Things to do in Rome in 3 days

Of all the Destinations we visited whilst in Italy, Rome was our favourite. Rome is a vast and wonderful city. There is enough to do in this city to keep you entertained and delighted for months. This is a city with a vast and varied history - all the way from Roman times to present day. It is a city with a unique and wonderful culture. Spend your days indulging in the unlimited pasta choices, rich and sweet gelato or maybe head out to do a spot of shopping. Rome's shopping scene is varied and you'll find everything from designer togs to handmade goods. If culture is your thing you'll be spoilt for choice here. Baroque churches, iconic art and of course the magnificence of the Arena, Colosseum and a country within a country Vatican City which includes some of the best art in the world and Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel.

Read on for the best things to see and do in Rome

Things to do in Rome in 3 days

Spend a day exploring Trastevere, Rome

As part of our Italian itinerary we scheduled in three days of exploring Rome. Prior to the trip we thought three days might be too long but as it turns out we couldn't be more wrong. Rome is a fantastic city even when it is heaving with tourists. We chose to stay in the locality of Trastevere and we couldn't have made a better choice. In my visions of Italy in my head this fantastic area is what I imagined. Cute Trastevere restaurants staffed by italian waiters in crisp white shirts. Cobbled streets with distressed look buildings, the scent of delicious food wafting through the streets and Italian families laughing and eating outside deep into the night.

Trastevere is a colourful, lively and hip area. Full of traditional trattorias creating amazing and authentic dishes, craft artisan shops and accommodation options for all budgets. Beautiful throughout the day, it really comes alive at night. In this post, I'll walk you through what to do in this wonderful place.

What to do in Trastevere, Rome


Mornings are best spent wandering through those cobbled streets stopping for cappuccino and pastries which are available from a multitude of local cafes. Then make your way to Piazza di Santa Maria at the centre of Trastevere which is full of pretty shops and cobbled tiny side streets. Streets full of character bustling with local Italians going about their day. Italy is a religious country and the catholic church's artistic influence is seen everywhere. Here you'll see a variety of religious shrines adorning the area.

At the piazza you'll find buskers entertaining tourists and locals nearby the fountain. Stop by the fountain to take in the atmosphere of this glorious place and look towards the Basilica di Santa Maria. This iconic church was built in the 12 th century and inside the walls are adorned by beautiful mosaics. It really is a sight to behold.

Another Piazza worth a visit is Piazza di Santa Cecilia. Here you'll find the Basilica di Santa Cecilia and visit the crypt inside, look at more stunning mosaics, and I've heard that if you ring the bell the nuns will show you the Cavallini frescoes.


Climb Trastevere's hill to look out over the whole of Rome. It is a tiring walk but worth it for the spectacular vision that is laid out before you. After the steep walk reward yourself with a well deserved lunch. There are a lot of places in Trastevere for amazing food. I suggest heading to I Supplì (Via di San Francesco a Ripa 137). Grab a fresh slice of pizza or indulge in their homemade pasta. Their signature dish is their supplì which is the Italian delicacy of fried balls of risotto stuffed with mozzarella.

Afterwards head to Palazzo Corsini, which is a traditional baroque palace featuring the iconic works of master Italian artist by Caravaggio. Nearby is Orto Botanico a huge garden with a huge variety of planets. An oasis of calm.

Evening and Nighttime

Lady enjoying drink from Trastevere restaurants

Nighttimes and evenings are best spent at the night market situated on the river. Take the stairs down from Ponte Sisto and experience the bustling market full of locals enjoying dinner and drinks, local sellers peddling the wares which range from bags, clothing and jewellery to antique goods. There are a vast variety of street food sellers and cocktails. Food ranges from the traditional to Veggie options, there's even Mexican and American fast food joints. Sip on local wine and craft beers while looking at the river or grab a comfy seat up on the wall where you'll find huge comfy cushions to rest your feet and the local bars will bring your drinks to you. This spot was a stand out for us and we left relaxed, a little tipsy and very very content.

Iconic Roman Attractions

roman forum

Visit the Roman Forum

The huge archaeological site the Roman Forum is a sight to behold. It is huge in size and you can really imagine Roman citizens residing here. The site was created in 500 BC and includes the homes of famous Romans including Augustus Caesar. To get the most of your visit, hire a guide to talk you through the history of the site.


The Colosseum

This may be Rome's most well-known piece of architecture. You'll see similar structures in various Italian cities. The Colosseum is where the gladiatorial contests were held. This Arena would fit 50,000 people in its heyday. Millions visit the site yearly so pre-booking is advised especially during the summer months.

piazza navona

Piazza Navona

No list of things to do in Rome is complete without this Roman behemoth. The Piazza Navona is one of the city's most popular squares. This area is flanked by restaurants, bars and gelataria's but it's points are Bernini's sculptures Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi. The figures represent the world's four big rivers.  

The Vatican and Sistine Chapel

Vatican City is an unusual place - a country within a city. The Italian revere the Catholic church and tourists flock to the Vatican. Even for the non-religious the Vatican should be included on any visit to Rome.

The queue's get insane so you'll want to book online in advance. You'll get an e-ticket that you'll need to exchange for a paper one once inside.

The Vatican is vast in size and we were mesmerised from the moment we entered. You'll find a wide array of sculptures, fresco adorned ceilings and historic artifacts going back thousands of years.

But the highlight is of course the Sistine Chapel. You've likely seen photos of the place but you will still be amazed when you see it in person. Definitely one not to miss.

trevi fountain

Trevi Fountain

This baroque masterpiece was created back in 1762 and comes in at 26 m tall and 49 m wide. It depicts Neptune at the centre surrounded by tritons and is constructed from white marble. Try to visit at less busy times otherwise the fountain will be overrun with tourists.

Galleria Alberto Sordi

This location is ideal for a spot of retail therapy. Combine your shopping trip with cake and coffee at one of the many cafes. This shopping precinct was built in 1922 and is a beautiful place complete with mosaic floors. There's a good mix of High Street, independent and designer boutiques here.

Restaurants in Rome

Grazia & Graziella
Largo M.D. Fumasoni Biondi, 15
Late-night food · Outdoor seating · Cosy

Cajo & Gajo
Piazza San Callisto, 10
Late-night food · Outdoor seating · Great cocktails

Trattoria Otello Trastevere
Via della Pelliccia, 47/53
Late-night food · Cosy · Casual

Via della Paglia, 1
Late-night food · Outdoor seating · Cosy

Prosciutteria Trastevere - Cantina dei Papi
Via della Scala, 71
Late-night food · Cosy · Casual

Alle Fratte di Trastevere
Via delle Fratte di Trastevere, 49/50
Late-night food · Outdoor seating · Cosy

Trapizzino | Trastevere
Piazza Trilussa, 46
Happy hour food · Late-night food · Casual

Hosteria dei Numeri Primi
Via del Politeama, 8
Reservations required · Late-night food

Where to stay

We stayed at the fabulous Gio Suites. Run by a local Italian man, breakfast was delivered to our door each morning (freshly made cappuccinos, warm pastries, yogurt and juice). Rooms include a jacuzzi and flat screen tv as well as air conditioning. Rates start at £65 per night per room.

What would you add to this list of things to do in Rome?

Hey there

I'm Adelaise. Ethically Living is a modern lifestyle site for the modern vegan. Here you'll find tasty and easy vegan recipes, sustainability tips, travel guides and cruelty-free beauty. Enjoy and stay a while.

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  1. Vanessa wrote:

    I liked Rome, beautiful city and great food but I didn't like being pestered constantly by people wanting to sell me a selfie stick 🙁

    Vanessa x
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    Posted 8.30.19 Reply
  2. Saba wrote:

    this is really a helpful post. Will refer it to my friend who is soon going to travel to the city x

    Posted 8.30.19 Reply