“A fool is one who admires other cities without visiting Rome.” - Francesco Petrarca
Should you visit Rome for a couple of days, a week, or two?
Rome, also known as the “Eternal City”, covers 1,285.31 km². The city benefits from tonnes of open-air museums: from Etruscan to Roman ruins and Baroque and Renaissance architecture, the city welcomes over 10 million tourists every year.
To explore the monuments in Rome, you should probably opt for the Roma Pass and plan out exactly what you’re going to see.
In this article, we’re looking at how long you’ll need to visit Rome.
Rome at a Glance
The capital of Latium and Italy since 1871, Rome was also the capital of the Roman empire for 357 years.
The city was home to 4,356,403 inhabitants in 2016 and a further 2.87 million live in the metro area, making it the third-largest city in Europe after Moscow and London.
It’s also home to the smallest sovereign state in the world: the Vatican, the capital of the Holy See. Rome’s history spans 28 centuries; from its foundation by Romulus in 753BCE to the modern-day.
Due to its hegemony in the ancient world, it became one of the biggest cradles for European civilisation after Athens.
Rome is thought of as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and nicknamed the “Eternal City”. It’s one of the largest archaeological sites in the world with 2,000 bridges and fountains, 900 churches, and plenty of Roman ruins and buildings.
The historic centre of Rome is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes plenty of ancient Roman ruins: the Colosseum (the largest Flavian amphitheatre in the world), the ancient homes of the Palatine Hill, the catacombs and the Domus Aurea, the Pantheon and its dome, the Baths of Caracalla, the Circus Maximus, the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian under the Piazza Navona, etc.
We should also add that there are plenty of monuments and Renaissance art galleries: St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Trevi Fountain, the museums, etc. With so many world-famous monuments and ruins, it’s easy to understand why so many tourists from all over the world choose to visit it.
There’s so much to see in Rome that you can’t see it all in just one weekend. What you visit will depend on the neighbourhood you choose to stay in and how many days you’re spending in Rome. However, work may mean that you can’t go for more than a weekend and you’ll have to visit Rome several times!
Find out more about visiting Rome.
Visiting Rome for a Weekend
Spending a weekend in Rome won’t be enough to see everything the city has to offer.
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If you only have a few days because you’re working during the week, try to get flights on the Friday to Rome Fiumicino airport. You can compare the price of flights on sites like Skyscanner. In two or three days, you can still see a lot of great stuff.
Budget between £100 and £200 per day for everything (trips, food and drink, monuments, and accommodation).
You can get to Rome for as little as £40 from London, making a three-day stay more economical than staying for a week or longer.
You can get the Roma Pass for 48 or 72 hours for €28 or €38.50 to get the most out of your time in Rome as it grants access to museums and unlimited access to the public transport in Rome, and discounted entry to certain attractions. It’ll also allow you queue-jumps for certain attractions.
Staying at Rome such a short amount of time will mean that you’ll be running around a lot and you’ll probably need to return if you want to see everything.
We recommend you stay in the centre of Rome towards Trastevere; you won’t have enough time to visit the surrounding neighbourhood.
So what can you do in Rome in 3 days?
- Day 1: The Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Monti neighbourhood, Piazza Venezia, the Piazza Navona, Capitoline Hill.
- Day 2: Trastevere neighbourhood, the Baths of Caracalla, the Catacombs, the Vatican (Vatican Museum, St Peter’s Square, Sistine Chapel).
You might not even have the time to do this if some of these attractions are busy and there are still plenty of things that you’ll have missed.
Find out more about Rome's different neighbourhoods.
Visiting Rome for a Week
A week is long enough to see all the essential sights in Rome.
To be fair, you should spend at least a week in Rome if you really want to make the most of it. Of course, this does mean you’ll need a bigger budget.
You might want to stay in an Airbnb or somewhere where you can cook for yourself. If you want to be comfortable during your time in Rome, you probably want a budget of around £2,000 for two people.
You might also want to pay for the “Hop On Hop Off” bus so that you don’t have to walk between all the different attractions including the Borghese Gallery, the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, and St Peter’s Square, etc.
Did you know that the obelisk in St Peter’s Square was brought to Rome by Emperor Augustus in the 1st century after the Battle of Actium in 31BCE?
It’s a testimony to the imperial era and is 2,000 years old!
Visiting the city at your own pace means you don’t have to do it all at once. Some monuments need half a day to really visit and you don’t want to be running around and missing everything.
You can fully experience the markets in the centre, make the most of Roman life, and head off the beaten path to discover things that don’t feature in the tourist guides. There are plenty of places you can stroll around in Rome without having to take public transport.
If you go to the Vatican to visit the museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel, it’s recommended that you go early in the morning because even in the high season, the queues can be insane.
At the top of St Peter’s Basilica, you can enjoy a sublime view of St Peter’s Square and the city of Rome. It’s free to walk up but you’ll have to pay for the lift.
Since you have more time to enjoy Rome, you can enjoy an afternoon by the sea at Ostia, which was the port in Rome during the Roman Empire. It’s since become a holiday spot for those in Rome.
Find out more about Rome's most famous monuments.
Spending Several Months in Rome
Why spend more than a couple of weeks in Rome?
This will give you time to meet locals, do as the Romans do, and learn Italian.
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Whether you’re there as a student, working as a freelancer or remotely, you can spend several months abroad to learn the language and more about the culture. You could do an Erasmus year in Rome and come back to the UK having had an unforgettable experience. Furthermore, this will give you the time to explore other regions in Italy, Campania, Naples, Apulia, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, etc.
You looking for festivities?
Consider renting a flat in the centre of Rome so that you’re nearer the action. Rome always has something going on and every neighbourhood belongs to a different historic period.
Living in Rome also means that you can enjoy each of the seasons throughout the year. You could stroll along the Tiber in spring, summer, or autumn.
Find out more about the cost of visiting Rome.
Now you know a bit more about the Italian capital and spending some time there. If you want to learn more about the Italian language, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented Italian tutors on Superprof!
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Online tutorials are similar to face-to-face tutorials but take place remotely thanks to the internet. If you have a webcam, mic, and a decent internet connection, you can learn Italian online. Since the tutor doesn't have to travel and can schedule more tutorials per week, they can charge less per hour.
Finally, group tutorials are useful if you're on a budget. Since multiple students are paying for the tutor's time and expertise, each student tends to pay less per hour. If you and some friends are wanting to learn Italian on a budget, group tutorials might be a perfect choice. Of course, you'll get less individual attention from your tutor.
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