9 places you should visit when in Rome

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Ahhh Rome… the eternal city! The city of love and romance, of art, literature, architecture, monuments, history, food, gelato and wine. An ancient and authentic place, where you constantly step on history, a city on everyone’s bucketlist – if not, it should be.

Rome is one of the major tourist destinations in Europe, according to Forbes it is the 14th most visited city in the World. And there is probably no need to visit the city to know how stunning this place is, though who wouldn’t like to see it with your own eyes?

There is so much to see and visit in Rome, that it can be difficult to embrace everything in a short stay in the city. The main attractions are not often close to each other,Β and one must consider making a plan beforehand in order to enjoy the most of the eternal city.

As I have visited the city three times, I thought it was appropriate and probably helpful, to present 9 places worth your visit, how much time you will need for each, and some additional tips to make the most of out of them…

So here are 9 places you should visit when in Rome:

The Colosseum

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Constructed in 72 AD, the Colosseum is probably the most visited attraction in Rome. This amphitheater is the largest ever built by the Romans, with capacity for 50,000 people. Don’t underestimate the power and beauty of these ruins, from the outside and especially from the inside, you will breath pure history at the Colosseum. A must visit in Rome.


  • Buying your ticket in advance, especially during the summer season, is highly recommended.
  • For a deeper understanding of the Colosseum’s history get an audio guide.

Buy your ticket

Duration: 1-2 hours

Palatine Hill & Roman Forum

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

The Palatine Hill is one of oldest parts of Rome, where there are signs that people lived here since around 1000 BC. The remnant ruins of this place are incredible -where you literally step on history – and the view it provides to the city is simply unique.

The Roman Forum is located right next to the Palatine Hill. It used to be a place where elections, processions, public speeches, criminal trials and many other major public events happened.

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase


  • The Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum are located right beside the Colosseum, making it easy to visit all three attractions in one day.
  • Be aware that this attraction requires a certain amount of time for a visit; it is like an enormous open-air museum. Don’t leave it for the end of the day.
  • It is possible to buy a ticket that includes the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, which can be used during 2 days.

Buy your ticket

Duration: 1-3 hours

Castel & Ponte Sant’ Angelo

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

When crossing the Sant’Angelo bridge is already possible to admire this stunning Castle, which used to be the tallest building in Rome. The Castel Sant’Angelo was formerly the mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family. It was also used by the popes as a fortress and a castle, as well as a prison, nowadays it is a museum.


  • If you are not into museums or don’t have enough time to go in, taking a look around the Castle and the garden around is already worth the visit.
  • Perfect picture spot: from the bridge Sant’Angelo.

Buy your ticket

Duration: 30 minutes -1,5 hour

The Vatican

The Vatican, by Packing my Suitcase

Within waking distance from the Castel Sant’ Angelo is the Vatican, where the center of the Catholic Church concentrates, at the Basilica of St. Peter. At the same time that the Vatican is the smallest country in the World – with 0,44 square meters – the Basilica of San Peter is the biggest church in existence. Visiting this tiny country within Rome is a must, even for those who follow other religion beliefs or are not that into religion at all. Here it is possible to visit the tombs of the past Popes, and in certain days of the week, it is possible to see the current Pope giving his blessings from his famous window.


  • Even being a small country, there are many things to see in the Vatican like the museum, the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica itself, and more.
  • To enter the Basilica and the museums it is important to dress appropriately, pass through a security check and show your passport.
  • The entrance to the Basilica of St. Peter is free, but for the museums and Sistine Chapel you need a ticket.
  • If the pope is in Rome, he always appears at the window on Wednesdays and Sundays. For more information about the schedule and messes click here.
The Vatican, by Packing my Suitcase

Pope Bento XVI

  • If you are in the Vatican on the 24th of December, you might have the chance to watch the midnight mass. There is no entrance fee for this event, only standing in line.

Buy your tickets

Duration: 1-3 hours (it really depends on what you want to see)

Gianicolo Hill

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Located at the west side of the River Tiber – just above the Vatican – this hill offers one of the most amazing views over Rome’s landmarks. Here there is the famous statue of the Italian hero Giuseppe Garibaldi mounted on his horse. A quiet place to finish your day with a sunset over the city.

Duration: 30 min -1 hour

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Fontana di Trevi

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Probably the most famous fountain in the World, the Fontana di Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and has appeared is several movies throughout the years. Apart from its history, it is a tradition to throw coins into the fountain: with your right hand to your left shoulder. It is said that you have to throw three coins, to each one you can make a wish, though one of them should be: return to Rome! So far it has worked for me… should I be looking forward to my 4th time in the eternal city?


  • Enjoy your visit to the fountain to relax and have a gelato in one of the many options around.
  • The fountain is beautiful at any time of the day, but somehow I find it at night even more amazing!

Duration: as long as you want!

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Centro Storico

Rome, Italy. By Packing my SuitcaseThe old town of Rome is probably the most beautiful one you will ever visit. Here you will encounter an array of restaurants and bars, squares such as the famous Piazza Navona, museums, souvenirs, painters and their wonderful art, Vespas everywhere, noise and people, stores and buildings that were built centuries ago.


Enjoy, but be careful not to get lost!

Duration: as long as you want!

Isola Tiberina

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Most people don’t consider visiting or even passing by this tiny island in the shape of a boat, which is located in the Tiber River. Tiber Island is one of the most ancient islands in the World, with more history than one might imagine. It used to be the temple of Asclepius – the Greek god of medicine and healing – constructed some time around 293 BC by the Roman Senate with the belief to make the plague go away. The island has always been associated with medicine and healing since then.

Duration:Β as long as you want!

Keyhole at Piazza of Knights of Malta

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Also known as the “hole of Rome”, this is not an attraction normally among the top 10 of Rome, and most people don’t even know it exists or even how to find it. The special thing about this keyhole is that looking through the tiny hole, you have the perfect centered view of the Vatican. Some of you might remember it from the movie The Da Vinci Code.


  • To find this place you need to go to this address: Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 3.
  • It is important to mention that it is only a closed door, there is no number on it and it is not possible to enter.
  • Enjoy your time around this part of the city and contemplate amazing views over Rome from the nearby gardens.
  • If you don’t mind walking, from here you can go by foot to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum.

Duration: max. 30 minutes (depends on the line… so go early)

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Where to stay

I highly recommend staying at Hotel Rinascimento. It is a very well located hotel, within walking distance to almost all attractions in Rome, very easy access to transportation, right at the Centro Storico, with great rooms and an amazing croissant for breakfast!

Rome, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase

Now tell me… have you ever been to Rome? Any plans to go?

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • I was in Rome for a couple of days during a cruise once and it was so bloody hot I almost couldn’t stand it! Beautiful place though I would love to go again when it’s a bit less warm πŸ™‚


    • Ohhh my I believe you! Rome can be veeeery hot during the summer!! My first time there was also veeery hot, I preferred going during winter πŸ˜€
      I hope you get to go to Rome again and explore it a bit more when its not so hot πŸ˜‰

  • Fabulous list! Hubby is Roman, so we go there often….love the “key hole!” Brava!

    • Thank you dear Diana πŸ˜€ glad to hear this compliment for you, since you are Italy’s expert around here πŸ˜€
      I didn’t know your Hubby is Roman, how cool!!!!
      I also love the keyhole, I discovered it last time I went there πŸ˜€

  • Kat

    I love, love, LOVE Rome! I was there in 2008 and if budget permits, I would love to revisit all these places in Rome. And I must say, Rome actually met my expectations, if not, exceeded. Everything I have read or seen about Rome, it is exactly the same in real life…unlike Paris. Thanks for sharing this post πŸ™‚

    • SAME THING here!! I love Rome too, and this city certainly exceeded my expectations too!! There is so much to explore in this city that every time I go I find a new place to visit!

      I hope you do go back to Rome soon πŸ˜€

  • Great round up although i think Piazza Navona deserves an entry on its own. And Campo di Fiori!

  • Oh wow! ROME! πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting this, I am going to bookmark it for my trip there in September. The Coliseum is simply incredible, one of the best 10 attractions in all of Europe (that’s a good idea for one of your future posts ;)), but do you know if Trevi Fountain is still “dry”? They were doing work on it last year and it was not flowing. I don’t want to turn up there and not be able to see it in all its glory! πŸ™ Oh and the Keyhole of Rome is awesome, I must find it when I make the trip! I wish there was something like that in Asia somewhere….

    • Yaaayy awesome, perfect timing for you to use the tips for your visit, how exciting that you are going to Rome this year!
      About the fountain, I can’t tell you because last time I went there it was December 2013 and it was all right.
      But I can tell you that the Coliseum is being restored and they won’t finish until 2016 I guess! πŸ™

      The keyhole is awesome!!! I was very happy that I managed to find it! It was a bit tricky, but I did it πŸ˜€ and the area where it is located it pretty nice! πŸ˜€ let me know if you need any further tips, I will try my best to help you!

    • I can answer about the fountain. My friend went a few years ago, and it’s under construction. It was hidden by curtains and they were restoring it. It was not only dry, but not visible πŸ™

      • A few weeks, and not a few years … oops

        • hahaha πŸ˜€ I got it!
          Thats pretty sad πŸ™ and someone told me that the Coliseum is also under construction!

          • Hmm 2015 is maybe not the best year to visit πŸ˜‰

          • Probably not πŸ™
            But I think you can always check online what is under construction in Rome. Next year will probably be done πŸ˜€

  • I’ve never been to Rome, but really want to go! Beautiful pictures…Ooooo, I could just pack up my suitcase right now!

    • Rome is a city I am sure you would love to visit πŸ˜€ I don’t know why, but something tell me you would have a lovely time there!! So I hope you do go sometime!!

  • It’s like you read my mind… I am going to do a Time Travel post on Rome soon. It’s my favourite city in the whole world. Thanks for taking me back there through your wonderful photos.

    • Ohh yess, when I was writing this text I was thinking of you, because I remembered reading a post of yours about Rome I guess, and you said you loved the city!!
      I will look forward to reading your post about the eternal city!!
      By the way, my post about the 10 random travel facts will be on this week πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  • I checked off almost all of these sights when I visited Rome in 2008 (plus the Pantheon – surprised it wasnt on your list). The inside of the St Peter’s Basilica took my breath away with the enormity of the space. I stayed in the old town and loved it, and overall the city felt so alive and intense.

    • Yess the Basilica is amazing!!! I am always impressed when I go there.
      I still didnt visit the Pantheon, I have to do it next time!! There is still so much to see in Rome… and I still need to find a good restaurant there!!

      You are so right, the city is veeery alive and intense, I love it!! The old town is my favourite part, even though I got lost there many times hahaha πŸ˜€

  • I have promised mom I won’t go to Rome without her because she really wants to see the city, I was hoping we would go this year, but now I’m not so optimistic. πŸ™ Still, your photos are great and I’ll be coming back to this post when I finally buy tickets πŸ˜€

    • Really?? How awesome is that!! You have to keep your promise then! I hope you both make it to Rome soon, if not in 2015, then in 2016 πŸ˜€ Your mom will love Rome!! πŸ˜€

  • This is a great list! I have only been to Rome once, but am itching to get back (and was just taking about it this week!). I have not been to all the places on this, and haven’t even heard of some, so will make sure to add them to the list when I return!

    • Thank you dear πŸ˜€ happy that you liked it!!
      It is always so good to be back in Rome… I still have so many places to visit there!

      There is so much so see that I think we will always have something new to discover in Rome!
      I hope you do go back sometime soon πŸ˜€

  • Great tips! I am trying to plan a trip to Rome this year and definitely want to make it to most of these places!

    • Thats awesome Amanda!! I hope the post helps you… apart from these places there are still many others to visit in Rome!! I am sure you will love the city πŸ˜€

  • Some great tips – a lot of places I’d never heard of! Nice to know there are a few hidden gems in a city as popular as Rome πŸ™‚

    • Thank you John πŸ˜€
      Its pretty hard to find a gem in Rome indeed… even the gems you will still find some people haha… the keyhole for example is already becoming popular!
      Next time I gotta find some others hahaha

  • When did you go ? My friend came back from Rome not so long ago and she told me that the Fontana di Trevi is under construction right now for several months. She was a bit sad, it was supposed to be one of the highlights of her city trip πŸ™

    • I went in December 2013, back then it was all ok. But Im guessing now there must be a few sightseeings under construction πŸ™ Still, it us worth it πŸ˜€

  • What a lovely narration of the beautiful locations of the fantastic place of Rome. I have not yet visited and when I visit it will be your wonderful guide notes next to me to enjoy the place, I am pretty sure nothing better way to explore the city than your tips.

    Yes, I have heard a lot from my relatives who have visited and really appreciated the Colosseum, the Fontana di Trevi Fountains… you visited many times and you with an eye for details and lovely thoughts on appreciating and analyzing such places with historical significance, no body better could have captured the thoughts and the images the way you have done.

    cheers for your great travel and wonderful description…happy travelling.

    • Thank you for the kind words Nihar πŸ˜€
      I hope someday you get to visit Rome… it is no doubt a fantastic city. I am sure that you would describe it even better than me!
      I am very happy that you enjoyed the text πŸ˜€

      Happy writing for you! πŸ˜€
      Cheers from Brazil!

      • O! you are now in Brazil…yes, I am planning and may be this year or next year shall make a visit to Rome and spend some quality time to explore the city…the history, the culture and the people…No question you have a beautiful knack of describing places and people, and love that…
        Happy stay in Brazil…

        • Awesome Nihar, this sounds like a great plan!! Fingers crossed that you will go to Rome and have a wonderful time there πŸ˜€

          Thank you πŸ˜€ I am enjoying the Brazilian sun before I head back to the German winter πŸ˜‰

          • Yes, I must admit my fingers are also crossed as great plan remains a plan, and hope this plan I should be able to execute it better…
            Cheers to your lovely stay at Brazil…
            Enjoy yourself!!!

          • Fingers crossed you will!!
            Thank you so much… my time here is almost over and I need to get back to snowy Germany πŸ˜€

          • Shuttling between such high extreme weather of cold and warm…interesting and challenging, share you experience of two ends of the spectrum…

            Happy Vacation…

          • Yes!! I am back in Germany and its snowing a lot… really the extremes hahaha πŸ˜€

          • So, you are very much in the snow world…managing between these two extremes, how do you do it. Some times it is fun but for a longer time it needs adjustment. I think you have developed this wonderful dexterity.

            Have a great time…

          • I have to admit that I thought it would be harder… but I cope really well, at least I didn’t get sick πŸ˜€
            And especially today is pretty cold.. -9C oh my!

          • Minus 9…one needs to be fully geared up to such weather. Though some parts of northern India reels under such extreme temperature…but I haven’t spent much time is such freezing space. It is great to be there for a vacation and enjoy the outside surrounding but staying long in such temperature for outsider is really tough. Though I like winter and spending good time in winter resorts…

          • Yess, its pretty cold the last days! Last year the winter wasn’t so cold, but the year before we got -20. I dont mind the cold, as long as there is sun πŸ˜€
            Ohhh nice that you like spending time in winter resorts, do you liked skiing? πŸ˜€

          • Great to have those lovely coffee in such deep cold…but minus 20 is too strong for me to resist. Yes, we have a wonderful place called Gulmarg in Kashmir is a superb place for skiing, been there but not in winter, so have missed the skiing…will be trying out soon.

          • Ohhh that sounds awesome! I hope you do go skiing there sometime, I would love to read about it!

          • Yes, I will definitely do and share my experience and I am sure it just cannot be better than yours…
            You must visit Kashmir in India when you get an opportunity…

          • That would be amazing… I have 2 friends from India, they used to go to University with me, and they are veeery nice people… one of them told me I should visit Kashmir one day, and I would love to do that! πŸ˜€

          • I want you to visit whenever you get the time, my sincere request and I am sure you will always thank me for insisting this visit and you should do during the winter for skiing or just at the fad end of the season where you can witness the magical garden of tulips and many other rose gardens…lovely people and the place so beautiful. Yes, I am no way comparing with other such beautiful places, others are equally beautiful but there is something different.

          • It sounds so lovely that I wanna go soon!! Amazing… I would love to skii there, as well as see the tulips, because I love them πŸ˜€
            I will let you know if one day I go!! Thank you!

          • Yes, pls do let me know and knowing your passion for travel and choice of places, this will be close to joy and beauty at it’s best…

          • I will do for sure!! Thank you so much πŸ˜€

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    That little Isola Triberina island sounds just lovely – I didn’t even know about it when I went to Rome a few years ago now – I’ll definitely bookmark this for a future trip to Rome. I’d like to return as my hubby has never been!

    • I also didnt know about it… until last time I went πŸ˜€
      I love discovering new places in a city, especially in Rome!

      Ohhh you should definitely go back with your hubby there!! Mine also have never been there and next time I want to take him πŸ˜€

  • Would love to see all of these! Someday, I’ll make to Rome…

    • I hope you do make it to Rome sometime soon πŸ˜€ fingers crossed! It is a wonderful city!

  • Great tips, Allane! I have never been in Rome. But my husband says it is the most wonderful city he has visited. I hope to visit one days as well, and will try to visit everything on your list πŸ™‚

    • Happy that you liked it Hanne πŸ˜€
      Your husband is right… it is a wonderful city, I am always happy to return to Rome!!
      I hope you get to visit Rome with your husband sometime πŸ˜€

  • Super awesome list! I am afraid I have to visit Rome (again) but this time with my mother – and your list is a huge help to remind me of places to visit there. Thanks so much Allane! xoxoxo

    • Thank you πŸ˜€ I am happy that you liked it!!
      How sweet… I am sure you will enjoy the city with your mom!! Glad to contribute to your travel plans πŸ˜€ <3

      • πŸ™‚ thanks to you – it is a very helpful list for anyone who wanted to visit Rome! πŸ™‚

        • You’re welcome dear πŸ˜€ happy that you find it helpful!! There is much more to be added to this list, Rome is surprising πŸ˜€

  • Great post Allane! I went to Rome years ago now and there are lots of things on here that I didn’t even know about back then such as Isola Triberina which sounds so pretty πŸ™‚ I’ll have to go back one day and hopefully take my husband with me as he has never seen Rome!

    • Thank you Shikha!! Happy that you liked it <3
      Rome has so many wonderful places to visit that every time I go I find something new… I love that!
      I hope you do go back with your hubby, I am sure he will love the eternal city! I also need to take mine there too πŸ˜€

  • Had to show these pix to my 7-yr-old who studied European geography and history last yr. =) Great post.

    • Thank you πŸ˜€ happy that you liked the post!!
      Thank you for stopping by πŸ˜€

  • Rome is a beautiful place. It’s a historical place too. There are many historical and amazing places to visit. Colosseum, Basilica San Clemente, Janiculum Hill, Campo dei Fiori Market every place are very beautiful. Every travelers love Rome for his beauty.

    • So true πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for reading and for stopping by!
      I wish you a wonderful week!

  • jani321

    Rome is the most beautiful city in Italy. It offers a lot of attractions for visitors. I personally visited there before my nyc grand central terminal tour. Here I want to share a few name of famous attraction in Rome.
    β€’ Trevi Fountain
    β€’ Piazza Navona
    β€’ Palatine Hill
    β€’ Capitoline Hill

    • Hi Jani! Thank you for your comment!
      Rome is indeed amazing and I never get tired to go there!
      I like your choices, I have been to tall of them πŸ˜€
      Thank you for stopping by!