Best places to visit in Rome: top attractions you don't want to miss

From food to fashion to incredible history, discover Rome’s most amazing attractions, where to find them, and how to experience them

Step into the timeless beauty of the Italian capital as you explore the best places to visit in Rome. Steeped in 3,000 years of history, Rome’s ancient heart still beats at landmarks like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, but this city isn’t only for history buffs. 

Discover the jaw-dropping beauty of the Trevi Fountain, walk in the footsteps of Ancient Rome’s founders at the Roman Forum, see the Pope’s priceless art collection at the Vatican Museums, and stroll through charming local neighborhoods like Trastevere. Savor the flavors of authentic Italian flavors at Campo de’ Fiori, where each market stall offers a new culinary adventure. And take an unforgettable tour of Rome's most breathtaking sights, from the iconic Spanish Steps to the awe-inspiring Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore — the jewel of Rome's four major basilicas. 

Experience the magic of the Eternal City as you visit these incredible places in Rome.

Best historical places to visit in Rome

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Colosseum

Rome's most iconic building, and an essential landmark to visit, the Colosseum is a testament to the ingenuity and prowess of Ancient Rome. From the 1st to the 5th century, up to 50,000 spectators would fill the Colosseum to see gladiator battles, games, and even executions. It remains the largest amphitheater in the world, almost 2,000 years after it opened.

Highlights

Stepping onto the arena floor or walking around the stands of the amphitheater, the history and energy of the place where gladiators once battled for their lives is palpable.

How to experience it

Having a guide really helps to bring the Colosseum to life — it requires a lot of imagination without one. Book entry with an audio guide, a guided tour, or get a gladiator’s-eye view with a tour that includes the Gladiator's Gate and Arena. Whichever option you choose, book in advance.

Price

Guided tours start around €50, and entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill is included in your ticket.

Address

Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Rome.

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Pantheon

Unleash your inner history buff with a visit to the iconic Pantheon, Rome's best-preserved ancient monument. Transport yourself back to the glory days of the Roman Empire and revel in the architectural wonder of this 2,000-year-old temple-turned-church. Marvel at its remarkable concrete dome and the open-air oculus, while learning about the striking tombs of luminaries like Raphael. A trip to the Pantheon offers a fascinating peek into Rome's captivating past. Visiting this ancient temple today offers the opportunity to visit the tombs of two kings and one queen of Italy, alongside an array of paintings, sculptures, and works of art. Take your time to spot the bronze panels surrounding some of the dome. Placed over 2000 years ago, they once covered the entire cupola.

Highlights

Standing under the dome is an almost ethereal experience — it has to be seen to be believed. Don’t miss the tomb of Raphael and the “Virgin and Child” sculpture that stands over it.

How to experience it

The Pantheon is the most popular place to visit in Rome, so it can be busy. An express guided tour is a great way to see the Pantheon, and learn about the fascinating history and the amazing feat of engineering behind it, and not waste any time in line.

Price

Entry to the Pantheon is free, but reservations are essential during weekends and holidays. Audio tours are available for €8.50, and guided tours start around €22.

Address

Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Rome.

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Catacombs

The subterranean pathways once used to ferry people to their final resting place are one of Rome’s best attractions. The Catacombs are part of the Christian and Pagan underground cemeteries that tell a unique story of Rome’s history and the life and death of its inhabitants.

Highlights

The tunnels and chambers feature stunning frescoes, intricate carvings, and remarkably well-preserved tombs, commemorating the stories of Roman saints and martyrs. The eerie Capuchin Crypt is decorated with the bones of 4,000 Capuchin Monks.

How to experience it

With different entry points and easy-to-miss tombs and bone chapels, a guided tour through three ancient burial structures is the way to go. You can also explore the Capuchin Crypt and Basilica of San Martino ai Monti.

Price

A half-day tour costs €59.

Address

There are multiple entrances to the catacombs, but the Catacombs of San Sebastian can be found at Via Appia Antica, 136 - 00179 Rome.

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Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, located in the heart of the city opposite the Colosseum, serves as a time capsule for the history of this public square. Once the political and commercial heart of Ancient Rome, visiting it today provides an unparalleled look into life at the beginning of the Roman Empire.

Highlights

Walking among the ruins feels like you are truly stepping back in time and experiencing the city’s vibrant past, from the perspective of its ordinary citizens.

How to experience it

Make sense of the ruins and bring them to life with a guided tour around Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. You’ll hear tales of war, politics, and larger-than-life characters as you explore.

Price

Entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill is included in Colosseum tickets, which start at €30. Guided tours of all three are around €60.

Address

Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Rome.

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Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant' Angelo is one of Rome’s most impressive sights, right on the banks of the Tiber River. Originally built as a mausoleum for emperor Hadrian and his family, it has had many different uses throughout the years, including a papal fortress, a prison, and now a museum.

Highlights

There are magnificent views of the city from the rooftop and towers, as well as impressive displays of medieval weaponry and papal history.

How to experience it

The best way to discover the castle’s secrets is on a guided tour through its usually off-limits areas. You’ll see amazing art and historical details as you uncover the building’s remarkable past.

Price

Entry is €22, or €59 if you choose the guided tour.

Address

Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Rome.

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Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is the crown jewel of Rome's prominent Baroque architecture. A marketplace in the 15th century, and before that the Stadium of Domitian, where the ancient Olympic Games were held. This iconic square at the heart of Rome is one of the most interesting spots in the city.

Highlights

Take in all the details as you walk around Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, a lavish fountain depicting four major rivers — the Nile, Danube, Ganges, and Río de la Plata.

How to experience it

It’s lined with cafes, making it the perfect stop for a coffee as you watch street artists and listen to the musicians and soak up Piazza Navona’s lively atmosphere. Want to know what happened here in ancient times? Delve deep into the square’s hidden secrets with an immersive tour underneath Piazza Navona. See what remains of the Stadium of Domitian and artifacts from the Roman Empire.

Price

The square is free to explore, and the underground tour is €12.

Address

Piazza Navona, 00186 Rome.

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Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla is one of the grandest thermal complexes of antiquity, once a social hub where Romans once gathered to bathe and socialize. It might only be a ruin, but this architectural masterpiece is one of Rome’s most tranquil and interesting places to visit.

Highlights

Its incredible mosaics and artifacts paint a vivid picture of a bygone era.

How to experience it

Wander through these evocative ruins as stories of Roman emperors and daily life unfold before your eyes, revealing the essence of extravagance and leisure in Ancient Rome. A guided tour of this well-preserved site ensures you won’t miss a thing.

Price

Entry is €16, or include an immersive tour for €55.

Address

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome.

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Capitoline Museums

The remarkable collection of historic art and artifacts at the Capitoline Museums includes some of the world's most famous sculptures, ancient Roman treasures, and captivating paintings that tell the story of Rome. The grand complex was designed by Michelangelo, with most of his work perfectly preserved.

Highlights

Walk through the magnificent halls and courtyards and discover grandeur around every corner. See art treasures like the iconic “Lupa Capitolina,” a sculpture depicting Rome’s iconic wolf.

How to experience it

Take your time exploring the incredible art and artifacts from every century in Rome’s past. For an in-depth introduction to Rome the Capitoline Museums, choose a ticket with a multimedia experience for a more immersive experience.

Price

Entry with a 25-minute introduction video experience costs €32.

Address

Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Rome.

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Palatine Hill

Ascend Palatine Hill, where the mythological she-wolf Lupa found Rome’s founders, Remus and Romulus, as abandoned children. You’ll get stunning views of the ancient city and unravel its rich history and legends. Marvel at ancient ruins, mansions, and temples while exploring the imperial palaces of emperors past.

Highlights

Marvel at ancient ruins, mansions, and temples while exploring the imperial palaces of emperors past.

How to experience it

Tickets to the Colosseum include entry to Palatine Hill, so you can visit before or after your Colosseum entry time. As it can often be hard to imagine how the ruins once looked, a guided tour is a great way to bring them to life.

Price

Entry to Palatine Hill is included in Colosseum tickets, which start at €30. Guided tours that take in the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum are around €60.

Address

Palatine Hill, 00186 Rome.

Best places to visit in Rome for art lovers

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Borghese Gallery and Gardens

The Borghese Gallery is one of Italy's most enchanting artistic treasures and a must-visit for any art lover in Rome. The private art collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese includes works by Bernini, Caravaggio, and Titian.

Highlights

Marvel at world-famous masterpieces, like Bernini’s “Apollo and Daphne.” Make sure to leave time to wander through the perfect gardens surrounding the gallery — a serene oasis right in the middle of the bustling city.

How to experience it

Discover the secrets, stories, and painting techniques behind the museum’s masterpieces with a guided tour. You’ll skip the often long waiting times to boot.

Price

The best and most comprehensive tour costs €79, while standard entry is around €30.

Address

Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Rome.

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Palazzo Barberini

The stunning Palazzo Barberini houses the collection of the National Gallery of Ancient Art. Among the breathtaking frescoes of Pietro da Cortona sit masterpieces of renowned artists such as Caravaggio, Raphael, and El Greco. Experience the splendor of a 17th-century palace as you immerse yourself in some of the greatest examples of Italian art.

Highlights

Raphael's “La Fornarina,” Caravaggio's “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” and Pietro da Cortona's spectacular frescoes. This is a must-visit attraction for art enthusiasts.

How to experience it

Take your time wandering through the history of Italian art with work from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period, or learn more about the standout pieces on a 2-hour guided tour of the gallery.

Price

The tour, in English or Italian, is €75.

Address

Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13, 00184 Rome.

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Vatican Museums

Discover a world-famous art collection at the Vatican Museums, which manages to top many lists of the best places to visit in Rome despite actually being in a different country: Vatican City. Explore its 54 interconnected museums, galleries, and chapels, the last one being the incredible Sistine Chapel.

Highlights

The Sistine Chapel’s famous ceiling is the undoubted hero of the Vatican Museums, but the vast collection of treasures belonging to the Pope is filled with breathtaking examples of art, history, and spirituality.

How to experience it

A guided tour is best, especially when time is limited. For the ultimate experience, join the head key keeper to unlock the Vatican Museums and see them before anyone else. In the early hours, you’ll see the lights come on in the Sistine Chapel and have it almost to yourself.

Price

A standard ticket costs €29 and guided tours are €54. The experience with the head key keeper is €200.

Address

00120 Vatican City.

Best neighborhoods to visit in Rome for food

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Campo de' Fiori

Campo de' Fiori is a must-visit if you want to feel the modern energy of Rome. The vibrant market square offers an authentic Roman experience: from shopping for fresh produce and handicrafts during the day to eating and drinking delicious food and wine in cozy trattorias in the evening.

Highlights

The bustling stalls filled with local delicacies, and the chance to immerse yourself in authentic Italian culture.

How to experience it

Taste your way through Campo de’ Fiori’s best bites, from supplì to pizza to gelato. Want to know where the best flavors can be found? Take a street food tour for some insider knowledge.

Price

Free to explore, or €48 if you go for the street food tour which includes five tastings plus beer and wine.

Address

Campo de' Fiori, 00186 Rome.

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Trastevere

Immerse yourself in the charming Trastevere neighborhood, an enchanting maze of narrow, cobbled streets and vibrant squares famous for its lively vibe and great food. Start exploring near the picturesque Piazza Santa Maria and its famous Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Try traditional dishes and admire the beautiful, ivy-covered facades that are characteristic of Trastevere.

Highlights

Seeing the most charming, authentic side of Rome in the cobblestoned streets of Trastevere. Its vibrant, artistic atmosphere and awesome eateries put this neighborhood on most lists of the best places to visit in Rome.

How to experience it

Combine sightseeing with dinner on a sunset food tour. Pair up to 20 delicious tastings with fine Italian wine and learn more about this charming neighborhood and city.

Price

The sunset food tour costs €119, otherwise, the neighborhood is free to explore.

Address

Piazza di Santa Maria, 00153 Rome.

More of Rome’s must-visit sights

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Trevi Fountain

Rome's iconic 18th-century Trevi Fountain, a true masterpiece of Baroque art, is loved by locals and visitors alike. Its mesmerizing 20-meter tall cascades Roman god Oceanus at its center, his chariot is being pulled by two sea horses, representing the changing seas.

Highlights

Don't forget to toss a coin over your shoulder into the water — the legend says it ensures your return to the Eternal City. The money goes to charity, so you’re doing a good deed too.

How to experience it

The fountain is less crowded and most spectacular when it’s lit up at night, so visit before or after dinner if you can. Want every detail of this fountain’s rich history? Take a guided tour and you’ll be able to see the still-running 2,000-year-old aqueduct underneath it.

Price

The underground tour costs €35, but the fountain is free to visit night or day. Don’t forget your coin.

Address

Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Rome.

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Spanish Steps

Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps are another perfect example of Roman Baroque architecture. Built in the 18th century, the 138 steps connect the bustling Piazza di Spagna below to the serene Piazza Trinità dei Monti above. Before you climb to the top for beautiful views of the city, marvel at the ornate Fontana della Barcaccia on the Piazza di Spagna. Fashionable visitors won’t want to miss the Roman flagships of Gucci, Fendi, Prada, and other designer names lining Via dei Condotti, just opposite the Spanish Steps.

Highlights

Brilliant views, luxury boutiques, vibrant cafes, and the stunning fountain on Piazza di Spagna aren’t to be missed.

How to experience it

Take in the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Spanish Steps with a guided tour of all three locations — a fun journey through some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks.

Price

The Spanish Steps are free to visit. A walking tour of them, the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain is €29.

Address

Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Rome.

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St. Peter's Basilica

The Vatican City is surrounded by Rome, and at its heart is St. Peter's Basilica, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. As you explore this magnificent Catholic basilica, bask in the stunning artistry of Michelangelo's “Pieta” and the exquisite dome he designed. This sacred site is as revered for its architectural grandeur as for its profound religious and historical significance.

Highlights

St. Peter’s Basilica’s awe-inspiring interior really has to be seen to be believed. The panoramic views of the Vatican and Rome from its iconic dome are breathtaking too.

How to experience it

Choose a ticket that includes dome access and an audio guide, and enjoy sweeping panoramas as you learn about the history and world-famous art of the Basilica. Expect lines whenever you visit, but they’re shorter in the mornings and outside peak tourist seasons.

Price

Entry with dome access and an audio guide is €29. Regular entry is free.

Address

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City.

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Appian Way

Step back in time as you wander along Appian Way — one of Ancient Rome’s most important and strategic roads connecting the heart of the city to the furthest outskirts. It eventually stretched all the way to southeast Italy.

Highlights

Centuries-old cobblestones are lined with historic churches and tombs, ancient catacombs, aqueducts, and fascinating ruins, all surrounded by idyllic countryside if you travel far enough.

How to experience it

Visiting with kids? Let them know the road leads to Gladiator School and they’ll be keen to walk it.

Price

Appian Way is free to visit, but experiences and tours along the way require a ticket.

Address

Via Appia Antica, 00178 Rome.

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Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore is Rome’s largest church and one of the most gorgeous places to go in the city. The papal basilica is an important pilgrimage destination, home to the Holy Crib and a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. Take in its stunning architecture and breathtaking mosaics as you explore the sacred building.

Highlights

It is built on the site where Pope Liberius had a vision of the Virgin Mary, the same night it snowed in the middle of summer. Every August 5, white rose petals are dropped from the dome to commemorate this event.

How to experience it

With such an incredible mix of architectural styles and religious history, a guided tour of the basilica is the best way to see it. You’ll learn all about the oldest relic, believed to be from the time of Christ.

Price

The church is free to enter and worship. Guided tours are €19.

Address

Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore, 00100 Rome.

Useful information before visiting Rome

How many days should I spend in Rome?

To fully experience Rome and its attractions, spend at least four days in the city. This allows you to visit major landmarks, explore different neighborhoods, and soak in the food and culture. 

What is the best time of year to visit Rome?

The best time to visit Rome is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November), when the weather is mild and the crowds are fewer, offering a more comfortable experience as you explore the city's attractions.

How do I get around Rome?

To get around all of the best places to visit in Rome, you can use public transportation like buses, trams, and the metro system. Taxis and rideshare services are also available, but traffic can be heavy and Rome’s many narrow streets can be a problem. The city is easy to explore on foot, or you can rent a bike.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Rome?

The best neighborhoods to visit in Rome include Trastevere, Monti, Prati, and Testaccio. Although not technically a neighborhood of Rome, Vatican City is also a must-visit. Each offers its own history, architecture, food, and vibrant atmospheres for an unforgettable Roman experience.

What are the best places to visit in Rome with kids?

The city has a variety of family-friendly attractions. Some of the best places to visit in Rome with kids include The Colosseum, Explora Children's Museum, Villa Borghese (which has a large play park and bike tours), Gladiator School, Time Elevator Rome (a multisensory show about Roman history), Beautiful parks such as Villa Doria Pamphili and Villa Ada.