Credit

Courtesy of joe daniel price/Getty Images

1-day Itinerary in Rome

Explore the best things to do in Paris in 1 day based on recommendations from local experts.

Day 1

  • 1
    #4
    Colosseum (Colosseo)
    View all Photos
    #4 in Rome
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The site of many bloody gladiatorial fights, the Colosseum, which was opened in 80 A.D., could then hold about 50,000 spectators. With a circumference of 573 yards and sitting on marshland, experts say the Colosseum is an engineering wonder… not to mention an animal- and human-rights atrocity.

    Today, the massive complex is a favorite site amongst travelers. That said, you'll find lengthy lines almost anytime you visit. To beat the queues, you can purchase a ticket at the Roman Forum, which allows you admittance to both, as well as Palatine Hill, and a line jump at the Colosseum.

    Recent Colosseum visitors recommended opting for a tour guide (many endorsed those offered by Viator), with some saying it gives more context, providing a richer experience than simply viewing the structure (you'll find little public information or exhibits if you tour the site yourself). Other travelers specifically suggest taking a night tour to beat the crowds.

    The Colosseum is open daily at 8:30 a.m. until varying times, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., depending on the season, and you can find it off the Colosseo metro stop. To avoid long wait times, purchase your ticket in advance online. Ticket prices start at 12 euros (or about $15) for adults and 7.50 euros (around $9) for kids. If you purchased a Roma Pass, your admission fee is covered.

    ...Read More »
    10 minute walk
  • 2
    #6
    Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
    View all Photos
    #6 in Rome
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Not as popular as the Colosseum (but located nearby), some say the Roman Forum is more interesting. The Roman Forum comprises much of the Ancient Rome's most important structures, from shrines to government houses to monuments. Although much of the complex is in ruins, you can see the remains and imagine the former glory of the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus and the House of the Vestal Virgins, among other structures.

    Recent travelers called a visit to the Roman Forum a "must," but they do advise future visitors to rent or stream an audio guide or hire a local guide (according to reviewers is little written on the informational plaques). Past visitors also suggest allotting plenty of time to see the ruins and wearing weather-appropriate attire (there is little to no shade at the site).  

    The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum have separate ticket entrances, but all three sites can be accessed via one admission ticket. Tickets cost 12 euros (less than $15) for adults and 7.50 euros (or about $9.30) for kids. The tickets grants you access to all three sites; you can walk around each freely. Tickets are valid for two consecutive days and good for one entrance to the Colosseum and one entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Access to all three sites is free the first Sunday of the month (though you'll contend with swells of crowds). If you purchased a Roma Pass, your admission fee is covered. The Forum is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to an hour before sunset. The closest metro station is Colosseo on the blue line B. To purchase your ticket online in advance, visit this website.

    ...Read More »
    15-20 miunutes by bus; 25-30 minute walk
  • 3
    #1
    Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
    View all Photos
    #1 in Rome
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    A must-see on many travelers' itineraries, the Trevi Fountain is situated amongst a high concentration of hotels, shopping and nightlife. Finished in the mid-1700s, the Trevi is a powerful example of a baroque design with a distinctly mythological character. The god of the sea, Oceanus, emerges from the pool, flanked by his trusty Tritons. The fountain underwent an extensive, mutlimillion euro restoration and reopened in its full splendor in November 2015.

    According to Roman lore, throwing one, two or three coins into the Trevi, with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you'll return to Rome; you'll fall in love with an attractive Roman; and you'll marry that same Roman.

    This mythological site is best viewed at night when lights illuminate the fountain. However, some travelers lament the Trevi's many tourists and aggressive local street vendors (you'll likely have a hard time getting a crowd-free photo here). Located in Corso and Spagna, the Trevi Fountain sits off the Barberini metro stop. It is free to visit 24/7.

    ...Read More »
    10 minute walk
  • 4
    #3
    Pantheon
    View all Photos
    #3 in Rome
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Pantheon, a former Roman temple and now a present-day church, is known for its perfect proportions, which is amazing, seeing as it was raised in A.D. 120. While you're there, you can also pay your respects to Raphael, as well as Italian kings Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, who are all buried there.

    Recent visitors described this free attraction as a must-see; they also say the Piazza della Rotonda, in which it's located, is a cozy setting for a coffee, pizza slice or gelato. Other recommended paying for a tour guide to better understand the ancient history you're seeing. Beat the crowds by visiting early in the morning.

    The former pagan temple can be found in the Navona and Campo corner of Rome, accessible via the Barberini metro stop.

    ...Read More »
    10-15 minutes by car
  • 5
    #2
    St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
    View all Photos
    #2 in Rome
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The epicenter of Roman Catholicism, St. Peter's Basilica is centered in Vatican City and open daily for free. (Though it's closed on Wednesday mornings for pope appearances.) Many visitors enjoy trekking to the top of the dome. For a fee of 6 euros (about $7.50), you can climb the 551 steps to the summit; for a fee of 8 euros (about $10), you can take an elevator to a terrace where you'll climb just 320. Regardless, you'll take in a panorama of Rome's spectacular landscape. If you've come hoping to catch a glimpse of the pope, you should consider attending the Wednesday General Audience, when he address the crowd in St. Peter's Square with prayers and songs. It's free to attend, but tickets are required. You'll also want to make sure he is in residence; check the Vatican website to view the schedule. No ticket is required to see the pope on Sundays, when he usually address the crowd in St. Peter's Square at noon.

    Keep in mind that this is an active church with daily Mass services. Likewise, a stringent dress code is enforced: No short skirts, hats or bare shoulders. And because St. Peter's Basilica is one of the area's major attractions, there is almost always a long queue – though it tends to go fast. Recent travelers recommend you spring for a tour guide; the depth of insight they bring to the basilica really makes the experience.

    St. Peter's Basilica is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. between April and September, and every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from October to March. To get here, visitors can take the metro line A (red) to the Ottaviano station. To learn more, visit the Vatican City State's website.

    ...Read More »
    15 minute walk
  • 6
    #5
    Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
    View all Photos
    #5 in Rome
    Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    You'll find one of Vatican City's most notorious attractions housed within these walls – the Sistine Chapel (and Michelangelo's famous frescos). A tour of the Vatican Museums grants access to various sections of the palaces, the Sistine Chapel included. But don't overlook the treasures housed within the museums themselves, including the spiral staircase and the Raphael Rooms. The Vatican Museums are so immense that guided tours are highly recommended though they make the price of visiting pretty expensive. Audio guides are a much cheaper alternative.

    Recent visitors gushed about the Vatican Museums, but warned future visitors to reserve tickets online well in advance. Others suggested splurging for the guided tours as they offer a wealth of knowledge. If you don't want to spend on a guided tour, consider doing your homework and reading up on the site before visiting – a recommendation from past travelers.

    Budget several hours to see this attraction. Keep in mind that the museums are notoriously crowded, especially on Saturdays, Mondays, the last Sunday of the month, rainy days and around holidays. You should also respect the museums' dress code (no short skirts, shorts or bare shoulders), as well as the whisper and no-photo policies in the Sistine Chapel. Located in Vatican City, you can find the museums off the Cipro-Musei Vaticani metro stop; bus No. 49 stops in front of the museums' entrance. Tickets start at 17 euros (or about $21) for adults and 8 euros (about $9.90) for children ages 6 to 18. If you purchase your tickets online (on the museums' official website), you'll have the benefit of skipping the line. Audio guide rentals start at 7 euros (less than $9). The museums are free to visit (though very crowded) on the last Sunday of the month. The museums are open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; final entry is at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the website.

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Rome

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019