Things to do in Rome

Spending A Weekend in Rome | The Ultimate Itinerary

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Planning a weekend in Rome? This Italian city is well-known for its rich culture, history, and heritage. It is home to some world-famous attractions such as the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more. That’s not all, it is also the gateway to the Pope’s home - the Vatican City. Whether you are looking for exciting nightlife, delicious Italian dishes, or historical monuments to explore, this city has it all.

If you are planning to spend a weekend in Rome, then this well-planned itinerary can help you make the most of your trip here.

Are 2 days Enough in Rome?


Rome is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer including historical attractions, vibrant nightlife, art galleries, and more. As a result, most believe that two days is not quite enough to enjoy all the beautiful sights it has in store for you.

However, with the help of this well-planned 2-day itinerary, you can cover most of the major attractions in Rome along with a few hidden treasures. From what food to try and where to spend your evenings in Rome, we have outlined the itinerary in detail below.

If you have extra days to spend in Rome, then you can check out our other Rome itineraries as well.

First Time in Rome?


If this is your first time in Rome, then don’t worry, Headout has you covered!

We understand that planning a trip to a city for the first time can be difficult which is why we have prepared this weekend itinerary for Rome. Apart from booking your flight tickets and applying for a visa, you also need to plan your day-to-day activities to make the most of your weekend trip to Rome. .

That’s not all, you also need to book your accommodations, figure out transportation, food options, and more in the city. But fret not, we have you covered.

Weekend in Rome


Day 1

Friday Night in Rome

Aperitivo + Dinner Near Piazza Del Popolo
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NIGHT

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Once you land in Rome, you might want to head to your hotel and freshen up a bit before heading out. Since you would most likely be reaching Rome in the evening, an aperitivo and a dinner near Piazza Del Popolo on your first night is recommended. Aperitivo is a pre-meal drink that is meant to help your appetite before dinner. It is a popular Italian tradition that you should experience on your trip to Rome. The aperitivo takes place between 6 and 8 PM while the dinner takes between 8 and 10 PM so, you have sufficient time to enjoy it all. For aperitivo, Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari is a good restaurant/terrace bar. Here, you can enjoy some Negroni or Aperol Spritz with amazing views of ancient Rome. You can also enjoy dinner later on here or head to Il Gabriello which serves delicious seafood.


Day 2

Saturday in Rome

Vatican & Sistine Chapel | St. Peter’s Basilica & Dome | Lunch in the Vatican City | Vatican Necropolis | Castel Sant Angelo |
A walk along River Tiber | Dinner in Piazza Navona
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MORNING + NOON

Vatican Museums

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On the second day of your Rome trip, you can start your day with a visit to Vatican City, a small country inside Rome. The Vatican City is the residence of the Pope and the heart of the Catholic Church. There are two main sights to see here - the Vatican museums and the St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Vatican Museums feature many stunning galleries and hidden rooms including the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, and so on. One of the main attractions inside the museums is the Sistine Chapel which was painted by Michelangelo. The frescoes on the walls and the ceilings of this chapel are simply breathtaking.

Travel Tips
  • Make sure to visit the Vatican Museums on Saturday as it is closed on Sundays except for the last Sunday of every month. It is open from 9 AM to 6 PM from Monday to Saturday.
  • The museum is free to visit every last Sunday of each month. The entry ticket on the other days costs 17 Euros while students and youth get a discount.
  • Book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues and get skip-the-line entry tickets for quicker access.
  • Avoid visiting the museums on weekends or Mondays as it is the most crowded on those days.
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NOON

St. Peter’s Basilica & Dome

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After exploring the Vatican Museums, visit the gorgeous St. Peter’s Basilica . It took around 120 years to build this basilica and it is the largest church in the world. It also features the largest dome in the world from where you can enjoy stunning views of Rome city.

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, you can admire several artworks including Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture. The best part is that you can even attend the Holy Mass here for free! You can climb the 551 steps or take the lift to reach the dome of the basilica from where you can see St. Peter’s Square and the rest of the city.

Travel Tips
  • The basilica entrance fee is free but to reach the dome, you need to pay between €8 and €6 depending on your mode of climbing.
  • Visit the dome before exploring the basilica to avoid the long lines in the latter part of the day.
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AFTERNOON

Lunch in the Vatican City

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Once you are done exploring Vatican City, it is time to enjoy some scrumptious lunch. Most cafes and restaurants around Vatican City are overpriced. So, we would recommend you find a restaurant that’s a 10-15 minutes walk from Vatican City.

Osteria dell’Angelo is great for a delicious carbonara while Pizzarium Bonci serves the best pizza al taglio.


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EVENING

Vatican Necropolis

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Next, explore the Vatican Necropolis , an underground city featuring house-like mausoleums. These mausoleums are filled with frescoes, stucco decorations, and inscriptions. In the 1940s, a grave with the inscription ‘Petros Eni’ was found here. According to the Vatican, the remains found inside this grave are of St. Peter, one of the original Apostles.


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LATE EVENING

Castel Sant Angelo

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Also known as Hadrian’s Tomb, Castel Sant Angelo was built for King Hadrian. Located on the banks of River Tiber, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Initially, it was built as a tomb for King Hadrian but it evolved into a fortress then a castle and now, it is finally a museum. Visitors can head to the top of this castle to enjoy breathtaking views of Rome city.


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SUNSET

A walk along River Tiber

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In the evening, Rome lights up beautifully and there is no better place to enjoy it than with a walk alongside River Tiber. Watch the gorgeous Roman buildings and the city at night and spend some quality time with your loved ones on this evening stroll.


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NIGHT

Dinner in Piazza Navona

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Finally, make your way to Piazza Navona which is a hub for artists, musicians, and street entertainers. Take a stroll at night here and enjoy a delicious gelato from GROM. Later, you can also enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants here. If you are looking for an authentic Roman meal, then Mimi e Coco and Cantina e Cucina are good choices.


Day 3

Sunday in Rome

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill | Borghese Gallery | Terrazza del Pincio | Trevi Fountain
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MORNING

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

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On Sunday, you can visit the must-see attractions in Rome - Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.

Colosseum
One of the most popular attractions in Rome, the Colosseum is an ancient amphitheater that was used for gladiator contests, animal fights, and other public events. It is also the tallest amphitheater to be ever built at a height of 157 feet. Enjoy a tour of this ancient sight to learn more about the history and stories of ancient Rome.

Roman Forum
Located outside Colosseum is the Roman Forum which was once the city center. The forum features tall buildings with arches, columns, and other unique architectural elements. A few highlights of this place are the Temple of Castor and Pollex, the Temple of Antoninus Pius, and so on.

Palatine Hill
Next, enjoy a trip back in time with a visit to Palatine Hill. Located in the center of the seven hills, the hill overlooks Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.

Travel Tips
  • The Colosseum is open from Monday to Friday from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The last entry is at 3:30 PM.
  • The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are open year-round from 8:30 AM till one hour before sunset.
  • The attractions are quite popular so visitors are recommended to buy their entrance tickets in advance to skip the waiting line.
  • Plan a visit around 8:30 AM as there are fewer tourists in the morning.
Grab a bite you eat

After your tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, you might feel a little hungry. Thankfully, there are many great places to eat nearby such as Mizio’s Street Food, Unique Al Palatino, and more.

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AFTERNOON

Borghese Gallery

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Borghese Gallery is located on the eastern end of Villa Borghese and is known for its display of art collection. This impressive collection includes masterpieces from Botticelli, Raphael, Tiziano, and more. Take a stroll through this gallery and admire the gorgeous frescoes on the walls, stunning sculptures, and mosaics found in every corner here.

Travel Tips
  • The Galleria Borghese is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 AM to 7 PM. The last entry is at 5:45 PM.
  • Book your entrance slot in advance and arrive 45 minutes before as the entrance can be quite crowded.
  • Entry is allowed at the whole hour, I.e., 10 AM, 11 AM, and so on. Each visitor has 2 hours to explore the art gallery.
  • The entry fee is 15 Euros for adults and free with the Roma Pass.
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EVENING

Grab a Gelato at Come Il Latte

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After a visit to Borghese Gallery, you can head to a gelato joint nearby, Come Il Latte. It is a 13-minute walk from Borghese Gallery and serves a variety of gelato flavors and frozen yogurts. They make all these using natural and organic ingredients which is why they taste so amazing.

Next, you can head to Terazzo del Pincio which is a short distance from the gelato joint.


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SUNSET

Terrazza del Pincio

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On your weekend trip to Rome, don’t forget to admire the sunset from Terrazza del Pincio near the Spanish Steps. This magnificent terrace is one of the best places to catch a sunset in Rome and is a 12-minute walk from the Spanish Steps.

Enjoy the live music playing in the background as you soak in the gorgeous sunset from this viewpoint.


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NIGHT

Enjoy a bottle of wine at the Trevi Fountain

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One of the most classic experiences to enjoy in Rome is having a bottle of wine at the Trevi Fountain. The area around the fountain comes alive at night where you can watch people and enjoy the Italian atmosphere.

Get a bottle of wine, and glass, and enjoy your Saturday night in Rome the right way. You can also throw a coin in the fountain for good luck, as is the Italian tradition.

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Rome Travel Restrictions? Do I need travel insurance?


If you are planning a trip to Rome for the weekend, then we have good news for you. Entry to Italy is allowed for both EU and non-EU citizens who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 recently. Everyone must wear an FFFP2 mask in Rome and can explore the city without quarantining. People who are fully vaccinated must show the certificate with the last vaccination within the last nine months or the complete cycle with a booster.

It is recommended for tourists to buy travel insurance when visiting Rome, especially after the pandemic. It can cover all kinds of emergency expenses and can also be useful in returning home unexpectedly during your trip, if needed. Also, the uncertainties while traveling have increased after the pandemic so choosing a reliable travel insurance company is necessary.

Book Your Accommodation For Your Weekend In Rome


As Rome is a large city, there are many different neighborhoods that offer suitable accommodations for tourists. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can easily find the right place to stay in Rome.

If you want to enjoy good nightlife in Rome, then Trastevere is a good place to stay. There are many clubs and bars to party at night.

For those who wish to stay close to main attractions such as Colosseum, Monti is the perfect neighborhood to stay in Rome. It is not only close to the attractions but also offers easy access to metros and buses and has several restaurant options for you to choose from.

If you are traveling with family and budget is not a constraint, then Prati is a great location to stay in Rome. There are many good hotels here and it is closer to Vatican City as well.

Packing for Your Weekend In Rome


When you are planning a trip to Rome, one of the most important things to do is pack efficiently. Pack for your trip in advance to avoid missing out on a crucial item. A few important things to pack for your weekend in Rome are a travel adaptor, photo ID, reusable water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, money bag, and more. Depending on the weather, you might need to carry a raincoat or an umbrella as well. Also, if you are planning to visit a lot of churches, then pack clothes that cover both your knees and your shoulders.

Packing Checklist
Things to do in Rome

Top Instagrammable Places in Rome

Find yourself looking for the most Instagram-worthy places in Rome? Look no further, because we have it all curated into a list to find everything you're looking for!

Getting Around Rome


Rome is a big city in Italy with several attractions and activities spread throughout the city. Also, the traffic in Rome is horrible which is why the best way to travel around this city is by using the metro or a bus.

One of the most convenient ways to travel around Rome is by using a metro. If you are looking for a cheap way to travel around the city, then buses are a good idea as well. Moreover, there are 3 tram lines that can be used to cover short distances in the city.

Visitors can opt to buy a ticket each time or can buy a travel pass that is valid for 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours.

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Getting Around in Rome

Public Transportation in Rome 101

Want in-depth details of public modes of transportation in Rome? Learn all there is to know about the public transportation system in Rome here.

Safety Tips For A Weekend in Rome


  • Beware of Pickpocketers - Rome is filled with pickpocketers so be careful when you are walking around the city or exploring crowded areas.
  • Take Limited Cash - Avoid carrying excessive cash and keep the cash in a purse or wallet close to you.
  • Lock Up Your Valuables - Don’t take valuables such as passport and important documents with you. Keep it locked in your room in a locker.
  • Keep Hydrated - During summers, the temperature can be quite high in the city so, stay protected from the sun. Drink lots of water and use a hat to keep cool when exploring the city.
  • Opt for Comfortable Outfit - Wear a pair of comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot and wear loose, comfortable clothing for sightseeing during the day.
  • Walk Carefully - There are a lot of ruins and historic attractions in Rome so it is quite common to fall or trip while exploring these places. So, be careful while walking around these attractions.
  • Advance Booking for Popular Sites - If you are short on time, then buy your skip-the-line tickets in advance so that you don’t have to wait outside the attraction.
  • Use Public Transport - Rome has a good public transportation network with buses, metros, and trams connecting most parts of the city and running throughout the day. You can get the Rome travel passes that allow you to use unlimited metros, buses, and trams for the duration of the pass.
  • Table Service Fee - An important thing to keep in mind is that each restaurant charges a table service fee. You can avoid it by eating at the bar or eating from food stalls.

Have an extra day in Rome?


If you have an extra day to spend on your trip to Rome, then you can go on a day trip from Rome to some nearby destinations. For culture and beautiful architecture, a day trip to Florence is a must. You can explore the art galleries, beautiful gardens, and several architectural marvels on your visit here.

Another great option is Venice , also known as the ‘City of Canals’, where you can enjoy a boat cruise with a gorgeous view of the city. For history buffs, Naples is one of the most beautiful cities to visit on a day trip from Rome which also happens to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. There are many other amazing places such as Tivoli, Amalfi, Siena, etc. that you can cover as a day trip from Rome if you have an extra day to spend.


Ready to Explore Rome?


Fancy heading out to some other must-visit Rome attractions? Take inspiration from our list of the best things to do in Rome here. Use our comprehensive Rome Travel Guide to explore the rest of Rome in a hassle-free fashion with all the need-to-know information in hand.

Here are a few more attraction guides that could come handy.

FAQs about your Weekend in Rome


Which area of Rome should I choose accommodation 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 a tad pricey.

 

What is the best time to visit Rome?

The best times to visit Rome would be from April (excluding the Easter week) to June, and September through October when the weather is not too hot.

Though there isn’t a time when Rome is off-season, November is the best bet if you are looking for the cheapest time to travel. Being the wettest month with the varying weather, the crowd tends to be lesser, and you can experience the autumn cuisine at this time.

 

Is Rome safe at night for solo travelers?

Overall, Rome is safe for solo travelers. Beware of pickpocketing and petty scams though, and try not to carry a lot of cash in hand.

 

How much are you generally expected to tip in Rome?

It is not customary to tip in Rome, and in case if you would like to, it is advised to tip not more than 10% of the bill.

 

What are some souvenirs I can purchase in Rome?

Rome is a popular among tourists and so are the souvenirs - including good quality leather goods, cured meat, cheese, ceramics and artisanal chocolate. 

 
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