Tourist Information Offices Rome PIT

Tourist Information Offices Rome

Offices of the Tourist Information Office of Rome (PIT) are located in the airports, in the main train station and in some important points of the city.

Official Tourist Information PIT

Private tourist information.

Holidays in Rome

The official points of Rome Tourist Information (PIT) mainly promote the Roma Pass , a discount card for 48h or 72h public transport with one or two free entries to Roman museums. You can buy tickets and guided tours and pick up your pre-ordered Roma Pass. Here are the addresses:

  • Tourist Information Fiumicino, Aeroporto Leonardo Da Vinci – Arrivals Terminal 3 8.30 – 18.00.
  • Tourist Information Ciampino, Flughafen G.B.Pastine – Arrivals outside the area of the baggage belts 8.30 – 18.00.
  • Tourist Information Termini, Termini train station – Via Giovanni Giolitti 34, near track 24 8.00 – 19.00.
  • Tourist Information Fori Imperiali, Via dei Fori Imperiali (diagonally across from the Colosseum) 9.30-19.00.
  • Tourist Information Castel Sant’Angelo, Piazza Pia, winter 8.30 – 18.00, summer 9.30 – 19.00.
  • Tourist Information Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (corner Via del Corso) 9.30 – 19.00.

In addition to the tourist information of the Municipality of Rome, there is a private concessionaire. Various services are offered. The information points also have public sanitary facilities .

These are the private information points:

  • Piazza Navona: Via Giuseppe Zanardelli
  • Piazza di San Giovanni
  • Viale Carlo Felice
  • Porta Maggiore
  • Santa Maria Maggiore: Piazza dell’Esquilino
  • Testaccio: Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice

For your orientation we have marked the different information points in this city map:

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  • Tourist Information Offices in Rome

Rome

In Rome there are plenty of tourist information offices , managed by both the municipality of Rome (Comune di Roma) and by private entrepreneurs interested in promoting the tourist visibility of Rome. While the reliability of all of these offices is unchallenged, the ten Punti Informativi Turistici (PIT) run by the municipality seem to be the most constantly resorted to by visitors in search of dependable information on the tourist platform of the city.

Regardless of their location (either at the two airports, train terminal or in any of the districts of Rome), all of these municipal offices sell the so-called Roma Pass, a tourist tool of incredible usefulness for all visitors who want to explore the capital within the limits of a reasonable budget.

GB Pastine Ciampino Tourist Information Point

Fiumicino tourist information point, ostia lido tourist information point, castel sant’angelo tourist information point, minghetti tourist information point, navona tourist information point, nazionale tourist information point, santa maria maggiore tourist information point, sonnino tourist information point, termini tourist information point, hotels booking, accommodation.

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Guía turística de Rome

Rome was called the “ Eternal City ” by the ancient Romans because they believed that no matter what happened in the rest of the world, the city of Rome would always remain standing . Exploring the city centre by foot surrounded by glorious monuments and colossal remains takes you back in time to the glory that was Rome.

Rome Travel Guide

  • General Information
  • Things to do
  • Getting to Rome
  • Public Transport
  • Money-saving tips
  • Where to Eat
  • Where to Stay
  • 3-Day Itinerary

Why Visit Rome?  

With its unparalleled history , Rome is the 3rd most visited city in Europe and the 14th worldwide. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come to discover the city’s impressive monuments and archaeological sites ; not to mention its renowned cuisine and its lively atmosphere .

Walking through Rome is not just about touring an ancient city full of archaeological remains; Rome reminds us of gladiators fighting for life and death in the Colosseum , chariots racing in the Circus Maximus , and the sight of Roman sages strolling through the forum while discussing democracy.

With more than 16 million visitors a year, tourism in Rome is unstoppable. It's the 3rd most visited city in Europe, behind London and Paris , making it a high contender for the most romantic city in Europe.

Looking for Accommodation?

At the following link, you'll find hotels of all categories with a minimum price guarantee. Discounts can be up to 75% and payment is made directly at the hotel.

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top activities

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour Skip the endless queues for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel—explore the most iconic landmarks in the Vatican City accompanied by an expert guide .

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums + St Peter's Basilica On this tour, you'll get access to the Sistine Chapel first thing in the morning, avoiding all the crowds . We'll also visit  St Peter's Basilica .

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour Travel back in time to Ancient Rome and discover the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill on this guided tour with priority access !

Colosseum Tour + Gladiator's Entrance When in Rome, don’t miss the eternal Colosseum! Access the arena through the Gladiator’s Gate, the entrance used by the ancient Roman fighters.

Borghese Gallery Guided Tour Discover the extraordinary collection of paintings and sculptures housed in the Borghese Gallery , one of Rome's must-see art museums .

With this skip-the-line ticket for the Pantheon , you'll visit one of the most iconic monuments from Ancient Rome —a must-see in the Eternal City!

Italian Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop If you love Italian cuisine, then don't miss out on this  Italian Pasta and Tiramisu Workshop . You'll learn how to make some staple Italian dishes!

Trastevere Food Tour Feast your eyes and stomach during a 3-hour food tour in Trastevere, one of Rome’s most bohemian neighborhoods and sample the delicious Italian gastronomy.

Audience With Pope Francis An audience with Pope Francis is a unique spiritual experience . Your guide will take care of everything, so you can go relaxed.

Castel Sant'Angelo Tour + Terrace Access A refuge for popes and an ancient Roman mausoleum , Castel Sant'Angelo harbours great secrets. On this guided tour we'll unveil its most hidden mysteries.

Private Walking Tour of Rome Explore the Eternal City's most iconic sights accompanied by an expert guide just for you and your partner, family or friends.  Discover the best of Rome !

Rome Bike Tour Tour the Italian capital on two wheels whilst you enjoy an electric bike tour of the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and much more .

Pompeii & Naples Day Trip Set off on a full day trip and discover the ruins of Pompeii , followed by a panoramic tour of Naples , one of the world's oldest constantly populated cities.

This tourist bus is the perfect way to discover Rome . You can choose different routes with numerous stops and hop on and off as many times as you want!

Capri Day Trip Like the writers and artists before you, you'll fall in love with Capri on this unmissable tour. Discover the island's myths, legends and Blue Grotto .

Palazzo Santa Chiara Opera Concert Treat yourself to a unique experience during your stay in Rome when you attend a fantastic opera concert at the Palazzo Santa Chiara .

OMNIA Rome & Vatican Card The OMNIA Card is a sightseeing pass that includes priority access to Rome’s main attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City .

Rome Fiumicino Airport Shuttle Bus Are you travelling to Rome? Book this shuttle bus between Fiumicino Airport and Rome so you can get into the city centre comfortably and quickly.

Rome Night Tour On this night tour of Rome ,   we'll visit the most iconic piazzas , streets and monuments of the Italian capital when the city comes to life at dusk.

Roam the underbelly of Rome on this tour of its underground system . Walk  the Appian Way and Caffarella and   dive into the lesser-known side of the Eternal City !

Rome Ciampino Airport Shuttle Bus With this shuttle service between Ciampino Airport and Rome, you'll be in the centre of the Italian capital in less than an hour. The eternal city awaits you!

Trevi Fountain and its Underground World On this  tour of the Trevi Fountain and its underground world , we'll reveal the hidden treasures and history of the most  fountain in Rome . 

Florence & Pisa Day Trip Discover two incredible jewels in Tuscany on our Florence & Pisa Day Trip from Rome. You'll see the Duomo , the Ponte Vecchio and the Leaning Tower .

Rome Sightseeing Cruise on the Tiber River Take a sightseeing cruise along the Tiber River and enjoy spectacular 360º views of Rome from the water. You can hop on and off as many times as you want!

The Three Tenors Concert The church of  St. Paul's Within the Walls in Rome opens its doors to you to offer you the show The Three Tenors. Enjoy an unforgettable opera concerto.

Rome Pub Crawl Are you ready to discover the vibrant nightlife of the Italian capital ? Join us on this pub crawl through Rome and experience it for yourself!

St. Peter's Basilica Tickets: Dome Access + Audioguide Secure your ticket to St. Peter's Basilica for an experience that includes access to its magnificent dome and a self-guided tour with an English audio guide .

St Peter's Basilica Guided Tour + Dome Climb Enjoy the best views of Rome by climbing the 320 steps leading up to the dome of St. Peter's . We'll also visit the interior of the Basilica!

Rome Photo Tour Discover the most Instagrammable locations in the Italian capital and show off your trip with this Rome Photo Tour.  Benvenuti a Roma !

Ponza Island Day Trip Enjoy a  day trip from Rome to Ponza Island . Cruise along the waters, feel the breeze in your hair and cool off with a dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea!

Italian Pizza Workshop Visit Rome and enjoy a delicious pizza made with your own hands . Try this Italian Pizza Workshop and learn how to make one of the country's most famous dishes.

Rome Mysteries & Legends Free Tour Wandering ghosts and enigmas in Caravaggio's works ... Discover the hidden side of the city with this free tour of Rome's mysteries and legends.

Trastevere and Jewish Ghetto Tour Enjoy a walking guided tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto and soak up the neighborhood’s bohemian atmosphere with numerous landmarks to visit.

La Traviata with Ballet Entrance Ticket Enjoy one of the most famous operas of all time in the magical setting of the St Paul's Within the Walls Church with this La Traviata Ballet Entrance Ticket.

Discover the Colosseum , the Vatican or the Pantheon in comfort aboard the Big Bus Sightseeing Bus in Rome . Hop on and off as much as you like!

Rome Catacombs Tour & Appian Way Visit the catacombs of Rome with an expert English-speaking guide during a 3-hour half day-trip, also discovering the fascinating Villa di Massenzio.

Rome: Angels and Demons, the Illuminati Adventure Quest Impersonate Robert Langdon himself for a day in this puzzle hunt in Rome: Angels and Demons , the Illuminati Hunt. The best way to explore the city!

Rome Squares and Fountains Guided Tour Set off on a walking guided tour of Rome and discover some of its iconic landmarks, such as the Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, and Piazza Navona .

Bioparco di Roma Ticket With your ticket to the Bioparco of Rome you will discover this zoo located in the heart of the city, inside Villa Borghese, an ideal plan for families!

The impressive dome of the Pantheon of Agrippa has fascinated the whole world for centuries. Discover it with this guided tour of Ancient Rome .

Go City: Rome Explorer Pass The Go City: Roma Explorer Pass  tourist card gives you access to the  main attractions in the Italian capital, such as the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum.

Ostia Antica Half-Day Tour from Rome Discover the legacy of the Imperial City on a guided tour of Ostia Antica, an ancient harbor town only 30 km from Rome. Travel back in time with this tour!

Set off on a day trip from Rome across the Italian countryside to discover the birthplace of St Francis  in the charming town of Assisi .

Capitoline Museum Guided Tour Marvel at one of Rome’s most important museums , the Capitoline Museums, followed by a visit to Piazza del Campidoglio on top of the Capitoline Hill.

Baths of Caracalla & Circus Maximus Guided Tour Go back in time on this walking tour of the Bath of Caracalla, the most luxurious thermae of the Roman Empire . Then marvel at the remains of the Circus Maximus.

Visit the largest Roman amphitheater in the world on this guided tour of the Colosseum. An absolute must if you're in the Italian capital!

Papal Audience & Vatican Museums Tour Enjoy this unique experience of the Holy See with this combination tour which includes an  audience with Pope Francis and a visit to the Vatican Museums .

Basilicas Tour and Secret Underground Catacombs Discover some of the most symbolic sites in Christian history: the Catacombs and two of the world's most important Basilicas on this tour of the Eternal City.

Mostra di Leonardo Ticket Discover some of the most amazing inventions by the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci with this ticket to the Mostra di Leonardo museum.

Tuk Tuk Tour around Rome Tour Rome in the most comfortable way on this tuk tuk tour. We'll explore its seven hills and learn tons of historical fun facts about the eternal city.

Tiber River Cruise with Appetizer Discover Rome from a privileged perspective as you relax with this Tiber River Cruise with Appetizer. You'll see symbolic places such as the Umberto I Bridge.

Day Trip to Venice by High Speed Train Experience a day trip from Rome to Venice on a high-speed train and explore its beautiful canals and historic centre at your own pace.

Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Day Trip Visit the two treasures of Tivoli on this day trip: Hadrian's Villa, Roman Emperor's retreat, and Villa d'Este, a Renaissance mansion with magnificent gardens.

Rome Hard Rock Cafe Come to the Rome Hard Rock Cafe and enjoy an exquisite menu of American food in an emblematic place where the rhythm of rock is felt in every corner. 

Welcome to Rome Tickets Immerse yourself in Rome's thrilling history when you buy a ticket for the fascinating Welcome to Rome multimedia experience .

Wine Tasting in Rome Italy is world-renowned for its tradition of wine-making. Indulge your senses on this wine tasting tour of Rome with an expert sommelier!

Rome Fascist History Tour discover the architecture designed in Rome at the time of Benito Mussolini's fascist dictatorship with this Rome Fascist History Tour.

Castel Sant'Angelo Ticket + Audio Guide Explore the intriguing history of Castel Sant'Angelo with this admission ticket + audio guide. Uncover the mysteries of one of Rome's most cryptic monuments !

Janiculum, Trastevere and Jewish Quarter Guided Tour On this fascinating tour of the Gianicolo , Trastevere and   the Jewish Quarter  in Rome, we'll gain a truly unique perspective of the Italian capital.

Lake Albano Kayak Tour If you're in Rome and want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city , join us on this kayak tour on Lake Albano .

Roma World Entrance Ticket Don't miss out on your ticket to Roma World , a theme park in which you'll travel back in time to the ancient and powerful Roman Empire .

Entrance to IKONO Rome Looking for a unique plan in the Italian capital? With a ticket to IKONO Rome , you'll get to explore this creative space and become a part of the art!

Rome Street Art Tour Discover secrets and the most interesting glimpses throughout the most colourful district with this Rome Street Art Tour. Explore the captivating capital city!

Rome Electric Tuk Tuk Tour Explore the Eternal City through an eco-conscious lens with our electric tuk tuk tour of Rome  and roam the Italian capital's streets in a zero-emission vehicle!

Private Photoshoot outside of the Colosseum Remember your trip to Rome forever with this private photoshoot outside the Colosseum - we'll make sure you look your best beside the iconic monument!

Rome Private Day Trips Explore the beautiful Italian cities of Naples, Pompeii, Ostia or Assisi with these Rome Private Day Trips. You'll have an exclusive guide just for your group.

Cinecittà World Ticket With this entrance ticket to Cinecittà World you can visit real film sets and travel to the imaginary worlds of movies and TV series .

Ischia 5-Day Tour Are you in Rome? Join us to visit the most beautiful islands in the Napolitan archipelago  on this  5-day tour of Ischia . You'll love it!

Big Bus Rome Open-Top Night Tour Discover the main attractions in the Eternal City at nightfall on this  open-top night bus tour of Rome . You'll love this fun and informative tour!

Aqua World Ticket Do you want to combat the heat in Rome ? With this ticket to Aqua World, you'll have a blast at the swimming pools and slides at  Cinecittà World

Roma World Ticket + Roma on Fire Show With this ticket to Roma World, you'll be able to enjoy a visit to this amazing theme park about the Roman Empire  on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Florence Excursion by High Speed Train Known as the "City of Art", Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On this day trip, we'll tour its historic centre and the Uffizi Gallery.

Naples to Capri Tour: 2/3 Days Relax in southern Italy with this Naples to Capri Tour lasting 2/3 days. Discover Pompeii's incredible history, Sorrento's cuisine and Capri's beauty .

Private Tuk-Tuk Tour of Rome Would you like to see the Eternal City in the most comfortable way ? On this private tuk-tuk tour of Rome , we'll tour the capital of Italy in an exclusive group.

5 Day Tour: The Best of Italy The best of Italy in just 5 days! Asisi, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Padua, Venice and Montepulciano  are the cities we take in on the tour.

Capri Tour: 2/3 Days Be captivated by the glamour of the Italian island with this Capri Tour lasting 2 or 3 days. Explore the fascinating Mediterranean cave, the Blue Grotto.

Day Trip to Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti On this tour to Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti , we'll discover the beautiful region of Tuscany - including medieval towns, and a visit to a wine cellar!

Pompeii & Minori Tour: 3 Days Discover the impressive ruins of Pompeii , explore the Almafi Coast  & enjoy 2 nights in Minori on this incredible 3-day tour.

Rome Layover Tour Take advantage of your time at Rome airport to explore the Italian capital with this Rome Layover Tour. You'll discover the charm of the beautiful Eternal City.

Colosseum Private Tour Discover the World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World with this  Colosseum Private Tour . Explore the Roman site with an exclusive guide.

Rome Private Tour with Driver Fall in love with Rome with this private tour with driver. Choose your route, and enjoy a comfortable tour solely for you and your travel companions.

Vatican Gardens + Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Ticket Discover the green lung of Vatican City on this tour of its gardens. You'll also visit the Sistine Chapel and take a self-guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

Free Walking Tour of Rome The city of the Caesars, of Baroque and, of course, The Eternal City. Discover Rome with this free walking tour of the Italian capital .

Vatican Museums Private Tour Step into the legacy of the Italian city-state on this Vatican Private Tour. Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with just your family or friends!

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi With this classical music concert, you'll experience all Four Seasons of the famous Antonio Vivaldi . An unforgettable concert in an incomparable setting!

Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Day Trip From Pope Alexander VII to Benedict XVI , numerous popes have spent the holidays at the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo . Explore its links with the Vatican!

Colosseum Guided Night Visit Visit one of Rome's most iconic monuments all lit up at the most magical time of day on our  Colosseum Guided Night Visit at dusk .

Why is our guide of Rome the best?

This guide has been written by travellers like yourself and is designed to help you plan your stay in Rome, so that you get the most out of the city as possible, whether you're staying for 2 days or a month. Find out what the top attractions  and the best places to eat are, which museums are worthwhile, and where to stay in Rome. If you’re travelling on a budget, we also have an article on how to save money while visiting this fascinating city, and the daily costs , so that you're prepared before getting to Rome.

The information provided in this guide was updated in  July 2024 . If you find a mistake or would like to make a suggestion, please do not hesitate to   contact us .

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tourist information center rome

Tourist offices in Rome

Where to get tourist information in rome, italy, the main tourist office.

The official A.P.T. tourist office is at Via Parigi 5 ( tel . +39-06-3600-4399 or +39-06-488-991; www.turismoroma.it or, for a searchable database of everything tourist-related in Rome, www.060608.it ).

It's about a 5-minute walk straight out from Stazione Termini train station , across several piazze and traffic circles, just beyond Piazza della Repubblica and up to the the right. It's open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm.

For general information, call tel . +39-06-060-608.

Tourism info kiosks around town

More conveniently, Rome also has 14 tourist info kiosks (most open daily 9:30am–7:15pm) dispensing maps and pamphlets and selling RomaPass sightseeing card and tickets for tourist buses and Tiber boats at the following locations:

At major transport hubs

  • Fiumicino airport , at the International Arrivals Terminal 3 [which until 2010 was called Terminal B–C] (open daily 8am–7:30pm).
  • Ciampino airport , at the baggage claim (open daily 9am–6:30pm).
  • Termini train station , at track 24 (technical address: Via Giovanni Giolitti 34; open daily 8am–8:30pm)
  • Tiburtina train station, opening soon.

In the historic center

  • Fori Imperiali , not a kiosk but an office on Via dei Fori Imperiali, just across from the location of the hulking Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum , between Largo Corrado Ricci and Piazza del Colosseo, just down from the Imperial Fori and up fom the Colosseum (open daily 9:30am–7:15pm)
  • Minghetti, on Via Marco Minghetti, about halfway between the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain near the Piazza Venezia end of Via del Corso (open daily 9:30am–7:15pm)
  • Piazza Navona , on Piazza delle Cinque Lune (open daily 9:30am–7:15pm)
  • Touring Club, in the new offices of Italy's premier automobile association, Piazza SS. Apostoli 23–65, just off the NE corner of Piazza Venezia (open Mon–Sat 10am–12:30pm and 3-7pm, Sun 10am–1pm)
  • Portico d'Ottavia, in the Jewish Ghetto at Via di Santa Maria del Pianto 1/Via Portico d'Ottavia a few E blocks of Largo Argentina (open daily 8am–6pm; closed Jewish holidays)
  • Barberini, at Via di San Basilio 51, near Via di Bascilia, a long block NE of Piazza Barberini (open Mon-Fri 9:30am–7pm)

Across the Tiber (Vatican/Trastevere)

  • Castel Sant'Angelo , on Piazza Pia (open daily 9:30am–7:15pm)
  • San Pietro , on Largo del Colonnato at the intersection with Via dei Corridori, just NE of the collonade around St. Peter's Square (to the right, if you are facing St. Peter's ) (open daily 9am–5pm)

South of Termini (Esquiline/Viminal)

  • Nazionale, on Via Nazionale in front of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni (open daily 9:30am–:157pm)
  • Santa Maria Maggiore , on Via dell'Olmata (open daily 9:30am–7pm)

At the beach

  • Ostia Lido , on Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli at the corner with piazza Anco Marzio (open daily 9:30am–7:15pm)

Tips & links

  • Tourist info
  • Turismoroma.it
  • Activities & tours
  • ContextTravel.com
  • SelectItaly.com
  • City-Discovery.com
  • Other useful sites
  • 060608.it (tourism info database)
  • Vatican.va (Vatican)
  • Coopculture.it (major sights/ruins)
  • Archeoroma.beniculturali.it (civic archaeology department)
  • Museiincomuneroma.it (civic museums)
  • Comune.roma.it (city site)
  • Sovraintendenzaroma.it (city cultural department)
  • Rome blogs/sites
  • Revealedrome.com
  • Parlafood.com
  • Elizabethminchilliinrome.com
  • Heartrome.com
  • Rickzullo.com
  • Unamericanaaroma.com
  • Anamericaninrome.com
  • racheleats.wordpress.com
  • Wantedinrome.com
  • Theamericanmag.com
  • Hostels & camping
  • Agriturimsi
  • Booking.com
  • Hostelz.com
  • HotelsCombined.com
  • Priceline.com
  • Bedandbreakfast.com
  • Bed-and-breakfast.it
  • Hostelworld.com
  • Bbitalia.it
  • Karenbrown.com
  • Apartments & villas
  • Rentalo.com
  • Homeaway.com
  • Belvilla.com
  • Interhomeusa.com
  • Villasintl.com
  • Craigslist.org
  • Hostels & campgrounds
  • Hostelbookers.com
  • HostelsClub.com
  • Residence hotels
  • Biz-stay.com
  • Agriturismo (farm stays)
  • Terranostra.it
  • Turismoverde.it
  • Agriturist.it
  • Public transport
  • Bus, tram, Metro (subway): Atac.roma.it
  • All public transit, taxi, and driving/parking info: Agenziamobilita.roma.it
  • Momondo.com
  • AutoEurope.com
  • CheapOair.com
  • Cheapflights.com
  • CheapTickets.com
  • Rome airports
  • Transfers between Fiumicino airport and Rome
  • Express train (32 min to Termini; €14): Trenitalia.com
  • Local train (27 min to Trastevere, 32 min to Ostiense; €8): Trenitalia.com
  • Private car (45-60 min; €14–€16.50): Viator.com
  • Bus (55–65 min; €4–€6): Terravision.eu (€4 online; €6 on bus), Romeairportbus.com (€4), Cotralspa.it (€5, or €7 on bus), Tambus.it (€5), Sitbusshuttle.com (€6)
  • Taxi (€48): Agenziamobilita.roma.it
  • Transfers between Ciampino airport and Rome
  • Private car (30-50 min; €14–€16.50): Viator.com
  • Bus (40 min; €4–€6): Romeairportbus.com (€3.90), Terravision.eu (€4 online; €6 on bus), Sitbusshuttle.com (€4–€6)
  • Taxi (€30): Agenziamobilita.roma.it
  • ItaliaRail.com
  • Raileurope.com
  • Trenitalia.com
  • Rome main rail station
  • Roma Termini: Romatermini.com , Piazza dei Cinquecento (ENE of the city center)
  • Bus to center: 40, 64 (Tiber Bend, Vatican); 170 (Ancient Rome, Aventine); 71, 492 (Tridente, Upper Tiber Bend)
  • Metro to center: A (to Spagna or Flaminio); B (to Colosseo or Circo Massimo)
  • Driving/parking
  • Sabait.it (Villa Borghese garage and others; €18/day)
  • Atac.roma.it (outlying commuter parking lots; from €5 per day)
  • Agenziamobilita.roma.it (more on the ZTL and Rome driving rules)
  • Autoeurope.com
  • RentalCars.com
  • CarRentals.com
  • AutoSlash.com
  • Europebycar.com
  • Renaultusa.com
  • Short-term leases
  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel . 803-116
  • Highway agency: Autostrade.it (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA): Aci.it
  • ZTLs: Ztl-italia.blogspot.com (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)

Walks & Day tours

Longer tours.

  • Intrepidtravel.com
  • Gadventures.com
  • Regional & long-distance bus (coach) info
  • Orariautobus.it
  • Italybus.it
  • Oraribus.com
  • Rome cruise terminal
  • Civitavecchiaport.org (Civitavecchia)
  • Shore excursions & Rome tours
  • Shoretrips.com
  • Transport Rome airport—cruise terminal
  • Private car (60–80 min; €29): Viator.com
  • Bus (60–80 min; €4.30): Cotralspa.it
  • Train (90–120 min, changing at a Rome station; €11–€29): Trenitalia.com
  • Taxi/limo (60–80 min; €115–€220): Civitavecchiaport.org
  • Transport Rome downtown—cruise terminal
  • Train (50–95 min; €5–€15): Trenitalia.com
  • Taxi/limo (60–80 min; €125–€250): Civitavecchiaport.org
  • Cruisedirect.com
  • Expedia.com
  • Cruisecompete.com
  • Onlinevacationcenter.com
  • Vacationstogo.com
  • iCruise.com
  • Cruisecritic.com
  • Cruisemates.com
  • Smallshipcruises.com
  • Traghettilines.it
  • Traghetti.com
  • Aferry.co.uk
  • Directferries.com
  • Traghettionline.com
  • Navigazionelaghi.it (lakes)

Planning your day : Rome wasn't built in a day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see it in that brief a time as well. Still, you can cram a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Eternal City, here are some perfect itineraries , whether you have one , two , three , or four days to spend in Rome. » Rome itineraries

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The Best Time to Visit Rome

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Your Trip to Rome: The Complete Guide

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

tourist information center rome

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.

Getting Around

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.

Getting There

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."

The 25 Top Attractions in Rome, Italy

The Top 23 Things to Do in Italy

The 14 Best Day Trips from Rome

Paris Guide: Planning Your Trip

Your Trip to Florence: The Complete Guide

Tuscany Guide: Planning Your Trip

France Guide: Planning Your Trip

3 Days in Rome: What to See and Do

Siena Guide: Planning Your Trip

Getting Around Rome: Guide to Public Transportation

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42 Best things to do in Rome that are worth booking in advance

best things to do In Rome

  • In Save money Skip the line Things to do Tips for travellers Top attractions

Looking for the best things to do in Rome ? Exploring Rome is like going on a treasure hunt, and this guide is your treasure map. If you're wondering what to do in Rome , look no further! We'll show you all the coolest spots you'll want to check out before you even pack your bags.

From standing inside the giant Colosseum to wandering around the peaceful Borghese Gardens, Rome is full of surprises waiting for you. Whether you love old stories, beautiful art, or just having fun outdoors, there's something here for everyone.

Let's dive into the adventure and discover the 42 finest things to do in the Eternal City and what makes Rome a place you'll never forget. Ready to start the journey?

  • 1 What are the Best Things to Do in Rome? (And Should You Do them All?)
  • 2 Best Things to Do in Rome for History Lovers
  • 3 Best Things to Do In Rome Outdoor
  • 4 Best Things to Do In Rome for Art And Museum Lovers
  • 5 Religious Sites
  • 6 Best Things to Do In Rome for Foodies
  • 7 Few Things to Know Before You Go to Rome
  • 8 Rome Passes to Fully Enjoy the Top Attractions
  • 9 Final Words about the Best Things to Do in Rome

What are the Best Things to Do in Rome? (And Should You Do them All?)

Things to do and see in Rome

Wondering what are the best things to do in Rome?

The truth is, every corner turned and every street walked in Rome has something to offer.

Marvel at the Colosseum, soak in the history at the Pantheon, lounge in a picturesque piazza or enjoy the view from a rooftop bar…

The activities to do in Rome are endless. And here’s a tip : don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “you haven't visited Rome if you haven't seen X or Y.”

Rome is too rich and varied for a one-size-fits-all approach.

So, according to our personal experience and conversations with hundreds of people, here is a list of warm recommendations for what to do in Rome.

tourist information center rome

Best Things to Do in Rome for History Lovers

Rome is a great place for history enthusiasts. Here are the best things to do in Rome if you love old ruins, museums and cultural visits.

1. Colosseum

Things to do Colosseum

The Colosseum is the main symbol of Rome Italy and almost 2,000 years old.

The original structure was 188 meters (616 ft) long, 156 meters (511 ft)wide, and 57 meters (187 ft) high, making it the greatest Roman amphitheater of its time. It accommodated more than 50,000 spectators at a time, watching free spectacles such as gladiator fights, exotic animal exhibitions, and even the execution of prisoners.

Today, with around 4.2 million people visiting every year, there’s no doubt the Colosseum is a must-see in Rome. It is one of the best things to do in Rome with family. Here, you can learn what is the best way to buy Colosseum tickets.

Getting there: The Colosseo Metro station (Line B) is only minutes away from the Colosseum. Various buses also stop in the area, including most hop-on/hop-off tourist buses.

If you wait until you arrive, you could end up standing in line for up to 4 hours to enter the tallest amphitheater ever built.

More than five million people visit this iconic landmark each year, making it the most popular of the Rome tourist attractions outside the Vatican.

How to skip the line at the Colosseum – There are various ticket (check price here) and tour options which will allow you to skip the ticket line at the Colosseum. They include the three-in-one Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tickets or even the Roma Pass which includes free entry to one or two museums or archaeological sites.

You could also book a tour to get access to the Colosseum underground and third ring in the company of a professional guide.

2. Pantheon

best things to do in Rome Pantheon

Who doesn’t want to visit one of the best-preserved architectural wonders of the ancient world? Its easy accessibility by foot or public transport in the heart of the city makes it one of the most-visited Rome attractions. Here are some tips on how to buy tickets for the Pantheon , so you can avoid the most common tourist traps.

People come from all directions to marvel at the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world which has stood the test of time for more than 2,000 years. More people are visiting this amazing place each year, even though entering the Pantheon is no longer free.

For this reason, it’s advisable to buy an audio guide in advance . Even better , book a tour to learn more about the Pantheon’s history and remarkable architecture get and get priority entrance as a bonus.

3. Roman Forum

Best things to do in Rome Roman Forum

If you want to know what life was like during the time of the ancient Roman Empire, strolling through the Forum and Palatine Hill is one of the best things to do in Rome.

The area was buried under the earth after the fall of the Empire. Fortunately, excavations during the 20th century now make it possible to see where the seat of government, the courts of law, temples, and monuments were.

The concentrated area of ruins that is the Roman Forum tells the tale of everyday life in ancient Rome city center. More than 4 million visitors per year walk among the historically significant ruins in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills.

By investing in a skip-the-line ticket before your visit, you’ll have more time to stroll down the famous Via Sacra. This used to be the main thoroughfare connecting the Colosseum with the Piazza del Campidoglio.

4. Palatine Hill

Best things to do in Rome palatine hill

The Palatine Hill which extends behind the Forum was a popular area for emperors to build their palaces. It’s also where, according to legend, Rome was founded by Romulus.

The Palatine Hill is where Romulus started Rome’s first settlement in the 8th century BC. Structures that have been revealed by excavations include huts from the Iron Age, religious sites, and imperial palaces.

Palatine Hill is the least busy of the three Rome attractions for which a combined ticket is sold. If for some reason you are unable to book in advance, our best advice is to buy the ticket here before visiting the Roman Forum and Colosseum. It automatically gives you fast-track entrance to all three sites.

Getting there : The blue Metro line (B) goes past the Roman Forum, with the closest stop being the Colosseo station. Or you could take the same bus which you would take for the Colosseum.

5. Catacombs Of Rome

caracalla baths Roman Catacombs

Visiting the underground Catacombs of Rome is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome, Italy, especially if you’re interested in the city's history and early Christian life. You can try this 45 min Priscilla Catacomb guided tour for €15 – tickets available here.

These subterranean burial sites will allow you to immerse yourself into Rome's past. As a recommended thing to do in Rome, touring the catacombs is a great way to connect with the poignant history of a Rome that thrived centuries ago.

And believe us, you’ll absolutely love walking through the narrow passageways of the Catacombs of Callixtus , the largest of its kind, and exploring the lesser-known Catacombs of Priscilla…

6. Forum of Augustus and Trajan Forum

Trajan's market forum

It’s clearly one of the cool things to do in Rome if you want to see more of the grandeur of Roman architecture.

Once the heart of Roman public and political life, these forums have become a symbol of the empire's power. But why is it part of the best tourist activities in Rome, Italy?

Well, they offer an amazing insight into the civic and social life of ancient Rome Italy. We would highly recommend joining a guided tour to fully appreciate the historical context and architectural complexities of the site.

7. Baths of Caracalla

Famous Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla is a Rome must-do if you love history.

Built between AD 212 and 217, these immense public baths were a city center of leisure and socialization. Back then they featured libraries, gardens, and even spaces for athletic activities!

Today, they remind us of Rome's imperial past and are among the most impressive Rome things to do and see. It’s a great way to have a glimpse into the daily life of ancient Romans.

Here again, we would advise you to take a guided tour to better understand the history and importance of the Baths of Caracalla. Check out this one – Caracalla Baths & Circus Maximus Tour – get tickets here.

8. Castel Sant’Angelo

Best things to do in Rome Castel Sant Angelo

The cylindrical fortress on the banks of the Tiber River in Parco Adriano is also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. In fact, it’s very close to the Vatican City. With close to one million visitors a year, Castel Sant’Angelo is the fifth most visited attraction in Italy and deserving of a place on the list of best things to do in Rome.

Just taking a look inside the luxuriously decorated papal apartments in Castel Sant’Angelo is worth the entrance ticket. By reserving a Castel Sant’Angelo skip-the-line ticket online , you get fast track entrance and the opportunity to visit the castle rooms and art exhibitions in the main rooms.

9. Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine in Rome

The Arch of Constantine is undeniably one of the best things to see in Rome, Italy.

Erected to commemorate Constantine I's victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, it showcases reliefs and statues pillaged from earlier monuments. Located between the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, its strategic location makes it easily accessible.

The Arch of Constantine embodies the transition from the pagan Roman Empire to Christian rule. It's a must-see to ponder the events that have shaped the world we know today.

10. Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus in Rome

Wondering what Roman entertainment looked like back then? Then Circus Maximus should clearly be on your checklist of stuff to do in Rome!

Once the premier chariot racing stadium, this site could hold 250,000 spectators! Today, its sprawling grounds will allow you to escape from the bustling city.

Go tread the same ground where Romans once gathered in mass to be entertained. If you love history and wonder what to see in Rome Italy, then Circus Maximus is your perfect choice.

11. Largo Di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome

Largo di Torre Argentina ranks among the fun things to do in Rome city center, a glimpse into ancient Roman life amidst the city.

This square is home to four Roman temples and the remains of Pompey's Theatre . It’s where Julius Caesar was famously assassinated.

But why does Largo di Torre Argentina stand out among Rome top attractions?

Well, it actually plays an important role as a sanctuary for Rome’s stray cats. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to watch cats sunbathe on ancient pillars and steps!

12. Domus Aurea

Also known under the name Nero's Golden House, the Domus Aurea embodies the extravagance of Roman emperors.

A highlight among the attractions in Rome city center. This huge palatial complex, once covered in gold leaf, gems, and shells, was one of the most luxurious sites in ancient Rome.

So step back in time and explore the opulence Nero envisioned for his reign.

The good news is that it’s one of Rome's tourist attractions that have recently been restored. An unmissable experience for history buffs!

13. Theatre of Marcellus

Marcello's Theater Rome off the beaten path

It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome in February when the crowds are thinner and the weather is cooler.

This ancient open-air theater once hosted performances of drama and song for the Roman populace.

There you’ll have access to a more intimate glimpse into Roman life and leisure , away from the more frequented tourist spots.

This visit will allow you to connect you with the past, a peaceful moment in the heart of Rome.

14. Altar Of The Fatherland

altar of the fatherland

Also known as the Vittoriano, the Altar of the Fatherland is one of the best things to do in Rome in January, when the city's pace slows down and the crisp air refreshes your mind.

This monumental tribute to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the unified Italy, provides one of the best panoramic views of Rome city center from its terraces.

In January , the lesser crowds mean you can take your time to explore every detail of the structure without the push and shove of peak tourist seasons. Remember to dress warmly and wear good shoes as you’ll have to climb the steps to the top.

15. Mouth of Truth

Mouth of Truth in Rome

The Bocca della Verità is one of the best non-touristy things to do in Rome.

Get yourself a slice of Roman folklore and history in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Legend has it that this ancient marble mask will bite off the hand of those who lie!

Our best advice? Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the small crowds that do gather.

This way you’ll get your own personal moment with this amazing piece of Roman lore. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your encounter with this legendary lie detector!

Best Things to Do In Rome Outdoor

If you're eager to soak up the sun and enjoy the great outdoors, then look at these options to enjoy the capital’s sun.

16. Borghese Garden

Parc Borghese

If you like the outdoors and are looking for a romantic visit, then Borghese Garden is amongst the best things to do in Rome for couples.

Lush landscapes, charming pathways, romantic hideaways… Everywhere you’ll enjoy walking hand in hand.

The Borghese Gardens provide a picturesque setting for romance and house the renowned Borghese Gallery.

17. Trevi Fountain

Best things to do in Rome Trevi Fountain

You may wonder what the Trevi Fountain does on the list of things to plan in advance for when you visit Rome city center. The fountain is free to visit, isn’t it?

Indeed. But because of its popularity, it’s still worthwhile to plan your visit in advance. Visiting during the day in peak season can result in a horrible experience leaving you with bad memories of one of the prettiest Rome tourist attractions. The beauty of Neptune riding a shell-shaped chariot pulled by seahorses will be totally lost on you.

Our best tip is to visit the Trevi Fountain late at night when the crowds have gone to eat or sleep. The fountain is floodlit which bathes the sculptures in a romantic light. The perfect place to end your day.

Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular must-see in Rome by tourists . It’s so popular that a million Euros worth of coins ends up in the fountain each year.

The Trevi Fountain is well worth seeing even if you don’t want to throw a coin into it. It’s the biggest fountain in Rome and arguably also the most beautiful. It has taken on many different shapes since the first version was built during the Renaissance, with the final touches provided by Guiseppe Pannini in 1762.

Getting there : The Trevi Fountain is near the Barberini Metro stop in the Trevi district. Or you can walk there in 10 minutes from the Spanish Steps.

18. Rome Bike Tours

The bike is a great way to enjoy the best things to do in Rome off the beaten path.

Our top advice? Choose a tour that takes you through the Trastevere neighborhood or along the Appian Way. It’s a great way to mix history and nature. Check out this one (It's an easy electric bike tour, no worries about getting tired) – Appia Antica & Caffarella Park: Guided E-Bike Tour.

These bike tours will allow you to cover more ground than you would on foot but also give you the freedom to stop wherever you want.

It’s also a clean way to visit the capital city and a good option if you want to keep your freedom and control over your visits.

19. Vatican Gardens

Visit the Vatican

The Vatican Gardens is one of the best things to do in Rome in May  when the flowers are in full bloom and the weather is perfect for wandering.

Book a guided tour well in advance as access to the gardens is limited and only possible as part of a guided group.

This way you’ll have a glimpse into the Vatican's private oasis and enjoy its sculptures, fountains and grottoes dedicated to the Madonna.

A peaceful visit away from the bustling city, especially in May, when the weather is absolutely perfect.

20. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona obelisk Agonalis

Wondering what are the best things to do in Rome for couples?

Piazza Navona is one of the most romantic places in Rome city center.

There you’ll find beautiful fountains, baroque palaces, local restaurants, and street artists. Why not visit as the sun sets to see the square illuminated with a warm glow?

The atmosphere is then magical! Stop by one of the cozy cafés lining the square for an intimate dinner or a gelato in front of the view of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers.

21. Piazza Di Spagna

3 days in rome piazza di spagna

The Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps are among the best things to do in Rome in June when the weather is warm and the city is more alive than ever.

Start your visit early in the morning to enjoy the steps in a quieter setting or visit late in the afternoon to catch the golden light of sunset facing the beautiful Trinità dei Monti church at the top.

June is the perfect time to see the steps adorned with colorful flowers? You’ll absolutely love the romantic and picturesque atmosphere of the square in the summertime!

22. Piazza Venezia

piazza in rome piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia is one of the best things to do in Rome in July.

Take the time to admire the imposing Vittoriano monument (Altar of the Fatherland) which dominates the square and climb up to its terraces for a breathtaking view of Rome city center.

July evenings bring a cooler and more comfortable climate . It’s the perfect time to walk through the bustling streets and enjoy Piazza Venezia’s unique vibe.

23. Appian Way

Appian Way Regional park in Rome

Have you ever heard of Via Appia Antica?

Appian Way is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome in October. The autumnal colors here are mesmerizing.

Don’t hesitate to rent a bike or take a walk to truly appreciate the road's historic significance. Stretching into the Roman countryside, this ancient road is lined with ruins, catacombs and lush greenery. October's mild weather is perfect for outdoor activities!

Don't forget to visit the Catacombs of San Callisto or San Sebastiano to immerse yourself deeper into early Christian Rome.

24. Walking Tiber River At Night

st peter’s basilica ticket

Wondering about the best things to do in Rome at night?

The Tiber River is one of the most romantic places in Rome after sunset. The pathway beside the river gets a whole new face as the city lights reflect off the water.

Start your walk from the Ponte Sant'Angelo, where you can enjoy stunning views of Castel Sant'Angelo lit up against the night sky, and meander towards Trastevere.

A great nocturnal journey to see Rome from a different perspective. Don’t forget to stop at one of the riverside bars or restaurants for a nightcap or a gelato!

25. Day Trips from Rome

facts about rome pompeii

Taking a day trip from Rome is a fantastic option if you have extra time—especially if you're searching for the best things to do in Rome on a Sunday.

The capital city surrounds itself with extraordinary natural and historical sites which are great for a day trip. Go walk through the ancient streets of Pompeii, savor a traditional Tuscan lunch amidst rolling hills or cruise along the stunning Amalfi coast…

The options are endless! If you’re looking for this kind of Sunday adventure, we would recommend you to book your tours in advance as Pompeii and Mount Vesuvio (see prices here) , Tuscan Countryside (tickets here) and the Almafi coast and Positano are amongst the most touristic sites in Italy.

26. Spanish Steps

Things to do in Rome

Between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, go enjoy climbing some of the most famous stairs in the world.

The Spanish Steps are one of the best things to do in Rome in August to enjoy the summer sun. At the top, the Trinità dei Monti church awaits.

But even if August is a great time to visit, it’s also a crowded period.

So visit early in the morning to enjoy the steps before the day's heat and crowds set in. From the top, you’ll have access to one of the most beautiful views of the Eternal City.

27. Jewish Ghetto

Visiting tips Jewish museum Rome

The Jewish Ghetto is one of the best things to do in Rome in December.

Prepare yourself to dive into the rich history and culture of Rome's Jewish community , the oldest in Europe, without the crowds of summer. With its narrow lanes and traditional restaurants, this historic quarter offers a total immersion.

Be sure to visit the Great Synagogue of Rome and join in a guided walking tour to learn about the area's history.

You’ll also get the chance to sample traditional Jewish-Roman dishes. Try out the artichokes alla giudia, they’re a delight!

28. Piazza Del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo in Rome near museum

Piazza del Popolo is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome in winter thanks to its magical vibe during the cooler months.

Framed by its iconic churches and the ancient Egyptian obelisk at its center, this expansive square provides a wonderful decor for winter walks under the crisp and clear skies of Rome. Wrap up warmly and take the time to explore the surrounding areas.

There you’ll find the beautiful Santa Maria del Popolo Church , home to works by Caravaggio. We would also advise you to climb the Pincio Hill for a stunning view of the city!

29. Trastevere

Walking Trastevere Rome looking for hotels

Amongst the best free things to do in Rome, we would never recommend enough Trastevere .

This historical neighborhood boasts medieval architecture, dynamic piazzas, nice hotels , and many cafes and restaurants. If you’re looking for the best local things to do in Rome, then you just found the perfect place.

30. Campo de’ Fiori

3 days in rome campo dei fiori

In autumn, Campo de’ Fiori square bursts into life each morning with vendors offering fresh produce, flowers, and local delicacies.

This is why a visit to this square can easily be one of the best activities in Rome in November. It's the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the daily life of Romans!

As evening falls, Campo de’ Fiori transforms into a vibrant social hub. Settle into one of the bars or restaurants and savor Roman cuisine and wine.

Best Things to Do In Rome for Art And Museum Lovers

Rome brims with some of the world's most renowned galleries, ancient sculptures, and Renaissance and Baroque art masterpieces.

Art lovers, you’ll absolutely love what the capital city has to offer.

31. Borghese Gallery

Best things to do in Rome Borghese Gallery

As home to one of the world’s greatest private art collections, the Borghese Gallery is the 9th most visited tourist attractions in Italy . Close to 500,000 people visit the gallery in a beautiful villa set in the expansive Borghese Garden every year.

You should book in advance to visit the Borghese Gallery. You ask why? Well, visitors to the Borghese Gallery are limited to 360 at a time in 2-hourly slots. To avoid disappointment, it’s essential to book your Villa Borghese tickets well in advance. Get your Borghese Gallery skip the line tickets here.

32. Vatican Museums

Best things to do in Rome Museum Rome

The Vatican City is often referred to as the “Museum of Museums” or the Pope’s Museums. They house the extensive collections of art, archaeology, and ethno-anthropology gathered by different Popes over the centuries.

Visitors to the Vatican Museums also get to see some of the Apostolic Palace’s magnificent artistically significant rooms. The highlight, for sure, is the famous Sistine Chapel (see below).

If you don’t have much time to see all the Rome tourist attractions (although technically the Vatican, as an autonomous state, isn’t part of Rome) you simply must plan ahead.

We recommend booking your ticket ( on this website ) at least a week in advance during the busy tourist seasons. If not, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position where no tickets are available during the period of your Rome stay.

33. Sistine Chapel

Best things to do in Rome Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo created several masterpieces, but the Sistine Chapel is considered to be one of his best, if not the best. He spent four years, from 1508 to 1512, painting the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. It’s mainly the prospect of seeing this beautiful artwork that drives millions of visitors through the Vatican Museum.

If the Sistine Chapel is the main reason for your visit to the Vatican Museum, you most definitely don’t want to be stuck in queues at the entrance. Get there quickly by buying your skip-the-line ticket more than a week in advance. Better still, avoid the crowds by booking an early access Vatican Museums tour (also skip the line) – take a look here. 

34. Capitoline Hill and Museums

Capitoline Hill Rome

The world’s oldest public museum is on Capitoline Hill and dates to 1471. A Rome travel guide must include the two grand pallazi facing each other across the Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitol Square) between the two peaks of Capitoline Hill.

The square and the buildings flanking it were designed by none other than Michelangelo.

Must see artifacts in the Capitoline Museums include the bronze she-wolf which is Rome’s emblem, a statue of Pope Urban VIII by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, as well as a remarkable collection of paintings by famous artists such as Caravaggio and Tintoretto.

Getting there : Most Rome public buses go around the Piazza Venezia which is right at the Capitoline Museums. Or you could take the Metro to the Colosseum and walk there along the side of the Roman Forum (about 10 minutes).

35. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Villa Doria Pamphili visiting

The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is the perfect place if you are looking for the best things to do in Rome on a rainy day.

It offers shelter from the weather alongside its stunning art collection. Nestled in the heart of Rome, this palace houses one of the city’s richest private art collections. You’ll find some works by Raphael , Caravaggio, and Velázquez , among others.

Take your time to explore the opulent rooms and galleries and don’t hesitate to take the audio guide to get some insights into the history of the art and the aristocratic residence.

Religious Sites

From the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica and the grandeur of the Pantheon to the relaxed atmosphere of Santa Maria Maggiore, discover these holy sites and dive into Rome's deep religious heritage.

36. St Peter’s Basilica

churches in Rome St Peter's Basilica

No Rome travel guide is complete without the inclusion of the Vatican even though, as the smallest independent state in Europe , it’s not really a part of Rome. Surrounded by the eternal city, the Vatican City is home to around 1,000 people of which the Pope is the most famous.

The top attractions in the Vatican City’s surface area of 0,44 km² are the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, as well as St Peter’s Square and St Peter’s Basilica.

Until recently the largest church in the world, the most impressive part of Basilica is the huge dome whose design was started by Michelangelo and completed by Carlo Maderno in 1614. Art highlights inside include Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s St Peter’s Baldachin, The Pietà by Michelangelo and the statue of St Peter on his throne.

Entry to St Peter’s is free. However, unless you visit in winter, you can expect to wait in the admission line for around 45 minutes due to strict security checks at the entrance.

Once again, you can plan ahead and save precious time by buying skip-the-line tickets – St. Peter’s Basilica with Dome Climb. You should also take note that some areas within the church are only accessible with special tickets or on a guided tour .

Getting there : Getting to the Vatican is easy by bus, metro, taxi or on foot. Buses 64, 62, 40 and 81 stop within an easy walking distance from the Vatican. Or you could take the Metro line A and get off at Cipro (closer to the Vatican museum) or Ottaviano (closer to St Peter’s Square).

One of the best things to do in Rome at Christmas is to visit Basilica and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

37. Basilica of Saint John Lateran

churches in Rome St John Lateran Basilica

As the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran houses sacred relics and stunning works of art.

It really is a must-visit if you’re interested in the spiritual heritage of Rome. Don’t hesitate to join in a paid tour to fully appreciate the basilica's history, architecture, and its role within the Christian community. Or simply get an entry ticket for €10.

38. Santa Maria Maggiore

trastevere rome

It’s one of the major basilicas in Rome. Santa Maria Maggiore is among the best things to do in Rome for young adults looking to know more about religion, history and art.

Known for its breathtaking mosaics dating back to the 5th century, the monument takes some time to visit. So don't rush your visit and take the time to absorb every detail of the mosaics.

A guided tour for €25 will probably enhance your understanding and appreciation of this historic site. Or simply get an entry ticket for €7.50.

Best Things to Do In Rome for Foodies

Rome invites you to a culinary journey like no other! Sample authentic Roman dishes , participate in a cooking class or join in on a food tour through the local markets…

Food lovers will for sure fall in love with Rome’s culinary culture.

39. Eat Gelato

rome restaurants gelato rome

Prepare yourself for a quintessential Roman experience! With artisanal gelaterias scattered throughout the city, you’ll have access to a range of classic and innovative flavors.

We’re pretty sure you’re about to eat the best ice cream of your life! Seek out the gelaterias that prioritize quality ingredients and traditional methods.

You’ll be able to recognize them by their seasonal flavors and the absence of bright and artificial colors. Pistachio, hazelnut and ricotta with fig are amongst the most traditional flavors.

40. Rooftop Bars In Rome

rooftop bar rome

Get a new and unique perspective of the city. Rome boasts many rooftop bars with panoramic views.

Some luxurious terraces overlook historical landmarks and some hidden rooftops are nestled atop boutique hotels. Each of them provides their own special glimpse into the Eternal City's grandeur.

We would advise you to make a reservation around sunset , when the city's ancient stones and baroque domes are bathed in a golden glow…

41. Roman Street Markets

It’s probably one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Italian culture and way of life. Campo de' Fiori, Porta Portese flea market…

Each Roman market has its very own vibe. It’s a great way to enjoy the local cuisine and craftsmanship.

Start visiting the markets early to catch the freshest produce and the best bargains and don't hesitate to sample the street food and chat with local vendors for a truly immersive experience.

42. Pizza & Pasta

Pasta in Rome

If we had to choose only one food to try out during your Roman trip, this would undoubtedly be Italian pizza or pasta.

Amongst the best things to do in Rome in March is the food tour. Rome’s streets are still quiet and the climate begins to warm.

The conditions are perfect to go from one restaurant to another. Here you’ll have to venture beyond the tourist spots to where the locals eat.

Few Things to Know Before You Go to Rome

Planning things to do in Rome

Before you head to Rome, here are a few practical tips to keep in mind, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable experience during your visit.

Best Time to Visit Rome

Rome is pretty much a year-round destination, depending on what your preference is. Spring and autumn (March-May and September-November) are the best times to visit Rome in pleasant, mild temperatures.

If you don’t like crowds and queuing, then the winter months outside the Christmas holidays are a good time for the visit. The summer months of July and August can be hot and busy. Then again, there’s a special charm to long summer evenings in Rome.

Visiting Rome with Kids

Filled with interactive museums, sprawling parks and historical sites that spark imagination and wonder, Rome is an absolute delight for families.

To make the most of your family trip, we offer tailored travel guides on visiting Rome with toddlers , Guide on visiting Rome with kids , and Rome with teens. There you’ll find activities ideas suited to each age group.

Restaurant Charges

While tipping in Rome is not expected because a service charge is mostly included in your bill, there are some other restaurant charges you should be aware of.

A cover charge (coperto) may be charged for the use of cutlery, salt, etc. However, this is illegal in Lazio where Rome is situated. Also, be aware that you may be charged extra for bread (pane).

Top Annual Events in Rome

  • 21 April – Rome’s birthday – “Born” in 753 BC, Rome celebrates its birthday in great fashion with costumed processions and gladiator fighting at historical sites.
  • Holy Week & Easter – Especially the Saturday before Palm Sunday when St Peter’s Square is packed full of people for the open-air Mass.
  • Carnival in February/early March – 2 weeks of dressing up and having fun parties before Lent.
  • Festa della Repubblica on 2 June – This national holiday commemorates the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946. In Rome, you’ll be able to attend a grand military parade along Via dei Fori Imperiali, attended by the President of the Republic, as well as a spectacular aerial display by the Frecce Tricolori.
  • Estate Romana (Roman Summer) June-September – A season filled with cultural events, outdoor concerts, cinema under the stars and various performances set against the backdrop of Rome's most beautiful landmarks. The city comes alive with activities for all ages.
  • Christmas Markets in December – Throughout December, Rome transforms with festive lights and Christmas markets, especially in Piazza Navona. It’s a great time to enjoy holiday decorations, traditional food and find artisanal gifts.

Roma Tourist Taxes

A tourist tax is levied on travelers staying in Rome. The amount depends on the accommodation class.

For example, the tax per night per adult in a 3-star hotel is €6 while those staying in a 5-star hotel will pay €10. Children under 10 don’t pay tourist taxes in Rome.

How to Avoid Crowds

The best time in Rome to avoid the crowds and long entrance lines in Rome is to visit in winter (outside the Christmas and New Year’s holidays). Even then it may be a good idea to book your tickets in advance to minimize time spent in the cold winter air.

If you visit at any other time, and especially between June and September , you will be so happy you planned in advance when you arrive at a busy Rome attraction with your pre-purchased skip the line ticket in hand.

Rome Passes to Fully Enjoy the Top Attractions

Best things to do in Rome roma pass

There are various Rome sightseeing passes designed to suit different interests and itineraries.

They are well worth considering if you don’t want to miss out on the attractions that are a must see in Rome.

Is the Roma Pass Worth Buying in Advance?

When planning the best things to do in Rome in advance, you may wonder whether the Roma Pass is worth buying ?

The 48-hour Roma Pass includes free public transport and entry into two museums or archaeological sites, with discounts to more.

When doing your planning, you should consider how much time you have and which of the Rome attractions are a must-see in your book. Sometimes it’s better to buy individual tickets with skip the line features or even a tour with a guide which includes fast-track access.

Rome City Pass (Rome Tourist Card) – Best for All Must-See in Rome

Rome City Pass (or Rome Tourist Card )– A good option if it’s your first time in Rome.

The Rome City Pass includes entrance to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum and Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. The Rome City Pass can be bought online (check here) from €89 per adult.

Omnia Card – A very comprehensive 3-day Rome sightseeing pass that includes public transport in Rome, entrance to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, 2 free entrances from the Roma Pass list, official audio guide to St. Peter's Basilica, and more. Click here for all the features and to buy it online from €149.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the eternal city with our handy Rome travel guides.

Experiencing the top must-see in Rome has never been easier with different sightseeing passes and fast track admission tickets that can conveniently be bought online before your visit.

Final Words about the Best Things to Do in Rome

Take a moment to unwind and carefully craft your itinerary while considering the best things to see and do in Rome that resonate with your preferences.

We all have different vibes, and for me, visiting the Colosseum (all tickets here) , enjoying some good gelato, exploring Trastevere's narrow streets, and grabbing a drink at a rooftop bar in Rome hit the spot. But if you're the type to see and do it all, the guide above should give you some ideas to plan your trip.

Or you could check out these Rome city tours on tiqets.com and let the travel guides lead the way. Enjoy a hassle-free guided tour without the need to worry about planning.

Fanny

Fanny is a music and travel lover who has been visiting Rome since 2012. She is the founder and main editor of the Roma Pass blog and she like to share the best things to do in Rome.

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Grazie! Will check out!

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She never hides her years, but still wears them well: after all, Rome is the Eternal City

A walk through the streets of Rome is a stroll through History with a capital H. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it offers and almost demands endless new discoveries, thanks to the enormity of its artistic heritage. As a matter of fact, it is home to two capitals in one city: the Italian capital and the home of the Pope in the Vatican, a place of universal pilgrimage to St Peter's Square.

What to see in Rome

  • Art & Culture
  • Must-see places
  • Surroundings

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2 days in Rome: the itinerary

rome sustainable tourism hero

Rome is the perfect destination for sustainable tourism

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Rome: the irresistible allure of the Eternal City

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Rome: The Imperial Fora

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Rome in 7 stages: on the sets of the TV series Skam Italia, the everyday life of people in Rome

Exclusive aperitifs in Rome's most evocative locations

Exclusive aperitifs in Rome's most evocative locations

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At the MAXXI museum in Rome, art combines sustainability and inclusion

The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, wonders second to none in the world

The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, wonders second to none in the world

Michelangelo's Moses at San Pietro in Vincoli

Michelangelo's Moses at San Pietro in Vincoli

The 'great beauty' of Palazzo Sacchetti, in the heart of Rome, set of the Oscar-winning film by Paolo Sorrentino

The 'great beauty' of Palazzo Sacchetti, in the heart of Rome, set of the Oscar-winning film by Paolo Sorrentino

maxxi rome matter data

At MAXXI in Rome, data becomes matter

The works by Caravaggio in Rome

The works by Caravaggio in Rome

Colosseum

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basilica di san pietro

Basilica of Saint Peter

Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill)

Campidoglio

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

pantheon

Borghese Gallery and Museum

Jewish Ghetto of Rome

Jewish Ghetto of Rome

Trastevere

Campo de' Fiori

Trips into the countryside starting from Rome

Trips into the countryside starting from Rome

The parks of Rome. Ideas and suggestions for full-immersion in nature in the heart of the Eternal City

The parks of Rome. Ideas and suggestions for full-immersion in nature in the heart of the Eternal City

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Castelli Romani Regional Park

Castelli Romani Regional Park

Seven sites of art, history and culture just one hour from Rome

Seven sites of art, history and culture just one hour from Rome

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Murals and graffiti colour villages and towns

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Golden Gala

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Romaeuropa Festival

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Rock in Roma 2024

2024 ittf world masters table tennis championships.

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The irresistible allure of the Eternal City

The beauty of Rome and its 3,000 years of existence is that it always knows how to surprise, including with unusual places to explore, such as the Coppedé Quarter, the Orange Garden or the Jewish Ghetto, some of the oldest in the world. To be immersed in the Roman way of life, you of course also have to sample the typical cuisine of the capital, and it never disappoints; after all, humble but delicious dishes such as cacio e pepe, carbonara, and gricia were born here.

1600X1600_fontana_di_trevi_roma.jpg

She never hides her years, but still wears them well: after all, Rome is the Eternal City. A walk through the streets of Rome is a stroll through History with a capital H. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it offers and almost demands endless new discoveries, thanks to the enormity of its artistic heritage. As a matter of fact, it is home to two capitals in one city: the Italian capital and the home of the Pope in the Vatican, a place of universal pilgrimage to St Peter's Square.

Viterbo

Viterbo and surroundings The province of Viterbo lies in the Tuscia region, in northern Lazio. Renowned for its natural beauty dotted with Etruscan and Roman remains, this area also offers villages and towns perched atop hills. You can begin your exploration in Viterbo, the City of Popes. After admiring the majestic Palazzo dei Papi and the San Pellegrino quarter, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the spa. Among the local villages, we recommend visiting Bagnaia and the magnificent Villa Lante with its Italian-style gardens, the medieval Caprarola with its impressive Palazzo Farnese, and the abandoned villages of Celleno and Civita di Bagnoregio, “the dying town”. Not forgetting Sutri, perched on a tuff cliff. Further down is ancient Sutri, with a Roman amphitheatre and necropolis. Be sure to visit Bomarzo, famous for its Sacred Grove, nicknamed the Park of the Monsters, with sculptures of mythological and grotesque creatures. For nature walks, check out the volcanic Lake Vico, a nature reserve surrounded by the Monti Cimini hills, or the shores of Lake Bolsena. To explore the area’s Etruscan origins, head to Tarquinia. Today it is a medieval village, but it preserves splendid Etruscan treasures, like the Monterozzi Necropolis with tombs cut into the rock decorated with frescoes.

Rieti

In the footsteps of the Sabatini In the most authentic heart of Lazio, the province of Rieti stretches between rivers and lakes in a predominantly mountainous territory, surrounded by the Sabini and Reatini Mountains. Located in the north-east of the region, it borders, along the Tiber, the province of Viterbo, the capital and the region of Umbria. Unspoilt nature amidst parks and protected areas, history and ancient traditions, Franciscan sanctuaries, fortresses and castles come together in a province whose origins go back to the times of the ancient Italic people of the Sabines. Visiting the towns and villages that characterise the area is an experience not to be missed. Take a tour around the town of Sabina and be sure to visit the Abbey of Farfa, an ancient monastery named after the nearby river Farfarus. The regional capital, Rieti, is also called “the navel of Italy” due to its geographical location. Dominated by the summit of Terminillo, it is an excellent tourist destination particularly appreciated for its tranquillity and beauty. Among the monuments and main places of interest is the Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Once you have finished exploring the surroundings, refresh yourself with traditional cuisine. Typical dishes include spelt with Leonessa truffles, strangozzi alla reatina and sagne scandrigliesi.

Latina

Testimony of 20th-century Italy The city of Latina lies in the heart of the Pontine Plain. Once known as Littoria, it still boasts rationalist architecture, bearing witness to the history of 20th-century Italy. The most iconic example is Palazzo M, built in the shape of Mussolini’s initial. For panoramic views of the city, you can climb the 32-metre-high civic tower. The province offers unexpected surprises: medieval villages, cliffs, caves and the beautiful Circeo National Park — what it lacks in size it makes up for in flourishing flora, fauna and architectural gems, like the ruins of the Villa di Domiziano. Near the capital are the towns of Formia and Gaeta. The latter still boasts an intact medieval historic centre (Gaeta Vecchia) and the Angevin-Aragonese Castle. We also recommend visiting the town of Sperlonga, on the Ulysses Riviera, surrounded by crystal-clear waters, with caves and breath-taking views around every corner. Don’t miss the Gardens of Ninfa, where plants grow among the ruins of an abandoned city. From the mainland, you can reach the Pontine Islands in a couple of hours by ferry. Ventotene, Ponza, Palmarola, Gavi, Zannone and Santo Stefano offer crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches and wild nature.

Frosinone

A thousand-year-old city, among ancient Roman ruins and traces of papal history Between Rome and Naples, Frosinone is a city with a history dating back thousands of years. Traces of its glorious past can be found at the Roman Amphitheatre built in the 1st-2nd century AD, the town’s archaeological museum and the Tomb of Sant’Angelo in Maniano. The province, known as Ciociaria, is home to countless picturesque villages steeped in history, as well as natural areas such as Lake Canterno, also known as the “ghost lake”, due to its karst origin dating back to the early 19th century. We also recommend stopping by the Monti Simbruini Regional Park, a protected natural area where mountains, majestic panoramas, valleys and rivers reign supreme. Fumone, home to the Rocca Longhi De-Paolis castle, is famous not only for having served as the prison and place of death of Pope Celestine V, but also for its extraordinary, 800-metre-high hanging garden, the highest in Europe. Another location closely linked to papal history is Anagni, remembered in books for the famous, humiliating “slap” inflicted by Philip IV of France on Pope Boniface VIII in 1303. Ferentino is also worth visiting, with its spectacular remains of megalithic walls, which have been attributed to the Cyclopes due to their sheer scale.

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Rome Actually

101 Fantastic Things To Do In Rome

Photo of author

There are so many things to do in Rome that a lifetime would barely be enough to explore it all. We drew the most complete and detailed Rome bucket list you can find online including several sections to help you navigate and choose what type of trip you want to plan.

So we have the things to do for first-time visitors, what to see in Rome if it’s not your first trip, secret spots to discover, the best churches often lesser-known and also what to do in Rome if you are a food lover.

This is meant to be an exhaustive list of Rome’s highlights that we continually update, but if you are spending only three days in Rome , you will need to narrow down your options depending on the area you want to visit, your preferences, whether you like art, history or go on a foodie jaunt.

Of course, if you can stay longer, all the better. We have included so many places to visit that even if you have a week in Rome , you will never get bored and run out of things to do. Our list includes something for everybody, whether it’s your first trip to Rome, or second, or your fifth. Enjoy the ride and start planning!

Table of Contents

Unmissable things to do in Rome for first-time visitors

Impossible not to include it in your Italy itinerary , especially if it’s your first time in the country, Rome has something for everyone. Whether you are into ancient history, Renaissance aesthetics, contemporary art, or even industrial archaeology, rest assured that in Rome, you will have a great time.

Image: Visiting the Roman Coliseum is one of the first things to do in Rome

See the Colosseum, one of the first places to visit in Rome

An iconic symbol of the city, no first trip to Rome is complete without a stop at the Colosseum . Flavium Amphitheatre was one of the main places where Romans spent their leisure time. Shows where gladiators fought with other gladiators or wild animals were some of the favorites in ancient Rome.

Today you can visit the Colosseum by yourself or, if you want to access also the arena and the dungeons, you can do so only by booking a private tour .

Walk around the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, one of the must-see places in Rome

With the same ticket to the Colosseum valid for two days, you can also access the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This is the heart of the ancient city of Rome. You will see where public life took place, important temples, markets, emperors’ villas, and the altar where Julius Ceasar was cremated.

The Forum is very big and there are many things to see, so if you want to visit the most important places, book a tour to be sure you don’t skip any.

Discover the Domus Aurea

The urban villa was built by Emperor Nero after the fire that devastated Rome in 64 AD and was destroyed after Nero’s death to give back the land to the Roman people. After years of digging and renovation work, today we can visit the surviving areas, which reveal the opulence and luxury Nero lived with.

With gardens, pavilions for feasts and relaxation, woods, vineyards, and a little lake, the villa occupied a huge part of today’s city center, including the Palatine Hill, part of the Esquilino Hill, and where now is the Colosseum.

Image of Rome's Fori Imperiali

Walk along the Imperial Fora

Started by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, it was the center of political life. It was built in about 150 years and shows the fora of several emperors including Augustus and Trajan, as well as several pagan Roman temples.

This is one of those places where you will almost certainly end up walking past even if you are staying for only one day in Rome as it’s the long road that goes from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum.

Check out the best hotels near the Colosseum to start bright and early in the morning!

The Baths of Caracalla among the best things to see in Rome

The Caracalla Baths are one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Rome. A large complex of ancient thermal baths, you can see the mosaic floor, the structure where the different areas were organized as well as the original statues and decorations. In summer, the Baths of Caracalla are used for opera shows.

Visit the Circus Maximus

With a size of 600 mt in length and 140 mt wide, the Circus Maximus was the largest building devoted to public shows. Here they used to run competitions with the biga chariots and now it’s an archaeological area possible to visit. It’s also often used for concerts (always for New Year’s Eve) and cultural events like Rome’s birthday on April 21st. Check out the official website for more info.

Image of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica one of the most popular Rome tourist attractions

Built on the site of Caligula’s Circus, the basilica we see today is not the original, which was much bigger. Later expanded by Nero, the ancient Roman circus is where Saint Peter was martyred. Today you can see his tomb by booking your entrance to the necropolis underneath the church.

Packed with amazing artwork, some of the most important things to see inside St. Peter’s Basilica are Michelangelo’s statue La Pietà, the dome (cupola) and the Baroque-style St. Peter’s Baldachin.

Image of the Vatican Museums

Visit the Vatican Museums

Among the unmissable things to see in Rome are the Vatican Museums. A large gallery displaying some seven centuries of artwork donated by world leaders or commissioned by the popes, some of the most important parts are the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of the Tapestries, of the Maps, and of the Candelabra.

TIP: Want to make the most out of your visit and avoid the crowds? Check out some of the best tours to the Vatican Museums: Pristine Sistine Early Entrance and Night Tour with Sistine Chapel .

Explore more of the Vatican City

To make your first trip to Rome complete, do devote at least one day to the Vatican City . Here there are many things to see, and if you want to explore it all, one day is not enough. However, you will still need to start somewhere. If you have more time than just visiting St. Peter’s Square and Basilica and the Vatican Museums, there are so many more places to see in the Vatican . To delve deeper, you can explore the Vatican Gardens and the Roman cemetery below the Basilica .

TIP: To skip the lines in the Vatican’s attractions such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, the only way is to book a private Vatican tour .

Climb the Spanish Steps, one of the most famous Rome attractions

Taken as a bench to sit, eat and drink by many, the Spanish Steps is actually an important historical Roman landmark and one of the top Rome attractions.

Built between 1723 and 1726 from a project by Roman architect Francesco De Sanctis, they lead to the Trinità dei Monti church on top of the stairs. While on the bottom, Piazza di Spagna, you can see the beautiful Barcaccia fountain by Pietro Bernini (Gian Lorenzo’s father), and a huge array of exclusive and expensive boutique stores.

Image: Light in the Roman Pantheon.

Visit the Pantheon, one of the first places to visit in Rome

Temple devoted to all gods, the Pantheon is a true masterpiece of ancient architecture impossible not to include in your Rome bucket list.

Founded by Marco Vipsanio Agrippa in 27 BC, it was rebuilt between 120 and 124 AD during the rule of Emperor Augustus after a fire damaged the original construction. Its famous cupola, with a hole in the middle to allow the light in, is still now one of the biggest in the world.

Image: Piazza Navona in Rome Centro Storico

Piazza Navona, one of the top Rome tourist attractions

One of the most famous squares and Rome highlights, Piazza Navona has the elliptical shape of the Domitian Stadium on top of which it was built. In the middle is one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome, the Four Rivers Fountain by architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini, standing in front of Sant’Agnese in Agone church by Francesco Borromini.

Image of Campo dei Fiori in Rome

Campo de’ Fiori, one of the main things to do in Rome

Home to a daily morning market, Piazza Campo de’ Fiori is one of the most famous Rome tourist attractions popular day and night. In the middle of the square is the tall statue of Giordano Bruno, the Dominican friar burnt at the stake early 17th century. All around the piazza are bars, restaurants, bakeries, and shops.

Largo Argentina

This is where Julius Ceasar was killed and now there is one of Rome’s largest and most famous cat colonies. Visit this ancient sacred area and explore one of the most underestimated tourist attractions in Rome. This is such as busy and central hub that whether you are staying 2 days in Rome or one week , chances are you are going to visit or even only walk across Largo Argentina more than once.

Image: hadrian mausoleum one of the best sights in rome

Discover the Hadrian Mausoleum

Built as the funerary mausoleum of emperor Hadrian, Castel Sant’Angelo has served several purposes throughout the centuries. From residence to papal stronghold to prison, it’s one of those Rome attractions that are impossible to miss.

Explore the Jewish Quarter

A stone’s throw from Largo Argentina is the Jewish Quarter. While you will probably end up here for its many great restaurants, it’s also worth wandering around its alleys, seeing the Turtle Fountain and the archaeological site of the Portico di Ottavia , a porch built under the rule of Augustus and devoted to his sister Ottavia.

Definitely one of the top things to do in Rome, whether it’s summer or winter, is to enjoy an artisan gelato. Romans have become very demanding when it comes to gelato, and my suggestion is to prefer all-natural, authentic artisan gelaterias. How to tell them apart from fake, low-quality products? Read everything in my complete guide to the best gelato in Rome .

Wander around Trastevere, one of the places to see in Rome for food and trendy nightlife

One of the most famous Rome neighborhoods among tourists, gentrified Trastevere was once the place of the working class. Narrow alleys, quaint shops and restaurants (some traditional many touristy), lovely piazzas. Here, don’t miss Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica, Santa Cecilia Basilica and Villa Farnesina.

Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica

Possibly the most famous basilica in the Trastevere neighborhood, Santa Maria in Trastevere is thought to be the oldest official Catholic church in Rome, and for sure the first one officially devoted to the Holy Mary. On its outside facade, you can admire beautiful mosaics.

Image f Santa Cecilia in Trastevere Basilica

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere Basilica

This is not just a church. Like many other places to see in Rome, the undergrounds of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere Basilica hide another world. Once you visit the modern church, go down to see the gorgeous crypt and down again to visit an ancient Roman domus and insula.

Visit the Tiber Island, what to do in Rome for history and food

An ancient man-made island in the middle of the Tiber river in Rome city center, the ship-shaped Isola Tiberina is one of the top places to visit in Rome for first-timers. You can get to the Tiber island on foot from either Trastevere or the Jewish Ghetto. Today is home to the San Bartolomeo church, the 16th-century hospital Fatebenefratelli and several bars and restaurants. In summer, it becomes the island of the cinema, a popular hangout to watch movies outdoors.

Walk across Rome’s oldest bridge

What to do in Rome if, like me, stepping over ancient history excites you. Ponte Fabricio bridge connects the Jewish Ghetto right from in front of Rome’s synagogue to the Tiber island. Built in 62 BC by street keeper Lucius Fabricius, it’s Rome’s oldest operative bridge that kept its original structure.

Explore Rome’s history at the Capitoline Museums

This is Rome’s main museum, where you will discover the history of the city, how it was founded, both myth and reality. Displaying a rich collection of artwork from ancient Roman times, there is also a fascinating section on Etruscan art and daily life.

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Hands-off the most impressive among Rome’s many fountains, this Baroque masterpiece stands in all its huge glory and has been the setting of movies, videos, countless pictures and also polemics when people just can’t resist and take a dip in its waters. Do you want to be sure to come back to Rome? Throw a coin backward in the Trevi Fountain and you will.

Take a picture of Piazza Venezia and Vittoriano Complex

The Vittoriano Complex is the national monument in Piazza Venezia named after the first king of unified Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. It hosts the permanent exhibition devoted to the Italian Risorgimento , a term indicating the series of wars, battles, intrigues, and clashes that ended with the unification of the country under one rule, Piedmont’s Savoia royal dynasty.

Also called “Homeland Altar”, it was built between 1885 and 1911 and since 1923 it hosts the body of the “Unknown Soldier”. Today they often organize several exhibitions on different topics, be it social, cultural, or historic.

Test yourself at the Mouth of Truth

This is a big sculpture with a man’s face located in the courtyard of Santa Maria in Cosmedin church. Probably an ancient manhole, it became one of the top things to do in Rome because of the movie Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck and the legend according to which the mouth would bite the hand of those who don’t speak the truth.

Saint John Lateran Basilica

The most important among the papal basilicas, Saint John in Lateran is one of the top places to see in Rome. The first official Catholic, it’s Rome’s cathedral and where the pope exerts his duties as the city’s bishop. Located in the Caelian Hill on the land of the Lateran Roman family, it was confiscated by Nero because of a conspiracy against him. Of stunning beauty and rich in artwork, it’s one of Rome points of interest whether you are religious or not.

Go underground in San Clemente Basilica

One of the best places to visit in Rome to travel through the historical layers of the city. San Clemente Basilica, near the Colosseum, includes a medieval church on modern street level, an early-Christian basilica underneath, and a Mithraic temple and school as well as the Roman mint in the lowest underground level.

Take a peek through the keyhole of Knights of Malta headquarters

This is one of the most famous pictures of Rome. Watching from the keyhole of the Knights of Malta headquarters on the Aventine Hill is one of the fun things to do in Rome. It used to be a hidden gem, but now it’s very popular and you will likely find a bit of a queue. Nevertheless, the view is worth the wait.

Image of Santa Sabina church in Rome

Explore the Aventine Hill

Romantic and incredibly rich in history, Aventine Hill is a treasure trove of places to visit in Rome. The early-Christian Santa Sabina Basilica, the old Santa Prisca Basilica with a Mithra temple in its underground, and the orange-scented Parco Savello, better known as the Garden of the Oranges, are all sights that will keep you busy for a good morning or even the whole day.

Marvel at three Caravaggio paintings at San Luigi dei Francesi

This church is located between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon and it’s worth visiting even only for the being home to three of the Caravaggio paintings in Rome : The Calling of St Matthew (on the left wall), The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (above the altar), and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (on the right wall).

Apart from Saint Louis of the French church, you can find some of his most famous masterpieces in Palazzo Barberini, Galleria Borghese, Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Sant’Agostino Basilica, and the beautiful Santa Maria del Popolo Basilica.

Enjoy the view from the Janiculum Hill

The Janiculum Hill is a favorite spot for a scenic walk surrounded by nature and art. A perfect place to take a break from the city traffic, here you can visit the Aqua Paola Fountain, San Pietro in Mntorio church and see the monument devoted to Garibaldi, active military leader during the battles that brought the Italian unification.

Palazzo Quirinale, what to visit in Rome to combine art and institutions

In the Palace of the President of the Italian Republic, it’s possible to visit the Quirinale palace only by booking at least five days in advance through the official website . Former papal residence, it’s located in the Quirinale Hill and enshrines a huge wealth of artwork.

Take a stroll in Villa Borghese Park

One of the largest and possibly the most famous among Rome’s urban parks, the gorgeous Villa Borghese was the residence of the powerful Borghese family. A green oasis in the city center, it’s packed with attractions and landmarks to visit such as the Galleria Borghese museum (not free entrance), the Lake Garden, several temples, and the beautiful Orangery area. You can also book a Villa Borghese bike tour to visit more of this huge park.

TIP: Make the most of your visit to the park with an expert tour to the Borghese Gallery to view the masterpieces of artists like Caravaggio, Bernini, Raffaello and Canova.

Image of pizza in Rome

Just like gelato, enjoying a great pizza is one of the best things to do in Rome. By the slice, by the pie, as street food or comfortably sitting for dinner. Napoli-style or Roman pinsa, if you are looking for pizza in Rome you can find just about everything.

Take a food tour

The best way to explore Roman cuisine, its traditional dishes and try great restaurants, especially if it’s your first time in the city, it’s with a Rome food tour , such as Taste of Testaccio or Twilight Trastevere with Eating Europe. There are so many food tours of Rome that you will be spoilt for choice.

We recently took a fantastic food tour in Testaccio with Devour Tours and we had plenty of tastings from breakfast all the way to lunch stopping at Mercato Testaccio for scrumptious nibbles.

Try the best historic restaurants

If you are into tradition, some of the top historic restaurants to try in Rome are by all means Armando Al Pantheon , close to the Pantheon, and Felice a Testaccio , both famous for their tonnarelli cacio e pepe pasta and other traditional Roman dishes . Some other names? Checchino dal 1887 and Cesare al Casaletto .

Learn to make pasta and pizza

We all love Rome food, but what if we want to make pasta and pizza for our friends and family back home? Easy, take one of the many pasta-making or pizza-making food tours and you will learn the basics for creating your own delicious dishes.

There are many cooking classes in Rome where you can learn how to make some of the most famous Roman and Italian dishes for your friends and family back home. We recently took a fantastic pasta-making class with Devour Tours and learned to make egg-based fettuccine and a hearty amatriciana sauce from scratch.

Go for a coffee Italian-style

So you are in Italy and want a coffee . Keep in mind that if you simply ask for a coffee ( un caffè, per favore! ), they will deliver a short espresso shot, because this is what Italians expect.

If you ask for a “long coffee” ( un caffè lungo ), you will have the same single espresso with a bit more water in it. If you want the huge cup American style you should just order that, an American coffee ( un caffè americano ), so the barista will understand.

A tip? Have on the counter to pay the basic fee. If you grab a table they can charge whatever is their fee.

Go for an aperitif

Aperitif in Rome is a pre-dinner meal, but since the formula is often 10/15 euro for a drink and unlimited buffet starting from 6.30 pm until around 8 pm, you can totally take it for an early dinner.

Go for a street food tour

Pizza by the slice, supplì, cured meat, gelato, or the famous Trapizzino . Try some of Rome’s street food delicacies in its famous central neighborhoods such as the Jewish Ghetto, Campo de’ Fiori, or Prati area. The best way to do that? With a street food tour led by a local expert , of course.

Enjoy Rome city center by segway…

Explore the city center by segway to see as much as you can without getting tired on board of your segway. I’ve been seeing groups of segway always more often in Rome. If you are short on time and still don’t want to miss the main landmarks, this is a great and eco-friendly way to do it. Click here for more info and the price .

…Or by electric bike

Comfortable, eco-friendly, and time-efficient, you can either rent an electric bike to tour around the top things to see in Rome by yourself or book one of the many tours with a local guide.

Some of the best electric bike tours? An e-bike tour around Rome’s tourist attractions or a tour by night around the best places to see in Rome at twilight. If you are into more hidden gems and less touristy areas, book a fascinating bike tour of the ancient Appian Way with its aqueducts and catacombs.

What to do in Rome if you have already seen the most famous landmarks

Discover ancient roman aqueducts.

The ancient aqueducts are possibly the architectural and engineering feat Rome is most famous for . While many have been destroyed by the vandals and during the several sacks of Rome, we can still see and appreciate great vestiges from these important pipelines.

Some of the best places to see the ruins of ancient aqueducts are Parco degli Acquedotti in the Appian Way south of Rome and Porta Maggiore in the Esquilino neighborhood where many of these pipelines meet.

The ruins of the important Aqua Virgo aqueduct that supplies water to the Trevi Fountain can be seen in a few places around the fountain. These include Vicus Caprarius where is the cistern and the undergrounds of La Rinascente shopping mall in Via del Tritone where multimedia installations explain everything about the ruins and the neighborhood.

Villa Farnesina with Raphael’s frescoes

If you are still wondering what to do in Rome, located in Trastevere is Villa Farnesina, a historical villa today seat of the prestigious Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. A former noble residence, you can visit Villa Farnesina for the wonderful frescoes by great Italian artists, the most famous of which is Raphael. Check out their website for more info.

Go on a foodie adventure

If you have already tried Romand traditional dishes and want something lighter to your digestive system without giving up on taste, go on a foodie adventure. Rome is a fantastic city for foodies, with new restaurants springing up literally every day. Around the city, you will find anything you are looking for, no matter what are your preferences or dietary needs.

Are you vegan? Rome offers a great choice of wonderful vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Do you want to try traditional dishes prepared with a contemporary twist? Do you like the casual atmosphere of a bistro? Rome has something for every palate.

St. Paul Outside the Walls

Located in the Garbatella neighborhood close to Ostiense, the huge St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica gets fewer visitors than it would deserve. Imposing both outside and inside, here is kept the tomb of Saint Paul. In the underground, you can visit a great Roman archaeological site from the oldest complex dating back to the 5th century.

Centrale Montemartini

This is one of the best things to do in Rome if you have already visited the main museums and are looking for more offbeat attractions. The former main power plant in the city, Centrale Montemartini in the Ostiense neighborhood has been turned into a fascinating museum where the machinery that was used to produce electricity stands side by side with ancient Roman statues, mosaics, sarcophagi, and tools.

Museo Nazionale Romano

After the Musei Capitolini, this is the most important museum and one of the best places to visit in Rome to dig deep into its imperial times, art, and history. Located near Termini Station in the Diocletian Baths, it displays a huge collection of objects, tools, and artwork from Ancient Rome.

Palazzo-Galleria Doria Pamphilj, one of the best places to see in Rome to soak in centuries of art

The gorgeous residence of the Doria Pamphilj noble family is a true treasure trove of artwork, majestic beauty, and history of the Roman aristocracy. Conveniently located in Via del Corso, it’s easy to reach and one of the best things to do in Rome to soak in art, luxury, and history.

Rome’s Rose Garden (Roseto Comunale)

Open only for a couple of months a year in Spring, the Roseto Comunale is located between the Circus Maximus and the foot of the Aventine Hill. When it’s in its full blossoming, with its thousands of rose species it makes for a truly heady and scented walk near Rome city center.

See an optical illusion of St. Peter’s dome

It only happens in Via Piccolomini, off Via Aurelia Antica. As soon as you enter, you will find a giant St. Peter’s dome right in front of you. Keep walking and you will notice that the closer you get, the smaller the dome will become.

Go to the Opera

At Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera you can enjoy operas and ballets from the most famous musicians, such as Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Georges Bizet, and more. Check out their official website for more info on shows and the current season.

Quartiere Coppedè

One of the hidden gems in Rome is the quirky Quartiere Coppedè in the Trieste neighborhood. This Liberty-style quarter was designed by visionary Gino Coppedè and shows clear influences from Roman and Greek mythology, shapes of animals, monsters, and fairy tales. You won’t even feel you are in Rome.

Visit the wonderful Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura complex

Not far from Quartiere Coppedè, in the elegant Nomentano neighborhood is a beautiful religious and historical landmark from the 4th century that shows that the art and history in Rome are not limited to inside the Aurelian Walls.

The complex of Sant’Agnese Fuori Le Mura (outside the walls) is worth your time out of the historic center because it includes early-Christian catacombs, the ruins of an ancient Basilica, a more modern church, and the Mausoleum of Santa Costanza, the daughter of emperor Constantine the Great, with the ceiling coated with wonderful mosaics.

John Keats’ House

Located in Piazza di Spagna on the right corner of the Spanish Steps, here is where English poet John Keats spent his last months before dying of tuberculosis at the age of 25. Today his house is a museum that displays sculptures, paintings, objects, and manuscripts of important English intellectuals like Keats, Shelley, and Lord Byron.

Protestant Cemetery

A collection of beautiful statues, Rome’s Non-Catholic Cemetery in the Testaccio area hosts the tombs of many notables like Italian politician and philosopher Antonio Gramsci, Italian writer Andrea Camilleri, and English poet John Keats among others.

Explore Rome underground

One of the most fascinating things to do in Rome is to explore the many layers of the city. Underneath modern churches, you can find early-Christian basilicas, ancient Roman houses, and Mithra temples. Underneath Piazza Navona, you can visit the ruins of Domitian Stadium. Thankfully there are many Rome underground guided tours that show you and explain these hidden sites.

Do a catacombs tour, one of the best things to do in Rome for history lovers

One of the best things to do in Rome if you are after a history and cultural holiday is a catacombs tour. There are so many catacombs in different parts of the city that it’s difficult to visit them all. Some of the most famous are the ones in the ancient Appian Way St. Callixtus and St. Domitilla, the ones in Villa Ada park of Priscilla, and the ones of St. Sebastian. Check out Take Walks underground tour to Rome’s catacombs and crypts .

Discover the Trajan’s Markets

Unlike the name might suggest, Trajan’s Markets were probably not markets as we intend them today. This complex of buildings was adjacent to the Roman Forum and especially linked to the Trajan Forum.

It consisted of different areas, some areas where political “forum” activities took place, others where they managed administrative duties. Located in Via Quattro Novembre, today you can visit the archaeological area, the Museum of the Imperial Fora, and always different temporary exhibitions.

Santa Maria della Scala ancient pharmacy

Located in the trendy and very touristy Trastevere neighborhood is a beautiful hidden gem. The ancient pharmacy of Santa Maria della Scala was founded in the 16th century. Here, the Discalced Carmelite friars create potions, oils, and remedies until 1954. Today it’s open to the public but you need to book.

Visit Rome food markets

There are so many food markets in Rome that during your sightseeing you are most likely to stumble on one or more of them. Some of my favorites? Mercato Testaccio, Mercato Trionfale in Via Andrea Doria, the daily market in Campo de’ Fiori, even though quite touristy, and the smaller farmers’ market in Piazza San Cosimato in Trastevere.

Explore Rome’s street art

There are several neighborhoods spruced up and made colorful by local and international street artists. Some of these are Ostiense , Quadraro and Tor Marancia. Also look for Popstairs, a project by Roman street artist Diavù who painted the face of famous Italian and European actresses on stairwells around Rome. Here is something cool and free to do in Rome .

Visit the Botanic Garden

A magical place between Trastevere and Janiculum Hill, the Botanic Garden is managed by La Sapienza university. Hosting plants from all over the world and areas such as the Japanese garden, the tropical greenhouse and the Mediterranean wood, it’s one of the most fascinating things to see in Rome.

Image of Villa Pamphilj Park in Rome

Villa Doria Pamphilj

The beautiful summer residence of the Pamphilj family, here you can walk, do jogging, use the gym equipment to do some exercise, rent a bike, take your kids to the playground, and have a nice casual lunch in the local bistro.

They often organize cultural events such as the Oriental Festival, the Yoga Festival and more. This is among the Rome activities your kids will love also because there is the lovely Vivi Bistrot where you can order a picnic and spend a whole day relaxing, jogging, and having fun.

Enter a movie set in Cinecittà

Many movies have been shot in Cinecittà, south Rome, and not only Italian ones. I even visited the set of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Obviously, in Cinecittà cinema studios, you will see documents, pictures, objects and memorabilia related mainly to Italian movie production with big names like Fellini, Zeffirelli, Luchino Visconti and actors like Totò and Claudia Cardinale. But also other international names, especially actors who have worked here like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton. Check the official website to know how to visit.

Take a day trip

There are many day trips you can take from Rome . Starting from the medieval towns of Viterbo and Bracciano to the Castelli Romani, in towns like Castel Gandolfo and Rocca di Papa, you can either go by public transport or book a guided tour.

Not to miss if you have the time is a day in Tivoli , home to two UNESCO sites, the Villa of Hadrian and the Villa d’Este.

A little farther but still possible to do in one day is visit Terni and its beautiful Cascate delle Marmore waterfalls.

If you are going around to explore the surroundings, here are some cool road trip games for couples .

Explore Rome’s most international neighborhood

Walking around the Esquilino area next to Termini station you will feel anywhere but Rome. From the Esquilino market selling anything international, from food to clothes, to international restaurants and fast foods to shops displaying products from literally every corner of the planet, here you can find pretty much anything. Afghan jewelry, Chinese tea sets, and blends, Caribbean foods, Indian/Pakistani restaurants. You name it, you will find it.

Image of Horti Sallustiani in Rome

See the biggest park of Ancient Rome

Unfortunately today you can only see a small piece because without prior booking a private tour because it’s private property, but Horti Sallustiani (Piazza Sallustio 21) was the largest park of ancient Rome. Once a lush garden populated by fountains, thermal baths and temples devoted to nymphs, Horti Sallustiani was a favorite place for Roman leaders such as Julius Ceasar and Vespasian and it’s where emperor Nerva died.

Go to the beach

This is probably best in summer, but also Spring is a nice season for a walk on the beach. You will get to the coast better if you rent a car but some are possible to reach also with public transport, either train or coach. Some of the favorite beaches near Rome? Fregene, Ostia Lido, Fiumicino, Ladispoli, Torvaianica and, a bit further away, Circeo, Sperlonga, Sabaudia and Anzio.

See the Roman town of Ostia Antica

Very easy to reach with a train ride from Ostiense/Porta San Paolo and with a single Atac ticket of 1.50 euro, Ostia Antica is a great sight to include in your Rome sightseeing. An important Roman city for trades and commerce, several diggings have been done recently that brought about new discoveries, including the fact that the city was much bigger even than the famous Pompeii.

Image of the magic door in Rome

Quirky and more unusual things to see in Rome

One of the truly unusual places to see in Rome, the magic door in Piazza Vittorio bears a mysterious past. Also called Porta Alchemica, “Alchemical Door,” it was built in the 17th century by a nobleman who got close to the world of alchemy and science. According to the legend, the mysterious inscriptions decorating the door are the formula to turn a plant into gold. This is definitely what to see in Rome if you are into esoteric history and culture.

Capuchins’ Crypt

The Capuchin Friars’ Crypt displays the bones of some 4,000 friars who died between 1528 and 1870 and is located in the undergrounds of Santa Maria della Concezione church in Via Veneto.

Along with bones, you can also see some mummified friars as well as the skeletons of three nephews of Pope Urbano VIII and Princess Barberini who died very young.

Image of Casina delle Civette in Rome's Villa Torlonia

Casina delle Civette (House of the Owls) in Villa Torlonia

Casina delle Civette , “House of the Owls,” earned its moniker for the presence of two owls on the glass window at the entrance and the obsessive recurring of owl-themed decorations. Worth visiting both inside and outside.

Image of Casino Nobile in Rome's Villa Torlonia

Explore more of Villa Torlonia Park

The Roman residence of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, Villa Torlonia is a relatively small but lovely park in the Nomentano area. You can have a nice walk and visit the Casino Nobile , where Mussolini lived and where he built his bunker for extra security, that today you can visit with a guided tour. Enter the Casino Nobile mansion also for its antiques and neo-classic and contemporary artwork.

Play and learn at the Museum of Light

The games of lights and shades, colorful reflections, optical illusions, and playful mirrors and shadows of the Museum of Light are only some of the things to do in Rome whether you are traveling with your family or in a group of friends.

Located in the city center next to Piazza Venezia, it’s easy to reach and fantastic to keep the whole family entertained for a couple of hours.

Image: Funny photo opp with Angela Corrias of Rome Actually at Rome's Museo della Luce.

Try Rome’s foreign restaurants

Rome offers also a great choice of foreign restaurants. Chinese, Indian, Ethiopian, Japanese, Lebanese , French, Vietnamese, or Persian if you want to give Roman food a break, you can explore the new flavors found aplenty in the city.

Visit MACRO Museum

Located in Via Nizza in the Salario quarter, MACRO is Rome’s museum of contemporary art. Exhibitions, workshops, seminars and events of all kinds are organized here, so if you are a fan of contemporary artistic expressions, this is one of the Rome activities you will love.

Walk along the beautiful Galleria Sciarra

This is one of the unique places to visit in Rome’s city center. A Liberty-style covered gallery near the Trevi Fountain (entrance through Via Marco Minghetti) built at the end of the 19th century. Decorated with a main woman-focused theme, this is a private courtyard but open to the public during office hours.

Image of the gasometer in Ostiense Rome neighborhood

See the relics of Rome’s industrial archaeology

Take a stroll around the Ostiense neighborhood and discover the relics of Rome’s industrial archaeology starting from the huge gasometer, carrying on to places like the old warehouse and the former main power plant in Centrale Montemartini museum.

Image of Garbatell Lots in Rome

See the Fascist Lots in the traditional Garbatella neighborhood

Garbatella is next to Ostiense and was created during the Fascist rule. Inspired by the English urban planning idea of “garden cities” of Ebenezer Howard as a response to the need for sprawling cities for a better quality of life, take a walk around Garbatella Lots and explore a truly traditional Roman neighborhood.

Visit the square Colosseum

For sure one of the unique things to do in Rome is a visit to the Palace of Italian Civilisation, called by the locals “square Colosseum” ( Colosseo quadrato ) for its resemblance to the more famous landmark and its square shape. Located in the modern EUR neighborhood, it was inaugurated in 1940 under Mussolini’s rule. Managed by the Fendi family, its ground floor is now devoted to a permanent exhibition showing the excellence of Italian craftsmanship and creativity.

Get your sweetness overload at a cat colony

There are several cat sanctuaries in Rome, where our furry friends live and are taken care of. The largest is the one at the monumental cemetery of the Verano, but probably the easiest to reach are the one at Largo Argentina and the one living around the Pyramid in the Testaccio neighborhood . The beautiful cats are used to people and don’t mind posing for a nice photo.

Image of Chiesa Nuova in Rome

See Rubens’ powered painting

The large painting by Flemish artist Rubens is located on the main altar of Chiesa Nuova Church (Piazza della Chiesa Nuova 1) and features a Madonna that disappears once a week. This is a motor-powered painting and if you want to see the Virgin Mary disappearing, you need to go on Saturday when the priest activates the device at the end of the afternoon function.

Be amazed at the anamorphoses of Trinità dei Monti

One of the unique places to visit in Rome is inside Trinità dei Monti church on top of the Spanish Steps. Along a corridor of the convent, the walls are decorated with anamorphic frescoes that change depending on your position. So the more you walk, the more images you will see. It’s open to the public but visits must be booked. Check their website for more info.

Visit the Museum of the Souls in Purgatory, one of the unusual things to see in Rome

In the sacristy of the Gothic-style Sacro Cuore del Suffragio church near Piazza Cavour (Lungotevere Prati 12) is a one-of-a-kind museum. One of the unusual things to do in Rome, here on display is a collection of documents and evidence that would prove the existence of Purgatory and signs from the souls of the deceased.

Image of dolls' hospital, one of Rome's unusual things to see

Visit the dolls’ hospital, one of the unique things to do in Rome

The owner of this quirky and slightly creepy workshop is quite grumpy and unless you have a doll to treat, you can’t enter. This is a true dolls’ hospital and even though you can only view it from the outside, its very central location in Via Ripetta makes it very easy to visit.

Visit San Pietro in Vincoli

Much less visited than many other famous churches, San Pietro in Vincoli Basilica is located in its namesake piazza in the Monti neighborhood. Alongside the chains that held Saint Peter prisoner in Rome and Jerusalem, here you can also see the beautiful Moses sculpture by Michelangelo.

Explore Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica

This important church is one of the four papal basilicas. Located in the Esquilino neighborhood, it’s the only one that kept its early-Christian structure. It’s decorated with beautiful mosaics and you can also visit the undergrounds (booking required, more info on the Vatican website ).

TIP: To know more about this important worship place in Rome, you can book a full tour of Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica .

Admire the mosaics of Santa Prassede Basilica

The church of Santa Prassede is located in the Esquilino neighborhood. As history goes, St. Pudenziana was martyred together with her sister St. Prassede because they were giving a Christian burial to the martyrs in the land of their father, a Roman senator. The apse of this church is decorated with beautiful mosaics .

Duck into Santa Pudenziana Basilica

A very old Christian church, Pudenziana was Prassede’s sister. Here you can see both stunning mosaics and also go underground from the garden to visit a two-story insula and an ancient thermal bath. This church, too, is in the Esquilino area not far from Santa Prassede and Santa Maria Maggiore.

Visit Santi Cosma and Damiano Basilica for great mosaics

This is also a church famous for its mosaics, and even though located a stone’s throw from the Colosseum, it’s pretty unknown. Built in the 6th century on the site of former pagan temples, it can be easily accessed from Via dei Fori Imperiali.

Duck into Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Basilica

Close to the Pantheon, in this church, the remains of St. Catherine of Siena and the Italian painter Beato Angelico are kept. One of the few Gothic-style churches in Rome, it was built in the 13th century on the site of three pagan temples. While it’s not too big, it has a great deal of artwork by names of the likes of Michelangelo, Bernini and Filippino Lippi.

Image of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola church in Rome

Admire a 3D fresco in Sant’Ignazio di Loyola Church

For sure there’s no lack of churches in Rome, but Sant’Ignazio di Loyola is not your average Catholic temple. At the moment of construction, in the 17th century, the money ran out, so the originally planned dome couldn’t be properly built anymore.

But thankfully, the talent and creativity of artist-priest Andrea Pozzo made up for the lack of funds. Thanks to a finely conceived perspective, you will have the impression of looking at a real dome supported by pillars while you will be standing underneath a fresco.

Image: Borromini's staircase in Palazzo Barberini, one of the places to visit in Rome

Explore the notable mansion of Palazzo Barberini

A fantastic place to learn more about the glamorous life of Rome’s noble families is Palazzo Barberini , the beautiful, majestic mansion that opens in Via delle Quattro Fontane near Via Veneto, Via del Tritone, and Fontana di Trevi.

Visit this palace for a glimpse of the Barberinis’ past and the rich collection of artwork that gathers masterpieces from Caravaggio, Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, and Guido Reni. Make sure you don’t miss the spectacular staircases by Bernini at the entrance and by Borromini at the exit.

Go on a Bernini-themed tour

Gian Lorenzo Bernini has been one of the most prolific artists in Rome’s Baroque period, often regarded as the creator of Baroque sculpture and one of the leading architects, sculptors, and painters.

You can find Bernini’s Roman masterpieces scattered all around the city. Churches, fountains, sculptures, paintings, you name it, he did it. From the Four Rivers fountain in the heart of Piazza Navona to Palazzo Barberini to the world-famous colonnade of Saint Peter’s Square, you can find the touch of this incredible artist in many of the artwork that makes Rome so beautiful.

Seek out Borromini’s genius

Contemporary and eternal rival of Bernini, Borromini was an architectural genius. Unlike his peer, he was an introvert and quite bad-tempered, and this is mainly why he gained fewer commissions than Bernini who, on the other hand, was more talented in cultivating and nurturing relationships with the influential people of his time.

Some of Borromini’s masterpieces in Rome you shouldn’t miss include the gorgeous Sant’Agnese in Agone church in Piazza Navona and Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza in Corso del Rinascimento near the Pantheon.

What to do in Rome for a romantic trip

One of the best destinations for your honeymoon in Italy, there are many romantic things to do in Rome .

Evening walk along the Tiber

There is hardly anything more romantic in Rome than a night stroll along the Tiber river. The city lights and the landmarks you visited during the day reflect on the calm waters creating a beautiful view.

Enjoy a couple spa treatment

Many hotels offer spa treatments in Rome, but some are really romantic, especially those set in ancient Roman ruins. Such as the wellness center of Hotel Lunetta near Campo de’ Fiori where you can do a sauna, enter the steam room, and do a couple massage.

Enjoy a beautiful view

Thankfully, there is no shortage of such a thing in Rome. Go to the Garden of the Oranges in the Aventine Hill, enjoy the view from the Pincio Terrace in Villa Borghese, climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica or take a stroll on the Monte Mario hill for a scenic view from the Astronomical Observatory. From wherever you look, the landscape will be stunning.

Reserve a romantic dinner

No shortage of romantic restaurants in Rome. Candle-lit tables, alfresco options, beautiful views, and historical locations contribute to making the ambiance romantic and perfect for a date. Some of my favorite restaurants? Settimo in the Sofitel Villa Borghese Hotel for a fantastic view, Aroma in the 5-star Palazzo Manfredi hotel, Perpetual gourmet restaurant near the Colosseum.

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About The Author: Angela Corrias

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What to Do in Rome

22 attractions you shouldn't miss.

View of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, two of the best attractions of Rome.

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Your trust means the world to us! So before we dive in, we want to be upfront with you: This post contains so-called affiliate links. That means we earn a small commission every time you book or order something using one of these links. That way, you can support us and our work – at no extra cost to you, of course. Thank you so much! – Jenny & Basti

In a nutshell: Our highlights in Rome

  • Some of the top attractions in Rome are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon.
  • In Vatican City be sure to check out highlights like St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square.
  • Rome is known for its beautiful public squares. Our favorite: the Piazza Navona .
  • In Rome, you can wander through beautiful streets and neighborhoods. Our tip: the picturesque nightlife district of Trastevere .
  • If you are looking for a quiet oasis in the middle of the city, we can recommend a visit to Villa Borghese Park – also great with kids!
  • In Rome you should definitely visit a market . How about the Marcato Moni, for example?

Those were our top highlights in Rome. If you want to know more, just keep on reading.

In this article we will tell you all about the 22 most beautiful sights in Rome that you should not miss, as well as practical tips for your city trip to Rome .

Table of Contents

  • Attractions map
  • Buildings & landmarks
  • Streets & neighborhoods
  • Parks & viewpoints
  • General travel tips

What to do in Rome? The most important attractions on a map

To help you find your way around, we put together a map with all 22 Rome sights from our article. You can also download the map and view it offline.

Download the Rome sightseeing map for easy access

Tourist map showing the most important attractions of Rome

When you think of Rome, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Colosseum. It is Rome’s most famous sight and an absolute must-see. The Colosseum has been around for over 2000 years and is the largest amphitheater ever built.

The Colosseum is impressive from the outside, but we recommend a visit inside as well. You will learn everything about the history of the building and the brave gladiators.

The number of visitors to the Colosseum is limited and the line outside seems endless. Therefore, you should definitely buy a ticket online in advance to avoid having to wait in line. The ticket also includes admission to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

Skip-the-line entry ticket for the Colosseum

In our detailed article about the Colosseum you will find everything you need to know on how to visit the Colosseum in Rome .

official website

Roman Forum

Forum Romanum

The Roman Forum is a large archaeological excavation site in the middle of Rome, right next to the Colosseum. In ancient Rome, the Roman Forum was the center of political, social and economic life .

You can still see that very well today: Walking through the site, you see remains of great palaces, basilicas and temples . It really feels like stepping back in time to the Roman Empire.

To visit the Roman Forum you can only buy a combined ticket including the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill . You can find it at our #1.

Palatine Hill

The ruins of the Circus Maximus and the Domus Augustana on the Palatine Hill in Rome

It all started on the Palatine Hill. This is where the first Roman houses were built almost 3,000 years ago. Today, it is one of the most important excavations of Rome . Take a walk around the site to explore the ancient ruins where Roman emperors once resided.

As almost everywhere in Rome, there are lots of tourists on the Palatine Hill, too. However, the park still feels like a little oasis of peace with its pine trees, away from the noisy city traffic.

The area is huge, so make sure to plan enough time for your visit. We recommend to stay for at least two hours. On the grounds are many information boards in English with useful details about the ruins. A visit to the Palatine Hill is also covered by the combined ticket we linked to in #1.

Closed every 1st Sunday of the month

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Another attraction of Rome you shouldn’t miss on your city tour: the Trevi Fountain. It is one of the most famous fountains in the world .

It consists of a huge, magnificent palazzo facade and statues of tritons standing on a rocky landscape of white stone. The water flows around the sculptures into the basin, which is about 50 meters wide.

There is no time of day when the Trevi Fountain is not crowded with tourists. If you do make it to the basin, toss a coin over your right shoulder into the fountain – it’s supposed to bring good luck. Two coins and you will fall in love with a Roman .

If you are in Rome with kids , this can be a nice activity for the little ones!

By the way, the money is regularly fished out by the city and is donated to charity.

Our tip : At night the Trevi Fountain is illuminated and looks even more impressive.

Castel Sant'Angelo

The Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo was initially a mausoleum in ancient Rome until the popes converted it into a castle in the Middle Ages. Inside, the castle holds a prison, the papal apartments, burial and treasure chambers. There even is a secret corridor to Vatican City .

Our personal highlight, however, is the rooftop terrace. From here you can enjoy a fantastic view of all the major sights of Rome. There is also a restaurant with a panoramic view at the top. The most beautiful view is in the late afternoon when the sun is setting.

Our tip : With the Rome City Pass , admission to Castel Sant’Angelo is free.

Skip-the-line entry ticket for Castel Sant’Angelo

Catacombs of St. Callixtus

Young people on bicycles by a stone gate

Rome has many catacombs, but unfortunately they are all located outside the city center. In total there are 60 catacombs in Rome , the most worth seeing are the Catacombs of Callixtus.

These are the first Christian catacombs in Rome. The entire area extends over 15 hectares and lies almost 20 meters underground.

The catacombs are located right next to the old Roman road Via Appia and you can easily combine these two attractions of Rome. Getyourguide offers a great bike tour for this.

Ancient Appian Way: Electric Bike Tour with Catacombs

You can also explore the catacombs on foot. Then we recommend a guided tour , because you will get lots of interesting information about the construction.

To the guided tour through the Catacombs of Callixtus

Bocca della Verità

Round relief with face

In the portico of the church of Santa Maria hangs a white marble disc, showing a face with an open mouth. According to legend, anyone who puts his hand in his mouth and lies will have his hand bitten off . Hence the name: the mouth of truth. Do you dare?

The artwork is over 2000 years old and is made of a type of marble that only exists in Turkey. It wasn’t until the movie “A Heart and a Crown” with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, that the relief became a well-known highlight of Rome.

No one really knows what the true meaning of the slab is. The most likely is that it was a manhole cover in ancient Rome. Well, we think the legend is much more captivating.

Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II

Large, white monument with stairs and columns

The “Typewriter” is the national monument of Italy – something like the Statue of Liberty in New York for the United States – and is dedicated to the Italian king. You will find the monument at Piazza Venezia. Measuring over 130 meters wide and almost 80 meters high , you definitely won’t miss it.

The nickname was given to the monument by the Romans because the geometric shape is indeed reminiscent of a typewriter. The building also houses a museum about the former Kingdom of Italy . The actual highlight though, is the outlook terrace , which you can reach in a glass elevator .

Admission to the building itself and the museum is free, but the elevator costs 12 euros. Unfortunately, you can’t reserve tickets, so get there as early as possible to avoid waiting in line for too long.

Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel

Building of the Pinacoteca Vaticana

The Vatican Museums are among the largest and most important museums in the world . Here you can see art collections of all the popes and admire real treasures of mankind. The highlight is of course the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s world-famous ceiling painting .

However, a visit to the Vatican Museums is also time-consuming, because there are about 1,300 rooms to see. Obviously, you will hardly be able to see them all, but you should definitely plan three to four hours for the Vatican Museums.

Our tip : Order your tickets online and book the entrance for as early as possible in the morning and on a weekday. The museums are one of the top sights of Rome and always packed with tourists.

Skip-the-line entry tickets to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are also one of the top sights in Rome . With 136 steps, it connects the Piazza di Spagna with the church Santa Trinità dei Monti. From the top you have a fantastic view over Rome and the super chic Via Condotti, Rome’s designer shopping street.

The name comes from the Spanish Embassy, which is located just below the stairs.

The stairs are usually full of tourists. If you want the most deserted photo possible, it’s best to come early in the morning or late at night .

Attention: Since summer 2019 it is forbidden to sit on the Spanish Steps and violations can result in a fine of up to 400 euros. Walking up or down the stairs is not a problem though. 

Pantheon in Rome

A church that doesn’t look like a church at all : the Pantheon was once a Roman temple before being converted into a church in the early Middle Ages.

The giant dome was the largest in the world for a proud 1,700 years. It has an almost nine meter wide circular opening in the center through which the sunlight falls into the hall . However, ingenious drainage systems on the dome ensure that never a drop of rain stays in the Pantheon’s interior.

Admission is free, but the church is always very crowded. In our opinion, it’s still worth waiting in line. If you want more information about the Pantheon, there are tickets with an English audio guide featuring storytelling and videos. It’s the best way to experience this phenomenal architectural achievement.

Pantheon audio guide tickets

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world and the center of the Catholic faith . Inside the Basilica you will find, for example, Michelangelo’s famous work La Pietà and the huge bronze canopy by Bernini .

Admission is free, but there is also a long line at the entrance. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing , your shoulders and knees should be covered. Of course crop tops aren’t suitable either.

You can also visit St. Peter’s Basilica with a guided tour and skip the line. The tour also includes the ascent to the dome, from which you have a fabulous view of all of Rome .

St. Peter’s Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

If you are into impressive churches and cathedrals, make sure to plan a trip to Venice as well and visit the St. Mark’s Basilica. It’s one of the most impressive buildings in Italy and definitely a must-see in Venice .

St. Peter's Square

View of St. Peter's Square from the Dome of St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Square is located in Vatican City and is a must-see of Rome . The huge square is surrounded by two colonnades that form the state border between Vatican City and Italy.

Every Wednesday morning, the general audience of the Pope takes place in St. Peter’s Square. For this purpose, four large screens are set up so that spectators can better follow what is happening.

If you’re not interested in an audience, it’s better to postpone your visit to the square until another day, because large parts of the square will be closed off.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares in Rome. There are many cafes and restaurants , street artists and musicians. Sit in one of the cafes or stroll around and enjoy the lively hustle and bustle of the square.

The square is especially famous for its three large fountains. The most magnificent is the Fountain of the Four Rivers . Its statues represent the great rivers of the continents known in the 17th century: Danube, Nile, Ganges and Río de la Plata.

Our tip : In the evenings, Piazza Navona is a popular meeting place in Rome’s city center and you can easily immerse yourself in the city’s nightlife.

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo in Rome

Piazza del Popolo (meaning “People’s Square”) is one of the most famous squares in Rome and was once the square that travelers from The North entered first.

In the center of the square stands the second largest and second oldest obelisk outside of Egypt. At the north end of the square you can see the city gate Porta del Popolo and the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. At the southern end are twin churches , Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli.

Of course, there are also numerous cafes and restaurants to relax in. And, if you don’t need a coffee break, the popular shopping street Via del Corso also starts here.

Capitol Square

Ascent with City Hall from Rome above

Another beautiful viewpoint is the Capitol Square (Piazza del Campidoglio). This beautiful square, designed by Michelangelo, is home to Rome’s City Hall and the Capitoline Museums . The museums have some great art collections and exhibitions on Ancient Rome.

The Capitol Square is only slightly elevated, but right in the center of Rome, so you have a great view of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Therefore, the square is perfect to take photos of Rome’s old town .

To the Capitoline Museums ticket with multimedia video

Via del Corso

The Via del Corso is the ultimate shopping street in Rome. Here you will find everything the shopper’s heart desires. From luxury fashion designers to H&M and the likes. In addition, the street connects almost all of Rome’s major sights.

In the north, it starts at the huge Piazza del Popolo, which was once the gateway to Rome, and it ends at Piazza Venezia, very close to the Colosseum.

Via the crossroads you can also get to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Halfway there is also the Piazza di Monte Citorio , where the seat of the Italian government is.

The nightlife district Trastevere

Greened alley and entrance to a restaurant

Trastevere is located on the other side of the Tiber and is the nightlife district of Rome . The neighborhood is full of restaurants, bars, boutiques and nightclubs. So, there is always something going on until late at night in Trastevere.

But, what’s to see in Trastevere during the day? A stroll through Trastevere in daylight is also one of the best things to do in Rome. The narrow streets, ivy-covered house walls, small artists’ studios and colorful laundry on clothes lines are simply picturesque.

Make sure to plan an evening in Trastevere to enjoy an aperitif and feast on Italian cuisine. There are even special street food tours during which a local guide will take you to the best locations for good food in Trastevere.

Street Food Tour with Local Guide

Villa Borghese Park

Lake with island and temple

Villa Borghese is not actually a building, but a beautiful, large park in the center of Rome. There you will find Italian gardens with fountains, a lake where you can rent pedal boats , a zoo , various cafes and even a horse racing track . Right next to the park is a great viewpoint called Terrazza del Pincio .

Especially if you’re traveling with kids in Rome, the park offers a welcome change and some relaxation for the whole family.

You can also explore the Villa Borghese by bike. We like this tour a lot, which includes a picnic in the park:

Villa Borghese Private E-Bike Tour and Optional Picnic

The site is also home to one of Rome’s most beautiful museums, the private art collection Galleria Borghese . Since the number of visitors is limited, you’ll need to buy tickets online in advance, and it’s best to do so as early as possible.

Skip-the-line entry tickets for Galleria Borghese

Galleria: closed on Mondays

Orange Garden

tourist information center rome

The most beautiful view of Rome can be seen from the terrace of Parco Savello, which the Romans also call the Orange Garden. The nickname says it all: the park is full of evergreen orange trees , which also bear fruit in winter.

The park is open to the public, so you can just stroll around and relax. It’s located on the Aventino hill, south of the Trastevere district.

Our tip : The most beautiful view of Rome is at sunset. The perfect time to walk to Trastevere afterwards to enjoy an aperitif!

The Campo de' Fiori Market

Bicycle with baskets of artichokes and chestnuts at a market

The Campo de’ Fiori market takes place in the square of the same name. Translated, it means flower meadow . Many tourists therefore expect a flower market, but the name just comes from the fact that there used to be a flower meadow in ancient times.

You will find fresh fruits and vegetables from the Roman countryside, spices, Roman sausages and cheese , but also leather goods, jewelry and souvenirs . Around the market there are many restaurants and cafes where you can sit and watch the hustle and bustle.

Our tip: Be sure to haggle! The merchants like to quote higher prices for tourists. If you bargain, your chances to save a few euros are high.

Marcato Monti

If you’re familiar with Portobello Market in London , then you know what to expect at Mercato Monti.

The market is held  every Saturday and Sunday from September to June in the conference hall of the Grand Hotel Palatino . It is not as big as the Portobello Market, but there are lots of great original items for vintage fashion lovers .

Besides designer clothes, jewelry and handbags from past decades, you will also find stalls of alternative designers from Rome. Many of them have their small boutiques in the Monti district, like the store King Size Vintage, where you can find fashion from the 60s and 70s.

By the way, if you like flea markets, we have another real Rome hidden gem for you: the Porta Portese flea market in the Monteverde neighborhood.

General travel tips: The best way to see Rome’s sights

Finally, we’ll give you some practical travel tips for your city trip to Rome to help you plan your stay.

How many days do you need for Rome?

Even if you spend a whole week in Rome, you won’t be able to see all of Rome’s sights.

However, a weekend trip will allow you to see the main attractions in Rome. If you have more time, all the better: you will certainly not get bored here.

Our tip: Combine your city trip to Rome with a longer beach vacation! In the vicinity of Rome you will find some beautiful resorts and beaches that are worth a trip. Ideally, you should plan about 10 days, for a relaxed combination of sightseeing and beach vacation. Read more:

The 6 best beaches near Rome

What to do in Rome in 3 days?

Of course, if you only have a short period of time, you’ll have to focus on the absolute highlights of Rome. We recommend the following activities in Rome.

  • Forum Romanum
  • Trevi fountain
  • Peters Square and St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Drinking a cappuccino at Piazza Navona
  • Climb the Spanish Steps

If you are in the city for the first time, we recommend taking a guided tour of Rome and staying in a hotel in the historical city center, so that you are close to all the main sights. Read more:

Where to Stay in Rome? 11 Boutique Hotels in Rome

Do you know any more Rome sights?

These were our 22 recommendations for must-see attractions in Rome. Have you ever been to the Italian capital? Do you have another must-see Rome sightseeing tip? Tell us more in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

101 Top Things To Do In Rome

You can spend an eternity exploring the Eternal City and still find something new to do every day. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Rome to get you started –  don’t worry, there’s something for everyone.

Walk in The Footsteps of Gladiators at the Colosseum

The Colosseum at sunrise.

Can a trip to Rome really be complete without a visit to the Colosseum ? This 2,000-year-old amphitheater is not only the most famous symbol of Rome but has also been declared one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Step inside and be transported back into a time of epic gladiator fights, roaring crowds, and bloodthirsty emperors. You’ll be able to walk around the tiers, which once held up to 50,000 spectators. See the arena floor from above, and, with a special access ticket, even visit the Hypogeum, the underground labyrinth where gladiators would prepare for battle.

Panem et circenses , anyone?

Stroll Among the Ruins at the Roman Forum

A view of the Roman Forum from above.

Ever wonder what it was like to live in Ancient Rome? As you walk amongst the ruins of the Roman Forum , you’ll soon find out. This ancient square was once the epicenter of religious, political, and social life in the Roman Republic. 

To get a better appreciation for what you’re looking at, we recommend listening to an audioguide or hiring a tour guide. You’ll learn about the temples, churches, and government buildings that populate the area, and you’ll experience the glory of Rome at the height of its power.

Discover the Legendary Birthplace of Rome on Palatine Hill

The ancient ruins of the Domus Augustana on Palatine Hill

Legend has it that Palatine Hill , the most famous of Rome’s seven hills, was the location of the Lupercal Cave – the cave where Romulus and Remus were raised by the she-wolf.

Because of its mythical history and its panoramic views over the city center of Rome, the hill later became known as the most prestigious and desirable neighborhood of ancient Rome, home to emperors and patricians.

Today, you can explore the ruins of ancient palaces belonging to Emperors Augustus and Domitian, learn more in the museum, and visit the Farnese Gardens, one of the first botanical gardens in Europe.

Explore the Smallest Country in the World: Vatican City

A view of Vatican City from above.

Vatican City may be a tiny enclave with an area of less than 0.20 square miles, but it’s packed with stuff to do. Home to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the holiest of bishops, the pope, this microstate was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Whether you’re viewing art in the extensive galleries of the Vatican Museums , exploring a ginormous church, or simply laughing at the Swiss Guards’ funny uniforms, one thing’s for sure: you’ll never be bored.

Though it might sound contradictory, you can’t leave Rome without first stepping foot in another country.

Visit the Largest Church in the World: St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica from the outside.

Ironically enough, the world’s largest church happens to be located in the world’s smallest country. St. Peter’s Basilica is not only extremely holy but also extraordinarily beautiful.

Designed and decorated by some of the greatest artists that ever lived, Michelangelo and Bernini , among others, this church is definitely one attraction you just can’t miss.

Though one of the free things to do in Rome, try to get there early as the lines are very long.

View World-Famous Masterpieces at the Vatican Museums

The Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museums.

Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Da Vinci. Whether or not you’re a fan of art, you’ve almost certainly heard these names. Their masterpieces adorn the galleries of the Vatican Museums , but that’s not all. The museums have everything from Egyptian mummies to modern art, so there’s definitely something for everyone.

With 54 galleries and over 70,000 works of art, it’s impossible to see everything in one day, so make sure you plan your trip well and remember to book your tickets in advance.

Gaze up at Michelangelo’s Frescoes in the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel

Though part of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel is so crazily famous that it deserves its own number on the list.

The chapel is most known for the nine ceiling panels frescoed by Michelangelo, particularly the central one featuring the creation of Adam , which is one of the most recognizable images in Western art.

However, the chapel walls are also very impressive, especially the enormous fresco of the Last Judgement also painted by Michelangelo. See if you can spot the artist’s alleged self-portrait among the over 300 figures depicted in the scene.

Peel Back the Layers of History at Castel Sant’Angelo

A view of Castel Sant'Angelo from the St. Angelo Bridge.

Mausoleum, castle, fortress, refuge, prison: these are the numerous terms used to describe Castel Sant’Angelo over the course of its long and turbulent history. Its various functions over time led to the unique appearance it has today.

Now, it’s a museum where you can learn about its history and explore some of the rooms. Don’t forget to head up to the Angel Terrace to get stunning views of the city of Rome and the Ponte Sant’Angelo below, the beautiful bridge of angels.

Marvel at the World’s Largest Concrete Dome at the Pantheon

A ray of light passes through the oculus in the Pantheon's dome.

The Pantheon , meaning the temple of all gods, is the world’s best-preserved ancient Roman monument. Constructed nearly 2,000 years ago, the fact that the unreinforced concrete dome is still intact is an architectural wonder.

The church is also the final resting place of the famous Renaissance artist Raphael and the first two kings of a unified Italy: Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I.

Insider tip: To see something truly magical, head there when it’s raining. There’s something about seeing water pouring freely through the oculus into this sacred space that almost feels divine.

See Baroque Fountains at Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona at twilight.

Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most beautiful squares. Known for its elongated oval shape, it’s also famous for having one of Bernini’s most famous fountains as its centerpiece. The Fountain of the Four Rivers is a Baroque masterpiece featuring four personified rivers and topped by an Egyptian obelisk.

Directly in front of the fountain is the Baroque church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, designed by daring architect Francesco Borromini. Legend has it that there was a rivalry between the two artists.

If you are in Rome at Christmas time, don’t miss the annual Christmas market held here at the piazza.

Toss a Coin (or Two or Three) into the Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is arguably the most beautiful and famous fountain in the world and one of Rome’s most popular tourist sites. To see the fountain without the hordes of tourists, then go there at the crack of dawn. Trust me, it’s worth it.

According to legend, if you toss one coin into the fountain, you’ll return to Rome; if you toss two in, you’ll meet your true love; if you throw in three, you’ll get married to your true love in Rome.

Enjoy your Roman Holiday at Piazza di Spagna

View of the Spanish Steps from Piazza di Spagna in Rome

Piazza di Spagna was put on the map during the 18th and 19th centuries when travelers doing the Grand Tour would stay there. The English influence is certainly felt here, as it’s the location of the Keats-Shelley House museum and Babington’s Tea Room, where you can enjoy an authentic high tea experience.

Piazza di Spagna is also the site of the Spanish Steps, made famous in the 1950s Hollywood film starring Audrey Hepburn.

See the Iconic She-Wolf Statue at the Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Wolf statue in the Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums is said to be the world’s first public museum. Housed in two buildings connected by an underground tunnel, the museum contains an incredible collection of ancient statues and other art linked to the city of Rome.

Don’t miss the symbol of Rome, the she-wolf suckling the twins; the gigantic remains of the Colossus of Constantine; or the Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the only intact bronze statue of antiquity.

Marvel at Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio

Sunrise at Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome with the statue of Marcus Aurelius in the center of the picture.

Atop Capitoline Hill is one of the most beautiful squares known to man. Head up there to see the masterpiece known as Piazza del Campidoglio , designed by none other than Michelangelo himself.

The centerpiece of the square is a towering equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius looking down over the city of Rome, and on either side are the buildings belonging to the Capitoline Museums, but the square is also known for being one of the best places to get a view of the Roman Forum from above.

Ride a Bike Through Villa Borghese

View of Villa Borghese and its garden

Villa Borghese is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. Situated on Pincian Hill, it’s the perfect combination between lush greenery and romantic Roman sculptures and architecture.

There are many things to see in the park, such as the 19th-century water clock – a feat of engineering – or the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre – a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe, but one of our favorite activities is to rent a bike or rollerskates and zoom through the park on wheels.

Don’t miss the Pincio Terrace for breathtaking panoramic views of Rome. Count the cupolas and see if you can spot St. Peter’s Basilica.

See Bernini Masterpieces at the Galleria Borghese

Bernini's "Rape of Proserpina" statue located inside the Borghese Gallery.

The Galleria Borghese is one of the most magnificent private art galleries in the world. Not only does it contain paintings by exceptional artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Titian, but it also has one of the finest Baroque sculpture collections in Rome.

The Rape of Proserpina and Apollo and Daphne, both by Bernini, are two great examples of how movement can be immortalized in marble.

If you only have time to see one gallery during your stay in Rome, make sure it’s this one. It is one of the top 10 things to do in Rome.

Explore an Archeological Site at Ostia Antica

Street view of the ancient city of Ostia Antica.

Just 19 miles (30 km) outside of Rome’s city center is a large archeological site known as Ostia Antica . What was once a prospering harbor city during the Roman Empire is now a magnificently preserved ancient city in ruins.

Spend an afternoon exploring the remains of taverns, shops, public baths, and even a large theatre, and imagine what life must have been like millennia ago.

Tour an Underground Cemetery at the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus

Entrance to the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus in Rome.

Known as the most famous of Rome’s Christian catacombs, the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus are also one of the oldest official cemeteries belonging to the Church of Rome, dating back to a time of Christian persecution when they had to bury their dead in secret.

Join a tour to explore the Crypt of the Nine Popes, admire the preserved mosaics, and decode the mysterious Christian symbols carved into the walls.

Spend a day at an Ancient Spa at the Baths of Caracalla

The ancient ruins of the public thermae "Baths of Caracalla"

The Romans were well-known for their penchant for taking baths. Spend an afternoon exploring the ruins of Baths of Caracalla , ancient Rome’s second-largest public thermae. Discover its different structures like the natatio, tepidarium, frigidarium, and caldarium.

Then head underground to the exhibition area to learn more about the history of this complex and visit the biggest Mithraeum ever documented.

Monkey Around With Marmosets at the Bioparco

A picture of a marmoset clinging to a branch.

Seeing beautiful churches or ancient ruins is not the only thing to do in Rome. Located on the grounds of one of Rome’s most famous parks, Villa Borghese, is Bioparco , Italy’s oldest and largest zoo.

Whether you’re picnicking with the flamingos by the Oasis of the Lake, gazing at the grizzlies in the Valley of the Bears, or trying to spot the pygmy marmoset, the world’s smallest monkey, Bioparco is great fun for everyone, young or old. Definitely on a list of cool things to do in Rome.

Trot Across the Tiber into Trendy Trastevere

A view of a beautiful plant-filled street in the Trastevere district.

Crossing the Tiber River brings you into Trastevere , one of Rome’s most vibrant neighborhoods. What was once a very local and working-class district has transformed into a funky and bohemian area complete with narrow cobblestone streets, tasty trattorias, and some of the best nightlife in the city.

Insider tip: For a truly local experience and some of the cheapest booze in Rome, grab a drink at Bar San Calisto and people-watch the quirky locals who have been coming here for decades.

Chow down on a Tasty Sandwich at Testaccio Market

A close-up of a fresh produce stalls in a Roman market.

Located in the down-to-earth neighborhood of Testaccio, still largely undiscovered by tourists, is one of the best local markets in Rome : Testaccio Market. This airy, glass-roofed structure hosts over a hundred mostly family-run stalls. Though most of them sell fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables, you can also find homemade clothing and used books as well, but it’s also one of the best places to grab a quick lunch.

For a truly tasty experience, head to Mordi e Vai, a popular stall selling sandwiches with classic Roman ingredients such as ‘ allesso di scottona ’ – slow-cooked beef or, for the more adventurous: tripe or tongue.

Visit the Unusual Landmark Known as the Pyramid of Cestius

Street view of the Pyramid of Cestius and the Porta San Paolo.

Ancient Egypt or ancient Rome? Though many have never even heard of it, this well-preserved structure, located near Porta S. Paolo, is Rome’s version of a pyramid. It was built between 18 and 12 BCE to serve as the burial place for Roman magistrate Gaius Cestius, who demanded that his tomb be constructed in the style of the pharaohs.

Though the inside is temporarily closed, it’s still worth taking a look at from the outside.

Have a Gastronomical Experience at Eataly

Eataly Rome seen from the exterior facade.

Since its opening in 2012, this multi-level superstore has been considered a fundamental stop for all foodies coming to Rome. Inside you’ll find a market selling the highest-quality Italian products, a range of delicious restaurants, and even the opportunity to take cooking classes in situ.

If you’re looking to have a gourmet gastronomical experience in Rome, then Eataly (the fusion of EAT and ITALY) is unmissable.

Enjoy Contemporary Art in an Unusual Setting at the Mattatoio

The facade of the Ex-Mattatoio MACRO Museum in Testaccio.

Located in the heart of Testaccio is Il Mattatoio, a museum in Rome that hosts art exhibitions and events relating to contemporary art. What’s truly special about this place is that it’s been converted into a museum from what was once one of the largest slaughterhouses in Europe.

Talking about unique things to do in Rome.

If you can stomach its macabre past, it’s a great place to discover what’s up and coming in Roman art today.

Insider tip: Where the animals used to be kept in pens is an open area known as the ‘Città dell’Altra Economia’, an alternative space that hosts an organic market, a cafe, and a series of ever-changing events such as vintage markets and beer festivals.

See Past and Present Converge at Piazza Venezia

View of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument at Piazza Venezia, Rome

Located right in the heart of the city center, Piazza Venezia is one of Rome’s busiest hubs in which several thoroughfares intersect. What was once a vast Medieval and Renaissance quarter sitting at the base of Capitoline Hill is now a relatively modern square that hosts an array of impressive buildings, an infamously iconic modern monument, and even a talking statue.

Discover a Darker Chapter of Rome’s Recent History at Palazzo Venezia

Venezia Palace and Venice Square in Rome

Located on the piazza it gives its name to is Rome’s first great Renaissance palace and the oldest remaining building on the square. What started out as a residential palace for a pope and what later became the headquarters of a dictator is now a fantastic museum that displays an eclectic collection of Byzantine and Renaissance art.

Don’t miss the interior secret garden, an oasis of peace and greenery in the middle of Rome’s busy city center.

Visit the “People’s Square” Known as Piazza del Popolo

The Piazza del Popolo in Rome at sunset

This large and popular Piazza del Popolo is a great place to hang out or meet up with a friend, but it’s also rife with interesting things to see. To enter the piazza from Via del Corso, you must pass between the twin Baroque churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto, a wonderful display of symmetry in architecture, and at its very center stands a 3500-year-old ancient Egyptian obelisk.

The square is also a popular starting point for protests and demonstrations, living up to its name.

See a Buzzing Apian Fountain at Piazza Barberini

The Triton Fountain at Piazza Barberini in Rome

Piazza Barberini might not be as popular as many other Roman squares, but it’s still worth a look at just for Bernini’s Baroque fountains alone. The piazza has two of them: the more ostentatious Fountain of the Triton, which is the centerpiece of the square, and the more modest (but equally impressive) Fountain of the Bees, designed for a pope belonging to the Barberini family, whose heraldic symbol was a bee.

The piazza is also a great place to grab a drink or catch a screening at the local cinema.

Interpret a 2000-Year-Old Victory Column at Piazza Colonna

Marble Column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna square in Rome, Italy

Piazza Colonna is quite fittingly named after the ancient column placed in the center of the square, but that’s not its only attraction. Surrounded by an array of beautiful historical and political palaces (and even the home of the prime minister) and located on a busy shopping street, the piazza has become a symbol of the merging of social, political, and cultural values so deeply embedded in Rome.

While you’re there, try and decipher the war story depicted in relief form on emperor Marcus Aurelius’ victory column.

View Secret Raphael Frescoes at Villa Farnesina

Interior of Renaissance Villa Farnesina, Rome

It’s not easy these days to view artwork by the great Renaissance artist Raphael without having to elbow people out of the way, but Villa Farnesina is one of the few places today where this is possible.

This opulent and beautiful mansion, built for a wealthy 16th-century banker, not only contains a whole room of frescoes depicting the story of Cupid and Psyche by Raphael and his workshop but the other rooms in the villa are also intricately decorated by a score of impressive artists.

Haggle at Rome’s Biggest Flea Market: Porta Portese

A view of the busy Roman flea market known as Porta Portese.

If you find yourself free on a Sunday morning, then head over to Porta Portese, one of the oldest and most popular flea markets in Rome . This labyrinthine market contains hundreds of stalls selling everything from used and vintage clothing to antique objects and anything in between.

There have been some worries in recent years that the market has been saturated with cheap imported junk, but that just might mean that you have to dig deeper.

Get your Modern Art Fix at the National Gallery of Modern Art

National Gallery of Modern Art

Not all the art in Rome is ancient. The National Gallery of Modern Art is home to the largest collection of modern art in Italy, displaying works from the 19th to the 21st centuries by artists such as Monet, Klimt, Van Gogh, and Pollock.

A must-see for art fans who need a break from the Baroque.

Uncover Three Layers of History at St. Clement Basilica

Inside the Basilica of San Clemente, Rome

This hidden gem, located close to the Colosseum, might seem like an ordinary church on the outside, but it’s hiding three levels of history within.

The current St. Clement Basilica , on level one, is a beautiful Romanesque church renovated in the Baroque style, but the real treasure lies below. Head underground to explore level two, which contains the remains of the first basilica built in the 4th century. If that’s not enough, descend deeper to explore the Mithraeum, an ancient temple from the 3rd century.

Admire Hidden Masterpieces at Palazzo Barberini

Sunset view of Palazzo Barberini in Rome

Palazzo Barberini may be one of Rome’s more underrated museums, but that just makes it more worth your visit because there’ll be fewer people. Its collection alone features masterpieces by artists Raphael, Caravaggio, and Titian, among others, but the palace itself is also stunning. 

Check out the two unique staircases designed by rival artists Bernini and Borromini, and gaze up at the flamboyant grand salon ceiling fresco featuring the Barberini family in all its propagandist glory.

Get Creeped Out at the Capuchin Crypt

Skulls and bones in an ossuary.

This unique and fascinating crypt is definitely not for the faint-hearted, as it contains the bones and mummified remains of nearly 4,000 individuals.

The museum above the crypt, devoted to the history of the Capuchin Order, is normal enough, but most people skim through it on their way downstairs to the main attraction. The bones are contained in a series of five rooms with suggestive names, such as the Crypt of Skulls and the Crypt of Pelvises, and they’re pretty accurate as far as names go.

Although the Catholic order insists it’s not meant to be macabre but a space in which a visitor can reflect on their own mortality, I beg to differ.

View the Portrait of a Pope at Doria Pamphilj Gallery

The interior of a red-walled and gilded room filled with paintings inside the Doria Pamphilj Gallery.

The Doria Pamphilj Gallery is arguably the best private gallery in Rome (though if you’ve read the whole list, you’ll know that Galleria Borghese gets my vote) and has an impressive collection boasting masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, and Caravaggio. 

The crowning jewel in the gallery’s cap, however, is Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X which depicted the pope with such realism that it was considered controversial upon its unveiling.

Explore The City with Ease Using a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

A red double-decker hop-on hop-off bus in Rome

Getting around Rome has never been easier now that there are not one but five different Ho-Ho tour companies to choose from. Spend up to three days hopping around the city on a double-decker bus with 360° views and learning about the different sites with the informative audio commentary provided.

Experience Two Different Versions of Campo de’ Fiori

Market on the Campo de Fiori in Rome, Italy

Campo de’ Fiori takes its name from the field of flowers that it used to be, though today, it is a paved and lively square in the city center of Rome.

Visit in the morning to enjoy the fruit, vegetable, and flower market that fills the square almost daily, and come back in the evening to grab a drink at one of the many bars lining the piazza and experience a completely different square.

Don’t forget to gaze up at the statue of the heretical philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake on the very spot he is now commemorated.

Explore the Excavation Site Known as Crypta Balbi

Crypta Balbi and the surrounding area is an excavation site dedicated to the preservation of an entire Roman city block, which consisted of a theater with a crypt, a block of four apartments, and a patio. Visitors to this unique site have the chance to poke around an archeological dig and see the different layers of 2,000 years of history uncovered with their own eyes.

View an Architectural Optical Illusion at Galleria Spada

The baroque corridor of Palazzo Spada the forced perspective gallery

Though small in size Galleria Spada packs a punch. The collection, hung frame-to-frame in its original 17th-century format, contains beautiful works of art by the likes of Titian and Artemisia Gentileschi.

The real draw to the museum, however, has got to be Borromini’s incredible perspective corridor, a feat of architectural ingenuity that will have you mistrusting your own eyes as you look down an 8-meter-long corridor that looks more like its 40-meters long.

See a Controversial Sculpture at Santa Maria della Vittoria

Bernini's sculpture of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa inside the Santa Maria della Vittoria church.

Santa Maria della Vittoria is a beautifully ornate example of a High Baroque church and is well worth a visit for that reason alone, but it has become famous for Bernini’s controversial sculpture of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa that resides within.

Saint Teresa leans back with an expression of pure ecstasy as an angel stands over her, ready to pierce her with a golden arrow. What shocks viewers is the sexually charged nature of the scene, which many don’t expect to find in a Catholic setting. Cheeky Bernini got away with it.

Discover an Unusual Tomb at Santa Maria del Popolo

The beautiful Cappella Chigi designed by Raffaello, in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome

Santa Maria del Popolo’s modest exterior belies the extravagant chapels within, the most famous of which is the Chigi Chapel, designed by Raphael and completed by Bernini. What’s unique about it is the strange pyramidal tomb where Agostino Chigi is interred.

Don’t forget to check out the Cerasi Chapel as well to admire the two dramatic Caravaggio paintings adorning the chapel walls. 

See a Double Facade at Santa Maria Maggiore

A close-up of the double facade of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four major papal basilicas, one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, and the biggest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome.

If those impressive titles were not enough to make you want to visit it, the stunning mosaics on the 13th-century facade, partially hidden behind the 18th-century Baroque facade, certainly will be.

Visit the “Mother of all Churches”, the Basilica of St. John Lateran

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, Rome

Not only is the Basilica of St. John in Lateran the oldest basilica in the world, but it’s also the highest-ranking of Rome’s four papal basilicas, even surpassing St. Peter’s in the Vatican.

Step inside its grandiose interior and be welcomed by the twelve imposing statues of the apostles, a highlight of the church. 

Don’t miss out on the Cosmatesque Cloister or the octagonal Baptistery either, both located near the basilica.

Complete a Lap at the Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus and ancient Rome landmarks

The Circus Maximus was ancient Rome’s first and largest stadium, built in the 6th century BCE. This long, oval arena was principally used for chariot racing, and today, though not much else is left, you can still see the well-worn tracks of the circuit.

It’s a great place to walk around, have a picnic, and gaze up at the ruins over on Palatine Hill across the road. It’s also used as a venue for concerts and other events as well.

Discover a Michelangelo-Designed Cloister Amidst the Ruins of the Baths of Diocletian

The baths of Diocletian, Rome, Italy

The Baths of Diocletian were once the largest baths in Ancient Rome and could hold up to roughly 3,000 people at a time. One thousand years after they were first constructed, Michelangelo was commissioned to build a church and charterhouse on their ruins.

Today, the complex also contains two museums where you can learn about the protohistory of the Latin peoples and see one of the richest collections of ancient inscriptions in the world.

Visit Rome’s Largest Collection of Etruscan Art at Villa Giulia

Yard of Villa Giulia in Rome city

Housed inside a peaceful and beautiful Renaissance villa on the outskirts of the city center is the National Etruscan Museum , Rome’s only dedicated museum of Etruscan art.

After you’ve explored the pre-Roman collection and learned about the mysterious Etruscans, head outside to the villa’s lush gardens and check out the Nymphaeum, a monument dedicated to the nymphs set in a water garden.

Explore the World’s Largest Collection of Greco-Roman Art at the National Roman Museum

Sculptures inside the Palazzo Massimo.

The National Roman Museum actually contains four museums in one: the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, and Crypta Balbi. Each branch displays its own unique collection and has its own location, but together they make up the world’s largest collection of Greco-Roman art.

Seeing at least one of the branches is highly recommended, though why not buy a combined ticket and see all four?

Pose with an Imperial monument, the Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine Rome

Situated right next to the Colosseum on what was once Rome’s Via Triumphalis (the victory road) is what is considered the last great monument of Imperial Rome: the Arch of Constantine .

Constantine’s arch was unique because, as well as showing friezes that celebrated his military victories, it also contains recycled elements from even older Roman monuments.

Posing in front of the arch with the Colosseum as a backdrop makes for a very ‘Imperial’ photo.

See Ancient Propagandist Art at the Ara Pacis

Ara Pacis, Augusto Imperatore, Rome

The Ara Pacis , or altar of peace, was a piece of propagandist art erected by Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, to illustrate the peace and prosperity that he claimed he brought to the Roman Republic. Ironically, the altar itself was used to make blood sacrifices in honor of the goddess Pax.

Today, the altar is housed inside a sleek and modern glass pavilion that is a work of art in itself.

View Ancient Sculptures Inside a Former Power Plant

Sculptures inside the Centrale Montmartini, a former power plant.

What was once the city’s first electrical power station is now a quirky museum displaying ancient Greek and Roman sculptures in an unusual setting.

Located in the Ostiense neighborhood, Centrale Montemartini is a perfect fusion of Classical antiquity and modern industrialism. It’s a great place to visit for people who want to see some of the unique things to do in Rome.

Risk Your Hand at the Mouth of Truth

Mouth of Truth Rome

The Mouth of Truth may just well be the world’s oldest lie detector. Legend has it that if you stick your hand inside the gaping wide mouth of this ginormous medallion, it will be bitten off if you’re a liar.

Though I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of these claims, I can guarantee that it makes for a fun photo opportunity for anyone who decides to risk it.

Visit the World’s Oldest Shopping Mall at Trajan’s Market

Trajan's Market on Forum of Trajan ruins on a sunny day

Walk through the ruins of Trajan’s Market , a 2,000-year-old market complex that once accommodated 150 different shops and vendors. It also contains one of the few remaining examples of a Roman high-rise building with three floors.

Who knew that visiting a shopping mall could be considered a cultural experience?

Get 360° Views of Rome From the Top of the ‘Vittoriano’

The Victor Emanuel II Monument, also known as the Vittorio or the Altar of the Fatherland.

Hop inside a glass elevator and ride to the top of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, commonly referred to as the Vittoriano or the Altar of the Fatherland, to get panoramic views of the Eternal City below.

The stark white monument itself is also well worth a visit, though, since its unveiling, it has been regarded as a controversial addition to Rome’s monuments by many locals who consider it gaudy and pompous. Whatever you think, it’s certainly imposing.

Shop Till You Drop at Via del Corso and Via Condotti

Via del Corso, a busy street in Rome, at Christmastime.

Italy has always been considered a top destination for fashionistas, and although Milan takes the crown as a world fashion capital, Rome is also highly regarded. 

Two of the most popular shopping streets in Rome run right through the city center. They are Via del Corso for more high-street shopping (though Fendi has a Flagship store here) and a street that runs perpendicular to it, known as Via Condotti, for more luxury brands.

See Shimmering Gold Mosaics at Santa Maria in Trastevere

The golden mosaic facade of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Located in the heart of Trastevere, this Romanesque church has its origins in the third century, during a time when Christianity was not yet accepted, making it one of the oldest churches in Rome.

It’s most notable for the shimmering golden mosaics on its facade and in the apse and for its 12th-century bell tower. If you’re in Trastevere, you can’t miss it.

Chill out in the District of Monti, Rome’s Hipster Hotspot 

Brimming with vintage stores, artisan boutiques, and trendy bars serving wine and craft beers, Monti has made a name for itself as one of the hippest and most arty districts in Rome.

Mingle with the Roman hipsters on the steps of the fountain in Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, or head to Mercato Monti on the weekends to do some serious vintage shopping.

See Fascist Architecture in EUR

The Facade of the Palace of the Italian Civilization in EUR, Rome.

Although originally designed by order of fascist dictator Mussolini to host the World Expo Fair of 1942 and to celebrate 20 years of Fascism, the planned exhibition never took place due to the outbreak of World War II.

Today, the district has evolved into a business and residential area, but it’s still a fascinating stop for tourists who want to have a look at the austere fascist architecture – in particular, the building known as the “Square Colosseum”.

Forget the Bustle of the City at Villa Doria Pamphili

The secret garden at Villa Doria Pamphili.

Walking through Villa Doria Pamphili, Rome’s largest urban public park, it’s easy to forget that you’re inside a big and bustling city.

Located on a hill in the Monteverde district, this peaceful park offers a total immersion into nature – apart from the Baroque villa known as the Casino del Bel Respiro (“small villa of good breath”) and the presence of beautiful statues and fountains. You’re still in Rome, after all.

Eat Pizza al Taglio – Rome’s Favorite Street Food

Slices of 'pizza al taglio', Roman-style square pizza.

Dotted throughout the city are thousands of pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) places serving, you guessed it, pizza by the slice. Baked in rectangular trays and with a variety of different toppings, the pizza is then sold by weight depending on how much of it you want, and sliced into a square or rectangular shape.

Many Italians grab a slice for lunch or for a snack when they’re too busy to have a two-hour lunch, and it’s the perfect option for when you’re sightseeing too.

Roma’s insider tip: For the best pizza al taglio in Rome, check out “I Suppli” in the Trastevere district and order a suppli (fried tomato rice ball) to go with your pizza slice.

Spend a Night at the Opera at the Baths of Caracalla

Every summer, from June to August, the ancient ruins of the Baths of Caracalla become the setting for an open-air opera festival. This has been a yearly tradition dating back to 1937, only moving briefly to Circus Maximus for two years since 2020 because of covid social distancing rules.

Now they’re back at the baths, and you can enjoy listening to arias and arpeggios in one of the most jaw-droppingly dramatic settings you’ve ever seen.

Pay your Respects to Percy at the Protestant Cemetery

A view of the Protestant Cemetery tombstones in Rome.

The Cimitero Acattolico (Non-Catholic or Protestant Cemetery) is also often referred to as the English Cemetery because not only does it look like it was plucked straight out of an English storybook, but it also holds the graves of two very famous English poets: John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, both of who died while sojourning in Rome.

If you’re feeling particularly ‘Romantic’, have a wander through the graves as you contemplate the meaning of life and the sublimity of nature.

Bask in The Sun at a Beach Near Rome

Anzio beach and caves near Rome.

A day at the beach may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Rome, but when those temperatures start to soar, you might find that it’s exactly what you need. Many visitors to Rome don’t know that there are a lot of beautiful beaches only a short train ride away. 

The best beaches within an hour of Rome are: Fregene, Lido di Ostia, Anzio, and Santa Marinella

So slap on your sunscreen, borrow a beach read, and get ready to sunbathe on the sand.

Watch a Movie at an Open-Air Cinema on a Roman Piazza

A couple share snacks in front of a cinema screen in a city park.

During the hot summer months, Rome is most alive after the sun sets when people no longer need to seek refuge from the hot midday heat. One of the most pleasant ways to enjoy a balmy summer evening is to attend a screening at one of the open-air cinemas that pop up in piazzas and parks during this time of year.

Check out “Il Cinema in Piazza” at Piazza San Cosimato for free screenings in their original languages and “L’Isola del Cinema” on Tiber island for their annual international festival of cinema and culture.

Walk Along an Ancient Aqueduct at Parco delle Aquedotti

A view of an ancient aqueduct in a park in Rome.

Just a short metro ride away from the city center lies Parco delle Aquedotti, a giant suburban park that holds the remains of two ancient Roman aqueducts . Visitors to the park have the chance to get up close and personal with these incredible structures that used to carry water from mountains in the east of Lazio to the center of Rome as they hike, jog, or cycle beside them.

See Movie Magic at Cinecitta Studios

Cinecitta Studios exterior.

Take a tour of the iconic film studios at Cinecitta, which were used to film many Oscar-winning Italian and international movies. First opened in 1937, the studios now contain many impressive sets and exhibitions. Here you can walk through ancient Rome or 16th-century Florence, learn all about auteur Federico Fellini, and discover the magic behind movie-making.

Step Foot on Tiber Island, Rome’s Only Island

Tiber Island in Rome.

The legendary river island known as Tiber Island was once the site of a temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Today, this boat-shaped isle continues its legacy of healing by being home to a working hospital first established in 1585.

Although the hospital should only be visited if you’re a patient, there’s still plenty to do: visit the Basilica of St Bartholomew, which stands on the site of the old temple, admire the “Infamous Column”, or descend to the base of the island to look at the Pons Aemilius, the remains of the oldest stone bridge in Rome.

Do a Double Take at the Theatre of Marcellus

Theater of Marcellus and the surrounding park.

No, that’s not the Colosseum you’re looking at. Although they look similar, the Theatre of Marcellus is an ancient open-air theater that actually predates the Colosseum by nearly 100 years.

Although you can’t go inside, you can walk around the grounds amidst the ruins of ancient columns haphazardly piled around or even walk right up to the arches of the theatre itself. And while the Colosseum itself is always teeming with tourists, this mini version is much more quiet.

Eat Fried artichokes in the Jewish Ghetto

Fried artichokes on a plate.

The Roman Ghetto, constructed in 1555, is the oldest ghetto in the Western world. Today, it’s considered one of Rome’s most beautiful lesser-known neighborhoods, with plenty to see and do.

Walk through the ancient ruins of the Portico D’Ottavia, dating back to the 2cd century BCE; have a look at Bernini’s famous turtle fountain; visit the iconic Synagogue, the largest in Rome; or, if you happen to be there on the right season, eat carciofi alla giudia , Jewish-style artichokes that have been fried to perfection.

Eat a Roman Pasta Dish at a Local Trattoria

A plate of 'Cacio e Pepe', a Roman pasta dish and a glass of red wine.

Though pasta is eaten throughout the whole of Italy, there are four pasta dishes that are considered classics in Rome and are the top things to do in Rome on your visit to the city. They are: Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, Gricia, and Amatriciana. All four recipes use pecorino romano, a sheep’s milk cheese considered fundamental to the dishes. 

A true Roman will argue that the only place in the world to get a ‘real’ Carbonara is in Rome. Order one in one of the many local trattorias dotted around Rome. Just don’t ask for parmesan on your pasta, that’s considered culinary heresy.

Bask in the opulence of Nero’s Golden House

The interior dome of Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea.

After the great fire of Rome in 64 CE, the notorious Emperor Nero ordered the construction of his new residence, the Domus Aurea. It was a ginormous complex decorated sumptuously with gold, precious gems, and marble and is considered the most extravagant construction in the history of Rome.

Today, only some of the areas of Oppian Hill are open to visitors, but even though they no longer contain any gold, they are still definitely worth a visit.

See the Sunset From the Orange Garden on Aventine Hill

Sunset at the orange tree garden on Aventine Hill.

Aventine Hill might not get as much love as some of Rome’s other hills, but that just makes it nicer because it’s less crowded to visit.

For a stunning view of St. Peter’s Basilica and the city of Rome, climb up to the viewing point located in the Orange Garden, a spectacular public garden covered in pretty (though inedible) orange trees and Rome’s iconic stone pine trees. For added romance, head up there at sunset and then walk back down through the Rome Rose Garden, which contains more than a thousand varieties of Roses.

Peep at St. Peter’s Through the Aventine Keyhole

A view of St. Peter's Basilica framed by hedges from the Aventine Keyhole.

What was once one of Rome’s best-kept secrets is now a fairly well-known attraction, though there are still not too many tourists who come here.

Through the tiny keyhole of a nondescript green door (leading to the priory of the Knights of Malta) lies the most stunning and unique view in Rome. Peek through it, and you’ll see St. Peter’s iconic cupola perfectly centered and framed by the manicured hedges of the Maltese garden.

No one knows whether this viewpoint was planned or just a happy coincidence.

See funky Street Art in Ostiense

Cars pass by a building in Ostiense covered in street art.

Roman art tends to be of the more ancient or baroque variety, but there is one neighborhood making a name for itself as Rome’s leading street art district: Ostiense.

What was once a crumbling industrial district is now an up-and-coming trendy area thanks to an urban art project launched in 2015.

Walk around this colorful quarter to see some of the coolest murals and street art in Rome.

Escape the Bustling City in the Botanical Garden

A view of a church inside Rome's botanical garden.

Between the neighborhood of Trastevere and Janiculum Hill lies a serene green oasis not much visited by tourists. The Botanical Garden of Rome covers an area of about 12 hectares and has around 400 species of trees and plants.

Some of the highlights include the Corsini Greenhouse, which contains varieties of succulents and cacti, the Greenhouse of Orchids, some of which are incredibly rare, and the Japanese Garden, which comes alive with color in the Spring.

See Spectacular Views of Rome From its ‘Eighth Hill’

A view of Rome from Janiculum Hill.

The Janiculum Hill, sometimes referred to as the “Balcony of Rome”, offers one of the most stunning panoramas of the city, with a completely different viewpoint from many of the others. Some say it’s the best in Rome.

Though sunset and sunrise are the most recommended times to head up there, the view is still spectacular from any time of day. Just don’t get startled by the blast of the cannon that goes off every day at midday.

Visit a Local Cat Sanctuary With a Very Dramatic Setting

A view of the ruins in Largo di Torre Argentina

Smack bang in the center of a busy traffic hub lies Largo di Torre Argentina, an archeological site featuring four temples and the Theatre and Curia of Pompey – now turned into a cat sanctuary.

This once tragic location, the setting of Julius Caesar’s betrayal and assassination, is now a popular area for cat-spotting. Many come here to snap a picture of the furry felines living their best lives amidst the ruins. Honestly, some of the most unique and fun things to do in Rome.

Contemplate Caravaggio Paintings in the Church of St. Louis of the French

Three Caravaggio paintings in San Luigi de Francesi church.

Rome has over 900 churches, and it’s virtually impossible to see them all, so it’s important to make a well-chosen selection upon your visit to Rome. The Church of St. Louis of the French should definitely be on your list. 

While it might just seem like any other church from the outside, it’s anything but on the inside. This church is home to an incredible trio of Caravaggio paintings known as the St. Matthew cycle. It’s some of Caravaggio’s most celebrated work and a fabulous example of his chiaroscuro technique, made all the more dramatic by the setting of the church.

Discover an Architectural Fantasyland – the Quartiere Coppedè

A view of Quartiere Coppede, a Roman neighbourhood.

In the northern part of the city lies a fantastical and frankly a bit bizarre area known as the Quartiere Coppedè. This mishmash of architectural styles: Ancient Greek, Baroque, Medieval, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau, was dreamt up by architect Gino Coppedè, who worked on it until his death in 1927.

This whimsical neighborhood is perfect for visitors who want to get off the beaten track. Look out for all the fantastical floral and mythological details that adorn the buildings.

Be Deceived by a Trompe L’oeil at the Church of St. Ignatius

The painted trompe d'oeil ceiling at the church of St. Ignatius

The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola is one of Rome’s most important Jesuit churches and is often visited by pilgrims. But one of its main draws for the more secular visitor is the cleverly-depicted fake dome frescoed by Andrea Pozzo.

Apparently, funds to build an actual dome were lacking, so Pozzo was hired to use his skills to create an illusion of a bigger space. The effect is surprisingly realistic. Use the conveniently-placed mirror to get a better look at the details.

Go Shopping in (Art Nouveau) Style at the Galleria Alberto Sordi

The Art Nouveau shopping arcade known as Galleria Alberto Sordi.

Located on Via del Corso, in the heart of the city center, is the Galleria Alberto Sordi, named after one of Rome’s best-loved actors.

This beautiful shopping arcade with its gorgeous glass ceiling is one of the few examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the city center.

Today it’s home to around 15 stores, including a famous bookshop and a coffee shop, but it’s also just nice to stroll through on your way through the city center.

See Prize-Winning Modern Architecture at MAXXI

The MAXXI Museum exterior.

MAXXI is Italy’s first national museum of contemporary art and architecture. It’s a great place to visit when you need a break from all the ruins, and you want to learn more about Italy’s future in art. 

One of the main draws, however, is the architecture of the museum itself. Designed by Zaha Hadid in 2010, this prize-winning building manages to hold its own among all of Rome’s ancient monuments.

Admire a Cute Elephant at Piazza della Minerva

A close-up of Bernini's marble elephant at Piazza della Minerva.

Right behind the Pantheon is a small and mostly-ignored square known as Piazza della Minerva. There are two reasons why you should pay it a visit. 

One is to see the adorable sculpture of a little elephant holding an obelisk, designed by none other than Bernini. The other reason is to check out the star-studded ceiling of the church of Santa Maria sotto Minerva located on the piazza. It’s different from many other church ceilings.

Visit the Tomb of Rome’s First Emperor at the Mausoleum of Augustus

A view of the Mausoleum of Augustus from the outside on a sunny day.

Back in March 2021, after 14 years of closure, Emperor Augustus’ Mausoleum had finally been reopened to the public. 

Now, visitors get a chance to explore the burial ground of Rome’s first emperor in the largest circular tomb in the world and learn all about the history behind this fascinating structure.

Eat Breakfast Italian Style at Your Local ‘Bar’

A cappuccino and a croissant.

If you want to enjoy colazione (breakfast) as an Italian would, head down to your nearest local cafe, which Italians call bars, and order a cappuccino and a cornetto (croissant) standing up at the counter. 

Not only will you pay less than if you got table service, but you might even be mistaken for a local. Just remember not to order a cappuccino after midday, as Italians believe you’ll get indigestion from the milk when it’s later in the day. Only ‘caffès’ after twelve, and whatever you do, don’t call it an espresso.

Party in San Lorenzo, Rome’s Student District

Four people sit in a dark bar.

Once upon a time, the district of San Lorenzo was largely snubbed in favor of more tourist-friendly districts, but nowadays, it’s considered an up-and-coming neighborhood thanks to its bohemian vibe and thriving student population.

Head there in the evening to check out the street art and grab a drink in one of the many new bars popping up.

Visit Livia’s Garden at Palazzo Massimo

The frescoed walls of Livia's Garden.

One of my favorite hidden gems in Rome is Livia’s paradisiacal garden, a delightfully frescoed room discovered in Emperor Augustus’ wife’s house, the Villa of Livia, in 1863. Now it can be found in a purpose-built room at the Palazzo Massimo.

The walls were frescoed in the years 30-20 BCE, but the Eden-like scene it depicts is still vivid to this day. Gazing at the lush garden filled with ripe trees and delicate birds feels like stepping into a dream, one shared with a Roman empress over 2000 years ago.

See a Unique Floor Plan at Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio

The interior of Santo Stefano Rotondo church.

This round church, constructed in 483, was the first in Rome to have a circular plan. In the 15th century, the church came under the care of the Pauline Father, a Catholic order founded by Hungarians, and today the church is considered Hungary’s national church in Rome.

What makes it special is its unique round form, a shape often used when constructing Roman mausoleums. It’s said that the famous architect Leon Battista Alberti himself helped restore it. Architectural buffs will be delighted by this hidden gem.

Savor an Italian Coffee at Antigua Tazza D’Oro

An espresso sits on a table surrounded by coffee beans.

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Pantheon , La Casa del Caffè Tazza D’Oro is one of Rome’s favorite cafès. Loved by tourists and locals alike for its cheap and delicious coffee, it’s the only craft antique coffee company located in the historic center.

Try their famous granita di caffè, an iced coffee with whipped cream on top perfect for the summer months. Otherwise, just ask for a caffè and have it standing at the bar before heading back into sightseeing.

Bike or Stroll Along the Appian Way

The ancient Roman cobbled street known as the Appian Way.

Via Appia Antica, or the Appian Way , is one of the oldest and most strategically important roads to the ancient Roman Republic. It used to connect Rome all the way to Brindisi, located in the heel of Italy. 

Today, it’s one of the most beautiful roads to walk or bike along, traversing idyllic landscapes and ancient catacombs. Some stretches of the road even have ancient paving stones with visible carriage tracks.

Galleria Sciarra

The Art Nouveau courtyard known as the Galleria Sciarra.

Located just a few steps away from the Trevi fountain, this hidden Art Nouveau courtyard contains opulent frescoes and a glass and iron ceiling that will transport you right back to the turn of the 20th century.

Built for the wealthy Sciarra family, the elegant floral designs and the colorful frescoes of women in various phases of life, which make this building so different from the surrounding ones, are well worth a quick visit.

Catch a Game at the Stadio Olimpico

The interior of the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

With seating for over 70,000 people, Stadio Olimpico is the largest sports facility in Rome. Called the Olympic Stadium because it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1960 Summer Olympics, the stadium is now mostly known for being the home stadium of the Roma and Lazio football clubs.

For any football fan, watching a game at the Stadio Olimpico makes for a perfect break in between sightseeing.

Take Part in an Italian Tradition: The Aperitivo

Two aperol spritzs sit on a table in Rome.

It’s common knowledge that Italians love to eat… and that they love to eat late. For some visitors accustomed to a different schedule, this could mean waiting a long time before the restaurants open.

The solution is to partake in one of Italy’s favorite traditions: the aperitivo . Designed to whet your appetite before dinner, the aperitivo is a pre-meal drink (think negroni) and snack that occurs between 6 and 8 after the working day has ended. 

You know what they say: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Insider tip: Check out Freni e Frizioni in Trastevere for one of the best aperitivos in Rome.

Go for a Passeggiata along the Tiber River

A view of the Tiber River and Castel Sant'Angelo

Take part in the Italian rite known as the passeggiata a leisurely stroll usually taken after meals. But, instead of walking through town, why not head down to the banks of river Tiber at sunset and take in the view?

The Tiber banks are a favorite of joggers and cyclists, but it’s also just a wonderful and usually quiet area to stroll. The stretch between Tiber Island and Castel Sant’Angelo is a favorite.

Get off the Beaten track in Garbatella

Clothes hanging from a window in a building in Garbatella.

Often overlooked by tourists, Garbatella is younger and quite different from other Roman neighborhoods. Established in 1920 as part of a planned community for workers, it was modeled on the garden city suburbs popular in England at the time.

Walking around Garbatella’s serene green spaces and brightly colored streets gives you the opportunity to see a completely different side of Rome.

Spend a Night out in Edgy Pigneto

Often compared to Brooklyn or Shoreditch, Pigneto is fastly becoming Rome’s coolest area to get a drink, listen to live music, or simply just hang out.

Located behind Termini train station, Pigneto was once considered a little rough around the edges, but it’s now known for its alternative and edgy vibe. Head there for things to do in Rome at night or when you want to grab a cheap drink and party with the locals.

Leave the City Center to see St. Paul Outside the Walls

The exterior of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.

The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is often passed over by tourists because of its location far outside the historic center, but missing out on this magnificent basilica would be a mistake.

Founded on the burial ground of St. Paul, it’s one of the four major papal basilicas in Rome and the second largest after St. Peters. The beautiful golden mosaics alone are worth leaving the city center for.

Eat a Gelato (Fatamorgana)

Different gelato flavours in a gelateria.

Ge-la-to. Is any other combination of syllables so beautiful?

Whether you’re looking for something more traditional (Giolitti) or want to taste something more avant-garde (Fatamorgana), there’s something for everyone. 

But everyone has a different opinion on what’s the best gelateria in Rome, so the only possible solution to finding your favorite is to eat as much gelato as possible as many times a day as possible. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Break up Your Roman Holiday With a Day-Trip

A view of the ruins of Pompeii against the backdrop of Vesuvius.

One of the greatest things about Rome is its close proximity to so many other outstanding places. If you want to take a brief trip outside of Rome, the options are endless.

Head to Pompeii to see an archeological site; Florence for a Renaissance city; Bolsena to spend a day at a lake. Or simply close your eyes and point your finger at the map at random, you’re bound to end up somewhere spectacular.

And Lastly, Throw Away This List and Follow Your Feet

A happy couple walk in front of the Colosseum

Rome has been standing for over 2,000 years, and it is still evolving today. No matter how many times you go there, there will always be something new to discover. It’s impossible for one list, to sum up all the beauty and wonder that makes up Rome – you just need to see it for yourself.

So, close your guidebook, put away your phone, and let your feet guide you and explore memorable things to do in Rome. Peek inside every open doorway you pass and wander down every cobblestoned side street. And remember to drink it all in. 

Happy exploring.

The Colosseum

Visit The Colosseum In Rome, Italy

Visiting the Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a must-see sight if you’re visiting Italy’s capital, the Eternal City.

Below you’ll find useful information to plan your visit, such as opening times, transport to the Colosseum, information about security and accessibility, etc.

Colosseum Ticket Options

ℹ️ Colosseum tickets sell out fast in high season. We recommend looking on both Tiqets and GetYourGuide to increase your chances of finding a ticket.

  • The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
  • Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
  • St.Peter’s Basilica or Castel Sant’Angelo or Borghese Gallery (pick one)
  • Tour: Colosseum & Arena Floor (Small-Group) Get VIP access to the arena floor!
  • Colosseum & Vatican Museum The two most popular attractions in Rome in one single reservation.
  • Colosseum Tickets Overview page showing all available tickets by day. We recommend opening this page in high season.
  • Group Tickets For group tickets (10+ people) visit our partner groupsightseeing.com

💡 Colosseum sold out? Try the Roman Ruins Pass A great alternative when the Colosseum ticket is not available. This pass includes access to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Imperial Forum.

(Access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill is included in all tickets)

Read more about:

The Colosseum seen from the inside, with the open underground in view

Where is the Colosseum located?

The address of the Colosseum is Piazza del Colosseo, 1, in Rome, Italy . For those travelling by car, the Colosseum’s GPS coordinates are 41.8902° N, 12.4922° E . If you’re in Rome and want to find out how to go to the Colosseum use the following Google Map to find the best route from your current location.

How to get to the Colosseum

The Colosseum is very well serviced by Rome’s extensive public transport network. It can be reached by subway, multiple bus lines, and by tram. Below is a list of all public transport options to go to the Colosseum from practically anywhere in Rome.

  • Metro B line, get off at the Colosseum metro stop.
  • Metro A line, get off at Manzoni stop, then switch to the number 3 tram line going south.
  • Bus lines 60, 75, 85, 87, 271, 571, 175, 186, 810, 850, C3, and 117.
  • Tramway line 3.

If you don’t want to take public transport you can also take a taxi, just make sure that it is an official, licensed cab.

You’ll recognize them because they have the “TAXI” sign on the roof of the vehicle, are all white, and they have the Commune di Roma logo on the side.

Also make sure your cab has a meter, and that the driver turns it on when you get in, otherwise you could end up paying much more than you should.

Things to see near the Colosseum

The Colosseum is surrounded by other beautiful and famous monuments that are well worth viewing . The most important ones are:

  • The Arch of Constantine, a triumphalist arch dedicated to the Emperor of the same name. It sits right next to the Colosseum and doesn’t require a ticket.
  • The Domus Aurea , the remains of the grand palace emperor Nero built himself in 68 AD. It can only be visited as part of a guided tour (affiliate link if this is available?)
  • The Roman Circus, aka the Circus Maximus , the ground-level remains of an ancient chariot racing stadium. It is said that it could seat 150,000 spectators during the Empire’s heyday. It is best viewed from the Palatine Hill.
  • The Palatine Hill, which houses the archeological remains of many ancient Roman palaces and temples and offers a great view of the surrounding area. You can visit it with the same ticket as the Colosseum.
  • The Roman Forum, or Foro Romano , which used to be the center of Rome itself. A plaza where trade, politics, parades, and entertainment were conducted. You can visit and view its many archaeological remains with the same ticket as the Colosseum.

Tips and things you should know for your visit

Below are some tips and other important information you should take into account when visiting the Colosseum.

Like all major tourist attractions, the Colosseum’s security is quite stringent to keep visitors safe. Visitors are not allowed to enter the monument with large bags, suitcases, or backpacks.

If you are carrying your travel luggage you will be denied entry. Small and medium-sized bags are ok, but they will be screened by security personnel and go through a metal detector.

Italian military police, the Carabinieri, patrolling on horseback near the Colosseum

Skipping the line

If you have pre-booked your tickets you will get to skip the ticket line , but will still have to wait to go through security. Depending on the day and the time of year security can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over 60 minutes. Because of this, it is recommended you budget extra time for your visit.

A good way to avoid this problem altogether is to go early in the morning. The Colosseum opens to visitors at 8.30 am. If you arrive early you will spend much less time waiting and you will also avoid the intense heat of the Roman summer. Another way to skip the lines is to join a guided tour, find out more on our tours of the Colosseum page (link).

Is the Colosseum accessible for disabled people?

Yes, the Colosseum is accessible to disabled people. Its main entrance has no stairs, the inside is mostly flat save a few areas because of the old cobblestones, and there is an elevator that takes visitors to the upper floor.

Parking near the Colosseum

Regarding parking near the Colosseum — the most important advice for any visitor thinking of driving in Rome is don’t do it . Driving and finding parking spaces in the center of the city is very difficult if you don’t know your way around.

You’ll save money, time, and stress if you stick to public transport. Pickpockets can be a thing, but if you’re careful and mindful of your belongings you won’t have a problem.

Does the Colosseum have a dress code?

The Colosseum doesn’t have a dress code, but in exploring it you’ll be climbing a lot of stairs so make sure to wear comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes. The same can be said of Rome as a whole. Shorts, leggings, hoodies… all are fine.

If you explore the surrounding area you may also spend some time in the sun, so don’t forget to bring sunscreen.

Is the Colosseum child friendly?

Yes, but you’ll need to do a little extra planning. If you’re visiting during the hottest months of the year go early in the morning to escape the heat. Joining a guided tour can also help with dodging the lines to minimize waiting time. Beyond that, it depends on your child. If he/she is interested in ancient archaeological ruins and in hearing stories about brave Roman gladiators that fought in the arena the Colosseum can be quite an enjoyable experience.

What is the best way to see the Colosseum?

The best time to visit the Colosseum is early in the morning before large crowds form, and the best days are during the week, as it will usually be less crowded than on the weekends. However, if you’re willing to spend a little more, a night time tour (link) is probably the most interesting way to visit. Keep in mind that the night tour does not include a combined ticket for the Roman Forum and the palatine hill as a normal Colosseum ticket would, so if you want to see those monuments too you’ll have to visit them separately.

Happy to Wander

The Ultimate FREE Rome Tourist Map (Things to Do, Photo Spots & More!)

Last Updated: May 15, 2024

*FYI - this post may contain affiliate links, which means we earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase from them. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out our Privacy Policy and Disclosure. for more info.

Looking for a Rome tourist map that covers all the main sights?

Great news! Hi – I’m Christina, a shameless travel nerd who has already made one. WITH cute stamp icons… that are colour coded.

So yes, below, you’ll find a handy Google Map that you can use on your phone that includes…

  • Top Rome museums & sights
  • The prettiest photo spots and views in Rome
  • Rome food, drink & bar recommendations
  • Fun shopping spots to visit in Rome

I hope you find it helpful!

tourist information center rome

Save this Free Rome Map for Later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

My Free Rome Tourist Map

On mobile? Click this link here and the map should automatically open on your Google Maps app.

NOTE: Free sights are marked with a green background – be sure to expand the Map Legend to see the different layers and categories I’ve included!

More Rome Travel Resources

Finally, if you’re a bit more old school, then here are some articles and blog posts to help you out with your Prague planning!

  • Things to do in Rome
  • Rome Travel Tips
  • Rome Fun Facts
  • Italy Travel Tips

tourist information center rome

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

💳 Wise: For FREE travel friendly credit cards

🍯 Airalo: My go-to eSIM

🏨 Booking.com: For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights : For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

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Flannels or FlipFlops

Flannels or FlipFlops

Travel Through Rome: 22 Famous Landmarks You Must See

Posted: June 17, 2024 | Last updated: June 17, 2024

<p>Italy is one of the top European countries to visit. The country is full of history, seen in its many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is also home to delicious cuisine, remarkable artwork and architecture, and beautiful scenery that will stick with you. </p> <p>Italians are known for being very passionate about their small shops, cozy restaurants, family, and being friendly to visitors. Learning a few basic Italian phrases enhances your trip, helps you feel more at home, and allows you to connect with locals.</p> <p>My husband and I studied abroad in Italy in college and found that knowing key phrases made a big difference in getting around and enjoying our time there. Here’s a list of handy phrases to pick up before your trip.</p>

From ancient Roman ruins like the Colosseum to iconic sites like St Peter’s Basilica, there is something for every traveler in Rome.

The iconic Trevi Fountain at night one of the best Rome Italy landmarks in 2023 with visitors gathered around its majestic marble structure and sparkling turquoise waters.

1. Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most iconic sights in Rome, Italy. It has a long and fascinating history that dates back to ancient Roman times, and it’s been a popular tourist destination for centuries.

The fountain is best known for its beautiful Baroque architecture, which was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1762.

It’s also famous for its many legends – one of the most popular is that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will be sure to return to Rome someday.

Trevi Fountain is best visited at night when the fountain is lit up, and the sculptures are illuminated.

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy, a magnificent ancient amphitheater standing tall against a night sky, showcasing its grand architectural beauty and rich history.

2. Colosseum

The Colosseum is one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Rome. Built-in 70AD and originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, this ancient Roman site has been the backdrop of some of history’s most important events.

The sheer size and scale of the Colosseum are breathtaking, making it one of Rome’s must-see landmarks.

I highly suggest purchasing tickets ahead of your visit to save yourself the time wasted standing in the ticket queue.

I also recommend either booking a guided tour or purchasing the audio guide to help you get a better understanding of the Colosseum.

Read our 21 Best Colosseum Quotes

The Roman Forum in Rome, a sprawling archaeological site filled with ancient ruins, columns, and fragments, offering a glimpse into the vibrant public life and political center of ancient Rome.

3. Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is perhaps the most historically significant of all Rome’s landmarks. This ancient site was once the center of social and political life in the Roman Empire. As you walk around, you’ll set foot on paths that were once trodden by some of history’s greatest rulers.

Vatican City, the spiritual heart of Catholicism, home to St. Peter's Basilica and the iconic Vatican Museums, with the dome of St. Peter's rising above the historic cityscape.

​4. Vatican City

Vatican City is the world’s smallest sovereign state and the spiritual center of the Catholic world. The city is home to a number of impressive landmarks, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. Additionally, please note that modest dress is expected when visiting the Vatican.

A photo of St. Peter's Basilica, a breathtaking architectural marvel in Vatican City, featuring a stunning dome, intricate details, and a serene atmosphere sorround with locals and tourist.

5. St Peters Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy , is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and a must-see for any traveler to this incredible city.

This awe-inspiring church stands as an impressive testament to Renaissance architecture with its grand dome, intricate sculptures, and breathtaking artwork.

Inside you can explore five centuries of history while admiring some of Michelangelo’s most iconic works, like his Pietà sculpture. A visit to St Peter’s Basilica will leave you feeling inspired and humbled by its grandeur!

Gorgeous frescoes adorning the majestic Sistine Chapel ceiling, a visual masterpiece in the heart of Rome.

6. Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome, Italy . Located within Vatican City and adjacent to St Peter’s Basilica, this awe-inspiring chapel has been a popular destination for travelers since its inception in the 16th century.

You will be awed by the Renaissance architecture and artwork at this historic site. Inside, you can see Michelangelo’s famous frescoes on the ceiling, along with other captivating works spanning five centuries of history.

Read more about Rome Italy, one of the Unbeatable Destinations for Weekend Getaways in Europe

Mesmerized by the captivating spiral staircase in the Vatican Museums, a beautifully crafted architectural marvel that spirals upwards, beckoning you to explore the wonders that lie ahead.

7. Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy, are a must-see for any traveler to this incredible city. Located within the walls of the Vatican City, these museums offer visitors an opportunity to explore centuries of art and history from ancient times until today.

You’ll find galleries filled with sculptures, frescoes, tapestries, and other stunning works representing various eras of art.

The vast collection includes masterpieces by renowned artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael.

Captivating square dotted with the ruins of ancient Roman temples and surrounded by bustling buildings, where history seamlessly merges with the modern-day vibe of the city.

8. Largo di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre, Argentina, is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome, Italy. Located in the heart of the city, this historic site provides a unique opportunity for travelers to explore some of Rome’s oldest and most iconic architecture.

The Largo di Torre Argentina is best known as the location where Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Today it serves as an archaeological excavation site with ruins from four Republican-era temples dating back to the 4th century BC.

Look up and immersed in a celestial panorama, with celestial figures, angels, and ornate architectural details seamlessly blending together, creating a celestial masterpiece that adds to the overall grandeur and spiritual ambiance of the basilica.

9. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four major basilicas in Rome named after St. Mary Major.

It stands out for its beautiful exterior decorated with marble and mosaics, as well as its elaborate interior featuring a wooden ceiling painted with frescoes.

Santa Maria Maggiore also hosts important religious events on special holidays, like Christmas and Easter.

The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is a stunningly majestic sight, with its four rivers flowing majestically from the center. And tourists admiring its beauty and grandeur.

10. Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome. This grand fountain stands at the center of Piazza Navona and features four figures depicting four rivers from various continents.

This majestic structure was designed by Bernini in 1651 and has been considered a masterpiece ever since.

Captivating ruins of the Palatine Hill, standing as a testament to the glory of ancient Rome, with crumbling walls, weathered columns, and scattered fragments that whisper stories of emperors, lavish palaces, and the rich tapestry of Roman civilization.

11. Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill is the centermost of Rome’s seven hills and one of the most famous landmarks in Italy. It was once home to the richest citizens and where many Ancient Roman emperors resided, including Augustus.

Today it is known for its archaeological ruins, outdoor gardens, and sweeping views of the city. Visitors can explore its rich history through its ancient ruins and breathtaking views.

A view from the fountain the background of the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy, at sunset. Consisting of a grand staircase with 135 steps that ascend from Piazza di Spagna to the Trinità dei Monti church, offering a popular gathering spot and a charming setting for locals and visitors to relax, socialize, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

12. Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps have been one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks since its construction in 1725. The 138 steps were designed by Francesco de Sanctis and Giuseppe Valadier and led up to the Piazza di Spagna.

The stairs are a popular spot for tourists, with its beautiful views of Rome and many shops and restaurants around the steps. Visitors can enjoy the views and stroll up the stairs for a closer look at this famous landmark.

A well-preserved, white marble pyramid-shaped structure, the Pyramid of Cestius stands tall near the Porta San Paolo in Rome, Italy.

13. Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramid of Cestius , or Piramide di Caio Cestio, is a tomb built in 12 BC for the magistrate Gaius Cestius Epulo.

Standing 37 meters (121ft) tall, this pyramid is the only ancient Egyptian-style pyramid in Rome and one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Italy.

An expansive and picturesque public park, Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy. Couples on the boat adorn the tranquil lake's landscape, offering a serene retreat within the bustling city, with the gulls swimming around the lake.

14. Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is a large public park located in the heart of Rome. It was originally established as a private estate in 1605 and opened to the public in 1903. The villa features three lakes, lush gardens, beautiful sculptures, and many attractions for all ages.

Visitors can explore the park’s various trails and admire its many monuments, including the famous Four Rivers Fountain and the Temple of Aesculapius.

Via Appia Antica, Rome's ancient road full of history and charm. Imagine walking on old cobblestones, surrounded by lush green landscapes and remnants of ancient Roman tombs and monuments.

15. Via Appia Antica

The Via Appia Antica is an ancient Roman road that stretches over 300km and was built in 312 BC. It is one of the oldest and best-preserved roads in Italy and a popular tourist destination for those looking to explore the ruins of ancient Rome.

Visitors can explore the many catacombs along the road, visit numerous historic sites, or walk along the iconic cobblestone path.

The impressive basilica of Archbasilica of St. John Lateran with its stunning architecture, adorned with intricate details and towering columns. Step inside to discover awe-inspiring artworks, majestic chapels, and a sense of spiritual serenity.

16. Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

Also known as the Lateran Basilica, this is one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. This incredible building is the official papal seat and home to many sculptures, frescos, and beautiful mosaic floors.

The Pantheon is a true architectural masterpiece in the heart of Rome. Its iconic dome, supported by massive columns, stands tall against the sky. With enthusiastic tourists capturing their memories with cameras and smartphones.

17. Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved temples in Rome and a must-see for all visitors.

Built during the 2nd century AD, it is made up of concrete and brick walls and features a huge, round dome that has been standing since its original construction.

Amazing old interior of Nero's Domus Aurea, a grand palace in ancient Rome known for its opulent decorations and vast architectural scale.

18. Nero’s Domus Aurea

Nero’s Domus Aurea is an iconic landmark in Rome that served as Emperor Nero’s palace. Nero had planned to build a new city called “Neropolis” and the Domus Aurea was a part of that project to transform Rome.

It was built in 64 AD and is now a popular tourist destination for those interested in learning more about Roman history.

The peaceful and vibrant Piazza Navona at night.

19. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares in Rome.

It was built in the 15th century as a public square and featured three stunning fountains, including the Fountain of Four Rivers by Bernini.

The Piazza Navona is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to spend time outdoors, enjoy an Italian gelato, or even participate in the open-air art market.

The enchanting allure of the Capitoline Museums at night, where art and history come alive in a whole new light. As darkness falls, the magnificent palaces that house the museums are beautifully illuminated, casting a warm glow on the surrounding square.

20. Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums are located on the top of Capitoline Hill and offer visitors a glimpse into ancient Roman history.

The museums house an impressive array of sculptures, including the iconic statue of Marcus Aurelius, as well as paintings and other artifacts from antiquity.

Immerse yourself in the lively energy of Piazza Venezia in Rome, where locals and tourists come together to admire the impressive Vittorio Emanuele Monument up close, snapping photos and marveling at its grandeur while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling square.

21. Piazza Venezia

Located at the foot of Capitol Hill, it is home to many famous monuments like the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland).

This monument was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, who unified Italy and is also known as “the Unknown Soldier.”

The Vibrant National Roman Museum at night with car passing by.

22. Museo Nazionale Romano

Museo Nazionale Romano in Rome , Italy, is a must-visit for tourists and history buffs alike.

The National Roman Museum is actually 4 separate locations, each housing different artifacts, and exhibits.

<p>Explore the stunning landscapes and rich cultures of Europe with these 13 unforgettable train rides that promise adventure at every turn—</p><p><strong><a href="https://www.flannelsorflipflops.com/13-unforgettable-train-rides-across-europe-you-cant-miss/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Click here to discover them all!</a></strong></p>

13 Unforgettable Train Rides Across Europe You Can’t Miss

Explore the stunning landscapes and rich cultures of Europe with these 13 unforgettable train rides that promise adventure at every turn—

Click here to discover them all!

<ul> <li><strong>Rent per 1 person:</strong> $584.21</li> <li><strong>Cost of living:</strong> $764.70</li> <li><strong>Percentage of single population:</strong> 30.3%</li> <li><strong>Average salary per person:</strong> $1,203.67</li> <li><strong>Safety index:</strong> 65.6</li> <li><strong>Score:</strong> 143</li> </ul>

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What is tourist tax and will you have to pay it in Europe this summer?

Although tourist tax isn't a new concept, an increasing number of destinations are starting to impose the charge on travellers. Don't get caught out by these often hidden costs — here's everything you need to know about tourist tax in Europe.

In April, hundreds of local residents marched through Venice to protest at a new €5 (£4.20) fee being charged to day visitors. Separate from the nightly tourist tax already applied to accommodation, the new charge forms part of a three-month trial initiated to help curb overtourism at peak times. Anyone entering must show a pre-paid QR code, something many residents regard as an imposition against their freedom and, for the small sum being charged, unlikely to act as a deterrent anyway.

However, such tourist taxes aren’t breaking news — Bhutan has been asking visitors to pay a hefty one since 1974 (it’s recently been reduced to £78 per day). But the number of cities implementing such measures or increasing existing taxes, is rapidly growing, especially across Europe. And, while tax doesn’t have to be confusing, it generally is, with different charges being applied under different names, rules and stipulations. Here’s what you need to know about paying tourist tax in Europe this summer.

What is tourist tax?

Tourist tax is a small daily charge, typically applied to your hotel bill, paid as a one-off payment at immigration or tacked onto your airfare. As these taxes are government-applied levies, they’re mandatory, meaning you’ll often have to pay them before you’re able to check in. Seen as a way of addressing some of the more negative impacts of tourism, such as too many visitors and environmental degradation, they also purport to give back to local economies. Natalia Bayona, executive director of UN Tourism says: “Tourist taxes can play a significant role in how destinations manage tourism flows. But the implementation of these fees is also designed to deliver more of the economic benefits that tourism offers back to the host communities.”

Yet, as in Venice, they can be controversial. The European Tourism Association (ETOA), a trade body that promotes tourism within Europe, is against tourist levies. “They impose the burden of payment on those who choose to stay in the destination,” says Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA. “They’re imposed at short notice to plug an urgent fiscal gap. It’s a fallacy that they’re a control measure.”

Due to the absence of a universal system, they’re complex, too. Each country or city can charge what and how they like, making it a job to know what you’re looking for on your bill or factor the exact cost into your holiday. Some taxes are charged at a flat rate, while others are a percentage of your accommodation bill or absorbed into the room rate. The type of accommodation or star rating of a hotel also makes a difference, as does seasonality and the age of children. For example, Venice’s overnight tax can be anything up to €5 (£4.20) per night, depending on the type of hotel, location and time of year and the charge applies to anyone over the age of 10 for up to five consecutive days. In Lisbon, it’s €2 (£1.70), although there’s a proposal to hike it to €4 (£3,40) per night for periods of up to a week for visitors aged 13 and over.

Why do destinations charge tourist tax?

Fundamentally, tourist taxes are there to bring in revenue, whether that’s for the general upkeep of the city, to improve tourism or to impose sustainability initiatives. Although Simone Venturini, the deputy mayor for Social Welfare, Tourism, Health and Economic Development in Venice suggests the new day-tripper tax “aims to raise awareness of the protection and respect of the city and is not to make money”.

The taxes are also seen as a way of cracking down on the vast number of visitors in certain destinations, especially at peak times, particularly to protect sights at risk of damage due to heavy footfall. Additionally, they’re a way for local authorities to reimburse money for services normally paid for by residents that are shared with tourists, or to initiate some sort of tourism budget.

Whether they’re an effective solution in combating an influx of people and protecting the environment is yet to be seen. But with worldwide tourism figures reaching 97% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2024, governments are eagerly looking for new sources of income.

( What’s the problem with overtourism? )

How is tourist tax used?

Each local authority will have different reasons for collecting tourist tax and different pots the income will be allocated to. Some openly share where the money is going: Bali’s recent entry taxation of 150,000 Indonesian rupiah (£7.20) per person has, according to the official tourism website , been put towards protecting the island's natural habitats, strengthening local culture and improving tourism services and heritage. Venturini says that the revenue from overnight tourist tax in Venice “has ensured better services for a unique city that has higher maintenance costs than the rest of the world. The historic centre is swept by hand as trucks or other mechanical means cannot be used. Similarly, traffic travels by water and not by land, with all the consequences that entails”.

A bridge stands over a canal with boats on the water

What do travellers need to know about tourist tax?

The key thing to know is if you’re likely to be charged for overnight stays, and, if you are, how this will be levied. While most places will accept payment via card, there’s likely to still be some that charge cash, so arrive prepared. Also check whether you have to pay two tourist taxes for one stay. Barcelona recently increased its overnight tax from €3.25 (£2.75), but visitors also have to pay a regional Catalonia charge, making the total €6.75 (£5.70) per person, per night. And Paris is the same, with both taxes being doubled to fund transport costs during the upcoming Olympics.

The fees are ever-changing, too. Amsterdam has recently raised its tourist tax to 12.5% — the highest in Europe. Some winter sun spots have caught on: Portugal’s Algarve has just introduced a tax, while both the Canary Islands and Tenerife are mooted to be introducing theirs in 2025. Alternatively, the new government in Spain’s Valencia has scrapped plans for a tax, the president deeming it to be ​​“unfair and unnecessary”. And different places refer to the tourist tax by different names: Greece recently changed the name of its tax to a ‘climate crisis resilience fee’.  

In the UK, different laws mean taxes differ from country to country. Scotland has recently introduced a levy, while the Welsh government is considering how best to give local authorities power. Despite no law in England, some small Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have been set up by groups of hotels to charge taxes in the likes of Manchester, Liverpool and Dorset, including Bournemouth. Next year, the EU will also implement a new tourist visa for non-EU citizens costing €7 (£6).

Is there a better solution?

According to Bayona, a well-designed tourism tax can be beneficial to destinations. However, Zaid Alrawadieh, a senior lecturer in hospitality and tourism operations at Oxford Brookes University says: “I believe that the benefit-sharing approach is more sensible to offset the negative impacts of tourism. Some hotels already do so by offering guests free drink vouchers if they reuse their towels or don’t have their room cleaned. This is a win-win approach whereby the hotel reduces operating costs and the guest sees some benefit.”

In essence, tourist taxes might not deter heavy footfall yet, but they do seem to be highlighting a need for visitors to at least tread more carefully.

( What you need to know about European travel this summer .)

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tourist information center rome

The 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome Generated Record €262million in Economic Activity

  • 11% increase compared to Paris 2018
  • 271,000 people from 100 different countries attended Italy’s first Ryder Cup

The 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome boosted economic activity in Italy by €262million, according to an independent report.

The figure, a record for a Ryder Cup held in Europe, is an 11% increase on the €235million generated in 2018 when the biennial contest was held at Le Golf National in Paris, France.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) took into account spending by all spectators and other event attendees, plus all organisational spending, including by Federazione Italiana Golf (FIG) on the course and infrastructure upgrades, as well as other indirect or induced spending.

More than 271,000 people from 100 different countries attended last year’s contest at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, where Europe, led by Captain Luke Donald, reclaimed the Ryder Cup with a 16½ -11½ victory against the United States. It was the first-time the Ryder Cup had been held in Italy, which became only the third country in continental Europe to host the biennial contest, following Spain in 1997 and France in 2018.

Other key findings from the report include:

· Spectators staying in paid accommodation in Rome during Ryder Cup week generated in excess of 318,000 commercial bed-nights, which was worth €34million in revenue for the local accommodation sector.

· There was €72million in non-accommodation related expenditure by spectators.

· Around 19% of event-specific visitors to Rome decided to extend their visit prior to or following the event.

· Almost two-thirds of international spectators who visited for the event expressed a desire to return to Italy for leisure purposes in the next year, fuelled by their Ryder Cup experience.

The report concluded that: “Ultimately, an event responsible for €262million of economic activity in Italy is testament to the time and resources committed to delivering such a memorable sporting spectacle. These findings vindicate the decision to award the Ryder Cup to Rome.”

Guy Kinnings, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour Group , said: “The figures highlighted in this independent economic impact report demonstrate the major benefits that Ryder Cup delivers for a host country through spectator and visitor spending, as well as an enduring legacy.

“From a sporting and fan engagement perspective, Rome 2023 has already gone down as one of the greatest Ryder Cup’s in history. We can now confidently conclude that the 2023 contest at Marco Simone also generated record financial rewards, providing a significant direct boost to the economy in Rome and in Italy.

“We would therefore like to thank the Italian Government and the Federazione Italiana Golf for their bold vision in helping to bring one of global sports leading events to Italy for the first time.

“I’d also like to recognise two magnificent teams: Team Europe led by Luke Donald, who performed so wonderfully inside the ropes, and everyone at Ryder Cup Europe, who worked so tirelessly on all facets outside the ropes to deliver the greatest Ryder Cup played in Europe.”

Franco Chimenti, President of the Italian Golf Federation, said: "I have always said that the Italian Ryder Cup would be the Ryder Cup of records and now the numbers testify to this. The one that took place in Rome proved to be the most beautiful ever, an epic, memorable event. On the course, a united Europe won, and off it, a united Italy. We are happy to celebrate an economic success, the result of great teamwork between the Government and all the institutions involved, political and sporting. With the Ryder Cup, our country has shown great credibility even outside the national borders, leaving an important infrastructural legacy. Now that project, which began in 2015 and will only end in 2027, can represent a model for the best international sporting events. We are proud of it".

Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, said : "The Ryder Cup has proven to be an extraordinary event. We committed to this event to ensure that Italy is promoted in an integrated way, which makes it even stronger. Fans of this sport who have come to Italy want to return to our nation and after having enjoyed our food, and they now look for Made in Italy products even when they return home".

Minister of Tourism, Daniela Santanchè, said:   "Seeing the numbers and the success of the Ryder Cup makes us proud to be Italian. There are two figures that I find extremely interesting: the €72 million spent by visitors on other expenditures, demonstrating how we have all benefited from the effects of the event. And above all the fact that two-thirds of viewers said they wanted to return to Italy in the next 12 months. This is also the goal of the Ministry of Tourism, we need major sporting events because they help us to adjust seasonally. Compared to other European nations, we have a gap that we have to fill: building golf courses. More golf courses means more high-spending tourists."

Sports Minister Andrea Abodi, said: " The Ryder Cup 2023 data presented today by Ryder Cup Europe and Federgolf certify the extraordinary value that this incredible event hosted for the first time in Italy has also managed to express in Rome, in an economic dimension 11 percent higher than the European edition in Paris in 2018. This figure summarizes the dimension of a success that has exceeded all expectations, made possible also thanks to the teamwork among all the institutions involved. The indicators of Rome 2023 represent not only a contribution to the absolute value of this fascinating Europe-United States golf challenge, unique in its 97 years of existence, but an incentive to build on this experience to get golf off the ground in Italy, not only from a sporting point of view, but also as a tool for socioeconomic development under the banner of broad-based sustainability. This is the meaning of the project hypothesis that we are pursuing, in concert with the Italian Golf Federation, together with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy, and the Ministry of Tourism, for the establishment of a Real Estate Fund aimed at the creation of a significant number of golf resorts in southern Italy, with a total tourist vocation, especially international, designed to combine sport, wellness, environment, landscape, culture and food and wine, with no limits of seasonality. The Ryder Cup dossier testifies to the interest and favor towards Italy by fans of this marvelous discipline from all over the world, animated by millions of players and companions in search of hospitable destinations. It is up to us to seize this opportunity without delay, with great concreteness".

General Secretary, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Riccardo Guariglia, said:  "As indicated by Vice President Tajani since the beginning of his term, our goal, of the Farnesina with its entire diplomatic-consular network, is to intercept, abroad, every positive dividend for our country."

President of CONI, Giovanni Malagò: "The awarding of the Ryder Cup to Italy represented a historic victory for Federazione Italiana Golf and for the entire country: President Chimenti was certainly extraordinary and behind the success there was the decisive teamwork of the institutions. I remember many behind-the-scenes stories related to that triumph, also of personal involvement, and reading the data related to the induced activities of the event means we have confirmation of the importance of major sporting events as a driving force for growth, from every point of view, and as a promotional tool for the image of the country in the world"

Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, said:  " Two lessons we have learned from the Italian Ryder Cup: that we can collaborate between institutions regardless of different political colors and, most importantly, that when we work as a team we can do great things. We with the Ryder Cup lived a piece of the Jubilee and showed that we can sustain that incredible number of attendance. The Ryder Cup in Rome was a virtuous model, we need to get used to having a level of ambition that matches our potential and not be afraid. When institutions work together they are able to realize the most beautiful projects, this must be everyone's goal: the country's and sport's."

President of Lazio Region, Francesco Rocca, said: "The great result of the Ryder Cup, which was held at Marco Simone Golf & Country, has entered the annals of the most important golf competitions. An economic impact of 262 million euros, an increase of 11 percent compared to the 2018 edition in Paris. A success also in terms of tourism promotion of the often little-known wonders of our region. In fact, 19% of visitors chose to anticipate or extend their stay in Lazio. We have always thought that major sporting events were an extraordinary opportunity to generate economy, development and employment. In the coming years of government we will continue to work, if possible with greater determination, in this direction".

The team from Sheffield Hallam University utilised the same eventIMPACTS.com compliant approach as used previously in Scotland (2014) and France (2018) to estimate the direct economic impact of the 2023 match at three levels of geography – Rome, Lazio and Italy – as well as the wider economic activity supported by the event.

The 2025 Ryder Cup will be held in the United States of America at Bethpage Black in New York, with Adare Manor Resort, in Ireland, hosting the next edition in Europe in 2027 when the Ryder Cup celebrates its centenary.

WATCH: STEPHEN GALLACHER "DELIGHTED" TO BE NAMED 2025 EUROPEAN JUNIOR RYDER CUP CAPTAIN

  • Team Europe

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