Are you visiting Rome but there are so many things to see that you don´t where to start? Well, don´t worry, the city can be a little bit chaotic, and we can tell you that it´s impossible to see everything if you are just spending some days over there. As we have just came back from our trip to the eternal city, we have decided to make a list with the 10 best things to do in Rome to help you plan your trip:
10) Roman Colosseum
There will be surprises on this ranking of places and activities to do in Rome that are not so popular, but of course the only way to start was with the Roman Colosseum.
It´s one of the 7 wonders of the world, and although you may have seen many pictures all over Instagram and Google, the monument itself still surprises you when you see it in real life.
It is quite impressive to see that despite the age of the monument it still remains on an almost perfect shape. We have one good and one bad news about the Colosseum. The bad one is that there are high chances to see it with a million tourists on your surroundings, and the good one is that we have just write an article telling you which is the best way to enjoy the Colosseum (Including the best hours and many other tips).
9) Roman Forum & the Palatine
We could spend literally 10 years talking about the Roman Forum and the Palatine, as they are not just some beautiful ruins, but also the place where you will be able to understand a huge part of the history of Rome.
There are two big recommendations we have to tell you about these sights. The first one is to go the sooner the better, with a lot of energy and being ready to spend almost half of the day there…It´s the minimum If you want to see it properly. Our second advice and the most important one, is to visit it on a guided tour. Unfortunately, we didn´t do it, and that´s why we are telling you to do it. A guide will make you understand the history of Rome and truly enjoy the things you are seeing.
Once you get inside, you will see that the Palatine is the most historical area and where Rome was actually funded. At the end of your visit to the Palatine you will also be able to admire an amazing viewpoint. On the lower part you will see the Roman Forum, which is probably the most famous and photogenic area. It´s also easier to visit.
8) Trevi Fountain
Finishing with the Top 3 places to visit in Rome, we have the one considered the most beautiful fountain in the world: “The Trevi Fountain”. Even if you don´t agree that is the most beautiful one, you should at least recognize that is the most famous fountain on earth.
The sight of the sculptures, the fountain and the waterfalls have been an iconic symbol of Italy on social media in the last 10 years. And maybe that´s the reason why nowadays is almost impossible to take a picture without being surrounded of thousands of people.
At the fountain of Trevi you will see a lot of people throwing their coins and that is because there is a tradition that says that if you throw one, two or three coins, you may be able to come back to Rome, to fall in love or even to get marry. Although some people hate these kinds of things, we think that following the cultural traditions of a place is a must when travelling.
7) Try the “Cacio e Pepe” pasta dish
Once you have already been to the three most famous places to visit in Rome, is time to rest a little bit from so much sightseeing and go get some food. No matter where you at in Italy, trying their food is always needed.
Okay, you can actually try whichever kind of pasta you want, but we are going to tell you about our experience. The first time we ate pasta in our trip to Rome, Gonzalo ordered the pesto pasta, which is one of his favourites, and Alfonso ordered the “Cacio e Pepe” one, which is a specialty in Rome. After trying both, we can tell you that “Cacio e Pepe” was a million times better. You have to at least try it.
If you don´t end up liking it much, the carbonara is also a very common type of pasta in Rome.
6) Pizzas and Gelatos
We should mention each of the foods you have to try in Rome, but since we don´t want to transform this article into a foodie one, we have decided to put the Pizzas and gelatos on the same paragraph.
What is typical in Rome is to sell pizzas in slices or portions, and some places will price you depending on the weight of the slice and other will just have an static cost that goes from 3 to 5 €. It´s a great option, but being honest with you, we have to admit that we ended up much happier the day we ate a full pizza on a restaurant, than when we ordered theses slices…They were reheated and very simple.
When talking about gelatos, we only have nice words about them. Maybe it´s because we are big fans of ice creams and it´s easier to tell good things about them, but each of the ones we tries was delicious. There are many “Gelaterias” and trying a gelato is one of the best tourist attractions in Rome, so again, you have to at least try one.
5) Altar of the Fatherland
We are back talking about the best monuments to see in Rome, and the next one is the Altar of the Fatherland, or how they call it in Rome: The monument of Vittorio Emanuele II. It´s a lot to say, bur for us, it´s one of the most beautiful places in Rome. Imagine how great it is, that although it´s very close to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, it still stands out.
The best place to admire it you will find it by crossing the road to the Venice Square (Piazza Venezia). There are some amazing views from there and it´s a perfect spot for photographers and film makers.
The best of everything is that going inside (up the stairs), is FREE!!! (During these years you will have to wait a line to show the green pass, due the Covid situation). There is a viewpoint on each of the sides…It´s perfect to go at sunset time.
5) Castel Sant´Angelo
Although at the beginning it was not a priority on our itinerary of 5 days in Rome, we ended up visiting the Castel Sant´Angelo, and we don´t regret it at all.
From outside is very beatiful, specially from their famous bridge that has statues of angels on the side, but if you decide to go inside (as we did), you will see an incredible view to the Vatican City and to the whole city of Rome.
We tell you all about it in our article bellow.
4) Piazza Navona
Now it´s time to talk about our favorite square in all Rome (It was very hard to decide it), and that is the Piazza Navona or Navona Square.
The square is very weird from other you may have seen, it has a very elongated shape, it is very big, and there are 3 fountains inside of it: The Moro Fountain, The Neptuno Fountain, and the big and famous one located in the center, which is the Fiumi Fountain. The last one has a church known as Sant ‘Agnese in Agone…It´s a very photogenic square.
Other than being one of the most beautiful things to see in Rome, it has also an incredible atmosphere and many nice restaurants to go for a bite.
3) Piazza Di Spagna
Ironically, although its name is Spanish Square or Piazza Di Spagna, it´s one of the most visited places in all Rome, and probably one of the most famous squares in all Italy. I don´t know if it was because of the name that Spanish people tend to visit it more, but we felt like there were more Spaniards in this square than in the rest of Rome. We felt like at home 😂.
The square itself only has a beautiful fountain and buildings all around, but the real reason why so many people visit it, is because of the “Spanish Steps” that are located right in front of the fountain. You may recognize it by seeing the photo, because is one of the most photographed places in Rome.
Oh, and we are going to give you a tip that could be helpful for your trip…Don´t sit at the stairs! Since a few years ago, it´s forbidden and although they would probably only give you a warning, you can actually get finned…I wouldn´t risk it!
2) Pantheon of Agrippa
In number 9 of the most popular things to do in Rome, we have one that it´s very quick to see, but it´s mandatory. We are talking about the Pantheon of Agrippa, a place that many people known for being the best well conserved monument of ancient Rome. ¡It´s mora than 1,800 years old!
The good news about this monument is that the entrance is totally FREE. Inside the monument you will see its huge 43-meter dome, which by the way despite of its old age, is still one of the biggest domes in the world. The place also became the burial place of some of the most important kings in the Italian history as Vittorio Emanuele II or Margarita de Saboya.
Maybe if we had to say something negative about this unique spot, is that with the Covid situation to get inside you will have to wait on a long queue that goes through the square and looks awful on the pictures.
1) Vatican City
We didn´t know if we had to include it or not, as although it´s one of the most visited sights in Rome, the truth is that it´s not even located in the eternal city (and it´s on another country) … But we ended up leaving it to the end of our list of things to do in Rome.
When you are visiting Rome, not going to the Vatican City, the pope´s house, its museums, the Sistine Chapel and of course the San Peter square…It´s a crime! Literally is one of the most beautiful things in Rome. Plus, going there will make you add not just another country to your list, but the smallest country in the world.
An incredible activity you can do (that is not on any touristic guide), is going to Pastachiuta, a pasta restaurant located 5 minutes away from the square, ordering a Cacio e Pepe pasta dish to go, and eat at the square while you enjoy the sunset. We did it, and it was one of the best moments of our trip.
Other exciting things to do in Rome
That´s the end of our list of cool things to do in Rome, but again, we know there are like a million others. You can visit the Fiori Market and try their delicious local foods, go to the Trastevere area and eat a susimi…and many other plans.
Actually, we would love to know our opinion, and listen to other interesting activities to do in Rome.
We hope this article was useful, and if you have any question or suggestion, just let us know!