Visiting Rome, Italy? Here’s THE Travel Guide
visiting rome

Rome, Italy

Ancient Rome “wasn’t built in a day”, but it was eight times more populated than modern-day New York and covered over 580 square miles. The Eternal City was founded in 753 BC by Romulus and is today the modern and bustling capital of Italy. With the sheer wealth of incredible artifacts left behind by the Romans, there’s no wonder this is one of the most popular tourist destinations on earth. Let’s visit Rome!

Visiting Rome? Here’s What To Do
visiting rome

There’s really so much to do, this place could keep you busy for days. Here’s a list of our must-see’s when visiting Rome.

Visiting Rome? Admire the Historic Classics:

visiting rome

The Colosseum

Constructed in 72 AD, this colossal performance venue is where gladiators and animals fought to the death in front of audiences over 50,000 strong. Today, walk through the ancient halls, and you can almost hear the roaring crowds of ancient Rome. Bonus: When finished exploring the Colosseum, don’t miss the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which are already included in your ticket.


Pantheon
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Located on the east side of the River Tiber, this magnificent structure is one of ancient Rome’s best preserved relics. Built between 118 and 125AD, this former-temple-now-church has inspired the architecture of countless stately buildings around the world, and is an absolute must-see when visiting Rome.


Trevi Fountain
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Built in 1762, this legendary fountain is easily one of Rome’s most popular attractions. The story goes that when someone tosses a coin into the depths of the turquoise waters, they ensure a return visit to Rome.


Spanish Steps
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One of Rome’s most popular gathering places, these 135 stairs were built in the 1720s, and connect the Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top and the Piazza di Spagna at the bottom. The Spanish Steps are so popular in fact, they have been called “The World’s Most Famous Steps”.

Visiting Rome? Explore Vatican City:

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St. Peter’s Basilica

This iconic Vatican City structure is an absolute must when visiting Rome. At 15,160 square meters, this is easily the world’s largest church and has been called “The Greatest of all Churches of Christendom”. The incredible dome can be seen from much of Rome, and even better, can be climbed to the top for some of the city’s best views.


Vatican Museum
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Containing roughly 70,000 works of art, you can easily spend a whole afternoon wandering around this huge museum complex. The Vatican Museum is home to works from da Vinci, Raphael, Bellini, as well as the world-famous Sistine Chapel.


Sistine Chapel

The world’s most famous chapel can be found within the halls of the Vatican Museum. The ceiling is covered by Michelangelo’s masterpiece frescoes and the walls have been completed by the works of Botticelli, Roselli, and Peurgino. The long queues to enter this holy place are well worth it, but remember that cameras are prohibited, and voices should be lowered in respect.


Vatican Post Office
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Located just to the right of the Basilica’s exit, take the unique opportunity to mail a postcard from the world’s smallest country.

Visiting Rome? Book a Tour!

Visiting Rome? Don’t Miss these Gems:

visiting rome

Altare della Patria

This “Alter for the Fatherland” was completed in 1925 as a monument for Unified Italy. This massive complex of columns, statues, stairs, and views, is also home to the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” and is one of our favorite places in Rome.


Capitoline Wolf
visiting rome

Known as Rome’s eternal symbol, this bronze statue represents the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Legend has it, that the two were abandoned on the banks of the Tiber River and this ‘she-wolf’ saved them by letting them suckle. While the original is housed inside of the Capitoline Museum, there are many replicas throughout the city.


Castel Sant’Angelo
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Built nearly 2000 years ago as a mausoleum for Emporer Hadriun and his family, the strategic location on the Tiber and the sheer size as Rome’s tallest bulding both laid way to it’s destiny as castle and papal fortress. Explore the stone walls and hallways, and head to the top for some of Rome’s best views.


Swiss Guards
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Vatican City’s military was imported from Switzerland in 1506 to protect the Pope and Vatican. Don’t miss the colorful, renaissance-style uniformed men entrusted with protecting the world’s smallest country.

Visiting Rome? Bonus!

We’ve teamed up with GPSmyCity and converted our Rome travel guide into a downloadable application that comes complete with a GPS map of our recommendations and operates offline without any need of data plan or Internet connection. You can check it out here.


iTunes App Store
or Google Play

Getting to Rome
visiting rome

Getting to Rome: FLY

If planned in advance, you can find reasonable direct flights to Rome from most major cities in Europe for under $40. You can also find affordable international flights from Ibiza for $14, Brussels for $18, Paris for $18, or Copenhagen for $27 with our favorite flight search site, Skyscanner.

Rome Flight Deals


visiting Rome


Getting to Rome: TRAIN

Trains throughout Europe are a great option. You’ll avoid lines at the airport, enjoy beautiful scenery, and the trains are typically very comfortable. If you’re coming from any other city in Italy we highly recommend traveling by train. However, if you’re traveling from another European country we still recommend flying, due to overall cost and journey time. For example, the train route from Paris is almost 11 hours, and at $165, a flight saves time and money.


Getting to Rome: BUS

Buses are not our favorite mode of travel.. The seats are generally cramped, the ride is bumpy, and departure/arrival times can be unpredictable. However, bus travel is generally less expensive, and in particular the ride from Florence is just $13 for the 3hour 25min. trip.

Airport to Rome City Center
visiting rome

Fly into one of two airports: Leonardo de Vinci International Airport(aka Fiumicino), which is located about 22 miles west of Rome’s City Center, or Ciampino Airport, located 7.5 miles from the city center. How will you get there?

From Leonardo de Vinci International Airport:

Bus

Departing near Terminal 3, the Terravision takes about 55 minutes to the city center and costs about $7. Although if you book online it’s only $4.

Train

Follow signs for “Leonardo Express” and take this 30-minute express train to the city center for roughly $15.

Taxi

A white metered-taxi will have you to the city center in about 40 minutes for roughly $50.

visiting rome

From Ciampino Airport:

Taxi

Located just outside the Arrivals Terminal, pay roughly $33 for the 30 minute ride to the city center.

Train

Follow signs for “Leonardo Express” and take this 30-minute express train to the city center for roughly $15.

Getting around in Rome
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Metro/ Bus

Rome has an extensive public transportation network throughout the city. With three Metro lines, and multiple trams and bus lines, you’ll be very well-connected. We highly recommend the Roma Pass, which gives you access to all public transporation for a 48 or 72 hour period, plus free entry into one or two museums. You even get to “skip the line” at some of Rome’s most popular attractions.


Taxi/ UBER

Taxis are readily available throughout the city. Find a taxi stand and wait, or use the taxi hotline number to hail one: 06 3570. UBER Black is available in Rome but is generally more expensive than a typical taxi.

Walk

Walkscore.com gives Rome a score of 99, calling it a “Walker’s Paradise”. We also found this to be true. Walking around Rome is highly recommended.

Where To Stay in Rome:
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Where To Stay in Rome: HOTELS

With prices ranging from $35-$1250/night, from budget to luxury, you’re sure to find the right hotel in Rome. We’ve found some great hotel deals using Priceline’s sister site, Agoda.com.

Rome Hotel Deals



Where To Stay in Rome: HOSTELS

With over 400 hostels in Rome, you’ll likely find one that suits your needs. Prices generally range from $7-$16 a night for a dorm room, while private rooms cost a bit more at about $40-$66 per night. Hostelworld always has great deals, especially in Rome:

Rome Hostel Deals


Where To Stay in Rome: AIRBNB

We love using Airbnb. From private rooms to entire homes, Airbnb is represented in all parts of Rome. The average Airbnb price in Rome is only $75/night. If you’re a first timer to Airbnb use our coupon for $35 off your first night’s stay.


Where To Stay in Rome: NEIGHBORHOODS

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Choosing a neighborhood is an important part of trip planning that should not be overlooked! Rome is a large city with many municipalities divided into unique neighborhoods. While our general recommendation is to stay closer to city center, here are some of the best areas worth considering in Rome.


Aurelio

This residential neighborhood located just south of Vatican City is home to many young families, streetside cafes, and good public transportation.

Trastevere

This charming, medieval neighborhood on the west side of the river is known for cobblestone streets, old-school restaurants, and trendy bars.

Campitelli

Located on the southeast side of the river, this touristy neighborhood is packed with ruins and is right next door to the Colosseum.

Rome Travel Tips:
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Rome Travel Tips: Tipping

Tipping in Italy is not customary but is always appreciated. At restaurants check your bill, there is sometimes a 10-15% service charge, and some will even charge extra for things like plates and silverware. At hotels, leave $1-$2 per day and for taxi drivers, round up.

Rome travel tips: Money

Italy’s national currency is the Euro, and is currently exchanging at .95Euro to $1USD. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines are readily available.


Rome travel tips: Insurance

Traveling to Rome is exciting and safe, but you never know when some good travel insurance could come in handy. World Nomads offers the best coverage in the business, is affordable, and is quick to act should something go wrong. For more info, check out our recent World Nomads blog post.


If planning to visit Rome, you might want to check out our Rome resource page.

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7 Responses to “Visiting Rome, Italy? Here’s THE Travel Guide”

  1. kim macaig

    I was in Rome in 2014, a life changing trip- i met my husband there! I also recommend a little day trip out of Rome, over to Tivoli and to Hadrian’s Villa. Stunning! Huge, and sprawling, but very easy to trek through. Be sure to go all the way to the end, there are colored mosaic tiles preserved in a roofed building that although just a small part of what is to be seen there, it is worth the wander. We spent many hours there, and still didn’t see everything. There is also a small museum on site, also worth touring, and included in the cost of admission. Its only about 30 minutes away and if you need a break from the city, its a great place to get away to.

    Reply
    • Josh Sedivy

      Wow, what a great story! Did you meet your husband before or after tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain? 🙂

      Reply
  2. Karen

    our arrival in Rome was the same day as the Pride Parade in June 2015 which made it difficult to see all the attractions in the area of the Coliseum during our 3 day stay – maybe we’ll go back some day

    Reply
  3. Payne Well

    This is pretty cool! I would love to travel more and currently working on it! I will be back to follow your updates as I do eventually want to travel overseas

    Reply
  4. Payne Well

    Not sure if it posted my comment the first time! Here I go again 🙂 This is pretty cool! I would love to travel more and currently working on it! I will be back to follow your updates as I do eventually want to travel overseas

    Reply

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