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Rome Tourist Attractions
10 Things Not to Miss

What are the top Rome tourist attractions? 

If this is your first time visiting, find out what monuments, fountains, churches and museums not to miss! 

piazza navona in romeDo not miss a visit to Rome's most beautiful square - Piazza Navona


Top 10 Rome Tourist Attractions

Maybe this list seems obvious to some of you, but I know first-hand that many people have not heard of a lot of the monuments or sights that we would consider "must-see."

Even I love to see all of these, and I live here! And believe me, I NEVER get tired of them!

If this is your first time in Rome, don't miss these 10 Rome Tourist Attractions!

Clicking each of the photos below will take you further down the page where you can read just a bit about why it's in the top ten Rome tourist attractions, and quick tips about visiting them.

For more, you can also visit their dedicated pages.

For all but one of these Rome tourist attractions, you can even visit without going inside (or queuing or paying).

This means if you have a very short time in Rome, even just a day trip from your cruise ship, you can still see most if not all of the top 10 Rome tourist attractions in a single day!

For some more ideas of great Rome tourist attractions, skip down to here. And for a map of all these place, skip down to the bottom of the page.

And the 10th? My suggestion to make your stay complete . . .

piazza of campidoglio on capitoline hillCapitoline Hill, Campidoglio, as designed by Michelangelo - is it any wonder this should be on your top 10 list of must-see Rome tourist attractions?

Don't miss Capitoline Hill! Why? Find out here.

1. The Vatican

For many visitors to Rome, seeing the Vatican is one of the top priorities (even if it's not technically in Rome!)

st peter's basilica in vatican citySaint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

This often means, they want to see the Sistine Chapel. But since you cannot just visit the Sistine Chapel (it's at the end of the enormous Vatican Museums), then you kind of need to make the Vatican one of your must-sees when visiting Rome.

Getting to the Vatican is easy, even though it's not technically part of Rome and is across the Tiber river from the historic center of Rome. I strongly urge you not to plan any other major things to see or do on the day you visit the Vatican and Vatican Museums. It does not an entire day, but it will zap all your energy. But it is so worth it!

For more details, visit my pages about . . .

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2. The Colosseum

A visit to Rome would not be complete without at least glimpsing the Colosseum.

colosseum in romeThe Rome Colosseum is a must-see! You can go inside, or just visit it like this from the outside, but don't miss this stunning historic monument!

But there is so much more to see in Ancient Rome than just the Roman Colosseum. There is the Ancient Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Capitoline Hill and much more. This can take up your whole day if you have the time, or, you can just breeze by it all in an open-bus if you have very limited time in Rome!

And for a special visit, try a night tour of the Colosseum

See here for more details and tips about visiting the Colosseum.

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Wondering why the Colosseum is full of holes?

Don't my my top 10 Fascinating Facts about the Rome Colosseum!

3. Trevi Fountain

I am pretty sure the Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world. Or maybe it's THE most famous.

We actually have many beautiful fountains in Rome, but this is the one everyone wants to see.

trevi fountain in romeThe Trevi Fountain - one of the most well-known and beloved fountains in the world, and a must-see in Rome!

And it's easy, since it's right in the center of Rome, and near lots of other stuff you probably want to see too, like the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. And, don't forget to throw a coin in, to ensure you return to Rome!

For more info about the Trevi Fountain, like who built it, what happens to all the money people throw in there, what is the building behind it, where to eat nearby, and much more, visit my Trevi Fountain page.

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4. Piazza Navona

Yes the Trevi Fountain is famous and it certainly is one of the top Rome Tourist Attractions. But I am partial to this fountain and this piazza. Just look at it! You come upon it as if out of nowhere and just . . . wow! It has this effect on my every time.

Piazza Navona in RomePiazza Navona is often overlooked on a first visit to Rome. For me, it's one of the most beautiful things you can see in the Eternal City

This piazza is also really easy to get to, as it's only a few minutes' walk from the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. For more about this amazing place, who built it, and some fascinating ghost stories, visit my Piazza Navona page.

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5. Pantheon

inside of rome pantheonThe Pantheon in Rome knocks my socks off every time I see it, and I see it a lot. Don't miss this unique, stunning monument!

The Rome pantheon (not to be confused with the Parthenon in Athens) is one of the great wonders of all time. It's the world's largest un-reinforced concrete dome. And it was built around 114 AD so that is a long time for such a structure to still be standing, and so intact at that! One reason for this is that in the 7th century it was turned into a church, so it's been in use since it was built.

At the time of this writing, there are plans to charge a small entry fee (beginning sometime in 2018). For now, it's free. 

Visit my dedicated page about the Rome pantheon for more, and go here to find out where to eat nearby.

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6. Spanish Steps

Dawn at the Spanish Steps in RomeThe Spanish Steps in Rome - a beautiful monument, especially at dawn with nobody around!

Normally the Spanish Steps don't look like this. They are usually full of people! It's a magnet for tourists and everyone loves taking photos here. I personally like it like this. At 6:30am.

Do you want to know more about this must-see Rome tourist attraction? And, for lots of great places to eat, including gelato, start here. Want to know about shopping in this area, THE shopping area in Rome? Go here.

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7. Galleria Borghese

Paolina Bonaparte by Canova - Galleria BorgheseCanova's awe-inspiring sculpture of Paolina Bonaparte in the Galleria Borghese in Rome


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8. Castel Sant'Angelo

don't miss castel sant'angelo in romeCastel Sant'Angelo is one of Rome's most impressive monuments, and well worth a visit, inside and all the way up to the top!


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9. Roman Forum

Looking out over the Roman Forum from Capitoline HillView of the ancient Roman Forum as seen from Capitoline Hill


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10. Capitoline Hill

campidoglio in rome, showcasing michelangelo's designMichelangelo's design of the Piazza Campidoglio on Capitoline Hill is one of the reasons this is in my top 10 must-see attractions in Rome!


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Other Fabulous Rome Tourist Attractions you should not miss if you can help it!

Have you been here before? Do you have more than 2-3 days in Rome? Are you energetic and able to pack a lot of sightseeing into a short visit?

Well then, you should not miss the papal Basilica of Santa Maria MaggioreSt. Ignatius church with it's stunning ceiling and unique optical illusion! The Caravaggio paintings you can find in 3 churches in Rome

santa maria maggiore apseThe apse of the papal basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is simply stunning - made of tiny shimmering tesserae, it's one of the most beautiful in Rome

You could spend the morning exploring the historic outdoor food market in Campo dei Fiori, and the nearby ruins (and cat sanctuary!) of Largo di Torre Argentina. You'll get to see where Julius Caesar was assassinated, and check out the hundreds of cats that roam these ancient temples.

Largo di Torre Argentina - the site of Julius Caesar's assassination, and today, home to hundreds of cats in their own sanctuary

If you want to really get into the heart of Rome, you could spend the day wandering the fascinating neighborhood of Trastevere.

trastevere in romeTrastevere is one of the loveliest, and most fascinating neighborhoods in Rome - very much worth spending a half or even full day exploring

Into the ancient stuff? Don't miss a visit to Ostia Antica, The Domus Aurea, the Baths of Caracalla, or the Mythrian burial ground under San Clemente. And of course there are the catacombs on the Appia Antica.

Appia Antica in RomeThe ancient Roman road - Appia Antica - is one of my favorite places to visit in Rome. Quiet, green, and full of ruins and history!

What am I talking about? Well this is why I made this site. To help you get the most our of your short visit to Rome, based on what you want most to do in rome.

What if you are here for the food (like me!) Ah, I have a whole list of restaurants and wine bars, not to mention gelaterie, not to be missed. 

Interested in a Rome sightseeing tour?

This can be a great way to make sure you not only see many of the above Rome tourist attractions, but also to get your fill of good information along the way. Options for tours include getting on the Rome open-bus, taking a group walking tour, a private walking tour, a private driving tour, or even a Segway tour!

See here for more details and tips about visiting Rome Italy tours.

Rome Tourist Attractions Map

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