Rome is one of those epic destinations you need to see at least once in your life, so getting to spend 5 days in Rome will absolutely make for a bucket list trip to remember!
Rome surely has a lot of attractions to offer visitors. From the history to the art, to the architecture to the food…there’s enough to see in Rome to stay for well over two weeks, but with 5 days in Rome, you will still be able to experience some of the best that Rome has to offer.
The best course of action to make the most of your time would be to first figure out the best time to visit Rome before you book tickets, then when planning to visit locations that are geographically close to each other to knock out as much as you can each day. If you really want to get around fast, you could book one of the hop on hop off tours.
Here is a sample itinerary detailing how you can get the most out of your 5 days in Rome.
How to spend 5 days in Rome
You absolutely cannot go to Rome and not learn about the ancient history the eternal city has been built on. For that reason, your first stop will be a guided tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill! On this three-hour guided tour, you will learn about ancient Rome and will get to enjoy some beautiful views of the Roman ruins from viewpoints at the Colosseum and Palatine Hill.
On this tour, you will also receive priority group entrance, meaning you will be able to save precious time and not be waiting in lines. Walking tours are one of the best ways to see the city.
On your first afternoon in Rome, why not continue your art and history lesson with a visit to the Capitoline Museum and Picture Gallery. Just a short walk away from the Colosseum, the Capitoline Museum is the world’s oldest public museum.
The museum’s history can be traced all the way back to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated some bronze statues to the residents of Rome and left them on Capitoline Hill. It houses various works of Italian art, ranging from Roman statues, to Renaissance and Medieval Art, to a collection of jewels and various Roman artifacts.
After your tour through the ancient history of Rome today, why not treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal that provides amazing views of the Colosseum?
Ristorante Aroma at Palazzo Manfredi not only will provide you with an amazing view to enjoy, but they also serve a wide variety of traditional Italian cuisine, as well as various Italian wines. This will be one of the most memorable moments during your 5 days in Rome. On your first night in this amazing city, treat yourself!
One of the best Rome travel tips: tipping in Rome is not the same as Western countries.
You’re on day two of your 5 days in Rome! Now that you’ve got a good handle on Rome’s history, why not get more in depth with the amazing food Rome has to offer?
On this 2 ½ hour long food tour, you will get to sample various local cuisines, such as pizza, cured meats, and gelato, as well as a few different wines and beers. On this tour you will also get to visit Rome’s Jewish Quarter and see a few famous sites, including the Largo di Torre Argentina.
Since you will be in the area after your food tour, it would be a good idea to make a visit to Campo de’Fiori and Piazza Navona. Start in Campo de’Fiori, where you can visit an open air market and sample even more Italian delicacies, including fresh produce, cheeses, and meats.
After your visit to the market, make your way to Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most outstanding central squares. You will be mesmerized by the beautiful fountains, churches, and architecture found here. Walk around and enjoy the views. Rest your feet by stopping for an afternoon coffee at a local café.
Enjoy a relaxing evening in Piazza Navona, where you will have your choice of many highly rated restaurants for dinner. If you’re still craving traditional Italian food, go for Bernini. If you want to try something a little more adventurous, try a popular Japanese restaurant in the area, called the Tora Sushi Restaurant.
After dinner, head out for an interesting tour with a small group where you can learn the secrets of Rome. This will be one for the books as it is not something you learn on the other tours of the city! Seeing Rome at night is such a fascinating way to explore the Eternal City.
A visit to Rome would not be complete without making a trip to the Vatican.
Going early in the morning will help you beat the crowds and long lines that start to crop up in the later morning. Be aware that the Vatican is considered one of the world’s busiest museums, and one of the most popular attractions in Rome.
You can tour the Vatican on your own or take a skip-the-line tour that allows you entry to both the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. If you would prefer to tour the Vatican on your own versus a guided tour, you can book a fast track ticket to skip the line.
After your morning tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, go get some lunch! For lunch, you will have your pick of plenty of great dining establishments right in Vatican City. Enjoy lunch and take a bit of a respite before you dive into the rest of your afternoon plans!
Next, you will want to be sure to visit St. Peter’s Basilica.
St. Peter’s Basilica is widely known as one of the greatest examples of Renaissance architecture. Take your time marveling at this great beauty from the outside in St. Peter’s Square. Then, make your way to the entrance and see the opulence that waits inside.
It is free to enter St. Peter’s Basilica, but as with the Vatican, there may be long lines to enter. If you are feeling up for it, you can even climb to the top of the dome in the Basilica, to see what many consider to be one of the best views over Rome.
In the evening, why not enjoy a twilight stroll to see more of the beauty Rome has to offer?
On your walk, you will have the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Rome—like a tiny restaurant off of a main street that only serves one dish, but it is the most delicious thing you’ve ever tried. Treat yourself to your own mini food and sights tour, stopping wherever suits your fancy for an appetizer or some wine. Cap the night off with some delicious gelato!
On day four of your 5 days in Rome, take a relaxing walk through one of Rome’s largest parks, the Villa Borghese.
In Villa Borghese, you will have your pick of what to do, as there is plenty to choose from. You can simply stroll through the park and marvel at the Roman Art housed here, such as the Temple of Aesculapius, or you can opt to do something more structured, such as visiting the Rome Zoo or the Borghese Gallery.
The Borghese Gallery houses paintings from some of the most renowned Italian artists, such as Caravaggio and Raphael. It would be wise to at least book your ticket in advance OR get a skip the line tour to save time waiting.
After a leisurely morning exploring one of Rome’s greatest parks, make your way to the beautiful and charming neighborhood of Trastevere.
In Italian, “Trastevere” translates to “beyond the Tiber” as this neighborhood is located west of the Tiber River, as is Villa Borghese. While wandering the cobblestone streets of Trastevere, feel free to pop-in to one of the many little restaurants in the area for a bite to eat.
You may also want to stop by the stunning Palazzo Corsini, a current art gallery that was once a Baroque palace, or stop to marvel at Tempietto, an old church that was built way back in 1502.
After you’ve had your fill of the charming Trastevere neighborhood, venture out to see the Trevi Fountain at twilight. If you visit in the early evening, you can avoid some of the larger crowds that come to visit the fountain during daytime hours. Legend has it that if you toss a coin in the fountain, that you will return to the great city of Rome someday!
This is your last day of your epic 5 days in Rome! Now that you’ve seen so much of what Rome has to offer, what is there to do next? How about seeing a few more of the major sites?
Visit the Pantheon this morning and imagine what it was like to be living in ancient Rome during the Pantheon’s creation in 113 AD. The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most popular tourist sites, and for good reason. It was once a Roman temple, but now operates as a Catholic Church. The Pantheon is free to tour as it is still an operating church.
One final important historical site I would suggest visiting on your 5 days in Rome would be the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. It is the one of the four major basilicas in Rome, and is one of the most magnificent structures in all of Rome.
The famous Italian architect by the name of Bernini is buried here. Entry to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is free and open to anyone, so marvel at this architectural wonder at your leisure. Visiting the Basilica will place you right back in the city center of Rome, so it will be easy for you to get to your evening dinner spot!
On your last night in Rome, enjoy soaking up the beautiful Eternal City one more time! Splash out by eating at a posh restaurant and have one more quintessential Italian meal—feast on pizza and pasta, all the red wine, and treat yourself to a delicious Italian dessert such as tiramisu or maybe a cannoli.
Make the most of this final bit of time for adventure, as this concludes your 5 days in Rome!
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