Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rome is a place you definitely can’t miss out on visiting at least once in your life, even for just a weekend getaway. With just two days to explore and experience the magic of Rome, you’ll be surprised by how much you can see and do.
When to visit RomeTo avoid drowning in crowds, visit Rome between October and April.
During the winter, it can get as low as 37°F. If you prefer the sun, visit in May or September and you can enjoy a warm Rome with not so many tourists.
Accommodations in Rome When deciding on where to stay, remember: the closer it is to the city center, the heavier it is on the wallet. Luckily, Rome has a great underground system that will get you anywhere in no time. With this said, take your pick of the best accommodations Rome has to offer: You can also choose to couch surf for free. And if you need some more help deciding, here’s a guide to the neighborhoods of Rome.
How to get around If you want discounted entry to several attractions, free rides on public transportation, and the privilege of skipping the line, then the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card is perfect for you. You’ll save plenty of time, energy, and money with this card. Check out this tourist guide for more information on how to get around.
1. Vatican City
Kick off your trip with the iconic Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. As the headquarters of the Catholic Church, you’ll be seeing chapels and churches, such as the Sistine Chapel, in this country. Don’t miss out on the Map Room and the famous double helix staircase.
2. Visit the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum
Pro tip: visit the Sistine Chapel right before they close because around 30 minutes before closing time, they’ll turn off the artificial lighting and let you see the ceiling in all its natural glory.
3. Castel Sant’Angelo
For a spectacular view of the city, make your way to the top early in the day as it often closes by 6pm. This magnificently breathtaking monument has served as a mausoleum, fortress, castle, and finally, a museum.
4. Fountains of Piazza Navona
You can’t leave Rome without stopping by the three famed Fountains of Piazza Navona. Built in the 15th century, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, and Fontana del Nettuno are truly all monuments of beauty and grace.
5. Spanish Steps
Walking down the 135 steps—featured in the famous Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday--will feel familiar and enchanting. While you’re in the area, be sure to stroll through the Villa Borghese Gardens and down the Viale della Trinita dei Monti.
6. Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is the world’s largest Baroque fountain. Legend has it that people who throw a coin into the fountain will get to come back to Rome one day.
7. The Pantheon
Nearly 2,000 years old, the Pantheon exudes a kind of energy and power that captures you and reels you in. Its massive size is captivating and makes it a must-see while in Rome.
8. The Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill & the Roseto Comunale
The Coliseum was notorious for hosting public gladiator fights that were gruesome and bloody. This massive monument is a Rome essential and a ticket for it also serves a ticket to the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill next door. The ancient architecture and ruins are beyond beautiful.
Once you reach the foot of the Palatine Hill, you’ll be in Roseto Comunale, one of Rome’s most romantic dinner cafes. Take the time to stop and smell the 1000+ rose species.
9. Cripta dei Cappuccini
Go to the Cripta dei Cappuccini for your once-in-a-lifetime chance to see skeletons up close!
10. Shopping areas
Whether you’re looking for designer dresses or affordable clothes, Rome has everything you need. To learn more about the affordable shopping spots, check here.
- Pizza E Mozzarella – #2 out of more than 10,000 restaurants in Rome, must-try pizza.
- Pane e Salame – #3; amazing Italian “street food” for cheap.
- Bread-in – #7; classic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
- Old Bear – Local favorite, the cacio e pepe is to die for.
- Ginger Sapori e Salute – The best carbonara in town.
- Knick Knack Yoda – Perfect for burger lovers.
- Café et Caffé – Praised for its coffee and cakes.
- PanDivino – Amazing tapas and paninis, chill atmosphere.
- Della Palma – How can you say no to over 140 flavors of gelato?
- Rome’s best pizzerias
- The 38 “essential” Rome restaurants
- Under 10 Euro restaurants
- Must-try coffee shops
Tips from the locals
1. Dress for the occasion
During the summer months, wear the right clothes if you don’t want to be fainting from the heat. But if you plan on visiting churches, be sure to carry around a scarf to cover up.
For footwear, wear your most comfortable shoes as the cobblestone streets can get brutal.
2. The public water fountains are safe
While going around Rome, carry with you a jug or plastic bottle to fill up at the water fountains. The water is 100% safe and will save you from buying overpriced water.
3. Order house wine
At lunch or dinner, go for the house wine as it’s cheaper and tastes just as good. Simply say “un quarto di rosso della casa” and you’ll get a liter of red wine that comes in a carafe. The waiter will also be quite impressed by your expertise.
4. Carry around cash
Some restaurants and stores don’t always accept credit cards, so have some euros on you just in case.
5. Be on the lookout for pickpockets
Never let your guard down because the moment you do, you’ll end up going home with empty pockets.
6. Gelato 101
- Silver containers
- White plastic tubs
- Gelato piled really high and not melting (means it’s full of emulsifiers)
- Unnaturally bright, fluorescent-colored gelato
Most museums and restaurants are closed on Mondays, so check online before planning your Monday itinerary. Reserve Mondays for relaxing, park hopping, and shopping.
8. Try a night tour
Night tours are great for major spots that often attract large crowds. This way, you’ll beat the crowds and explore Rome at night.
Teeming with art, culture, history, and food to die for, there are more than a million reasons why it’s packed with tourists year after year. The city of Rome is one you can keep coming back to again and again. But when all is said and done, you’ll find that the best part about Rome is how it never quite leaves you, regardless of how long you actually stay. You’ll be surprised to see how compelled you feel to come back one day, if only just to feel the Roman sun and walk the cobbled streets again.
Author Bio: Sam Ross runs the blog The Hammock Hombre - a travel blog focused around the digital nomad lifestyle. Over the past 3 years, he's travelled to every continent, so writes on a broad range of countries, cities and destinations.
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