3 Days in Rome Itinerary – The Perfect Itinerary (2024)

Rome has so much to offer! This 3 days in Rome itinerary is perfect for anyone planning to visit Rome.

With the help of this blog, you’ll be able to see the best places and eat some delicious food as well in just 3 days in Rome.

3 Days in Rome Itinerary – The Perfect Itinerary (2024)

Rome has so much to offer! This 3 days in Rome itinerary is perfect for anyone planning to visit Rome.

With the help of this blog, you’ll be able to see the best places and eat some delicious food as well in just 3 days in Rome.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

3 Days in Rome Itinerary Trevi Fountain

This 3-day itinerary for Rome is based on my multiple visits to Rome. I work as a professional tour guide during the summer months, and this is one of my favourite cities to explore in Europe.

I have taken thousands of my clients on 2 days, 3 days itinerary around Rome and refined what works the best over the years, what to book online and definitely how to avoid some tourist traps and long lines.

This itinerary includes where to stay, what to avoid and some insider tips too. There is a lot of info here, so feel free to bookmark or save it for future reference.

Most importantly, book your tickets for certain sights before you arrive to avoid disappointment.

As they say, all roads lead to Rome so let’s go!




The Perfect 3 Days in Rome Itinerary – Overview

You can see a lot of Rome just in 3 days. Here is an overview of this personalised 3 days in Rome itinerary, with all the places and landmarks mentioned in this itinerary. 

This is the perfect itinerary with things to do in Rome in 3 days!

How to visit Rome in 3 days:

Day 1: Piazza di Popolo, Via del Corso, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori.

Day 2: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, Trajan Column & Trajan Markets, Altare della Patria (Piazza Venezia), Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla), Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth), Trastevere & Basilica di Santa Maria.

Day 3: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica & Cupola, Castel Sant’Angelo, Sunset at Terrazza del Pincio or guided evening food tour.

Rome 3 Days Itinerary

I also wrote detailed itineraries on Florence, VeniceAmsterdam, Prague, Vienna, Budapest,  Athens, Munich and Bratislava so if you travel around Europe, these guides have you covered.

Day 1 of 3 Days in Rome Itinerary – Best of the Historic Centre of Rome

You might arrive in Rome on an international flight or it might just be a short flight in Europe or even a train/car from different parts of Italy.

As often we arrive at a new city during the day, this 3 days in Rome itinerary starts with a plan to hit the ground running and explore the ancient city straight away.

All you need is about 4 hours to follow the itinerary of this walking route from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Navona with an add-on for seeing the Colosseum from the outside on your first day in Rome – because let’s face it, it is a bucket list item for everyone!

You can check in at your hotel or leave your luggage and let’s explore. Each place is linked to a location on Google Maps to help you plan.

Piazza del Popolo (People’s Square)

Start at the northern gate Porta del Popolo, the former entry to the old city. The nearby Metro station is Flaminio so depending on where you are staying you can catch the metro or grab a taxi/Uber here.

Walk underneath the gate and you will find yourself in a huge open square dominated by Fontana de Leoni (Lion’s Fountain). Check out the 2000-year-old obelisk in the middle originally from Egypt, you will see a few more in Rome. The lions in the fountain are also 3000 years old.

The water in all public fountains in Rome is always drinkable and it is the legacy left behind by the Romans. They were exceptional engineers who designed aqueducts (water pipe systems) to bring fresh water into Rome. It still works.

Have a look around the square. If you look on the right side of the square, you’ll see a statue with a trident – that is Neptune (The Roman Good of the Seas). And on the left side of this huge square towards leafy gardens on the hill. Notice the statues underneath and try to see the she-wolf statue nursing two babies.

This is one of the best places in Rome where the story of Remus and Romulus is depicted. If you don’t know the story I recommend reading more about it Romulus and Remus story.

The green gardens are known as Pinico Gardens with a nice terrasse. You can walk up or save it for one sunset evening during your 3 days in Rome stay.

On the south side of the Piazza are the twin churches of Santa Maria in Montesanto, and Santa Maria del Miracoli, sitting on either side of Via Corso.

It’s time to move on from Piazza del Popolo. Head towards the Spanish Steps which are about 10 minutes away. Walk along the Via del Corso which is a famous shopping street. In the distance, you will see Victor Emmanuel II National Monument, but we will get there later. 

Turn left into Via dei Condottithis is a historic street with some luxury shops. You will also walk past Caffe Greco, the oldest cafe in Rome founded in 1760 by a Greek (hence the name). This could be your first opportunity to have strong Roman espresso, simply step in, and order it at the cash register on the left.

Make sure you say that you wish to have the coffee at the bar (it costs less than 2 euros as opposed to the sitting-down price which is much higher). Then hand your ticket to the barista at the bar. He will serve you a nice coffee that you can enjoy while standing and observing the gorgeous cafe itself. Then continue on the street to reach your next place: Piazza Spagna.

Piazza Spagna (Spanish Square and Spanish Steps)

You will arrive at a busy square dominated by yet another fountain Fontana della Barcaccia, this time in the shape of a boat! It was designed by Pietro Bernini (You will learn more about his son Lorenzo once you visit the Vatican). Fill up your water bottle if you need.

This is the Spanish square and you won’t be able to miss the Spanish Steps in front of you as they connect the square with the Trinita dei Monti ( Holy Trinity Church), the reason why the Spanish Steps were built in the 18th century. Walk upon this iconic baroque staircase towards the church.

You will have an amazing view of the square once you climb the 174 steps to the top. Please note you are not allowed to sit on the steps anymore.

3 Days in Rome Itinerary - Spanish Steps

If you are confused about why the steps are called Spanish Steps, there is a quick answer to it. The Spanish Embassy has been located on the square and was simply named after it. From Spanish Square, the Spanish Steps were born.

From here continue towards the famous Trevi Fountain. The easiest way would be to walk away from Spanish Square towards the Column of the Virgin Mary in front of the Spanish embassy. Continue on the Via di Propaganda which turns into Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte and Via del Nazareno, then cross the main street Via del Tritone to take a small alleyway Via della Stamperia that will lead you right to the square with the Trevi Fountain.

Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

This is without a doubt one of the most recognisable landmarks in Rome. Our 3 days in Rome itinerary would be incomplete if we didn’t include the Trevi Fountain, the largest baroque fountain in the city.

Now first of all be prepared for how busy this spot will be when you arrive. The fountain is located on a small square the name comes from ‘TRE VIA’ meaning ‘three roads’ that used to meet here.

Originally there was a Roman aqueduct here, an ancient water source. You can see the story of the founding of the aqueduct on today’s fountain.

Later on in the 1700s, the pope commissioned the architect, Nicoli Salvi, to build a fountain here. The money to finance this came from the tax on wine. Completed in 1762 (it took him 30 years), the fountain is simply amazing and it tells a story. 

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - The Trevi Fountain

The central figure is ‘Ocean’ riding in on a chariot drawn by 2 seahorses and 2 tritons. The two horses represent the different lives of the ocean, one calm and peaceful, the other dangerous and powerful. The left-hand niche contains a statue of Abundance and the relief above her illustrates Marcus Agrippa commanding his generals to build the aqueduct during Roman times.

The statue of Health stands on the right niche. She is crowned with a wreath of laurel and holding a cup from which a snake drinks. The relief above her shows a Virgin lady showing to soldiers the source of water when the first aqueduct was due to be built.

Now there are a few legends when it comes to throwing the coin into the Trevi Fountain:

  • The first coin – make a wish
  • The second – guarantees you a safe return to Rome
  • And the third coin means you will marry soon or fall in love with an Italian

All coins thrown into the fountain are collected and donated to charity. The Trevi Fountain used to have as many as 3000 euro days on the pre-pandemic busy summer days.

From the Trevi Fountain continue on the Via delle Muratte and keep walking straight for about 10 minutes until you reach an open square with the Pantheon. 


Pantheon is the best-preserved Ancient Roman monument in Rome and a must-be on any Rome itinerary. Originally built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, you can see the name of the designer at the top of the building. The building took 7 years to create and its construction was quite unique.

The walls are 6m thick and the layout of the bricks is built into arches. These arches act as internal buttresses, distributing the weight of the dome. The diameter of the dome is equal to its height (43m). There is a hole 9m across at the top of the dome.

It used to be a temple dedicated to Roman gods but was turned into a church later on which was probably the main reason why it is in such good shape.

Pantheon is truly a marvellous structure to see from the outside and you will need to step back into the square further just to be able to see the dome. But most importantly, make sure you go inside. The entry is free and you can really appreciate the size of this place. It is also the resting place of the first king of Italy: Vittorio Emanuele II.

3 Days in Rome Itinerary - Pantheon
Another landmark to see as part of your 3 Days in Rome Itinerary

My Tip: If you’re visiting on the weekend or Italian public holiday, you’re required to book your visit in advance. I recommend the Pantheon Guided Tour 

After your visit here, it is time to get some gelato!!! If you turn your back to the pantheon and cross the square and take either one of the small laneways opposite as both join a street called Via della Maddalena. Wak 1 minute further and you will see Gelateria Della Palma at number 19-23, you really can’t miss it. 

3 Days in Rome -Best Gelato
The Best Gelato near the Pantheon – Gelateria della Palma (Credit)

This place has more than 150 flavours of gelato and you will find some great vegan options too. Simply find the cash register, order the size of your ice cream – they have a price list and then choose your flavours. Once ready, hand the ticket to one of the workers at the gelato counter and he will scoop up what you like. Amazing!!!

Piazza Navona

All refreshed with nice gelato, walk back towards Pantheon and once you reach the square simply turn right into Via Giustiniani and keep walking until you cross the main road with an obvious entrance to Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona is one of the nicest squares in town, lined with baroque palaces fountains and many street artists. Especially pleasant in the late afternoon. There are two main landmarks here. 

The Fountain of the 4 Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi)

Designed by Bernini in the 17th century, the rivers represent the 4 corners of the world, Nile, Ganges, Rio de la Plante, and the Danube. Each of the rivers is represented by a different sculpture. 

The Nile sculpture has a veiled head symbolizing the river’s unknown source. The Rio de la Plante sculpture has a raised arm and is facing the church. The Ganges sculpture holds a scroll. 

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - 4 rivers fountain church

There is a legend about the fountain:

It is said that Bernini disliked the designer of the Sant’ Agnese in Agone Church which is right beside the fountain. That is why the sculpture that represents the Rio de la Plante has a raised arm shielding his eyes from viewing the church. It is believed that Bernini feared the church would collapse. However, this is just a legend as the fountain was actually built before the church.

Saint Agnes Church is free to enter as well, so I recommend checking it out while here. There are also two other smaller fountains on each end of the square. The piazza is filled with restaurants but there are mostly tourist traps, so I suggest you either follow one of the smaller streets next to the church of the square and find a restaurant in the backstreets. There are some good ones.

Alternatively, you could also walk towards the Campo dei Fiori, which is less than 10 minutes away and south of Piazza Navona. During the morning, there is a lively flower and vegetable market here, and in the evening it is a great place for aperitivo or dinner.

If you are after good pasta check out Giordi and for good Italian dishes right on the square try Antica Hostaria Romanesca.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Campo di Fiori
3 Days in Rome Itinerary – Campo di Fiori from lively market to dining area

And that’s your first day in Rome. If you are full of energy you can also walk down to Colosseum. Just follow the road to Piazza Venezia where you can admire the Monument dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II.

It looks like a giant wedding cake and once you are here you will see the Roman forum and the ancient parts appear. Simply head towards the Colosseum which you will see by now, lit up in the evening.  

It will be a pleasant 20-30-minute walk and I think there is nothing better than seeing the Colosseum at night.

Hot Tip: Skip the line, get free entry & free public transport with Omnio Vatican & Rome Pass Card

Book in Advance: Book your guided tours and entry to the Vatican and Colosseum early to avoid missing out

Luggage Storage: Early or late flight? Store your luggage at Termini station and explore Rome

Day 2 of 3 Days in Rome Itinerary – Ancient Rome: Colosseum & the Roman Forum

Your second day of our 3 days in Rome itinerary starts with the number one landmark the Colosseum. The days can be hot in Rome, especially in July and August so I do recommend starting early around 8.30 am (and yes so does everyone else, unless you do love the heat you can visit later on).

But before I explain what is the best way to see the Colosseum as part of your 3 days in Rome itinerary, let me first tell you more about one of the 7 new wonders of the world: The Colosseum.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Colosseum at dusk
All roads lead to Rome… One of the 7 new wonders of the world: The Colosseum

Visiting Colosseum – 3 days in Rome 

The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre in the world. Located near Palatine Hill (one of 7 hills that make up the city of Rome) it was built in AD72 and commissioned by Emperor Vespasian. It could hold up to 80,000 spectators and sometimes when you visit in summer, it feels like there are as many tourists.

At the height of the Roman empire, this was the venue where Romans came for entertainment. The middle of the Colosseum is called the arena and it was covered in sand to soak up the blood of wounded animals and gladiators who used to fight here to win their freedoms. The games were held here for almost 500 years before the Roman Empire fell apart and the landmark suffered from looting and earthquakes. 

Honestly, I could talk about this place for 20 minutes and I indeed used to when I worked as a tour guide. 

But let’s explain how to get your ticket to the Colosseum. All the ways listed below also include entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which is what the ticket has. There is a special ticket that will also allow you to visit the arena and the underground which is very exciting as this part was only open to the public in 2021.

You can pay for the standard ticket, the entire experience ticket, the priority skip-the-line ticket or at last, a guided tour. The official entity that manages Colosseum tickets is CoopCulture (all links are listed below).

How to get a ticket to the Colosseum –  there are 2 options:

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill – Buy the entrance ticket online

At the moment you can’t book the ticket at the Colosseum or Roman Forum office, you must buy it online. The standard ticket costs 16€ per adult plus 2€ for the online booking fee. It is valid for 24 hours.

Buy the Standard Entry Ticket for the Colosseum here.

If you have EU ID or passport and are 18-25 years old, you pay just 2€, and entry is free for those under 18.  

I highly recommend buying a guidebook to Rome or more information, so you know what are you looking at.

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill: Priority (Skip the line) Entrance – Book your priority skip the line ticket online here. Essentially this is the easiest way to get the ticket and skip the line to get straight in. Explore at your own pace.

I personally think you should book a guided tour for your first visit unless you have a good understanding of the Roman Empire and Roman architecture. 

Guided tours of the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Exploring the Colosseum on a guided tour is the best way to see it during your 3 days in Rome. The tour will make entry easy, and you won’t have to wait in a long line. You will maximise your time and definitely get the best experience as you will learn the history and interesting facts on your guided tour. You won’t miss any key places and will have time to capture them in photos.

Plus if you can choose the tour that includes access to the underground too!

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Colosseum
The inside of the Colosseum – Joining a guided tour on your 3 days in Rome will allow you to maximise your time here. Arena and the Underground can be also accessed on a tour.

The 3 Best Guided Tours of the Colosseum 

Rome: Colosseum with Underground, Arena & Forum Tour

This is the best option for an all-inclusive tour. Enjoy exclusive access to areas of the Colosseum not available on a regular ticket such as the Underground, Arena, and upper tiers for amazing views. Learn more about everyday life at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Fast Track Colosseum, Arena Floor, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Get exclusive access to the Arena floor and walk through the gladiators’ gate. You’ll also get to see the dungeons where the gladiators prepared themselves. Learn stories of the political dramas that played out and the lives of people who lived 2,000+ years ago—finally, head to Palatine Hill, where Romulus chose to found his new city.

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour

Take a guided tour of 3 famous Roman sites: the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Let your guide bring their history to life as you tour a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ancient Roman social epicentre, and the founding hill. Amazing views of the Colosseum from Palatine Hill. NOTE: This tour does not include the underground, arena, or upper floor.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - View from Palatine Hill

The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine are open every day at these times: 

  • 9.30 am – 4.30 pm: until 28 February 2023
  • 9.30 am – 5.30 pm: from 1st to 26th March 2023
  • 9.30 am – 7.15 pm: from March 17th to 31st 

Changes for the 2023 visit to the Colosseum:

  • Free Sundays are currently suspended.
  • Tickets can be only purchased online and you must arrive 30 minutes before it.

You can get free entry to the Colosseum with the Roma Pass, the Best of Rome All Access Pass or the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card. However, you must reserve your timeslot online in advance. You can do so on the official website under the Roma Pass section. 

There are limited tickets so if they are sold out, try to book one of the recommended tours.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Roman Forum
The View from Palatine Hill – 3 Days in Rome Itinerary

Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Depending on what tour option you choose to see the Colosseum or Roman Forum, you might have the afternoon free. But even if you have had a guided tour here, there is always more to see in the Roman Forum and make sure you walk up to Palatine Hill as both are included in the ticket.

The Roman Forum was the centre point of the social life and marketplace of Rome and the Roman Empire. It was only excavated at the end of the 1800s. It is home to temples, the senate, the Septimus arch and even the place where Julias Ceaser was buried. It’s interesting to see how the entire city is below the modern city of Rome, I guess they just kept building over the top. 

Today is always a huge day as there is so much to see and usually, the heat will get the best of you. So take a break if you need and once at the Roman forum, there are a few options for you where to go next: 

A. You can check out The Trajan Column and Markets and have a look at the Monument of Vittorio Emanuel II

B. You can continue further south to visit Bocca del Verita and Caracalla Baths if you are happy to walk more 

This might feel like choosing your own adventure, but I think it’s important to have choices as we all have different levels of energy. This 3 days in Rome itinerary can be intense, but you can always slow down or add things. So here are your options for the afternoon.

I do recommend getting back to your hotel to shower/refresh later in the afternoon and change for a nice evening in Trastevere for dinner and drinks.

Trajan Market and Column

If you exit the Roman Forum at the side next to the Monument of Vittorio Emanual you will be very close to Trojan Column and Trojan markets.

Trajan’s Market is a large complex of ruins but gives you a great idea of how the city of Rome worked. The key products sold at the market would have come from across the empire and included fruit, vegetables, fish, wine and oil.

Trajan Column is one of the most distinctive monumental landmarks to have survived dating to the 2nd century. Check out the details on the column, the reliefs tell the story of battles in Dacia, today’s Romania. 

Bocca del Verita (Mouth of Truth) and  Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla)

Bocca del Verita (Mouth of Truth)

If you ever watched Roman Holiday, you will remember the Mouth of Truth. Essentially a marble mask on a wall that will bite your hand should you tell a lie!

Ok, it is just a legend, but a great place to grab a photo especially since it is close to your next stop.

 Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Carcalla)

The Roman Baths are yet another example of how clever the Romans were when they built their cities not just in Rome, but across their vast Roman empire. I saw some of the best Roman Baths in Leptis Magna in Libya.

The Baths of Caracalla were one of the biggest in Rome and served as a social point for the Romans. You can spend some time exploring here, once again great to have a good guidebook (we recommend Lonely Planet guide) or pick up the audio guide.

Trastevere for Dinner

The first time I visited Rome I asked my Roman friend to recommend a place for a good Italian dinner. He sent me to the Trastevere area. Back then it was mostly locals enjoying their food undisturbed. Things have changed since then and there are definitely many tourists here, but the food is still authentic and this is where all the foodies come to eat. 

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Trastevere Restaurant
Trastevere Area in Rome – The foodie heaven

Most visitors come here to dine and it has a different feel to the historic centre where everyone seems to be focusing on sightseeing and eating in between.

If you might change your 3 days in Rome slightly, make sure you come out here for dinner or at least a drink. Public transport is limited to buses so the best option is to get a taxi.

The area is gorgeously Roman, with the main Basilica in the Piazza di Santa Maria as a centre point. You can wander the narrow cobblestone streets, with small Vespas parked on the side and small wine bars pop out of nowhere in the evening.

So where should you eat in Trastevere? Here are my 3 favourite restaurants in Trastevere for dinner:

Some of the best restaurants in Trastevere include Da Nina a Trastevere, Nannarella, and Osteria Cacio e Pepe. Be sure to head to Il Sorpasso for an aperitivo, a traditional Italian pre-meal drink and snack. It’s a popular choice with locals.

You will most likely finish your second day in Rome with dining and a few wines, but should you need to walk off your dinner you could walk down to the Tiber Island. Yes, it is a small island in the Tiber River and while there are a few restaurants, it is lovely to come here during the summer for some pop-up bars. 

Alternatively, take a 70-minute Aperitif Cruise on the Tiber River.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Trastevere Streets
3 Days in Rome Itinerary – Streets of Rome

Day 3 of 3 Days in Rome – Vatican City (Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peters)

The last day of your 3 days in Rome itinerary will be spent in the smallest country in the world – The Vatican City

In a nutshell, Vatican City is a country within the city of Rome. It’s so small you can walk across it in just a few minutes. It is the centre of the Roman Catholic Faith.

For visitors, there are 4 main sights here:

The Vatican Museums are considered one of the greatest collections of art in the world so be prepared to be wowed! Highlights included the Raphael Rooms, The Tapestries Hall and the Maps Room. Best to be appreciated on a guided tour – more about that below.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums are best explored at the end of your 3 days in Rome

Sistine Chapel – Vatican Museums are also home to Sistine Chapel whose ceiling is the absolute highlight for many visitors. Painted by young Michelangelo who spent 4 years decorating the ceiling with frescos laying on his back. Later on, returned to paint the Last judgment on the side of the chapel – so impressive considering he was a sculptor, not a painter.

You will never forget this masterpiece. Sistine Chapel is also where the conclave happens – when the cardinals voted for a new pope.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Sistine Chapel
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo

Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peters Square) – This is the main well and only square in Vatican City. You have seen it before in photos and it is the place where worshipers used to gather when the pope holds the mass. The Square has been designed by Bernini and of course, it’s free to enter.

St. Peter’s Basilica This is the huge church dedicated to Saint Peter in St Peter Square. It is also free to enter but lines might be long and if you are visiting The Vatican Museums you can skip the line by exiting the museums into the basilica directly.

The main highlight of the church includes Michelangelo’s Pietra (a statue) and the amazing Dome which was also designed by Bernini. I recommend visiting the dome first as you will need to climb the steps. (and you will need a separate ticket for it).

The perfect way to maximise your time and see the Vatican on your 3 days in Rome:

You can visit all places independently, but you will most likely spend time waiting in line and your experience will be limited. Start early so you can squeeze in more things in the afternoon.

St Peters Basilica and St Peters – can be visited for free, but to enter the Dome of St Peters you will need to book a ticket.

Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel can be accessed on a pre-booked ticket. You can also book a time slot if you have purchased Rome Tourist Card or Omnia Card. There is also the option to skip the line.

However, the best way to enjoy the Vatican is to do one of these 2 recommended tours:

 The Best Guided Tours of the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Skip the ticket lines and visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Admire famous artworks by Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, and more. Access to Saint Peter’s Square. There are options to have 2, 3, or 4 hours long tours depending on what suits you most. 

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Gardens: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour 

If you wish to see the Sistine Chapel, the museums AND and the gorgeous Vatican Gardens, then this is the right tour for you.

Castle Sant’ Angelo

Once you finish your morning in Vatican City, walk down towards Castle Sant Angelo, a fortress that dates back to AD 139. It was built by Emperor Hadrian whose body rests here. It houses the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo and its grand collection of sculptures, paintings and medieval firearms.

The secret passage (Passetto di Borgo) connects to the Vatican and it was used by the pope previously to flee at times of danger. 

Climb to the top for some amazing views.

The entry to the castle is only at specific times (9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.), and you can book your ticket here or reserve your spot on a tour of Castle Sant Angelo.

Hours 9 am-7.30 pm, last admission 6.30 pm / Price adult €13, free 1st Sunday of the month Oct-Mar

The bridge in front of the fortress is Ponte Sant’Angelo and offers really nice views (snap that photo) of the fortress and should you continue further you would soon arrive back at Piazza Navona.

The Final Night of 3 days in Rome

Rome has so much on offer, and you could spend a lifetime here, but if you followed this itinerary, you would have seen all the highlights here.

There are 2 excellent options on how to finish your stay in Rome.

First, you might want to watch the sunset at Pincio gardens. There is a terrace and often live music, and people gather there to watch the sunset (which is late in summer but might be different during the off-season).

The other, a more exciting option that also solves the issue of “what should I eat for dinner in Rome” is joining a food tour! Rome is one of the best cities in Europe when it comes to food tours (trust me, I have done a few across the continents). 

Here are 3 food tours in Rome you might consider for the final night of your 3 days in Rome itinerary. You have a backup plan as some of them might be booked out.

Street Food Tour of Rome with Local Guide – A 2.5-hour guided walking tour of Rome includes tasting authentic Roman delicacies. Choose a private or small-group tour and try artisanal goodies such as pizza, supplì, and gelato.

4-Hour Food Tour by Night – This evening food tour takes you to the city’s best foodie neighbourhoods. You’ll have the opportunity to sample amazing food, wines, and local products that Rome has to offer. Includes over 20 tastings.

Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop with Dinner – A cooking class in the city’s heart. Learn how to make delicious pasta from scratch and the famous Tiramisù dessert from simple and fresh ingredients. Enjoy the meal you have prepared after class.

Where to stay in Rome for 3 days

Rome has a fantastic range of hotels for every budget, but don’t forget, since the historic centre is old, most rooms and hotels are relatively small.

Here are my recommendations:

Boutique Hotel near Campo de Fiori – If you wish to stay in the heart of the historic centre with the lively square that offers an early morning market as well as a late-night dining/bar scene, this is the hotel to stay. The panoramic terrace is a win. Check prices here.

Leonardo Boutique Hotel Rome Termini – Only 250m from Roma Termini Train Station, rooms include satellite channels, air conditioning and a minibar. Breakfast is fantastic here, with an extensive buffet with many options. Check prices here.

Inn Rome Room & Suites – The Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Square are 10 10-minute walk away. Only 5 min walk from Piazza Navona Square.

The surrounding area is full of traditional wine bars, restaurants, and excellent bus links to Termini Train Station. This hotel offers outstanding value for money. Check prices here.

Sora Luxury Inn – An excellent location in the centre of Rome, close to Campo di Fiori and offering city views and free WiFi. A short distance from Largo di Torre Argentina, the Synagogue of Rome and the Pantheon. Check prices here.


3 Days in Rome - Rome Termini Station

How to Get from Rome Airport to Rome Centre

Rome has two international airports: Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (CIA). In general, Fiumicino Airport, also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, is the main airport for most international airlines, while Ciampino is used by low-cost airlines.

To book a cheap flight, check Skyscanner.

It’s very easy to get from Rome airport to the city. You can take a train, bus or taxi. 

How to get from Rome Fiumicino airport into the city by train?

The fastest and easiest option is the Leonardo Express, which takes 30 minutes and will arrive at Termini Station in the heart of Rome, which is connected to both Metro lines. The train goes every 20 minutes and costs 14.00 euros.

You could also book a regional train (we recommend Trainline to make reservations), but this one takes longer, and you will have to change trains so I recommend the Leonardo Express or the bus unless you are staying in Trastevere as the regional train stops there.

 How to get from Rome Fiumicino airport into the city by bus?

You can also get into Rome on a bus with Terravision, which is direct, cheap, and takes about 1 hour. The price starts from 6 euros, and you can book your ticket here.

How to get from Rome Fiumicino airport into the city by taxi?

Taxi from Rome Fiumicino airport should be 50 Euros – set rate. You might be better off booking your arrival transfer through your hotel or pre-booking a private transfer with Get Your Guide

How to get from Rome Ciampino airport into the city?

As there are no trains, you can take a taxi for approximately 40 to 50 euros or the Terravison bus for 6 euros. The bus takes 40 minutes and drops you off at Termini. Buy your ticket here.

Alternatively, you can pre-book a private arrival transfer with Get Your Guide.

Rome in 3 Days Itinerary - Rome Metro
How to get around Rome – Rome Metro

How to Get Around Rome – Bus, Metro and Taxi

Be prepared to walk a lot when in Rome. To be honest, it is the best way to see the city and you will always come across something cool. Many landmarks are in the historic centre in pedestrian areas.

However, you might use the metro to maybe get in on a metro from your hotel or when heading out to the Vatican, as that is further out.

There are 3 Metro lines in Rome: Line A (red), Line B (blue), and Line C (green). If you pick up the free map of Rome from your hotel lobby it will also have metro lines so you can see what works for you.

If you do happen to use the bus (as well as the metro) just be aware of your belongings. Rome is sadly one of the worst places in Europe for pickpockets. No phones and wallets in your back pocket and keep your handbags and bag where you can see them. 

Finding how to get from A to B in Rome is easy on Google Maps, select the public transport options.

Alternatively, Omio is a fantastic platform to book all forms of transport in Italy and Europe.

Tickets for bus and metro are 1.50 euros valid for a 90-minute journey (you can make as many transfers as you want), and you can buy them from the metro ticket office or from any tobacco shop – they are everywhere. But you must validate your ticket on the bus – punch/stamp it on the yellow machine. In the metro, your ticket gets validated when you enter via the gate. 

Also, if you have the Omnia Card, you will get free metro & bus rides. And sometimes you might need a taxi to get home after a great evening dining out. 

Get Connected with eSIM

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Use our code: RACHEL5045 to get $3 off your first purchase!

The Best Passes to Save Money in Rome

Tourist passes are a great way to skip the line, get free entrance and maximise your time. Here are the three on offer, they are all worth the money if you manage to tick off the freebies they come with, and they will save you time and money. 

1. ROMA PASS: 48 OR 72-HOUR CITY CARD – 32 Euro / 52 Euro

  • Skip the line and get free entry for one main attraction, such as the Colosseum with the 48-Hour Pass (2 attractions with a 72-Hour Card)
  • Free unlimited public transport
  • Free Map and a guide
  • Reduced tickets to many archeological sites and museums (but not the Vatican)


  • Free unlimited public transport
  • Reserved entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • Reserved entry to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hills
  • Official audioguide for St.Peter’s Basilica (entrance free – no reserved entrance included)
  • Vatican Gardens minibus (if option selected)

3. OMNIA CARD – 129 Euro

This is the most inclusive Rome Pass. 3-day OMNIA Vatican Card and Roma Pass. It’s actually 2 passes rolled into one. Roma Pass grants you free entry to 2 out of 5 top attractions plus discounts at a further 30 top sights and a travel card.

The OMNIA Vatican Card allows entry to all top sights in Vatican City plus a 3-day hop-on hop-off bus tour.

  • Skip the line with free admission to the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, and Michelangelo’s miraculous ceiling at the Sistine Chapel
  • Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica – including a free audio guide worth €15.00! 
  • “Experience” tour of St. Peter’s Prison with a multimedia audio guide
  • Discover Rome’s eternal sights on a hop-on hop-off bus tour
  • Enjoy special offers from both the OMNIA Vatican and Roma Passes
  • Free unlimited public transport
  • Enjoy discounted entry to Rome’s top museums
  • Free guidebook and map of Rome and Vatican City


Safety Tips for Rome

Rome is one of the most amazing cities in the world, but there are a few safety tips to know before you visit.

Here are my safety tips for Rome.

  • Beware of pickpockets, especially on public transport. Don’t leave wallets or phones in your pockets and bags/handbags on your side or back. The same goes for crowded places. They are professional pickpockets, so maybe invest in an anti-theft bag.
  • Don’t carry too much cash for the same reason. Just enough for the day for gelato, souvenir and a tip for dinner. Lock up the rest of the money in your suitcase.
  • Watch where you’re going! Rome has plenty of uneven paths, and traffic can come at you from all sides. If you are from the UK or Australia, watch out when crossing the street, as you will be looking the wrong way.

Best Time to Visit Rome

Rome can be very hot and very crowded in the summer months of July and August. However, the days are long, and it is truly summer. This would be the main season, with temperatures reaching over 30°C / 90°F. 

The best time to visit Rome is during April, May, and June when the temperatures are warm but not as hot (around 25°C / 77°F). June has super long days, so you pack a lot before sunset, but it can be already quite warm.

September and October are also pleasant to visit as we head into the European Autumn with similar temperatures as in spring. 

The winter months (November- March) are the coldest with the shortest days, and temperatures are around 13°C / 55°F

Where to Eat in Rome

Rome is one of the greatest food cities in Europe and the world. Italy is in our top 10 best countries for food lovers.

There are many great places and foods to try in Rome; you’ll be spoiled for choice. From pasta, antipasto, gelato to unique local Roman dishes, this is the city to eat out as much as possible and maybe the best city to join a food tour.

We wrote a dedicated blog about the 10 foods you must try in Rome. We hope you enjoy it

Travel Tips for Italy

We have many travel guides and tips for Italy—what a beautiful country!

You must read these 15 best places to visit in Italy to help you plan the ultimate itinerary.

Our expertly crafted city itineraries include our perfect 2 days in Florence itinerary.

Be sure to try these top 5 places to eat the best pizza in Florence.

This complete 3 days in Rome itinerary has sights, history and cuisine in mind, and Roman food is fantastic. Don’t miss our 10 delicious Roman dishes when you’re there.

You must plan a stop by the city of canals, Venice. Our detailed one-day in Venice itinerary covers the city’s highlights, with some great suggestions for spending more days here.

These top 10 things to do in Venice will keep you busy. For your convenience, we’ve also listed the top-rated Vatican tours.

If you stop by Milan, the city of Italian fashion – it’s just an easy day trip to Lake Como, the most beautiful lake in Italy. Here is how to get to Lake Como from Milan, it includes three easy options.

Here are our recommendations for why the village of Bellagio in Lake Como is our favourite place to visit and stay.

Did you know that train travel in Italy is the best way to get around? This is why we recommend travelling by train in Italy.

If you’re hungry for more fantastic Italian cuisine, we recommend you visit Bologna.

These 12 amazing things to do in Bologna include the best sites and where to find the best food.

If you travel for food, don’t miss these 10 best countries for food lovers.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Italy. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View options for eSIM in Italy or view the regional Europe eSIM (which covers 39 countries).

If your travels in Italy are part of a larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

Want to travel in Italy with like-minded travellers? View the best deals on group adventures in Italy.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with friends and family!

Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights: We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance: We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo) & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation: Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. 

🚘 Car Rental: We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks, and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE & Revolut are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination, and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code NOMAD15 for 15% off ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only) OR use NOMAD10 for 10% off ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo users)

✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Marty, how best do you save your itinerary for on the go? I sure admire the folks who flash their phones for their tickets! I am almost 60 and not super techy. Any advice there, to not get lost and have passes avail etc? LOVE your advice and will use your itinerary. Sounds PERFECT

    • Hi Sheryl, thank you so much for your message. I am so happy to hear you loved this Rome itinerary.
      To save this itinerary I would suggest simply saving it in PDF (Simply go select the FILE from your browser menu and choose SAVE AS PDF – it might be slightly different on windows than mac). You will then have a PDF copy which you can print as well to take with you to Rome. Of course, the links to the tours won’t work, so best to click on them on the website and book the tours ahead. 🙂

      As for the tickets, yes these days most of us add tickets to the digital wallets on the phone and you don’t have to be too techy to learn it, it’s very simple.:) Maybe someone in your family can show you?

      But as most bookings online will generate an email with a confirmation, simply keep them in your email so you can access them, possibly create a folder with the name BOOKINGS TO USE and move them there? This is what I do, so I have all bookings (hotels or tours or flights) in one place.

      And the final advice would be to take a screenshot of the tickets on your phone. So when you book something, it will have a confirmation number or QR code etc – just screenshot it and then it will be saved in your photos. So even if you can not access your emails (say you are offline) you would have the confirmation/ticket saved in your photos. I hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything else.

      And once you are in Rome, don’t forget that the reception of your hotel can help and print anything you might need too.
      Happy travels. M

  • Sheryl Cummins
    February 12, 2022 7:59 am

    You’re the BEST. Thank you!

  • I love your itinerary and hoping to use it during our (my husband and me) trip in October 2022. I was wondering if you have advice on how to pick the tour for Day 2 in Rome, so many options! It is our first time in Rome. I am thinking it makes sense to do guided tour on all major spots. Do you agree? Thanks in advance, Sweena

    • Hello Sweena, so happy to see you enjoyed the itinerary. October will be an excellent time for Rome as we had some sweltering days in Italy this year. All three tours listed for Day 2 to see the Colosseum are great options. I would recommend to simplu click on each one of the links and then read through the description of each tour and to choose what seems to matter to you most. The first tour also includes an entry to the underground and the arena which some visitors find super fascinating. Either way, you won’t be disappointed, Rome is an incredible city to explore and Colosseum is amazing. Happy travels.


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