If you have a short 2-day trip to the Italian capital, find out what you can see and do in just 2 days in Rome. Here you will find a complete itinerary ready for your trip.
More info about your city trip to Rome
The city is a unique, huge open-air museum – sights at every turn! And thanks to our guide you will make the most of your 2 days in Rome.
table of contentToggle
When is a good time to visit Rome?
Although Rome’s appeal is timeless, visiting during the shoulder months (April to June, and September to October) provides the best blend of pleasant weather, manageable crowd levels, and captivating local events.
Are 2 Days in Rome enough to explore the city?
First of all, you must be aware that 2 days in Rome will not be enough to see, experience and understand the whole city. So instead of rushing from one point to another, take your time to visit the carefully selected spots.
Planning is the key here! Our program is tight, but it includes all the highlights and still gives you enough time to enjoy Rome!
If you have limited time, choosing the right accommodation is especially important. To lose as little time as possible, it is recommended to invest a little more money and book a central hotel or apartment. This will not only save you time, but also money for public transport. After all, you can reach any sights within thirty minutes of leisurely walking.
What to do in Rome in 2 days?
All the routes we will take you along in the following can be easily covered on foot. Because you have to keep in mind that the network of buses is not badly developed, but spontaneous trips are not easily possible. This is because tickets can only be purchased (in advance) at metro stations or tabacchi stores.
Day 1 in Rome: Ancient Rome and Capitoline Museums
Dive headfirst into the historical heart of Rome. Start your day by time-traveling back to ancient Rome, exploring the monumental Colosseum and the Roman Forum. As daylight fades, soak up the enchanting vibes of the Trastevere neighborhood, a picturesque quarter with narrow, winding streets and distinctive charm.
01 Bar del Mose
Before your sightseeing starts, however, you should fortify yourself for the long day. Note that although there are many beautiful cafés with a view of the Colosseum, they charge horrendous prices. We recommend the cafés of side streets of Rome, for example, the Bar del Mose.
Here, in the early morning, the locals also stand at the counter and drink their caffe – that’s what they call espresso in Italy – and eat a piece of sweet pastry with it.
This is not only typically Italian, but also dirt cheap. A caffe or cappuccino while sitting is of course also possible, but much more expensive. Also have a sandwich, panini, or focaccia packed for later – because it will be a long morning!
We start the sightseeing of today in the eternal city at the absolute highlight for most visitors to Rome: the Rome Colosseum. The legendary amphitheater has been standing since the first century AD and attracts tourists from all over the world.
If you’re unlucky, you’ll wait a long time at the ticket booth to then find out that there are no seats available for the day. Please save yourself from this frustration and reserve your desired time with an online ticket in advance.
If you have chosen one of the OMNIA Card, the entrance fee is included, but you still have to book by phone or mail.
03 Palatin Hill
After your visit to the Colosseum, your ticket also gives you access to Palatine Rome, the founding site of Rome, and the Forum Romanum Rome – the former political and social center of the Empire.
If you want the full works, invest in a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and over the Palatine Hill.
04 The Roman Forum
With your tickets you also have access to the Forum Romanum Rome. After your visit to the historical excavations, stroll along the wide boulevard Via dei Fiori Imperiali, which Mussolini had built for his parades.
Today it is traffic-calmed and leads you past the remains of the Trajan’s Forum directly to the lively Piazza Venezia, over which the Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II towers. The locals call it the typewriter. A glass elevator takes you to a great viewing platform!
05 Circus Maximus
If you have a little time left, you can make a detour to the Circus Maximus!
Admittedly: At first, many will not see more than a huge green meadow in the middle of the city. This is because virtually nothing remains of the former Circus Maximus, the largest venue in ancient Rome.
On an impressive area of 600 by 140 meters, the Circus hosted dangerous chariot races, bloody gladiator fights and other events designed to keep the people happy. In its heyday, the marble-clad grandstands could seat no less than 250,000 people. By comparison, the Allianz Arena holds just 75,000 spectators.
In ancient Rome, the circus was a long arena where chariot races were held.
06 Kapitolinische Museen EN
An alternative for the morning or afternoon: The Capitoline Museums! But they are really big and you should take a little time. But if you love museums, you should still go here – even if you only have 2 days in Rome.
They are spread over three buildings on the Capitoline Hill in the heart of Rome. In addition to an extensive art gallery, the museums offer several collections of antiquities. An absolute must is a visit to the so-called Palazzo dei Conservatori, which houses the highlights of the exhibition.
The Capitoline Museums have their origins already in the 15th century – more precisely in 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a bronze collection, which was exhibited in one of the palazzi on Capitoline Hill. Numerous other donations followed, including from the popes who followed Sixtus IV. The reason was simple: the church leaders wanted to rid the Vatican of pagan sculptures and images!
Probably the biggest highlight is the Capitoline She-Wolf: this statue thematizes the legend of the founding of Rome. It shows a she-wolf suckling two human children – Romolus and Remus.
07 Bocca della Verità
Passing the Capitol Hill and along the Tiber, the route leads to the Bocca della Verità – the Mouth of Truth. A photo here is among the most popular Rome memories of all.
According to legend, the stone slab with the large face and wide-open mouth used to serve as a kind of anonymous mailbox through which Rome’s inhabitants could “blacken” their fellow citizens for misconduct. If someone threw in a false accusation, the mouth was supposed to bite off the liar’s hand. So far, however, he has always shown himself merciful!
Over one of the Tiber bridges you now leave the center of the city – and find yourself in Trastevere Rome, the most popular and currently most popular neighborhood of Rome!
Picturesque alleys, above which white laundry dangles high between the houses, as well as numerous cafés and restaurants make the special charm of this district.
For a sweet afternoon temptation, head to the pâtisserie Le Levain – which also takes you to the neighborhood’s picturesque churches and squares!
09 Ivo a Trastevere
Also, don’t miss the chance to climb the steep steps up to the Gianicolo hill. You will be rewarded not only with the splashing of the beautiful fountain Fontana di Paola, but also with a spectacular view over the city – especially at sunset, when the whole city shimmers orange!
Afterwards you can end the evening in Trastevere – for example with a pizza at Ivo a Trastevere, one of our absolute favorite pizzerias in the city!
Day 2 in Rome: Vatican City, Borghese & Streets of Rome
Today, Vatican City calls. Discover the rich trove of art in the Vatican Museums and marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon, escape the city’s bustle with a tranquil visit to the Villa Borghese. As dusk falls, treat your taste buds to a gourmet experience at Il Pagliaccio.
01 Vatican Museums
Today it’s The early bird catches the worm! Because the early morning hours are the best time to visit the Vatican Museums.
If you arrive here at “regular” times and want to get a ticket, you will wait up to 3 (!) hours. The queues literally go around the block, and that’s not an exaggeration.
To save time (which is scarce in 3 days anyway), we recommend you the guided tour, in which you will meet your guide before the museums opens, so you can be among the first visitors.
Afterwards, you can enjoy the Stanzas of Raphael, the Sistine Chapel and other highlights of the Vatican Museums without being pushed around in the crowds.
In addition, your guide will lead you through the group exit of the Sistine Chapel – and this will take you directly to the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica. Thus, you will be spared the waiting time at the security check, which can be 2 hours in high season.
02 Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo’s frescoes and mural paintings in the Sistine Chapel are among the greatest works of art in history. Millions of tourists strain their necks every year to marvel at every detail of the ceiling paintings in the private chapel of the Pope !
03 St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is considered not only one of the largest, but also probably the most important of all churches in the world.
Over 120 years was built at the religious center of the Vatican City, which is even more impressive from the inside than already seen from the outside!
In addition to a tour of the impressive basilica, you should not miss a climb to the dome with a unique view over Rome.
04 Castel Sant'Angelo
Via the Petersplatz and the Via della Conciliazione you stroll directly to the next highlight: the Engelsburg. The fortress, located directly on the Tiber, is also a popular destination for tourists, but the waiting times here – compared to other attractions – keep within limits.
In addition to the exhibitions on the diverse history of the castle, the view from the roof is especially spectacular!
As a reward for the climb, take a little break in the nice café located up here and try some delicious Arancini – the typical-Italian fried rice balls . But don’t fill your belly too much, because feasting is on the agenda for later!
05 Campo de' Fiori
The way leads you now to the beautiful Campo de Fiori. In the morning a market is held here, in the evening it turns into a meeting place for young and old!
For you, it’s the starting point for the ultimate culinary Rome experience: a Street Food Tour with a local through the butcher stores, bakeries, ice cream parlors and specialty stores of the old town!
From salsiccia to the finest cheese, family recipe pizza, arancini – here you’ll taste everything the city has to offer
Our personal highlight: the fried artichokes in the former Jewish ghetto! After an ice cream to top it off, you will fall into bed completely satisfied.
06 Trevi Fountain
The Rome Trevi Fountain is also certainly one of the most photographed sights in Rome. The fountain has with its almost 50 meters wide basin and the 26 meters high reaching ornaments, which are integrated into the back of the stately Palazzo di Poli, truly gigantic dimensions!During the thirty-year construction phase between 1732 and 1762, architect Nicola Da Salvi had both travertine from Tivoli and the finest marble from Carrera processed. Unfortunately, he himself did not live to see the completion of the fountain, but more than 250 years after its construction, his masterpiece still stands as brilliantly as on the first day!Since the fountain is freely accessible, there is really something going on here at any time of day or night. More relaxed it is in any case in the early morning hours – except on Mondays. Because then the fountain is pumped empty to sweep up the wish coins thrown into the fountain by tourists. More detailed info on this, of course, can be found in our article on the Trevi Fountain.
- Admission price: free of charge!Opening hours: around the clock.
07 Le Mani in Pasta EN
For the perfect goodbye dinner visit The Le Mani in Pasta: excellent homemade pasta and a chic restaurant with snow-white tablecloths.
Whether it’s classic dishes or something unusual like gnocchi with radishes, everyone will find what they’re looking for here. The fish dishes here are also always a safe bet. And those who want to enjoy lobster and champagne are just as welcome here.
How to save money in 2 days in Rome?
Among the tours offered, we particularly recommend the guided tour of the Colosseum, the guided tour of the Vatican and the guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica with ascent of the dome.
Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Priority Access Guide
Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket
Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb
2,5 - 3 hours
Valid for 1 day
1,5 - 2 hours
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
The Omnia Card
The OMNIA Card is a fantastic city pass choice for travelers seeking to explore the breadth of Rome’s iconic attractions. It covers admission to top sites such as the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel Rome and Colosseum, saving you from long ticket lines.
Moreover, it includes a metro card for more than 48 hours. With unlimited use of the hop-on-hop-off bus for more than 48 hours, getting around becomes a breeze. Considering its convenience, time-saving benefits, and potential for significant savings, the OMNIA Card is truly an unrivaled companion for your Rome exploration in 2 days.
What to pack for 2 days in Rome?
Before we take you on our ideal itinerary, we’ve put together a few things that should definitely be on your trip!
- Comfortable shoes: Rome is best discovered on foot! Pack your favorite comfortable pedals, because you’ll be doing miles on cobblestones.
- Camera: The itinerary will take you along the most famous sights. We are sure that you will not be able to stop taking pictures.
- Fanny pack: Fortunately, a currently again totally hip accessory – and the best way to always have your valuables safely in sight and under control. Rome is unfortunately one of the world’s strongholds for pickpockets!
- Sunscreen and hat: even in the off-season, the Italian sun burns mercilessly on bright days! Since you’ll be outdoors a lot, protect yourself from sunburn and sting!
Are 2 days in Rome enough?
If it really can’t be arranged any other way, you can also discover Rome in just 2 days. But get ready for a pretty tight schedule if you really want to see a lot. In my opinion, it is better to stay at least 3 days so that you have less stress and more time.
What's the best way to get around Rome?
Given Rome’s compact size, the city is best explored on foot, providing you with the opportunity to soak in its stunning sights at your own pace. For longer distances, the Metro is efficient, while the hop-on-hop-off bus included in the OMNIA Card can be convenient for sightseeing.
Can I cover all major attractions in Rome in 2 days?
While Rome is packed with historical sites and museums, a well-planned 2-day itinerary can cover most of the city’s top attractions, such as the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Roman Forum, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Remember to balance your time between famous landmarks and exploring local neighborhoods.
Where should I eat in Rome for authentic Italian cuisine?
Rome has a rich culinary scene:
- For a hearty pasta, head to “Da Enzo al 29” in Trastevere.
- For the city’s famous Supplì, try “I Supplì“.
- For a gourmet experience, “Il Pagliaccio” offers a modern take on traditional dishes.
More info about your city trip to Rome
Das Reisen ist meine große Leidenschaft. Ich liebe es, die Wanderwege in Rio de Janeiro zu erkunden, die besten Strände in Miami zu entdecken, die ältesten Museen in Rom zu besuchen und noch die besten Gerichte in Paris zu verkosten.