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Things to Do in Rome

Activities to Do in Rome

Visit the Colosseum, Stroll through ancient ruins at the Roman Forum, Catch a glimpse of St. Peter’s Square, Gaze at the architectural marvel of the Pantheon, Learn about the Sistine Chapel, Visit Baroque Rome at the Piazza Navona, Stroll across the Ponte Sant'Angelo Bridge, Enjoy the fantastic view from Palatine Hill and many more.

If you are traveling to Italy and looking for things to do in Rome, then you have arrived at the right place. Rome is packed with fun experiences and one of the few places on the planet where you can experience everything from some of the holiest places like the Vatican to some of the goriest like the Colosseum. Some of the activities to do in Rome are visiting the ruins and remains of the ancient city, going on culinary tours, taking hot-air balloon rides and even surfing!

What to do in Rome when in the city can have different answers for different people. If you are on a budget, you can experience the city from atop by climbing the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, eating pizza at some of the backstreet pizzerias which offer great taste and walking around the cobbled streets of the city. You can also choose to book nighttime private tours of famous destinations like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, etc., stop for a dinner at a high-end restaurant and catch opera at the Rome Opera House.

If you also want to enjoy the natural landscapes of the surroundings while still breathing in the Roman air, you can choose to watch a sunset at the Gianicolo Hill, go hiking in the mountain ranges of the Monti Simbruini National Park or go for a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards and fields that surround the city. A short train ride will also take you to an excellent surfing turf at the Santa Marinella beach where you can tackle some world-famous waves and pipelines!

Here are some of the best things to do in Rome:

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Imperial Forum

The Imperial Forum is a large ground which is a signpost of Roman engineering magnificence. What is most likely to attract one's attention is the overwhelming beauty of columns, arches, and temples that were maybe once glorious and resplendent.

Capuchin Crypt Rome

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome is one of the most unique and fascinating sites. The crypt is entirely decorated with bones and skulls of more than 4,000 individuals. It is a series of chapels that are built underneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione Dei Cappuccin, which is also sometimes called the ‘Bone church of Rome’.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme Rome

The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is one of the four structures of the National Roman Museum and is known to feature some of the best archaeological, architectural, and classical art and craft collections in the world. Constructed in a Neo-Renaissance style, the palace laid its foundations in 1883 and is home to several interesting exhibitions. 

Villa Doria Pamphili Rome

A historically significant monument, Villa Doria Pamphili is the biggest landscaped public park in Rome, dating back to the 17th century. Located in Gianicolo, Monteverde, this villa served as a family home for the Pamphili lineage, which died out during the 18th century. Filled with several statues and ornaments, Villa Doria Pamphili is a perfect getaway with your friends and family. 

Musei di Villa Torlonia Rome

Musei di Villa Torlonia is a spectacularly designed museum, that offers an insight into the 19th-century art and lifestyle of Roman Nobles. The museums include Casino Nobile, Casina Delle Civette, Casino Dei Principi, and Serra Moresca, as well as a lovely English landscape garden. A nice collection of stained glass, sculptures, paintings, artifacts, and other treasures make these museums enticing for both art and history enthusiasts.

Centrale Montemartini Rome

The Centrale Montemartini is a remarkable example of industrial archaeology turned museum. Residing inside the complex of the Musei Capitolini, this art museum is unique because of its setting of displaying ancient collections in the background of the first electrical power plant. It has a sizable collection of classical sculptures discovered during the excavations in Rome at the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century.

Apostolic Palace

Embark your presence at the famous Apostolic Palace, also known as the summer home of Popes. This castle is famously known for its extravagant grandeur, where Pope spent most of his life. It is a 17th-century villa housing lavish rooms, balconies, private gardens, fountains and other attractions. Get ready to spend some time in the Pope's private space at Apostolic Palace.

Bioparco di Roma

Bioparco di Roma is one of the most famous zoological gardens in Rome that is best known for its animal-friendly enclosures. During your visit, you will come across about 1200 animals from 200+ different species. This zoo was created for public enjoyment and amusement, in contrast to other zoos of the time that primarily served scientific purposes.

Catacombs of St. Callixtus Rome

The Catacombs of St. Callixtus is one of the oldest cemeteries in the old city of Rome where Christians used to be buried. The cemetery complex spans over five floors and it is believed that more than half a million Christians were buried here, including 16 popes and countless martyrs. In the 3rd century AD, it was also the official cemetery of the Roman church.

Trajan’s Market Rome

Also known as Mercati di Traiano, Trajan's market is an open space area in the ruins of Rome, situated in the Via Dei Fori Imperiali. This market is also popular as the oldest of the shopping malls around the world, filled with several shops and apartments. You can also visit the ancient library, and explore the marble floors housed here. 

Domus Aurea Rome

The Domus Aurea is the great emperor Nero's palace of residence and is regarded as one of history's most lavish buildings. It is often referred to as the "golden house" and emphasizes the magnificence of hundreds of rooms, priceless mosaics, and more that have stood the test of time. The fort was constructed on Oppian Hill and includes ponds, fountains, and an artificial lake too

Vatican City
Vatican City, one of the major attractions for Roman Catholic Churches, is a well-known region for its magnificent buildings and rich heritage. This tiny country is full of historical and religious structures and has its unique charm that offers many picturesque sights. Some of the tourist and pilgrimage centers include the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica of St. Peter, and the Vatican Museum.
Roman Forum
Visit the ancient Roman Forum which served as the focal point of daily life and as a venue for public gatherings, trials, elections, and gladiatorial combat. The Forum housed the largest temples and monuments in the city under the Roman Empire. It was abandoned following the fall of the Roman Empire and its ruins became a tourist destination for all history lovers.
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica, known as one of the holiest catholic shrines in the world, best depicts Vatican City and Christianity and is a must-visit in Rome. Built on St. Peter’s tomb, it boasts the world’s tallest dome and is a remarkable representation of Renaissance architecture. A trip to St. Peter’s Basilica will leave you in awe of its grandeur, elegance, and spiritual vibes.
National Gallery of Ancient Art in Barberini Palace
St. Peter’s Square

Saint Peter’s Square is not only one of the most important tourist spots in Rome but it is also one of the most beautiful and largest squares in the entire wide world. This square is particularly renowned for its sheer size and is believed that during more noticeable events, this square has managed to hold more than 300,000 people at once.

Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain in Rome is a magnificent Baroque masterpiece and one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Designed by Nicola Salvi and completed in the 18th century, it features a grand façade adorned with sculptures depicting sea gods and mythical creatures. Visitors toss coins into the fountain, believing it ensures a return trip to Rome.

Basilica Of St. John Lateran

Basilica of St.John Lateran is a Catholic cathedral church located on the outskirts of Rome, Italy. It is known to be the world's most ancient church, constructed during the 4th century. The main attraction of this church is its incredible building and lavish interior, which fascinates the attraction of visitors traveling to Rome. 

Centro Storico

Centro Storico is one of Rome's must-visit historic centers with a dense maze of cobbled alleyways, Renaissance palaces, antique ruins, and baroque piazzas. Get a perfect escape into the hustling streets and shop for high-end brands like Versace and Gucci. The delightful walking stroll around talented local musicians and themed restaurants add to the nighttime experience.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are a popular destination in Rome with a 135-step staircase arranged in an erratic butterfly-like pattern. The Spanish Steps is a popular tourist spot to gather and mingle with local musicians, photographers, and artists. Witness old baroque-style fountains and Roman Catholic churches along the picturesque area, from Piazza di Spagna to Piazza Trinità dei Monti. 

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Rome Things To Do FAQs

Which are the best things to do in Rome?

1. Explore Colosseum: A trip to the Colosseum in Rome is an absolute top thing to do in Rome for anyone who loves history and wants to explore some of the most iconic ancient ruins! This gigantic structure was once used for gladiator battles and public executions, and now stands as a reminder of the power of the Roman Empire. When you walk through the Colosseum, it's like travelling back in time. You can almost picture the spectators cheering as the gladiators battle to the death. It's one of the most unforgettable things to do in Rome.

2. Discover Vatican Museums: The Vatican Museums are a collection of some of the world's most important art and historical artefacts making it one of the best things to do in Rome. The Vatican Museums boast such a large and diverse collection that there is definitely something for everyone! For example, history buffs can explore the excavations of Nero's Domus Aurea and the Etruscan artefacts in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum. Those who prefer Renaissance art can marvel at breath-taking works by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, MichelangeloBuonarroti and Caravaggio. Or, for fans of modern art, there are pieces by major twentieth-century artists such as De Chirico, Dali', Mirò and Mondrian.

3. Visit Roman Forum: The Roman Forum contains some of Rome's most awe-inspiring ruins, such as the Temple of Jupiter, the Via Sacra and the Rostra. These ancient structures are very well-preserved and offer an insightful look into Rome's history. Trip to the Roman Forum is one of the best things to do in Rome and an excellent way to learn more about Rome's history and culture. There are many ancient relics and pieces of art at the site, and informative displays that explain the importance of these artefacts. Also, the Roman Forum is located in the heart of Rome, surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. This makes it a great place to simply wander around and enjoy the sights and sounds of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.

4. Explore Palatine Hill: Palatine Hill is a hill located in Rome, Italy. It is one of the Seven Hills of Rome and is the site of the ancient city of Rome. Palatine Hill remained significant in Roman life as time went on. Many renowned Romans, such as Julius Caesar and Augustus, constructed their residences on Palatine Hill. Later on, it became the home of some of Rome’s most wealthy families. At present, Palatine Hill is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions and best things to do in Rome. People can tour ruins from different eras of Roman history, like ancient and mediaeval times.

5. Admire St. Peter’s Basilica: A trip to St. Peter's Basilica is an essential part of any visit to Rome. Even if you're not religious, the church's size and beauty are breathtaking and something that you have to see to believe, making it one of the top things to do in Rome. St. Peter's is not only the biggest church in the world, but it is also a highly revered Catholic pilgrimage site. It was constructed on the spot where St. Peter, the first Pope, was crucified and buried. The basilica is an architectural wonder with a grand central dome that towered over everything else in Rome. The interior is just as breathtaking with its opulent gold decorations, marble sculptures, and hundreds of years of history surrounding you.

6. Take a Trastevere Neighbourhood Walk: If you're searching for an excellent way to spend a day and things to do in Rome, take a stroll through the gorgeous neighbourhood of Trastevere! This picturesque neighbourhood is lined with lovely streets, charming stores, and delightful restaurants. Begin your journey in Trastevere by taking a leisurely walk past traditional Roman trattorias and osterias, admiring the mediaeval architecture, and popping into picturesque Churches along the route. Many of Rome’s most beloved attractions are located in this bohemian neighbourhood.

7. Checkout Borghese Palace & Villa Borghese: Borghese Palace & Villa Borghese are a must-see for anyone visiting Rome. Borghese Palace is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rome, and for good reason – it is home to an incredible art collection, as well as stunning gardens that are perfect for a summer stroll. Villa Borghese is the largest public park in Rome, and it's a stunning oasis in the midst of the city. If you're interested in art, history, or just want to spend time in a stunning park, Borghese Palace & Villa Borghese are definitely one of the worth checking out things to do in Rome.

8. Visit Roman Catacombs: The Roman Catacombs are a large system of tunnels and burial chambers located in Rome. They were used mainly for Christian burials, but were later abandoned and fell into disrepair. In the 18th century, they were rediscovered and have since become a popular tourist destination. Strolling through these ancient burial chambers is like taking a step back in time. In addition, it's one of the best things to do in Rome to get away from the hustle and bustle of Rome's busy streets.

9. Admire the beautiful Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is one of the must things to do in Rome for any visitor to Rome. Flowing with fresh water from the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, this monumental fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The Trevi Fountain, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and the main figure in the fountain is Neptune, God of the Sea, with other statues and sculptures representing the different seasons and tides surrounding him. The Trevi Fountain is a truly stunning sight at night making it the best thing to do in Rome, when it is illuminated by hundreds of lights

10. Checkout Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps are one of Rome's most renowned landmarks and top things to do in Rome - and for good reason. The grand staircase is an incredible sight. The steps were constructed in the early 1700s to link the Spanish Church of Trinita dei Monti and the French church of Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini. They were designed by Italian architect Francesco de Sanctis, and the steps are popular with both tourists and locals today. They're an excellent place for people to watch, enjoy the sun, and take in Rome's stunning views. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two! In other words, if you're in search of things to do in Rome, make sure to add the Spanish Steps to your travel plans.

You Must Checkout: Italy Greece Tour Package From India

What are the adventurous things to do in Rome?

1. Visit the Majestic Colosseum: When at Rome, visiting the magnificent Colosseum and savoring its intricate architectural style is a must for you. However, while you are at it, make sure to do pre-booking, otherwise, you might miss out on the tickets.

Location:
Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Timing: 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM 
Price: 12 Euros 
 
2. Take a Cycling Tour in the Appian Way: Kick your explorative persona in by participating in the famous cycling tour in the ancient and mysterious Appian Way. While on the tour, you can see the Aurelian Walls and several other Roman attractions of the area. 

Location:
Roman Forum, Rome to Brindisi 
Timing: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
Price: 45 Euro (approximately)

3. Discover the Capitoline Hills: When in doubt, hiking up to the enchanting Capitoline Hills should be one of the best way-outs for you. If you do get to reach the top, you will be able to see an enthralling view of the city of Rome, which will keep haunting your mind for many days to come.

Location:
Rome, Italy
Timing: Always 

4. Skydiving in Nettuno: If you want to enjoy some blood pumping and adrenaline rushing moments, make sure to opt for skydiving activity in the town of Nettuno. It is actually a fairly easy sport, so you do not have to stay at the top of your fitness level as well!

Location:
Nettuno, Rome 
Timing: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Price: 200 Euro to 220 Euro

Book Now: Luxury Italy Tour Packages

How safe is Rome for tourists?

Rome is a safe place for tourists as violent crime rates are very low. You must keep an eye out for pickpockets and scams when in crowded places.

What are the best places to eat in Rome?

Rome is packed with excellent eateries that you will find on practically every corner of the city. Some of the must-visit restaurants and pub include:

1. La Ciambella Dine
If you want to try modern Roman cuisine sitting in a quiet backstreet of Rome, then this is the place to be.

2. Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto
If you are looking for Rome’s best trattoria, then this might be the place. You will find excellent taste minus all the fuss!

3. Bonci Pizzarium
If you want to try top-of-the-range pizza in Rome without digging too deep into your pockets then this pizzeria is the place to be.

4. Antica Norcineria Iacozzilli
This century-old deli is still a favourite amongst locals for its delicious panino and dirt cheap prices.

5. Pasticceria De Bellis
If your sweet tooth is satiated by nothing less than the best, then this patisserie offering work-of-art cakes, pastries, dolci, etc. is a must-visit for you.

6. Trapizzino
This one falls under the label of Roman fast food and you can enjoy their popular trapizzino which is a cone of doughy bread filled with meatballs and sauce.

7. Antica Caciara Trasteverina
Another traditional eatery which has been serving delicious food for a century is the Antica Caciara. Here, you can enjoy fresh ricotta, oven-baked ricotta and other delicacies.

Which are the best places to eat in Rome?

Rome is packed with excellent eateries that you will find on practically every corner of the city. Some of the must-visit restaurants and pub include:

1. La Ciambella Dine
If you want to try modern Roman cuisine sitting in a quiet backstreet of Rome, then this is the place to be.

2. Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto
If you are looking for Rome’s best trattoria, then this might be the place. You will find excellent taste minus all the fuss!

3. Bonci Pizzarium
If you want to try top-of-the-range pizza in Rome without digging too deep into your pockets then this pizzeria is the place to be.

4. Antica Norcineria Iacozzilli
This century-old deli is still a favourite amongst locals for its delicious panino and dirt cheap prices.

5. Pasticceria De Bellis
If your sweet tooth is satiated by nothing less than the best, then this patisserie offering work-of-art cakes, pastries, dolci, etc. is a must-visit for you.

6. Trapizzino
This one falls under the label of Roman fast food and you can enjoy their popular trapizzino which is a cone of doughy bread filled with meatballs and sauce.

7. Antica Caciara Trasteverina
Another traditional eatery which has been serving delicious food for a century is the Antica Caciara. Here, you can enjoy fresh ricotta, oven-baked ricotta and other delicacies.

Why is Rome so famous?

Rome is famous for its rich history and culture which can be seen in the excellent architecture and wealth of old monuments and buildings. Right from the ruins to the elaborate cathedrals, there is a lot to be seen in Rome.

Apart from the architecture, Rome is also home to some of the world’s most famous pieces of art including paintings and sculptures by Michaelangelo. Roman is also home to some of the world-famous foods like pizza, pasta and gelato.

When in Rome, you can visit the Colosseum, ruins of the place where Caesar was murdered and the churches and cathedrals of Vatican City.

Why is Rome famous for art and architecture?

Rome is famous for art and architecture because, at one point in history, the city was considered the pinnacle of civilization. Its splendour and grandeur were talked about throughout the world. Even today, the art and architecture created by artists and architects centuries and millennia ago still stands the test of time and is one of the most beautiful in the world.

Can you do Rome in 3 days?

Yes, Rome can easily be done in 3 days if you plan your itinerary well in advance. Some of the must add places are the Vatican City, Castel Sant'Angelo, Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Colosseum.

There is a whole wide list of things to do in Rome for couples and families alike, so you select the best travel partner for yourself.

Suggested itinerary:

Day1:
Vatican City
Castel Sant’ Angelo
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
Pantheon
Piazza Navona
Piazza del Popolo

Day2:
Colosseum
Basilica di San Giovanni
Baths of Caracalla
Pyramid of Caius Cestius

Day3:
Terrazaa Del Pincio
Appaian Way
Borghese Gallery

What language is spoken in Rome?

The native language of Rome is Italian but the language is no barrier as the locals speak and understand English well. Almost everyone in restaurants, hotels, and public places speaks English.

Is Rome safe?

Yes, Rome is a safe city and has easy access to medical emergency centers, police stations, and other emergency services but petty crimes, pickpocketing is common in this city. Make sure you are cautious while touring the attractions and other crowded regions of the city.

Is Rome a city or country?

Rome is the capital city of Italy and not a country. It is snuggled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea and is a European city.

Is it good to go to Rome in December?

One of the best things to do in Rome with kids witnessing the Christmas decorations on the alleys and popular squares. The month of December is an excellent pick to visit tour as it is cold and rainy with all the Christmas and New Year celebrations going on.

Is Rome a walkable city?

Yes, Rome is a walkable city as the major attractions are in a walkable diameter like the Colosseum, Roman Forum ruins, Markets of Trajan and several other attractions.

Is Rome dangerous at night?

NOT AT ALL! Rome is one of the safest cities and is equally safe at night to enjoy. Just make sure that you don’t carry much cash and are cautious while roaming about in the late hours.

What is the best location to stay in Rome?

Some of the best areas to stay in Rome are:

1. Aventine Hill
If you are a nature and art lover, then this is a place for you as it has a number of elegant art villas that overlook the beautiful Orange Garden.

Perfect for: Couples

2. Trastevere
Witness the most lively part of the city, that is the Trastevere. It is dotted with a number of up-scale hotels where you can relax and hop on to the cafes & bars that are right in its proximity. Right from the trendy bars to the hangout spots, you find everything in this part of the city.

Perfect for: Friends and couples

3. Testaccio
Some of the best stays are available in Testaccio that is the food capital of the city. The roads are brimming with family-run trattorias where you can relish authentic culinary experience.

Perfect for: Food lovers

4. Ancient Rome
Boasting of the Roman vibes and the retro feels, Ancient Rome is a place for all kinds of travelers. With all the major attractions in the vicinity, this is the most popular area of stay for travelers. Right from the basic budget hotels to the lavish stays, here you can find everything.

Perfect for:Families and couples alike.

Also Checkout: Europe Tour Package For Family

How long does it take to do the Colosseum?

One of the most interesting things to do in Rome is visiting the Colosseum that will take about 2-3 hours as the queues are pretty long.

What are the best activities and attractions in Italy that you can book via Thrillophilia?

Is Rome safe to walk at night?

Yes, strolling about in Rome at night is not a thing to worry but some precautions are always better. You must not miss on a chance of touring the city at night as that will give you an unforgettable experience.

How many days in Rome is enough?

To be honest 2 to 3 days are more than enough to tour Rome. In case you are comfortable with a jam-packed schedule then you can plan it in 2 days but if you wish to take some halts and wish to tour relaxingly then you need 3 days for the same itinerary.

Some of the must include destinations in the plan should be the Colosseum, St Peters, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain.

Which are the best Rome passes to book from Thrillophilia?

Here are the best Rome passes to book via Thrillophilia:

Eurail Pass Italy
OMNIA Rome and Vatican Pass
Rome Explorer Pass

Rome Things To Do Reviews

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review-img
Giorgia Croci
Reviewed: 14 May 2023
5.0/5
Really enjoyed it
Giorgia Croci
Giorgia Croci
Giorgia Croci
Giorgia Croci
Giorgia Croci
Giorgia Croci
(14+)View All
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Ronald Wielink
Reviewed: 15 Nov 2023
4.0/5
Ordering of the tickets went well, a bit confusing that it's a multiple steps process with some time between the ordering and the final confirmation of the tickets (not huge but in this time of instant gratification a bit confusing). Also note that you need to go to the tickets desk inside the muse... Read More
Ronald Wielink
Ronald Wielink
Ronald Wielink
Ronald Wielink
Ronald Wielink
Ronald Wielink
(6+)View All
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Melike Cakir
Reviewed: 26 Aug 2023
5.0/5
Varican museum and Sistina chapel eas perfect. Buying skip the line ticket really helped us because when we arrived there, we saw very long queue. Advanced tickets are always the best.
Melike Cakir
Melike Cakir
Melike Cakir
Melike Cakir
Melike Cakir
Melike Cakir
(4+)View All
review-img
Amy Hall
Reviewed: 03 Nov 2022
5.0/5
The staff were welcoming and approachable. Whole experience went off without a hitch. Thank you! 
Amy Hall
Amy Hall
Amy Hall
Amy Hall
Amy Hall
Amy Hall
(6+)View All
review-img
Caleb Zamora
Reviewed: 21 May 2023
5.0/5
Bit hard to understand but pretty much great 👍
Caleb Zamora
Caleb Zamora
Caleb Zamora
Caleb Zamora
Caleb Zamora
Caleb Zamora
(2+)View All
review-img
Madhuri Gulabani
Reviewed: 23 Oct 2023
5.0/5
The whole process was easy, we skipped the line and it was hassle free. Highly recommend it.
Madhuri Gulabani
Madhuri Gulabani
Madhuri Gulabani
Madhuri Gulabani
Madhuri Gulabani
Madhuri Gulabani

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