If you've got five days in Rome, you will be able to see most of the city! Not just that, you will also have enough time to check out a nearby city on a day trip from Rome. Here is our dedicated itinerary to ensure you can see the best of Rome in 5 days.
5 Days in Rome - How To Spend Your Day
Rome In 5 Days - Detailed Itinerary
Exploring The Ancient Ruins Of Rome
Roman Forum & Palantine Hill
Start your day with the most iconic landmark in the city - The Colosseum. This amphitheatre was used for gladiator contests and other public spectacles like animal fights, mock sea battles, etc. This oval amphitheatre, with ties to the Roman Catholic Church, was made entirely of sand, and could hold up to 80,000 spectators back in the day. 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.
- Do not visit the Colosseum on the first Sunday of the month: it is free admission and is, therefore, very crowded. Browse through the best Colosseum Skip the Line tickets to beat queues & crowds anytime, anyday.
- Check the weather forecast the day before- you do not want to see the Colosseum when it's raining as the tour is almost entirely open-air.
- A trick to beat the crowds would be to visit the Roman Forum before the Colosseum- it's usually less busy.
- Signing up for a Colosseum Underground tour is a great idea to explore an exclusive part of the Colosseum, lesser known to most people.
Head next to the Roman Forum! 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. Today, the Forum is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations. And while much of the Forum is in ruins, there’s still plenty left to admire, which is why over 4 million tourists visit it every year! The Forum holds remains of some iconic buildings like the Temple of Antoninus Pius, Temple of Castor and Pollex, and the Arch of Septimius Severus among others.
Having explored the heart of Ancient Rome, take a trip back in time to discover the birth of the city. Right in the middle of the seven hills of Rome, the Palatine overlooks the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. There are numerous exciting legends associated with the Palatine Hill. One such legend is of when Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club. The blow was so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where later a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed. A visit to Palatine Hill gives you the opportunity to discover even more of such amazing legends.
- Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing for the season you're in Rome.
- If you do not want to splurge on a guided tour, get the standard ticket to the Colosseum and download the Parco Colosseo app.
- 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. Keep in mind that picnicking is not permitted here, so don't plan an elaborate picnic.
Take an afternoon siesta like the Romans do and set off to explore Trastevere early evening. In Trastevere, you can experience the colorful, Bohemian side of Rome. Located on the west bank of the Tiber river, this area is known for craft beer pubs, artisan shops, trattorias, budget hotels, and B&Bs. The narrow, cobbled streets are loaded with charm and outside the major squares the area can be quite quiet at night. As evening approaches, street performers, poets, bearded skateboarders, and exuberant merrymakers flood Trastevere’s countless clubs, bars, and piazzas in fits of reckless abandon and indiscreet enthusiasm. Trastevere is the 13th rione of Rome, and one of the city's most cherished neighborhoods for tourists to stay in.
- Stroll along Via del Moro and walk in and out of its many colorful shops and cafes.
- A walk along the cobblestone streets with crumbling buildings is a must.
- There are many exciting food tours you can partake in to truly relish the local cuisine.
Sauntering Through Central Rome
Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps
After you've had your most important meal for the day, head over to Rome's most treasured squares, the Piazza Navona at around 10:30 AM. 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. And the best part? It's free! Flaunting Bernini sculptures, this piazza has 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 spend an hour simply people watching. Locals like to call this place where the liveliness of Roman life is explicitly tangible and we absolutely agree.
- Try roasted chestnuts while walking through Piazza Navona- a quintessential activity here!
- The best time to visit would be during spring (mid-March to May) or autumn.
The Pantheon is undoubtedly the best-preserved monument from Ancient Rome. Situated about 350 m away from Piazza Navona, a quick 5 minute walk will take you to this magnanimous structure, built around 126 AD! Pantheon in a Greek translates to “Honor all Gods” and was first built as a temple to all gods. While the exact age of the Pantheon remains unknown, legend goes that it was built on the very site where Romulus, the mythological founder of Rome ascended from heaven. If you're a Roman Mythology fan, a tour of the Pantheon is an absolute must! The Dome of the Pantheon, also known as the eye of the Pantheon or the oculus remains the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome till date! Once you step out of the Pantheon, make sure to see the “Fountain of the Pantheon” sculpted out of marble by Leonardo Sormani in 1575.
- If you're interested in visiting the Pantheon with no or less crowds, push your visit to an hour before closing (6:00 PM). Make sure you are not too late as they don’t let people in just before the closing time, but once inside you can stay till it closes and everyone leaves.
- The best time to visit is around noon because this is when the sun shines through the oculus. Stand right under the oculus and look straight up!
- Be careful on rainy days as the floor may be slippery.
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. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi, it makes for a great sight at both day and night, but do be aware that it’s likely going to be crowded here at pretty much any time of day! 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?!
- Be alert of your surroundings: people will be brushing up against each other, so keep your belongings and valuables safe.
The Spanish Steps constructed in 1725, earns its moniker from the Spanish embassy that stands on the on the square, 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's passport to fame was when the 1953 film, Roman Holiday featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck shows a scene here. After the movie, pretty much everyone came searching for these steps and have their Audrey Hepburn 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!
- If you're a John Keats fan, you can visit the house he lived and died at near the Spanish Steps. At the corner on the right as one begins to climb the steps, you will find a house converted museum dedicated to his memory, full of memorabilia of the English Romantic generation.
The Borghese Gallery
The Borghese Gallery is a dream come true for art lovers who want to admire Roman art without having to deal with the massive crowds in popular tourist attractions like Vatican Museums. The Galleria Borghese, or Borghese Gallery, features one of the world’s greatest private art collections assembled by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 17th century in his Roman garden villa. 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
The Borghese Gardens
Make a stop at Villa Borghese, dubbed Rome's green lung. Located close to the Spanish steps, you'll be surrounded by 80 hectares of greenery- Rome's most extensive gardens. The cherry on top of your perfect day is that this attraction is free of charge!
- Avoid visiting the Borghese Gallery during the weekends. This is when the attraction is most crowded.
- The first Sunday of the month is free of cost- but avoid booking as the visitor numbers are very high.
- The zoo is a ticketed entrance, so if you want to include that in your itinerary, buy the tickets online.
Discovering The Vatican City Jewels
St. Peter's Basilica
Day 3 begins at the Vatican, with St. Peter's Basilica, one of the most visited churches in the world. This beautiful landmark was the primary creation of Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini and rests atop the tomb of St. Peter. Situated on Vatican Hill, St Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome. It has a capacity of over 60,000 people, covers 22,300 square meters and is one of the world’s largest churches. There are two levels below St Peter’s Basilica; the first level is known as the Vatican Grottoes, and is a large underground graveyard where the tombs of 91 Popes are buried. The level below this is the Vatican Necropolis and houses St Peter’s Tomb.
- If you can't make it to the Vatican Museums at or before 9 AM, we recommend you go later on in the day. It is one of Vatican City's most frequented landmarks and is therefore very busy through the day.
- Avoid St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday mornings.
- 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.
The Sistine Chapel, although a part of the Vatican Museums, deserves a special mention just because of how spellbinding it is! All tickets to the Vatican Museums get you access to the Sistine Chapel. Typically considered one of Michelangelo's finest work, it’s a certified highlight of a trip to Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel, situated in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, is the last room you would visit while on your Vatican Museums tour. Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling and the altar are the most famous paintings in the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgement Altar Fresco and The North Wall of the Sistine Chapel are also a must-see here.
- Consider going on a Tuesday or Thursday (dates around a weekend are usually busier and Wednesday there is the Papal audience).
- Winters are typically the low-season months, so if you want to beat crowds, head out to the Vatican then.
Next, head to the grand St. Peter's Basilica, the biggest church in the world. This beautiful landmark was the primary creation of Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini and rests atop the tomb of St. Peter. Situated on Vatican Hill, St Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome. It has a capacity of over 60,000 people, covers 22,300 square meters and is one of the world’s largest churches. There are two levels below St Peter’s Basilica; the first level is known as the Vatican Grottoes, and is a large underground graveyard where the tombs of 91 Popes are buried. The level below this is the Vatican Necropolis and houses St Peter’s Tomb.
- The waiting period can be between 45 minutes to 3 hours! We highly recommend you buy tickets online to decrease your wait time.
- No shorts, mini skirts, or bare shoulders allowed in the basilica.
- The closest metro station is Ottaviano- it is a quick 10-min walk to the attraction.
- Know which St.Peter's Basilica entrance you must enter through depending on your ticket type beforehand to save time.
Two floors under the massive St. Peter’s Basilica lies hidden one of the Vatican’s best kept secrets: the partially excavated Vatican Necropolis — a dark city of house-like mausoleums placed along the narrow, dark streets, and adorned with frescoes, inscriptions, and stucco decorations. It was here that, in the early 1940s, a grave was excavated, inscribed with the words “Petros Eni” (Peter lies here) in Greek, which was the language of early Christian community from the Eastern Roman Empire. 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.
- Tickets for the Necropolis are high in demand, so make sure you book your tickets in advance.
- The Necropolis is underground with little ventilation and dimly lit: guests with serious medical conditions must take caution.
- Please be dressed appropriately: shoulders must be covered.
A Day Trip Escapade From Rome
The Amalfi Coast, Italy (la Costiera Amalfitana) is a beautiful and renowned stretch of mountainous coastline south of Naples, in Campania. The southern end of the Bay of Naples stretches out in a steep and rocky peninsula that reaches towards the Isle of Capri. Sorrento, another major tourist destination, looks back towards Naples from the north coast of the peninsula. The southern side of the peninsula is dotted with picturesque villages and towns clinging giddily to cliffs. Read more on going from Rome to Amalfi
- The entire coast of Amalfi is famous for its citrus fruits. Do not leave without picking up a bottle of limoncello, lemon candies, and lemon chocolate from here.
- Amalfi is also famous for its fresh seafood- this is also a good lunch option.
Pompeii & Amalfi Coast Full Day Tour from Rome
Headout Price: €179
The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of Europe’s great art cities. Giotto’s frescoes, Michelangelo’s David, canvases by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and a host of other greats in the Uffizi Gallery, there’s so much exquisite art and architecture, it’s difficult to know where to start. But Florence is also a living city with a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene, and a lively cultural movida that goes beyond old masters to embrace opera, classical music and contemporary art. Read more about your day trip from Rome to Florence
- It is always best to carry cash when traveling in the Tuscan region- ATMs charge a high fee on Visa and Mastercard.
- Florence has a high rate of petty crime, so make sure you keep your valuables safe.
A pizza lover’s paradise, Naples is resolutely beautiful. It was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means new city. The historic centre of Naples has earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site denomination. It has one of the biggest historical city centres in the world, and its pride are the 448 historical and monumental churches, the highest number in the world for a single city. Naples’ subterranean gems include everything from ancient Greek aqueducts to pagan burial chambers, Christian catacombs to World War II air raid shelters. Read more on going from Rome to Naples
- Many museums are free of charge on the first Sunday of every month (Pompeii, Herculaneum, etc.)
- Trams are the most convenient means of transportation in Naples- use it!
- Most cafes, shops, and restaurants only accept the local currency (Euro) so make sure you have it on you.
- Ultimate Foodie’s Guide to Naples
- Discover Italy’s Largest Collections of Ancient Artifacts at the National Archaeological Museum Naples
Pompeii & Naples Full Day Tour from Rome
Headout Price: €179
The ghostly ruins of ancient Pompeii (Pompei in Italian) make for one of the world's most engrossing archaeological experiences. The world famous landmark is 150 miles south of Rome, making it fairly close to Naples. It’s a long day trip from Rome, or a quick trip from Naples or the very popular holiday area around Sorrento. Many people combine their trip to Pompeii in one full day with Mount Vesuvius, the famous volcano. Read more on going from Rome to Pompeii
- Try not to carry large bags with you to the excavation site. There is only a small number of lockers at the entrance too.
- There is a lot of walking in Pompeii which simply cannot be avoided. Carry water, a hat and sunglasses with you.
Venice is a major seaport and capital of both the province of Venezia and the region of Veneto, northern Italy. An island city, Venice was once the centre of a maritime republic, and the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link with Asia. The city is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically, and in its days as a republic the city was styled la serenissima (“the most serene” or “sublime”). It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.Read more on going from Rome to Venice.
- Do not leave Venice without trying a Gondola ride.
- Might be best to keep a map handy: you are likely to get lost with its many alleyways.
- Want to try some Gelato? Head over to Gelateria San Leonardo, a small gelato shop with quirky gelato flavors waiting to be devoured!
- 20 Venice Travel Tips & Hacks
- Venice Travel Guide 2021 - Everything you must know
- 10 best museums in Venice
- 12 Utterly Romantic Things To Do In Venice
- Venice Public Transportation Guide 101
Full Day Tour of Venice by High-Speed Train from Rome
Exploring The Rest Of Rome
Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano
Originally built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian, the Castel Sant’Angelo also known as the Hadrian’s Tomb sits on the banks of River Tiber and is one of the oldest buildings in Rome. From its construction to date, it has evolved from being a tomb, to a fortress, to a castle, and finally, a museum. Today it is open to the public, and you can climb right to the top from where you can experience gorgeous views of the city.
- The good news is- for visiting Castel Sant’Angelo, no major planning is mostly required (although this cannot be guaranteed).
- You can purchase tickets at the attraction without waiting for too long- but you can avoid that by buying tickets online. This is always the preferrable option.
The Jewish Ghetto of Rome is one of the nicest areas in the city, free of cost! A magical, calming atmosphere is present where Via di Santa Maria del Pianto unites with Via del Portico D’Ottavia. While not a proper square by definition, the car restriction and presence of multiple restaurant tables that are spread out on the street give the place the appearance of a Piazza. Here you can see the local Signore seated on benches exchanging cooking tips and young children running around playing. The Jewish Ghetto became a walled neighborhood in 1555, where the Jewish community in Rome was forced to live. The quarters is located next to the Tiber river and only covers a couple of blocks.
- Do not be put off by the title- the Jewish Ghetto is neither dangerous nor boring. This area consists of an ancient market place, a theater, a synagogue, an island, plenty of exciting eateries, a picture-perfect fountain (for the 'gram), and lots and lots of gelato!
Grab some lunch and then head over the to the Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano. One of the highlights of this landmark is the breathtaking byzantine mosaic in the upper abyss of the church, which features the cross symbolizing the tree of life, with twelve doves as the apostles of Christ. Be sure to visit the two lower levels; on the first you will find the fourth century Basilica, which was undiscovered until the late 18th century, after it had been covered with gravel around 1,100 after Christ. Then go down to the bottom level with its remains of an ancient roman house in brick from the first century after Christ and which was transformed into a Mithraeum between the second and third centuries.
Peel off the many layers of Rome as you go underground to discover the ancient city. This unique tour showcases how the Eternal city developed through the ages and how many historic sites can be found below some of the historic sites. Some of the popular cataombs include the Catacombs of Domitilla and the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla. Some tours are paired in such a way that not only will you see the Catacombs, but also the Basilica San Clemente, a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I. A guided tour of the Roman Catacombs is recommended as simply walking through the ruins without knowing the history is simply spooky.
- The catacombs are entirely underground in narrow tunnels. Guests suffering from claustrophobia must be cautious.
- Most catacombs are not within close proximity to shops, so we recommend you carry water and snacks with you.
- The catacomb tunnels are not entirely flat- it is therefore recommended to wear comfortable shoes.
How To Spend 5 Days in Rome Under 270 Euros?
Setting aside your accomodation and food expenses, here's an approximate of how much you'll spend in Rome over 5 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
Day 2 : Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps,
Day 3 : Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St.Peter's Basilica,
Day 4 : Day Trip From Rome
Day 5 : Castel Sant’Angelo, Jewish Ghetto, Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano, Roman Catacombs
Book your Rome Attractions tickets on Headout, and spend just €265 on your 5 day vacation in Rome! Hit up all the prime attractions in the Eternal city and save more while you explore more.
Recommended Experiences for your 5 day Rome itinerary• Priority Entrance Tickets to Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
• Best of Rome: Walking Tour with Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain & Pantheon
• Villa Borghese Gallery: Skip The Line Guided Tour
• Skip-the-Line Tickets: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
• Vatican City Tour with St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb
• Castel Sant Angelo Skip-the-Line Ticket with an Audioguide
• The Original Rome Capuchin Crypts and Catacombs Tour
More Rome Itinerary Options?
Tips & Hacks For Making The Best of 5 Days in Rome
- Invest in Rome Skip the Line tickets: Would you rather spend 2 hours standing in queues or invest those 2 hours sauntering the length of Rome? For the obvious choice, invest a little extra for skip the line tickets and you can thank us later!
- Eat like a local: While Tripadvisor will give you a list of the most popular and highly rated restaurants, you must know that most of these restaurants are a tourist trap and can be quite hefty on the pocket. While Italy is all about the food, getting the right food can be a task. Head where the locals flocks and you can bite into some actually authentic Italian grub. If you're interested in squeezing in local food tour on your 5 day trip, check out our list of the top local food tours in Rome.
- Bike it, Segway it: While we are all in for walking, unfortunately it takes up a lot of time and tires you out quite fast. Why not segway through the city or maybe hire a cycle and peddle through the lanes? You can cover more grounds and it's honestly quite fun too! Here's our selection of the best bike tour and segway tour in all of Rome. Grab them from Headout and get an extra 5% off too!
- 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!) The Flexible Rome Walk On Walk off Tour Pass allows you to unlock Rome through a selection of 10 thoughtfully curated tours with relaxed guided strolls through the history seeped lanes of Rome with an expert local guide by your side. It's economical and the tours are quite off-beat! If you like exploring a city on foot, nothing gets better. Check out our review of the Walk On Walk Off Pass.
- No Cappuccinos after 11 AM: While this may sounds really queer, Italians don’t drink cappuccinos after 11 AM. Order an espresso to shun funny looks.
- Mondays are slow: 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.
- Beware of Scamsters: Rome is infamous for its scamsters and fraudsters, so, keep an eye out for your belongings and keep them near and close. Don’t accept flowers, crafts or anything at all from strangers as you will be forced to pay for merely touching it.
- Stand at the bar: When ordering a meal, understand there will normally be two prices on the menu – one for standing at the bar/counter, and one for sitting down at a table. It’s obviously cheaper to order while standing at the bar so go for that if you're on a budget.
- Water Fountains over Water Bottles: 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, rather than buying bottles which will run your budget up ( Water is funnily more expensive than beer !)
More Rome Guides
Here are a few detailed guides that will help you plan your trip to Rome better.