This post will cover some of the best activities to enjoy in Rome. In addition to our list of the top 10 things to do, we will also provide several great free, family-friendly and nighttime attractions.
- Top 10
- Free Things to Do
- Nighttime Attractions
- Family-Friendly Activities
- By Month
- Free Tours By Foot
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO
In this section, we will provide our list of the top 10 things to do in Rome.
If you’re looking for activities and events that will be taking place at the time of your trip, please read our monthly things to do posts.
(1) Go on a Sightseeing Tour
No matter when you visit Rome, it’s always a good time to do some sightseeing. This ancient city is filled with wonderful and historic landmarks to see!
The Colosseum is one of the most famous sites in the city, and admission includes access to other nearby locations such as the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican and its many museums. This location is home to several important pieces of art from artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to get around to each of these locations, consider using a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
These services will make stops at all of the major landmarks, allowing you to jump off and explore at your leisure.
(2) See a Concert
Rome is a pretty popular destination for musical artists from around the world. Depending on when you come, there may be a concert worth checking out somewhere in the city.
Here are a few of the venues where you can expect to see a great show:
- Auditorium Parco della Musica
- St. Paul’s Within the Walls
- Teatro dell’Opera
- Traffic Live Club
- Le Mura
If you really want to know what kind of musical performances will be available when you plan to visit, check this list of upcoming concerts.
(3) Attend a Sporting Event
Rome is home to several popular sporting events and venues.
This ancient city is also often home to at least a few notable tennis matches each year.
No matter which sport you enjoy, chances are you’ll find a great event to attend when you visit.
For more details, check our monthly posts on things to do in Rome.
(4) Watch a Musical
There are a lot of great theatres in Rome, and they host a number of great musicals, operas, plays, ballets and more throughout the year.
One of the most popular locations is Teatro dell’Opera, a venue that offers a variety of excellent operas and other events.
During the summer, they also provide shows at the Baths of Caracalla, including concerts with notable musical artists.
Here are a few other venues you may want to consider:
If you’re wondering what will be playing during your trip, please read our monthly posts covering things to do in Rome.
(5) Enjoy a Nice View of Rome
While there aren’t really any traditional observation decks in Rome, you will find several locations that provide excellent views of the city.
One of the best places to visit is the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo. This open-air area on the 7th floor offers an amazing perspective of St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City, as well as other notable landmarks.
Alternatively, you may also want to visit Aventine Hill for a unique view of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Knights of Malta Keyhole.
The dome of St. Peter’s is also a great place to get a view of the city, as it’s well above most of the other landmarks in the area.
If you’re looking for a better view of the entire city, it’ll be difficult to beat Terrazza del Pincio at Piazza del Popolo. This terrace is located well above the city, giving you an opportunity to see several notable landmarks.
No matter which of these locations you choose to visit, there are plenty of great places to get a good look at the city of Rome.
(6) Visit the Vatican Museums
No matter when you come to Rome, it’s almost always a good time to see the many museums at the Vatican.
Even if you’re not interested in the religious significance of this location, there are a lot of historic pieces of art and other notable items to see.
In addition to artwork from famous artists such as Raphael, this is also the location of the Sistine Chapel. This site is noted for the depiction of The Last Judgement on the ceiling, which was painted by Michelangelo.
While you’re in the area, you may also want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica for even more historic artwork.
One of the most beautiful pieces is Michelangelo’s The Pieta, which is unquestionably some of his finest work.
Depending on when you decide to visit, you may also have an opportunity to see the Pope, as he makes a public appearance at least once or twice a week!
(7) Go to a Free Museum
For many years, the city of Rome has offered a monthly program called Domenica al Museo.
Although this program still technically exists, it was changed recently to a system which actually ensures even more free museum days throughout the year.
Each participating attraction will offer 20 free days per year. Here are some of the more notable sites you can visit:
If you’re wondering when to expect the next free museum day, make sure to check the website of the participating museum/landmark.
For more activities that won’t cost a thing, make sure to check our free things to do section.
(8) Visit Rome Landmarks at Night
There are a lot of popular sites in Rome that are well lit after the sun goes down, and some even offer tours at night!
If you’re interested in avoiding the crowds, and potentially even seeing some things that other visitors won’t, make sure to look into both the Colosseum night tours and the Vatican Museum night tours.
In addition to these options, there are several historic fountains that light up the night sky in Rome, including notable examples like the Trevi Fountain and Bernini’s Fontana del Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona.
Alternatively, you can also check out the Spanish Steps after dark, as they are open to the public and pretty well lit at night.
You’ll find even more great things to do after dark in our nighttime attractions section.
(9) Visit Villa Borghese
There are a lot of interesting activities to enjoy at this popular public park in the center of Rome.
If you’re an art lover, a trip to the Borghese Gallery is an absolute must. While this location isn’t free to visit, there are a few other museums in the area that don’t charge for admission.
This is also the site of Bioparco di Roma, a fantastic zoo with several animals to see from around the world.
Families may also want to visit the San Carlino Puppet Theatre to see a great puppet show with your kids.
For additional things to see and do in the park, make sure to check our post about visiting Villa Borghese.
If you’re looking for even more things to do with your children, make sure to read our family-friendly activities.
(10) Consider Getting a Tourist Pass
Some of the most popular activities in Rome are included at a discount with various tourist attraction passes.
These services typically allow you to pay one flat price for access to dozens of different attractions. The more locations you visit, the more money you save!
Certain passes also include skip-the-line tickets at specific locations, making it easier to save time while exploring the city.
Here are a few of the more notable activities offered by various Rome tourist passes:
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Vatican Museums
- Borghese Gallery
- The Colosseum
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Baths of Caracalla
- Gladiator Museum
- And More!
Depending on how you use these services, you could save 50% or more off regular ticket prices.
For more details, please read our post covering Rome tourist attraction passes.
FREE THINGS TO DO
If you’re looking for activities that won’t cost a thing, we currently have a post dedicated to free things to do in Rome.
This post covers the following excellent opportunities – and more!
- Vatican Museums free day
- Visit the Pantheon
- Walk down Appian Way
- Take an Audio Tour
- Go on an Art Walk
- Visit Circus Maximus
- Discover Piazza Navona
- Lounge on the Spanish Steps
Don’t forget to check our other sections for ideas like going to Trevi Fountain, visiting Villa Borghese, free museums, getting a nice view of Rome and seeing St. Peter’s Basilica.
Although a lot of businesses close up pretty early in this city, there are still quite a few fun things to do at night in Rome.
Here are a few of the more interesting activities you might want to consider:
- Take a Tour After Dark
- Visit the Colosseum at night
- Go to the Vatican Museums at night
- Spend a Night at a Museum
- Discover the Capuchin Crypt
- See the Fountains of Rome
- Go to a Wine Tasting
- Take a Ghost Tour
Don’t forget to check our other sections for ideas like visiting the Trevi Fountain, taking an audio tour, watching a musical, seeing a concert and many more.
It’s not always easy to find fun activities with your family, but there are quite a few excellent options.
For even more ideas, read our master post for things to do with kids in Rome.
Read our post above for more details about each of the following attractions:
- Go to the Children’s Museum
- Visit Rainbow Magicland
- Take the kids to the Zoo
- Check out the Cat Sanctuary
- Go to the Rome Rose Garden
- Spend time at Villa Borghese
- Discover the Pinocchio Store
- Take the kids to a Playground
- Go to Gladiator School
For even more ideas, read our master post for things to do with kids in Rome.
MONTHLY THINGS TO DO
There are some events and activities that only take place during certain times of the year.
If you want to learn more about these opportunities, click on the month that you will be visiting Rome for more details.