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Things to Do in Rome at Night

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This post provides several ideas for things to do in Rome at night, including, family-friendly as well as free attractions and activities you can enjoy after dark.

 


Top 10

The following section features the ten most interesting things you can do at night in Rome. 


1. Take a Night Tour

One of the best ways to spend a night in Rome is to do a little sightseeing.

Many notable and historic landmarks in this city are lit up after dark, and you can take a tour that covers the most important locations.

You can expect to see sites such as the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and more.

Colosseum
Colosseum by Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

There are fully guided tours available from a variety of tour companies, but you can also take one of our many self-guided tours

There are walking tours, as well as food, bus, boat, and ghost tours. Read our post on the best night tours in Rome.


2. Go to a Concert

No matter when you come to Rome, chances are there will be a concert happening somewhere in the city. 

Click here to see all the music happening in Rome.

The most popular concerts feature classical music being played by symphonies or sung by notable artists such as the Three Tenors.

That said, popular musicians also frequently perform more modern hits at various locations around the city.

No matter what type of music you enjoy, chances are you’ll find a great concert to attend.

Muse - Supremacy - Roma
Muse - Supremacy - Roma by Thunderbolt93 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Check the schedule at the following venues for the best and most interesting concerts in Rome:

  • Auditorium Parco della Musica
  • St. Paul’s Within the Walls
  • PalaLottomattica
  • Traffic Live Club
  • The Monk Club
  • Atlantico
  • And More! 

See who is playing in Rome while you are here.


3. Go on a Dinner Cruise

There are a few companies that offer a dinner cruise on the River Tiber.

Considering that this river winds its way right through the heart of Rome, going on a cruise is a great way to see the city.

See sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Colosseum, and more while enjoying a nice meal.

This is also a great activity for anyone who wants to spend a romantic night out with their significant other.

Note that dinner cruises are seasonal, running from April through October.

For more details, check this list of dinner cruises on the River Tiber.

TIP: You can save 20% on cruise tickets with the Rome City Pass.


4. Go to an Opera

Rome has a wonderful theatre known as Teatro dell’ Opera which routinely offers at least a few different operas, ballets, and other shows each month.

This theatre usually sticks to the classics, so you can expect familiar stories such as Swan Lake, Carmen, Don Quixote, and more.

During the summer, Teatro dell’ Opera runs a special series of concerts and operas which take place at the Baths of Caracalla.

This is a rare opportunity to see a show at one of the most historic landmarks in Rome. If you plan on visiting from May-August, keep an eye out for this incredible opportunity.

NOTE: The Rome Turbo Pass offers discounts on admission to operas and the Baths of Caracalla. This is a great way to save money on several different activities.


5. Visit the Colosseum

You might be surprised to find that you can actually visit the Colosseum after dark.

Several companies offer night tours of this historic site, covering a lot of ground that you won’t even see on the typical self-guided visit.

This is an excellent opportunity to see a side of this popular landmark that few will ever discover.

Ticket prices can be somewhat expensive, but many reviewers indicate that this experience is worth the additional cost.

For more details about this night tour, check our post about visiting the Colosseum.


6. Visit the Vatican

Much like the Colosseum, you can also visit the Vatican Museums at night.

Night tickets will allow you to visit between the hours of 7 pm - 11 pm.

This opportunity is usually only available in the spring and summer, and tickets can be difficult to get.

You can also purchase tickets for a guided night tour from a trustworthy tour company, which is a more certain way to gain nighttime access.

To learn more about night tickets, read our post about visiting the Vatican Museums.


7. See a Musical

In addition to Teatro dell ’Opera, there are several other theatres in Rome where you can go to see musicals, plays and other live performances.

If you’re interested in seeing a more modern tale played out on stage, consider visiting one of the following venues:

Teatro Sistina

TIP: The Rome Turbo Pass includes discounts on theatre tickets.


8. Experience Aperitivo

If you’re going to be spending some time in Rome, you might want to try an authentic Italian tradition: the Aperitivo.

This is a special event which includes drinks and a buffet-style meal.

The typical Aperitivo starts at about 7 pm and lasts for a few hours, so it’s a perfect activity to enjoy at night.

Aperitivo
Aperitivo_al_bar by Lasagnolo9 at Italian Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Visitors from out of town might want to get some guidance from a local.

Well, there are several guided tours you can take which will help you to learn all about the Aperitivo.

NOTE: This is an excellent idea for a night out with your significant other.


9. See the Fountains of Rome

There are a lot of beautiful and historic fountains in Rome. Many of them are lit up after dark, making them glow and ensuring they are easier to see at night.

Since you don’t need to enter any building to see them, you can easily do a self-guided walk and enjoy the most beloved baroque fountains in the city at your own leisure once the sun goes down.

Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) by night
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) by night by Henning Klokkeråsen from Oslo, Norway, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Here are a few of the sites you should consider visiting:

NOTE: Trevi Fountain is close to venues like Teatro Sistina, Teatro Eliseo, and other notable theatres.

If you’re planning to see a musical, you might want to consider visiting this location either before or after the show.


10. Get a Tourist Pass

There are a lot of great nighttime activities included with the various tourist passes offered in Rome.

Here are a few examples of attractions and services you can enjoy at a discount with a Rome tourist pass.

If you plan on visiting any of the locations listed above or you want to save money on even more things to do at night, consider getting the Rome Turbo Pass.

 


FREE THINGS TO DO

In this section, we will provide a few additional ideas for free things to do at night in Rome.

If you want even more affordable activities, make sure to read our full post of free things to do in Rome.


Domenica al Museo

On the first Sunday of each month, museums and historic landmarks around Rome open their doors to the public for free.

This event is known as Domenica al Museo, and although some of the included locations close before it gets too dark, there are a few sites with hours as late as 7:30 pm - 8 pm.

 

Castel Sant'Angelo at Night
Castel Sant'Angelo at Night by Livioandronico2013, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for something interesting to do in the early evening at Domenica al Museo, consider heading to the top of Castel Sant’Angelo to get a view of Rome during sunset.

Locations such as Palazzo Venezia, the Baths of Caracalla, and MAXXI are also open until at least 7 pm, giving you ample opportunity to visit as the daylight fades.

For a list of additional attractions included on Domenica al Museo, read our post about free things to do in Rome


Head to the Testaccio Market

During the summer and fall months, Testaccio Market holds what they call “Open Days.” This is an event where the market remains open late into the night.

In addition to the later hours, there are also usually live musical performances and special services offered by businesses in the area.

 

Mercado de Testaccio. Roma
Mercado de Testaccio. Roma by dpotera (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

 

For example, this is the only time that you can get a good cut of meat from the butcher and watch them cook it for you on-site!

It might not be free if you plan to purchase a few things while shopping at Testaccio Market, but you don’t necessarily have to buy anything to enjoy the music and look around.

Make sure to read our post on free things to do in Rome for more ideas.

 


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

This section will focus on the attractions you can enjoy with your family after dark in Rome.

If you’re looking for more ideas, make sure to check our other sections for activities such.

Families who are looking for more things to do at night should consider getting a Rome tourist pass to save money on a variety of popular activities.


Go to a Gladiator Show

Even though the age of gladiators has long since ended, there is still at least one location in Rome where you can see a live recreation of gladiatorial combat.

Gruppo Storico Romano has a small arena near Appian Way where you can take the family to see a Gladiator Show during the summer.

This is a fairly limited event, but it’s definitely an excellent experience if you happen to visit Rome at the right time.

 

Thraex murmillo show fight
Thraex murmillo show fight by MatthiasKabel / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

 

In addition to the Gladiator Show, Gruppo Storico Romano also provides something called Gladiator School for young children.

This class gives your kids the opportunity to find out what life was like during the period where this type of battle was popular.

TIP: If you’re going to be in the area, consider taking a walk down Appian Way. This is a free activity and there are a lot of notable sites to see along this historic road.


Enjoy Dinner at a Cat Bistro

If you have a family full of cat lovers, a trip to the Romeow Cat Bistro is an absolute must. This is a location where friendly felines will join you for your meal.

In addition to serving a variety of dishes earlier in the day, they also offer dinner in the evening.

 

Romeow Cat Bistro

 

This bistro has some of the most unique and high-quality dishes of any restaurant in Rome, so you can expect a slightly higher price for your meal.

It will also be important to make a reservation ahead of time to ensure that you’ve got a table.

This is an excellent opportunity for families who are interested in a more classy meal to bring the kids out for a special experience.

NOTE: If you’re looking for a more affordable opportunity to spend some time with cats, head to the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. This location is free to visit and there are several happy kitties in the area.


Take the Kids to the Zoo

At the Northern end of Villa Borghese, you will find Bioparco di Roma.

This is Rome’s zoo, and they are open until the early evening during the spring and summer.

 

Bioparco di Roma

 

Although it’s not technically open after dark, this could be a great way to spend the end of the day with your family.

While you’re there, you can expect to see camels, kangaroos, crocodiles, emus, flamingos, owls, and many other interesting animals.

There are also special events held every month, so make sure to check their calendar before heading out to see if there’s anything going on when you plan to visit.


Take a Cooking Class

If you’re trying to teach your children how to cook, Eataly of Rome can help with that.

Although a majority of their classes are taught in Italian, they do have some courses for children who are taught in English.

This is an excellent opportunity to give your kids a fun and educational experience which will make it easier for them to safely help in the kitchen whenever you make a meal.

Alternatively, you can also take a pasta-making class with an Italian chef.

In addition to learning how to cook this dish, you'll also get to taste it, and adults will have an opportunity to drink some wine!

 


HONORABLE MENTIONS

If you still haven’t found an activity you want to do at night, consider one of the following options.

These are attractions that we simply couldn’t fit in the top 10, but they are still excellent ideas.

For more fun things to do at night in Rome, look into getting a Roman tourist pass.


Go to the Borghese Gallery

Although they don’t have late hours, this beloved museum does stay open until 7 pm on most nights and until 9 pm on Thursdays.

Galleria Borghese
Galleria Borghese by Sailko CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

You won’t be able to stay all night, but you can definitely start your evening here without any problem.

If you’re going to be in the area on a Thursday, this is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the most famous artwork in all of Rome after dark.

Read our post on tickets and planning tips for the Borghese Gallery.


Experience Wine Tasting

In addition to the cooking classes they offer, Eataly also provides wine tasting courses.

If you’re in the mood to try some of the finest wines in all of Italy, this is a great opportunity that you won’t want to miss.

Wine tasting classes are offered at least once a week, so there’s a very good chance that they’ll have one available while you’re visiting Rome.

Some classes focus on white wine, but others provide a variety of red wines to try out.

During each course, a professional Sommelier or chef will explain details such as how to taste wine, what foods to pair it with, and how to properly serve it to guests.

NOTE: Eataly’s Italian headquarters are very close to Appian Way. You may want to consider taking a walk down this ancient road either before or after your wine tasting class.


See the Capuchin Crypt

If you’re in the mood for a spookier experience, consider going to the famous Capuchin Crypt after hours.

This is the location of the bone chapel, a famous and somewhat creepy catacomb full of human bones that have been creatively placed throughout the crypt. 

Santa Maria Immacolata a Via Veneto, Krypta der Kapuziner
Santa Maria Immacolata a Via Veneto, Krypta der Kapuziner by Dnalor 01, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • €85/Adults, Students | €80/Children
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Mon-Tue, Thu, Sat
  • Includes the following:
    • VIP after-hours visit to Catacombs.
    • Guided tour of the tunnels.
    • Capuchin Crypt & Bone Chapel access.
    • Travel between both sites.
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

TIP: If you’re interested in visiting this location, you may also want to see some of the other catacombs in and around Rome. Many of them are easy to find on Appian Way.


Head to a Rooftop Bar

There are several popular rooftop bars in Rome that offer both excellent drinks and an incredible view of the city after dark.

No matter which location you choose, the views from above are sure to be breathtaking once the sun goes down.

Most of the ancient city will be dark, but chances are that you’ll be able to discern some of the more notable landmarks as they are often lit up at night.

Whether you just want a nightcap or you’re looking for fantastic views, take a look at this list of the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome to find a good place to grab a drink after dark.


Take a Ghost Tour

Even if a trip to the Capuchin Crypt doesn’t sound like the best idea, you may still want to consider taking a ghost tour in Rome.

With a history stretching back thousands of years, this city has a lot of creepy tales to tell.

On a fully guided ghost tour, you’ll learn about some of the more disturbing things that have happened in this ancient city over the centuries.

Many of these outings will take you to locations such as the Trajan Forum, the Colosseum, and Castel Sant’Angelo.

If this sounds like an interesting activity, check this list of Roman ghost tours to find one that fits both your schedule and budget.


Take a Food Tour

Secret Food Tours offers a family-friendly outing after dark which includes a variety of tasty Italian foods including pizza, fried risotto balls, pasta, cannoli, gelato, and more.

If you're looking for some help picking the best dishes in the city, this is a great way to become more acquainted with Roman cuisine!

cannoli siciliani
cannoli siciliani by Stefano Mortellaro (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

While on this outing you can expect to enjoy at least 6 different samples at 8 unique stops in Rome, and adults can purchase an upgraded drinks package to enjoy some extra wine, beer, or spritz.

  • €80.74/Adults | €74.89/Youths | €69.05/Children
  • Availability: Mon - Sat at 5 pm (also available at 11 am)
  • Duration: 3 - 3 ½ hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Enjoy an Exploration Game 

This is an excellent way to discover the city after dark, allowing you to solve a mystery while you explore some of the most notable locations in Rome.

 

 

The first option is a game that puts you in the role of a person who never believed in ghosts but has since become one.

As you walk around the city, you'll attempt to solve your own murder.

Take a look at this self-guided exploration game.

There is also another game that covers areas near the Vatican, and it's actually based on the film/book series Angels & Demons. Play the role of Robert Langdon uncovering a mystery!

Consider this self-guided exploration game.

 


Is Rome Safe at Night?

A lot of people wonder if it's safe to walk around Rome after dark, and it's an entirely reasonable question.

That said, the answer is ultimately that you probably don't have much to worry about.

Violent crime is pretty rare in Rome, and one of the biggest criminal problems in the city is actually pickpockets.

Thankfully, there are usually fewer people out at night, so there could be a smaller chance of running into pickpockets.

Most people do not encounter any problems walking around Rome at night, and in comparison to other popular cities around the globe, this one is relatively safe.

If you want to avoid having anything stolen, pay no attention to anyone approaching you or asking you a question and keep your distance as much as possible. 

When asked about their experiences at night, female travelers indicate that they do tend to get more attention from men, but in most cases a simple and firm "No" will get the job done.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 3rd, 2021
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