Rome in 4 Days: Itinerary for visiting the Eternal City
There is a reason why Rome is one of the most famous and traveled cities in Europe. Visitors love the mixture of old culture with the fantastic Italian cuisine: It feels like walking through an outdoor museum and with every step you take, you can follow a path of culture and history. Above all, you are going to get spoiled with fantastic photo motives, world famous sights and all this is topped with the delicious Italian cuisine. There are so many things to see and to do in Rome and that’s why it can be a bit confusing how to plan a trip. This itinerary is designed to give you some ideas for what to do in Rome and about the best places to visit on a 4 days visit.
Honestly, no trip to Italy is complete without checking out Rome. So, let’s explore the Eternal City! Here is a 4 days itinerary for visiting Rome:
The Eternal City in 4 Days: an Itinerary
Day 1 in Rome:
Vatican City – Vatican Museum
Visiting the Vatican was really amazing and for us one of the most popular Roman attractions. Plan your visit very early in the morning and start your sightseeing day with the St. Peters Basilica! The Basilica opens at 7.00, be there at this time to enjoy the beautiful calm Basilica and save the time to queue for other great stuff to explore. From the top of the Basilica you will get rewarded with the most stunning view of Rome!
Take enough time for the Vatican City –you could spend hours there and still not have seen everything. Certainly, the ultimate must see are the St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum.
Skip the line Vatican:
I case you are planning on visiting the Vatican Museum and you want to avoid a super-long queue, we recommend you book the tickets in advance. There had been a lot of tourists inside – therefore it was not that impressive for us – I believe that we missed a lot due to the crowd. So be there in the morning and skip the line of the Vatican Museum with pre-booking the ticket online! You are going to find the link at the end of this article.
This castle was once the tallest building of Rome and its named after the famous river bridge statue of Michael the Archangel. However, as a short pitstop or also a visit inside the museum with audio guide inside – the Castel Sant Angelo is really worth a visit. It should be added that up from the terrace you will have a panoramic view of the whole city.
The Pantheon & Piazza Navona
The Pantheon is such a magnificent structure! This giant architecture will blow your mind, so don’t miss it! Interesting is that the building is a former Roman temple but was transformed into a church in the 7th century. It’s one of the best-preserved buildings in Rome and an absolute must-see.
Just around the corner you will find the Piazza Navona with the spectacular Sant’Agnese in Agone church. The square is amazingly beautiful with many lovely restaurants and cafes around.
Trevi Fountain – Fontana di Trevi
The Trevi Fountain is the largest baroque fountain of Rome and definitely one of the most famous fountains in the world. That’s why, the Trevi Fountain is, after the Colosseum, the most photographed monument in town and tourist flock to see that impressive attraction.
No itinerary of Rome is complete without throwing some money inside the fountain. According to the legend, coins have to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder. Only then you will be guaranteed a return trip to Rome.
Day 2 in Rome:
As the Colosseum is the landmark of Rome, it’s the most visited place in this city and definitely one of the top things to do in Rome. Still today the roman Colosseum is an iconic symbol for not just Rome but even for Italy.
Colosseum tickets – how to skip the line:
If you plan a visit inside, you should book your tickets in advance, so you don’t have to wait in a queue and you can easily skip the line of the Colosseum. Advisable is to buy a combi ticket that includes the world-famous Colosseum, the Forum Romanum and the Palatin.
Forum Romanum & The Palatin
The Forum Romanum is really impressive! Don`t miss seeing the beautiful remains of the ancient Rome. If you don`t have enough time or /and you want to save money, you can walk up to the Via Monte Tarpeo, where you will find a fantastic photo spot for the forum Romanum (for free).
The Palatin is just a few minutes’ walk from the grand arena and stands 40 meters above the Roman forum. Also, from the Palatin Hill, you will have a great viewpoint to the colosseum.
The archaeological site is included in the Colosseum Combi Ticket.
Piazza Venezia (Terrazza delle Quadrighe) & Piazza del Campidoglio
The Piazza Venezia is a great starting point to explore the ancient Forums, the Museo Sacrario delle Bandiere and also the Colosseum is not far away. The unique architecture of the white grand building is a must-see and from the Terrazza delle Quadrighe you will get a wonderful view. Highly recommended!
Another highlight of Rome is the Piazza del Campidiglio, a Roman Square located between Forum Romanum and Piazza Venezia. Climb up the stairs and admire this geometric lined square designed no less than Michaelangelo.
Day 3 in Rome:
Circus Maximus and Bocca della Verità
There is not much left of the Circus Maximus, the ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium. Never mind, it’s really nice to walk along and imagine the massive events and huge chariot races which have taken place in that area.
The Mouth of Truth is just near the famous Circus Maximus. The legend has been that if you put your hand in the mouth and tell a lie, your hand will be chopped off.
Trastevere is a lovely neighborhood beyond the Tiber River and one of the most cutest districts to explore. There are beautiful streets for strolling around and nice coffee places to take some breaks- All in all, a pleasant place to spend an afternoon. If you walk up to the hill, you will have an amazing city view. Trastevere is one of the best places to stay in Rome, if you want to read more about it check out ….
Villa Borghese Park & Spanish Steps
When we go on city trips, we love to wander around a lot. Especially the Villa Borghese Park is a fantastic place to relax after long hours of sightseeing. Also, the Galleria Borghese is a wonderful attraction in Rome and different collections of paintings and sculptures are exhibited there. Near the park there is the lovely Trinità dei Monti church which is located at the top, leading to the famous Spanish Steps. From the very top steps you definitely will marble at the picturesque Roman Scenery. Obviously, the 135 steps can be a bit challenging but as it is one of Rome’s top attraction it’s worth it.
Day 4 in Rome:
To escape the city stress, we highly suggest a visit to the ancient Via Appia. Via Appia is one of the earliest roads of the ancient Rome and was a connection to the smaller regions of greater Rome. Along that road, different sights, such as Mausoleums, Catacombs, temples and other remains of the Ancient Rome can be explored. To explore the 18 km of history, you have to take some time and so the entire fourth day in Rome is reserved for that excursion. It’s a real pleasure driving with a bike along this ancient path and inhaling the great historic atmosphere there. Regular bikes or even electrical bikes can be rented at many of the cafes and restaurant.
Because the Via Appia Antica is located at the southern End of Rome you have to take the public bus. The best option to go there is the bus Nr. 118 – From Colosseum to Via Appia.
Rome has some great neighborhoods, so where to stay in Rome? Our Airbnb apartment was located in the vibrant student district called San Lorenzo. We had the advantage to live like Romans, away from the touristic zones. In San Lorenzo you will find plenty of excellent restaurants with moderate prices, not comparable to the restaurants in the city center. The neighborhood is safe. We even had our car on a public parking for one week. The nightlife of San Lorenzo is vibrant, so if you decide to stay there too, make sure you book a calm accommodation. Here are some hotels which could may be interesting for you.
Check out “Where to stay in Rome” to read more about the best neighborhoods and districts to stay in Rome.
Rome is an awesome city and as you can see there plenty of things to see and to do. All in all, 4 days in Rome is the perfect amount of time to explore the Eternal City and to make the most of you trip.
Insider Tipps: 4 days in Rome
- Skip the line at Vatican and Colosseum: Book the tickets for the Vatikan and Colosseum in advance, to save time (around 2-3 hours) and nerves
- Best views Rome: On the top of the Palatin, you will have a great view to the Colosseum; from the Via Monte Terpeo you got the most fantastic view to the Forum Romanum. From the Terrazza delle Quadrighe (Piazza Venezzia) you will get a wonderful view to the Trajan’s Market and to the old city.
- How to get to Via Appia: Take the bus Nr.118 to via Appia. To explore the 18 km road, you should rent a bicycle.
- Sightseeing Rome: Visit the Fontana di Trevi very early in the morning, to avoid the tourist mass.
- Where to eat in Rome: Visit one of the excellent and budget restaurants in San Lorenzo – we highly suggest the Restaurante I Fratelli. They have the best pizza in town!
- What to drink: Of course coffee – what a wonderful city for coffee addicts! If you take your espresso or cappuccino standing at the bar, you mostly pay around 1 Euro!
- The ATP 1000 Tennis Tournament, where the best tennis players take part of, takes place in Rome each year during May. A fantastic and spectacular location. A must see for tennis fans! You should book your tickets for the Center Court in advanced!
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