18 Memorable Things to Do in Rome | Ultimate Travel Guide
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18 memorable things to do in Rome

18 Memorable Things in Rome

Rome, the Eternal City, is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences waiting to be discovered. From ancient ruins to vibrant piazzas, Rome offers a blend of history, culture, and modern charm that captivates every visitor. Whether you're exploring the city for the first time or returning to uncover more of its secrets, here are 18 memorable things to do in Rome that will make your trip truly special.

1. Wander Through the Colosseum

A visit to Rome wouldn't be complete without exploring the iconic Colosseum. This ancient amphitheater, once the epicenter of gladiatorial combat, stands as a testament to Rome's grandeur. Opt for a Colosseum audio tour to enrich your experience with fascinating stories about its history and architecture.

2. Marvel at the Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of Rome's best-preserved ancient buildings. Its massive dome and the oculus at its center are architectural marvels. Be sure to get a Pantheon entry ticket to skip the line and enjoy its awe-inspiring interior, where you can admire the tomb of Raphael and other historical figures.

3. Toss a Coin in the Trevi Fountain

Legend has it that tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain ensures your return to Rome. This Baroque masterpiece is not only a popular tourist spot but also a symbol of Rome's romantic allure. Don't miss this tradition during your Rome city tour.

4. Explore the Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, once the heart of ancient Rome, is a sprawling complex of ruins that offers a glimpse into the city's imperial past. Wander through its temples, basilicas, and public spaces to feel the pulse of ancient Rome.

5. Climb the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, a favorite hangout spot for locals and tourists alike, connect the Piazza di Spagna with the Trinità dei Monti church. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city, especially beautiful at sunset.

6. Visit the Vatican Museums

Home to some of the world's most famous artworks, including the Sistine Chapel's ceiling painted by Michelangelo, the Vatican Museums are a must-visit. Book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines and enjoy a seamless experience.

7. Stroll Through the Borghese Gardens

The Villa Borghese Gardens offer a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Rent a bike or simply walk through these lush grounds, and be sure to visit the Borghese Gallery to admire its impressive art collection.

8. Discover Trastevere

Trastevere, with its narrow cobblestone streets and vibrant nightlife, is a charming neighborhood that offers a taste of authentic Roman life. Explore its boutiques, restaurants, and bars to experience the local culture.

9. Take a Self-Guided Tour of Rome's Piazzas

Rome's piazzas are the heart of the city's social life. A self-guided tour of Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, and Campo de' Fiori will reveal beautiful fountains, historical buildings, and lively atmospheres.

10. Experience the Magic of Castel Sant'Angelo

Originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, Castel Sant'Angelo has served various purposes over the centuries, including as a fortress and papal residence. Its impressive structure and stunning views of the Tiber River make it a memorable stop.

11. Visit the Catacombs

Rome's catacombs, such as those of San Callisto and San Sebastiano, offer a fascinating and slightly eerie glimpse into early Christian burial practices. Guided tours provide historical context and bring these underground passages to life.

12. Explore the Capitoline Hill

The Capitoline Hill, one of Rome's seven hills, is home to the Capitoline Museums, which house an extensive collection of art and artifacts. The hill itself offers splendid views over the Roman Forum and the city.

13. Relax in Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, with its stunning Baroque fountains and vibrant street performers, is a great place to unwind. Enjoy a gelato or a coffee at one of the many cafes while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

14. Admire the Art in the Galleria Borghese

The Galleria Borghese, located within the Borghese Gardens, is a must-visit for art lovers. Its collection includes masterpieces by Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael. Make sure to book your tickets in advance, as entry is limited.

15. Visit the Mouth of Truth

The Bocca della Verità, or Mouth of Truth, is an ancient marble mask located in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church. Legend says it will bite the hand of liars, making it a fun and quirky stop on your Rome sightseeing tour.

16. Enjoy a Rome Self-Guided Tour

Rome self-guided tour allows you to explore the city at your own pace. Use the Vox City App to navigate through lesser-known gems and local favorites, making your experience truly personal and memorable.

17. Visit the Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla, one of the largest and most impressive thermal bath complexes of ancient Rome, offer a fascinating glimpse into Roman leisure and engineering. Wander through the ruins and imagine the grandeur of these ancient public baths.

18. Take a Food Tour

No visit to Rome is complete without indulging in its culinary delights. Join a food tour to savor local specialties like pasta carbonara, supplì, and gelato. You'll not only taste delicious food but also learn about Rome's rich culinary heritage.

Practical Information for Visiting Rome

Getting Around

Public Transportation: Rome's public transportation system includes buses, trams, and the metro. Purchase a Roma Pass for unlimited travel on public transport and discounts at various attractions.

Walking: Many of Rome's attractions are within walking distance of each other. Comfortable shoes are essential for navigating the cobblestone streets.

Biking: Rome is becoming more bike-friendly, and renting a bike can be a fun way to explore the city, especially in areas like the Borghese Gardens.


Location: Stay in central areas like Centro Storico, Trastevere, or near the Vatican for easy access to major sights.

Types: Rome offers a range of accommodations from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and charming bed and breakfasts.

Tips for a Smooth Visit

Book in Advance: Popular attractions like the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum often have long lines. Book tickets online in advance to skip the queues.

Timing: Visit major attractions early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds.

Dress Code: When visiting churches and religious sites, dress modestly with shoulders and knees covered.

Cultural Etiquette

Dining: Italian dining is an experience. Enjoy long meals, and don't rush. Tipping is appreciated but not obligatory; rounding up the bill is customary.

Language: While many Romans speak English, learning a few basic Italian phrases can be helpful and appreciated.

Respect Local Customs: Be mindful of local customs and traditions. For instance, avoid sitting on historic steps or monuments.

Safety Tips

Pickpockets: Be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas like Termini Station and tourist attractions. Keep your belongings secure.

Emergency Numbers: The emergency number in Italy is 112. Know the location of the nearest embassy or consulate for any major issues.

Money Matters

Currency: The currency in Rome is the Euro (€). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it's good to carry some cash for small purchases.

ATMs: ATMs are widely available, but use machines attached to banks for safety.

Best Time to Visit

Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September to October) are ideal for pleasant weather and fewer tourists.

Summer (July to August) can be hot and crowded, but offers lively festivals and events.

Winter (November to March) is less crowded and can be a great time to explore indoor attractions like museums and galleries.

Must-Try Foods

Pasta: Try local pasta dishes like carbonara, cacio e pepe, and amatriciana.

Pizza: Roman pizza is thin and crispy. Head to a local pizzeria to taste this delight.

Gelato: No visit to Rome is complete without indulging in gelato. Look for artisanal gelaterias for the best experience.

Coffee: Experience Italian coffee culture by visiting a local café for an espresso or cappuccino.

Day Trips from Rome

Vatican City: Technically a separate country, the Vatican offers a wealth of art and history, including St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums.

Ostia Antica: An ancient Roman port city with well-preserved ruins, located just a short train ride from Rome.

Tivoli: Home to the stunning Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli makes for a great day trip from Rome.

Essential Apps and Resources

Google Maps: For navigation and finding attractions.

Rome Metro: To navigate the public transport system.

Museums and Attractions Websites: For booking tickets and checking opening hours.

Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions

Quartiere Coppedè: A unique neighborhood known for its eclectic architecture.

Appian Way: One of the oldest and most important roads of ancient Rome, perfect for a historical walk.

Protestant Cemetery: The resting place of famous poets like Keats and Shelley, offering a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

Events and Festivals

Rome Marathon: Held in March, this event draws runners from around the world.

Estate Romana: A summer festival featuring outdoor concerts, films, and cultural events.

Rome Film Festival: An annual event showcasing international films and drawing movie enthusiasts.

Local Markets

Campo de' Fiori: A bustling market is known for its fresh produce and lively atmosphere.

Mercato di Testaccio: A food market offering a variety of local delicacies.

Porta Portese: A large flea market held on Sundays, perfect for finding unique souvenirs.


Rome is a city that never ceases to amaze. From iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Pantheon to hidden gems in Trastevere and beyond, there are countless memorable things in Rome to experience. Whether you're on a Rome city tour or a Rome self-guided tour, each corner of the city holds a piece of history, a story, or a new adventure. So pack your bags, grab your Colosseum audio tour, and prepare for a journey through time and beauty in the heart of Italy.

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