What are the best places and activities to experience in Rome? The city is astounding, brimming with fun, and offers breathtaking sights right up to the last minute of your journey.
As Italy’s capital, Rome is a wonderful open-air museum that will surely leave you in awe. Its romantic streets, squares, architecture, museums, culture, and of course, the delicious food unique to Italy, are all part of its charm.
Let’s dive into the most delightful spots and activities Rome has to offer!
Where is Rome? What to do in Rome
As the capital of Italy in the Lazio region, Rome is centrally located in the western part of the country, nestled along the banks of the Tiber River.
With a population of 2.9 million spread over an area of 1,285 km², it ranks third among the most populous cities in Europe.
Interestingly, Rome is a city that shelters a whole country within its borders – the Vatican, the smallest country globally. Known as the “City of Seven Hills” due to its geographical positioning and the “Eternal City” due to its significant historical events.
Rome is considered the cradle of Western culture and civilization.
What to Do and Where to Go in Rome
Our visit to Rome was one of the most memorable stops on our travels.
The city is absolutely captivating! Exploring its secrets, learning about its past, and experiencing the bustling, lively everyday life of the city pique any traveler’s curiosity.
Generally speaking, Rome is a fantastic city that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. Even if you’re pressed for time, you can get a good feel for the city over just a weekend.
That’s precisely what we did – we spent a weekend in Rome. And we’re excited to share all our activities with you.
To kick off the tour, we recommend hopping on a bus that takes you right to the action!
Rome Highlights – Hop-on Hop-off Bus
If you’re short on time, the hop-on hop-off bus is a fantastic idea! It’s a great way to see the most possible if you’re in the city for only a short period.
We arrived in Rome on a Saturday morning and quickly headed to the city center to catch the Rome hop-on hop-off bus close to our hotel at Largo Peretti.
It makes eight strategic stops at the city’s prime locations:
- Terminal Largo Di Villa Peretti (Largo di Villa Peretti, 1).
- Santa Maria Maggiori: Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiori.
- Colosseum: Via Di San Gregorio.
- Circus Maximus: Piazzale Ugo la Malfa.
- Piazza Venezia: Via di Teatro Marcello, 12.
- Vatican: Lungotevere Tor di Nona.
- Piazza di Spagna: Via Ludovisi, 17.
- Piazza Barberini: Via Barberini, 14.
You can purchase your Rome hop-on hop-off bus ticket before arriving in the city, available for 24/48/72 hours use.
You can hop off at each stop, stay as long as you want, and the next bus always arrives every 30 minutes.
One of Rome’s most visited structures, the Colosseum, has been the stage of many historic battles.
Next up on our tour was the star attraction of Rome, the most famous landmark in the city, the Colosseum.
You can purchase tickets to the Colosseum directly at the ticket office, but we recommend a guided tour that includes entrance to the Colosseum,the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill. Not only does this avoid the huge queues outside, but you also get professional guidance and comprehensive information about the sites.
Remember, if you’re short on time in the city, saving it is crucial.
Visiting the Colosseum is a must-do and a must-see in Rome, loaded with history and astonishing architecture.
Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica
Next up, we arrive at the unique part of Rome that houses an entire country within its city limits! Yes, the Vatican is a microstate that you can visit and add to your list as another country explored!
To avoid the gargantuan lines (everything in Rome has a monumental line, it’s impressive!), consider embarking on a guided tour of the Vatican.
This tour includes skip-the-line entries to: The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
At the Vatican Museums, you’ll explore galleries, sculptures, paintings – a collection that brings together the greatest artworks of the Roman Catholic Church.
Additionally, you’ll visit the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Chandeliers, the Tapestry Gallery, and the Belvedere Courtyard.
Next is a visit to the Sistine Chapel, one of Rome’s most treasured sights, housing some of the most well-known paintings in history.
It’s stunning! And then onto St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest religious temple and the church where the Pope presides over important liturgies.
The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most astounding structures. It is a circular building with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns.
A rectangular vestibule connects the porch to the rotunda, which is beneath a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky.
As such, it is one of the best-preserved Roman buildings and has been in continuous use since its completion. The holes in the Pantheon’s walls are not bullet holes as many imagine, but rather, mounting points for metal sculptures that have disappeared over time.
Entrance is free, but there is typically a long line at the entrance.
Trevi Fountain, one of Rome’s most beautiful spots
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most beautiful spots in Rome.
Next, we visited the Trevi Fountain. You might think it’s just an ordinary place – what’s so special about a fountain? Well, when you arrive there, the Trevi Fountain will prove you wrong.
I had imagined this fountain to be regular-sized and overhyped by everyone who visits Rome.
But the Trevi Fountain is impressively grand, beautiful, stunning, and its meticulously planned and detailed architecture is worth spending at least an hour admiring.
Moreover, we now understand that no trip to Rome is complete without visiting this site, nor without making a wish by tossing a coin into the waters.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Finally, St. Peter’s Basilica, a symbol of Rome’s skyline and a Renaissance-style church, is located in Vatican City.
Even if churches are not your cup of tea, we believe you shouldn’t miss visiting St. Peter’s Basilica while in Rome.
Its exterior architecture is simply stunning, and the breathtaking interior, such as Michelangelo’s Pietà with all its details, is worth a visit.
We recommend a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica so that you don’t miss out on any detail.
Gastronomic Tour through Trastevere – What to do in Rome?
Feasting in Trastevere, an incredible neighborhood to visit!
Next, if you’ve visited our site before, you know we can’t skip the food! Italy is rich in culinary delights, boasting the best ice creams, pizzas, wines, pastas, and so much more.
Trastevere is Rome’s bohemian district, and this tour kicks off at Piazza del Campo dei Fiori, renowned for its stalls overflowing with flowers, cheeses, cold cuts, pastas, and various Italian products.
Next, at Piazza Santa Maria, you’ll sample authentic handmade pizza. You’ll also make a stop at a supplì stand, where you can taste and savor these delicious croquettes.
Finally, behold Trastevere’s ice creams – the true Italian gelato! The tour wraps up with a cheese and prosciutto board, complemented by a fine wine, all served at Piazza Santa Maria.
Let this culinary journey leave your taste buds tingling and craving more of Rome’s unforgettable gastronomic wonders.