4 Days in Rome Itinerary (Most Complete Guide)

A complete itinerary for 4 days in Rome (+ map, the best places to eat pasta and how to skip the lines at the Colosseum and Vatican Museums).

Rome is one of the most visited cities in Europe. It’s one of the big three in Italy – Rome, Florence and Venice. Rome is not only the capital of Italy but also the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Founded nearly 3000 years ago, it’s known as the Eternal City. And it really is!

Rome is home to renowned masterpieces of art, ancient ruins, centuries-old churches and mouth-watering food. It’s an inspiring place that you should visit at least once in your lifetime. And you’ll probably need a lifetime to see it all!

4 Days in Rome itinerary

How to see Rome in 4 days? With so many attractions and must-see places, it’s not easy to craft the perfect itinerary. Plus you need to book some tickets in advance unless you want to spend hours waiting in lines.

Follow this 4 days in Rome suggested itinerary to ensure that you’ll get the best of the city during your vacation. It includes the most popular attractions, the best places to eat and tips on how to avoid the crowds.

My favourite hotel to stay in Rome: U-Visionary Roma Hotel
Why: fantastic location near the Trevi Fountain and a metro station
What I like: spacious rooms, great panoramic rooftop bar and restaurant

Already have a hotel booked? Check if your hotel has a convenient location in my guide to where to stay in Rome first time.

Find a map of this Rome itinerary (with all attractions and restaurants’ websites) at the end of the article.


4 days in Rome (the perfect Rome itinerary)

  • Day 1: Colosseum of Rome, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Knights of Malta Keyhole, Trastevere
  • Day 2: Vatican Museums, Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Day 3: St. Peter’s Basilica, Pantheon, Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Altare della Patria, Piazza Navona
  • Day 4: Galleria Borghese, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Always book tours or skip the lines tickets with GetYourGuide (you get a mobile ticket + free cancellation). Tickets from the attractions’ official websites are mostly non-refundable.

4 Days in Rome – Day 1

Morning

Breakfast in Italian style

07:30 AM – 08:30 AM
Start your first day with a cup of coffee and a pastry at 081 Caffè or Antico Caffe Del Brasile.

Visit the iconic Colosseum

08:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Colosseum (Colosseo) is the largest amphitheatre in the world. Emperor Vespasian commissioned its construction in 72 AD. Colosseum was used for gladiatorial fights and it could accommodate up to 80,000 spectators. Romans even flooded it for boat battles.

Many gladiators found their death here. To be more precise over 500,000 people and twice as many animals. The last gladiatorial fight took place in 435 AD.

You can visit most of the Colosseum on your own, but the underground areas are accessible only with a guide. To explore the gladiators’ rooms and the animal cages under the arena, book this excellent Colosseum Underground Tour.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out).
Entry ticket: Skip-the-Line Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Best guided tour: Colosseum Highlights Tour – discover the secrets of the Colosseum and explore the magnificent ruins at Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum

Colosseum

Also don’t miss to see the Colosseum at night, when it’s beautifully illuminated.

Colosseum at night

Explore Palatine Hill

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Palatine Hill (Palatino) is the ancient part of the city. In fact, it’s the birthplace of the Eternal City. According to the legends Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, lived in a cave here on Palatine Hill.

During the reign of Augustus, the Palatine Hill was a thriving place, a home to the wealthy Romans. You can still see the remains of the imperial palace of Augustus and his wife Livia.

Palatine Hill is huge and there is a lot to see. You’ll need more time compared to the Colosseum. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.

palatine hill

Lunch

12:00 PM – 02:00 PM
Stop for lunch at Fuorinorma or Mizio’s Street Food. Fuorinorma is the perfect place to taste some wine, cheese and salami platter. For a quick lunch and awesome sandwiches, visit Mizio’s Street Food.

Afternoon

Stroll through the Roman Forum

02:00 PM – 03:00 PM
The Roman Forum (Foro Romano) was the beating heart of ancient Rome. It was the centre of the political and cultural life of the city. All the important monuments, temples and courthouses were located here.

Today, you can still see the ruins of the royal residence, the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Vesta and many other significant buildings.

Roman Forum

Knights of Malta Keyhole

03:20 PM – 03:40 PM
Knights of Malta Keyhole reveals one of the most unique city views. When you peek through it, you’ll see the dome of St. Peter’s perfectly situated in its centre.

The door in question leads to the Priory of the Knights of Malta. Therefore, the view shows three countries at once – Italy, the Vatican and Malta.

However, the keyhole is not marked in any way. Just look for a green door at the intersection of Via di S. Sabina and Via di Porta Lavernale.

Knights of Malta Keyhole

Discover Trastevere

04:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Trastevere is the most picturesque district. Cobblestone streets, small markets and coffee shops, Roman trattorias, artisan workshops, it has it all. It’s the perfect place to wander and get lost.

If you look for some delicious Roman food, this is the place to go. The area is full of small traditional restaurants and cafés, that serve mouth-watering food.

Join this food walking tour of Trastevere and explore the area by trying Italian classics and real Roman street food. Find more tours in my complete guide to the best food tours in Rome.

Dinner

Finish the first day of the itinerary with a dinner at I Pizzicaroli Trastevere or La Tavernetta 29 da Tony e Andrea. For a lighter dinner with salami and cheese platter, visit I Pizzicaroli Trastevere. If you look for a lavish meal, then La Tavernetta 29 da Tony e Andrea is your place.

More ideas for your 4 days in Rome – Day 1

If you are ahead of time or want to change any of the sites, check out the attractions below. They are close to the sites from the first day, so you can easily add any of them to your Rome itinerary.

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is the most important of the four papal major basilicas. In fact, it’s the mother church of the Roman Catholic faithful. That’s why it’s called an archbasilica. St. John Lateran Archbasilica is also the oldest church in the whole of Europe.

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

Mouth of Truth

The famous Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) is an ancient lie detector. According to the legends, if you put your hand inside and tell a lie, it will cut off your hand.

Mouth of Truth

Baths of Caracalla

Going to baths was an important part of the daily life of the Romans. It was a place to socialize, gossip and even discuss politics.

The Baths of Caracalla were the largest thermal baths in the world during the 3rd century. In fact, Terme di Caracalla was a spa complex, that includes also reading and exercising areas, gardens and restaurants.

Although today only ruins are left from this place, you can still feel its splendour.

Baths of Caracalla

Protestant Cemetery

Protestant Cemetery (Cimitero dei protestanti) is the final resting place for all non-catholic citizens of Rome. It’s a beautiful and tranquil place filled with stray cats. The Protestant Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe and it’s still in use (almost 300 years after its opening). Here you’ll find the graves of the famous romantic poets – John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Protestant Cemetery

Rome in 4 days – Day 2

Morning

Breakfast

08:00 AM – 08:30 AM
Start your second day with breakfast at Sciascia Caffè 1919 or Forno Feliziani.

Visit the Vatican Museums

08:45 AM – 01:00 PM
Vatican City is the smallest state by area and population (800 people) in the world. Yet, it has its own post office and you can send a postcard from there to your friends!

It is an absolute monarchy ruled by the Pope. However, the popes haven’t lived always in Vatican City. Their first home was the Lateran palace in Rome. At the beginning of the 14th century when a French Pope was elected, the papacy moved to Avignon.

When they returned to Rome 70 years later, the Lateran Palace was in ruins. The popes decided to move to Vatican City and since then it’s been their home.

Although the state is small, it has the largest complex of museums in the world. They contain masterpieces of art and sculpture collected by the popes through the centuries. The most famous artwork is the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel which features the Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

Vatican Museums

How to visit the Vatican Museums?

Vatican Museums are huge and you’ll need days to see everything. So, focus on what is most interesting for you and skip the rest. It’s one of the most popular sites and the queues are huge (even before the opening time). So, it’s strongly advisable to book your tickets in advance.

In this way, you’ll get a fast-track entry and use a separate queue to enter. Do it as early as you can, as you have to choose a time slot and the ones in the morning are sold out quickly. If possible, visit the museums early in the morning, because there are fewer people. Later in the day, there could be queues even for the fast-track entrance.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out).
Entry ticket: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums (free cancellation up to 24 hours)
Best guided tour: Vatican Museums Highlights Tour – learn the secrets of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and see Michelangelo’s La Pietà at St. Peter’s Basilica

The best day to visit the Vatican museums is Wednesday morning. This is only in case you don’t want to see the Pope or you’re joining a guided tour, which includes also St. Peter’s Basilica. The Papal Audience takes place every Wednesday at St. Peter’s Square. So most of the tourists are at St. Peter’s Square at that time.

My advice is not to visit St. Peter’s Basilica after the Vatican Museums. Leave it for the next day, so you can go very early in the morning. The waiting lines for the basilica are outrageous. 

Lunch

01:00 PM – 03:00 PM
For one of the best pizza in the city, visit Ristorante dei Musei. If you prefer salami and cheese platter, go to The Loft. After lunch, try the gelato at Lemongrass (my favourite one).

Ristorante dei Musei

Lemongrass

Afternoon

Tour Castel Sant’Angelo

03:00 PM – 05:00 PM
The Roman emperor Hadrian built the castle as a mausoleum for his family in 123 AD. However, its purpose changed several times over the centuries.

During his reign, Emperor Aurelian transformed the mausoleum into a military fortress. He also incorporated it into the city walls. The purpose of the fortress was to defend the northern entrance of the Eternal City.

In the 13th century, a covered fortified corridor (called Passetto di Borgo) was constructed. The corridor connects Vatican City and the castle. You can take a glimpse of this secret corridor if you take the Angels and Demons tour.

From the beginning of the 14th century, the papacy took control of the fortress and converted it to a castle. Papal apartments were built to ensure a comfortable stay in case of a siege.

Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo was also used as a prison. Many executions took place in its inner courtyards. This castle was the place where Benvenuto Cellini, Cagliostro and Giordano Bruno were imprisoned before their executions.

Nowadays the castle is a museum. It represents various exhibits, including Renaissance paintings, military weapons, furnishings and sculptures.

The castle took its name from the large statue of Archangel Michael, situated on the top of the building. According to the legends, the city was struck by a plague in 590 AD that ended with the apparition of the Archangel Michael above the mausoleum.

You can book your skip-the-line tickets for Castel Sant’Angelo here.

Castel Sant'Angelo at night

Take an evening walking tour of Rome

Take an evening walking tour of Rome to admire the beauty of the city at sunset. You’ll see some of the most beautiful spots in the city, including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona.

Taste some authentic Italian food

Finish the day with a dinner at Wine Bar De’ Penitenzieri or La Fraschetta di Castel Sant’Angelo. Both restaurants serve authentic Italian food.

La Fraschetta di Castel Sant'Angelo

Rome in 4 days – Day 3

Morning

Breakfast

08:00 AM – 08:45 AM
Start the third day of the itinerary 4 days in Rome with some pastry and coffee at Bar Pasticceria Gelateria Parenti Silvano.

St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square

09:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Located in Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world. It is also one of the four major basilicas in the Eternal City. Among them are – Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul Outside the Walls. All four basilicas are truly beautiful, so if you have enough time, don’t miss to visit them.

St. Peter’s Basilica is constructed on the burial site of Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. The first temple in that place was built in the 4th century by emperor Constantine the Great. In the 15th century, after years of neglect during the period of the Avignon Papacy, the church was in desperate need of restoration.

St. Peter’s Basilica

During the 16th century, Pope Julius II decided to build a new church in the place instead of repairing the old one. Bernini was entrusted with the interior of the basilica.

Some of the masterpieces he designed are the baldachin (a large bronze pavilion, beneath the dome), the throne of St. Peter and the tomb of Alexander VII. The throne of St. Peter is a large bronze throne, which enshrines a chair claimed to be used by the apostle.

One of the most famous monuments in the basilica is the Pietà. It is a marble sculpture of Mary holding the body of her dead son after the crucifixion. Michelangelo created the sculpture in 1499-1500. After a visitor vandalised this piece of art with a hammer in 1972, it is now protected by bulletproof glass.

Entry ticket: free, but you have to pay to climb the Dome
Best guided tour: St. Peter’s Basilica Highlights Tour – explore the iconic basilica and its underground grottoes and climb to the top of the Dome for panoramic views

St. Peter’s Basilica

Climbing the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica

If you want to climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, prepare yourself for a lot of stairs. You can skip the first part of the stairs by taking the elevator to the basilica’s roof level. From the roof level to the top the only option is to take the stairs.

The climbing of the rest 320 steps is not easy – the staircase is narrow and the walls are slanted. Also, it can become crowded and stifling. If you consider climbing the dome, do it before visiting the basilica, because after that you will exit directly in the church.

St. Peter’s Basilica dome

The entrance to the basilica is free, but you have to pay to climb the dome. Go as early in the morning as you can, because the waiting lines are enormous.

The dress code is very strict, so skip the shorts, bare-shoulder tops and miniskirts. You will be turned away at the entrance if you are not dressed properly. In addition, to enter the basilica, you have to pass through airport-style scanners and security.

St. Peter’s Square is the place where the papal audience takes place every Wednesday. To attend the papal audience, you need to reserve your ticket in advance.

St. Peter’s Basilica at night

Lunch

11:45 AM – 01:30 PM
Stop for lunch at Likeat or Pane pane vino Ar Vino. Both places offer super tasty sandwiches.

Afternoon

Admire the Pantheon

01:30 PM – 02:00 PM
Continue this Rome sightseeing itinerary with a visit to the Pantheon. Pantheon is the best-preserved monument from ancient Rome. Its exact construction date is unknown, but it was around 126 AD.

The most fascinating feature of the Pantheon is its dome. It’s the largest unsupported dome in the world! Nowadays, this former Roman temple serves as a church.

To learn more about the history of this magnificent temple take a Pantheon audio guide tour.

Pantheon

Be amazed by Doria Pamphilj Gallery

02:15 PM – 04:00 PM
Doria Pamphilj Gallery is housed in a gorgeous palace that dates back to the 16th century. The gallery features one of the richest private art collection in Rome. Even if you aren’t into art, it’s worth visiting to see the lavish state apartments. There is a free audio guide, that is narrated by Jonathan Pamphilj himself. Today, the Doria Pamphilj family still owns the palace.

Doria Pamphilj Gallery

See the stunning Altare della Patria

04:15 PM – 04:45 PM
Altare della Patria is also known as National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. It’s one of the most imposing buildings in the Eternal city. Altare della Patria is a monument built to honour the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel.

Don’t miss to take the lift to the panoramic terrace for some great city views.

Altare della Patria

While you’re in the area, take a look at Trajan’s Column (Colonna Traiana). It commemorates the victory of the emperor Trajan in the Dacian Wars.

See the famous Piazza Navona

05:00 PM – 05:30 PM
Piazza Navona is a charming square and a popular meeting spot. It’s surrounded by small restaurants and there are regularly street artists.

Dinner

Finish the day with a dinner at Mimì e Cocò or Osteria del Pegno.

More ideas for your 4 days in Rome – Day 3

Church of St. Louis of the French

The Church of St. Louis of the French is a Baroque gem from the 16th century. It houses the three world-renowned canvases of The Calling of St Matthew by Caravaggio.

Church of St. Louis of the French

Church of the Gesù

Church of the Gesù is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in the Eternal City. The most striking part of this 16th-century church is the ceiling fresco, that looks three dimensional.

Church of the Gesu

Largo di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina is a square from ancient Rome. You can see the remains of the Theatre of Pompey and four temples from the 4th century BC. Moreover, it was the place where Julius Caesar was murdered.

Nowadays, the ruins are home to a large number of cats. There is even a cat sanctuary right next to Largo di Torre Argentina.

Largo di Torre Argentina

Palazzo Colonna

Palazzo Colonna is an art gallery that features leading Italian and foreign artists from the 15th-16th century. It’s a beautiful 14th-century palace still owned by the noble Colonna family. Unfortunately, this gorgeous place is open only on Saturday morning.

Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums consist of two separate buildings – Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo. The collection mainly consists of statues, sculptures and paintings by renowned artists like Caravaggio, Rubens and Tiziano. Here you’ll also find the original statue of the Capitoline Wolf, the symbol of the city.

4 Days in Rome – Day 4

Morning

Breakfast

08:00 AM – 08:30 AM
Start your last day of this 4 nights in Rome itinerary with breakfast at D’Angelo Caffè or Trecaffè.

Both coffee shops offer super tasty sandwiches and pastries.

Admire the art at Galleria Borghese

08:45 AM – 11:15 AM
Galleria Borghese occupies the summer residence of the noble Borghese family. And it is a must-see for every art lover. Its amazing collection features the artworks of Caravaggio and Bernini.

To visit the gallery, you need to book tickets in advance. The tickets are always in high demand, as only 360 people are allowed in at a time. During the booking, you have to choose a time slot and the length of your visit can’t exceed 2 hours.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out).
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Galleria Borghese (free cancellation up to 24 hours)
Best guided tour: Galleria Borghese Highlights Tour – see masterpieces by Raphael, Bernini, Canova and Caravaggio and tour the Borghese Gardens

Spanish Steps

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Spanish Steps is one of the most city emblematic spots. The staircase connects Piazza di Spagna with Trinità dei Monti Church. The Spanish Steps are truly beautiful in late April when they are decorated with 300 white and lilac azalea plants.

Spanish Steps

Lunch

12:00 PM – 02:00 PM
Stop for some tasty panini and salad at Ami Bistrot or Burro e Alici.

Afternoon

Toss a coin in Trevi Fountain

02:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is the largest and most beautiful fountain in the city. It’s a must-see when in Rome. And don’t forget to throw out a coin over your shoulder in the fountain. This will ensure a return to the Eternal City.

Trevi Fountain

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

02:50 PM – 03:30 PM
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four major basilicas in the Eternal City. It’s an outstandingly beautiful church from the 5th century. The basilica is built on the same spot, where according to the legends snow has fallen in the summer of 358 AD.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

I didn’t include many sites on the last day, so you can easily add a few extra by your choice from the suggestions below. Moreover, if you’re not an art lover, skip Galleria Borghese and take a day trip from Rome (see further in the post for ideas).

Dinner

Finish this 4 days in Rome itinerary with dinner at Ristorante Nerone or Colline Emiliane. Both are perfect places to spend a wonderful last evening in the Eternal City.

More ideas for your 4 days in Rome – Day 4

Learn to make pasta from scratch

There is no better way to finish your 4 days in Rome than to join a pasta-making class. You’ll cook, dine and learn the secrets of pasta-making with a local chef.

Become a gladiator

Train to be a gladiator at a school in Rome. Learn the basic techniques of sword fighting and find out more about how gladiators lived in ancient Rome.

Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is located a little bit out of the city centre. However, it definitely worths a visit! It’s one of the four major basilicas and it’s stunningly beautiful. Decorated with gold mosaics and enormous marble columns, it is a feast for the eyes.

Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina is a true masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance with its beautiful frescos and ceilings. It was built for the wealthy Sienese banker Agostino Chigi in the 16th century. Located in Trastevere, the villa is a little oasis away from the crowds of tourists. Keep in mind, that Villa Farnesina is open only in the mornings.

Visit the morbid Capuchin Crypt

Capuchin Crypt is a truly unique and fascinating place. When the monks from the Catholic order moved here they brought with them 300 cartloads of deceased friars. However, they didn’t rebury the skeletons. They used them to decorate the walls of the crypt, which consists of six chapels. More than 4,000 skeletons were sculptured in various mosaics. You can even see mummified monks, dressed in friar’s clothes!

To learn more about the fascinating history of the Capuchin Crypt and the Catacombs of Rome, take this Underground Tour of Rome.

Catacombs of Rome

The catacombs are a labyrinth of underground passageways, that are several kilometres long. They were used for burials from around the 2nd to the 5th century AD. After that, the catacombs were abandoned and suffered continuous lootings. There are more than 60 catacombs, but only five of them are open to the public.

Must buy tickets in advance

Colosseum – one of the top attractions with huge queues. To skip the lines buy a combined ticket for Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Vatican Museums – also a top attraction. I’d recommend booking as soon as possible because the tickets are valid for a certain time slot. You can book your Vatican skip-the-line-ticket here.

Galleria Borghese – if you’re an art lover, this museum is a must. Tickets are again timed entry, so you need to book in advance here.

How to save money on your 4-day Rome itinerary

The city is full of tourists at any time of the year. So even if you’re travelling out of the season, you need to buy tickets in advance. What’s worse is that for every ticket bought online there is a reservation fee added to the price (if you buy from the attractions’ official websites).

The best way to save all this trouble (plus save some money) is to use Vatican & Rome City Pass.

The pass includes:

  • free entry to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • fast track entry to St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums and Coliseum
  • free hop-on-hop-off bus tour
  • free entry to 2 attractions (including Coliseum, Palatine Hill, Borghese Gallery and Castel Sant’Angelo)
  • discounted entry to another 30 popular attractions
  • travelcard for unlimited access to the public transport system
  • detailed guidebook and map of the city

The pass is valid for 3 consequent days, so use it for the first three days of this itinerary. Also, you’ll get a fast-track entry to the most popular attractions. This will save you hours of waiting in lines. In fact, this is the biggest advantage of the pass.

Please note that you have to book a time slot to the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum and Borghese Gallery when collecting the pass.


Arch of Constantine

Getting around in Rome

Find a detailed map of the itinerary here.

The easiest way to get around the city is by using the metro or hop-on-hop-off buses.

The public transport tickets are one and the same for the metro, buses and trams. The single ticket is valid for a 100min. journey and you can switch bus lines.

Don’t forget to validate your ticket on the ticket machine inside the buses and trams. As for the metro – your ticket will be automatically validated when you pass through the barriers.

There are also 24, 48, 72 hour and weekly passes. You can buy them from any metro station, major bus stops or tobacco shops.

How to get to Rome

By train

The main train station is Roma Termini. It’s located in the city centre and connected to the rest of the city by two metro lines.

If you’re planning to travel by train through Italy, book tickets in advance (they are cheaper if you buy them earlier). Check timetables and book train tickets online at Trenitalia official website.

By car

If you’re arriving by car, book accommodation with parking. You won’t find free parking in the city centre of Rome. Moreover, a huge part of the city centre is a ZTL zone (limited traffic zone). This area is not accessible to private cars.

You can find several car parks near Vatican City and Galleria Borghese that are outside the ZTL zone.

By air

There are two main airports – Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Ciampino Airport (CIA). 

Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport is located southwest of the city. It is the main international airport. There are several ways to get to the city centre:

  • the easiest one is to book a private transfer directly to your hotel. I recommend this airport transfer (more than 1,130 excellent reviews).
  • take a shuttle bus (there are 3 stops – Rome Termini Train Station, the Vatican – Via Crescenzio 2, or Circonvallazione Aurelia 19)
  • take Leonardo Express train to Termini Train Station (trains every 15 minutes)

Ciampino Airport is located next to Ciampino city, southeast of Rome. It is the city’s low-cost airline airport. The most convenient ways to get to the city are:

Day trips from Rome

If you have a little extra time in the city, check out these awesome day trips.

Florence

Florence

Florence is the gorgeous capital of Tuscany. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s a must-see while in Italy.

It’s best if you can dedicate 2-3 days to Florence. For more information, take a look at my detailed 2 days in Florence itinerary.  Yet, if you’re short on time, a day trip to Florence is also an option.

How to get to Florence
Take a train from Roma Termini to Firenze Santa Maria Novella (1h35min journey). The historic city centre is about a 10min walk from the train station.

Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

This tour combines two iconic locations into a single-day trip. And it’s the most popular day trip from Rome. You’ll visit the infamous city of Pompeii, which was buried in ash and soot in 79 AD. Learn about its final hours and the tragic end of its citizens from a local archaeologist.

Then you’ll head to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Climb the famous volcano and enjoy stunning views of Capri and Sorrento. 


Tuscany

Discover the medieval hill towns in the countryside of Tuscany. Visit an authentic vineyard, the splendid town of Pienza, the Montalcino Fortress and the Abbey of Sant’Antimo. In addition, you’ll enjoy a typical Tuscan lunch along with some local wines. The best of Tuscany in one single day.


Villa D’Este and Hadrian’s Villa Tivoli

These are the two most impressive Renaissance villas on the city’s outskirts. You’ll have the chance to visit the magnificent state mansions and see the spectacular gardens. The admission fees are included in the price of the tour.

How many days in Rome

Are 4 days in Rome too much?

4 days in Rome is the perfect amount of time to explore the city. You’ll need 3 full days to see the most popular attractions, including Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo and Galleria Borghese. Also, have in mind that you’ll waste time in queues (even if you book tickets in advance).

In addition to this, the city is full of attractions that you don’t want to miss. You’ll encounter stunning churches, picturesque squares and fountains, great museums and Roman ruins at every corner.

What if I don’t have 4 full days in Rome?

In this case, skip Doria Pamphilj Gallery (or Galleria Borghese) and Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Also, I’d strongly recommend you to book in advance tickets for all major attractions.

3 or 4 days in Rome?

To tour the most popular sites you’ll need 3 or 4 days. Four days is the better option if you don’t like to be in a hurry and want to visit more museums. If it’s possible I’d recommend you spend 4 full days in Rome.

Best time to visit Rome

Rome is one of the most visited cities in Italy. It’s full of tourists all year long (the busiest months are July and August). Easter is also a popular time. So, if possible, avoid the summer and Easter days.

The winter is not cold, but with plenty of rain. This is very inconvenient as many of the tourist attractions are outdoor. You know, Rome is like an open-air museum, so skip the winter if possible.

Every year on the 21st of April, Rome celebrates its founding. There are gladiatorial fights, street parades and recreations of historical events all over the city.

On the 2nd of June, the Italians celebrate with a military parade their national holiday, the Republic day. This is the day of the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946.

In April and May, the Spanish Steps are decorated with 300 white and lilac azalea plants. This is an annual spring tradition dating back more than 80 years!

I’d recommend visiting Rome in May, September or October. The weather is still warm and very pleasant. Plus, the crowds are smaller.

What are the best days of the week to visit Rome

For me, the best days are from Monday to Friday including (arrive on Monday and leave on Saturday for example). If possible, avoid the weekends, especially Sunday. There are a lot more tourists during the weekends, therefore you’ll spend more time waiting in lines.

Plus, some of the museums are free every first or last Sunday of the month and the crowds are unbearable.


How would you spend 4 days in Rome?
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About the author

Avatar Milena Yordanova
I am a full-time traveller and I have visited over 20 countries across 2 continents. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.

8 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for all the helpful information.

    I am planning a four day trip to Rome. I was planning it for July, however after viewing your blog, I am going to change my dates.

    Thanks again

  2. Hi
    We only have two full days in Rome. We have two teenage sons with us.
    Would you recommend a hop on hop off bus for 48 hours – to give us a whistle stop tour – and then 4 ‘things’

    • Hi Jan,

      The hop-on hop-off bus is a great option for such a short time. Then it’s up to you to decide according to your family’s interests (especially when travelling with kids) what will be a priority to visit. The most popular attractions are the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. You can see these sights in 2 days, but I also recommend you take a deeper look at my itinerary for something more interesting for kids, which you can add to your itinerary. Also, book skip the lines tickets in advance, you’ll save a lot of time.

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