Rome travel guide

Rome Tourism | Rome Guide

You're Going to Love Rome

Rome is one of the most exciting destinations in the world. The Italian capital has it all, nightlife, shopping, fine dining and entertainment, whilst being world renowned for its array of historic landmarks.

It's also an incredibly friendly city. Whether you want to chat over coffee in the piazza or need directions to the Spanish Steps, the locals are more than happy to help.

Known as the 'Eternal City', Rome was once the stronghold of the mighty Roman Empire. Its timeless charm captivates visitors who flock to the city for romantic breaks, family vacations, and shopping sprees.

Built on seven hills and the banks of the River Tiber, the city is a fabulous blend of elegantly crumbling ruins, magnificent palaces and bustling piazzas, ancient cobbled alleyways and glorious open spaces.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rome

1. It is One of the World's Great Historic Cities

The Colosseum, the Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the Trevi Fountain - the historic landmarks are too numerous to list. In fact, the entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. The Romantic Side of the City

Rome was synonymous with romance long before Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn zipped through its streets on a Vespa in 'Roman Holiday'. See fabulous sunsets that illuminate the dome of St. Peter's or trace the footsteps of the great Romantic poets with a visit to the Keats-Shelley house at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. Be sure to throw a few coins into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return some day.

3. A Gourmet Paradise

Italians like to share long, extended meals with family and friends. And, who can blame them? Dine on pasta, pizza, risotto, tangy local cheeses, delicious olives, ice-cream, artisan bread and fine, full-bodied wines in cafes and city center restaurants.

4. Superb Shopping

Shop for designer clothing in via Condotti, Rome's answer to Avenue Montaigne, Bond Street, and Fifth Avenue. You'll also discover large malls, flea markets and mom and pop stores in this vibrant metropolis.

5. Spectacular Squares

Rome's piazzas are a leading attraction. Visit Piazza Venezia, the 'Heart of the City', with its famous statue of Victor Emanuel II or sip a cappuccino in Piazza di Spagna close to the Spanish Steps and the Trinita dei Monti Church.

What to do in Rome

1. Discover Ancient Rome

It's impossible not to be awestruck by the history and grandeur of Rome. Learn more about the myths and legends that surround the Colosseum, the Forum, the Quirinal Palace, and gardens or the Pantheon on guided tours.

2. Spend the Day at Vatican City

Vatican City is the center of the Roman Catholic Church and an independent state that is surrounded by the city of Rome. See the Swiss Guard in their colorful costumes or watch as the Pope gives his blessing each Sunday and Wednesday. Top attractions are St. Peter's Basilica, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Necropolis and the Vatican Museums.

3. Visit Cinecitta

Take the 'Cinecittà Shows Off' tour of Rome's famous film studios. Learn all about the 'Dream Factory' and its history through original sets, sketches and costumes.

4. Enjoy the City's Open Spaces

An outing to Villa Borghese is fun for families and it's also a romantic spot for couples. The city's largest park is at the top of the Spanish Steps and landscaped gardens and romantic monuments like the 18th-century Temple of Aesculapius are stunning.

5. End the Day on A Romantic Note

And, while you're near the Spanish Steps, the romantic view over the city at sunset from the top is sensational. Alternatively, stroll a little farther up the hill to the Pincio for an enchanting panoramic view.

1. Discover Ancient Rome

It's impossible not to be awestruck by the history and grandeur of Rome. Learn more about the myths and legends that surround the Colosseum, the Forum, the Quirinal Palace, and gardens or the Pantheon on guided tours.

2. Spend the Day at Vatican City

Vatican City is the center of the Roman Catholic Church and an independent state that is surrounded by the city of Rome. See the Swiss Guard in their colorful costumes or watch as the Pope gives his blessing each Sunday and Wednesday. Top attractions are St. Peter's Basilica, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Necropolis and the Vatican Museums.

3. Visit Cinecitta

Take the 'Cinecittà Shows Off' tour of Rome's famous film studios. Learn all about the 'Dream Factory' and its history through original sets, sketches and costumes.

4. Enjoy the City's Open Spaces

An outing to Villa Borghese is fun for families and it's also a romantic spot for couples. The city's largest park is at the top of the Spanish Steps and landscaped gardens and romantic monuments like the 18th-century Temple of Aesculapius are stunning.

5. End the Day on A Romantic Note

And, while you're near the Spanish Steps, the romantic view over the city at sunset from the top is sensational. Alternatively, stroll a little farther up the hill to the Pincio for an enchanting panoramic view.

Where to Eat in Rome

Rome is a foodies dream. Dine on classic Italian and international cuisine in fine restaurants or enjoy a snack from a street vendor. Roman pizza has a thin crust, and 'pizza by the slice' vendors are a staple of every neighborhood. Be sure to try fried starters like baccala (salt cod in batter) or suppli (rice balls fried with cheese and tomato).

Italian food is delicious and Roman favorites include Bucatini alla Amatriciana - pasta served with pecorino Romano cheese and tomatoes and Scaloppine alla Romana, a dish that combines sautéed veal with baby artichokes. Ice-cream or 'gelato' is also big news and local brands include Gelarmony, Gelato di San Crispino and La Palma.

When to visit Rome

Rome in November
Estimated hotel price
$52
1 night at 3-star hotel
Rome in November
Estimated hotel price
$52
1 night at 3-star hotel

The summer season runs from May to September but Rome is busiest between June and August. You'll enjoy temperatures of 81 to 88F but because queues for top attractions can mean a long wait in the sun, make sure to pack plenty of water. Book a break from April to May or September to October to avoid the crowds and take advantage of deals on flights and accommodation. Alternatively, visit over the Christmas and New Year period to see the city from a new perspective. Festive events like the Christmas Market in Piazza Navona and religious celebrations in Vatican City are popular with visitors and locals.

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Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Rome

Plane

Many visitors fly to Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport (FCO). Rome's main airport is 21 miles west of the city, and there are daily flights from several US cities including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. If you're flying from elsewhere in Europe, carriers like EasyJet, Wizzair, and Ryanair may land at G.B. Pastine/Ciampino International Airport (CIA) which is just 7.5 miles from the city center.

Train

Trains usually stop at the city's main railway station, Roma Termini, which is opposite the Baths of Diocletian, however, the station is closed from 00.30 and 04.30 so you'll alight at Tiburtina station during the night.

Bus

There are buses to Rome from various European destinations with operators like Eurolines, Megabus, and Flixbus and from the UK with National Express.

Car

Contrary to popular belief, it is easy to drive to Rome. The Grande Raccordo Anulare motorway (GRA) circles the city and drivers can exit this convenient ring road almost anywhere for the city center.

Airports near Rome

Airlines serving Rome

United Airlines
Good (69,522 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (47,698 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (28,422 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,808 reviews)
Delta
Good (30,763 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,367 reviews)
British Airways
Good (23,354 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,624 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (9,192 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,550 reviews)
Iberia
Good (6,169 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,055 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (4,862 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (15,780 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (5,585 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (2,482 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (5,454 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (18,761 reviews)
Finnair
Good (3,882 reviews)
JetBlue
Excellent (20,185 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Rome

Whether you're a fan of luxury spa hotels or whether you want good, budget accommodation, you'll find it all in Rome. Since 2011, a small surcharge has been added to the basic cost of accommodation. The city uses this to maintain and repair its magnificent historical landmarks. Charges per person, per night - 2 Euros at campsites, 2.5 Euros at bed & breakfast style hotels, 3 Euros in 2-star hotels, 4 Euros in 3-star hotels and 6 to 7 Euros in 4 and 5-star hotels. Many visitors choose downtown hotels close to the Pantheon and the area close to the Termini station also has hotels to suit all tastes.

Popular neighbourhoods in Rome

Modern Centre – the city's entertainment, nightlife and shopping hub. You'll also find the Quirinal Palace and the via Veneto here.

Old Rome – Old Rome is home to the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Ghetto and Campo de' Fiori. Stroll through narrow streets or relax in friendly neighborhood cafes.

Vatican City – The Vatican is a treasure trove of art and history. Notable attractions include St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Museums.

Colosseo – Named for the Colosseum and the ancient heart of the city. Other landmarks are the Capitoline Museum and the Forum.

Trastavere – A vibrant and trendy area, Trastevere boasts some of the city's best bars, clubs and restaurants.

Most popular hotel in Rome by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Rome

Most booked hotels in Rome

Hotel Eden - Dorchester Collection
Excellent (9.4, Excellent reviews)
$1,738+
QC Termeroma Spa and Resort
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$299+
Hotel Tiber Fiumicino
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$159+
Hotel Isola Sacra Rome Airport
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$139+
Domus Sessoriana
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
$106+
Hotel Trastevere
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
$126+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Rome

Public Transportation

Rome is well-served by buses, trams, trolleybuses and the city's Metro system so it is incredibly easy to get around. The entire public transportation system uses just one type of ticket, and a single ride costs 1.50 euros. Popular options for tourists include the Roma Pass for 36 euros and the OMNIA Vatican and Rome pass.

Taxi

Official Rome taxis are white with a taxi sign on the roof. There is a flat rate charge for journeys to the city (within the Aurelian Walls) from the airports - 48 euros from Fiumicino and 30 euros from Ciampino. A typical journey in the city is 14 euros, and it's usual to tip about 10 to 15%.

Car

It's not too difficult to drive in Rome once you've worked out the road system. However, some areas are limited traffic or ZTL zones which can only be used by local drivers with an electronic pass.

The Cost of Living in Rome

Rome's Hottest Shopping Streets

Fashionistas will be in their element in the designer boutiques of the via del Corso, via Condotti and via Cola di Rienzo. As well as designers like Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Missoni and Louis Vuitton you'll find lots of elegant one-of-a-kind stores. Shop for your favorite brands at the Pantheon or via del Tritone or at the Euroma2 mall, a complex of over 230 shops and restaurants. Be sure to visit La Rinascente; Rome's oldest department store which has been selling fashion, beauty and home products since 1887.

Groceries and Other Necessities

Buy basics like food and cold drinks in supermarkets like Coop, Elite and Conad or try local grocery stores and bakeries for freshly baked bread, olives, cheeses and cured meats like salami.

Cheap meal
$26.15
A pair of jeans
$149.65
Single public transport ticket
$2.62
Cappuccino
$1.98