more intimate than the typical museum experience and might just make you feel like you've stepped into a scene from the Oscar-winning film "La Grande Bellezza," director Paolo Sorrentino's modern-day take on "La Dolce Vita."

best travel guide for rome

Jewish Ghetto Jewish Ghetto free

Sandwiched between the Tiber River and Campo de' Fiori is a neighborhood that was historically home to Rome's Jewish population, the oldest Jewish community in Europe. A papal edict in 1555 created the ghetto, which was walled off from the rest of the city until 1888. It also established laws about what professions Jews could and couldn't hold. To learn more about the neighborhood, you should visit the Jewish Museum of Rome attached to the Great Synagogue, which displays religious artifacts and explains the area's history in a series of panels. A guided tour of the Great Synagogue is included in the museum's admission price and is the only way to see the ornately decorated synagogue without attending religious services.

Recent visitors praised the beautiful synagogue and said the neighborhood is a "hidden gem" in Rome. Travelers say the neighborhood is worth a few hours of your time.

best travel guide for rome

Mercato di Testaccio Mercato di Testaccio free

For a less touristy alternative to the market at Campo de' Fiori , venture beyond the historic center to the Mercato di Testaccio. The large covered market is filled with stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, where Romans do their daily shopping. It's also home to a handful of stalls where you can purchase prepared food, like sandwiches and pizza. Take a number and wait your turn for delicious pizza al taglio at Casa Manco. Ask for a few small slices so you can try more than one topping.

For sandwiches, the place to go is Mordi e Vai, a hole-in-the-wall stall serving sandwiches made with the offcuts that form the backbone of Roman cuisine. Indeed, the quinto quarto tradition of Roman cooking was born in right here in Testaccio. The neighborhood was once home to the city's slaughterhouse and the working-class families who lived here created recipes using the less prized cuts of meat, including the organs, that were cheaper. Many restaurants in the neighborhood are known for this type of cooking, with signature dishes like trippa alla romana (Roman-style tripe with tomato sauce, pecorino and mint) and coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew). If you're not into that kind of stuff, Mordi e Vai always has a vegetarian option available.

best travel guide for rome

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel with St. Peter's Basilica Access

(4025 reviews)

Self Guided Tour Colosseum Skip the Line Ticket

Self Guided Tour Colosseum Skip the Line Ticket

(2151 reviews)

from $ 20.92

Expert Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground OR Arena and Forum

Expert Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground OR Arena and Forum

(3906 reviews)

from $ 43.16

best travel guide for rome

MAXXI MAXXI

If you've had enough of ancient and Baroque art, consider visiting one of Rome's modern and contemporary art museums. MAXXI – an acronym for the National Museum of 21st Century Art – is located in the residential Flaminio neighborhood north of Piazza del Popolo and was designed by the late Iraqi-British starchitect Zaha Hadid. The building itself is a masterpiece of modern architecture, with dramatic sweeping lines, steel staircases that seem to float in the air, and galleries with glass ceilings. The collection comprises more than 400 works of art by Italian and international artists, including Andy Warhol, Francesco Clemente and Gerhard Richter, as well as a collection of material related to architecture. It ranges from photography and film to art installations and performance art.

Before you go, check to see what's on display. Past exhibitions have featured Bob Dylan's videos, the work of Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, and the architecture of Lina Bo Bardi, a midcentury modern trailblazer and one of the few female architects working at that time. MAXXI has also hosted special off-site exhibitions and events, including guided tours of Casa Balla, the apartment of futurist artist Giacomo Balla.

best travel guide for rome

Things to Do in Rome FAQs

Explore more of rome.

Hotel Hassler

Best Hotels

World Map

When To Visit

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 28 Best Water Parks in the U.S. for 2024

Holly Johnson|Timothy J. Forster May 8, 2024

best travel guide for rome

The 18 Best Napa Valley Wineries to Visit in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Sharael Kolberg April 23, 2024

best travel guide for rome

The 25 Best Beaches on the East Coast for 2024

Timothy J. Forster|Sharael Kolberg April 19, 2024

best travel guide for rome

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2024

Christina Maggitas February 6, 2024

best travel guide for rome

The 32 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Gwen Pratesi|Timothy J. Forster February 1, 2024

best travel guide for rome

9 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida for 2024

Gwen Pratesi|Amanda Norcross January 5, 2024

best travel guide for rome

24 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S. for 2024

Erin Evans January 4, 2024

best travel guide for rome

26 Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Zach Watson December 28, 2023

best travel guide for rome

Solo Vacations: The 36 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Erin Vasta December 22, 2023

best travel guide for rome

26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023

best travel guide for rome

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

The Mindful Traveller

The Mindful Traveller

Eco Travel Blog & Photography

5 Perfect Days in Rome, Italy: Complete Itinerary

1 April 2022 · In: City Guide , Italy , Rome

rome 5-day itinerary

Welcome to the Eternal City and vibrant capital of Italy! From the Colosseum to the Pantheon and Vatican City, this Rome 5-day itinerary is perfect for first-timers and is ideal for any time of the year . It will show you all the best things to do and guide you through everything you need to know to make your Italian city break unforgettable.

I visited Rome at the end of December with my partner Matt on a short city break , and I truly fell in love with this city. It was a beautiful discovery, and I was amazed by its culture and history and loved wandering through its narrow streets. I could not recommend you visit it enough, even for a few days!

In this 5-day travel guide, I share the best itinerary covering the top attractions in Rome so you can make the most of your time away. I also provide you with easy eco-tips for travelling responsibility . Enjoy!

Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information,  read our full affiliate disclosure .

4- Admire the Trevi Fountain

2- explore st peter’s basilica, 5- stroll through piazza navona, 2- visit villa borghese, overview: how to see rome in 5 days.

  • Day 1: Colosseum, Altare Alla Patria & Trevi Fountain
  • Day 2: Vatican Museums, Chapel Sistine & St Peter’s Basilica
  • Day 3: Roman Forum, Pantheon & Piazza Navona
  • Day 4: Trastevere, Piazza Santa Maria & Janiculum Hill
  • Day 5: Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo & Villa Borghese

READ MORE: 40 Best & Prettiest Cities to Visit in Europe

Rome 5-day itinerary – Map

Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.

Rome travel tips: things to know before you go

  • Book tickets for popular attractions in advance.
  • Avoid tourist restaurants.
  • Always carry cash.
  • Wear comfortable shoes to walk around.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to refill anywhere.
  • Prepare your itinerary, but do not overplan.
  • Do not try to see the Vatican and Colosseum on the same day.
  • Keep museum closures in mind.
  • Buy bus tickets before boarding.
  • Museums are free every first Sunday of the month.

Shop the printable travel itinerary

Plan your dream city break & live a unique experience in Rome.

printable travel itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 5 days in Rome

This Rome guide covers all the best things to do and see in 5 days and is perfect for travelling with family, friends or as a couple, whether it is your first time in the city or you have been there before.

On the other hand, remember that this itinerary is only a guide with recommendations. You can spend more days in the Italian capital or add other stops to your trip.

READ MORE: Rome Winter Guide: 10 Magical Things to Do

Day 1 – The Ancient Rome

1- visit the colosseum.

Colosseum

We began our journey with the  Colosseum  (Colosseo). I was super excited to discover this impressive monument, and I could not stop thinking about the film Gladiator (we watched it the next night).

Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum is an iconic ancient Roman structure located in the heart of Rome. Built during the Flavian dynasty, it was completed in 80 AD.

This colossal amphitheatre, made of concrete and sand, could accommodate 50,000 to 80,000 spectators and was renowned for hosting gladiator contests, animal hunts and other public spectacles .

With its distinctive oval shape and imposing exterior adorned with arches and columns, the Colosseum is a testament to the skills of Roman engineering and is a globally recognised symbol of ancient Rome – a must-visit on your city break!

UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES I RECOMMEND

Once there, I was not disappointed – the outside looked incredible! However, even though we had booked our tour tickets in advance, we had to wait in a long queue to collect them, so I recommend arriving early in the morning. 

Inside, we used audio guides to help us better understand the history of the Colosseum. You can also book a tour with a guide, but we wanted to do that ourselves. Plus, the audio guide will explain which way to go. 

The inside of the Colosseum was just as impressive as the outside. I could not believe gladiators were fighting there more than 2000 years ago! I also could not believe the monument was still in such good condition – it is something you must see!

rome 5-day itinerary

2- Discover Vittorio Emmanuelle II Monument

After finishing our tour, we went to eat and, unfortunately, it was too late for the Roman Forum (Foro Romano). Instead, we visited the  Vittorio Emmanuelle II   Monument (Altare alla Patria), an impressive building in terms of size, especially considering how long ago it was built!

The Victor Emmanuel II Monument, also known as Altare della Patria, is a grandiose national monument . Completed in 1925, it was erected in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy.

The monument is characterised by its massive white marble structure, grand staircase and an imposing central equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II. It is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , symbolising the Italian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I.

With its neoclassical design, the Victor Emmanuel II Monument is a prominent landmark you should not miss. In addition, it offers panoramic views of the city from its terraces – especially great at sunset!

🎟️ Book your entrance to the terrace: Panoramic Glass Elevator Ticket with Audio App .

I was amazed each time we passed it during the week. We did not visit the museum part but went up into the building to admire the view.

You can also go on the roof with an elevator, but we found it a bit expensive for what it was (10€), especially when you already have a beautiful view for free.

rome 5-day itinerary

3- Marvel at the Forums

We then walked down  Via dei Fori Imperial  to discover other Forums, including the  Forum of Trajan, Forum of Augustus and Forum of Nerva . You can not go inside them, but you can often get quite close, and it was still lovely to see. It is something completely different from things you can see in other cities!

Via dei Fori Imperiali is a grand boulevard in the heart of Rome, connecting the Colosseum to Piazza Venezia. Built by Benito Mussolini in the early 20th century, it runs alongside the ancient Roman Forum and passes by several important archaeological sites , including Trajan’s Forum and the Imperial Forums. 

I would recommend taking the time to see the Trajan’s Forum , a monumental complex built by Emperor Trajan between 107 and 113 AD. It consists of a large open space surrounded by a series of impressive buildings, such as the Basilica Ulpia , Trajan’s Column and Trajan’s Market .

The entire complex is a remarkable example of Roman imperial architecture and is considered one of the most significant and well-preserved forums from antiquity.

🎟️ Book your tour:  Trajan Markets Experience with Multimedia Video .

Forums

Finally, we ended our day with the magnificent  Trevi Fountain . On our way, everything was quiet, and suddenly it was there, in a small place.

The Trevi Fountain is a renowned Baroque masterpiece located in the historic centre of Rome. Completed in 1762 by architect Nicola Salvi, the fountain is a grandiose structure adorned with elaborate sculptures and reliefs . 

The central figure represents Oceanus , the god of the sea, riding a chariot pulled by seahorses and tritons. The fountain is not only a captivating artistic display but also a popular and iconic attraction for travellers from around the world.

The blue colour of the water and the white status made it really special. Unfortunately, it was so crowded, but we still managed to make our way to the fountain. We did not throw a coin in, but you can do it – it is a tradition and brings luck!

🎟️ Book your tour: Uncover the Trevi Fountain and Underground Tour .

Trevi Fountain

Day 2 – Vatican City

Vatican City   is one of the emblems of Rome. We started to walk to the Piazza San Pietro, and the crowd was very impressive. Fortunately, we pre-booked tickets for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and The Sistine Chapel , which made us skip the queue.

1- Tour the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

The Vatican Museums constitute one of the most extensive and impressive art collections in the world. Established by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century, the museums house an array of masterpieces, sculptures and historical artefacts accumulated by different popes over the centuries.

Notable highlights include the Sistine Chapel with the iconic frescoes by Michelangelo , the Raphael Rooms and the Gallery of Maps . The Vatican Museums are undoubtedly an experience to add to your bucket list, as they offer a rich journey through the history of art and culture.

UNFORGETTABLE TOURS I RECOMMEND

Our guided tour was very helpful. Without it, I would have had no idea where I was or what I was observing. Moreover, it was not too long – I love museums but in small doses.

The  Museums  were gorgeous, and we were lucky enough to see some beautiful masterpieces by Michelangelo.

The  Sistine Chapel  was a masterpiece in itself. I did not even know where to look. And I was delighted to admire The Last Judgement by Michelangelo – a wonder. Unfortunately, you can not take photos.

Vatican

After the tour, we continued our way to  St Peter’s Basilica ,   a key religious and cultural landmark worth the visit, despite the crowd!

Small tip : where you are inside the Sistine Chapel, instead of turning left at the end, turn right and continue to the Basilica (for free). 

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest and most significant churches in the world. Designed by architects including Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it constitutes a masterpiece of Renaissance and Baroque architecture . 

The basilica is built atop the traditional burial site of Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, and is a major pilgrimage site. Its notable features include the iconic dome , the Baldacchino canopy over the papal altar and numerous works of art , including the Pieta by Michelangelo. 

We started our visit with the top: the Dome , designed by Michelangelo. You have the choice to take the elevator and some stairs, or only the stairs (good luck). The effort was totally worth it, and the view of Rome and the Piazza San Pietro was gorgeous. 

After enjoying the scenery, we went back down and visited the inside of the Basilica, which was also beautiful.

We finished our day with the Piazza San Pietro by night: the colours were magical with the Christmas atmosphere.

Piazza San Pietro

Day 3 – The Roman Forum & Pantheon

1- visit the roman forum.

Since we did not have time to do the  Roman Forum  on the first day, we decided to go back on the morning of the third. 

The Roman Forum, located in the heart of ancient Rome, is a vast archaeological site displaying the remains of a once bustling centre of political, religious and commercial activities. It served as the focal point of the city for over a millennium, with structures such as the Temple of Saturn , the Arch of Titus and the Senate House . 

Surrounded by ruins, columns and triumphal arches, the Forum provides a vivid glimpse into the civic life and architectural grandeur of ancient Rome . It stands as a remarkable testament to the historical and cultural significance of the city. 

I was amazed at all these ruins and how people lived before us. We used a map given at the entrance to understand what was there and where we needed to go. We also had a stunning view of the Colosseum and hiked on top of Palatine Hill.

Roman Forum

2- Enter the Pantheon

We then headed to the  Pantheon , a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient Roman builders. It is free and an attraction you need to see! 

The Pantheon is a magnificent ancient temple and one of the best-preserved buildings from antiquity . Originally built by Emperor Hadrian around 126 AD, it was dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. 

It is renowned for its massive dome with an open hole at the top , allowing natural light to illuminate the interior. Its classical design and engineering marvel make it a significant architectural landmark , and it continues today to be used as a Roman Catholic church, known as Santa Maria ad Martyres. 

BOOK YOUR ENTRANCE

It was impressive to admire an Ancient Rome monument (the best-preserved) in the heart of the capital. The inside was also unique, with its architecture and hole in the middle of its cupola (we could not help but wonder how they made it). 

The hole in the cupola (7,8m in diameter) is the only source of light and represents the connection between the temple and the Gods above (the Pantheon has a Greek origin, in fact, the word Pantheon means “honour all Gods”).

Pantheon

3- Stop by Church Saint-Louis-Des-Français

We continued walking to Piazza Navona and stopped on the way to the  Church Saint-Louis-Des-Français  (San Luigi Dei Francesi), a Catholic church dedicated to Saint Louis IX, the King of France

Built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the church is a fine example of Baroque architecture . One of its notable features is the Chapel of Contarelli , which houses three famous paintings by the Baroque master Caravaggio , depicting scenes from the life of Saint Matthew. 

The interior was beautiful, like most churches in Rome. I recommend you go inside as many as you can, this is not something I usually do, but there is something special and unique about Romain churches. We were continuously amazed by their rich architecture and beauty.

4- Relax at Caffè Sant’Eustachio

On the way to Piazza Navona, we also stopped at a historic coffeehouse renowned for its traditional and high-quality espresso:  Caffè Sant’Eustachio . 

Founded in 1938, it has maintained a reputation for serving some of the best coffee in the city . The café is famous for its unique blend and preparation techniques , including the  Gran Caffè  method, using a special machine to create a smooth and rich espresso. 

With its vintage ambience and a central location near the Pantheon, Caffè Sant’Eustachio is a popular destination for travellers seeking an authentic Roman coffee experience .

We enjoyed our café on the terrace as the weather was lovely – something I recommend.

Caffè Sant’Eustachio

We then finally reached  Piazza Navona , a picturesque square known for its Baroque architecture and vibrant atmosphere . Built on the site of the ancient Stadium of Domitian, the square is home to 3 beautiful fountains, including the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. 

Surrounded by charming cafés, restaurants and historic buildings , Piazza Navona is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. The square is also often animated by street performers, artists and musicians, adding to its lively and festive ambience !

The atmosphere was great: children were playing, and there was a cute Christmas market in the middle. I also found in this place a great leather shop named Cartoleria Pantheon dal 1910 that I recommend you visit for the superb quality of its products.

We ended our day by wandering through the little streets toward the Tiber. It was one of my favourite things to do, just because of how beautiful and authentic these streets were, with small shops and lights everywhere – such a great atmosphere.

Piazza Navona

Day 4 – Trastevere

Trastevere is a charming and historic neighbourhood , located on the west bank of the Tiber River. Known for its narrow cobblestone streets, colourful buildings and lively atmosphere, it retains a distinct medieval character . 

The area is popular for its vibrant nightlife , with its many restaurants, bars and artisan shops . It is also home to several remarkable churches, such as the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere , contributing to its cultural and architectural richness.

I recommend taking the time to explore the area. Trastevere offers a delightful mix of local Roman life and bohemian vibes , making it a perfect place for a relaxing stroll.

🎟️ Book your tour: Trastevere Guided Food and Wine Tour with 20+ Tastings .

Trastevere was the area where we were staying, and one of the best for its active life and beautiful streets. We decided to have a chill day there, and for sunset, we walked on a hill by following the road  Passeggiata del Gianicolo  to have a beautiful view over the entire city.

rome 5-day itinerary

Day 5 – Piazza di Spagna & Villa Borghese

1- explore piazza di spagna.

We started our day at the  Piazza di Spagna ,   an iconic and bustling square dominated by the famous Spanish Steps , a monumental staircase designed in the 18th century. 

At the foot of the steps is the Barcaccia Fountain , designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s father, Pietro. 

Piazza di Spagna is also surrounded by luxury boutiques, cafés and art galleries , making it a lively and fashionable area, particularly ideal for shopping lovers!

Piazza di Spagna

We went down the stairs and walked to  Piazza del Popolo . We could not find anything special to do there, so we went up to the  Villa Borghese , a large public park.

Originally a private vineyard and garden of the Borghese family in the 17th century, it was later transformed into a public park in the 19th century. It now features lush greenery, walking paths, fountains and a lake , providing a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Within Villa Borghese, you will also find the Galleria Borghese , which houses an impressive art collection , including works by Caravaggio, Bernini and Raphael, making it a cultural haven amid the natural beauty of the park.

In addition, the park is a great place for families with children, as you can row boats on a small lake, visit a zoo or watch a play in front of a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. We also had a lovely coffee on the terrace of Casina del Lago.

For sunset and our last evening, we again went to the top of the Vittorio Emmanuelle II Monument. The beautiful colours over Rome made it the perfect way to end our trip and say goodbye to this incredible city.

Villa Borghese

Cooking experiences I recommend

My top 6 pizzerias in rome.

As you may know, Italy makes incredible pizzas, so we challenged ourselves to eat one daily and rate them. 

Here are our favourite 6 pizzerias in Rome:

  • Bottega Rocchi, near the Pantheon
  • Dar Poeta, in Trastevere
  • Il Bersagliere
  • La Bruschetta E, near the Borghese Park
  • Ristorante Pizzeria Imperiale, near the Colosseum
  • CasaRita, in Trastevere

How to get to Rome

The best way to get to Rome will depend on where you come from and your budget, but there are many options to reach the Italian capital.

One of the quickest ways to get to Rome is by plane . If you are travelling from another country or a distant city, you will likely arrive at Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO), the primary international airport well-connected to major cities in Europe and the world. 

Another airport serving Rome is Ciampino Airport (CIA), mainly used by budget airlines. From both airports, you can take a taxi, bus or train to reach the city centre.

One of the most eco-friendly ways to get to Rome is by train . Italy has an extensive and efficient rail network, and Rome is well-connected to major European cities by train. Its main train station is Termini Station, which you will find in the city centre. 

Finally,  the most affordable option for getting to Rome is by coach . It is a great way to reach the Italian capital if you are exploring Europe on a budget, but it may take longer. Several international and national bus companies operate services to and from Rome via its main terminal, Tiburtina Station. In addition, check out the  Eurolines  bus service.

rome 5-day itinerary

How to get around Rome

The great thing about Rome is that it is not a big city so you can easily do everything  on foot . That is what we did during our five days there, and it was perfect. And because it can get hot in summer, bring a  reusable water bottle  to stay hydrated! Rome has plenty of free fountains offering fresh and cold water.

Rome also has a vast  public transportation  network consisting of buses, a subway and trams. For example, we used the bus once to reach the Colosseum with the app Moveit . You can also use TicketAppy . It will help you book your ticket on your phone and avoid wasting paper.

Another great way to travel around Rome is  by bike . It is ideal for slowing down and appreciating your surroundings. And if you need a boost, rent an electric bike. 

Finally, if you want to explore outside of Rome, I would look at buses, trains or small guided tours – depending on where you want to go and for how long.

rome 5-day itinerary

Where to stay in Rome

The best neighbourhoods in rome.

Are you looking for the best place to stay in Rome? Here is an overview of the top neighbourhoods in the Italian capital:

  • Centro Storico:  the best area for first-time visitors
  • Trastevere : the best area for couples
  • Piazza di Spagna : the best area for luxury hotels
  • Monti & Colosseum : the best area for history lovers
  • Prati & Vatican : the best area for a quiet stay
  • Esquilino & Roma Termini : the best area to stay on a budget
  • Testaccio : the best area for food lovers
  • San Giovanni : the best area for local vibes

🏨 READ MORE: Where to Stay in Rome: 8 Best Areas (& Green Hotels)

My experience

My partner Matt and I booked an apartment on Airbnb for five days in Trastevere , an ideal location with everything within easy walking distance. Plus, the view was incredible! We were also lucky to have a small terrace on the roof to enjoy the view of Rome on sunny days.

rome 5-day itinerary

Best time to visit Rome

Spring (April to June)  and  autumn (September to October)  are the best times to visit Rome, as the weather is mild and pleasant with fewer crowds, which is ideal for sightseeing. 

In spring, the city comes alive with blooming flowers and diverse events, making it an excellent time for exploring and enjoying outdoor activities. Autumn also enjoys beautiful colours and is a great time to experience the city without the intense heat of summer.

Summer (July to August)  in Rome can be hot, with temperatures often exceeding 30°c. It is also the peak tourist season, so popular attractions can be crowded. But despite the crowds, this season offers longer daylight hours, allowing for extended sightseeing and enjoying outdoor cafés.

Winter (November to March)  is relatively mild compared to some northern European cities, but it can be chilly and rainy. And whilst it is the low season, you can discover the capital without the crowds – except around Christmas! In addition, some attractions may have shorter opening hours.

I visited Rome at the end of December with my partner Matt, as we wanted to experience the unique city of Rome in winter and spend New Year’s Eve. I loved it! The atmosphere was incredible, and the temperatures were not cold (around 13 degrees). It was busy, and we struggled a bit from time to time, for the Colosseum, for example. Otherwise, everything was perfect. Just book your tickets in advance, and you will be fine! 

rome 5-day itinerary

Sustainable travel in Rome

Sustainable travel  means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.

But how to make your next trip to Rome more sustainable? 

Here are some sustainable tips for responsible travel in Rome:

  • Book direct flights and  offset your carbon footprint . But, do not use carbon offsetting as a complete solution. Combine it with other sustainable practices, like avoiding single-use plastic on the plane and mindfully packing your suitcase to be ready for your green adventure. 
  • Choose direct flights  to reach Rome as it generally requires less fuel than indirect flights. ( Skyscanner  has an option that only shows flights with lower CO₂ emissions).
  • Select an eco-friendly accommodation . It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials. You can also use  Bookdifferent  to help you decide.
  • Use public transport  as much as possible or  walk ! Rome is easily accessible on foot, and you will not produce any emissions.
  • Eat at local Roman restaurants  that use produce from the region. It will contribute to the local economy and reduce the carbon footprint by supporting restaurants where food does not come from long distances.
  • Always respect the local heritage . Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful and try to learn a few Italian words!

More inspiration for your green vacation:

  • Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
  • 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
  • Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World

Eco-friendly gear you might love:

  • 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
  • 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
  • 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking

Check out  this page  for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.

sustainable travel checklist

Rome travel planning guide

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance to travel to Rome? Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your city break in Rome stress-free with one of my favourite providers,  Nomad Insurance .

💧 Can you drink the water in Rome? Yes, tap water is safe to drink all over Rome. However, I also recommend travelling with the  UltraPress Purifier Bottle , a lightweight filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.

🚗 Is it easy to rent a car in Rome? Yes, renting a car in Rome is easy and a great way to explore the Italian countryside freely. I recommend booking yours with  Rentalcars.com  – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.

🏨 How to book accommodation in Rome? The best way to book your accommodation in Rome is with  Booking.com  – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels.

✈️ What is the best site to buy a flight to Rome? I recommend booking your plane with  Skyscanner . It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.

5 days in Rome, Italy – FAQ

4 days are the perfect amount of time to discover Rome and see the core sights of the city. It will allow you to spend time at the Colosseum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the vibrant Trastevere – without rushing. Visiting big sites like the Colosseum or Vatican City takes time and energy – and we often had to push back what we had planned afterwards.

Rome has become one of the most expensive tourist destinations in Europe due to its high number of visitors and attractions. However, it also all depends on how much you decide to spend, and there are still a lot of local and authentic places for small budgets.

Spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to visit Rome. These months offer nice mild weather (summer is hot!) without too many tourist crowds, which is the perfect combination to enjoy the best of Rome.

The best way to get around Rome is on foot. Rome is a very accessible city, and many of the best attractions are concentrated together in traffic-free areas. If some places are a bit far from your accommodation, the other best modes of transport would be buses or taxis.

Yes, Rome is considered a safe destination for tourists, including in the evening. Of course, it is always a good idea to stay informed and use common sense. But Rome is a popular and much-visited city, and many tourists take advantage of their evenings to explore its bustling streets and dine in its charming restaurants.

Shop the Rome eco-travel bingo

Learn how to live an unforgettable experience in Rome whilst respecting places and locals.

rome bingo

And you, have you ever visited Rome or would you like to go one day?  Let me know in the comments below!

With love ♡ Lucie

  • Share on Twitter Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook Share on Facebook
  • Share on Pinterest Share on Pinterest

You will also love

helsinki

STAY INSPIRED

Join our community today to receive exclusive travel tips & behind-the-scene stories that will inspire your next adventures, directly to your inbox. Can't wait to see you inside ♡

Reader Interactions

' src=

13 December 2022 at 18:19

Thanks for this post. I am planning an anniversary trip to Rome next year and I’ve been planning what I want to see. Your posts have some many tips and spots worth to see!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

best travel guide for rome

The Lake District Sustainable Travel Guide

Follow the journey.

The peaceful Lake Obersee, Bavaria 🌿

On the Blog

  • Privacy Policy

Become an insider!

And receive exclusive travel tips & behind-the-scene stories ♡

Copyright Lucie Charpentier © 2024 · Theme by 17th Avenue

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market.  See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our  credit card rating methodology .

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome – Best Things To Do, See & Enjoy!

Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

788 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63 U.S. States Visited: 9

Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3209 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47 U.S. States Visited: 28

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome – Best Things To Do, See & Enjoy!

Table of Contents

A brief history of rome, fact file    , getting there and getting around, top 10 neighborhoods to visit in rome, top 10 rome attractions, 10 unique and quirky things to do in rome, 10 green spaces and gardens in rome, 10 churches you should visit in rome, 10 shopping areas & markets in rome, 15 rome travel tips & hacks, 10 fun facts about rome, top 5 day trips from rome, how to stay safe in rome, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our  Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

The capital city of Italy is one of the most romantic and historic places in the world. Rome has a lot for you to explore and discover with its plethora of cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, Ancient ruins, and relics dating back over 2000 years.

Rome is packed with cultural experiences around every corner and is the home to some of the most awe-inspiring historical artwork in the world, including Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. Affectionately known as the Eternal City, Rome is situated within the 7 hills on the banks of the Tiber River.

Many visitors return to Rome time and time again as there is more to do than you could fit in 1 trip. When it comes to downtime, you’ll be spoiled for choice with quaint restaurants and cafes serving delicious traditional Italian food and high-quality wines. If you want to dance the night away, Rome has a truly Mediterranean party scene that will suit all tastes.

Legend has it that the city was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C. Raised by a she-wolf, the brothers fought over who should be ruler, and Romulus eventually killed Remus and named the city after himself. In the centuries that followed, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to a republic and then an empire.

The very first headquarters of the Roman Empire was based in the city of Rome itself, and the Roman Catholic Church was also founded here. Julius Caesar, the famous dictator of the Roman Empire, became Rome’s first emperor (in everything but name) and one of the city’s most historically important residents.

It is not just Italy that has felt the powerful force of Rome either, as the city has at times ruled over other countries such as Greece, and during the reign of Napoleon, it was officially part of France. Rome became the capital of the newly reclaimed Italian Republic in 1870 and is today considered to have been one of the most influential cities in history.

The Colosseum Rome

Rome has been the capital city of Italy since 1870 and is located within the center of the Italian Peninsula. Rome is around 15 miles inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea and sits along the Tiber River.

Population : 2.7 million

Population Density : 2.1 per km²

Area : 1285 km²

Official language : Italian

Rome has residents originating from many other countries, so a diverse range of other languages can be heard in the city including French, Greek, German, Sardinian, Albanian, Croatian, and Slovene.

Religion : The main religions in Rome are Roman Catholic and Christianity.

Current President : Sergio Mattarella

Patron Saints : Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Weather : Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers (peak temperatures in August are around 82°F/27°C) and cold, humid winters (average of 37°F/3°C in January).

Time Zone : CEST + 2hrs UTC (Central European Summer Time)

Currency : Euro

Country Dialing Prefix Code : +39

Emergency Numbers : 113 for Police, 115 for Fire Department, 118 for Medical Emergencies

Green Spaces : Parks and gardens make up 3% of Rome

Churches : There are over 900 churches in Rome!

Rome has 2 airports, Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) and Ciampino Airport (CIA).

Leonardo da Vinci Airport, also known as Fiumicino Airport , handles mostly scheduled flights and is connected to the city via a direct train service, The Leonardo Express train. This train is a non-stop service which takes approximately 30 minutes from Fiumicino Airport into the central station in the city, Rome Termini, and costs around $16 (€14).

Alternatively, you can get a shuttle bus service from Fiumicino Airport into Rome’s city center. These buses take on average 1 hour and tickets are available from $8 (€7). If you prefer to travel by private taxi, they are available outside Fiumicino Airport and charge approximately $49 (€44) to take you the half-hour journey into the center of Rome.

Hot Tip: See our in-depth guide on the best ways to fly to Italy, using points and miles.

Ciampino Airport mainly receives chartered flights and those from the budget European airlines. To get from Ciampino airport to Rome’s city center, you can get a bus into Ciampino town center and then a regional train to Rome. In total this would only cost you around $3 (€2.50).

Alternatively, you can get the SITBus Shuttle service, which is a direct route from $6 (€5). Ciampino Airport is only 9 miles from Rome city center, and taxis are waiting outside the airport to take you privately for around $28 (€25).

Getting Around Rome

Once you are in Rome itself, your best travel options are to walk, use the ATAC buses, or the Metro.

Many visitors choose to travel around the city on foot so that they can appreciate everything on offer. Many of the winding streets are cobbled, though, so be sure to pack proper shoes if you are planning to head from 1 attraction to another.

The bus service in the city is very reliable and offers excellent value for money with stops at almost all the major points of interest. There are also night bus services which will run to 5 a.m. The average single bus journey costs around $2 (€1.50) and bus tickets can easily be purchased from any Metro station, newsstand, and many convenience stores.

If you are planning to take several bus journeys during your stay, then you may wish to purchase a travel card which will save you money. There are also 3-day, weekly, or monthly tourist cards on sale for this bus network.

The metro is a useful way for tourists to travel around the city as it is predominately set up for commuters to travel in and out of the city. The metro system crosses the city in a big ‘X’ and has stops near most of the main attractions. From Termini, you can travel to some of the main attractions with train stations, such as the Colosseum, Piazza Barberini, and the Spanish Steps.

The metro runs from 5:30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased from metro stations, newsstands, or convenience stores. You will be able to save money by purchasing a travel card if you are planning to travel by train for more than a couple of journeys.

Although private taxis are available to take you around the city center, these are not very popular with tourists as they are notorious for over-charging. If you plan to take a taxi, then it is advisable to discuss the cost of the fare with the driver before getting into the cab.

River Tiber Rome

Rome is a city that is spread across 22 different districts (known as “rioni”) and made up of 35 urban quarters (known as “quartieri urbani”), each with a diverse community atmosphere.

Some are set just within the walls of the city and some just outside. The following is an outline of these 10 areas — some are well known on the traditional tourist routes, and others are more up and coming.

Sitting just across from the Tiber River is the area known as Trastevere (which means “across the Tevere”). This area has a trendy, student vibe with an array of restaurants, trendy shops, and lively bars. From Trastevere, you can access river walkways to the historic center that meet and cross at Ponte Sisto and Ponte Garibaldi.

The historic center has a main square which is home to Piazza di Santa, one of the oldest churches in Rome. Trastevere as an area is situated at the bottom of Gianicolo Hill (also known as Janiculum Hill), and from here you can take spectacular walks and hikes until you eventually reach Rome’s largest park, Villa Pamphili.

Hot Tip: Along the way, you can see the 17 th -century marble fountain Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, as well as breath-taking views of the Capitoline and Palatine hills, the imposing Vittorio Emmanuele II monument, and Pantheon’s dome.

San Giovanni

San Giovanni is overflowing with beautiful Renaissance buildings and elaborately decorated cathedrals. Unlike other areas of Rome which have the cobbled streets and narrow winding pathways, San Giovanni is made up of modern avenues and is home to many of Rome’s residents.

Although there are local restaurants, the majority of food is sold via community markets, and people sit in the parks for entertainment rather than bars. San Giovanni has brilliant public transport links and is also within walking distance of the Colosseum.

In this quiet, residential area of Rome stands the city’s oldest major Christian basilica, intertwined with modern high street shops and department stores, as well as the popular bimonthly second-hand market.

Despite having a modern vibe, San Giovanni is still a great choice for visitors interested in ancient ruins, cultural city walks, and historic fountains.

Monti gives you a taste of an authentic classic Roman neighborhood. Nestled between the Roman Forum and Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, it has a relaxed, lived-in vibe where you can meet the locals and admire the stunning scenery. The beautiful hillside landscape is scattered with pretty historic buildings set in cobblestoned paths and streets.

There is a wide variety of hip restaurants and trendy cafes, and from the southwest side of the neighborhood, you can see across to the Colosseum. Many tourists love visiting Monti where they can sit back and enjoy chilling out around the fountain in the main square known as Piazza della Madonna dei Monti.

Monti was historically an impoverished slum that has evolved to become a picturesque area bursting at the seams with character, attracting young bohemian-type residents and travelers.

Aventino is located on one of Rome’s 7 ancient hills and is a beautiful, green area within the city. Wealthy Roman families own imposing villas in this area, and a wander along the prestigious tree-lined avenues is an experience in itself.

While you are in Aventino, be sure to visit the Bocca della Verita, the chariot track at Circus Maximus, and the historic ruins at the Baths of Caracalla. There are fantastic views of the Tiber River to be had from the hillside of Aventino, and many tourists choose to sit in the orange garden to soak up the stunning vista.

Hot Tip: If you get the chance to visit the Magistral Villa of the Knights of Malta, you will get the opportunity to view St. Peter’s dome from a totally different perspective through the keyhole on the gate.

Centro Storico

The streets that make up Centro Storico are some of the most historic parts of Rome where tourists flock to see the Campo de’ Fiori, the Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. These areas are brimming with the charming narrow streets and ancient architecture that Rome is so famous for. In Centro Storico you will see some spectacular examples of classical Roman- and Baroque-style buildings.

The main square is busy every night and has a plethora of lively restaurants and bars, all of which serve up good quality Italian dishes and fine wines. The famous food and flower market at Campo de’ Fiori is not to be missed and should be on every tourist’s experience list.

Bottom Line: Centro Storico’s location makes this a popular neighborhood, so be prepared for the crowds.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo is situated outside of the city walls and sits between Termini and Tiburtina stations. This area was traditionally a working-class industrial center whose roots remain today with plenty of warehouse buildings and factory-style architecture on every corner.

San Lorenzo has a young, hipster, and student vibe and is close to Sapienza University. As you wander around San Lorenzo you will be able to admire the creative and artistic murals dotted on the side of buildings.

The progressive alternative music scene attracts free-spirited hipsters to the many live music events which take place in the vibrant bars. There are also plenty of opportunities in San Lorenzo to purchase some of the best street food in the city.

Testaccio was historically a slaughterhouse and butchers’ district up until the 1970s. These traditions are still active today, and many tourists enjoy a visit to the Testaccio Market to purchase gourmet street food and fresh meats.

Testaccio is an area is situated along the Tiber River, just south of Aventine Hill. The main attraction in Testaccio is the Pyramide of Cestia, which is the Protestant Cemetery where non-Catholics were buried.

Even though Testaccio is a trip away from Rome’s center, many visitors report that it is well worth the journey. It is considered to be one of the prettiest areas in the city and is within walking distance of the Pirimide metro station and the Colosseum.

Bottom Line: Testaccio is a quaint and quiet area as it is off the tourist path, but has great restaurants and cafes for a relaxing day away from the main drag.

Tridente is in the northern part of central Rome and gets its name from the fact it is made up of 3 main streets. These 3 streets (Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso, and Via del Babuino) all filter off from the Piazza del Popolo. This area is one of the most sophisticated parts of Rome and is home to designer boutiques, fine dining restaurants, and magnificent 5-star hotels.

In Tridente you can visit wonderful attractions such as the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and the flagship Fendi store. This area is an iconic and popular destination for tourists and is usually on people’s must-see tick list.

Tridente is a bustling area and one where you can experience the posh, high-end Italian lifestyle during your visit to Rome.

Pigneto is a diverse and artistic area of Rome where many locals live. The former working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city is now considered to be a trendy, up and coming area that attracts creative and free-thinking residents and visitors.

There’s a plethora of trendy cafes, ethnically diverse shops, and vibrant bars, as well as an abundance of street art for you to admire as you wander around this unique neighborhood.

Pigneto has a market each morning in Via del Pigneto which is a pedestrian-only street with its own metro station. In this shopping part of Pigneto you have the chance to buy original artwork, street food, and cruelty-free, vegan-friendly clothing.

Bottom Line: Hipsters congregate in this area to enjoy the live music and art scenes which the colorful Pigneto has to offer.

Prati is the Italian word for “meadows” and is a charming, historic area of Rome on the west side of Tiber River. Here you can wander alongside elegant buildings in a quieter and calmer part of Rome. It is here in Prati that you can visit the elaborate Palace of Justice which has an expansive bronze sculpture on the rooftop of a chariot being drawn by 4 beautiful horses.

Other must-see things in Prati are the charming Piazza Cavour and Via Cola di Rienzo, which is one of Rome’s most famous streets for high-end, designer shopping. Prati borders the north of the Vatican State, providing easy access to the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City itself, and Castel Sant’Angelo.

Colosseum Rome

Here are 10 of the best attractions to visit in Rome.

The Colosseum is usually the top of all tourists’ must-see tick list. It is the largest amphitheater ever built and is situated in the center of Rome. This oval amphitheater is an imposing 157 feet (48 meters) high and is open from 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. every day. For a standard admission ticket costing $13 (€12), you can walk freely between the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

The nearest metro station is Colosseo on Line B.

  • Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is the central rectangular space surrounded by the ancient ruins of Rome’s government buildings. This popular tourist attraction is open from 8:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m. daily, and the admission cost is $13 (€12). However, this is the same ticket as the Colosseum, so if used on the same day, you can access both attractions for 1 ticket price. This is easily achievable as the entrance gate is very close to the Colosseum.

St. Peter’ s Square and Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Rome. The Italian Renaissance church is situated in an expansive square in Vatican City that dates back to 1506. Tourists can visit St. Peter’s Square and Basilica from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day except Wednesday. Entrance is free, but if you wish to go to the dome at the top, it’s $11 (€10) by elevator or $9 (€8) on foot.

Take Line A on the metro and San Giovanni station is only a 5-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is now a church but was historically a Roman temple dedicated to all the ancient gods of pagan Rome. Admission to the Pantheon is daily from 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., except Sundays when the opening times are 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This is a public site that is free to visit and within walking distance of Barberini on Line A of the metro.

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps were initially built to link the Trinità dei Monti church with the Spanish Square beneath in Piazza di Spagna. It is free to visit the Spanish Steps, and it is well worth the climb to view the spectacular church at the top.

You can use Line A of the metro and get off at Spagna station close to Trinità dei Monti church. From there you can take the steps down to the Spanish Square.

  • Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is possibly one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is Rome’s largest Baroque fountain, and legend has it that you throw 1 coin into the fountain to ensure another trip to Rome, 2 coins for love, and 3 coins for wedding bells. It is free to visit Trevi Fountain, and it only a 10-minute walk to the Spanish Steps if you are looking to combine sightseeing experiences.

Alternatively, the nearest metro station is Barberini.

The Vatican and Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City is the official residence of the Pope and is a must-see for all tourists when they are in Rome. The chapel dates back to 1473 and hosts the amazing artwork of Michelangelo on the ceiling. The opening hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. every day except Sundays when the chapel is closed and is only around 5 minutes’ walk from Spagna metro station.

It costs $16 (€14) to enter and visitors should allow 3-4 hours to wander around the rooms.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a square that was first built in the 1 st century A.D. and is considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful piazzas in Rome. This is a very popular free tourist attraction with 3 stunning fountains, including la Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and its imposing central obelisk.

The nearest metro station is Spagna which is just a 5-minute walk away from Piazza Navona.

Galleria Borghese

Galleria Borghese is a famous art gallery which is open between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. every day except Mondays and costs $14 (€13) for a ticket. During your visit to Galleria Borghese, you will be able to see beautifully preserved sculptures, ancient mosaics, and paintings that date back to the 15 th -18 th centuries. The museum is set within the Villa Galleria gardens which are free to enter.

The easiest way to travel to Galleria Borghese is by bus which stops within walking distance.

Castel Sant’ Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family in 135 A.D. It has since been used as a fortress and castle by different popes over the years, but nowadays it is open as a museum. You can visit this amazing example of Ancient Roman architecture every day between 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and admission costs $16 (€14).

The easiest public transport for this attraction is a bus from the main center of Rome or metro Line A to Lepanto.

Hot Tip: Looking for more tour and tour information? Explore our guide to the best tours in Rome . 

Outside of the usual tourist attractions, there are some unique things to see and do. Here are 10 to add to your list.

Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramid of Cestius was built in 12 B.C. as a tomb for Gaius Cestius. This pyramid was sealed when built but has since had one of the entrances plundered. The Pyramid of Cestius is open to the public on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and only costs $6 (€5.50) to go inside.

The nearest station is Piramide, which is only a 2 minutes stroll from the pyramid — the only attraction of its kind in Rome.

Street Art in Ostiense

The Ostiense district of Rome is located just to the south of the city center. Here you can view some impressively creative street art across a plethora of urban contemporary artwork and spectacular murals. There are lots to see so allow plenty of time when visiting Ostiense if you want to stroll and appreciate the street art in this area.

The easiest way to travel to Ostiense is by metro and walk from Piramide station.

House of Owls

The Little House of Owls is a quirky museum that some visitors describe as the hidden gem of Rome. Nestled within the ground of Villa Torlonia is this little fairy-tale looking house dedicated to owls. The house is away from the usual touristy sightseeing lists but is well worth the entrance fee of $13 (€12).

The Little House of Owls, also known as Casina delle Civette, is open between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. every day except Mondays, and can easily be reached by bus from the city center.

Largo di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina is a square which includes 4 Roman Republican temples as well as the famous ruins of Pompey’s Theatre. The excavation work is ongoing and is an inspiring discovery since the 20 th century. It is within Pompey’s Theatre in this square where Julius Caesar was thought to have been assassinated.

This is a public site that is free to visit. Although you can’t directly access the ruins, you can closely view them from the street. There is no metro station nearby, but this attraction is within walking distance of bus stops which run from all main areas.

These ancient underground burial places , or catacombs, can be viewed for only $9 (€8) and there are around 40 catacombs to experience. Some of them were only discovered a few decades ago. Ancient Roman law stated that the dead must be buried outside the walls of the city and these catacombs were built so that Christians could be buried as Christian symbols could be used underground.

The nearest station to the Catacombs is Appia Pignatelli.

Teatro Marcello

Teatro Marcello is a stunning open-air theater which was built in 13 B.C. for Julius Caesar and Marcus Marcellus. In the summer, concerts are held within the ancient theater, and it is a truly magnificent setting which many visitors report to find as breathtaking as the Colosseum.

Ticket prices vary depending on the concerts being held. It is free to walk the perimeter of Teatro Marcello to experience the historic Roman site, which is 85 years older than the Colosseum.

This theater is only a 1-minute walk from Teatro station.

Capuchin Crypt

The Capuchin Crypt is a collection of tiny chapels that sit beneath the Santa Maria della Concesione dei Cappuccini church. Here is where the bodies of Capuchin monks were buried, and their skeletal remains are still held. The Capuchin Crypt is open every day between 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and the admission fee is about $9 (€8.50).

The nearest station for visiting this attraction is Barberini.

The Appian Way

The Appian Way is a historic Roman road built in 312 B.C. Today this is one of the most famous ancient Roman roads where you can walk or cycle (bike hire is available at the site). On average, tourists spend around 6 hours traveling the length of the Appian Way and generally find it to be a peaceful experience just outside the city walls.

It is easy to travel to the Appian Way by bus from Piramide station.

Circo Maximus

Circo Maximus is an ancient chariot-racing stadium which would have been a major entertainment venue in its day. Situated between Aventine and Palatine Hills, this attraction is becoming ever more popular with tourists visiting Rome.

The remains of this inspiring Ancient Roman architecture form the archaeological site which stands today after fire and flood damage. Circo Maximus is open every day except Mondays and pre-booking is essential as it is for organized tour groups only.

Use Line B of the metro and get off at Piramide station for this attraction.

Vintage Fiat 500 Tour

This is a fantastic way to tour around the historic sites of Rome! These vintage Fiat 500 cars set off in convoy, and you will spend 3 hours driving around Rome. You’ll travel where some larger tour buses cannot access and cruise along the Tiber River. For just $142 (€128) you can be seated inside one of these iconic open-top vintage cars. Tours start from just outside the Colosseum.

Hot Tip: Need a great place to stay? Check out these 15 great hotels in Rome.

Villa Borghese

It’s not just about the architecture in Rome. The city is also home to some beautiful green spaces and gardens. Here are 10 of the best.

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is the third largest park area in Rome. It is a landscaped area with English-style manicured gardens. Villa Borghese is open 24 hours a day and is free to explore. This park is situated on Pincian Hill, close to the Spanish Steps, and is known by locals as the “green lung” of Rome. It can be accessed from Spagna or Flaminio stations.

Villa Doria Pamphili

Villa Doria Pamphili is Rome’s largest and most impressive park which was built around a 17 th -century villa, now the sole location for the Italian government. This stunning landscaped park is free to visit and nearby to Termini station. Villa Doria Pamphili is thought to be one of the best places for walking in Rome.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden, Orto Botanico, is situated in the Trastevere neighborhood. Visitors to these gardens can see over 3,500 species of plants. There is also a rock garden, bamboo grove, “Scent & Touch” visually impaired sensory garden, greenhouses, and the Japanese gardens.

A day spent strolling around Orto Botanico is definitely time well spent. This attraction is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the admission fee is only $9 (€8), and the nearest metro station is Piramide.

Vatican Garden

The Gardens of Vatican City are owned by the Pope, and there is public access from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. These beautifully manicured gardens can be toured by bus for $36 (€32). This may sound expensive until you realize that the admission ticket also allows you access to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

You can take the train to Ottaviano-S. Pietro to access the gardens.

Orange Trees Garden

Savello Park, also known as the Orange Trees Garden, is on Aventine Hill, and from this garden, you have the most wonderful views of the city. You can wait in line to peek through the keyhole on the gate of Magistral Villa of the Knights of Malta and view St. Peter’s dome from above. These gated gardens are free to visit and are open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in winter and 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in summer.

Piramide metro station is the closest to the garden gates.

Villa Torlonia

Villa Torlonia and its surrounding grounds are a hidden gem in Rome. You can see magnificent neoclassical architecture set within English-style manicured gardens. Villa Torlonia is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and admission tickets cost $11 (€10).

Guidubaldo Del Monte is the nearest station to the park.

Parco degli Acquedotti

Parco degli Acquedotti is a beautiful, expansive park within the Appian Way area on the outskirts of Rome. In this park, you can see the ancient ruins of 2 massive Roman aqueducts. This public park is open 24 hours a day, and entrance is free.

Capannelle is the nearest station.

Palazzo Venezia

Formerly the Palace of St. Mark, Palazzo Venezia is a spectacular example of Renaissance architecture. The gardens are pretty and open from 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. every day except Mondays. Admission is $9 (€8.50) and it’s only a 10-minute walk from Termini station.

Villa Celimontana

The grounds of Villa Celimontana are considered by some visitors to be the prettiest hidden gardens of the city. Stroll through these immaculate gardens, which were once a vineyard, and discover the obelisk dating back to the mid-16 th century. This free public park is located just above the Colosseum and is open from 7:00 a.m. until sunset.

Rose Garden

Rome’s Rose Garden was formerly a Jewish cemetery that has been constructed in the shape of a menorah. This public park on Aventine Hill is open to the public from April to June, and there’s no admission fee. Allow plenty of time when visiting these gardens as there’s a huge area to cover.

The gardens are just a short walk from Termini station.

Rome Church

Rome is home to over 900 churches, so it is a challenge to choose a top 10. Nevertheless, we gave it a go and here are our top picks.

Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo

Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is a 15 th -century church which sits within Rome’s famous square Piazza del Popolo. Visitors report that this tiny temple is unlike any other church in Rome, with its delightful Renaissance decoration inside. Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is open every morning from 7:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., then every afternoon from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The nearest station to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is Civitavecchia.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

Santa Maria in Trastevere (Our Lady of Trastevere) is one of the oldest churches in Rome. There are beautiful mosaics on the exterior, and it is a dazzling sight to behold at night when the tower is illuminated. The church is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily and admission is free.

Santa Maria in Trastevere is only a few minutes’ walk from Mameli station.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is breathtaking with a 15 th -century wooden ceiling, a hidden spiral staircase, gorgeous mosaics, and a display of part of Jesus’ crib brought from Bethlehem. It’s open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily except Sundays and bank holidays when it is closed in the afternoon.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is only a short walk from Termini station and admission is free.

Santa Maria in Aracoeli

Santa Maria in Aracoeli was built in the 6 th century and is still today the designated church of Rome’s city council. It’s a popular church, particularly at Christmas, as inside there is a wooden baby Jesus which is thought to have healing powers. The entrance is free, and the church is open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily.

Ara Coeli station is less than 3 minutes’ walk away.

San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni in Laterano is open to the public from 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily. This impressive monumental church was the most influential building within the Christian faith for over a thousand years. Visitors always report that they are amazed by the rich history, art, and architecture of this church.

Use Lines A and C of Rome’s metro for the nearest station, San Giovanni.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a popular church for tourists to visit to take in the heady blend of Gothic and Medieval architecture. It is still one of the major churches in Rome’s Catholic Order of Preachers and this 13 th -century attraction is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily with free admission.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a 20-minute walk from Termini and around the corner from the Pantheon.

Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli

Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli is a Renaissance-style church and basilica that is famous for being home to Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. This Roman Catholic church is open in the mornings from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and then in the afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Entrance is free, and this is only a short walk from the Colosseum for tourists wishing to combine experiences.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin

Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a minor basilica built in the Middle Ages which attracts visitors wanting to see the “mouth of truth” inside the porch. There is also plenty of medieval art to admire throughout the church. The church is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

Bocca Della Verita’ station is only 1 minute away and admission is free.

San Clemente

San Clemente is a minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clemente I. This church is considered significant among religious scholars as it outlines the history of Christianity right from the beginning of the faith through to the Middle Ages. This temple is decorated internally with old mosaics and is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and then 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 pm.

The church is a short walk from either Colosseo or Manzoni stations.

Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica

Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica is one of Rome’s 4 major basilicas and is located outside the city walls. This 9 th -century church with Neoclassical architecture is a popular year-round tourist attraction. Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica is open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica is easily reached via the bus network service.

Rome is a fashionista’s dream, but it’s not all high-end fashion. The city is home to some great markets, too. Here are 10 of the best places to shop.

Via Condotti

Packed full of beautiful designer big name brands including Gucci, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana, Via Condotti is the place to be for the largest selection of designer outlet shopping in all of Rome. It is an absolute must for lovers of designer Italian leather handbags and upscale fashion and accessories. The pedestrian walkway is also dotted with cafes and restaurants for regular shopping breaks.

This retail heaven can be found close to the Spagna metro station.

Via del Corso

As one of the most popular shopping spots in the city of Rome, the Via del Corso is home to designer dresses and big brand fashion. Offering affordable fashion at its finest, you will find some of the most highly regarded names in Europe here including H&M, Zara, and Sephora.

You can easily walk to Via del Corso from the Spagna Metro station, or bus lines 170 and 175 both stop close by.

Via Cola di Rienzo

The Via Cola di Rienzo is the main thoroughfare that cuts through Rome’s Prati neighborhood. It is also one of the very best destinations in the city for laid-back, leisurely shopping with fewer crowds than some of the more upmarket areas. The Via Cola di Rienzo offers an impressive blend of international brands like Coin, Tiffany’s, Kiko, and Diesel, as well as a wide variety of bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Close to the Cola Di Rienzo/Terenzio subway stations, the Via Cola di Rienzo is a great place to explore after visiting the Vatican.

Porta Portese

Porta Portese is the biggest flea market in Rome and is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy Roman Sunday strolling through the ancient streets of the Trastevere district. Cheerful vendors offer a wide selection of secondhand clothing, antiques, brand name knockoffs, bric-a-brac, household products, vinyl records, and much more. The market is just as popular with the locals giving it a truly continental feel.

The nearest station is Porta Portese.

Tucked away behind the city gates close to the cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano lies this enchanting outdoor market that is perfect for those who are happy to rummage for bargains. Vendors show their wares on old tables and tatty looking stalls, but for those who have the patience to sift through the piles of stock, the rewards can be incredible. Secondhand and vintage designer gear by the bucketload is here — you just need to find it first.

Surrounded by super cool cafes and record shops, the nearest subway is San Giovanni.

Via del Babuino

Via del Babuino is a historic cobbled street that connects Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. Chock full of beautiful old buildings, it is also one of the city’s premier upmarket shopping districts. This elegant pedestrianized thoroughfare is dotted with luxury brands including the likes of Armani Jeans, Tiffany, Tory Burch, Gente, Maison Margiela, and Valentino.

This is a great place to have a latte while enjoying a spot of people-watching; the nearest station is Spagna.

Via Giulia has some of the city’s finest examples of authentic Roman architecture and is an utterly enchanting place to spend the day. Via Giulia is also a residential area for rich Romans, meaning that there are plenty of fantastic independent shops that line the cobbled street. These include art galleries, antique shops, and quirky homeware stores, as well as fashion boutiques, bars, and cafes.

You can reach this part of town using the Circo Massimo station.

V ia del Governo Vecchio

Just off the Piazza Navona, the Via del Governo Vecchio offers something for everyone. From the super cute secondhand book stores and biggest vintage clothes shops in the city to the modern-day fashion boutiques and grocery stores, this a popular part of town with a great atmosphere. Take a stroll along the cobbled street until something takes your fancy, then sit back and relax in one of the many coffee shops and bars.

The nearest subway station is Chiesa Nuova.

Flaminio Market

Set at the heart of the Piazza del Popolo, Flaminio Market is packed full of cool market traders selling pre-owned and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry. This is one of those flea markets similar to those you find in many European cities, but this being Rome, you are likely to come away with a pair of pre-loved Gucci sunglasses or a Fendi bag.

Set in a bus station, there is an entrance fee of $2 (€1.60), and you can get there using the 88, 204, or 231 buses or trams 2 and 19.

Fontanella Borghese Market

Nestled between the Tiber and the Via del Corso, the Fontanella Borghese Market is a gorgeous piazza market that offers a selection of bijou box shops. These sell a variety of small antiques including antique maps, etchings, posters, books, photographs, and even cameras. The area is always popular with tourists, as the wares on sale are usually just the right size to bring home.

The nearest station to the market is Spagna.

Rome Spanish Steps

House Wine is the Best Wine

When in Rome, drink like the Romans. In a city that appreciates fine wine, the house bottle or “vino della casa” is often as good as, if not better, than more expensive brands. Buy it by the glass or share a carafe or 2 with friends old and new.

Experience the Culture for Free

On the first Sunday of each month, some of the best museums and archaeological sites can be enjoyed for free. If you are on a tight budget, plan your dates accordingly, and visit world-famous sites like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Galleria Borghese for free. Read our comprehensive guide to discover some of the best museums in Rome .

Be Travel Savvy With Taxi Drivers

The city of Rome operates and enforces set fees for most taxi journeys to, from, and within the city walls. Taxis registered outside of the city are not bound by the same rules but can travel the same routes. This makes it easy for unsuspected tourists to be stung with huge fares. Always check your taxi fares before you begin your journey.

Imparare a Parlare Italiano (Learn to Speak Italian)

Learning a few key phrases and common words will not only help you in everyday situations, but it will also help to ingratiate you with the locals. Learn a little before you leave, and take a phrasebook with you.

Go C ontinental

Much like the French, the Italians are famous for their love of late-night meal times. 8:00 p.m. is a good starting point for eating your evening meal, but be prepared to enjoy long, laid-back affairs that last well into the small hours.

Travel Light

When wandering around the city, leave your super-size backpack back at the hotel. European cities tend to get very crowded, and most tourist attractions will ask you to check bulky bags in the cloakroom. Keep your money, phone, camera, and other essentials close at hand with a fanny pack , sling backpack , or mini backpack instead.

To Tip or Not to Tip?

Most restaurants in Italy will automatically apply a “service charge” to your bill. If you are in a smaller cafe or independent restaurant, you may like to leave a few euros for your waiter as you leave. The same rules apply to taxi drivers and bartenders, too. Tipping is not necessary, but of course, no one will complain if you do.

Cash is King

Rome is a city with plenty of ancients wonders to see, and in some places, this even extends to your payment options. To avoid being caught out, be sure to carry enough cash on you to pay for your entry tickets to attractions, as well as food, drinks, and any travel while you are away from your hotel.

Look Out for Fake Gelato

Even here in Italy, not all gelato is created equal. Being one of the most refreshing and delicious national dishes you will ever taste, it is important that you find an authentic scoop or 2. The brightly colored, fluffy looking ice cream served across town is often packed with artificial colors and sweeteners.

Real gelato, however, takes its color and flavor from the ingredients within it. As a rule of thumb, compare your frozen treat with how it would appear if the ingredients were blended.

Enjoy a Drink at the Bar

Italians have a unique way of enjoying their coffee, and they see it simply as fuel to keep them going. If you would prefer to sit down and relax with a hot coffee and a good book, you are welcome to by all means, but be prepared to pay extra for the privilege.

Take the Day Off

Monday is considered a day of rest in Rome, and many of the city’s main attractions and restaurants will be closed to the public. When planning your next trip, be sure to make the most of the weekend, and save Monday for shopping or visiting local parks and open spaces.

Drink from the Water Fountains

Usually, when you go overseas, you are advised not to drink the water, but here in Rome, the “nasoni” fountains provide thirsty travelers with fresh drinking water that flows from the aqueducts. Stay hydrated for free by topping up your water bottle as you go.

Avoid the Busiest Times

The Vatican Museums are the most popular in all of Italy, and they get very busy from the moment they open. Ignore the advice of those who tell you to get there early, and instead, wait for the rush to die down before visiting. On a Friday the museums are open late, so why not enjoy a late afternoon or evening tour instead?

Keep Covered Up

In most of the ancient churches and buildings in the city, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel, you will need to be covered up to be allowed entry. Although it can get super hot outside, carry a shawl or scarf with you to cover your knees and shoulders when you need to.

Finally, Bring Your Own Toilet Paper

Roman toilets aren’t great. Often they will be without toilet seats, and toilet paper will be in short supply. Sometimes you will even have to pay for the privilege of using these less than perfect facilities. Keep a stash of toilet paper or wipes in your bag at all times — just in case.

The Eternal City receives millions of tourists every year, many of whom come to see some of the most iconic and religiously important landmarks in the world. But aside from the stunning architecture, the fantastic food, and amazing Italian weather, there are lots of interesting facts about Rome that you may not know about:

Romulus and Remus

Legend has it that the ancient city of Rome was founded by 2 twin brothers, who fought over who should be the rightful ruler. Believed to be the sons of a mortal priestess, Rhea Silvia, and the Roman god of war, Mars, they were always destined for battle. In a moment of fury, Romulus killed his brother and gave the name Rome to his beloved city.

The Trevi Fountain

Millions of visitors come and throw their coins into the Trevi Fountain every day. It is believed that if you throw your coin over your left shoulder using your right hand, you will return to Rome in the future. Other legends also claim that you should throw 3 coins into the fountain. Over the course of a day, around 3,000 euros are thrown in.

You Can Drink the Water

Thanks to the aqueducts beneath the city, Rome is full of fountains that offer potable water. Called “nasone” fountains, there are between 2,500-2,800 nasoni in Rome, and they supply citizens and tourists alike with free drinking water throughout the city.

There are Lots and Lots of Fountains

If you love fountains, you certainly won’t be disappointed in Rome. There are 50 named monumental fountains and hundreds of smaller fountains dotted across the city. There are believed to be over 2,000 fountains, which is way more than any other city in the world.

No Cappuccino After 11:00 a.m.

Italy is home to some of the most delicious coffee in the world. But did you know that in the city of Rome, local tradition dictates that you should never drink cappuccino either after 11:00 a.m. or after a meal? This is because the Romans believed that milk impairs the digestion and therefore should only be used sparingly.

The Aventine Keyhole

Tucked away at the Knight of the Malta gate on Aventine Hill, there is a tiny door that you wouldn’t even notice unless you were looking for it. Rumor has it that if you peek through the keyhole, you will see the Vatican perfectly in line with the garden beyond. From this also unassuming viewpoint, you can gaze across 3 entirely different countries all at once — Malta, Italy, and the Vatican City.

Secret Passageway to the Vatican

Just outside the Vatican lies the Castel Sant’Angelo. This pretty looking castle is chock full of beautiful rooms and elegant frescoes, but buried deep in the castle walls is a secret passageway that runs all the way into the Vatican. Popes used the secret tunnel when they felt they were in danger.

There Are a Lot of Cats That Live Here

Rome is home to hundreds of wild cats that sit on the walls of the Colosseum and sleep among the ancient ruins of the Forum. There is also a dedicated cat sanctuary housed among the ruins of 4 Republican temples at Largo de Torre de Argentina. The feline population is so dense because there is a law in the city that allows cats to live without disruption in the place where they were born.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Rome is home to one of the earliest shopping malls in the world. Between 107 and 110 A.D., Emperor Trajan built the Mercati di Traiano (Trajan’s Market), where a wide range of grocery items was sold across different levels. Modern-day Rome is still home to some of the very best shopping districts and flea markets in the world.

The Pasta Museum

Rome is home to a dedicated pasta museum that is devoted to the history, production, and nutritional values of Italy’s favorite foodstuff. Visitors can learn everything from optimum cooking times and recipe advice through to pasta-related artwork and exhibits on pasta-making techniques throughout the ages.

Pompeii

  • Ostia Antica

What was once the most important harbor city in Ancient Rome is now an important archeological site and popular tourist destination. Located just 19 miles west of Rome, Ostia’s main arterial street is home to a street show of houses, shops, baths, and taverns. The city is also home to a Jewish synagogue, a Christian Basilica, and a wealth of Persian temples.

You can get to the ancient harbor city by taking the 20-minute journey from the metro Line B station of Piramide to Ostia Antica using the Roma Lido commuter train. The Roma Lido line runs from around 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., and you can reach Ostia using a travel card costing from as little as $2 (€1.50), depending on the time and duration of your visit.

The ancient city of Pompeii was famously buried by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Visitors come from all over the world to see the perfect example of ancient Roman communities anywhere in Italy . Ruins include the Antiquarium, the Forum, the Terme Stabiane, the House of Menander, the Amphitheater, and the Nuovi Scavi (New Excavations), among others.

Pompeii is 133 miles from Rome, and the train journey from the city takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes. You can reach Pompeii Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station using the Circumvesuviana line that departs from the main Roma Termini station. Ticket prices start from as little as $19 (€17) depending on the time of travel.

Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an impressive archaeological complex located in Tivoli, 18 miles east of Rome. Considered to be the most remarkable and extravagant example of an ancient Roman Villa , it was built for Emperor Hadrian when he decided that he no longer wanted to reside in the city of Rome itself.

The giant structure contains a variety of interesting structures including the Nymph Stadium, the Poecile, the Camopus, the Philosophers’ Room, Piazza d’oro, the Grandi Terme, and the Piccole Terme.

You can reach the Villa by taking the Trenitalia line from Tiburtina Station (also on the metro B line) and enjoy a 40-minute ride on the Avezzano bound line. Get off at Tivoli Station to visit the Villa and surrounding attractions. Tickets cost from around $6 (€5).

The pretty, hilltop town of Orvieto is one of the most ancient cities in Italy, and home to some of the most important vineyards in the country . Visitors make the journey from Rome out into the Umbrian countryside to admire the impressive Piazze del Duomo, explore the grottos and rock formation of underground Orvieto, peek into the well at Pozzo di San Patrizio, relax by the fountains at Fortezza dell’Albornoz, and sample the fantastic wines at Decugnano dei Barbi.

The train journey from the city of Rome to Orvieto takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, and you can pick up the Trentitalia Line from Roma Termini. Tickets start from around $8 (€7) for a single journey.

Naples is a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back as far as 470 B.C. It is also home to 3 amazing castles:  Ovo Castle with its imposing fortress, Castel Nuovo with its Medieval towers and Renaissance arch, and the Castel Sant’Elmo with its former prison. Visitors also come to see the Royal Palace of Naples, the Palazzo Reale, and a wealth of historic churches and cathedrals.

Naples is around 140 miles from Rome, so expect a 2-3 hour train journey to reach the city from Rome. The Frecciarossa Express runs from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale every 20 minutes at peak times, and ticket prices start from $26 (€23), one-way.

Rome is an enchanting city that can reel you in from the moment you take your first steps out on to the cobbled streets. Whether you are enjoying a drink in one of the many piazzas, taking in the incredible architecture, or simply enjoying some retail therapy, it can be easy to get carried away here.

While Rome is not necessarily any more or less dangerous for tourists than any other European city, it can be easy to become distracted. Follow our advice on how to stay safe in The Eternal City, and breathe it all in without worrying about your belongings.

Beware of Pickpockets

Rome does have a high number of pickpockets operating in the main tourist areas during the high season. Roman pickpockets are very skilled and have numerous tricks to help relieve you of your belongings. Be aware of distraction techniques such as flower sellers, gangs of children, and even ladies in distress, and be sure to keep your bag in front of you at all times.

Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

This is common sense for any large town or city, and it is just as important here as it is anywhere else. Keep your wallet, phone, and cards locked safely away in your purse, fanny pack, or shoulder bag, and do not flaunt them when you need to use them. Better still, use a money belt or body pouch for days out in the city, to help you keep your belongings safely by your side at all times.

Avoid Some Areas at Night

Urban spaces, riverbanks, and deserted piazzas may look romantic in the daylight, but they can become menacing and oppressive when the night falls. Some streets around Termini and Piazza Vittorio, in particular, are not safe for strolling tourists after dark. Likewise, some stretches of the river are not as safe at night as they would be during the day.

Keep Electronic Copies of Your Documents

If your plane ticket, passport, personal ID, or other important document goes astray while you travel, it can make things extremely difficult for you. If you are able to make and store electronic copies of all of your important documents, either by email or your smartphone camera, you will always have a back up should you need them.

Know Who to Call in an Emergency

Should the worst happen, you will probably want to call the police. Make a note of the following telephone numbers and keep them safely with you while you travel:

  • General Emergency: 113
  • Police (Carabinieri): 112
  • Fire (Vigili del fuoco): 115

Don’t Look Too Much Like a Tourist

We aren’t telling you how to dress with this one, simply suggesting that you keep your maps, travel cameras , and large amounts of cash out of sight while you are on the road. This will make you look more like a local and less like a tourist.

Take Advantage of the Hotel Safe

Most hotels will offer a safe facility in their guest rooms. These are important because it means your belongings are safe and sound and you don’t need to take all of your stuff with you.

Rome is perhaps one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. With so much history right on your doorstep, it can be challenging to take it all in the first time you visit.

From the historic architecture and works of art to modern-day fine dining and upscale shopping, Rome really is a city that has it all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is rome safe.

Rome is as safe as any European city but you should be extra vigilant of pickpockets in tourist areas. Avoid carrying your valuables on your back, consider using a money belt, or better yet, only take the bare minimum out with you and leave the rest in your hotel safe.

Can you do Rome in 3 days?

There is a lot to see and do in Rome but you can certainly see the highlights over a weekend. Luckily most major sights and attractions are quite close together. While it comes down to personal preference the following are not to be missed:

  • Spanish Steps
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Vatican City

What are the best day trips from Rome?

There are quite a few places that are within easy reach of Rome and if you’re willing to travel an hour or 2 each way, these can be visited within a day.

  • Hadrian’s Villa

Was this page helpful?

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE ™

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the  latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy . This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's  privacy policy   and  terms of service   apply.

Related Posts

The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Travel Insurance [For You]

UP's Bonus Valuation

This bonus value is an estimated valuation  calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

The Roman Guy

Italy Travel Experts Tours and Vacations

Rome Travel Tips

The Complete Guide To Planning Your Trip To Rome: Tips, Restaurants, and More

Sean Finelli Last Updated: August 29, 2023

Traveling to Rome for the first time? Nobody wants to pick a hotel in the wrong part of town or sit down at a bad restaurant. The good news is you’re reading this article, so you won’t have these problems! This guide will cover some of the Rome basics and links to a ton of great resources to make planning your trip to Rome easy and fun. 

Pro Tip: Bookmark this post and other helpful articles, like where to stay in Rome in a trip folder on your browser so you can quickly find them when you need them. Rome is an expansive city worthy of a tour or two, explore our top-rated Rome tours and experiences . Also, check out our other resources on planning your trip to Rome .

How To Plan Your Trip To Rome: A Complete Guide

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan a memorable vacation in the Eternal City, with plenty of additional resources to explore. From the logistics of where to stay and how to get around the city to the finer details of how to get your coffee, basic Italian phrases, and top things to do, we’ll help you prepare for your dream trip in Rome.

  • Airports and Public Transport (Metro)
  • Where To Stay
  • Things To Do
  • Food Culture
  • Credit Cards, Tipping, and Communicating

When To Travel To Rome and What To Pack

Rome airports and public transport, rome airports.

best travel guide for rome

There are two main airports in Rome, Ciampino and Fiumicino, and they are both roughly the same distance from the city center.

Fiumicino (FCO)

In short, to get from Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Rome’s city center, the train is the most popular means of transport, taxi is the most convenient, and the bus is the least popular.

By far, the most popular way to get from Fiumicino airport to the city center is by train. For €15, you can get the Fiumicino Express from FCO to Termini station (main station).

A taxi is the most convenient way to get to the center. There are regulated rates from the airport to the city center that fall between €45 – €50, depending on a few difficult-to-explain criteria, such as what type of license the taxi has. If you’re staying outside the historic center of Rome, you may also have to pay more or less. You can normally pay with a credit card in taxis but always ask.

Ciampino (CIA)

The bus is the most popular way to get from Ciampino Airport (CIA) to the city center. Buses tend to cost around €6 – €7, depending on the airport and the coach company. They run based on arrivals. Terravision has been around for a long time and is pretty cheap. 

Taxi, again, is the most convenient. They cost between €35 – €45 depending on the same factors mentioned above, which are difficult to understand.

BEST ways to get to ROME from the AIRPORTS (FCO & CIA)

Rome Transportation Options

Rome has plenty of transportation options. How you decide to get around Rome on any given day on your trip will depend on your preferences, what you have planned to do, and where you’re going. We’ll go over all of them:

Walking in Rome

Rome is an extremely walkable city. If you’re in reasonably good shape and the weather isn’t overly hot, you can walk Rome’s historical center very well. However, the streets can sometimes be confusing. If you aren’t using a mobile map app, it could get tough.

The Colosseum is a 35-minute walk from the Piazza del Popolo and around a 60-minute walk from the Vatican Museums Entrance. However, it’s important to pick your battles. For example, you may not want to walk to the Vatican from the Colosseum, considering that you’ll be on your feet for at least three hours when visiting the Vatican Museums with a guided tour. Some of our top-rated Vatican tours last up to 5 hours to give visitors an enriched experience of the museums. In this case, it might be better to take the subway or even a taxi to conserve energy.

That said, be prepared to walk when you’re in Rome. If you aren’t already doing so, walk at least an hour each day to get your legs ready for your trip!

Rome Bus System

We have a great video on what you need to know to use the buses in Rome . It’s a little dated but fun to watch, and you’ll see exactly where to get bus tickets, how to ask for one, and how to conquer Rome’s bus system. There are three fundamentals that you need to know when using the buses:

  • Buy a ticket before you get on and validate it when you’re on the bus.
  • The bus signs are pretty confusing unless you know the city really well. So, download an app .
  • The buses go literally everywhere. They’re a good option but get hot and crowded in the summer—just something to keep in mind.

Walking around Rome can get really tiring. Hopping on a bus for a kilometer or two can make all the difference. Save your energy for the highlights of your trip.

Rome Metro (Subway) System

The Roma metro system has two lines: the red A-line and the blue B-line. As a visitor, you’ll find yourself on the A-line the most. It goes from Termini past the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, and most importantly, the Vatican.

The B-line will get you from Termini Station to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. These are the most popular stops for visitors using the metro to get to Rome’s top attractions .

You can’t get to Trastevere by metro, but you can get close to Testaccio by getting off at Piramide. Both Trastevere and Testaccio are known for their lively nightlife and great food. Your hotel and most Airbnbs will have a metro map that you can keep handy.

Getting a Taxi in Rome 

I use public transportation for short, direct rides to get from place to place. For example, going from the Vatican to the Spanish Steps or from Termini Station to the Colosseum. For anything complicated, I normally pony up and take a taxi. They’re relatively cheap if they don’t rip you off—which they will try to do.

A good workaround is to search for your destination in your phone’s map app, get directions from your current location, and hit go. Then, show that map to the taxi driver when they ask where you want to go. This way, they know you’re tracking. Otherwise, there’s really nothing you can do. Just don’t pre-negotiate the rate. There’s a meter in the vehicle that determines the cost.

Renting a Scooter in Rome

If I’m in Rome for more than a couple of days, I’ll rent a scooter. It’s a good option if you have scooter experience. If you don’t, I wouldn’t recommend it. It can be dangerous getting around an unknown city when you don’t even know how to drive the thing, let alone negotiate traffic and figure out where to go.

Where To Stay in Rome

best travel guide for rome

Rome is a large metropolitan city, but the area most visitors are interested in is the historical center or  Centro Storico because it’s pretty condensed. You can walk from the Colosseum to the Vatican, almost on opposite sides of the historical center or “center” for short, in an hour.

The center is the place to be in Rome, and each neighborhood is really great. I prefer the northern sections like Piazza Navona and Spanish Steps.  To me, they are classical Roman/Italian and super nice. Here are the best areas to consider with links to in-depth neighborhood guides:

  • Spanish Steps
  • Pantheon/Piazza Navona
  • Prati (Vatican)

Again, I really like anything near the Spanish Steps, as I like being in the thick of it. It will come with a price tag, but savvy travelers find deals. Check out our in-depth guide on where to stay in Rome, covering the city’s best neighborhoods.

Top Things To Do in Rome

best travel guide for rome

From visiting the Sistine Chapel to an underground apothecary run by priests, there are unlimited things to do in Rome. One of the best ways to see a city with this kind of history is to join local guides on fun tours with exclusive access and endless stories to tell. There are so many things to see and ways to see them. Check out all our Rome tours that include the top monuments and museums, plus incredible day trips.

This is a list of the top things to do while you’re in the Eternal City. Be sure to follow the links for more in-depth information on visiting each one of these monuments and museums.

Top Museums

Rome has over 60 incredible museums containing some of the world’s most important works of art. It may be difficult to decide which of them you’ll see. Check out our guide on the seven best museums to visit in Rome for details. Here’s a quick list:

  • The Vatican Museums
  • The Borghese Gallery
  • The Capitoline Museum
  • Palazzo Barberini
  • Palazzo Altemps
  • Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
  • MAXXI Museum

Top Monuments

Rome is filled with historical monuments and attractions. Some of them you have likely heard. Others may be new to you. Here is a list of what you should see on your Rome trip. Check out this guide for the stories behind these top monuments and attractions in Rome .

  • The Colosseum
  • The Basilica of St. Peter
  • The Catacombs of Domitilla
  • The Roman Forum
  • The Pantheon
  • The Palatine Hill
  • The Trevi Fountain
  • Piazza Navona
  • The Spanish Steps
  • Belevedere of Gianicolo Hill
  • The Tiber Island
  • The Mouth of Truth
  • Trajan’s Column
  • Il Pincio and Piazza del Popolo

Must-See Gardens and Parks

If you love beautiful manicured gardens and green spaces, this is for you. There are a number of must-see gardens and parks in Rome . The Villa Borghese and Vatican Gardens are the more well-known among them, but you may also want to visit some of these:

  • Villa Doria Pamphili
  • Villa Borghese
  • Park of the Acquedotti
  • Giardino degli Aranci
  • Vatican Gardens
  • Villa Ada Savoia
  • Villa Sciarra

Absolutely Free Things To Do

You may be surprised by the cool free things you can do in Rome . Some of the city’s most well-known sites are completely free to explore. Check out this list:

Food Culture in Rome

best travel guide for rome

Where to start with Italian food? It’s often one of the top reasons why tourists come to Italy, and for good reason. Every region serves amazing, fresh, handmade delicacies.

A traditional Italian meal will go like this: antipasto (starter), primo (pasta), secondo (meat and vegetables), dolci (dessert), followed by coffee and liquors. Do Italians eat like this every day?

Fortunately for those of us who live here, no! But these are typically the headings that you’ll see on a menu, so it’s best to have an idea of what they mean. There’s a lot to cover in this section, here’s a breakdown: 

  • How to Find Local Restaurants

Types of Restaurants

Rome meal times.

  • Coffee Culture
  • Drinking Fountains

How To Find Local Restaurants in Rome

Rome is a very touristy city, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good places to eat in the city center. Check out our Rome restaurant master list that we regularly update . From there, you can navigate and see our restaurant recommendations near every major Roman attraction. 

In general, avoid restaurants within sight of a tourist attraction, particularly if they have pictures of the food on the menu or people standing outside trying to hustle you in. Even in the most authentic restaurants, don’t expect particularly friendly service.

Some of the best food is often flung at you without so much as a “hello,” but it’s guaranteed to be worth it. Areas a little more off the beaten track are where you’re more likely to have an authentic experience. For example, the area of Testaccio is well-known for being a classic Roman foodie area, packed with local restaurants.

A really great way to experience a wide variety of Roman cuisine in good restaurants is to join a food tour. They’re a trendy and fun way to get to know the local food scene. Check out our top-rated  Trastevere food tour in Rome .

In Italy, there are stereotypical classifications for almost anything, including restaurants. When you’re in Rome, you’ll notice restaurants don’t just have a name, like “Tony’s,” but also a classification, such as “Trattoria.”  Each one means something specific, and it lets you know what kind of food and experience to expect. Unfortunately, very few visitors to Italy know the difference between an osteria and a trattoria . We’ll solve that for you right here.

Imagine waking up at 6:30  am, rolling over to your significant other, and saying, “Want to head to the bar?” This is what happens almost every morning to millions of Italians.

No, they are not alcoholics. You can get alcohol at an Italian Bar, but you normally don’t. It’s where you get breakfast. You’ll see the “Bar” sign all over Italy, and when you walk in, you’ll find espresso drinks, cornetto, and panini. You can also get freshly squeezed orange juice or vegetable juice. I highly recommend it!

Unlike the bar, you definitely shouldn’t wake up at 7 a.m. asking you’re significant other to go to the enoteca . This is where you go for an alcoholic drink like a glass of wine or a beer.

A good enoteca will serve tons of wine by the glass in many different price ranges. They’ll often also serve cured meat plates for a snack or even warm meals at times. I definitely recommend stopping by one of these on your travels in Italy and Rome.

Tavola Calda

One of my favorite types of places to eat lunch is a tavola calda . They are normally unassuming and serve many different types of dishes, from cooked vegetables to lasagna and pasta dishes. The dishes normally change from day to day based on what is in season and other factors.

For example, gnocchi in Rome is only served on Thursdays. If you see it on the menu seven days a week, you may be in a tourist trap. Authentic Roman restaurants only serve this dish on  giovedí.  You have been warned.

These are pretty cool little sandwich shops. Dotted all over Rome, they range in quality. Don’t refer to your sandwich as a “panini” unless you get more than one. The “i” makes it plural. Italian’s order a  panino. 

Check out 200 Gradi by the Vatican. It’s an awesome place. Campo dei Fiori also has an awesome drive-up stand open for lunch that serves porchetta.

Osterie are pretty cool if you can find one. They are basically super cheap and simple places to eat. A true osteria would have communal-style tables and serve very cheap meals. Back in the day, when Italy was extremely impoverished, they’d even allow you to bring your own food and just drink there.  Imagine that today?

You can find restaurants with the title “Osteria” in Italy, but you shouldn’t bring your own food or normally expect to eat with strangers. There is a place in Florence, Da Mario , which says it is a trattoria, but it feels more like what a traditional osteria would have been like.

Expect a warm and cheap meal if you happen to go inside an osteria in Rome, and even more so in the Italian countryside. The menu will either be non-existent or small. In the countryside or in small towns, they can be really cool. The waiter may rock up to your table and say, “Today, we are serving pasta with clams. Would you like fettucini or spaghetti with that?” Enjoy!

The trattoria of Rome sits somewhere between osteria and ristorante . Almost all Italian restaurants are family-run, bu t trattories are quintessentially family-run. They are normally inexpensive but have a larger menu than an osteria.

Expect traditional regional cuisine at a trattoria. If you go to two different ones, you may find the exact same things on the menu. This is because they offer their family’s version of that regional dish.

This is basically the Italian equivalent of a more formal restaurant. They’ll have a menu with all the Italian courses, and you’ll be expected to eat each course. You should definitely find a top-rated ristorante in Rome and budget 3 hours for your meal. Really indulge in the food, wine, and desserts.

Pasticceria

This is an Italian bakery serving all types of delightful local treats. They are probably the best places to go for breakfast as they’ll make their cornettos fresh and supply them to all the bars.

You should be able to get a coffee here, too, but that isn’t a given. If you’re staying in an Airbnb or apartment rental, find a pasticceria close by and pick up a bunch of  cornetti  for your group. You’ll be everyone’s favorite person!

Rosticceria

You won’t find this is in Rome, but it’s worth mentioning. A rosticceria is a place you can go to find pre-cooked meals like roasted meats and high-quality products. If you do find one and you’re renting an apartment, consider doing take-out one night from a rosticceria.

Taverna or Rifugio

You’ll find restaurants in Rome with  taverna in their names, but this is more a colorful play on words.  Taverne  are secluded restaurants in the Italian mountains where you could get a hearty meal, something to drink, and possibly a warm bed to sleep in.

Today, you can still find a few dotted in the landscape, but you’re more likely to find an agriturismo, which is more of a B&B. A taverna in Rome is most likely going to decorate its interior in a rustic countryside style and have hearty meals on its menu. It’s kind of like going to a seafood restaurant that’s decorated in a nautical theme but nowhere near an ocean.

One of the biggest cultural differences is that Romans tend to eat much later than basically everyone except the Spanish. In fact, many of the best restaurants won’t open until at least 7:30 p.m.

Lunch: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Dinner: 7:30 pm – 11 pm

To avoid eating in an empty restaurant and to really make the most of your evenings in Rome, try and fit in with them and eat a bit later. Around 8 pm is a good time to sit down.

Coffee Culture in Rome

espresso italy

Italians take their coffee culture very seriously, and there are almost as many rules about coffee as there are for food. Here’s what you need to know to get your coffee fix in Rome:

Espresso “un Café”: A very small shot of coffee. Unless you’ve been to Italy, it’s never been this small.

Café Doppio: Double shot of espresso.

Café Macchiato:   Basically a mini cappuccino. Imagine an espresso and foamed milk all in a tiny espresso cup. Normally, men order these in the morning.

Cappuccino:  This is espresso and foamed milk in a small cup. It’s larger than a macchiato, but nowhere near that tall cappuccino you are used to. You won’t find a larger size.

Café Americano:  Espresso with hot water. The name is from WWII, when American troops would ask Italians to put hot water in the espresso.

Latte: A cup of milk—don’t order this if you want caffeine.

Café Latte: Warm, non-foamy milk with espresso.

The Coffee Rules (Yes, there are rules)

  • No cappuccino or milk-based espresso after 11 a.m. You can do it, obviously, but it’s not really the culture.
  • No cappuccino or milk-based espresso with meals. Don’t do this.
  • It is cheap when you stand up at the bar (€1 – €2), expensive when you sit down. Same for everyone, not just tourists.

Rome Water Fountains

rome water fountains

One of the best things to know about Rome is that there’s no need to buy plastic bottles of water when you get thirsty—there are tons of fountains dotted around the city, and Romans are very proud of them.

Bring a refillable water bottle, and fill it up whenever you see one. There’s also an app to help you find them called I Nasoni di Roma. If you’re going in the heat of summer, you’ll find this tip invaluable!

People are always surprised that you can drink from these fountains, which is crazy if you think about it. Their original purpose was to provide running water to each neighborhood since most houses didn’t have running water. Today, we forget that fact and are astonished by this basic concept due to our many creature comforts.

Credit Cards, Tipping, and Communicating in Rome

tipping in italy

Cash or Credit?

The currency in Italy is the euro. An important thing to remember about Italy is that cash is still king. It’s necessary to carry a reasonable amount of cash around with you at all times to avoid getting stuck.

In general, most restaurants will allow you to pay on a card, as will large shops and tourist attractions. But for drinks, coffee, transport tickets, and small items, cards often aren’t accepted. There may even be a €10 minimum on card payments.

Rule of Thumb:  If it’s less than €10, pay cash. It’s more than €10, and you can probably pay credit as long as there isn’t a “Solo Cash” sign on the door.

The Good News:  The Italian word for credit card is carta di credito . Any Italian shop owner will understand when you ask, “Credit Card?” They’ll also know to respond, “Cash” if they don’t accept credit cards. So, there’s no need to stress.

Tipping isn’t really expected in Italy. I’ve tried to convince visitors that you just need to leave some extra change, a euro per person, regardless of check size, but it normally falls on deaf ears. To simplify things, I have created different levels of tipping to help people understand:

Don Corleone:  Leave 20%, and when you go back, the restaurant staff will celebrate your return as if you were the Godfather. You may get some sneers from other restaurant goers who can’t get your waiter’s attention.

Super Nice : Leave 10%. It’s less than you are used to but far more than anyone in Italy would expect.

Roman : Leave a euro or two extra per person. The wait staff will be very happy.

Nothing at All : Leave nothing and nobody will say anything. Your food will not be poisoned upon returning.

Communicating in English or Italian

One of my favorite things to watch is travelers trying to string together Italian words into sentences from a guidebook. I have been that traveler in many countries. The worst part, though, is when you actually make sense, and the person responds, much to your bewilderment.

Let’s not romanticize the key phrases part of a guidebook here and keep it simple. The phrases below will make you look like a pro because you’ll get simple responses such as si (yes) or a finger pointing to the bathrooms. Remember that c’s have a hard “ch” sound, unlike Spanish.

How much does this cost? Quanto costa?

Check, please. Il conto per favore.

Do you take credit cards? Posso pagare con la carte? 

Where is the bathroom? Dov’è il bagno? Or simply, “bagno?” 

Water?  Acqua?

Table for two, please. Tavolo per due, per favore.

Can you order for me? Fai te?

The last recommendation is by far my favorite. If your waiter is Roman, they will accept the challenge and bring some tasty food. A key phrase is certo (pronounced cherto), which means “of course”. Romans use this all the time, so you may hear it instead of si .

best travel guide for rome

When To Travel

Part of the reason why people love Rome is the weather. It’s pretty much always nice, and bad weather is when it is too hot. That’s a good problem to have.

Temperature

Avg Rome Temp (NOAA)

The average monthly temperature in Rome ranges from a low of 37 degrees Fahrenheit (F) to a high of 89 F.  It snows once every 10 to 50 years, and people don’t know what to do when that happens—it’s the greatest.

To decide when you want to travel to Rome, you can use this equation to get a rough idea.

How much am I willing to spend / Am I ok with cooler weather = Daily budget

Cheapest Months:

  • December (1st – 20th)
  • Jan (7th – 31st)
  • March (1st – 20th)

Mid-Range Months:

  • March (21st – 31st)
  • April (excluding 5 days on either side of Easter)
  • October (although it can be higher in price early in the month)

Full-Price Months:

  • Christmas to New Year
  • Easter (5 days on either side)

What To Pack

Check out the infographic below on what to pack. While it’s very useful, the ideal amount to pack is one change of clothes and a mostly empty suitcase. Shopping in Italy is great, so the more space you can leave in your suitcase, the better.

You don’t need to pack an umbrella. As soon as it rains, hundreds of people will appear out of nowhere selling umbrellas. It’s magical. Also, you can’t wear heels in Rome. Let me clarify, you can wear flats and pack heels in your purse for when you are inside bars and restaurants. The cobblestones make wearing heels nearly impossible.

best travel guide for rome

Rome has a rich cultural history and many iconic landmarks to explore. Plan where to stay in the magnificent Eternal City in the best neighborhoods.

people with smartphone looking for directions in an app

Reader Interactions

Comments (12).

' src=

September 3, 2019

What a lovely description of Italy and Italians you have given to us! I love to read about the transport, food and most importantly the people. Awesome work done! Keep them coming!

' src=

September 4, 2019

Ciao Tanisha! What a lovely comment. We are so happy to provide you with helpful tips for your vacation!

' src=

October 24, 2019

A very informative article. Thank you so much for sharing these things.

October 28, 2019

Ciao! Thanks so much for reading our blog! It’s our mission to provide you with the most useful information possible for your trip.

' src=

November 19, 2019

Nice quality post. Thumbs Up from my side. Special thanks to theromanguy for sharing this valuable information. Once again appreciated!

' src=

January 6, 2020

Nice tips. I’d add the 48 euro fixed rate from the airport to the centre as the best option if there are at least 2 people. By the time you take the train then Metro or taxi from Termini it just about equals out.

' src=

January 21, 2020

Thanks for the tip, Gary!

' src=

May 15, 2020

Rome really such a beautiful city, wish more people will be able to experience it. Thanks for the insightful article.

' src=

June 9, 2020

It is nice you included few basic lines of Italian language everyone should know when visiting Italy or and other country. People are so friendlier to you if you can say “Hi” to them in their language.

' src=

July 21, 2020

Hey, thanks for sharing this, I enjoyed reading it looking forward to my next trip to Italy.

' src=

April 23, 2021

Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.

' src=

September 27, 2022

thank you – very helpful and have taken notes for our trip 🙂

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • In The Press

POLICY & TERMS

  • Cancellation Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Privacy Policy

Rome Travel Guide

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

Select Month

  • roughguides.com
  • Travel guide
  • Itineraries
  • Local Experts
  • Travel Advice
  • Accommodation

Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert

Book securely with money-back guarantee

Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support

Carlo DeSando

Wonderful Time in Italy We were covered from the moment we landed in Rome. The drivers were great, the connections were flawless, and it was well-planned a...

Rome is the most fascinating city in Italy. You could easily spend a month here and still only scratch the surface. It’s an ancient place packed with the relics of over 2,000 years of inhabitation, yet it’s so much more than an open-air museum: its culture, its food, its people make up a modern, vibrant city that would be worthy of a visit irrespective of its past. As a historic centre, it is special enough; as a contemporary European capital, it is utterly unique.

The best travel tips for visiting Rome

Best things to do in rome, best areas to stay in rome, best restaurants and bars, how to get around, what is the best time to visit rome, how many days do you need in rome, how to get here, travel ideas for italy, created by local experts.

Experience the hit TV show 'The White Lotus' in Sicily

8 days  / from 2671 USD

Experience the hit TV show 'The White Lotus' in Sicily

Stay in beautiful Taormina with gorgeous views of Mount Etna and discover Sicily, including famous filming locations. Go on exclusive wine tastings, discover the Greek theater in Taormina with a private guide, visit other Sicilian towns and enjoy the crystal clear water on this week-long trip.

Enchanting Italian Lakes

8 days  / from 3319 USD

Enchanting Italian Lakes

Experience the picturesque lakes of Northern Italy, including Lake Garda, Como, Lugano and Maggiore; explore the charming Borromean Islands – former favourites of Ernest Hemingway – and stroll the romantic streets of Verona and Milan. All of this, and much more, with this self-drive trip!

From Venice to Florence: A Grand Tour of Northern Italy

16 days  / from 3319 USD

From Venice to Florence: A Grand Tour of Northern Italy

From the atmospheric canals of Venice and the picturesque coastline of Cinque Terre, to the trendy designer boutiques of Milan and the Renaissance-infused streets of Florence, Northern Italy has plenty to offer. Experience it all with this comprehensive trip.

Once the heart of the mighty Roman Empire, and still the home of the papacy, Rome is made up of layers of history. It's the most visited city in Italy , and there's a reason for that.

There are its ancient Roman features, of course, but beyond these, there’s an almost uninterrupted sequence of monuments – from early Christian basilicas and Romanesque churches to Renaissance palaces and the fountains and churches of the Baroque period, which perhaps more than any other era has determined the look of the city today.

The modern epoch has left its mark too, from the ponderous Neoclassical architecture of the post-Unification period to prestige projects like Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI exhibition space. These various eras crowd in on one another to an almost overwhelming degree: medieval churches sit atop ancient basilicas above Roman palaces; houses and apartment blocks incorporate fragments of eroded Roman columns; and roads and piazzas follow the lines of ancient amphitheatres and stadiums.

You won’t enjoy Rome if you spend your time trying to tick off sights. However, there are some places that it would be a pity to miss, namely the Vatican and its incredible museums, the star attractions of the ancient city – the Forum and Palatine, the Colosseum – and the signature Baroque churches, fountains and art, in particular the works of Borromini and Bernini.

RoughGuides tip: browse our Italy itineraries and find the best option to suit your tastes.

Piazza Mincio, Quartiere Coppede, Rome © Vinicio Tullio/Shutterstock

Piazza Mincio, Quartiere Coppede, Rome © Vinicio Tullio/Shutterstock

From iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Vatican to hidden gems found in quaint neighbourhoods, Rome seamlessly blends its storied past with a vibrant present. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, a food lover, or simply a curious traveller, Rome's captivating charm is bound to leave an indelible mark on your heart.

These are the best things to do in Rome. For a more detailed version, please read our article about the best things to do in Rome.

#1 Marvel at the architectural feats of the Pantheon

The Pantheon is easily the most complete ancient structure in Rome and, along with the Colosseum, visually the most impressive. It was originally a temple that formed part of Marcus Agrippa’s redesign of the Campus Martius in around 27 BCE, but was entirely rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD.

It’s a formidable architectural achievement even now, with a diameter precisely equal to its height (43.3m). The oculus – from which shafts of sunlight illuminate the musty interior – is a full 8.7m across. Most impressively, there are no visible arches or vaults to hold the whole thing up; instead, they’re sunk into the walls.

In its heyday, it would have been richly decorated, the coffered ceiling heavily stuccoed and the niches filled with the statues of gods. Now, apart from its sheer size, the main points of interest are the tombs of two Italian kings and the tomb of Raphael.

Things to do: Pantheon, Rome, Italy.

Pantheon, Rome, Italy © Shutterstock

#2 Explore the heart of Ancient Rome

There are remnants of the Roman Empire all over the city, but the most concentrated grouping is the area that stretches southeast from the Capitoline Hill and hosts the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, Forum and Palatine Hill.

Mussolini ploughed the Via dei Fori Imperiali road through here in the 1930s, with the intention of turning it into one giant archaeological park, and this to some extent is what it is. Although its glories are hard to glimpse now, the five or so acres that make up the Roman Forum have a symbolic allure that make it one of the most compelling sets of ruins anywhere in the world.

Rising above the Forum, the Palatine Hill is supposedly where the city of Rome was founded and is home to some of its most ancient remains. In a way, it’s a greener, more pleasant site to tour than the Forum.

Rome from above aerial view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

#3 Explore Trastevere: where authentic Rome unfolds

Trastevere, a district nestled on the west bank of the Tiber River, beckons travellers seeking a genuine Roman experience. Its labyrinthine narrow streets, charming squares, and bohemian atmosphere make it a must-visit. Roam these picturesque lanes adorned with vibrant street art and stumble upon cosy trattorias serving time-honoured Roman dishes. As the sun sets, Trastevere transforms into a lively nocturnal hub.

#4 Visit the Roman Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant pulse of Rome by exploring its markets. Campo de' Fiori, a bustling square during the day, unveils a vibrant market scene offering fresh produce, fragrant flowers, and artisanal goods. But it's at night that Campo de' Fiori truly comes alive, becoming a focal point for dining and socializing.

#5 Visit The Colosseum for ancient grandeur

The Colosseum, an emblem of Rome's illustrious past, invites you to step back in time.

This colossal amphitheatre, once a stage for gladiatorial battles and grand spectacles, embodies the city's ancient magnificence. Traverse its corridors, and envision the roars of the crowd and the valour of gladiators. To delve deeper into its history, consider a guided tour that unravels the tales concealed within these mighty walls.

#6 Discover the Roman Catacombs

Beneath Rome's bustling streets lies a clandestine realm of history and spirituality – the Roman Catacombs. Here, intricate networks of burial chambers, tunnels, and crypts reveal the city's early Christian heritage. Among the most notable are the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and Catacombs of Domitilla, where you'll encounter not only sacred traditions but also the architectural marvels hidden beneath the surface.

#7 Strike a pose on the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna) sweep down in a cascade of balustrades and balconies to Piazza di Spagna, whose distinctive boat-shaped Barcaccia fountain is the last work of Bernini’s father. At their top, the 16th-century, rose-coloured Trinità dei Monti church looks out over Rome.

In the nineteenth century, the steps were the hangout of young hopefuls waiting to be chosen as artists’ models, and nowadays they provide the venue for international posing and flirting late into the summer nights. The only Spanish thing about them, incidentally, is the fact that they lead down to the Spanish Embassy, which also gave the piazza its name.

Facing directly onto Piazza di Spagna, opposite the fountain, is the house where poet John Keats died in 1821. It now serves as the Keats-Shelley House, an archive of English-language literary and historical works and a museum of manuscripts and literary memorabilia relating to the Keats circle of the early 19th century.

Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna, Rome © Shutterstock

Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna, Rome © Shutterstock

#8 Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

It’s hard to miss the Fontana di Trevi: a Baroque gush of water over sprawling statues and rocks built onto the backside of a Renaissance palace.

There was once a more modest version around the corner, but in the 16th-century Urban VIII decided to upgrade it and employed Bernini, among others, to design an alternative. Work didn’t begin, however, until 1732, when Niccolò Salvi won a competition to design the fountain, and even then it took 30 years to finish. Salvi died in the process, his lungs destroyed by the dank waterworks of his construction.

The fountain was restored by the fashion house Fendi in 2015 at a cost of €2.2 million and is now a popular hangout and, of course, the place you come to chuck in a coin if you want to guarantee your return to Rome.

You might remember Anita Ekberg frolicking in it in La Dolce Vita, however, any attempt at re-creating the scene would be met with an immediate reaction by the police.

Night view over fountain di Trevi in Rome ©  trabantos/Shutterstock

Night view over Fountain di Trevi in Rome © trabantos/Shutterstock

#9 Explore the galleries and museums of Villa Borghese

Some of the areas immediately north of Rome’s city centre are taken up by its most central park, Villa Borghese, which serves as valuable outdoor space for both Romans and tourists as well as hosting some of the city’s best museums.

The wonderful Galleria Borghese was built in the early 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese and turned over to the state in 1902. Today it’s one of Rome’s great treasure houses of art and should not be missed; be sure to book in advance.

The Villa Borghese’s two other major museums are the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, which holds the world’s primary collection of Etruscan treasures.

#10 Discover modern Rome at MAXXI

A 10-minute tram journey north of Piazza del Popolo, MAXXI is a museum of 21st-century art and architecture. Opened to much fanfare in 2010 in a landmark building by the Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, it’s primarily a venue for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and architecture (though it does have small collections of its own).

The building, a simultaneously jagged and curvy affair, is worth a visit in its own right, with its long, unravelling galleries and a towering lobby encompassing the inevitable café and bookstore.

#11 The Vatican and its museums

The Vatican City , the headquarters of the Catholic Church, was established as a sovereign state in 1929 and today has around 1,000 inhabitants.

The Basilica di San Pietro, better known to many as St Peter’s, was built here on the site of St Peter’s tomb. It was worked on by the greatest Italian architects of the 16th and 17th centuries. On entering, the first thing you see is Michelangelo’s graceful Pietà, completed when he was just 24.

Stretching north, the Renaissance papal palaces are now home to the Vatican Museums. So much booty from Rome’s history has ended up here, from both classical and later times, and so many of the Renaissance’s finest artists were in the employ of the pope, that it really is quite simply the largest, most compelling museum complex in the world.

There’s no point trying to see everything in one visit, but don’t miss the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel.

vatican-night-rome-shutterstock_185659940

Vatican at night @ Shutterstock

#12 Eat your way through one of the world’s great food capitals

Roman cooking is traditionally dominated by the earthy cuisine of the working classes, with influence from the city’s Jewish population.

You’ll find all sorts of pasta, but spaghetti and the local speciality, bucatini, are the most common. The most famous local pasta dishes are cacio e pepe, alla carbonara, alla gricia and all’amatriciana.

Fish features most frequently as salt cod – baccalà – best eaten Jewish-style, deep-fried. Look out, too, for roasted milk-fed lamb, grilled lamb chops, and saltimbocca alla Romana, thin slices of veal cooked with a slice of prosciutto and sage on top. Offal is also key, and although it has been ousted from many of the more refined restaurants, you’ll still find it at more traditional places.

Artichokes are the quintessential Roman vegetable and fiori di zucca – batter-fried stuffed courgette blossom – is another unmissable side dish.

Roman pizza has a thin crust and is best when baked in a wood-fired oven, but you can also find lots of great pizza by the slice.

italian-pizza-rome-shutterstock_559089928

Italian pizza, Rome @ Shutterstock

#13 Enjoy gelato and a coffee

Indulge your taste buds in one of Italy's greatest pleasures. Treat yourself to authentic Italian gelato, a velvety delight that comes in a myriad of flavours. Pair it with a freshly brewed espresso or cappuccino for the perfect culinary experience. Rome's numerous gelaterias and quaint cafes provide the ideal backdrop for this sweet and caffeinated rendezvous.

#14 Bike along the Appian Way

Embark on a scenic adventure along the historic Appian Way, one of Rome's ancient roads. Rent a bicycle and pedal your way through picturesque countryside landscapes, passing by ancient ruins, catacombs, and Roman tombs.

Feel the echoes of history as you explore this well-preserved pathway that once connected Rome to the southern regions of Italy. It's a journey back in time like no other.

#13 Take a day trip

Escape the captivating chaos of Rome for a day and uncover the hidden treasures that surround the city. From the ancient ruins of Pompeii to the enchanting streets of Florence , a plethora of remarkable day trips awaits.

Delve into the mystique of history as you explore the ruins of Ostia Antica, or bask in the elegance of the Renaissance in Tivoli's Villa d'Este. The scenic Amalfi Coast beckons with its breathtaking coastline, while the medieval charm of Siena offers a glimpse into Tuscany's past.

Rough Guides tip: make sure to check all the day trips from Rome .

santa-maria-del-fiore-duomo-florence-italy-shutterstock_1340862311

Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo in Florence @ Shutterstock

Whether you want to be at the centre of the action or prefer somewhere quieter, there will be a place to stay in Rome that meets your needs.

Centro storico and Campo de’Fiori

These central areas are within walking distance of many of Rome’s key sites, but while there’s plenty of moderately priced accommodation you’ll need to book well in advance to nab cheaper places.

This artsy neighbourhood near the Colosseum is known for great vintage and indie shopping, alfresco coffee spots and lively nightlife.

Located on the west bank of the Tiber River, Trastevere is away from the busy tourist areas but still within walking distance. The winding cobblestone streets, colourful buildings and flower-filled balconies make it one of Rome’s prettiest neighbourhoods. It can be noisy at night, particularly in summer, so look for the quieter streets.

Browse the best hotels in Rome.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere and Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Rome is a great place to eat. Romans know a good deal about freshness and authenticity and can be demanding when it comes to the quality of the dishes they’re served.

There are lots of good restaurants in the centro storico, and it’s surprisingly easy to find places that are not tourist traps – prices in all but the really swanky restaurants remain pretty uniform throughout the city.

The small streets that surround Campo de’ Fiori square are filled with restaurants, wine bars and cafes while the square itself hosts a produce market.

The area around Via Cavour and Termini is packed with inexpensive places, but you’ll do even better heading to the nearby student area of San Lorenzo, where you can often eat superior food for the same money.

South of the centre, Testaccio is well endowed with good, inexpensive trattorias. The Testaccio Market is a major highlight but the whole neighbourhood is generally great for traditional Roman food.

The best way to get around the centre of Rome is to walk. However, the public transport system is cheap, reliable and as quick as the clogged streets allow.

The atac.roma.it website has information in English and a route planner; and the Muoversi a Roma website (and its free app, Roma Mobilità) have a journey planner that uses real-time data to find the quickest route.

Buses run till around midnight, when a network of night buses comes into service, accessing most parts of the city and operating until about 5.30 am.

The metro operates from 5.30 am to 11.30 pm (till 1.30 am on Fri and Sat). Its two main lines, A (red) and B (blue), crossing at Termini, only have a few stops in the city centre.

The most useful on metro line A are Ottaviano (for the Vatican), Flaminio (near Piazza del Popolo), Spagna (by the Spanish Steps), Barberini (at Piazza Barberini), Repubblica (at Piazza Repubblica) and San Giovanni (near the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano).

On line B, useful stops include Piramide (near Testaccio); Circo Massimo (by the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill); Colosseo (by the Colosseum) and Cavour (near the Monti district).

A new line, C, some of which is still under construction, crosses line A at San Giovanni, and – archaeological finds permitting, will have stations at Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum.

The easiest way to get a taxi is to find the nearest taxi rank (fermata dei taxi) – central ones include Termini, Piazza Venezia, Largo Argentina, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Barberini.

Alternatively, you can call a taxi, but bear in mind that this cost more – €3.50 for the call, plus the meter starts ticking the moment the taxi is dispatched to collect you.

Women travelling alone get a 10% discount between 10 pm and 6 am. All taxis carry a rate card in English giving the current tariff.

Renting a bike or scooter is an efficient way of nipping around Rome’s clogged streets. You’ll need to have a full driving licence.

Rome Metro sign © Shutterstock

Rome Metro sign © Shutterstock

Rome is busy all year round, but generally, the best times to visit are just before or just after the peak summer months: between Easter and June, and September to November.

Christmas is also a special time in Rome, especially if you’re able to wrangle your way into Vatican City on Christmas Day when the atmosphere is rather carnival-like.

Avoid July and August: the summer heat is at its fiercest, the streets are most congested and many Romans will be taking their holidays elsewhere.

Find out more about the best time to visit Italy .

The number of days you should spend in Rome depends on your interests, the pace at which you prefer to explore, and how much you'd like to see. Generally, to experience the major highlights of Rome without feeling rushed, a recommended itinerary might look like this:

2 to 3 days

With 3 days in Rome , you can cover the iconic attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City (including St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums), Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. You'll have a chance to immerse yourself in the history, art, and architecture that Rome is renowned for.

4 to 5 days

4 to 5 days in Roma gives you a bit more flexibility to explore at a leisurely pace. You can delve deeper into the above-mentioned sites, perhaps taking guided tours to gain richer insights. Additionally, you can explore some of the city's charming neighbourhoods, visit more museums and galleries, and enjoy more leisurely meals at local trattorias.

6 to 7 days

With a week in Rome, you can truly immerse yourself in the city's culture and lifestyle. You can consider day trips to nearby attractions like Ostia Antica or Tivoli's Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa. This extended stay also allows for more spontaneous exploration and relaxation, wandering through different districts, and taking in the local ambience.

Piazza Navona,Rome during christmas time © Shutterstock

Piazza Navona during Christmas time © Shutterstock

Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci, better known as Fiumicino, which handles the majority of scheduled flights, including easyJet’s; and Ciampino, where you’ll arrive if you’re travelling with Ryanair.

Fiumicino airport is linked to the centre of Rome by a direct train, the Leonardo Express, which takes 32min to get to Termini. Services begin at 6.23 am, leaving every 15–30min until 11.23 pm.

From Ciampino airport there are buses roughly every 30min–1hr to Termini and the journey takes 30–45 min. Alternatively, the cheapest way is Atral’s Ciampino Airlink comprising a bus to Ciampino train station and a train into Termini.

Travelling by train from most places in Italy, or indeed Europe, you arrive at Termini station, centrally placed for all parts of the city and meeting point of the two metro lines and many city bus routes.

Selected routes around Lazio are handled by the Regionali platforms of Termini station (a 5min walk beyond the end of the regular platforms).

The main station for buses from outside the Rome area is Tiburtina; from here, take metro line B to Termini for buses, trains and metro line A.

Coming into the city by car can be confusing and isn’t advisable unless you’re used to driving in Italy and know where you are going to park.

If you are coming from the north on the A1 autostrada take the exit “Roma Nord”; from the south, take the “Roma Est” exit. Both lead to the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA), which circles the city and is connected with all of its major arteries.

Find out the best ways to get to Italy .

Discover more places in Italy

Rome from above aerial view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

The Rough Guides to Italy and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

Pocket Rough Guide Florence

Find even more inspiration here

View of Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain from Corcovado view point, Brazil © galaro/Shutterstock

Planning your own trip? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Rough Guides Editors

written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 17.07.2023

facebook

Ready to travel and discover Italy?

Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

  • Where to stay
  • Travel advice

NOMADasaurus Logo

The 14 BEST Things to Do in Rome (2024 Travel Guide)

Picture of Gabby Boucher

  • Last Updated: February 5, 2024

Check out this list of the best things to do in Rome to help you plan your next big trip!

What comes to mind when you think of the top Rome attractions?

Ancient empires and Renaissance art? Sticky sweet gelato and carbs galore? Cobblestone streets packed to the brim with tourists?

Rome definitely has all of these things. But it also has so much more.

Though Rome is probably one of the most famous and touristy cities on the planet, it has a unique charm that guidebooks don’t always advertise.

You will probably have to push through some crowds to get a good photo of the Trevi Fountain or the Colosseum.

But walk a few blocks away from these attractions and you’ll find yourself in quiet, narrow streets where locals are hanging out laundry and flowers are spilling off iron balconies.

If you know the right places to go, you can see a local side of Rome that is vibrant and heartwarming.

READ MORE: Here’s our absolute best travel tips from over a decade on the road !

Table of Contents

Visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Stroll through villa pamphili park, admire the trevi fountain, shop at the porta portese flea market, people-watch in a public square, visit the pantheon, taste local foods at mercato testaccio, tour the borghese gardens, wander through vatican city, enjoy an apertivo, explore aventine hill, indulge in some carbs, experience the nightlife, 3) bus , 2) tram, metro or bus, 1) budget accommodation in rome, 2) mid-range accommodation in rome, 3) luxury accommodation in rome, the best things to do in rome, italy.

Rome has plenty of hidden gems and quiet neighbourhoods.

It has peaceful parks for escaping the crowds and street markets for affordable shopping.

And authentic Roman food is to die for.

So for any travellers feeling excited but a bit overwhelmed about visiting this iconic city, here is a list of all the best things to do in Rome.

You will find some obvious tourist attractions on this list.

But you will also find some less popular things to do in Rome that show a more local side of the city.

As picturesque relics of the ancient Roman Empire, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum are legendary sights in Rome.

Though this area is swarming with tourists and hawkers selling selfie sticks, no traveller can leave Rome without seeing these tangible remnants of history.

The Colosseum was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire and opened for business around 80 AD.

The Roman Forum was the centre of civilisation, and the ruins of the government buildings are surprisingly still standing.

Palatine Hill is thought to be the oldest place in ancient Rome and provides a great view of the Roman Forum.

A standard combined ticket to all three of these sights costs 12 Euros, and they are all located right next to each other.

However if you don’t want to spend a long time waiting in line, you can pre-purchase a combined ticket with fast track access to the sites for 23 Euro.

The attractions open at 8:30 am and close just before sunset, which varies depending on the time of year.

On the first Sunday of every month, a long list of museums and attractions in Rome are free of charge, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Visiting these places for free is an incredible opportunity.

But plan to arrive as early as possible because the lines get insanely long on these days, as this is what everybody wants to do in when wondering what to do in Rome!

Rome Colosseum

No trip to Italy would be complete without indulging in the heavenly delicacy that is gelato.

This classic Italian dessert is similar to ice cream but denser, sweeter and smoother.

Italians pack their gelato with natural fruit, nut and chocolate flavours.

Picking out which flavours you want is the most fun part.

A single scoop of gelato usually costs between 1 and 2 euros, so it is a very affordable treat.

Avoid the shops with towering piles of brightly coloured gelato, as these are stuffed with preservatives and artificial colours.

Real, authentic gelato is not as dramatic looking and is stored in humble, refrigerated containers that are usually hidden from view.

Some of Rome’s best gelato shops include Del Viale, Giolitti and Frigidarium .

The latter offers to coat your gelato in melted chocolate for no extra cost, so definitely don’t pass that up.

This is the best thing to do in Rome for those who want to escape the madness of the city and immerse themselves in nature.

Although Villa Pamphili Park is the largest public park in Rome, you won’t feel like you’re in the city at all as you explore the grounds.

The park is simply massive. As you enter you’ll see wide grassy fields with locals playing football, walking their dogs and having picnics.

Continuing along the gravel path, you’ll realize that the park seems to go on forever and it is easy to get lost in the maze of footpaths and forests.

The park is named for its villa built by the wealthy Pamphili family in the seventeenth century.

Filled with manicured hedges, glassy ponds and rustic old statues and fountains, the grounds release an aura of regality and antiquity.

READ MORE: Plan your Czech itinerary with 17 things to do in Prague !

Made famous by movies, postcards and travel magazines, the Trevi Fountain is a true work of art.

Designed in Baroque style by architect Nicola Salvi in the 18th Century, the fountain doesn’t really have any historical significance besides just being a beautiful landmark.

Tourists from all over the globe flock to this spot to make a wish and toss a coin into the fountain’s waters.

The Trevi Fountain

Every Sunday morning, a massive outdoor flea market floods the streets of Rome.

Located in three different streets, Via Ippolito Nievo, Via Portuense and Via Ettore Rolli , it can take you the entire day to sift through the whole market.

Here you can find everything from cheap clothes, shoes and jewellery to nice Italian leather to tacky souvenirs like magnets, hats, t-shirts and keychains.

The prices here are very cheap compared to more touristy areas of Rome so it’s a great place to shop for gifts.

Public squares are the centre of society in Rome, in Italy, and in all of Europe.

Throughout any European city, the busy streets often open up into these spacious squares filled with gardens, fountains, or art and framed with impressive architecture and cafes or shops.

Rome has an abundance of public squares that are great for relaxing during a busy day of sightseeing.

Piazza Navona, Piazza De Spagna, Piazza Del Popolo and Piazza Venezia are some of the city’s biggest and most crowded public squares.

These squares can get quite hectic but the urban beauty and design set in these piazzas is absolutely worth checking out.

To find quieter and more peaceful public squares, all you have to do is wander around.

Sometimes straying just a few blocks from a touristy area will bring you to an almost deserted piazza with a few locals chatting and eating gelato.

So if you need a little break from exploring all of the Rome attractions, find a comfy bench in any public square and watch the world go by for a bit.

BONUS: See the whole city with a hop-on, hop-off bus ticket

To really catch a glimpse of ancient Rome, visit the Pantheon . This is the most well-preserved building of the ancient empire.

And it is shocking to see how this structure built in the 2nd Century is still standing tall.

Originally a temple to the pagan gods of ancient Rome, the Pantheon is now a church that is free to enter.

Just keep in mind that you must wear appropriate clothes that cover your shoulders and knees to enter churches in Rome.

The Pantheon

Visiting Mercato Testaccio is one of the best things to do in Rome for food lovers who want to taste real Roman food.

Testaccio is a very local neighbourhood of Rome so you won’t find many other tourists here.

Open from 7 am until 3:30 pm and closed on Sundays, the market consists of a massive indoor hall filled with cheerful local vendors selling delectable food.

In Mercato Testaccio you’ll find tables overflowing with fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables, cafes brewing strong Italian coffee, and stalls selling hot, ready-to-eat meals.

Two of the best vendors in the market are Mordi e Vai , which sells Italian meat sandwiches using family recipes and Casa Manco , which sells artisan pizza topped with the most outrageous things you could imagine.

If you want a real authentic experience, check out this highly-rated street food tour led by a local .

As the city’s third-largest public park, the Borghese Gardens make for a gorgeous stop on a tour through Rome.

This massive green space was created in the 17th Century thanks to the rich noble Borghese Family.

The influential family also built a villa which is now an art museum known as the Borghese Gallery.

Tickets for the gallery are 20 Euros and they only allow 360 people inside at once, every two hours, so buy your ticket in advance.

Otherwise, the gardens are free to enter and you can spend hours exploring the different sections.

There are displays of pristine landscaping, huge stretches of soft green grass and towering trees, and a small lake where you can rent paddle boats for 3 Euros per adult.

The Lake In The Borghese Gardens

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. So technically it is actually not part of Italy.

But this independent nation is entirely surrounded by Rome and is one of Rome’s top attractions.

As the home of the Pope and centre of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City is a fascinating place to visit whether you are Catholic or not.

Construction of Vatican City began in the 4th Century.

Although the legendary St. Peter’s Basilica wasn’t built until the 16th Century.

The historical significance of this place is mind-blowing, and it is humbling to walk through the spacious St. Peter’s Square where so many vital religious events and ceremonies have happened for centuries.

It is completely free to wander through St. Peter’s Square and to enter St. Peter’s Basilica.

But the highlight of the Basilica, the Renaissance masterpiece that is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel , has an entrance fee of 15 Euros.

The same ticket allows you to enter all the Vatican Museums.

Do yourself a favour and purchase a ‘skip the line’ ticket to make the most of your time in Vatican City.

Aerial View Of St. Peter’s Square

Apertivo is like the classy Italian version of Happy Hour.

Around 7pm in the evening, you can pay about 10 to 15 Euros per person for a drink and access to a buffet of light food.

This is a great way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing and relax with the locals.

Because Italians eat dinner quite late, Apertivo is meant to be a warm-up for the real dinner later on.

There are countless restaurants and bars offering Apertivos all over Rome, so you’ll have no trouble finding a place.

READ MORE: Reasons why you should plan an amazing trip to Berlin !

Aventine Hill is an elevated section of Rome full of lovely things to do.

Walk up here in the evening and stroll through the public gardens while listening to street performers and watching the sunset over the city.

Or check out one of the few ancient churches located on the hill.

Basilica di Santa Sabina all’Aventino was built in the 5th Century, making it one of Rome’s oldest basilicas.

If you are visiting Rome in April, May or June, you can visit Aventine Hill’s Rose Garden .

Open from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm, the beautifully landscaped Rose Garden overflows with aromatic roses of every shape, size and colour, and it is completely free.

Aventine Hill is best known for the Aventine Keyhole , a secret of Rome that is no longer that secret.

Next to Piazza dei Calvieri di Malta , you can peer through the tiny keyhole on the plain-looking green door and see a perfect view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

It is free to look through the Aventine Keyhole, but there is usually a long line.

View Of St. Peter’s Basilica Through The Aventine Keyhole

Italian cuisine is most famous for its celebration of carbohydrates.

From pizza and pasta to paninis and risotto, to fresh bread and pastries, Italian food is often rich and filling.

Travellers should treat themselves to all the comfort food that Italy has to offer.

Some Italian food is better in Rome than elsewhere in Italy.

For example, carbonara is a pasta dish that originated in Rome.

Made with pecorino romano, guanciale, black pepper and eggs, some of the world’s best carbonara can be found in Rome.

An amazing hidden pasta place in Rome is Pastifico , open daily from 1 pm until 9:30 pm.

This tiny take away shop only makes two different types of pasta per day and a hefty portion costs just 4 Euros.

Pizza is another classic Italian meal. But Roman pizza is special.

It has a stronger crust and is made in a rectangular shape, differing from the classic circular Neapolitan style pizza with softer dough.

You can find take away shops selling Roman pizza all over the city, and the slices are sold by weight.

This means you can buy lots of little squares and try different toppings instead of having to commit to one large pizza.

Another classic Roman carb is supplì , which are small fried rice balls similar to arancini of Sicily.

There is a local take away shop in Rome that makes the most amazing supplì and also has incredible Roman pizza.

The shop is conveniently called Supplì , and is open from 9 am to 10 pm and closed on Sundays.

The last must-try carb dish in Rome is a trapizzino , which is a triangular bread pocket stuffed with cheese and meat or veggies.

You can find this hearty Roman street food at a restaurant called Trapizzino, open daily 10 am until 1 am.

Every city takes on a different vibe as night time approaches.

Italians love to party and stay out late. So it is worth experiencing the vibrant nightlife at least once while visiting Rome.

Sometimes dinner itself is like a party. A big Italian dinner usually doesn’t start until 8 or 9 pm, and after all the food, wine and limoncello you may want to dance it all off.

Trastevere is a trendy neighbourhood in Rome full of fun bars.

Visit Coffee Pot or Bar San Calisto to hang with locals.

Or head to On The Rox or G Bar to hang with other travellers and students studying abroad.

Rome is also full of exciting nightclubs with flashing lights and top-notch DJs.

Roman Streets At Night

One of the best places to go out in Rome is Alcazar , a medium-sized club with a stage in the middle where locals bands play live music and anyone can join in the jam session.

While this list has only scratched the surface of things to do in Rome, these activities provide a great introduction into the history, culture and cuisine of Italy’s capital city. 

You can shamelessly marvel at all the famous tourist attractions, then head to the local parts of town for authentic food and a more relaxed, local atmosphere.

Rome is popular for good reason, so next time you travel to Italy make sure the Eternal City has a place on your to-do list.

Rome Travel Guide

Now that you know the best things to do in Rome, here are a few helpful tips for travelling through Rome. Learn where to stay and how to get around the magnificent city.

This advice paired with having a thorough list of Rome’s best attractions will help you have the best possible stay in Italy’s charismatic capital. 

Travel in Rome: Getting To The City

Travelling around Europe is very easy and affordable. 

Budget airlines fly all over the continent and a sophisticated network of trains and buses connects Rome to other cities in Italy and neighbouring countries. 

The easiest and cheapest way to get to Rome depends on where you are coming from.

Train, bus and plane tickets in Europe can all be in the same price range, so you’ll have to compare all three.

Online platforms like Rome2Rio and Omio compare prices between different modes of transport in Europe, so they are perfect for finding the best option. 

If you are travelling to Rome from a different country, flying is the quickest way to get there.

Rome has two airports, Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA).

Budget airlines from all over Europe and the rest of the world fly into these airports, so just make sure you note which airport your flight goes to. 

From both airports, trains or buses can bring you into the city centre easily. 

Train travel is most useful for getting to Rome from other cities around Italy.

Termini is the main train station in Rome, and it is centrally located near the touristy parts of the city.

Tiburtina and Ostiense are the other two train stations in Rome that connect with other Italian cities. 

After buying a train ticket, don’t forget to validate it on the little machines on the train platform.

These machines stamp your ticket with the date and time you are using it.

You can get fined if you forget to do this and a ticket officer checks your ticket on the train. 

Bus travel is also useful for travelling around Italy. The buses are usually slower than trains and make lots of stops.

Again, you’ll always have to compare bus and train prices to and from Rome because the prices can vary.

Usually, buses are much cheaper than trains, so if you are on a budget it can be worth travelling to Rome by bus. 

Travel in Rome: Inside the City

Walking is, without a doubt, the best way to see Rome.

Walking is often even faster than public transport, cars or taxis because traffic in the city can be horrible.

That being said, arriving in Rome and exploring for the first time can get overwhelming and you’ll probably get lost at least once.

Because the city dates back to ancient times, the road network has been constantly modified over the centuries and has no rhyme or reason.

Try downloading a navigation APP on your phone, such as Maps.me or Google Maps , so you can find your way a bit easier.

Or just go old-school and carry a paper map.

All of the attractions listed in this article are within walking distance from the city centre.

The Tiber River snakes through Rome, with attractions located on both sides of it.

The river is an easy landmark for finding your way through the city, so if you ever get lost just find the river and get your bearings from there. 

But getting lost in Rome is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the city.

The winding alleyways, hidden churches and local neighbourhoods are part of Rome’s charm, and getting lost can help you stumble across some real beauty. 

Definitely wear comfortable shoes in Rome; the cobblestones are easier to cope with in sneakers.

If your feet are starting to hurt from all the walking, you can also take public transport to different parts of the city.

The three main methods of transport in Rome are the public bus, the metro and the tram, which is an overground railway cart that travels along the road.

The metro is the fastest since the bus and the tram have to deal with traffic and stoplights. 

For all three of these, a single journey ticket is 1.50 Euros and is valid for 100 minutes.

You can buy these tickets in a metro station or from any little convenience store in the city. 

Accommodations – Where to Stay in Rome

Because Rome is such a popular tourist destination, it has many accommodation options that suit any traveller.

There are plenty of hostels, Airbnbs and hotels scattered around the city centre so you can stay right in the middle of the action. 

Here are a few centrally-located and highly rated places to stay in Rome that cater to different travel budgets.

Generator Rome Hostel : Located near Termini Station and walking distance from the Colosseum, a dorm bed here costs 15 Euros per night and a private room costs about 60 Euros per night. 

Funny Palace Rome : This hostel has dorm beds as cheap as 10 Euros per night and private rooms for 40 Euros per night. It is also conveniently located near Termini Station.

Hostel Trastevere : Set in the trendy and lively neighbourhood of Trastevere, here you can find dorm beds for 13 Euros per night and private rooms for 70 Euros per night.

A Picture of Rome B&B : This cozy bed and breakfast costs 40 Euros per night for a suite and is located near Vatican City.

Blue Inn Luxury Suites : A nice room with a double bed costs only 55 Euros per night. You will also be staying within walking distance to the Trevi Fountain and Borghese Gardens.

Suites Piazza Del Popolo : At 40 to 50 Euros per night, this affordable hotel is located near the bustling Piazza Del Popolo and the Borghese Gardens.

The Inn At The Roman Forum : Set right next to the famous Roman Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill, this beautiful inn costs $130 per night.

Martis Palaca Hotel Rome : Also costing $130 per night, this hotel allows you to stay near the central public square, Piazza Navona.

Hotel Artemide : This hotel is next to Termini Station and is walking distance from the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. A room here costs $180 per night.

Once you’ve booked your stay in Rome at a place that suits your price range, you can start thinking about how to fill your days in this magical city. 

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

Picture of Gabby Boucher

Gabby Boucher

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

Join the Team

We’ve been traveling the world together since 2008, searching for the planet’s best destinations and adventures.

Love Travel?

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter for the best travel tips, ideas and deals!

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

READ MORE...

The Best Campervan Solar Panels for RV and Van Life [2024]

The ultimate guide to the best campervan batteries [2024], we rate the 6 best campervan inverters [2024 rv guide], related posts, jacis lodges review – a luxury safari in madikwe, south africa, 4 thoughts on “the 14 best things to do in rome (2024 travel guide)”.

thanks for the info . my siter and I are only in Rome after a cruise for 3 days , so nice to have insote into what to do . thanks

Thank you for a great insight to what we can do and experience when we visit Rome for our anniversary next september ,we can’t wait and hope to see and try most of the things you have mentioned.

That is so amazing. Have a great anniversary Graham. What a great place to have it.

Hi Graham, that will be amazing. What a great stop to have an anniversary. Have a great time.

Leave a comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Top Travel Books and Guides for Rome

best travel guide for rome

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images 

Here are 10 recommended guidebooks for Rome , which is one of the most popular travel destinations in Italy. In Rome you will find ancient Roman sites , medieval and Renaissance buildings and fountains, great museums , and a modern Italian city. You'll find it all in these books.

Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City

Written by Elizabeth Minchilli, who has been eating in Rome since she was 12, this book includes not only restaurants but food markets, coffee bars, gelato shops , and anything related to food in Rome. Find the best places to eat, recommended by Elizabeth. It's also available for Kindle.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Rome

Eyewitness Travel Guides have lots of photos, floor plans, and maps, as well as suggestions about what to see, where to go, and what to do in Rome .

National Geographic Traveler: Rome

The National Geographic Traveler's book includes photos and detailed maps, mapped walking tours, and visitor information.

The Rome Guide: Step by Step Through History's Greatest City

This well-written, in-depth book presents 10 different walks through the city with lots of detail about monuments and history. This is a great book for those who want something more than the usual guidebook.

Quiet Corners of Rome

"Quiet Corners of Rome" by David Downie explores 60 peaceful places of beauty in Rome, away from the noise and crowds of the city, each with beautiful photos. The book is small and easy to carry along on your visit to Rome. It's also a great gift book or book for the armchair traveler.

Rome the Second Time

"Rome the Second Time," part of the Curious Traveler Series, has 15 itineraries that don't go to the Colosseum. If you've been to Rome before and want to see something more than the usual tourist sites, this book has detailed suggestions. It's full of interesting tidbits so it's a good read even if you're not doing the walks. It's also available for Kindle.

Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler

A follow up to "Rome the Second Time," Modern Rome outlines walks in three different 20th-century Roman neighborhoods and on the staircases of Trastevere. It's also interesting to read even if you're not going to do the walks. The book is available on Kindle, but it can be difficult to read the maps in the basic Kindle format, so if you really want to do the walks you may prefer the paperback version.

Lonely Planet Rome

Lonely Planet has more than 800 places to go in Rome and 30 maps. There are local tips from residents of Rome and information about history, art, and architecture, as well as where to eat and drink. It's also available on Kindle.

I Am John, I Am Paul: A Story of Two Soldiers in Ancient Rome

While this book is fiction, it's a good introduction to the rise of early Christianity and the lives of Saints John and Paul. Read the book before you visit the Case Romane archeological site, ancient Roman houses and early Christian site below the Church of Saints John and Paul in Rome. It's also available on Kindle.

Flavors of Rome: How, What and Where to Eat in the Eternal City

Flavors of Rome takes a look at the food of Rome and how it will be different from Italian food in the United States. There are good restaurant recommendations and a handy food glossary at the end. The book is small and lightweight so easy to carry on a trip to Rome.

Where to Go in 2023: The Most Exciting Destinations to Explore This Year

Your Trip to Rome: The Complete Guide

10 Unique Guided Tours in Rome

Gili Islands of Indonesia: Planning Your Trip

The 25 Top Attractions in Rome, Italy

8 Best Things to Do in Vatican City

Essential Ancient Sites to Visit in Rome

The 14 Best Day Trips from Rome

How to Visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome

Borghese Gallery: A Complete Guide

The Top 23 Things to Do in Italy

Top 6 Tourist Attractions in Italy

The Trastevere Neighborhood in Rome

Rome Festivals & Events in April

8 Things to Do in Rome's Trastevere Neighborhood

5 Must-See Towns on Italy's Amalfi Coast

Guía turística de Rome

Rome was called the “ Eternal City ” by the ancient Romans because they believed that no matter what happened in the rest of the world, the city of Rome would always remain standing . Exploring the city center by foot surrounded by glorious monuments and colossal remains takes you back in time to the “glory that was Rome”.

Rome Travel Guide

  • General Information
  • Top Attractions
  • Getting to Rome
  • Public Transport
  • Money-saving tips
  • Where to Eat
  • Where to Stay
  • 3-Day Itinerary

Why visit Rome?  

With its unparalleled history, Rome is the third most visited city in Europe and the fourteenth worldwide. It attracts visitors from all over the world who are impatient to discover the city’s impressive monuments and archaeological sites ; not to mention its renowned cuisine and its lively atmosphere.

When exploring the Colosseum , visitors will easily imagine how the gladiators fought for their lives in the arena, cheered by the crowd. In the Circus Maximus , travelers will picture the chariots crashing into each other in order to be first in the race, and in the Roman Forum visualize what the Roman public life was like.

Looking for accommodation?

If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, we suggest visiting our search engine , where you’ll find all types of hotels, hostels, and apartments with the best rates guaranteed . You can get up to a 75% discount and pay once you get to your destination.

  • Accommodation in Rome - find the best deals​

top activities

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour Skip the endless queues for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel—explore the most iconic landmarks in the Vatican City accompanied by an expert guide .

Colosseum Tour + Gladiator's Entrance When in Rome, don’t miss the eternal Colosseum! Access the arena through the Gladiator’s Gate, the entrance used by the ancient Roman fighters.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums + St Peter's Basilica On this tour, you'll get access to the Sistine Chapel first thing in the morning, avoiding all the crowds . We'll also visit  St Peter's Basilica .

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour Travel back in time to Ancient Rome and discover the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill on this guided tour with priority access !

Borghese Gallery Guided Tour Discover the extraordinary collection of paintings and sculptures housed in the Borghese Gallery , one of Rome's must-see art museums .

Pompeii & Naples Day Trip Set off on a full day trip and discover the ruins of Pompeii , followed by a panoramic tour of Naples , one of the world's oldest constantly populated cities.

Rome Night Tour On this night tour of Rome ,   we'll visit the most iconic piazzas , streets and monuments of the Italian capital when the city comes to life at dusk.

Rome Ciampino Airport Shuttle Bus With this shuttle service between Ciampino Airport and Rome, you'll be in the centre of the Italian capital in less than an hour. The eternal city awaits you!

Trastevere Food Tour Feast your eyes and stomach during a 3-hour food tour in Trastevere, one of Rome’s most bohemian neighborhoods and sample the delicious Italian gastronomy.

Private Walking Tour of Rome Explore the Eternal City's most iconic sights accompanied by an expert guide just for you and your partner, family or friends.  Discover the best of Rome !

Audience With Pope Francis An audience with Pope Francis is a unique spiritual experience . Your guide will take care of everything, so you can go relaxed.

Basilicas Tour and Secret Underground Catacombs Discover some of the most symbolic sites in Christian history: the Catacombs and two of the world's most important Basilicas on this tour of the Eternal City.

Rome Sightseeing Cruise on the Tiber River Take a sightseeing cruise along the Tiber River and enjoy spectacular 360º views of Rome from the water. You can hop on and off as many times as you want!

Day Trip to Venice by High Speed Train Experience a day trip from Rome to Venice on a high-speed train and explore its beautiful canals and historic centre at your own pace.

Roam the underbelly of Rome on this tour of its underground system . Walk  the Appian Way and Caffarella and   dive into the lesser-known side of the Eternal City !

Palazzo Santa Chiara Opera Concert Treat yourself to a unique experience during your stay in Rome when you attend a fantastic opera concert at the Palazzo Santa Chiara .

Ostia Antica Half-Day Tour from Rome Discover the legacy of the Imperial City on a guided tour of Ostia Antica, an ancient harbor town only 30 km from Rome. Travel back in time with this tour!

Papal Audience & Vatican Museums Tour Enjoy this unique experience of the Holy See with this combination tour which includes an  audience with Pope Francis and a visit to the Vatican Museums .

Castel Sant'Angelo Tour + Terrace Access A refuge for popes and an ancient Roman mausoleum , Castel Sant'Angelo harbours great secrets. On this guided tour we'll unveil its most hidden mysteries.

Rome Fiumicino Airport Shuttle Bus Are you travelling to Rome? Book this shuttle bus between Fiumicino Airport and Rome so you can get into the city centre comfortably and quickly.

St Peter's Basilica Guided Tour + Dome Climb Enjoy the best views of Rome by climbing the 320 steps leading up to the dome of St. Peter's . We'll also visit the interior of the Basilica!

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi With this classical music concert, you'll experience all Four Seasons of the famous Antonio Vivaldi . An unforgettable concert in an incomparable setting!

This tourist bus is the perfect way to discover Rome . You can choose different routes with numerous stops and hop on and off as many times as you want!

OMNIA Rome & Vatican Card The OMNIA Card is a sightseeing pass that includes priority access to Rome’s main attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City .

Italian Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop If you love Italian cuisine, then don't miss out on this  Italian Pasta and Tiramisu Workshop . You'll learn how to make some staple Italian dishes!

Florence & Pisa Day Trip Discover two incredible jewels in Tuscany on our Florence & Pisa Day Trip from Rome. You'll see the Duomo , the Ponte Vecchio and the Leaning Tower .

Rome Mysteries & Legends Free Tour Wandering ghosts and enigmas in Caravaggio's works ... Discover the hidden side of the city with this free tour of Rome's mysteries and legends.

Italian Pizza Workshop Visit Rome and enjoy a delicious pizza made with your own hands . Try this Italian Pizza Workshop and learn how to make one of the country's most famous dishes.

Rome Pub Crawl Are you ready to discover the vibrant nightlife of the Italian capital ? Join us on this pub crawl through Rome and experience it for yourself!

Private Photoshoot outside of the Colosseum Remember your trip to Rome forever with this private photoshoot outside the Colosseum - we'll make sure you look your best beside the iconic monument!

The impressive dome of the Pantheon of Agrippa has fascinated the whole world for centuries. Discover it with this guided tour of Ancient Rome .

St. Peter's Basilica Tickets: Dome Access + Audioguide Secure your ticket to St. Peter's Basilica for an experience that includes access to its magnificent dome and a self-guided tour with an English audio guide .

Mostra di Leonardo Ticket Discover some of the most amazing inventions by the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci with this ticket to the Mostra di Leonardo museum.

The Three Tenors Concert The church of  St. Paul's Within the Walls in Rome opens its doors to you to offer you the show The Three Tenors. Enjoy an unforgettable opera concerto.

Rome Catacombs Tour & Appian Way Visit the catacombs of Rome with an expert English-speaking guide during a 3-hour half day-trip, also discovering the fascinating Villa di Massenzio.

La Traviata with Ballet Entrance Ticket Enjoy one of the most famous operas of all time in the magical setting of the St Paul's Within the Walls Church with this La Traviata Ballet Entrance Ticket.

Set off on a day trip from Rome across the Italian countryside to discover the birthplace of St Francis  in the charming town of Assisi .

Capitoline Museum Guided Tour Marvel at one of Rome’s most important museums , the Capitoline Museums, followed by a visit to Piazza del Campidoglio on top of the Capitoline Hill.

Baths of Caracalla & Circus Maximus Guided Tour Go back in time on this walking tour of the Bath of Caracalla, the most luxurious thermae of the Roman Empire . Then marvel at the remains of the Circus Maximus.

Visit the largest Roman amphitheater in the world on this guided tour of the Colosseum. An absolute must if you're in the Italian capital!

Rome Bike Tour Tour the Italian capital on two wheels whilst you enjoy an electric bike tour of the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and much more .

Capri Day Trip Like the writers and artists before you, you'll fall in love with Capri on this unmissable tour. Discover the island's myths, legends and Blue Grotto .

Day Trip to Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti On this tour to Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti , we'll discover the beautiful region of Tuscany - including medieval towns, and a visit to a wine cellar!

Rome Photo Tour Discover the most Instagrammable locations in the Italian capital and show off your trip with this Rome Photo Tour.  Benvenuti a Roma !

Tuk Tuk Tour around Rome Tour Rome in the most comfortable way on this tuk tuk tour. We'll explore its seven hills and learn tons of historical fun facts about the eternal city.

Tiber River Cruise with Appetizer Discover Rome from a privileged perspective as you relax with this Tiber River Cruise with Appetizer. You'll see symbolic places such as the Umberto I Bridge.

Rome Private Tour with Driver Fall in love with Rome with this private tour with driver. Choose your route, and enjoy a comfortable tour solely for you and your travel companions.

Trastevere and Jewish Ghetto Tour Enjoy a walking guided tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto and soak up the neighborhood’s bohemian atmosphere with numerous landmarks to visit.

Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Day Trip Visit the two treasures of Tivoli on this day trip: Hadrian's Villa, Roman Emperor's retreat, and Villa d'Este, a Renaissance mansion with magnificent gardens.

Rome Squares and Fountains Guided Tour Set off on a walking guided tour of Rome and discover some of its iconic landmarks, such as the Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, and Piazza Navona .

Rome Hard Rock Cafe Come to the Rome Hard Rock Cafe and enjoy an exquisite menu of American food in an emblematic place where the rhythm of rock is felt in every corner. 

Wine Tasting in Rome Italy is world-renowned for its tradition of wine-making. Indulge your senses on this wine tasting tour of Rome with an expert sommelier!

Rome Fascist History Tour discover the architecture designed in Rome at the time of Benito Mussolini's fascist dictatorship with this Rome Fascist History Tour.

Welcome to Rome Tickets Immerse yourself in Rome's thrilling history when you buy a ticket for the fascinating Welcome to Rome multimedia experience .

Rome: Angels and Demons, the Illuminati Adventure Quest Impersonate Robert Langdon himself for a day in this puzzle hunt in Rome: Angels and Demons , the Illuminati Hunt. The best way to explore the city!

Janiculum, Trastevere and Jewish Quarter Guided Tour On this fascinating tour of the Gianicolo , Trastevere and   the Jewish Quarter  in Rome, we'll gain a truly unique perspective of the Italian capital.

Castel Sant'Angelo Ticket + Audio Guide Explore the intriguing history of Castel Sant'Angelo with this admission ticket + audio guide. Uncover the mysteries of one of Rome's most cryptic monuments !

Bioparco di Roma Ticket With your ticket to the Bioparco of Rome you will discover this zoo located in the heart of the city, inside Villa Borghese, an ideal plan for families!

Go City: Rome Explorer Pass The Go City: Roma Explorer Pass  tourist card gives you access to the  main attractions in the Italian capital, such as the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum.

Rome Street Art Tour Discover secrets and the most interesting glimpses throughout the most colourful district with this Rome Street Art Tour. Explore the captivating capital city!

Lake Albano Kayak Tour If you're in Rome and want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city , join us on this kayak tour on Lake Albano .

Roma World Entrance Ticket Don't miss out on your ticket to Roma World , a theme park in which you'll travel back in time to the ancient and powerful Roman Empire .

Entrance to IKONO Rome Looking for a unique plan in the Italian capital? With a ticket to IKONO Rome , you'll get to explore this creative space and become a part of the art!

Rome Layover Tour Take advantage of your time at Rome airport to explore the Italian capital with this Rome Layover Tour. You'll discover the charm of the beautiful Eternal City.

Rome Private Day Trips Explore the beautiful Italian cities of Naples, Pompeii, Ostia or Assisi with these Rome Private Day Trips. You'll have an exclusive guide just for your group.

Cinecittà World Ticket With this entrance ticket to Cinecittà World you can visit real film sets and travel to the imaginary worlds of movies and TV series .

Rome Electric Tuk Tuk Tour Explore the Eternal City through an eco-conscious lens with our electric tuk tuk tour of Rome  and roam the Italian capital's streets in a zero-emission vehicle!

Trevi Fountain and its Underground World On this  tour of the Trevi Fountain and its underground world , we'll reveal the hidden treasures and history of the most  fountain in Rome . 

Ischia 5-Day Tour Are you in Rome? Join us to visit the most beautiful islands in the Napolitan archipelago  on this  5-day tour of Ischia . You'll love it!

Private Tuk-Tuk Tour of Rome Would you like to see the Eternal City in the most comfortable way ? On this private tuk-tuk tour of Rome , we'll tour the capital of Italy in an exclusive group.

Capri + Pompeii Day Trip Pompeii and Capri  are two must-see stops in Campania. Discover their history and beauty on this day trip from Rome . Don't miss out!

Naples to Capri Tour: 2/3 Days Relax in southern Italy with this Naples to Capri Tour lasting 2/3 days. Discover Pompeii's incredible history, Sorrento's cuisine and Capri's beauty .

Florence Excursion by High Speed Train Known as the "City of Art", Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On this day trip, we'll tour its historic centre and the Uffizi Gallery.

5 Day Tour: The Best of Italy The best of Italy in just 5 days! Asisi, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Padua, Venice and Montepulciano  are the cities we take in on the tour.

Colosseum Guided Night Visit Visit one of Rome's most iconic monuments all lit up at the most magical time of day on our  Colosseum Guided Night Visit at dusk .

Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Day Trip From Pope Alexander VII to Benedict XVI , numerous popes have spent the holidays at the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo . Explore its links with the Vatican!

Vatican Museums Private Tour Step into the legacy of the Italian city-state on this Vatican Private Tour. Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with just your family or friends!

Colosseum Private Tour Discover the World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World with this  Colosseum Private Tour . Explore the Roman site with an exclusive guide.

Pompeii & Minori Tour: 3 Days Discover the impressive ruins of Pompeii , explore the Almafi Coast  & enjoy 2 nights in Minori on this incredible 3-day tour.

Capri Tour: 2/3 Days Be captivated by the glamour of the Italian island with this Capri Tour lasting 2 or 3 days. Explore the fascinating Mediterranean cave, the Blue Grotto.

Ponza Island Day Trip Enjoy a  day trip from Rome to Ponza Island . Cruise along the waters, feel the breeze in your hair and cool off with a dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea!

Vatican Gardens + Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Ticket Discover the green lung of Vatican City on this tour of its gardens. You'll also visit the Sistine Chapel and take a self-guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

Free Walking Tour of Rome The city of the Caesars, of Baroque and, of course, The Eternal City. Discover Rome with this free walking tour of the Italian capital .

The most complete guide of Rome

This guide has been written by travelers like yourself and it's designed to help you plan your stay in Rome, so that you get the most out of the city as possible, whether you're staying for 2 days or a month. Find out what the top attractions  and the best places to eat are, which museums are worthwhile, and where to stay in Rome. If you’re traveling on a budget, we have also an article on how to save money while visiting this fascinating city, and the daily costs , so that you're prepared before getting to Italy.

The information provided in this guide was updated in  January 2023 . If you find a mistake or would like to make a suggestion, please do not hesitate to  contact us .

Download the Civitatis app from the App Store

Our travel guides

  • top attractions
  • where to stay
  • and much more

best travel guide for rome

Passing Thru Travel

Passing Thru Travel

Discover Rome – A Comprehensive 12-Step Traveler’s Guide

Posted: February 28, 2024 | Last updated: February 28, 2024

<p><strong>Rome, where history and modernity intertwine seamlessly, offers an unparalleled journey through time. Known as the Eternal City, Rome is a living museum boasting ancient ruins, Renaissance art, and vibrant street life. This guide will navigate you through Rome’s most iconic landmarks and hidden gems, ensuring a well-rounded experience of this timeless city. From the grandeur of the Colosseum to the charm of Trastevere’s narrow streets, get ready to explore the depths of Rome’s rich history and culture.</strong></p>

Rome, where history and modernity intertwine seamlessly, offers an unparalleled journey through time. Known as the Eternal City, Rome is a living museum boasting ancient ruins, Renaissance art, and vibrant street life. This guide will navigate you through Rome’s most iconic landmarks and hidden gems, ensuring a well-rounded experience of this timeless city. From the grandeur of the Colosseum to the charm of Trastevere’s narrow streets, get ready to explore the depths of Rome’s rich history and culture.

<p><span>The Colosseum, an enduring symbol of ancient Roman engineering and architecture, is a must-visit. Once the arena for gladiator battles, it now stands as a monument to Rome’s imperial past. Exploring the Colosseum, you can almost hear the roaring crowds’ echoes and gladiator swords’ clashing. Its massive structure and complex history make it a fascinating site for history enthusiasts and casual visitors.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Purchase a combined ticket with entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to make the most of your visit.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The Colosseum is conveniently accessible via the Colosseo metro station.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Visit during the off-peak seasons, in early spring or late fall, to avoid the crowds and extreme heat.</span></p>

1. The Colosseum

The Colosseum, an enduring symbol of ancient Roman engineering and architecture, is a must-visit. Once the arena for gladiator battles, it now stands as a monument to Rome’s imperial past. Exploring the Colosseum, you can almost hear the roaring crowds’ echoes and gladiator swords’ clashing. Its massive structure and complex history make it a fascinating site for history enthusiasts and casual visitors.

Insider’s Tip: Purchase a combined ticket with entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to make the most of your visit.

How To Get There: The Colosseum is conveniently accessible via the Colosseo metro station.

Best Time To Travel: Visit during the off-peak seasons, in early spring or late fall, to avoid the crowds and extreme heat.

<p><span>Vatican City, the heart of the Catholic world, is a sovereign state within Rome. Home to the Pope, the Vatican is also a treasure trove of artistic and cultural riches. The Vatican Museums house a vast collection of art and historical pieces, including the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. St. Peter’s Basilica, with its impressive dome designed by Michelangelo, is an architectural masterpiece offering panoramic views of Rome from its summit.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Reserve a guided tour for early morning to access the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Reach Vatican City via the Ottaviano metro station, followed by a short walk.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Visit during the winter months to avoid long lines and crowded spaces.</span></p>

2. Vatican City

Vatican City, the heart of the Catholic world, is a sovereign state within Rome. Home to the Pope, the Vatican is also a treasure trove of artistic and cultural riches. The Vatican Museums house a vast collection of art and historical pieces, including the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. St. Peter’s Basilica, with its impressive dome designed by Michelangelo, is an architectural masterpiece offering panoramic views of Rome from its summit.

Insider’s Tip: Reserve a guided tour for early morning to access the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public.

How To Get There: Reach Vatican City via the Ottaviano metro station, followed by a short walk.

Best Time To Travel: Visit during the winter months to avoid long lines and crowded spaces.

<p><span>The Pantheon, an impressive feat of ancient Roman architecture, is known for its perfectly proportioned dome, the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. Originally built as a temple to all gods, it now serves as a church and a tomb for notable figures, including the artist Raphael. The building’s harmonious proportions and the oculus, a circular opening at the dome’s apex, create a unique and awe-inspiring interior atmosphere.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Visit on a rainy day to see the captivating sight of rain falling through the oculus and evaporating before it hits the ground.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The Pantheon is centrally located and best reached by foot from other nearby attractions like Piazza Navona.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Early mornings or late afternoons are less crowded, offering a more serene experience.</span></p>

3. The Pantheon

The Pantheon, an impressive feat of ancient Roman architecture, is known for its perfectly proportioned dome, the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. Originally built as a temple to all gods, it now serves as a church and a tomb for notable figures, including the artist Raphael. The building’s harmonious proportions and the oculus, a circular opening at the dome’s apex, create a unique and awe-inspiring interior atmosphere.

Insider’s Tip: Visit on a rainy day to see the captivating sight of rain falling through the oculus and evaporating before it hits the ground.

How To Get There: The Pantheon is centrally located and best reached by foot from other nearby attractions like Piazza Navona.

Best Time To Travel: Early mornings or late afternoons are less crowded, offering a more serene experience.

<p><span>Every step in Rome is a walk through many layers of history. The city, often called the “Eternal City,” offers an unparalleled glimpse into the past, with its well-preserved ruins and centuries-old buildings. Iconic structures like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum behold the grandeur of the Roman Empire, inviting you to imagine the spectacles and daily life of ancient times. As you meander through the cobblestone streets, the rich tapestry of Rome’s history is evident at every turn, from monumental fountains to awe-inspiring basilicas.</span></p> <p><span>Exploring Rome is also an opportunity to connect with the city’s enduring cultural legacy. Throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain, as per tradition, is a simple yet memorable way to engage with local folklore. Visiting landmarks like the Pantheon or the Spanish Steps allows you to witness the architectural genius that has influenced numerous cityscapes around the world. Rome’s history is a tangible, vibrant presence that surrounds you, offering a unique and enriching experience with every visit.</span></p> <p><b>Insider Tip:</b><span> Purchase a Roma Pass for free public transport and access to various sites.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time to Travel:</b><span> April to June and September to October.</span></p> <p><b>Getting There:</b><span> Fly into Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport and use the train or bus services.</span></p>

4. Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain, an iconic baroque masterpiece, is not only a visual spectacle but also a testament to Rome’s historical relationship with water. The fountain, featuring the god Oceanus, stands at the end of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct and is one of the oldest water sources in Rome. According to legend, throwing a coin over your shoulder into the fountain ensures a return to Rome.

Insider’s Tip: Visit the fountain at night when it’s beautifully illuminated and less crowded.

How To Get There: The Trevi Fountain is within walking distance from the Barberini metro station.

Best Time To Travel: Early morning or late evening visits allow you to appreciate the fountain’s beauty without the crowds.

<p><span>Once the center of public and political life in ancient Rome, the Roman Forum is a sprawling complex of ruins. Walking through </span><span>the Forum, you’re tracing the steps of Roman emperors and citizens amidst temples, arches, and government buildings that once defined the city’s daily life. The site offers a profound sense of history, as each ruin has its own story, contributing to the narrative of Rome’s glorious past. The Forum appeals to history buffs and anyone seeking to understand the depth of Rome’s historical significance.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Climb the Palatine Hill for a panoramic view of the entire Forum area.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The Roman Forum is close to the Colosseum and can be accessed easily from the Colosseo metro station.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Visit early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds, especially in summer.</span></p>

5. Roman Forum

Once the center of public and political life in ancient Rome, the Roman Forum is a sprawling complex of ruins. Walking through the Forum, you’re tracing the steps of Roman emperors and citizens amidst temples, arches, and government buildings that once defined the city’s daily life. The site offers a profound sense of history, as each ruin has its own story, contributing to the narrative of Rome’s glorious past. The Forum appeals to history buffs and anyone seeking to understand the depth of Rome’s historical significance.

Insider’s Tip: Climb the Palatine Hill for a panoramic view of the entire Forum area.

How To Get There: The Roman Forum is close to the Colosseum and can be accessed easily from the Colosseo metro station.

Best Time To Travel: Visit early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds, especially in summer.

<p><span>Trastevere, known for its narrow cobblestone streets and medieval charm, offers a glimpse into the more traditional side of Rome. This vibrant neighborhood, with its ivy-clad buildings, artisan shops, and trattorias, has a unique character and laid-back atmosphere. Walking through Trastevere, you’ll find hidden piazzas, historic churches, and local markets, each adding to the area’s enchanting appeal. It’s an ideal place to enjoy authentic Roman cuisine and experience the city’s lively nightlife.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Dine at a local trattoria for a traditional Roman meal away from the tourist-heavy areas.</span></p> <p><strong>How To Get There: </strong>Trastevere is easily accessible by bus or tram, but exploring on foot from the city center offers a<span> more immersive experience.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel</b></p> <p><span>Evening time is perfect for experiencing Trastevere’s lively atmosphere, while daytime offers a quieter exploration of the neighborhood.</span></p>

6. Trastevere

Trastevere, known for its narrow cobblestone streets and medieval charm, offers a glimpse into the more traditional side of Rome. This vibrant neighborhood, with its ivy-clad buildings, artisan shops, and trattorias, has a unique character and laid-back atmosphere. Walking through Trastevere, you’ll find hidden piazzas, historic churches, and local markets, each adding to the area’s enchanting appeal. It’s an ideal place to enjoy authentic Roman cuisine and experience the city’s lively nightlife.

Insider’s Tip: Dine at a local trattoria for a traditional Roman meal away from the tourist-heavy areas.

How To Get There: Trastevere is easily accessible by bus or tram, but exploring on foot from the city center offers a more immersive experience.

Best Time To Travel

Evening time is perfect for experiencing Trastevere’s lively atmosphere, while daytime offers a quieter exploration of the neighborhood.

<p><span>The Galleria Borghese is one of Rome’s most remarkable art galleries, housing a substantial collection of sculptures and paintings. Located in the lush Borghese Park, the gallery includes masterpieces by artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael. The villa is an architectural sensation, and the surrounding gardens provide a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Booking tickets in advance is essential, as the gallery limits the number of visitors to preserve the tranquil atmosphere.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The gallery is located in the Borghese Park, reachable by bus or a pleasant walk through the park from the city center.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Weekday visits usually mean fewer visitors, providing a more intimate viewing experience.</span></p>

7. Galleria Borghese

The Galleria Borghese is one of Rome’s most remarkable art galleries, housing a substantial collection of sculptures and paintings. Located in the lush Borghese Park, the gallery includes masterpieces by artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael. The villa is an architectural sensation, and the surrounding gardens provide a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Insider’s Tip: Booking tickets in advance is essential, as the gallery limits the number of visitors to preserve the tranquil atmosphere.

How To Get There: The gallery is located in the Borghese Park, reachable by bus or a pleasant walk through the park from the city center.

Best Time To Travel: Weekday visits usually mean fewer visitors, providing a more intimate viewing experience.

<p><span>Campo de’ Fiori is a bustling marketplace by day and a lively social square by night. The market offers a range of fresh produce, flowers, spices, and Italian specialties, making it a colorful and sensory experience. Exploring the market, you’ll find everything from local cheeses and cured meats to artisanal pastas and oils. It’s not just a place for shopping; it’s a vibrant part of Roman life where locals and tourists mingle.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Visit early in the morning to see the most lively market and get the best selection of fresh produce.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Campo de’ Fiori is centrally located and within walking distance from many major sites, including Piazza Navona.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>The market operates every morning except Sundays.</span></p>

8. Campo de’ Fiori Market

Campo de’ Fiori is a bustling marketplace by day and a lively social square by night. The market offers a range of fresh produce, flowers, spices, and Italian specialties, making it a colorful and sensory experience. Exploring the market, you’ll find everything from local cheeses and cured meats to artisanal pastas and oils. It’s not just a place for shopping; it’s a vibrant part of Roman life where locals and tourists mingle.

Insider’s Tip: Visit early in the morning to see the most lively market and get the best selection of fresh produce.

How To Get There: Campo de’ Fiori is centrally located and within walking distance from many major sites, including Piazza Navona.

Best Time To Travel: The market operates every morning except Sundays.

<p><span>The Spanish Steps, an architectural and cultural icon of Rome, connect the Piazza di Spagna at the base with the Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top. Climbing the steps offers a delightful view of the city’s rooftops. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists to gather. The steps are not just a passageway but a place to pause, enjoy the atmosphere, and people-watch.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Visit during spring when the steps are adorned with beautiful flowers, enhancing their iconic charm.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The Spanish Steps are a short walk from the Spagna metro station, easily accessible from various parts of the city.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Early mornings or late evenings offer a more peaceful experience, as the steps can be crowded during the day.</span></p>

9. Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, an architectural and cultural icon of Rome, connect the Piazza di Spagna at the base with the Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top. Climbing the steps offers a delightful view of the city’s rooftops. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists to gather. The steps are not just a passageway but a place to pause, enjoy the atmosphere, and people-watch.

Insider’s Tip: Visit during spring when the steps are adorned with beautiful flowers, enhancing their iconic charm.

How To Get There: The Spanish Steps are a short walk from the Spagna metro station, easily accessible from various parts of the city.

Best Time To Travel: Early mornings or late evenings offer a more peaceful experience, as the steps can be crowded during the day.

<p><span>With its stunning Baroque architecture, Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most famous squares. Once a Roman stadium, the piazza is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, and bustling cafes today. Its centerpiece is the Fountain of the Four Rivers, designed by Bernini, representing the world’s major rivers across four continents. The square is a feast for the eyes and a hub of artistic and cultural activity, often hosting street artists, painters, and musicians.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Enjoy a coffee or aperitivo at one of the cafes surrounding the piazza for prime people-watching and a view of the fountains.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Piazza Navona is centrally located and best reached on foot from other nearby attractions in the city center.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Visit in the late afternoon or early evening to enjoy the lively atmosphere and beautiful lighting.</span></p>

10. Piazza Navona

With its stunning Baroque architecture, Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most famous squares. Once a Roman stadium, the piazza is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, and bustling cafes today. Its centerpiece is the Fountain of the Four Rivers, designed by Bernini, representing the world’s major rivers across four continents. The square is a feast for the eyes and a hub of artistic and cultural activity, often hosting street artists, painters, and musicians.

Insider’s Tip: Enjoy a coffee or aperitivo at one of the cafes surrounding the piazza for prime people-watching and a view of the fountains.

How To Get There: Piazza Navona is centrally located and best reached on foot from other nearby attractions in the city center.

Best Time To Travel: Visit in the late afternoon or early evening to enjoy the lively atmosphere and beautiful lighting.

<p><span>The Catacombs of Paris offer a macabre journey through the city’s history. This underground ossuary holds the remains of millions, their bones neatly arranged along the walls of the narrow tunnels. Walking through these dimly lit passageways, you’re surrounded by the silent watchers of history, making it a profoundly haunting experience.</span></p> <p><span>The air is heavy with the presence of the past, and it’s easy to feel a connection to the long-gone Parisians whose final resting place lies beneath the bustling city streets.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Book tickets in advance to avoid long waiting lines.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Visit in spring or fall shoulder seasons to avoid peak tourist crowds.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Located in the 14th arrondissement, the Catacombs are accessible via the Paris Metro.</span></p>

11. The Catacombs

Rome’s catacombs are ancient underground burial places that offer a unique glimpse into early Christian history and burial practices. The Catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano are among the most visited, featuring miles of underground passageways and tombs. A guided tour of the catacombs provides insight into the fascinating and somewhat eerie world beneath Rome’s streets.

Insider’s Tip: Wear comfortable shoes as the tours involve walking through narrow and sometimes uneven passageways.

How To Get There: The catacombs are located outside the city center, accessible by bus or a combination of metro and bus.

Best Time To Travel: The catacombs maintain a cool temperature year-round, making them a good visit any time, but they are less crowded during the off-peak seasons.

<p><span>Castel Sant’Angelo, initially built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, has served various roles throughout history, including a fortress, a papal residence, and now a museum. The castle offers a rich history to explore, along with stunning views of the city and the Tiber River from its terrace. The bridge leading to the castle, Ponte Sant’Angelo, is adorned with beautiful angel statues and provides a picturesque approach to the fortress.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Visit in the late afternoon to experience the sunset from the castle’s terrace, offering one of the best views in Rome.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The castle is within walking distance from Vatican City and is easily accessible by foot or public transport.</span></p> <p><b>Best Time To Travel: </b><span>Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended to avoid crowds and to enjoy the view in the best light.</span></p>

12. Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo, initially built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, has served various roles throughout history, including a fortress, a papal residence, and now a museum. The castle offers a rich history to explore, along with stunning views of the city and the Tiber River from its terrace. The bridge leading to the castle, Ponte Sant’Angelo, is adorned with beautiful angel statues and provides a picturesque approach to the fortress.

Insider’s Tip: Visit in the late afternoon to experience the sunset from the castle’s terrace, offering one of the best views in Rome.

How To Get There: The castle is within walking distance from Vatican City and is easily accessible by foot or public transport.

Best Time To Travel: Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended to avoid crowds and to enjoy the view in the best light.

<p><span>The Vatican Museums in Vatican City are a vast complex of galleries and chapels, including the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s renowned ceiling frescoes. The museums showcase an immense collection of art and artifacts gathered by the Roman Catholic Church over centuries. Highlights include the Raphael Rooms and the spiral Bramante Staircase. The museums attract millions of visitors yearly, so booking a skip-the-line tour can save time.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Book a skip-the-line tour to avoid long waiting times. </span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Visit in the off-season to avoid large tour groups. </span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Close to the Ottaviano-S. Pietro metro station.</span></p>

The Bottom Line

Rome is not just a city; it’s a living museum, a testament to the grandeur of human civilization. Each cobblestone street, ancient ruin, and magnificent artwork tells a story of a past era, inviting you to be a part of its ongoing narrative. As you wander through Rome, remember that you’re walking in the footsteps of emperors, artists, poets, and philosophers.

Your journey through this eternal city is an exploration into the heart of human history and creativity. Embrace each moment, savor each experience, and let Rome’s timeless beauty inspire and enchant you. Buon viaggio!

More Articles Like This…

Barcelona: Discover the Top 10 Beach Clubs

2024 Global City Travel Guide – Your Passport to the World’s Top Destination Cities

Exploring Khao Yai 2024 – A Hidden Gem of Thailand

The post Discover Rome – A Comprehensive 12-Step Traveler’s Guide republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage .

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / S.Borisov.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

More for You

Star golfer Scottie Scheffler arrested before PGA Championship's 2nd round

Scottie Scheffler climbs leaderboard despite arrest at PGA Championship

Alvin Bragg

Alvin Bragg Announces New Indictment

Your senses will shut down in a specific order when you’re about to die

Your senses will shut down in a specific order when you’re about to die

How rare are redheads?

12 Strange Facts About Redheads You Never Knew

Caitlin Clark responds to racial take on his success

Caitlin Clark responds to racial take on her success

It's important to lead an active lifestyle, eat nutritious foods and manage things like your blood pressure, doctors say.

7 Things Stroke Doctors Say You Should Never, Ever Do

The 7 Best Frozen Foods You Should Be Eating for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians

The 7 Best Frozen Foods You Should Be Eating for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians

Untitled.png

Young Sheldon’s Jim Parsons finale cameo changes the meaning of the entire series

Rihanna Wears a Sheer Gown on Date Night with A$AP

Rihanna Wears a Sheer Gown and ’90s It Bag on Date With A$AP Rocky

Used car display at a dealership. With supply issues, used and preowned cars are in high demand.

6 Cars That Are Plummeting in Value

Bronny James Measures 3 Inches Shorter At Combine Than USC

Bronny James Measures 3 Inches Shorter At Combine Than USC

Doctor shares what happens to our bodies moments before we die

Doctor shares what happens to our bodies moments before we die

7 CDs You Probably Owned, Threw Out and Now Are Worth Bank

7 CDs You Probably Owned, Threw Out and Now Are Worth Bank

‘I feel slighted’: My husband and I are in our 70s. We married 3 years ago. He’s leaving his $1.8 million home to a 10-year-old relative. Is that normal?

‘I feel slighted’: My husband and I are in our 70s. We married 3 years ago. He’s leaving his $1.8 million home to a 10-year-old relative. Is that normal?

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy shows Trump ally drowning in debt

Arizona Attorney General confirms Rudy Guiliani served indictment after taunting prosecutors

Dental plaque can reveal a lot about ancient diets. - Karen Hardy

A nutrient-rich food that once largely disappeared from Western diets was a staple of early Europeans, study finds

19 Things That Will Happen When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

19 Things That Will Happen When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

New England Patriots former quarterback Tom Brady.

Tom Brady admits officials made wrong call in 2017 AFC Championship Game

Family looking at house for sale

5 Types of Homes That Will Plummet in Value in 2024

The 4 Best Fruits for Lower Blood Pressure, According to a Cardiologist

The 4 Best Fruits for Lower Blood Pressure, According to a Cardiologist

How To Travel From Rome Airport To Rome Termini: A Complete Guide

  • Last updated May 18, 2024
  • Difficulty Beginner

Steffi Montoya

  • Category Travel

how to travel from rome airport to rome termini

Are you planning a trip to Rome and wondering how to get from the airport to the city center? Look no further! In this complete guide, we will walk you through all your options and provide you with everything you need to know to travel from Rome Airport to Rome Termini. Whether you prefer to take a train, a bus, or a taxi, we've got you covered. Say goodbye to the stress of figuring out transportation and say hello to a hassle-free journey from the airport to the heart of Rome. Let's get started!

What You'll Learn

Overview of transportation options from rome airport to rome termini, taking a taxi from rome airport to rome termini, using public transportation from rome airport to rome termini, tips for a smooth journey from rome airport to rome termini.

quartzmountain

When you arrive at Rome's Fiumicino airport, also known as Leonardo da Vinci airport, there are several transportation options available to take you to Rome Termini, the main train station in Rome. Here's an overview of the different options:

  • Train: The Leonardo Express is a direct train service that runs between Fiumicino airport and Rome Termini. The journey takes approximately 32 minutes, and the trains operate every 15 minutes. The Leonardo Express is a convenient and hassle-free option, especially if you have heavy luggage. The train station at the airport is located just a short walk from the arrivals area.
  • Bus: Several bus companies offer transportation services between Fiumicino airport and Rome Termini. The most popular bus service is the Terravision Airport Shuttle, which operates frequently throughout the day. The buses are comfortable and equipped with air conditioning, and the journey takes approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available outside the arrivals area at the airport. While it is a more expensive option compared to the train and bus, taking a taxi can be a convenient choice, especially if you have a lot of luggage or if you prefer a door-to-door service. It's important to note that there may be additional charges for nighttime and weekend services, as well as for luggage.
  • Private Transfer: If you prefer a more personalized and hassle-free experience, you can pre-book a private transfer service. Private transfer companies offer a range of vehicles, from sedans to minivans, to accommodate different group sizes. This option can be more expensive than the other transportation options but provides convenience and peace of mind.

When choosing your transportation option from Fiumicino airport to Rome Termini, consider factors such as your budget, travel preferences, and the amount of luggage you have. All the options mentioned above are reliable and will get you to your destination efficiently. It's a good idea to check the schedules and fares in advance to plan your journey accordingly.

Can I Travel with an Expiring F1 Visa? Here's What You Need to Know

You may want to see also

If you are traveling to Rome and landing at one of the city's airports, there are several transportation options available to get to Rome Termini, the main train station in the city. One of the most convenient and popular options is taking a taxi.

  • After landing at Rome airport (either Fiumicino or Ciampino), follow the signs for the taxi stand. These signs are usually located near the exit of the arrivals hall.
  • Once you reach the taxi stand, you will see a line of taxis waiting. It's important to note that licensed taxis in Rome are either white or yellow, and they should have a "TAXI" sign on the roof.
  • Before getting into the taxi, it's a good idea to confirm the rate with the driver. In Rome, there are fixed rates for airport transfers, so make sure to ask the driver how much the fare will be. It's also important to note that there may be additional charges for luggage or if you travel during night hours.
  • Once inside the taxi, sit back and enjoy the ride. The journey from Rome airport to Rome Termini usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. During the ride, you can take in the sights of the city from the comfort of the taxi.
  • Upon arrival at Rome Termini, you can pay the taxi driver using cash or card. It's always helpful to have some cash on hand, as not all taxis accept cards. If you choose to pay by card, make sure to inform the driver before reaching your destination.

Overall, taking a taxi from Rome airport to Rome Termini is a popular choice for travelers who value comfort and convenience. Just make sure to follow the steps outlined above to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey to your destination.

Understanding the Different Sizes of Louis Vuitton Travel Bags

If you're traveling to Rome and flying into the airport, you may be wondering about the best way to get from the airport to the city center. Luckily, there are several options available to you, including public transportation. Taking public transportation can be a convenient and cost-effective way to travel, especially if you're on a budget. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps of using public transportation from Rome airport to Rome Termini, the main train station in the city.

First, it's important to note that there are two major airports in Rome: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Ciampino Airport (CIA). The instructions provided here are for getting from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini, as it is the larger and more commonly used airport.

  • Arriving at Fiumicino Airport: After you land at Fiumicino Airport, follow the signs for the train station. The airport is well-connected to the train station, so it should be easy to find.
  • Purchasing a ticket: Once you're at the train station, head to the ticket office or the self-service ticket machines to purchase a ticket. You can buy a ticket for the Leonardo Express, a direct train that goes from the airport to Rome Termini. The ticket will cost you around €14 per person.
  • Boarding the train: Once you have your ticket, proceed to the platform and wait for the Leonardo Express train. The trains run every 15 minutes or so, so you don't have to worry about waiting too long. Make sure to check the departure board for the platform number.
  • Traveling to Rome Termini: The journey from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini takes approximately 30 minutes. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. You'll be in Rome city center before you know it!
  • Arriving at Rome Termini: When you arrive at Rome Termini, follow the signs to the exit. The train station is huge, so make sure to pay attention to the signs or ask for directions if needed.

Alternative options:

If you prefer not to take the train, there are a few other public transportation options available to you:

  • Bus: The Terravision and SitBus shuttle buses offer transportation from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini. The cost is usually around €6-€9 per person, and the journey time is about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
  • Metro: Another option is to take the metro from the airport to Rome Termini. However, this option requires transferring at one of the metro stations, and it may not be the most convenient if you have a lot of luggage.
  • Taxi or ride-sharing service: If you prefer a more direct route or convenience, you can opt for a taxi or ride-sharing service. However, keep in mind that this option will be more expensive compared to public transportation.

In conclusion, using public transportation from Rome airport to Rome Termini is a straightforward and convenient option for travelers. Whether you choose to take the train, bus, metro, or taxi, you'll be able to reach the city center easily and efficiently. So sit back, relax, and get ready to explore all that Rome has to offer!

Unlock the Benefits of Travel Money Club: Your Ultimate Guide

Traveling from Rome airport to Rome Termini, the main train station in the city, can be a relatively easy and hassle-free experience if you know what to expect and how to navigate your way through. Here are some tips to help you have a smooth journey:

Choose the Right Transport Option:

  • Train: The Leonardo Express is a direct train service that connects Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Rome Termini. It operates every 15 minutes and takes around 32 minutes to reach Termini. This is the fastest and most convenient option.
  • Bus: Several bus companies provide transportation from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini. These buses may take longer than the train due to traffic, but they can be more affordable, especially if you are traveling with a lot of luggage.
  • Taxi: Taxis are available outside the airport terminals. While they offer door-to-door service, they can be expensive, especially during peak hours or if there is heavy traffic.

Plan Your Timing:

  • Check the schedule of the Leonardo Express or the bus service you choose, and plan your journey accordingly. Keep in mind that the trains and buses may not operate 24/7, so make sure to check the operating hours.
  • Allow some extra time for unforeseen delays, especially if you have a flight to catch or a train to board at Rome Termini.

Purchase Tickets in Advance:

  • If you decide to take the Leonardo Express train, you can purchase your tickets online in advance to save time and ensure a hassle-free experience. Tickets can also be bought from self-service machines or ticket counters at the airport.
  • For buses or taxis, you usually pay the fare directly to the driver.

Know Your Terminal:

Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Ciampino Airport (CIA). Make sure you know which airport you are arriving at and the terminal you need to go to within that airport. Double-check your ticket or booking confirmation for this information.

Follow Signages and Ask for Help:

  • Once you arrive at the airport, follow the signages that say "Train," "Bus," or "Taxi" to reach the transportation area. If you are unsure, don't hesitate to ask the airport staff for directions or assistance.
  • At the train station, look for the platforms designated for the Leonardo Express or the bus stops located near the terminal exits. Signs and staff will guide you to the correct location.

Be Prepared:

  • Keep your travel documents, such as your passport or ID, ticket, and any necessary visas, easily accessible throughout your journey.
  • Have some local currency or a credit/debit card with you to pay for tickets, taxis, or any other expenses you may incur during your journey.

Keep your Belongings Safe:

  • As with any travel experience, be vigilant about your belongings. Keep an eye on your luggage and personal items, especially in crowded areas.
  • Avoid displaying valuable items or carrying large amounts of cash. Use secure bags or pockets and ensure your bags have reliable locks.

By following these tips, you can have a smooth and stress-free journey from Rome airport to Rome Termini. Enjoy your time in the eternal city!

Can F1 Visa Holders Travel to Puerto Rico?

Frequently asked questions.

Steffi Montoya

  • Steffi Montoya Author Traveller

Melissa Carey

  • Melissa Carey Author Reviewer Traveller

It is awesome. Thank you for your feedback!

We are sorry. Plesae let us know what went wrong?

We will update our content. Thank you for your feedback!

Leave a comment

Travel photos, related posts.

The Best Accommodations for Solo Travelers in Siargao

The Best Accommodations for Solo Travelers in Siargao

  • May 08, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money for Traveling in the Philippines

The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money for Traveling in the Philippines

  • May 12, 2024

Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling from Taoyuan Airport to Cingjing Farm

Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling from Taoyuan Airport to Cingjing Farm

  • May 18, 2024

Tips for Traveling with Weed Paraphernalia in Your Carry-on or Checked Baggage

Tips for Traveling with Weed Paraphernalia in Your Carry-on or Checked Baggage

  • May 11, 2024

Top Tips for Applying for a Travel Visa

Top Tips for Applying for a Travel Visa

  • May 01, 2024

Top Destinations to Travel to in November from London

Top Destinations to Travel to in November from London

  • May 10, 2024

IMAGES

  1. Wondering about the best things to do in Rome? This 3 day itinerary

    best travel guide for rome

  2. Best Rome Travel Guide, Italy (Updated 2023)

    best travel guide for rome

  3. Pin on Europe Travel Guides

    best travel guide for rome

  4. TOP Rome Walking Tours & Maps 2024

    best travel guide for rome

  5. Things to know BEFORE you go to ROME

    best travel guide for rome

  6. The Best Rome Tour Guide Book : Recommended For 2022

    best travel guide for rome

VIDEO

  1. Top 10 Rome Visiting Places

  2. Roam around Rome #cultureholidays

  3. What to do in Rome for 1 days

  4. "Rome in 3 Days: Your Ultimate Italian Adventure!"🥺✨✈️ #europedestinations #goodvibesshorts #travel

  5. Top 10 MUST SEE Places in ROME 2023

  6. TOP 3 Things to do in ROME

COMMENTS

  1. Rome Travel Guide

    Discover how to live la dolce vita in Rome, the eternal city of ancient monuments, baroque palaces, and vibrant neighborhoods. Find out the best time to visit, how to get around, where to stay, what to eat, and what to do in this comprehensive guide.

  2. Rome Travel Guide & Tips

    Find the best places to visit, stay, and eat in Rome, the Eternal City. Explore the ancient and Renaissance monuments, the vibrant neighborhoods, the art and culture, and the day trips from Rome.

  3. The 26 Best Things to Do in Rome

    Case Romane del Celio in Rome. Underground beneath the Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo, this heritage museum shows how Roman daily life has changed over the years. There are 20 rooms showing ...

  4. Best Things to See in Rome (+ Full Travel Guide)

    Good Friday, March 29, features the Pope's mass at the Colosseum. Easter, on March 31 and April 1, sees the Pope at St. Peter's Basilica. April 21, Rome's birthday, offers free museum visits and Piazza del Campidoglio fireworks. April 25, Festa della Liberazione, remembers Italy's WWII liberation.

  5. 10 of the best things to do in Rome in 2024

    From Villa Borghese to the Appia Antica, Rome has many green open spaces to enjoy ©spooh/Getty Images 8. Experience the best of Rome's many parks Rome has a lot of parks. In fact, Rome has the most hectares of greenery in Europe and each of its parks serves an important historical, cultural and natural purpose for citizens and travelers ...

  6. Rome Budget Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    Rome Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources. These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  7. How to Plan an Unforgettable Trip to Rome, According to Local ...

    How to Get There. Most visitors fly into Rome's Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino Airport (FCO). From there, you can take a 30-minute non-stop train to Termini, the central station, and take a taxi ...

  8. The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide • The Blonde Abroad

    Rome is one of the most iconic and most-traveled cities in Europe, with a long history to match. With a mixture of cultures from around the world, Rome has it all. Wander the cobblestone street with gelato in hand, people watch from the Spanish Steps, spend hours in the museums, and take in all of the stunning architecture the city has to offer.

  9. 20 Travel Tips For Travelling To Rome, From A Local

    8. Take your bus ticket straight to the beach. Speaking of public transportation, your €1.50 ticket is also valid on the local commuter trains in Rome, including a line that goes straight to the ...

  10. 24 Best Things to Do in Rome

    Colosseum (Colosseo) U.S. News Insider Tip: A normal ticket includes the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (valid for 24 hours) and you can visit all three in one day. It doesn't include a ...

  11. 5 Days in Rome: The Ultimate Itinerary (with Map)

    Welcome to the Eternal City and vibrant capital of Italy! From the Colosseum to the Pantheon and Vatican City, this Rome 5-day itinerary is perfect for first-timers and is ideal for any time of the year. It will show you all the best things to do and guide you through everything you need to know to make your Italian city break unforgettable.

  12. 101 Fantastic Things To Do In Rome

    John Keats' House. Protestant Cemetery. Explore Rome underground. Do a catacombs tour, one of the best things to do in Rome for history lovers. Discover the Trajan's Markets. Santa Maria della Scala ancient pharmacy. Visit Rome food markets. Explore Rome's street art. Visit the Botanic Garden.

  13. 25 Best Things To Do In Rome (Italy Travel Guide)

    12: Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. Foro Argentina Area of Rome. Named after the 15th century Argentoratum tower built by Johannes Burckardt, the Foro Argentina area was found and excavated in 1929. There are four temples in this area, as well as the Curia Pompei where Julius Caesar was killed in 44 BC.

  14. Complete Rome Travel Guide: A Local's Way To Discover Rome

    All you need to know before visiting Rome: The ultimate Rome travel guide Where is Rome? The capital of Italy since 1870, after the unification, and of the Latium region, Rome lies in the center of the country on the western coast of the "boot" lapped by the Tyrrhenian Sea. It takes an hour and a half to reach Florence by high-speed train, an hour and 15 minutes to reach Naples, three ...

  15. Rome Travel Guide

    Get information on Rome Travel Guide - Expert Picks for your Vacation hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, sightseeing, and activities. Read the Fodor's reviews, or post your own.

  16. Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome, Italy

    Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain is possibly one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is Rome's largest Baroque fountain, and legend has it that you throw 1 coin into the fountain to ensure another trip to Rome, 2 coins for love, and 3 coins for wedding bells.

  17. The Complete Guide To Planning Your Trip To Rome: Tips, Restaurants

    In fact, many of the best restaurants won't open until at least 7:30 p.m. Lunch: 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm. Dinner: 7:30 pm - 11 pm. To avoid eating in an empty restaurant and to really make the most of your evenings in Rome, try and fit in with them and eat a bit later. Around 8 pm is a good time to sit down.

  18. Rome Travel Guide by Rick Steves

    Rome is magnificent and overwhelming at the same time. It's a showcase of Western civilization, with astonishingly ancient sights and a modern vibrancy. As you peel through its fascinating and jumbled layers, you'll find the marble ruins of ancient times, tangled streets of the medieval world, early Christian churches, grand Renaissance buildings and statues, Baroque fountains and facades ...

  19. Rome Travel Guide

    As the sun sets, Trastevere transforms into a lively nocturnal hub. #4 Visit the Roman Markets. Immerse yourself in the vibrant pulse of Rome by exploring its markets. Campo de' Fiori, a bustling square during the day, unveils a vibrant market scene offering fresh produce, fragrant flowers, and artisanal goods.

  20. The 14 BEST Things to Do in Rome (2024 Travel Guide)

    Trastevere is a trendy neighbourhood in Rome full of fun bars. Visit Coffee Pot or Bar San Calisto to hang with locals. Or head to On The Rox or G Bar to hang with other travellers and students studying abroad. Rome is also full of exciting nightclubs with flashing lights and top-notch DJs. Roman streets at night.

  21. Top 10 Rome Travel Guide Books for Travelers

    The Rome Guide: Step by Step Through History's Greatest City. This well-written, in-depth book presents 10 different walks through the city with lots of detail about monuments and history. This is a great book for those who want something more than the usual guidebook. Continue to 5 of 10 below. 05 of 10.

  22. Rome Tourism and Travel Guide

    This guide has been written by travelers like yourself and it's designed to help you plan your stay in Rome, so that you get the most out of the city as possible, whether you're staying for 2 days or a month. Find out what the top attractions and the best places to eat are, which museums are worthwhile, and where to stay in Rome. If you're traveling on a budget, we have also an article on ...

  23. Discover Rome

    1. The Colosseum. The Colosseum, an enduring symbol of ancient Roman engineering and architecture, is a must-visit. Once the arena for gladiator battles, it now stands as a monument to Rome's ...

  24. How To Travel From Rome Airport To Rome Termini: A Complete Guide

    Bus: The Terravision and SitBus shuttle buses offer transportation from Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini. The cost is usually around €6-€9 per person, and the journey time is about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. Metro: Another option is to take the metro from the airport to Rome Termini.