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The Best 2 Day Rome Itinerary + Tips for A Weekend in Rome [From a Local!]

January 17, 2022
2 Day Itinerary Rome - A Weekend in Rome

Looking for the best things to do in Rome in 2 days? You’ve come to the right place. I spent 12 years growing up in the Eternal City and have come to know it like the back of my hand.

First off — two days in Rome is not enough to see everything the city has to offer. With that said, this unique 2 day Rome itinerary will help you cover all the absolute must-see attractions, plus a few hidden gems that most tourists miss.

This 2 days in Rome itinerary is not your typical tourist guide. It’s packed with insider tips that will help you avoid tourist traps, find the best sunset spots, and enjoy Italian cuisine in the most locals-approved eateries.

You’ll also find tips on how to budget and skip the lines during your trip to Rome, as well as essential tips on spending a weekend in Rome. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy this unique local’s guide to Rome in two days.

You might also be interested in:
🏡 Where to Stay in Rome: The Best Areas + Hotels
🍝 Top 12 Rome By Night Tours to Take in 2022

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

🇮🇹 2 Day Itinerary Rome: Quick Planning Tips

🏡 WHERE TO STAY
Most scenic: Otivm Hotel (⭐ 9.0)
Most romantic: Singer Palace (⭐ 9.4)
Top luxury stay: Martis Palace (⭐ 9.3)
Top budget stay: Hotel Amalfi (⭐ 8.8)

👩🏻 BEST GUIDED TOURS
Ancient Rome Full-Day Tour (⭐ 4.8/5)
Rome Street Food Tour (⭐ 4.9/5)
The Best Colosseum Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)
The Best Vatican Tour (⭐️ 5/5)

🍝 Rome in 2 Days: The Best 2 Day Rome Itinerary

I highly recommend coming to Rome with a pretty clear itinerary if you only have two days to spend here. This city is also very crowded, so be sure to book tickets to attractions in advance. Sometimes, it’s even required. Here’s the perfect two day Rome itinerary with all my insider tips.

🗓 Day 1 in Rome: Ancient Rome + Centro Storico

1. Colosseum

Visit time: 1-2 hours
Suggested start time: 8:30 AM

The first stop on your 2-day Rome itinerary is the most famous monument in Italy: the majestic Colosseum. Built between 72 AD and 80 AD, the Colosseum quickly became the greatest amphitheater and the main entertainment hub of the Roman Empire.

With almost 2,000 years of history, the Colosseum provides an insightful glimpse into life during the ancient Roman Empire. This amphitheater could hold more than 50,000 spectators at once and has seen countless gladiator games over the centuries.

The gladiators not only fought each other, but also exotic animals such as tigers, elephants, bears, giraffes, and rhinos. It is estimated that more than 500,000 gladiators and 1 million wild animals have lost their lives during the 500+ years the games took place.

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Since the 6th century, the Colosseum suffered damages from earthquakes, lootings, and WWII bombings. That’s why only part of it is still standing today. Thanks to its extensive history, it is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.

What does this mean? Unless you plan your visit in advance, you’ll be standing in line for hours. While you can book an entry ticket online, I highly recommend joining a guided tour instead, and I’ll explain why below.

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Inside the Colosseum — one of the best places to visit in Rome 2 days
🧔🏻 Why You Should Visit the Colosseum on a Guided Tour

Exploring the Colosseum on a guided tour is the fastest way to get in and the best way to maximize your time. Given the sheer number of tourists visiting the Colosseum, there will always be a long line at the entrance, even if you book your tickets online.

With a guided tour, you can join a very short line and be inside the Colosseum in no time. Your guide will then navigate you to all the key spots inside so you won’t have to spend time finding them. After all, if you can only visit Rome in 2 days, there’s very little time to waste 🙂

Plus, with an expert local guide, you’ll be able to better understand and appreciate the history of the Colosseum. Depending on the tour you book, you can also get exclusive access to restricted areas of the Colosseum, such as the Arena and the Underground.

See all guided tours of the Colosseum

🌟 My Recommendations: The 3 Best Guided Tours of the Colosseum
  • Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum & Hill Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5) — The most comprehensive tour of the Colosseum with exclusive access to the Underground, Arena, and the upper tiers, from where there’s a splendid view of the city.
  • Colosseum, Arena Floor & Ancient Rome VIP Tour (⭐️ 4.6/5) — Get exclusive access to the Arena floor and walk through the gladiators’ gate. You’ll also get to see the dungeons where the gladiators prepared themselves.
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour (⭐️ 4.6/5) — A regular Colosseum tour + a guided tour of the political, social, and religious hub of the Roman Empire + breathtaking views of the Colosseum from Palatine Hill.
🏟 Top Tips for Visiting the Colosseum Without a Guided Tour
  • Buy your ticket in advance on the official website here — it’ll cost an extra €2 but can save you hours of waiting in line.
  • The best time to visit the Colosseum is at 9 am, right when it opens. Reserve your timeslot when you book your ticket (it’s mandatory) and arrive at least 30 mins before opening time to get through the entrance faster.
  • You can get free entry to the Colosseum with the Roma Pass or the Rome Tourist Card. It’s still mandatory to reserve your timeslot online in advance. You can do so on the official website under the Roma Pass section.
  • There’s a cap on the number of visitors allowed per day. If tickets on the official website are sold out for the day you want to visit, you can still buy your ticket via Tiqets here.
  • You’ll see considerably fewer crowds at the Colosseum from November to March.
  • Visiting with kids: Anyone under 18 gets free entry to the Colosseum, but their visit cannot be booked online. If you’re an adult who booked your ticket, your child will receive their free ticket when entering with you.
  • If you’re under 18 and visiting without an adult, you can get your free ticket at the ticket office on-site (by standing in line).
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Opening hours: Until 28th February 2022: 9 am - 4:30 pm daily | March 1st - 26th, 2022: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm daily | March 27th - August 31st, 2022: 9:30 am – 7:15 pm daily
🎫 Entrance fees: (Combined Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill ticket) Regular - €18 ($20.50 USD) | EU citizens aged 18-25 - €2 ($2.30 USD) | Free for anyone under 18 years old
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum & Hill Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)

2. Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Visit time: 1-2 hours
5 min walk from Colosseum

A ticket to the Colosseum includes same-day entry to its historic next-door neighbors: the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum was the center of political, religious, and social life during the Roman Empire.

Walking around the area today, you’ll see ruins of what used to be the oldest and most important monuments of Ancient Rome, including temples and shrines. The Forum became abandoned, forgotten, and buried under the earth after the fall of the empire. It was only excavated in 1898.

The Ruins of the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

Next to the Roman Forum is the beautiful Palatine Hill, considered by many as the birthplace of Rome. You’ll see more ancient temples and arches there, as well as a magnificent panoramic view of the Colosseum.

🔥 Insider Tip: If you don’t buy your Colosseum ticket in advance and decide to get it on-site instead, do so at the Roman Forum or Palatine Hill ticket offices and visit these places first. The lines there are shorter than at the Colosseum ticket office.

With that said, they won’t let you into these three sites if all the timeslots for the day are booked up, which happens often during the high season. They also only sell same-day tickets, so booking your ticket online or visiting with a guided tour is always your safest bet.

View of the Colosseum from the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy
The view of the Colosseum from Palatine Hill
Opening hours: Until 28th February 2022: 9 am - 4:30 pm daily | March 1st - 26th, 2022: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm daily | March 27th - August 31st, 2022: 9:30 am – 7:15 pm daily
🎫 Entrance fees: (Combined Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill ticket) Regular - €18 ($20.50 USD) | EU citizens aged 18-25 - €2 ($2.30 USD) | Free for anyone under 18 years old
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum & Hill Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)

3. Lunch Near the Colosseum & Roman Forum

Recommended duration: 1 hour

In total, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill should take roughly 3-4 hours to explore. That means by the time you’ve finished sightseeing, it’d be time for some tasty lunch.

There are way too many tourist traps around the Colosseum, so here are some authentic eateries in the area that locals would enjoy. It’s essential to call them and book your spot in advance — pretty much all restaurants in the city center have English-speaking staff.

  • Taverna Romana — A meal at this restaurant tastes homemade; it’s the perfect place to have some traditional Roman dishes, such as l’amatriciana.
  • Pizza della Madonna dei Monti — This hidden pizzeria is the perfect spot for a quick lunch. Aside from authentic pizza, they also have traditional Roman snacks such as supplì.
  • La Nuova Piazzetta — Enjoy some of the best carbonara and amatriciana among very friendly staff. They also serve delicious homemade dessert.
Spaghetti Carbonara in Rome, Italy
Spaghetti alla carbonara — a must-try local dish on a 2-day or weekend away in Rome

4. Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill)

Visit time: 15 mins
3 min walk from Roman Forum

Just a few minutes by foot from the Roman Forum lies Capitoline Hill — the most important of Rome’s seven hills. This hill is home to Piazza del Campidoglio, the first modern square designed in the Eternal City, by no other than famous sculptor Michelangelo.

Climb up the stairs to this beautiful square, and then head to its backside for an incredible view of the Roman Forum.

Inside this square, you’ll also see magnificent sculptures of Marcus Aurelius and Rome’s famous she-wolf. The artsy Capitoline Museums frame this square, but if you’re touring Rome in 2 days, time is tight and there are more interesting museums to see later in the day.

Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, Italy

5. Altare della Patria (Piazza Venezia)

Visit time: 45 mins
4 min walk from Piazza del Campidoglio

Next to Piazza del Campidoglio, you’ll find one of the most eye-catching and majestic monuments in Rome: the Altare della Patria, AKA Victor Emmanuel II National Monument.

Inaugurated in 1911 inside Piazza Venezia, this monument was built as a tribute to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy. Its splendid architecture will leave you speechless; you’ll see rows of Corinthian columns and endless stairs made of stunning white marble.

Take a walk around Piazza Venezia to see and capture this grand monument from different angles. Then, be sure to climb up to its panoramic terrace, which can be done via elevators. From up there, you’ll see a spectacular view of the historic city center.

A regular ticket to the panoramic terrace costs €7, and you can purchase it at the spot. If you prefer booking it online to avoid possible lines, you can buy the Panoramic Glass Elevator Ticket. This ticket includes an audio guide as well as entry to two nearby museums: the National Museum of the Palazzo di Venezia and the Museum of the Risorgimento.

The View From the Terrace of Altare della Patria in Piazza Venezia in Rome, Italy
The view from the terrace of Altare della Patria
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm daily (last admission at 6:45 pm)
🎫 Entrance fees: Adults - €7 ($8.50 USD) | Youth under 18 & seniors over 65 - €3.50 ($4 USD)
🌐 Online ticket: Panoramic Glass Elevator Ticket with Audio App

6. Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

Visit time: 30 mins
13 min walk from Altare della Patria

No trip to Rome is complete without marveling at the famous Trevi Fountain. Completed in 1762, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the Eternal City, and undoubtedly, one of the most impressive sights in all of Italy.

Built on top of an ancient water source, this fountain stands 26 m (85 ft) tall and 49 m (160 ft) wide. It is a monument you can visit again and again and still feel as though it’s the first time you’re seeing it. I feel that way even as a Roman who’s been there thousands of times.

A famous tradition when visiting the Trevi Fountain is to throw a coin into the water with your right hand over your left shoulder. Legend has it that tossing one coin means you’ll return to Rome, two coins — you’ll return and fall for an attractive Italian, and three coins — you’ll end up marrying that person in Rome.

Whether or not you believe in this myth, the coins go towards a great cause. Roughly 1 million euros get collected from the fountain every year to be donated to local charities.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

🌅 Top Tip: The Trevi Fountain is always swarming with tourists during the day. Come back early in the morning, at sunrise, for a completely different atmosphere. You’ll be able to enjoy this place in peace and quiet, and take photos without other people in them.

🍕 Food Tip: Avoid the tourist traps directly outside the Trevi Fountain. Instead, walk 5 mins to the locals-approved Ristorante Sora Lucia and enjoy their delicious carbonara.

7. Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps)

Visit time: 30 mins
10 min walk from Trevi Fountain

From the Trevi Fountain, make your way to the iconic Spanish Steps, another famous landmark in Rome. The best way to get there is to walk down Via del Corso. Although this street is typically very crowded, it’s a must-see for first-timers in the Eternal City.

Via del Corso is the most well-known shopping street in the city center. Lined with clothing stores and a few gelaterias, it has a very lively atmosphere and is a great place to people-watch. There are also countless narrow alleys and small piazzas branching off of it.

The Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy
The Spanish Steps at sunrise — a must-see during a 2-day trip or weekend in Rome

The first thing you’ll see once you reach the Spanish Steps is the Baroque-style Fontana della Barcaccia (“Fountain of the Leaky Boat”), at the foot of the square. This fountain commemorates a particularly bad flood of the River Tiber in 1598, which left a boat behind in Piazza di Spagna.

Be sure to climb up the 174 steps to the top of the Spanish Steps. Up there, you’ll be greeted by the beautiful Trinità dei Monti Church as well as artists displaying their paintings of Rome.

While the view from the top is fantastic, don’t forget to stop at the first terrace, too — you’ll get an amazing view of Via dei Condotti, the main luxury fashion shopping street of Rome.

The View From the Top of the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy
The beautiful view as you climb up the Spanish Steps

💸 Please note: As of 2019, it is no longer allowed to sit on the Spanish Steps (in order to preserve this UNESCO Heritage Site). You can also get fined up to €400 ($475 USD) if you’ve dirtied or damaged the steps in any way.

Related: 36 Famous Landmarks in Italy That Will Take Your Breath Away

8. Terrazza del Pincio – Sunset

Visit time: 15 mins
12 min walk from Spanish Steps

From the Spanish Steps, make your way to Piazza del Popolo, and then climb up the stairs on the right-hand side up to Terrazza del Pincio. This magnificent terrace offers an incredible view of the historic center. It’s also one of the best places to catch the sunset in Rome.

In fact, if you’re in Rome for a weekend / 2 days in the winter, it’s likely you’ll be here during sunset time (around 5 pm) if you follow this itinerary.

Watch the sky turn pink and orange above the historic monuments of Rome while live musicians provide the perfect background music to the view. (Yes, they’re always there!) Be sure to leave a tip 🙂 Even if you’re here before sunset, it’s still a view worth seeing.

Sunset on the Pincio Terrace in Rome, Italy
The incredible sunset view from Terrazza del Pincio

Check the sunset time in Rome so that you don’t miss this experience!

🍝 Food Tip: Antica Osteria Brunetti is just a 6 minute walk from Terrazza del Pincio and unlike the many tourist traps in the area, they serve authentic local dishes. Be sure to try their tonnarelli alla gricia!

9. Villa Borghese

Visit time: 20 mins
All around Terrazza del Pincio

Terrazza del Pincio is situated inside a gigantic park named Villa Borghese. This charming green space is definitely worth taking a stroll in. Its peaceful rows of trees and benches provide a great contrast to the busy city streets you’ll be seeing most of the day.

Stroll past cute dogs running on the grass, teenage lovers smooching under the trees, skaters showing off their latest tricks, people rowing boats in a lake (Laghetto Di Villa Borghese), and of course — Roman sculptures and fountains scattered here and there.

Rows of Trees at Villa Borghese Park in Rome, Italy

🚴 Insider Tip: A fun way to explore Villa Borghese is to rent a bike. You can rent one in either Viale Goethe or Viale dell’Uccelliera — both locations are inside the park. You can choose between regular bikes, 2-people tandem bikes, and even 4-people quadricycles (perfect for families with kids).

10. Galleria Borghese

Visit time: 1-2 hours
Located inside Villa Borghese

Next up on this Rome 2 day itinerary is Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery), located right at the eastern end of Villa Borghese. From Terrazza del Pincio (on the western end of the park), it takes roughly 20 minutes by foot and 7 minutes by bike to get there.

Galleria Borghese showcases an impressive collection of art, including masterpieces by Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Tiziano. Walking around, you’ll see breathtaking mosaics, stunning frescoes on the walls and ceiling, and impressive sculptures in every hall.

Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy

Galleria Borghese is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm, with the last entrance allowed at 5.45 pm. Be sure to book your entrance slot well in advance and to get there 45 minutes before your entry time as it will be crowded, and there will be a long line.

Each visitor is given 2 hours to visit the gallery (except for those who enter at 5.45 pm). Note that you can only enter at the whole hour (for example, you can enter at 10 am or 11 am, but not at 10:30 am or 11:15 am).

🔥 Top Tip: Don’t enjoy waiting in line? Book a skip-the-line ticket to get right in! While it costs more than a regular ticket, it will save you a lot of time.

The Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy
‘The Rape of Proserpina’ by Bernini (1621) in the Galleria Borghese
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 9 am - 7 pm (last entry at 5.45 pm) | Closed on Mondays 
🎫 Entrance fees: Regular - €15 ($17 USD) | Age 18-25 - €4 ($4.50 USD) | Free with the Roma Pass (but you still need to book in advance by calling +39 06 32810)
🌐 Online ticket: Book your skip-the-line ticket here (highly recommended)

11. Aperitivo + Dinner Near Piazza del Popolo

Duration: 2-3 hours

After visiting the Galleria Borghese, it will most likely be dinner time. I recommend making your way back to the Terrazza del Pincio and Piazza del Popolo, which is surrounded by restaurants. It should take you around 20 minutes to walk there from Galleria Borghese.

They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And in this case, it means going for an aperitivo — a pre-meal drink meant to “open the stomach” before dining. This is a big Italian cultural tradition that’s very worth experiencing.

The aperitivo usually takes place between 6 pm and 8 pm in Italy. Then, we usually go for dinner between 8 pm and 10 pm. While this may seem late if you’re from the US or the UK, don’t worry — you’ll find tons of snacks paired with your aperitivo, so you won’t starve 🙂

Aperitivo in Rome, Italy

🍹 For aperitivo: Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari — This restaurant/terrace bar is just a few steps from Piazza del Popolo. Enjoy some Aperol Spritz or Negroni on their terrace, and nibble on olives, cheese, and bread. Bonus: you also get a beautiful view of Ancient Rome from there!

🍝 For dinner: Il Gabriello — While you can stay in Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari for dinner, too, you can also walk 7 minutes to this restaurant for some of the best cacio e pepe of your life. They also serve tons of delicious seafood and dessert.

Wherever you choose, just be sure to make your reservation weeks in advance!

Tagliatelle Cacio e Pepe in Rome, Italy

12. Evening Walk in the Historic Center

Visit time: 1-2 hours

After aperitivo and dinner near Piazza del Popolo, you’ll be within walking distance of many Roman attractions. While you’ve seen a lot of them during the day already, it’s totally worth revisiting them at night (even just briefly) to see them lit up in all their glory in the dark.

Another advantage of sightseeing in the evening is that there are fewer people around, so it’s a lot more peaceful, too.

Some of the key places to see in the evening include the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and Altare della Patria. If you have extra time, head over to Piazza della Repubblica to see more gorgeously lit-up buildings and fountains.

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy by Night
The Colosseum by night — one of the best things to see on Rome weekend breaks

🛵 Insider Tip: If you enjoy getting local knowledge from a tour guide, join the popular Rome 3-Hour Evening Walking Tour (⭐️ 4.7/5) to see the sun setting over the stunning churches, romantic squares, and fountains of Rome.

See more guided night tours of Rome


🗓 Day 2 in Rome: Vatican City + Food Tour

1. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Visit time: 2.5-3 hours
Suggested start time: 8:30 AM

On the second day of your 2 days itinerary in Rome, you’ll be exploring Vatican City, a country inside the center of Rome. The Vatican is the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and the world-famous residence of the Pope.

There are two main sites to see in the Vatican: the Vatican Museums and the St. Peter’s Basilica. If you’re in Rome during Christmas or Easter, you’ll be able to catch the Pope speak from St. Peter’s Square, which surrounds the St. Peter’s Basilica.

To maximize your time in Rome, I highly recommend starting your visit to Vatican City with the Vatican Museums. You can explore St. Peter’s Basilica afterward. This is to avoid the long lines you’ll encounter at the museums if you go later in the morning.

Inside the Vatican Museums in Vatican City, Italy

There are many remarkable rooms and hidden gems inside the Vatican Museums. Among the best ones are the Gallery of Maps, the Raphael Rooms, and the Gallery of the Chandeliers.

The key attraction inside the Vatican Museums is of course the famous Sistine Chapel, which Michelangelo spent four years painting. The frescoes that cover the walls and ceiling of this chapel are simply jaw-dropping. Note that it’s sadly not allowed to take photos inside.

🌟 Important: If you’re taking a weekend break in Rome and want to see the Sistine Chapel, pretend that day 2 of this itinerary is day 1, and switch them around. This is because the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays, except the last one of every month.

🌟 Top Tips for Visiting the Vatican Museums
  • Book your ticket online in advance to avoid the incredibly long lines at the ticket office.
  • Book a skip-the-line entry ticket if you want to completely avoid the lines and enter the museums through a separate entrance (the fastest one available).
  • Get free entry and skip the lines with the Rome Tourist Card.
  • During the peak season of May to mid-September, arrive at least 15-30 mins before the opening time to avoid the long lines (unless you have a skip-the-line ticket).
  • Avoid visiting on Mondays or over the weekend as that’s when the museums are the most crowded. (All the other museums in Rome are closed on Mondays, making the Vatican especially popular on that day.)
  • The museum is free every last Sunday of each month, but be sure to arrive early in the morning if you don’t want to stand in line for hours. (Check official real-time updates as this offering is sometimes suspended.)
  • Be sure to dress appropriately — both men and women are required to have their shoulders, thighs, and necklines covered.
The Vatican Museums Garden in Rome, Italy
🧔🏻 Why You Should Visit the Vatican Museums on a Guided Tour
  • You’ll get guaranteed skip-the-ticket-line entrance
  • Some tours provide you with exclusive access to the museums before opening hours so that you can beat the crowds and enjoy the attractions in peace and quiet.
  • Enter the St. Peter’s Basilica through a restricted passageway that’ll save you 20 minutes of walking and even more time lining up.
  • You’ll get to better understand and appreciate the attractions inside the museums.

See all guided tours of the Vatican Museums

🌟 My Recommendations: The Best Guided Tours of the Vatican
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm (last entry at 4 pm) | Closed on Sundays except the last one of every month; 9 am – 2 pm with last entry at 12:30 pm | Opening hours vary frequently so always check it real-time here.
🎫 Entrance fees: Adults - €17 ($20 USD) | Youth & students under 25 - €8 ($9.50 USD) | Free for children under 6

2. St. Peter’s Basilica & Dome

Visit time: 1.5-2 hours
2 min walk from Sistine Chapel through a restricted passageway

After exploring the Vatican Museums, it’s time to visit the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica. This basilica took 120 years to build and is the largest church on earth. It also has the world’s tallest dome, which you can climb up to for a spectacular view of Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica is the holiest and most important pilgrimage site of the Catholic Church. Inside, you can see incredible pieces of art, such as Michelangelo’s famous Pietà sculpture. Everything from the ceiling to the pillars of this church is jaw-droppingly impressive.

You can even attend Holy Mass inside St. Peter’s Basilica. On weekdays, it’s held at 8:30 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm. On weekends and public holidays, it takes place at 9 am, 10:30 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1 pm, 4 pm, 4:45 pm, and 5:30 pm.

The St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Rome, Italy

🔥 Top Tip: If you visit the Vatican with a guided tour, you can get from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica in just 2 minutes using a restricted passageway. If you visit individually, though, you’ll have to exit the Vatican Museums, walk for 20 minutes to St. Peter’s Basilica, and then stand in a long line to enter.

Don’t leave St. Peter’s Basilica without climbing to the top of its dome (cupola). Do this climb before you explore the basilica (and as early as you can) to avoid the mid-day heat and the long lines that will form later in the day.

To get to the top of the dome, you can either climb all 551 steps by foot or take a lift to the terrace and climb the remaining 320 steps by foot. From the dome, you’ll get a breathtaking view of St. Peter’s Square and the whole city of Rome — it’s a sight you won’t want to miss.

The View of Rome From the Dome of the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
The view of Rome from the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica
 Basilica opening hours: October to March: 7 am - 6:30 pm daily | April to September: 7 am - 7 pm daily
🎫 Basilica entrance fees: Free
⏰ Dome opening hours: October to March: 7:30 am - 6 pm daily | April to September: 7:30 am - 5 pm daily
🎫 Dome entrance fees: Lift to the terrace + 320 steps: €8 ($9.50 USD) | Climbing all 551 steps by foot: €6 ($7 USD)
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Sistine Chapel Early Entrance Small Group Tour (⭐️ 5/5)

3. Lunch Near Vatican City

Recommended duration: 1 hour

In total, it should take around 4-5 hours to see both the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. That means after you’re done, it’ll be time for some delicious Italian cuisine.

Most of the cafés and restaurants immediately surrounding Vatican City are overpriced tourist traps. But, a 10-15 min walk will get you to some really authentic eateries. Head to Osteria dell’Angelo if you’d like to sit down for some exquisite carbonara.

If you’re tight on time or budget, there are some great options too. Head over to 200 Gradi for some yummy panini, or to Pizzarium Bonci for some authentic pizza al taglio (pizza “by the slice”). This is a traditional Roman pizza that’s cut in rectangular slices.

You can find a variety of delicious pizza al taglio toppings, such as artichokes, potatoes, shrimps, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and zucchini. I highly recommend trying this pizza at least once!

Pizza al Taglio in Rome, Italy
Pizza al taglio — one of the best foods to try on a Rome weekend trip

4. Castel Sant’Angelo

Visit time: 1-1.5 hours
10 min walk from St. Peter’s Basilica

After exploring Vatican City and filling up your belly, it’s time to see a breathtaking fortress. Castel Sant’Angelo is an easy stroll from St. Peter’s Basilica. This fortress was built by Emperor Hadrian in AD 139 and was intended to be used as a tomb for the emperor himself.

In the course of its history, Castel Sant’Angelo has protected the Pope during various sieges. Today, you can go inside this fortress to see the rooms where the Pope used to reside and to get some magnificent views of Ancient Rome from the terrace.

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy

You can only enter the castle at the following exact times: 9 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6 pm. They cap the number of visitors allowed inside, so be sure to book your ticket in advance, or join a guided tour. Every visitor is given 1.5 hours to tour the castle.

Afterward, be sure to stroll the Ponte Sant’Angelo — the big bridge right in front of the castle. You’ll find some gorgeous statues as well as plenty of beautiful angles for photos.

🎆 Insider Tip: Every year on June 29th, there are stunning fireworks at Castel Sant’Angelo to celebrate the Festa di San Pietro e Paolo, a public holiday in Rome. The atmosphere at the fortress is simply incredible then, so be sure to drop by at night to witness this magic!

View of Rome From Castel Sant'Angelo
The view from the terrace of Castel Sant’Angelo — a must-see on a Rome itinerary 2 days
Opening hours: 9 am – 7:30 pm daily (last entry at 6 pm)
🎫 Entrance fees: Adults - €15 ($17.50 USD) | EU citizens aged 18 – 24 - €7 ($8.50 USD) | Free for children under 18
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter’s Square Tour (⭐️ 4.7/5)

5. Lungotevere & Ponte Umberto I

Visit time: 20-30 mins
Start right under the Castel Sant’Angelo bridge

Castel Sant’Angelo is right next to the River Tiber, and all along this river is the Lungotevere — a pedestrian riverbank that offers spectacular views. It’s the perfect place to go for a stroll.

From the Castel Sant’Angelo bridge, simply take the steps down to the riverbank. Go for a walk along it, and bring a bottle of wine and snacks if you enjoy picnicking by the water.

🌿 Insider Tip: For the best views, walk alongside the riverbank from the Castel Sant’Angelo bridge towards Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II. Then, step onto that bridge to see the stunning Castel Sant’Angelo reflecting in the water!

As you can imagine, there are tons of scenic bridges arching over River Tiber. One of the most photogenic ones is Ponte Umberto I, the one bridge you shouldn’t miss on your Rome in 2 days itinerary. From there, you can see the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica reflecting in the water.

If you can visit Ponte Umberto I during sunset, that’d be even better. You get to see the sky turning pink and orange above the ancient monuments of Rome — an incredibly peaceful sight as the whole city dims.

Sunset at Ponte Umberto I in Rome, Italy
The view of St. Peter’s Basilica from Ponte Umberto I

6. Piazza Navona

Visit time: 20-30 mins
5 min walk from Ponte Umberto I

Are you ready to walk into a painting? Well, not literally, of course. But that’s what walking into Piazza Navona feels like. This square is one of the most artsy ones in Rome, and it’s just a few minutes by foot from Ponte Umberto I.

Framed by gelaterias and restaurants, Piazza Navona is home to three magical fountains. The most impressive one is Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, which stands at the center of the square. This fountain was designed by Bernini in 1651 and showcases some amazing sculptural art.

In the past, Piazza Navona hosted many festivals and sporting events. Today, it’s a hub for street entertainers, artists, and musicians — all of whom make the atmosphere inside this square incredibly vibrant, cheerful, and laid-back.

Take a stroll and watch artists paint their own renditions of Rome. If you enjoy caricatures, you can even have your own drawn for you in this square. Whatever you do, don’t forget to get an exquisite gelato from GROM, located right by the northern entrance of the square.

Tourists Walking Inside Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy
Artists’ stands at Piazza Navona during the day

🍕 Insider Tip: There are many restaurants inside Piazza Navona, and waiters will try to lure you in. The vast majority of these restaurants are excessively pricey tourist traps. Instead, just a few steps outside Piazza Navona, you’ll find Mimì e Cocò and Cantina e Cucina, both of which are incredible options for an authentic Roman meal.

7. Pantheon

Visit time: 30-45 mins
5 min walk from Piazza Navona

The next stop on this 2-day / weekend in Rome itinerary is the historic Pantheon, one of the most well-preserved and ancient structures in the Eternal City. It’s a short and easy stroll from Piazza Navona.

Completed between 126 – 128 AD, the Pantheon is a Roman temple dedicated to the gods of pagan Rome. Later on, it was converted to a Christian church.

Today, the Pantheon continues to function as a church, and Catholic Mass is regularly held there. It is also the burial place of important Italian figures like Renaissance artist Raphael and Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy.

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

The architecture inside the Pantheon is simply marvelous. As famous painter Michelangelo once put it, “it was the design of angels, not of man”.

To understand what he meant, simply take a walk inside this monument. You’ll see that the building’s dome has a distinctive central hole — “the oculus” — which opens up to the sky.

🌟 Important: If you’re planning a weekend break to Rome, you must book your visit to the Pantheon in advance. This is part of their guidelines for visiting on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. I highly recommend booking the Pantheon Guided Tour (⭐️ 4.7/5).

The Dome Inside the Pantheon in Rome, Italy
The open dome inside the Pantheon — one of the best places to see in Rome in 2 days
Opening hours: 9 am - 7 pm daily (last entry at 6:30 pm)
🎫 Entrance fees: Free
🧔🏻 Guided tour: Pantheon Guided Tour (⭐️ 4.7/5)

8. Campo de’ Fiori + Evening Food Tour

Visit time: 3-4 hours
10 min walk from Pantheon

Following this two days in Rome itinerary, it will be around 5 PM by the time you’re done with the Pantheon. This is the perfect time to head to Campo de’ Fiori, a vibrant square that hosts farmers’ markets during the day but turns into the hub of Rome’s nightlife by evening.

There are many restaurants and bars inside Campo de’ Fiori. If there’s time, sit down for a drink or two. Then, I highly recommend taking one of the several guided food tours that start from this square (or very close to it). It’s a delicious way to end your 2 day tour of Rome! 😋

Campo de' Fiori in Rome, Italy
Campo de’ Fiori in the evening
🍕 Why You Should Join a Guided Food Tour in Rome

Joining a guided food tour will allow you to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and taste some unique specialties you’d have a hard time finding on your own.

The are various evening food tours of Rome that will take you to the top food establishments in town — eateries that have been in business for centuries and that are widely adored by locals. You’ll also get to learn some secret Italian food tips from expert chefs.

Cheese and Prosciutto on a Food Tour in Rome, Italy
🌟 My Recommendations: The Top 4 Evening Food Tours in Rome

See all guided food tours of Rome

9. Dinner in Trastevere

Visit time: 1-2 hours
20 min walk from Campo de’ Fiori

Some evening food tours include dinner, while others do not. If your food tour will feed you an entire meal, then go ahead and skip to the next stop of this itinerary. If the drinks and nibbles on your tour will have just “opened” your stomach, then Trastevere is the place to go.

This charming neighborhood is characterized by narrow cobblestone alleys, medieval buildings, and above all — the best restaurants in the city. In fact, Trastevere is dubbed the foodie neighborhood of Rome; the ultimate place to taste traditional Roman cuisine.

My top recommendations for restaurants in Trastevere are Nannarella, La Tavernetta 29, and Grazia & Graziella. For the best aperitivo (traditional Italian pre-meal drink), Bar San Calisto is where the locals go. Remember: booking in advance is essential!

🍕 Insider Tip: You can also join the Trastevere Food and Drink Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5), which takes you to various different eateries to try regional cured meats and cheese, delicious local pasta, a variety of Italian wines, and locals’ favorite aperitivo cocktails.

10. Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) – Night View

Visit time: 20-30 mins
15 min walk from Trastevere

After dinner, there’s a perfect way to walk off your meal. Not far from Trastevere is a hill named Gianicolo, and it’s a hidden gem that most tourists don’t know about.

While the climb up may be a bit tiring, you get an absolutely breathtaking 360° view of Rome from the top of this hill. Bring a bottle of wine to savor this view with a drink or two. It’s especially romantic if you’re visiting as a couple! (In fact, it’s where local couples go.)

The Gianicolo at Night in Rome, Italy
The view of Rome from Gianicolo — one of the best places to visit in Rome in 2 days
Related: Top 12 Rome By Night Tours to Take in 2022

11. Isola Tiberina – Summer Evening Drinks

Visit time: 1-2 hours
22 min walk from Gianicolo or 13 min walk from Trastevere

If you don’t feel like climbing up a hill after dinner (understandably so!), don’t worry — there are still plenty of other things to do. If you’re visiting Rome in the summer, then the pop-up bars at Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) are a great place to enjoy a refreshing drink or two.

Isola Tiberina is a charming little island in the middle of River Tiber. Though it’s interesting to see during the day as well, it truly comes alive on summer nights. This is when rows of pop-up bars fill the riverbanks of the island, and the atmosphere is incredibly vibrant and upbeat.

You’ll likely see foreigners living in Rome gathering on this riverbank for meetup events, and hear music playing from every corner. There are also tons of restaurants year-round on the island, as well as an outdoor cinema in the summer!

Isola Tiberina at Night in Rome, Italy
Isola Tiberina — one of the places to visit on a summer Rome weekend break

🗓 2.5 Days in Rome: Additional Things to Do

If you have an extra half-day in Rome, here are some interesting ways to spend your time. You’ll see different options depending on what your interests may be.

Option 1: Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla)

Visit time: 1-2 hours

If you’re curious to see ancient Roman public baths, head over to Terme di Caracalla, which is about a 10-minute walk from the Colosseo Metro station on Line B. Built between AD 212 and 216, these baths were some of the biggest thermal complexes of Ancient Rome.

The Romans loved going to public baths; it was their favorite way to socialize. Terme di Caracalla housed more than just baths, though. For over 300 years, people exercised there, strolled the gardens, visited libraries, and worshipped the gods at the temples.

🎧 Top Tip: To fully immerse yourself in the Baths of Caracalla, grab a set of virtual reality goggles at the entrance for an extra €7. With it, you’ll see the digital reconstruction of how each site looked back in the days. It’s a pretty cool experience.

Opening hours: It varies — check it real-time here
🎫 Entrance fees: Regular - €8 ($9.50 USD) | EU citizens aged 18-25 - €2 ($2.30 USD) | Free for anyone under 18 years old
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Caracalla Baths & Circus Maximus Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)

Option 2: Pizza/Pasta/Tiramisù Cooking Classes

Duration: 2.5-4 hours

If you’ve had enough of ancient ruins and sightseeing, then taking a culinary class with expert local chefs is a great alternative thing to do. There’s nothing better than devouring some delicious Italian food that you’ve prepared with your own hands!

Best Morning Cooking Classes
Best Afternoon Cooking Classes

Find more cooking classes in Rome

A Man Making Pasta in a Pasta Making Class - What to Do in Rome 2 Days
Pasta making class — one of the best things to do on weekend breaks to Rome

🏡 Where to Stay in Rome for 2 Days

The best area to stay in Rome for the weekend / 2 days is centro storico, the historic center of the city. This way, you’ll be within walking distance of almost all the main attractions in Rome, which could save you a lot of time. Here are my top picks.

A Hotel in Central Rome
Photo courtesy of Otivm Hotel via Booking.com

OVERALL TOP PICK: Otivm Hotel (⭐ 9.0)
This top-value hotel features a dreamy roof terrace that offers breathtaking views of the historic center. Guests can enjoy breakfast there with an epic view. Most attractions are within close walking distance, and the rooms are luxurious — yet priced very generously.

Check rates & availability


A Hotel in Central Rome
Photo courtesy of Singer Palace Hotel via Booking.com

TOP ROMANTIC HOTEL: Singer Palace (⭐ 9.4) This magnificent boutique hotel is only a 5-min walk to the iconic Trevi Fountain and is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Their rooftop restaurant is a magical place to enjoy a dreamy breakfast or dinner, and all the rooms feature gorgeous décor.

Check rates & availability


A Hotel in Central Rome
Photo courtesy of Hotel Martis Palace via Booking.com

TOP LUXURY HOTEL: Martis Palace (⭐ 9.3)
This stunning hotel next to Piazza Navona features an incredible roof terrace with a view. There is also an on-site bar, free WiFi throughout the property, and soundproofed rooms each with a flat-screen TV. In addition, guests can enjoy a discount at a nearby spa!

Check rates & availability


Where to Stay in Rome for 3 Days
Photo courtesy of Hotel Amalfi via Booking.com

TOP BUDGET HOTEL: Hotel Amalfi (⭐ 8.8)
This hotel is very close to the Termini train station and is a 15-min walk to the Colosseum. Each room features an AC, free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and beautiful frescoed ceilings. There’s also an extensive breakfast with eggs, bacon, and fresh pastries.

Check rates & availability

Read more: Where to Stay in Rome in 2022: The Best Areas + Hotels

🎟️ Rome 2 Day Passes: Save Money & Skip the Lines

There’s an easy way to save time and money on a 2 day trip to Rome: tourist passes that give you discounts and fast track entry into the most crowded attractions in the city.

There are many kinds of Rome tourist passes, but the ones most suited for a 2-day or weekend trip to Rome are the 48-hour Roma Pass and the Rome Tourist Card (my top recommendation). Let’s look at each of them in detail.

🏆 Our Top Pick: Rome Tourist Card ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Free skip-the-line admission to Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill ✅
  • Free skip-the-line admission to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel ✅
  • Fast track entry to St. Peter’s Basilica (can save you hours) + guided tour ✅
  • Free Rome city audio guide app with 130+ points of interests ✅
  • Free Pantheon downloadable audio guide for a self-guided tour ✅

Learn more about the Rome Tourist Card

💳 Roma Pass: 48-Hour City Card ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Free skip-the-line admission to 1 museum or archaeological site (like the Colosseum) ✅
  • Discounted tickets for all other museums and archaeological sites visited afterward ✅
  • Free unlimited use of Rome’s public transportation (metro, buses, trams, etc.) ✅
  • Free guidebook + map of Rome ✅
  • Does not include fast track entry or discounts for the Vatican ❌

Learn more about the Roma Pass

Spending a long weekend in Rome? Check out the 72-hour Roma Pass, the Best of Rome All Access Pass, and the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card (our top pick) to save more money!


🗺 Map of Your 2 Days Rome Itinerary

Here’s a map of what to see in Rome in two days, including all the places and activities mentioned in this itinerary. You can click here to see it in full on Google Maps.

Map of 2 Day Rome Itinerary

🎉 Essential Tips for Spending a Weekend in Rome

If you’re planning on going away for a weekend to Rome, here are some important things to keep in mind as you plan your itinerary. First things first…

🔄 Flip the days on this itinerary! This is the most important tip for spending weekend breaks in Rome. The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays, so you’ll want to do that and the other day 2 activities on day 1 instead. The exception is if you’re visiting on the last Sunday of any month: the Vatican Museums are not only open on those days but also free to visit!

🗓 Book everything in advance: Weekends are especially busy in Rome. Book tickets to attractions well in advance to avoid long lines, and make restaurant reservations in advance, too. Pretty much all the restaurants in the historic center have English-speaking staff.

🏡 Stay in the historic center: Anyone staying just 2 days in Rome, Italy should consider staying very close to the main attractions, which all lay in the historic center (centro storico). This would help maximize your sightseeing time and minimize transportation time.

🧳 Leaving in the evening? Consider storing your luggage at the historic center if you don’t want to go back to your hotel to retrieve them. You can use the City Center Luggage Storage, the STARBIKE shop near the Colosseum, or the Termini Station Luggage Storage.


🎒 Safety Tips for 2 Days in Rome

There’s one important thing to keep in mind when visiting Rome: it is the second most pickpocketed city in Europe (the first being Barcelona). Pickpockets thrive in the city center, especially at the main tourist attractions, on buses, and on the Metro.

The pickpockets in Rome are super fast and extremely skilled at what they do, so always keep an eye on your belongings. Never leave your backpack hanging off the back of a chair at a restaurant, and never let a cross-body bag hang behind you — always keep it in sight.

🚌 Insider Tip: The risk of theft is especially high at the Termini train station and on the popular Bus No. 64, which goes from Termini to the Vatican. Be extra careful at the crowded Metro stations of Spagna, Barberini, Cipro, and Colosseo as well.

Here are a few items you can pack to make your weekend away to Rome safer:

This Slash-Proof Purse has slash-resistant body panels and shoulder straps, which can be secured to a stationary object. It comes with RFID blocking too to protect your cards & IDs, so you can travel with peace of mind.

This Anti-Theft Travel Backpack comes with a fixed anti-theft password lock, RFID blocking which protects your cards and IDs, and a USB charging port. It also works great as a laptop bag or a hiking daypack.


✈️ How to Get to Rome – By Air & Train

If you’re arriving from another city in Italy, consider taking a domestic train to Roma Termini, the most central train station in town. You can find train timetables on Trenitalia or Omio.

Oftentimes, flying is the faster way to get to Rome, even if you’re coming from within Italy. There are two airports in Rome: Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA).

Fiumicino (AKA Leonardo da Vinci International Airport) is the main international airport and is connected by direct flights to countless cities around the world, including Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and New York City.

Ciampino is a much smaller airport that serves mostly domestic and European flights.

🌟 Insider Tip: If you can choose between the two airports, go with Fiumicino. Even though it’s further from the city center, it’s a lot better connected to the city and gives you more transportation options.

Search for flights to Rome

A Church in Trastevere - What to Do in Rome Italy in 2 Days
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere — one of the best things to see in Rome in 2 days

🚗 The Best Way to Get From Fiumicino Airport to Rome

The fastest and easiest way is to get from the Fiumicino Airport to Rome is to book a private transfer from the airport to your hotel with Get Your Guide.

Booking a private transfer is actually cheaper than taking a taxi — you can save almost €8 ($10 USD). It’s also a great option if you don’t want to take public transport and would like to skip the long lines for taxis at the airport.

🚕 Insider Tip: If you do prefer taking a taxi, always take an official white taxi from the taxi stand outside the terminal. Do not go with the drivers waiting inside the terminal. A taxi ride from Fiumicino to the center of Rome will cost you a fixed rate of €50 ($60 USD).

🚊 Getting From Fiumicino Airport to Rome by Bus/Train

Alternatively, you can also get to the city center by booking a direct bus transfer from Fiumicino Airport to Roma Termini. A bus ticket costs around €6 ($7 USD) and the journey takes 1 hour. You can then take the metro to your hotel from Roma Termini.

There are also two trains connecting Fiumicino to Rome’s city center: the Leonardo Express and the regional train.

I recommend taking the Leonardo Express train as it is a lot more convenient. In 30 mins, it takes you directly from the airport to Roma Termini, which is on both Metro lines A and B and very close to the city center. A ticket costs €14 ($16.50 USD), and you can book it here.

A regional train ticket costs €8 ($10 USD) and stops at Trastevere (in 30 mins), Ostiense (in 30 mins), and Tiburtina (in 50 mins). You will then have to connect from one of those stations. If you need to take the Metro, get off at Ostiense and walk to the Piramide Metro station.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

🚌 Getting From Ciampino Airport to Rome

A taxi from Ciampino Airport to the city center should cost €30 ($35 USD). The problem is that unlike Fiumicino, many taxi drivers in Ciampino don’t go by the fixed rate and will make up reasons to charge you more.

To avoid this hassle, you can book a private transfer or shared shuttle from the airport to your hotel with Get Your Guide.

There are no trains or Metro lines connecting Ciampino Airport to the city center, so the only other way to get there is by public or private bus.

The most popular private bus company is Terravision, which costs €10 ($12 USD) and will take you to Roma Termini in 40 mins. From there, you can connect to either Metro lines A or B.

The cheapest way to get to the city center from Ciampino is to take the public Bus No. 720. It costs only €1.50 ($1.70 USD). However, the journey is much longer as the bus takes you to Laurentina station (in 30 mins). From there, it’s another 30 mins to the city center by Metro.

Souvenirs in Rome - What to Do in Rome in Two Days

🛵 Getting Around Rome for 2 Days

🚇 By Foot & By Metro

Almost all the tourist attractions in Rome are within walking distance of each other, so the best way to explore the city is by walking. The city center is incredibly pleasant to stroll. Not to mention, you’ll discover the best hidden gems by getting lost in the cobblestone alleys.

Alternatively, you can take the Metro if your feet get sore (a likely scenario when visiting Rome). There are 3 Metro lines in Rome: Line A (red), Line B (blue), and Line C (green).

Most tourist attractions in Rome are connected by the Metro, and it’s likely you’ll have to take it when visiting the Vatican, which is a bit of a walk from the historic center.

Ride the Metro for free in Rome

🚌 By Public Bus

You can also take public buses to get around Rome, although I don’t recommend it. Traffic in Rome is really bad, so getting around by bus or car can be very time-consuming.

The buses in the city center are also usually incredibly crowded, and as a result, a breeding ground for pickpockets. I suggest taking the Metro instead for efficiency, but watch out for your belongings there as well.

🎫 Tickets for Public Transportation

You will need a BIT ticket (biglietto semplice) to ride public transport in Rome.

A one-way ticket costs €1.50 ($1.70 USD) and is valid for 75 mins. It can be used for the Metro, buses, trams, and urban trains inside Rome.

Alternatively, you can get free bus & metro rides with the Roma Pass.

You can buy BIT tickets inside any Metro station, at a tabaccheria (tobacco shop), or edicola (newsstand) around town. You will not be able to buy tickets inside buses, so make sure to have one with you before boarding!

🎫 Top Tip: Be sure to validate your ticket once you get on the bus, at one of the ticket machines onboard. Otherwise, you can get fined €100 when the ticket controllers come onboard to do their checks.

Piazza del Popolo - 2 Days in Rome What to Do
Piazza del Popolo — a must see in Rome in 2 days

🧳 Luggage Storage in Rome

🚉 At the Roma Termini Station

While most hotels in Rome will let you store your luggage with them before check-in/after check out, there’s an easy way to store your luggage at the Roma Termini station as well.

Head over to Via Giovanni Giolitti 127 and you’ll see the luggage storage store on the sidewalk across from the station. You can also book this service online here.

Roma Termini is the most well-connected station in the entire city. It’s on Metro lines A and B and is the final destination for a lot of airport trains and shuttles. If you’re traveling to Rome by train from other cities in Italy, Termini is where you’ll arrive at.

⛲️ At the Centro Storico (Historic Center)

Alternatively, you can store your luggage in the historic center of Rome at this STARBIKE shop near the Colosseum. There’s also another luggage storage service with locations in Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, Pantheon, and the Vatican — you can check them out here.


💰 Rome 2 Days Itinerary Budget

For budget travelers, the daily cost of traveling in Rome should be around €50 ($60 USD) in total. This means staying in cheap hostels and getting pizza/panini on the go rather than sitting down in restaurants.

Comfort travelers are likely to spend around €100 ($118 USD) per day, staying in boutique hotels and spending moderately at restaurants. Luxury travelers are likely to spend over €175 ($200 USD) a day. Here’s a quick breakdown of the budget:

🏨 Accommodation (per night): €7-22 ($8-26 USD) budget / €40-85 ($50 – $100 USD) comfort / €85-450 ($100 – $550 USD) luxury

🍝 Meals (per person): €15 ($17.50 USD) at restaurants / €3-7 ($3.50-8.50 USD) for pizza/panini on the go

🚇 Transportation: €1.50 ($1.70 USD) per every Metro, bus, tram, or urban train ticket (valid for 75 mins) | Free with the Roma Pass

🎫 Admission to museums/attractions: €7-17 ($8.50-20 USD) depending on the attraction | Free with the Roma Pass or the Rome Tourist Card


🍕 Where to Eat on a Rome 2 Days Tour

No Rome weekend itinerary would be complete without some epic foodie adventures. While this guide already has tons of food tips, here are some more top-notch eateries, including the best places in Rome to enjoy authentic gelato and tiramisù.

  • Roscioli ⁠— This Michelin restaurant has some of the best carbonara in Rome.
  • Felice a Testaccio ⁠— One of the best places to have cacio e pepe in Rome.
  • Forno Campo de’ Fiori ⁠— Try some of the best pizza in town here; don’t miss the pizza bianca with mortazza, a local specialty.
  • Cantina & Cucina — A cozy place with all-around incredible pizza and pasta.
  • Gelateria Come il Latte⁠ — An absolute must-visit if you want the most heavenly gelato.
  • Two Sizes Tiramisù — The best tiramisù in Rome is here; try their pistacchio tiramisù!
A Hand Holding a Gelato on a Saturday in Rome

☀️ The Best Time to Visit Rome

The best time to take 2-day or weekend trips to Rome really depends on your priorities. Weekdays will always be less crowded than weekends, although Rome will never be fully void of crowds. Here’s a quick rundown of the different seasons in Rome.

❄️ Low season: Mid-November to mid-December and mid-January to early March are the best months to visit Rome for the least amount of crowds. Temperatures are around 3-13°C / 37-55°F. Note that Christmas and New Years are exceptions and see a big increase in tourists.

🍁 Shoulder season: Mid-March to early May and mid-September to early November will see a moderate amount of crowds and mild temperatures (9-22°C / 48-71°F). The shoulder season is liked by many, so definitely book tickets for attractions in advance!

🌸 High season: Mid-May to early September is when Rome is at its busiest. Expect very long lines at attractions and high hotel prices. Avoid this season if you can’t stand crowds. With that said, the weather is at its warmest during this time of year (17-31°C / 62-87°F).

The Vatican - Weekend in Rome What to Do
The St. Peter’s Basilica — one of the best stops on a Rome in two days itinerary

🔮 Travel Insurance for Rome & Italy

The last thing we want on any trip is for accidents and mishaps to get in the way of enjoying ourselves. So travel insurance is always a good idea.

I use a service called World Nomads and can highly recommend them — they offer affordable prices, great coverage, and a reliable 24/7 on-call service.

Get a quote from World Nomads


⛲ What to See in Rome for 2 Days: Summary

Here’s a summary of what to do in Rome for 2 days, with all the activities mentioned in this itinerary. This is the perfect trip plan for a weekend getaway to Rome.

Day 1: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, Piazza del Campidoglio, Altare della Patria (Piazza Venezia), Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Terrazza del Pincio, Villa Borghese, Galleria Borghese, dinner near Piazza del Popolo, evening walk in the historic center

Day 2: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica & dome, Castel Sant’Angelo, Lungotevere & Ponte Umberto I, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Campo de’ Fiori, guided evening food tour, dinner in Trastevere, Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill), Isola Tiberina

🌟 Important: If you’re planning to see Rome in a weekend, be sure to switch these two days around because the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel are not open on Sundays! (Except for the last Sunday of every month, when it is not only open but also free.)


🏟 2 Days in Rome Itinerary: Final Thoughts

So, can you do Rome in 2 days? The answer is yes, but you really need to plan ahead and keep in mind that you won’t be able to see everything that the city has to offer. If you have more time or are planning a long weekend to Rome, you might like my 3-day Rome itinerary.

I hope you’ve learned a lot from this guide, and that you now have a good idea of what to see in Rome in 2 days. From ancient fortresses to exquisite food tours, your trip will be packed with exciting adventures. If you have any questions at all, feel free to drop a comment below.

A Colorful Building Seen on Weekend Trips to Rome Italy

📸 My Rome Photography Gear

This is the photography gear I used to capture many of the photos in this guide. You can also see my recommendations for the best cameras for bloggers for more options other than the ones listed below.

Ponte Umberto I - What to Visit in Rome in 2 Days
Watching sunset from Ponte Umberto I — one of the best things to do in Rome for 2 days

I hope this Rome in a weekend itinerary has been helpful and informative!

For further reading on Rome and Italy, discover:
🏡 Where to Stay in Rome in 2022: The Best Areas + Hotels
🛵 3 Days in Rome: The Best Rome Itinerary + Tips From a Local
🇮🇹 36 Famous Landmarks in Italy That Will Take Your Breath Away
🌃 Top 12 Rome By Night Tours to Take in 2022
🏠 22 Gorgeous Rome Airbnbs That Will Blow You Away

For further reading on other European destinations, discover:
🚗 10 Days in Europe: 25+ Epic Itineraries + Budget Trips [2022]
🚊 3 Weeks in Europe: 15 Perfect Europe Itinerary Ideas [+Hidden Gems!]
🏰 28 Best Hidden Gems in Europe: Epic Secret Spots You Must Visit
☀️ 34 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe to Visit in January
🍁 38 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in October + Hidden Gems

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Welcome to my travel + photography blog!

I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer who's been on the move since age 6. With this blog, my goal is to provide you with invaluable tips to help you plan epic trips to both popular and unpopular destinations, and to photograph them the way you'd want to. Happy Travels! :)

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