How to spend three days in Rome 2022
Figuring out how to spend three days in Rome in the best way might be challenging. Let’s be real, this city simply has too much to offer that it might be hard to experience it all in a short amount of time. But don’t worry, with our helpful tips, you will be able to see all the essential sights of Rome in the best way. Also, to help you save your time, we did all the research and hand-picked the best tours and tickets for each iconic attraction in Rome.
Valuable Tips for Spending Three Days in Rome
There are many incredible landmarks you should visit while in Rome. With our helpful tips and information, you will have an opportunity to explore most of them in only three days!
First of all, it is essential to book guided tours and tickets for attractions you want to visit in advance! Also, we strongly advise purchasing a skip-the-line ticket rather than a regular ticket. This will allow you to avoid large crowds at entrances to attractions and let you enjoy your visit to the fullest.
It is recommended that you book the Borghese Gallery tickets or Vatican Museum tickets one to two weeks before you arrive, as both museums can be hard to get into in high season, especially last minute.
What to do in Rome in Three Days?
Here is a selection of the best attractions you should visit while spending three days in Rome. Ensure you read all the following information and book your tours and tickets in advance to have the most enjoyable stay in Rome.
DAY 1 IN ROME
Start your 3-day Rome itinerary with a stroll across Piazza Navona – one of the most charming squares in Centro Storico (the city’s historic center). The second you step into this square, the majestic fountains, monuments, and artsy vibes will definitely take your breath away. If you want to enjoy the piazza with barely anyone around it, we recommend you to get there early in the morning (before 8 am).
The impressive Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, which was designed by Bernini in 1651, is located at the center of the piazza. In the past, Piazza Navona hosted sporting events and festivals, today, it’s a hub for street performers, musicians, and artists. If you visit Piazza Navona during the day, you will be able to enjoy the lively atmosphere and buy some charming paintings of Italy from the artists’ stands.
The Pantheon is one of the best well-preserved ancient structures in the Eternal City, and it’s a must-see attraction while in Rome. This temple was dedicated to the gods of pagan Rome and was eventually converted into a Christian church.
The architecture of the Pantheon is breathtaking, so much so that when Michelangelo visited it, he famously said, “It was angels, not men, who designed it.” To understand what he meant, simply walk through this monument and look at its oculus – the point where the dome opens up to the sky.
Your visit to Rome won’t be complete without stopping at the Trevi Fountain – the largest Baroque fountain in the Eternal City and one of Italy’s most impressive sights.
When visiting the Trevi Fountain, a famous tradition is to throw a coin into the water over your left shoulder. According to legend, throwing one coin means you’ll return to Rome, throwing two coins means you’ll fall for an attractive Italian, and throwing three coins means you’ll marry that person.
Even if you do not believe in this myth, the coins go to a very good cause. Approximately one million euros is collected from the fountain every year to be donated to local charities.
The next stop on your Rome itinerary should be the most beautiful park in the city — Villa Borghese. Escape the busy streets of the historic center and take a stroll inside this peaceful park. In addition to trees and green fields, Villa Borghese also has many fountains and Roman sculptures. If you want to discover all the artworks placed inside the gallery in the most efficient way, we recommend reading the helpful tips for visiting Villa Borghese Gallery first.
After sightseeing at Villa Borghese Gallery, you can take a boat ride across the lake, or you can simply enjoy the relaxing atmosphere on one of the many benches in the park.
Rome Zoo, also known as Bioparco di Roma, is one of the most exciting attractions you definitely shouldn’t miss out on while visiting Rome! Located inside the Villa Borghese gardens, it is considered the largest zoo in Italy. There are over 200 species of animals in this zoological garden that you must discover. By booking Rome Zoo tickets, you will be able to see reptiles, elephants, giraffes, fishes, lemurs, and many other animals inside the park.
DAY 2 IN ROME
Start the second day of your three-day trip in Rome by exploring the iconic symbol of the city — the magnificent Colosseum. With almost 2,000 years of fascinating history, this landmark provides an amazing glimpse into the life of the ancient Romans.
The Colosseum was built between 72 AD and 80 AD, and it immediately became the greatest amphitheater in the Roman world. It was the major entertainment hub of the Roman Empire.
There could be 50,000 spectators at this site, watching gladiators brutally fight exotic animals and each other in the arena. The games were held for more than 500 years, and sadly, at least one million wild animals and over 500,000 people have died here.
Going on a guided tour of the Colosseum is probably the fastest way to get in and the best way to see all the essential areas. Millions of tourists visit Colosseum annually, and there is always a large line at the entrance. To avoid spending time in long queues, we highly recommend purchasing a Colosseum skip-the-line ticket.
Take a look at our hand-picked Colosseum Tours and Tickets!
live tour guide
Colosseum Guided Tour
If you are looking for a Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill tour, the “Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour” could be just right for you! During this 3 hour tour, you can discover more about the Roman Empire, see the tomb of Julius Caesar, and explore Via Sacra.
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
The Roman Forum was the main center of religious, political, and social life during the Roman Empire. If you walk around this area today, you’ll be able to see ruins of what used to be the oldest and most essential monuments of Ancient Rome, including shrines and temples. After the empire’s fall, the Forum was abandoned, forgotten, and buried under the earth. It was only excavated in 1898.
Right next to the Roman Forum is the beautiful Palatine Hill, which is considered the birthplace of Rome. Palatine Hill is home to lots of ancient temples and arches, but the best thing about it is the magnificent panoramic view of the Colosseum you can enjoy from there.
If you want to learn more about these remarkable sites, we highly recommend going on a Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Guided Tour. You can also book Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tickets and explore at your own pace.
Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla)
If you would like to see ancient Roman public baths, then head over to Terme di Caracalla, the next stop on your three days Rome itinerary. The Baths of Caracalla were some of the most significant and most impressive thermal complexes back in the day.
The Romans loved going to public baths; it was their favorite place to socialize. Terme di Caracalla housed more than just baths. For over 300 years, people exercised there, visited libraries, strolled the gardens, and worshipped the gods at the temples. Today, you barely see what’s left of this complex, but its splendor totally shines through the ruins.
Trastevere and Basilica di Santa Maria
Trastevere neighborhood is well-known for its narrow cobblestone alleys, medieval houses, and, most importantly — the best restaurants in the entire city. There are plenty of museums and small churches hidden inside the picturesque alleys of Trastevere. However, one place you definitely shouldn’t miss out on is Piazza di Santa Maria – one of Rome’s oldest churches and home to Basilica di Santa Maria.
The Basilica di Santa Maria dates back to the 3rd century and is arguably the first official Christian place of worship in Rome. Inside the basilica, you can find plenty of beautiful 12th-century frescoes and mosaics, along with stunning paintings and gold ceilings.
DAY 3 IN ROME
On your last day in Rome, you should spend as much time as you can exploring Vatican City – a country inside Rome’s center. The Vatican is the residence of the Pope and the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. If you’re in the Vatican during Christmas or Easter, you will be able to catch the Pope speaking from St. Peter’s Square, which surrounds the famous St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
To make sure you get the most out of your time at the Vatican, we recommend visiting the Vatican Museums first. There are many hidden gems and remarkable rooms inside the Vatican Museums. Among the best ones are the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of the Chandeliers, and the Gallery of Maps.
Within the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel, which Michelangelo spent four whole years painting. There are jaw-dropping frescoes that decorate both the walls and ceiling of this chapel. It’s no wonder why it became so famous!
Essential Tips for Visiting the Vatican City
- Read all the essential tips you need to know before visiting Vatican City.
- Book a guided tour of Vatican Museums if you want to explore this incredible site accompanied by the best tour guides.
- If you want to visit all the iconic cultural landmarks of the Vatican at your own pace, we recommend booking a Vatican Skip-the-Line ticket.
- Visiting Vatican City on Mondays or weekends is not recommended because that is when it is most crowded.
- Entrance to the Vatican Museum is free every last Sunday of the month, but make sure to arrive early in the morning to avoid standing in line for hours.
- It is essential to dress appropriately — both men and women are required to have their thighs, shoulders, and necklines covered.
- Find out where to eat in Rome from our blog post and save yourself time.
St. Peter’s Basilica
After visiting the magnificent Vatican Museums, make your way to St. Peter’s Basilica. This basilica is the most important and holiest pilgrimage site of the Catholic Church. You will be able to see incredible pieces of art inside the basilica, including the famous Michelangelo Pietà sculpture. Everything from the pillars to the ceiling of this church is jaw-droppingly impressive.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the holiest and most important pilgrimage site of the Catholic Church. Inside this remarkable site, you can see incredible pieces of art, including the famous Michelangelo’s Pietà sculpture. Everything from the pillars to the ceiling of this church is jaw-droppingly impressive.
It is also possible to attend a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. On weekdays, it takes place at 8:30 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm. On weekends and public holidays, it’s held at 9 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 4 pm, 4:45 pm, and 5:30 pm.
Your visit to St. Peter’s Basilica won’t be complete without climbing to the top of its dome. Actually, we highly recommend you to do this climb before you explore the basilica to avoid the heat and the long lines that will form later in the day.
The dome can be reached either by climbing all 551 steps on foot or by taking a lift to the terrace and climbing the remaining 320 steps. From the dome, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the iconic St. Peter’s Square and the entire Rome. Definitely, something you shouldn’t miss!
Castel Sant Angelo
After visiting the St. Peter’s Basilica, stroll down the famous Via della Conciliazione to the stunning Castel Sant’Angelo, the next stop on your Rome itinerary. The fortress dates back to AD 139 and was built as a tomb for Emperor Hadrian. In the fortress today, you can see the rooms where the Pope formerly lived and enjoy the spectacular views of the town from the terrace.