How many days in Rome? How to decide + Recommended Rome itineraries

by marta

How many days in Rome: we help you plan the perfect length of your stay with this travel guide with recommended Rome itineraries for 1-5 days in the Eternal City.

If you are planning a trip to Rome as part of a longer trip to Italy, you may wonder how many days you need in Rome to see the city’s main attractions yet leave enough time for the other destinations on your itinerary.

As much as I would love to give a definite answer to this question, I don’t believe there is straight answer to the number of days you need to experience Rome.

There are simply too many variables and too many ways to plan Rome sightseeing for a satisfactory, standard response.

view of Rome with domes

So rather than telling you how many days to stay, I have prepared detailed itinerary for different trip lengths.

For each, I give a short introduction telling you the pros and cons and how much I believe you can cover.

If one piques your attention, click on in and you will find a detailed itinerary and tips to plan your stay, no matter how many days you can / want to spend in Rome.

Safe travel planning!

Top Tip! If you are planning a trip to Rome with family, I recommend you check our guide to planning a trip to Rome with kids instead. It includes itineraries like the ones below but that take into account the different pace and needs of people traveling with children.

One lifetime is not enough to see Rome’ (Rome quote)

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How many days in Rome? Quick chart

To create this article, I have started from a couple of assumptions.

The first is that this is your first trip to Rome and you therefore want to see Rome main attractions first.

For the shortest itineraries, I chose as Rome must-see sites those that attract the largest number of visitors.

These are Parco Colosseo (aka the archaeological park that included the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill), Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, the Rome Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountains and the Spanish Steps.

The second assumption is that you want to see as much as possible in the time you have.

Duration of stayWhat you can see
1 day in Rome1 ticketed attraction (e.g. Colosseum or Vatican and Sistine Chapel), Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona
2 days in Rome2 ticketed attraction (e.g. Colosseum and Vatican), Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountains, Piazza Navona
3 days in Rome2 ticketed attraction (e.g. Colosseum or Vatican), Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountains, Piazza Navona + shopping time / visit an additional museum
4 days in RomeRome most famous sites and one/two museums + leisure time
5 days in RomeRome must see sites + leisure time + hidden gem

Recommended Rome itineraries for 1-5 days in Rome

Best Rome tickets

No matter how many days you have in Rome, if you intend on visiting any ticketed attrition, you will have to move fast and book your slot as soon as possible. 

Rome most popular sights sell out fast and, leaving it to the last minute, will mean not being able to go in or being forces to spend over the odds for private tours. 

The tickets I recommend for Rome main attractions are

Colosseum – there are many tickets and tour options for visiting the Colosseum.

The two I believe suit most visitors best are.

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill entry ticket, a great value ticket with generous cancellation option

Colosseum Tour with Underground Tier, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill entry, a good guided tour of the Colosseum which includes the underground area, one of the most fascinating in the amphitheater

If you have specific needs, such as kids in your group, I can choose between more specialised options such as this family tour for kids.

You can read here >>> our complete guide to the best Colosseum tickets (entry only, tour, family tickets etc).

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – Entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine hill is included in your Colosseum ticket and cannot be purchased separately.

For entry only, the ticket I recommend is the same one mentioned above: the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill entry ticket.

You can then explore the Forum in your own time, with the aid of the free Forum App. You can find here >>> my guide to visiting the Roman Forum.

Vatican – Access to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel must be booked in advance.

You can buy entry tickets here. Tickets include access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Access to St Peter’s Basilica and St Peter’s Square is free and does not require advance booking.

If you are interested in the Sistine Chapel only, find our visitors’ guide to the Sistine Chapel here.

Other attractions in Rome such as Rome’s main piazzas, the Spanish Steps, Trevi and the Pantheon are either free and, at present, do not require booking.

Additional resources to plan your trip to Rome

This website is a giant travel guide to Rome, with free resources to suit all needs.

I recommend you start form the following guides:

I hope you enjoyed this collection of Rome itineraries and it helped you decide how many days are enough to see Rome. Safe travel planning!

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