best things to do In Rome

42 Best things to do in Rome that are worth booking in advance

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Looking for the best things to do in Rome? Exploring Rome is like going on a treasure hunt, and this guide is your treasure map. If you're wondering what to do in Rome, look no further! We'll show you all the coolest spots you'll want to check out before you even pack your bags.

From standing inside the giant Colosseum to wandering around the peaceful Borghese Gardens, Rome is full of surprises waiting for you. Whether you love old stories, beautiful art, or just having fun outdoors, there's something here for everyone.

Let's dive into the adventure and discover the 42 finest things to do in the Eternal City and what makes Rome a place you'll never forget. Ready to start the journey?

What are the Best Things to Do in Rome? (And Should You Do them All?)

Things to do and see in Rome

Wondering what are the best things to do in Rome?

The truth is, every corner turned and every street walked in Rome has something to offer.

Marvel at the Colosseum, soak in the history at the Pantheon, lounge in a picturesque piazza or enjoy the view from a rooftop bar…

The activities to do in Rome are endless. And here’s a tip: don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “you haven't visited Rome if you haven't seen X or Y.”

Rome is too rich and varied for a one-size-fits-all approach.

So, according to our personal experience and conversations with hundreds of people, here is a list of warm recommendations for what to do in Rome.

Plan Ahead – Many of the best things to do in Rome are so popular that you will save a lot of time and frustration by buying your tickets in advance. You can avoid long queues by booking tickets for the following attractions ahead of your stay in the eternal city.

Best Things to Do in Rome for History Lovers

Rome is a great place for history enthusiasts. Here are the best things to do in Rome if you love old ruins, museums and cultural visits.

1. Colosseum

Things to do Colosseum

The Colosseum is the main symbol of Rome Italy and almost 2,000 years old.

The original structure was 188 meters (616 ft) long, 156 meters (511 ft)wide, and 57 meters (187 ft) high, making it the greatest Roman amphitheater of its time. It accommodated more than 50,000 spectators at a time, watching free spectacles such as gladiator fights, exotic animal exhibitions, and even the execution of prisoners.

Today, with around 4.2 million people visiting every year, there’s no doubt the Colosseum is a must-see in Rome. It is one of the best things to do in Rome with family. Here, you can learn what is the best way to buy Colosseum tickets.

Getting there: The Colosseo Metro station (Line B) is only minutes away from the Colosseum. Various buses also stop in the area, including most hop-on/hop-off tourist buses.

Top Tip: Avoid waiting in line to buy a ticket on the day by buying a skip-the-line ticket in advance on this website.

If you wait until you arrive, you could end up standing in line for up to 4 hours to enter the tallest amphitheater ever built.

More than five million people visit this iconic landmark each year, making it the most popular of the Rome tourist attractions outside the Vatican.

How to skip the line at the Colosseum – There are various ticket (check price here) and tour options which will allow you to skip the ticket line at the Colosseum. They include the three-in-one Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tickets or even the Roma Pass which includes free entry to one or two museums or archaeological sites.

You could also book a tour to get access to the Colosseum underground and third ring in the company of a professional guide.

2. Pantheon

best things to do in Rome Pantheon

Who doesn’t want to visit one of the best-preserved architectural wonders of the ancient world? Its easy accessibility by foot or public transport in the heart of the city makes it one of the most-visited Rome attractions. Here are some tips on how to buy tickets for the Pantheon, so you can avoid the most common tourist traps.

People come from all directions to marvel at the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world which has stood the test of time for more than 2,000 years. More people are visiting this amazing place each year, even though entering the Pantheon is no longer free.

For this reason, it’s advisable to buy an audio guide in advance. Even better, book a tour to learn more about the Pantheon’s history and remarkable architecture get and get priority entrance as a bonus.

3. Roman Forum

Best things to do in Rome Roman Forum

If you want to know what life was like during the time of the ancient Roman Empire, strolling through the Forum and Palatine Hill is one of the best things to do in Rome.

The area was buried under the earth after the fall of the Empire. Fortunately, excavations during the 20th century now make it possible to see where the seat of government, the courts of law, temples, and monuments were.

The concentrated area of ruins that is the Roman Forum tells the tale of everyday life in ancient Rome city center. More than 4 million visitors per year walk among the historically significant ruins in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills.

By investing in a skip-the-line ticket before your visit, you’ll have more time to stroll down the famous Via Sacra. This used to be the main thoroughfare connecting the Colosseum with the Piazza del Campidoglio.

4. Palatine Hill

Best things to do in Rome palatine hill

The Palatine Hill which extends behind the Forum was a popular area for emperors to build their palaces. It’s also where, according to legend, Rome was founded by Romulus.

The Palatine Hill is where Romulus started Rome’s first settlement in the 8th century BC. Structures that have been revealed by excavations include huts from the Iron Age, religious sites, and imperial palaces.

Palatine Hill is the least busy of the three Rome attractions for which a combined ticket is sold. If for some reason you are unable to book in advance, our best advice is to buy the ticket here before visiting the Roman Forum and Colosseum. It automatically gives you fast-track entrance to all three sites.

Top Tip: If you plan on seeing the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill all in one day, you almost definitely need to buy your tickets in advance. Even though you’ll still have to stand in the security check line at the Colosseum, you will save hours queuing for a ticket.

Getting there: The blue Metro line (B) goes past the Roman Forum, with the closest stop being the Colosseo station. Or you could take the same bus which you would take for the Colosseum.

5. Catacombs Of Rome

caracalla baths Roman Catacombs

Visiting the underground Catacombs of Rome is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome, Italy, especially if you’re interested in the city's history and early Christian life. You can try this 45 min Priscilla Catacomb guided tour for €15 – tickets available here.

These subterranean burial sites will allow you to immerse yourself into Rome's past. As a recommended thing to do in Rome, touring the catacombs is a great way to connect with the poignant history of a Rome that thrived centuries ago.

And believe us, you’ll absolutely love walking through the narrow passageways of the Catacombs of Callixtus, the largest of its kind, and exploring the lesser-known Catacombs of Priscilla…

6. Forum of Augustus and Trajan Forum

Trajan's market forum

It’s clearly one of the cool things to do in Rome if you want to see more of the grandeur of Roman architecture.

Once the heart of Roman public and political life, these forums have become a symbol of the empire's power. But why is it part of the best tourist activities in Rome, Italy?

Well, they offer an amazing insight into the civic and social life of ancient Rome Italy. We would highly recommend joining a guided tour to fully appreciate the historical context and architectural complexities of the site.

7. Baths of Caracalla

Famous Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla is a Rome must-do if you love history.

Built between AD 212 and 217, these immense public baths were a city center of leisure and socialization. Back then they featured libraries, gardens, and even spaces for athletic activities!

Today, they remind us of Rome's imperial past and are among the most impressive Rome things to do and see. It’s a great way to have a glimpse into the daily life of ancient Romans.

Here again, we would advise you to take a guided tour to better understand the history and importance of the Baths of Caracalla. Check out this one – Caracalla Baths & Circus Maximus Tourget tickets here.

8. Castel Sant’Angelo

Best things to do in Rome Castel Sant Angelo

The cylindrical fortress on the banks of the Tiber River in Parco Adriano is also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. In fact, it’s very close to the Vatican City. With close to one million visitors a year, Castel Sant’Angelo is the fifth most visited attraction in Italy and deserving of a place on the list of best things to do in Rome.

Just taking a look inside the luxuriously decorated papal apartments in Castel Sant’Angelo is worth the entrance ticket. By reserving a Castel Sant’Angelo skip-the-line ticket online, you get fast track entrance and the opportunity to visit the castle rooms and art exhibitions in the main rooms.

9. Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine in Rome

The Arch of Constantine is undeniably one of the best things to see in Rome, Italy.

Erected to commemorate Constantine I's victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, it showcases reliefs and statues pillaged from earlier monuments. Located between the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, its strategic location makes it easily accessible.

The Arch of Constantine embodies the transition from the pagan Roman Empire to Christian rule. It's a must-see to ponder the events that have shaped the world we know today.

10. Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus in Rome

Wondering what Roman entertainment looked like back then? Then Circus Maximus should clearly be on your checklist of stuff to do in Rome!

Once the premier chariot racing stadium, this site could hold 250,000 spectators! Today, its sprawling grounds will allow you to escape from the bustling city.

Go tread the same ground where Romans once gathered in mass to be entertained. If you love history and wonder what to see in Rome Italy, then Circus Maximus is your perfect choice.

11. Largo Di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome

Largo di Torre Argentina ranks among the fun things to do in Rome city center, a glimpse into ancient Roman life amidst the city.

This square is home to four Roman temples and the remains of Pompey's Theatre. It’s where Julius Caesar was famously assassinated.

But why does Largo di Torre Argentina stand out among Rome top attractions?

Well, it actually plays an important role as a sanctuary for Rome’s stray cats. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to watch cats sunbathe on ancient pillars and steps!

12. Domus Aurea

Also known under the name Nero's Golden House, the Domus Aurea embodies the extravagance of Roman emperors.

A highlight among the attractions in Rome city center. This huge palatial complex, once covered in gold leaf, gems, and shells, was one of the most luxurious sites in ancient Rome.

So step back in time and explore the opulence Nero envisioned for his reign.

The good news is that it’s one of Rome's tourist attractions that have recently been restored. An unmissable experience for history buffs!

13. Theatre of Marcellus

Marcello's Theater Rome off the beaten path

It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome in February when the crowds are thinner and the weather is cooler.

This ancient open-air theater once hosted performances of drama and song for the Roman populace.

There you’ll have access to a more intimate glimpse into Roman life and leisure, away from the more frequented tourist spots.

This visit will allow you to connect you with the past, a peaceful moment in the heart of Rome.

14. Altar Of The Fatherland

altar of the fatherland

Also known as the Vittoriano, the Altar of the Fatherland is one of the best things to do in Rome in January, when the city's pace slows down and the crisp air refreshes your mind.

This monumental tribute to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the unified Italy, provides one of the best panoramic views of Rome city center from its terraces.

In January, the lesser crowds mean you can take your time to explore every detail of the structure without the push and shove of peak tourist seasons. Remember to dress warmly and wear good shoes as you’ll have to climb the steps to the top.

15. Mouth of Truth

Mouth of Truth in Rome

The Bocca della Verità is one of the best non-touristy things to do in Rome.

Get yourself a slice of Roman folklore and history in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Legend has it that this ancient marble mask will bite off the hand of those who lie!

Our best advice? Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the small crowds that do gather.

This way you’ll get your own personal moment with this amazing piece of Roman lore. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your encounter with this legendary lie detector!

Best Things to Do In Rome Outdoor

If you're eager to soak up the sun and enjoy the great outdoors, then look at these options to enjoy the capital’s sun.

16. Borghese Garden

Parc Borghese

If you like the outdoors and are looking for a romantic visit, then Borghese Garden is amongst the best things to do in Rome for couples.

Lush landscapes, charming pathways, romantic hideaways… Everywhere you’ll enjoy walking hand in hand.

Tip – Don’t hesitate to pack a picnic and find a secluded spot to enjoy some tranquility together, or perhaps rent a rowboat to drift lazily on the garden's small lake.

The Borghese Gardens provide a picturesque setting for romance and house the renowned Borghese Gallery.

17. Trevi Fountain

Best things to do in Rome Trevi Fountain

You may wonder what the Trevi Fountain does on the list of things to plan in advance for when you visit Rome city center. The fountain is free to visit, isn’t it?

Indeed. But because of its popularity, it’s still worthwhile to plan your visit in advance. Visiting during the day in peak season can result in a horrible experience leaving you with bad memories of one of the prettiest Rome tourist attractions. The beauty of Neptune riding a shell-shaped chariot pulled by seahorses will be totally lost on you.

Our best tip is to visit the Trevi Fountain late at night when the crowds have gone to eat or sleep. The fountain is floodlit which bathes the sculptures in a romantic light. The perfect place to end your day.

Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular must-see in Rome by tourists. It’s so popular that a million Euros worth of coins ends up in the fountain each year.

The Trevi Fountain is well worth seeing even if you don’t want to throw a coin into it. It’s the biggest fountain in Rome and arguably also the most beautiful. It has taken on many different shapes since the first version was built during the Renaissance, with the final touches provided by Guiseppe Pannini in 1762.

Getting there: The Trevi Fountain is near the Barberini Metro stop in the Trevi district. Or you can walk there in 10 minutes from the Spanish Steps.

Top Tip: Don’t let your enjoyment of the Trevi Fountain be spoiled by pushy rose sellers. Simply ignore them. And remember to throw three coins in the fountain (with right hand over left shoulder) as per the 1954 movie Three Coins in the Fountain. Why? The first is to ensure you return to Rome, the second that you’ll fall in love with an attractive Italian, and the third that you’ll marry him or her.

18. Rome Bike Tours

The bike is a great way to enjoy the best things to do in Rome off the beaten path.

Our top advice? Choose a tour that takes you through the Trastevere neighborhood or along the Appian Way. It’s a great way to mix history and nature. Check out this one (It's an easy electric bike tour, no worries about getting tired) – Appia Antica & Caffarella Park: Guided E-Bike Tour.

These bike tours will allow you to cover more ground than you would on foot but also give you the freedom to stop wherever you want.

It’s also a clean way to visit the capital city and a good option if you want to keep your freedom and control over your visits.

19. Vatican Gardens

Visit the Vatican

The Vatican Gardens is one of the best things to do in Rome in May when the flowers are in full bloom and the weather is perfect for wandering.

Book a guided tour well in advance as access to the gardens is limited and only possible as part of a guided group.

This way you’ll have a glimpse into the Vatican's private oasis and enjoy its sculptures, fountains and grottoes dedicated to the Madonna.

A peaceful visit away from the bustling city, especially in May, when the weather is absolutely perfect.

20. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona obelisk Agonalis

Wondering what are the best things to do in Rome for couples?

Piazza Navona is one of the most romantic places in Rome city center.

There you’ll find beautiful fountains, baroque palaces, local restaurants, and street artists. Why not visit as the sun sets to see the square illuminated with a warm glow?

The atmosphere is then magical! Stop by one of the cozy cafés lining the square for an intimate dinner or a gelato in front of the view of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers.

21. Piazza Di Spagna

3 days in rome piazza di spagna

The Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps are among the best things to do in Rome in June when the weather is warm and the city is more alive than ever.

Start your visit early in the morning to enjoy the steps in a quieter setting or visit late in the afternoon to catch the golden light of sunset facing the beautiful Trinità dei Monti church at the top.

June is the perfect time to see the steps adorned with colorful flowers? You’ll absolutely love the romantic and picturesque atmosphere of the square in the summertime!

22. Piazza Venezia

piazza in rome piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia is one of the best things to do in Rome in July.

Take the time to admire the imposing Vittoriano monument (Altar of the Fatherland) which dominates the square and climb up to its terraces for a breathtaking view of Rome city center.

July evenings bring a cooler and more comfortable climate. It’s the perfect time to walk through the bustling streets and enjoy Piazza Venezia’s unique vibe.

23. Appian Way

Appian Way Regional park in Rome

Have you ever heard of Via Appia Antica?

Appian Way is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome in October. The autumnal colors here are mesmerizing.

Don’t hesitate to rent a bike or take a walk to truly appreciate the road's historic significance. Stretching into the Roman countryside, this ancient road is lined with ruins, catacombs and lush greenery. October's mild weather is perfect for outdoor activities!

Don't forget to visit the Catacombs of San Callisto or San Sebastiano to immerse yourself deeper into early Christian Rome.

24. Walking Tiber River At Night

st peter’s basilica ticket

Wondering about the best things to do in Rome at night?

The Tiber River is one of the most romantic places in Rome after sunset. The pathway beside the river gets a whole new face as the city lights reflect off the water.

Start your walk from the Ponte Sant'Angelo, where you can enjoy stunning views of Castel Sant'Angelo lit up against the night sky, and meander towards Trastevere.

A great nocturnal journey to see Rome from a different perspective. Don’t forget to stop at one of the riverside bars or restaurants for a nightcap or a gelato!

25. Day Trips from Rome

facts about rome pompeii

Taking a day trip from Rome is a fantastic option if you have extra time—especially if you're searching for the best things to do in Rome on a Sunday.

The capital city surrounds itself with extraordinary natural and historical sites which are great for a day trip. Go walk through the ancient streets of Pompeii, savor a traditional Tuscan lunch amidst rolling hills or cruise along the stunning Amalfi coast…

The options are endless! If you’re looking for this kind of Sunday adventure, we would recommend you to book your tours in advance as Pompeii and Mount Vesuvio (see prices here), Tuscan Countryside (tickets here) and the Almafi coast and Positano are amongst the most touristic sites in Italy.

Tip – If you're curious about Pompeii, I've got a cool guide for you. It shows the way from Rome and tells you all the fun stuff to expect. Check out my Rome to Pompeii guide!

26. Spanish Steps

Things to do in Rome

Between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, go enjoy climbing some of the most famous stairs in the world.

The Spanish Steps are one of the best things to do in Rome in August to enjoy the summer sun. At the top, the Trinità dei Monti church awaits.

But even if August is a great time to visit, it’s also a crowded period.

So visit early in the morning to enjoy the steps before the day's heat and crowds set in. From the top, you’ll have access to one of the most beautiful views of the Eternal City.

27. Jewish Ghetto

Visiting tips Jewish museum Rome

The Jewish Ghetto is one of the best things to do in Rome in December.

Prepare yourself to dive into the rich history and culture of Rome's Jewish community, the oldest in Europe, without the crowds of summer. With its narrow lanes and traditional restaurants, this historic quarter offers a total immersion.

Be sure to visit the Great Synagogue of Rome and join in a guided walking tour to learn about the area's history.

You’ll also get the chance to sample traditional Jewish-Roman dishes. Try out the artichokes alla giudia, they’re a delight!

28. Piazza Del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo in Rome near museum

Piazza del Popolo is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rome in winter thanks to its magical vibe during the cooler months.

Framed by its iconic churches and the ancient Egyptian obelisk at its center, this expansive square provides a wonderful decor for winter walks under the crisp and clear skies of Rome. Wrap up warmly and take the time to explore the surrounding areas.

There you’ll find the beautiful Santa Maria del Popolo Church, home to works by Caravaggio. We would also advise you to climb the Pincio Hill for a stunning view of the city!

29. Trastevere

Walking Trastevere Rome looking for hotels

Amongst the best free things to do in Rome, we would never recommend enough Trastevere.

This historical neighborhood boasts medieval architecture, dynamic piazzas, nice hotels, and many cafes and restaurants. If you’re looking for the best local things to do in Rome, then you just found the perfect place.

Tip – Don’t hesitate to mingle with locals, try out some traditional Roman dishes or simply enjoy the lively street performances that often take place in Piazza di Santa Maria. Let yourself get lost in its narrow lanes and you’ll live just the perfect immersion.

30. Campo de’ Fiori

3 days in rome campo dei fiori

In autumn, Campo de’ Fiori square bursts into life each morning with vendors offering fresh produce, flowers, and local delicacies.

This is why a visit to this square can easily be one of the best activities in Rome in November. It's the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the daily life of Romans!

As evening falls, Campo de’ Fiori transforms into a vibrant social hub. Settle into one of the bars or restaurants and savor Roman cuisine and wine.

Best Things to Do In Rome for Art And Museum Lovers

Rome brims with some of the world's most renowned galleries, ancient sculptures, and Renaissance and Baroque art masterpieces.

Art lovers, you’ll absolutely love what the capital city has to offer.

31. Borghese Gallery

Best things to do in Rome Borghese Gallery

As home to one of the world’s greatest private art collections, the Borghese Gallery is the 9th most visited tourist attractions in Italy. Close to 500,000 people visit the gallery in a beautiful villa set in the expansive Borghese Garden every year.

You should book in advance to visit the Borghese Gallery. You ask why? Well, visitors to the Borghese Gallery are limited to 360 at a time in 2-hourly slots. To avoid disappointment, it’s essential to book your Villa Borghese tickets well in advance. Get your Borghese Gallery skip the line tickets here.

32. Vatican Museums

Best things to do in Rome Museum Rome

The Vatican City is often referred to as the “Museum of Museums” or the Pope’s Museums. They house the extensive collections of art, archaeology, and ethno-anthropology gathered by different Popes over the centuries.

Visitors to the Vatican Museums also get to see some of the Apostolic Palace’s magnificent artistically significant rooms. The highlight, for sure, is the famous Sistine Chapel (see below).

If you don’t have much time to see all the Rome tourist attractions (although technically the Vatican, as an autonomous state, isn’t part of Rome) you simply must plan ahead.

We recommend booking your ticket (on this website) at least a week in advance during the busy tourist seasons. If not, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position where no tickets are available during the period of your Rome stay.

Tip – Please, before you go, read my guide on the Vatican's dress code to avoid problems getting into museums.

33. Sistine Chapel

Best things to do in Rome Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo created several masterpieces, but the Sistine Chapel is considered to be one of his best, if not the best. He spent four years, from 1508 to 1512, painting the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. It’s mainly the prospect of seeing this beautiful artwork that drives millions of visitors through the Vatican Museum.

If the Sistine Chapel is the main reason for your visit to the Vatican Museum, you most definitely don’t want to be stuck in queues at the entrance. Get there quickly by buying your skip-the-line ticket more than a week in advance. Better still, avoid the crowds by booking an early access Vatican Museums tour (also skip the line) – take a look here. 

Top tip: Combine a guided, skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums with your visit to St. Peter’s Basilica. The complete Vatican guided tour also includes the Vatican gardens.

34. Capitoline Hill and Museums

Capitoline Hill Rome

The world’s oldest public museum is on Capitoline Hill and dates to 1471. A Rome travel guide must include the two grand pallazi facing each other across the Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitol Square) between the two peaks of Capitoline Hill.

The square and the buildings flanking it were designed by none other than Michelangelo.

Must see artifacts in the Capitoline Museums include the bronze she-wolf which is Rome’s emblem, a statue of Pope Urban VIII by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, as well as a remarkable collection of paintings by famous artists such as Caravaggio and Tintoretto.

Getting there: Most Rome public buses go around the Piazza Venezia which is right at the Capitoline Museums. Or you could take the Metro to the Colosseum and walk there along the side of the Roman Forum (about 10 minutes).

Top Tip: The Capitoline Museum is one of the main attractions on the Roma Pass. However, Roma Pass gives you entrance to two venues of your choice and you should probably use it a strategically. Learn more here about Roma Pass.

35. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Villa Doria Pamphili visiting

The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is the perfect place if you are looking for the best things to do in Rome on a rainy day.

It offers shelter from the weather alongside its stunning art collection. Nestled in the heart of Rome, this palace houses one of the city’s richest private art collections. You’ll find some works by Raphael, Caravaggio, and Velázquez, among others.

Take your time to explore the opulent rooms and galleries and don’t hesitate to take the audio guide to get some insights into the history of the art and the aristocratic residence.

Religious Sites

From the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica and the grandeur of the Pantheon to the relaxed atmosphere of Santa Maria Maggiore, discover these holy sites and dive into Rome's deep religious heritage.

36. St Peter’s Basilica

churches in Rome St Peter's Basilica

No Rome travel guide is complete without the inclusion of the Vatican even though, as the smallest independent state in Europe, it’s not really a part of Rome. Surrounded by the eternal city, the Vatican City is home to around 1,000 people of which the Pope is the most famous.

The top attractions in the Vatican City’s surface area of 0,44 km² are the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, as well as St Peter’s Square and St Peter’s Basilica.

Until recently the largest church in the world, the most impressive part of Basilica is the huge dome whose design was started by Michelangelo and completed by Carlo Maderno in 1614. Art highlights inside include Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s St Peter’s Baldachin, The Pietà by Michelangelo and the statue of St Peter on his throne.

Entry to St Peter’s is free. However, unless you visit in winter, you can expect to wait in the admission line for around 45 minutes due to strict security checks at the entrance.

Once again, you can plan ahead and save precious time by buying skip-the-line tickets – St. Peter’s Basilica with Dome Climb. You should also take note that some areas within the church are only accessible with special tickets or on a guided tour.

Top Tip: Make life easier by booking a time slot with fast-tracked tickets to visit the Vatican. The best times to avoid crowds are late afternoons during the middle of the week.

Getting there: Getting to the Vatican is easy by bus, metro, taxi or on foot. Buses 64, 62, 40 and 81 stop within an easy walking distance from the Vatican. Or you could take the Metro line A and get off at Cipro (closer to the Vatican museum) or Ottaviano (closer to St Peter’s Square).

One of the best things to do in Rome at Christmas is to visit Basilica and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

37. Basilica of Saint John Lateran

churches in Rome St John Lateran Basilica

As the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran houses sacred relics and stunning works of art.

It really is a must-visit if you’re interested in the spiritual heritage of Rome. Don’t hesitate to join in a paid tour to fully appreciate the basilica's history, architecture, and its role within the Christian community. Or simply get an entry ticket for €10.

38. Santa Maria Maggiore

trastevere rome

It’s one of the major basilicas in Rome. Santa Maria Maggiore is among the best things to do in Rome for young adults looking to know more about religion, history and art.

Known for its breathtaking mosaics dating back to the 5th century, the monument takes some time to visit. So don't rush your visit and take the time to absorb every detail of the mosaics.

A guided tour for €25 will probably enhance your understanding and appreciation of this historic site. Or simply get an entry ticket for €7.50.

Best Things to Do In Rome for Foodies

Rome invites you to a culinary journey like no other! Sample authentic Roman dishes, participate in a cooking class or join in on a food tour through the local markets…

Food lovers will for sure fall in love with Rome’s culinary culture.

39. Eat Gelato

rome restaurants gelato rome

Prepare yourself for a quintessential Roman experience! With artisanal gelaterias scattered throughout the city, you’ll have access to a range of classic and innovative flavors.

We’re pretty sure you’re about to eat the best ice cream of your life! Seek out the gelaterias that prioritize quality ingredients and traditional methods.

You’ll be able to recognize them by their seasonal flavors and the absence of bright and artificial colors. Pistachio, hazelnut and ricotta with fig are amongst the most traditional flavors.

40. Rooftop Bars In Rome

rooftop bar rome

Get a new and unique perspective of the city. Rome boasts many rooftop bars with panoramic views.

Some luxurious terraces overlook historical landmarks and some hidden rooftops are nestled atop boutique hotels. Each of them provides their own special glimpse into the Eternal City's grandeur.

We would advise you to make a reservation around sunset, when the city's ancient stones and baroque domes are bathed in a golden glow…

41. Roman Street Markets

It’s probably one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Italian culture and way of life. Campo de' Fiori, Porta Portese flea market…

Each Roman market has its very own vibe. It’s a great way to enjoy the local cuisine and craftsmanship.

Start visiting the markets early to catch the freshest produce and the best bargains and don't hesitate to sample the street food and chat with local vendors for a truly immersive experience.

42. Pizza & Pasta

Pasta in Rome

If we had to choose only one food to try out during your Roman trip, this would undoubtedly be Italian pizza or pasta.

Amongst the best things to do in Rome in March is the food tour. Rome’s streets are still quiet and the climate begins to warm.

The conditions are perfect to go from one restaurant to another. Here you’ll have to venture beyond the tourist spots to where the locals eat.

Tip – Don’t forget to try the Roman specialties like pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) and the famous pasta carbonara.

Few Things to Know Before You Go to Rome

Planning things to do in Rome

Before you head to Rome, here are a few practical tips to keep in mind, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable experience during your visit.

Best Time to Visit Rome

Rome is pretty much a year-round destination, depending on what your preference is. Spring and autumn (March-May and September-November) are the best times to visit Rome in pleasant, mild temperatures.

If you don’t like crowds and queuing, then the winter months outside the Christmas holidays are a good time for the visit. The summer months of July and August can be hot and busy. Then again, there’s a special charm to long summer evenings in Rome.

Visiting Rome with Kids

Filled with interactive museums, sprawling parks and historical sites that spark imagination and wonder, Rome is an absolute delight for families.

To make the most of your family trip, we offer tailored travel guides on visiting Rome with toddlers, Guide on visiting Rome with kids, and Rome with teens. There you’ll find activities ideas suited to each age group.

Restaurant Charges

While tipping in Rome is not expected because a service charge is mostly included in your bill, there are some other restaurant charges you should be aware of.

A cover charge (coperto) may be charged for the use of cutlery, salt, etc. However, this is illegal in Lazio where Rome is situated. Also, be aware that you may be charged extra for bread (pane).

Top Annual Events in Rome

  1. 21 April – Rome’s birthday – “Born” in 753 BC, Rome celebrates its birthday in great fashion with costumed processions and gladiator fighting at historical sites.
  2. Holy Week & Easter – Especially the Saturday before Palm Sunday when St Peter’s Square is packed full of people for the open-air Mass.
  3. Carnival in February/early March – 2 weeks of dressing up and having fun parties before Lent.
  4. Festa della Repubblica on 2 June – This national holiday commemorates the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946. In Rome, you’ll be able to attend a grand military parade along Via dei Fori Imperiali, attended by the President of the Republic, as well as a spectacular aerial display by the Frecce Tricolori.
  5. Estate Romana (Roman Summer) June-September – A season filled with cultural events, outdoor concerts, cinema under the stars and various performances set against the backdrop of Rome's most beautiful landmarks. The city comes alive with activities for all ages.
  6. Christmas Markets in December – Throughout December, Rome transforms with festive lights and Christmas markets, especially in Piazza Navona. It’s a great time to enjoy holiday decorations, traditional food and find artisanal gifts.

Roma Tourist Taxes

A tourist tax is levied on travelers staying in Rome. The amount depends on the accommodation class.

For example, the tax per night per adult in a 3-star hotel is €6 while those staying in a 5-star hotel will pay €10. Children under 10 don’t pay tourist taxes in Rome.

How to Avoid Crowds

The best time in Rome to avoid the crowds and long entrance lines in Rome is to visit in winter (outside the Christmas and New Year’s holidays). Even then it may be a good idea to book your tickets in advance to minimize time spent in the cold winter air.

If you visit at any other time, and especially between June and September, you will be so happy you planned in advance when you arrive at a busy Rome attraction with your pre-purchased skip the line ticket in hand.

Rome Passes to Fully Enjoy the Top Attractions

Best things to do in Rome roma pass

There are various Rome sightseeing passes designed to suit different interests and itineraries.

They are well worth considering if you don’t want to miss out on the attractions that are a must see in Rome.

Is the Roma Pass Worth Buying in Advance?

When planning the best things to do in Rome in advance, you may wonder whether the Roma Pass is worth buying ?

The 48-hour Roma Pass includes free public transport and entry into two museums or archaeological sites, with discounts to more.

When doing your planning, you should consider how much time you have and which of the Rome attractions are a must-see in your book. Sometimes it’s better to buy individual tickets with skip the line features or even a tour with a guide which includes fast-track access.

Rome City Pass (Rome Tourist Card) – Best for All Must-See in Rome

Rome City Pass (or Rome Tourist Card)– A good option if it’s your first time in Rome.

The Rome City Pass includes entrance to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum and Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. The Rome City Pass can be bought online (check here) from €89 per adult.

Omnia Card

Omnia Card – A very comprehensive 3-day Rome sightseeing pass that includes public transport in Rome, entrance to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, 2 free entrances from the Roma Pass list, official audio guide to St. Peter's Basilica, and more. Click here for all the features and to buy it online from €149.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the eternal city with our handy Rome travel guides.

Experiencing the top must-see in Rome has never been easier with different sightseeing passes and fast track admission tickets that can conveniently be bought online before your visit.

Final Words about the Best Things to Do in Rome

Take a moment to unwind and carefully craft your itinerary while considering the best things to see and do in Rome that resonate with your preferences.

We all have different vibes, and for me, visiting the Colosseum (all tickets here), enjoying some good gelato, exploring Trastevere's narrow streets, and grabbing a drink at a rooftop bar in Rome hit the spot. But if you're the type to see and do it all, the guide above should give you some ideas to plan your trip.

Or you could check out these Rome city tours on and let the travel guides lead the way. Enjoy a hassle-free guided tour without the need to worry about planning.

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1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Posted by Shauvon| |Reply

    Grazie! Will check out!

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