Top sights to see in Rome, Italy

Updated: Apr 4

A travel planning guide to Rome, Italy including the top sights to see during your visit.


Rome has history surging through its veins. Ruins and museums connected by modern day streets create the layout of the land. It is a well-visited area with many sights to see. Shane had already visited Rome, so he showed me some of his favorite sights and we covered everything we hoped to see in 1 day.

The following is travel advice for planning and enjoying your visit to Rome, Italy and the Vatican City.

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▲ l o c a t i o n ▲

We used AirBnB to book our studio about a twenty minute walk from the Spanish Steps. It was difficult to find an affordable place near the area we wanted to be located, so I recommend booking at least 2-3 months ahead of time. Do some research ahead of time to find out what sights you want to see and choose a rental near them. I would recommend something near the Trevi Fountain or Spanish Steps because there is good shopping and restaurants around those sights.

▲ r e n t a l ▲

Try to plan your trip before the summer rush. Rome is a tourist heavy vacation destination, so it can be very busy in the peak of the summer months. Be warned. Also make sure to book a rental spot with WiFi if you need it and a washer to do your laundry. Also ask ahead of time about stairs if they will be a difficulty.

▲ t r a n s p o r t a t i o n ▲

Rome can be explored by foot, but be prepared to walk a lot. The main sights are not close together, but still walking distance apart. Uber is a great choice. The train is also a great way to get to and from Rome.  I do not recommend renting a car for Rome because parking can be tricky.

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Make sure to exchange your money to euros.

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If you do not want to eat at a restaurant every night choose a rental that has a kitchen. This will save you money. Also, the water from most taps are good to drink. If you are visiting on a Sunday make sure to have something prepared to eat Sunday morning because many businesses will be closed in the morning and possibly all day.

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▲ t o p   s i g h t s   t o   s e e ▲

  • Trevi Fountain: at night it is less busy and lit up fantastically
  • Spanish Steps: walk up them, take a left, go to the giant park and see a breathtaking view of the city
  • Colosseum
  • Pantheon
  • Stroll through the historical old town
  • Trastevere is a beautiful quarter with many small alleys and it is the artist downtown hangout
  • Vatican City and Museums: the last of Sunday of every month is FREE, but that means it is extra busy. We arrived 20 minutes before 10am on a Sunday and only waited 20 more minutes after the Vatican City opened to get inside, so 40 minutes total. Get there early. (Hours: M-Sat 10-6 and Sun 10-2 )

▲ o t h e r   s i g h t s   t o   s e e

  • Via Pamphili Park
  • Piazza Navona
  • Villa Borghese Gardens
  • Favorite restaurants: 'Alla Taverna Varrone' and ‘Al Grottino'
  • The Piazza di Santa Maria is a great place to enjoy the sun, have drinks and listen to street musicians
  • The Piazza di Navona has three giant beautiful fountains, baroque houses and street artists

▲ p r o - t i p s ▲

  • BLEND IN and respect the culture 
  • “Bar” actually means cafe
  • Tipping is not required in Italy because servers are paid a living wage, and many restaurants include "coperto" (cover charge) on the bill, which often covers service
  • Communicating: When approaching someone, first ask if they speak english before speak to them: Please (per favore), thank you (grazie), and do you speak English? (parli Inglese?)
  • Buses: Rather than trying to figure out bus schedules on your own, turn to Google Maps; it's a savior for mapping bus and subway routes to and from destinations. If you do take the bus, you must buy your tickets in advance at tabacchi shops, or vending machines at metro stations and bus stops. Once you board the bus, you must validate your ticket by stamping it in the machine on board.

Have you been to Roma? If so, what is your favorite memory from your trip?