What to see in Rome in 1, 2, and 3 days?

What to see in Rome in 3 days

How to see all the most important things in the capital of Italy and still enjoy the unique atmosphere of the eternal city in 3 days? This article contains detailed itineraries, ticket prices and opening hours of the sights.

If you are going to Rome for 1 day or 2 days, just choose the appropriate route: the ancient city, the central part or the Vatican. Prepare for your trip in advance and find out what to see in Rome in 3 days.

Ticket prices and visiting hours for museums and attractions are presented for 2022: check official websites for information.

1 day in Rome

Start your walk around the city with the most important thing and see the Colosseum in Rome. This is the most iconic Roman landmark, without a visit to which it is impossible to imagine the capital of Italy.

Three major sites of ancient Roman civilization, including the Palatine and the Roman Forum, it is better to combine in one walk. Especially since you can buy a single ticket to visit them, and they are located close to each other.

Colosseum

The easiest way to get to Colosseo Square is by metro. Get off at the homonymous station. When you go upstairs, you will immediately see a huge (by the ancient Roman standards) arena with many arches – it is the famous Colosseum.

Look around from the outside, go inside. This structure was truly the largest in the history of the ancient world.

The Colosseum

Photo: Nicola Forenza / Shutterstock.com

Palatine

Next to the Colosseum is the ancient Palatino Hill, which has ancient temples, buildings and structures in its expanse. Some of them are perfectly preserved, others have only columns left.

Palatine Hill

Photo: Stefano_Valeri / Shutterstock.com

It is from this hill that the history of the eternal city began, so its visit is a must for learning about the history of Rome.

Roman Forum

Another center of ancient Roman civilization is the Roman Forum (Forum Romanum). Here are the main buildings of the ancient city, which in time turned into magnificent ruins. However, the outlines of many of them are easy to reproduce the architecture of the ancient city.

Roman Forum

Photo: Stefano_Valeri / Shutterstock.com

Once you’ve climbed to the top of the slope, encompass the entire square in one glance and take a photo to remember.

Hours of operation and combined ticket

See the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine daily from 8:30 a.m. Closing times depend on the season:

  • November through March – until 4:30 p.m;
  • From April to August – until 19:15;
  • September to October – until 6.30 pm.

The Colosseum is closed January 1 and December 25. Ticket offices close one hour before closing time. The last visit is also one hour before closing time. Check the official website for schedule information for a particular date.

All three attractions can be seen with a single ticket – Colosseum-Forum-Palatine, which costs 16 euros. The ticket is valid for 24 hours and includes one visit to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine.

There are also other types of tickets available, such as:

  • Full Experience Ticket : includes the Colosseum with access to the arena and dungeon, the Forum and the Palatine. Valid for 2 days. Price: 22€.
  • Audioguide of the Colosseum with ticket: includes the Colosseum with an audioguide (available in Russian), the Roman Forum and the Palatinum. Ticket is valid for 24 hours. Cost: 21,50 Euros.
  • The wonders of the Colosseum : includes the Colosseum with guided access to the arena and dungeon (in Italian and English), the Roman Forum and the Palatine. Valid for 75 minutes. Cost: 32€.

For more information and to see a complete list of tickets, visit the official website at www.coopculture.it/en/. There is also convenient to book in advance the desired version of the ticket. If you book early online a fee of 2 euros is added.

You are likely to spend the first half of the day touring these large-scale historical sites. To regain your energy, you can have lunch at an authentic restaurant near the Forum and walk past the Altar of the Fatherland to Venice Square and from there to the Capitoline Hill.

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Constantine’s Arch of Triumph

Not far from the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino), built in 315, after the battle of Ponte Milvio in 312. Then the Emperor Constantine won a triumphant victory over Massentius.

Arch of Constantine

Photo: Brian Bourbeau / Shutterstock.com

Interestingly, the bas-reliefs, medallions and sculptures with which the arch is decorated are carried over from other ancient monuments. They depict mainly:

  • Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ battles against the ancient Germanic tribes;
  • episodes of hunting and sacrifice in the era of the Emperor Hadrian;
  • the military campaign and victory of Emperor Constantine over Maxentius.

The monumental arch can be viewed at any time absolutely free of charge.

Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia is famous for the palace of the same name, from the balcony of which Mussolini addressed the citizens. It is now home to the Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia, as well as the Chere Museum of Wax Figures.

Venice Square

Photo: Vladimir Mucibabic / Shutterstock.com

Opening Hours and Ticket Prices

The Palazzo di Venezia National Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 to 7:30 p.m. Closed Monday, January 1, May 1 and December 25.

Tickets cost 10 euros.

Altar of the Fatherland

On the way to Piazza Venezia is the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) or Il Vittoriano. It is a memorial built by the architect G. Sakonni for the anniversary of the unification of Italy. It was first opened in 1911, its construction took 26 years.

Venice Square

Photo: Irene Ignateva / Shutterstock.com

In the center of the memorial rises a monument to Victor Emmanuel II, made of bronze. A wide staircase leads to the Altar.

By taking the elevator to the observation deck, one can admire a wonderful view of the city.

Capitol Hill and museums

Next on the itinerary is the Capitol Hill (Monte Capitolino). The main attractions here are Michelangelo’s Staircase, adorned with sculptures of lions from the Egyptian temple of the goddess Isis and the majestic statues from the theater of Pompeii.

In the central part of the square is a statue of Marcus Aurelius.

Capitoline Hill in Rome

Photo: givaga / Shutterstock.com

Here you can visit three palaces at once with Capitoline museums and see the original sculpture of the She-wolf feeding Remus and Romulus, a symbol of the famous legend of Rome’s origins.

Opening Hours and Ticket Prices

The museums on Capitol Hill are open:

  • 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily;
  • On December 24 and 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Closed January 1, May 1 and December 25.

To visit the Capitoline Museums a single ticket is purchased. The price is €11.50.

Day 2 in Rome

On the second day, you can stroll through the main squares of the city with majestic palaces, magnificent fountains and ancient churches. And, of course, check out the Pantheon in Rome.

Piazza del Popolo

Start your walk at Piazza del Popolo. You can get here by metro – get off at the station of the same name.

Piazza del Popolo

Photo: Catarina Belova / Shutterstock.com

Linger for a while in this delightful square and admire the Egyptian obelisk and three fountains: Neptune, the Goddess of Rome and the central fountain.

There is also the Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo).

Via del Corso

Then walk along Via del Corso from Piazza del Popolo to the Fontana di Trevi. It’s an ancient street with upscale boutiques, hotels, and chic restaurants.

Spanish Steps

On the way, turn a little left to see the famous Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna), strewn with flowers in the summertime and tourists enjoying the sunny weather. At the top is the temple of Trinità dei Monti (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti).

Spanish Steps

Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

There’s always an air of celebration in Piazza España, especially during the Haute Couture days that take place here every summer.

Trevi Fountain

Next, walk out to the Trevi Fountain, famous for its monumental sculptural composition led by the god Neptune. The fountain has been under restoration for a long time, but you can now admire it in all its beauty.

Rome's Trevi Fountain

Photo: Jon Chica / Shutterstock.com

Opposite is the church of San Marcello al Corso, with magnificent bas-reliefs and sculptures by the masters Raggi and Cavallini.

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Piazza Navona

Turn right and you’ll come to Rome’s most beautiful square, Piazza Navona. There are three fountains (Four Rivers, Moor and Neptune) and the famous Church of Santa Agnese and the Church of Santa Maria del Sacro Cuore.

Along the perimeter of the square are splendid palaces:

  • Palazzo de Cupis,
  • Palazzo Torres Lancelotti,
  • Palazzo Pamphili,
  • Palazzo Braschi.

Piazza Navona

Photo: Nicola Forenza / Shutterstock.com

Pantheon

Next to the square is the Pantheon, the tomb of Italian kings and the famous Raphael.

Pantheon in Rome

Photo: givaga / Shutterstock.com

Until the 7th century it was a pagan temple that was later turned into a Christian basilica. You’ll recognize it by its round dome and columns at the entrance.

Pantheon hours of operation

The Pantheon is open every day from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. The last entrance is at 6:30 pm.

Closed January 1, May 1 and December 25. Admission is free.

Day 3 in Rome.

Well, the final day is the magnificent Vatican City and the nearby Castel Sant’Angelo with the bridge of the same name.

To visit the Vatican (Vaticano), it is best to take the metro and get off at Ottaviano station. Walk to Piazza San Pietro directly from the metro in Via Ottaviano.

Witness the piazza with its colonnades along the perimeter of the semicircle and the towering, white cathedral.

St. Peter’s Cathedral

Visiting hours at St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro): daily from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm, and climbing the dome from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. It is advisable to dress modestly, not in shorts and short T-shirts.

St Peter's Cathedral in Vatican City

Photo: luckyraccoon / Shutterstock.com

Entrance to the cathedral is free, but to climb the dome you need to pay 10 euros if you take the elevator (plus 320 steps on foot), or 8 euros if you climb the narrow stairs (to overcome 551 steps).

Duration of a visit to the Cathedral will be about one hour, because the lines at the entrance are long.

Vatican Museums

A walk through the Vatican Museums will take about half a day. The Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina), where the election of the Pope takes place, is a must-see.

Also worth seeing:

  • A hall with an extensive collection of ancient antiquities,
  • Capella Niccolina,
  • The Pinacoteca Vaticana,
  • The luxurious Appartamento Borgia,
  • Raphael’s stanzas (Stanze di Raffaello).

Vatican Museums

Photo: Pani Garmyder / Shutterstock.com

Vatican Museums

Photo: byggarn.se / Shutterstock.com

Vatican Museums

Photo: MisterStock / Shutterstock.com

Check out the tapestry gallery and collection of church art, as well as the Vatican Library. Finish your tour with a stroll through the beautiful terrace garden, where the Pope himself often strolls.

Tickets to the Vatican are best booked in advance to avoid standing in a huge line.

Opening Hours and Ticket Prices

Vatican Museums are open:

  • Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.);
  • Every last Sunday of the month: from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm (last admission 12.30 pm).

A visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel costs 17 Euros, with an additional 4 Euros for an advance online reservation.

Vittorio Emanuele II Bridge

After visiting the Vatican, walk along Via della Conciliazione to the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II (Bridge of Vittorio Emanuele II), replete with sculptures and relief decorations.

Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge

Photo: Evannovostro / Shutterstock.com

The bridge was opened in 1911 at the celebration of the anniversary of the unification of Italy.

St. Angel’s Castle

Ahead you’ll see the round Castel Sant’Angelo, another ancient Roman landmark. At various times it housed a military fortress, a prison, and the residence of the Pope.

It was in this fortress that Giordano Bruno was imprisoned. Go inside the castle, wander through the rooms, look in the Military History Museum.

Castel Sant'Angelo

Photo: Achim Baque / Shutterstock.com

Opening Hours and Ticket Prices

St. Angel’s Castle is open:

  • Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (box office closes at 6:30 p.m.);
  • Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 00 a.m. (box office closes at 23.00).

Tickets cost 15€.

St. Angel’s Bridge

Directly in front of the castle is the magnificent ancient Bridge of Sant’Angelo, decorated with statues and shrouded in many legends.

Castel Sant'Angelo

Photo: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock.com

Ten statues were created by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini over a period of two years and were installed on the bridge in 1667.

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Palace of Justice

If you walk down Lungotevere Castello, you will emerge on Piazza dei Tribunali to the Palazzo di Giustizia (Palace of Justice). It is the famous palace of the architect Calderini: a bronze chariot with statues decorates the façade.

Palace of Justice

Photo: Pajor Pawel / Shutterstock.com

Not far from the square you can dine on fine Italian cuisine in authentic restaurants. Local chefs are always ready to offer a variety of pastas, meats, seafood with a bottle of wine and a great dessert.

Excursions in Rome

If you’re worried that you won’t have time to see all the listed sights in Rome in 3 days or are afraid of getting lost, take a sightseeing tour from professional guides – locals. Seeing the city with a personal guide who has already planned a detailed itinerary, you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the ancient city.

See all the tours and choose the most suitable one on Tripster.

What to see in Rome in 1, 2, and 3 days?

Itineraries of Rome: what to see in 1, 2 and 3 days by yourself. The cost of admission tickets, opening hours and ways to get to them.

The cradle of Christianity, the Eternal City – as only enthusiastic tourists call the capital of Italy – Rome. It’s the place where people of art were inspired, the destinies of people and entire countries were decided. This is one of the most visited cities in the world, where thousands of years of constructions amazingly combined with modern facilities.

Do not be under the illusion that all the iconic places in Rome can be seen in a few days. The city with centuries of history, which experienced the rise and fall of the greatest of empires, is so multifaceted that it is impossible to get acquainted with its attractions in such a limited amount of time. After a few hours of walking around the city tourists begin to feel dizzy with the abundance of impressions and excess of information, however, do not lose your head – if time is short, you should try to see at least the main monuments of culture. In this article we will outline the route around the Eternal City and tell you what to see in Rome on your own in 1, 2, and 3 days, and give useful information – ticket prices, opening hours of monuments of culture and architecture, and how to get to them by public transport and on foot.

Look for author’s interesting tours on Sputnik and Tripster websites. Individual and group, without crowds of tourists and in Russian.

sights of the eternal city

(Photo: Txanoduna / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Walking around Rome in 1 day

So, it’s best to start from the people’s Piazza del Popolo . You can take the metro to the station of the same name or streetcar number 2 to the stop Flaminio. The main decorations of the square are the Egyptian obelisk, the central fountain and two works by Cessarini – “Fountain of Neptune” and “Fountain of the Goddess of Rome”, next to the Gate is the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. The square is located by the Pincio hill, where the entrance to the Borghese Gardens, to the south goes the famous Via del Corso, which can be used to reach Piazza Venezia.

Via del Corso is a wide and ancient street, very well known by shopaholics around the world for its high-end boutiques, restaurants and hotels. If you turn on Via del Murate you can find yourself at the most famous fountain in the city – Trevi.

In the center of the Trevi Fountain is a sculpture of the sea god. The extraordinary popularity among tourists is indicated by the bottom of the fountain, solidly studded with coins. According to statistics, every day 1500 euros worth of coins are taken out of the Trevi. Opposite the fountain is the church of San Marcello al Corso, decorated with sculptures and bas-reliefs by Cavallini and Raggi.

Back on Via del Corso, we go straight to Piazza Venezia where we find the Altar of the Fatherland and the famous Palazzo Venezia.

The Palazzo Venezia, previously used by the Venetian Embassy, was later chosen by the Mussolini government. From the balcony of this building Mussolini spoke to the people. Nowadays there is a museum of decorative arts Palazzo Venezia, there is also a museum of wax statues Chere. The museum is open from 8:30 to 19:30, admission is 5 euros.

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What to see in Rome in a day

(Photo: Bert Kaufmann / flickr.com / License CC BY-SA 2.0)

By the way, most of the city’s museums are closed on Mondays, December 25 and January 1, and some are free – if you know when. When visiting museums and other attractions, it is better to use the Roma Pass card – so you save time and money.

The Altar of the Fatherland was built for the anniversary of the Unification of Italy. From the Altar there is a wonderful view of the city, for which you must take the elevator (7 euros) to the observation deck and, after admiring the views, walk to the Capitoline Hill.

The staircase by Michelangelo, with antique sculptures of lions from the temple of the goddess Isis in Egypt and statues from the theater of Pompeii, attracts attention. In the center of the square is a replica of the statue of Marcus Aurelius. The Capitoline Museums are now open in the three palaces; admission is 12 euros, from 8 to 20. The museum contains the original statue of the She-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus. At the entrance to the building is a copy of it.

On the right is the archway through which you can walk out to the Roman Forum . If you want, with a ticket, you can wander among the ruins of ancient temples and columns, or you can go to Via dei Fori Imperiali, leading to the Colosseum.

What else is there to see in Rome on your own in 1 day? The symbol of the Eternal City is of course the Colosseum, the ancient amphitheater, built from 70-82 AD for gladiatorial fights, which was included in the new Seven Wonders of the World. Entrance costs 12 euros, visit from 8:30 to 19:15 (summer), in winter to 16:30 or 17:30. In the evening the Colosseum is illuminated and looks very unusual. Nearby is the subway stop Colosseo in Via dei Fori Imperiali, where you can end your walk.

Hotels in Rome

Still haven’t found the right hotel for you? We suggest you do it well in advance! To search for hotels by price and other factors, we recommend you use Roomguru.ru – a search engine that compares prices and allows you to find the best deals. If you start looking for accommodation in advance, you can find good hostels in the city center for 16€ per person, rooms for two in a three-star hotel from 43€, and great apartments from 80€. If you do not have to stay in the center, you can find accommodation at a lower price.

what to see in rome in a couple of days

(Photo: Matteo Avanzini / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)

Two days in Rome: what to see?

On the second day we continue the walk that was interrupted the day before from St. Peter’s Square, which is easily reached by metro, the stop Ottaviano. On Via Ottaviano thousands of tourists and residents of the Eternal City rush to the square. The pandemonium is most notable on Sundays. In the center of the square is the Egyptian obelisk from the time of Caligula and beyond that is St. Peter’s Basilica, the central cathedral of the Vatican and the entire Roman Catholic Church.

Via della Conciliazione leads to the Bridge of Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, richly decorated with reliefs and sculptures. The bridge was inaugurated in 1911 to commemorate the anniversary of the unification of the country.

From here, the route continues along the promenade to the Castel Sant’Angelo, or Mausoleum of Hadrian. Here was the fortress, the residence of the Pope and the tomb. The basement and first floor served as a prison. It was here that Giordano Bruno, Galileo and Count Cagliostro languished. Now in the castle of the Military History Museum, the entrance fee is 8.5 euros, open from 9 to 19:30. From the castle runs the beautiful St. Angel’s Bridge (Elias Bridge) with the original statues.

On the Lungotevere Castello you can walk to the Palace of Justice on Piazza dei Tribunali. It is a luxurious palace, a creation of the architect Calderini, with a bronze chariot on the façade and statues on the sides.

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What else is there to see in Rome in two days? You can cross the river over the Umberto Bridge and walk along the promenade, and then go a little deeper into the city and reach the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini on Via Giulia. The church has been under construction for almost 100 years. The main decoration of the temple is the altar by Borromini. By the way, this is the only church where cats and dogs are allowed.

From the church along Via Corso it is convenient to head in the direction of Piazza Navona, the former marketplace and place of city festivities. In the center is the obelisk of Agonalis, surmounted by a dove with an olive branch, and the Four Rivers Fountain. They are sculptural symbols of the rivers of different parts of the world: the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile and La Plata. Two more fountains, the Moor and Neptune, surround the square at the edges.

From Piazza Navona you can proceed to the Pantheon in Piazza del Pantheon, the favorite place of musicians. Impressive is the giant dome of the Pantheon with a hole in the center, at noon the sunlight penetrates the temple, standing in a huge glowing beam. Since 609, the ancient Pantheon became a Christian temple, allowing it to survive to this day. Admission is free.

what to see in rome on your own

(Photo: Lorenzoclick / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC 2.0)

What to see in Rome in 3 days

The Vatican is what to see in Rome for day 3. So, Ottaviano subway stop. In Via Ottaviano walk to St. Peter’s Square. The square itself deserves special attention, so beautiful creation with semicircular colonnades, which, together with the cathedral, create a bizarre form of “St. Peter’s Key”.

Entrance to St. Peter’s Cathedral is free from 7 to 6:30 pm (up to 19 in the summer), but the lines are huge and everyone goes through the metal detector. It is recommended to dress modestly, no shorts or bare shoulders. A visit to the cathedral will take at least 1.5-2 hours. The interior is strikingly luxurious and the views from the dome of the cathedral are magnificent. Entrance to the dome is paid, a hike up the spiral narrow staircase costs 5 euros, the elevator to the roof – 7 euros, and then still walk another 320 steps.

There are many museums and halls in the Vatican, including the famous Sistine Chapel, where for several centuries in a row the Pope is elected. The richest collection of antiquities and antiquities. The Nicolina Chapel, the Borgia apartments, the Vatican Pinacoteca, the Stantzas of Raphael are amazing. The Vatican Library, tapestry gallery and collection of modern church art with works by Dali, Chagall, Picasso, Kandinsky, Modigliani and others deserve special attention.

To avoid standing in line at the Vatican Museums, it is better to book tickets online. Every last Sunday of the month admission is free from 9 to 12:30, on other Sundays, January 1 and major church holidays, museums are closed. On other days are open until 18:00. The ticket price is 15 euros. Among the museums there is a small terrace with a garden, where you can just walk.

Popular excursions in Rome

After a busy cultural program, there is nothing better than to have dinner in a cozy restaurant with a glass of genuine Italian wine and admire the views of evening Rome in the setting sun. The eternal city impresses and inspires, so it’s no surprise that people come here again and again.

If you do not have time to see all the interesting places in Rome in 3 days, do not worry – there will be a reason to return to this beautiful city. Of course, this itinerary is not intended to be comprehensive – you can adjust it as you like. Write in the comments your routes in Rome – what to see on your own, how would you spend your time in the Eternal City and what non-tourist places would you advise other travelers to visit?

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