Where to go
Things to do in Rome
Top 6 things to do in RomeA modern-day city steeped in history, Rome is an endless feast of art and culture. Italy’s capital and the first great metropolis of humanity, the city shows off three millennia of history in architectural and artistic treasures that will quite simply leave you breathless. You’ll never see it all, they say one lifetime is not long enough to see all Rome has to offer. But with our top picks you can see the city’s very best. Glimpse the city’s golden age with the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Pantheon, or marvel at the might of the Catholic Church inside the stunning St Peter’s Basilica. Immerse yourself in the city’s timeless beauty, and don’t forget to lose yourself in the dolce vita lifestyle.1. ColosseumOpened in AD 80, this 50,000-seat gladiatorial arena is arguably Rome’s most spectacular sight. An iconic symbol of Imperial Rome, its inauguration was marked by games said to have lasted 100 days and nights, which led to the slaughter of 5000 animals. Its end was signaled by the fall of the Roman Empire.2. PantheonGaze in awe at this former Roman temple to the gods. Completed around AD 126, almost 500 years later it found new life as a Christian church. One of the best-preserved buildings from this era, mostly due to its continued use, walking beneath its granite columns and ingenious dome is an enthralling experience.3. Vatican MuseumsDiscover one of the world’s most impressive art collections, amassed throughout the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church. From Michelangelo’s breathtaking Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s masterly frescoes and more than 70,000 other exhibits, you’ll need to pace yourself for this heady art immersion.4. St Peter’s BasilicaThe holiest of catholic shrines, unparalleled both in size, beauty and riches, St Peter’s Basilica is the one cathedral you don’t want to miss. Highlights include the many artistic treasures found inside, such as Michelangelo’s Pietà, along with the immense dome and towering bronze baldachin by Bernini.5. Galleria BorgheseThanks to the scheming (and thieving!) by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, this is one of the best private art collections around. Not only featuring sensational works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian and Bernini, the villa is also a sumptuous backdrop to the masterpieces. Admission by reservation only.6. Roman ForumThese sprawling ruins were at the center of daily life in ancient Rome. Formerly filled with extravagant temples, government buildings and shops, wandering through lonely columns and stone fragments lets you reimagine its past grandeur. Top sights include the Temple of Saturn, Arch of Titus and the Curia.Planning your Rome visitWhen to go?Rome is sure to charm you all year round. That said, summer is its busiest period, in which case you might want to choose another time to avoid the crowds. It also tends to get quite hot and humid in the July and August months. Many prefer April to May or September to November, when the weather is sunny but cool and attractions are less packed. While winter is less popular, it’s still an ideal time to visit; prices are lower as it’s off peak, picturesque Christmas markets pop up everywhere, and there's also the unique opportunity to attend the Vatican’s Midnight Mass.How to get there?The Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino is Rome’s main international airport. The quickest way of getting to the center is by taking the Leonardo Da Vinci express (€14 one way), which takes just over 30 minutes. Instead, a taxi will cost €48 fixed fare. The Ciampino airport is smaller and is largely used by budget airlines. It’s slightly closer to central Rome. From here, public buses and trains run regularly to the Termini station and take around 50 to 60 minutes. Airport shuttles are also available (€6 one way), while taxis will set you back around €35.How many days should you spend?As it’s been famously said, there are more treasures in Rome than can be seen in one lifetime. A weekend will be enough to cover its main attractions, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon, but you could spend an infinite amount of time exploring its many ancient attractions and artistic masterpieces. And let's not forget the many pleasures of its languid lifestyle. Wander idly down picturesque alleys, enjoy people-watching in any number of scenic piazzas, feast on the city's spectacularly hearty cuisine and watch the time fly as you soak up that dolce vita.How to move around the city?Getting around Rome isn’t always easy. This is partly because of the many ruins buried under the city, which are often discovered when extending public transport lines. Not only do they delay construction, they also have to be circumvented, leading to longer and less direct routes. The metro is the quickest mode of transport but its network is limited. There are two main lines that service the centre: A (orange) and B (blue). Buses run by the ATAC also operate frequently; their main hub is in front of Termini station. Taxis are not that easy to hail and it's best to look for them at ranks or simply phone for one. If you’re looking to explore just the city center, we’d suggest you go on foot, which also lets you experience the ancient atmosphere up close.Where to shop?From designer flagships to independent boutiques and vintage troves, Rome has something to suit all tastes. Fashionistas flock to the fancy streets around the Spanish Steps, for their Gucci accessories and to nab themselves a Fendi purse. Otherwise, if that’s not your style, the charming Trastevere area has one-of-a-kind stores selling everything from antiques to perfume. Simply hit the shops between Via Garibaldi and Viale Trastevere. Instead vintage aficionados should head to Via del Governo Vecchio, which winds its way through the Centro Storico. Finally, if you’re looking for a more local experience Monti is for you; it’s the place to shop for up-and-coming Italian designers. Begin your browsing around Via del Boschetto and Via Panisperna.