Things to do in
Rome

See amazing feats of civilization, ancient and modern alike, in this 2,500-year-old metropolis.

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Our most recommended things to do in Rome

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. 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.

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Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

2. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Learn the fascinating history and facts about these sites from your licensed guide, leaving the tour with a wealth of information. Marvel at the incredible frescoes and more along the way. First your local guide will show you around the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Marvel at the ornate ceilings, ancient statues, and intricate tapestries found throughout the Vatican Museums. A highlight will be an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the Renaissance genius Michelangelo Buonarotti. Visit the world-famous Sistine Chapel, and see the Creation of Adam in real life. Listen as your guide tells you about Michelangelo’s private jokes and secret messages that were hidden amongst the painted frescoes on the ceiling of the chapel

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Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Priority Tickets

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

Skip the long ticket line 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, 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.”

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Colosseum: Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

4. Colosseum: Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill with a guided tour of all 3 attractions. Learn all about the biggest amphitheater in the Roman Empire, everyday Roman life, and the founding site of the city. After skipping the ticket line, explore the Colosseum as your guide shares its history with your group. See the arena floor from the stands, and imagine the battle scenes with gladiators and wild animals below. Next, visit the Roman Forum to see where the center of Roman social, political, and religious life took place. Home to the old marketplace and Temple of Julius Caesar, it was a grand site at the heart of Roman life. Head up Palatine Hill next, the rumored birthplace of Rome and middle of the 7 hills. Enjoy panoramic views over the city from here, including unforgettable views of the Colosseum and Roman Forum themselves. Travel along the Via Sacra, the road connecting all 3 sites, as your guide paints a picture of Roman life for your group.

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Colosseum: Tour with Arena Floor, Underground and Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

5. Colosseum: Tour with Arena Floor, Underground and Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Head out on an incredible tour that goes to the very heart of ancient Rome and allows you to explore the Empire’s most iconic monuments, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palantine Hill. Learn interesting facts and stories from your licensed guide as you walk through each attraction. With your group, an experienced tour guide will take you back to the time of gladiator fights at the Colosseum. Your guide will also reveal the secrets of the Roman Forum, which was the political and economic center of the city. No tour of this area would be complete without exploring the Palatine Hill. This was the Beverly Hills of ancient Rome, where emperors and nobles resided, high above the common people below. Marvel at all you've learned and discovered about ancient Rome at the end of your tour.

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Borghese Gallery: Ticket

6. Borghese Gallery: Ticket

Pre-book your ticket to one of Rome's most popular museums, the Borghese Gallery, and waste no time waiting in the ticket line. Once inside, admire the gallery's world-renowned collection of paintings and sculptures. First, make your way to the Villa Borghese Pinciana, the home of the Borghese Gallery. Skip the ticket line, then explore the 20 rooms of art in this famous museum. Marvel at sculptures and paintings by Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Titian, and other masters of art. See Raphael's "The Deposition" and "Lady with a Unicorn," Bernini's sculptures "Apollo and Daphne" and "David," and more. Prepare to be amazed by "David with the Head of Goliath," "Boy with a Basket of Fruit," and other paintings in the Caravaggio room. Discover the gallery's other highlights, such as Canova's "Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix." As well as exploring the museum, make time for a stroll around the villa's gardens to enjoy the views over the Piazza del Popolo and Rome's historic center.

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Colosseum: Tour with Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

7. Colosseum: Tour with Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

See the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on a guided tour of all 3 attractions. Learn all about everyday Roman life, the Colosseum’s gory history, and the city’s rumored founding hill. After entering the Colosseum, tour the amphitheater as your guide brings history to life. Visit the normally off-limits arena floor and imagine the roaring crowds from the gladiators’ perspective. Next up, visit the Roman Forum, the epicenter of Roman political, religious, and social life. Home to the Temple of Julius Caesar and Roman Senate, it was full of grand, classical architecture and a marketplace. Then walk up to Palatine Hill, the reputed birthplace of Rome and the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome. Discover one of the most ancient parts of the city. Enjoy panoramic views of Rome from here, including exceptional views over the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

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Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-line Tickets

8. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-line Tickets

Drive straight into the action with skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museum and make the most of your time in Rome. Uncover masterpieces as you make your way through 15 kilometers of artwork and facinating historical items. Meet your host at the tour provider's office and be led to the entry point of the Vatican Museums. Breeze through the line and go through a quick security check that ensures your visit is safe. Use your map to help you navigate through the massive collection with ease. Stroll through over 3000-years of art history. Uncover a world of ancient secrets in the Gregorian Egyptian Museum. Appreciate at your own pace works by Caravaggio, Giotto, Raphael and Leonardo. Admire an impressive collection of classical sculptures in the Pio Clementino Museum. Wander the halls of the ornate and elaborate papal apartments at the Raphael Rooms and the Borgia Apartments. Finally, stand beneath Michelangelo’s most renowned masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel.

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Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Ticket with Host

9. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Ticket with Host

Go on a journey through art and religious history with your ticket to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Skip the long ticket lines, inform yourself before entering with the help of a host, and enjoy your visit at your own pace. Find a treasure trove of Roman statues, Renaissance paintings, and Italian artworks. Discover works by Caravaggio and Titian, as well as more recent artists such as Picasso and Rodin. Keep an eye out for Michelangelo’s self-portrait. Walk through 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, the pope's private apartments.  Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and contemplate the intricate details of Michelangelo’s renowned masterpiece.

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Colosseum & Forum Ticket with Multimedia Video

10. Colosseum & Forum Ticket with Multimedia Video

Start your experience at the local partner's office, where you'll pick up your tickets and enjoy a 25-minute multimedia video about ancient Rome. With your ticket, discover the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Visit the Roman Forum where everyday Roman citizens used to live to 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.  Afterwards, visit one of the most famous monuments in the world, 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.

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Frequently asked questions about Rome

What top attractions are a must-see in Rome?

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

  • Language
    Italian
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +39
  • 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.

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

4.4 / 5

based on 265,756 reviews

Tour was well worth the price. Went to four different locations, had a fancy cheese appetizer, street slice pizza, cured meats cheeses and whole pizza and finally pasta and tiramisu at a family owned restaurant. All while having unlimited wine. Lousia was very entertaining and was an excellent guide.

The guide (Daniela) was excellent. Very knowledgeable and super friendly. She gave lots of interesting information and did so in an engaging way. The tour started right on time. Everything was well organized.

Nous avons fait un tour guidé du Vatican avec le guide Mathéo, un excellent narrateur, passionné ! Grave à lui et à la splendeur du Vatican nous avons voyagé à travers le temps. Excellente expérience.

Davide, la nostra guida, è stato fantastico e ci ha trasmesso moltissime nozioni durante la visita. Davvero molto bravo, consigliato A+++

Marcius was an excellent guide who made our trip to the museum Extremely interesting!