If you've got five days in Rome, you will be able to see most of the city ! Not just that, you will also have enough time to check out a nearby city with a day trip. Here is our dedicated itinerary to ensure you can see the best of Rome in 5 days.
The Best Of Rome In 5 Days
Rome In 5 Days - Detailed Itinerary
Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palantine Hill, Trastevere
Exploring The Ancient Ruins Of Rome
Colosseum ( 9:00 AM)
Start your day with the most iconic landmark in the city - The Colosseum. This amphitheatre was used for gladiator contests and other public spectacles like animal fights, mock sea battles, etc. This oval amphitheatre, with ties to the Roman Catholic Church, was made entirely of sand, and could hold up to 80,000 spectators back in the day. At 157 feet, the Colosseum was also the tallest amphitheatre ever built, falling only 26 feet short of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Colosseum stands tall as an architectural marvel from a time long past and each nook and corner in its 6-acre area has a story to tell.
• The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill share the grounds and neighbor each other.
• Trevi Fountain is situated 1.5 kms away and is a 10-minute journey on the metro from the Colosseum.
Traveler Tip : Do not visit the Colosseum on the first Sunday of the month. While it is free, thousands descend upon the premises and ruin the whole experience. You'll be rubbing shoulders with others and struggling to stand without being swayed in different directions. Cough up the few bucks and grab a skip the line ticket for an ideal visit.
Roman Forum ( 10:30 AM)
Then, head to the Roman Forum. Once the city centre of Rome, the landmark looks strikingly similar to something straight out of a fantasy movie, with tall buildings, pillars, columns, arches, etc. Today, the Forum is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations. And while much of the Forum is in ruins, there’s still plenty left to admire, which is why over 4 million tourists visit it every year! The Forum holds remains of some iconic buildings like the Temple of Antoninus Pius, Temple of Castor and Pollex, and the Arch of Septimius Severus among others.
Palantine Hill ( 11:30 AM)
Having explored the heart of Ancient Rome, take a trip back in time to discover the birth of the city. Right in the middle of the seven hills of Rome, the Palatine overlooks the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. There are numerous exciting legends associated with the Palatine Hill. One such legend is of when Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club. The blow was so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where later a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed. A visit to Palatine Hill gives you the opportunity to discover even more of such amazing legends.
Note: Tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are mostly bundled together in a combo package. It is highly recommended to purchase them together for a better economical deal.
Trastevere ( 4:30 PM)
Take an afternoon siesta like the Romans do and set off to explore Trastever early evening. In Trastevere, you can experience the colorful, Bohemian side of Rome. Located on the west bank of the Tiber river, this area is known for craft beer pubs, artisan shops, trattorias, budget hotels, and B&Bs. The narrow, cobbled streets are loaded with charm and outside the major squares the area can be quite quiet at night. As evening approaches, street performers, poets, bearded skateboarders, and exuberant merrymakers flood Trastevere’s countless clubs, bars, and piazzas in fits of reckless abandon and indiscreet enthusiasm. Trastevere is the 13th rione of Rome, and one of the city's most cherished neighborhoods for tourists to stay in.
Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese
Sauntering Through Central Rome
Piazza Navona (10:30 AM)
Start your day after a hearty breakfast, around 10:30 AM and walk the length of one of Rome's most treasured squares, the Piazza Navona. Centered around 3 lavish fountains - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana di Nettuno ; Piazza Navona is a true example of a hive of activity. It flaunts Bernini sculptures, elaborate fountains, a magnificent church, colourful casts of street artists, quaint cafes and lots of open space, bathing in sunshine and brimming with tourists. If you like a slow start to your day, grab a coffee, catch a nook and spend an hour simply people watching. Locals like to call this place where the liveliness of Roman life is explicitly tangible and we absolutely agree.
Traveler Tip : Roasted chestnuts in Piazza Navona is a must!
Pantheon (11:30 AM)
The Pantheon is undoubtedly the best-preserved monument from Ancient Rome. Situated about 350 m away from Piazza Navona, a quick 5 minute walk will take you to this magnanimous structure, built around 126 AD! Pantheon in a Greek translates to “Honor all Gods” and was first built as a temple to all gods. While the exact age of the Pantheon remains unknown, legend goes that it was built on the very site where Romulus, the mythological founder of Rome ascended from heaven. If you're a Roman Mythology fan, a tour of the Pantheon is an absolute must! The Dome of the Pantheon, also known as the eye of the Pantheon or the oculus remains the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome till date! Once you step out of the Pantheon, make sure to see the “Fountain of the Pantheon” sculpted out of marble by Leonardo Sormani in 1575.
Traveler Tip : If you're interested in visiting the Pantheon with no or less crowds, push your visit to an hour before closing (6:00 PM). Make sure you are not too late as they don’t let people in just before the closing time, but once inside you can stay till it closes and everyone leaves.
Trevi Fountain ( 12:30 PM)
Next, make your way to one what's considered to be one of the most famous fountains in the world. The Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, is one of the most breathtaking fountains and stands out starkly from the other 1,352 fountains in Rome. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi, it makes for a great sight at both day and night, but do be aware that it’s likely going to be crowded here at pretty much any time of day! Make sure follow through the age old tradition of tossing a coin into Trevi fountain. Legend goes that you will one day return to Rome if you stand with your back facing the fountain and flip a coin into the water, and you definitely want to return to the Eternal city. Right?!
Spanish Steps (2:00 PM)
The Spanish Steps constructed in 1725, earns its moniker from the Spanish embassay that stands on the on the square, also known as Piazza Spagna, or Spanish Square. The steps lead from the baroque fountain - Fontana della Barcaccia at the base, up to the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. It's passport to fame was when the 1953 film, Roman Holiday featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck shows a scene here. After the movie, pretty much everyone came searching for these steps and have their Audrey Hepburn moment here. The steps are free to visit, and a photo of you on them (ideally eating gelato), is pretty much a staple when visiting Rome!
Traveler Tip : If you're a John Keats fan, you can visit the house he lived and died at near the Spanish Steps. At the corner on the right as one begins to climb the steps, you will find a house converted museum dedicated to his memory, full of memorabilia of the English Romantic generation.
Villa Borghese & Borghese Gardens (4:00 PM)
The Borghese Gallery is a dream come true for art lovers who want to admire Roman art without having to deal with the massive crowds in popular tourist attractions like Vatican Museums. The building that houses the Borghese Gallery is a work of the architect Flaminio Ponzio that for order of Cardinal Borghese began its construction in 1612. The Galleria Borghese, or Borghese Gallery, features one of the world’s greatest private art collections assembled by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 17th century in his Roman garden villa. The collection is rich in ancient Roman, Renaissance, and Baroque art, with major works by Bernini, Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, Correggio, Rubens, and Canova.
Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St.Peter's Basilica, Necropolis
Discovering The Vatican City Jewels
Vatican Museum ( 9:00 AM)
Day 3 begins at the Vatican, with St. Peter's Basilica , one of the most visited churches in the world. This beautiful landmark was the primary creation of Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini and rests atop the tomb of St. Peter. Situated on Vatican Hill, St Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome. It has a capacity of over 60,000 people, covers 22,300 square meters and is one of the world’s largest churches. There are two levels below St Peter’s Basilica; the first level is known as the Vatican Grottoes, and is a large underground graveyard where the tombs of 91 Popes are buried. The level below this is the Vatican Necropolis and houses St Peter’s Tomb.
Sistine Chapel ( 11:00 AM)
The Sistine Chapel, although a part of the Vatican Museums, deserves a special mention just because of how spellbinding it is! All tickets to the Vatican Museums get you access to the Sistine Chapel. Typically considered one of Michelangelo's finest work, it’s a certified highlight of a trip to Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel, situated in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, is the last room you would visit while on your Vatican Museums tour. Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling and the altar are the most famous paintings in the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgement Altar Fresco and The North Wall of the Sistine Chapel are also a must-see here.
St. Peter's Basilica ( 1:30 AM)
Next, head to the grand St. Peter's Basilica, the biggest church in the world. This beautiful landmark was the primary creation of Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini and rests atop the tomb of St. Peter. Situated on Vatican Hill, St Peter’s Basilica dominates the skyline of Rome. It has a capacity of over 60,000 people, covers 22,300 square meters and is one of the world’s largest churches. There are two levels below St Peter’s Basilica; the first level is known as the Vatican Grottoes, and is a large underground graveyard where the tombs of 91 Popes are buried. The level below this is the Vatican Necropolis and houses St Peter’s Tomb.
Vatican Necropolis ( 2:30 PM)
Two floors under the massive St. Peter’s Basilica lies hidden one of the Vatican’s best kept secrets: the partially excavated Roman Necropolis — a dark city of house-like mausoleums placed along the narrow, dark streets, and adorned with frescoes, inscriptions, and stucco decorations. It was here that, in the early 1940s, a grave was excavated, inscribed with the words “Petros Eni” (Peter lies here) in Greek, which was the language of early Christian community from the Eastern Roman Empire. Inside, the remains of a tall man were discovered, claimed today by the Vatican as the bones of St. Peter, one of the original Apostles.
Amalfi Coast , Florence, Naples, Pompeii, Venice ( Choose 1)
A Day Trip From Rome
While there’s much to love about Rome, Italy has other delightful places you can visit too, without taking out too much time from your 5-day trip. From the calming waters of Naples to the majestic charm of Pompeii, you have a lot of great options to choose from. If you want to make the most of your trip to Italy and explore some other cities too, we have got you covered. You can take any one of the five below-mentioned trips:
- Amalfi Coast: The Amalfi Coast, Italy (la Costiera Amalfitana) is a beautiful and renowned stretch of mountainous coastline south of Naples, in Campania. The southern end of the Bay of Naples stretches out in a steep and rocky peninsula that reaches towards the Isle of Capri. Sorrento, another major tourist destination, looks back towards Naples from the north coast of the peninsula. The southern side of the peninsula is dotted with picturesque villages and towns clinging giddily to cliffs.
Distance from Rome: 275 km / 171 miles
- Florence: The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of Europe’s great art cities. Giotto’s frescoes, Michelangelo’s David, canvases by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and a host of other greats in the Uffizi Gallery, there’s so much exquisite art and architecture, it’s difficult to know where to start. But Florence is also a living city with a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene, and a lively cultural movida that goes beyond old masters to embrace opera, classical music and contemporary art.
Distance from Rome: 271 km / 168 miles
- Naples: A pizza lover’s paradise, Naples is resolutely beautiful. It was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means new city. The historic centre of Naples has earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site denomination. It has one of the biggest historical city centres in the world, and its pride are the 448 historical and monumental churches, the highest number in the world for a single city. Naples’ subterranean gems include everything from ancient Greek aqueducts to pagan burial chambers, Christian catacombs to World War II air raid shelters.
Distance from Rome: 226 km / 140 miles
- Pompeii: The ghostly ruins of ancient Pompeii (Pompei in Italian) make for one of the world's most engrossing archaeological experiences. The world famous landmark is 150 miles south of Rome, making it fairly close to Naples. It’s a long day trip from Rome, or a quick trip from Naples or the very popular holiday area around Sorrento. Many people combine their trip to Pompeii in one full day with Mount Vesuvius, the famous volcano
Distance from Rome: 242 km / 150 miles
- Venice: Venice is a major seaport and capital of both the province of Venezia and the region of Veneto, northern Italy. An island city, Venice was once the centre of a maritime republic, and the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link with Asia. The city is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically, and in its days as a republic the city was styled la serenissima (“the most serene” or “sublime”). It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.
Distance from Rome: 525 km / 326 miles
Castel Sant’Angelo, Jewish Ghetto, Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano, Roman Catacombs
The Rest Of Rome
Castel Sant’Angelo ( 9:30 AM)
Originally built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian, the Castel Sant’Angelo also known as the Hadrian’s Tomb sits on the banks of River Tiber and is one of the oldest buildings in Rome. From its construction to date, it has evolved from being a tomb, to a fortress, to a castle, and finally, a museum. Today it is open to the public, and you can climb right to the top from where you can experience gorgeous views of the city.
Traveler Tip : Note, from spring to fall, last admission to Castel Sant’Angelo is at 6:00 PM. During winters, last admission is around 1:00 PM, so plan your visit accordingly if you're visiting Rome in winter.
Jewish Ghetto ( 11:30 AM)
The Jewish Ghetto of Rome is one of the nicest areas in the city. A magical, calming atmosphere is present where Via di Santa Maria del Pianto unites with Via del Portico D’Ottavia. While not a proper square by definition, the car restriction and presence of multiple restaurant tables that are spread out on the street give the place the appearance of a Piazza. Here you can see the local Signore seated on benches exchanging cooking tips and young children running around playing. The Jewish Ghetto became a walled neighborhood in 1555, where the Jewish community in Rome was forced to live. The quarters is located next to the Tiber river and only covers a couple of blocks.
Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano ( 2:00 PM)
Grab some lunch and then head over the to the Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano. One of the highlights of this landmark is the breathtaking byzantine mosaic in the upper abyss of the church, which features the cross symbolizing the tree of life, with twelve doves as the apostles of Christ. Be sure to visit the two lower levels; on the first you will find the fourth century Basilica, which was undiscovered until the late 18th century, after it had been covered with gravel around 1,100 after Christ. Then go down to the bottom level with its remains of an ancient roman house in brick from the first century after Christ and which was transformed into a Mithraeum between the second and third centuries.
Roman Catacombs ( 5:00 PM)
Peel off the many layers of Rome as you go underground to discover the ancient city. This unique tour showcases how the Eternal city developed through the ages and how many historic sites can be found below some of the historic sites. Some of the popular cataombs include the Catacombs of Domitilla and the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla. Some tours are paired in such a way that not only will you see the Catacombs, but also the Basilica San Clemente, a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I. A guided tour of the Catacombs is recommended as simply walking through the ruins without knowing the history is simply spooky. If you're a daredevil, sign up for the Catacombs and Crypt tour at night with exclusive after hour access!
Rome in 5 Days Map
If you prefer walking through Rome, here is a comprehensive map that will help you make your way through the city; one day at a time. The walking routes for each day have been specified,so download this Rome map and keep it handy on your phone.
Spend 5 Days in Rome Under 270 Euros
Setting aside your accomodation and food expenses, here's an approximate of how much you'll spend in Rome over 5 days. Headout guarantees the best price on the internet, so simply buy your attraction tickets from the Headout website and get 5% Cashbacks and 6 Euros Discounts on every other purchase!
Day 1 : Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palantine Hill, Trastevere
Day 2 : Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps,
Day 3 : Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St.Peter's Basilica,
Day 4 : Day Trip From Rome
Day 5 : Castel Sant’Angelo, Jewish Ghetto, Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano, Roman Catacombs
Book your Rome Attractions tickets on Headout, and spend just €265 on your 5 day vacation in Rome! Hit up all the prime attractions in the Eternal city and save more while you explore more.
Tips & Hacks For Making The Best of 5 Days in Rome
- Invest in Skip the Line tickets : Would you rather spend 2 hours standing in queues or invest those 2 hours sauntering the length of Rome? For the obvious choice, invest a little extra for skip the line tickets and you can thank us later! Our mantra is Skip the Line or Skip the Attraction. We'd rather you spend your time getting to know the city than standing in excruciatingly long queues.
- Eat like a local : While Tripadvisor will give you a list of the most popular and highly rated restaurants, you must know that most of these restaurants are a tourist trap and can be quite hefty on the pocket. While Italy is all about the food, getting the right food can be a task. Head where the locals flocks and you can bite into some actually authentic Italian grub. If you're interested in squeezing in local food tour on your 5 day trip, check out our list of the Top Local Food Tours in Rome.
- Bike it, Segway it : While we are all in for walking, unfortunately it takes up a lot of time and tires you out quite fast. Why not segway through the city or maybe hire a cycle and peddle through the lanes? You can cover more grounds and it's honestly quite fun too! Here's our selection of the best bike tour and segway tour in all of Rome. Grab them from Headout and get an extra 5% off too!
- The all new Walk On Walk Off Pass : This is a fairly new concept and we are completely blown by it ( you will be too!) .The Flexible Rome Walk On Walk off Tour Pass allows you to unlock Rome through a selection of 10 thoughtfully curated tours with relaxed guided strolls through the history seeped lanes of Rome with an expert local guide by your side. It's economical and the tours are quite off-beat! If you like exploring a city on foot, nothing gets better. Check out our review of the Walk On Walk Off Pass.
- No Cappuccinos after 11 AM : While this may sounds really queer, Italians don’t drink cappuccinos after 11 AM. Order an espresso to shun funny looks.
- Mondays are slow : Most museums and sites are closed on Mondays, so if you're in Rome on a Monday, make sure you have a Plan B of things to do.
- Beware of Scamsters : Rome is infamous for its scamsters and fraudsters, so, keep an eye out for your belongings and keep them near and close. Don’t accept flowers, crafts or anything at all from strangers as you will be forced to pay for merely touching it.
- Stand at the bar : When ordering a meal, understand there will normally be two prices on the menu – one for standing at the bar/counter, and one for sitting down at a table. It’s obviously cheaper to order while standing at the bar so go for that if you're on a budget.
- Water Fountains over Water Bottles : There are many non-decorative fountains along the streets with free-flowing water. This water is perfectly safe to drink , so bring your water bottles and fill them up from here, rather than buying bottles which will run your budget up ( Water is funnily more expensive than beer !)
Rome 5 Day Essentials
Traveling to Rome for the first time? Here are a few blogs with details that will come handy in Rome. Simply click on them and read more!