Italy’s capital and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rome is one of the best places to visit not just in Italy but in the world and is on most traveller’s bucket lists.
The place where la dolce vita originated from and there are so many things to see with the world-famous Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel only being the tip of the iceberg.
Italian food is also some of the best-tasting in the world and in Rome, even ‘simple’ dishes pizza, pasta or gelato are pretty much certain to tantalise your taste buds when you’re in Rome.
To help you make the most of this amazing city, here are the 25 best things to do in Rome, Italy.
Whether you’re in Rome for 2 days or 2 weeks this is one of the best things to do in Rome and the first place you should tick off your list.
This amazing structure is over 2000 years old and was where spectators would come to watch gladiators combat in spectacular fashion.
Booking tickets in advance is strongly recommended to skip the long queues and you can also purchase a combined ticket which lets you into the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
2.) Roman Forum
Although this large archaeological site dates all the way back to 500 B.C, it’s easy to imagine citizens of ancient Rome wandering through the streets here in their togas.
To make the best of the site, its best to walk around with a guide who can really bring the ruins to life as it can be hard to know what’s what.
The Pantheon is the burial place of Rome’s kings and other prominent figures like Raphael. The temple was built between 118 to 128 A.D on the site of an older temple.
Despite its ancient history, this site is the best-preserved monument of imperial Rome.
4.) Santo Stefano Rotondo
One of the best things to do in Rome if you like religious history, the Santo Stefano Rotundo was actually the first circular church in Rome and dates back to 5th century A.D.
The inside of this church is stunning with its marble columns and fine art displayed around the walls.
5.) St Clement Basilica
This Basilica looks like many of the others in Rome, but the beauty here is what’s on the inside. Take a walk though this three-tiered complex and experience a fascinating insight into the history of Rome.
This Basillica is located right near the Colosseum which is great if you want to explore as many sights as possible in one day.
6.) St Peter’s Dome Optical Illusion
This dome from Niccolò Piccolomini is an amazing site and appears to look large and imposing from here. However, as you walk towards to dome it actually starts to appear smaller and smaller to the point where it looks tiny.
This optical illusion is said to appear due to the layout of the buildings in the street.
7.) The Baths Of Caracalla
One of the best things to do in Rome is visit these amazingly preserved ancient baths. Although the city of Rome has hundreds of bath structures, this is certainly one of the most impressive sites and best-preserved.
These baths were built in 3rd century AD and at the time were the second largest public baths in the city.
8.) Galleria Borghese
This gallery has some of the most famous collections of art in the city, and includes works by Titian, Caravaggio and sculptures by Canova and Bernini.
The gallery is located within Borgese park so it’s also a great place to take a stroll and relax after taking in all the impressive artwork.
9.) Quartiere Coppede
Another hidden gem here is the area of Quartiere Coppede which is relatively unknown to tourist and even some locals.
When you enter this quaint neighbourhood from Via Tagliamento and Via Dora you will see an array of sites including Liberty sculptures, Moorish arches, Gothic gargoyles, frescoed façades, and palm-fringed gardens.
10.) Arch Of Constantine
This arch is 21 meters high and was built in 315 AD making it one of the oldest structures in Rome.
One of the most iconic landmarks here, this arch is one of the best things to do in Rome as its still very well preserved and you are still able to see many of the sculptures and artwork here.
11.) Barberini Palace
This beautiful palace was commissioned to honour the Barberini family’s rise to power in the 16th century and walking around this palace it certainly is impressive.
One of the best parts about this place is the amount of great art on display – with the most famous painting being Raphael’s “La Fornarina” (The Baker’s Girl).
12.) Walk Around Trastevere
Trastevere is home to some of the prettiest streets in Rome, with rustic orange buildings decorated in vine leaves and narrow cobbled streets below.
This neighbourhood is ideal for taking a stroll and looking in the boutique shops and discovering the history surrounding these cobbled streets.
13.) St Peter’s Basilica and St Peter’s Square
One of the best things to do in Rome whether you religious or not is visit this square where some of the most significant religious events have taken place.
This large square is actually circular and framed by two big colonnades and at the end is the Basillica which is usually used for papal ceremonies.
14.) Trevi Fountain
Constructed by Nicola Salvi this lavish fountain was built in 1762 and celebrates the Roman God Oceanus and the detail on the sculpture here is simply exquisite.
While you’re here why not take part in the tradition of throwing a coin into the fountain and making a wish?
15.) Sistine Chapel
Home of the famous work ceiling artwork and Last Judgement fresco by Michaelangelo, this is one place that will truly leave anyone speechless and is well worth a visit.
This chapel is part of the Vatican complex and is one of the most renowned religious chapels in the world. One of the best things to do in Rome and a dual ticket can be purchased for both the here and the Vatican Museum.
I would recommend dedicating as much time as you can to these places as once you’re here, you won’t want to leave.
16.) Vatican Museums
Located within the Vatican state, these museums hold over 70,000 pieces of amazing artwork for you to discover.
The museums are Split into several different sections and include the Museo Pio-Clementino, the Museum Chiaramonti, the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco and the Museo Gregoriano Egiziano.
17.) Piazza Navona
This massive Piazza is built on the ancient stadium of Domitian and has 3 fountains and is also where you can see the 17th-century Sant’Agnese in Agone church.
The atmosphere here is really vibrant and it’s a great place to walk through while taking in the sites and admiring the many street artists that perform here.
18.) Palatine Hill
This is one of the best things to do in Rome which combines ancient roman history and great views. This area is the most ancient in Rome and stands 40 meters above the Roman Forum.
Here you can get amazing views looking over the sites and structures such as the Flavian Palace and the Temple of Cybele still stand here today.
19.) Castel Sant’Angelo
Located on the Tiber River, this round fortress was built by Roman emperor Hadrian as a tomb for himself and his family in the 2nd century AD.
The tomb also has a secret corridor that connects it to Vatican City where popes in the past have used it as an escape route.
20.) Borghese Gardens
These gardens are located within the Borgese villa complex and covers just over 200 acres.
The gardens contain an array of paths and walkways which lead you to landscaped gardens, fountains and extensive plant life.
This area is a great place to go for a relaxed walk and lets you see a different side to Rome.
21.) Altare Della Patria
One of the best things to do in Rome if you like to admire ornate sculptures is take a look at the Altare della Patria – which translates in English to Altar of Fatherland.
This site was dedicated to King Victor Emmanuel and is located right in the heart of Rome.
There is even a large bronze statue of Emmanuel right at the front of the structure and the monument is highly decorated with further sculptures, columns and Italian flags.
22.) Ponte Sant’Angelo
This beautiful bridge is located on the River Tiber and is often referred to as one of the prettiest bridges in Rome.
The bridge goes from Castel Sant’Angelo and is decorated with 10 angel statues which all have amazing detail and carry a different significant object.
Take a walk across in the evening and see the street lamps reflect off the River for a truly serene outlook.
23.) Piazza Del Popolo
A neoclassical square, this large Piazza is in the Tridente area and it has 3 ornate fountains, twin churches and an Egyptian obelisk that was brought to Rome in 10BC.
If you look up, you’ll also see the Pincio terrace in Villa Borghese.
READ MORE: Here are some other beautiful cities in Italy worth checking out (see below)