Rome is world-famous and that’s not surprising when you consider what Rome has to offer. Rome is a city like no other city. Nowhere in the world will you find as much history as in Rome. In Rome, you have the feeling as if you are going back in time. Also, you have the feeling of walking through an open-air museum. Rome is perfect to visit as a city trip on a weekend. You can also combine a visit to Rome with other places in Italy. Rome is the former capital of the Roman Empire and the center of the Roman Catholic Church, places like the Colosseum and the Vatican City are certainly part of this itinerary 3 days in Rome, but more sights will surprise you. We have been to Rome twice and we can share all the nice places. Wondering what you can do in Rome, what your 3 day itinerary through Rome looks like, what fun day excursions are from Rome, where you need to stay, and much more. You can read everything in this 3 day itinerary through Rome. Enjoy a city trip to Rome!
Table of Contents
Why do you need 3 days for a Rome city trip?
First of all, it is important to explain why you need 3 days to Rome. In theory, you can do it in two days during a weekend in Rome, but in our opinion, it is too short. You have to plan everything tightly, you are constantly in a hurry to check everything off your list. To give you an example, if you visit the Vatican you spend the whole morning in this area. If you only have two days, it is simply not enough to see all the best things in Rome.
Also, Rome is a large city, and sights are spread throughout the city. It is therefore important to discover each day a section of the city. Below you can read our 3 days itinerary in Rome that we recommend using. As you can see, it is not desirable to do this in two days, because it is simply too much.
Best things to do in Rome
There is a lot to do in Rome, in our overview below you can read exactly what. With this overview and the details we hope to answer the one question that many travelers have “what are the best things to do in Rome”. Culture lovers, in particular, can indulge themselves during a city trip in Rome. Rome can be divided into 3 parts, namely the historic center, Monti (the area where, for example, the Colosseum is located), and Prati (area of the Vatican City). The activities are coordinated in such a way that travel time between different sights is minimal.
Read the 3 days in Rome itinerary below and you will get a clear picture of what you can do in Rome during a weekend.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Trevi Fountain||Colosseum||St. Peter’s Basilica|
|Pantheon||Forum Romanum||Vatican Museum|
|Piazza Navona||Monument Vittorio Emanuele||Castel Sant’Angelo|
|Spanish Steps||Bocca dele Verita||Option to be determined|
|Villa Borghese and Galleria Borghese||Baths of Caracalla|
|Sunset at Pincio||Park Giardino Degli Aranci|
3 Days in Rome | Day 1
In this planning, we take into account that you have the 1st first day of travel time. The 1st day is not as busy as the 2nd and 3rd days. On the 1st day, you will discover the historic center.
This 3 days itinerary through Rome has been put together to give you enough time to discover the historic center. We do not recommend visiting the major sights directly. We recommend doing this on the second and third day because you can start your day earlier and therefore queues are not that big. You don’t need a ticket for the first day, everything is free to visit.
If you arrive in Rome in the evening and you have three full days after arriving, you can add activities to this 3 days in Rome itinerary. You can read more about this on ‘day 4’.
Itinerary 3 days in Rome tip: where to have breakfast 1st day
Trecaffe, at this place you can enjoy a delicious coffee with a panini or sandwiches. It is very small, which makes it very cozy.
Opening hours: daily from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM. Address: Via Dei Due Macelli 107, 00187 Rome, Italy
#1.1 Trevi Fountain
Start your day with a visit to the Trevi Fountain, the largest fountain in Rome and arguably one of the world’s most famous fountains. It is a beautiful fountain to see, especially if you pay close attention to all the details on the statues. A tradition is to throw a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder at the Trevi Fountain. If you do this, the saying is that you will return to Rome.
Did you know that 3000 euros is collected every day and that it is donated to charities.
After the Trevi fountain, you walk to the Pantheon. The Pantheon is the best-preserved building in all of Rome. The Pantheon used to be one of the most important temples in Rome, it was used to honor the Roman gods. When the Catholic faith officially became the city religion, many buildings were demolished, but the Pantheon was converted into a Roman Catholic basilica. The unique thing about the Pantheon is that the circle in the ceiling is 8.7 meters wide. Also, it is the only natural light in the entire temple.
Tip: if you want to know more about the building, you can rent an audio guide, well worth it!
Tip: if you walk from the Trevi fountain to the Pantheon you will pass two churches that are also worth a visit. These are Chiesi di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola and the Basilica di Sante Maria Sopra Minerva.
#1.3 Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is the central square of Rome’s historic center. You will find three famous fountains on this square. Sit comfortably on a bench and enjoy the beauty.
Then head towards Pincio hill (towards the Spanish Steps). This is a very nice walk through all the narrow streets. On the way, you will pass one of the best ice cream parlors in Italy, called Giolitti. Definitely worth trying an ice cream. During this walk you will also pass the Basilica di San Silvestro in Capite, if you have the time, this is definitely worth a visit. We found the mural around the ceiling very beautiful to see.
#1.4 Spanish Steps
Once you arrive at the Spanish Steps you will find yourself in the shopping area, in this area, it is a lot busier than other places in the city. The best thing about the Spanish Steps is the fact that it is a unique example of the Rococo style. The Spanish Steps are also the widest steps in Europe. Climbing the stairs you will arrive at the obelisk Trinita dei Monti. You are probably wondering why it is called the Spanish Steps? This is because the Spanish Embassy is located on the square of the stairs.
Tip: walk from the Spanish Steps to Terrazza del Pincio. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. You can also walk to Piazza del Popolo from the Spanish Steps. This is the largest city square in Rome.
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have lunch 1st day
Go to Antica Birreria Peroni, a place very popular with the locals. So it can be very busy between lunchtime, so try to be here a little earlier (around 12 to 1 o’clock). You can order good pizzas for a reasonable price. The pizzas are very good because they are richly topped. We recommend the pizza with fish, as they are caught fresh every day.
Opening hours: daily from 12:00 to 24:00. Address: Via di San Marcello 19, 00187 Rome
#1.5 Villa Borghese and Galleria Borghese
From the Spanish Steps (or Terrazza del Pincio/Piazza del Popolo) you have to walk a bit to arrive at Villa Borghese. This is the largest city park in Rome. In this city park, you can take a beautiful walk, see many beautiful buildings and visit a Zoo. The ultimate attraction of Villa Borghese is the museum, Galleria Borghese. The unique thing about this museum is that it is one of the largest private art collections in the world. You can see pieces made by Bernini, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rafaël.
Ticket Borghese Gallery | $36 per person
Tip: if you have arrived in Rome in the afternoon, take your time to visit the historic center. In this case, we recommend visiting Villa Borghese and Galleria Borghese at the end of the third day.
#1.6 Sunset at Pincio
If you want to end the first day beautifully, go to Pincio hill, which can be found on the west side of Villa Borghese. At this place, you have a beautiful view. It is very romantic because Italians play music and with the buildings of Villa Borgese in the background it makes you feel like you are in a movie set. Highly recommended!
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have dinner 1st day
Spaghetteria L’Archetto offers real Roman food. It is a small and simple restaurant where you can order many different kinds of pasta. Do you want zucchini pasta, pasta with chili peppers or you name it then this is the place to sit down in the evening.
Opening hours: daily from 12:00 to 24:00. Address: Via dell’Archetto, 26, 00187 Roma RM, Italy.
3 Days in Rome | Day 2
The second day of this 3 days in Rome itinerary is mainly dedicated to getting to know the history of Rome. You will visit the Colosseum, the hill of Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum in the morning. The advantage is that this is all close together. You will also discover the nicest neighborhood in Rome and much more!
itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have breakfast 2nd day
El Baretto is a bar that is run by a family, you can order a cappuccino with a sandwich in the morning. A great start to your day. Do try the cheese sandwich, delicious!
Opening hours: daily from 7:30 AM to 11:30 PM. Address: Via del Boschetto, 132, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
You start this day with a true pearl because you are going to visit the Colosseum. The Colosseum is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the largest amphitheater in the world. Gladiator fights and big games were staged here. It is truly beautiful when you walk through this building, especially when you consider what has happened inside the Colosseum.
It is important that you book your ticket for the Colosseum and Roman Forum in advance (ticket can be booked via the link below) and that you are at the entrance of the Colosseum before 08:30. The advantage is when you are at the opening of the doors you can visit the Colosseum relatively quietly and you do not have to queue for long.
Tip: if you want to take a good photo of the Colosseum, cross the street at the crossroads Via Nicola Salvi and Via degli Annibaldi. This is one of the most popular places to take a photo of the Colosseum.
Tip: before you go to Roman Forum you can go to Palatine. Palatine Hill is a hill where there are ruins of old palaces. With a ticket for Colosseum and Forum Roman, you also have access to Palatine Hill.
Skip the line ticket Colosseum, Palatine & Roman Forum | $40 per person
#2.2 Roman Forum
After you have visited the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, you can go to the Roman Forum with your combo ticket. For us personally, this was one of the most beautiful places you will find in Rome. You can see the ruins of some of the most important buildings from the Roman Empire. At the time, Forum Romanum was the most important center of the Roman empire in the political, regional, and business fields. For example, you see the building where the senates gathered to discuss how they should run the Roman Empire.
Tip: use an audio guide, this way you can get an explanation for each building so that you better understand what you are seeing. If you want a tour with a guide, this is also possible, you can easily book this via the below link.
Tour Roman Forum & tickets Colosseum and Palatine Hill | $ 80 per person
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have lunch 2nd day
After you have visited the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum, it will probably be lunchtime. A must is La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. From the outside it looks a bit touristy, but don’t let this put you off, the food they serve is delicious. We recommend ravioli di burrata.
Opening hours: daily from 12:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Address: Via Della Madonna Dei Monti, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
If you want to be sure to have a spot you can make a reservation, we do not recommend this, because you have to walk on time. If La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali is full, you can divert to or another place.
#2.3 Monument Vittorio Emanuele
From the Forum Romanum part, you walk towards the center to the square Piazza Venezia. On your way to this square, you will see several beautiful ruins. Once arrived at Piazza Venezia you will see the monument, Vittorio Emanuele, this is the monument to the first king of united Italy. A very impressive building to see. If you pay close attention to the shape, it looks like a typewriter.
Tip: then walk to the square Piazza del Campidoglio were you have a nice view of the Roman Forum.
#2.4 Bocca dele Verita
From Piazza del Campigoglio you walk to Bocca dele Verita. You walk south on Via del Teatro di Marcello. During the walk, you will see the Capitoline Museums on the right and the Marcello Theater on the left. This theater is one of the oldest buildings in Rome, it was built even before the Colosseum.
If you keep walking you will end up with Bocca dele Verita, the mouth of the truth. You can put your hand in your mouth, the idea is that the hand is being bitten off by a liar. Nice to visit, because the temple that goes with it is beautiful, it is very small and intimate.
#2.5 Baths of Caracalla
Before you go to Baths of Caracalla, go to Circo Massimo, you will see a ruin where an arena for horse racing used to be. After seeing this you continue your way, before reaching the Baths of Caracalla you can visit the church of the Basilica di Santo Stefano Rotondo. This church is special because it was built in the 5th century and it has a round shape which was very special at that time.
Once you arrive at the Baths of Caracalla you will understand why the Romans were so famous for all their baths. These were the largest public swimming pool in Rome.
#2.6 Park Giardino Degli Aranci
Before you go to the working-class neighborhood of Trastevere, you should visit the park Giardino Degli Aranci. You can enjoy a nice walk, however, the unique thing about this park is that before you enter you must walk past the park to the end of Via di Santa Sabina until you see a green door. If you look through the keyhole you will see the Saint Basilica, very unique!
Finally, on the 2nd day of this city trip in Rome, you go to the nicest working-class district of Rome called Trastevere. This is on the other side of the Tiber. This is the nicest district in Rome where you can have a very nice dinner. The best thing you can do is simple, walk through the streets and enjoy, nothing more difficult than that!
Tip: if you want to see a beautiful building in the oldest district of Rome, go to Basilica di Santa Marta. Very unique to visit, plus the square on which it is located is certainly worth a visit. There is a cozy atmosphere here.
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to haver diner 2nd day
Of course, you should enjoy Italian cuisine when you are in the working-class district of Trastevere. You can find the best restaurants in this area. An absolute winner is Pizzeria Ai Marmi, this is a real local restaurant. The menu is only in Italian, but they are happy to help you. The pizzas are great, but the atmosphere is much more fun. If you are really looking for a local eatery this is the place you want to go to. Another advantage is that there are no long queues at this restaurant.
Opening hours: daily from 6:30 PM to 2:00 AM. Address: Viale Trastevere 53, Trastevere, Lazio, Italy 00153
3 Days in Rome | Day 3
The 3rd and last day of this city trip in Rome is mainly dedicated to discovering Christianity and art. You are going to Vatican City. The Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world and one of the most special places in the world. In the Vatican City, you have two main attractions of Rome, namely the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. We recommend starting with St. Peter’s Basilica, as the queue at St. Peter’s Basilica can be very long later in the morning.
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have breakfast 3rd day
If you want to enjoy breakfast next to the Vatican you should go to Pergamino Caffè. Enjoy a cup of coffee and breakfast. A big advantage is that it is close to St. Peter’s Basilica, so you don’t have to spend much time walking.
Opening hours: daily from 08:00 to 20:00. Address: Piazza del Risorgimento, 7, 00192 Roma RM, Italy
#3.1 St. Peter’s Basilica
The St. Peter’s Basilica opens its doors at 07:00 am, please also be at the entrance at this time. For example, if you arrive at 10:00 am, you may have to wait in line for 2 hours, which is of course a waste of your time. It is not possible to buy a ticket for this, as admission is free. If you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica later, you can skip the line by joining a tour, you can book a ticket via the below link.
Tour St. Peter’s + ticket Vatican museum & Sistine Chapel | $60 per person
Once inside St. Peter’s Basilica, you will likely understand where the revenues of Christianity used to go. Inside you see nothing but splendor. It is truly amazing what you see. The best thing you can do when you have seen everything is to enter the dome, for this, you have to stand in a separate row (ticket costs $6), after which you will eventually be on top of the dome with a view over the city. This is literally and figuratively a highlight of your Rome city trip.
#3.2 Vatican Museum
If you have visited St. Peter’s Basilica, you can visit the Vatican Museum, the most beautiful museum in Rome. This museum has 54 different galleries, so it is recommended to determine in advance which type of art you want to admire. Well-known works by Leanardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael can all be admired here. The most unique thing in this museum is a visit to the Sistine Chapel, which is arguably one of the most famous works of art in the world. You can see the 9 scenes from the Bible created by Michelangelo.
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have lunch 3rd day
Depending on what time you exit St. Peter’s Basilica, you can have something to eat and drink at Caffè Portofino. You can also do this after you visited the Vatican Museum. The big advantage of this café is that you can sit outside. The food that they serve is simple but delicious. We recommend the spaghetti bolognese, the sauce is delicious!
Opening hours: daily from 6:30 AM to 1:30 AM. Address: Piazza Cola di Rienzo, 116, 00192 Roma RM, Italy
#3.3 Castel Sant’Angelo
After lunch, you walk to the Castel Sant’Angelo. This is an old Roman fort and mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Nowadays it houses a museum and you can see works of art mainly from the Renaissance period. On top of the fort is an angel, this is the archangel Michael. The legend is that this angel appeared to the Pope in 590 AD to end the plague that raged in the city at the time.
Before you walk to the Angel Castle you have to walk over a bridge, this is Ponte Sant’Angelo. This bridge was built in the second century and the statues you see on it were made by Bernini.
Tip: if you want to visit the museum in the Castel Sant’Angelo, we also recommend buying your ticket in advance. You can do this via the below link.
Ticket Castel Sant’Angelo | €20 per person
Tip: if you enjoy photography, you can take a photo of Castel Sant’Angelo in the evening. This is beautifully lit in the evening. You can also see the reflection of the water in the fort, which is cool to photograph.
#3.4 Historic center / Villa Borghese / Optional activity
You will probably be ready in the (late) afternoon and you still have some time to conclude your 3 days in Rome. We recommend that you go to the historic center again and enjoy it. We believe this is the most beautiful part of the city. You can also do one of the optional activities that we mention in ‘day 4’. You can also choose to see even more of Villa Borghese.
Tip: don’t plan anything yet and see where you feel most like it.
Itinerary 3 days in Rome: where to have diner 3rd day
On the first day, we had dinner at Spaghetteria L’Archetto and we did this during the 3 e day because we liked it so much. Here you can eat real Roman food. It is a small and simple restaurant where you can order many different kinds of pasta. Do you want zucchini pasta, pasta with chili peppers or you name it then this is the place to sit down in the evening.
Opening hours: daily from 12:00 to 24:00. Address: Via dell’Archetto, 26, 00187 Roma RM, Italy.
3 Days in Rome | Day 4 (optional)
Of course, this route is a good example of how you can plan your 3 days in Rome. Of course, you may want to see more museums or more ruins. We did this route during our 3 days in Rome and think it has a perfect balance. However, this is of course completely personal. We have a few more recommendations you can make and possibly switch with something else.
#4.1 Quartiere Coppedè
Just north of Villa Borghese is the Quartiere Coppedè district. This is a small neighborhood that is very cute and fun to walk through. If you want to get a better idea of how the Romans live, this is a good neighborhood to walk through. The advantage is that there are not many tourists here.
Why is Quartiere Coppedè not added to this 3 days itinerary Rome? This is because it is far from all the other sights in Rome.
#4.2 Capitoline Museum
Capitoline Museum is located on the square Campidoglio, this is one of the seven hills where Rome is built. Campidoglio is located between Forum Romanum and Campus Martius. This is where the Capitoline museum is located. In this museum, you will mainly find works of art from the Roman era.
Why is the Capitoline museum not added to this 3 days itinerary Rome? We always enjoy visiting museums, but in our opinion, too many museum visits can also be tiring.
Day excursions from Rome
From Rome, you can do some great day trips. However, these are only recommended if you have been able to spend three days in Rome. If you are on a tour of Italy, we do not recommend these day tours, because you can do this better if you are in Naples or Tuscany. If you are only visiting Rome and you want to see more of Italy, these are perfect solutions to see more of Italy.
A visit to Pompeii is a must. During your visit, you can climb the volcano Vesuvius or visit Naples. Of course, the main reason is to visit Pompeii itself. Pompeii is a city that has been destroyed by lava. You can also visit the island of Capri in front of Naples. On this island, you have beautiful buildings and fantastic accompaniments. Another must if you want to see more of Tuscany take a tour where you drive through the countryside. This is especially nice if you want to see more of the countryside of Italy.
Where to stay in Rome?
Hotels in Rome
Best hotel in Rome: Eccelso Hotel
Eccelso Hotel location is perfect, as it is close to the Vatican City. The rooms are really bea utiful and fully equipped. Make sure to book on time, because this hotel fills up quickly!
Price per night from:
$ 91 double room
Best hotel in Rome: Residenza Il Giglio
Residenza Il Giglio is a guesthouse located in the south of the historic center. This hostel is highly appreciated by other travelers. In the evening you can enjoy the peace and during the day you are quickly at various sights. The rooms are very good and in this price range, you will not easily find anything else of this quality.
Price per night from:
$ 59 double room
Hostels in Rome
Best hostel in Rome: YellowSquare
This hostel has been at the top of all hostels in Rome for years. It is a very versatile hostel where you have good rooms, a nice general space and is perfect for meeting other people. It is located just outside the center so you can enjoy peace.
Price per night from:
$ 28 dorm | $ 91 double room
Best hostel in Rome: New Generation Hostel Rome Center
This hostel is located in the middle of the historic center, a 5-minute walk from the Colosseum. The nice thing about this hostel is that they have a garden where you can enjoy breakfast. The rooms are very neat. Make sure to book on time, because this hostel fills up quickly.
Price per night from:
$ 35 dorm | $ 92 double room
Airbnb in Rome
Best Airbnb in Rome: apartment in the center
If you want to spend the night in an apartment that is located in the center of Rome that is affordable, then you should book this apartment. The apartment is nicely furnished. Be quick to book so as not to miss this opportunity.
Price per night from:
$ 55 double room
Best Airbnb in Florence: apartment with roof terrace
Are you looking for an apartment where you want to enjoy your own roof terrace in the evening? If so, this apartment is something for you. The location is also great, it is located between the historic center and the Vatican city.
Price per night from:
$ 92 double room
What are the best places to eat in Rome?
On our 3 day city trip in Rome, you have read which cafes or restaurants we recommend. In the overview below you can see which places we recommend.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
Via Dei Due Macelli 107, 00187 Rome, Italy
Via del Boschetto, 132, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Piazza del Risorgimento, 7, 00192 Roma RM, Italy
|Lunch||Antica Birreria Peroni|
Via di San Marcello 19, 00187 Rome
|La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali|
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Piazza Cola di Rienzo, 116, 00192 Roma RM, Italy
Via dell’Archetto, 26, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
|Pizzeria Ai Marmi|
Viale Trastevere 53, Trastevere, Lazio, Italy 00153
Via dell’Archetto, 26, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Transport in Rome?
The transport from the airport to the center of Rome costs $7 by shuttle bus and $50 by taxi. You can also check whether accommodation can pick you up at the airport.
We recommend doing everything on foot. The advantage is that you see everything while walking through the city, if you use the metro, for example, you see nothing at all. Don’t forget that Rome is like an open-air museum, which is a shame if you use public transport all the time. It is possible to use a bus, for this you need to buy a ticket. The costs for this are $2 and a ticket is valid for 100 minutes after activation.
What is the best time to visit Rome?
You can visit Rome all year round, but of course, some months are better than the others. We recommend going during the spring (March-May) or fall (September-November). During this period the temperatures are good and it is not as hot as in summer (June-August). Also, the summer is not ideal, because you travel to Europe during the school holidays, which can be very busy. Winter (December-February) is the quietest period, which is nice, but it can be cold there, making it less pleasant.
Is Rome safe?
Yes, Rome is safe to visit! There are highly secured officers at all popular sights if this gives you a sense of security. Of course, just like in any other city, you should use your common sense and pay attention. Also, you can have bad luck, sprain your ankle, your wallet is stolen or other things that ruin your holiday. The best you can do is get the insurance that will cover you. We use World Nomads and highly recommend it. Fill in the form below to get a price indication. Hopefully, you don’t have to use it, but it is better than you are insured. If something happens and you are uninsured it is not pleasant.
Other tips for Rome
- If you want a card that gives you access to all the main attractions of Rome, and you also have a fast track ticket so you can skip all the lines, the Omnia Card is something for you. It is perfect because it saves a lot of money and waiting time. You buy the Omnia Card via the link.
- Rome is guaranteed to be a lot of walking, so wear good shoes.
- To visit the churches in Rome, your knees and shoulders should be covered. Bring a scarf to cover areas. Also, do not wear open shoes, there are buildings where your entry will be denied (eg the Vatican and museums).
- Book all your tickets in advance to avoid long queues. Use the links in this article that we recommend. This will save you a lot of time!
- Try not to visit Rome on the first Sunday of the month. On this day, many of Rome’s attractions are free of charge, so it can be very busy.
We hope this guide gives you a clear picture of how to have a perfect 3 days in Rome. A weekend in Rome is super fun, we have already been there twice and still have not seen everything. Rome has something to offer for everyone. Enjoy your city trip to Rome. If you have any questions, please let us know.
If you want to discover more cities in Italy, Florence is an absolute highlight. 2 days in Florence are enough to have an amazing city trip.
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