Day 1 – Getting to Know Rome
Good morning from Italy! Rise and shine early and enjoy the fresh morning sun rays while making your way to one of the best things to do in Rome. On your way, you will see several water fountains. This is drinking water, so take your refillable bottle with you.
1. Colosseum Tour
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built. This oval-shaped masterpiece survived earthquakes, fires, and wars which give it the well-deserved title of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
It is an absolute must-visit during your 3-day Rome city trip. The Colosseum is located in the center of Rome and is easily accessible by the fantastic subway.
The doors open at 08:30 AM, but it is recommended to be early and avoid the crowd or buy a ticket in advance and skip the line.
We also recommend visiting the Arch of Constantine, located next to the Colosseum.
2. Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
After the Colosseum, it is a short 10-min walk towards the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The first settlement of Rome started with Palatine Hill. It gives a great view of the Roman Forum. Walking down the hill leads to the remains of buildings, temples, and monuments in the Roman Forum that were once Rome’s city center.
The ticket you’ve bought for the Colosseum also gives you access to these sights. Please note that a ticket is valid for two days from the first moment you used it. Get your tickets here.
Alternatively, join a tour and learn more about the area instead of walking around and seeing just ruins.
Getting hungry? Have a finger-licking good lunch at Humus Bistrot. It is near the next thing to do in Rome.
In front of Piazza Venezia is a gigantic pure-white marble monument that has a panoramic view of the entire city. To honor the first king of Italy, the Italians built the Altare Della Patria (also known as Vittorio Emanuele II Monument).
The first part is free to visit, but to visit the top, you’ll need an entrance ticket. Sitting on the monument/stair steps is not allowed. You can book your ticket and audio guide in advance here.
Day 2 of Things to do in Rome
Rome is great to discover on foot. Everything is quite close, especially when it’s spread over 3 days. Expect to walk around 4 km per day during a Rome City Trip.
4. Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo is a unique round-shaped military building. The five floors inside, connected by spiral stairs, go all the way to the roof terrace. A perfect spot for taking photos. Make sure to be on time to avoid the crowds, as tours start around 9 AM.
The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved buildings of ancient Rome. The former temple, now converted into a church, has a massive dome on top with an opening that allows natural light to light the entire building. The beam of sunlight creates a magical feeling inside the dome. How about rain? A draining system makes sure the Pantheon doesn’t flood.
Outside the Pantheon, at Piazza Della Rotonda, there are loads of terraces to have a break and get a delicious Italian espresso.
Fact: The columns on the outside of the Pantheon are made from granite from Egypt!
6. Make a Wish at the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is the most beautiful fountain in Rome. With its 20 meters wide and 26 meters high, it is also the largest fountain. The myth goes that when you toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder, you’ll be destined to return to Rome someday. Every day, over 3000 EUR is collected from the fountain and donated to a non-profit that provides food for the homeless in Rome.
7. Spanish Steps
In the heart of the city, wonder at the famous 135 levels of the Spanish Steps. Please note that it’s not allowed to sit down on the steps, as it connects Piazza di Spagna and Trinità Dei Monti; there is always something going on here. Tip: Get delicious ice cream at Gelateria Valentino.
Day 3 – Busy and Relaxing Rome
Rise and shine early and be the first at Vatican City. This is the most popular thing to do in Rome, in other words: busy, but that’s for a good reason. Don’t worry, after visiting Vatican City you can relax in a park.
8. Vatican City
Inside the walls of Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Yes, although it is in the heart of Rome, the Vatican is a different country, and the walls are its border. It has just 1000 residents but hosts more than 5 million visitors every single year. Visit the St. Peter’s Square & Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. Good to know is that on Sundays it could be closed.
St. Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s Square is the large plaza in front of the basilica where people gather on Sundays when the Pope does a short greeting from his window. There are no tickets necessary to visit St. Peter’s Square.
St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most important temples for Christendom. With its height of 136 meters, it is also one of the largest churches in the world. The inside is completely covered with incredible art. You can also visit the dome on top of the Basilica, which is one of the things to do in Rome. You will have a 360 degrees panoramic view over the entire city and of St. Peter’s Square. Reminder: Make sure to dress appropriately with knees and shoulders covered.
The church is free to visit. The dome costs 10 EUR for a return ticket with the elevator or 8 EUR by stairs. Important to know is that once everything opens at 7 AM, a line will already start to form, but if you avoid the weekends and be there before 8 AM, it shouldn’t take too much time to get inside the Basilica.
Pro tip: If you are planning to visit the Vatican Museum, you can go directly to St. Peter’s Basilica via the museum and skip the line.
Some of the most trendy restaurants surround Vatican City. We highly recommend having lunch at Café Mémé Bistrot. Make sure to be there before lunchtime as it is small and popular.
9. Villa Borghese – A Unique Thing to do in Rome
The third-largest park in Europe is located in the middle of Rome. This beautiful green park is great for enjoying a little picnic, a coffee, or gelato at the little cafeteria and seeing both locals and tourists having a good time in the park. You can rent bikes to go around, but it is great to walk around by yourself. You can easily reach the park by metro or bus.
Perfectly situated on top of a massive limestone rock, high above the lush Italian landscape, stands the town of Orvieto. This ancient place has been one of the most important strongholds throughout history, and many remnants remain today. The town lies only 1.5 hours from Rome, making it a great location for a day trip.
Wander through the winding cobblestone streets, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee while taking in the views of the green surroundings. Marvel at the town’s cathedral, that’s completely adorned with colorful frescoes, explore the rich Etruscan past by going underground, and delve into the delicious Umbrian cuisine and wines at one of the many restaurants. There’s a lot to discover in the stunning Orvieto, Italy.
How to Get to Orvieto
The easiest way to get to Orvieto is to drive. Renting a car and driving in Italy is an incredible experience and a great option if you’re hoping to see more of the country along the way.
Alternatively, you can also travel to the hilltop town by train. Tickets cost between 7.90 – 12 EUR (8.50 – 12.92 USD), depending on when you purchase them. The train arrives at Piazzale Matteotti in Orvieto Scalo (the lower part of town), from where you can take the cable car up to the historical center.
Lastly, you can also join an organized tour of Orvieto. This also includes a wine tasting at a local vineyard and a visit to the beautiful town of Assisi.
How Much Does Rome Cost?
As Rome is the capital city of Italy, you can expect to pay slightly higher prices than in other cities. However, if you look in the right places and are happy to stray off the tourist trail, you can find amazing trattorias selling delicious, cheap eats.
How to Visit Rome
Rome has two airports, Ciampino (CIA) and Fiumicino (FCO), with flights arriving from all over the world.
Fiumicino is connected to Rome Termini (main station) by Express train (€14 per person). Get train tickets online.
Getting Around Rome
Rome has a subway system that spreads through the entire city. However, it doesn’t run through much of Rome’s historical center. A single ticket only costs 1.5 EUR to get anywhere in the city.
Buses are slower but can help you reach areas where the subway doesn’t come. You can purchase bus tickets at Metro stations and Tabacchi (tobacco) shops.
By buying a Rome Card, you can use public transport for three days straight without having to buy tickets continually. It also gives you skip-the-line access to the city’s most important monuments and discounted entry to museums.
Hotels in Rome
Rome offers accommodation for every kind of budget, including plenty of great hostels (search all hostels in Rome here). Piazza Navona and San Lorenzo are central areas within walking distance of many of the top attractions. However, San Lorenzo is slightly cheaper if you’re traveling on a budget.
Trastevere is another great neighborhood by the river, which has a more authentic ‘Roman’ feel and loads of cute shops, restaurants, and bars to explore.
Best Time to Visit Rome
Rome is good to visit year-round. Different from Venice, temperatures are still comfortable in winter (November to March). This is also the best time to avoid crowds.
Spring is, weather-wise, the best to stroll around the city. From June to August, temperatures are high, and it is the busiest period.