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Perfect 3 days in Rome itinerary (free map + tips)

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Looking for an easy to follow 3 days in Rome itinerary? We’ve got the perfect plan for your trip to Italy. You’ll see all of the best sights, eat delicious food, and have an unforgettable experience in the capital city of Rome. 

How to spend an epic 3 days in Rome!

We created this travel guide – so that you don’t have to do all the research and leave all the guesswork. Using our 3 day Rome itinerary, you will get a taste of everything there is about Rome and leave feeling like you experienced something truly special. 

It doesn’t matter if you have come to Rome once or twice – just know that every time will be better than the last!

Perfect 3 days in Rome itinerary: Travel tips and day by day sightseeing

3 day Rome itinerary

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Snapshot of 3 days in Rome itinerary 

  • Day 1 of Rome Itinerary: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Walking tour of Monti
  • Day 2 of Rome Itinerary: Vatican City (St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums), Castel Sant’Angelo, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps
  • Day 3 of Rome Itinerary: Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, the neighborhood of Trastevere

Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It has been called “the Eternal City,” “Caput Mundi,” or “Capital of the World.” It is also home to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel with the works of Michelangelo’s famous painting, the world’s largest amphitheater ever built (the Colosseum), and more.

The city offers an incredible variety of museums, monuments, churches, and palaces that are sure to impress visitors from all over the world. Whether you want to see ancient ruins or modern masterpieces, this city has it all!

Here are some quick Rome tips to kick start your itinerary.

Getting to Rome Italy: 

Rome is located in the central part of Italy, in the Lazio region. It is a great spot to start your Italian vacation. Rome is home to the largest and busiest airport and train station in the whole of the peninsula. 

Iconic Trevi Fountain in Rome 3 day itinerary

When flying from the United States/Canada and Europe you can arrive in one of Rome’s airports – Roma Fiumicino Airport, or Ciampino Airport. 

Roma Fiumicino Airport (also called the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport) is the busiest airport in Italy. This is where we landed from Canada. 

There are shuttle buses, express trains, and local trains to the heart of the city. Here are the transportation options from both airports.

Where to stay in Rome? Best hotels in Rome for sightseeing for 3 days

For a short 3 day Rome trip, we recommend staying in a central area. Within the city centre zone, and in and around it, you will find a variety of accommodation options from affordable rooms to fancy expensive suites. 

For effortless sightseeing, and a lively neighborhood opt for a hotel near the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, or Termini station. Trastevere and Prati (north of the Vatican) neighborhoods are also great options for all budget levels. 

We stayed at the Prassede Palace Hotel in Rome. It was conveniently located near sightseeing sites like the Colosseum, and the Termini Station. There were trattorias near the property as well.  In fact, the hotel has a cool restaurant on-site, and the rooms were super clean and beautiful. 

Our suite at the Praddede Palace Hotel

Prassede Palace Hotel in Rome is a 4-star hotel, with one of the friendliest staff. Click to book your stay here

Need more options? Here are some of the other hotel recommendations

  • Leonardo Boutique Hotel Rome Termini: Located near the Termini Station, this is a 4-star luxury property with good access to sightseeing places like Trevi fountain and the Colosseum. The rooms are clean, and the property has a hot tub on-site. You can check out photos here
  • Atlante Star Hotel: Another 4 star hotel, Atlante offers an amazing scenic restaurant and is located close to the Vatican city (in the Borgo neighbhorhood). It also offers free breakfast for the price of the room. The hotel rooms are stylish, and there are eateries nearby. Book your stay here
  • Condotti Boutique Hotel: Condotti Boutique hotel is located near the Spanish Steps, so it is perfect for walking and sightseeing with access to many attractions, bars, and shopping centres. It is also good value for money as it runs deals often. Book your stay here

Note that Rome city charges a tourist tax, which is levied per person, per day. It is to be paid in cash when you check out. 

Read: 4 days in Rome itinerary

Rome & Vatican Pass or Omnia Card: Transportation tips for Rome and the Vatican City

We have included sightseeing at the Vatican City as part of this 3 day Rome itinerary. For this reason, we recommend getting a combined Vatican and Rome pass which gives you free admission to certain sites, free unlimited public transportation along a hop-on and hop-off tour. This pass is valid for 3 days. 

View of the Vatican City – Saint Peter’s Basilica

The Rome Pass is worth it if you will use trains to get to various attractions, and planning to book separate entry tickets. We utilized the hop-on and hop-off tour included in this Pass and enjoyed free train rides. Hop on sightseeing buses also have a free audio guide on tour. 

Because we wanted to do in-depth sightseeing at the Colosseum, we booked a separate 3 hour Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tour with a guide. But this is optional. 

With the Rome Pass, you do get a fast-track entry ticket to the Colosseum. Get your Rome Pass here

Now, let’s go over the day by day Rome itinerary,

Day 1 of 3 days in Rome Itinerary: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Walking tour of Monti

On your very first day in Rome, explore the iconic landmark – Colosseum (along with the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill), and then finish the day with a self guided walking tour of the neighborhood of Monti.

Inside the Colosseum

In order to explore these sites, you do not need transportation if staying at a centrally located hotel. As we stayed at the Prassede Palace Hotel in Rome we walked to the Colosseum and arrived there in 15 minutes. 

Reaching the Colosseum early allowed us to take pictures without any crowds, and to also enjoy a lovely stroll at the complex. There is an entry fee to visit the interiors of the Colosseum, and depending on your ticket access level you can visit various floors, the arena, and the underground. 

A ticket to the Colosseum also includes entrance fees for the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, with or without a guide. We have written a detailed guide to visiting the Colosseum, you can read it here.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum is one of the most famous buildings in the world. It’s a symbol of ancient Roman architecture and engineering, as well as an iconic site for tourists visiting Italy. 

This amphitheater was built by Emperor Vespasian around 70 AD, and its construction took less than a decade. It was opened in the year 80 AD by his successor and son Titus.

Colosseum outer ring
Colosseum Outer ring
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum

The Colosseum in Rome, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre could accommodate about 50,000 spectators. It had four stories with multiple entrances on each level for guests to enter this massive structure! 

We recommend booking a tour like this one with a knowledgeable guide to visit these historic ruins and learn more about what life was like back then or just enjoy seeing something so old and beautiful up close.

BOOK: A guided tour with a guide OR a fast track entry ticket here

As we mentioned with this pass you can also visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. 

The Roman Forum is the most popular Rome Instagram spots. This site was a public square during the ancient Roman Empire, and with its fall the Forum was left to decay. 

Roman Forum

In the subsequent decades, many also looted the stones and marbles to build other structures. Today what remains is a beautiful ruin site, with many important monuments from antiquity including temples, basilicas, triumphal arches, and more!

Of all the structures here, the columns of the Temple of Julis and the Arch of Constantine will impress you! These are my favorites too!

The Palatine Hill is the most popular of the Seven Hills of Rome. This is where Roman emperors and the nobility resided. As part of the guided tour, you can explore what is left of the district including the Temple of Venus. 

Palatine Hill View
Palatine Hill View from the Colosseum

After exploring the Colosseum – UNESCO World Heritage Site, head to a restaurant or trattoria nearby for lunch. You will be able to find places to eat right across from the exit gates of the Colosseum. 

Monti Walking tour

Monti is a wonderful neighborhood in Rome. We recommend spending 3-4 hours in the afternoon wandering through the district, eating, shopping, and checking out a lot of attractions along the way. 

Monti also has a ton of local boutiques, selling fashionable clothing, bags, and other accessories. The beauty of Monti is cute places to eat and shop all tucked away in narrow lanes, and behind piazzas.

Monti District Highlights

This neighborhood is located at the centre – close to the Colosseum, Via dei Fori Imperiali, and other popular landmarks of Rome. So you can start at the Colosseum, and then make your way to Monti. It will take about 10 minutes to get there via the Serpenti St.

Another option is to head to a restaurant – Bar Monti, type it on Google Maps, and follow signs to get there. You can also stop here for lunch or drinks if you prefer!

Piazza dell Madonna dei Monti 

This is the popular piazza in the district of Monti. Piazza dell Madonna dei Monti takes its name from the church, located nearby Santa Maria dei Monti. Buy a nice gelato and then sit on the fountain’s steps to relax.  

This piazza is great for people watching as well. It is common to see people hanging out by the piazza at all times of the day, but it is still not super crowded! 

Quaint lanes of Monti in Rome
Quaint lanes of Monti

Via Urbana

This is a hip area of Monti. Via Urbana is home to cobblestone lanes and chic art and vintage shops and restaurants. 

There are also steep roads and narrow alleys all leading to, and moving away from Monti, like Salita dei Borgia / Via Leonina /Via degli Zingar. And it is really pretty to go on a stroll here. 

Trajan’s Column and Church of Santa Maria di Loreto

Trajan’s Market is a remarkable ruins complex, located on the opposite end of the Colosseum. You can also visit the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto here. 

If you walk further down you will at the Piazza Venezia. 

Quirinal Palace 

The Quirinal Palace is a must spot on your Monti walking tour. It is one of the three current official residences of the Italian President. If interested you can opt for a visit inside. 

Views from the Quirinal Hill

The palace is located on the Quirinal Hill, which is the highest of the seven hills of Rome, and this is why it makes for a nice sunset view from the piazza. 

Santa Prassede and Santa Maria Maggiore

Because we stayed at the Prassede Palace Hotel we also visited Santa Prassede and Santa Maria Maggiore on our way back. 

Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most important churches in Rome. The church dates back to the 4th century AD and it is home to stunning mosaics, beautiful frescoes, and chapels inside. 

Santa Prassede Church in Rome
Santa Prassede Church entrance

Santa Prassede, on the other hand, is an ancient church with beautiful ancient frescoes and Byzantine-style mosaics. 

The Monti district is a pretty large area, and it actually spreads over several of the 7 hills of Rome, and hence the name ‘Monti’, meaning ‘mountains’. 

All along this walking tour, you will find numerous trattorias, hip wine bars, and chic cafes where you can dine. So set aside time, and stop when you find anything interesting or fancy – that is the beauty of wandering through Rome’s neighborhoods!

OPTIONAL: Afternoon and evening activity

We will share an alternate sightseeing itinerary below, these activities will replace the Monti neighborhood exploration.

Right after the Colosseum tour and lunch, you can head to the Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church. It will take 15 minutes to walk from the Palatine Hill.

Carved from Pavonazzo marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one’s hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off.

Here you can check out the Mouth of Truth aka Bocca della Verità. This sculpture is dedicated to the God of the Sea and it is believed that it can catch a person if they are laying – almost like an ancient lie detector.  

You can also see the flower-adorned skull of St Valentine, housed inside the side altar on the left of the Basilica.

In the evening, opt for a food tour (2-4 hours). Here are some options,

Day 2 of 3 days in Rome Itinerary: Vatican City (St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums), Castel Sant’Angelo, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps

Spend day 2 of 3 days in Rome itinerary exploring the Vatican City highlights like the Saint Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. 

View of the Vatican and the Tiber River
View of the Vatican and the Tiber River

Thereafter, visit the Castel Sant’Angelo in the afternoon, followed by the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps in the evening. 

Vatican City – St. Peter’s Basilica 

The Vatican is the world’s smallest country, also known as a European microstate. This microstate dates back to the year 1929 when it was created via the Lateran Treaty between Italy and Holy See, proclaiming independence and sovereignty from each other

When you are in Rome, you can easily visit the Vatican City; as it is a walled enclave within the metropolis. The Vatican serves as the headquarters of the Catholic Church and seat of its central administration.

Magnet with the Vatican at the backdrop. Great Rome Instagram spot
View of the Vatican

We arrived at the Ponte Umberto bridge first and then walked to Saint Peter’s Square. Ponte Umberto is the name of the bridge that connects Piazza di Ponte Umberto I to Piazza dei Tribunali, and is built over the River Tiber.

Once you are at St. Peter’s Square, take a good walk at the largest squares in Christendom. And then enter the Saint Peter’s Basilica; and the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel.

Saint Peter’s Basilica is the prime structure here, and it is completely free to enter and explore. This Basilica is the most famous, largest, and important church in the world. 

Often considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture St Peter’s Basilica was designed by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. 

Saint Peter's Basilica
Saint Peter’s Basilica at the background

For centuries, it has been regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines as it is home to the resting place of Saint Peter. The Basilica is also home to some of Catholicism’s most spectacular artworks including Michelangelo’s Pietà and his glorious frescoes on the ceiling as well as Raphael’s tapestries. 

One of the many things that make St. Peter’s Basilica so special is that it can accommodate up to 60,000 attendees! 

Vatican Museums and the famous Sistine Chapel

Up next are the Vatican Museums. This is a huge complex and is made up of 26 different museums.

It is one of the largest public museums in the world, and it displays a lot of artwork from ancient Roman and Egyptian artifacts, to religious objects, in beautifully painted rooms with modern art. 

Tourists visiting one of the halls of the Vatican Museums in Rome

The Vatican Museums are housed in a complex of multiple Apostolic palaces, but the Sistine Chapel makes it the most popular. 

The Sistine Chapel is famous for its architecture and frescoes painted by renowned Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, and Domenico Ghirlandaio to name a few.

The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel one of the masterpieces of Michelangelo Buonarroti in the Vatican

We recommend booking a guided tour of the Vatican museums with the Sistine Chapel. Both these sites are extremely popular, and tickets can be sold out. By reserving tickets or tours prior to your visit, you can save time and the hassle of waiting in long queues. 

For a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican museums, book this 2 hour tour

After exploring the Vatican, break for lunch. Just before you exit Saint Peter’s Square you will find restaurants and cafes to sit down and grab a nice meal. From here head over to the Castel Sant’Angelo.

Castel Sant’Angelo 

The Castel Sant’Angelo is a monument in Rome, which was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family. It is often called the Mausoleum of Hadrian or the Hadrianeum. 

The castle later was used as a fortress by the Popes. You can book an hour of sightseeing inside the castle. There are 7 floors in total, full of exhibits including some incredible artworks including sculptures from Bernini, paintings from Raphael, and frescoes from Michelangelo himself!

After exploring the artifacts, do climb up the spiral staircase to reach the Chamber of Ashes. This is where you will be greeted with a panoramic view of Rome city and the River Tiber from the castle terrace. 

Don’t forget, you can reserve and book tickets here

It is important to note that this castle is located on the Ponte Sant’Angelo, which is one of the bridges leading to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. So it is just a short walk from Saint Peter’s Square. 

Ponte Sant’Angelo (also known as the Aelian Bridge or Pons Aelius) is a great spot to capture the bridge, the river, and the Basilica!

After sightseeing, walk the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge, aka the Bridge of Angels to continue sightseeing in Rome!

The next 2 spots on the 3 day Rome itinerary will be quick ones, as it will be explored from the outside (without getting inside). However, they are Rome’s primary attractions – Trevi Fountain, and Piazza di Spagna with the Spanish Steps.  

Trevi Fountain and Piazza di Spagna are located about 15 to 20 minute walk from each other and are best explored on foot. Note that these spots also get extremely busy during the day, but if you stick around until the evening you will be able to see them aglow under the moonlights (and decorative lights around the site).

Photo tip: For an effortless photoshoot, you must head there in the morning (to beat the crowds). You can push this for day 3 of this Rome itinerary if you like and cover both spots in an hour, before moving on. 

Trevi Fountain: 

The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. It was built by Nicola Salvi between 1732 and 1762 and today it has become an iconic symbol for the city of Rome. 

Beauitful Trevi Fountain

The fountain is located at the junction of three roads (tre vie) via delle Muratte, via dei Crociferi, and via delle Tre Fontane, and this is the origin of its name – Trevi Fountain or three street fountain. 

You can visit the fountains at any time of day – where mornings are great for photos, it is equally stunning at sunset when the lights are up!

At the Trevi Fountain, you can throw a coin or two, and make a wish. Yes, you are allowed to do so. All the coins are given away for a noble cause. Note that it is a crime to steal coins here, and also it is forbidden to sit on the fountain guard rails (near the fountains below) – you will find policemen patrolling the area. 

Trevi Fountain in Rome
Trevi Fountain!

The square in and around the fountain is called the Piazza di Trevi and there are lots of souvenir shops and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat. 

Up next is the Spanish Steps. Trevi Fountain to Spanish Steps is 8 minute walk away. 

Spanish Steps: 

The Spanish Steps is a popular Instagrammable spot in Rome. It is considered the widest and longest staircase in Europe. In Italian, it’s called “Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti”, and the entire staircase is composed of 12 ramps and 135 travertine steps. 

Spanish Steps in Rome
Spanish Steps

This staircase is located in the Piazza di Spagna (called the Square of Spain), and it leads to the Trinita dei Monti Church. Once you arrive at the square, snap a photo at the steps and then make your way to the church. 

Remember it is forbidden to sit on the steps, but you can surely climb up and down to reach the Trinita dei Monti Church, and back.

After visiting the church, take a stroll at the Piazza di Spagna where you will find amazing restaurants and bars to enjoy a drink and a meal. There are also popular designer brands like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton which are located at the square. 

Day 3 of Rome 3 day Itinerary: Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia & Altare della Patria, the neighborhood of Trastevere

Final day in Rome, and we give you two itinerary options here. We will start with the popular attractions like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the neighborhood of Trastevere. 

The alternate sightseeing has another piazza (People’s Square), Villa Borghese, and a stunning viewpoint!

If the Pantheon is on your Rome bucket list, then day 3 will be exciting for you. We recommend starting early to be able to snap a photo, have breakfast at a trattoria nearby and then get in line to enter this Roman temple (now a church).

Pantheon: 

The Pantheon is one of the most well-preserved ancient Rome buildings. It was built by Marcus Agrippa as a temple for all the Roman gods but later converted into a church when Christianity became popular. Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 AD. 

Girl at the Pantheon
At the Pantheon

With its beautiful architecture and incredible history, this is a must-see attraction when visiting Rome. The stunning dome of the Pantheon symbolizes how the Roman empire was to be seen – its perfection and continuity showing a connection between the heavens, Roman gods, and the ruler. Hadrian had his court under this dome. 

To visit the Pantheon is completely free. We recommend making your trip early in the morning hours, between 9:00 am – 11:00 am to enter the Pantheon. For best photos, get there before the gates open.

Note that weekends are busier as compared to weekdays for visiting the Pantheon. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour for exploring the interiors.  

Piazza Navona

Head to Piazza Navona next. Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful places in all of Rome. It’s a large square with fountains, statues, and an obelisk. 

Piazza Navona

The buildings surrounding the piazza are also very impressive. They were built during the Renaissance period and have been well preserved over time. 

It was built in the first century AD and has been used as a market, a stage for entertainment, a stadium, and even as a bullfighting arena!

Today, you will find fountains, statues, and buildings with wonderful architecture. It is particularly known for its Baroque architecture including the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers).

Fountain of Four Rivers
Fountain of Four Rivers

When you walk into this piazza, it will feel like stepping back in time. You will be surrounded by beauty everywhere you look – from the architecture to the artwork to the people walking around enjoying their day just like you are!

You can spend hours admiring the architecture here or just relax on one of the many benches while enjoying some gelato from nearby cafes. This is perfect to break for lunch, and then go on sightseeing. 

Piazza Venezia, Palazzo Venezia and Altare della Patria

Piazza Venezia, also known as the Venice Square is a central hub in Rome. Piazza Venezia is found where four major roads in Rome meet, namely the Via del Corso, Via del Plebiscito, Via di Teatre Marcello and Via dei Fori Imperiali. 

Piazza Venezia with the palace (on the left), Trajan's Column (on the right)
Piazza Venezia

This square is named after the Palazzo Venezia, a palace that was built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo alongside the church of Saint Mark (who was the patron saint of Venice). Pietro Barbo later on, became Pope Paul II. 

Palazzo Venezia has been a remarkable building over the years. It has served as the Embassy of the Republic of Venice and was used by the Austrian ambassador. 

In the 20th century, the Palazza was taken over by the Italian government, and this is where Benito Mussolini made important decisions and even delivered speeches to citizens. 

You can visit the Palazzo Venezia today, and explore Museo di Palazzo, a museum of Medieval and Renaissance art.

Located at the Piazza Venezia is also the gorgeous Victor Emmanuel II Monument. Known as the Altar of the Fatherlan (Altare della Patria) is one of the coolest and grandest monuments in Rome. It was built to honor Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of a unified Italy. 

Victor Emmanuel II Monument
Victor Emmanuel II Monument

You can visit the monument from the inside. The full ticket for the terrace view is 12 euros and also includes entry to the Museum of the Risorgimento and the Museum of Palazzo Venezia.

Explore Trastevere, one of Rome’s neighborhoods 

In the late afternoon, wander to one of Rome’s popular neighborhoods of Trastevere. 

Trastevere has lured tourists to its colorful cobblestone lanes, medieval-era buildings, ancient piazzas, and cute-sy trattorias for years. This neighborhood is separated from the historic center by River Tiber. 

Old street in Trastevere in Rome, Italy

You can get there by train, and then explore on foot. Trastevere is reasonably quiet during the day, and even at night although there are activities (and lights), it is not super crowded. 

With its charming cobblestone streets and picturesque views, you won’t be able to resist photographing the neighborhood. When in Trastevere try out the real Roman (thin crust) pizza, and sit by a piazza for a relaxed evening.

Old fashioned orange motorbike on a street of Trastevere district, Rome

To sign off your 3 day itinerary for Rome, you can also book a food tour. Here is a Trastevere food tour (evening), which is perfect. It starts in the evening and lasts for 3-4 hours in the neighborhood. 

You can hop numerous trattorias and ristorante on a guided walking tour and try out different kinds of pasta, wines, drinks, and more. Book it here

Other options: Street food tour | Trastevere food and drinks tour

OPTIONAL: Afternoon and evening activity

Instead of the Piazza Venezia and Trastevere in the second half of 3 day of this Rome itinerary, you can visit the Borghese gardens and the gallery, followed by Piazza del Popolo & Pincio Terrace.

Villa Borghese (Galleria Borghese)

Villa Borghese is a beautiful garden in Rome. It is completely free to visit the garden.

Home to a number of historical buildings, museums, and structures, it makes the Villa Borghese the third largest garden in the city. So if you are looking to relax, head there for a picnic in the afternoon. 

Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy

These gardens were developed for the Villa Borghese Pinciana, which houses the Borghese Gallery.

For visiting the Borghese Gallery or Galleria Borghese you must pre-book your tickets. This is a museum where you can check out sculptures and paintings made by Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Titian, and other artists.

As well as exploring the museum, you can stroll around the villa’s gardens, enjoy the views over the Piazza del Popolo and other landmarks of Rome. 

Piazza del Popolo & Pincio Terrace 

Pincio Terrace is a stunning viewpoint in Rome, which is connected to the Villa Borghese gardens. It sits at the top of the Pincian Hil. 

From the terrace, you can come down to the Piazza del Popolo aka People’s Square. This is the largest square in Rome and is home to three churches and two fountains, namely the Fountain of Neptune, and Goddess Roma. 

Pincio Terrace

You can also exit the Villa Borghese and then walk to Piazza del Popolo. 

At the square, admire the Flaminio obelisk located at the center. The 36 metre high Egyptian Flaminio Obelisk has been standing tall since the 16th century. It was brought to Rome by Emperor Augustus in 10 BC., to honor the conquest of Egypt.

Piazza del Popolo
Piaza del Popolo

In the past, Piazza del Popolo was an important site for public executions. This square is amazing at any time of day, but particularly in the evening as it comes alive with locals and visitors, hanging out, and enjoying Rome. 

For dinner, head to a trattoria near the square. 

Exploring Rome in 3 days: Free sightseeing map

Additional tips for 3 day Rome itinerary

Here are additional Rome travel tips, 

Travel Visa and documents for Rome 

Rome is the capital city of Italy, a European country. Being a European Union member, Italy belongs to the Schengen zone of countries and follows the Schengen Agreement. So, 

  • If you are a citizen of a not visa-exempt country, then you will require a Schengen visa to enter and visit Italy and the Vatican City,
  • If you are a United States and Canadian national, no tourist visa is required for visiting and staying in Italy for up to 90 days

When is the best time to visit Rome?

Rome is amazing at all times of the year, but to save money (and a little time from queuing up) plan a trip to Rome in the off-season. 

Rome in November

The spring and fall months are pleasant in terms of weather as well. Temperatures are perfect for outdoor sightseeing, or wandering at a piazza. 

Off seasons also means cheaper flights and accommodation in Rome. Monthwise, April to June and late September to October for travel to Rome. 

To save on flights, book a trip in the months of January or February to score a good flight deal. We have checked flights from Toronto, San Franciso, and New York City; and they are a tad cheaper in these months as compared to August or summer-early fall. 

What to pack for Rome? 

When packing for Rome, consider the warm day time temperatures and the type of places you will be visiting. Rome has a strict dress code for churches and places of worship. Many of the ruin sites are uneven, and outside, and so that requires comfortable walking shoes and a hat during warmer months. 

What to wear and pack for Rome

Here are some quick tips for packing to Rome, 

  • Wear comfortable shoes: Walking shoes are a must for Rome – it is known as the city of seven hills for a reason. You will end up walking quite a bit in the historical center and hence wearing comfortable walking shoes is important!
  • Clothes: Opt for cotton, breathable clothes for your trip to Rome. Pack 1-2 tops or dresses with long sleeves, mid length to visit religious sites. 
  • Waterproof jacket: Highly recommend carrying a lightweight waterproof jacket when visiting Rome in November as it is the wettest month of the year. 
  • Accessories: Add a sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen 
  • Universal adaptor: Rome (and Italy) uses the round power pins, unlike the flat ones here in North America. So you will need a universal adapter. Here is what we recommend
  • Anti theft backpack: We recommend carrying an anti theft backpack when you are out and about exploring touristy sites, or traveling on trains. 
  • Travel documents: As always don’t forget your travel documents, credit cards, currency and travel insurance.
Is 3 days enough for Rome?

Rome in 3 days will allow you to explore the prime city highlights like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and also give you relaxation time at historic neighborhoods and colorful quarters. 
With 3 days, you can also venture on a day trip outside of Rome like the Hadrian’s Villa, or the UNESCO Site of Pompeii.

How can I see Rome in 3 days?

The best way to make the most of your 3 days in Rome is to cluster similar attractions together (neighborhood wise) and then explore on foot – stop by a trattoria, browse a local store or sit down at a piazza devouring a gelato. 
Stay at a centrally located hotel, and buy the Roma Pass to save on attractions tickets, and public transportation to get to different areas such as the Vatican City, or Trastevere.

What is a good 3 days in Rome budget?

We recommend setting aside $150 USD per day per person (shared accommodation in a 3-star property in the city center area).  In the off-season, like November through February, you can find a nice hotel for less and can budget for $120 per day per person.

In terms of budget, Rome is similar to Paris. You can explore some of the attractions for free, and for some, you will need to budget for $30-$55 USD for entrance fees. Hotels will be around $100 USD (mid-budget property), it will be cheaper for a hostel. 

Food isn’t expensive in Rome. You can sit down by a piazza after grabbing a meal to go. Choose trattorias (especially by the metro) and you have a decent meal for 6 euros or less (per person). Of course, fancy dining places will obviously cost more. 

Buy the Rome and Vatican Pass to save money on transportation and entrance fees.

How many days in Rome are enough?

You will need 3 full days to enjoy Rome intimately. If you have an extra day, it will be better for shopping, a day trip, flying in/out, or connecting to another city in Italy.

Is 4 days enough for Rome?

With 4 days in Rome, you can surely explore some of the offbeat attractions like the Appian Way gems, and also cover museums such as the Borghese Gallery, or check off offbeat spots like the Pyramid of Cestius, the Giardino degli Aranci, and the Keyhole of the Knights of Malta. Or just extend it for a day tour to Pompeii ruins.

Rome is a city like no other, and it’s one of those places that you absolutely need to visit in your lifetime. There are so many things to do there – from the Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum (and everything else) – but we don’t want this post to become too long!

If you’re looking for more info on our favorite Italian destination, head over here or check out some of our Italy travel guides below,

Explore Rome in 3 days

3 day itinerary for Rome

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