3 Days in Rome – The Ultimate Rome Itinerary



Are you looking for the perfect 3 Days in Rome itinerary? This is the ultimate list of the must-see in Rome on your three days in Rome!

Whether you are travelling with a group, as a couple or as an individual, finding the perfect itinerary for a 3-day stay in Rome can be a challenge. Here is where we come in.

3 Days in Rome Itinerary

Rome is one of the prettiest cities in Italy. We truly loved exploring this city and had sore feet (from all the walking and exploring) for days after. Here is our three day Rome itinerary in an easy-to-follow breakdown:

Day 1: Roman Highlights

The first day of this itinerary focuses on three main highlights of Rome: the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the Colosseum.

Things to See in Rome Streets

These three iconic sites are within reasonable walking distance of each other, so they do not need to be done in the exact order shown below.

Since it is recommended to make reservations for your Colosseum tour ahead of time, it would be best to arrange this itinerary around your Colosseum tour.

Morning at the Trevi Fountain:

The Trevi Fountain is an iconic spot in Rome. Its fountains flood the piazza with romance and magic – and crowds. The Trevi Fountain is packed with people, almost 100% of the time.

The best way to experience the full majesty of it without getting too distracted by the masses of tourists is to go as early as possible. (Or as late as possible.)

So, to start your Roman experience right, grab a quick snack at your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, and head to the Trevi Fountain before breakfast.

There may still be some crowds there, but going early should minimize them enough to have a more enjoyable experience.

Once you’ve made your way to the fountain, enjoy the incredible artwork and architecture that makes up the Trevi Fountain. It is truly spectacular.

Then, of course, grab a coin, turn your back towards the fountain, make a wish, and toss the coin over your shoulder.

Legend has it, the magic of the Trevi Fountain will grant you another journey to Rome someday.

Even more enchanting, the coins tossed in the fountain are donated to charity. Your coin will grant a wish for you and someone else who needs one.

Afternoon at the Colosseum

The Colosseum is the symbol of Rome. It is a huge, imposing structure full of history.

Colosseum, Rome

In order to fully understand and appreciate the significance of this ancient building, it is recommended to get a guided tour.

However, if you want to save a little time and money, you can purchase audio guides upon entrance or read the informational signs around the building.

Early Evening at the Roman Forum

The original Roma Forum was built in 500 B.C. Though only ruins are left today, they represent the incredible longevity of Rome. Conveniently, the entrance is located very close to the Colosseum.

Roman Forum

The Forum is a great option for before or after your Colosseum tour, especially if your tickets include a skip-the-line to both.

Day 2: Vatican City

To walk from Rome’s city center to Vatican City would take about an hour, so this is definitely a time to use public transportation.

Rome with Kids - St Peter's Basilica

Public transportation is not very expensive but can be pretty difficult to navigate. Taxis are a direct way to get there but can get very expensive.

Early Afternoon at Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are a series of museums, featuring art and artefacts collected by popes over the centuries, as well as rooms they lived and significant chapels. It is easy to spend hours, or even a day, in the Vatican Museums because there is so much to see.

Things to See in Rome - Vatican Museum

There is a short path through the museums, featuring less of the attractions, or a long path with more. Either way, you will end up seeing the biggest draw to this extensive collection, the Sistine Chapel.

The fresco of the Sistine Chapel was painted by one of Italy’s many highly regarded artists, Michelangelo. His genius production of biblical scenes on the ceiling of the chapel brings tourists from all across Italy, Europe, and the world.

Early Evening Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica houses an incredible display of Italian art. Not to mention, it is an incredible display of art on its own.

Things to See in Rome - Inside St Peter's Basilica

More than that, however, it is an honoured pilgrimage site for many of the Catholic faith. Its architectural beauty, artistic collection, and spiritual significance make it a highly regarded place for visitors.

The lines to the basilica can get extremely long, but they typically move more quickly than expected. In order to save time, however, there is always the option to pay to skip the line.

If you don’t mind the wait in line, entrance is free! Either way, you will be glad you took the time to see this incredible play of Italian art and spirituality.

Day 3: Roman Gems

There are a number of Roman gems that you simply cannot miss out on, and they are of course the Spanish Steps, Cilla Borghese and the extraordinary Pantheon:

Morning at the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, like the Trevi Fountain, are full of tourists (and locals) most of the time. The best way to find an easy path up the staircase is to go early in the morning or late at night.

If climbing the steps is not in the cards for you, it is also a great place to sit and relax. Either way, it is worth a stop to this famously beautiful piazza.

Afternoon at the Villa Borghese

Just an 11-minute walk from the Spanish Steps, there is the beautiful park of the Villa Borghese – the perfect location for an afternoon. The Borghese Museum features sculptures on the first floor and paintings on the second.

Villa Borghese

The park is a beautiful attraction in its own right, with lovely gardens and a lake to enjoy. There are also other museums and attractions within the villa worth checking out!

Afternoon at the Pantheon

The Pantheon is amazing for two reasons. One, the architecture is remarkable. Build in 126 A.D., the skill in the structure of the dome was far ahead of its time.

Pantheon Rome

The famous whole in the middle of the dome functions as a sundial, which acted as a giant natural clock for the ancient Romans.

The second thing that makes the pantheon so amazing is that it is the best-preserved ancient Roman structure. Visiting the Pantheon is not visiting ruins, but stepping into a building from centuries upon centuries ago.

Entrance to the Pantheon is free and no reservation is necessary. This makes it a very flexible part of your day.

There is usually a line, but it moves fairly quickly. If you would rather pay for a guided tour, it is possible to do so ahead of time.

Helpful Hints:

If you are short on time, and three days is not what your itinerary allows, here is our 2 Days Rome Itinerary, or our Rome on a Weekend post here.

If you are travelling as a family, we also have plenty of information about what to see in Rome with your kids.

Check out the options for the best family accommodation in Rome here.

Photo of author

Andrzej Ejmont

Andrzej believes life to be a never ending adventure. Originally from Poland, he is a devoted husband and father. Dedicated and enthusiastic to chase all his dreams. Storytelling to entice other families to travel.