Rome has to be the city with the greatest number of things to see from the places that we have visited recently. Rome is full of history and antique sites from the Roman Empire back in the day.
As usual, we were on a tight schedule. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and flew back on Sunday morning – so we only had two and a half days to see everything. Regardless of this, we managed to visit all of the main sites and even had time to re-visit some of our favourite spots. With all of that, we have put together the perfect 3-day Itinerary to Rome and a video to show you some of the beautiful sites we visited!
On arrival day you might not have the full day to explore, but make sure you still make good use of however much time you have left of daylight. We like to lose ourselves in the city centre when we first arrive to a new place. Use this time to familiarize yourself with the distances between places, the different available routes to you and explore some must-see locations that are nearby:
Day: Strolls through the city centre
Some ideas to get you started – Via del Corse, Fontana Di Trevi, Piazza del Popolo…
Sunset: Views at Terraza del Pincio
Just above Piazza del Popolo is located one of our favourites views spots – Terraza del Pincio. Head up the stairs over the Piazza to experience a beautiful sunset over Rome. This park is one of the highest spots in the city and watching the sunset here is the perfect way to get your trip started.
Day 2: Vatican City & The Centre
Maximise your second day by splitting it into two parts to see different areas of Rome.
Morning: The Vatican (early start)
To visit the Vatican, you will have to wake up early to ensure that you don’t waste your morning queuing to get into the museums. We have written a blog post dedicated to how to see The Vatican in half a day, where you can find all the tricks and prices to avoid the crowds. Please note, some people would rather spend the whole day at The Vatican as the museums are huge and there is a lot to see. If you are visiting with time, this is completely feasible. However, for a 3-day trip, you’ll need to ensure that you visit this area relatively fast so you also have time to see the centre of Rome. If you efficiently manage your visit to The Vatican you’ll be able to see the museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, all in the same morning.
Afternoon: The city centre
Walk from The Vatican through Via della Conciliazione or Borgo Santo Spirito until you reach the Castle Sant’ Angelo. From there, head to the heart of the city through Ponte Sant’ Angelo to see the main Roman landmarks: Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, Fontana Di Trevi, the flower market, the Jewish neighbourhood, Piazza Venezia and so on.
Sunset: Views at Piazza di Espagna.
End your day beautifully by watching the sunset on the stairs at Piazza di Espagna. This place at sunset was the most beautiful scenery we came across in Rome and can’t recommend enough to experience it!
Travel Tip: Make sure to watch the sunset from the very top of the stairs as that is the best spot and the only one in the plaza from where you can see the full skyline. We made the mistake of sitting down halfway through the stairs (where the view was also beautiful) and only reached the top at the end of the sunset when we realized the view there was way better!
Day 3: Cultural Sites & Trastevere
On your last day, visit the most famous sites in Rome and finish your trip with a strolling through the alternative district of Trastevere.
Morning: Colosseo and Foro Romano
Start your day early to visit the most famous touristic attraction in Rome: The Colosseo. After this, head to the Foro Romano and Palatine Hill and spend a good amount of time walking through this site full of monuments and history! We wil also be posting a blog with information about these places and how you can make the most of your visit.
Afternoon: Relax at Circus Maximus
Just behind the Roman Forum is located a large, beautiful park: Circus Maximus. This space offers stunning views to the ruins in front form Palatine Hill. Take some time here to relax and if you are lucky enjoy the sunshine on the grass!
Sunset: Views at Buco della serratura di Roma
A very famous sunset spot which was recommended by our local friends is Buco della serratura di Roma. Here, is located a door with a perfectly positioned big lock that people queue to look through – When you do so, you can see St. Peter’s. Basilica right through it. Next to the door is also a park with magnificent views over the city, from where you can also enjoy the sunset. We personally felt that the experience didn’t compare to watching the sunset at the other view points, but if you have time it is definitely something really fun to do!
Travel Tip: Arrive at least half an hour before sunset time to capture the perfect sunlight moment through the lock. In February, we arrived at the queue at 5:10PM and reached the door at exactly sunset time at around 5:40PM. Please note that in summer months or more peak season the queue might be longer and you may need to allow longer queing time.
Night: Dinner at Trastevere
Lastly, head to the neighborhood of Trastevere to experience some small Italian streets with lots of boutique art shops and amazing Italian cousine! This area is very lively and perfect for dinner time as there is a restaurant every 5 meters!
Thanks for reading! Please let us know in the comments if there is anything else you would like to know about Rome. If you have been, what’s been your favorite spot?