When to visit?
Try to avoid visiting Rome during the peak summer months of July and August. The city is extremely overcrowded with tourists and the weather can be extremely hot and humid. Aim to visit during the spring months of April and May, early summer (June), and during the autumn months of September and October. Visiting Rome in winter is also an option as the weather is much milder than in other European capitals.
Where to stay?
Stay within the historic center or in its outskirts to be within walking distance of Rome’s top sites. For a more trendy and romantic stay, Trastevere is a very popular option, combining a somewhat local setting, a rich culinary scene, and relative proximity to all major sites. In the Vatican and Prati districts, you can often strike better bargains but you’ll need to put in extra effort to get to some sites and there isn’t much to do at night. If you want to experience Rome’s “hipster” side, consider the neighborhood of Monti.
Rome is a city best explored on foot so book accommodation in a central location and be prepared to do a lot of walking. You can also use Rome’s extensive public transportation network (ATAC) which includes the underground metro, buses, and trams. You can purchase one-way tickets for 1.50€ at any shop or cafe that displays the “T” sign as well as day or multi-day passes.
Top things to do
There’s a lot to see in Rome so be prepared for busy days. If it’s your first time visiting Rome, here’s a list of top things to do. Keep in mind that Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world so you will need to share it with others, on some months of the year more than others. The overly congested tourist areas are the Colosseum and the Vatican. It’s highly recommended and sometimes even mandatory to reserve tickets in advance for the city’s major attractions. I also recommend making dinner reservations well in advance. Many restaurants in Rome mow offer online reservations.
How long should you spend in Rome?
To properly see all of Rome’s major attractions including a few rapid museum visits, aim to spend 5 days in Rome. If you only have three days in Rome, choose a few areas to focus on and perhaps avoid major sites that involve waiting in line or walking a lot indoors so that you’ll still have some time to enjoy Rome’s vibes.