How Many Days in Rome is Enough?

How Many Days in Rome is Enough? A Guide [w/ Itineraries!]

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
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.

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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 short and long trips to Rome, I’ve had the chance to figure that out. 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 without overdoing it to the point where you get tired of it.

Finding out how many days in Rome is enough is difficult with so many things to do

Not that you will. Whether dining, visiting museums or exploring the outskirts, there’s always more to see in and around Rome. You could easily spend at least one day exploring the culinary scene in Rome.

So, it’s worth planning your itinerary wisely so you can have 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, making getting where you need to be easy. Plus, you can visit a few landmarks depending on your chosen pass.

Rome itinerary map

This map was created with Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android

5 day Rome itinerary

Day 1: The heart of Ancient Rome

Estimated time: Half or full day

Attractions on Day 1:

  • Colosseum
  • 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, it’s a pretty big entrance, right? 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.

Your Colosseum ticket includes access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. So you get all three bundled in one and easy access to stroll around these ancient ruins. Not a bad deal, eh?

Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

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 Rome. It’s one of the oldest and most significant churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, dating back to the 5th century AD.

Where to eat:

  • Trattoria Luzzi
  • Trattoria Monti
  • Taverna Romana
Rome trip itineraries
Rome Itinerary

Day 2: Roman culture

Estimated time: Half or full day

Attractions on Day 2

  • Piazza Navona
  • Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Spanish Steps

Day two will be a bit lighter.

There are four total attractions, all within walking distance of each other.

To begin, start at Piazza Navona. This vast 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 food while you sit back and enjoy people-watching.

Next, head to the Pantheon.

The Pantheon is one of the most impressive buildings 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.

The Pantheon in Rome

After, go to the Trevi Fountain.

Everyone knows the Trevi Fountain from the photos. But you don’t see the sheer number of people that flock to this place in the photos. 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.

Trevi Fountain in Rome

Last, head to the Spanish Steps.

The Spanish Steps is 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 and hassle you until you pay them. It’s easier to 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 😉.

Where to eat:

  • Ristorante La Campana
  • Pantha Rei
  • Ginger

Day 3: Vatican City

Estimated time: Full day

Attractions on Day 3:

  • Vatican City
  • Castel Sant’Angelo
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Trastevere
  • The Aventine Keyhole

First, head to Castel Sant’Angelo to start day 3 in Rome.

This imposing fortress was initially built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian but later served as a papal residence and prison. In addition to its history, the views from the top offer an excellent panorama of Rome.

Castel Sant Angelo in 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 beforehand saves you time and helps you skip the lines. And trust me, once you see the long lines of people, you’ll be glad you did.

Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

Next, head south to Trastevere.

Trastevere is the perfect area to spend the afternoon roaming the streets, getting a drink, and grabbing lunch. It’s such a beautiful area, so take your time or find a cafe to relax. Many college students will walk around, especially if you stay till the evening.

A group eats lunch in Trastevere

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 where you began — only through a keyhole!

View of St. Peter's Basilica through the Aventine Keyhole

Where to eat:

  • Il Segreto
  • Otello
  • Tonnarrello
  • Pizzeria La Boccaccia

Day 4: Tour the many museums of Rome

Estimated time: Half or full day

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 Renaissance and Baroque art collection, including works by 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 or early afternoon.

Galeria Borghese in Rome

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.

Skulls line the wall in an intricate pattern in the Capuchin Crypt

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.

Where to eat:

  • Ristorante La Tavernatta
  • Masto a Testaccio
  • Pane e Salame

👉 Want to find a cheap flight to Rome?: Hopper App Review: Is It Legit for Cheap Flights

Day 5: Sample a bit of everything

Estimated time: Full day

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 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.

Aerial view of the Baths of Caracalla

Next, head to the Appian Way Regional Park.

Ancient tombs, ruins, and lush countryside flank this ancient Roman road. It was one of the most important roads in ancient Rome, serving as the first super highway. It spanned 400 miles at its peak 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
  • Carbonara
  • Amatriciana
  • Gricia

And don’t worry if the waiter or waitress looks at you like you’re crazy. Just assure them you know what you’re doing.

Where to eat:

  • Otello (obviously!)
  • Ristorante L’Archeologia
  • Hostaria Antica Roma
  • Tonnarrello

Where to stay in Rome

Whether you spend one day or five weeks in Rome, you’ll have plenty of options for accommodation.

You can find everything here, from hotels to private rooms. So, I’ll highlight some of the top areas to stay and give a brief overview of them.

If you want to know more, Untold Italy has a great post about each neighborhood.

Pantheon/Piazza Navona

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.

Trastevere

People love Trastevere for its cobbled streets and narrow alleys, and the area has some amazing food options, too.

A side street in Trastevere

Trastevere is near the Colosseum and other major landmarks. So, if you don’t mind a bit of walking, you can enjoy everything this small neighborhood offers and still see the major sites.

Vatican

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. However, you can still find great restaurants and some nightlife if you want it. Plus, it’s not a far walk to the center of Rome.

Plus, it’s got the Old Bridge Gelateria, where you can snag some dangerously delicious gelato.

Roma Termini

Plan to head to other areas of Italy before returning to Rome?

If so, Roma Termini is a great place to stay. The train station is smack dab in the middle of the area, making it 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?

Luckily, the best time to visit Rome is 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.

Side view of Colosseum

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.

Best day trips from Rome

Pompei

Now’s your chance to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii.

A street in the Pompei ruins

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!).

A statue in Pompei

If you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast, this is the perfect stop-off between it and Rome.

Florence

A bit further away but still worth the journey, Florence makes a great day trip.

Cathedral in Florence, Italy

Visit art museums like the Uffizi Gallery and see the iconic Florence Cathedral. I’d recommend staying longer if possible because enjoying a full day in Florence is worth it.

But a quick day trip will still do if you don’t have the time.

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 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 offers? Let me know in the comments!

Also, if you’re headed to Rome, you may want to look for an Airbnb discount or find the best Airbnb hacks!

Last, if you aren’t already, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok!

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
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.

One response to “How Many Days in Rome is Enough? A Guide [w/ Itineraries!]”

  1. Mark Avatar
    Mark

    Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.