3 Days in Rome, Italy: Ultimate Rome Itinerary + Tips!

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Planning a trip to Rome? Delve into our comprehensive guide on how to make the most of 3 days in Rome, Italy. From the grandeur of the Colosseum to the history stored in the Vatican Museums, this Rome itinerary covers everything you’ll want to see on your first visit to the Eternal City. 

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy

Get ready to embark on a whirlwind adventure through the cobblestone streets and ancient wonders of Rome. 

With just 3 days in Rome, you can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history, culture, and food that this iconic city has to offer. 

I’ve visited Rome countless times and each trip feels like I uncover something new. This ultimate Rome itinerary will cover all the staples for a first time visit, plus some hidden gems and off-the-beaten path sights recommended based on first-hand experience. 

Rome Itinerary Contents

Want to save time and energy on planning?

We’ve spent a collective 6+ months living in and traveling around Italy, and we’ve been able to explore a lot of what this country has to offer!

We’ve compiled our experience to create a classic Italy itinerary that hits the top destinations for first time visitors. Our itinerary is spread out over 10 days and includes the highlights of Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice.

We’ll send you our complete 10-day itinerary, filled with tips and advice. Just click below to get your classic Italy itinerary today!

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How many days in Rome is enough?

Rome Italy

You can see in a single day, but you really won’t be able to appreciate the city as you’ll be speeding through and simply checking sights off your list.

With that, I think 2-3 days is an ideal amount of time to explore Rome. It gives you plenty of time to be more thorough and relaxed in your sightseeing.

3 days in Rome itinerary overview

Helpful tip: Be mindful of your bag/wallet. Pickpocketing isn’t uncommon in Rome. Hold onto your purse, especially while eating on the street and don’t put your wallet in your back pocket.

Day 1 of 3 days in Rome, Italy

Rome Italy
View from the top of Castel Sant Angelo

Welcome to Rome! 

Our advice: If you’re feeling jet lagged, head straight to your hotel, drop off your luggage, freshen up, then get outside and get your body moving.

Here’s an overview of today’s schedule:

  • 10:00 a.m. Historical center of Rome
    • Optional: 10:00 a.m. Free walking tour of Rome
    • Optional: 11:00 a.m. Street food tour of Rome
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch 
  • 2:45 p.m. Vatican City*
  • 5:30 p.m. Aperitivo
  • 6:15 p.m. Castel Sant Angelo for sunset
  • 8:00 p.m. Dinner at Collegio Bistrot

*Important note: Try to avoid Sundays and Wednesdays for this day of our Rome itinerary. On Sundays, the Vatican Museums are closed. On Wednesdays the Pope holds an audience in St. Peter’s Square and you won’t be able to enter St. Peter’s Basilica until late in the day. We’d suggest swapping this day with another so it doesn’t fall on a Sunday or Wednesday.  

10:00 a.m. Historic Center (Centro Storico) of Rome

Your arrival time will determine the amount of activities you can fit in on your first day. Ideally we’d suggest getting an early start, but in case you need some time to settle in (or combat jet lag), you can begin a bit later as well. 

Psst! Don’t worry if you aren’t able to see all of the sights in the historic center on your first morning, you’ll have other opportunities to get back there over your 3 days in Rome. 

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona Rome Italy

Start at Piazza Navona, one of the most famous squares in Rome. During ancient times, this area was a stadium for festivals and sports competitions.

Now it’s outlined by restaurants, bars, and coffee shops and filled with complex history, artistic fountains, and a Baroque church. While you are there, see if you can spot the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Fountain of the Moor.

Tip: If you need a morning pick-me-up, stop at Bernini for a coffee and a bite. 


Pantheon Rome Italy

Once you’re finished at Piazza Navona, it’s a quick 5 minute walk to the Pantheon

Standing for nearly 2000 years despite destruction, repairs, and pillaging, the Pantheon is the last piece of the Ancient Roman Empire still intact, and an architectural masterpiece of the time.

With harmonious proportions and a complex history to match, a walk through here is essential for any first-timer in Rome. An audio tour or guided tour will take about an hour (both are ideal for true history buffs), but you can walk through in about 20 minutes without a tour.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy

Continue your tour through the centro storico by heading towards the Trevi Fountain. The walk is just under 10 minutes and on your way you’ll pass the Temple of Hadrian, an ancient Roman structure dedicated to the emperor Hadrian. 

Once you reach the Trevi Fountain, the crowds will be swarming. This Baroque masterpiece sculpted from brilliant travertine needs no introduction as it’s arguably one of the most famous things to do in Rome.

No visit is complete without turning your back to the fountain, tossing two coins over your left shoulder using your right hand, and dreaming of two fortunes: 

One for love.

One to return to Rome.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps Rome Italy

Another 10 minute walk and you’ll find yourself looking up at the famous Spanish Steps from the Piazza di Spagna

Beginning at the Spanish Embassy and curving their way up to the Trinita Dei Monti (Catholic Church), the Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s most spectacular sights and architectural landmarks.

Made of polished stone and decorated with terraces and smaller elements, these wide Baroque steps have been a backdrop in many blockbuster films and inspire artists all over the world. Attempt a climb if you want to get your heart pumping. 

Tip: As of 2019, you are no longer allowed to sit on the Spanish Steps. If caught sitting, the fine can be up to €400, so make sure you rest your legs elsewhere! 

Optional: Do a Free Walking Tour of Rome

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

If you like to orientate yourself to a new city with a local guide, consider taking a free walking tour on your first morning in Rome. Rome Free Walk offers morning tours in English that start at 10:00 a.m. 

The tours last for about 2 hours and hit most of the stops we mentioned in the centro storico plus a few extras. You can secure your spot online for just €1. 

Optional: Do a street food tour of Rome

11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

What better way to dive into this foodie heaven than by going on a food tour? 

Taste the flavors of Rome on this Street Food Tour in your choice of either the Jewish Quarter or Trastevere. On each of the 5 tastings, you’ll enjoy beer or wine and sample anything from supplì, cured meats, gelato, authentic pizza, and seasonal dishes.

What you need to know:

  • Starting time: 11:00 a.m. (Jewish Quarter)
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Price: €48 (~$52 USD)
  • Meeting location 

What guests are saying: 

“The tour offered great history and anecdotal stories. Gianluca took the time to answer our questions and make suggestions on places to visit after the tour, based on the group’s individual interests. The food was good, typical fare for Rome, and good value for the price!” – GetYourGuide Traveler, April 2023

12:30 p.m. Lunch at Cielo Terrace

Cielo Terrace Rome Italy

Open from 12:30-3:00 p.m. for lunch, Cielo Terrace is just a stone’s throw away from Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps. This makes for a great stop if you decide not to do the food tour. 

Be sure to book a table online ahead of time and ask for a table in the shade!

2:45 p.m. Vatican City

St. Peters Basilica Vatican City Rome Italy
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed on Sunday
    • Tip: try to avoid Mondays—it can be busier
  • Entrance fee: €17 (~$18.65 USD), you can purchase regular entrance tickets on the official website

Vatican City is a city-state (meaning it is its own country with its own governing body) in the center of Rome. It’s actually the smallest country in the world!

There are 3 major sights to see in the Vatican: The Vatican Museums, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica

When visiting, you absolutely want to bypass the long ticket lines, which can be done two ways: a skip-the-line guided tour or skip-the-line ticket.

5:30 p.m. Aperitivo at Ginny

A similar adaptation to the westernized ‘happy hour’, an aperitivo is a pre-meal drink with small bites that preps your appetite for dinner. 

Since most Italians eat lunch around 1-2 p.m. and dinner around 8-9 p.m., it’s the perfect in-between where you can wind down your day with a drink, have some small snacks, and take part in local culture. 

To rest and kill time between your Vatican tour and the sunset hour, stop into Ginny Cocktail Bar for your first taste of aperitivo in Rome. 

6:15 p.m. Castel Sant Angelo for sunset

Rome Italy
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (the ticketing office closes at 6:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance fee: €15 (~$16.46 USD)

This 2nd-century castle towers against the bank of the Tiber River and was originally the Mausoleum of Hadrian. 

Inside you can wander opulent rooms and admire artwork, medieval weapons, prisons, and apartments that served as refuge for the popes. But the real draw is all the way at the top… 

If you time your visit right, catch the sunset from the top of the castle to see all of Rome illuminate as the sun goes down. 

This is the best place to see the sunset over Rome, in my opinion. You don’t have to book ahead of time, so wait to see what the weather is like before making your way there on the day of. 

Make sure you arrive no later than 6:15 p.m. to get your tickets (which can sometimes take 15-20 minutes of standing in line), as the ticket office closes promptly at 6:30 p.m. There is the whole castle to explore, so I’d plan to get there about an hour before sunset

Tip: Even if you are planning your trip months in advance, you can check the sunset time on the exact day you’ll be in Rome by Googling “sunset time in Rome on [exact date]”.

8:00 p.m. Dinner at Collegio Bistrot

Pesto pasta in Rome Italy

Collegio Bistro is a 1930s winery-turned-upscale eatery. I stumbled upon on this place on my last trip to Rome and it was easily my favorite meal of the trip! The pesto pasta and steak were cooked to perfection and the service was so friendly and welcoming. Plus they were not busy during the entire dinner service, so it’s likely you won’t have a wait time.

Day 2 of 3 days in Rome, Italy

Rome Italy

Here’s an overview of today’s schedule:

  • 9:00 a.m. Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill*
  • 12:45 p.m.  Lunch at Roscioli
  • 3:00 p.m. Capitoline Hill and museum
  • 5:00 p.m. Free time / rest
    • Optional: Aperitivo at Oro Bistrot
  • 7:00 p.m. Explore Trastevere
  • 8:00 p.m. Dinner in Trastevere

*Make sure this isn’t the first Sunday of the month unless you’re prepared to wait in very long lines. The Colosseum and Roman Forum are free to enter on the first Sunday of every month (great news for travelers on a shoe-string budget! – doesn’t save you any money if you are planning on doing a tour), but that is usually the busiest day of the month. Even if you have a “skip-the-line” ticket, you won’t be able to skip the line on this day so it’s best to go with a timed entry tour on any other day. 

9:00 a.m. Tour the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Start your morning off early with a tour of “ancient Rome” and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.  

The Colosseum

Colosseum Rome Italy
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: €18 (~$19.75 USD) *tickets include entrance to all 3 areas

For 400 years, the Colosseum was used as an entertainment complex at the center of ancient Rome. The area hosted gladiatorial games, battle reenactments, theater plays, and even prisoner executions for an audience of nearly 50,000 people.

As magnificent as it was during its time, it mirrors the same significance today as it’s the symbol and centerpiece of Rome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the new Seven Modern Wonders of the World.  

Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Roman Forum Rome Italy
View of the Roman Forum from Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: €18 (~$19.75 USD) *same ticket as the Colosseum, includes entrance to all 3 areas

Adjacent to the colosseum is the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. 

Once a thriving market, the Roman Forum was slowly transformed into the heart and soul of the ancient Roman Empire after all the most important temples, government buildings, and monuments were built by a line of emperors.

While today it’s mostly spare columns and ruins, its fascinating history makes it easy to imagine the magnificence of what it once was as you wander through it.

The best view of the Roman Forum is from the Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino on Palatine Hill. 

I recommend doing a small group guided tour that combines a look at the inside of the colosseum with a walk through the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to make the most of your experience. 

Personal experience: I’ve done these small group skip-the-line tours twice now and while it is not private, I had good experiences both times. You will typically get a headphone set so you can hear the guide clearly while still wandering at your own pace. I’ve found the guides to be extremely knowledgeable and add value to the experience. 

You can purchase tickets for both at just €18. However, you will have to wait in line (which can take hours) and you won’t get the insider knowledge a guide can provide.

12:45 p.m. Lunch at Roscioli

Once you’ve finished your tour of ancient Rome, make your way to Roscioli Salumeria for one of the best lunches of your trip!

Roscioli is a historic Roman restaurant that serves genuine and authentic Italian cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. It also doubles as a cheese and salami counter if you want to bring something back to your Airbnb to snack on.

It’s about a 15 minute walk from the Forum to the restaurant.

Personal experience: This is another favorite spot in Rome. I read about it on all the blogs and it was mentioned on a food tour I did in Rome. I went for lunch with my mom and friend on our last trip and it was one of our favorite meals! Even though it is quite popular and books out well in advance. 

A reservation is required to dine here for lunch and you’ll want to try to book months ahead of time if traveling during peak season. They have seatings for lunch at 12:30, 12:45 and at 2:30 and 2:45. I recommend booking the 12:30 or 12:45 seating after your colosseum tour. 

3:00 p.m. Capitoline Hill and museum

Capitoline Museum Rome Italy
  • Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Entrance fee: €32.12 ($35.24 USD)

After a leisurely lunch, make your way back towards the Roman Forum to nearby Capitoline Hill. It’s another 15 minute walk to walk off lunch. 

Sitting atop one of the seven most significant hills Rome was built upon, the Capitoline Hill & Museum was designed by Michaelangelo and is filled with ancient sculptures and world-famous works.

Spend an hour or so marveling at iconic works like the Capitoline Wolf (nicknamed “She-wolf”), Bust of Medusa by Bernini, The Dying Gaul, and Palazzo Nuovo.

Fun fact: It’s believed to be the oldest museum in the world!  

5:00 p.m. Free time (rest or aperitivo)

Aperitivo at Oro Bistrot Rome Italy
Aperitivo at Oro Bistro rooftop

Once you’ve had your fill of the Capitoline Museum, you’ll have a few free hours before it’s time to head over to Trastevere for dinner. 

You can use this time to head back to your accommodation and rest. Or if you’re in need of some refueling, this is a great time to grab aperitivo at Oro Bistrot (just under a 10 minute walk from Capitoline Hill). 

Oro has a rooftop terrace with views over Rome, including the Altar of the Fatherland. You can book online for a seat at the cocktail bar to guarantee your spot, or just show up and hope for a table in between the lunch and dinner hours. 

7:00 p.m. Explore Trastevere

Trastevere Rome Italy

The labyrinth of old-world cobbled streets, Middle Age architecture, and touches of ancient wealth, all topped with a bohemian atmosphere create the local gem, Trastevere.

Trastevere is my favorite neighborhood in Rome. It has a more local feel than elsewhere in the city and it’s known for its food and nightlife scene. 

Fun fact: Its name is unironically made of two Italian words meaning “across the Tiber”, tras tavere, that also describes its literal location.

You can walk the cobblestoned maze of streets here and enjoy the atmosphere for a bit before or after dinner. 

8:00 p.m. Dinner in Trastevere

Most of the restaurants in Trastevere do not take reservations and are first-come, first-served. There are a few “hot spots” here that have really blown up and will have long queues of tourists waiting for a table, but I found the not-so-hot-spots to be just as good (sometimes better!).

gelato in Trastevere Rome Italy

Tip: My favorite gelato in all of Rome was at Fiordiluna in Trastevere. Try the strawberry and mango flavors!

If you’re looking for nightlife after dinner, Freni e Frizioni is a trendy cocktail bar right on the river.  

Day 3 of 3 days in Rome, Italy

Rome Italy

Here’s an overview of today’s schedule:

  • Option 1: 7:30 a.m. Photo tour of Rome with professional photographer
  • Option 2: 9:30 a.m. Fiat Tour of Rome
  • Option 3: Self-guided historic center tour
  • Brunch
  • 1:30 pm: Altar of the Fatherland
  • 2:30 pm: Via dei Fori Imperiali
  • 3:00 pm: Villa Borghese Gallery, Museum and Gardens
  • 5:00 pm: Aperitivo 
  • 8:00 pm: Dinner

To start off your morning on day 3 of your 3 days in Rome itinerary, you have a few different options to choose from. 

Option 1: 7:30 a.m. Photo tour of Rome with professional photographer

Professional Photo Tour in Rome (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

Get amazing professional photos taken in front of some of the most iconic sights in Rome.

On a Professional Photography Tour with a local, you’ll explore the iconic and hidden gems of the city and wander in a unique and fun way. We recommend booking the early tour so you can get memorable photos without the crowds.

Tip: Stop for coffee at Tazzo d’oro (near Trevi) after your photoshoot!

What you need to know:

What guests are saying:

“Our private Photoshoot with Latif was incredible! We booked a 6:30am session to beat the crowds and Latif was an amazing photographer. He took us to multiple locations around Rome, helped us pose and showed us the photos to make sure we liked them before parting ways…” – Presley, United States (April 2023)

Option 2: 9:30 a.m. Fiat Tour of Rome

Tour Rome in a vintage Fiat (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

Embrace the meaning of “la dolce vita” (the sweet life) as you cruise through Rome’s ancient streets in the passenger seat of a cherry red Fiat.

On this Fiat Tour of Rome you’ll stop at the city’s most spectacular squares, churches, monuments, and romantic alleyways. Not only does your guide act as a personal photographer, but you’ll stop along the way to taste Rome’s best coffee, wine, and gelato as well as have a picnic.

We recommend booking the 9:30 a.m. tour to make the most of the morning, but not too early to enjoy your wine and gelato. 

What you need to know:

What guests are saying: 

“We had the most magical morning zooming around the city with Erion and Landi! […] They gave us the perfect overview of the historical heart of Rome and showed us a few hidden gems as well. I loved how the tour was early in the morning. We had several places to ourselves and got to watch the city wake up around us.” – Hayley, United States (April 2023)

Option 3: Self-guided tour of the historic center of Rome

If you didn’t have enough time on your first day to make it to all the iconic sights (or maybe you opted for the food tour instead), you can spend the morning doing a self-guided tour through the historic center. 

Follow the route we outlined on day 1 of this itinerary and get an early start (before 9 a.m. if you want to really avoid the crowds). 


After an early morning of sightseeing, you’ll want to refuel in a big way. Breakfast isn’t a big meal in Italy and most Italians go for a cappuccino and a cigarette and call it a day. 

If you’re craving an American-style breakfast, we recommend going for brunch at Barnum Roma Cafe. This popular cafe is open for brunch from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 

They don’t take reservations so you may find you have to wait in line a bit. But it’ll all be worth it once you see their menu, which includes favorites like eggs benedict, bagels and locks, avocado toast and pancakes. 

1:30 pm: Altar of the Fatherland

Rome Italy

After you’ve been sufficiently refueled at brunch, it’s time to check out the Altar of the Fatherland, aka that big white building in the center of town and one of the most recognized landmarks in Rome. 

It’s a 20 minute walk from Barnum Cafe, so you’ll be able to walk off that big breakfast you just had. 

The Altar of the Fatherland, or Altare della Patria, was erected as a symbol of Italy’s unification and national pride. This grandiose structure, also known as the Vittoriano, was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. 

Dominating Piazza Venezia with its massive white marble façade, the Altar of the Fatherland features a majestic equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by an eternal flame. 

You can climb the sweeping staircase to the terrace for panoramic views of Rome for free, but the best view is from the rooftop. You’ll need to take the glass elevator which costs €33 for a ticket. 

2:30 pm: Via dei Fori Imperiali

Rome Italy

From the Altar of the Fatherland, you can stroll down the Via dei Fori Imperiali towards the Colosseum. The walk will take about 15 minutes without stopping, but we suggest stopping for photo opportunities whenever you desire. 

The Via dei Fori Imperiali is a grand avenue flanked by the ruins of the Imperial Forums, which connects the iconic Colosseum with Piazza Venezia. 

Constructed under Mussolini’s regime in the 1930s, it provides unparalleled views of archaeological wonders such as the Forum of Caesar, Forum of Augustus, and Trajan’s Market

3:00 pm: Villa Borghese Gallery, Museum & Gardens

Borghese Museum
  • Hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Friday – Sunday, Tuesday), 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Thursday), 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Wednesday), closed Monday
  • Entrance fee: €13 ($14.26 USD), you can purchase regular entrance tickets on the official website

Once you’ve had your fill of ancient Rome, you’ll want to get across town to check out the Borghese Gallery and gardens. This is the one instance where we think taking a taxi will be your best option (the walk would take nearly an hour). 

The Borghese Gallery & Museum is a 16th-century family home that has been turned into an acclaimed art gallery featuring the family’s private collection and breathtaking landscape gardens. 

Walk through the Galleria Borghese and you’ll be able to admire one of the finest art collections in the world including early pieces by Bernini, Cavaggio, and other impressive 15th to 18th-century works

Rome Italy
View of St. Peter’s Basilica from Borghese Gardens viewpoint

Just outside are the 19th-century Borghese Gardens that serve as an outdoor oasis dotted with sculptures. Don’t miss the Water Clock and Temple of Asclepius and be sure to check out the view from this viewpoint

Good to know: Book your ticket in advance as time slots are limited and fill up fast. Grab a skip the line ticket to save a bit of time.

6:00 p.m. Aperitivo at AcquaRoof Terrazza Molinari

Relax after a long day of sightseeing with an aperitivo on yet another fantastic rooftop at AcquaRoof Terrazza across from the gardens. Get there right when they open at 6 p.m. for a chance at the best table. 

If you feel so inclined, you can stay here for dinner as well, but I do recommend making a reservation ahead of time. 

8:00 p.m. Dinner

Pizza in Rome Italy

Tonight will be your final dinner in Rome and we’ve got choices for you!

If you really want to end your time in Rome on a high note, head to Imàgo. This Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant has a terrace with stunning views over Rome. Be sure to make your reservation well in advance and be prepared to put down a credit card for prepayment.  

If you prefer a more casual fare, head to Sorbillo Roma Pizzeria for some of the best Neapolitan-style pizza in town. They don’t take reservations, so get there early (closer to 7 p.m.) if you don’t want to wait!  

And finally, if you want to go out in the more traditional sense, Osteria del Sostegno is a family-run trattoria in the historic center serving up Roman dishes like my personal favorite, cacio e pepe pasta. 

Rome itinerary map

3 days in Rome Italy itinerary map

Click on the map above to be taken to the interactive version in Google Maps and have this 3 days in Rome itinerary at your fingertips. 

Have more than 3 days in Rome?

If you have more than 3 days to spend in Rome, that’s great! There’s so much to do and see in this part of the world, you can never have too much time!

Our first suggestion would be to get out and explore other parts of the country. There are plenty of day trips from Rome to do just that. We’d recommend Pompeii, Florence or Sorrento if you’ve never been!

If you want to spend more time exploring the Eternal City, here are some suggestions for more things to do.

  • Venture through the Borghese Museum & Gardens
  • Enjoy a picnic at Giardino degli Aranci 
  • Check out the views from Belvedere del Gianicolo
  • Visit the eerie Capuchin Bone Church
  • Take an Italian cooking class

We have plenty more suggestions in our things to do in Rome guide. 

How to get to Rome

When visiting Rome, you’ll likely be entering the city from the airport or the train station. 

It’s important to note that Rome has two airports. Both are just over 30 minutes from the city center by car in different directions. 

Important: Always double-check which airport you are flying out of before you make your way there! (Unfortunately, I had to learn this lesson the hard way.)

How to get to Rome city center from FCO airport

Leonardo Express Airport Train Rome Italy

The most efficient, straightforward, and inexpensive way to get to Rome from the airport is using the Leonardo Express, a service that is a dedicated airport-to-city train.

It departs from inside the airport everyday, every 15-30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 11:23 p.m. when the last train leaves.

The ride costs €14 ($15.36 USD) and takes 30-minutes to get to Rome. You can purchase tickets at the ticket window at the train station or using self-service machines. 

Note: you need to validate your ticket before you board the train and hold onto it until you exit. Validate it by putting it in the little yellow box to get punched before you board, otherwise it is a hefty fine.

Alternatively, you can book a car on Welcome Pickups, which is a bit more expensive for the convenience. They’re a highly-rated service with English speaking drivers, and more streamlined than getting a taxi.

How to take the train to Rome

Trains in Italy

If you’re coming to Rome from elsewhere in Italy via train, you’ll want to make sure you book your ticket to the Roma Termini station, which is the most centrally located.

Roma Tiburtina is usually the other stop on the high speed trains. They sound similar so they can easily be confused. If you go here, you’ll wind up pretty far outside of town. 

If you take the train to Roma Termini, you’ll be in the center of town and can easily take a taxi or maybe even walk to your accommodation. 

Trenitalia makes it easy to view schedules and book your train tickets online or through their app. Just be sure to book the non-stop high speed trains and avoid the much slower (and cheaper) commuter trains, unless trying to save money. 

Best time to visit Rome

Trastevere Rome Italy

The best time to go to Rome is in the shoulder seasons from late March to May and September to early October. The weather is perfect for sightseeing and the streets aren’t filled with tourists yet.

Peak season in Rome is during the summer from late May to early September. Although it’s when everyone flocks to Rome, I recommend avoiding the summer months because it’s very hot and the crowds/lines will be at an all time high.

The least crowded time to visit Rome is during the winter. This can be an enjoyable time to wander the city and immerse yourself in local culture as crowds are nearly obsolete and the local businesses stay open unlike the smaller coastal towns.

Psst! Find out the best time to visit Italy based on seasonal weather patterns in each region and your personal travel style.

How to get around Rome

Transportation is plentiful in Rome. Using the public bus and metro systems and walking are the two most economical options. 

You can choose from buses, trams, light rail trains, and the metro to get around. They’re all run by the same operator, ATAC Company, and you can ride them all using a single transportation card. 

These cards vary from 100-minutes to week-long tickets so you can buy one that suits your trip. Purchase one at any of the metro stations using cash.

Since there are so many transportation options, compare the routes vs. walking on Google Maps so you can choose the fastest/most convenient option.

Ubers and taxis are everywhere in Rome. However, Uber only operates in Uber XL or Uber Black, so you’ll be paying inflated fees. Taxis will be cheaper than Uber, but still an expensive option so keep that in mind. You can pay and hail one using the Free Now App

Tip: If you hail a taxi off the street (or get one from the taxi line at the train station), be sure to check they are using the meter to charge for your ride. A lot of drivers will try to tell you it’s a fixed rate, but you can politely decline and find another taxi with a meter. The exception to this is taking a taxi to the airport. It is a €50 fixed rate from the city center and this will be posted inside all official taxis.  

Where to stay in Rome

There are many rione (neighborhoods) of Rome to choose from, each with its own distinctive character, feel, and attractions. 

We have a complete breakdown of the best neighborhoods in Rome, plus our top Airbnb and hotel recommendations in our Where to Stay in Rome guide.

Here are a few quick picks…

The RomeHello (Booking)

Budget hostel: The RomeHello

A stone’s throw from the main terminal and all the main cultural attractions in the city center, this hostel is in the perfect location. You’ll have everything you need here with clean and spacious rooms, nightly events to meet others, a shared kitchen, and breakfast buffet in the morning.

Lafarnese Loft (Airbnb)

Mid-range budget option: Lafarnese Loft

Conveniently situated at Campo de’ Fiori market, in the historic center of Rome, this loft apartment will make you feel right at home. It has all the modern comforts you need including a full kitchen, air conditioning, and fast Wifi. All of Rome’s top attractions are a short walk away from this stay.

Navona Grand Suite (Booking)

Splurge hotel: Navona Grand Suite

This traditionally decorated hotel will make you feel opulent during your time in Rome. It’s located in the center of the historic district with all the amenities to match: free Wifi, daily housekeeping, a private balcony, kettle, mini fridge, and mini bar.

Rome Italy

Where to Stay in Rome: Neighborhood Guide + Best Hotels

Rome is an ancient city with many diverse and historic neighborhoods. If you need help narrowing down where to stay in Rome, look no further! In this guide, we break down each neighborhood in detail so you can figure out the best option for your time in Rome.

Budget for 3 days in Rome

Rome Italy

The average daily cost of expenses in Rome per traveler, based on double occupancy accommodation and not including flight costs, is $225 USD per day. This would make your budget around $675 USD per person for 3 days in Rome

Now as with all budgets, there are lots of variables to consider, ways to save money and ways to spend a lot more. Below we’ll break down the average costs of some popular activities and dining in Rome so you can get a good idea for your own budgeting. 


Based on double-occupancy rooms 

  • Single hostel bed in dormitory: €66
  • One bedroom Airbnb: €175
  • Splurge hotel room: €350


Per person average meal costs


Cost for a single entry ticket or tour

  • Walking tour of Rome: Free!
  • Entrance to Castel Sant Angelo: €11
  • Photo tour of Rome: €35
  • Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel skip-the-line tour: €47
  • Entrance to Capitoline Museum: €16
  • Roman Forum and Colosseum entrance: €18
  • Small group tour of Roman Forum and Colosseum incl. entrance: €74
  • Food tour in Rome: €48


Taxi costs are estimates – always ask for the meter

  • Leonardo Express from airport to city center: €14 
  • Walking: Free!
  • Taxi from Colosseum to Vatican (30 min): €15
  • Taxi from Roma Termini Station to Vatican (30 min): €15
  • Taxi from Roma Termini Station to Campo di Fiori market (16 min): €12
  • Taxi from Roma Termini Station to Monti neighborhood (10 min): €10

What to pack for visiting Rome

Rome Italy

These packing essentials will make your 3 days in Rome more comfortable.

  • Insulated water bottle (the tap water in Rome is clean enough to drink)
  • Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sunhat (trust us, the Rome summer heat is no joke!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (you’ll be doing a lot of walking for this Rome itinerary)
  • Scarf or a light shawl (to cover up when entering churches)
  • Rain jacket and/or umbrella
  • International SIM card
  • Universal adapter plug (Europe has Type C outlets)
  • Camera and tripod (this one’s our favorite for travel!)

Be sure to download our complete packing list for Italy! It’s packed with good suggestions and insider tips to help plan your Italy trip. And it’s completely FREE, so why not!?

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Want the whole trip planned for you?

If you want to save hours of your life spent planning, we’ve already put in more than enough for you and us combined. Trust us.

And we’re happy to share everything we learned — from digging through reviews, Youtube and all sorts of Internet rabbit holes, as well as actually living and traveling in Italy on multiple occasions.

We’ve put together the perfect classic Italy itinerary for your first visit. This itinerary includes day-by-day instructions, photos and tips that will help you plan your road trip through classic Italian destinations like Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Cinque Terre. 

Highlights of our Classic Italy itinerary

Based on the collective time we’ve spent living in and traveling around Italy, we gathered all of the classic Italian experiences to have on your first visit. Highlights of our classic Italy itinerary include: 

  • Discover ancient wonders on a tour of the Colosseum & Roman Forum
  • Enjoy the best Italian street foods on a food tour
  • Witness sunsets all over Italy from atop of a castle, across from the iconic Cinque Terre viewpoint, and from Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Indulge in pasta at authentic Italian bistros
  • Get your fill of world-famous gelato
  • Conquer the most epic hike along the coast of Cinque Terre
  • Climb to the top of the most famous duomo in the world
  • See Renaissance art at some of the best museums in the world
  • Enjoy aperitivo from a rooftop bar across from Il Duomo
  • Perfect the Italian art of La Dolce Vita
  • & so, SO much more!

We’ve spent hours of research putting this all together, just for you!

In full transparency, this is a paid itinerary since it has taken an incredible amount of time for us to create. 

However, we keep all of our paid itineraries affordable – just $17 for an entire 10-day itinerary. We think this is an incredible value considering almost all your planning will be done for you!

Rome travel resources

Check out these other helpful articles when planning your trip to Rome…

More resources for traveling in Italy

We have TONS of resources on travel in Italy and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate Italy Travel Guide for all the answers to all your questions, or read some of our favorite articles below!

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3 days in Rome Italy | Two Wandering Soles
3 days in Rome Italy | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

What did you think of our 3 days in Rome itinerary? Are you planning a trip to Rome and still have questions? Leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

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