Our guide to Rome with everything you need to know!
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Rome is a beautiful historical city in Italy that you must see once in your life. In your Rome vacation you can get to know the “la dolce vita” and walk in the footsteps of the once most powerful empire in Europe.
Where the Roman Empire once developed, historical ruins now stand. Rome is the perfect blend of modern city life and historical sights with unique architecture. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the capital of Italy for your vacation in more detail.
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The top things to see in Rome
As I said, Rome is a very historic city. Therefore, there are of course a few sights that you must not miss on your Rome vacation. To make your trip easier, we’ve picked out the top 5 things to see in Rome.
- Colosseum: The Colosseum is known worldwide and is the landmark of Rome. It has even been included in the list of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World because it is the largest amphitheater in the world. A visit to the Colosseum is an absolute must during your vacation in Rome! Since the waiting times on site can be very long with over 5 million visitors a year, we recommend you buy your ticket for the Colosseum online in advance – it’s a bit more expensive than standing in line, but it will save you valuable time. It’s best to buy a combined ticket for the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill with one tour, so you can see all the top Rome sights and get interesting information!
- Roman Forum: The Roman Forum dates back to the 6th century BC and was a central place in the history of Rome. In the past, emperors were crowned here, markets were held and much more. The Roman Forum, along with the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, should definitely be on your things to do list, which is why the Forum only has combo tickets with the other two sights. You can buy the combined ticket on site for only 12 euros, but even here you have to expect long waiting times. Therefore, we prefer to buy a slightly more expensive online ticket for the Roman Forum with priority admission.
- Pantheon: The Pantheon is not only one of the free Rome sights, but also one of the oldest surviving buildings from antiquity. It was built in the 2nd century AD as a house for all the gods and then used as a church.
- St. Peter’s Basilica: St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest and most important church buildings in the world. Located in the middle of the Vatican City, the church convinces not only from the outside, but also from the inside. Be sure to check out the basilica! It is also worth climbing up to the dome to enjoy the view over Rome. If you buy your ticket for St. Peter’s Basilica online in advance, you will not only have priority admission, but a guided tour may also be included!
- Palatine Hill: The Palatine Hill is the oldest inhabited part of Rome, because people lived here already in the 10th century BC. It is one of seven hills in Rome and if legend is to be believed, this is where the city was founded in the 8th century BC. Today you can visit the temple ruins like the House of August. As mentioned before, you can also get a combo ticket for the Palatine Hill, which includes admission to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Other highlights in Rome
The best tours in Rome
There is no better way to get to know the charm and history of a city than with a guided tour. Especially in historic Rome, it’s worth exploring the city with a tour guide and learning the insider tips of the locals. Therefore, we present you the best tours in Rome that can inspire you for your vacation in Rome.
Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour: If you want to visit these top sights in Rome, then this tour is even more worthwhile. Because your tour guide will not only give you exciting information about the sights, but will also take you to places that are not usually seen by tourists.
- Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: On a Hop-On Hop-Off tour, you can get a good overview of the city while getting the most important information about the sights. If you want to take a closer look at a sight, you can simply get off and continue the tour at a later time. This is a great opportunity especially for first-time visitors.
Street food tour with Roman tour guide: On this tour you will get to know the culinary side of Rome and try all the specialties. Between the stops your tour guide will tell you something about the city and so in the best case you will not only be full, but also know more about the Italian capital.
Crypts & Catacombs Tour: Discover Rome’s underworlds with your tour guide and learn more about the city’s history. You will discover several crypts and catacombs and learn a lot about the underground life in Rome.
Day trip to Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa: If you have enough time, we recommend this trip to Tivoli, where you can visit the Renaissance Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa, where Emperor Hadrian retired.
Our Rome Tips
If you want to travel to Rome, the fastest and cheapest option is to travel by plane. Most major US and UK airports offer direct flights to the Italian city. You will arrive either at Fiumicino airport, the larger airport, or at the airport Ciampino. Both are located a few kilometers outside the center, so you must remember to book a transfer from the airport to Rome.
Since the Italian capital has a large train station, the Rom Termini, you can also arrive by train. Either use the train to get from the airport to the city or take the train directly to Rome. However, this is only worthwhile if you come from a city in Europe, otherwise it would simply take far too long.
We would not recommend you to go to Rome by car, because first of all it takes a long time and secondly the traffic and the parking situation on site do not exactly spread a vacation mood.
The best time to visit Rome
Once you’ve decided on one of the travel options, you’ll need to consider when exactly you’re planning your Rome vacation. One thing in advance: the city is worth a visit at any time of the year. So, when choosing the right time to travel, it all depends on what you expect from your Rome vacation. Spring is especially suitable for a trip to Rome if you want to explore many of the sights. Since the weather can still be rainy in March, the city is not yet so crowded and the waiting times for the sights are automatically reduced. So if you don’t mind possibly escaping to a museum every now and then to escape the rain, March might be the right travel month for you. Of course, you should pay attention to the Easter holidays, because during these the city and especially the Vatican is full as never!
The most popular time to visit Rome is, of course, summer: warm temperatures, delicious ice cream, and trips to the sea will make your trip a perfect summer vacation. But since the weather can get really hot and the city isn’t exactly empty at this time of year, it’s obviously not for everyone. Sightseeing becomes more strenuous and waiting times lengthen. But you can experience Rome with all its charm and observe the hustle and bustle of the city.
Autumn behaves similarly to spring, except that you can be even luckier with warm and sunny days. In winter, the trip is probably the cheapest – but of course you won’t have great weather, which admittedly greatly affects the flair of the city.
In general, temperatures in Rome are usually between 4°C and 31°C, so you don’t have to expect great snowfalls, for example.
Metro or Hop On Hop Off Tour in Rome?
Finally arrived in the city, the question is how you can best explore the city. Rome offers enough possibilities to move from A to B with the metro, buses, and streetcars. Basically, we would just recommend you look for accommodation in the center, because this way you don’t have to use public transportation at all. Should the walk or the weather be too strenuous for you, the Hop-On Hop-Off bus could be a good alternative for you. The buses go to all major stations and allow you to get on and off at any time. You will also receive information about the individual stations on the bus itself. Especially for tourists visiting Rome for the first time, this is a great way to discover Rome. If you prefer to use the metro, streetcar, or regular buses, we have summarized detailed information here.
How long should you stay in Rome?
The question of how many days you should plan for your Rome vacation depends on what you hope to get out of the trip. With 3 days in Rome you can discover the most important sights and get an impression of the city. It’s definitely worth it, but Rome has so much to offer that we would definitely recommend 5 days or longer.
Food in Rome: Best Pizza in Rome and more
We don’t need to tell you which specialties you should definitely eat in Rome: Pizza, pasta, antipasti and of course wine, tiramisu and ice cream should be on your list. However, since Rome is a touristy city, you should look carefully where you go to eat, because authentic Italian restaurants are unfortunately somewhat lost in the typical tourist districts. If you are recruited from the street to come to the restaurant, you can be sure that you will be seated next to many other tourists. For an authentic Roman dining experience, it’s worth visiting the Trastevere, Monti or Testaccio neighborhoods.
You can actually pay by card everywhere in Rome, so you don’t have to carry around large amounts of cash. When you eat in a restaurant in Rome, you don’t have to tip extra, because 10-15% is already added to the bill for the service. With good service, however, everyone is of course still happy about a small tip.
If you want to get to know the culinary side of Rome a little better, we can recommend a food tour of Rome.
Restaurants in Rome
TonnarelloRestaurant in TrastevereAdd to myTravel added
Over 6,000 positive reviews on Google, even more than 18,000 on Tripadvisor – and always over 20 metres long queues in front of the door. Tonnarello is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after addresses in Trastevere. We think: It’s worth queuing! That’s what the locals will tell you. Pasta in perfection.
Grazia & Graziella ENRestaurant in TrastevereAdd to myTravel added
Directly opposite the Tonnarello, queues form in the opposite direction of the street: a seat at Grazia & Graziella is also much wanted. Here, the waiting time is sweetened with a prosecco in a plastic cup. Here, too, the wait for the homemade specialties is definitely worth it.
Flavio al Velavevodetto ENRestaurant in Testaccio ENAdd to myTravel added
At Flavio al Velavevodetto you have a spectacular view, even without daylight, of artfully illuminated piles of shards. But it’s not only the flair and the view that make the restaurant worth a visit, but also the excellent Roman food such as fried artichokes or tiramisu! Our tip: Make sure you book in advance to ensure you get a seat.
Shopping in Rome
That you can buy Italy particularly chic and high-quality fashion is nothing new and therefore it is no surprise that you also have numerous shopping opportunities in Rome. For shopping and browsing, all the streets around Via Condotti are perfect. Here you will also find numerous designer brands. If you want something cheaper, you can go to Galleria Alberto Sordi or Via del Corso – on this 1.5 kilometer long shopping street you will find normal stores like Zara or H&M, but also Italian brands!
When shopping, you can actually pay by card everywhere. Our tip: Beware of the street vendors in Rome. Designer fakes are often sold here, which is strictly forbidden in Italy!
More shopping tips for Rome
Cheap to Rome with our money saving tips
As in many other big cities, there are also different sightseeing passes in Rome, with which you can enjoy your vacation in Rome cheaper. Among other things, the sightseeing passes allow you free entrance to the most popular sights or the use of public transport. Since there are different passes with different benefits, we have already written down the advantages and disadvantages of each pass in detail:
- The Go Rome Explorer Pass
- The Rome Visit Pass
- The Rome Blue Siat Pass
- The Omnia Card Rome & Vatican
- The Roma Pass
As written above, we can also suggest you to buy your tickets for Rome online in advance to save either money or time.
Hotels and Airbnb in Rome
As in most big cities, we can definitely recommend you to look for accommodation in the center of Rome. You are usually within a 40 minute walk of all the top sights and can save money on public transportation. Besides, you can experience life in Rome much better in the center and use your precious time for sightseeing rather than for long train rides. If you are younger and would like to go to a hipper neighborhood, we can recommend the Trastevere neighborhood, as there is a lot of hustle and bustle here, even at night.
Whether you prefer to book a hotel or an Airbnb in Rome is a matter of taste. While you’ll often have breakfast options at a hotel, you can feel like a local at an Airbnb and possibly even save compared to a hotel.
Hotels in the main districts of Rome
Hotels near attractions
Boutique-Hotels, Hotels with a view or Pool
More about 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.
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