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2 Days in Rome: The Perfect Rome Itinerary for Your First Visit
Julie Last updated: October 19, 2023 Italy 96 Comments
If you are planning your first visit to Rome and have limited time, this Rome itinerary is perfect for you. With 2 days in Rome, you have just enough time to visit the highlights. Tour the Vatican Museums, enjoy the amazing view from St. Peter’s Basilica, marvel at the Colosseum, get a history lesson at the Roman Forum, and stroll through the heart of Rome, with its colorful piazzas and ancient historical sights.
In this article, get the full details on how to spend a perfect 2 days in Rome. Learn how to skip the lines, where to stay, where to eat, and much more. Let us take the guesswork out of planning your dream trip to Rome.
About this Rome Itinerary
All of the times in the daily schedules are rough estimates, just to give you an idea about timing throughout the day. Your times may differ, based on queues and how much time you decide to spend at each place. I did my best to anticipate waiting times and visiting times, but on very busy days (or very quiet days) these times can differ.
You will have to do some work in advance by booking entrance tickets and restaurant reservations, but this will save you hours of time once in Rome. We’ll let you know how to do this, too. Tim and I are Type A planners and we will share with you lots of tips we learned from our multiple visits to Rome.
I do my best to keep the hours of operation and pricing up to date for each attraction, however, these can change at any time. I recommend getting updated hours and pricing for your dates of travel. The link to the official website is provided for each site.
We have tons more information about Rome (and Italy) which you can see in our Italy Travel Guide.
Table of Contents
How Many Days Do You Need in Rome?
Two days is the minimum amount of time that we recommend that you spend in Rome (good thing you are looking at this 2 day in Rome itinerary!).
With one very busy, well-planned day, you can visit the highlights of Rome, but it can be exhausting, albeit very memorable.
Two days allows you to slow down a little bit, visit a few more places, and not feel like you are in a race.
If you have even more time, with 3, 4, or more days, you can begin to dive deeper into Rome’s long list of amazing sites, go off the beaten path, and get to know this city better. If you have more than 2 days in Rome, take a look at our 3 Days in Rome Itinerary and our 4 Days in Rome Itinerary to learn how to plan your time.
Best Things to Do with 2 Days in Rome
Below is a list of the places to visit if you have 2 days in Rome. All of these are included on this Rome itinerary.
- Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Piazza Navona
- Borghese Gallery
Rome Itinerary Day 1
Colosseum, Roman Forum & the Historic City Center
Today you get to visit one of the world’s most popular attractions (the Colosseum), stroll through ancient Rome, take in the view from one of the best viewpoints in the city, and end the day with dinner with a view.
Here is an overview of the itinerary:
9:00 am: The Colosseum 10:30 am: Roman Forum & Palatine Hill 12:30 pm: Lunch 1:30 pm: Via dei Fori Imperiali 2:00 pm: Altar of the Fatherland 3:00 pm: Capitoline Hill (optional) 3:30 pm: Walk or Taxi to Piazza Navona 3:45 pm: Piazza Navona 4:15 pm: Historic Heart of Rome 6:15 pm: Aperitif and dinner
How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (the points of interest and the walking route of this Rome itinerary). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
9:00 am: The Colosseum
For many first-time visitors to Rome, the Colosseum tops the must-do list. And why not? This is a marvel of ancient engineering.
Dating back to 80 AD, this is the largest amphitheater that was ever built at the time. It could hold up to 80,000 people, spectators who were drawn here to watch gladiatorial contests, executions, animal hunts, and re-enactments of famous battles. It is one of the seven New Wonders of the World.
In 2019, this was the most popular tourist attraction in the world, with 7.6 million visitors.
With that being said, expect BIG crowds at the Colosseum. For the best experience, book your tickets in advance or join a guided tour.
The Colosseum | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Inside the Colosseum | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
On a visit to the Colosseum, you can also add on the Arena Floor (stand on a portion of the floor and gaze up at the Colosseum…it’s well worth the few extra euros), the Underground (tour the maze of hallways under the Colosseum), and the Upper Tier (currently closed but you can get updates about its reopening on the official website ).
For more information about the Arena Floor, the Underground, and what there is to do at the Colosseum, read our article How to Visit the Colosseum.
How to Visit the Colosseum
On your visit to the Colosseum, you can either wander through it on your own, take the audio guide tour, or join a guided tour. Most visits last 1 to 3 hours.
You must purchase your entrance ticket in advance (you cannot just show up and get in line for a ticket). It costs an extra €2 per ticket for the online reservation fee.
If online tickets are sold out for your dates of travel, I recommend joining a guided tour of the Colosseum. You will spend a little more money than purchasing your tickets directly from the Colosseum website, but at least you will get to visit the Colosseum.
Hours: Hours vary by season. Click here to get hours for your dates of visit. Cost: €16 (+ €2 online reservation fee) for the standard ticket that gets you in to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum; there is also a Full Experience ticket that also includes a visit to the Colosseum arena and underground area for €24 Website: Get updated hours and pricing and purchase your ticket here. Roma Pass: If you have the Roma Pass, you must make your reservation to visit the Colosseum in advance. There is a €2 reservation fee. Click here for more information. Getting Here: The closest metro stop is Colosseo. When you exit the metro station, the Colosseum will be right in front of you.
For more information, including ticket types, how to book your tickets, things to do at the Colosseum, plus many more photos, check out our guide on How to Visit the Colosseum.
10:30 am: The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
The Roman Forum is the historical center of Rome. This is ancient Rome, a complex of government buildings, temples, and marketplaces from 2000 years ago. Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome and it sits right next to the Roman Forum. There are several archaeological sites here and you get a nice view over the Roman Forum.
From the Colosseum, walk up Via Sacra towards the Arch of Titus to enter the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Visit Palatine Hill first.
Palatine Hill sits next to the Roman Forum. It is a complex of archaeological excavations, the remains of temples and palaces, and a museum. During the time of the Roman Republic, many imperial palaces were built here, including palaces for Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian.
While on Palatine Hill, make sure you visit Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino for a bird’s eye view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. It’s one of the best views in Rome. Here is the view:
View of the Roman Forum from Palatine Hill | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Notable things to see in the Roman Forum include the Via Sacra, the Temple of Venus, the Temple of Romulus (the bronze doors date back to 309 AD), the Temple of Antonius and Faustina and its “hanging door,” the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the Temple of Julius Caesar.
A visit to the Roman Forum lasts 20 minutes to an hour.
12:30 pm: Lunch
For lunch we recommend La Prezzemolina. This highly rated restaurant serves Italian street food and pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) at budget-friendly prices. It’s one of our favorite restaurants in Rome.
For more restaurant recommendations, check out our Rome Restaurant Guide (it also includes some great rooftop restaurants that are perfect for dinner).
1:30 pm: Via dei Fori Imperiali
From La Prezzemolina, take a stroll along Via dei Fori Imperiali. This street runs between the Roman Forum and the Forum of Augustu s and the Trajan Forum. Keep an eye out for Trajan’s Column , which was erected in 113 AD.
Via Fori dei Imperiali ends at Piazza Venezia. From here, you can climb the steps on the Altar of the Fatherland for one of the best views of Rome.
2:00 pm: Altar of the Fatherland
The Altar of the Fatherland, also called Altare della Patria, the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, or simply the “wedding cake,” is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Rome.
Altar of the Fatherland | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
This national monument was built between 1885 and 1935 to honor Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of unified Italy. It contains the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame.
For free, you can climb the series of staircases to the upper terrace and café. For the best view, ride the elevator (€12 in 2022) to the top of the monument for panoramic views of Rome. From here, you can see all of Rome’s major landmarks, including the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum.
One of the terraces on Altar of the Fatherland | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
View from the top of the Altar of the Fatherland | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
3:00 pm: Capitoline Hill (Optional)
Capitoline Hill sits next to the Altar of the Fatherland. On this hill are the Capitoline Museums (you won’t have enough time today to visit the museums) and a great viewpoint of the Roman Forum.
The reason to visit Capitoline Hill is to get this view:
This is not for everyone, since it adds more walking and more time to this itinerary. From the Altar of the Fatherland, this detour will add about 20 minutes and close to 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of walking.
To do this, walk along Via del Teatro di Marcello. You will walk up a series of steps to get to Campidoglio, which is the square on Capitoline Hill that was designed by Michelangelo. Cross the square, walk between Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Senatorial Palace along Via del Campidoglio to Terrazza sul Foro for the viewpoint of the Roman Forum.
3:30 pm: Walk or Taxi to Piazza Navona
From Altar of the Fatherland and Piazza Venezia, it is a 15-minute walk to get to Piazza Navona. Along the way, you will pass Largo di Torre Argentina , which is an archaeological site that contains Roman Temples and it is believed Julius Caesar was assassinated at this spot. It is also a cat sanctuary.
Largo di Torre Argentina | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
If you want to save your steps, you can hire a taxi at Piazza Venezia. It is not worth walking to the Colosseo metro station, since that is also a 15-minute walk.
3:45 pm: Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most famous squares. It is filled with cafes, fountains, and lots of people. While you are here, take a look at the three fountains (the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Fountain of the Moor), watch the street performers, and step inside Sant Agnese in Agone.
This is a good place to rest your feet for a few minutes. Many cafes get mediocre reviews, but it’s a nice spot to get a cup of coffee or glass of wine. We recommend Bernini.
Piazza Navona | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Cafes on Piazza Navona
4:15 pm: Historic Heart of Rome
Once you are finished in Piazza Navona, continue the stroll through the heart of Rome. The route is on our map above under the title “Heart of Rome Walking Route.”
It’s a quick walk to the Pantheon. The Pantheon is old. Really old. The Romans were master builders and the Pantheon is one of their most amazing accomplishments.
Construction of the Pantheon was completed around 120 AD. Just think about what this building survived…barbarian raids, wars, earthquakes, and the natural aging of 1900 years of wind, rain, and even snow. For 1300 years, this was the largest dome in the world, until the completion of St. Peter’s Basilica during the Renaissance. But the best part of the Pantheon is the oculus, the circular window in the top of the dome, the only source of light inside of the building.
Pantheon | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
When you first walk up to it, the Pantheon looks like an ancient, bulky, worn-out building. But inside, it looks surprisingly nothing like the exterior. It’s beautiful in the inside, with colorful Italian marble and the very unique lighting from the oculus.
For hours of operation and ticket options (the Pantheon is no longer free to visit), visit the official website.
Continue to the Trevi Fountain, passing by the Temple of Hadrian and Venchi, one of our favorite gelato shops in Rome.
The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s most famous icons. Fendi funded the most recent renovation, which took over one year to complete. State of the art LED lights illuminate the fountain…it is an awesome sight to see!
Trevi Fountain | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will be ensured a return visit to Rome. This is such a popular activity that an estimated $1.5 million USD was thrown into the fountain in 2016!
If you need a break, or just want the view, go to Garden Roof Trevi (also called Trevi Roof Top), a tiny rooftop bar that has a view over the Trevi Fountain. You can have a drink with a view and rest your feet for a few minutes.
Continue the walk until you get to the Spanish Steps.
This stairway is one of the most popular places to visit in Rome, frequently shows up in walking tours of the city, and is free to visit. The fountain that sits at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Longboat), dates back to 1629 and was built by Pietro Bernini, father of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Spanish Steps | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
At the top of the steps is Trinita dei Monti. From here, it’s a nice view back out over the Spanish Steps and over the rooftops of Rome.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Tired and need a break? Think twice about having a seat on the Spanish Steps. In 2019, a new law was put in place to crack down on “bad behavior” in Rome. If you are caught sitting on the Spanish Steps, you risk paying a €400 fine.
If you prefer to walk the streets of Rome with a guide, this afternoon walking tour includes the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.
6:15 pm: Aperitif and Dinner
Dinner in Rome does not typically start until 7 pm. That gives you some free time. You can either return to your hotel for a little bit or visit a nearby rooftop bar for a aperitif and another nice view of Rome.
Just a one-minute walk from the top of the Spanish Steps is Cielo Terrace , which is on top of the Rocco Forte Hotel de la Ville. They serve both aperitifs and dinner, so you could stay for dinner.
Cielo Terrace | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Almost next door to Cielo Terrace is Imàgo , a Michelin-starred restaurant with amazing views over Rome. If you like the idea of dining here, make your reservation at least one month in advance.
For dinner, you can stay at Cielo Terrace or have dinner elsewhere. Trastevere is a great place to go for dinner. The best way to get here from the Spanish Steps is to take a taxi. For recommendations on where to eat, not only in Trastevere but elsewhere in Rome, take a look at our Rome Restaurant Guide.
Rome Itinerary Day 2
Vatican City & the Borghese Gallery
The first half of the day will be spent touring the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then it is a scenic walk along the Tiber River to the Villa Borghese Gardens. The day ends with a visit to one of the most important art galleries in the world.
If you are not into art, the Borghese Gallery is still worth it, in our opinion. However, if you want to skip it, you can use your free time to enter Castel Sant’Angelo or spend the afternoon in Trastevere.
Morning (7:30/8:00 am): Vatican City 12:00 pm: Lunch 1:30 pm: Scenic walk along Tiber River 2:30 pm: Borghese Gallery 5:00 pm: Free time and dinner
Morning: Vatican City
Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. In Vatican City, there are three big sites to visit: the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
There are several ways to visit Vatican City. You can take a guided tour or visit it independently. We have visited Vatican City independently and on a tour. Taking a tour is more expensive but has several advantages.
Taking a tour is much more educational, as a knowledgeable guide will teach you about important sights within the museums and concentrate on the most important things to see. Some tours take you right from the Sistine Chapel into St. Peter’s Basilica, which can save you an hour or longer. Yes, a tour is more expensive, but skipping that line is well worth the extra money.
The modern Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museums
Room of the Immaculate Conception in the Vatican Museums
St. Peter’s Square | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
The view of Rome from the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica
Here are three different ways to spend your time at Vatican City this morning:
BEST OPTION: Early morning guided tour of Vatican City
The Vatican Museums open at 9 am. On an early morning tour, you enter at 8 am, which allows you to see part of the museums with very low crowds. Some tours will take you directly into St. Peter’s Basilica via the tunnel from the Sistine Chapel, which bypasses the enormous line to enter the cathedral.
An early morning tour is pricier (on average you will spend about € 80 to €135 per person), but it is an all-around better experience. We recommend this early morning tour (it is with the same tour company we used).
CHEAPER TOUR OPTION: Guided Tour of Vatican City
The early morning tours of Vatican City are expensive, since you are paying for early access. You can save some money and still take a guided tour by choosing a tour that starts at 9 am, which is opening time of the museums.
This tour gets nothing but stellar reviews and includes the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
CHEAPEST OPTION: On Your Own
At 8 am, go first to St. Peter’s Basilica. This early in the day, there should be little to no line to enter the cathedral. Once inside, do the dome climb first, then visit the rest of the cathedral (learn more about what to see and do in our Guide to Vatican City ).
In advance (at least several weeks before your visit to Rome), book tickets for a 10 am entry into the Vatican Museums, and then tour the museums and Sistine Chapel on your own. The museums will be busy so be prepared for some crowds.
By putting St. Peter’s Basilica first, you get to skip the massive line to get through security. And since you have a timed entry ticket to enter the Vatican Museums, you get to bypass this ticket line. The key to making this work is getting to St. Peter’s Square early enough that there isn’t yet a line (8 am should be fine).
GUIDE TO VATICAN CITY: In our Guide to Vatican City, we cover hours, pricing, and helpful tips for your visit. You also have the option to add on the “secret rooms” of the Vatican, such as the Cabinet of Masks, and we cover these as well.
12:00 pm: Lunch
For lunch, we have three recommendations that are all within walking distance of St. Peter’s Square. You can either have a quick lunch or a longer, leisurely lunch.
We had a quick lunch at Alice Pizza, dining on pizza by the slice. It’s great if you are on a budget or are saving your money for dinner. Two restaurants we have not tried but sound amazing are Borghiciana Pastificio Artiginale and Scialla the Original Streetfood.
1:30 pm: Scenic Walk along the Tiber River
Stroll along Via della Conciliazione towards Castel Sant’Angelo (and look back several times for the amazing view of St. Peter’s Basilica).
Turn right onto Via San Pio X and cross the Tiber River on Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II. From this bridge, you get a beautiful view of the Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo.
The view from Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II
Stay on the south side of the Tiber River, walking underneath of the trees that line the river. You will get two more very nice views from Ponte Sant’Angelo and Ponte Umberto I.
Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Continue the walk along the Tiber River, and once you get to Ponte Cavour, walk up Via di Ripetta until you get to Piazza del Popolo. This walk from St. Peter’s Square to Piazza del Popolo is 2.5 km/1.5 miles and takes 30 minutes.
This large piazza is flanked by three basilicas. In the center sits the Flaminio Obelisk, an Egyptian obelisk of Sety I. This obelisk was brought to Rome in 10 BC and erected in this square in 1589.
For the best view of Piazza del Popolo, cross the square and climb the steps to Terrazza del Pincio in the Villa Borghese Gardens. Here is the view:
Piazza del Popolo from Pincio Terrace, which is in the Villa Borghese Gardens.
2:30 pm: Borghese Gallery
Even if you are not a big fan of art museums, or even just museums in general, the Borghese Gallery is still worth the visit. This art museum contains one of the best collections of art in the world. See works of art by Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, and Bernini. Even the building is an attraction.
To get here, stroll through the Villa Borghese Gardens. The gardens are quite large and you will have to walk from one side to the other, which takes about 20 minutes.
At 2:30 pm, collect your tickets. For this itinerary, I recommend making a 3 pm reservation to visit the Borghese Gallery.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: It’s a long walk from Vatican City to the Borghese Gallery (about 4 km/2.5 miles) so this is not for everyone. You can save some steps by walking to Castel Sant’Angelo for the views, then hire a taxi from Stazione Taxi San Pietro, which is at the intersection of Via della Conciliazione and Via San Pio X. Take the taxi directly to the Borghese Gallery. This will get you there faster so make an earlier time slot reservation or spend your time strolling through the gardens.
Borghese Gallery | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
How to Visit the Borghese Gallery
You can only visit the Borghese Art Gallery with a reservation. Reservations can be made up to 3 months in advance. Reservations are made for two-hour time slots, starting at 9 am, and the last time slot is at 5 pm.
You can make your reservation online or call +39 06 32810. There is a €2 fee for making online reservations. Tickets can also be purchased through GetYourGuide, which includes a guided tour of Borghese Gardens. This is a great option if you want to visit the museum with a guide or where unable to purchase tickets on the official website.
Collect your tickets a half an hour before your time slot. For a 3 pm reservation, plan on arriving no later than 2:30 pm. If you arrive late, even 5 minutes late, they may turn you away. We saw this happen to other people who arrived late for their reservation.
Hours: 9 am – 7 pm Closed Mondays Cost: €13, prices can increase during special exhibits, +€2 reservation fee Website: www.galleriaborghese.it Nearest Metro Station: Barberini
5:00 pm: Free Time & Dinner
This afternoon and evening, here are three recommendations on how to spend your time.
Crypt of the Capuchin Friars
From the Borghese Gallery, it is a 20 minute walk to the Crypt of the Capuchin Friars.
In several small chapels underneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappucchini are the skeletal remains of almost 4,000 Capuchin friars. The bones are arranged in artistic patterns. It’s morbidly fascinating and definitely an off-the-beaten-path location (unfortunately, photography is not allowed, which is why we don’t have any photos). Get pricing and hours here.
It is conveniently located near the Barberini metro station so you can get to your hotel or dinner restaurant on the metro.
Spend the late afternoon at a rooftop bar followed by dinner. Our favorites are Oro Bistrot, AcquaRoof Terrazza Molinari, and Divinity Rooftop. These each also serve dinner. Learn more about them and see a longer list in our guide to the Rome Rooftop Bars.
The view from Oro Bistrot at sunset
The view from Divinity Restaurant and Lounge | 2 Days in Rome Itinerary
Leisurely Time & Dinner
Return to your hotel, relax for a few hours, and then go out to dinner. If you did not go to Trastevere last night, tonight is a great time to go.
Are the Travel Passes Worth It?
The Roma Pass is a card that offers reduced prices into many sites in Rome and unlimited access to the public transportation network. The 48-hour pass gives you free access into your first site and the 72-hour pass gives you free access into your first two sites.
Price of the Roma Pass:
- 48 Hours: €32
- 72 Hours: €52
If you follow this Rome itinerary, the Roma Pass is not worth it. The savings are minimal and the Roma Pass makes scheduling your Borghese reservations unnecessarily complicated. With the new rules, you now also have to schedule your time slot for the Colosseum in advance. If time slots for the Colosseum are sold out for your dates of travel, you will not be able to enter with the Roma Pass, since a time slot is mandatory (you will have to join a tour).
If you plan on using the Roma Pass, reservations for the Borghese Art Gallery can only be made by telephone (you cannot book online). You will need to purchase your Roma Pass before calling to make the reservation (+39 06 32810). To get the free entry with the Roma Pass, the ticket agent will need your Roma Pass number.
With the Roma Pass, when you visit the Colosseum, you still need to wait in line to pick up your tickets. If you are visiting Rome during peak season, it’s worth it to pay a few extra euros and buy your Colosseum tickets in advance via the official website (and skip the Roma Pass). This could save you lots of time waiting in line.
To learn more about the Roma Pass: www.romapass.it
Omnia Card & Turbo Pass
The Omnia Card and Turbo Pass are two travel cards that even more expensive and offer no savings on this itinerary.
Our recommendation is to book your tickets to the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Borghese Gallery in advance on the official websites. Print your tickets at home and now you have skip-the-line access into each of these sites. If tickets are not available for your dates of travel, join a skip-the-line tour.
How to Get Around Rome
The majority of the must-see sights in Rome are located in central Rome. It’s possible to get around mainly by walking, but you can save your steps, and a little bit of time, by also using the Rome metro or taking a taxi.
Taxi stands are set up throughout the city. On Google Maps, you can search “taxi stand” for the ones closest to your location. Then you get in the taxi first in line and tell them your next destination. We frequently do this and in 2022, every taxi we took used credit cards (but it is good to have some cash on hand as a back up). To tip the taxi driver, we added on 1 to 2 euros to the fare.
You can also use Uber but we ended up spending a lot of time waiting for the Uber to arrive and figured out it was quicker to walk to the closest taxi stand.
The metro is fast, cheap, and easy to use. It’s a lot more economical than a taxi. Just beware of pick pockets on the metro and in other crowded places throughout Rome.
Best Time to Visit Rome
Spring and fall are the best times of the year to visit Rome. During this time, the weather is great for sightseeing and crowds tend to be lower than the busy summer months. But here is a breakdown by season of what you can expect in Rome:
WINTER: It’s chilly in Rome during the winter months. Daytime high’s average around 13°C (55°F) and it is a little colder at night. Rainfall is slightly above average for the year (averaging about 7 days of rain per month in December, January, and February).
SPRING: In early spring, the high temperature is 16°C (60°F) and it continues to get warmer week by week, reaching an average high of 27°C (80°F) by June. Rainfall chances go down the closer you get to the summer months. May and June have warm weather and lower chances of rain than the fall and winter months.
SUMMER: Expect the biggest crowds of the year and hot weather during the summer months. Daily high temperatures average 31°C (87°F) but they can easily get up to 35°C (95°F). Rainfall is the lowest of the year. If you plan to visit in the summer months, make your hotel reservations far in advance as well as your entrance tickets into the museums.
FALL: In early fall, crowds can still be high, not really quieting down until the end of October. Daytime high’s range from 26°C (79°F) in early fall and cooling off to 17°C (62°F) by late fall. Autumn is the wettest time to visit Rome (mid-September through early December with rainfall peaking in November), so bring an umbrella if you plan to be here at this time.
VERDICT: The best time to visit Rome is May through mid-June. The weather is nice and crowds are manageable.
Where to Stay in Rome
For recommendations on where to stay, read our Best Hotels and Neighborhoods Guide for Rome. Learn where to stay for a great view of the Colosseum and Piazza Navona and get recommendations whether you are looking for a budget hotel, luxury hotel, or if you are traveling as a family.
Where to Eat in Rome
We listed several recommendations in this itinerary, but for a bigger list of recommended restaurants, take a look at our Rome Restaurant Guide. And for rooftop bars, take a look at our guide about the Rome Rooftop Bars.
Tours of Rome
Looking for more ideas of how to spend your time? These tours can easily be added to this Rome itinerary. Take a food tour, a cooking class, or tour the Colosseum at night.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time do you need in Rome?
Ideally, plan on spending two or more days in Rome. With 2 days, you have just enough time to visit all of Rome’s top attractions without cramming them into one very busy day. Even more time allows you to go off the beaten path, explore the underground sites and the Appian Way, visit a few neighborhoods, and sample some of Rome’s amazing restaurants.
What are the best things to do with 2 days in Rome?
If you have 2 days in Rome, the best things to do include the Colosseum, Roman Forum, enjoy the view from the Altar of the Fatherland, stroll through the heart of Rome, tour Vatican City, and visit the Borghese Gallery. Make sure you try pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) and lots of gelato!
Is it possible to see Rome in one day?
Yes, with one well planned day you can visit the must-see sights in Rome , including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.
More Information on Rome
For a full list of things to do in Rome, check out our article Best Things to Do in Rome. For the best viewpoints of Rome’s famous landmarks, take a look at our article Best Views of Rome.
If you have more than 2 days in Rome, take a look at our 3 days in Rome itinerary and 4 days in Rome itinerary.
In our article How to Visit the Colosseum, we cover everything you need to know, from ticket types, things to do at the Colosseum, if a guided tour is worth it, how much it will cost and how to have the best experience.
In our article How to Visit the Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica, we cover what you need to know to plan your visit, including cost, if a tour is worth it, how to avoid the lines, plus information about the “secret rooms” in the Vatican.
For advice on where to eat, read our guide about Where to Eat in Rome, that has restaurant recommendations near the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the historic heart of Rome, plus some great rooftop restaurants. We also have a guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome.
Get recommendations on where to stay in Rome in our Rome Hotel Guide.
If you have any questions about this 2 days in Rome itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information about Italy
ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Venice. For those with more time, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights of Italy.
VENICE: Learn more about what to do in Venice in our Venice Bucket List. To help you plan your time, we have a detailed one day Venice itinerary and a 2 day Venice itinerary.
FLORENCE & TUSCANY: If this is your first visit to Florence, read our guide to the Best Things to Do in Florence and the best rooftop bars in Florence . If you plan to visit Tuscany, learn about the Best Things to Do in Tuscany , how to spend One Day in Siena , and check out our guide to the Best Day Trips from Florence.
BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.
PUGLIA: Read about 15 beautiful places to visit in Puglia and the best things to do in Alberobello. We also have a guide to the best things to do on the Gargano Peninsula and how to spend one day in Vieste.
We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.
All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.
Hi Julie! Thanks for all the great insight as always!
We are currently planning a trip to Italy, flying into Rome on a Sunday and leaving the following Sunday out of Rome giving us about a week total. We tried to get a decent flight from Venice back to the US but couldn’t.
Ideally we would like to do Rome and Venice. Our flight back to the US is later so we have planned on taking an early train back to Rome from Venice. My question is, would it be worth taking a day (Wednesday) to stop in Florence before Venice? Not seeing Florence is not a deal breaker but we thought it may help break up the long train ride from Rome to Venice.
That would put us at Sunday evening – Tuesday in Rome, Wednesday would be a partial day in Florence, and Thursday – Saturday would be in Venice, with us traveling back Sunday.
Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated!
Thank you, Josh
Hello Josh. I think it would be worth it to spend a few hours in Florence on the way to Venice. You won’t have much time that day for Rome and you will have plenty of time in Venice, so I think it is worth breaking up the train ride. You can store your luggage in the Florence train station (we have done this several times in Italy and other European countries and it is relatively cheap and easy to do). Florence is a beautiful city and I recommend climbing at least one tower for a view over the city (my favorite viewpoint is Arnolfo Tower on Palazzo Vecchio but you can see our list here ). Another option is to get a ticket to the Duomo and visit the associated sights. It really comes down to whether or not you want to schedule a visit at a big attraction like the Duomo or stroll through town, climb a tower, and have a nice lunch. Both are great options. Let me know if you have any other questions! Cheers, Julie
Thanks for such a speedy reply!
Would it be worth it then to possibly do Wednesday/Thursday in Florence and then Friday/Saturday in Venice?
If 3 days is overkill for Venice and you can do the bulk of everything in 2 then maybe this is an option to consider as well. I am sure this option would make the trip a little more fast paced though.
You can do it either way. With 2 days in Venice , you have enough time to see the main sights, but the 3rd day could be used for Murano and Burano. If missing those aren’t a big deal for you, you could put an additional day into Florence (I personally think more time in Florence is more worthwhile than Murano and Burano). However, like you said, the trip then moves at a much faster pace. You’ll see a lot, and it will all be wonderful, but just make sure you are OK with that before changing your itinerary. If you want to look it over, here is our 10 day Italy itinerary …you will be doing this with the exception of the Cinque Terre. Also take a look at our One Day in Florence and Two Days in Florence itineraries, to help you make your decision. Cheers, Julie
I’m really enjoying your site, thank you We are planning a Rome/Florence at the end of February 24. One of the members of my party has some mobility issues (balance and walking long distances), I was wondering if you happened to have any tips.
Hello Steve. Just so you are aware, the sidewalks in both Rome and Florence tend to be very narrow (just wide enough for 1 to 2 people in some places) and made of uneven stones. To limit the amount of walking you do, I recommend getting around by taxi. There are taxi stands throughout Rome and Florence and don’t cost much money. It’s a little easier than the metro, since you will have to go up and down steps and be in very crowded places. We tried to use Uber in both cities last fall and it sometimes took a very long time to get a car, and we quickly learned that the taxi was faster. But if walking to a taxi stand is too far to go, you could give Uber or another ride share app a try (just be prepared for a longer wait). I was dealing with a very bad case of plantar fasciitis on that trip, and typically we walk everywhere, but I relied on the taxis and Uber to save my steps, so I can understand the need to limit how much walking you do. Cheers, Julie
Just a heads up, I believe the pantheon will now be charging a 5 euro entrance fee.
Thank you for this update! Cheers, Julie
I wish this itinerary had a printable version! Does one exist? It is amazing!!!!
Thank you! We currently don’t have a printable version or eBook of this. You can save and print it from your browser, but it will be a lot of pages since our website is not yet optimized for printing. Cheers, Julie
Hi there. Would you be able to take a look at the link for the direct colosseum tickets. For some reason the link isn’t working for me?
Thanks in advance for your guide. I will be using it on my trip in April
If you haven’t seen it yet, today I published a guide on how to visit the Colosseum. It has updated information and brand new links. But sure, if you can let me know which link isn’t working right I can investigate it more. Cheers, Julie
That is great, thanks for the info! I’m very interested in tips for good food, we are very excited about the Italian food! I will wait and read your upcoming post and then if I still have questions I will reach back out.
One other quick question: Do you have any recommendations on travel backpacks? I’ve been looking into them and it seems like they are all really big/bulky, or small and not super functional. Any good options you’ve come across and liked/used?
On our RTW trip, Tim and I both used REI Grand Tour 80L backpacks and we still use them occasionally when we travel. Tyler has the most updated version and it’s been very good. They are big enough to carry a lot of stuff, but they aren’t gigantic. Plus, they are comfortable to wear for awhile. We wore them and sometimes had to walk a half to a full mile to get to our hotel. We also have the North Face duffel bags, which can be worn as a backpack, but they aren’t nearly as comfortable. The new Rome article is coming along well. In this itinerary, I mention La Prezzemolina. We ate here in September and it’s awesome. Good, cheap pizza served super fast and just a short walk from the Colosseum. It’s some of the best pizza we had in all of Italy. Cheers, Julie
Hello! We have a trip to London, Paris, Florence, and Rome booked for February 2023 for our family of four. We already have our hotels and travel booked but are currently researching and booking our tours and activities. I was wondering if you have any more info on your trip to Rome from September? Our kids are 11 and 14 but they are very active… but I am trying to gauge how much we should try and squeeze into each day? Interested in any tips or tricks you’ve learned from traveling with children! Currently researching Florence and Rome. This itinerary is very helpful, thank you!
Hello Nate. Tomorrow I plan to begin writing up a Things to Do in Rome post and plan to have it published by Sunday. That will just be the start of our new content on Rome. There is a ton to do in Rome but with kids, the main things are the Colosseum, walking through the historic city center, and Tyler and Kara liked the Capuchin Crypt, climbing the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, eating gelato, and biking the Appian Way. In general, at that age, they weren’t big fans of the museums, but the Borghese is amazing for art. Definitely put climbing to the top of the Altar of the Fatherland on your list. The views of Rome are incredible. When we visited Rome with our kids (they were 8 and 10 at the time), we kept the sightseeing between 9 am and 5 pm with downtime in the evening. We spent most of our time outside and very little time in the museums. Another thing that is worth it, but it’s an early start, is a small group tour of the Vatican at 8 am, before it gets crowded. I’ll have all these details in our upcoming post. As you go through our info, feel free to write in again with any other questions you may have. It’s going to be an amazing trip…I love all 4 of those cities. Cheers, Julie
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Finding the Universe
Travel tales, photography and a dash of humor
3 Days in Rome: The Perfect Rome Itinerary
Last updated: October 7, 2023 . Written by Laurence Norah - 234 Comments
If you’re planning on spending 3 days in Rome, we think this post will help you make the most of your trip.
Rome is easily one of our favorite cities in Europe. It is absolutely stuffed full of sights, with thousands of years of history layered upon itself – you’ll find everything here from Roman ruins to Renaissance art.
It’s also home to fantastic food, the Vatican City and sights like the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps.
We have visited Rome many times over the years and always find more to see and do. Certainly, 3 days in Rome is not enough to see absolutely everything that the city has to offer, but it’s definitely enough to see all the highlights if you manage your time effectively.
With a focus on the highlights in Rome, we wanted to share what we think is an excellent itinerary for three days in Rome, which covers the attractions that visitors to Rome are most likely going to want to visit. This covers all the major highlights for your three day visit.
Following the itinerary, this post is then full of tips and advice for visiting Rome that will help you get the most out of your stay, as well as save money on attraction entry, transport and accommodation.
To get the most out of your trip and to be sure you see all the major attractions, you will need to do a bit of forward planning and even reserve your entry time to the key attractions – otherwise you’ll waste your time standing in lines unnecessarily and even miss out on being able to visit.
Don’t worry though, we explain everything in this post to help you save time and make the most of your budget, whatever that may be.
If you are visiting Europe on a longer trip, this guide to 3 days in Rome fits in perfectly with our 2 week Europe itinerary , which you might also want to check out for some ideas and advice on travelling in Europe. We also have a 10 day Italy itinerary to help you plan further adventures in Italy.
Now, let’s get started with our guide to the best things to do in Rome in 3 days.
3 Days in Rome
This guide to Rome is quite full, so do feel free to adjust it to meet your own interests.
It is certainly possible to do everything in this guide with 3 days in Rome, and you can see the comments at the end of the post for feedback from many visitors who have used this guide to do just that!
However, if you would prefer a more relaxed itinerary, you can definitely adjust it to suit.
Day 1: Rome Itinerary
The Vatican City is the first thing on our list for your visit to Rome. It’s a country of its own, inside Rome, and is home to world-famous sites including the Vatican Museums , the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
We recommend you come here early and head straight for the Vatican Museum with your pre-booked ticket. We cover ways to skip the lines in Rome further on in this post, but if you purchase a Rome Tourist Card or Omnia Rome and Vatican pass , you will have the option to pre-book a timeslot for your skip the line entry.
If you don’t get a pass, another option is to book your tickets online which will give you skip the line access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. You can buy tickets online with GetYourGuide here and Tiqets here (for Tiqets we have a 5% discount on their normal price with our link).
You can also book tickets directly from the Vatican here. Prices and availability fluctuate, usually the Vatican site is the best value but it can vary so do check them all.
Doors to the Vatican Museum open at 9am, so we recommend you arrange your entry for as close to then as you can manage. The Vatican Museum gets really crowded as the day progresses, so getting here early will let you enjoy it for a while before it gets too busy.
You can also book to take a tour which gets you early entry to the Vatican before the doors open for general admission. This tour for example starts at 7.30am and includes breakfast in the Vatican, as does this tour with Take Walks.
We’ve done the Take Walks early entry Pristine Sistine tour and can very much recommend it, the tour guides are excellent and can really bring what you are seeing to life.
For an even more exclusive experience, you might consider the VIP Vatican Key Master’s Tour . This is a premium tour that has you in the Vatican at 6am to accompany the Key Masters as they open the museums up. It’s an amazing experience, and one we thoroughly enjoyed; however it has limited availability and is more of an experience than a tour. Check that out here .
There’s loads to see in the Vatican Museums, which span 7km of exhibits, so you could spend a whole lot of time here.
Our favorites include the Map Room, the Sistine Chapel, and the fabulous double helix exit stairwell, but we’re sure you’ll discover treasures of your own.
See our guide to visiting the Vatican for everything you need to know, including all the highlights.
Next, it’s back outside and on to St. Peter’s Basilica .
St Peter’s Basilica doesn’t have an entry fee, but as of March 2023 it also doesn’t have skip the line tickets (skip the line tickets used to be a paid alternative and we hope they come back soon!).
So the best option if you want to skip the line at St. Peter’s Basilica is to invest either in a tour like one of these or a pass which includes a tour like the Rome Tourist Card . Some tours of the Vatican, like this one , also include skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica which can be a good all in one option.
At busier times of year some form of quick access like a tour is absolutely worth it, but if you are visiting in the off season it’s not really necessary.
Once inside, you’ll be able to enjoy visiting the world’s largest church, and what is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines.
With designers including Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo, it’s a truly Renaissance building, and is a work of art in itself – before you even start to consider all the artworks within! If you’re up to it, we highly recommend the climb to the top of the dome. This offers superb views across the city, as well as the chance to see the Basilica from above.
Once you’re done with the Vatican City attractions, you can head on to our next stop. Don’t feel you need to rush though – the Vatican City is definitely going to be a highlight of the day, and you are welcome to spend a few hours exploring at your leisure. The rest of Rome will wait. When you’re ready, a short walk will take you to the next stop on our list.
Note, the Vatican is closed on Sundays and some other days – you can see all opening times and days on the official website here .
Originally built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian, Castel Sant’Angelo has been sitting on the banks of the river Tiber for nearly two thousand years.
In that time, it has evolved from its initial role as a tomb, becoming a fortress, a castle, and finally, a museum.
Today it is open to the public, and you can climb right to the top, for gorgeous views of the city. You’ll also be able to marvel at the building techniques that have allowed it to survive for two millennia.
The Castel is open every day from 9am – 7.30pm with some holiday exceptions – see more here . You can buy tickets in person or from the official ticket site here .
You can also buy tickets from GetYourGuide here or from Tiqets here . It’s always worth comparing as prices vary, in most cases the official site will be the best value but not always.
Piazza del Popolo
From the Castel Sant’Angelo it’s a pleasant twenty-minute walk along the banks of the river Tiber to the Piazza del Popolo.
This was the location of the northern gate of Rome, and is where, for countless years before trains, planes and cars, travelers would actually arrive into Rome.
From here, three roads span southwards in a trident formation, with the central road, the Via del Corso, running dead straight through the centre of Rome to the Piazza Venezia.
Originally this would have been the route from the northern gate of Rome to the Roman Forum.
In the centre of the Piazza is an Egyptian obelisk, dating from the rule of Ramses II, which was brought to Rome in 10BC, and put in this plaza in the 16th century.
On the south side of the Piazza are the twin churches of Santa Maria in Montesanto, and Santa Maria del Miracoli, sitting either side of Via Corso.
We’re going to continue our first day by taking in a few of Rome’s highlights that you can take as long or as little time to visit as you wish. First on the list are the Spanish Steps .
You can access these by walking in a south easterly direction through the Villa Borghese Gardens and down Viale della Trinita dei Monti.
This 135 step staircase was opened in 1735 to link the Spanish Embassy near the bottom of the steps to the Trinita dei Monti staircase at the top, and are today a popular spot to stop, eat Gelato, and watch the world go by. They were made particularly popular in the 1953 movie Roman Holiday , starring Audrey Hepburn.
Note that as of August 2019 , it’s no longer permitted to sit on the Spanish Steps as they have been classified as a monument, and there is the potential of being fined if you do so. So stick to standing on them instead!
Continuing our must-visit Rome highlights, our next stop in our wanders through Rome is the Trevi Fountain.
This is the world’s largest Baroque fountain, and is always a popular location – whatever time of day (or night!) you visit. Built in the early 18th century, it is said that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you are guaranteed to return to Rome.
This seems to be a popular past time, as over three thousand euro’s worth of coins are throw into the fountain each day.
These go to a good cause – each night the coins are removed from the fountain and used by a charity that helps those in need purchase food.
In our experience this is nearly always a crowded location. If you want to visit it without the crowds then come here early in the morning when central Rome tends to be a bit quieter.
A little walk from the Trevi Fountain is the incredible Pantheon. This building, which has been standing for almost 2,000 years, is the best preserved Ancient Roman monument in Rome.
I dare you not to be impressed by its incredible dome, which even today, two thousand years since it was built, still holds the record as the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
Originally built as a temple to the Roman gods, the Pantheon was converted for use as a Christian church in 609 AD, which is the main reason it survives in such excellent condition today.
It’s also notable for being home to the graves of a number of important folk, including the painter Raphael and two Italian Kings.
For a long time the Pantheon was free to visit but as of July 2023 there’s a small fee. You can pay this on-site, or you can buy it online in advance from the official site here (you’ll need to create an account).
Tickets with an audioguide are also available from GetYourGuide online here , although they are a bit more expensive.
You also can book an audioguide in advance here to help explain what you are seeing.
We think it’s very much worth the small fee as we have never failed to be impressed by this incredible building when we have visited it!
Wow, this has been a busy first day in Rome! We recommend finishing your adventure off with a visit to the Piazza Navona.
This has been a designated public space since the 15th century, and is full of gorgeous Baroque architecture.
Its most famous feature is undoubtedly Bernini’s fountain, which stands at the center – the Fountain of the Four Rivers, which dates from 1651.
The Piazza is a fun place to be, and often features street performers and markets, depending on the time of day and week that you visit. We always enjoy sitting and watching the fun in the evenings here.
There are a lot of options here for dining and drinking as well, although bear in mind that you always pay more in Rome at the more popular locations, especially if they have a terrace or view.
We ate at Caffe Domiziano, which has two seating areas. It’s cheaper to sit in the section on Corsia Agonale rather than on the main square. The food is the same, just the price is different.
Our current favourite cafe in Piazza Navona though is Ai Tre Tartufi, which has friendly staff and a good selection of drinks and food.
Another option to consider, rather than ending your day here, is to take a food walking tour.
We’ve taken many food walking tours in Rome, with this evening food and wine tour of the Trastevere neighborhood being one of our favorites. A food tour is a great way to try a lot of local food (and often drink), and also to get some recommendations for other locations to eat in Rome.
See our complete guide to food tours in Rome for more suggestions. Now, time to rest before day two of our three day Rome itinerary!
Day 2: Rome Itinerary
Our second day in Rome starts with another Rome highlight – the Colosseum , also referred to as the Coliseum.
Built in Roman times as a space for holding public spectacles, the Colosseum is most famous for being the home of gladiators, who would battle it out in front of audiences that could number as many as 80,000 people.
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre in the world, and despite suffering some damage in its two thousand years of existence, is still hugely impressive to visit.
It’s one of the most popular destinations in Rome for visitors, so again, our advice is to come as early as you can, and take advantage of a pass or advance ticket purchase options so you can skip the ticket queue and go straight to the security line.
Skip the line access for the Colosseum is included on the Rome and Vatican Pass , the Roma Pass and the Rome Tourist Card . It’s also included if you take a guided tour like this one with Take Walks .
Alternatively, you can book entry to the Colosseum directly from the official website . You can also book on GetYourGuide here . GetYourGuide is a little more expensive than the official site but a lot more user friendly in our experience, and we use them for a lot of our tour and entry tickets when we travel.
If neither of those options works, try this option , which has tickets available from a different ticket pool for a slight premium, which include a video on Ancient Rome.
Note that even if you are using a city pass that includes access to the Colosseum, you will still need to make a reservation to visit.
You need to do this as far in advance as possible to secure the time you want. You can make the reservation either by calling the reservation line, or (more easily) by booking online.
If there are no timeslots available, your best option for visiting the Colosseum is to take a guided tour like this , or like this , as guided tours have a separate ticket allocation system. If you book a guided tour, you don’t need to book a separate ticket or timeslot for visiting the Colosseum.
We highly recommend reading our detailed guide to visiting the Colosseum , which will help you make the most of your visit and not waste time in lines, as well as to understand the rules around passes, time slots and so on!
The Colosseum is open every day, with times varying depending on the time of year. You can see more information here .
Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Your Colosseum ticket is also good for entry to the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (as long as you visit on the same day), which is conveniently located right next door.
If you don’t buy a ticket in advance for the Colosseum, then we suggest you visit the Roman Forum first, as the queues for tickets are much shorter.
However, they can only sell same day timeslots for entry to the Colosseum, and in the busy months these are not available.
Again, we highly recommend advance booking your tickets and timeslots for the Colosseum to avoid disappointment, or booking a tour which includes both like this one from Take Walks .
So what’s special about the Forum? A lot! This was the seat of power during the reign of the Roman Empire, as well as the central marketplace and business district. Basically, Roman life for centuries revolved around this area of Rome, and no visit to the city is complete without walking these ancient ruins.
The Forum is open every day, you can see full opening hours here .
Mouth of Truth
Time for a bit of fun! If you’ve seen the movie Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn, you’ll remember that Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn pop their hands into the mouth of this massive stone figure, which is said to bite off the hands of liars.
It’s not exactly known when or how this belief originated, but the good news is that you too can visit the Mouth of Truth, or Bocca del Verita, and pop your own hand in for a photo opportunity.
You’ll find it outside the entrance to the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, which is also worth visiting. In can get busy here in the summer months, but the line is kept moving fairly quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long.
Pyramid of Caius Cestius
Did you know that Rome has a two thousand year old Egyptian style Pyramid? Well, it does. The Pyramid of Cestius was built around 12BC, at a time when Rome was obsessed with all things Egypt, to serve as the tomb for a wealthy Roman.
The tomb has since been looted, and little is known about its original occupant, but the marble covered 36 meter high pyramid is the only one of its kind in Europe, and we think is definitely worth your time to visit.
Whenever we visit Rome with friends or family, we love taking them to see this as it’s such an unexpected sight in the city.
It’s now incorporated into the Aurelian Walls of the city (which helped to ensure it’s preservation), and one of the best places to see if from is the non-Catholic cemetery of Rome.
Whilst you’re at the cemetery, which is a beautifully peaceful spot, do take the time to visit the grave of the English poet Keats, one whose “name is writ in water”, who died in Rome at the young age of 25, far before his recognition as one of the greatest English poets of all time.
Baths of Caracalla
Those Romans really liked to build stuff on a big scale. The Baths of Caracalla are no different. This vast bathing complex could accommodate up to 1600 bathers at one time, in a complex that covered over 62 acres.
Whilst time has taken its toll on the Baths, they are still open to visitors.
You can wander between the mighty walls and appreciate the vast scale of the operation and the millions of bricks that were used to construct them, as well as some of the surviving details like the mosaic floors.
It’s not at the top of visitors lists to Rome, but is definitely one of our favorite spots to visit in the city, so we urge you to include it in your itinerary, especially as you’re already in the area.
The Baths of Caracalla are open every day except Christmas Day. Opening hours vary by time of year, you can see more here .
St. John in the Lateran
The Papal Archbasilica of St. John in the Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome and the seat of the Pope in the city, and as such, is one of the most important churches in the city.
Whilst nearly everyone makes it to St. Peter’s Basilica, less people make it out here, to what is in fact the oldest Basilica in the city, making this a quieter and more relaxing place to visit.
Highlights include the Lateran Obelisk, the largest standing Egyptian obelisk in the world, the Borromini designed Knave, the Cloister and the Scala Sancta.
These last are a stairway of 28 steps, found in a building just across the road from the Basilica itself, which are said to be the same steps that Jesus walked up on his way to trial in Jerusalem.
Today, pilgrims to Rome can be seen climbing the stairs on their knees, which is the only way you’re allowed to ascend.
Finally, find yourself some delicious food or perhaps a gelato , and congratulate yourself on another excellent day in Rome!
Note that St. John in the Lateran is closed on Sundays.
Day 3: Rome Itinerary
Appian way and the catacombs.
For the third day on our three day Rome itinerary, we suggest you take a break from the city centre sight-seeing and head out along the Appian Way.
Built in 312BC, this is believed to be one of the oldest surviving roads in the world, and was of enormous importance to the Roman Empire, linking the capital to southern settlements including Naples and Brindisi, and allowing for the quick movement of troops and goods.
At the time, it was the widest and longest road in the world, and in testament to the quality of its construction, much of what you can see today is still original stonework. Those Romans built things to last!
There are a variety of attractions to see along the Appian Way, beyond the road itself, and the key sights are to be found along the first ten miles of the road, in the Parco dell’Appia Antica.
You can visit the road yourself, or you can take a tour which includes parts of the Appian Way. We have done and enjoyed this one from Take Walks but other are available including this one on GetYourGuide . Most tours focus on the Appian Way and Catacombs.
Another popular option is to take a bike or e-bike tour with catacomb visits along the route.
If you decide to visit yourself, you’ll want to head to the start point of the road, the Porta San Sebastiano. You can reach this via public transport from the city.
From here, it’s a ten-minute walk to the first major sight on the Appian Way, the Church of Domine Quo Vadis, which dates from the 9th century.
Alternatively, as the walk along the first part can be a bit tricky, you can take the bus a little bit further than the start point if you prefer.
After the Church, there are two Catacombs you can visit, the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and the Catacombs of St. Sebastian . The former are slightly larger and were the burial place of 16 popes, numerous Christians and a number of martyrs.
Following on from the Catacombs, you can continue your journey along the Appian Way should you so wish, to the tomb of Cecilia Metella and the Circus Maxentius, which are about another 10 – 15 minute walk along the Appian Way.
All in all, from the Porta San Sebastiano to the tomb of Cecilia Metella, you’re looking at about a thirty-minute walk, with plenty of attractions on the way. Whilst you can continue on at this point should you wish, we’d suggest returning to the city now, and heading to the:
The Borghese Gallery is in the Villa Borghese gardens, and houses the Borghese collection, a collection of art that is easily one of the finest in Rome. This is by far our favorite art gallery in Rome.
With incredible pieces from the likes of Raphael, Bernini and Caravaggio, to name but a few, this museum is truly a must visit.
It’s not huge, spread across two floors and twenty rooms, but the high quality of work on display means that everything you see is basically a masterpiece.
It’s also guaranteed not to be too crowded, as they only allow 360 people in at a time. Compare this to the 30,000 visitors a day that the Vatican Museum hosts, and you will enjoy being able to breathe whilst you appreciate the art on display.
It’ll take forty-five minutes to an hour to get to the Borghese Gallery from the Circus Maxentius part of the Appian Way, so you need to factor this in when planning your routes. Also, be aware that if you visit on a Sunday that public transport can be reduced.
The reason I mention this is because the Borghese Gallery has timed entry and reservation is mandatory. To reserve, just call the reservation line: +39-06-32-810. Once you enter, you have two hours to see the Gallery.
Alternatively, if you wanted to do a guided tour like this , your tour company will arrange the time for you, although again, these need to be booked in advance. Read about our experience touring the Borghese Gallery with Take Walks here .
The Borghese Gallery is closed on Mondays, but is otherwise open every day from 9am – 7pm. See more here .
Note – usually the Borghese Gallery is included on the Roma Pass and the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card, but it has had availability issues on these cards of late. Always check with the official website for any card you purchase to be sure everything you want to see is included.
Villa Borghese Gardens
Once you’re done with the Borghese Gallery, we recommend heading over to the west side of the Gardens, towards the Piazza del Popolo.
The view from the terrace overlooking the Piazza del Popolo is one of our favourite views in Rome, especially at sunset.
If you can, try to time your visit here to enjoy that and reflect on three wonderful days spent exploring Rome!
Rome 3 Day Itinerary Map
Here’s a map of the above itinerary showing all the attractions across the three days you’ll be in Rome. You can click here to see this map on Google.
3 Day Rome Itinerary Overview
- Day 1 : Vatican City, Castel Sant’Angelo, Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, optional food and wine tour
- Day 2: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Bocca Della Verita, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Baths of Caracalla, Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
- Day 3: Appian Way, Borghese Gallery, Terrazza del Pincio
How to Save Money and Skip the Lines in Rome
As with many cities around the world, Rome has a number of passes that help you get free and discounted admission, as well as skip the line privileges at key attractions – including many of the above.
There are three main attraction passes for Rome that we usually recommend – the Rome Tourist Card , the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card and the Roma Pass.
Which you choose will depend on your sightseeing goals, so we’re going to go through these in a bit of detail now to help you choose.
In brief, for our three-day Rome itinerary we recommend either the Rome Tourist Card or the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card .
The first option we suggest is the Rome Tourist Card . This includes pre-booked skip the line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the Colosseum.
It also has some useful audio tours for the city. It then includes a 10% discount on other Rome attractions.
This is a great option as it includes the pre-booked timeslots for the major attractions in Rome like the Vatican and Colosseum, making this a very convenient pass to use. It’s also cost-effective, and you can then add on other attractions you are interested in. You can buy yours in advance here .
If you plan on doing absolutely everything in our itinerary, then you might also consider the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card . The main downside is that it requires a bit of planning to make the most of it, and it doesn’t currently (as of March 2023) include skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica.
This pass is brought to you by the same folks who also run some of our other favourite city passes including the London Pass and the Barcelona Pass , and consists of two physical passes – an OMNIA card and the aforementioned Roma Pass .
Here’s what the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card covers:
- Free entry with Skip the Line access to the Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica of St. John in the Lateran and the Cloister. Note it does not include skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is a definite issue at busier times of year
- Free audio guide at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Basilica of St. John in the Lateran and the Cloister
- Free entry to two out of six listed attractions, which includes the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Castel Sant’Angelo
- Skip the line entry at the Colosseum and Roman Forum (these count as one attraction when visiting using the card in the same day). Note you still need to book a timeslot for the Colosseum with these cards.
- Discounted entry at attractions once you have used up your two free visits – this will be the concession rate
- Discounted entry at over thirty other sights in Rome, including the Baths of Caracalla and Appia Way attractions
- A 72 hour travelcard for Rome which covers all the major public transport, including buses, trams and metro
- A 3 Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus ticket
- A detailed guidebook to Rome and map of the city
As you can see, this pass includes a lot. One of the most valuable aspects of it, in my mind, is the skip the line access at the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum. I cannot stress enough how important these features are.
The line for the Vatican Museums in particular can be hours long (seriously, hours), and in the heat of the summer this can be a torturous experience.
The Omnia Vatican and Rome Card gets you past this queue and straight in to the security line, and the same applies at the Colosseum. Seriously, don’t waste your time in Rome standing in line.
To get the most out of the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card though, you have to be a little bit clever, and plan ahead. Or, you can just follow my itinerary, as I’ve ordered the attractions in a way that will save you the most money when using the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card.
As you can see, there’s a list of six attractions , of which you can choose two that you get free entry to with the card. As these are not all the same price, to maximise your savings you want to try and use your free entry on the most expensive attractions.
Once you’ve used those two entries up, you will get a discounted admission when you use your card. Based on the three day itinerary above, we recommend you use the pass for free entry to the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo, and then for the combined entry ticket to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. This will save you around €35.
The other thing to be aware of is that for some attractions you need to book your entry in advance. These include the Vatican Museum and the Colosseum.
My advice, as you can see in the itinerary, is to book the earliest entry you can. The Vatican Museum gets very busy, and the first hour or so in the morning is the quietest time to visit.
For the Colosseum, you need to book your timed entry slot. If entry to the Colosseum is important for you , please check availability on the official website here before purchasing the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card .
Be sure to check for availability for the €2 Roma Pass reservation option rather than general availability as they come out of a different pool, and Roma Pass reservations are often available even if general tickets are showing as sold out.
If there is no availability, then you will not get access to the Colosseum even with the pass.
Instead, read our guide to visiting the Colosseum for other options you have.
You don’t have to book a pass of course. You can either book tickets or tours individually for many of these attractions. This will be more economical if you only plan on visiting some of these attractions.
If you don’t plan on buying a pass, then we strongly recommend booking your timeslots in advance as most of the attractions in Rome are hugely popular and do sell out.
For example, you can book Vatican tickets here , Colosseum tickets directly here, and St. Peters entry tickets directly here .
If you go down this route, make sure you choose the option that lets you print the ticket yourself so you can proceed directly to the security line. Note that the Colosseum now operates a timed entry system as well, which as of 1st March 2019, includes pass holders.
Also be aware that there are many sites that sell tickets at a mark-up, so if you want the best prices it’s best to compare against the official site for the attraction, although we would add that these tend not always to be super user-friendly!
The exception to this is St. Peters Basilica, which doesn’t currently have fast-track tickets and so if you want to skip the line the best option is to book a tour.
The other pass that you might consider is the Roma Pass . Whilst this comes with the Omnia Vatican and Rome card, it can also be purchased separately, in a 2 day (48 hour) or 3 day (72 hour) version. The Roma Pass includes free / discounted admission to many of Rome’s attractions as well as a transport card for the public transport network in Rome.
However, it doesn’t include entry or skip the line access to any of the Vatican attractions, including the Vatican Museum or St. Peters Basilica, nor does it include the Rome Hop on Hop off bus.
We think that for 3 days in Rome, either the Rome Tourist Card or the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card is a better option.
For us, the true value of these passes isn’t the cost saving – even though they do offer that. Instead, it’s the fact that it makes it so much easier and hassle free to visit Rome.
You’ll get to all the attractions you’re really going to want to see without spending time standing in line. And that’s why we think they are worth looking into for your trip to Rome.
Find out more and buy your Rome Tourist Card from the official site, here .
You can buy the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card here . You can also check the price on GetYourGuide here for comparison.
Summary of Best Pass Options for Rome
Here’s a quick summary of the main pass options for Rome.
First, the Rome Tourist Card . This includes skip the line entry to the Vatican, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and an audioguide tour of Rome, amongst other things. There’s also a 10% discount on a number of other attractions. You can book your timeslots for the attractions when you book the pass, which makes everything a lot easier.
Second, the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card . This includes the Vatican Museums, as well as a choice of a number of major attractions like the Colosseum and Castel Sant Angelo. It also includes transport in Rome and a Hop on Hop off bus. It’s more expensive than some other passes and you do have to book other attractions like the Colosseum separately, but it does include pretty much everything you might need for your time in Rome.
Third, the Roma Pass . The previous pass actually includes this pass, which includes free / discounted admission to many of Rome’s attractions as well as a transport card for the public transport network in Rome. Notably it does not include the Vatican attractions.
Fourth, consider the Best of Rome All Access pass . This 3-day pass includes fast track reserved entry to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, and Roman Forum. There’s no transport included on this pass, or discounts on other attractions.
Hopefully that gives you plenty of ideas as to which Rome discount card might be best for your trip!
Getting Around Rome
Rome is really easy to get around, with much of it very walkable. The itinerary we’re laid out is designed to be logical and easy to follow, so you won’t waste time getting from place to place. Getting from each location to the next should be either a short walk, or a single bus or metro ride away.
If you decide to buy the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card it includes free public transport for your three days in Rome, as well as the Hop on Hop Off bus.
Alternatively, you can either buy a travelcard yourself, or just buy tickets as you go. A one way ticket, known as a “B.I.T” costs €1.50 and is valid for 100 minutes from when you activate it.
With the B.I.T. you can change transport types as you go, with the exception being you cannot re-enter the metro system if you leave it.
These single tickets can be bought from metro stations as well as convenience stores and newsagents, and need to be activated with a timestamp when you board the first transport.
For buses this will require putting the card into a machine located on the bus. Metro entry barriers will automatically timestamp your ticket as you insert them at the barrier.
Not stamping your ticket is the same as travelling without a ticket, and you can be penalised for doing this.
As of 2023, many Rome buses now have contactless payment options as well, so you can just pay as you board by touching your contactless card to the terminal.
How to get into Rome from the Airport
Rome has two major international airports that you might fly into – Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (FCO). Flights from the North America usually arrive at Fiumicino, whilst flights from Europe may arrive at either.
It’s easy to get into central Rome from either airport.
From Rome Fiumicino, you can take the train, bus, or taxi. There’s a train station on site which will get you into the city centre in around 30 minutes to an hour. Prices range from €8 – €14, depending on if you take the fast Leonardo Express or the local train services (FL1).
Note that the local train service (FL1) does not go directly to Termini – it goes to Rome Trastevere, and then you would need to change onto the FL5, which you can take to Termini.
There are also a number of bus options which cost from €5, and which take around 50 minutes to an hour, and take you to Termini train station. There’s also a taxi stand. You can also arrange either a shared shuttle or a private transfer service , which needs to be booked in advance.
From Rome Ciampino, there’s no on-site train station, but there is a local train station just five minutes away by bus. This train costs around €1.50. There are also buses from Ciampino, which also cost €5. Ciampino also has taxis, although as this is a smaller airport there are generally fewer available. You can also book a shared shuttle or private transfer service in advance .
Both airports also have private and shuttle transfer options that you can book in advance.
Where to Stay in Rome for 3 Days
Rome certainly has no shortage of places to stay. For this three day itinerary, we’d suggest you stay somewhere central, to make accessing all the attractions as easy as possible. Our suggestion would be to stay somewhere in the area between the Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Popolo.
For some options close to the historical city centre and all the sights in our itinerary, consider the following. These are ordered approximately by price, from low to high, but do always check prices for your dates as they can vary.
- The RomeHello – found just a few moments from Rome’s Termini Station, this hostel features a range of room types, from dormitories to private en-suite rooms. There’s free WiFi, fantastic reviews, and it’s a great value option.
- Orsa Maggiore Hostel – just across the river in Rome’s trendy Trastevere district, this female only hostel features a range of room types including dormitories and private rooms.
- Di Rienzo Pantheon Palace – a very well reviewed guesthouse option in the heart of the city, just moments from the Pantheon and other attractions. The building is a 16th century property, and rooms feature en-suite facilities, free wi-fi and breakfast
- The Mimosa Pantheon Hotel – right next to the Pantheon, and therefore well placed for the city’s attractions, this is a well reviewed good value 1* hotel. Rooms feature private bathrooms, air conditioning and free WiFi. A solid budget choice.
- The Navona Theatre Hotel – just five minutes walk from Piazza Navona, this is a very well rated 3* hotel within easy walking distance of most of Rome’s main attractions
- The Hotel Navona – another well reviewed 3* hotel in central Rome near Piazza Navona. This hotel is in a restored 15th century building which features restored original frescoes. Rooms have en-suite facilities, air conditioning and free WiFi
- Hotel Valentino Palace – a fantastic mid-range 3* property, just 150 yards from the train station
- Gioberti Art Hotel – 50 yards from Termini Station, a well rated excellent value 4* hotel
- NH Collection Palazzo Cinquecento – Good value 5* hotel just a few steps from the train station
Of course, there are many more options. We tend to use Booking.com for most of our accommodation when we travel, they have a wide selection of options, with everything from hostels to apartments to hotels . The review system makes it easy to pick a good option, and they have an excellent cancellation policy.
As an example of what is available, beyond the above mentioned hotels, here’s a well rated hostel , and a fantastically located apartment . As you can see – loads of options!
If you prefer an apartment, then we recommend either Plum Guide or Vrbo .
Plum Guide carefully curate their listings so their options tend to be of a very high quality whilst still being available at a range of price points. We’ve stayed at a number of their properties around the world, and you can see our review of the Plum Guide here . See their listings for Rome here .
If you can’t find what you want from the above choices, or you want some new options to try out, we wrote a whole post on the best alternatives to AirBnB which you should check out!
We also have a page full of travel resources, which includes our tips for getting the best deals on accommodation, which you can find here .
When to Visit Rome
With a Mediterranean climate, Rome is a city that can be visited throughout the year. However, it gets very busy and very hot in the summer months, especially in August, so we’d advise avoiding August if you can. If you must visit in August, we highly recommend you pick up the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card so you don’t have to queue for attractions in the unshaded heat.
We’ve visited Rome at all times of year, and our favorite time to visit is April / May, which we think offers a good balance between nice weather and less crowded attractions.
Another thing to be aware of is that many museums and attractions are closed on Mondays. In addition, there is free entry to lots of the key attractions in Rome on the first Sunday of every month – we’d suggest avoiding this day if you possibly can as the crowds are unbelievable!
Practicalities for Visiting Rome for 3 Days
Safety in rome.
In our many visits to Rome we’ve never had any safety problems although pickpocketing is not uncommon in crowded tourist areas.
As always, practice basic safety precautions. Keep valuables concealed, don’t carry large quantities of cash, only use official taxis and so on.
Power in Rome
Electricity is of the 220v standard, with the 2 pin European style plug. Travellers from countries like the UK and the US will need a travel adapter like this , and US travelers need to check their equipment supports the 220v standard – it will be written clearly on the power adapter.
See more on travel adapters and how to choose one for your trip in our guide to the best travel adapters .
Currency in Rome
Rome is a part of the Eurozone, meaning the currency is the Euro. You can get these from ATM’s, banks and currency exchanges, although credit cards are of course widely accepted.
We suggest using a credit card where you can – just ensure it has no foreign currency transaction fee.
Internet Access in Rome
Internet access is widely available in the form of WiFi all around the city and in hotels and coffee shops, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting online.
You can also pick up local SIM cards if you have an unlocked phone. If you are travelling from the USA, consider a Google Fi package which lets you use your data overseas.
For more options on getting online when travelling, check out our guide to getting online when travelling to help you figure out the best options.
Drinking Water in Rome
The water in the taps is safe to drink, although many locals prefer the taste of bottled water. You can also drink the water that comes out of the taps in the fountains, so just carry a drinking water bottle with you and hydrate as you go.
Of course, if you don’t like the taste, bottled water is widely available.
Dress Code in Rome
Many of the attractions in Rome are holy places, and you need to be dressed appropriately.
There will be big signs explaining what you should wear, but generally, you need to have clothing that covers your knees and shoulders.
This can be an issue with warm weather clothing choices, particularly in summer, so we advise that if you choose to wear tank tops or shorts to keep items to cover your shoulders and knees with you like shawls, scarfs, long skirts, or pants that convert into shorts.
Luggage Storage in Rome
It may be that on your day of arrival or departure in Rome, you’ll find yourself needing to leave your luggage somewhere.
Usually your hotel or apartment will have left luggage facilities, however, if this isn’t the case (often the case with apartment rentals for example), you will definitely want somewhere to leave your luggage for the day while you sightsee.
Many of the attractions in Rome won’t let you take bags in with you, and even those that do will require you to do additional screening.
As such, we’d recommend you leave your luggage behind so you can explore without being weighed down. We’d suggest this luggage service , which has locations at Termini station as well as the Pantheon and other parts of the city.
We also suggest checking out Nannybag , a service which has storage points across Rome (and other cities around the world).
Tours We Recommend in Rome
We’ve taken a number of tours in Rome, and can definitely recommend these if you’re looking for a guided experience. For walking tours specifically, the companies we recommend are Context Travel (10% off tours with this link ), Take Walks and Devour Tours .
With Take Walks, the first tour we recommend is their introduction to Rome tour . This is a good tour to start with as it covers some of the highlights of the old city centre, helps orient you, and includes a gelato. It runs in the evenings, so is a good option if you are looking for something to do on your arrival day.
Another excellent Rome tour they offer is their Rome in a Day tour , which covers many of the highlights of the city in one day, which is a great way to see the sights in Rome and not worry too much about skip the line tickets and queues.
They also offer more specific tours of popular attractions. We can recommend the “ Pristine Sistine ” tour, which gets you early access to the Vatican Museums before they open to the public, which is even better than skip the line access. If you decide to do this, then you may find that a Roma Pass is going to be better value than the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card.
We’ve also taken their “ Colosseum & Roman Forum ” tour, which covered the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Finally, we’ve taken a tour of the Borghese Gallery on the “ Borghese Gallery Tour with Tickets ”.
If you prefer your tours to include food and wine, then we can highly recommend Devour Tours , who are the sister tour company to Take Walks. We’ve taken their food tours in a number of cities.
In Rome, one of our favorite Devour tours is the Trastevere Gourmet Food and Wine tour , which we thought was excellent. As this tour runs in the evening, you can likely include it on most of the days on our itinerary.
You can see our complete guide to Rome food tours here for some more ideas and options for your visit.
We’ve also taken tours with Context Travel in Rome, who offer very small group tours for the intellectually curious. These are fairly specialized tours, one focusing on Rome, the Grand Tour and the Romantic Poets , and the other on the history of the Popes and Rome political power.
Context Travel also run a series of tours of Rome you can take before you leave for Rome, which can be a good way to familiarize yourself with the city or a particular landmark before you visit. You can see their online program here .
We’ve written fairly extensively about our tours with these two companies in Rome, and I link to these reviews in the further reading section below to help you decide if these are going to be good options for you.
There are of course other options for tours in Rome, including all the tours on this page , which offers a variety of things to do from different providers. So definitely check out the options to figure out what is best for you!
Next Steps for Visiting Rome
Having read all the above, I hope everything is clear. I admit, Rome is a wonderful city to visit, but planning in all the attractions and avoiding those dreaded queues might feel a little overwhelming. With that in mind, here’s a quick checklist to help make sure you get the most out of your stay.
- Plan when you are going and book your flights and accommodation
- Decide which attractions you really want to visit based on the above itinerary, and any other research you have done
- Check timeslot availability for the Colosseum on the official website if you want to visit
- Decide if something like the Rome Tourist Card or Omnia Vatican and Rome Card is going to be for you, and purchase it in advance. If you aren’t interested in the Vatican attractions, or are going to visit them on a walking tour, you should definitely consider the Roma Pass instead. This includes transport and a number of other attractions in Rome.
- Make any walking tour reservations with either Context Travel or Take Walks . This is also an option for visiting the Colosseum if timed slots are not available. You can also look at tour options on GetYourGuide as there are lots of options to choose from.
- If you’re not getting an attraction pass, make your reservations in advance for all the attractions you know you want to visit which aren’t part of any walking tours you book. In particular, you will want to book in advance for the Vatican Museum , the Colosseum and the Borghese Gallery if you plan on visiting these attractions.
- When comparing tickets on different sites, be sure to check the cancellation / refund policies. In our experience, the official site for each attraction does not offer any refunds if you need to cancel. GetYourGuide generally offers a refund on most of their tickets if cancelled within 24 hours of your visit, which can offer peace of mind, although do check the policy on each ticket as it varies by attraction. See all their Rome tours and activities here .
- If you are getting an Omnia Vatican and Rome Card or Roma Pass , make sure to book your timeslot for the Colosseum as far in advance as possible
- Enjoy your trip to Rome knowing you’re not going to waste time in line for anything but gelato !
Where to Go After Rome?
I’m often asked in the comments on this post, and our other Rome content, where to go after Rome, and the best way to get there.
My advice if you want to explore Italy a little bit further is to visit cities like Florence and Venice .
The easiest way to get to these is to take the fast train service. These run frequently and are very quick. Tickets are cheapest when booked well in advance, plus booking in advance will usually guarantee a seat reservation.
You can book train travel in Italy (and Europe in general), on our recommend train ticketing site: Trainline.com .
Another option if you would rather base yourself in Rome and don’t want to worry about booking train tickets, is to take a day tour from Rome. Some options from Rome include:
- This day tour to Tivoli where you can visit Hadrian’s Villa and Villa D’Este
- This day tour of the Tuscan countryside
- This day tour to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast
- A day tour to Venice
- This day tour of Tuscany
- This boat-hopping day tour of The Amalfi Coast from Rome
As you can see, you have plenty of options from Rome!
Further Reading for your 3 Days in Rome
Well, that was a lot of content to help you plan your trip to Rome! As well as the above, we have a number of other resources we’d like to recommend to help you out, both content we’ve written ourselves, and resources we’ve found online. Between this post and these resources, you should be able to put together the perfect trip to Rome!
- If you’re in Rome for a shorter amount of time, check out our guide to spending 2 days in Rome , or a day in Rome , which will give you some other options for your visit. We also have a guide to things to do in Rome for general sightseeing advice.
- We’ve taken a number of tours in Rome. You can read about our experience visiting the Vatican, Coliseum and Roman Forum with Take Walks in Rome here, our experience at the Borghese Gallery here and our VIP Key Master’s Tour of the Vatican here . With Context Travel, you can read about the Grand Tour and the Romantic Poets tour here , and Popes, Power and Parties here .
- If you’re planning on visiting Rome in summer, read our tips for visiting a European city in summer to stay sane
- We have a detailed guide to visiting the Colosseum to help you plan your visit to this ancient structure, which has everything from how to get here, to the best ways to buy tickets, to tour suggestions.
- We also have a guide to visiting the Vatican to help you plan your visit to all the attractions in the Vatican City
- Obviously you’ll want to eat Gelato in Rome! Check out our guide to the best gelato in Rome to be sure you get the best. For more food ideas, see our guide to the best food tours in Rome
- Looking to visit more of Italy? Check out our content on Venice , Milan and Florence for inspiration!
- We also have a detailed 10 day Italy itinerary to help you plan a trip in this wonderful country
- If you’re looking for a physical (or Kindle!) guidebook, we recommend the Rick Steves Rome guide , which has lots of practical information to help you make the most of your stay
And that sums up our idea of how to spend the perfect three days exploring Rome! We hope you found this itinerary useful, and now have plenty of ideas for things to do in Rome for three days.
Are you planning a trip to Rome? What do you want to see when you do? Let us know in the comments below!
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25th January 2023 at 1:35 am
Laurence and Jessica, We just recently came back from Rome. I can’t thank you enough for all of your information. Your recommendations has made our trip truly amazing. The Vatican Key Master Tour recommendation was great! It was the our most memorable tour. To have the Vatican experience with only 15 tourist in the complex was truly an amazing experience. Keep up the great work and recommations!
Laurence Norah says
28th January 2023 at 8:55 am
It’s my pleasure, we’re delighted you had a great time in Rome! We loved the Vatican Key Master tour as well and I’m so pleased you enjoyed it too 🙂
8th November 2022 at 11:45 am
thank you for taking your time and provide us with this helpful post
we are traveling to Rome soon
8th November 2022 at 11:49 am
My pleasure Racio, have a great time in Rome!
Charles Slane says
27th August 2022 at 11:52 pm
Thanks for such an interesting and comprehensive itinerary.
I’ll be in Rome for 4 days, so I’m hoping to use your suggestions, however I’d also like to see a classical concert or two in the evenings. What time would you think would be reasonable to expect to complete the itinerary each day? Would it be in time to see a concert at 7 or 8pm?
28th August 2022 at 10:42 am
My pleasure. So yes, you should definitely finish each day in plenty of time to take in an evening concert. Obviously the exact finishing time will vary depending on how long you spend at each location, but I’d say you would have plenty of time to see a concert at 7 or 8 on all three days.
Have a great time in Rome!
5th August 2022 at 10:02 pm
Hi there, I’ve literally been eating up everything in your blog to plan our trip to Rome this September. I was trying to look for Take Walks ‘Tours from home’ tours but couldn’t find them on their website. It looks like they no longer offer those? Unless I’m looking in the wrong spot.
7th August 2022 at 8:17 am
Lovely to hear from you and I’m delighted you have found the blog useful! We’re actually in Italy right now and have been doing various tours with Take Walks as well. You are correct, I reached out to my Walks contact when I got your comment (hence the slightly slower response). They confirmed that they have recently removed the Tours from Home. It was something they started when travel wasn’t possible, but they are now refocusing on their in person tours. So I have updated the content. Context Travel are still running their online program though, so that is an option. You can see what they offer here .
Have a great time in Rome and let me know if you have any more questions, we’re happy to help!
Imelda Morgan says
18th April 2022 at 5:48 pm
Hi, we just found out we are going to be invited to a wedding in Rome Sept 6th!! We think we would like to explore Rome for 2/3 days before wedding! I have been going mad googling what to do etc and came across your site and it’s brilliant!! We, my husband and I, while we are definitely not in our dotage years!! , We do like things like booking tours etc to be straight forward and simple! I know you have loads of info and options of tours etc on your site , I was just wondering which ones you would recommend for us, we would love to visit Vatican, Trevi fountain and colleseum. We think we would be touring 3rd 4th and 5 th September , wedding is on the 6th,!! Thank you Imelda Morgan
18th April 2022 at 5:58 pm
Wow, that sounds like a fantastic place to go for a wedding!
To answer your question, my favourite tours are with Take Walks, who were formerly known as Walks of Italy. They have some really amazing experiences in Rome, especially some of their early and exclusive access tours where you can get access to locations with far fewer people, which is a truly memorable experience. For example:
VIP Key Master’s Tour: Open The Sistine Chapel VIP Pristine Sistine Vatican Tour with Museum Breakfast VIP Colosseum At Night Tour With Underground & Arena Floor
Of course they have lots more options, (you can see all their Rome Tours here ) and some of those are limited availability, but that would definitely be my first pick if looking for a tour in Rome.
I hope you have an awesome time, feel free to let me know if you have any more questions!
25th March 2022 at 9:00 am
HI, l really found it helpful. Thanks. Question. DO you need to wear masks in all places? Are they specific kinds of masks of just any? I know a weird question but better to be prepared. I just bought the OMNIA PASS and so excited but I am not sure how to separate slot for the vatican.
25th March 2022 at 9:42 am
Thanks! So the mask rules have been changing over time, so it’s best to check with an official source. You can see the current regulations here . Currently you need to wear masks indoors. For the type of mask, certain places require FFP2 masks (similar to the US N95 standard), such as public transport and other venues.
For the Omnia Card you should have recieved information on how to book the Vatican. If for some reason you didn’t get that information with your purchase, I’d suggest reaching out to them on their website here: https://www.omniavaticanrome.org/en/contacts/new
Have a great trip!
15th March 2022 at 8:15 pm
Hello! You have helped me with my itinerary for my visit in April and you have so much info on which passes to buy.
As we are hoping to do the majority of landmarks which pass would you recommend? We are there for 4 days and the majority of passes are only for 72 hours.
Thank you 😊
16th March 2022 at 1:10 pm
I’m glad you found our guide useful! So I would probably recommend the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card , because it has the most inclusions of all the passes. Just remember you still need to book a timeslot for the Colosseum with this pass.
I’d also add that there’s a bit of a workaround with this pass given you are coming for four days. The pass actually comes as two separate passes, the Omnia Card and the Roma Pass. You should be able to use these separately. So if you used the Omnia Card on your first day in Rome without using any elements of the Roma Pass, you could use your Roma pass for the next three days.
Altneratively, you could focus on using the passes for the first three days of your visit, and then either doing a day trip from the city or visiting the Appian Way on this day, as that area doesn’t have anything on the pass anyway.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions, and have an awesome time in Rome!
20th October 2021 at 2:58 pm
What a great blog! It’s making me very excited for my visit in April next year.
I am arriving mid morning on Friday 29th April and leaving on Tuesday 3rd May. With opening times etc which way round would you do your itinerary based on Saturday, Sunday and Monday being the main full days for exploring?
20th October 2021 at 6:49 pm
Thanks very much 🙂 So at the moment (although you’ll want to check when you go because next year it might change!), attractions are closed as follows:
Vatican – Sundays Castel Sant Angelo – Mondays St. John in the Lateran – Sundays Borghese Gallery – Mondays
The Appian Way is also nice on Sundays as it’s closed to traffic, and many attractions including the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, the Catacombs of St. Sebastian and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella should be open on Sundays. You can see opening hours of various attractions along the way on this site (you’ll need to translate it to English).
If you want to visit all the attractions I’ve mentioned, I’d probably suggest doing Day 1 almost as it is on the Saturday, but with the addition of the Borghese Gallery as it’s closed on Mondays. If you miss any of the other attractions as a result they are all open the other days.
You could then switch day 2 and 3 around, so you do the Appian Way on the Sunday, and everything from Day 2 on the Monday.
Hopefully that makes sense! Let me know if you have any more questions!
Quynh Cao says
9th September 2021 at 9:50 pm
Hi Guys, Thank you so much for sharing this guide with the internet. I am planning a solo trip for my 23rd birthday and am feeling quite overwhelmed as this with being my first solo trip and my first time being in the EU. This itinerary is very detailed and is a huge help in the planning of my trip! I look forward to reading more of your blogs!
10th September 2021 at 2:43 pm
Thanks very much for your kind comment Quynh! If you have any questions at all as you plan your trip, don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll do our best to help 🙂
6th July 2021 at 9:19 pm
Hi.., i just want to ask im bit confused if i Buy the 72-hour Rome and Vatican City pass package whick cost 113€ i will get both Omnia card and Rome Pass or i will choose which one i want to activate?? Thank you
6th July 2021 at 9:34 pm
You get both cards! One primarily covers the Vatican attractions and the other is for other attractions 🙂
Let me know if you have any more questions!
6th July 2021 at 9:40 pm
Thank you…, ❤️❤️❤️
13th July 2021 at 8:51 pm
Hi.., i was confused again for the omnia card the St. Peter’s Basilica is included.., is it also included the entrance to the dome??? Thanks
13th July 2021 at 9:44 pm
So yes, the Ommia Card includes St. Peter’s Basilica entry. It is worth noting that it is free to visit St. Peters Basilica, however the card gets you faster access without the usual line. I’m not sure at the moment how long the lines are though.
The card does not include dome access. Usually to get dome access, you would buy a ticket inside St. Peters itself. As you enter through the main doors, the ticket booth is to the right hand side before you enter the church itself. The price varies depending on if you want to take the stairs or the elevator. I can’t find any up to date information on whether it is currently open for visitors, but looking at recent instagram photos from the location it does appear to be 🙂
24th July 2020 at 12:27 pm
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Just spent 3 days in Rome with e-bike. Schedule was perfect!
24th July 2020 at 1:29 pm
My pleasure Branko, delighted to have been able to help and I am so happy you had a great time in Rome!
Kimberly Tate says
12th June 2020 at 12:28 am
Hello! I’ve just found your blog and love the information. Do you know when they will allow visitors again? Thank you Kim Tate
12th June 2020 at 10:20 am
Thanks very much, delighted to be able to help. So this is a great question. Italy actually opened up on the 3rd June to EU visitors, however it has not been announced when there will be wider openings. It is thought further announcements will be made on the 15th June. The majority of the attractions are already open, including the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum, Borghese Gallery, and the Castel Sant Angelo. So really it’s going to come down to where you are visiting from, and when they open more widely to the world!
8th February 2020 at 9:16 pm
I absolutely love your blog / website. I’m thrilled I stumbled onto it. My question is about the Omnia Rome & Vacation Card and the Vatican Museum – Sistine Chapel. I’m a bit confused. The Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel are included in the Passes with the advantage of Skip-the-Line. What I’m confused by is when I went to the official Vatican website to look for the various tour options, I was going to have to pay 112 euros. When looking to purchasing tickets, I did not see an option to show the savings from the Omnia Rome Pass. How is this Pass cost effective for use at the Vatican? What am I missing or not understanding?
9th February 2020 at 3:55 pm
Thanks very much! You are correct, entry to the Vatican Museum is included on the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card. You don’t need to book a separate tour or purchase separate tickets for the Vatican, it’s all included as part of the pass. When you buy your card, you will be given the opportunity to book your time for the Vatican.
The only attraction you need to pre-book entry at is the Colosseum, which you do at the official Colosseum site. Instructions for doing this with the pass are in this post.
Let me know if I can help any further,
4th February 2020 at 9:54 pm
Thank you for creating this wonderful guide, you’ve made planning this trip so much more exciting! We are heading to Rome in May and have just tried to make the online reservation time slot for the Colosseum but it shows no availability beyond March…have these slots all gone already? Or are they not released yet?
Thank you in advance 🙂
6th February 2020 at 9:27 am
You are correct, the dates are released in phases rather than for the whole year. So you will want to check back regularly to see when your dates become available 🙂
19th February 2020 at 7:54 pm
Just to let you know if you haven’t done yet, reservation for Colosseum with Roma Pass is now open up to June 2020. Here’s the link: https://ecm.coopculture.it/index.php?option=com_snapp&view=event&id=7D8772B8-1D4C-5766-0483-016CAFC55142&catalogid=BA91B33D-F6C8-9440-1EE6-016CE8AE143F&lang=en
Hope this helps. Looking forward to our trip in June.
12th January 2020 at 6:41 am
I already got my omnia card & roma pass 72 hrs. which I ordered using your site’s link. Looking at the pamphlet that came with it, it shows that the Omnia 72 includes the Vatican Museum,Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Basilica of St. John Lateran, St Paul Outside the Walls, Carcer Tulllianum & Open Bus 72h hop on hop off. Then the Roma Pass says free use of public transport for 72h, free entry to first 2 museums and concessionary tickets to all other museums. My question is can I start using each card independently from each other? Say I use the Roma Pass Fri, Sat, Sun and the Omnia Sun, Mon & Tues. or does the 72 hrs. for both cards start & end at the same time? I am trying to follow your itineraries although I have to make some adjustments as we cannot spend three successive days in Rome; there is a day where we will be doing a day trip from Rome and it has to be in between, but we still have 3 days to explore Rome. Our trip will still be in June, but I already booked the earliest time (9am) for the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. I guess one advantage with having the Omnia card is that at this time (January) you can already book your time for the Vatican for June. I tried going to the Vatican site and they still have not open booking for June, for now they have bookings available only til March. Next thing I’ll do is reserve our entry time for the Colosseum. Looking forward to our trip and thanks again for all the useful information you shared.
12th January 2020 at 10:23 am
Thanks for stopping by and also ordering through our links, it all makes a difference. To answer your question, the answer is yes, you can use each card entirely independently and you don’t need to activate them together. They are technically separate products which you can buy individually, so there’s no need to use them together as they cover different things.
Sounds like you are well organised – booking entrance times is super important. I’ve heard from folks in Rome at the moment that it’s busy even now, so you definitely want to be all booked well in advance.
Let me know if you have any more questions, otherwise have a wonderful time in Rome!
Jay Joseph Avery says
13th January 2020 at 6:30 pm
Hi Laurence, Hope you don’t mind my asking more questions. When I booked for the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel using my Omnia card, I picked the 0900 slot. When I chose the time for St. Peter’s Basilica my option was 1300 or 1500. I had a conversation with my wife as I wasn’t sure if 1300 was a little early. We want to take our time, not be in a hurry and have lunch before we do St. Peter’s, so we decided and got the 1500 time. Our 2 children (22 & 12) will be coming with us. I already mapped out our itinerary (using your 2 & 3 days in Rome as a guide, and adding a few churches) for our almost 4 full days in Rome (4 days for 3 of us and 3 days for our son). Took into account our booking times; that we are in the Vatican almost the whole day. So for the day we do the Vatican, after our visit to St. Peter’s, we only have Castel Sant’ Angelo, Piazza Navona, Pantheon which is kind of on the way to our AirBNB which is only 180 m (2 min. walk) from the Fontana di Trevi.
1) Do you think the 0900 Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel & 1500 St. Peter’s Basilica would work out? Can we go in St. Peter’s earlier than our scheduled 1500 (w/ Audioguide) just in case we are already done at the Museum/Sistine Chapel/lunch/pictures outside?
2) I have read in some blogs that going to St. Peter’s first, then the Museum/Sistine Chapel is one way of avoiding the huge crowd/tourists on buses. Does this strategy really work?
Thanks for your help.
14th January 2020 at 10:26 am
It’s my pleasure. So I’ve actually spoken with the pass people directly about this question as it’s quite a common one. What they have told me is that the time on the St. Peter’s Basilica isn’t that important. The important thing is to turn up on the right day. This isn’t the case for the other attractions where the timeslot is important, but St. Peter’s seems to be different. So I think once you are done with the Vatican you can just head to St. Peters and not worry about being exactly on time.
In my experience the Vatican starts off quieter and then gets busier and busier. It might be less busy in the later afternoon, but I’m not sure it’s worth waiting until then based on your schedule. Basically, it’s always pretty busy. The only way to see it without crowds is to take one of the special early access or late evening tours, but those are separately bookable.
Happy to help with any more questions 🙂
Jill Marie Casey says
14th December 2019 at 7:29 pm
I am in the trenches of planning our trip to Italy for July. I have been feeling overwhelmed. Your blog has made me feel so much more comfortable! I am about to purchase my Omnia Vatican and Roma Card so I can book my Colosseum time slot. If I have questions, I hope you will not mind if I reach out in the future.
15th December 2019 at 12:23 pm
Thanks very much Jill, and of course, you are more than welcome to reach out with any questions 🙂
16th October 2019 at 10:31 pm
This is such a helpful post, thank you for taking time to write it! I have a couple of questions if you have time to answer: with the Omnia pass do we have to pick it up – if so I prefer online the tourist card might be better as it’s all online. The thought of trying to track down where to pick up a card seems like a lot of time to waste when you don’t have much time!!! Also, I wondered if you could suggest some eating places and eating ideas – for example I have heard its cheaper to eat your biggest meal during the day rather than in the evening. We are travelling with two kids. Thanks so much!
17th October 2019 at 1:11 pm
With the Omnia Pass yes, you do have to pick it up. I think there will be an option to mail it to you, but that can work out quite expensive and so negate the benefits of the pass. The online version might be an better option for you in this regard, as long as it covers everywhere.
For food, to be honest we don’t usually recommend a lot of restaurants. This is because the quality can change quickly! We generally suggest checking review websites like Google Maps and Tripadvisor and trying to find places with good recent reviews. We do however have some suggestions for gelato in Rome which we can highly recommend reading so you get the good stuff.
For meals in general, yes, in Europe generally lunch is a better time for a main meal as the prices for the lunch menus are usually much better value than the evening meals. So eating a main meal at lunch time can definitely save you some money.
Have an amazing time in Rome and do let me know if you have any more questions, I will do my best to help!
11th October 2019 at 4:02 pm
Such a helpful post which I used for my recent trip! Thank you 🙂
11th October 2019 at 4:26 pm
Thanks very much Nicola! If you have any photos or tips to share, we’d love to see them in our facebook group 😀
Laura P. says
5th October 2019 at 4:06 pm
Hello again — We will be in Rome from November 6-9 and have decided to do Walks of Italy for the Vatican and Collosseum/Forum. I noticed that several of their tours aren’t even available in November which makes me wonder how crowded the city and sights are at that time of year. Is the Pristine Sistine still recommended for November or do you think crowds during regular hours at that time of year are not an issue? Thank you
5th October 2019 at 6:26 pm
November is definitely a quieter time of year, so you shouldn’t have too many crowds to worry about. Really the busiest times are the summer months. We’d still recommend a tour if you want to learn more about what you are seeing, but certainly it shouldn’t be necessary. We would however always recommend buying skip the line tickets anyway – you can get them from Vatican website directly for the best price 🙂 You will also definitely need to book your tickets in advance for the Coliseum as well, as that runs a timed entry system.
21st January 2020 at 3:10 am
Hello I have been reading. Your blog and will be travelling in June 2020 . I love the 3day tour but will have to split the shortest day into 2 half day ( cruising in between) will be arriving to Rome early afternoon then on return my flight leaves late late that night any ideas ( I am staying near the Colessium so I was considering splitting that day up – would that work? Shirley
21st January 2020 at 9:23 am
Yes that would work. Once you have seen the Colosseum and Roman Forum you can see the highlights of central Rome on your first day. Just be sure to book your Coliseum entry time well in advance for whichever day you choose to visit, as June can be a busy month and the Coliseum can book up.
29th September 2019 at 3:38 am
I am really appreciating all the information you are providing in your blog. I have decided not to get the Roma or Omnia Pass as I don’t think we will get the value from it. I am trying to book Colosseum ticket through one of the sites you recommended but am a bit confused with the tours and costings. We want to do a tour as we would like to see all the levels but can’t work out if I can do it or work out if we pay for that in addition to entry. We will be a group of 7 with three adults and 4 children 16 years and younger.
29th September 2019 at 9:47 am
The tours I link to should all include your entry to the Colosseum 🙂 If you let me know which tour specifically you are looking at I can double check, but as far as I know entry is included with all the tours!
D Plummer says
25th September 2019 at 3:47 pm
Thank you for such an informative guide – making the museum and event reservations in advance were key to using our time wisely and having a perfect experience.
25th September 2019 at 9:20 pm
My pleasure, I’m delighted you had a great time and thanks so much for coming by to let us know, it’s always wonderful to hear nice comments 😀
13th September 2019 at 7:28 pm
Would you recommend hop-on hop-off bus in Rome? Or is the traffic far too bad for the bus transit?
13th September 2019 at 8:37 pm
We have taken the hop on hop off bus a number of times in Rome and it was ok actually, although this will vary depending on the time of day. It isn’t necessarily the fastest and most direct way to get around, but it is a good option for visiting some of the sights for sure 🙂
Paul Chasin says
5th September 2019 at 1:53 am
one more question from paul chasin if we use the omnia vatican card how do we get a reservation time for the vatican museums and sistine chapel without paying an additional 17.00E the web site for timed admissions on Nov 2, saturday has type of tickets all with prices but nothing that says if we have omnia card we can get a time without additional money thanks Paul C
5th September 2019 at 8:25 am
When you get the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card (assuming you buy it from the official site rather than Viator), you will be sent instructions on how to book the Vatican 🙂
Let me know if you have any problems!
3rd October 2019 at 11:22 pm
I’ve been wondering about this — can you reserve your entry times to Vatican and Colliseum without activating your card? I want to do it now, but won’t start using the card until November. Thanks!
4th October 2019 at 7:37 pm
You absolutely can and I encourage you to do so as soon as you can so as to get the slots you want 🙂 The card won’t activate until you use it at the first attraction.
paul Chasin says
5th September 2019 at 1:39 am
regarding Omnia vatican and Rome card 1. do you need a specific time slot reservation for anything other than the colosseum ? as to the the vatican do we need a timed reservation even with the Omnia card 2. currently on your link to the on line reservation web site for colosseum it does not give us option for reservation with the roma pass. Is there another way to make a timed reservation 3. do all sites on omnia vatican and Rome include audioguides or is that extra?
5th September 2019 at 8:24 am
1 – Yes, for the Vatican, but you should get a link to book this when you buy the card 2 – It seems the official Colosseum website has changed in the last week or so! The new link is here Altneratively, if you go to the Colosseum ticket office home page here then on the right hand side under “Roma Pass” there is a small link there. So you should be able to make your timed reservation from that page. Alternatively, there is a phone number you can ring. 3 – This is usually extra
I will update my Rome content regarding the new process for booking Colosseum slots now, thanks for bringing that to my attention!
paul chasin says
1st September 2019 at 12:16 am
is the Rome museum galleria borghese open sunday november 3? several web sites have it Xd out in red as they do on all mondays when museum is always closed but one site had non refundable tickets for Nov 3 which i am worried is a scam Thanks Paul Chasin
1st September 2019 at 11:44 am
As far as we can tell the Borghese is open on the 3rd November. You definitely want to book via a reputable site – we list some recommit in our dedicated Borghese Gallery guide which you can see here:
Jenny Swingle says
25th August 2019 at 5:40 am
I’m looking at the Omnia Pass and Roma Pass and feel like I’m missing something here. We are going to the following venues and it seems like buying tickets direct is cheaper than a pass? –Colosseum $13.50 USD, includes Roman Forum –Skip the Line Vatican and Sistine Chapel $31.50 –St Peters $16.86 –Castel Sant’Angelo $12
Your blog recommended to use the Omnia pass for free entry to the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo and the Colosseum / Roman Forum (value $25.50). Pass is $127. Or the Roma Pass gives free admission to the Colosseum OR Castel Sant’Angelo (value around $12-13). Pass is $45. I understand the passes include transit and other discounts, but it again appears to be cheaper to just buy direct or get a travel pass. Am I missing something, or if we’re only going to these sites should we just buy tickets direct because the passes aren’t worth it unless you’re going more places? Thanks in advance! Your blog was REALLY helpful!!
25th August 2019 at 2:15 pm
Thanks very much!
So you are definitely correct, the Omnia Pass and the Roma Pass are definitely only worth it if you plan on using most of the features. If you only want to visit some specific attractions, then booking individual skip the line entry is definitely the way forward.
In terms of pricing, I would add that the price for the Vatican should be less than what you have quoted. If you buy it directly from the official Vatican website:
The price is €17 + a €4 booking fee. Some websites will try to make it seem more expensive by calling it a skip the line ticket, or that it includes the Sistine Chapel. But if you buy the Vatican Museum ticket from the official website, the €4 fee gives you skip the line access, and all Vatican Museum tickets include the Sistine Chapel
If you really want to save money, St. Peters is actually free. However, skip the line access (which is what you pay for) can save you a lot of time if you are visiting at a busy time of year.
For what you are doing, I would definitely suggest that the pass would not be worth it, and you should just book direct with the official websites, which are http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/visita-i-musei/scegli-la-visita.html
I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful time in Rome. Do let me know if I can be of any more help too 😀
26th August 2019 at 4:18 am
Perfect, thank you so much!
21st August 2019 at 11:52 am
Hi, I will be in Rome in September for the third time, but it’ll be my son’s first time. 🙂 Thank you for all your wonderful tips. This is a truly fabulous article! Gabi
21st August 2019 at 12:07 pm
Our pleasure Gabi – have an amazing time!
Syaharom Abdullah says
17th August 2019 at 3:25 am
Hi, Laurence !
My wife and I plan to visit Rome and Venice in mid December. If I were to follow your three day Rome itinerary, where would be the best location for me to stay? I have a budget of about 100 Euro a day for accommodation.
17th August 2019 at 9:46 am
In Rome in December the prices are pretty reasonable, so you should have no trouble finding a location. I’d recommend staying near Piazza Navona as that is close to most of the sights in the city. Some options to consider:
https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/argentina-view.en-gb.html?aid=385205;label=FTU3DayRome https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/navona-gallery-and-garden-suites.en-gb.html?aid=385205;label=FTU3DayRome https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/b-amp-b-palazzo-lupardi.en-gb.html?aid=385205;label=FTU3DayRome
My suggestion would be to load up the booking.com site, and filter by your date, and then by price and rating. For example, this search already filters by your requirements, you just need to change the dates to your specific dates. Then you can hit the “map view” to see where they are. Have a great trip!
17th August 2019 at 3:06 pm
Thanks. I appreciate it.
17th August 2019 at 12:37 am
Question i read that “main museums and public monuments ” are free to seniors over 65 Which museums are these? are any of them the main tourist attractions like vatican city St Peter’s Basilica, or museo e galleria Borghese? thanks paul chasin
17th August 2019 at 9:56 am
It really varies depending on the attraction, but it is not common for entry to be free to seniors. In addition, the free access might only be for EU citizens. From the list you have provided, the Vatican doesn’t as far as I am able to tell. St. Peter’s Basilica is free, you only pay if you want to skip the line. The Borghese also has no senior discount.
Have a great time in Rome 🙂
youssef sherif says
6th August 2019 at 4:23 am
Hi laurence, I wanted to ask you a question , I don’t understand the difference between pre booking a regular admission ticket and pre booking a skip the line ticket , I mean in both cases I don’t have to stand in the ticket line and I go straight to the security check right? or did you mean that the line of visitors with skip the line tickets is usually much shorter than that with regular admission tickets? I also wanted to ask you about one more thing , If I bought a skip the line ticket from any website like tripadvisor I dont have to reserve a time slot on the official website right ?
7th August 2019 at 2:36 pm
This is correct for the most part, however it depends on the attraction. In general though:
– for the majority of attractions, there will always be some sort of security line – some attractions have a separate fast track line for specific tickets, and a normal line for standard ticket holders. Depending on the ticket, you will join one of these lines for ticket validation and security checks – there will also be a general line for those not in possession of a ticket. You want to try and avoid this line!
For the skip the line tickets on third party websites, if it includes a timed entrance then you should not have to book a time slot, however you definitely need to check the instructions of the ticket to be sure.
Kim Wood says
9th June 2019 at 5:54 am
Hi, I have Omina Vatican & Rome card and I make a big mistake to reservation the time slot on the wrong date on Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel – Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, how can I change it?
9th June 2019 at 8:59 pm
So for this you would need to contact the Omnia Vatican & Rome Card folds. I would suggest calling them – they have a UK call center and also a Skype contact number – you can see these here:
Best of luck,
4th June 2019 at 3:19 pm
Hi, back again, sorry.
Been trying since April to book that Colosseum entry time slot, with the Roma pass. Whenever I have tried to select my date to visit, in early July, there has not been a single date able to be selected after June.
Not full, just not yet able to be chosen. I wondered if I had to wait until June to be able to select dates in July, as there has simply been no possibility to choose dates within that month, until now.
Now that June has begun, I tried again, only to find that every single time slot on every single day until the end of August is fully booked.
I was unable to book before now because tickets were not available for purchase from July on, and now I cannot purchase because they are all seemingly sold out.
Can you tell me what this means for me, and possibly why this was the case? And am I unable to receive free entry on my Roma pass to the Colosseum because of this?
Thanks very much (once again) Alex.
4th June 2019 at 3:37 pm
Hi Alex – no problem at all!
So I have recently spoken to the Colosseum folks because I am getting a lot of questions about the Colosseum. So many in fact that I’ve written a whole guide to it, which is new since you last commented:
In essence, the timeslot system has definitely resulted in a lot less availability for the Colosseum. When I spoke to the Colosseum ticket office, I was told that do release slots on a weekly basis, but I wasn’t given details as to when that happens exactly, how many they release at a time, and how far in advance they are for. You could try calling the ticket line, giving your specific dates, and asking if new timeslots are going to open up. The number is +39 06 399 67 700, and it’s option 2 for English. I recommend using something like Skype for cheaper calls.
Let’s get back to the other part of your question, in terms of what this actually means for you if the timeslots are not available.
First, yes, you won’t be able to use your Roma Pass for the Colosseum. This isn’t the end of the world, as you can use the free entry to another attraction.
I assume you do still want to visit the Colosseum, and the good news is that this will be possible, you will just have to go about it a different way. Generally, this will involve taking a slightly higher priced ticket, or booking a guided tour. I have outlined the main options in this section of my Colosseum guide:
I hope this helps, the timed entry system is new for 2019 and I really don’t think anyone anticipated how much demand there was going to be, especially over the busier months!
27th May 2019 at 3:41 am
HI…thanks for a great site!! I am thinking of taking my 20 yr old daughter on a Med. cruise that leaves Oct 1st…we could have 3 or 4 days in Rome before the cruise…what are the crowds like during this time and is the weather still nice? Thank for your help. Cheers, Darlene
27th May 2019 at 11:06 am
The crowds should be very manageable by October. i would still recommend booking your Colosseum ticket in advance just to avoid disappointment, but other than that I don’t think it will be too busy. Weather wise, it depends on how lucky you are! It could be mild and sunny, or it could be wet and cool. It’s unlikely to be extremely hot or extremely cold, so just some sensible clothing layers and some sort of waterproof or umbrella should suffice,
Have a great time!
David T says
23rd May 2019 at 11:12 am
Love your page! I bought the OMNIA Rome pass as you suggest. I want to do the VIP tour you suggested for the Colosseum, but am wondering whether I need to still purchase the Entrance pass (2 euros) with the Rome pass or does the VIP tour include the entrance as well?
23rd May 2019 at 11:15 am
Thanks David! The VIP Colosseum / Caesars Palace tour includes your entry ticket and time slot to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, so no need to worry about reserving those if you book on the tour 🙂
8th May 2019 at 12:59 pm
Hello, thank you for a great blog it really inn lauded all the information we needed and more. I just a question – I was going to buy tickets through the ticketbar website (you gave a link to it under basilica) but read a couple of entries at other sites saying not to use 3rd party vendors etc. is the website trustworthy for Vatican skip the line tickets. Omniscient would not work for us. Many thanks in advance Best Eva
8th May 2019 at 4:52 pm
For the Vatican we recommend (and directly link to in this post) that you book your skip the line tickets on the Vatican website directly. The only reason for this is cost, on the official website it’s €17 + €4 booking fee for a skip the line ticket, whilst most third party sellers are more expensive, and you generally end up getting the same thing, so there is no real value. The reason they are more expensive is just the way that the Vatican structures it’s prices to third parties. This is the same for the Coliseum – if you don’t use a pass, then it’s usually always cheaper to just book direct. The only thing to bear in mind is that some third parties do include addons like audioguides in the package price, which can make it more valuable.
We recommend ticketbar for many other products in cities around the world and have had no problems using them. For St. Peters Basilica for example they have a ticket, which as you mention we do suggest. This is because there is no actual entry fee to St. Peter’s Basilica, so you can’t buy a ticket from the official site. However, you can pay more to get a faster access and thus skip the long lines, which is what sites like ticketbar are able to provide.
Let me know if you have any more questions, I’m happy to help!
7th May 2019 at 4:07 am
Thanks … this is very useful information and we will be relying on this to plan our trip.
Just wanted to check – if I buy the OMania card but need a guided tour of Vatican and Colosseum, is it possible to get a local guide to accompany us when we visit these 2 attractions? Where can I get a local guide . We are a group of 6.
Not planning a guided tour as I am already paying for the entry for both attractions when I purchase the card.
7th May 2019 at 5:28 pm
So I am sure that this is possible, but I am not sure where you would find this type of guide, as all the tours I can find already include entry. However, you can get an audioguide, which might be just as good, and also a lot cheaper!
8th May 2019 at 4:54 am
Thanks for your very prompt response. A couple of additional questions ( sorry about this but we are largely following your itinerary).
1. I have booked a guided tour for Vatican and Colosseum so will not opt for the Rome and Omania pass. Do you think it’s still worth to get a Roma pass (72 hr or 48 hr) for the rest of the attractions on your itinerary + the local transport flexibility it offers? We have 4 days and are a group of 6 (children, adults and seniors).
2. Borghese gallery is fully booked during the time I am in Rome and we will skip the Pyramid of Caius. What other attractions would you recommend we visit ?
8th May 2019 at 9:48 am
My pleasure, and no problem.
1 – it’s always hard to advise if something is worth it as folks have different ideas of value 🙂 I’d say for me it would be worth it and we usually advise it, but it will depend on the other attractions you visit and how much you plan to use the public transport to decide if it’s worth it for you. Without the Coliseum entry, it is less of a financially obvious case, but it depends what else you go and see.
2 – I’d suggest the Capucin Museum, which is quite interesting if a little creepy. You should also consider the Circo Maximums and the Capitoline Museums.
Christopher Darling says
27th April 2019 at 10:54 am
Thank you very much for such a really great and detailed travel guide.
I ordered the Omnia card, I was wondering if it was possible to change the time of the Vatican museum booking. When I booked my museum timing I wasn’t aware Saint Peter’s Basilica next timing was 4 hrs later.
Thank you for all of your help and your great guide.
27th April 2019 at 6:55 pm
My pleasure. So for the Omnia Card, when I have queried about the timings in the past, I was told that the only important time is the Vatican time. Beyond that, as long as you show up on the right day for the St. Peter’s Basilica, you shouldn’t have any problem.
That said, I would also check with the Omnia card folks to confirm this, and also to see if you can change the time if you would still prefer to do that,
Alex Purvis says
12th April 2019 at 11:48 am
Hi Lawrence and Jessica,
Thank you very much for this wonderful blog. I have a question about the Omnia card, which I have just purchased, if you can help me.
I haven’t yet been quite able to figure out how the discounts to attractions work. I assume, at least for the two free attractions, you just pick which two appeal, then join the security line to enter and declare while brandishing your Omnia card that this is one of your two chosen free entries. Is that correct?
However, for the other discounted attractions, is it the case that you must still join the ticket purchasing line, and show your Omnia card when you buy in order to receive the discount? In which case, you would be unable to skip the ticket lines for any other than the two free attractions (plus the Vatican). Is that how the discounts work?
One other small issue – when I follow the link in the email confirmation Omnia sent me to reserve time slots at the Vatican, it appears that I have to reserve separate time slots for all three of: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Prison. Is that the case, and if I did not reserve times for all three, or was slightly late for a particular time slot, would I then be denied entry, or miss out on skip-the-queue?
I apologise for the length of this message, but I would be very grateful for any clarity you could provide!
12th April 2019 at 12:00 pm
Our pleasure, we’re delighted you found it useful 🙂
So, assuming you bought the Omnia Card that we recommend in this post, it is actually two cards.
The Omnia part of it is what gives you access to the Vatican attractions, which include the Vatican Museum, St. Peters Basilica and so on. Those are all included, you don’t have to choose.
The other part of it is the Roma Pass, which is the one where you get free access to the 2/6 attractions, and then discounted admission. You are correct – the skip the line access only works for the free admission.
The main queues in Rome however are for St. Peters Basilica, the Vatican Museum (both of these you get skip the line access with the Omnia part of the card) and the Coliseum. The Coliseum however now operates a timed entry system, as explained in this post. I definitely recommend using the Coliseum for one of your free entries, and reserving your timeslot online using the process I outline in this post.
I have been told in the past by the Omnia Pass folks that the only timeslot that really matters is the Vatican Museum. For St. Peters Basilica, the important thing is that you choose the correct day, the actual timeslot is not an issue. I had not previously heard of a separate timeslot for the Sistine Chapel. I don’t see that this could be a thing as it’s actually inside the Vatican Museum, so you just visit it as part of that visit, I don’t believe there’s a separate entry process as far as I know, unless this has changed recently.
For St. Peters Prison, I have a feeling this will be the same as St. Peters Basilica, as long as pick the right day, the timing shouldn’t be a big issue. It’s not a massive attraction so there shouldn’t be any problem. Personally I would reserve all the times, but only worry about being on time for the Vatican Museum, which is one where you are escorted in by the Omnia Pass people in a special line.
Let me know if this all makes sense!
4th April 2019 at 9:01 pm
My husband and I are planning a full 2 week trip to Italy in September 2019. Mainly because our son is stationed at the military base in Naples. We will be arriving early morning on a WED and will have most of the day WED and all day THU to spend in Rome, then we will take a train FRI morning to visit our son in Naples for a 4 day weekend. He will be showing us around Naples, Pompeii and Amalfi coast/Capri. We were then planning to either catch a train/plane from Naples to Florence then to Venice and then back to Rome early on a MON for another day before heading to airport for very early am flight on TUE. Or maybe taking a flight directly to Venice first then taking the train to florence and back towards Rome.
I’ve been researching a lot on how to go about doing this. It seems that the Omnicard would not be the most economical option since our “3-days in Rome” will not be consecutive. Any advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
5th April 2019 at 11:18 am
You are correct, the 3 day pass wouldn’t work out so well for you. However, I have a solution. The 3 day Ommnia Rome and Vatican Card actually consists of two cards, an Omnia Card, and a Roma Pass. You can buy these separately, and thus activate them separately. The Omnia card will cover the Vatican attractions, and the Rome Pass will cover things like the Coliseum, Roman Forum and so on.
So my suggestion is to buy them individually, and to use the Roma Pass for the WED/THU, then the OMNIA pass for the Monday. I would suggest picking up the Omnia Pass when you arrive though, as you can then book your timeslots for the Vatican Museums.
You can buy the 24 hour Omnia Card here , and the 48 hour Roma Pass here .
Just be aware that for the Coliseum, even with a Roma Pass, you still need to reserve a timeslot. The process for doing so is explained in the post above (this is new as of March 2019, so many websites are still giving incorrect information that you don’t need to do this).
The only thing I would advise is just to make sure the various attractions you plan to visit are open on the days you are visiting. Based on the information you’ve given me it should be fine, but Rome has public holidays and so on, and I wouldn’t want you to buy a pass for a specific day that you then can’t use!
Let me know if I can be of any further help, and have a fantastic trip!
5th April 2019 at 11:19 am
Just to add to this – if you don’t want the hop on hop off bus, you can also buy skip the line tickets for both St. Peters and the Vatican from that website, which might be a little cheaper than the Omnia Card.
4th April 2019 at 1:15 am
Hello, Thank you so much for the extremely helpful information. I’m in Rome now mostly following your itinerary. My question is about food. I’m not sure If you already mentioned this anywhere n I missed it but what are the best places you would recommend to eat Italian food (restaurants or grap n go pies n stuff)? We are doing Vatican tomorrow (through Omnia with a guide). Any specific place to eat you recommend around there ? Thanks
4th April 2019 at 11:55 am
To be honest, we haven’t put together a restaurant guide for Rome as yet. We rarely do food guides to be honest, because we like to be thorough, and it takes a lot of time to visit sufficient restaurants to come up with a good enough guide – especially in a city like Rome! We also find that restaurants are not like attractions, they tend to open and close more often, and it can be hard to keep a guide up to date.
When we travel, we usually look at resources like Google Maps or Yelp, as well a general blog posts on where to eat in a city from more focused food blogs. We try to make sure the reviews are recent and seem to also be from locals. Usually this works pretty well. Rome is pretty good for restaurants though, we’ve never had a particularly bad meal! But a little research will keep you away from the more touristy traps.
Sorry not to be of more specific help!
29th March 2019 at 2:01 pm
We will be traveling to Rome in May, and will be spending three days. I tried locating your google map itinerary but am having issue finding it. When I click the link to the map, it only opens my Google Map App without opening your itinerary map. Is there a way you could provide me the name or another link to the map?
Thank you! This was by far the most helpful in regards to planning a short visit in Rome – so many other blogs did not give precise direction on how/when to organize the trip!
29th March 2019 at 2:09 pm
Thanks very much 🙂 So I have updated the link to the following:
Can you let me know if that works for you? Google is a bit tricky when it comes to these things sometimes. If that doesn’t work, I would suggest trying on a desktop browser or in an incognito tab perhaps.
Let me know how it goes!
29th March 2019 at 2:29 pm
Thank you so much! That link worked for me! I appreciate it!
29th March 2019 at 2:46 pm
Awesome 😀 I will update some of our other posts as well to the new link structure 🙂
gabriela honegger says
21st March 2019 at 8:02 pm
Hi Laurence and Jessica,
We will be arriving in Rome on June 20, 2019 and departing on June 24 out of Venice to France . Could you advise us on how to get around and see Rome, Florence, and Venice in 4 days? Is this even possible? love your website!!!!
21st March 2019 at 8:29 pm
So this is of course theoretically possible, but it will be quite rushed. I would probably try and focus on seeing two cities more fully, but I understand if you want to fit it all in.
I’m not sure what time you are arriving or leaving and if you have much time on the 24th or 20th. So this sort of assumes you don’t have much time on those days.
My advice be to spend a day in Rome, following our itinerary for a day in Rome . Then, take the train to Florence (book train tickets in advance on trenitalia to save money). Either go in the evening after exploring Rome, or early in the morning. Then explore Florence for a day, overnight in Florence, and then head to Venice on the train.
If you want to take a tour in any of these places, I can recommend this Rome in a Day tour and this Florence in a Day Tour 🙂
17th March 2019 at 7:24 pm
Thank you. This is immensely helpful. I can tell it took a lot of thought and time and I truly appreciate it!
18th March 2019 at 11:57 am
My pleasure Luis – have a great trip!
6th March 2019 at 3:13 pm
I love your website and how you are so helpful to those of us who have no idea what to expect when we arrive in Rome. Your 3 day itinerary is awesome. We plan to see at least the first two days of attractions. This is the best sight I’ve seen and the fact that you answer directly to us is amazing. Thank you in advance for your help.
I’m worried I may have done something wrong. We arrive in Rome on March 31st…we arrive early that morning so I thought we might want to see a few of the lesser sites or do the hop on hop off tour just to get familiar with the city that afternoon when we arrive. We plan to start our Vatican and Colosseum sightseeing early Monday morning April 1st.
I purchased the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card a couple of days ago. I picked the date of March 31, My thinking is that it will give us 3 days…March 31 – April 2. We leave early on April 3rd. Am I correct in my thinking that this pass will give us those 3 days of sightseeing and general transportation?
My second concern is I can’t find anywhere that allows me to pick time slots. We want to start at the Vatican as early as possible on Monday April 1. Can you help me figure out how to choose my time slots?
The Omnia Vatican and Rome Card is expensive and I can’t find a way to pick a time slot?
7th March 2019 at 11:35 am
Many thanks for your message. So the pass will activate on first use, the date you specified isn’t too important. If you start using it on the 31st it will work on the 31st,1st and 2nd.
For your second point I have been in contact with the folks who issue the pass about your issue. I have been told that you should have received an email with a link to book your times. However, you are the second person to contact me about this recently so I am wondering if something has changed. If you could forward me the email they sent you on purchase and any other confirmation to my email, l[email protected] , I’ll investigate further!
7th March 2019 at 3:57 pm
Thank you Laurence,
I have forwarded the email to you. I really appreciate your help.
8th March 2019 at 1:32 pm
Great Alana – happy to be of help 🙂 Have a great trip!
1st March 2019 at 7:04 am
Thank you so much for this easy to follow and very detailed guide. I have one question though…. About the ticketbar purchase ~where can we redeem the cards and stuff for example from the airport in Rome?
1st March 2019 at 4:05 pm
For the Rome Pass, the pickup locations are as follows:
PIT Castel S. Angelo, Piazza Pia (next to the gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo), 8.30am – 18.00pm till 24/03, 9.30am – 7.00pm till 27/10. PIT Ciampino, Aeroporto G.B.Pastine – External area International Arrivals. 8.30am – 6.00pm. PIT Cinque Lune, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona). 9.30am – 7.00pm. PIT Fiumicino, Aeroporto Leonardo Da Vinci – International Arrivals – Terminal T3. 8.00am – 8.45pm. PIT Fori Imperiali, Visitor Center Via dei Fori Imperiali. 01 January-30 June and 01 September-31 December: 9.30am – 7.00pm – 01 July-31 August: 9.30am – 8.00 pm. PIT Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (corner to Via del Corso). 9.30am – 7.00pm. PIT Sonnino, Piazza Sidney Sonnino (Trastevere). 10.30am – 8.00pm. PIT Termini, Stazione Termini – Via Giovanni Giolitti, 34, platform 24. 8.00am – 6.45pm.
So as you can see, lots of options 😀
4th March 2019 at 10:25 am
Thank you so much!
Sandy s says
28th February 2019 at 7:47 pm
Hi Laurence. Hope you can answer a couple of queries for me. 1. Our flight lands at about 9pm and we were planning on getting the train/bus from the airport to termini. Just a bit concerned of what is the best option to get from termini to our hotel. Can we get a taxi outside the station and roughly how much would it cost? Our hotel is close to the Coliseum. the hotel does a shuttle from the airport but it is very expensive. 2. we have booked the Vatican museum etc with our omnia card. Did I see somewhere that we now have to book the coliseum as well in advance?
Ps loving the blog – planning on using the itinerary when we visit in 3 weeks!
1st March 2019 at 4:18 pm
So, from Termini to the Coliseum is only about half a mile, which is even walkable! However, there are also public buses you could take. I couldn’t tell you how much a taxi would cost, but it would not be very much for such a short distance.
For the Coliseum, yes, they have now (as of 1st March 2019, or today!), made it so that everyone, even holders of the Roma Pass / Omnia Card, have to book their Coliseum time. This costs €2 and is best done online. To do so, you will go here:
And pick a date and time slot at the bottom. It is easier if you do this with “solo disponsibli” checked, as it will show you only available times. Once you pick a time, you should be able to choose a ticket type, and one of them will be “COL-FOR-PAL PREN.INGRESSO CON ROMA PASS individuals entrance” at a price of €2. That is the one you want to buy.
I hope this helps! I’ll update our Rome content to reflect this as it’s all new for 2019.
Have a great trip
Sandy S says
1st March 2019 at 5:41 pm
Hi Laurence Thanks for the quick response. I was initially happy to walk from Termini but as it is going to be about 10pm I was just concerned about safety for two mature ladies visiting. I think a taxi might be best.
2nd March 2019 at 8:01 am
No worries. Rome is pretty safe, but it never hurts to take precautions, especially with all your baggage,
Have a wonderful time 🙂
25th February 2019 at 5:48 pm
Hello; I have found your site to be very helpful when planning my visit to Rome. I will be traveling with a small dog and traveling in November so I hope the crowds will be less. I realize that dogs will not be allowed in the interior of most places, but I assume I will be able to walk on the outside of many of the sites you mentioned. Also, do you find Rome to be dog friendly?
I would also like to take a cooking class while in Rome….do you recommend any?
27th February 2019 at 5:00 pm
So we haven’t travelled with a dog in Rome, so our advice is not from personal experience. However, you shouldn’t have any trouble on the outside of the attractions certainly. I’m not sure which attractions would allow dogs, if any, but I think overall Rome is dog friendly. However, again I must stress this is not based on first hand experience.
In terms of cooking classes, the only one we’ve done is this one . It was a great evening and lots of fun, but it was more of a pasta making evening and social event rather than a full-on cooking class, so it depends what you want 🙂
Have a wonderful trip!
21st February 2019 at 2:55 am
Thanks for the detailed itinerary. Really loved the way you have organised the content and shared your experience. We are planning for a 2.5 day trip to Rome in July. I had few questions
1. Since we land in Rome at 9am, we plan to start our sight seeing at 1PM after we check-in and take some rest. Given just half day, which of day of your 3 day itinerary do you suggest to do on our first day given we have only 0.5 day.
2. I plan to take guided tours to both Vatican Museums and Colloseum. Will you suggest I still take Roma Pass ?
3. Any suggestions on good authentic Italian food in Rome ?
4. We plan to take train to Naples on Day 4 for a trip to Pompeii. Any suggestions on Naples and Pompeii ?
21st February 2019 at 8:56 am
So if you lose half a day you will possibly have to skip something, depending on how you arrange your time. However, you mention that you want to take a tour of the Vatican and Coliseum. So my suggestions is as follows:
1 – take the Rome in a Day tour from Take Walks, which includes both the Vatican and Coliseum, as well as the majority of sights in the city centre. For your half day, you could see what’s left on Day 2, then on your other full day you could do day 3.
2 – no, I don’t think you will get too many benefits of the Roma Pass, unless you want the transport.
3 – to be honest, we rarely recommend restaurants as they change so often, and the quality can vary. We recommend using Google maps or something similar, and looking for recent good reviews.
4 – this isn’t an area we’ve explored recently, so we don’t have any tips currently – sorry!
Jeff Tokryman says
15th February 2019 at 2:58 pm
Hello Thank you for the detailed info We (2 of us) are looking for a guided group tour of Rome over a three day time frame to see the sites you mention. Vatican and related with skip the line access. We also want to go inside the Colosseum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain. Context Travel has these split up. I am looking for a complete combo tour. We plan to visit Rome The 1st or 2nd week of MAY.
17th February 2019 at 3:59 pm
Have you taken a look at the tours available on the Take Walks site? They have a number of options. Or did you want a private tour?
14th February 2019 at 8:05 pm
I love your post about 3 days in Rome. I just purchased the Omnia Rome travel pass. I ordered the passes to be sent to me because I thought it would be one less thing I had to deal with when I arrived. They sent an email saying I can’t prebook my entry times until I have my tickets. I know you stated in your post that once you order the pss you can book your reservations. Do you know if something changed or did I book it wrong? Thank you.
14th February 2019 at 9:02 pm
So my understanding was that as soon as you bought your pass you would be able to book your entry times at the following website: https://booking.omniakit.org/en/categories/choose
However, it sounds like this might have changed. I have sent an e-mail to my contacts at the Omnia Rome pass to see what the current process is in case it has changed. In addition, for the Coliseum you also now need to book an entry time if you are visiting after the start of March 2019. However the process for how you actually do this with the pass is a bit unclear, so I have asked for clarity about that as well,
I’ll be in touch when I hear back!
19th February 2019 at 2:01 am
Thank you so much! I appreciate your help with my questions!
19th February 2019 at 4:06 pm
Suan Teo says
12th February 2019 at 1:16 am
We are a group of 6 seniors travelling to Rome arriving Oct 14 and our cruise sets sail on Oct 20. Your 3-day Rome itinerary and 2-day in Florence is very helpful. Need recommendation on accommodation for 6….will you suggest VRBO and/or AirBnB. Thank you.
12th February 2019 at 5:36 pm
I would certainly suggest for a larger party that an apartment is great option. We have a list of a range of apartment booking websites we suggest you look at, which you can see here .
Let me know if you have any more questions and I’ll try to help out!
27th January 2019 at 1:00 am
Hi Laurence & Jessica Norah, thank you for this wonderful insight of Rome. i am arriving in Rome Feb of this year Sunday noon and leaving Thursday morning to explore the City. i honestly love the itinerary that you wrote but my “bad left knee” can’t endure the walks as stated. my top priorities to visit are as follows. The Vatican, The Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica (and maybe hear Mass and see a glimpse of our beloved Pope). Piazza del Popolo, Spanish steps, Trevi fountain (wishing to visit again), Mouth of Truth (for the child/curiosity/fun @heart) and of course, The Colosseum & Roman Forum. please help me out on how to achieve this in 3 1/2 days. thank you in advance and more power to you two 🙂 Sirod
27th January 2019 at 10:06 am
So based on your priorities I think you will be able to achieve what you want. As you say you want to see a Papal mass, we can arrange your visit around that. I’m not sure which part of February you are visiting, but you can see the papal mass timetable here: http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/udienze_en.html
For the Wednesday mass, please be advised you have to get tickets in advance from the website I link to. Tickets are free, but are required for entry. You will also need to be there in person at least a couple of hours early in order to see mass. So this will take up most of the morning and some of the afternoon.
My advice for the rest of that day would be to visit the outside attractions, like Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. From the vatican you can take a bus to the centre of the city. Alternatively, you could visit St. Peter’s on this afternoon as you are already there. I don’t think you’ll have time to see the Vatican as well.
So this would give you the Monday to see The Colosseum & Roman Forum. This would also be a good day to see the mouth of truth.
You could then dedicate the Tuesday to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.
Does that sound feasible?
27th January 2019 at 9:19 pm
Thank you very much for your reply. This will definitely be a short but wonderful stay in Rome. More power to your “blog”
27th January 2019 at 11:02 pm
My pleasure Sirod, do let me know if you have any more questions!
26th January 2019 at 8:40 pm
love your blog. Excited to go to Rome in a few days, however, there is one thing that we dont understand with the Omnia Card. Are you supposed to prebooked online all the attractions with the Omnia card or just show up ? Thanks in advance, Caroline
26th January 2019 at 8:51 pm
Thanks very much, and it’s my pleasure to be able to help 🙂
So when you have your card you can prebook your timeslots at the following website: https://booking.omniakit.org/en/categories/choose
If you are picking the card up in person, you’ll make the bookings at the time you pick it up I think.
The only things you need to book the timeslots for are the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. However, for St. Peter’s, it’s an open ticket for the whole day – as long as you have a booking confirmation for the right day, the time doesn’t matter.
I hope this helps – let me know if you have any further questions or anything doesn’t make sense 🙂
26th January 2019 at 9:34 pm
Thanks Laurence, for taking the time to answer my question. This is very heelpful.
24th January 2019 at 5:59 pm
I’m relieved to find the perfect Rome travel guide for me! It tends to be overwhelming during this planning phase as there’s a wide range of attractions to visit. But glad to havr come across your page.
My husband and I are booked for June 3-11, 2019. We have not booked any accommodation yet but we’re looking more into a bed & breakfast kind of place.
We’re inclined to tour around Italy for our 8 nights. We’re thinking of Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. Do you think doing this would be too tight given our travel period? We’re slow paced travelers and would want to have ample time to appreciate the surroundings. We also love when we don’t need to rush from one point to the next.
Also, can you comment about taking taxis, uber, or private hired cars as mode of transportation? What’s our best option if we want to travel (day trip) to Milan or Venice or Florence or all?
Thank you in advance!
25th January 2019 at 3:06 pm
Thanks very much 😀 So I would say that 8 days is definitely enough to see three cities. Four would be possible, but if you don’t want to feel rushed then you might want to drop one. My suggestion would be to go Rome -> Florence – Venice, and to take the fast train between them which will be the most cost effective and fastest way to travel. Tickets can be booked online in advance from the TrenItalia website, which has an English language version.
For transportation in the cities, much of the three cities I mention are entirely walkable, but Uber is available and likely going to be your best option. I’d also recommend the bus or other public transport options. Venice doesn’t have any vehicles, only water taxis.
I would personally advise that if you really want to appreciate Venice and Florence that you stay overnight in them. So with your eight nights, I’d suggest 3 in Rome, 3 in Florence with one of those days as a trip to Tuscany, and 2 nights in Venice. For your time in Florence, I’d suggest reading our guide to 2 days in Florence, which has some suggested tours to Tuscany: https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/highlights-of-florence-and-tuscany-two-days/
I don’t think you’ll need a hire car 🙂
Have a great trip – and do let me know if you have any more questions!
17th January 2019 at 8:37 pm
Laurence, what a great blog you guys have produced, well done! Great insight and hints!! My wife and I are going to Rome either over Easter (yea) or in July (UGGGH HOT) If we buy the individual tickets from the sites themselves do we get to skip the lines too? And if we buy them online before we fly over can we print the tickets at home and bring them with us or do they have to be mailed/shipped to us ? Thanks so much!!
17th January 2019 at 10:26 pm
Personally I’d go for Easter if I was you – July will not only be hot, but also very busy.
For the tickets, sorry to say this, but it very much depends on the site and the ticket. However, I will quickly run down for the main sites:
For the Vatican, yes, if you book it on the official Vatican Museum website this comes with skip the line access. Note whatever ticket you buy there is still a security line.
For St. Peter’s Basilica, there isn’t an entry ticket, so there is no official website to buy a ticket from. However, there is usually a long line for security here, and if you buy from one of the “skip the line” third party services, you get access to a shorter security line which can save you a lot of time on a busy day. Obviously the value of this is up to you! We recommend this one , but there are a few.
For the Coliseum, you can also buy skip the line tickets from the official website here . Personally I find this website a bit confusing 😉 There are a variety of ticket options, but as of 2018 they operate a timed entry system, so you have to pick a time slot. Until the end of 2018 they had something called an “open” ticket, which let you go in any time after 2pm, but that appears to have been discontinued, so you need to select a time.
For the tickets, I believe they are all of the print at home variety, however we nearly always use one of the various passes we mention as we just find them easier, so I do not have first hand knowledge to confirm that.
Finally, we can also recommend one of the walking tours as well if you want to avoid all the hassle as they sort all this stuff out for you. Obviously more expensive, but we find they can really help bring a location to life. We recommend Walks of Italy generally for Rome 🙂
Have a fantastic trip, and if you do decide to go for the online tickets, do let us know how it goes and if they can be printed at home so I know for future!
21st January 2019 at 2:14 pm
Hi Laurence! Thanks for the reply, and again great information!! Hope we can make it around Easter for sure. If we buy the tickets on line I’ll be sure to let you know if we’re able to print them at home. Thanks again. Ken
Lisa Herrmann says
28th December 2018 at 3:08 pm
LOVE this site and your plans. I will be there in March and can’t wait! I made my reservations for the Vatican Museums and the Basillica as suggested with my Omnia card. Do I need to print out the reservation or is it now linked to my Omnia card?
I am also planning on taking a train ride to Venice for a day. Any suggestions on a half day trip there?
THANKS SO MUCH!
28th December 2018 at 4:30 pm
Thanks very much Lisa! I’m not 100% certain if you need to print out the confirmation. It should be linked with your card, but you might want to print it out just in case (we usually print things out just in case!).
For Venice, we have a guide to things to do in Venice for a day – I’d say that half a day would be enough to see the main sights like the Rialto Bridge, St Marks Square and so on 🙂
Have an awesome trip, and do pop back to let us know how it all went!
27th October 2018 at 9:33 am
A very good guide and help.
27th October 2018 at 11:25 pm
26th October 2018 at 8:57 pm
I just bought my Omnia Vatican and Rome pass for my trip at the end of November. It is being mailed to me. Do you know if I need to wait until the pass arrives so book my Sistine Chapel tickets? Or is there a portal I can go through to book them before actually having the pass? I wasn’t prompted to book the tickets during my Pass Purchasing process.
26th October 2018 at 9:06 pm
So the last time I asked the Rome and Vatican Pass people about this, I was told that you should be sent a link by e-mail when you place your order. You might want to check your spam folder to be sure. If you haven’t received a link, please let me know, and I will check in with them in case the process has changed, and get back to you.
I do know that when you have the pass in hand you can book your timeslot using this website:
And the code that is printed on the card, however I appreciate you might want to get things arranged already, so just let me know if you’ve got any links sent by e-mail or not.
Also, just to be aware, for the Sistine Chapel it’s the Vatican Museum entry you need to book. You also need to book a timeslot for St. Peter’s, but it’s an open ticket for the whole day – as long as you have a booking confirmation for the right day, the time doesn’t matter.
I hope this helps!
15th October 2018 at 8:18 pm
Firstly, I would like to appreciate you for the way you have written this blog. It’s beautiful and very useful. I am planning my trip based on your itinerary and have a few questions: 1. I will be visiting Rome from October 25th to 28th, 2018 and plan to visit the Vatican City on Friday, October 26th. My question, would they still be huge queues to visit the Vatican Muesuem and the Sistine Chapel. Do you recommend to buy any of the above passes or just buy a ticket from the official website of the Vatican museum.
2. In general, will the lines be too huge during my time of visit at other attractions like the Coliseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill? Just buying the ticket on the same day be recommended or should we buy any of the above mentioned passes?
Thanks in advance S
17th October 2018 at 7:53 pm
Thank you very much 🙂
So, it’s hard to predict exactly what the queues will be like for any given day, but October should certainly be less busy than say August. So you should be ok for the Vatican and the other sites. However, if you are planning on attending a few of the sites you mention, then the Roma Pass will definitely be helpful, as it will let you skip the lines, save a bit of money and also get free transport in the city.
Aggie Serrame says
8th October 2018 at 12:27 pm
I came across this post while looking at itineraries for Rome. We will be in Rome for 4 days from February 18-22, 2019!
First question is, what would the weather be like/what clothes to wear/pack because it’s a struggle every time we pack too much winter or pack too little winter stuff haha.
Second, we are going to be getting the Omnia and Roma Pass to utilize the service of skipping lines, when we get the 72 hour pass, does that start from the moment we get it? Because we’re trying to use 1 of the 4 days to do a Pompeii/Amalfi Coast tour so I don’t want the other day of the 72 hour to go to waste. Any suggestions for me?
Third, I already mentioned we are doing a day tour to Pompeii and Amalfi Coast, have you guys been there in the winter? Do you have any recommendations on what our 4 day intinerary can be with that day tour to Pompeii and Amalfi coast???
Last, we also want to take a cooking class specifically pasta making, do you have any recommendations on which company/class to take?? We will be staying at a hotel 5 mins walk from the Trevi Fountain so if there’s anything in that area that you recommend for us to go to eat and shop, I would love to know! Or any restaurants really!
10th October 2018 at 5:43 pm
First, sounds like we need to write a four day itinerary! For February, it will be a bit cooler so you should definitely plan on packing some layers. It won’t be freezing, but it won’t be much above 10 – 15C I would say, and if you get rain or wind it might feel cooler. For the passes, they activate from the first use, so you are fine on that front. We have not visited Pompeii or the Amalfi Coast in winter, we’d say Pompeii would probably be better.
In terms of a cooking class, we have done one through Take Walks which was a lot of fun. You can see that here: Pasta-Making Class: Cook, Dine & Drink Wine With A Local Chef
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions and we’ll try to help!
5th October 2018 at 11:59 pm
Hi Laurence and Jessica, We are visiting Rome in December and we’re keen to use your 3 day itininery. Just wondering if daylight hours will be less in December and if that will impact on our ability to see the sights. We were also wondering about a day trip outside of Rome as we have been told there are many sites outside of Rime much older than the ones in Rome. Thanks
10th October 2018 at 4:55 pm
Certainly there will be less daylight in December compared to the summer, but it shouldn’t impact your ability to do sight-seeing as most of the outdoor attractions are well lit at night. For visiting outside of Rome, I’d say with three days you are better staying in the city – there are lots of sights to see, and many of them are 2000+ years old, so there’s no shortage of old things to see!
5th October 2018 at 2:47 am
Thanks so much for the detailed itinerary. My wife and I are looking to be in Rome around Christmas. As it stands we Re planning to be in Rome on 23rd Dec and leave for Florence 27th Dec. We have 3 full days and I am sure your itinerary gives us the best chance to see Rome the best way but what implications will Christmas period have on the itinerary? Can you please suggest.
10th October 2018 at 4:54 pm
Certainly the Christmas period is likely to affect opening times, especially on Christmas Day (25th). My suggestion would be to check the official websites for each attraction you want to visit to see when they are open or not, and adjust the itinerary to suit 🙂 Have a great trip!
1st October 2018 at 2:12 pm
Hi, Have really enjoyed reading this blog and intend on using the itinerary for when my sister and I visit from 21st March 2019. How soon should we be buying the OMNIA pass and booking the Vatican/colosseum entries? Is it best to have them shipped
1st October 2018 at 2:43 pm
Thanks for stopping by! It is easier to get the pass shipped as otherwise you do have to pick it up in person. That said, I’ve arranged the itinerary so you are near the collection points on the first day, however if you get it shipped you will save a bit of time if there is a line 🙂 It’s not too expensive to have it shipped
I hope this helps! Have a great trip 🙂
30th September 2018 at 9:40 pm
I really like your itinerary and all the inside info. Thank you for that. I have a few questions.
1. can I just book the Omnia card in Rome, when we get there? I’ll have a couple of hours at the Airport waiting for my family to arrive, so I thought it might be a good time to pop to Tourist information and buy them for us.
2. I have seen another itinerary recommending Vatican gardens. Are they worth visiting?
Thank you Jana
1st October 2018 at 2:22 pm
Thanks for your comment 🙂 To answer your questions
1 – Yes you can, but only from specific points in the city, which are not at the airport unfortunately. There are three places you can buy them, which are listed as the collection points on this page: https://www.romeandvaticanpass.com/collection-points-rome-pass/index.html
2 – It’s hard to know – some people will love the Vatican gardens, others may not find them as interesting 😉 You can only visit them as a guided tour, which takes around 1.5 – 2 hours. The ticket for the tour includes the Vatican Museum entry as well. So it will take a bit of time, so if you decide to do this, then you might need to adjust your day accordingly 🙂 They aren’t included on any of the passes, so you would have to book this separately!
I hope this helps – have a great trip!
23rd September 2018 at 5:27 pm
Hey! My sisters and i are going on our first trip together to Rome, and basically planning everything off of your amazing itinerary!
I did have one question, the first day there are a TON of attractions to see. Do you think its possible to do all of it in one day? We were planning on starting the day at 7AM, but i was still worried about not being able to see everything. I noticed that the Pantheon closes by 730 pm, and is more towards the end of the day as well. is it possible to make it on time
another question i had is about Pyramid of Caius Cestius. is this only open on saturday and sunday?
thank so much!!
26th September 2018 at 4:38 am
It is definitely possible (and you can see other commenters agree :)) to do it in one day, but I agree, it is a full day. However, if you start at 7am, you should be fine! Many of the attractions have no closing time, and you can just move the Pantheon forward a little bit in the itinerary if you are worried about it, as it’s right next to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. For the Pyramid, we think it’s enough just to see it from the outside rather than go in, but it’s up to you 🙂 It does appear only to open on weekend mornings.
23rd September 2018 at 3:11 am
I am planning a 3 day trip to Rome in December, and really like the 3-day itinerary that you have outlined. How does the Hop on Hop Off Bus ticket fit into the itinerary?
26th September 2018 at 4:40 am
The HOHO bus will take you around the major sights if you want to use it, it might be a good option on the first day to get from the Vatican area close to the major sights in Rome, or on the second day from the Coliseum. Or you could just use it on the third day to tour Rome, and then do the Appian Way. It’s up to you!
Hope this helps!
Kathy McDermott says
22nd September 2018 at 10:02 pm
I am happy that I came across your site. I’m struggling to put our itinerary together and yours seems to be a good fit. (and I’ve researched a lot!) My husband and I will be in Rome Sunday,May 12, 2019 with our flight landing at 8:15 am and leaving Wednesday,May 15th in the morning. We want to do the Colosseum on Sunday with the underground tour (the latest is 2:00 pm) but also purchase the Roma Pass. What I’ve read online is that I have to call the Colosseum to add the underground tour to use the Roma Pass. I don’t think we can squeeze your Day 2 itinerary into our Day 1 (with flight time and Hotel check-in) and the Vatican is closed on Sundays. Any suggestions as to how to mix it up? Thank You!
26th September 2018 at 4:54 am
I have to admit I’m not sure about adding the underground tour to the Roma Pass, but if that’s what you’ve read then I’m sure that is likely correct.
Based on your timings, I would suggest something like:
Coliseum, Roman Forum, St. John in the Lateran, Mouth of Truth
As Day 1 in the itinerary
As Day 3, but with the addition of the Baths of Caracalla
Hopefully that works!
Have a great trip, and let me know if I can help any more!
5th September 2018 at 9:56 pm
Thanks for this amazing itinerary, I can’t wait to visit in less than a week! Just a quick question what do the ladies normally wear out there? Im more of a short person however, a lot of websites so not to wear them. I know knees/shoulders have to be covered in holy places, but would it be acceptable to wear shorts when visiting the colloseum and will i be the woman wearing them if i do?
6th September 2018 at 10:49 am
Our pleasure! So for the religious buildings like St. Peter’s, as you say you do need to cover from just below your knees up to your shoulders. So this is why most people don’t wear shorts, as you have to change to something longer. But it’s perfectly acceptable to wear shorts to other places like the Coliseum or the rest of the city, and I’m fairly sure you won’t be alone if you do so!
Have a great trip 🙂
2nd September 2018 at 5:50 am
This was a great read and I’m sure I will check out all of these places when we go to Rome in March. My sisters and I went to Paris this spring and we bought a pass as that was the least expensive way to do it. My question though, is we will be in Rome for 19 days and I don’t want to cram all of the sight seeing into just a few days. Would it still be cost effective to purchase a pass? Also, because we will be staying outside of the central city because we do have some meetings to attend, we will be renting a car. I think we will use it mostly use it outside of the city and then when we go sight seeing, we will park somewhere and use public transit. Would it still be worth us buying a pass for public transit? Thanks again for the wonderful tips.
2nd September 2018 at 10:27 am
Thanks. I think for 19 days a pass isn’t going to deliver much cost benefit, as most of the passes we are aware of are time limited, and if you don’t see a certain number of attractions, then the pass cost won’t be worth it. So if you want to spread your attraction viewing out, then it’s unlikely to be cost effective to buy a pass. Instead, you should just be sure to book your individual tickets in advance to skip the ticket lines. I’d also say that a transport pass will be unlikely to save you money. Individual tickets, good for 100 minutes of transport, are only €1.50, so unless you plan on taking a lot of transport, it will probably be cheaper to just pay as you go.
29th August 2018 at 5:31 pm
This ‘3 day’ plan is AMAZING! My husband and I are going to Rome in February half term (Im a teacher so can only go then) so this has given us loads of great ideas.
Id like to ask a few questions though, if I may.
1. Should I get the ’skip in lines’ even for first thing in the morning in late Feb? 2. Do I need an audioguide/ a real guide tour of the Vatican museums (especially if we aren’t really interested in art info – just cool to look at?) 3. Does the entry to the Vatican museums (€17+€4 for skip the queues) include Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica?? It says Basilica is free to enter but some sites charging €14,50 as fast track into the Basilica….is this worth it? Does the ‘fast track’ into the Vatican museums also get you fast track into the Basilica/Sistine chapel? 4. Is the Sistine Chapel extra if you have paid the entrance fee to the Vatican museums? 5. Castel Saint Angelo – worth a visit? Some people say just lots of fancy rooms…maybe just a visit from the front?
Sorry, I know thats a lot of questions. When I have a holiday project I go a bit all out. Want to get in as much as possible (we normally do a lot of visits whenever we are on holiday – most people think what we do is excessive but we love the fast paced hols)
29th August 2018 at 6:00 pm
Pleased you like it! And you are welcome to ask questions of course. I’ll answer then in the order you asked, I appreciate a well ordered list 😀
1 – it’s less likely you’ll need skip the line tickets at this time of year, especially if you go early in the morning. February should be a fairly quiet month. That said, you might want to add up the individual prices for each attraction you want to visit and figure out if something like the Omnia Vatican and Rome card will either save you money, or even if it’s a little more expensive, it might save you a bit of time.
2 – It’s up to you of course! We’ve visited the Vatican both on our own and on a guided tour. We definitely learnt a lot more with the tour than we did on our own, obviously, plus they know the fastest ways to the main highlights.
3 – Skip the line entry to the Vatican does include the Sistine Chapel (the Vatican Museum is the only way to get to the Sistine Chapel), but not St. Peters Basilica. St. Peters Basilica is free to enter, but as the lines (especially in summer) can get very very long, you can pay a premium for fast track entry. You do have to book this in advance. Alternatively, you can book a tour like the Pristine Sistine tour I mention in the post. Group tours have a special route they are allowed to use, which takes them directly from The Vatican Museums into St Peters Basilica. So if you were planning to take a tour, definitely take one that includes both the Vatican and St. Peters as this will save you time. Alternatively, if you’re an early riser, St. Peters Basilica opens pretty early, so you could go there first and you would definitely not need a skip the line ticket 🙂
4 – Nope, it’s included
5 – It’s very hard to answer this as what one person finds interesting another person doesn’t 🙂 We enjoyed visiting, and it’s certainly an ancient building with a great view from the top, but it’s also pretty from the outside. So if you wanted to save money you could skip this.
Overall I’d definitely suggest making a list of all the attractions you want to visit, looking at the entry costs for them and then deciding if the pass if going to be worth it for you – not forgetting that they often include transport 🙂
I hope this helps – happy to answer any follow up questions too!
Natasha Poulton says
16th September 2018 at 3:03 pm
Thanks so much for this; you certainly know your stuff! Completely forgot to check this site for the answers so sorry its taken some time for me to reply.
Just wondering about a switch round then of the Vatican and St Peters. Was going to do it that way round but if St Peters is open at 7am then may do that first and then the Vatican. If we did it that way, would we need a skip the queue for the Vatican for 9am when it opens do you think?
Also, can you recommend a roman bath experience. In late Feb I think some heat and relaxation would be quite nice.
Thanks for all the help.
16th September 2018 at 3:18 pm
No worries! We love Rome, so do our best to have all the info to hand to help others 🙂
That would certainly make sense to switch them round. I don’t do it like that in the itinerary as most people aren’t going to get excited about a 7am entry time, but if you are fine with that, you can go for it! I would say that in February the queues for the Vatican aren’t likely to be that long, especially at 9am. Although just bear in mind that many of the tour groups do go 8.30am – 9am, so you might have to wait a bit. It shouldn’t be round the walls queues though, as it is in summer as the day progresses!
I have never taken a Roman bath experience in Rome, so unfortunately I don’t have any recommendations there.
Have a great trip, and let me know if you have any more questions!
27th August 2018 at 1:06 pm
Hi we would like ti spend 4 days un room whatbis the weather like on med October?
27th August 2018 at 1:09 pm
October is a good time to visit Rome, it’s not as busy as the summer, and the weather is usually mild, usually between 12C and 22C. However, the chance of rain is increased, so you’ll want to be prepared. It can also be a bit cooler, especially at night and in the morning, so bringing some warm layers is advised.
Nitin Mistry says
27th August 2018 at 11:39 am
Hi Laurence & Jessica Thank you so much for the itinerary, We managed to follow most of the things listed but because of the thunderstorms we experienced over the three days we were not able to do all of it and sadly missed a whole days worth of sightseeing. As a result we picked the most of the important aspect from your plans which were a big help. We decided not to use the discount cards due to the weather which worked out cheaper but if the weather was better then I feel that it would have been more worthwhile for us. We decided to spend a little more on the Colosseum and do a moonlight tour to avoid the crowds and this was the hightlight for our holiday.
Once again I just want to say a huge thank you for this detailed trip
27th August 2018 at 12:22 pm
Our pleasure Nitin! Sorry to hear about the weather, but it sounds like you made the best of it, and we’re so pleased you had a good time 🙂
Trinetra Bhushan says
27th August 2018 at 4:03 am
Hi Laurence and Jessica, What a good blog about Rome travel. I will be following your trip for my Mid September visit to Rome. I am reaching Rome from New York around 12:30 PM on 18th September and leaving early morning 21st Sept, do you thing I can do the 3 days itinerary in 2.5 days? Also do you suggest to buy Omnia and Vatican card or Roma card?
27th August 2018 at 1:07 pm
I actually had a similar question by e-mail recently. I think this is possible, but you may have to juggle the itinerary a little bit. My suggestion would be to do the Vatican on the day you arrive. You might also be able to fit in St. Peters Basilica, but it’s unlikely, and you also probably won’t be able to into Castel Sant’Angelo on this day either. However, if you don’t mind getting up early, St Peter’s opens very early in the morning, so you could do that and Castel Sant’Angelo on the morning of either the second or third days.
You may also have to adjust when you visit the Pantheon as that has opening times. Everything else on the first day will be do-able as it’s attractions that are outdoors.
For the trip, we would recommend the Omnia and Vatican card if you plan on seeing everything on the itinerary, as it will let you pre-book your Vatican entry and get skip the line access to the Vatican and St. Peters.
I hope this helps – have a great trip, and do let us know how it goes!
27th August 2018 at 3:50 pm
Thnaks for the detailed explanation Laurence. I would like to do Vetican part of Rome without rush so planning to go there on Thursday. I was thinking to do Day 3 of your itinerary on the day I arrive in Rome as it have less places and not the ones which are must see in my list. Is that sounds good?
Thanks in advance. Trinetra
27th August 2018 at 4:17 pm
Absolutely Trinetra, that makes sense. You should just check the opening hours of any of the attractions you definitely want to visit along the Appian Way so as not to miss them 🙂 Then you will have two full days to do everything you want to do.
27th August 2018 at 4:23 pm
You are angel thanks!!
27th August 2018 at 11:33 pm
I bought card and proceeded to book Vatican Museum @10:00 AM and the found only available slot for St. Peter’s Basilica and the Tomb of the Popes was for 13:00 PM I have booked that as well but then I started thinking is 3 hours is enough for getting into Vatican and then to St. Peter’s? Are they very strict about timings? is there any way I can modify my reservation if the time is not enough? Thanks, Trinetra
28th August 2018 at 12:08 am
I have queried the Omnia Rome & Vatican Pass people about this, and they said:
“St Peters is an open ticket so as long as they have a booking confirmation they will not need to go at the time of the confirmation.”
I hope this helps – it should mean that as long as your ticket is for that day, you should be fine!
Loretta Blackborough says
22nd August 2018 at 7:54 am
Thank you so much for a very well planned and written itinerary! We are staying in Rome for 4 nights in September, so your 3 day itinerary is perfect. We will be arriving in Rome at around 11am on Thursday 27/9, after a 4 hour bus trip from Sorrento. We plan to follow your 3 day itinerary exactly from day 2 of our stay. This being the case, what would you recommend we do for the first half day on the day of our arrival? Kind regards, Loretta
22nd August 2018 at 9:13 am
Our pleasure 🙂 Of your first day, personally I’d take the time to just walk around the center of the city and eat gelato and take in some sights, but if you want some additional attractions that aren’t on this list, you could visit the Museum and Crypt of the Capuchin Friars, which is quite interesting. The Trastevere district is also nice to wander around, and isn’t in this itinerary, so that is a good option. You could also head up to the Buco della serratura di Roma, there a good view over the city from a garden up here, and a famous keyhole you can look through 🙂
22nd August 2018 at 9:58 am
Thanks Laurence, Wandering around the Trastevere district will be perfect!
One other question – does the hop-on bus go to most of the locations listed in the 1st two days of this itinerary?
Many thanks Loretta
22nd August 2018 at 10:07 am
It does! I found this map which I think is the up to date route, to give you an idea of where it goes 🙂
18th August 2018 at 10:03 pm
We are also planning to visit Rome Italy only for 3 – 4 days it will be our first time and I like your suggestions of places to visit Can you reach these sites through their local transportation , Taxis or rental car? Do you have a recommendation of hotel accommodation as well
18th August 2018 at 10:07 pm
Hi Vangie! Sure, there’s a section in the post on where to stay in Rome here: https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/3-day-rome-itinerary/#Where-to-Stay-in-Rome-for-3-Days
And you can reach all the attractions by public transport, or you can take a taxi if you want. That’s covered in the post here: https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/3-day-rome-itinerary/#Getting-Around-Rome
iuliana constantinescu says
11th August 2018 at 11:02 am
Thank you for this wonderful guide! We’re planing to spend 3 days in Rome at the beginning of Nov. One of the days would be a Monday though, so how is this going to affect our itinerary? Also we have a 3 years old boy so I’m not sure how much walking we can do. Are these locations accessible with a stroller? Also do you have an idea on how is the weather in Nov? Your advice would be much appreciated.
13th August 2018 at 9:07 pm
Our pleasure! I would say that the majority of locations are accessible with a stroller, but it might be worth checking the official website for each as it’s not something we have personal experience with. For the itinerary, my suggestion is to check the opening times for the various attractions, seeing what is open, and then adjusting the itinerary to suit. It’s also hard to comment exactly on the stamina of your son as everyone varies, but this is a fairly packed itinerary, so you might want to scale it back a bit and focus on the highlights, or perhaps spread the first two days out over three days so you can see everything and not get stressed 🙂
Hope this helps a bit – have a great trip!
2nd August 2018 at 7:02 pm
Hi My wife & I have just been on your 3 day tour of Rome and it was Fabulous. We are on our 25th Wedding Anniversary and couldn’t have wished for a better trip and this was all down to you. You gave us a purpose & we visited sites that was beyond our dreams. Thank you so much Angie & Graham PS Looking to undertake Berlin & Krakow next can you HELP please
2nd August 2018 at 7:05 pm
Hi Graham! First, congratulations on your anniversary. What a wonderful way to spend it 🙂 We are so pleased that you stopped by to let us know our guide worked for you, it’s the sort of feedback that really makes us smile! We’re thrilled you had a good time and that we were able to help.
For Berlin & Krakow – we have been to Berlin but haven’t as yet put together a detailed guide to visiting. Krakow is on the shortlist for next year – I know that doesn’t help right now, but stay tuned!
Graham Pickett says
2nd August 2018 at 10:35 pm
We our truly thankful for your brilliant advice, we have had such a Fab time. The feedback is throughly well deserved & hats off to you two.
Thank You Angie & Graham PS Knackered but exceptional journey & your correct Gardens was great at the end, sorry to say we shared the rowing boat time between us. Thank You both
Monica Doss says
29th July 2018 at 6:43 am
Hi Laurence, Great guide. I saved it and I keep checking it every now and then while planning my trip:) I bought the OMINA Card online and then went to book the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Booked Vatican museum successfully at 10am but for the basilica, Wednesdays are always unavailable even 5 months from now and other days timings are only 9am and 4pm. Do you have any information about that? Ideally I should book around 1pm to give Vatican museum and Sistine chapel 3 hours.
Thanks a million:)
29th July 2018 at 12:34 pm
Thanks very much 🙂
So for the basilica, I’m not sure why you can’t book a Wednesday, that seems a bit weird. For the other timings, it actually doesn’t matter. Here’s what the folks at the Pass told me about the bookings:
“customers now do have to book their visits to St Peters Basilica in advance of their trip. St Peters is an open ticket so as long as they have a booking confirmation they will not need to go at the time of the confirmation. ”
So hopefully that helps!
8th July 2018 at 3:34 pm
Hi, this blog is very informative and great read. Me and my husband will be visiting Rome next year and it will be our first time there. May i know what is the nearest airport to the Day 1 Itinerary? what are the transportation to take from airport to the attraction? Cost? Are there a lot of English speaking people?
Hoping to hear from you. Thank you in advance.
9th July 2018 at 10:11 am
Thanks very much. I’m sure you will love Rome (and Paris :D). Rome has two major airports, Ciampino and Fiumicino. The first is smaller, and primarily serves budget airlines, the latter is bigger and handles more of the international traffic.
Fiumicino is easier to get to and from, it has a train station and it takes about 30 minutes to get into the city center. There are also regular buses and taxis.
Ciampino has a nearby train station, and also regular buses. So also quite easy.
Hope this helps – have a great trip!
4th July 2018 at 3:03 pm
Is it doable to go from Florence everyday(for three days) by fast train to Rome for sight seeing? Or is it going to be very hectic? Leave Florence around 8:00 am to go to Rome and leave Rome around 7-8:00 pm to go back to Florence. BTW you have compiled very useful info on “Rome in three Days”, This is what exactly I was looking for. Thanks!!
4th July 2018 at 3:24 pm
Well, it is possible, but I have to be honest, I’m not sure why you would not just stay in Rome – this would add expense and lost time into the equation. But, yes, it could be done. Have a great trip!
Denise Shaw says
14th June 2018 at 5:06 pm
Hi I am chaperoning a class trip to Italy on June 29th. I was looking for a suggestion for a day in Rome. We have one free day in Rome . The other day in Rome we are doing a walking tour through the Vatican Museums to reach the Sistine Chapel at the end of a visit to St. Peter’s Badillica. Free time is given for lunch and to explore Vatican City. During our free time I am going to take them to Castel San’Angelo. Afternoon: Transfer by bus from the Vatican to the Colosseum for a guided visit (45) followed by a guided walk through the Roman Forum. Ending by the Spanish Steps I was wondering if you can give me a suggestion for one day in Rome what to see and where to go on foot. We will be dropped off in the morning and picked up late afternoon. Thanks so much Dee
16th June 2018 at 10:21 pm
Hey Denise! Sounds like you have many of the major highlights covered on that one day. I think your tour is also likely to take in the Pantheon, but if not, do make sure to add that in. So my suggestion would be to head out to the Baths of Caracalla, visit those and St. John in the Lateran Church, and then perhaps to explore the Appian Way. This is a different side of Rome to what you will have already seen, a bit more green, so should be a nice contrast. Hope this helps – have a great trip!
6th June 2018 at 10:24 am
This itinerary looks awesome and I think it covers the main spots. However, i am going to travel with my parents (in their 70s) and although they are healthy, I am not sure if its too much walking in a day. What do you think is your average daily steps taken?
8th June 2018 at 10:34 am
Thanks very much – and this is a good question, which I have to admit, is a bit hard to answer. This is because it really depends on what you aim on seeing – the Vatican alone for example has 7 miles of corridors! I actually did a tour like this a while back with my grandmother, and she did pretty well. From the map I’ve provided you should be able get an idea of the walking distances involved. I would also add that Rome has a really good public transport network, so you can definitely cut back on walking by taking advantage of the bus / metro system between the main points (or using the hop on hop off bus).
I would also say that when we walk these routes out, they often come in at around 20,000 steps for us, but again, that’s just an approximation. Certainly 10,000 – 15,000 would be a good number to think of, and you can probably cut back on that like I said with public transport.
Have a great trip, and do let me know how it goes!
24th May 2018 at 6:16 pm
hi ! this is a great blog and i really appreciate the time and energy put into this.
could you please provide a link to the site where we can book the required tickets in advance?
24th May 2018 at 8:57 pm
Hi Oorja – thanks very much!
For the Rome and Vatican Pass, if you buy that then when you have bought it you will be sent a link to book your times in advance.
If you want to book individually, the links are in the post for the tickets to the Coliseum, the Vatican and the other major attractions that need advanced booking 🙂 Each entry should have a link, let me know if you can’t find something specific 🙂
Tinamarie Mathis-Standley says
18th July 2018 at 8:40 am
I bought the pass but it does not give you the option of scheduling the coliseum or forum. Also, St. Peter’s Prison is included but not on your itinerary, where would you squeeze it in?
18th July 2018 at 6:49 pm
For the Coliseum and Forum with the pass you don’t need to schedule the entry, you just go straight to the security line. You don’t need to queue for tickets if this is the first or second use of the pass, which it would be if you follow the itinerary.
For the prison, I’d suggest squeezing it in to the same day as the Forum, perhaps just after you finish the Forum, as it’s right there. Just bear in mind that the itineraries are quite full so you will have to hustle a bit 🙂
Gurjeet Kaur says
28th April 2018 at 9:44 pm
Hi. I was wondering if I need to make reservations for 2 out of the 6 free attractions before hand or do I just show up to the places and show my card and get in?
29th April 2018 at 8:20 am
No, for the 2 out of 6 attractions you do not need to make reservations 🙂
Jai Sanghvi says
23rd April 2018 at 10:51 pm
Great Blog and amazing suggestions. You took away hours of research time I would have spent trying to finalize my itinerary. Appreciate it.
We are vegetarians (eat dairy, but no eggs, no meat, no seafood, etc). Could you possibly suggest some restaurants in the Rome Center area where we can get Vegetarian, Indian, Mediterranean food? We don’t mind exploring other cusines as well, except, we have our 12 year old daughter and would like to keep your suggestions in our back pocket for “emergency” situations..! 🙂
Again appreciate your help in advance
24th April 2018 at 10:31 pm
Thanks for your comment! We don’t really have the necessary knowledge unfortunately to answer your restaurant request – usually we shy away from recommending restaurants as the quality can change quickly – we usually find it’s best to check recent reviews on focused restaurant review sites. My best advice would be to try something like Google Maps or Yelp to see what suggestions they have,
Josefa Mapa says
20th April 2018 at 4:38 pm
My teenage son and I just got back from our trip to Rome. We were able to maximized our trip to Rome thanks to your blog and itinerary. Had it not been for them, we would be clueless what to see and much less how to batch up the places.
We didn’t buy any of the passes. We did a LOT of walking. We got lost often but that lead us to see something else interesting that were not in the itinerary. Tickets to the important sites were bought online in advance from the websites of the places itself so they were a bit cheaper. Maybe because it was just after lent so the queues were not that long if any and it still being spring, the weather was wonderful.
Again, thank you. You also gave me confidence in going to my very first adventure in a new country.
Good luck, and God bless.
22nd April 2018 at 10:19 am
That is wonderful to hear, I am delighted you had a good trip! Certainly, at quieter times of year you can be lucky with the queues and the weather, and it sounds like you were 😀 – plus making those reservations in advance will have helped a lot too 🙂 Thanks for stopping back to let me know how it went!
Lisa Smith says
7th April 2018 at 7:39 pm
Thank you 🙂
7th April 2018 at 7:56 pm
Our pleasure 🙂
2nd April 2018 at 3:03 pm
Hi thanks for this great guide. Have a couple of questions about the Omnia pass. You say the 72 hours starts from first use. So does using the hop on hop off part then activate the public transport and museum count down as it also mentions somewhere they are separate tickets. We have an afternoon and three full days so were planning to start with the bus tour on first afternoon but now worried we’d effectively lose a whole day of tha pass. Thanks
2nd April 2018 at 3:10 pm
So, according to the official website:
“Don’t forget the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card works on a consecutive day basis, so if you first use your pass in an attraction or even on the public transport at 5pm on your first day, this will count as the first out of your three day pass duration.”
In practice, I think it is a little different. The Omnia Pass actually comes as two passes – an Omnia card, and Rome card. The Omnia card covers the hop on hop off bus and the vatican attractions, and the Rome card covers the public transport and the other Rome attractions like the Coliseum.
So, I *think*, the Hop on Hop off part of the card will only activate the Omnia Pass. So as long as you see the Vatican attractions on your first three days, you should be fine. Of course, I can’t guarantee this, but as I recall when I got on the hop on hop off bus, they only used the Omnia Pass rather than the Rome card, so it wouldn’t have activated.
28th March 2018 at 5:18 pm
Great advice, I am trying to decide on the Rome passes or just buy the hop on-off pass as it includes Vatican museum and coliseum. What do you think?
Also, Can I use the Rome pass to get from the airport to termini station? TIA
28th March 2018 at 5:41 pm
Thanks very much 🙂 So just for clarity, do you mean this pass? https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=813809&u=969916&m=63134&urllink=www%2Eisango%2Ecom%2Frome%2Frome%2Dopen%2Dtour%2Dand%2Dcolosseum%2Dtour%2Dand%2Dvatican%2Dmuseums%5F24323&afftrack=RomeItineraryFTU
I would say that it’s really up to you and what you want to see in Rome – the Rome Pass is slightly more expensive (although on sale right now) but also includes a few more attractions (plus skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica), as well as a three day travelcard and three days of Hop on Hop off transport. Personally I think the Omnia Rome and Vatican Pass is slightly better value considering what you get, but of course it does depend on what attractions you want to see.
In terms of the travelcard, whilst Fiumicino is connect to Termini by public tranport, the travelcard doesn’t include transport from the airport unfortunately, you can see that on the travelcard page here: https://prf.hn/click/camref:1101lbZD/pubref:3DayRomeComment/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.romeandvaticanpass.com%2Frome-transport%2F
It says “Please note: The Travelcard does not include travel to and from the city airports.”
I hope this helps – have a wonderful trip to Rome!
28th March 2018 at 6:20 pm
Thank you so much for your quick reply. One more question…. I clicked on your link to the coliseum….am I correct that I have to buy two separate tickets, One for the coliseum and another for the form and palatine Hill?
28th March 2018 at 6:28 pm
My pleasure 🙂 The Coliseum ticket includes the Forum / Palatine Hill, so you only need to buy one ticket to get access to those attractions. Tickets are also valid for two days, although can only be used once for each attraction.
21st March 2018 at 4:33 am
Looks like a great itinerary, looking forward to checking it out. How about Rome after dark???
21st March 2018 at 11:25 am
Thanks Jim! In our experience we fill our days so much that our evening plans usually just involve a nice evening meal and a fairly early night 🙂 But of course there is lots to do in Rome at night, depending on your interests. If you’re interested in something a bit different, if you’re visiting on the right day, you can actually take an after hours tour of the Vatican, which is a really unique experience. You can find out more about that here: https://www.takewalks.com/rome-tours/vatican-at-night-tour?tap_a=29777-fde554&tap_s=72514-790f10&tm_site=FTU3DayRome
Otherwise, just have fun, Rome is a great place to walk around at night 🙂
Will Smith says
17th March 2018 at 6:29 pm
Love your blog wii be following it to the T when we visit in June is our 30th wedding annervesary can you recommend any special resteraunts please
19th March 2018 at 1:56 pm
Thanks very much, and congratulations on your anniversary! Jess and I tend to just fall into the nearest restaurants we spot when traveling, or eat on the hoof! We also find recommending restaurants can be tricky as they can change so quickly. That said, this guide should help you pick somewhere wonderful for your trip:
Chantelle Sims says
14th March 2018 at 10:57 pm
Hello and thank you for this! I am planning a trip from London with my daughter, and would appreciate your advise on arriving and departing. Is it necessary to spend 4 nights to accomplish your 3-day itinerary, or could we do it if we spent only 3 nights? If so, how would you recommend arranging the days around air travel to and from? (With luggage to consider…) Thank you for your opinion.
16th March 2018 at 8:49 am
You could do this with three nights assuming you arrive early – you should do Day 3 first in that case as it’s less time sensitive, and then the other two days. If you can stretch to four nights though you will be less rushed in terms of having to arrive really early into Rome and possibly feeling tired, but up to you!
Michael Tang says
3rd March 2018 at 8:35 pm
We really enjoyed your travel blog.We will be visiting Rome from 4/11-15/2018.Our hotel ( Hotel Contilia) is less than 8 minutes from Rome Central Station.What would you recommend us to do in 4 1/2 days in Rome.We have been to Rome numerous times.Haven seen most of the main attractions.This time we would like to explore the local areas where local people meet for meals,shopping.My friends suggested Campo de Fiori,Jewish Ghetto or Trastevere. How about a day trip to Tuscany? Can we take metro ,train of bus to visit these places. Please advise.Thank you
4th March 2018 at 7:03 pm
Thanks for your comment 🙂 Sounds like you’re old hands with Rome! It’s hard to give specific advice without knowing what you’ve seen already / are interested in. A day trip to Tuscany is certainly do-able from Rome, and you can take the train from Rome central station to Florence for example, that’s about a 1hr 30minute train ride. if you’ve not been to Florence before it’s stunning. You could also do day trips to other parts of Italy from Rome, including Pompeii or Cinque Terre. If you’d rather not do it yourself, you could take a tour, for example:
Cinque Terre: https://www.walksofitaly.com/rome-tours/cinque-terre-tours-from-rome?tap_a=16934-e57823&tap_s=72513-efc32e&tm_site=FTU&tm_post=3DayRome
Amalfi Coast: https://www.walksofitaly.com/rome-tours/amalfi-coast-tours-from-rome?tap_a=16937-4dc4e8&tap_s=72513-efc32e&tm_site=FTU&tm_post=3DayRome
Tuscany from Rome day tour: https://www.walksofitaly.com/rome-tours/amalfi-coast-tours-from-rome?tap_a=16937-4dc4e8&tap_s=72513-efc32e&tm_site=FTU&tm_post=3DayRome
24th February 2018 at 7:00 pm
Hi Thank you for all the information. I will be taking my son for his graduation gift this June. I plan to follow almost all of your suggestions in regards to places to see. Having said that, what area do you suggest we stay at? I prefer to stay at a hotel. Any additional info would be appreciated.
24th February 2018 at 7:14 pm
My pleasure – and what a great gift for your son! My advice would be to stay somewhere around the Piazza Navona area, it’s really central and really pretty in that area, and we’ve stayed around there a number of times. Basically anywhere between the Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Popolo would be great – that central area is perfect. I’m not sure of your budget, but somewhere like the following options might be a good starting point for your search:
http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/navona-theatre.html?aid=385205&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1&label=FTU3DayRome http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/mimosa-pantheon.html?aid=385205&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1&label=FTU3DayRome http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/navona-roma.html?aid=385205&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1&label=FTU3DayRome http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/di-rienzo-pantheon-palace.html?aid=385205&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1&label=FTU3DayRome
You can see more options here, just narrow it down depending on your budget, location and other requirements 🙂
Have an amazing trip, and congratulations to your son!
allan Blanco says
10th February 2018 at 4:10 pm
Hi! Thanks for this blog & itinerary. It seems this will help us so much on what to do in Rome exactly for our 4-5 days side trip from France. We are fed so much with the info. & some ideas or places to go. Is there also a local travel tour & guide to book for this 3 days tour in Rome? or better on our own & follow your guide. our concern, is how to go there to the places you have listed, i mean a ride , total cost or amount to spend or our estd budget amount, do we need a tour guide & is it easy to get a guide & not expensive?…We are our concern if we get lost , and how to proceed every places than having a tour guide…… if so,,, is it not too expensive …. what can you recommend if we will get a total package for the 3 days tour…. what agency …. or what is best can you advise/recommend. thanks so much.
Allan Blanco Mindanao, Iligan City – Philippines
10th February 2018 at 8:59 pm
Thanks for your comment. I don’t know of any company that specifically offers this tour, but you could certainly put together a similar trip by putting various tours together. We like Walks of Italy ( https://www.walksofitaly.com?tap_a=364-72eab1&tap_s=72513-efc32e ) for their tours if you wanted a walking tour with a guide, but these aren’t private tours.
That said, the itinerary is designed to be self-guided and you shouldn’t need a tour guide for any of it unless you would like local insight and guidance. The itinerary is also designed to be easy to follow and not require much other than a good pair of feet for walking. In some cases you can take a local bus, these are easy to use. Rome is not a very large city, or at least, not the parts covered in this itinerary, so I don’t think you will get lost or have any problem. The best idea is to get a map when you get to the city, and to download an offline version of the city into your Google Maps (or whatever mapping tool you use on your phone). Then you’ll always be able to figure out where you are and where to go.
20th January 2018 at 6:20 pm
Just recently my brother and I visited Rome for three days and based our trip around the itinerary you guys did. I have to say this was the most convenient and awesome itinerary we found, in which showed all the attractions and sites clearly! All of the places you guys suggested in the blog we visited and also took the time to do some night roaming and visiting the attractions again to see it in a different light! Because of your blog, my brother and I were able to experience Rome as a whole and we give our massive thanks for it! SO once again, thank you soo much for this, you guys are amazing!
21st January 2018 at 11:05 am
We are so pleased that you found this itinerary useful, and even happier that you let us know! Getting comments like this really makes us happy – thank you so much! We’re delighted that you had a great trip, and that we were able to help with that! Happy travels!
Laurence & Jessica
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The Best Time to Visit Rome
Weather & Climate
Rome Airport Guide
Tipping in Rome
Rome's Top Neighborhoods
Public Transportation in Rome
Itinerary: 3 Days in Rome
Day Trips From Rome
Rome's Top Attractions
Free Things to Do
Things to Do With Kids
Beaches Near Rome
Top Museums in Rome
Where to Shop in Rome
Events in Rome
The Best Food to Try
The Top Restaurants in Rome
Nightlife in Rome
Your Trip to Rome: The Complete Guide
TripSavvy / Christopher Larson
Rome, Italy, commonly referred to as the Eternal City, is a top travel destination that draws millions of visitors each year. An exuberant and modern world capital, Rome offers travelers fascinating reminders of its imperial past at every turn. It's also an international hub for contemporary fashion, design, art, and culture.
Encounter glorious monuments and ancient ruins dating as far back as at least the 3rd century B.C. Marvel at the stunning Romanesque- and Gothic-style architecture, medieval churches, picturesque squares, Baroque fountains, and world-class museums . Besides having an almost unlimited number of sights and attractions to see, Rome is famous for its traditional Roman food and wine and its vibrant nightlife , as well as pretty urban parks and peaceful nature reserves.
Planning Your Trip
Things to know before you go:
- Best Time to Visit : Since Rome has a Mediterranean climate, there's really no bad time to visit . If you want to avoid the crowds and the heat of summer, we recommend coming to Rome in the late spring or early autumn when the weather is mild and lines tend to be shorter. For average daily temperatures and rainfall, month by month, see our article.
- Language: Italian is the official language , but you'll find that many people speak some English, especially those who work in the tourist industry. That said, it's always a good idea to bring along a pocket-sized phrasebook or download one of the many free language translation apps on your smartphone, just in case.
- Currency: As a member of the European Union , Italy uses the Euro (€). Prices include tax and credit cards are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels, and shops. But when purchasing small items like a cup of coffee, a slice of pizza, or a glass of wine, plan on paying cash.
- Getting Around: Although Rome is a big metropolis, the historic center, or centro storico , is fairly compact, making it a highly walkable city. Public transport in Rome is run by ATAC , which operates the buses and trams linking riders to most areas in the city. The Metro subway system is affordable and quick.
- Travel Tip: You might find shorter lines if you visit the most popular attractions in the early afternoon when most people are at lunch.
Rome has an extensive public transportation system that consists of the Metro (subway), buses, trams, and three suburban railway lines (FS). Convenient and relatively inexpensive, the network connects to Rome's most popular tourist attractions but can be sometimes unreliable and overcrowded, especially during the summer months.
Things To Do
With so much to do and see in Rome, we recommend you start by hitting the major tourist attractions first—especially if this is your first visit. Regardless, do make sure to leave time in your schedule for people watching on an intimate piazza or strolling down Rome's many charming streets and cobbled alleyways.
Here are just some of Rome's top attractions:
- The Colosseum or Colosseo is the largest monument from Imperial Rome still in existence today. The enormous amphitheater once housed fierce gladiator contests and wild animal fights. It's best approached from Via dei Fori Imperiali to get the full effect of its grandeur. Entrance lines can be long, so check out our tips for buying Colosseum tickets and avoid waiting .
- The Pantheon , one of the world's best-preserved ancient buildings, this masterpiece of Roman architecture began as a pagan temple before becoming a church in the 7th century AD. Located on Piazza della Rotonda, the Pantheon has a cylinder-shaped, hemispherical dome featuring a round hole in the top, the oculus, that allows natural light to stream in, as well as raindrops. Admission is free.
- Vatican City, the home of Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, is the world's smallest city-state. Geographically located within Rome, but not actually part of it, St. Peter's is the largest church in the world and houses important works by Michelangelo and Bernini. The Vatican Museums ( Musei Vaticani ) is a massive complex that contains an impressive art collection spanning 3,000 years—from Classical to modern eras. It's here that you can see the Sistine Chapel featuring Michelangelo's renowned frescoed ceiling.
For more information and details about Rome's sights and attractions see our 3 Days in Rome: What to See and Do or The 25 Top Things to Do in Rome.
What to Eat and Drink
Traditional Roman cuisine is based on inexpensive cuts of meat like offal and simple pasta recipes such as cacio e pepe (pecorino cheese and black pepper) and spaghetti carbonara (egg, cheese, and pork cheek). Other Roman favorites include deep fried artichokes ( carciofi alla giudia ), supplì (stuffed balls of rice with tomato sauce), and thin, crisp-crusted pizza.
Frascati is a white wine blend made in an area just south of the city. Artisanal and craft beer has become quite popular recently with pubs cropping up all over the city. In speakeasies and chic hipster bars, cocktails are flowing after hours.
Where to Stay
With so many diverse and interesting neighborhoods in Rome, it's hard to choose where to stay. For easy access to the airport and public transportation, staying in a cozy B&B or friendly hostel near Termini Station makes a lot of sense. If you want to be where the action is, there are a myriad of lodging options in Trastevere , Monti, and the centralissimo (very central) area, though these quarters can be rather noisy at night. If romance is what you're after, consider staying at a historic luxury hotel along the famed Via Veneto or near the Spanish Steps, but expect to pay a premium for such stellar locations. If you're on a budget, self-catering Airbnbs and inexpensive hotels are available all over the city, offering a great solution.
There are two airports serving the Rome metropolitan area: Fiumicino (also known as Leonardo da Vinci) is the main international airport and Ciampino is a smaller, regional one. The best way to get into the city from the Fiumicino is by train to the main railway station closest to the historic center, Stazione Termini . You can also take airport buses to either Termini or Tiburtina station. We recommend you avoid driving in Rome if at all possible.
The Port of Civitavecchia is where cruise ships dock in Rome. See Civitavecchia to Rome Transportation for information about getting to the city or airport from here.
Culture and Customs
If you want to "do as the Romans do," then follow the bit of advice below.
- You must have your ticket before boarding any public transportation—buy them at station kiosks, newsstands ( edicole ), and tabacchi (tobacco shops). At boarding, be sure to stamp your ticket to validate them or you could get hit with a steep fine.
- You can't hail a cab on the streets of Rome, but can pick up one at the many official taxi stands scattered throughout the city.
- In restaurants, remember that tipping isn't obligatory, but is much appreciated. The rule of thumb is to leave €1 for each diner in your group or round up the check a few euros. If you get exceptional service, feel free to leave up to, but no more than 10% of the total bill.
- When perusing Rome's many boutiques and fashionable shops know that handling items is frowned upon, therefore it's best to ask the shopkeeper for assistance.
- Rome is a relatively safe big city, yet it does have its share of petty crime. Be aware of pickpockets, especially at train stations, on the Metro, and in crowded tourist areas.
For more information regarding the art of tipping in Italy, check out our article, When & How Much to Tip in Italy: The Complete Guide .
Money Saving Tips
For budget-conscious travelers, here are a few ways to save a little coin without skimping on the fun.
- Rock the Aperitivo (pre-dinner drink): When you order a glass of wine or cocktail, it usually comes with a plate of yummy food (cold cuts, squares of pizza, etc.) at no extra charge.
- Forgo summertime and opt to visit during the winter, early spring or late fall. Temperatures are mild and travel packages and discounts are available.
- If you're going to be in Rome for three or more days, the OMNIA or RomaPass pass is a great value. Along with offering free admission to several sights, you don't have to wait in line thanks to the "fast-track" entrance feature included in the price.
Find out more about the cheapest ways to have fun by exploring our guide on visiting Rome on a budget.
Central Intelligence Agency. "The World Fact Book."
European Union. "The 27 member countries of the EU."
Encyclopedia Britannica. "Colosseum."
3 Days in Rome: What to See and Do
Italy Guide: Planning Your Trip
Getting Around Rome: Guide to Public Transportation
The 14 Best Day Trips from Rome
The 25 Top Attractions in Rome, Italy
Your Trip to Florence: The Complete Guide
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Your Trip to London: The Complete Guide
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