Top attractions in Rome
The 10 Things You Need to Do In Rome
So, the Eternal City is on your bucket list? Prepare to mix and match 2500+ years of history and discover your own version of Rome. You could fall in love with this city without ever seeing a museum -- but here are some of the more notable sights.
1. Vatican City
Vatican City is the world's smallest independent international state, a walled-off enclave within Rome. It's home to 842 people, the Sistine Chapel, and St Peter's Basilica.
2. Vatican Museums
Some of the world's most important relics -- the Sistine Chapel, for example -- are located inside the Vatican Museum. A guided tour here is worth every penny.
3. Sistine Chapel
Located inside the Apostolic Chapel, within the residence of the Pope, Michelangelo's ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel is a sight to see. Also, spend time studying The Last Judgement on the altar wall.
4. Roman Forum
This is where to go when you want to see Roman ruins. The Roman forum itself was once a marketplace or plaza, and is surrounded by the remnants of ancient government buildings.
Tour this famous amphitheater and reflect on the incredible architecture from 72 AD. The Colosseum is more impressive than any football stadium you've ever seen, AND it's 2000 years old.
6. Palatine Hill
It's thought that Palatine Hill is where Rome began. Excavations show that people have lived there since 1000 BC, and the ruins are steeped in mythology.
7. St Peter's Basilica
This tourist attraction is also the center of the Catholic world. The stunning St Peter's Basilica was built on the site where Peter, the apostle and first pope, was buried.
8. Raphael Rooms
Raphael's 16th century frescoes line the walls of the Palace of the Vatican's four public reception rooms, also called Raphael Rooms.
9. Galleria Borghese
Known to be one of the best museums in Rome, the Galleria Borghese is a 17th century villa is located in the sprawling Borghese park. You'll see antiquities, Renaissance art, and early Baroque pieces.
10. Trevi Fountain
Rome's world-famous Trevi Fountain depicts the mythological Neptune, backed by two Tritons. A fun place to grab a gelato, throw a coin in the fountain, and people-watch.
Planning Your Visit
How long should you stay in Rome?
We can promise you won't get bored! You could manage to hit a lot of attractions in 4-5 days, or you could stay for months. Rome is incredibly walkable -- meaning it's easy to get a sense of the city just by exploring the neighborhood where you decide to stay. You'll quite quickly discover hidden-gem Italian restaurants or accidentally stumble upon Roman ruins.
How much money do you bring?
The big attractions charge you an entrance fee. Colosseum tickets start at 10€ to tour the inside. You can plan on seeing a lot of the ruins and churches from the outside for free, and you will find delicious Italian food for reasonable prices. One very cool free activity: the Casa del Cinema at Villa Borghese. The city of Rome subsidizes the outdoor film screenings here. Buy some wine and pizza, sit on the grass, and take in a free movie.
Where is the good shopping?
This completely depends on your budget and style. You'll probably walk down Via Connotti on your way to the Spanish Steps. That's where to go if you're looking for the great designer houses of Italy, like Prada and Gucci. Alternatively, check out the Mercato Monti in the neighborhood near the Colosseum. It's open daily for your fashion and trinket flea market fix.
One more thing to know about how old Rome is...
Roman tradition suggests the city was founded in 753 BC, and archaeologists suggest that inhabitants were settled there even earlier!
Good to know
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Rome is in southern Italy, so winter weather is mild. One tip: keep major Catholic holidays in mind. It may mean things are closed; more likely, it will mean huge crowds. Whether or not you want to see Easter at the Vatican, it will help your hotel (or flight) plans if you know in advance.
Other Sightseeing Options in Rome
Want to discover all there is to do in Rome? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Rome
This would have been excellent but we didn’t get the promised tour guide in Pompeii itself. We were given maps and tips on where to go then left to our own devices. Otherwise everything was perfect. Our host Allessandra was truly excellent. She was full of knowledge and so helpful in every way. She entertained us all the way there and back on the bus with information and myths and legends. She advised us on what to do, see and eat in Rome, Pompeii and Naples and even bought us all a present. The coach was comfortable and the journey was smooth with Vladimirio at the wheel. Altogether a fantastic day.
We had a fantastic day from start to finish. Joseph, our kind collected us bright and early from our hotel alongside driver Roberto. We were then taken to Pompeii for an amazing private tour with local guide Antonio. All three were nothing but amazing, knowledge, and laughs from Joseph and Antonio and super safe driving from Roberto. Our stop in Positano was one I'll will remember dearly, this has to be one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Thank you all
Amazing trip! We even got to take a ferry ride (additional 9 EUR) from Positano to Amalfi which was amazing. Pompeii tour was unforgettable definitely worth the effort if possible. Christina our Tour guide was knowledgable and lovely definitely would like to do more tours with her again!
A great trip. Well worth the early start and great value for money. Our guide and driver were both excellent. A different guide took us through Pompeii and showed us a lot of things we would otherwise have missed. The Amalfi coast is stunning.
Amazing experience a must see. The tour guide was so knowledgeable I would recommend a tour guide as Pompeii is massive and we would have struggled to appreciate the place without the guide telling us useful things about the city.