Things to do in Rome

Rome in a day | Explore the city in 24 hours

Last Updated:

The capital city of Italy, and a cultural and historical icon on its own accord, Rome is a treasure trove of memorable experiences. At each turn of the ancient city is a monument or a church from a time long past, which lends the city much of its grandeur, while also rooting it firmly in world history.

Within its city limits lies the revered Vatican City, making it a must-visit destination for people, specifically Catholics, around the world. If you're looking to explore the best of Rome in a day , our 24 hour itinerary should help you hit up all the prime spots in a timely fashion. Scroll down to know how!

1 Day in Rome - How To Spend Your Day

  • Morning in Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica 
  • Afternoon in Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palantine Hill
  • Evening in RomePiazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain

Rome In A Day - Detailed Itinerary

Morning - Discovering The Vatican City Jewels

Run Time

Vatican Museums


Sistine Chapel


St. Peter's Basilica

Rome in 1 day
Rome in 1 day
Rome in 1 day

The Vatican Museums

Why It's Made Our List

  • 54 museums form what we know as the Vatican Museum which includes the Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Beato Angelico, the Raphael Rooms and Loggia, and the Borgia Apartment.
  • Want to see all of the Vatican Museums’ collection? If you spend a minute looking at each painting in the Vatican museums, it would take you 4 years to see them all completely.
  • The museum contains the largest collection of art in the world with 9 miles of pieces, which could wrap four and half times around the Vatican walls.

🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

Most people wish to see the famous spiral staircase right away. Keep in mind, this is at the very end of your visit- even after the Sistine Chapel!

Packing Checklist
Vatican Museums Guide

What To Know About Vatican Museums Before Your Visit: The Complete Travelogue

Make a checklist of what you should not forget to see or do on your visit with the help of this guide.

Sistine Chapel

Why It's Made Our List

  • The Sistine Ceiling, featuring nine panels that depict passages from the Old Testament, including The Story of Noah, The Creation of the World, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, and many others, are the showstoppers.
  • WArguably the most popular fresco in the Sistine Chapel, The Creation of Adam is reason alone to visit the chapel.
  • The Sistine Chapel is where the Papal Conclave is organized. The College of Cardinals comes together at the Sistine Chapel to hold an election and vote on a new pope.
  • The chapel also features many other remarkable frescoes including The Last Judgement located above the altar, the South Wall which showcases scenes from the life of Moses, and the North Wall where you can witness the life of Christ.
More Reads on the Sistine Chapel
🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

Don't rush to the Sistine Chapel. It is the last part of your tour, so make sure you enjoy all the sights along the way. 

Packing Checklist
Sistine Chapel Guide

Your Ultimate Guide To Exploring The Sistine Chapel in Rome

Learn everything there is to the Sistine Chapel to make your visit to the acclaimed chapel even more enlightening and rewarding.

St. Peter's Basilica

Why It's Made Our List

  • St. Peter's Basilica is a masterpiece of Renaissance and Baroque architecture, designed by Michelangelo and Bernini.
  • Built on the burial site of Saint Peter, the basilica is the center of the Roman Catholic Church, representing centuries of religious devotion.
  • The basilica houses exceptional artworks by renowned artists like Michelangelo and Bernini, showcasing a rich collection of mosaics, sculptures, and frescoes.
  • Climbing to the top of St. Peter's Basilica offers breathtaking panoramic views of Rome and Vatican City, providing a unique and memorable experience.
More Reads on St. Peter's Basilica

🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

The Pope occasionally holds public audiences, usually on Wednesdays, where visitors can witness his presence and receive his blessings. Attending Mass celebrated by the Pope is also a special experience for those seeking a more spiritual connection.

Hack To Cover The Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica in 3 hours

If you're in Rome for just one day and are looking to explore the underbelly of the Papal seat of power, we have just what you need. Voted a bestseller by past travelers, the Skip The Line Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica is a true win. It allows you to skip the average 2 hour queue, entrusts you with an expert historian guide and takes you through the best of these Roman treasures in just 3 hours. Doesn't get better right? Or maybe it does!

If you're planning to cover the Vatican City attractions (Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica) & Ancient Rome (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palantine Hill) during your 24 hours in Rome, we have an Express Guided Rome Tour that is a complete money saver and a proven favourite amongst travelers. With an expert local guide and Skip the line entry to all 6 attractions, expect to cover the best of Rome in just 6 hours with the Express Guided Rome Tour!

Packing Checklist
St. Peter’s Basilica Guide

St. Peter’s Basilica Guidebook: Discover The Most Visited Church In The World

Fancy yourself a convenient guided tour of this revered attraction? Check out our guide to choosing the right St. Peter's Basilica guided tour right away!

Afternoon - Exploring The Ancient Ruins Of Rome

Run Time



Roman Forum


Palatine Hill

Rome in 1 day
Rome in 1 day
Rome in 1 day



Why It's Made Our List

  • Visiting this ancient amphitheater allows you to step back in time and experience the grandeur and history of the Roman Empire.
  • Its massive structure, ingenious seating arrangement, and intricate underground system leave visitors in awe of the ancient world's ingenuity.
  • As the largest amphitheater ever built, the Colosseum was the epicenter of Roman entertainment, hosting gladiatorial battles, animal hunts, and other spectacles
  • Climbing to the upper levels of the Colosseum grants breathtaking views of Rome's cityscape. From this vantage point, visitors can admire iconic landmarks such as the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the surrounding ruins, providing a unique perspective on the city's history and beauty.
More Reads on the Colosseum
🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

There are 2 entrances: one for the Colosseum, and one for the Roman Forum + Palatine Hill. Once you're done with the Colosseum, you may take a break outside before entering the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill. Keep in mind, once you exit, you may not re-enter. If you're visiting around lunch time, take your break immediately after visiting the Colosseum.

Roman Forum & Palantine Hill

Roman Forum - Why It's Made Our List

  • The Roman Forum is a historic site of immense importance, once serving as the center of political, social, and commercial life in ancient Rome.
  • The Roman Forum is home to stunning ruins and architectural marvels from different eras, including ancient temples, basilicas, and arches. Witnessing these structures firsthand offers a glimpse into the grandeur and craftsmanship of the past.
  • Walking through the Roman Forum is like stepping into a living museum. It's an opportunity to connect with the rich cultural heritage of Rome, understanding the city's evolution and the influence it had on Western civilization.
  • Visiting the Roman Forum provides context for many significant events and figures in Roman history. It's where speeches were delivered, trials were held, and triumphal processions passed through.
  • Palatine Hill: Why It's Made Our List

  • Palatine Hill is the legendary birthplace of Rome and holds great historical significance. Exploring this ancient site allows you to walk in the footsteps of emperors, kings, and mythical figures from Rome's founding days.
  • It is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, showcasing well-preserved ruins, palaces, and imperial residences. The site offers a fascinating glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of ancient Roman architecture and lifestyle.
  • Standing atop Palatine Hill provides stunning panoramic views of Rome, including iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Circus Maximus.
  • Despite its central location, Palatine Hill provides a peaceful and serene environment away from the bustling crowds. It offers a chance to relax amidst beautiful gardens, lush greenery, and tranquil paths, making it an ideal retreat from the busy streets of Rome.
  • 🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

    Keep in mind that the entrance to both attractions is the same. If you wish to take a break after your Roman Forum visit outside, and wish to re-enter for the Palatine Hill part of your tour, this is not possible. You may not re-enter. 

    Hack To Cover The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palantine Hill in 3 hours

    Now, you must be wondering how you're going to be able to cover the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill in just 3 hours? Don't worry, because it is completely doable and you don't even have to scurry! All you have to do is purchase the Skip The Line Guided Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palantine Hill for just €39.9. Leave the rest to your expert local historian guide who take you through the best of these three historic monuments in 3 hours!

    Once again, if you're planning to cover the Vatican City ( Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica) & Ancient Rome ( Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palantine Hill) during your 24 hours in Rome, we have an Express Guided Rome Tour that is a complete money saver and a proven favourite amongst travelers. With an expert local guide and Skip the line entry to all 6 attractions, expect to cover the best of Rome in just 6 hours with the Express Guided Rome Tour.

    Evening - Strolling Through Central Rome

    Run Time

    Piazza Navona




    Trevi Fountain

    Rome in 3 days
    Rome in 3 days
    Rome in 3 days
    After a heavy dose of Rome's history and heritage, it is time to kick back and relax. Brace yourself for some cultural therapy as you stroll through Rome's famous squares and piazzas, throw a coin into the world-famous fountain, mingle with the locals, and end your day on a high note.

    Piazza Navona

    Why It's Made Our List

  • Piazza Navona is known for its lively and energetic atmosphere. The square is always bustling with street performers, artists, and musicians, creating a vibrant and captivating ambiance.
  • Piazza Navona is home to stunning Baroque architecture, including the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. The square's exquisite buildings, elegant fountains, and charming cafes offer a visual feast for architecture and design enthusiasts.
  • Piazza Navona is steeped in history and is located on the site of an ancient Roman stadium. The square also houses notable landmarks like the Sant'Agnese in Agone Church, which adds to its historical allure and significance.
  • Piazza Navona is dotted with outdoor cafes and restaurants, providing a perfect spot to indulge in Italian cuisine while enjoying the lively atmosphere. Sitting at one of the cafes and savoring delicious food and drinks while people-watching is a quintessential Roman experience.
  • 🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

    Beware of pickpockets. Piazza Navona at any time of the day is known for being crowded. Keep an eye on your belongings!


    Why It's Made Our List

  • The Pantheon is an architectural masterpiece, renowned for its perfect harmony and impressive dome. The precision and ingenuity of its construction make it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.
  • The Pantheon has a rich history, dating back to ancient Rome. It has served various purposes throughout the centuries, from a Roman temple to a Christian church.
  • The Pantheon's dome and open oculus are extraordinary features. The oculus, a central circular opening in the dome, allows natural light to flood the interior, creating a dramatic and mystical atmosphere.
  • Inside the Pantheon, visitors can admire beautiful sculptures and artwork, including the tombs of renowned figures like Raphael. The interior is adorned with intricate details, showcasing the artistic excellence of the past.
  • 🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

    Want to know what the best time to visit the Pantheon is? Try anytime between 11 AM & 1 PM. Make sure you stand right under the Oculus and look up- you'll see the sunlight streaming in through the Oculus beautifully!

    Packing Checklist
    Roman Pantheon Guide

    Roman Pantheon: A-Z Guide for First Time Visitors

    The Pantheon is a glorious ode to Rome’s power and wealth. On your Pantheon Guided tour, you will be exploring and experiencing one of the most renowned architectural marvels in the world!

    Trevi Fountain

    Why It's Made Our List

  • Trevi Fountain is an iconic symbol of Rome and is recognized worldwide. Visiting this grandiose fountain allows you to witness one of the most famous and enchanting landmarks in the city.
  • It is a stunning example of Baroque architecture, featuring intricate sculptures, detailed reliefs, and a magnificent central statue of Neptune.
  • According to legend, tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain ensures a return to Rome.
  • Trevi Fountain is always bustling with activity, drawing locals and tourists alike. The sound of cascading water, the magnificent backdrop, and the joyful atmosphere create a captivating and unforgettable experience.
  • 🔥 Hot Local Tip 🔥 

    Make sure you carry a coin along with you and follow through with the age-old tradition of tossing a coin into Trevi fountain.

    Keep Your Trip To Rome Wallet-friendly!

    • Free Attractions: Rome has several free attractions that allow you to experience the city without spending money. Visit iconic landmarks like the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, which are free to admire and enjoy.
    • Explore Neighborhoods on Foot: Link
    • Rome is a walkable city with charming neighborhoods waiting to be discovered. Instead of relying on transportation, explore the city on foot, which not only saves money but also allows you to experience the local atmosphere and stumble upon hidden gems.
    • Affordable Eateries:
    • Seek out local trattorias, pizzerias, and street food vendors to sample delicious Roman cuisine without breaking the bank. Avoid dining in touristy areas where prices tend to be higher and opt for more budget-friendly options.
    • Picnic in Parks:
    • Rome has beautiful parks and public spaces where you can enjoy a budget-friendly picnic. Grab some fresh produce from local markets and find a scenic spot in parks like Villa Borghese or along the Tiber River.
    • Shop at Local Markets:
    • Visit local markets like Campo de' Fiori or Mercato Testaccio to shop for fresh produce, local specialties, and souvenirs. These markets often offer better prices than touristy shops, allowing you to experience the local flavors and culture.
    • Where to Stay in Rome:
    • We'll leave you with our guide on where to stay in this wonderful city.
    Packing Checklist
    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.
    Rome in 1 Day - Itinerary

    FAQs: Rome in 1 Day - Itinerary

    What are the top things to do in Rome?

    The top things to do in Rome are visiting the museums, exploring the churches and basilicas, taking a tour of the monuments from ancient Rome, and so on.

    What should you pack for Rome?

    For a trip to Rome, always pack a reusable water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, and a travel adaptor.

    What is the cheapest mode of transportation in Rome?

    A bus or metro is the cheapest way to get around Rome.

    Which is the best place to stay in Rome?

    If you want budget-friendly stay options in Rome, then Monti and San Lorenzo are the best places to check out. For those who want to stay close to Vatican City, then Prati is the best place to stay in Rome.

    When is the best time to visit Rome?

    If you wish to avoid the crowds, then spring (March - May) and autumn (September - October) is the best time to visit Rome. For discounts and cheap deals, you can visit Rome in the winter season.