The 25 Best Things To Do in Rome

best things to do in Rome

When it comes to ancient ruins, world-class art, and unparalleled gastronomy, Rome stands in a league of its own. This eternal city is a treasure trove of historic landmarks, charming streets, and hidden corners waiting to be explored. To help you make the most of your trip, we've compiled a list of the best things to do in Rome. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, a food lover, or a combination of all, Rome has something for everyone. Let the adventure begin!

The Colosseum, Rome

1. The Colosseum

Location: Piazza del Colosseo, 1

This iconic symbol of Rome is a must-visit. Step back in time as you explore the ancient amphitheater that once hosted thrilling gladiator contests.

2. Vatican Museums

Location: Vatican City

Home to one of the most extensive art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums are a haven for art aficionados. Marvel at masterpieces like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Room of the Segnatura. 

3. Roman Forum

Location: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6

Step into ancient Rome by exploring the ruins of the Roman Forum. This sprawling archaeological site was once the center of political, commercial, and religious life. Spend a few hours discovering the temples, basilicas, and monuments that bring history to life. 

Trevi Fountain, RomeUnsplash

4. Trevi Fountain

Location: Piazza di Trevi

Make a wish and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. This stunning masterpiece is a sight to behold, especially when beautifully lit up at night. 

5. St. Peter's Basilica

Location: Piazza San Pietro

Prepare to be awestruck by the grandeur and architectural brilliance of St. Peter's Basilica. As the world's largest church, it houses remarkable works of art, including Michelangelo's Pietà. Pro Tip: Climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking panoramic views of Rome.

6. Pantheon

Location: Piazza della Rotonda

Marvel at the sheer brilliance of the ancient Roman architecture at the Pantheon. This remarkable temple remains remarkably intact and boasts a breathtaking dome. Insider tip: Visit on a rainy day to witness the raindrops falling through the oculus in the center.

The Spanish Steps, RomeUnsplash

7. Spanish Steps

Location: Piazza di Spagna

Find a spot on the famous Spanish Steps, a picturesque staircase that connects Piazza di Spagna and the Trinità dei Monti church. Join locals and visitors alike as they soak up the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy a gelato or a coffee. Perfect for people-watching!

8. Piazza Navona

Location: Piazza Navona

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona. Admire the Baroque fountains, street performers, and artists, and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants for a memorable experience.

9. Villa Borghese Gardens

Location: Piazzale Napoleone I

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by strolling through the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens. Rent a bike, have a picnic, or explore the art-filled Villa Borghese Gallery. 

Castel Sant'Angelo, RomeUnsplash

10. Castel Sant'Angelo

Location: Lungotevere Castello, 50

Take a journey through history at Castel Sant'Angelo, a towering fortress that has served as a mausoleum, a prison, and a papal residence. Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the rooftop terrace. 

11. Sistine Chapel

Location: Vatican Museums

Prepare to be mesmerized by Michelangelo's masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Admire the vividly painted scenes and biblical figures that adorn this sacred space. 

12. Trastevere

Location: Trastevere neighborhood

Discover the bohemian charm of the Trastevere neighborhood. Wander through narrow cobblestone streets, admire colorful houses, and indulge in the delicious local cuisine. 

Piazza del Popolo, RomeUnsplash

13. Piazza del Popolo

Location: Piazza del Popolo

Experience the grandeur of Piazza del Popolo, one of Rome's most beautiful squares. Admire the Egyptian obelisk and the twin churches that flank the square. Insider tip: Visit at sunset for breathtaking views of the city and the nearby Villa Borghese Gardens.

14. Catacombs of Rome

Location: Various locations

Descend into the subterranean world of the Catacombs of Rome. Explore these ancient underground burial sites and gain insights into early Christianity and Roman history. 

15. Capitoline Museums

Location: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1

Discover art, history, and breathtaking views at the Capitoline Museums. With a collection spanning centuries, this museum offers a glimpse into the past glories of Rome. 

16. Galleria Borghese 

Location: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5

Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Galleria Borghese. Admire masterpieces by Caravaggio, Bernini, and Raphael in this intimate and elegant museum.

17. Mouth of Truth

Location: Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18

Put your honesty to the test and place your hand inside the Mouth of Truth at Santa Maria in Cosmedin. According to legend, the mouth will sever the hand of anyone who tells a lie. 

18. Campo de' Fiori

Location: Campo de' Fiori

Visit the vibrant Campo de' Fiori, a bustling square with a lively market during the day and bustling nightlife in the evening. Enjoy the atmosphere, grab a bite to eat, and maybe even join a street performer's act. 

view from Palatine Hill, RomeUnsplash

19. Palatine Hill

Location: Via di San Gregorio

Step into the birthplace of Rome at Palatine Hill. Explore the ancient ruins, including the Emperor's Palaces, and enjoy panoramic views of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. 

20. Trevi Neighborhood

Location: The streets around Piazza di Trevi

Immerse yourself in authentic Roman life by exploring the charming streets and alleyways of the Trevi neighborhood. Sample traditional Roman dishes at local trattorias and discover hidden gems along the way. 

21. Appian Way

Location: Roman Forum

Embark on a scenic bike ride or leisurely stroll along the historic Appian Way. This ancient road will transport you back in time as you pass by ruins, old Christian catacombs, and picturesque landscapes. 

Piazza Venezia, RomeUnsplash

22. Piazza Venezia

Location: Piazza Venezia

Uncover the heart of Rome at Piazza Venezia. Admire the monumental Altare della Patria and enjoy excellent views of the city from the rooftop terrace. 

23. Palazzo Barberini

Location: Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13

Marvel at the magnificent art collection housed within the Palazzo Barberini. From Renaissance masterpieces to Baroque artworks, this museum offers a visual feast for art enthusiasts. 

24. Ostia Antica

Location: Via dei Romagnoli

Escape the city and immerse yourself in the well-preserved ancient ruins of Ostia Antica. This once-thriving harbor city provides a glimpse into daily life during the Roman Empire. 

25. Pincian Hill

Location: Piazzale Napoleone I

Escape the bustling city streets and find tranquility at Pincian Hill. This peaceful park offers stunning panoramic views of Rome, including the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese Gardens, and the city's ancient rooftops.

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