Going on a city trip is always a good idea. Rome is one of the best city trip destinations! We can ensure you, you will never get bored during this trip. It doesn’t matter how often you go here. Nice weather (most of the time), friendly people, delicious food (read more) and of course Rome does have an amazing history. Today we will take you with us, on tour through Rome. How can you visit all attractions and what is the best route to take? But make sure to prepare yourself, after a day or three you definitely walked around 50 kilometres.
Travelling sustainable (read more about Rome off the beaten track), means being part of the local community and avoid touristic attractions as well. Rome has a huge history and a lot of things you need to see. You can’t leave Rome without visiting the Colosseum and Sint Peters basilica. Of course, there are less famous places to visit in Rome, but believe us when we tell you that you will never be alone. Rome is busy, but you need to go there at least once.
We visited Rome both for three days. Cristel booked a hotel in Piazza Navona and Anouk stayed in a suburb. Piazza Navona is a really nice district, close to attractions and sights. Next to this, a lot of nice restaurants are situated in this area as well. Read more about restaurants in Rome, in our earlier posted article.
Route 1 – Pantheon, Trevi, Quirinale, Testaccio.
Our first day started at the Pantheon. It’s impressive to see, especially when you realize that people were able to build this so long ago. Next to this it’s special that the building remained intact. The Pantheon is the burial place of Rome’s kings and other prominent figures, including Raphael.
After visiting the Pantheon we walked via the Piazza Colonna, to admire Colonna di Marco Aurelio, a column with reliefs. From this point we walked to the Trevi Fountain. This is the most famous fountain of Rome which you need to visit. Legend has it that anyone who throws a coin in the fountain will return to Rome. During the day it’s busy so if you have the time, you can go back during the evening as normally it’s more quite during this time.
After this, you can start your climb to Piazza del Quirinale. This square is situated on top of the Quirinale, the highest hill of Rome. From this point you have a nice view of Rome and in distance you see the Sint Peter.
Before you go and look for a place to have lunch, you can visit Quattro Fontane. The details of the four fountains are really nice. In one of the fountains you can see Romulus and Remus. In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus are twin brothers, whose story tells the events that led to the founding of the city of Rome and the Roman Kingdom by Romulus. After this, it’s time to have lunch. The best time to have lunch is around 14.00 hrs. as most people go late for dinner as well.
In the afternoon, we walked to Testaccio, via the Colosseum to Testaccio. 10x wow for the Colloseum! It’s amazing and impressive. We walked around it and booked our tickets for the day after. The tickets are valid for two days and the best time to buy them is at the end of the day. At this time there is (almost) no queue. This saved us a lot of time the next day.
Via Circus Maximus, the former racetrack (search on the internet to find a picture of the racetrack and you will see the difference!) we walked to Foro Boario (two temples from a former cattle market) and Bocca della Verita. It’s nice to visit Piazza Dei Cavalieri Di Malta as well. This is a place where you can see the Sint Peter through a keyhole. When we visited this place, there was a really long queue, so we didn’t wait for it, decide yourself if you feel it’s worth waiting. The orange gardens next to Piazza Dei Cavalieri Di Malta are really nice and from here you can see the Sint Peter as well. In summer locals go here at the end of the day to picknick.
After all the above places, you had quite a busy day. The pyramid is situated close to Piazza Dei Cavalieri Di Malta so we do recommend you to end you first day over here. We hear you thinking, a pyramid? Yes! This dates from the time that Julius Caesar flirted with Cleopatra. After this it’s time to find a place to have a drink, before your will enjoy dinner.
Route 2 – Historic Rome: Colosseum, Palatino and Forum Romanum
On purpose we decided to visit this part of the city on a Sunday. On Sunday a lot of places, certainly the less touristic places are closed and the historic attractions are opened. As we said earlier, we bought our tickets the day before which saved us a lot of time.
As we expected most from the Colosseum we decided to end our day over here.
We started the day at the Palatino and Forum Romanum. We walked around ourselves and read the signs but if you want to hear more about the details you can ask a guide for a tour.
During our tour we used internet to see reconstructions and compare the past with how it looks now. This helps you to get an impression of the past. Count on 3 till 4 hours.
Full of all impressions, we found a nice spot to enjoy lunch before visiting the Colosseum. It’s a pretty busy place, but this should not spoil the fun. If you’ve seen the movie Gladiator, many scenes suddenly come to life. Go around the ground floor and the first floor and try to imagine how it used to be here.
Route 3 – Vatican
Most musea are closed on Monday but the Vatican is opened on this day. This makes Monday the ideal day to visit the Vatican.
If you walk from the Piazza Navona district to the Vatican, you first pass Ponte Sant’Angelo and Castel Sant’Angelo. Once arrived at the Vatican, you need to see two highlights; the Vatican Museum (with as highlight the Sistine Chapel) and St. Peter’s Basilica. There is a line for both attractions and unfortunately, we have not been able to discover how you can escape this (unless you want to pay a lot more money). The only tip we can give here is, go early, visit St. Peter’s Basilica first, then climb the dome to enjoy a magnificent view (the symmetry of St. Peter’s Square, wow!) and visit the Vatican Museum at the end of the day. This queue is a bit shorter and faster.
After visiting the Vatican, you can walk to the Spanish Steps in the direction of Villa Borghese. A beautiful parc, with Museo Borghese as highlight. If you would like to visit this museum we do recommend you to buy tickets before.
If you follow the three routes described, you have seen the biggest sights of Rome. Despite the fact that we normally try to find less touristic spots, we think you should not miss these highlights. The Colosseum in particular is far too impressive to ignore.
Even though you will visit many touristic spots, make sure you enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner as much as possible between locals.
Next to the places described, it’s really nice to visit markets and go to a soccer game. We tell you all about this in our other article with general Rome tips.
Have you ever been to Rome? Which attractions did you find most impressive or would you like to visit?