- At Night
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 noteable sights.
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.
Some of the world's most important relics -- the Sistine Chapel, for example -- are located inside the Vatican Museum. A guided tour here would be worth every penny.
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, note The Last Judgement on the altar wall.
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 ampitheatre and reflect on how cool the architecture was in 72 AD. The Colosseum will beat out any football stadium you've ever seen, AND it's 2000 years old.
It's thought that Palatine Hill is where Rome began. Extravations show that people have lived there since 1000 BC, and the ruins are steeped in mythology.
St Peter's Basilica
This tourist attraction is 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.
Raphael's 16th century frescoes line the walls of the four public reception rooms, also called Raphael Rooms, in the Palace of the Vatican. Spend your time taking in the art, not waiting in line.
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, Rennaissance art, and early Baroque pieces.
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 Rome 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. Unlike some larger European cities, 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 and accidentally stumble upon Roman ruins.
How much money do you bring?
The big attractions charge you an entrance fee. The Colosseum costs about 10€ to tour the inside. You are in Italy, so finding yummy and inexpensive places to eat shouldn't be hard. You can plan on seeing a lot of the ruins and churches from the outside for free. One very cool free activity: the Casa del Cinema at Villa Borghese. The city of Rome actually subsidizes 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
Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
Best time to visitRome 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.
Things to Do in Rome
Top Attractions in Rome
- 1 Vatican City
- 2 Vatican Museums
- 3 Sistine Chapel
- 4 Roman Forum
- 5 Colosseum
- 6 Palatine Hill
- 7 St. Peter's Basilica
- 8 Raphael Rooms
- 9 Trevi Fountain
- 10 Galleria Borghese
- 11 Piazza Navona
- 12 Pantheon
- 13 Fiumicino
- 14 Castel Sant'Angelo
- 15 Borghese Gardens
- 16 Capitoline Hill
- 17 Circus Maximus
- 18 Capitoline Museums
- 19 Tiber Island
- 20 Spanish Steps
Other Sightseeing Options in Rome
Want to discover all there is to do in Rome? Click here for a full list.