Many people ask me how to make a plan for a trip to Rome in 3 days, and even someone intends to visit Rome only just in 2.5 days, 2 days or even 1 day. Oh, how about it? Rome is a rather special city, diverse in the cultural identity, art, history and religion. For me, the experience of Rome has never been enough, because of its long and rich history that created an charm and ancient Rome city with many attractions, which are all listed as “must-see”. It is not exaggerating, to explore all Rome, you probably have to spend a whole week, and want to learn more deeper about the culture and history of this city, you may have to spend several months. However, not everyone has the opportunity to stay in Rome for so long, but there is a way for you to experience Rome in just a few days and learn about places to visit in this Italian capital, and feel about Rome in your own way. So, is Rome worth visiting? Let’s discover one of the most visited destinations in Europe through our Rome travel blog (Rome blog, Roma blog) with the fullest Rome travel guide (Rome city guide, Rome visitors guide) for a wonderful trip to Rome on a budget for the first time and suggested Rome 3 day itinerary including places to visit in Rome in 3 days, things and what to do in Rome in 3 days to find out the answer!
- Rome 2 days itinerary — Suggested Rome two days itinerary & what to do in Rome in 2 days [PART 2]?
- Rome 2 days itinerary — How to spend 2 days in Rome & what to do in Rome in 2 days? [PART 1]
- Rome 1 day itinerary — How to spend 24 hours in Rome?
- 9 things to know before visiting Rome
- Volterra guide — How to visit & Top things to do in Volterra Italy for first-timers
Rome travel blog: When is the best time to visit Rome?
Like some Mediterranean countries like Spain or Greece, the best time to go to Rome (Italy) is in March or October. This time is quite ideal for you to make a trip to here with beautiful weather during the day, less rain and murky like in winter.
From June to August is the peak tourist season in Rome, tourists are extremely crowded. Also in August, people here often go on vacation for a few weeks so not many shops are open, you need to note to avoid this time.
Rome blog: How to getting to Rome?
From other cities in Europe: In case of traveling from other cities in Europe to Rome there are many options, by plane, bus or tram. By plane, you can choose some good quality low-cost airlines such as RyanAir, Transavia or easyJet. If you go by bus you can find the bus of Eurolines, Flixbus, and by train, you can find the train tickets at Eurail.
Internal travel Italy: The most convenient way is to take the Italian national train Trenitalia, very good fare and convenient because the last stop is the Roma Termini central station located right in the city, from here you can catch the tram to travel around the city, very easy and convenient.
Rome travel blog: How to getting around Rome?
From the airport to the city center
Rome has 2 airports, Fiumicino (aka Leonardo da Vinci Roma) and Ciampino. From the airport you can take the tram, shuttle bus or taxi into the city.
From Fiumicino Aiport
If you come to Rome from abroad, you will probably land at this airport because this is the main airport in Rome. If you take the train, you go down under the hall of Terminal 3 and there are 2 main lines are Leonardo Express (run straight to Roma Termini station – 14€) and Sabina–Fiumicino FR1 (run to other stations – 8€), you can buy tickets at ticket vending machines or ticket counters. If you take a shuttle bus, the fare is cheaper, about 4–8€/way and there are many firms to choose from, usually to the central station.
From Ciampino Aiport
If you take a train you have to take a short trip of COTRAL/SCHIAFFINI bus to the train station for 1€, then take the train to Roma Termini station for 1.5€, this is cheapest way. If you traveling by shuttle bus, it is a bit more expensive with a ticket price of 5€/way.
To getting from the city to the airport, you just take the shuttle bus from the central station for a quick ride, the most late bus of the day usually departs from 9:30 pm – 10 pm. There is usually a row of bus ticket counters right in front of the station, but in the evening they often do not sell. So if you go in the evening, you can go directly to the parking lot on the right edge of Termini station in the direction of going from outside to the station and buying tickets directly from the driver. For those who have an early flight the next day like me will most likely have to take the bus to the airport from the night before and sleep at the airport to not to be missed the flight the next morning.
Getting around Rome
Metro (subway): Rome is not too big and the places to visit are mostly have metro stations there, so the main means of transportation in Rome is by metro (subway). The fare for a metro line are 1.5€ and if you travel a lot you can buy a daily ticket (tickets for 1, 2, 3 days with the corresponding fare of 7€, 12.5€, 18€, or ticket of 7 days with cost 24€. If you stay in Rome for 3 days or less, I think you do not need to buy a daily ticket because getting around Rome is mostly by foot because the attractions are quite close together. After going to an attraction in your itinerary like Vatican or Colosseum, you leave the station and now walking is the best decision.
Important: Note that when taking a train or traveling in public areas you have to be extremely wary of pocket theft and scams everywhere. I once had a theft in front of the Colosseum that I never forget, an occurrence that took me a whole day to recover, terrible.
Vespa: Another option is to hire a Vespa to get around the ancient city of Rome, look stylish, but I find it suitable for those who want to rent to experience or really like Vespa Italy because the rental price is expensive, while walking and traveling by train is still more convenient. The price of the rent for a motorbike is about 50 euros/day, bike rental is about 7-8 euros/day.
Important note: An extremely significant experience when traveling in Rome, especially when using the bus, is that you absolutely need to buy a ticket before getting on the bus. You can buy tickets at the automatic ticket machines, or at ticket counters at the main bus stations and terminals, and never step on the bus and ask for a ticket from the bus driver. They are ready to close the door to take you away and, because of strange, you will not be able to get off the bus immediately, then come to the next stop will have the polices are waiting and give you a penalty charge notice, the fine can be up to hundreds of Euros. However, it only apply for the bus in the city, for the bus to the airport you can directly buy tickets from the driver.
Rome travel guide: Where to stay in Rome?
As mentioned above, Rome is not too big, and traveling mainly by metro and walking, so for the most convenient you should find a hotel near Roma Termini central station, both near the center and convenient for traveling. It is also easy to stay here for shopping or eating. Right in the station is a huge shopping mall with lots of goods for you to shop and kill time while waiting for the train.
The room rates in Rome are usually quite expensive, ranging from 25-30€ or more for a single bed in a dormitory room, private rooms are even more expensive. You can refer to the Discovery Hostel 247 that I had stayed in Rome, a good location just 10 minutes walk from Termini station, the hostel owner is very interesting, friendly. The hostel is like an old 18th-century house, clean and unique, if you are an explorer, don’t miss this hostel. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Shopping: For those who love shopping, consider the Hotel Panda located right in the shopping district, Rome’s busiest brand stores, near Piazza del Popolo. A top rated 2-star hotel with room rates from $62/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Nightlife: You can choose the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere, the neighborhood is full of bars open at night in small lanes next to the Tiber river. A top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $126/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
5-star hotel area: Via Veneto area with high-end hotel clusters for richers, you can refer to Hotel Splendide Royal with a view of the whole city. A top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $126/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels in Rome from $49 with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Hotel Raffaello (Address: Via Urbana, 3, 00184 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 488 4342), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $69/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Best Western Hotel President (Address: Via Emanuele Filiberto, 173, 00185 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 770121), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $82/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Amalfi Hotel (Address: Via Merulana, 278, 00185 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 474 4313), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $87/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Grifo (Address: Via del Boschetto, 144, 00184 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 487 1395), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $77/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Fabulous Village (Address: Via di Malafede, 205, 00125 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 525 9354), a top rated hotel with room rates from $40/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Crosti Hotel (Address: Via Castelfidardo, 54, 00185 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 446 8597), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $67/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Miami (Address: Via Nazionale, 230, 00184 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 481 7180), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $72/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
B&B Hotel Roma Tuscolana San Giovanni (Address: Via Assisi, 51, 00181 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 784692), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $80/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
9 Hotel Cesari (Address: Via di Pietra, 89A, 00186 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 674 9701), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $131/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Best Western Hotel Astrid (Address: Largo Antonio Sarti, 4, 00196 Roma RM, Italy / Phone: +39 06 323 6371), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $54/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Rome blog: What to eat?
The cost of eating in Rome is also very diverse, from very expensive to very cheap and budget. Usually a meal in a restaurant in Rome costs about 25 euros per person, but if you eat fastfood, the snack is only 3-5 euros/unit but also quite full. The cost of an economical eating day in Rome is about 10 euros/day. Some local dishes you can refer to such as:
Breakfast with Cornetto cake and sipping a Cappuccino like an indigenous Roman, ingredient including Tiramisu is in Chocolate, very delicious. A highly rated restaurant in Rome is E. Volpetti(Address: Via Marmorata, 47, 00153 Roma RM, Italy / Hours: 8:30AM–2PM, 4:30–8:15PM;Saturday & Sunday: Closed / Phone: +39 06 574 2352), which sells a wide variety of Cheese, Meat, Bread and pizzas.
Pizza and Gelato (Italian Cream): Of course these are two most famous and signature dishes of Italia. Pizza has too many types and you can find it anywhere on the streets of Rome, crispy slices of pizza and spread greasy cheese and butter, hard to resist. A shop that serves super delicious Quattro Formaggi pizza is Berzitello(Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane, 32b, 00184 Roma RM, Italy / Hours: 11AM–12AM / Phone: +39 06 4782 4714), affordable and of a high quality.
And Gelato ice cream is nothing to say more, it’s so tasty, so many flavors are put in the different sizes of cone and price is also diverse, remember to eat at least 2 ice cream everyday, or spend the budget 10 Euros/day available for eating ice cream. The best ice cream I have eaten is probably at the store in front of St. Peter’s Square, it’s so delicious.
Some experience differentiating real Gelato cream and Gelato fake for you:
- Colors: Gelato banana ice cream is ivory white, not yellow. The gelato fake creams are usually very colorful.
- Ingredients: Gelato should only be purchased in stores where they have a set of cream ingredients to mix, seeing them taking each type and putting it in a cup or cone.
- Shape: Real Gelato creams are always quite dense, less watery.
Suggested Rome 3 day itinerary: Best places to visit in Rome in 3 days
In Rome, there are two major tourist sites: the Vatican and the Colosseum (along with the ancient Roman ruins complex around it) that you may spend all day exploring. So, to visit Rome in 3 days, I think you should divide the first two days to visit these two places, the third day will spend to visiting the remain. Information about entrance fees for sights in Rome as follows:
Pantheon Temple: Free
St. Peter’s Basilica: Free (climb to the top of the tower is €5 for stairs, €7 for elevators).
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: €16
Colosseum & Roman Forum (including Palatine Hill): €12
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano: Free
Capitoline Museums: €15
Borghese Gallery and Museum: € 11
Castel Sant’Angelo: € 15.5
Every Monday in every week many museums in Rome will be closed, so you need to pay attention to not waste your time and energy. At the same time, the Vatican is more crowded than usual because tourists instead of going to the museums will flock to the Vatican.