Rome is known as the Eternal City. Having been founded in 753 BC, it is one of the oldest cities in the world. Once the heart of the Roman Empire, today, it is a city that prides itself on its contemporary lifestyle. Rome maintains perfect balance, with one foot in the past, and one in the present. You will find some of the best nightclubs and cafes alongside the historic ruins of Ancient Rome. The natural beauty found in the parks and gardens of the city is starkly juxtaposed with the colourful buildings across the city, especially Trastevere. It is impossible not to fall in love with the beauty and history of Caput Mundi.
Here is a list of some attractions you just cannot miss in Rome:
#1 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
St. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest basilica of Christianity, and a remarkable example of Renaissance architecture. Primarily designed by by Bramante, Bernini, Michelangelo, and Maderno, this church is a must-see for those visiting Rome. Apart from being a center of religion, St. Peter's Basilica is also home to numerous works of Renaissance art. Some of the most popular works of art in the basilica are Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture, Bernini’s Baldachin, and the statue of St. Peter. Its main dome is a stunning piece of architecture, which is a dominant feature in the city's skyline.
April - September: 7 AM to 7 PM daily
October to March: 7 AM to 6 PM, daily
Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
• Skip the Line: St. Peter's Basilica with Audioguide
• Skip the Line: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica
• Early Access Group Tour to St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
#3 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci, the Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in all of Rome, standing tall at 86 feet. The fountain dates back to Ancient Roman times, and stands at the junction of three roads (tre vie). The fountain is mostly built from travertine stone, which is the same material that was used to build the Colosseum! You can admire the opulence and intricacy of the art on the fountain, and then toss a coin in - it is believed that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome!
As it is a public fountain, it is open at all hours throughout the year.
Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Rome, Italy
- Try to visit the fountain in the early hours, as it is much more quiet and peaceful then.
• Twilight City Stroll
• Bus Tour and Dinner
• Eternal City - Group Tour
#1 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
With over 5 million visitors every year, the Colosseum is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions. Believed to have been constructed as a gift from ancient emperors to the Roman people, this grand outdoor amphitheater once served as the epicentre for entertainment in the Roman Empire, hosting various public spectacles and games. A stage for gladiator fights, often including animals, the Colosseum has quite the bloody past. Step back in time, marvel at the stunning architecture, and walk the floor of the greatest arena known to mankind.
The Colosseum opens at 8:30 AM, all around the year.
Closing times vary throughout the year, and can be found here.
Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184, Rome, Italy
- Visit during the nighttime to avoid crowd.
- Avoid long lines by purchasing a City Pass or getting Skip-the-line tickets.
• Express Colosseum Guided Tour with Gladiator’s Entrance and Arena Floor
• Colosseum Underground & Ancient Rome Tour
#2 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Explore one of the most beautiful structures in the world - the Pantheon. Built between 25-27 BC during the reign of Augustus as a temple to the early pagan gods of Rome. The Pantheon has withstood the test of time and remains to this day an architectural wonder that is unmatched by any others. Rebuilt during Hadrian’s reign between 118-125 AD, its dome is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome today, almost two thousand years after it was built.
8:30 AM - 7:30 PM on Monday to Saturday
9 AM to 6 PM on Sundays
La Feltrinelli Librerie, Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, 84, Rome, Italy
• Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Tour of Rome
• Roma Pass
#7 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
The Roman Forum was once the political and social center of Ancient Rome. You an now march down the same paved road once graced by victorious Roman armies and explore the easily discernable remains of the banks, temples, and homes. For decades, the Roman Forum was also the center of day-to-day life in Ancient Rome - it was the site of elections, public speeches, criminal trials, and commercial affairs.
Roman Forum: 8:30am until one hour before sunset, daily
Please note that the Roman Forum remains closed on 25 December and 1 January.
Roman Forum: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Rome, Italy
• Skip the Line Tickets to Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
• Skip the Line Guided Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
• Rome in One Day Walking Tour: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
#13 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Housed in an opulent 17th century villa, the original collection of the Borghese Gallery was assembled by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V. A work of art itself, the interior of the villa is beautifully adorned with frescoes, bas-reliefs, decorated ceilings, marble floors, and impressive columns. A living testament to Italian artists from the fifteenth to seventeenth century, it is the perfect place for art lovers to get up close and personal with major works from brilliant artists like Caravaggio, Raphael, Bernini, Titian, Canova, Correggio, and Rubens.
8:30 AM - 7:30 PM, Tuesday - Sunday
Closed on Mondays
Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Rome, Italy
- When booking, you have to pick a time slot to visit. Ensure you reach fifteen minutes earlier, as the gallery is inside the Villa Borghese, and you will have to walk a little to get to the museum.
• Borghese Gallery Small Group Guided Tour
• Borghese Gallery and Gardens Half-Day Tour with Transport
• Skip the Line: Borghese Gallery Tickets
Sacred & Religious Sites
#7 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Visited by over 6 million people every year, the Vatican Museums consist of 54 galleries and have one of the largest collections of Renaissance and Medieval art in the world. One of the buildings is the Sistine Chapel, which everyone must visit at least onec in their lifetime. Its walls and ceilings are covered by some of the most opulent frescoes ever produced. The chapel also contains some of the most remarkable pieces of art, such as Michaelangelo's The Creation of Adam and Botticelli's Temptation of Christ.
The museums are home to a number of classical sculptures and paintings by the Renaissance greats such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and Bernini. Artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso are also represented in the Modern Religious Art section. Famous rooms and galleries in the Vatican Museums include Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, the Sala Rotunda and the Gallery of Statues and the Hall of Busts.
9 AM - 6 PM, Monday to Saturday
9 AM - 2 PM, Every last Sunday of the month
1 Viale Vaticano, 00165 Rome, Italy
- The museum is least crowded during the noons and off-season.
• Skip the Line Access to Vatican and Colosseum
• Faster than Skip the Line - Exclusive Access to Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
• VIP Breakfast Tour with Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica
#18 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Trastevere lies across the river Tiber, and you can get here by crossing the Ponte Siso, a stone footbridge. At the heart of this charming neighbourhood lies the Basilica di Santa Maria, a church from the 12th century, believed to be the oldest church devoted to the Virgin Mary. You can sit by the Piazza di Santa Maria, or even enjoy traditional Roman cuisine by one of the many cafes and restaurants around the area. You can also check out the Villa Farnesina, a grand villa from the Renaissance, which has frescoes by some of the country's greatest artists. Trastevere is also well known for its nightlife. With bars and clubs spread across the neighbourhood, it is the perfect place to end your night on a high note!
Open throughout the day
Trastevere, 00153 Rome, Italy
• Tour of Jewish Ghetto, Tiberina Island & Trastevere with Basilica of St. Maria
#27 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano (also known as The Basilica of Saint Clement) is a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I.
This fascinating monument is a three-layered church. At the very bottom is a Roman house form the 1st century and a Pagan temple dedicated to Mithras from the 2nd century. Atop this is a 4th century church, and the final, topmost structure is a 12th-century basilica, built at the peak of the Middle Ages.
You will also get to see impressive frescoes form the 11th century that show the life of San Clemente, and from the 15th century showing the life of St. Catherine.
9 AM - 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM, daily
Please note that between October and March, the church closes half an hour earlier at 6 PM.
Via Labicana 95, 00184 Rome, Italy
- The underground area may not be suitable for young children as it is very dark.
- Try visiting early morning, so you can avoid all the large groups that come in later.
• Crypts, Bones & Catacombs Tour
• Rome Catacombs and San Clemente Underground Tour
#36 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
While the Villa Borghese itself refers to the villa which now houses the Borghese Gallery, in a more general sense, the Villa Borghese is also the public park that surrounds the original villa. Opened to the public in 1903, the Villa Borghese is the third largest public park in Rome.
The park contains a number of important landmarks such as the Borghese Gallery, Rome Zoo (also called Bioparco), Pincio’s Water Clock, and the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre, which is a replica of London's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. You can also rent rollerskates and bicycles at the entrance, and enjoy the lush green gardens.
Open through the day
Piazzale Napoleone 1, 00197, Rome, Italy
• Borghese Gallery and Gardens Half-Day Tour with Transport