Is 5 days in Rome enough? Or too much? It´s true that planning a trip to Rome can be a little bit stressing, as it´s a city where there are many activities to do. But don´t worry, we have just come back from the eternal city, and we decided to make a “5 days in Rome itinerary”, to help you have an incredible time over there. Believe us, you won´t miss any place.
Day 1: Historical Center
We have seen like a million itineraries where they start with the Colosseum or the Vatican City on the day one, but being honest, we believe that on your first day, you are normally very tired from not sleeping much and having a long flight. You may even arrive late, so if you have 5 days in Rome, it doesn´t make sense to start with the places that take more time, right? There is enough time, so it´s much better to start with a more relaxing plan.
What we recommend you to do is start going for a walk through the historical center. The places of this area are also some of the most important in Rome, plus, all of them are close between each other so you won´t have to walk long distances.
Campo di Fiori
As soon as you arrive you are probably very hungry, so leave your bags and go straight to the Campo di Fiori, a place where you will find the most typical Italian food. Great start, huh?
*The market closes at 14:00, so in case your plane comes to Rome later than that, you can postpone this place to another moment, or eat at any of the restaurants, which of course will be open. A great place to go is the Forno Campo di Fiori.
For the ones who like to buy things on their trip, this place is perfect. They sell all kinds of pasta, cheeses, sauces… If what you are looking for is not here, it won´t be anywhere.
Oh! We almost forgot, but before leaving Campo di Fiori, we advise you to pass by the street Via dei Cappellari, is so beautiful that it will make you feel like you are on an Italian movie.
Your second stop is for sure one of those MUST SEE places to visit in Rome in 5 days. As we told you earlier, this day you won´t have to walk much. In this case the Piazza Navona is only 4 minutes away from Campo di Fiori.
On your way, we recommend you taking the street Via della cuccagna, as it´s a beautiful street with a very photogenic restaurant, that although you may not stop by to eat (You could if you wan to), is great to take some photos.
Once you get to Piazza Navona, you will see that it´s a huge, and that is has a very large and strange shape. Inside the square, there is not one or two fountains…There are three of them! On the left, Fontana del Moro; On the right, Neptuno Fountain; and on the middle, the most important one, Fiumi Fountain. Behind it´s located the Sant´Agnese In Agone church. For us, it´s the most beautiful square in Rome.
Pantheon of Agrippa
Again, your next stop Is only 4 minutes away and it´s the Pantheon of Rome or Pantheon of Agrippa (However you want to call it). A fact you need to know about it, is that it´s considered the best conserved monument of ancient Rome…But wait there is more, we have great news about it!
The first thing you have to do when you get to the square, is admire it from outside, see the fountain, and of course take many pictures if you want to. Once you are done with that, go inside! And here is the great news…The entrance for the Pantheon is FREE! (I know we all love to hear that).
Inside, you will be able to see one of the oldest domes in the world (despite its old age). You will also see sculptures of gods, and what is more important, inside there are buried some of the most important people in Italy like Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margarita de Saboya. By the way, the last one, is the one who makes honor to the famous “Pizza Margarita”.
We have finally made it to our last stop on our first day in Rome. It may seem that these are not many places, but again we recommend you taking the first day with calm as the second is going to be exhausting.
In this case you will have to walk between 8 and 10 minutes from the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain. There are chances of arriving there at night, so go, throw your coins and make the wishes…and if you don´t know which are the three wishes, read our article here and then continue with the itinerary.
After that, the Trevi Fountain is a perfect place to have dinner as there are many incredible restaurants like Antica Birreria Peroni, which has some amazing pasta dishes. If you are still hungry, you can also get a fantastic gelato on any of the streets around.
Día 2: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine
It´s time for one of the best things to do in Rome in 5 days, which is visiting the archeological area, that means going to the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and its surroundings.
Our best recommendation for this day is taking guided tours. We know sometimes you just want to go by your own and discover places, but in this case a guided tour is a must. Getting to know the history of these places is what makes them so unique, and if you don´t go with a guide you will be feel lost.
Another tip for the day is to be patient. Most of the people visit the places on huge groups, so if you just wait until they leave, you will have the place almost empty for yourself to take pictures or just to admire it without millions of people surrounding you.
Our days start at 06:00 in the morning because we always like to see the sunrise, plus, the places where there are no people, look a million times better. So, if you are like us, we recommend you waking up to go early to the Colosseum and see it empty from outside.
If you are a normal human and you like to sleep, then we advise you to get your tickets for the first hour as soon as they open (Again our obsession with seeing the places with less people). It depends on the season of the year, but this hour is normally at 09:00.
We are not going to tell you all about the Colosseum and the different tickets on this article because it will be too long, so we just leave below the link for our Colosseum post. Basically, you will see one of the seven wonders from a first and a second level, and you can also get tickets for the sand and for the undergrounds. It will take you between 2 to 3 hours…You will love it!
Roman Forum and the Palatine
First things first, to go inside these places do not buy another ticket because it´s the same than the one you used for the Colosseum. Now, if it´s still early, we believe it´s a great plan to visit the Forum and the Palatine right after leaving the Colosseum. Maybe you want to stop by to eat a sandwich or something before, because inside these places you can spend between 3 to 5 hours and if you don´t have nothing to eat you may end up starving.
Once you are inside, if you don´t go on a guided tour (again, we really recommend it), you can start from the left to the right. Which means starting with the Palatine and finish with the Forum.
The Palatine is the oldest part and where supposedly Rome was funded. Over there, you will find arches, ruins, and palaces of emperors. Before going to the Forum, you will find an incredible viewpoint (photo). You will realize that the Roman Forum is like the beauty face of this archeological site, their ruins are better conserved.
Vittorio Emanuele II monument
I know you are probably tired, but there is one more place to visit on this day…Don´t worry, this plan is much relaxed. Five minutes away walking is located the monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, so it´s the best moment to see it.
Oh! And if you are one of those who still have plenty of time and it´s not tired at all, then you can also visit Trajan’s Forum, which is literally in front of the monument. In our case we were very tired so we just saw it from the outdoors, where you can also appreciate the column and it also looks beautiful.
To visit the monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, the best thing to do is to go first to Piazza Venezia and see it from outside. Over there you will find an incredible viewpoint. Right after that, go inside the monument (THE ENTRANCE IS FREE!), climb the stairs and admire the views at sunset time.
Day 3: Vatican City, Sant´Angelo & Villa Borghese
Your third day of your trip to Rome in 5 days is again one of the most important days, but maybe a little bit more relaxed than the second one. You will be visiting a new country and we will also recommend you the best place to eat pasta in ALL ROME.
We also need to advise you that the order of the monuments you visit doesn´t really matter and it will depend on the time of your tickets to the Vatican Museums (Get them early in the morning if possible).
Unfortunately, we had our tickets for the afternoon, so we had to visit the Vatican later than what we wanted. That´s why we decided to start the day with the more calmed place, which is the Villa Borghese, known for being the most important park in Rome.
Inside you will find many sculptures, fountains and of course… Temple of Asclepius. Other than that, inside there is also a botanic garden. In general, it´s a very quiet area that is perfect for the hot summer months to hide from the sun.
After that, you can also go to the Borghese gallery, which for us it was a little bit expensive…Specially if we compare it with places like the Colosseum. It has a price of 15€. It´s nice so if you have time, you can visit it.
We really wanted to visit the Sant´Angelo Castel and since it was on the way from the Villa Borghese to the Vatican, and we still had enough time… We had no excuse to not do it. The price for us was just 2€ (For people between 18-25 years old), but the general ticket I think it´s around 12€.
You first need to go through the bridge and admire it from outside, and once you go in, you will realize that there are many museums of things that have happened in Rome and Italy, but not many things about the castle (maybe that´s what disappointed us the most). Although, it´s true that the reason why everyone visits this castle is the viewpoint to the Vatican City on the top.
We have written an article about all related to this monument, so if you are planning to go, we recommend you reading it.
And finally, we make it to one of the favorite places in all Rome, although it´s true that when you are visiting this place you are actually in another country, we are talking about…The Vatican City! By the way, for everyone who didn´t know, it´s the smallest country in the world!
We are not going to spend much time here, because we know we will have to write another article about the Vatican City, but a tip for the ones who don´t go early in the morning, is to come before 16:00 as it´s where it closes. Don´t mess it up and miss the Vatican City, you will regret it!
Inside you can visit the basilica (which is free), the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel, you can also go to the dome and enjoy an incredible view, and for the ones who want a full tour, you can also go the gardens. In total, you may spend between 2 to 5 hours, depending on the places you end up visiting.
Eat Pasta at San Pedro Square
Listen carefully, because this is our favorite moment on the 5 days in Rome itinerary…and that´s a lot to say! By the way, it´s also the advantage of visiting the Vatican late.
After finishing the visit to the Vatican, it will be more or less sunset time, and you are probably starting to get hungry. Well, if that´s the case, you need to go to a restaurant located just 5 minutes away, called Pastaciutta.
They are specialized in making pasta and their prices are very cheap, for just 6€ you can take your pasta dish to go. We recommend you taking it and going back to the San Pedro Square, sit down and enjoy your meal while seeing the sunset at such a magical place.
Day 4: Viewpoints, Piazza di Spagne & Trastevere
On our “What to see in Rome?” list, there are so many places to visit that even on day 4 you still have some iconic sites that are a must.
In our opinion this was one of the best days, as we were able to enjoy the more “local” areas of Rome. Oh, and on this day, we discovered many hidden gems, so be ready!
Sunrise at the Rome Capitoline Hill
We would never tell you to wake up at 6 am in the morning to see the sunrise 😜, but this time we are going to make an exception. It will be worth it, we promise!
As soon as you get up, go straight to the Capitoline hill, you will see that is amazing, but ignore it for now (you´ll came back later). Now go to a street located on the right of the square and in less than 2 minutes you will find an incredible viewpoint from where we saw our favorite sunrise of our trip to Rome. Take your camera with you!
Once you are done, go to the Capitoline, I can imagine that there are still not many people at the square, so enjoy it! After that, you can also go inside the Capitoline museums, which is where the famous statue of the Capitoline wolf is located.
Largo Di Torre Argentina
Here is another place that not many people know about… Most of the “Rome in 5 days itineraries” that you can find on internet won´t even include it on their list. But believe us, Largo Di Torre Argentina is a very special location.
When you arrive (It´s only 9 minutes away from the capitol), you will just see some ruins inside an enclosure. At first, you may think that is nothing special, but what you need to know is that over there is where the famous emperor Julio Cesar died many years ago.
Nowadays they are still trying to recover it and make it able to visit in a future…But you can still see it from outside, which we think it´s worth it.
Piazza di Spagne
After that, we are going to recommend you a place that is a little bit far away, which is Piazza di Spagne. We don´t recommend it just because we are Spaniards, and we think it´s cool to visit it. This square with Piazza Navona is probably the most famous square in all Rome, and for sure one of the most visited by the tourists.
There is a very nice fountain, but what is famous about this square are the famous stairs known as “The Escalinata”. Every single photographer stops there and that´s for a reason.
A little tip we can give you is to NOT SEAT DOWN ON THE STAIRS. Everyone used to do that, but since a few years ago it´s forbidden and they can even fine you for it.
Just a few minutes away from the Spanish square, other than the ugliest fountain in Rome (We don´t know the name but is on the street that is on the way), you will also find the Piazza Popolo.
At the Popolo square there are two twin churches, known as Saint Maria in Montesanto y Saint Maria dei Miracoli. There is also a huge Obelisk. But by far, what is recognized about Piazza Popolo is the famous viewpoint, the views from there are pretty amazing, so it´s also a great recommendation for sunrise or sunset.
By the way, the Piazza Popolo is where the gate to the old city of Rome was located.
If you have made it to this point, you have enough time to see the rest of the places, so we recommend you spending your whole afternoon at the Trastevere neighborhood. It´s a little bit far from the center and as it´s so beautiful and there are so many things to do, you won´t get any bored.
It´s the perfect place to enjoy a more “local” atmosphere of Rome, forget a little bit about the tourists and get to know the real Romans. You should just go for a walk while enjoying the colorful streets, sit down for a while at the Piazza di Santa Maria and even go inside…and of course, you have to go to any of the terraces and try a suppli or any of their local foods.
Some great places to eat in Trastevere are “La Prosciutteria”, Grazia e Graziella and Carlomenta.
Your fifth day in Rome will depend on the time you leave. If your plane leaves at six in the morning you won´t do much, but if that´s not the case, at least you will have enough time to go very early in the morning to the Trevi Fountain. As you may remember, it was on the day one of the 5 days in Rome itinerary, but it was already at night, and we think seeing it during the day it´s a must. Plus, if you go very early, you will see it almost empty.
If you still have more time, you can also go the Jewish neighborhood, which is spectacular, and you can also visit the Circus Maximus.
Another great option (we did it with our family when we were kids), is to try to fit everything in just 4 days and leave the fifth for a one-day trip to Pompey.
Enjoy all the things to do in Rome in 5 days
That´s all! Hope you know now how to spend 5 days in Rome. As you have seen it´s a very intense trip, but if you have it all organized, you will be fine!
Hope you enjoy your trip, and if you have any question or suggestion, just ask us! We would love to help you!