Visiting Rome for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do
The Eternal City dazzles with iconic Roman ruins, a wealth of art and architecture, and lively historic squares, but Rome can also overwhelm first-time visitors who want to see as many highlights as possible in a limited amount of time. Here are our recommendations for taking in local treasures on your first trip to Rome.
Opt or skip-the-line tours
And save time at top attractions.
Rome is home to some of the most visited monuments in the world, and waiting in long lines to enter highlights like the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums can steal precious hours from your day. Prebooking skip-the-line entry is essential if you want to maximize your time admiring the magnificent amphitheater where gladiators once fought, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and other unforgettable sights.
Explore on wheels
And cover more ground.
Rome is a sprawling city, and it can be a hike to get from one attraction to the next on foot. Hop aboard a Vespa, a vintage Fiat 500, an Ape Calessino tuk-tuk, a bike, or even a Segway, and zip from square to square to take in the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Pantheon. If you want to do some walking, a hop-on hop-off bus tour is ideal.
Sightsee from dawn to dusk
And see Rome in all lights.
Opt for early entry or night tours to stretch your day to the max, and enjoy the added benefits of fewer lines and crowds (and cooler temperatures, if you're visiting in the summer). Experience the peaceful atmosphere of the Vatican at dawn, the la dolce vita vibe of the historic center at dusk, and the timeless romance of the Colosseum by moonlight.
Explore the neighborhoods
And get an insight into local life.
Browse the markets
And pick up some local produce.
Rome has a proud culinary tradition, and its outdoor food markets are centers of community life. Take a morning walk through stalls selling seasonal produce, artisan cheeses, cold cuts, and other specialties. Foodies can opt for a cooking experience that combines a market stroll with a hands-on lesson.
Get out of town
And make the most of the region.
More ways to explore Rome