Julie Italy 2 Comments

If you are planning to spend one day in Rome, there are several ways you can do it.

Do you want to spend the day visiting the highlights of Rome, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican, and historic heart of Rome? With proper planning, you can do this ambitious itinerary, but it will be an extremely busy day.

If you are traveling on a budget, we have an itinerary where you visit quite a few highlights of Rome without spending a lot money.

And finally, if your one day in Rome falls on a Wednesday, when the pope holds an audience in St. Peter’s Square, we have an itinerary that still allows you to visit St. Peter’s Basilica.

In this article about how to spend one day in Rome, we cover all three options. Which one will you want to do?

Best Things to Do with One Day in Rome

Below is a list of the top places to visit if you have one day in Rome.

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Vatican Museums
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Historic heart of Rome
  • Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain

Optional places to visit include the Altar of the Fatherland, rooftop bars, and Trastevere.

Colosseum Rome | One Day in Rome

The Colosseum | One Day in Rome

One Day in Rome Itinerary Options

Below we list three different ways to spend one day in Rome. The first two are very similar, with the biggest difference being the start time and the price. The third itinerary lays out how to plan your time if you are in town on a Wednesday when the pope holds an audience in St. Peter’s Square.

Itinerary #1 is the most expensive but it is the most complete. You start with an early morning tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. In the afternoon, you can tour the Colosseum on your own or take another tour. Having visited these sites on our own and with a guide, I can say we got a lot more out of our visits with the guide. This itinerary is the best option for those who want to thoroughly visit Vatican City and the Colosseum.

Itinerary #2 is very similar, but you visit Vatican City and the Colosseum on your own (not on a tour), which saves money and allows you to move a little bit faster. You will spend less time in the Colosseum and Vatican Museums, since you have a later start. This itinerary is a great option for budget travelers. It’s a busy day but not quite as long and busy as itinerary #1.

Itinerary #3 is for a visit to Rome on a Wednesday. On some Wednesdays, the pope holds an audience in St. Peter’s Square at 9:00 am. On these days, St. Peter’s Basilica does not open until the early afternoon. This itinerary is a modification of #1 and #2 to allow you to still visit the highlights of Rome.

One Day in Rome: Itinerary #1

Gotta See It All

This is the busiest itinerary on this list.

This itinerary is for those who want to visit Rome’s major attractions. It has the potential to be the most expensive, since you will visit more places and take a tour of the Vatican Museums.

If you are flying to Italy from outside of Europe (for example, the United States, Canada, Australia, or Japan), it can be very hard to wake up early on your first day in Europe, which you will have to do to make this itinerary work. If you live on the east coast of the USA, getting up at 6 am will feel like you are setting your alarm clock for midnight. We’ve done it and it is rough. If you want to visit Rome’s top sights without a very early wake up time, check out itinerary #2 or #3.

This itinerary includes one to two tours, one of the Vatican Museums and one of the Colosseum (this one is optional). These are popular experiences so plan on booking your tours at least 4 weeks in advance.

Overview of this itinerary:

7:30 am: Early morning tour of Vatican City
10:30 am: St. Peter’s Basilica
11:30 pm: Lunch
12:15 pm: Travel to the Colosseum
12:45 pm: The Colosseum
2:15 pm: Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
4:00 pm: Historic Heart of Rome
7:00 pm: Dinner

Vatican Museums | One Day in Rome

Staircase in the Vatican Museums | One Day in Rome

7:30 am: Early Morning Tour of Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. In Vatican City, there are three big sites to visit: the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

The best way to visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica is to take an early morning small group tour that includes the tunnel between the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Only select tours can do this. By taking the tunnel, you will save A LOT of time. These tours are pricier, but if you only have one day in Rome, it’s worth spending the money to save the time.

How this works is that you will tour the Vatican Museums and then the Sistine Chapel. From the Sistine Chapel, you will walk through the tunnel to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. This bypasses the 20-minute outdoor walk from the Vatican Museums to St. Peter’s Square plus the potentially enormous wait in the security line to enter the basilica, which can be an hour or longer mid-morning.

On an early morning tour, you will enter the Vatican Museums before opening time, so you have the opportunity to tour some rooms before they get crowded. And by starting early, you will also have plenty of time left later in the day to visit more of Rome’s top attractions.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Take a look at our Guide to Vatican City, which explains what you can do at the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica, with photos and information about the Vatican’s “secret rooms.”

We recommend this small group early morning tour of Vatican City by LivItaly Tours. It’s the same tour company that we used for our early morning tour and we had a fantastic experience.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: When choosing a tour, look for one that includes the tunnel between the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, to save yourself an hour or longer waiting in line. The tunnel was temporarily closed due to COVID but it has recently opened.

The School of Athens Vatican Museums | One Day in Rome

The School of Athens fresco in the Vatican Museums

10:30 am: St. Peter’s Basilica

I’m putting in an additional hour for St. Peter’s Basilica because many of the three hour early morning tours drop you off inside of the basilica. This extra hour allows you to visit the basilica and the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Inside of St. Peter’s Basilica, make sure you see Michelangelo’s La Pietà, the Baldacchino, St. Peter’s Chair, and climb the dome. If you are doing very well on time, you can also visit the Vatican Grottoes. For an explanation of what all of these are, read our Guide to Vatican City.

From the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, you get one of the best views of Rome. There are two ways to get to the top of the dome:

  • Climb 551 steps to the top of the dome: €8
  • Take the elevator to the terrace, climb 320 steps to the top: €10

You can purchase your tickets inside of St. Peter’s Basilica at the ticket kiosk. There can be a line for this as well.

St Peters Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica | One Day in Rome

11:30 am: Lunch

It’s a bit early for lunch but you’ve been on your feet and busy for the last four hours. If you’re like us, you are probably ready for a bite to eat and a quick break.

For good, fast, cheap food, it is a 5-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square to Alice Pizza. This restaurant serves pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) and it is delicious. Another option is Scialla the Original Streetfood, but this could take a little longer.

12:15 pm: Travel to the Colosseum

After lunch, travel to the Colosseum. You can either take a taxi or use the metro.

There are several taxi stands near St. Peter’s Square. If you ate lunch at Alice Pizza, Stazione Taxi Piazza Risorgimento is the closest (a 4-minute walk), but other taxi stands include Stazione Taxi San Pietro (at the intersection of Via della Conciliazone and Via San Pio X) and Stazione Taxi Fornaci (south of St. Peter’s Square).

You can also take the metro. The closest metro station is Ottaviano. Ride the orange line (the A line) to Termini. Transfer to the blue line (B1) and take this 2 stops to Colosseo. Travel time is roughly 20 minutes.

12:45 pm: The Colosseum

The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. And just like Vatican City, lines to enter can be enormous.

You can tour the Colosseum on your own or with a guide. Purchasing tickets in advance and touring it on your own is the cheapest option, and something to consider since you just took a pricey early morning tour of the Vatican.

However, if you want to get the most out of your visit, consider joining a tour. We have visited the Colosseum twice, on our own and with a guide, and got a lot more out of our visit with a guide.

Many afternoon tours of the Colosseum start between 12:45 and 1:15 pm and last 3 hours on average (this also typically includes the Roman Forum). On a visit to the Colosseum, you have the option to add on the Arena Floor or the Underground.

For more information about the Arena Floor, the Underground, and what there is to do at the Colosseum, read our article How to Visit the Colosseum. It also has lots of helpful tips for your visit.

Colosseum Second Level View | One Day in Rome

The Colosseum | One Day in Rome

How to Visit the Colosseum

On your visit to the Colosseum, you can either wander through it on your own, take the audio guide tour, or join a guided tour. Most visits last 1 to 3 hours.

You must purchase your entrance ticket in advance (you cannot just show up and get in line for a ticket). It costs an extra €2 per ticket for the online reservation fee.

If online tickets are sold out for your dates of travel, I recommend joining a guided tour of the Colosseum. You will spend a little more money than purchasing your tickets directly from the Colosseum website, but at least you will get to visit the Colosseum.

Hours: Hours vary by season. Click here to get hours for your dates of visit.
Cost: €16 (+ €2 online reservation fee) for the standard ticket that gets you in to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum; there is also a Full Experience ticket that also includes a visit to the Colosseum arena and underground area for €24
Website: Get updated hours and pricing and purchase your ticket here.
Roma Pass: If you have the Roma Pass, you must make your reservation to visit the Colosseum in advance. There is a €2 reservation fee. Click here for more information.
Getting Here: The closest metro stop is Colosseo. When you exit the metro station, the Colosseum will be right in front of you.

For more information, including ticket types, how to book your tickets, things to do at the Colosseum, plus many more photos, check out our guide on How to Visit the Colosseum.

2:15 pm: Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are a short walk from the Colosseum. They are both included on your entrance ticket into the Colosseum.

From the Colosseum, walk up Via Sacra towards the Arch of Titus to enter the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Note: Some guided tours of the Colosseum will include the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is ancient Rome, a complex of government buildings, temples, and marketplaces from 2000 years ago. Notable things to see in the Roman Forum include the Via Sacra, the Temple of Venus, the Temple of Romulus (the bronze doors date back to 309 AD), the Temple of Antonius and Faustina and its “hanging door,” the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the Temple of Julius Caesar.

A visit to the Roman Forum lasts 20 minutes to an hour.

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill sits next to the Roman Forum. It is a complex of archaeological excavations, the remains of temples and palaces, and a museum. During the time of the Roman Republic, many imperial palaces were built here, including palaces for Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian.

While on Palatine Hill, make sure you visit Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino for a bird’s eye view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. It’s one of the best views in Rome. Here is the view:

Roman Forum | One Day in Rome

The view from Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino

4:00 pm: Historic Heart of Rome

One of the best things to do in Rome is to walk through the historic heart of the city. This walk takes you from the Spanish Steps, past important landmarks like the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, and ends in Piazza Navona.

This walk is 3.2 km/2 miles long. With stops along the way, it will take about 2 to 3 hours.

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

To get to the Spanish Steps from the Colosseum, take the metro from Colosseo (line B, direction Conca d’Orco or Rebibbia). Transfer at Termini to line A, direction Batitstini, and take the metro 3 stops to Spagna. The Spagna metro station is located at the top of the Spanish Steps.

Follow the walking route on our map above. Starting at the Spanish Steps, you will then walk to the Trevi Fountain. This is a busy spot all day, even past midnight (we’ve been here at 1 am and there were still quite a few people here).

Trevi Fountain | One Day in Rome

Trevi Fountain | One Day in Rome

If you need a break, go to Garden Roof Trevi, a tiny rooftop bar that has a view over the Trevi Fountain. You can have a drink with a view and rest your feet for a few minutes.

Continuing on the walk, visit the Pantheon, one of the oldest buildings in Rome.

The walk ends in Piazza Navona. Find a table at a café (we recommend Bernini), have a drink, and do a little people watching.

Piazza Navona View

Piazza Navona | One Day in Rome

7:00 pm: Dinner

There is a long list of great restaurants to try in Rome. Near Piazza Navona, we recommend Ponte e Parione, which is one block away from Piazza Navona and they serve homemade pasta.

For dinner with a view, we recommend Oro Bistrot (spectacular sunset views of the Altar of the Fatherland…take a taxi to get here) or Divinity Rooftop (very good food with views of the dome of the Pantheon and the top of the Church of St. Ives at the Sapienza…a 4-minute walk from Piazza Navona). Both will need a reservation in advance.

Alternatively, you could also spend the evening in Trastevere, which is a neighborhood known for its fabulous restaurants and wonderful evening setting. To get here, take a taxi or it’s a 20-minute walk from Piazza Navona.

Divinity Rooftop | One Day in Rome

Divinity Rooftop | One Day in Rome

One Day in Rome: Itinerary #2

Highlights of Rome

This one day in Rome itinerary is similar to the first itinerary, but it does not start as early in the day and spends less time in Vatican City and the Colosseum. Since it starts later in the morning, it’s a good option if this is your first day in Europe (if you are coming from outside of Europe).

On this itinerary, you will start at Vatican City (but not as early as itinerary #1), then visit the Colosseum and other famous places in the heart of Rome.

This itinerary includes many of our favorite places in Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most awe-inspiring churches we have visited and is also a must see. The Colosseum is an essential place in Rome to visit. In Rome, we love walking through the historic heart of Rome, eating pizza by the slice, eating gelato, taking in the view from the Altar of the Fatherland, and going to a rooftop bar at sunset. This itinerary includes all of those.

This itinerary is also great for budget travelers. If you want to spend one day in Rome as cheaply as possible, make just a few changes to this itinerary. Skip the Vatican Museums and the rooftop dinner experience. You will have three tickets (the dome climb for €8, the Colosseum for €18, and if you choose to ride the elevator to the top of the Altar of the Fatherland, that is about €12), all for a total of €38.

Overview of this itinerary:

8:30 am: St. Peter’s Basilica
10:00 am: Vatican Museums
12:00 pm: Lunch
12:45 pm: Scenic Walk to Piazza Navona
1:00 pm: Historic Heart of Rome
3:00 pm: The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
5:30 pm: Altar of the Fatherland
6:30 pm: Sunset Views, Drinks & Dinner

8:30 am: St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Donato Bramante all played a part in designing and decorating the basilica.

The dome of the cathedral was designed by Michelangelo and modeled after the dome of the Pantheon and the Florence Cathedral. Climbing the dome for the view is one of the best things to do in Rome.

You can also see Michelangelo’s La Pietà, the Baldacchino which was designed by Bernini, tour the Vatican Grottoes, and climb the dome. Go to the dome first, before there is a line.

St. Peter’s Basilica is open at 7 am and it is free to enter. You will have to go through security, and this is what causes the line to form later in the day. If you get here by 8:30 am, you should have little to no wait to enter the cathedral. To be on the safe side, you could arrive at 8 am, especially during the busier summer months.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: On Wednesdays when the Pope is in town, St. Peter’s Basilica will not open until 12:30 pm.

St. Peter's Square | One Day in Rome

St. Peter’s Square | One Day in Rome

10:00 am: Vatican Museums

Spend the next two hours inside the Vatican Museums. To do this, purchase your ticket online in advance. You will skip the ticket line which could save you hours of time.

For a list of things to see and do inside of the Vatican Museums, take a look at our Guide to Vatican City.

12:00 pm: Lunch

Have lunch near St. Peter’s Square. Alice Pizza is the best cheap, fast eat near Vatican City. Scialla the Original Streetfood is a restaurant that gets rave reviews and serves pizza and classic pasta dishes. If you want to have a more leisurely lunch, go to Borghiciana Pastificio Artiginale (you will have to adjust the timing of this itinerary if you sit down to lunch).

12:45 pm: Scenic Walk to Piazza Navona

From St. Peter’s Square, walk towards Castel Sant’Angelo. You won’t have time to visit it on this itinerary, but you will get very nice views of it on this walk.

Cross the Tiber River on Ponte Sant’Angelo (the bridge that crosses the Tiber River in front of Castel Sant’Angelo). This bridge is lined with angels and a great photo spot.

Castel Sant Angelo | One Day in Rome

Ponte Sant’Angelo | One Day in Rome

On the opposite side of the river, walk along Via dei Coronari to Piazza Navona. This walk (from St. Peter’s Square to Piazza Navona) is 1.2 km (1 mile) and it takes 15 to 20 minutes.

1:00 pm: Historic Heart of Rome

Spend some time in Piazza Navona and then continue the walk to the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. As mentioned in the first itinerary, at the Trevi Fountain you have the option to visit Garden Roof Trevi, a small rooftop bar with a nice view overlooking the Trevi Fountain.

Continue the walk to the Spanish Steps.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps | One Day in Rome

3:00 pm: The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

To get from the Spanish Steps to the Colosseum on the metro, take the A line (orange line) to Termini. Transfer to the B1 line (blue line) and take this 2 stops to Colosseo. Travel time is about 11 minutes.

The Colosseum closes anywhere between 4:30 pm and 7 pm, depending on the time of the year. Last entry is 1 hour before closing. If you are in Rome from October 30 to February 28, when closing time is 4:30 pm, make sure you get here no later than 3:30 pm. Get updated hours for your visit on the official website.

For information on how to visit the Colosseum, read our article How to Visit the Colosseum or read our section about the Colosseum in itinerary #1. If you are here during the winter season, you will have to move fast to also get to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

5:30 pm: Altar of the Fatherland

For another spectacular view of Rome, visit the Altar of the Fatherland, also called the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, or simply the “wedding cake.” It is a short walk from the Roman Forum.

For free, you can climb the steps to the upper terrace and café. For a few more euros (€12 in 2022) ride the elevator to the very top for 360 degree views of Rome.

Best Rome Itinerary

The view from the Altar of the Fatherland | One Day in Rome

6:30 pm: Sunset Views, Drinks & Dinner

This was one of our favorite experiences on our most recent visit to Rome.

From Altar of the Fatherland, it is a very short walk to Oro Bistrot. This rooftop terrace has a lounge bar and restaurant. From here, you have an amazing view of the Altar of the Fatherland.

Having an aperitif (an aperitivo) is a pre-dinner drink that is served with a few small snacks. It is popular thing to do in Italy and a great way to unwind after a busy day sightseeing.

You can start with an aperitif at the lounge bar of Oro Bistrot and then move to the restaurant for dinner. Make your reservation in advance. For more information about rooftop bars and restaurants in Rome, check out our Rooftop Bars in Rome guide.

Altar of the Fatherland

The view from Oro Bistrot

Italy Travel Guide Florence

One Day in Rome: Itinerary #3

Rome on a Wednesday

If your one day in Rome falls on a Wednesday, there is the chance that the Pope will be holding an audience in St. Peter’s Square, which means that St. Peter’s Basilica will not open until the early afternoon. If you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, you can do one of two things: visit Vatican City in the afternoon or attend the audience.

You can find out if the Pope will be holding an audience here.

Here are two ways to plan your time on a Wednesday.

Colosseum, Vatican City, Historic Heart of Rome

9:00 am: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
11:30 pm: Lunch at La Prezzemolina (This is one of Rome’s best cheap eats…eat pizza by the slice. It’s a short walk from the Roman Forum).
12:30 pm: Metro or taxi to the Vatican Museums
1:00 pm: Vatican Museums
3:30 pm: St. Peter’s Basilica
5:00 pm: Walk to Piazza Navona and stroll through the historic heart of Rome
7:30 pm: Dinner

Audience with the Pope, Vatican City, Historic Heart of Rome

7:30 am: Arrive at St. Peter’s Square
9:00 am: Audience with the Pope (Get more information on the official website and get your ticket)
11:00 am: Vatican Museums
1:00 pm: Lunch
2:00 pm: St. Peter’s Basilica or the Colosseum
4:30 pm: Historic Heart of Rome walk
7:00 pm: Dinner

By choosing to attend the Papal Audience, you will have to give up either the Colosseum or St. Peter’s Basilica.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona | One Day in Rome

Are the Travel Passes Worth It?

There are several different travel passes in Rome, including the Roma Pass, the Omnia Card, and the Turbo Pass. The Roma Pass does not offer a one day version, so it is not worth it. The other two passes are even more expensive.

The passes only become worth it if you plan to spend several days in Rome with plans to visit attractions listed on those passes.

For this one day in Rome itinerary, it is best to book your tickets online in advance using the official websites or joining a tour of some sort.

How to Get Around Rome

The majority of the must-see sights in Rome are located in central Rome. It’s possible to get around mainly by walking, but you can save your steps, and a little bit of time, by also using the Rome metro or taking a taxi.

Taxi stands are set up throughout the city. On Google Maps, you can search “taxi stand” for the ones closest to your location. Then you get in the taxi first in line and tell them your next destination. We frequently do this and in 2022, every taxi we took used credit cards (but it is good to have some cash on hand as a back up). To tip the taxi driver, we added on 1 to 2 euros to the fare.

You can also use Uber but we ended up spending a lot of time waiting for the Uber to arrive and figured out it was quicker to walk to the closest taxi stand.

The metro is fast, cheap, and easy to use. It’s a lot more economical than a taxi. Just beware of pick pockets on the metro and in other crowded places throughout Rome.

Best Time to Visit Rome

Spring and fall are the best times of the year to visit Rome. During this time, the weather is great for sightseeing and crowds tend to be lower than the busy summer months. But here is a breakdown by season of what you can expect in Rome:

WINTER: It’s chilly in Rome during the winter months. Daytime high’s average around 13°C (55°F) and it is a little colder at night. Rainfall is slightly above average for the year (averaging about 7 days of rain per month in December, January, and February).

SPRING: In early spring, the high temperature is 16°C (60°F) and it continues to get warmer week by week, reaching an average high of 27°C (80°F) by June. Rainfall chances go down the closer you get to the summer months. May and June have warm weather and lower chances of rain than the fall and winter months.

SUMMER: Expect the biggest crowds of the year and hot weather during the summer months. Daily high temperatures average 31°C (87°F) but they can easily get up to 35°C (95°F). Rainfall is the lowest of the year. If you plan to visit in the summer months, make your hotel reservations far in advance as well as your entrance tickets into the museums.

FALL: In early fall, crowds can still be high, not really quieting down until the end of October. Daytime high’s range from 26°C (79°F) in early fall and cooling off to 17°C (62°F) by late fall. Autumn is the wettest time to visit Rome (mid-September through early December with rainfall peaking in November), so bring an umbrella if you plan to be here at this time.

VERDICT: The best time to visit Rome is May through mid-June. The weather is nice and crowds are manageable.

Tiber River Castel Sant Angelo

Tiber River and Castel Sant’Angelo | One Day in Rome

Where to Stay in Rome

For recommendations on where to stay, read our Best Hotels and Neighborhoods Guide for Rome. Learn where to stay for a great view of the Colosseum and Piazza Navona and get recommendations whether you are looking for a budget hotel, luxury hotel, or if you are traveling as a family.

Where to Eat in Rome

We listed several recommendations in this itinerary, but for a bigger list of recommended restaurants, take a look at our Rome Restaurant Guide. And for rooftop bars, take a look at our guide about the Rome Rooftop Bars.

Tours of Rome

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What shouldn’t you miss in Rome?

Here are the top 10 things to do in Rome if it is your first time in the city:

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
  • St. Peter’s Basilica (be sure to climb the dome!)
  • Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel
  • Stroll through the historic heart of Rome (Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona)
  • Eat gelato
  • Enjoy the view from the Altar of the Fatherland
  • Tour an underground site (Catacombs, Capuchin Crypt, or the Domus Aurea)
  • Galleria Borghese
  • Have dinner and drinks at a rooftop bar

How much time do you need in Rome?

Ideally, plan on spending two or more days in Rome. With 2 days, you have just enough time to visit all of Rome’s top attractions without cramming them into one very busy day. Even more time allows you to go off the beaten path, explore the underground sites and the Appian Way, visit a few neighborhoods, and sample some of Rome’s amazing restaurants.

Can I visit Rome in 1 day?

Yes, with one well planned day you can visit the must-see sights in Rome, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.

More Information for Your Trip to Rome

For a full list of things to do in Rome, check out our article Best Things to Do in Rome. For the best viewpoints of Rome’s famous landmarks, take a look at our article Best Views of Rome.

For advice on where to eat, read our guide about Where to Eat in Rome, that has restaurant recommendations near the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the historic heart of Rome, plus some great rooftop restaurants. We also have a guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome.

If you have more than one day in Rome, learn how to plan your time with our 2 Day Rome Itinerary, 3 Day Rome Itinerary and 4 Day Rome Itinerary.

Don’t miss our detailed guides about How to Visit the Colosseum and How to Visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Get recommendations on where to stay in Rome in our Rome Hotel Guide.


If you have any questions about this one day in Rome itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Venice. For those with more time, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights of Italy.

FLORENCE: For a list of things to do, take a look at our Florence Bucket List and learn how to plan your time with our 2 Day Florence Itinerary. We also have information about how to visit the Florence Cathedral, about the best rooftop bars in Florence, the best viewpoints in Florence, and where to stay in Florence.

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.

DOLOMITES: For a list of where to go and what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites and Best Hikes in the Dolomites. Learn how to plan your trip with our Dolomites Itinerary Travel Planner.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, Basilicata, and Puglia.

 

One Day in Rome Italy Itinerary

 

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Comments 2

  1. Avatar for Aimee
    Aimee

    If I want to see both the Colosseum and Vatican Museums/Basilica but budget-wise could only do 1 guided tour….which site do you think a guided tour would be most needed/beneficial ?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      That’s a great question. I think a guided tour of the Vatican would be more worthwhile. If you can do an early morning tour, that is a great way to see the Vatican before it fills up with people, but the early morning tours are pricey. There is so much history and artwork in the Vatican and it is a maze to navigate so a guide is helpful for various reasons. We also learned a lot at the Colosseum from our guide, but if you got the audio guide or had a good guidebook, this would be sufficient. Have a great time in Rome! Cheers, Julie

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