Things to do in Rome
Rome, also known as 'The Eternal City' is one of the most beautiful and historical places in Italy and an extremely popular place to visit on your holiday or short break. There is a sublime mix of modern and historical Italy in Rome, so you can enjoy everything that this magical city has to offer.
When in Rome...
As mesmerising as simply being in Rome can be, it is well worth booking a few of our Rome experiences to make the most of your time there. From guided Coloseum tours to the splendour of the Sistine Chapel, there's certainly enough to do in Rome to keep you occupied.
Rome has so much to offer, whether you're looking for fine Italian dining, local nightlife or gorgeous walking tours through some of the finest architecture. You can check out the local countryside with fantastic bike tours and hiking trails or even enjoy some high fashion shopping in Tuscany. There are so many unique experiences available to make your stay in Rome an unforgettable holiday, the hardest part will be choosing what to do!
Here are just some of our favourite things to do in Rome:
Combine visits to some of the most popular attractions in Rome with one ticket. This ticket allows you to choose between priority line-skipping tickets to the Colosseum or a weekend ticket that includes access to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill in a small tour group.
Reserve your tickets to the amazing Vatican Museums for a breathtaking display of some of the most beautiful works of art from artistic greats such as Michelangelo and Bernini. After the museums you can enjoy a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel where you can view the iconic ceiling and learn about its creation.
Skip the line at the Mausoleum of Augustus and visit one of the most important historical sites in Rome, restored and reopened after 15 years. Learn about the life of Augustus, the Roman emperor that defeated Cleopatra and was instrumental in building the Roman Empire.
Take a tour 5 metres below the Piazza Navona and see the ancient Stadium of Domitian that housed an ancient Roman circus. Through 3D reconstructions, and an audio guide explore the evolution of Roman sports and the construction of the current piazza.
If escape rooms are your thing, then why not take it to the next level and escape an entire city? With the Escape Tour Rome you'll have access to an app on your phone that will direct you to tasks, puzzles and fun trivia quizzes so you can help Caligula find the secret escape route from the city before time runs out!
This is just a small selection of the many attractions and activities available in Rome, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe. From running tours for the more active to wine and dine tasting parties for the foodies, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do in Rome. You can also check out our Rome Travel Guide for some useful information on this popular destination.
Looking for more? Click the button below to see our full list of bookable things to do in Rome.
Did you know...?
It's old, very old, in fact, The Colosseum is over 1,900 years old and is the largest amphitheatre in the world. Taking just 8 years, construction of The Colosseum was completed in 80 AD and overseen by Emperor Titus. The well-known underground section known as the hypogeum was added by the next emperor and brother of Titus, Emperor Domitian and this is where the gladiators and animals would wait for their fights. Before the addition of the hypogeum the floor of The Colosseum would often be flooded so they could recreate dramatic naval battles for the audience.
The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel, the private chapel of the Pope is unassuming from the outside but within you'll find what are arguably some of the most beautiful pieces of art in the world. Not just Michelangelo's famous ceiling, but also gorgeous frescos by the renowned artist Botticelli which were in place before Michelangelo even started the ceiling that would take him 4 years to complete. What you may not know about the now iconic ceiling is that Michelangelo suffered from terrible self-doubt and considered refusing the commission, thankfully he eventually agreed.
The Trevi Fountain
An iconic part of the landscape of Rome, the Trevi Fountain completed in 1762, has been in plenty of films and is a popular photo opportunity for holiday-makers. Trevi means 'three-ways' and likely is in relation to the junction of three roads where the fountain is built. There is also a connection to the Goddess Trivia who was said to watch over the streets with her three heads. Now, let's get one of the most important things covered, if you are going to throw a coin into the fountain it's from your right hand, over your left shoulder. One coin will ensure a swift return to Rome, two is for a swift return and the promise of finding love, a third coin will turn that love into marriage - the coins must be thrown individually. The original Trevi Fountain was a simple affair built to help Roman citizens get clean drinking water and return it to their homes, the more modern and decorative fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi, a poet and philosopher with no architectural experience.
Originally built as a Pagan place of worship, The Pantheon is now a Christian church and an iconic building. The burial place of famous artist Raphael and Queen Margherita, now famous for inspiring, yes, you guessed it, the Marghertia pizza. The top of the unreinforced dome (which measures a massive 43.2m in diameter) has a hole providing the only source of light in the building and when it rains the gently sloped floor and 22 discreet drains stop the building from flooding. The Pantheon, (the current one, it's been rebuilt several times) was completed sometime between 119 AD and 128 AD following the architectural rules of Vitruvius - the height to the top of the roof and the internal diameter of the building are exactly 43.2m so you could fit a perfect sphere exactly inside it. If you had one spare.
The Vatican Museums
It all had to start somewhere, and according to records the vast art collection of the Vatican Museums started with the purchase of one marble sculpture in 1506 by Pope Julius II. From the simple beginnings with the statue 'Lacoön and His Sons' the Vatican collection has now reached over 70,000 works of art, anthropology and archaeology with 20,000 of them being on display in the 54 galleries. If you were to spend one minute looking at each painting on display it would take you 4 years, so maybe pick a few favourites.
Originally a swampy burial ground, the Roman Forum was drained by one of the earliest sewage systems and grew to be the site of temples, marketplaces and civic buildings that became the beating heart of an empire. Although now in ruins, you can still see the bones of the impressive area, believed to be the burial spot of Rome's founder and the place where Julius Ceaser was cremated after his assassination. The site of the enormous Temple of Saturn which housed the gold and silver reserves as well state archives can be spotted by the 8 huge, imposing and iconic columns left standing.
St. Peter's Basilica
The Basilica, which took 120 years to build under 5 different architects including Raphael and Michelangelo stands atop the tomb of St. Peter and is one of the most impressive buildings in Rome. The enormous dome sits a staggering 136.5m tall and could actually house the Statue of Liberty. Not bad for something built over 400 years ago. Things get even more impressive on the inside with a gilded roof 150ft high and a range of statues on the walls which very carefully differ in height from 6ft to 24ft all designed to help with the proportion and perspective of the building. You may also find that flash photography is allowed in the Basilica, because those paintings on the wall are not actually paintings, they are intricate mosaics!
The birthplace of Rome and the literal home of founder Romulus and his brother Remus if the legends are to be believed. Palatine Hill is said to be the site of the cave where Romulus and Remus were raised by a she-wolf and where Romulus continued to live, in fact, you can still see the foundations of the hut that is said to have been his. Palatine Hill wasn't just the home of the father of Rome though, if the myths are to be believed there was also a ferocious fire-breathing cyclops who lived there, so maybe dress appropriately for that? It was also the birthplace and home of Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia with their houses displaying impressive art, and it was the place where the murder of Caligula took place. In 1550 cardinal Alessandro Farnese bought a section of Palatine and used it to create the first private botanical garden even including an aviary, although it has become largely unused, some parts can still be visited today.
Type C, F & L
Avg 2.5 hrs
Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for something to do in the stunning city of Rome? Well, let's see what other travellers are asking about.What activities do people do in Rome?
While there is an abundance of fun and interesting things and activities to do in Rome, there are definitely some that people generally agree are top of the list.
- Take in the breath-taking Sistine Chapel ceiling
- Visit The Colosseum
- Check out the art in The Vatican Museum
- Take a tour of The Pantheon
- Throw a coin into Trevi Fountain - Remember, right hand over left shoulder, throw each coin separately
What are 2 things Rome is famous for?
Just 2 things? Rome is famous for a lot more than 2 things, but if we had to choose we'd say The Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum. Why limit yourself though? With our activity deals you can pack all sorts into your holiday.
How long should I spend in Rome?
We'd recommend a minimum of 3 days to give you a chance to see all the highlights, but if you're looking for a fuller experience then 7 or more days is a must. Rome has so much to offer you'll struggle to see it all but with some careful planning you can make the most of your time there.
Is Rome Expensive?
Rome is an incredibly popular tourist destination which does mean it's on the more expensive side of things. An average day of eating and sightseeing will cost around £40 and £50 for a night simple night out (correct at time of writing).