Rome: An Artistic City Full of History
As one of the oldest cities in the world, Rome has been the center of culture, art, and religion for centuries. This city’s rich history made some historical landmarks popular tourist destinations. The architecture in Rome looks phenomenal whether you are looking at historical monuments, churches, or fountains.
It doesn’t matter which neighborhood you are exploring because there are always some things you must see or do. To get the most out of your trip, we’ve curated a list of fun things to do in Rome. These locations and activities will ensure that you’ll have a good time while you learn more about the culture.
If you are looking for the best vacation, our guide to the top fun things you must to do in Rome will surely make your trip memorable.
Also, there’s little a surprise for you at the end of this article!
But first let’s get you started with 14 fun things you must do in Rome:
1. Take a Tour of the Colosseum
You must visit one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome!
When you think of Rome, this image probably popped into your mind. The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and is a must-visit when you’re in Rome.
Dating between 72- 80 A.D, this amphitheater hosted some of the most brutal gladiator games. The emperor and many public attended these games regularly because it was a huge part of the Roman culture in that time period. Visit the Colosseum to learn more about the interesting history behind this monument.
Entrance Fee: Tickets generally cost €12 but is reduced to €7.50 for EU members between 18 and 25 years old. Admission is free for anyone that is under 18 years old, however, you would still need a ticket to get in.
Tip: Due to a large number of tourists all year round, make sure you book your tickets ahead of time so you can skip the long lines. There is a separate booth to pick up your tickets but make sure to bring your voucher.
2. Visit the St. Peter’s Basilica
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”
This popular quote means that when you’re in a foreign land, make sure you follow its rules and customs. Vatican City is an independent state within Rome and is one of the most religious sites in the world. Make sure you are being respectful when you are touring this area.
This renowned Italian Renaissance work is also the world’s largest church. Some famous architects that contributed to the design are Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. If you ever studied art history, then these names will sound familiar.
Good to know: There is a strict dress code to enter the church! Make sure you wear clothing that will cover your shoulders and knees. Men cannot wear shorts, they must wear long pants.
Tip: Climb up the dome to get an amazing view of St. Peter’s Square! There are two parts to this “climb”. You can take the elevator or walk up the stairs to get to the roof of the basilica. To get to the actual dome, there is a set of spiral stairs that will take you there.
3. Take an Italian Cooking Class
It’s time to show off your culinary skills!
If you love food then you should take a cooking class in Rome. Taking a cooking class in a foreign country is the best way to learn about the cuisine. Showing interest in Italian cooking can also mean that you appreciate its culture.
This may just end up being some of the best food you have in Rome because you made it yourself with your own hands. The experience of learning how to cook an authentic Italian meal will make the food taste better. And if you’re not a great cook, don’t worry because you’ll learn from professional local Italian chefs!
4. Throw a Coin in Trevi Fountain
Make a wish!
This beautiful Baroque fountain attracts many tourists every year. There is a legend that if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder and your back facing the fountain then you will return to Rome in the future.
It is estimated that about €3,000 is thrown into the fountain each day. The money is donated to an organization called Cáritas which help subsidize a supermarket for individuals in need.
Tip: Go at night! The fountain lights up and it will not be as crowded as during the day.
5. Explore the Vatican Museums
Go see some of the most distinguished Renaissance art!
Founded by Pope Julius II during the 16th century, the Vatican Museums contain some of the most famous art from history. The Vatican Museums are definitely unlike other art museums. The beautiful architecture and design of the museums just make the entire building look like a piece of art.
Some popular exhibits of the museum include the Raphael Rooms, Gallery of Maps, Spiral Staircase, and the Sistine Chapel.
Entrance fee: General admission is €16 for the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. It is €8 for students 18- 26 years old and children under 18 years old. Entrance is free every last Sunday of the month, however, there will be very long lines!
Opening hours: Monday- Saturday 9am- 4pm. The museums are closed on Sunday except for the last Sunday of the week which opens 9am- 12:30pm. The museums do close on specific days of the year so make sure you check their calendar.
6. Check Out the Market in Piazza Navona
Go grocery shopping at Campo de’ Fiori
You don’t want to leave Rome without visiting Piazza Navona, it’s a must-visit! In the daytime, you can visit Campo de’ Fiori. This is a market that sells fresh produce, fruits, flowers, and more. If you are staying near this area, then you can stop by here to get some food.
Opening hours: Monday- Saturday early morning until 2pm.
There’s a lot to do at Piazza Navona at night as well. You can have dinner here and then go get some gelato for dessert. There are a lot of great restaurants and gelato shops around this area. There is also a beautiful sculptural fountain located in the center. You’ll be able to see a lot of street performers if you come here at night.
Local market tour
Another must-do is taking a local market tour with professional Italian chefs to really give you a good sense of the Italian food culture, to see what kind of local produce is on display at the markets and how these chefs go about their daily business shopping for their ingredients.
7. Visit the Best Preserved Building From Ancient Rome
The Pantheon is almost 2,000 years old!
Located near the Colosseum, the Pantheon is another popular tourist attraction. Make sure you visit the Pantheon because it’s free!
Many people say this is a must-see when you go to Rome because of its astonishing architecture. There are no windows in the Pantheon so the only source of light that can go through is the hole in the center of the dome. The hole, called the Oculus, lets in an intense ray of sunshine during the afternoon.
Tip: Get here as early as possible because it can get really crowded during the afternoon.
8. Spend a Day in Trastevere
It’s more than just a bohemian neighborhood
If you happen to have a free day in your itinerary then I would suggest spending your day in Trastevere. People usually come here to explore the cobbled streets but there’s so much more to do here.
Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to explore as much as you can. Here are a few places in Trastevere that you should visit:
Basilica Santa Cecilia
This beautiful church is one of the oldest churches in Rome. The site of the church has a long history dating back to the 5th century! The interior of the church is absolutely elegant.
This Renaissance villa that was built during the 16th century is beautifully decorated with frescoes. It is highly recommended to visit this majestic mansion if you’re in Trastevere.
Entrance fee: €5 for adults and €3 for students
Opening hours: Monday- Saturday 9am- 1pm
Also known as Tiber Island, this boat-shaped island is connected to Trastevere. Due to the small size of this island, there is only a hospital and a few restaurants. You probably won’t spend too much time on this island but it is still a nice place to visit.
9. Eat Pizza Al Taglio
Have you ever heard of pizza al taglio before?
This literally translates to “pizza by the cut”. This type of pizza originated from Rome and is a must-try when you come here. There are many forms of pizza but what makes this different from the traditional pizza is that this is rectangular shaped. This may seem a little odd but it is delicious.
Eating pizza at a restaurant can be kind of expensive, so this is a cheaper alternative. You can find this all over Rome, in pizzerias or bakeries. It is usually sold by the slice or by weight of the slice. Pizza al taglio is meant to be eaten on the go but can also be eaten in restaurants.
10. Stop by the Spanish Steps
Take a shopping break and relax on the stairs
Located near a main shopping district, the Spanish Steps is a very popular place for people to just sit and rest after a long day of walking around. The Spanish Steps became a really popular tourist attraction after the Audrey Hepburn movie “Roman Holiday” was filmed here.
It is called the Spanish Steps because it leads to the Spanish Embassy. There are also a lot of cafes and restaurants nearby so there is a lot to see around here. At the bottom of the stairs, there is a fountain with a sculpture of a half sunken boat. According to legend, a huge flood carried a small boat into the plaza.
11. Go Wine Tasting at a Countryside Winery
Going to a winery tour will give you a new perspective on wine
Are you interested in learning about how wine is made? Italy produces the largest amount of wine each year. If you love wine, then you will love going on a wine tour.
Wine tasting in Italy is usually done at wine shops but going to a winery in the countryside will be a much better experience. Why not have some food with your wine? We offer some cooking classes that also include a wine tour in the beautiful picturesque countryside of Rome. You can learn how to make Italian food and go wine tasting!
12. Try All the Flavors of Gelato!
Gelato vs. Ice Cream
You must eat gelato when you are in Italy. Gelato translates to ice cream in Italian but there is a difference between gelato and normal ice cream. Gelato uses more milk and less cream so this makes it creamier and smoother.
There are also more unique flavors so make sure you try as many scoops of gelato as you can.
Have you ever made Gelato with your own hands? You should definitely take a Gelato making class in Rome to learn how to make Gelato the real Italian way.
13. Watch the Sunset at Ponte Sant’Angelo
A romantic way to end the day
Ponte Sant’Angelo is a bridge that runs along the Tiber River. This bridge is also known as the “Bridge of Angels” due to the angel statues that line up along the bridge. There are ten angels on the bridge and each one has a different meaning behind it. The bridge leads to the Sant’Angelo Castle, which is another popular tourist destination.
If you come here during the evening, you’ll be able to enjoy a spectacular view of Rome. There are lights on the bridge and along the river. You’ll also be able to see the St. Peter’s Basilica in the background.
14. Drink Coffee Like a Local
Learn about coffee culture in Italy
There are certain ways Italians like to drink their coffee. In the morning they like to drink cappuccino or latte before a meal, and at night, they sometimes like to drink espresso. There are no rules to drinking coffee but if you order a coffee with milk in the afternoon, the barista will know you’re a tourist.
Some Italian bars are not what you think they are, they actually sell coffee there! A lot of locals don’t spend much time in the coffee shops so they drink their coffee standing up. They usually order their coffee at the bar area, drink their coffee, and then leave. If you want to drink coffee like a local, then keep this information in mind. Again, there are no rules to drinking coffee but this is just how some Italians do it.
That’s it! Plus, a little bonus…
We hope that our list of “14 Fun Things You Must Do in Rome” will help you discover Rome’s most fun things to do and other enjoyable activities for a 2-3 day itinerary.
We also have a little something for you! If you’re interested in a cooking class, use the promo code ROMEBEST10 and get a 10% discount on www.cookly.me