Top 10 things to do in Rome

Planning to visit Rome? The Eternal City is packed with beautiful monuments, grand building and magnificent attractions – so many, that you could easily get overwhelmed! So watch our videos to get a better idea of all top attractions in Rome and to plan your vacation in the best possible way. But first, let’s start with our top 10 things to do in Rome:

Number one is the Vatican. The smallest country in the world, with population of around 800 people, is also one of the busiest tourist destinations worldwide! It could very well take a full day to explore all the treasures this complex holds, so avoid the long lines by pre-booking your tickets. You should also obey the dress code and cover your shoulders and knees, or else you will not be allowed to enter the place.

Next, head to Trevi FountainThis is the biggest Baroque fountain in the city, raising 26 meters high and 49 meters wide. Throw a coin into the fountain to ensure you’ll return to Rome at least one more time, as the legend says. Just make sure to use your right hand… Don’t miss the Trevi fountain illuminated at night, as this out-of-scale fountain is even more impressive after dark! Learn more about Rome’s nightlife in our special nightlife video guide.

What are the top 10 things to do in Rome?

Number 3 is the Pantheon, one of Rome’s oldest buildings still standing. Originally it was built at 118 AD, and according to the legend, was built at the exact burial place of Rome’s founder – “Romulus”. Originally used as a worship place for Roman pagan gods, but no one knows how they actually performed their ceremonies, as this temple doesn’t look like any other Roman temple. In fact, the famous Michelangelo felt it was built by angels rather than human-beings. No wonder then, that it became the most imitated building in the ancient world!

Another ancient landmark is the Roman Forum, located right at the heart of the ancient city who ruled the world for a 1000 years. Here you could find Rome’s most important public buildings, and the top sights include the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Saturn and Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. Entrance includes a visit to the Colosseum.

Our next attraction is Piazza Navona, considered to be the most beautiful square in Rome, surrounded with many restaurants and ice cream shops. The piazza presents 3 different fountains, the most important one is the fountain of four rivers, designed by Bernini. The fountain shows 4 figures which represent The Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and Rio della Plata. Another worth-while attraction in the Piazza is St Agnese church, which is considered to be one of the most important Baroque masterpieces of the city.

For number 6 head to Trastevere. This area was the “international” district of the city since Roman days, and even today attracts most of the foreigners residing in Rome. What makes this area so special is not only its extraordinary monuments but also the unique atmosphere. Unlike other districts in the city, Trastevere is a safe and friendly neighborhood day and night. Looking for a place to eat or drink? Check out Piazza Santa Maria, which is a popular gathering area.

In number 7 is Testaccio, named after Rome’s eight hill, which is actually an artificial, man-made hill. Stretching along the Tiber river, this area is all about the authentic vibe of modern Rome. Testaccio is packed with great restaurants and bars, popular among locals, making a perfect area for a great night out. Watch our ‘Rome’s nightlife’ guide for more ideas about an evening out in Rome.

For attraction number 8 go for some quite time in Villa Borghese, the largest public park in the city. The park is located only minutes away from the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. Villa Borghese is also called ‘the park of the museums”, as is home for several of them such as Galleria Borghese, which has a collection of sculptures and paintings from artists like Raphael and Bernini. Other museums in the park include Galleria Nazionale and National Etruscan Museum, which presents pre-roman objects.

Next to the park you can find our next landmark – the elegant Via Veneto which has been considered to be the most expensive shopping street in Rome for years. If shopping is not your thing, you might want to enjoy some coffee at one of the many cafes along the street or walk towards Piazza Barberini to view the Fountain of Triton, signed by Bernini, and to visit the fascinating Capuchin Church and its crypt, decorated with the bones of 4000 monks.

Finally, our last, must-visit attraction is one of the world’s most famous buildings – the Colosseum. The Colosseum is a very popular tourist destination, so expect long lines in peak season and weekends. Our tip is to plan your visit in the late afternoon hours, when it’s less busy. This amazing Amphitheatre used to successfully host 55000 Romans, who enjoyed competitions between slaves and prisoners. The shows went on until the ground became too soaked with blood!

These were just 10 top things to do in Rome. As you probably know, there is much more to say about Rome. So watch the rest of our free video guides about the Eternal City for tips and ideas that will help you make the most of your trip to Rome.

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Walking Tour including Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms and St Peter's

Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica on this must-do Vatican walking tour, in a group of no more than 20 people! With some 12,000 rooms spanning nearly 4,000 years of history, the Vatican’s magnificent museum complex can be overwhelming, so let an expert guide introduce you to its defining highlights on this 3-hour tour. Visit Raphael’s Rooms, Gallery of the Maps and more, and then step inside the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s fresco ‘The Creation of Adam.’ Finish with a St Peter’s Basilica tour and hear the secrets of the holiest place in Christendom. Choose from four different start times or upgrade to a small-group tour (12 people maximum). Skip the long lines for St. Peter’s Basilica with special access directly from the Sistine Chapel.

Due to a new Vatican partnership, this tour provides VIP access through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines – even the priority lines.

USD 70.65$

Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour

Leave the crowds behind and head straight inside the Colosseum with your skip-the-line entrance ticket! In a group of no more than 25 people, explore the first and second tiers of this A-list attraction with a guide, learning about the gladiators who competed in the Colosseum’s gory gladiatorial games. Finish with a tour of the Roman Forum in Ancient Rome and admire incredible ruins, like the Temple of Julius Caesar.

If you want to see the Colosseum Underground Chambers, Arena and Upper Tier, then upgrade! – These areas that are either newly opened or normally off-limits.

USD 60.22$

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms

See the Vatican as VIPs do – with this once-in-a-lifetime private Sistine Chapel viewing and tour of the Vatican Museum's secret rooms. This exclusive gives you unprecedented VIP access to the magnificent rooms that are usually off-limits to the public, allowing you to see a side of the Vatican that most never will. Be awed by secret rooms like the Niccoline Chapel and the Room of Gold, and see sights like Raphael’s Rooms.

Due to a new Vatican partnership, this tour provides VIP access through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines – even the priority lines. End your tour with an after-hours private viewing of the Sistine Chapel, empty except for your group (average 15 people) and guide. Michelangelo's fresco in the Sistine Chapel – including The Creation of Adam – is considered the most influential fresco in the history of Western art. See it with no crowds, linger over every detail, and earn one-of-a-kind bragging rights for the rest of your life!

USD 382.19$

Pompeii Day Trip from Rome

Hike up Mount Vesuvius and then explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of Pompeii on a must-do day trip from Rome! Going at a steady pace, the hike includes a walk on the ridge of Italy’s famously feisty volcano, allowing incredible views down into the crater itself. After a pizza lunch in Naples, head to Pompeii to see the havoc that Mount Vesuvius reaped on it in AD 79. Tour the UNESCO-listed excavations, seeing fossils and well-preserved ruins while hearing the horrors that befell this intriguing ancient city.

Mount Vesuvius is inaccessible from November 1, till March 8. During these months, your volcano hike is replaced with a tour of the National Archeological Museum of Pompeii.

USD 155.19$

Capri Day Trip from Rome

Visit the chic island of Capri on a day trip from Rome, led by an expert local guide! After traveling from Rome to Naples, cross over to the gorgeous island to see its highlights. Hop aboard a boat to the Blue Grotto if you wish, and enjoy a relaxing lunch in the hilltop village of Anacapri. Explore Capri’s main town at leisure, and then leave the island for your journey back to Rome.

USD 149.63$