Before you visit Rome
Updated: Jan 12
Thinking of visiting Rome? Well here are a few things to know before you visit Rome. What you're about to read will help you get things sorted for your trip before going, so that you have more time to enjoy the city.
Book tickets online
From The Colosseum website get your tickets to the Colosseum which include the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill in one.
Of course you will not be going to Rome without visiting The Vatican! Book your Vatican ticket and make sure it includes the Sistine Chapel, and if you wish, the Vatican Gardens with it too. Here is the direct Vatican Museum Website
These tickets are the most important, as the queues to buy them will waste your time. Already having your tickets will save you from long queues. You will still have to queue but it won’t be as bad as if you didn’t have them. Just show up as early as opening hours!!
Start your day outside the Colosseum at 8.30 am and for the Vatican Museums at 9 am.
The Tourist Cards
You may want to look into some passes. There are 2:
The Omnia card, which gives you access to The Vatican, public transport and hop on-hop off bus.
The Rome pass, gives access to Rome’s Museums and Colosseum area, with the added perk of public transport.
These are valid for only 48 and 72 hours. The real cost of the tickets to the main sights to Rome are cheaper directly from the websites, if you don’t plan on using their added perks.
People are more likely to walk in Rome and probably use the train once and the bus once, and the rest of the time their feet will take care of the rest.
Prepare an Itinerary
The whole of Rome is like walking in a giant museum. Have a list of all the main sites you wish to see during your visit.
Click on the Highlights of Rome in two days to get a list of all the things you can see and do.
There really aren't normally paved streets in Rome. Every single street is made of cobbled stone. Very comfortable shoes should be the first thing you pack to Rome! Shoes that are comfortable enough for you to walk in for hours!!
Staying central is best and the options in Rome are great! A brief outline of each neighborhood is here
Vatican City — The Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Gardens make up most of this city which is actually part of Rome. The popes have lived here for centuries! The area itself is very touristic, however, it does not have much in the evenings!
Historical Center — One of the busiest areas in Rome, and one that is bound to have anyone lost even with a map! Well at least anyone who’s there for the first time. The historical center has quite a few attractions. Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, Campo De’Flori, Piazza Farnese
Ancient Rome— Where Rome began! The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and
Circus Maximus. This area offers a few inexpensive hotels. The Aventine Hill short distance from Circus Maximus, is an upscale residential area with impeccable views of the city.
The Spanish Steps— which attracts Romans and tourists alike who come to sit on the steps and people spot. From the Spanish Steps some of Rome’s most upscale designer boutiques, hotels, chic restaurants, and shopping can be found on Via Condotti.
Via Veneto & Piazza Barberini — Rome’s most expensive area, full of luxury hotels, cafes, and restaurants.
Villa Borghese — Rome’s most elegant residential area, with the city’s finest restaurants, hotels and public parks. Not to mention the Borghese Museum, and more
Stazione Termini Area— The main train station area, loud, busy with cheap accommodation. Caution is needed at all time as it’s not the safest of areas in the evenings
Trastevere — Meaning “across the Tiber”. An area which had boomed over many years with expats. It’ very much the hip and happening part of Rome and a great place for restaurants and local entertainment.
Piazza Navona the beautiful baroque square from the 1st century AD, where games were held. It has 3 spectacular fountains and one of thirteen Obelisks you will find around Rome.
There’s two main types of places to eat. The Trattoria which is the very Italian style of eating which doesn’t involve any menus, and is an overall casual dining experience. Ristorante, well that’s just your average restaurant.
Of course there’s the little shops selling pizza. These are perfect for people hopping from one place to another, they made for an easy and quick bite. In Rome make sure to try the Fritti (Risotto balls), the Roman Pizza, and the Carbonara the Roman way!
Make sure you do not leave Rome without having Gelato. If you're an ice-cream lover, expect to consume quite a few of these a day. Especially in the summer months.
Generally Rome is safe, but of course always be cautious. Always use your common sense. Pickpocket-ting is apparently a big thing in Rome. Maybe come prepared with the type of bag that is not easily opened, and keep your belongings in the hotels safe!
We have covered the essentials of what you need to know when in Rome. If you want to know what you can do in very few days in Rome, here is a link to the Highlights of Rome. You can print and take with you to help you tick off all the places to see on your trip!
If you have any questions, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, and we will come back to you.