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Rome holidays: Plan your ultimate trip to the Eternal City

Stroll along ancient paths, wander through medieval streets and magnificent squares and admire world-famous buildings; no matter where you're headed in Italy's capital city, it feels like a well-known sight is never too far away.

Nicknamed the Eternal City, the 2.8 million-strong Mediterranean metropolis of Rome is an incomparable destination. Nowhere else in the world will you be able to find so many impressive buildings from different epochs.

But a visit to this city isn't just about its ancient past. On the contrary, Rome features layers of history, with new things built upon the old as time marches on. No matter what sort of trip you have planned for Rome, don't forget to while away a few hours at a cafe in one of the beautiful squares or perhaps indulge in a long lunch in one of the city's many trattorias.

Travel tips for Rome

Whether it's your first visit to the Italian capital or your tenth, we've collected the very best travel tips for Rome. So, if you're not sure which season you should aim for or the type of adapter you should bring along, you'll find these answers and more below.

Rome at a glance

Flight duration (from London): 2.5 hours

Main airports: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport and Ciampino International Airport

Population: 2.8 million

Languages: Italian

Currency: Euro (€)

Socket type: Type C and F (adapter required)

Time zone: Central European Time (CET); 1 hour ahead of the UK

When is the best time to visit Rome?

As with many of the major European cities, there's no wrong time to visit Rome. In fact, judging by some of the queues, the city's major attractions seem to be bustling with tourists all year round. But if you have a particular month in mind, here's our breakdown of what to expect.

☀️ June, July and August: These are the city's peak summer months; expect temperatures to soar, especially in August (this also happens to be when locals go on holiday to beat the heat).

🌸🍁 April, May, September, October: With warm, pleasant weather and sunny days, these are the most popular months for travelling to Rome. Expect crowds and book flights and hotels in advance.

❄️ November, December, January, February, March: Thanks to Rome's Mediterranean climate, you can expect mild temperatures during these months, making the city an ideal choice for a winter sun holiday.

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Where to stay in Rome

Rome is a large capital city, filled with neighbourhoods that are home to their own distinct flavour and with the city's attractions spread out over a large area. It can be difficult to know where to start your search for where you'd like to stay in Rome.

That's where we can help. A first-time visitor to Rome may, after all, want to stay in a different area compared to a family with kids or a couple wanting a quiet, romantic getaway. Discover the best areas for a Rome holiday below.

For first-time visitors

If you're off to Rome for the very first time, fast track yourself into the heart of the action by booking a stay in Centro Storico. This historical quarter is home to key attractions that include the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. The streets surrounding Piazza di Spagna are another top option, bringing you within walking distance to the renowned Spanish Steps.

Centro Storico is filled with everything a holidaymaker might need: restaurants, attractions and convenient public transport links. What's more, you'll find a decent range of accommodation types here too, but book early for the best prices, especially during spring and summer.

For couples and families

Quieter neighbourhoods have their appeal for a Rome holiday too. Prati is a great option for those seeking a more peaceful stay. If you're looking for a neighbourhood that has more atmosphere, Monti, Trastevere and Testaccio won't disappoint.

Rome neighbourhood guide

Centro Storico: the Rome that everyone dreams of - winding streets, fantastic piazzas and sights on every corner.

Ghetto Ebraico: still in Centro Storico, but quieter and lower prices.

Tridente: a shopper's dream; splurge in the area's ​​designer shops or grab a bite to eat by the Spanish Steps.

Testaccio: a top choice for foodies, you'll find plenty of trattorias and cafes here, both traditional and those with a modern twist.

Monti: this village-like district is the place to be in Rome; expect cafes, vintage shops and art.

Garbatella: off the beaten track, Garbatella is in the south and is known for being more idyllic and greener than other parts of the city.

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Things to do in Rome

A city where ancient monuments and a modern sense of 'la dolce vita' merge together, a Rome holiday offers endless possibilities for holidaymakers who love plenty of things to do.

And it's not just the famous sights either; whether you're into the latest food trends, love shopping or can't get enough of art, it feels like Rome has something for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do in Rome.

Things to do in Rome

  1. Marvel at the Colosseum

  2. Spend an afternoon in the Vatican City

  3. Do some people watching at the Trevi Fountain

  4. Go on a guided tour of the Roman Forum

  5. Join the crowd at the Spanish Steps

  6. Have a picnic in Villa Borghese

  7. Visit the Pantheon

  8. Peruse the market stalls of Campo de' Fiori

  9. Take in the view from the top of Gianicolo Hill

A three-day itinerary for Rome

Can you really see the best of Rome during a short weekend trip? While you could easily spend a week or longer here, you can still get a real glimpse of what Rome has to offer during a shorter trip too.

If a weekend is all you have to work with, here are our recommendations for a three-day Rome holiday.

Day 1

Start your day at the Trevi Fountain - the world's largest Baroque fountain - and don't forget to throw some coins in the fountain for some extra luck!

The most well-preserved historical building in Rome, the Pantheon, is a short 10-minute walk away. Here, you'll discover how this temple that was built for the Roman gods eventually turned into a church.

After some lunch in a picturesque piazza, let Rome's winding streets lead you to the Spanish Steps. This stairway opened in 1735 and has since become the top spot for taking photos in Rome. Keep in mind: since 2019, visitors can't sit on the stairs, so you'll need to snap your photo standing up.

While it may be tempting to eat near the city's tourist spots, you'll find affordable and delicious lunch and dinner options in Rome’s side streets and up-and-coming neighbourhoods like Monti and Testaccio.

Day 2

After breakfast in Centro Storico, travel back in time by heading to the monumental Colosseum. Built during the Roman Empire for public events and the famous gladiator games, the largest amphitheatre in the world takes you back to ancient times and into your favourite Hollywood movies. Buy your tickets online to save time queuing, and consider adding on a guided tour of this incomparable place.

Your Colosseum ticket conveniently includes entry to the nearby Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (same day only), enabling you to extend your ancient time-travelling experience.

Day 3

Your third day in Rome should be spent exploring the Vatican City, which is home to its own set of attractions. These include the museum of the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. Make sure that you arrive early to avoid crowds and give yourself ample time to enjoy these magnificent sites. Visiting the Vatican City means that you'll have actually visited two countries within one day, as this city-state is independent from the city of Rome that surrounds it!

Throughout your visit in Rome, don't forget to enjoy crusty pizzas, sumptuous pasta and mouth-watering Italian gelato in the city's piazzas.

Discover more things to do in Rome


Top events in Rome

Whether you're heading to Rome as part of a big group of mates or on a solo trip, it's always a good idea to time your visit with one of the city's big events to make your Rome holiday that bit more special.

From the city's big music festivals to more traditional occasions, here are some of the events that should be on your radar.

Rome's biggest events

6 January: Day of Epiphany (expect costumes and parades between Castel Sant'Angelo and St Peter's Basilica)

February: Carnevale Romano

21 April: Natale di Roma (a birthday celebration for Rome itself)

June to September: Roma Summer Fest (a full roster of local and international musical performances)

September: Taste of Roma (a foodie festival held in Parco della Musica)

December: Christmas markets in the city, as well as a nativity scene in front of St Peter's Basilica

December: New Year's Eve in Rome