For over 2500 years, Rome has stood as a center of power and culture. This ancient and prestigious city was once the capital of the roman empire, and now the capital of Italy. As such, there are plenty of things to do in Rome. For those who love to see beautiful old architecture and art, this is a real heaven!
The very creation of this city is misted over by myths and legends. Various kings and Caesars controlled colossal empires from this seat, shaping the history of the world. Gorgeous and mighty buildings rose up aplenty over time, saturating the city to full. They say that all roads lead to Rome. Does yours, too?
- BookOnBoard’s Guide to Rome
- List of Top 10 things to do in Rome
- Imagine the gladiator’s fight in the Colosseum
- Attend a Papal ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica
- Feel the weight of history in the Pantheon
- Contemplate ancient politics in the Roman Forum
- Cleanse yourself at the Sistine Chapel
- View the exhibits at the Vatican Museums
- Climb on top of Castle St. Angelo
- Divine the stories written on the Arch of Constantine
- Relive ancient history at Palatine Hill
- Enjoy the aqueous beauty of the Trevi Fountain
- Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) about Rome
- Wrapping Up
BookOnBoard’s Guide to Rome
As time rolled us into the modern era, Rome lost its political power steadily but emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Indeed, it is by far the second most tourist-visited city in Europe, after Paris. There are so many things to do in Rome that it can be a sheer confusion of how much to cover within your short vacation time.
Don’t worry, though! For that exact reason, we here in BookOnBoard have constructed this useful guide to Rome. You can find out the best places to visit in Rome in this guide. Also, we have put some important things you should know before visiting Rome. Look for them near the end of this article.
List of Top 10 things to do in Rome
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- The Pantheon
- Roman Forum
- Sistine Chapel
- Vatican Museums
- Castle St. Angelo
- Arch of Constantine
- Palatine Hill
- Trevi Fountain
Now let us consider the details of each of these famous tourist attractions in Rome.
Imagine the gladiator’s fight in the Colosseum
One of the seven wonders of the old world we have all learned in our textbooks, this is your chance to see it in life. It is the most popular landmark of Rome and the city is iconified by this structure. A lesser-known name for this great structure is the Flavian Amphitheater. The structure is located near the main train station in Rome.
The Colosseum was constructed way back around 70-80 AD. Eighty thousand spectators enjoyed the vicious games being played in this huge arena, accompanied by the Ceasar. The famous gladiators of Rome competed with each other to death to earn undying glory in front of the emperor. Today, some of the structure is destroyed, but what remains yet instills awe and the weight of time on the visitor.
Attend a Papal ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica
Rome has a country within a country – the Vatican. And here, at one end of the enormous St. Peter’s Square (a circle, actually), stands the greatest architectural triumph of Catholic Christianity. Facing Nero’s obelisk in the center of the square, the palace and church is a sheer wonder of architectural design, beauty, and holiness. Some chairs are set in front to use in the Papal ceremonies.
The insides of the Basilica are, if possible, even more, mesmerizing than the outside. Masterworks from Bernini and Michaelangelo adorn the walls and pedestals everywhere. The sheer amount of decoration and attention to detail may leave you gasping. The immense dome of the Basilica and the sculpture of Gloria are simply stunning in short. Not for nothing, it is regarded as the most beautiful building in the world. From on top of the dome, you can get excellent views of the Vatican and Rome Cities.
Feel the weight of history in the Pantheon
Built-in 183 AD, this is arguably the best-preserved ancient-era roman building today. It was constructed by emperor Hadrian and was built on the same place where a temple constructed by emperor Agrippa once stood. Agrippa is honored on the triangular pediment out front. The huge front porch sports a true Roman-style architecture with a rectangular area lined with huge columns.
The interior of the Pantheon is no less magnificent. The great dome inside has a series of stone patterns and a hole in the center to allow sunlight inside. The sun shafts in this ancient huge temple have produced countless awesome photographs and even more dreams. Located in the center of Rome on Piazza Della Rotonda, the Pantheon is one of the best places to visit in Rome.
Contemplate ancient politics in the Roman Forum
What is a Rome vacation without visiting Roman ruins? One of the best of such is located right next to the Colosseum. The Roman Forum is an ancient collection of buildings and ruins that were once the primary location of Roman political and public life. You can see many ancient temples here dedicated to the old gods such as Titus, Vesta, and Saturn. Also don’t miss the Arch of Severus.
Various squares and arches dot the area, with ruins of more columns, arches, building foundations, and walls. You will get a good notion of how important and useful this place has been as a part of ancient life. This beautiful collection of ancient ruins is arguably the biggest in Europe. The tickets to the Roman Forum can be bought alongside the ticket to the Colosseum.
Cleanse yourself at the Sistine Chapel
This place is considered so holy in the Vatican, that the new pope is elected right here. Part of the Vatican museum complex and located in Apostolic palace, Sistine Chapel is the world’s most famous chapel. The magnificent chapel is famous for the extensive artwork inside it, particularly the Last Judgement fresco by Michaelangelo. The ceiling artwork will also grab your attention and keep it there.
Many devouts come to pray in this holy place. Even if you’re not into that, you will be stunned by the amount of artwork and iconography inside the Sistine Chapel. Some of them, like the fresco and ceiling mentioned above, are considered the most influential religious artworks in the world. With all its wonders, this place can easily take a whole day out of your vacation.
View the exhibits at the Vatican Museums
Mose popes are also known for their deep love of collecting artworks, which goes into the Vatican Museums. This age-old museum complex holds over seventy thousand pieces of art. It’s considered one of the world’s most influential collections of religious and classical artwork. You can see some of the greatest works of famous artists like Raphael and Caravaggio.
The museum is split into multiple sections, each with its own artworks and theme. For this reason, you have to have ample time to cover them all. There are four sections besides the Sistine Chapel which is also a part of the museum. You can get a combined ticket to see both the Chapel and the Vatican Museum.
Climb on top of Castle St. Angelo
Also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, this ancient roman castle was once the tallest building in Rome. The Castle is constructed in a circular fort and castle complex, dating back to 129 AD. It is connected to St. Peter’s Basilica by a huge tunnel called the Passetto di Borgo. This truly ancient building complex is still mostly intact.
The Castle St. Angelo was primarily intended to be used as the final resting place of the emperor Hadrian. Nowadays, it serves as an important museum featuring many beautiful artworks and sculptures that exhibits the history of the building through time. You can climb on top of the castle ramparts to get stunning views of the city.
Divine the stories written on the Arch of Constantine
Possibly, the tradition of building huge gates to celebrate a triumph in battle started here. Constructed in 315 AD, this huge arch was dedicated to the emperor Constantine for his victory at the Milvian Bridge. There are plenty of other arches in Rome, but none are so big and so grandly decorated. Today, it still retains most of its original beautiful artwork and details.
Standing 21 meters tall, the Arch of Constantine is easily visible from many places in Rome. Besides the Colosseum, it is one of the iconic landmarks of Rome. The artwork on both sides and the underside of the huge arch are taken from many different themes. Woven together, they tell a great story about ancient history. Visiting this Arch is one of the top things to do in Rome.
Relive ancient history at Palatine Hill
If you want to go as far back in Roman history, go to the Palatine Hill. According to mythology, the legendary Romulus and Remus started their journey here and went on to found the city of Rome. They chose a good spot, I’ll say because Palatine is the central hill in the Tiber region and commands a great view of the city region below.
You can see many Roman ruins in this place. Some are so ancient that they don’t look roman at all. Some structures are still standing, like the Temple of Cybele and the Flavian Palace. The hike up here is rewarding by itself, and you can get the tickets to the Hill ruins site in Roman Forum. As the first nucleus of the Roman empire, this is a must-visit place in Rome.
Enjoy the aqueous beauty of the Trevi Fountain
Plenty of beautiful fountains dot the Cities of Rome and Vatican, but arguably none are so beautiful as the one in Trevi. Nicola Salvi’s iconic 18th-century gorgeous masterpiece stands 26 meters tall and 50 meters wide, making it one of the world’s most famous fountains. The baroque fountain has appeared in several renowned movies like Sabrina Goes To Rome and Roman Holiday.
Constructed in 1762, the fountain is dedicated to the Roman god Oceanus, who is captured in stone riding his chariot pulled by Tritons and taming some hippocampus. The sheer amount of details on the statue and the facade will leave you mesmerized. It’s a tradition to throw a coin in the pool of the fountain for good luck. It’s a fun thing to do in Rome, though it gets mixed up with several hundreds of the same beside you. This world-famous fountain is featured in every Rome walking tour.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) about Rome
1. What are some low-cost flights to Rome?
For one person flying to Rome on 1st July in economy class, here are some budget options.
- New York
- Tap Air – from $328
- Air Europa – from $405
- Norwegian – from $1002
- United – from $1487
- Alitalia – from $1488
- Vueling – from $61
- EasyJet – from $69
- Ryanair – from $78
- British Airways – from $ 80
- Alitalia – from $90
- Pegasus – from $247
- Turkish – from $349
- Aeroflot – from $353
- Kuwait Airways – from $376
- Ukraine Intl – from $389
- Etihad – from $354
- Emirates – from $361
- Qatar Airways – from $402
- Aeroflot – from $425
- Kuwait Airways – from $431
- China Southern – from $442
- Virgin Australia – from $480
- China Airlines – from $522
- Qatar Airways – from $750
- Emirates – from $1001
Please note that prices are variable as per market demands.
2. Where are the cheapest places to stay in Rome?
As is the case with most European countries, so in Italy, your budget accommodation options in Rome are in hostels, homestays, and house sitting. Still, being a tourism-heavy city, Rome is not a cheap place to stay in. If you must, here is a list of some affordable hotels in Rome:
- Comfort Inn Roma Termini – from $11
- Hard Rock Rooms – from $16
- Rome Experience Hotel – from $18
- Residenza Laterano – from $20
- Regal Park Hotel – from $21
Please note that the above prices are for two persons staying in one room for one night only, for the month of July. Prices are subjected to change.
3. Which are the most popular places to eat in Rome?
When it comes to food, you have to enjoy the little spill-out cafes in Rome. Then, move off to the famous Italian cuisine which needs no introduction in the following famous eateries:
- Fratelli Mori
4. What are some good Rome Holiday Packages?
- Skip-the-line Vatican, Sistine Chapel & Basilica Tour – 3 hours
- Skip-the-line Small-Group Tour of Colosseum with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – 3 hours
- Vatican & Colosseum Combo Tour – 9 hours
- Rome Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour – 1 hour 40 minutes
- Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small-Group Walking Tour – 3 hours 30 minutes
- Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour – 3 hours
5. Is it safe to travel to Rome?
Generally speaking, Rome is a moderately safe place to travel to. The heavy dependence upon the tourism industry makes the local government eager to suppress any crime or unrest. Some petty crime does go on, like pickpockets and purse-snatching. If you practice some general safety precautions, you can be reasonably safe.
For example, don’t pick up shiny objects just lying there demanding your attention. Avoid strangers who come up asking for directions or petitions, especially if there are others very close to your backside. Avoid completely secluded places no matter how romantic or adventurous it may seem. The pickpocket risk is especially high in crowded plazas or transports, so keep your wallet in a more secure and hard-to-reach place. Or at least don’t keep much cash in it.
Also, there can be frauds in transport. Official taxis in Rome are stark white. Make sure the driver turns on the meter. Unlicensed taxi drivers will try to grab your attention, and sometimes your bags as well. Better if you rent a car. Make sure you secure it as well because car theft is a big deal in Rome.
Multiple tourist scams go on in Rome streets, so be careful and use your head. Fake petitions, ATM issues, counterfeit currency, drugged food or drinks all are frequent in Rome and can pull you under if you aren’t careful. Be wary of strangers being friendly. However, a good thing is that for women Rome seems to be a safe place to travel. Since sex crimes in Rome have fallen way below average.
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