Things to do in Rome

Conquer The Best Of Rome in 3 Days | Rome 3 Day Itinerary

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In Rome for a short while and wondering what to do? Our carefully curated itinerary is designed to show you the best of Rome in 3 days, with the best of the city's culture and history, helping you make the most of every second of your vacation.

3 Days in Rome - An Overview


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Rome In 3 Days - Detailed Itinerary


Day 1

Exploring The Ancient Ruins Of Rome
Run Time

Colosseum

Price

Roman Forum & Palantine Hill

Duration

Trastevere

Duration

Roman Catacombs

Rome in 3 days
Rome in 3 days
Rome in 3 days
Your 3-day itinerary begins with a bang: covering the top 3 attractions of Rome at a go (pro tip: a combo tour of the 3 would be the most ideal option). Roam the serene squares of Rome in the evening and end your day at the eerie Roman Catacombs.

Colosseum

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1.5 HOURS

Top 10 Rome Attractions

Historic Landmark

Walking Tours

The Colosseum is perhaps the most recognized structure in all of Rome. This amphitheatre was used for gladiator contests and other public spectacles like animal fights, mock sea battles, etc. At 157 feet, the Colosseum was also the tallest amphitheatre ever built, falling only 26 feet short of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Colosseum stands tall as an architectural marvel from a time long past and each nook and corner in its 6-acre area has a story to tell. Check out the best Colosseum guided tours available online and grab them at discount on Headout.

Know Before You Go
  • Ages 17 and under get free entry to the Colosseum, but their visit cannot be booked online.
  • The first Sunday of the month means free entry into the Colosseum, but we recommend not to go then because it is very crowded.
  • Browse through the best Colosseum Skip the Line tickets to beat queues & crowds anytime, anyday.
  • Since the tour is entirely open-air, make sure you check the weather forecast the day before.
  • Consider taking a Colosseum Underground tour for access to an exclusive, lesser-known part of the Colosseum.
More Reads on the Colosseum

:it: Local Travel Tip

The Colosseum draws in massive crowds. A way to avoid this would be to visit the Roman Forum before the Colosseum- it's usually less busy.

Roman Forum & Palantine Hill

MORNING 10:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Historic Landmark

Family Friendly

Roman Forum

Then, head to the Roman Forum right outside the Colosseum. Once the city centre of Rome, the landmark looks strikingly similar to something straight out of a fantasy movie, with tall buildings, pillars, columns, arches, etc. Highlights include the Temple of Antoninus Pius, Temple of Castor and Pollex, and the Arch of Septimius Severus among others.

Palatine Hill

Travel back in time to where Ancient Rome was discovered: the Palatine Hill. Smack dab in the middle of the seven hills, Palatine overlooks the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. Many legends are associated with the Palatine hill, which you'll find out about on your visit (hint: one involves Hercules striking Cacus).

Know Before You Go
  • Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing for the season you're in Rome.
  • Bring a bottle of water with you- there is a fair bit of walking through the site and you'll need to hydrate!
  • Bring along a snack to munch on. There are a few benches in the area or you can plop down on the grass for a quick bite if you'd like.
More Reads on Palatine Hill + Roman Forum

 :it: Local Travel Tip

A self-guided tour is just as fun as a guided tour. Just make sure you download the Parco Colosseo app before heading out.

Restaurant Recommendations

Feeling hungry? There are many great places to sit down for a scrumptious lunch after your spirited tour of the Colosseum. Here are some local recommendations:

Trastevere

AFTERNOON 2:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-2 HOURS

Iconic Square

Must-Visit Neighbourhood

Take a stroll around the local's favourite hub - Trastevere. From Vatican city, walk north on the Via della Lungara and you shall reach Trastevere in 15 minutes. Though you can walk around and experience the neighbourhood yourself, exploring the Trastevere neighbourhood with a local is a couthy experience that takes you through spots frequented by the the local Romans. You will get a chance to discover local tastes, learn about Italian cuisine and how it is more than just pizza and pasta.

Know Before You Go
  • Walk in and out of the shops and cafes of Via del Moro. Explore the cobblestone streets lined with crumbling buildings as well- both act as great backdrops for your Instagram-worthy pictures.
  • There are many food tours for you to participate in- enjoy the local cuisine to the fullest.

:it: Local Travel Tip

If time permits, it is highly recommended to sign up for a carbonara making exclusive masterclass!

Restaurant Recommendations

If you're not too hungry after your Colosseum tour, we highly recommend waiting until you reach Trastevere. After all, Trastevere is dubbed the "foodie neighborhood of Rome". There are many great places to sit down for a scrumptious lunch, replete with an aperitivo! Here are some local recommendations:

Grab lunch in Trastevere
Nannarella | La Tavernetta 29 | Bar San Calisto

Roman Catacombs

EVENING 5:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-2 HOURS

Underground Burial Grounds

Roman Heritage

Descend underground to delve deeper into the many layers of Rome: enjoy a tour that showcases how the Eternal city evolved through the years and the many historic sites that can be found here. Explore the Catacombs of Domitilla, the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla, the Basilica San Clemente, and more. A guided tour of the Roman Catacombs is recommended as simply walking through the ruins without knowing the history is simply spooky.

Know Before You Go
  • Guests suffering from claustrophobia must be cautious as the tunnels are entirely underground and cramped.
  • Carry water and snacks with you as the catacombs are not within close proximity to shops or restaurants.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as the catacomb tunnels are not entirely flat.
More Reads on Palatine Hill + Roman Forum

:it: Local Travel Tip

Even if it's scorching hot outside, make sure you carry along a lightweight jacket. The Catacombs of Rome are constructed underground, so it can get cold. 

rome bucket list
Rome Bucket List

52 Ultimate List Of Things To Do In Rome

Check out these must-do experiences in Rome and plan your itinerary like a pro!

Day 2

Sauntering Through Central Rome
Run Time

Piazza Navona

Price

Pantheon

Duration

Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps

Duration

Villa Borghese

Rome in 3 days
Rome in 3 days
Rome in 3 days
Your first day may have been focused on Roman history and heritage, but day 2 is lighter: sign up for a dose of cultural therapy. Take to the famous squares and piazzas of the city, toss a coin in the world-famous Trevi fountain, mingle with the locals, and peruse through Roman art at the Borghese Gallery!

Piazza Navona

MORNING 10:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Famous Square

Baroque Architecture

Start your day after a hearty breakfast, around 10:30 AM and walk the length of one of Rome's most treasured squares, the Piazza Navona. Centered around 3 lavish fountains - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana di Nettuno ; Piazza Navona is a true example of a hive of activity. It flaunts Bernini sculptures, elaborate fountains, a magnificent church, colourful casts of street artists, quaint cafes and lots of open space, bathing in sunshine and brimming with tourists. If you like a slow start to your day, grab a coffee, catch a nook and drink in your surroundings.

Know Before You Go
  • For the first 3 activities of day 2, we recommend booking the Navona Underground, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain Walking Tour in advance.
  • There are many restaurants inside Piazza Navona, and waiters will try their best to lure you in. The restaurants here are mostly tourist traps- very expensive and not actually authentically-Italian. We recommend that you do not eat in Piazza Navona.
  • Visit the piazza during spring or autumn when the weather is ideal for walking.

:it: Local Travel Tip

You don't have to eat at Piazza Navona, but definitely get yourself some roasted chestnuts while strolling through the piazza. This is a quintessential activity that all local's engage in.

Pantheon

MORNING 11:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Historic Landmark

Top 10 Rome Attractions

Visit next, the Pantheon, Ancient Rome's pride and glory, and its bestt-preserved monument. A stone's throw away from Piazza Navona, enter this magnanimous structure and admire its striking interiors. Built originally as a temple for all gods, the exact date of construction is still unknown. Legend has it that it was built on the very site where Romulus - the mythological founder of Rome - ascended from heaven.

Know Before You Go

:it: Local Travel Tip

The best recommended time to visit for the full experience is around noon. When the sun shines through the oculus, make sure to stand straight under it and look up.

Trevi Fountain

AFTERNOON 12:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Baroque Fountain

Free Attraction

Next, make your way to one what's considered to be one of the most famous fountains in the world. The Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, is one of the most breathtaking fountains and stands out starkly from the other 1,352 fountains in Rome. Make sure follow through the age old tradition of tossing a coin into Trevi fountain. Legend goes that you will one day return to Rome if you stand with your back facing the fountain and flip a coin into the water, and you definitely want to return to the Eternal city. Right?!

Know Before You Go

:it: Local Travel Tip

The Trevi Fountain is swarming with tourists day in and out. We recommend visiting early in the morning (preferably at sunrise) for a unique experience. 

Restaurant Recommendations

Time to refuel your body? Fret not, there are many good restaurants around the area. Our personal recommendations include:

Spanish Steps

AFTERNOON 2 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Iconic Roman Staircase

Ideal Meeting Point

The Spanish Steps are also known as Piazza Spagna, or Spanish Square. The steps lead from the baroque fountain - Fontana della Barcaccia at the base, up to the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. It gained popularity when the film "Roman Holiday" (featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck) shot a scene on these iconic steps. So, if you're a fan of Audrey Hepburn, you'll want to relive that exact moment here. The steps are free to visit, and a photo of you on them (ideally eating gelato), is pretty much a staple when visiting Rome!

:it: Local Travel Tip

Are you a John Keats fan? Check out the house he lived and died in, located near the Spanish Steps.

EVENING 4 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2-3 HOURS

Borghese Gallery & Borghese Gardens

Roman Artwork

Europe's Largest Urban Park

Family Friendly

The Borghese Gallery

Visit the Borghese Gallery, a dream come true for art lovers everywhere. Admire Roman art as you stroll through the gallery, features one of the world’s greatest private art collections. The collection is rich in ancient Roman, Renaissance, and Baroque art, with major works by Bernini, Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, Correggio, Rubens, and Canova. Check out the top 10 Borghese Gallery highlights. With ticket options aplenty, choose your preferred Borghese Gallery Ticket.

The Borghese Gardens

Rome's green lung, or Villa Borghese is a quick walk away from the Spanish steps. Find yourself enveloped in greenery (80 lavish hectares of it) in Rome's most extensive gardens. What's even better? This attraction doesn't have an entrance fee. Explore it to your heart's content!

Know Before You Go
  • Visiting the Borghese Gallery and Gardens during the weekends is not recommended for those looking to avoid crowds.
  • The first Sunday of the month is free of cost- but avoid booking as it'll be very crowded.
  • The zoo is a ticketed entrance, so if you want to include that in your itinerary, buy the tickets online.

:it: Local Travel Tip

Want a fun way to explore Villa Borghese? Rent a bike (from either Viale Goethe or Viale dell'Uccelliera - both located inside the park) and explore the garden in peace.

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Local's Pocket Guide To Rome

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Day 3

Discovering The Vatican City Jewels
Run Time

Vatican Museums

Price

Sistine Chapel

Duration

St. Peter's Basilica

Duration

Necropolis

Run Time

Castel Sant’Angelo

Rome in 3 days
Rome in 3 days
Rome in 3 days
No visit to Rome is complete without visiting the Vatican City. The three main attractions in Vatican City are the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel (part of the Vatican Museums) and St. Peter's Basilica. Afterwards, hit St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Necropolis & Castel Sant’Angelo!

The Vatican Museums

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1.5 HOURS

Top Vatican Attraction

Renaissance Masterpieces

Begin your third day at arguably one of the most important museums in Europe, the Vatican Museums. A collection of almost 20,000 pieces of art, the Vatican Museum is undeniably one of the most impressive displays of art in the world. The museums have many classical sculptures, tapestries, and paintings by Renaissance greats such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Bernini and Leonardo da Vinci on display throughout all 54 galleries. With ticket options aplenty, choose from our list of Vatican Museum tickets.

Know Before You Go
  • Remember to dress appropriately when visiting the Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica: shoulders, thighs, knees, midriffs, and cleavage should not be exposed.
  • We recommend fitting into the Vatican Museums at or before 9 AM because it gets very crowded later in the day.
More Reads on the Vatican Museums

:it: Local Travel Tip

It is recommended to book Vatican Museums skip-the-line tickets ahead of time. The wait time is almost 2 hours (not just during peak season). 

Sistine Chapel

MORNING 10:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Revered Vatican Attraction

Michelangelo's Frescoes

The Sistine Chapel may be a part of the Vatican Museums, but it is definitely considered a separate Vatican highlight. One of Michelangelo's finest masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel is a must-visit for all. Thankfully, all tickets to the Vatican Museums get you access to the Sistine Chapel. Located in the Apostolic Palace, it is the official residence of the Pope and is the last stop on your Vatican Museums tour.

Know Before You Go
  • It is recommended to book the Priority Entrance Ticket to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel together.
  • The best days to visit are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays, Fridays, and weekends are very crowded. On Wednesday, you have the Papal audience to look out for.
  • Winters are typically the low-season months, so if you want to beat crowds, head out to the Vatican then.
More Reads on the Sistine Chapel

:it: Local Travel Tip

Expect to spend some time in line due to the sheer number of travelers that visit the Sistine Chapel every day. This wait, however, can be avoided with a tour. 

St. Peter's Basilica

NOON 12:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Top 5 Vatican Attractions

Free Attraction

Explore the St. Peter's Basilica next, the biggest church in the world. Perched atop the tomb of St. Peter and located on the Vatican Hill, St Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome. Check out both levels below the basilica as well: the Vatican Grottoes and the Vatican Necropolis!

Know Before You Go
  • We recommend buying St. Peter's Basilica tickets online. The wait time could be anywhere between 45 minutes to 3 hours.
  • No shorts, mini skirts, or bare shoulders allowed in the basilica. Adhere to the dress code strictly.
  • Need help figuring out the best St.Peter's Basilica entrance? Save time and energy at the location.
More Reads on St. Peter's Basilica

:it: Local Travel Tip

Most of the restaurants surrounding the Vatican City are tourist traps. Take a 10-15 walk to get to some of the more authentic eateries. Our favorites are listed below under the restaurant recommendations:

Restaurant Recommendations

It is your last day in Rome, and you're in the revered Vatican City. Make most of this opportunity and have the best lunch of your life. Here are some of our personal recommendations:

Vatican Necropolis

AFTERNOON 2:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-1.5 HOURS

Archaeological Excavations

Under St. Peter's Basilica

Explore the Vatican Necropolis, a dark city of house-like mausoleums lined along dark streets filled with frescoes, inscriptions, and stucco decorations. In the early 1940s a grave was excavated here with the words “Petros Eni” (Peter lies here) inscribed on it. Inside, the remains of a tall man were discovered, claimed today by the Vatican as the bones of St. Peter, one of the original Apostles.

Know Before You Go
  • We recommend booking tickets to the Necropolis ahead of time- this attraction ticket is high in demand.
  • The Necropolis is dimly lit. Since it is underground, it has little ventilation and dimly lit. guests with serious medical conditions must take caution.
  • Please be dressed appropriately: shoulders must be covered.

:it: Local Travel Tip

During the months of June - August, the entire city gets very crowded and the lines to enter could go on forever.

Castel Sant’Angelo

EVENING 4 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-1.5 HOURS

Hadrian's Tomb

Historic Mausoleum

Built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian, this attraction is also known as the Hadrian’s Tomb. The Castel Sant’Angelo sits on the banks of River Tiber and is easily one of Rome's oldest standing buildings. Over the years, it evolved from a tomb to a fortress to a castle, and finally, a museum. Climb to the top for striking views of the city!

:it: Local Travel Tip

Visiting in June? Try visiting Castel Sant’Angelo on the 29th of June when the Festa di San Pietro e Paolo is celebrated in pomp with stunning fireworks!

Spend 3 Days in Rome Under 190 Euros


Barring your accomodation and food expenses, here's an approximate of how much you'll spend in Rome over 3 days. Headout guarantees the best price on the internet, so simply buy your attraction tickets from the Headout website and get 5% Cashbacks and 6 Euros Discounts on every other purchase!

Day 1 : Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palantine Hill, Trastevere,
Roman Catacombs
€89
Day 2 : Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps,
Villa Borghese
€54
Day 3 : Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St.Peter's Basilica,
Vatican Necropolis, Castel Sant’Angelo
€44

Total

€187

Book your Rome Attractions tickets on Headout, and spend just €187 on your 3 day vacation in Rome! Hit up all the prime attractions in the Eternal city and save more while you explore more.

More Rome Itinerary Options?


Want some more itinerary options?

Public Transportation In Rome


Rome transport

Exploring Rome by car/taxi can be something straight out of a nightmare. This is why even the local prefer using the metro or city buses. The most preferred amongst the two is the metro. But there are certain areas you cannot cover on the metro- these will be covered by buses. There are also 3 tram lines that are good to use to cover short distances.

You'll need to buy tickets for these modes of transportation. You can buy the tickets each time for your journey or a travel pass that is valid for 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours. If you will be staying for a week here, then you can buy the weekly ticket for traveling around the city.

Packing Checklist
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Public Transportation in Rome 101

Want to dive deeper into Rome's public modes of transportation? Learn all there is to know about the public transportation system in Rome.

Where To Stay in Rome?


Pantheon

In case you're still in your planning phase and want to arrange your accommodation, we have some recommendations. But before we go into the specific hotels, let's talk about the best neighborhoods to stay in.

If you’re looking for good places to stay for sightseeing, look no further than the city center. There are plenty of good hotels around the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, both atmospheric and convenient locations if you’re looking to get some sightseeing done. Staying in the city center can get pricey, though, so if you’re looking to stay for 5 days and more, look further afield.


Recommendations:

1. Around Piazza Navona:

2. Around Pantheon:

2. Around Termini Station:

Tips & Hacks For Making The Best of 3 Days in Rome


  • Getting Skip The Line Tickets is always recommended in Rome. The ticketing queues can be excruciatingly long. Pay a little extra to avoid waiting around in line and thank us later.
  • Most restaurants listed on popular websites like TripAdvisor are tourist traps- they can be quite hefty on the pocket. When in Rome, eat like a local. Head to where the locals flock and taste authentically-Italian grub! If you're interested in squeezing in local food tour on your 3 day trip, check out our list of the Top Local Food Tours in Rome.
  • The all new Walk On Walk Off Pass : This is a fairly new concept and we are completely blown by it ( you will be too!) If you like exploring a city on foot, nothing gets better. Check out our review of the Walk On Walk Off Pass.
  • Rome is infamous for its scamsters and fraudsters, so, keep an eye out for your belongings and keep them near and close.
  • There are many non-decorative fountains along the streets with free-flowing water. This water is perfectly safe to drink, so bring your water bottles and fill them up from here
  • Italians don’t drink cappuccinos after 11 AM. Order an espresso to shun funny looks.
  • Most museums and sites are closed on Mondays, so if you're in Rome on a Monday, make sure you have a Plan B of things to do.

More Rome Guides


Here are a few detailed guides that will help you plan your trip to Rome better.

Rome in 3 Days - Itinerary