Things to do in Rome

Explore Rome: The ultimate 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


  • Day 1 in Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palantine Hill, Trastevere, Roman Catacombs 
  • Day 2 in Rome: Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Borghese Gallery & Borghese Gardens
  • Day 3 in RomeThe Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Necropolis, Castel Sant’Angelo

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

Colosseum

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1.5 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List?
  • The Colosseum was used for gladiator contests and other public spectacles like animal fights and mock sea battles.
  • 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 has a fascinating architectural design, featuring three levels of arches and a complex network of tunnels and chambers beneath the arena.
More Reads on the Colosseum

? Hot Local 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.

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Colosseum Rome Guide

How To Explore Colosseum The Right Way: The Ultimate Roman Colosseum Travel Book

While the wanderlust in you will be spoilt to choose from a wide array of attractions like the Pantheon, Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican City, etc., you cannot miss one of the most revered historic sites in the world, the Colosseum.

Roman Forum & Palantine Hill

MORNING 10:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List
  • Once the city centre of Rome, the Roman Forum looks strikingly similar to something straight out of a fantasy movie, with tall buildings, pillars, columns and arches.
  • Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome and is considered the most central and oldest part of the city
  • The Farnese Gardens on Palatine Hill offer stunning views of the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.
More Reads on Palatine Hill + Roman Forum

 ?Hot  Local 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.

Trastevere

AFTERNOON 2:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-2 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List
  • Trastevere is known for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  • The neighborhood is home to some of the best authentic Italian cuisine in Rome, offering a wide range of traditional trattorias and osterias.
  • Trastevere is also famous for its historic churches, such as the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

?Hot Local Tip?

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

Roman Catacombs

EVENING 5:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-2 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List
  • Roman Catacombs are underground burial chambers that were used by early Christians in Rome.
  • The catacombs contain intricate frescoes and sculptures that depict scenes from the Bible.
  • They are also considered as important archaeological sites, providing valuable insights into the burial practices and religious beliefs of the early Christian community
More Reads on Palatine Hill + Roman Forum
?Hot Local 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. 

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

Piazza Navona

MORNING 10:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR
Why It's Made Our List
  • 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.
  • During Christmas, Piazza Navona transforms into a festive market with stalls selling decorations and treats.

?Hot Local 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
Why It's Made Our List
  • The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings.
  • It was originally built as a temple to honor all Roman gods.
  • The domed roof of the Pantheon is a remarkable architectural feature, with a large opening called the oculus at the center.
?Hot Local 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
Why It's Made Our List
  • 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.
  • 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.

?Hot Local 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. 

Spanish Steps

AFTERNOON 2 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR
Why It's Made Our List
  • The Spanish Steps consist of 135 steps that connect the Piazza di Spagna at the base with the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.
  • The Spanish Steps have been featured in various movies, including "Roman Holiday" starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
  • The area surrounding the Spanish Steps is known for its luxury shopping and designer boutiques.

?Hot Local Tip?

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

Borghese Gallery & Borghese Gardens

EVENING 4 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2-3 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List
  • The Borghese Gallery houses a vast collection of sculptures, paintings, and antiques.
  • The gallery's collection includes famous artworks such as Bernini's "Apollo and Daphne" and Caravaggio's "David with the Head of Goliath."
  • The gardens surrounding the gallery are beautifully landscaped with fountains, statues, and greenery.
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Borghese Gallery Tour

Top 8 Borghese Gallery Guided Tours

We’ve put together everything you need to know about choosing the right guided tour on your visit to the Borghese Gallery.

?Hot Local 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.

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

The Vatican Museums

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1.5 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Vatican Museums also house the Raphael Rooms, a suite of four interconnected rooms decorated by the Renaissance artist Raphael, showcasing his incredible artistic talent and mastery.
More Reads on the Vatican Museums

?Hot Local 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
Why It's Made Our List
  • The Sistine Chapel is renowned for its extraordinary ceiling painted by Michelangelo, depicting various scenes from the Book of Genesis.
  • Located in the Apostolic Palace, it is the official residence of the Pope and is the last stop on your Vatican Museums tour.
More Reads on the Sistine Chapel

?Hot Local 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
Why It's Made Our List
  • We recommend buying St. Peter's Basilica is one of the holiest Catholic sites and a major pilgrimage destination.
  • The basilica's iconic dome, designed by Michelangelo, is a prominent feature in the Rome skyline.
  • The interior of the basilica is filled with beautiful artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and mosaics.
More Reads on St. Peter's Basilica

?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:

Vatican Necropolis

AFTERNOON 2:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1-1.5 HOURS
Why It's Made Our List
  • The Vatican Necropolis contains tombs dating back to the Roman era and early Christian period.
  • The Necropolis is adorned with frescoes, sculptures, and inscriptions.

?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
Why It's Made Our List
  • 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!
  • Castel Sant Angelo is connected to the Vatican City by a fortified corridor known as the Passetto di Borgo.
More Reads on Castel Sant’Angelo

?Hot Local 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!

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Getting Around Rome

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

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.
  • 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.
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Rome Travel Tips

20 Rome Travel Tips & Hacks – The Holy Grail For First Timers in Rome

Traveling to Rome for the first time? Here are a few eternal tips that will help you breeze through the cobbled lanes and lap up the dolce vita lifestyle without falling into touristy traps.
Rome in 3 Days - Itinerary

FAQs: Rome in 3 Days - Itinerary


Can Rome be done in 3 days?

3 days is a lovely amount of time to spend in Rome. While not enough to see 'everything', three days in Rome are sufficient to visit Rome's most famous sites, taste Rome's best food and even relax in one of the city's beautiful piazzas.

How much is a 3 day trip to Rome?

The average price of a Weekend 3-day trip to Rome, Italy is $834 for a solo traveller, $1418 for a couple, and $1835 for a family of 4. Rome city centre hotel range from $287 to $719 with an average of $359 per night, while Airbnb rentals will cost you $90 per night for the entire apartment.

What should I wear to sightseeing in Rome?

It's fine for your sightseeing outfits to be casual in Rome. T-shirts, jeans, tennis shoes, sundresses and sandals are all appropriate for any of the Rome sights, including Vatican City. You should be comfortable since so much of the best sight-seeing in Rome involves walking

Is the Rome tourist card worth it?

The priority access together with free public transport or Rome hop-on-hop-off bus tickets frees up more time for sightseeing. This is huge, as people can queue for up to 4 hours in the ticket lines of the Vatican and Colosseum during the peak tourist season. That is the main point why Roma Pass worth it.

What is the best month to visit Rome?

Rome's best travel months (also busiest and most expensive) are April, May, June, September, October, and early November. These months combine the convenience of peak season with pleasant weather.