Rome is a destination that we should all visit one day. It is one of the most visited capital cities in the world and undoubtedly has a lot of things to see. If you only have a few days to see the city, it is very important that you organize your itinerary, so in this post you will see my itinerary for Rome in 3 days.
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Rome… The capital of Italy, and of the great Roman Empire. Rome is undoubtedly a city that leaves us all impressed with its greatness. Walking through Rome is really walking through an open-air museum. Everything you see will have a story behind it.
As you would expect for such an important city, Rome is huge and there is so much to see. If you can only visit it for 3 days, it is really important that you plan your itinerary to be able to make the most of your time in the city. When I was in Rome for the first time, this was the itinerary I follow and I was able to see everything I wanted to.
How to save money in activities in Rome
Many activities in Rome are paid, so if you want to save some money it might be a good option to get the attraction pass Go City.
You can buy the pass to use it in 2 to 7 activities in the city. There are more than 30 attractions to choose including the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Castel Sant’Angelo, and more.
Things to do in Rome in 3 days: a complete itinerary
>DAY 1: Vatican – Castel Sant’Angelo – Piazza Navona
We start the first day in Rome with one of the most important places in Europe. Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and an unmissable place for its architecture and art.
The access to the Vatican itself is free. Then there are a series of activities and places that require you to pay an entrance fee. The main places to visit in the Vatican are:
– Piazza San Pietro: Saint Peter’s Square is the square in front of the Basilica. It is the great access to the Vatican and a clear example of baroque architecture. As soon as you approach Via della Conciliazione, you will be surprised by the grandeur of the place. Access to Piazza San Pietro is free and you do not need to book a ticket in advance.
– St. Peter’s Basilica: The building that undoubtedly dominates the entire Vatican and Rome, since its dome can be seen from almost the entire city. The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter is the largest Christian church in the world, covering an area of 2.3 hectares. The grandeur of the place really amazes people of any religion.
Access to the Basilica is free but you have to go through a control check so there is usually a queue. If you visit in summer I recommend you do it first thing in the morning.
– St Peter’s Basilica Dome: In addition to visiting the interior of the Basilica, it is also possible to access its dome. It is a visit that I highly recommend because the views are incredible. However, it is important to know that even if you choose to go up by elevator, you have to climb some narrow stairs on the last part so it is clearly not for everyone.
The ticket to go up St Peter’s Basilica Dome is sold at the access to the Basilica, it is not possible to book it in advance on the Vatican website. Again, there is usually a long line here (I went in June and had an hour wait). Another option is to book this guided tour with dome climb.
– Vatican Museums: the Vatican Museums house the entire art collection of the Catholic Church. They are made up of a set of buildings and gardens. Within the museums there is also the famous Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.
It is necessary to book a ticket in advance for the Vatican Museums as they sell out very quickly. Admission to the Vatican Museums is included in the Go City attraction pass.
You can also book this guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
- Castel Sant’Angelo
After visiting the Vatican (which will take you most of the day), walk to Castel Sant’Angelo. It is located very close, on the edge of the River Tiber. The Castle was built in the year 135 as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian. You can visit the interior of the castle or simply enjoy the beautiful view from the other side of the river. Admission to Castel Sant’Angelo is included in the Go City attraction pass.
- Piazza Navona
If you still have energy left, keep walking to Piazza Navona, one of the most important public spaces in Rome. In the square you will find a series of buildings and monuments with great architectural value.
You can end the day having dinner in one of the many restaurants located in this area.
>DAY 2: Colosseum – Roman Forum – Bocca della Verità – Trastevere
The second day in Rome begins with nothing more and nothing less than a visit to the Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre, one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Colosseum is an amphitheater from the time of the Roman Empire, built in the 1st century.
To access the Colosseum it is necessary to buy the ticket online. The ticket is sold together with the Roman Forum (it is valid for 24 hours). This is the official website to buy the ticket. Something that I highly recommend if you are going to enter the Colosseum on your own is to buy an audio guide at the entrance to the Colosseum, to understand the importance of this place.
You can also book this Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
- Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
After seeing the Colosseum, head to the Roman Forum. Here you will be able to see the magnitude and greatness of the Roman Empire. As I already said, the entrance to the forum is bought together with the Colosseum, you can access both places in 24 hours.
- Bocca della Verità
In the afternoon it is time to cross to the other side of the River Tiber, but not before stopping by the Bocca della Verità or Mouth of truth. This ancient marble mask is located at the entrance to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin and according to the legend, whoever lies will lose its hand when placing it in this mouth.
The entrance to the Bocca and the Church is free.
End your secon day in Rome in Trastevere, the most picturesque neighborhood in the city. Beautiful little streets full of bars and restaurants, pastel-colored buildings and an avid nightlife. Obviously you have to stay for dinner in this area. I went to Ristorante La Canonica and I recommend it, but the truth is that every place looks good in Italy!.
>DAY 3: Fontana di Trevi – Panteón de Agripa – Piazza di Spagna – Piazza del Poppolo – Terrazza del Pincio
- Fontana di Trevi
Start the last day by visiting a must-see of these 3 days in Rome: the Trevi Fountain. This fountain is one of the most visited sites in the city. Surely you have seen it in thousands of photos but seeing it in person is really impressive.
- Pantheon of Agrippa
After seeing the Fontana, it’s time to visit another of the most important monuments in Rome: the Pantheon of Agrippa. It is one of the best preserved buildings of Ancient Rome and its dome is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world!
The entrance to the Pantheon is free. Hwever in high season if you are going to visit it on a weekend you have to make a book a free antrance ticket on the web since they limit access.
- Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous squares in the city, easily recognized by its incredible staircases. Its name is due to the fact that the Spain Palace, headquarters of the Spanish embassy, is located there.
- Piazza del Poppolo
If you keep walking straight along Via del Bahuino, you will reach Piazza del Poppolo, which is another very important square in Rome. Right in the middle of the square is the 24-meter-high Flaminian Obelisk, part of the obelisks that were transported from Egypt.
Terrazza del Pincio
Right next to Piazza del Poppolo is the Terrazza del Pincio, which has an amazing view of the whole city and especially the square. I recommend you end your day in this beautiful park.
Where to stay in Rome
There are many accommodation options in Rome. On my 3 day trip to Rome, I stayed at 1880 Atypical Rooms and completely recommend it.
The hotel only has 6 rooms, each with a super elegant and contemporary design. It is located close to Roma Termini train station and abput 10 minutes from the Fontana di Trevi. The hotel staff was super helpful even before I got to Rome and I really loved the place.
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