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How to spend 3 days in Rome

Bursting with history around every corner, Rome is like an open-air museum. Expect to frequently bump into Ancient Roman ruins, bodegas, and lively squares. Rain or shine, follow our tips to make the best of 3 days in Rome.

Day 1: Explore Rome’s historic neighborhoods

Rome has a lot to take in and it’s easy to lose track of time. On the first day of this itinerary, we suggest you take in the city and not worry about specific times.


Whether you prefer the DIY approach or taking a guided tour, walking is the best way to visit Rome’s old neighborhoods. Regardless of your choice, expect to spend around four hours exploring Trastevere, Campo dei Fiori, and the Jewish Ghetto.


No matter where you end up, feast on local cuisine in the many restaurants and cafes in these neighborhoods. Alternatively, go on a food tour to discover Roman food beyond pasta.


You can expect to see many places selling pizza by the slice for dinner, but you'll find some of the best options in the Prati neighborhood.

Day 2: Travel back in time to Ancient Rome


The Pantheon, the Roman Coliseum, and the Roman Forum are, of course, must-see monuments of Ancient Rome. Prepare for crowds as they are popular tourist attractions in Rome. To save some time, consider buying a city pass with skip-the-line options.

You will need time to fully appreciate these historical buildings. Expect to have a busy morning getting to know all of them.


You're in one of the most popular areas in Rome among travelers, so pick a spot to have a quick lunch. Get ready for more walking in the afternoon.

Continue exploring more Roman Ruins in the area, such as Circo Massimo. All you need is a map and a sharp eye to spot all of them.


In light of the famous saying, when in Rome, follow the locals’ lead and enjoy aperitivo time. Open up your appetite with pre-meal drinks and bite-sized snacks. The good news is that drinks don’t have to be alcoholic, so everyone can join in. You can also opt for a guided night tour to learn more about this Roman habit.

Day 3: Add one more country to your list without leaving Rome

It’s not every day you can say you visited an independent state without leaving a city. Unless, of course, you're visiting Rome. On this 3-day Rome itinerary, we suggest you save the best for last.


No matter which Vatican Museum exhibits you choose to visit, all tours end at the Sistine Chapel. Every inch of this Renaissance’s best-known masterpiece lives up to the hype.


Take a break with a soothing gelato at Piazza Navona. You can walk here from Vatican City for one last sightseeing experience. If you’re done exploring Rome on foot, hop on the metro. Ottaviano Station is within 5 minutes walking distance of the Vatican Museum. Spagna Station is the closest to Piazza Navona (15-minute walk).


Spend the rest of your time in Rome visiting the Spanish Steps and shopping at Via del Corso. Looking for something different? You still have time for a guided food and wine tasting tour or an Angels & Demons self-guided mystery game.

What is the best way to get around in Rome?

From the airport, the most convenient option is the express train that takes you to Termini, Rome’s central train station. Then walk to your hotel, if it’s in the area, or take the subway (lines A and B). In the city, walking is still the best way to get around. Not only are most tourist attractions within walking distance from one another, you’ll soak up all the sights on foot. For bigger distances, consider buying a Rome city card with hop-on-hop-off bus included.

Tips for a weekend visit to Rome: When in Rome, do as the Romans do

  • In 2019, Rome’s City Council updated behavior rules for all visitors. These include not sitting on the Spanish Steps and not jumping into water fountains.
  • Pay extra attention when crossing the street, even if the light is green for pedestrians. Rome traffic is notoriously chaotic, and while cars might stop at a red light, scooters might not.
  • Pack comfortable shoes if you plan on exploring Rome mostly by foot. Cobblestone streets are picturesque but slippery when wet. Remember to tread lightly around ruins and respect their historical weight, even if they’re not fenced.
  • At restaurants and bars, account for extra fees for service (if not already included in the price) or sitting outside. Note that meals are typically long-lasting events, with menus comprising of 5 parts. It’s not just eating, it’s a social event. Carry cash as most places won't accept credit cards. Tipping is not mandatory, but it's appreciated.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rome

Want to discover all there is to do in Rome? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rome

Tour was a great experience. Our guide kept the drive entertaining with bits of history about locations on the way and different stories. Pompeii was an extremely interesting place to visit and the climb of Mt. Vesuvius completed it. Well worth the trip.

Everything was perfect. On our way back to Rome was a bit long. It was sunday so.. traffic war really strong. But Pompeii is amazing. And Vesuv was also really interesting.

We didn’t realize how the 3 hours got over so soon. It was fun, informative and very interesting with Roman stories told by our guide.

Without this tour, the Roman Forum and Palatines hill is just a big piles of rocks. Here you get the most value from your money.

Our guide, Marcius, did an excellent job. His enthusiasm and knowledge were quite evident in his explanations.