Rome Attractions – 30 of the Best Places to visit in Rome, map and pictures included
Rome Attractions! Here we are going to list 30 of the Best Places to visit in Rome, map and pictures included! You can call it the cultural capital of the world, or the eternal capital, Rome is not only the capital city of Italy, but it is more than that. It is one of those civilizations which are one of the richest in the world (and have always been).
Rome was the centre of the Renaissance and then it spread throughout the world. Rome is the city that is the other name of culture, ethnicity and obviously, Christianity. The art and architecture of this city will show you the influence of a different era. History will whisper in your ears while modernization is leaving its own impression. Today, you will get to know about Rome attractions, about the best places in Rome you should never miss!
Rome Attractions – Best Places to visit in Rome
1. The Colosseum
If the Eiffel Tower is the identity of Paris, you can’t imagine Rome without Colosseum. This Flavian amphitheatre was started to build from AD 72 and completed in AD 80. The large amphitheatre is holding the glorious past of the Roman Empire which was the centre of theatres, sports, festivals, circuses and lots of other occasions.
The levels are designated for a different class of people in society. You will be spellbound at the magnanimity of the Colosseum. If you are in Rome, this is a must visit. And while visiting this, you should also check out the Arco di Costantino standing nearby to complete your tour.
2. Arco di Costantino
Arco di Costantino or as translated Arch of Constantine is one of the most preserved monuments of its kind in Rome. It is majestically standing just opposite the Colosseum, so it can’t be missed!
The Arch was built on the order of the Roman Senate in 315 to celebrate the victory of Emperor Constantine over Maxentius and his accession to power. Constantine the Great is often referred to as the first Christian emperor.
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3. Vatican City
You are in Rome and not visiting the Vatican City will be a real miss. This is the smallest independent state in the world. The half a square kilometre area is enclosed by the Vatican walls. While you are here, you should visit the great palace, St. Peter’s Basilica and also the garden, or, of course, St. Peter’s Square.
The entire area is ruled by the Pope, the supreme authority of Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church. Apart from the great basilica, tourists will also find the museums interesting. In the museum, you will be mesmerized by the great creation of Michelangelo’s Pieta along with other masterpieces of great artists.
4. Roman Forum
How about visiting a mall in ancient time? Yes, Roman Forum is kind of that place which was the city centre of ancient Rome. This was the place where lots of occasions and festivals were celebrated. It was built in 7th Century B.C. in a grassy area of Rome.
But, till the 8th Century, the entire place lost its glory and lustre and become a ruin until it was excavated in the 20th Century. Having a solo tour is quite exciting here as you get the opportunity to explore the place on your own. Get a map and have a historical tour over there.
If you go on listing down the best places to visit in Rome, Pantheon will be within the top 5 countdowns. The sky-high building is really magnificent that will leave you amazed. The architecture of the outside of this building is breathtaking.
And the murals you will find here will again remind you of the glorious Renaissance period in Rome. The paintings are great works of elite artists, like Raphael. With the beautiful interior and the extraordinary dome, Pantheon is worth to visit.
6. Fontana di Trevi
Fontana di Trevi and Pantheon are what I liked the most on my visit to Rome! This 17th Century masterpiece is definitely one of the most popular tourist attractions of Rome. The figure of Sea-God, Oceanus with his horses, shells, and Tritons will leave you spellbound. Water swirls around these figures and stores in the large basin.
Water is supplied by an aqueduct to this fountain and water crosses all those artificial figures and stones. The beauty of this fountain is really jaw-dropping. Don’t forget to throw coins in the fountain to promise you will come back again to this city. Also, the beauty of Rome will compel you to return.
7. Piazza Navona
Rome is overall a beautiful city. Not only the architecture and buildings, but this city has lots of beautiful cafes and restaurants all around. The open-air cafes are the really big catch of Rome. And if you are at Piazza Navona, the large public square, you can have it all there.
While munching snacks from any café, you can visit Domitian’s Stadium and the fountains around the square (there are 3 fountains). The largest fountain is the famous Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers with four statues that represent each river from a continent. The great Pantheon is also in this square.
8. Spanish Steps
This is another must-visited place in Rome that is located at Piazza di Spagna. You will get goosebumps while stepping on the same stairs where authors, like Byron and Balzac, claimed in the 19th Century. They found inspiration at this place.
If you have the plan to visit Spanish Steps, you should go there during the spring as the square is all bloomed with dazzling flowers and it is a sight to watch. For the first time visitors, this place is really attractive. Sit on the steps with your friends and have a cup of coffee. You can feel the vibe of positivity there.
9. Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus is the largest stadium in Rome that has the capacity of 185,000 spectators altogether. This place is attractive for another reason as you can have a great view of Palatine Hill from here. In ancient time, this place was famous for having horse races.
Presently, the big stars around the world prefer to have a musical concert here. If you want to visit the place at its best, find tickets for such a great concert here and be there. Also, you can spend a day, having a picnic here with your friends. The majestic view of Palatine Hill over the green stretches will soothe your eyes.
10. The Appian Way
If you want to have a walk to visit the true Rome, you should take The Appian Way, an ancient road to find your destination. This 560km stony road is good for pedestrians who want to walk in the city and explore it by walking only. In the ancient era, this was a military road and its name is after a Roman Censor, Appius Claudius Caesus.
You can visit the old historical monuments on the 8 km of the road at the beginning. The old road often jostles with traffic for the first few kilometres, but then the road is all for the pedestrians.
11. Castel Sant’Angelo
This was once the tallest building in Rome. Castel Sant’Angelo is also known as Mausoleum of Hadrian. The circular fort and castle complex was built back in 129 AD. The ancient building was made to serve as a mausoleum for the emperor.
Presently, this huge building has been turned into a museum which comes with exclusive exhibits that will take you to that ancient age of Rome. You can also climb up the castle ramparts from where you can get the majestic view of the entire city along with the St. Peter’s Square. If you are in Vatican City, you will definitely go to visit this museum.
12. Campo de’Fiori
Is Rome all about history and museums? Definitely not! This is the city that throbs with fun, life, and laughter, and that you will find in Campo de’Fiori, the most favourite hangout spot in Rome. During the daytime, it is an open market area where you will find traders with flowers, fish, spices, vegetables, and meat.
But, you have to wait till night when this place becomes young. Youngsters gather together for partying all night here. If you want to enjoy the happening nightlife in Rome, you can visit Campe de’Fiori once. Make your Roman holiday full of fun and excitement.
13. Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
If you want to visit an Episcopal Church in Rome, St. John’s Lateran is the one worth visiting. Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano holds the perfect example of the art in the age of Constantine, while the façade is built in the baroque style. While you are here, you should not miss watching the wooden ceiling.
The 16th-century wooden ceiling is just amazing. It is the oldest Christian baptistery in the world. Though it was built by Constantine, this building has gone through lots of alterations in the last decades. Still, it is mostly in its original form to attract tourists every year.
14. Baths of Caracalla
This large community bath centre was the second largest in Rome. Built by Emperor Caracalla in the third century, Baths of Caracalla were initially built for political propaganda, to create a good image in public.
You will be surprised to know that for three hundred years, this bath was functional. But, negligence, looting, and finally repeated earthquakes have turned it into a ruin. Still, it attracts visitors for its uniqueness and huge size. While roaming around Rome, you will find more such architecture that will take you to that glorious era.
15. National Roman Museum
If you are a history buff, you will definitely get attracted to this place. If you are not, still the artworks and the collections will make you spellbound. National Roman Museum is also known as Museo Nazionale Romano in Italian. The exciting thing about this museum is that the collections are not gathered just at one spot.
They are located at multiple places in the city. If you want to see Roman artefacts, amber, and jewellery, you need to go to Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme. For marble work and beautiful sculptures, your destination is Palazzo Altemps. And for a close look of lavish Roman baths, go to Baths of Diocletian.
16. Santa Maria Maggiore
As you know Rome is all about Christianity. The types of churches you can see here can’t be seen in other parts of the world. And these churches are the epitome of different age, art, and culture. And Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most majestic churches in the city.
Pope Liberius had the vision of the Virgin, directing him to build the Church in the fourth century and the miracle happened. It was August and still, there was snowfall! When you will be here, you will get the stories from the guide while having a tour around this magnificent building.
17. Villa Farnesina
If you want to have an experience of how Roman people lived during the Renaissance, you have to visit Villa Farnesina. It is located in the Trastevere District. You will be stunned by the frescoes in this villa, painted by the celebrated artist, Raphael.
Maximum paintings are telling you the stories of Cupid and Psyche. Later, in 1506, the villa was rebuilt by a papal treasurer who added works of lots of other popular artists in this villa. Once you are in Rome, you can’t miss visiting Villa Farnesina at all. Have a great day there and reach that era by time-travelling.
18. Palatine Hill
Rome is not only a civilization during the Renaissance, but it has ancient roots. You can get the most of the ancient Rome once you are at this place. Located 50 meters above the Tiber, the Palatine Hill is the epitome of ancient settlement here.
The rock cuttings near the Temple of Cybele are the examples of human activities almost around 9th Century BC. Later, this place was for the emperors and the aristocrats of the society. Explore Palatine Hill with the park around to have a great experience here. The ruins will definitely mesmerize you.
19. Victor Emmanuel II Monument
This superlative monument was built in the honour of the great first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. The construction works started in 1885 by Giuseppe Sacconi and got completed in the year 1925. This white marble building is really awesome with lots of rooms inside.
There are two museums. One museum is based on the Italian Reunification while the other is based on the emigration from Italy. This huge building may not be the best of all in Rome, but the large structure will definitely make you spellbound. There are also exhibitions, happen around the building at specific times of the year.
20. Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo, a huge oval square located at Northern Rome which has been dated back of ancient Roman Empire. There are three churches that set the boundary of the square, but what is the most significant attraction of the place is the ancient Egyptian obelisk.
Earlier, this place was the starting point for the voyagers who set forth for the north. Now, on the north side of the square, there is Porta Del Popolo, the road that connects Rome with the Adriatic Coast and it goes through Via Flaminia. This square always gets crowded with lots of visitors every time of the year.
21. Capuchin Crypt
This is somewhat morbid and creepy to many visitors! Capuchin Crypt is located under the Our Lady of the Conceptions and Capuchins. The Capuchin Friars arranged the bones of the deceased to display the Christian artwork throughout the crypt that includes the Crypt of Resurrection and the Crypt of Skulls.
Actually, too many visitors, this crypt may appear a bit gloomy but it has a deep inner meaning. It shows the life cycle of creation, death, and resurrection and also shows the church’s teaching for good, evil and eternity. If you have kids with you, you may avoid the place. Otherwise, this is a great place to learn the depth of Christianity.
22. Ostia Antica
This is one of the most important archaeological sites near Rome which was used as a port in ancient Rome. It is not far than 20 miles from Rome and is located adjacent to river Tiber. There are lots of ancient buildings here which are well preserved. Majority of the buildings of this site are dated back fourth century BC.
There are ancient public toilets which had been turned into bathrooms during the Roman Empire. The frescoes and the mosaics on the buildings are marvellous. Walking on the stony streets of Ostia Antica will take you away from the modern era to that ancient time when Roman Civilization was blooming like a bud.
23. Capitoline Museum
Yes, you can call Rome the city of museums. Capitoline Museum is the first museum of the world and the Roman symbol, the bronze Capitoline Wolf is inscribed on it. This museum has the busts of all Roman Emperors, from Augustus to Caligula. The most famous bust here is of Marcus Aurelius.
There are also paintings of Battista, Caravaggio and lots of other reputed painters. There are three separate buildings of this museum around Piazza del Campidoglio. All these buildings are full of numerous sculptures to make you amazed. The museum is open from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm, regularly.
24. Basilica of San Clemente
If you are spending a day at the Coliseum, you should definitely don’t miss this Basilica nearby. This 12th Century Basilica of San Clemente is built on the old Roman Temple and the fourth-century church. Presently, you will be surprised at the beautiful work of mosaics and frescoes of this church.
While visiting this church, you should not miss the opportunity to explore the excavations at the lower two levels. You will surely be at the glorious past of Rome once you are here. Make time from your busy schedule and be there once to have a great lifetime experience.
25. Piazza Farnese
Piazza Farnese is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome where you can find the Palazzo Farnese of the Renaissance period. This was built in the 16th Century. And presently, it is used as the French Embassy.
The amazing fact about this building is that almost all artists of Renaissance took part in the making of this great building and left their unique style all over it. That’s why; it is considered not only the most beautiful building in Rome but also in entire Italy. Roam around the square, have scrumptious foods from the roadside café and enjoy the bright sunny day all along.
26. Porta Portese
If you are in Rome, you have to visit Trastevere and that is only because of this place. Basically, Porta Portese is a morning market that stays open on Sundays from 6 am to 2 pm. If you are a fashionista, you don’t want to miss this market at all.
While you are in a foreign country, you always want to buy something for your friends and family. This is the best place to buy fashionable clothes at a much affordable price. For book lovers, this is heaven as you can find antique pieces here. While roaming around, you should be very careful as a pickpocket is a common incident here.
27. Piazza Mattei and Tortoise Fountain
So far, you get it that Rome is the place of sculptures, old architecture, buildings and obviously of squares. There are lots of other squares in Rome which are really in fashion always. But, you will find certain places which may not be on the hot list of the best places in Rome; still, you can enjoy these places a lot.
To enjoy a romantic atmosphere in Rome, you should visit Piazza Mattei. Every year, tourists come here to enjoy the authentic Italian atmosphere. Also, don’t forget to see the beautiful Tortoise Fountain. This is one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome.
28. Gianicolo Hill
Head towards the west of the Tiber and you will find Gianicolo Hill that is also known as the Janiculum. This is a great place for the hikers and the adventurists who always look for an adrenaline rush. Once you are on this hill, the panoramic view of the entire city will really blow your mind.
You can visit St. Peter’s Basilica and the Altare della Patria. Along with the great view of the city, you can also visit the monuments, like II Fontanone, Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, etc. As it is located outside the ancient Rome, this hill is not considered as one of the most beautiful hills in Rome. But, visitors will tell you differently.
29. Santa Maria della Vittoria
Finally, this is the place that can culminate in your Roman holiday to a great extent. For the baroque art lovers, this place is a must-visit. You can get the maximum of the view once you check out the Cornaro Chapel by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
This chapel contains the beauty of St. Teresa’s Statue. Maybe, this church is smaller than the huge ones in Rome, but the artwork and architecture will surely give you enough to visit here.
30. Terme di Diocleziano
The size of this bath is almost unimaginable. Imagine a place that contains two churches, a big museum and also includes a large part of a Carthusian Monastery. You get confused, right? Visit the place and just got dumbstruck. This is the place where you can get to see the influence of Greek culture and art on Roman Civilization.
The sculptures are a perfect amalgamation of both rich cultures, while there are also pre-Christian sarcophagi along with the ones from a later era. Besides these, you can also visit the mesmerizing frescoes and the mosaics. You can also visit the church of San Bernardo alle Terme that was built at the corner of the Baths. The dome looks like the Pantheon, but quite smaller.
So, here you get to certain places in Rome that can leave you mesmerized. Being a historical city, history is scattered here and there. While you are in this city, you should go for authentic food, enjoy the nightlife and also know more about the modern culture of the place. You should know the best time to visit Rome and make your bookings early. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your flight tickets and set on for a time travel in Rome.
Rome is definitely one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Italy and even though there are lots of travel blogs and websites forcing you to start your Italian journey in a different place, my recommendation is to start it right here! 🙂
Although Italy is not the most visited country in the world, being in the 5th position means that you won’t be disappointed here! I wasn’t. Never!