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1.

Colosseum

It goes without saying, Rome top attraction is the Colosseum. This impressive amphitheater survived earthquakes, fires and wars since 70-80 AD when it was constructed. The building was once home to massive shows, games and gladiator tournaments, attended by up to 80,000 people. The Colosseum is located in the center of the city and easily accessible by public transport, including metro. Take your time to walk around and marvel at this world-famous masterpiece from all angles.
The Colosseum is open from 8.30 PM, but it is a good idea to come early and be the first in the queue or get a skip-the-line ticket and stay in bed late. 


Rome tips: While you are here, visit the Arch of Constantine just next to it.

The Colosseum, Rome tickets here
 

Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma

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Rome guide

Top things to do in Rome, Italy

Delicious Italian food, amazing historical sights, breathtaking art masterpieces and vibrant environment. The Eternal city is opening the doors for your perfect holidays. When looking for the best things to do, Rome really has a lot to offer. Here are my top picks for what to do in Rome.

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links which I earn a small commission from at no extra cost to you and help keep this site running.  If you like what you read please follow these links when making a purchase. Let’s keep the project running together!

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Roman forum
Of all the things to see in Rome, this is perhaps the most important one. Roman Forum was the center of Roman public and political life. This place has hosted some prominent historical events: political debates, criminal trials and triumphal processions. Don’t miss the Temple of Caesar, built in his memory after he was stabbed 23 times to death. Just 40 meters above is the infamous Palatine Hill, where according to Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were found as abandoned babies. From here you’ll have a fantastic view over the Roman forum and the city. 


Get a guide to learn more about the history of the place, instead of wandering around the ruins by yourself. A knowledgeable guide will tell you many interesting facts and legends. 


Rome tips: The ticket for Colosseum also gives you access to the Roman forum and is valid for two days.

Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Palatine Hill, Rome

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3.

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
Very close to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum is Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, also known as the Altar of the Fatherland (Italian: Altare Della Patria) - a colossal white-stone monument dedicated to the first king of unified Italy. The facade is decorated with ornate columns and in the center of the ensemble you’ll see the large bronze statue of King Emmanuele. This is one of the most beautiful places to see in Rome. At the base you will find an interesting museum dedicated to the unification of Italy and the beginning of its history. You can freely visit most of this impressive structure, but to visit the top of it you will need an entrance ticket.


Rome tips: the water in the fountains is drinkable, fill up your bottle

Address: Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy 

 

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Pantheon

One of the best preserved ancient Roman buildings and is one of the most famous Rome landmarks. As you enter inside marvel at the magnificent dome with stone patterns and the coffer that allows the light through creating a miraculous and sacred atmosphere inside. With its mighty granite Corinthian columns, colored marble and bronze doors Pantheon is definitely one of the most important sights to see in Rome.

 

You don't need Rome Pantheon tickets  - the admission is free


Address: Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

5.

Trevi fountain

While there are many beautiful fountains, visiting Trevi fountain is definitely a must do thing while sightseeing in Rome. This architectural marvel was created as a tribute to the Roman God Oceanus in 1763 by Nicola Salvi. You can see the marble statue of Oceanus in the center of a sculptural ensemble riding a chariot pulled by Tritons. If you want to take great photos, the best time to go to the Trevi fountain is early morning. Starting at 9 AM this place gets really crowded. Can’t think of the things to do around the Trevi fountain? Through a coin! It is a local tradition to throw coins into the fountain over your right shoulder for good luck. Rumor has it, up to 2,000 euro are collected from the fountain every day to fund the food supplies for the homeless in Rome. Don’t pass this small square Rushing from one Rome attraction to another - without visiting Fountain of Trevi, Rome sightseeing tour would not be complete.


Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy


 

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Spanish steps
Sit down and take a rest on one of the 135 large stone stairs connecting the Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinita dei Monti.  The Piazza di Spagna is home to some nice cafes and Via dei Condotti, Rome’s fanciest shopping street. The best shops to visit in Rome are found here. As you climb up the famous stairs look back to admire Bernini’s ship-based fountain and the beauty of the square. For the beautiful views of the historical center climb to Villa Medici, where you can take a beautiful garden tour. 

Address: Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

7.

Villa Borghese
With 200 acres of land, the astonishing Borghese Gallery and the Gallery of National Modern Art, this beautiful park is one of the best sights to see in Rome. This is a favorite place for locals and tourists to stroll around or go for a bike ride in the shade of orange trees, enjoy a picnic in nature and admire Bernini sculptures. There is plenty of worthy museums in Rome, but if you only have time to visit one art gallery in Rome, I recommend Borghese Gallery  - a truly magnificent collection of Baroque art. Don’t miss the famous Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne and Ratto di Proserpina (Rape of Proserpina) sculptures, and Caravaggio’s self-portrait as Bacchus. Admission is at two-hourly intervals; book a ticket with a specific time slot in advance.
 

Address: Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy

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Vatican and its museums

Ironically, of all the Rome attractions the most important one is not officially in Rome. The city state of Vatican, although located in the heart of Rome, is in fact an independent country - the smallest country in the world and the Headquarters of the Catholic church. It’s population is only about 1000 citizens, but it hosts over  5000 visitors every single day. The Vatican Museum holding over 70,000 pieces of artwork and  Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel with the Last Judgement fresco by Michelangelo and its legendary ceiling are definitely must do in Rome for every visitor. Don’t miss the breathtaking Gallery of Maps and the legendary Transfiguration by Raphael.


Rome tip: Visiting the Vatican, make sure to dress appropriately and come early - the queue here is enormous. You can also skip it and get one of the Vatican tours tickets - this will save you a lot of time.

Vatican museum tickets here

 

Address: Vatican city
 

 

9.

Castel Saint Angelo

South of Vatican City you will find Castel Sant’Angelo, a five-floor military building, known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian The building is connected to the Vatican by the Ponte Sant’Angelo with Bernini’s marble angels along the way. As the name implies, the castle was built as a mausoleum for the Emperor in 129 AD. Climb to the top of the castle for fantastic views over the Tiber and the Vatican.

Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

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St. Peter’s square and St. Peter’s Basilica 

Continue your Vatican city visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world built on 18,000 square yards in 1626. The interior of the Basilica is truly divine thanks to the world famous contributors Michelangelo and Bernini. If you are feeling ambitious, you can climb the 871 steps to the top of the Basilica’s dome for 360-degree views of Vatican City. You don’t need a ticket to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, but to get to the dome the ticket is 10 EUR for the elevator and 8 EUR if you want to take the stairs. St. Peter’s Square is the large plaza in front of the basilica where people gather on Sundays and religious holidays to listen to the Pope’s address - one of the most important places to visit in Rome. There are no tickets required to visit St. Peter’s Square.

 

Rome tips: you can skip the line to the Basilica if you go through Vatican Museum 

Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

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When you are looking for an interesting thing to do, Rome guided tours offer plenty of possibilities. Check out the tours here.

Rome: best time to visit

The best time to visit Rome is September - October and April - May. This time of the year the weather is the best: nice and sunny, but not too hot. Summer may be a little too hot for long walks around the city and also too crowded. From October to March, it may get a little chilly but if you dress for the weather you will enjoy your trip to Rome regardless of the season.

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Rome: where to stay

Choosing where to stay in Rome largely depends on what you are looking for: Rome is diverse and offers many options.

If you don’t like to walk, the best option is to stay around Termini station - it gives great access to all the public transportation: both subway lines cross here and there are numerous bus routes you can take. Here you will find hotels for all budgets: from cheap hostels to luxury suites. Check out Dream Station B&B 

For more aesthetic experience come to Piazza Navona - the baroque heart of the city close to all the famous places in Rome. This is the best area to stay if you want to walk everywhere, limited in time and don’t mind spending extra money for location. Get a room at Palazzo Medusa or Piazza Del Gesu’ Luxury Suites to stay close to the main tourist attractions in Rome.

Spanish Steps is the fanciest area in Rome, where most celebrities used to come and live. This is where Audrey Hepburn came for a walk, where the famous poets and writers like Goethe or Stendhal came for a cup of coffee (check out cafe Caffè Greco for their autographs). This is the place for you if you like to be surrounded by trendy restaurants and  expensive shops. If so, you may like Relais Bocca di Leone and Les Fleurs Luxury House - to my mind, the best hotels in Rome center.

The area just next to the Colosseum is called Monti. This is where you should stay if you want to be close to the historical sights and if  you like parties - from aperitif before dinner to midnight drinks. Naturally, it may get loud - you should only choose if you sleep tight. Vintage clothes lovers and hipsters will feel at home here. Stay close to Colosseum at FH55 Grand Hotel Palatino, 4* (one of the top hotels near Colosseum) or if you are on a budget at a vibrant New Generation Hostel Santa Maria Maggiore

If you want to experience living like a local, go to the most Roman neighborhood called Trastevere. Come here for authentic Italian food, nice walks and great nightlife. This area is not suitable for light sleepers and does not have metro access. Stay at a former monastery in VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel or B&B Hotel Roma Trastevere
 

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How to get to Rome

Rome has two airports: Fiumicino, for long-distance international flight, and Ciampino, mostly for low-cost airlines. From Fiumicono you can get by speed train to Roma Termini (the main station) for 14 Euro. To get to and from Ciampino airport you need to take a shuttle bus - also available at the same Termini station.
If you are traveling around Italy you can get to Rome by train - the railway system is functioning very well here. 

 

Getting around Rome

Rome public transportation is very well developed. For long-distance take subway and for shorter rides or to reach areas not accessible by subway you can always use a bus. The ticket for metro and bus is the same and costs about 1,5 euro. You can find the at a metro station or tobacco kiosks (Tabacci). 

Is Rome expensive to visit?

Rome generally is on the expensive side, but you can always find something for any budget. Rome travel cost for a day are the following:

 

Budget traveler - 78 euro
Hostel - 30 euro per night
Food:

Breakfast - 5 euro
Lunch - 7 euro
Dinner - 13 euro

Sightseeing - 20 euro
Transport - 3 euro (2 rides)

 

Mid-budget - 136 euro
Hotel - 60 euro per night
Food:

Breakfast - 7 euro
Lunch - 13 euro
Dinner - 20 euro

Sightseeing - 40 euro
Transport - 6 euro (day pass)

 

Make it special - 340 euro
Hotel - 130 euro per night
Food:

Breakfast - 15 euro
Lunch - 25 euro
Dinner - 60 euro

Sightseeing - 60 euro
Transport - 50 euro (taxi)

 

Rome map: tourist attractions

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links which I earn a small commission from at no extra cost to you and help keep this site running.  If you like what you read please follow these links when making a purchase. Let’s keep the project running together!