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.
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 stay||What you can see|
|1 day in Rome||1 ticketed attraction (e.g. Colosseum or Vatican and Sistine Chapel), Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona|
|2 days in Rome||2 ticketed attraction (e.g. Colosseum and Vatican), Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountains, Piazza Navona|
|3 days in Rome||2 ticketed attraction (e.g. Colosseum or Vatican), Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountains, Piazza Navona + shopping time / visit an additional museum|
|4 days in Rome||Rome most famous sites and one/two museums + leisure time|
|5 days in Rome||Rome must see sites + leisure time + hidden gem|
Recommended Rome itineraries for 1-5 days in Rome
One day is not enough to see Rome.
I only recommend cramming everything into such a short amoung of time in two cases: if you do not like big cities, yet don't want to leave without a taste of Rome; you can come back to Rome again another time.
That said, it is possible to see many of Rome main attractions and get a sense for the city even in a very short time.
With a day in Rome you can, for insyance, visit one attraction inside (the colosseum or the Vatican, for instance) and enjoy Rome city center, with its beautful piazzas and churches, skip all ticketed museums and just stroll, or do full immersion in culture with a combined trour of the Colosseum and the Vatican.
If a day is all you want to spend in Rome, this itinerary is for you.
Two days in Rome are a decent amount of time for a first visit to Rome, although they are likely to make you yearn for more.
Two days will give you enough time to see Rome main attractions such as the Colosseum and the Vatican and will leave you some time to stroll around Rome cobbled streets and most beautiful piazzas.
They will not allow you, however, to relax much: to cover a lot of Rome in two days, you will find yourself walking extensively and cutting lunches and coffee breaks a little short.
I think this is a good amount of time if you want to see specifica attractions but wn't allow you to get a feel for Rome as a city.
Three days in Rome area good lenght of time to spend on a first visit to the Eternal City.
If you love attractions and museums, you will be able to see one per day, which means you could potentially see the Colosseum, vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel and the Borghese gallery
If you prefer to experience the city streets, three days in Rome will be sufficient to explore Rome city center, visit Trastevere and take some nice breaks in front of coffee, gelato and local food.
With three days, you are not likely to have time to venture off the beaten track but you will get a nice sense of the most central part of the city.
While there is no one size fits all, I think most people will enjoy four days in Rome the most.
I think this is the best lenght of stay to hit a balance between seeing a lot but also take leisure time to rest, eat, go shopping and watch Rome life past by.
This is also a good timeframe to see museums.
While you won't be able to see the whole of Rome in four days, with our itinerary you will be able to see Rome main attractions at a reasonable pace and you may even have time for an activity such as a cooking class or a food tour.
Five days are the ideal lenght of time to truly immerse yourself in the city.
With fiv days, you will not see everything Rome has to offer but you will be able to visit all the most famous attractions and you won't even have to run from one to the other!
With this lenght of time, you can see many museums and/or visit off the beaten track locations or lesser known areas.
In the good season, you may even be able to go to Ostia Antica, which is a fantastic archaeological area in the outskirts of the city!
This is an idea lenght of time to visit Rome especially if you are an art lover or you love big ciities,
if you prefert smaller center, this may be too long a stay for you: Rome is rather busy so five days here are only reallysuitable if you enjouy a busy metropolis.
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:
- Travel guide to Rome for beginners: Tips and tricks for a first trip to Rome
- Best area to stay in Rome for a first visit
- Rome for foodies: what and where to eat in Rome
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!