Rome for First Time Visitors: Things You Can’t Miss

April 2, 2017

rome first time

Planning your first visit to Rome? Rome is a city that every traveler should have on their bucket list and visit (at least) once in their lifetime. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover or a foodie, Rome has a lot to offer for every visitor!  So, here is everything that you should not miss, when you’re visiting Rome for the first time:

rome first time


Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
The Roman Forum was the political and social center in ancient Rome. My favorite part is the incredible panoramic view from the Palatine Hill. The hike is definitely worth it!

Admission: 12€ (7.50€ reduced) for a two-day ticket to enter the Roman Forum and the Colosseum

rome first time

 rome first time


Colosseum

Rome’s iconic landmark is without a doubt a must-see! In order to avoid the crowds, the best time to go would be early in the morning.

Admission: 12€ (7.50€ reduced) for a two-day ticket to enter the Roman Forum and the Colosseum

rome guide

rome first time


Vatican City
The Vatican is located across the Tiber river and is the world’s smallest country. Must-Sees include St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum.

Admission: free entry to St. Peter’s Basilica & 16€ (8€ reduced) for the Vatican Museum

rome first time


Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are located at Piazza di Spagna, a posh area surrounded by luxury boutiques. It’s a picturesque place to watch the sunset over Rome.

Admission: free

rome first time


Campo de Fiori
This daily market is a popular spot to buy some fresh fruits, Italian herbs and to take a cappuccino break. I also love strolling through the nearby alleyways.

Admission: free

rome first time

 

Trevi Fountain
Legend says that, if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the stunning Fontana di Trevi, it will ensure a return to Rome. By the way, the coins inside the fountain are being collected to support local charities.

Admission: free

rome first time


Pantheon

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple that might look familiar to you due to the movie and book “Illuminati”. Make sure to see the impressive dome from the inside.

Admission: free

rome first time


Piazza del Popolo
Visitors to Rome used to enter or leave the city through this piazza. Climb up the stairs to the park Villa Borghese to have a beautiful view of Piazza del Popolo.

Admission: free

rome first time


Monumento Vittorio Emmanuel II
The locals call this massive landmark ‘typewriter’ or ‘wedding cake’. Once you take the lift to the terrace, you can enjoy a panoramic view over Rome.

Admission: free, 7€ for the lift to the terrace

rome first time

 

Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona has to be one of my favorites! Get some gelato, sit next to a fountain and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Admission: free

rome first time


Trastevere

If you want to escape the touristy hustle and bustle of Rome, then head to the local district Trastevere. This place boosts with quirky places and is the ideal spot to have a drink in the evening.

rome first time

rome first time

 

What to Eat
A trip to Rome is definitely not complete without properly indulging into classic Italian cuisine. When in Rome, try their traditional Roman pasta dish cacio e pepe. The pasta is served with a creamy sauce that consists of Roman pecorino cheese and black pepper. Another delicious local dish is the Roman-style artichoke, called Carciofi alla Romana.

During my very first visit to Rome, I was introduced to a very special place that I would keep returning to – Giolitti! Hands down, the best gelato place that I have ever stepped foot into.
Giolitti, Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40  

rome first time

 

If you’re long for some pizza (and I mean, who isn’t in Italy, right?!) then head to Da Francesco near Piazza Navona for dinner. Make sure to book a table! When you’re getting hungry after visiting the Vatican, then I can recommend Bonci Pizzarium for a quick bite and some unique flavors. Yummy!

rome first time

 

Rome is home to too many bakeries and cafés. And although I am not a coffee addict, I couldn’t miss my daily cappuccino break that was sometimes accompanied by a sweet Italian treat. Try the small pastries filled with cherry jam or pistachio and coconut. So good!

rome first time

rome first time


Tips for Rome First Time Visitors 

If you’re visiting Rome for the first time and want to experience the city’s must-sees and enjoy its Italian charm, then I would say that a 4-day stay is enough. Overall, the ancient center of Rome is easily accessible and reachable by foot. I usually try to walk everywhere when traveling, as you might stumble upon some hidden gems.

To beat the crowds, there is no other way than waking up early or to travel off season, which is during the winter months (except for Christmas season and Easter).

Traveling to Rome on a budget is possible! On the first Sunday of each month the entrance to several museums and sites is free. This also includes the Colosseum and Roman Forum. You can visit the Vatican Museum for free on the last Sunday of each month.

rome

Over to you: Would you add anything to this Rome bucket list for first time visitors?

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1 Comment

  • Reply stephanie April 2, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Love the coloseum! I was there some years ago.
    x

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