Heading to Rome, but not in the city for too long? Don’t worry, it’s possible to see a lot of Rome in a day, and that’s just what this post is going to help you do. We’re going to focus on Rome’s highlights in this guide to help you get the most out of your day in Rome.
As well as providing a suggested detailed step-by-step Rome itinerary, we’re also going to be sharing some advice to help you make the most of your trip, including tips for skipping the lines, saving money, getting to and from the airport, and, if you happen to be staying overnight, a guide to where you might consider staying.
This itinerary would work well as part of a longer trip around Italy like this where you want to see a few different locations, or even as part of a longer Europe itinerary like this one.
Let’s get started with our guide to spending 24 hours in Rome!
Table of Contents
Rome in a Day: Detailed Itinerary
Our Rome guide assumes you have a full day in Rome and are able to start sightseeing relatively early in the morning. We’re focusing on the absolute highlights of the city – attractions and sights that we think the first time visitor will really want to focus on.
It’s a busy itinerary for a really full day, from 8.30am through to 6 or 7 pm, so definitely feel free to adjust it to meet your interests and the amount of time you have in Rome. If you have less time than a full day, you’ll need to skip a few things.
Our first stop in Rome is the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is a truly incredible building to visit. Dating from ancient Rome, it has survived through the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark ages, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution and our current modern age.
Sure, it’s suffered a bit of wear and tear over the years, but it’s still incredibly recognisable as a giant sporting arena, and looks pretty good for a 2,000 year old building! Touring here is a must on your first visit to Rome.
The Colosseum opens its doors at 8.30am. You need a schedule a time in advance of your visit and we suggest an early time to maximise your sight-seeing time in Rome. The Colosseum is open every day, with times varying depending on the time of year. You can see more information here.
Getting tickets and planning your visit can seem a bit complicated, so we put together a detailed guide to visiting the Colosseum to help you plan.
Please do read through it, as the Colosseum can book up far in advance, meaning you might be disappointed if you don’t plan properly.
In summary, you can book tickets from the official website here, the tiqets website here, and GetYourGuide here.
Adjacent to the Colosseum, and included with your Colosseum ticket, is the Roman Forum. This was the place at the center of all Roman life – in effect, the heart of the Roman Empire.
There were temples, shrines, government buildings, speech podiums, judiciary buildings, and places of commerce. Basically, pretty much everything of import that happened in the Roman Empire, would have happened here in some form or another!
Today the Forum is a large sprawling area consisting of many ruined structures in various states. There’s a great deal to see here, although we’d suggest trying to limit your time to around an hour to 90 minutes so as to allow you to see what else you have planned for your day in Rome.
The Forum is open every day, you can see full opening hours here.
From the Roman Forum, our suggestion is to take a walk through Rome’s historical center. Whilst you won’t have time to explore all these locations in depth, there are plentiful opportunities for a photo.
Some of the highlights we suggest you check out as you head towards the Vatican City from the Roman Forum are laid out below, in the order that you will encounter them.
Altare della Patria
As you walk away from the Roman Forum, the first major building you will likely notice is the giant Altare della Patria, also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II.
This was built to honor Victor Emmanuel, the first King of unified Italy since the 6th century, who was crowned as such in 1861. With a total area of 17,000 square metres, this is quite the monument, and one you are sure to spot.
Those Romans sure knew a thing or two about construction. The Pantheon, which is your next stop, is an excellent example of this. Completed around 126AD, this former temple has been in continuous use, and to this day the roof is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in existence.
As well as the incredible architecture, the Pantheon is the last resting place of a number of notable folk, including the painter Raphael.
Again, you don’t have much time to dally, but you should probably pop in quickly anyway, as it’s free to do so!
Side note, you might be hungry by now. There are lots of places to dine in this area, although do be mindful of time. You might also want to have either a gelato or a coffee around here – see our guides to the best gelato in Rome and the best cafes in Rome for ideas.
Just a few minutes from the Pantheon is the world famous Trevi Fountain, probably one of the most visited and photographed fountains in the world.
Visiting this fountain at the middle of the day is likely to be a crowded affair, but to be honest, I’ve never found a time of day or night when it’s not crowded here!
Still, the fountain is over 80 feet high and over 160 feet wide, so you’re still likely to be able to see it, regardless of how busy it is. It’s been attracting visitors since 1762, many of whom today throw a coin into the fountain for luck.
There’s so much to see in the old historical part of Rome, but we’re on a mission here. Our next stop is the Spanish Steps.
This 135 step stairway leads from Piazza Spagna up to Piazza Trinità dei Monti, where you’ll find the Trinità dei Monti church. Having your photo taken whilst on the Spanish Steps (ideally with a gelato in hand), is pretty much an essential part of your day in Rome.
This may also be a good time to quick stop for a quick shot of espresso if you need a boost, and there are several recommended cafes in Rome near the Spanish Steps.
Note that as of August 2019, it’s no longer permitted to sit on the Spanish Steps as they have been classified as a monument, and there is the potential of being fined if you do so. So stick to standing on them instead!
Our last stop as we head towards the Vatican Museums is the Castel Sant’Angelo, which sits on the bank of the river Tiber, and has done for around 2,000 years.
Originally built as the mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian, this massive cylindrical building has since seen many uses, from fortress to castle to prison. Today, it’s a museum, and the views from the top are impressive.
Again, you don’t have time to visit if you are following this itinerary, but this is well worth a look from the outside nonetheless!
If you really want to visit, you can buy tickets in person or from the official ticket site here. can also buy tickets from GetYourGuide here or from Tiqets here. It’s always worth comparing as prices vary.
You’ve now made it to the Vatican Museums inside the Vatican City, for the second half of your day.
The Vatican Museums are vast – certainly one of the largest museums in the world. There are over seven kilometres of corridors spanning 54 galleries, and with 20,000 works of art on display, there’s no shortage of content to keep you busy.
Suffice to say, an afternoon, or even a day, is unlikely going to be enough to fully appreciate what is on display. Some pre-planning, an audioguide, or a guided tour like this one, are good options to make sure that you see some of the absolute highlights of the Vatican Museums collection.
These include the Map Room, paintings by Da Vinci, Raphael & Caravaggio, marble sculptures, and much, much more, including our next stop.
Note, the Vatican is closed on Sundays and some other days – you can see all opening times and days on the official website here. You can book your tickets in advance of your visit on the official site here. You can also book on GetYourGuide here, and on Tiqets here with a 5% discount on their normal price.
Within the Vatican Museum complex is the Sistine Chapel (entry is included with Vatican Museum entry), whose ceiling and Last Judgement painting are generally regarded as one of Michaelangelo’s greatest works, and one of the greatest Renaissance works.
The sheer scale of the work is quite mind-boggling. Over many years, Michelangelo painted over 5,000 square feet of frescoes on the ceiling, which depicts various biblical scenes, such as The Creation of Adam and the Story of Noah.
The wall above the altar is reserved for the massive Last Judgement painting, which depicts the second coming of Christ on the final day, where the souls of humanity are judged and sent to their fate. This is another awe inspiring installation that has to be seen to be believed.
As a sidenote, there’s no photography allowed in here, and there are guards who will enforce this rule. Lots of people break it, but we have seen people escorted out for doing so. It’s also usually very busy, both in here and in the Vatican Museums in general, so do be prepared for that.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Our last stop on our tour of Rome’s highlights is St. Peter’s Basilica, arguably the most important church in the Roman Catholic faith.
Built in the early 17th century, and designed by Renaissance masters including Michelangelo, Bramante, and Bernini, this is the largest church building in the world, and is said to be the home of the tomb of Saint Peter.
As you might imagine, this is a major site of pilgrimage for Catholics from all over the world, and the Pope holds large masses here on a regular basis. There’s a lot to see inside, plus you can head all the way up to the roof for incredible views across the city.
St. Peter’s Basilica closes at 6pm October to March, and 7pm April to September. The last entry is usually 75 minutes before closing.
St. Peter’s Basilica is very popular and the lines can be long for entry. It is free to visit, but if you book a tour like one of these you can skip the line. Some tours of the Vatican, like this one, also include skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica which can be a good option.
We’d recommend doing this at busier times of year as the lines can be very long. Just be aware that you might need to adjust your itinerary depending on tour times.
For lots more information on visiting the Vatican City and its attractions, including the Museums and St Peter’s Basilica, see our complete guide to the Vatican. This has everything you need to know to plan your visit, including all the highlights, tips for visitng, how to buy tickets and lots more.
1 Day in Rome Map
To help you visualise and plan your day, we’ve put together this map of the attractions, as well as a suggested walking route through the city. You can also see this map on Google Maps here.
1 Day in Rome Summary Itinerary
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll see on your one day in Rome:
- Roman Forum
- Altare della Patria
- Trevi Fountain
- Spanish Steps
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Vatican Museum
- Sistine Chapel
- St. Peters Basilica
What about a Rome Tour?
Whilst our itinerary is entirely possible to do in a self-guided manner, you can also visit all the sights on a guided tour. You have a few options for this, depending on how much of the day you want to be guided.
Our first suggestion would be this Rome tour from Take Walks. This full day tour includes everywhere in our itinerary, including the Colosseum, a view of the Roman Forum, a tour of the historic center of Rome and the Vatican City attractions, including the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. So an excellent option!
Even better, the tour includes transport from the historic center across to the Vatican, is fully guided, and you get skip the line access to all the major attractions, making it excellent value for money with minimal hassle. Take Walks only run small group tours, and we’ve taken a number of their tours in cities around the world.
For one day in Rome, this is definitely our preferred guided tour option. Book your tour here.
Another option would be to do part of the day as a guided tour, and part on your own.
For example, you could do a guided Colosseum Tour with the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill in the morning, or a guided tour of the Vatican & St. Peter’s Basilica in the afternoon.
You could even do both, although we’d suggest it would make more sense to do the previously mentioned Rome in a Day tour instead!
How to Save Money and Skip the Lines in Rome
On our longer 2 day and 3 day Rome itineraries we recommend either the Roma Pass or the Omnia Rome and Vatican Pass, two cards that offer skip the line privileges and cost savings if you plan on visiting the major attractions in the city.
However, neither of these are available for time periods shorter than 2 days, and so whilst they definitely offer convenience in terms of booking and skip the line access to all the attractions on our itinerary, the cost saving is not quite so obvious if you are only in Rome for one day.
The main card option for 1 day in Rome is the Rome Tourist Card, which includes the Colosseum, Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as some audio guides and discounts on other attractions. This card is really more about convenience than cost saving, making it easy to book everything in one place.
If cost saving is the most important factor for your planning, you will be better off booking individual skip the line tickets for each attraction.
It is absolutely essential that you do book your attraction entry in advance for most of these attractions. Ticket lines can get really really long in Rome, especially in the summer months, and you don’t want to waste your day in Rome standing in line.
For the attractions we recommend, you’ll want to purchase advance tickets for the Vatican, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica. You can do that here:
- Skip the line tickets for the Vatican here on GetYourGuide and here on the official site (both include Sistine Chapel.)
- Skip the line tickets from the official website for the Colosseum here (includes Roman Forum).
- A tour of St. Peter’s Basilica here (including the Vatican) or here (including dome access and papal crypt)
Note that for the Colosseum we have linked you to the official site which in our experience has the best prices.
The Vatican ticket price is normally similar on GetYourGuide compared to the official site. Personally we find GetYourGuide a lot easier to navigate than the official ticket site, however you might save a bit on the official site so do check both options.
St. Peter’s Basilica don’t sell fast track tickets, so we have linked you to GetYourGuide and Tiqets, both third party sites that we trust. If you want to visit the Vatican and Basilica, then a tour which includes both like this one can be a good value option.
For the Colosseum, all visitors need to reserve an entry time for when they want to visit. This is true for holders of the Roma Pass as well.
See our guide here on visiting the Colosseum for everything you need to know, so ensure you avoid disappointment.
If you have longer in the city, or just want the convenience of buying one ticket that does everything, we can recommend the Rome Tourist Card, the Roma Pass, or the Omnia Rome and Vatican Pass. Which one works for you will depend on your interests and time in the city.
Where to Stay in Rome
With one day in Rome, you might not be planning on staying overnight. However, just in case you are, we wanted to share some options for accommodation. We’d recommend staying somewhere centrally located so you can get to and from all the sights easily – the area between Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Popolo is usually our preferred area to stay in Rome.
For an idea of where I mean, take a look at these hotel options:
- Orsa Maggiore Hostel – just across the river in Rome’s trendy Trastevere district, this female only hostel features a range of room types including dormitories and private rooms.
- Di Rienzo Pantheon Palace – a very well reviewed guesthouse option in the heart of the city, just moments from the Pantheon and other attractions. The building is a 16th century property, and rooms feature en-suite facilities, free wi-fi and breakfast
- The Mimosa Pantheon Hotel – right next to the Pantheon, and therefore well placed for the city’s attractions, this is a well reviewed good value 1* hotel. Rooms feature private bathrooms, air conditioning and free WiFi. A solid budget choice.
- The Navona Theatre Hotel – just five minutes walk from Piazza Navona, this is a very well rated 3* hotel within easy walking distance of most of Rome’s main attractions
- The Hotel Navona – another well reviewed 3* hotel in central Rome near Piazza Navona. This hotel is in a restored 15th century building which features restored original frescoes. Rooms have en-suite facilities, air conditioning and free WiFi
If you are taking an early flight, you might want to stay nearer to the airport. Here are some options:
- The well rated Sleep’n go Hotel near Rome Fiumicino, which has an airport shuttle service
- Air Rooms Rome Airport, which is in the Fiumicino terminal building
- Hotel Villa Giulia, which is close to Rome Ciampino, and offer a shuttle service
If you are arriving or leaving by train, you will likely want to stay near Rome Termini train station, which is the major train station in the city. Some hotels near to Rome Termini to consider are:
- The RomeHello – found just a few moments from Rome’s Termini Station, this hostel features a range of room types, from dormitories to private en-suite rooms. There’s free WiFi, fantastic reviews, and it’s a great value option.
- Hotel Valentino Palace – a fantastic mid-range 3* property, just 150 yards from the train station
- Gioberti Art Hotel – 50 yards from Termini Station, a well rated excellent value 4* hotel
- NH Collection Palazzo Cinquecento – Awesome value 5* hotel just a few steps from the train station
Of course, there are many more options for accommodation in Rome. When we travel we usually use Booking.com for our accommodation. They have a great selection of options, with everything from hostels to apartments to hotels. The review system makes it easy to pick a good option, and they have an excellent cancellation policy.
As an example of what is available in Rome on booking.com, beyond the above mentioned hotels, here’s a well rated hostel, and a fantastically located apartment. As you can see – loads of options!
If you prefer an apartment, then we recommend Plum Guide.
Plum Guide carefully curate their listings so their options tend to be of a very high quality whilst still being available at a range of price points. We’ve used them in locations around the world, and you can see our Plum Guide review here. You can see their listings for Rome here.
If you can’t find what you want on Plum Guide, or you want some new options to try out, we wrote a whole post on the best alternatives to AirBnB which you should check out!
Getting to and from Rome Airport
Rome has two major international airports that you might fly into – Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (FCO). Flights from the North America usually arrive at Fiumicino, whilst flights from Europe may arrive at either.
It’s easy to get into central Rome from either airport.
From Rome Fiumicino, you can take the train, bus, or taxi. There’s a train station on site which will get you into the city centre in around 30 minutes to an hour. Prices range from €8 – €14, depending on if you take the fast Leonardo Express or the local train services (FL1).
Note that the local train service (FL1) does not go directly to Termini – it goes to Rome Trastevere, and then you would need to change onto the FL5, which you can take to Termini.
There are also a number of bus options which cost from €5, and which take around 50 minutes to an hour, and take you to Termini train station. There’s also a taxi stand. You can also arrange either a shared shuttle or a private transfer service, which needs to be booked in advance.
From Rome Ciampino, there’s no on-site train station, but there is a local train station just five minutes away by bus. This train costs around €1.50. There are also buses from Ciampino, which also cost €5. Ciampino also has taxis, although as this is a smaller airport there are generally fewer available. You can also book a shared shuttle or private transfer service in advance.
Both airports also have private and shuttle transfer options that you can book in advance.
Getting to and from Rome Train Station
If you are arriving by train, you will most likely arrive into Rome Termini. This train station is pretty much in the center of Rome, and there are excellent transport links from here to the rest of the city, including buses, the metro, and of course taxis.
Luggage Storage in Rome
If you are just visiting for the day and not staying overnight, the chances are you don’t want to carry your luggage around with you all day. Many of the attractions in Rome won’t let you take bags in with you anyway, and even those that do will likely require you to do additional screening.
As such, we’d recommend you leave your luggage behind so you can explore without being weighed down. We’d suggest this luggage service, which has locations at Termini station as well as the Pantheon and other parts of the city.
We also suggest checking out Nannybag, a service which has storage points across Rome (and other cities around the world).
Getting Around Rome
Rome is an easy city to get around, with multiple public bus routes as well as a metro and taxi services. The city center is also easily walkable. For our itinerary, the main section you might want to use transport for would be to get from the Roman Forum across to the Vatican.
In our itinerary, our suggestion is to actually walk this route. Whilst this will take around an hour, the route we suggest would take you through the historic center of Rome, and let you see some of Rome’s most famous attractions, including the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps.
Of course, depending on time and your personal preference, you might prefer to just head straight to the Vatican, and skip these, so you have time to explore the Vatican. In which case, the fastest option will definitely be to take a taxi, which will take in the region of 15 – 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Public transport, either bus or metro, will take around 40 minutes.
Further Reading for Visiting Rome
We have visited Rome a number of times, and from our trips we’ve put together a range of guides that we think you will find useful. We also have a number of go-to guidebooks and other resources that we think you will find helpful for planning your time in Rome.
- If you have longer in the city, or are just looking for more options for what to do, take a look at our guide to spending 3 Days in Rome, which also has some more practical information for your visit. We also have a guide to spending 2 Days in Rome as well as things to do in Rome.
- If you’d prefer to take more of a guided visit to Rome rather than plan your trip yourself, we have a guide to doing just that here.
- If you are interested in visiting the Borghese Gallery, one of Rome’s most popular art museums, check out our guide to visiting the Borghese Gallery.
- We also put together a detailed guide to visiting the Colosseum to help you plan your visit to this incredible structure
- If you are interested in walking tours, we recommend using either Take Walks or Context Travel. You can get a 10% discount just by using our link on any Context Travel tour. You can read about some of the walks and activities we’ve done here, here, and here.
- No visit to Rome is complete without eating gelato! To be sure you get the best stuff, take a look at our guide to finding the best Gelato in Rome.
- We also have a guide to where to find the best coffee in Rome, which also includes tips on how and what to order, as well as tips on saving money on your espresso shot!
- If you’re planning on visiting Rome in summer, read our tips for visiting a European city in summer to stay sane
- Looking to visit more of Italy? Check out our content on Venice, Milan and Florence for inspiration!
- We also have a detailed 10 day Italy itinerary to help you plan a trip in this wonderful country
- This day in Rome will likely be easier if you can get online and reference maps or this itinerary as you go. See our guide to getting online when you travel for tips on how to do that.
- If you’re looking for a physical (or Kindle!) guidebook, we recommend the Rick Steves Rome guide, which has lots of practical information to help you make the most of your stay
And that’s it for our guide to how to spend a day in Rome! We hope you found it useful – as always, if you have any questions or feedback, just let us know in the comments below!
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Amanda Trass says
Hi guys, hoping you can shed some light for me – we are a family of 6 travelling to Rome tomorrow and have left EVERYTHING to the last second as usual!!
I have read through your guide and tried to book tickets for the Colleseum. We have 4 children entitled to free tickets and there is only availability at 17:15 for them. The last available paid tickets are at 17:05. Do you know if there is any way around this for us?
Hope to hear from you!!
Laurence Norah says
Ok, so those timeslots are pretty close together, they would probably let you all in together, although I’m not sure if you can purchase child tickets separately. If you can then I would try that, it should be ok. The only other option is to book one of the lower priced tours instead, but that would be more expensive for all of you for sure. I hope it works out for you, have a great time in Rome!
Amanda Trass says
Thanks so much for your advice! I ended up purchasing through the Tiqet website which cost me $20NZD more, but gave me the confidence that we would all get in together!
Interestingly the time for the childrens’ tickets all said 1715 also but was never questioned or an issue.
Maybe that information will be helpful to you next time!
Had a great day in Rome!
Laurence Norah says
Thanks for the update Mandy, glad to hear you had a great time in Rome!
Tunde D says
Do you offer this on Sundays?
Laurence Norah says
So we don’t offer tours, although our recommended walking tour provider, Take Walks, does offer a tour with an itinerary similar to this, such as this full day tour. However, as the Vatican is normally closed on Sundays, this tour isn’t going to be available then. So you can likely find a tour which will cover the other attractions but not the Vatican.
Enjoy your time in Rome!
Sheree Campbell says
Love this website!
We are arriving a day early for a Celebrity Mediterranean Cruise in September (4 of us). We arrive about 11am to the airport and trying to decide how to get from airport to Rome and do a 1/2 day of sightseeing on Thursday and some morning sight seeing on Friday before heading to the port. We plan to stay overnight in a centrally located hotel as suggested on your website. What do you suggest we do?
Also, what do you suggest as a mode of transportation to Civitavecchia.
Thank you so much!
Laurence Norah says
Hi Sheree – thanks very much! So as with everything in life, it comes down to deciding between cost and convenience. There’s a section in this post about getting into Rome from both airports, you just have to decide if you want to take public transport or book a private ride like this one. The latter will likely be a little more expensive, but shared between four of you the price will likely end up being reasonable. This will be probably the quickest option.
If you are planning on visiting the major sights in Rome, then you might find that a Rome City Pass, which includes a transfer from the airport, is a good option, but you will have to do the maths based on the attractions you want to see to be sure it’s a good value for you.
To get to Civitavecchia the best option is likely going to be the train. These run regularly and take around an hour from Termini train station.
Have a great trip and let me know if you have any more questions!
Andrew Grima says
Hi Laurence and Norah
We love your blog. We are using your site to plan our two day/one night trip to Rome in October this year. We have booked Colessium skip the line and a Take walks tour of Vatican City. We also booked Hotel Mimosa Pantheon through your site.
We are planning to do a full day trip to Pisa and Florence on Day 2 and was hoping to get the driver to take us directly to Fiumicino Airport to connect with our 22:40 flight home to Australia. The only way to do this is to book a private tour which is prohibitively expensive for myself, wife and 11 year old daughter. We are looking at Get Your Guide tours recommended through your blog (Florence and Pisa full day trip from Rome-12 hours).
Is there a way to find out/advertise whether anyone else is in the same situation as us so that we can book a private tour together? This would make it affordable for everyone on that tour if others have late night flights out of Rome that day. The day we need this tour and connection to the airport is Saturday 17 October, 2020. We have plenty of time to plan this adventure.
Appreciate your thoughts and advice.
Andrew and Di
Laurence Norah says
Thanks for your message and kind words.
So I am sure there is some service or message board out there for this kind of thing, but I’m not sure exactly what it would be or how successful you might be with it.
I’m assuming you have considered just taking the tour as usual and then arranging a transfer to the airport? There are a range of options, from private transfers to the express train, so it should be quite easy. You would just need to store your luggage somewhere during the tour as most tours won’t let you bring lots of luggage with you.
Sorry not to be of more help!
Thank you for your prompt reply. Yes, what you suggested was our first option.
awesome blog, something i have been looking f for my two day Rome and Vatican plan during December this year. Would you like to advice anything specific as we(husband and my self in early thirties) are doing this during winter so less day light 🙂
Laurence Norah says
Thanks very much! We have visited in December and haven’t made much change to our plans, most of the attractions are just as pretty at night as by day, so other than making sure you visit everything during opening hours, you wouldn’t need to worry too much I don’t think 🙂
Have a great trip 🙂
Great information – Going to be super helpful. Visting rome at the end of April. I have little kids (5 and 7) so will take Taxis where possible. I need to start at noon so seems like I should start with Vaticant and then do the morning stuff the next day. Just got tickets for Vaticant museum and Sistine Chapel for the afternoon – what do you think we can do in the evening. Pantheon from outside, Trevi Fountain and spanish steps I read in your responses.
Q1. Is there a order that will make more sense since I will be coming out of Vaticant.
Q2. My kids are troopers I plan to be out and about as late as possible – is it safe to be out with kids at say 10pm and can I see anything at that time?
Q3. Does Lyft or Uber work in Rome?
Q4. Are there casual eating restaurants where we can get simple and healthy food?
Thanks a lot for your help
Laurence Norah says
Thanks very much 🙂 So I would definitely suggest the outdoor sights in central Rome would be the best option for the evening, and you have pretty much hit the key sights that I would suggest seeing in that area.
Q1 from the Vatican, I would suggest at least seeing the outside of the Castel Sant Angelo, which is very nearby. You could then take a taxi to Piazza Popolo, and walk from there down to the Spanish Steps, then on to the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon.
Q2 yes, we’ve never had any trouble in Rome, lots of people are out at night. As with any large city, it’s just being aware of possible pickpockets, and having your valuables zippered away, rather than an easy target in a back pocket.
Q3 At the time of writing, Uber and Lyft are not available in the city, other than in the high end Uber Lux / Uber Black, which is about twice the price of a normal taxi. So taxis are the only real option. It’s important to ensure the driver puts the meter on – the only time that you should pay a fixed fare is from the airports. There is an app called mytaxi, but unfortunately this isn’t like Uber – the meter starts running as soon as you pick a taxi, including as it comes to pick you up. Also note that most taxis only take cash. To be honest, we just took public transport in Rome, if you have a smartphone with data, then it’s easy to use Google Maps to find the right bus or metro.
Q4 – There are a lot of restaurants of all types in Rome, so I don’t think you’ll have difficulty finding a place to eat 🙂
Thank you so much these are very helpful
If you were to follow this itinerary starting at 8:30 am like you suggest – what time would you we be arriving at the Vatican?
Laurence Norah says
I would say around 1.30pm. Definitely from 1pm, and no later than 2pm, would be the time to aim for 🙂
I’ve read a lot of articles but this definitely stands out!! the information is very useful and considers every aspect when planning a quick trip to Rome.. I’m visiting on september, do you recommed to add the Plaza Navona in the intinerary?
Laurence Norah says
Thanks very much 🙂 I absolutely do, Piazza Navona is one of the standout architectural features in Rome, especially the fountain at the centre. It’s easy to add to the itinerary too, you can add it in either just before Castel Sant Angelo, or just after the Pantheon 🙂 Alternatively, it’s also very lively in the evenings. We’ve stayed just round the corner from here, and there are often performers here in the evening 🙂
Would it make sense to do your “Rome in a Day” walk in reverse? Just checking on tickets now and there is nothing in the morning for the Coliseum but we could get into St Peter’s Basilica in the morning time slot.
Laurence Norah says
Hi Sara – absolutely. Now that the Coliseum is also ticketed, the order is less important (the Coliseum used to just get busier throughout the day, but the timed entry system has lessened this issue somewhat!). So definitely go when you can 🙂
Great read – thank you. I’m visiting Italy at the end of April. We’re staying in Florence and will be coming to Rome for the day. My question is, what is parking like in the city? We’ll pretty much follow your itinerary, can you recommend an area to find a space or central car park?
Laurence Norah says
We rarely drive when visiting cities, so our only experience doing something similar was in Paris, where we used a service called Parclick to find and book a car park. I don’t have any direct experience in Florence so can’t recommend anything, but I’m sure a similar service exists. One option is also to look at the airport, as these often have long stay car park options as well as good transport links to the city
I hope this helps – have a great trip!
Carolina Marte says
Hello! This article is AMAZING! We wasnt sure if we should visit Rome, but after reading this we are DEFINETLY going, thank you!
Question: we are going from March 28 (arriving around 21:30h) to March 29 (returning in the 17:15 flight) with our two daughters: 11 years and 4 years old. Do you think is too much for them to do a “self walking tour” (we will love the guides tour, but is just too expensive for us 🙂
Also, can we do something that night since we are not actually having the complete 8hrs on March 29?
Laurence Norah says
Thanks very much! So I would say that this is a fair bit of walking, but you could cut that down a bit by taking the taxi or similar from the old town area to the Vatican. I also can’t really comment on the stamina of your daughters – some might find it too much, others will be just fine 🙂
That evening, depending on where your hotel is, if you want to see some things my suggestion would be to hit the historical center and see the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps. The pantheon won’t be open at that point, but the exterior is still impressive.
I hope this helps – have a great trip!
Carolina Marte says
Thanks! My daughters stamina are the highest always! Lol
We will be staying at Navona hotel per your recommendations.
What are the options to get from the Airport (Fiumicino)?
Hotel is charging me €48 for two passengers for a one way transportation.
Is the train safe (we arrive at 7:30pm)
Laurence Norah says
Sounds like your daughters will be fine, and it will be yourself you might have to worry about 😉
So there are a few options for getting into Rome, and yes, the train is safe 🙂
Your options are the airport buses (these take around an hour, but will likely be a little bit faster at the time you arrive), the Leonardo Express train (30 minutes to Termini for €14 / person, children under 4 are free, one child aged 4-14 can travel free per paying adult), and the regional FL1 train (around €8, one child 4-11 is free per paying adult). The last FL1 train is around 9.30pm, whilst the last Leonardo Express train is at 11.23pm.
The FL1 train would be the cheapest, but you would have to change at Trastevere and then take a trolley bus – you can see this route here:
It really depends on you which option you go for. Just be aware if you go to Termini it’s a bit of a walk to Navona, so you might want to take a taxi or bus (there are plenty of bus options).
I hope this helps!
I wanted to say thank you! I have been trying to find a helpful article while planning my trip and this was amazing! You have outdone every book, blog, and show I have tried! I am bookmarking your website and telling everyone I know how helpful this was! Thank you!!
Laurence Norah says
Thank you so much for your kind comment Isabel, it makes a big difference to us to know that we are helping people plan their adventures 😀