There are reasons why millions of tourists head to Rome every year! There is so much to see and do in Italy’s capital that it can be overwhelming. The city is home to plenty of museums, monuments, churches and archaeological sites, which makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
One could easily spend weeks or months in Rome and still find something new to see every day. If you want to get an idea of what are the best things to do in Rome then here are 20 things you should do when travelling to Rome, Italy.
Table of Contents
- Janiculum Hill
- Forum Romanum
- Victor Emmanuel II Monument
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Viewing Platform St. Peter’s dome
- Eat loads of Italian Pizza
- Take pictures of the sea gulls
- Castle Sant’Angelo
- Trevi Fountain
- Piazza Popolo
- Villa Borghese Gardens
- Capitoline Museums
- Capitoline Wolf
- Watch the Street Cats
- Spanish Stairs
- Jewish Quarter
- Eat Gelato
If you could only see one single thing while in Rome, it would have to be one of the most famous landmarks in Italy: the Colloseum. Make sure to book your tickets in advance as the queues outside can be pretty long. Additionally, you can also get audio or video guides.
To get one of the best and also free views of the city, head to Janiculum Hill, located in Gianicolo neighbourhood. From behind Vatican City you can walk up the hill or take a bus up, the latter only takes a couple of minutes.
The ticket to Forum Romanum is included in the Colloseum ticket and it is located right next to it, you can’t miss it. It was also my favourite place I had visited in Rome. The huge space is full of ancient ruines and it is considered the heart of Rome. They even have a light show at the Roman Forum at times.
Victor Emmanuel II Monument
One of my favourite buildings in Rome is definitely this impressive building which has been built in order to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy.
During opening hours the gate will be open and you can walk up the stairs for a bit and enjoy the view. On the top you can also find a glass elevator which can take you all the way up, however, you will have to pay for that one.
St. Peter’s Basilica
While technically not in Rome, a visit to Vatican city is a must if you’re visiting Italy’s capital. When you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica you might have to end up queuing for up to two hours or more but it’s worth it when visiting the biggest church in the world.
Viewing Platform St. Peter’s dome
After a while of queuing and before entering the actual Peter’s Basilica you can go all the way up to the viewing platform. This can be done by foot (8€) or by elevator (10€). However, even by elevator there are a lot of steps involved when reaching the top. It is totally worth it though.
Eat loads of Italian Pizza
While in Italy, you can definitely not miss out on a good pizza. It is not difficult at all to find a pizza place as they can be found pretty much everywhere. From fancy restaurants to snack places, there is no pizza shortage in Rome.
Take pictures of the sea gulls
Doesn’t matter if you go to the Colloseum, Castle Sant’Angelo or a monument, there will be loads of sea gulls everywhere and they are pretty great when posing for pictures, which is also pretty fun to watch.
Next to the Tiber river and close to Vatican City you can find Castle Sant’Angelo, which you can visit for 15€ (2€ reduce price). There is a museum inside and on the top you can find a great viewing platform.
Once a Roman temple, now a church, the Pantheon is a must see destination when visiting Rome. The entry is free, since it is a church, but it can be super crowded due to all the tourists. The building is definitely quite unique with an open space in the middle so you can stare in the sky from inside.
I have never seen as many people stare at a fountain as I did at the Trevi fountain. Probably due to the fact that it is one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is over 26 metres high and almost 50 metres wide. Apparently, if you throw a coin over your shoulder with your write hand over your left shoulder it means that you will return to Rome one day.
While Piazza di Spagna seems to be on everybody’s radar, I actually preferred Piazza Popolo. It was much less crowded even though some events were going on at the plaza and a pretty cool place to hang out for a bit.
Villa Borghese Gardens
Just a few stairs up from Piazza Popolo you will reach a square with stunning views of Rome. Behind it you can find a huge park where you find both tourists and locals enjoying nature. You can rent e-scooters or bikes or watch people play with their dogs and enjoy sunny Rome.
If there is one museum that you should visit while in Rome it would have to be the Capitoline museums. Considered the first museum in the world, you will find a bunch of art work, busts, sculptures and paintings.
When you pay a visit to the Capitoline museum, you can not miss out on seeing the Capitoline wolf bronze statue which is located on the ground floor. It is a symbol of Rome, that you can also find all throughout Rome, at fountains, buildings and of course in countless souvenir stores as well.
Watch the Street Cats
A group of feral cats be found at Largo di Torre Argentina. This is not only a collection of ancient ruins but also home to a cat sanctuary. There are a bunch of volunteers than care for the cats, make sure they are vaccinated and also arrange adoptions.
Therefore, the sanctuary relies on donations as there have been recent debates of closing the sanctuary due to archeological authorities arguing that the large animal population damages the archeological sites.
The Spanish stairs at Piazza di Spagna are always included in all the lists of things to do in Rome but honestly it was not as impressing as most other places in Rome. I will still include it as the view from up there was quite pretty. But expect the stairs to be super crowded.
Trastevere is a neighbourhood in Rome, which is known for its countless restaurants and bars. The prices are also cheaper than in the downtown areas. You can also find lovely ancient houses and narrow streets and it’s a nice area to walk around for a little bit.
Here you can find the biggest synagogue in Rome, right next to the Tiber river, where you can also do a guided tour. Additionally you can find a wide selection of kosher restaurants and stores.
And finally, other than Pizza, another delicious food item that you should not be missing out on is to eat some gelato. There are a bunch of ice cream stores around the city.
And here were 20 awesome things you should do when traveling to Rome! Have you been to Rome? Which of these places have you visited or which one’s would you like to visit?
Talk to you soon x
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