As a tourist, it’s normal to wonder how many days in Rome are enough to explore and experience the historic city. Rome, also known as the Eternal City, has tons of attractions that would take months to fully explore. But considering your budget and schedule might not allow you to stay for many days, let alone weeks, how many days are enough to properly explore the city?
It’s impossible to visit all Roman destinations and popular attractions in days. However, a few days is enough to explore some of the most popular attractions like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Palatine Hill, and Trastevere. If you can spend a week in Rome, you can use the last two days to explore nearby areas like Tivoli, Pompeii, Villa Adriana, and even Ancient Ostia.
If you’re wondering how many days you should spend in Rome to properly explore the city, then you couldn’t be in a better place. Read on as we break down some of the main attractions you can tour (and activities to do) during your short stay in Rome.
How Many Days Do You Need in Rome?
The number of days you need in Rome largely depends on the destinations you’d like to visit. Due to its size and wealth of attractions, it would take months to fully explore the city and experience its vibrant culture. But that doesn’t mean your short stay won’t be eventful or fun. Even a day is enough to experience a bit of Rome and leave with lasting memories.
To help you plan your stay better, we’ll focus on small tours of your short stay. We’ll break down the best places to explore in a day, 3 days, 5 days, or even 7 days. Let’s dive in.
Visit Rome in 1 Day
If you’re short on time and can’t stay in Rome for more than a day, you’ll be glad to learn that you can still accomplish a lot. It’s all about breaking down the day to ensure you have morning, afternoon, and evening activities.
Get your trip off to a great start by visiting the Colosseum, one of Rome’s most popular attractions. The elliptical amphitheater is the world’s largest despite being built over 1900 years ago. You’ll enjoy touring the Colosseum as it’s adequately serviced by the city’s public transport network. It’s best to pre-book your tickets to avoid eternal queues, as the Colosseum is arguably among the most in-demand attractions in Rome, especially during the peak season.
After experiencing the Colosseum in 2-3 hours, you can wrap up your morning excursions by touring the Arch of Constantine. It’s an ancient monument you’ll want to experience due to its rich history and impressive architecture. Oh, and it’s strategically located, as there are several restaurants like the Crab, Trattoria Luzzi, and Hostaria da Nerone that you can visit without heading too far out.
For your afternoon excursion, you can visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Located between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, the Roman Forum is a historic attraction that acted as a key location in ancient Rome. You can kickstart your afternoon excursions by touring the rectangular forum that acted as a center for public meetings and gladiatorial combats while also housing several law courts.
Once done with the Roman Forum, it’s time to explore the nearby Palatine Hill, the centermost of the famous Roman 7 hills. As one of the most ancient parts of modern-day Rome, you’ll enjoy the aesthetically appealing network of ancient ruins and palaces.
As the day comes to a close, you can tour the beautiful Piazza Venezia, popularly called Venice Square. Attractions you can tour while on-site include visiting the Altare della Patria to learn about ancient Roman culture and get a good view of Rome. You can also tour the Capitoline Museums located on the Piazza Venezia’s right side and explore a rich connection of Roman artifacts.
Visit Rome in 3 Days
If you’ve got a lot more days (and change) to spare, you can explore several other attractions on your second and third day in Rome.
As you continue experiencing the magic that is Roman culture and traditions, why not visit Vatican City, the HQ of the Roman Catholic Church? The independent city-state is located at the center of Rome and is ruled by the Pope himself. Some of the popular destinations to visit in Vatican City include the world-renowned St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Michelangelo-designed Sistine Chapel.
Once done with Vatican City, next is to experience the Ponte Sant’Angelo, an ancient bridge built over the Tiber River. It’s a pedestrian-only bridge, meaning you’ll get to walk calmly and enjoy the scenic view of the 10 magnetic angels. Be prepared to deal with street vendors, but the trip is worthwhile when touring Vatican City.
So how many days in Rome are enough to get you satisfied with the trip? Well, even three days can be enough if you make great use of your time. On the third day, you can take things up a notch higher by visiting the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain.
Kickstart your third day in Rome by exploring the Pantheon, the most preserved ancient Roman structure. You’ll get to learn more about the ancient Roman culture from its initial purpose and some of the important persons who were buried there. Fun fact, you can also get married at the Pantheon, or better yet, take beautiful photos from outside.
After you’ve finished your morning escapades at the Pantheon, you can check out the nearby Piazza Navona and experience Rome’s finest fountains. Be ready to view and take photographs of fountains like Neptune and Four Rivers.
While enjoying the Roman fountains, you can complete your day’s activities by touring the Trevi Fountain, a truly magical Roman attraction. Besides the stunning water fountains, you’ll enjoy the ornate sculptures that make the attraction a site to behold. And while at it, why not throw a coin and be a part of the attraction’s famed ‘coin tradition’?
Visit Rome in 5 Days
Still wondering how many days in Rome are enough? Sadly, not even 5 days can be enough. But you can make the most of your 4th and 5th day by visiting some pretty neat attractions.
Can be a great day to visit the Galleria Borghese and view some of the world’s best sculptures. You’ll get a close-up view of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s revered sculptures and several of Caravaggio’s world-class baroque paintings.
Once done with the Galleria Borghese, you can bring the day to a close by visiting the popular Trastevere district. Known as the ‘heart of Rome,’ the Trastevere is popular for its restaurants, ‘bohemian’ atmosphere, craft shops, boutiques, and wine bars.
What better way to wrap up your 5th day in Rome than visiting the Appian Way and exploring San Callisto and Santa Domitilla catacombs? The tour of the Appia Antica stretch will give you an open-air museum experience like no other.
Visit Rome in 7 Days
If your answer to how many days in Rome you are touring is 7, then you can use the last days to visit nearby towns. Sure, you can stay and visit other top Roman attractions, but getting a feel of nearby areas like Tivoli and Pompeii or even ancient Ostia can make the experience well worth the investment.
You can dedicate the 6th day to exploring Tivoli, which is a strikingly beautiful Italian town. Oh, and it’s home to two Unesco World Heritage sites, the Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, which thrust you deep into Italy’s historic culture and architectural traditions.
On day 7, you can wrap up your Roman tour by exploring Pompeii and ancient Ostia, two of Italy’s beloved destinations. At Pompeii, you can view the remains of the ancient locals who were buried by volcanic ash and debris after a massive eruption. You can also enjoy a quick trip to ancient Ostia to get another good experience of Italy’s prime archeological site.
How to Get Around Rome: The Best Transportation
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at how many days in Rome are sufficient when visiting on a short-term basis, let’s examine the best transportation to get you around.
Rome has three metro lines (A, B, and C). You’ll be interested in lines A & B as they target the city center and will get you to attractions like the Spanish Steps, the Vatican, and the Colosseum.
Unfortunately, the Metro can’t take you to every Roman destination. That’s where taxis come in, as they can move you from one point to another. Plus, a good number of drivers can understand foreign languages as their main target is tourists.
The bus isn’t the best option when looking to tour Rome, especially during the warmer months when tourists come in their droves. But if you must use the bus, be sure to insert your ticket into the validation machine.
The Best Hotels to Stay In Rome
In this section, we provide a quick review of some of the best hotels to stay in while touring Rome.
1. The Hoxton, Rome
Featuring an impressive 192 bedrooms, a modern restaurant, and a scenic outdoor terrace, The Hoxton is arguably among the best places to stay in Rome. It’s within walking distance of Villa Borghese, the MAXXI, and the MACRO.
- Strategically located
- Spacious rooms with modern deco
- Coffee bar and stylish restaurant
- Outstanding customer care
- Fotomat booth
- No spa or dedicated fitness area
2. The Liberty Boutique Hotel
The Liberty Boutique Hotel stands out for its strategic location, as you’ll be a few minutes from top destinations like the Roman Forums, the Colosseum, and the Baths of Diocletian. There’s also private internal parking (available on request) and a full international breakfast available from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Close to popular attractions
- Significant discounts on advanced booking
- Well served by public transport
- Outstanding staff members
- Wheelchair accessible
- Not all services are functional (relatively new)
- Entirely non-smoking facility
3. H10 Palazzo Galla
You won’t find too many world-class restaurants strategically located at the center of Rome, like the H10 Palazzo Galla. The establishment is just 300 m from the popular Piazza Venezia, 400m from the Roman and Imperial Forums, 500 m from the Trevi Fountain, and 1km from the Colosseum, putting you at the center of all top attractions.
- Close to several top attractions
- Exceptional services
- Tastefully furnished
- Solarium terrace
- Not the largest bar
- Not pet-friendly
The Best Restaurants to Eat Local Food in Rome
1. Sa Tanca Crostaceria
Boasting a 4.5/5 rating on Tripadvisor, Sa Tanca Crostaceria is among the best places to enjoy top-drawer seafood in Rome. It is located on the easily accessible Via Palermo and specializes in shellfish, sea salad, prawn, octopus, salmon, shrimp, and sea bass recipes.
Tonarello is a Roman restaurant located in Via della Paglia and specializes in dine-in, deliveries, and takeaway. It boasts a 4.5/5 rating on Tripadvisor and is widely considered to be among the top 100 restaurants in Rome due to its superb pasta and meatballs. Plus, it has scenic patio seating and treats its guests to top-quality acoustic music.
3. La Pentolaccia
Are you big on pasta and want to experience authentic samples of rich Italian cuisine? If so, then you’ll appreciate La Pentolaccia, one of Rome’s premier destinations for Roman Pastas and savory meat dishes. The stylish Italian restaurant is located in Via Flavia and has a 4.5/5 star rating on TripAdvisor.
FAQs About How Many Days in Rome
In this section, we answer some of the commonly asked questions about visiting Rome for a few days.
Are 2 Days Enough for Rome?
2 days are not enough to explore Rome, its attractions, and culture exhaustively. However, with the right itinerary, you can visit some of the city’s most popular destinations like the Colosseum and Vatican City.
Is 3 Days in Rome Enough?
3 days can be enough to experience some of Rome’s most popular attractions. You will, however, need to start your tours early and tour nearby areas until evening. The trick is to choose a specific location and tour as many attractions as you can within the area.
Is 4 Days in Rome Too Much?
4 days in Rome isn’t too much as the city boasts hundreds of attractions that can take months to fully explore. Spending 4 days in Rome allows you to plan your itineraries better and strike a good balance of museums, ruins, popular squares, and other world-renowned attractions.
Wondering how many days in Rome are enough to make lasting memories? Well, there is no specific amount of days required to exhaustively tour Rome. The Eternal City boasts hundreds, if not thousands, of historic attractions that can take forever to fully explore.
With the right plan, however, you can make the most of your short visit, even if it’s a 2-day trip. Remember to book tickets in advance and to use convenient means of public transport.