This year I chose Rome to celebrate my birthday. I have been curious to know the Italian capital for a long time, and this seemed the best pretext for me to discover this beautiful European destination.
It took only three days to witness what centuries left behind in the most well-known and ancient city of Italy.
In this post you will find out:
- The top ten places you have to visit
- How to get to Rome and move around in the city
- Where to stay
- Where to eat
- Some other details to take into account
10 places to see in Rome
Three days may seem little to get to know a city like Rome, but if you stay near the center, have strength in your legs and a great deal of patience to face some queues or small crowds, then this is the perfect duration for a packed trip. Take out the city map and mark these monuments, piazzas, and churches.
Palatine Hill: Roman Forum and Circus Maximus
Altar di la Patria
Fontana di Trevi
Piazza di Spagna
How to get to Rome and move around
I went to Rome using Ryanair, departing from Lisbon. It’s not my airline of choice. By the way, every time I ride with Ryanair I feel like I’m riding a bus. But the truth is that they have unbeatable prices, and as it’s only a few hours of flying, it’s a more than valid option. In my case, I got a flight for just over 100 euros, round trip, and because I chose to pay extra the seat reservation. But it all depends on where you are from.
After landing at Ciampino airport, the small terminal that houses the low-cost airlines, we decided to take a taxi to the center. In Rome, the taxis at the airport are fixed-rate — € 30 — regardless of the point of the city where we want to go.
Our driver decided that we would split our trip with another customer. It’s a way to make more money, but you are not required to accept. You can always wait for a new taxi. Even if the cab driver looks mad.
At the end of our days in Rome, we returned to the airport by shuttle. Much cheaper — we paid about € 5 — you can catch it in Termini, the main bus terminal. It’s a trip of about 30 minutes, and I advise you to arrive before the scheduled time, since if you can’t get into the shuttle you have booked, you may have to wait for the next one.
During the three days of the trip, I didn’t need to use any other means of transport. Buses run everywhere, and the metro can also be an option if you stay far from the center. But for a short stay, the ideal is to sleep close to the tourist attractions, so you do everything on foot, like me.
And I don’t advise the rental car since the traffic can be a bit chaotic.
Where to stay
Rome attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year, so there’s no lacking of accommodation options. For all tastes and wallets.
On this trip, I chose to rent a house through Airbnb. I have an Italian friend that advised us to stay in Trastevere, a neighborhood full of appeal, with great restaurants and bars and a reasonable walking distance from the sights to visit in the city.
You can find out more about where I stayed in Rome in this post:
Where to eat
One of the most fantastic components of this trip is undoubtedly the food. The pizzas, the pasta, the ice cream, the wine… who doesn’t like it?!
As I said before, Trastevere is full of good restaurants, and it was around here that I ate all three days.
One of the restaurants I visited was the Arco di S.Calisto, near Piazza di Santa Maria. Here any dish with mushrooms is excellent, as they are picked up by the owner himself and are very fresh.
Some other details for the trip
– Tickets to the Vatican Museums can be bought over the internet. This way you prevent from being queued for entry into the museum ticket office. To acquire yours you can access the Vatican website created for this purpose.
Don’t go too late because you may still have to walk a little while to get there. The entrance to the museums is not on the side of St. Peter’s Basilica, but a few blocks away. I learned this the hard way.
– Speaking of buying tickets, if you want to visit the Colosseum don’t get the tickets at the monument itself, where there will undoubtedly be a giant confusion. Arrive early in the Roman Forum area and get tickets at one of the kiosks you find there. In my case, I bought the ticket that includes the guided visit to the Colosseum and access to the entire Palatine Hill.
– If you want to avoid queues and have direct access to some of the city’s monuments, as well as discounts at various tourist attractions, opt for the Rome City Pass.
– The last tip: wear comfortable shoes. 😉