Things to do in Rome – city trip highlights

There is a reason why Rome is one of the most traveled cities in Europe. We loved the mixture of old culture with the fantastic Italian cuisine. It felt like walking through an outdoor museum. Every step you take is a path of culture and history. We had been spoiled with fantastic photo motives and this was just topped with delicious Italian meals. The Romans are great people, even there are tons of tourists in this city they are very open and helpful. There are so many things to do in Rome. Here are our city trip highlights:

Note: You will find a collection of ROME insider tips at the end of the Rome blog post!

 

Top things to do in Rome – visiting the eternal city

 

The Vatican – Vatican City

Visiting the Vatican was really amazing and for us one of the most popular Rome attractions. If you are planning a visit – be there very early in the morning! The Basilica opens at 7.00, be there at this time to enjoy the beautiful calm Basilica and save the time of queuing for other great stuff to explore. From the top of the Basilica you will have the most stunning view of Rome! Martina has a fear of heights, but she overcame her fear.

 

Skip the line Vatican:

If you are planning on visiting the Vatican Museum and you want to avoid a super-long queue, we recommend you to 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! You are going to find the link at the end of thisRome article.

Castel Sant’Angelo

It was also nice to see the Castel Sant`Angele, which is just next to the Vatican.

The Pantheon & Piazza Navona

The Pantheon impressed us a lot! This giant architecture will blow your mind, so don’t miss it!  Just around the corner you will find the Piazza Navona with the spectacular Sant’Agnese in Agone church.

Trevi Fountain – Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain is,after the Colosseum the most photographed monument in Rome. To take good shots and avoid crowds, you should be there early in the morning.

I will definitely return to Rome! Like the legend of the fountains says, I dropped some coins over my left shoulder. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that one coin is for the return to Rome, if you throw 2 coins you will have a roman romance and if you throw 3 coins, you will ensure a marriage with a Roman. Sorry Jürgen – hope you don’t mind 😉

The Colosseum

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 icon symbol.

 

Colosseum tickets – skip the line:

If you plan a visit inside, you should book your tickets in advance, so you don’t have to queue and you can easily skip the line of the Colosseum.  We bought the combi ticket that includes the famous Colosseum, the Forum Romanum and the Palatin.

Forum Romanum & The Palatin

The forum Romanum is really impressive! If you are walking up to the Palatin, you will have a great viewpoint to the colosseum.
If you  don`t have enough time or /and you want to safe money, you can go to the Via Monte Tarpeo, where you will find a fantastic photo spot for the forum Romanum.

Piazza Venezia & Campidoglio

The Piazza Venezia is a great starting point to explore the old Forums, the Museo Sacrario delle Bandiere and also the Colosseum is not far away. From the Terrazza delle Quadrighe you will get a wonderful view – very recommended!

View to the Trajans Forum (Terrazza delle Quadrighe)
Campidoglio

Villa Borghese Park & Spanish Steps

When we go on city trips, we love to wander around a lot. The Villa Borghese Park is a fantastic place to relax after long hours of sightseeing. Near the park there is the lovely Trinità dei Monti church which is located at the top, leading to the famous Spanish Steps. Unfortunately they had been closed at this time but now we have a reason for coming back one day :).

Circus Maximus and Bocca della Verità

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.

Via Appia 

To escape the city stress, we highly suggest a visit to the ancient Via Appia. To explore the 18 km of history, we chose to take a bike. It was a pleasure driving along this ancient paths and inhaling the great atmosphere there. Take the bus Nr.118 to via Appia.

Trastevere

Trastevere is a 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, a pleasant place to spend an afternoon. If you go up to the hill, you will have an amazing city view.

Where to stay in Rome?

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 with 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. Our Airbnb was a bit noisy – but here are some hotels which could may be interesting for you.



 Insider Tips Rome – Things to do 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!

Booking.com


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2 Comments

  1. I just came to your site and first thing that caught my eye was Rome, of course (Italy is like a click-bait to me! :)) I too visited this summer, and decided that next time we should definitely visit off the main season as it was crazy touristy! Like you said for St.Peter’s basilica, we came early and enjoyed the view, but later a line formed in a circle all over the piazza in front of it. How long did you stay? I feel like we visited a lot less than you two.
    Anja

    • Hi Anja,
      we had been to Rome for 6 days – but we are always traveling very slow :* Thanks for your kind words :*

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