The Very Best Things to Do in Rome- A Perfect City Break
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Things To Do

The Very Best Things to Do in Rome- A Perfect City Break

Best Things to Do in Rome

Rome, the Eternal City, is a destination that effortlessly blends ancient history with modern charm. With its stunning architecture, world-renowned art, and delectable cuisine, Rome offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or a foodie, there are countless things to do in Rome that will captivate your heart and soul. This guide will take you through the very best things to do in Rome, perfect for a city break that you'll never forget.

Exploring Ancient Rome

The Colosseum

No visit to Rome is complete without seeing the iconic Colosseum. This ancient amphitheater, built in 70-80 AD, is a testament to Roman engineering and architecture. As you walk through its massive arches and corridors, imagine the gladiatorial battles and spectacles that once entertained thousands of Romans. For a more in-depth experience, consider joining a guided tour that includes access to the Colosseum’s underground chambers and upper tiers.

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Take a Colosseum Roman Forum and Palatine Hill self-guided audio tour, to appreciate the epicenter of ancient Roman life. The Forum was the hub of political, social, and religious activities, and its ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, is believed to be the city's birthplace and offers stunning views over the Forum and the modern city beyond.

Vatican City: A Spiritual and Artistic Haven

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, is an architectural marvel and a spiritual center for millions of Catholics. Climb to the top of the dome for a breathtaking panoramic view of Rome and Vatican City. Inside, don’t miss Michelangelo’s Pietà and the opulent interior adorned with Renaissance art.

The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

The Vatican Museums house one of the most extensive art collections in the world. Highlights include the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, and of course, the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo’s masterpiece ceiling frescoes tell the story of Genesis. Given the museums' vastness, a guided tour can help you navigate and appreciate the key exhibits without feeling overwhelmed.

Rome Sightseeing: Must-See Landmarks

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings and a marvel of engineering with its massive dome and oculus. Originally a temple to all the Roman gods, it now serves as a Catholic church and a tomb for Italian kings and artists like Raphael. Its grandeur and architectural perfection make it a must-see on any Rome city tour.

Trevi Fountain

Throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain is a beloved tradition that ensures your return to Rome. This Baroque masterpiece, designed by Nicola Salvi, depicts Neptune, the god of the sea, surrounded by tritons. Visit the fountain at night to see it illuminated, adding a magical touch to your Rome sightseeing experience.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, a monumental staircase of 135 steps, connects the Piazza di Spagna with the Trinità dei Monti church. It’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike to sit, relax, and people-watch. Nearby, you’ll find the elegant Via dei Condotti, a shopping street lined with high-end boutiques and cafes.

Art and Culture: Museums and Galleries

Galleria Borghese

Nestled in the Villa Borghese Gardens, the Galleria Borghese houses an impressive collection of Renaissance and Baroque art, including works by Caravaggio, Bernini, and Titian. Due to its limited admission, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance. The surrounding gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums, located on the Capitoline Hill, are the world’s oldest public museums. They boast an extensive collection of ancient Roman statues, Renaissance art, and medieval artifacts. Highlights include the Dying Gaul, the Capitoline Wolf, and the original equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius.

Rome Self-Guided Tours: Discover at Your Own Pace


Trastevere is one of Rome’s most charming neighborhoods, known for its narrow cobblestone streets, vibrant nightlife, and authentic eateries. On a Rome self-guided tour, explore its hidden corners, visit the beautiful Santa Maria in Trastevere church, and enjoy a meal at a traditional trattoria.

Jewish Ghetto

The Jewish Ghetto is a historic district with a rich cultural heritage. Stroll through its picturesque streets, visit the Great Synagogue, and try the local specialty, Carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-style artichokes). This area is also home to several ancient Roman ruins, including the Portico d’Ottavia.

Culinary Delights: Eating Your Way Through Rome

Traditional Roman Cuisine

Rome’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of tradition and innovation. Some must-try dishes include Cacio e Pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper), Carbonara (pasta with eggs, cheese, pancetta, and pepper), and Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal with prosciutto and sage). For dessert, indulge in Tiramisù or Gelato.

Food Tours and Markets

Consider joining a food tour to sample Rome’s best culinary offerings. Testaccio Market is a food lover’s paradise, offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and street food. Another great option is Campo de’ Fiori Market, where you can find everything from spices to flowers.

Day Trips from Rome


Just a short train ride from Rome, Tivoli is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa. Villa d’Este is famous for its stunning Renaissance gardens and fountains, while Hadrian’s Villa offers a glimpse into the luxurious life of the Roman emperor.

Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica, the ancient port city of Rome, is an archaeological site that rivals Pompeii. Wander through its well-preserved ruins, including the Capitolium, the Baths of Neptune, and the ancient theater. It’s a fascinating day trip that provides insight into daily life in ancient Rome.

Practical Tips for Visiting Rome

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Rome is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is mild and the city is less crowded. Summer can be hot and crowded, while winter offers a quieter experience with fewer tourists.

Getting Around

Rome’s public transportation system includes buses, trams, and the metro. A Roma Pass offers unlimited travel on public transport and free or discounted entry to many attractions. Walking is also a great way to explore the city’s historic center.


Rome offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. For a central location, consider staying in neighborhoods like Centro Storico, Trastevere, or Monti.


Rome is generally safe, but it’s always wise to stay vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas and on public transport. Keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpocketing.

Embrace the Roman Experience

Rome is a city that invites you to immerse yourself in its history, culture, and way of life. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, admiring Renaissance art, or savoring delicious cuisine, you’ll find endless things to do in Rome that will create lasting memories. With its blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy, Rome is indeed the perfect city break. So pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to discover the wonders of the Eternal City.

Unmissable Experiences in Rome

Attend a Papal Audience

One of the unique experiences in Rome is attending a Papal Audience with the Pope. Held most Wednesdays in St. Peter’s Square, these gatherings allow visitors to see the Pope up close and receive his blessings. Tickets are free but need to be reserved in advance through the Vatican.

Explore Rome’s Catacombs

Rome’s underground catacombs offer a fascinating glimpse into early Christian history. The Catacombs of San Callisto and the Catacombs of San Sebastiano are among the most famous. Guided tours provide insights into the burial practices and the lives of early Christians.

Hidden Gems in Rome

Aventine Hill and the Keyhole

For a unique view of St. Peter’s Basilica, visit the Aventine Hill and peek through the keyhole of the Knights of Malta. This perfectly framed view of the dome through the keyhole is one of Rome’s best-kept secrets. The surrounding Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) offers a tranquil spot with beautiful views over the city.

Basilica of San Clemente

The Basilica of San Clemente is a hidden gem that spans three historical layers: a 12th-century basilica, a 4th-century church, and a 1st-century Roman house and Mithraeum (a temple dedicated to the god Mithras). This multi-layered structure provides a fascinating journey through Rome’s history.

Family-Friendly Activities in Rome

Villa Borghese Gardens

Villa Borghese Gardens offer a fantastic escape for families. Rent bikes or rowboats, visit the Bioparco (Rome’s zoo), or enjoy a puppet show at the San Carlino Puppet Theatre. The gardens are also home to the Borghese Gallery, perfect for introducing children to art in a beautiful setting.

Explora Children’s Museum

Explora, the Children’s Museum of Rome, is an interactive museum designed for children aged 0-12. It features hands-on exhibits and activities that encourage learning through play. The museum is located near the Piazza del Popolo, making it a convenient stop during your city tour.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions

Appian Way (Via Appia Antica)

The Appian Way is one of the oldest and most important roads of ancient Rome, offering a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Rent a bike or take a leisurely walk along this historic road, passing ancient tombs, catacombs, and ruins. The Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica provides a serene setting for exploring this ancient route.

Quartiere Coppedè

For a taste of Rome’s eclectic architecture, visit the Quartiere Coppedè. This whimsical neighborhood, designed by architect Gino Coppedè, features an unusual blend of Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Baroque styles. The area is relatively unknown to tourists, making it a hidden gem worth exploring.

Shopping in Rome

Markets and Bazaars

Rome’s markets are perfect for experiencing local culture and finding unique souvenirs. The Campo de’ Fiori market offers fresh produce, spices, and flowers, while the Porta Portese flea market, held every Sunday, is a treasure trove of antiques, clothing, and curiosities.

Artisan Shops

Support local artisans by visiting shops that sell handcrafted goods. E. Marinella is famous for its handmade ties, Gammarelli for papal tailor-made clothes, and Sciuscià for custom-made shoes. These shops offer high-quality, unique items that make perfect gifts or personal keepsakes.

Tips for a Seamless Visit

Avoiding Crowds

To avoid crowds at popular attractions like the Colosseum and the Vatican, consider visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Booking skip-the-line tickets or guided tours can also save time and make your visit more enjoyable.

Local Etiquette

Understanding local etiquette can enhance your experience in Rome. Italians appreciate polite greetings, so say "Buongiorno" (good morning) or "Buonasera" (good evening) when entering shops or restaurants. When dining, it’s customary to leave a small tip (5-10%) for good service, though it’s not obligatory.

Staying Connected

Rome offers free Wi-Fi in many public areas, including piazzas, parks, and metro stations. Look for signs indicating free Wi-Fi zones. Additionally, most cafes and restaurants provide Wi-Fi for customers.


From the grandeur of the Colosseum to the artistic treasures of the Vatican, Rome offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re on a Rome city tour, a Rome self-guided tour, or simply wandering through its enchanting streets, you’ll discover why this city is one of the most beloved destinations in the world. Plan your visit today and experience the very best things to do in Rome, making your city break truly unforgettable.

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