Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania. He prefers a slower pace to his travels to explore destinations more in-depth and to get a feel for what life is actually like there. When he’s not writing, he’s usually off exploring trails with his fiancée, Kaitlyn.
Not sure how many days to spend in Rome? This ultimate guide with itineraries helps you plan a trip and find how many days in Rome is enough.
Planning a trip to Italy is like creating a highlight reel for a travel influencer.
Venice’s charming canals, Florence’s towering churches, and the rolling vineyards of Tuscany.
And, of course, Rome. Planning a trip to Rome is always exciting.
But, with so much to see in Italy, how long in Rome is enough?
After taking multiple trips to Rome — both short and long — I’ve had the chance to figure that out. And I’ll help you figure out how long is right for you, along with some itineraries to help you decide how many days are right so you can experience the top things to do in Rome and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Let’s dive into it.
How many days in Rome is enough to see everything?
4-5 days is perfect to experience all Rome has to offer.
It’s a nice balance between seeing the major attractions and experiencing the city, but not overdoing it to where you get tired of the city.
Not that you will. Whether it’s dining, checking out museums, or exploring the outskirts, there’s always more to see in and around Rome if you need it. You could easily spend at least one day in Rome simply exploring the culinary scene.
So it’s worth taking the time to plan your itinerary wisely so you get your dream trip to Rome.
I’ll break down each day to help you get the most out of your trip.
Note: I recommend checking out the 72-hour Roma Pass or the Rome Tourist Card. These passes give you unlimited access to Rome’s public transportation, which makes getting where you need to in Rome easy. Plus, you can visit a few landmarks depending on your chosen pass.
Rome itinerary map
3 days in Rome itinerary
Three days in Rome is the minimum I recommend.
Two days in Rome isn’t enough time to see and enjoy the city without missing out on a lot. So, I don’t recommend trying to squeeze everything into 2 days in Rome.
With three days, you may feel a bit rushed and will have to cut some things out. But it gives you enough time to explore Rome and get a good feel for the city, especially if you’re eager to see the heart of Rome.
To help you save time, I’ve grouped the attractions by location so you can maximize what you get to see.
So, let’s dive into your 72 hours in Rome itinerary!
Day 1: The Heart of Ancient Rome
Attractions on Day 1:
- Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- Altare della Patria
- Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore
Day one kicks off with the best of Rome.
You get five main attractions in Rome on this first day, including some big ones in the city center.
It starts at the Colosseum. I know, a pretty big entrance, right? Make sure to get your tickets in advance and book early to avoid the crowds. Well, as much as you can avoid crowds at one of the largest tourist attractions in the world 😅.
Plus, you cross one of the large attractions off your list early.
After the Colosseum, head to the Roman Forum.
Included in your Colosseum ticket is access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. So you get all three bundled in one, and you get easy access to stroll around these ancient ruins. Not a bad deal, eh?
After these three, stroll down Via dei Fori Imperiali to Altare Della Patria, or “Altar of our Fatherland.” This monument is dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy, and the unification of Italy.
So you get a dose of ancient Roman history and more modern history in one short walk.
Last, head toward Basilica Papala di Santa Maria Maggiore.
This church is one of the most important and beautiful basilicas in the city of Rome. Plus, it’s one of the oldest and most significant churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, dating all the way back to the 5th century AD.
And that wraps up day one! Congrats, you just saw some of the most incredible sights in the world!
Day 2: Roman culture
Attractions on Day 2
- Piazza Navona
- Trevi Fountain
- Spanish Steps
Day two will be a bit lighter.
There are four total attractions, and all are within walking distance of each other.
To begin, start at Piazza Navona. This wide open space features the beautiful Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). Enjoy some time in this area by grabbing a coffee or some food while you sit back and enjoy people-watching.
Next, head to the Pantheon.
The Pantheon is one of the most impressive buildings I’ve seen in Rome. Its size is large, yes. But it feels even bigger when you’re standing in front of it.
You can tour the temple/church if you’d like.
After, go to the Trevi Fountain.
Everyone knows the Trevi Fountain from the photos. But what you don’t see in the photos is the sheer amount of people that flock to this place. I’m talking so many people you’d think there was an Ed Sheeran concert nearby.
Tip: Visit during the shoulders of summer (March-May or September-November), and you’ll get the same view with fewer crowds.
Last, head to the Spanish Steps.
The Spanish Steps are another perfect photo-op. But watch out for scammers. They walk around with roses, attempting to stuff them into your hands. If your hand is open, they’ll stick a rose in it and hassle you until you pay them. It’s easier to simply walk around tight-fisted and not give them the opportunity.
But don’t let that ward you off. The Spanish Steps are beautiful and worth the visit.
Plus, they’re the perfect way to finish day two 😉.
Day 3: Vatican City
Attractions on Day 3:
- Vatican City
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Sistine Chapel
- The Aventine Keyhole
First, head to Castel Sant’Angelo to start day 3 in Rome.
This imposing fortress was originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian but later served as a papal residence and prison. Besides the history, the views from the top offer an excellent panorama of Rome.
After, take the short walk to Vatican City, and take in St. Peter’s Basilica.
In St. Peter’s Square, you can get a beautiful view of the basilica and relax for a bit. You must book a guided tour to visit the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum. Booking this online ahead of time saves you tons of time and helps you skip the lines. And trust me, once you see the long lines of people, you’ll be glad you did.
Next, head south to Trastevere.
Trastevere is the perfect area to spend the afternoon roaming the streets, getting a drink, and grabbing some lunch. It’s such a beautiful area, so take your time or find a cafe to relax. You’ll see many college students walking around, especially if you stay till the evening.
Last, head to The Aventine Keyhole.
This little keyhole offers one of the coolest views of St. Peter’s Basilica in this part of Rome. It’s a short walk up a hill to get to it, but the unique view is well worth it.
And it’s the perfect end to your day to view it basically where you began — only through a keyhole!
You can view a walking map of the day-by-day sights using this Google Map.
4 days in Rome itinerary
Let’s build on our 3-day itinerary with more attractions.
Day 4: Tour the many museums of Rome
Attractions on Day 4:
- Galeria Borghese
- Capuchin Crypt
- Four National Roman Museums
You’ve already seen the major attractions and gotten a dose of culture. But let’s turn things up a notch with some museums.
Start your day at Galeria Borghese.
It’s perfect for any art lover with its large collection of Renaissance and Baroque art. This includes works from Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian, and Raphael. Plus, the beautiful sculptures and paintings sit among a scenic garden, making it the perfect place to spend a late morning/early afternoon.
Next, head to the Capuchin Crypt.
The crypt has the remains of Capuchin friars, which are arranged in artistic patterns and intricate designs. It’s also a glimpse into the Capuchin order’s religious practices in the past. So, if you’re looking for a unique activity in Rome, you’ve found it.
Last, visit the four National Roman museums.
The collections detail Rome’s vast historical and artistic heritage:
- Palazzo Massimo: Holds many Roman art pieces and artifacts
- Palazzo Altemps: Located in a Renaissance palace, it houses a range of Roman sculptures from different Roman periods
- Crypta Balbi: Offers a view into the urban development of Rome over the centuries
- Baths of Diocletian: These ancient Roman baths have a huge collection of sculptures, inscriptions, and other architectural pieces
You don’t have to visit all four, but adding a couple to your list is well worth it.
You can see the four-day itinerary on Google Maps here.
5 days in Rome itinerary
Five full days in Rome is an excellent amount of time to spend in Rome if you like to take things slow.
Some people don’t like to go, go, go. So, spreading out the sites across more days on your trip to Rome and taking the time to see Rome at a slower pace is a great option.
Here are a few more attractions to add to your list if you’re looking for a five-day itinerary.
👉 Want to find a cheap flight to Rome?: Hopper App Review: Is It Legit for Cheap Flights
Day 5: Sample a bit of everything
Attractions on Day 5:
- Baths of Caracalla
- Appian Way Regional Park
- Otello’s Restaurant in Trastevere
First, start at the ancient thermal Baths of Caracalla.
These baths date back to the 3rd century AD and give you a look into one of the most popular activities in ancient Rome. People at the time came here to socialize, exercise, and relax, so it’s fun to imagine what this place would have looked like hundreds of years ago.
Next, head to the Appian Way Regional Park.
This ancient Roman road is flanked by ancient tombs, ruins, and lush countryside. This was one of the most important roads in ancient Rome, serving as the first super highway. At its peak, it spanned 400 miles and was critical for Roman trade.
Last, try all four Roman pastas at Otello.
It’s a big feat, but finishing all four Roman pastas in one sitting is an excellent way to spend an evening (and send you home in a food coma).
The four Roman pastas are:
- Cacio e Pepe
And don’t worry if the waiter/waitress looks at you like you’re crazy. Just assure them you know what you’re doing.
If you want to view a Google Maps walking route, you can see it here.
Where to stay in Rome
Whether you spend one day or five weeks in Rome, you’ll have plenty of options for accommodation.
From hotels to private rooms, you can find it all here. So, I’ll highlight some of the top areas to stay, along with a brief highlight of them.
If you want to know more, Untold Italy has a great post about each neighborhood.
If it’s your first time in Rome, this is a great area to stay in.
Most major sights are within walking distance, and there are more than enough restaurants and bars in the area to keep you busy. Plus, it’s one of the best areas to get a true feel for The Eternal City.
People love Trastevere for its cobbled streets and narrow alleys.
That and it has some amazing food options in the area, too.
Trastevere isn’t far from the Colosseum and other major landmarks.
So, if you don’t mind a bit of walking, you can enjoy everything this small neighborhood has to offer and still see the major sites.
If you plan to explore the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, and other nearby areas, why not stay next to them?
The area around the Vatican is quiet and relatively calm. You can still find great restaurants and some nightlife if you want it. Plus, it’s not a terribly far walk to get to the center of Rome.
Plus, it’s got the Old Bridge Gelateria, where you can snag some dangerously delicious gelato.
Plan to head to other areas of Italy before returning back to Rome?
Then Roma Termini is a great place to stay. With the train station smack dab in the middle of the area, it’s easy to hop on a train to Florence, Napoli, or Venice.
And it’s cheaper than in other areas, so it’s great for budget travelers!
When is the best time to visit Rome?
Lucky for you, the best time to visit Rome is basically the entire year!
From March until November, Rome is a fantastic place to visit, with great weather and plenty of time to enjoy the sights.
The peak season for travel is June, July, and August, so expect heavy crowds and hot weather. If you go on the shoulder seasons (March-April/August-October), you’ll have fewer crowds and more temperate weather. Remember, Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world.
So, when I say there are huge crowds, expect long wait times no matter where you go.
Where to eat in Rome
I’m not a food expert, but I definitely know a good restaurant when I visit.
So, here are a few to visit during your vacation.
Otello was mentioned in the itineraries as the place where you can eat all four Roman pastas (I challenge you to do this).
But that’s not all they have on their menu. With other Italian staples, you can find anything you want here. I even saw some people eating hamburgers.
So, if you want a nice dining night out, Otello’s is an excellent choice.
Tonnarrello is in the winding streets of Trastevere.
And it’s been serving up delicious dishes since 1876. Which is why it’ll likely be packed when you arrive. But that just makes for a better experience as you pinch yourself into one of the tables.
Featuring all the classic dishes of Rome and other Italian favorites, the restaurant cooks it up quickly and doesn’t skimp on quality.
For a solid dish, go with the Carbonara, which I thought was excellent here.
Pizzeria La Boccaccia
I’m a huge pizza fan.
So, if I can find amazing pizza while I’m wandering around, I’ll return repeatedly. And that’s exactly what I did with Pizzeria La Boccaccia.
Because of the quick in-and-out nature, this would be a great place to stop for lunch in the middle of an exploration day. Featuring a bunch of different pizza varieties that rotate daily, you can easily pop in, grab a few slices, and then continue exploring.
If you love pizza, don’t miss out on Pizzeria La Boccaccia.
Located just north of Piazza del Popolo, Marzapane is an excellent place to get a HUGE variety of foods from a top chef.
But know you’re in for a dining experience as they offer three- and five-course menus.
So, if you like fine dining, Marzapane is for you.
Best day trips from Rome
Now’s your chance to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii.
Just a short train ride away, it’s the perfect day trip to take and explore a piece of Roman history. You could spend hours wandering the ruins, checking out the artifacts (just be sure not to touch anything!).
If you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast, this is the perfect stop-off between it and Rome.
A bit further away but still worth the journey, Florence makes a great day trip.
Visit art museums like the Uffizi Gallery and see the iconic Florence Cathedral. I’d recommend staying longer if you can because enjoying a full day in Florence is truly worth it.
But if you don’t have the time, a quick day trip will still do.
Ready to plan your trip to Rome?
Rome is one of my favorite cities in the world.
Every visit is packed with fun in an exciting and vibrant city. It doesn’t hurt there’s loads of good food, too. (So try out a food tour if you get the chance!)
But I’m eager to hear about your trip. I’m curious to hear if you’ve decided how many days to spend in Rome. And, if you’re a first-timer in Rome, what are your plans to visit everything Rome has to offer? Let me know in the comments!