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Things to do in

Rome

Our most recommended things to do in Rome

Rome: Street Food Tour with Local Guide

1. Rome: Street Food Tour with Local Guide

Tuck into Rome's iconic street food on a guided walking tour of the Jewish Quarter or Trastevere. Learn about local food with five tastings and try delicacies, such as pizza, supplì, and seasonal dishes. Choose between a tour of Trastevere or a tour of the Jewish Quarter, two of Rome's most picturesque districts with group and private tour options available. With your guide, learn about Rome’s history through its most beloved street food. If you've chosen the Trastevere tour, meet your guide on Tiber Island and soak up its unique atmosphere before entering Trastevere. Step into vibrant squares, such as Piazza Santa Maria, and indulge in popular street food, from cheesy supplì to delicious cannoli. If you've chosen the tour of the Jewish Quarter, head to the lively Campo De' Fiori square where one of the oldest open-air markets takes place every morning. Then, follow your guide to Rome's Jewish Quarter and see highlights, including the Portico of Octavia and the Turtle Fountain. Throughout both tours, enjoy five tastings with some wine and beer. Finally, make your way to an ice cream shop for a much-deserved treat. Both tours finish on a sweet note with the perfect Italian gelato.

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

2. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Entry Tickets

3. Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Entry Tickets

Marvel at the remains of some of the greatest monuments of the Roman Republic with an entry ticket to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Skip the long ticket line at the Colosseum and go straight to the fast track entrance for security checks. After entering the Colosseum at your allotted time, relive the stories of emperors and gladiators. Begun under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, and completed by his son Titus in 80 AD, the Colosseum was the largest amphitheater ever built. Imagine the ferocious fights between man and beast, as you stand in the elliptical arena, comprised of 4 levels, and once able to seat up to 73,000 spectators. Your ticket also includes one entry to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum, must-see sights for all those visiting the “Eternal City.” According to ancient tradition, this is the spot where Rome was born. Look down at the ruins of temples in the Imperial Forum, the center of all political, social, and economic life in the city during the Roman Republic. Experience the most ancient parts of Rome from the most significant of its “Seven Hills.”

Rome: Colosseum Underground & Roman Forum Guided Tour

4. Rome: Colosseum Underground & Roman Forum Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of the Colosseum with access to the Gladiator's Arena and dungeons. Hear about the world of Ancient Rome from your guide and visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Meet your guide at the activity provider's office then head to the iconic Colosseum. Enjoy exclusive access down to the restricted underground area. Explore the Colosseum’s dungeons as well as the Gladiator’s Arena, and learn about the uses of this impressive building. Tour around the rest of the monument and then head towards Palatine Hill. From there, admire one of the best views of the city center and snap photos for your vacation album. After, head down the hill to reach the Roman Forum. Arrive at the Roman Forum, the center of life in Ancient Rome, and discover the array of important buildings located here. See the sites where public speeches, elections, criminal trials, and single combat gladiatorial matches took place.

Rome: Shuttle Bus Transfer to or from Fiumicino Airport

5. Rome: Shuttle Bus Transfer to or from Fiumicino Airport

Enjoy a frequent and reliable roundtrip shuttle bus transfer between Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and central location in Rome. Ride in a regularly-maintained, air-conditioned bus with Wi-Fi on board. For your return transfer, simply refer to the timetable on your voucher. Choose from pickup or drop-off locations at your conveniently located stops: Rome Fiumicino Airport, Rome Termini Train Station (Via Marsala 5). Choose a 1-way shuttle bus service to or from the airport, or alternatively an open return ticket. Best of all, be greeted by staff who will be waiting for you by your bus. Jump on board once you’ve checked in and your luggage is safely stowed away.  Avoid the hassle of navigating the public transportation system before or after a long journey, instead, relax and enjoy the views of Rome from the comfort of your seat.

Colosseum & Forum Ticket with Multimedia Video

6. Colosseum & Forum Ticket with Multimedia Video

Embark on an educational adventure with a tour of the most important sites in Rome — ideal for introducing you to the history of the city. Get preliminary information from a short video, and then set off on foot to see the Forum, Palantine Hill, and take a tour of the Colosseum. Start your experience at the local partner's Touristation office, where you'll pick up your tickets and enjoy a 25-minute multimedia video about ancient Rome. With your ticket, discover the Archaeological park: Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum. Visit the Roman Forum where everyday Roman citizens used to live, see the tomb of emperor Julius Caesar, and explore the ancient ruins at your own pace. Your ticket also includes entrance to Palatine Hill, the site of the foundation of Rome, and the settlement of the most important houses of emperors and kings. Located just feet away from the Roman Forum and Circus Maximum, it is the centermost of the 7 hills of Rome. After the Archaeological area visit, enter one of the world's most famous monuments — the Colosseum. As you explore the immense amphitheater — the largest ever built by the Roman Empire — imagine the gladiator fights and public spectacles that took place in the arena. The entrance to the Colosseum will take place approximately 2 hours after your tour begins.

Rome: Colosseum with Access to the Gladiator Arena

7. Rome: Colosseum with Access to the Gladiator Arena

Walk through the back door of the Colosseum and pass straight onto the arena floor through the gate named after Libitina, the goddess of funerals. Tread where dead gladiators and animals were once carried away. Feel the majesty of ancient Rome beneath your feed as you stroll over the steps of those who fought in gladiatorial combat. Enjoy astonishing 360-degree views of the Colosseum. Look up at ruins that were once filled with thousands of spectators. Snap excellent pictures, as a limited amount of visitors can be there for a given amount of time. Explore the general access area which includes the ground floor, the second tier and a balcony with astonishing views over the Roman Forum and Arch of Constantine. Step onto the podium reserved for the most important Romans over the main entrance to the Arena and feel the thrill of the amphitheater. Let your guide paint you a picture of the past with engaging stories and legends.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

8. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: City Tour by Golf Cart with Gelato

9. Rome: City Tour by Golf Cart with Gelato

Give your feet a rest and discover Rome in a unique way on this golf cart tour through the city. See the city's biggest highlights, like the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter's Square, and more. Your guide will drive you around, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sights. Enjoy short stops at some of the sites and take in the city as you drive by. Highlights: Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) Populo Square (Piazza del Popolo) Mausoleum Emperor Augustus Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) Pantheon Navona Square (Piazza Navona) St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro) Gianicolo Hill Fontana Acqua Paola Piazza Venezia Victor Emanuele II Monument & Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Vittoriano) Column of Trajan (Colonna Traiana)

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Priority Access Guide

10. Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Priority Access Guide

Start your tour right outside the monumental Colosseum where you will meet your guide. Here, your expert in Roman history will give you an introduction to the finest arena of the Roman Empire. Explore the magnificent Colosseum, which had 80 entrances and could accommodate around 65,000 spectators. Hear about the spectacular festivals the Romans held here, which could last up to 100 days. Enjoy time at your leisure after your visit to take some pictures, refresh yourself, and wander around. Then, being the second part of your tour to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. Explore the social, political, and religious center of the Roman Empire, where the different strata of Roman society would rub shoulders. Take in the incredible ruins at Palatine Hill on a guided tour of the grounds, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Colosseum. For the second part of your tour, you will have the opportunity to meet your second guide, who is passionate about Ancient Rome. Make the most out of your experience by having two of the highest-rated guides lead you through the areas of expertise they know best.

Frequently asked questions about Rome

What top attractions are a must-see in Rome?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Rome?

The best day trips and excursions from Rome are:

Pompeii

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Rome

Elyssa Bernard is the creator and publisher of the Romewise. She comes from Florida but has been living in Rome for more than 20 years now, a place that she calls home and is passionate about. On her blog you can find all the detaills for a planning a 3 day Itinerary in Rome.

What should I do on my first trip to Rome?

A first-time visitor to Rome may want to see some of the must-see sites like the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, along with Saint Peter's Basilica; the one and only Colosseum, along with the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and one of the most amazing monuments from ancient Rome, the Pantheon.

What are some hidden gems to see in Rome?

Rome is packed with hidden gems. If you love art, don't miss the Galleria Doria Pamphilj or Palazzo Barberini. The Museo Barracco is a free museum and well worth a quick visit. If you love the ancient stuff, don't miss the Domus Romana at Palazzo Valentini, the Domus Aurea, and the Baths of Caracalla. For even more hidden gems, take a tour of Trastevere, a fascinating neighborhood full of history and ambiance.

How much time should I spend in Rome?

To really see the "must-see" sites in Rome, you need at least 2.5 days. Try to avoid visiting the Vatican and the Colosseum on the same day, as both are huge with lots to see, and it can be tiring. I'd split these over two days. You'll also want to fit in other sites like the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. And if you want some additional time for strolling, shopping, and just soaking up the atmosphere, you really need 3-4 days.

What food is Rome known for?

Every region of Italy has its own cuisine, and Rome is no exception. Some foods Rome is known for include the 4 classic Roman pastas, all made with pecorino (sheep's milk) cheese: cacio e pepe, gricia, carbonara, and amatriciana. Rome is also famed for its artichokes, either braised (alla Romana) or deep fried (alla Giudia, or Jewish-style). A large part of Roman cuisine is based on "cucina povera", simple food, and this includes many offal dishes like tripe, coratella, pajata, and more. This is actually a rich topic so I highly recommend trying out some local trattorias, and if you really want to know more, take a cooking class or food tour.

What is the best way to get around Rome?

The best way to get around Rome is on foot. You will see more hidden courtyards, cobblestone streets, shops, etc. But it can also be tiring when you are sightseeing, so you can opt for Rome's public transportation system of underground metro or city bus. Another great way to get around Rome, especially for first-timers, is with a hop-on/hop-off bus that allows you to get an overview, while stopping at all the major sites and monuments.

What are the best months to visit Rome?

For the loveliest weather, visit Rome in spring and fall. But these are also the most crowded times of year in Rome. The quietest months are January, February, and August. Christmas is a beautiful time to visit Rome, despite the cold. The city is all lit up and festive. Summer is a great time to experience a lot of things outside and at night, but you can expect hot, humid days. If you want a good mix of fair weather and smaller crowds, try late November or late August/early September.

What is neighborhood Trastevere known for?

There are many interesting and picturesque neighborhoods in Rome, most with hundreds if not thousands of years of history behind them. There is not one particular neighborhood that Rome is best known for but perhaps one of the most popular and picturesque neighborhoods is Trastevere, just across the Tiber river (hence its name). Its history goes back at least 2,000 years and you can find layers of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Rome here. You'll also find tiny winding cobblestone streets with fascinating doorways and even smaller streets at every turn. Despite its fame as a "touristy" neighborhood, Trastevere is in fact a very fascinating area to explore. I recommend a tour so you get the most out of this beautiful Roman neighborhood.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

You can eat well in just about every Roman neighborhood. Some of the most well-known include Trastevere, Monti, Campo dei Fiori, and Testaccio. I'd venture to say that some of my favorite restaurants can actually be found around the historic center near the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Pantheon.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Rome is full of great shopping areas, perhaps none more famous than the Spanish Steps neighborhood. For more boutique-style shopping, head to the Pantheon, Monti, or the area around via Cola di Rienzo on the other side of the Tiber River not far from the Vatican.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Rome?

Choosing where to stay in Rome is subjective for everyone. If it's your first time in Rome, I recommend staying as central and close to public transportation as possible. This means staying near Piazza Barberini, the Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain. If you want to be a bit further from the historic center, but still close enough to easily access it, Esquilino offers many good affordable as well as luxury options. Prati, near the Vatican, is another lovely but slightly less central area with several metro stops making it convenient to get across the river to the center. Campo dei Fiori, the Jewish Ghetto, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona are charming neighborhoods that are not close to a Metro stop. But as they are so central, you can easily walk most places.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Rome?

The best family things to do in Rome will depend on your children's ages and their interests. Visiting the Vatican and Colosseum are probably high on your list, but if your children are small, you should consider keeping the visit short or taking a tour geared towards families. Other family friendly things to do include cycling, taking a food tour or cooking class, or just strolling very leisurely through the historic center and taking lots of breaks.

What is the best thing to do in Rome for solo travelers?

The best things to do in Rome for solo travelers depends on whether you want to meet some fellow travelers or not. For solitude, visit some of Rome's amazing churches, including of course, Saint Peter's Basilica and the Pantheon. Take some time enjoying Rome's many parks, gardens, and markets. To meet fellow travellers join small-group tours, especially food tours and cooking classes, where you will have more of a chance to chat and mingle.

What is the best thing to do in Rome for couples?

Rome is already such a romantic city, or it can be. If you are here from Spring through early fall, you can enjoy some of the many outdoor nighttime events like shows on the Fori Imperiali, or night tours of the Vatican Museums or Colosseum. Other fun things for couples include doing wine or gelato tastings, cycling along the Appia Antica, enjoying a picnic in the park, or taking a Vespa tour.

What are the best annual events in Rome?

Rome enjoys a fairly mild climate year-round, making it a great destination any time. You may want to visit Rome during the Christmas/New Years holidays, as the city is all lit up and festive. Easter is another beautiful time to visit when the city is bursting with spring blossoms. Summertime in Rome means lots of outdoor nighttime events, and it's also a great time to check out the nearby beaches.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Rome?

Rome is blessed with huge swaths of green space. You can spend time in the Appia Antica park and not even feel like you are in a city at all. This historic and archeological park is full of things to see and do, such as visit the catacombs, rent bicycles or just explore on foot. The Villa Borghese is another of Rome's most beloved parks. It offers stunning views over Rome at one end, one of Rome's best museums (the Borghese Gallery) at the other end, and a gorgeous, shaded, well-kept park in the middle. You can do all kinds of sports here, along with visit other smaller museums, rent boats on a lake, or picnic.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rome

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What people are saying about Rome

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 347,116 reviews

I chose the guided tour at 3pm to avoid the morning crowds and heat. I was lucky to have Federico as my guide! He was very knowledgeable, interesting and entertaining in his approach. He took good care of the group- allowing time for photos and to admire the stops along the way. He found stops where it wasn't in the way of other groups and where there was some shade as it was quite hot even in the late afternoon. When the tour finished the sun was starting to set so it was even more beautiful up on Paletine Hill! I was debating whether to do a self guided or guided and in the end I'm happy to have chosen guided to hear the history, stories and passion from a local Italian. Federico is an excellent guide and I hope you're lucky enough to get him too!

Francesca was a very nice local guid, educated and funny. The food was good especially the Suppli and it was very nice to meet new people in the tour which become friends and we had a drink together after the tour

Our guide was excellent- very knowledgeable and personable. Enjoyed having the opportunity to see it the underground.

Great experience! We appreciated the expertise, detail provided and passion of the guide.

Amazing experience to do in Italy, lovely staff highly recommend