30 Oct Tips for Visiting the Top Attractions in Rome
Hey! You’re in Rome!
And if you’re like us, you grew up seeing Rome’s famous sights on TV, in the movies, in books, and anywhere and everywhere. So of course, we had to visit all that we could – and relive our childhood dreams brought to life from movies. But we did not want to get caught up in the massive crowds of tourists – and so:
Here are some tips to visiting the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain all in one day:
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a water bottle, and lots of sunscreen. We visited Rome at the end of September and it was HOT. And if you are planning on doing a lot of walking (worth it! do it!) wear comfortable shoes.
- Wake up early (notice a common theme?). We arrived at the Spanish Steps around 7:30 – just in time for sunrise (in September). The streets are quiet, there are only a few people, and you get the steps to yourself. Chloe (the troublemaker) might have gotten yelled at because she was in the background of a photoshoot taking place (they were also taking advantage of the quiet, as well as the soft lighting from the sunrise) – but still, no one else was there. It’s beautiful.
- Walk to the Trevi Fountain from the Spanish Steps. It’s only half a mile, and it’s a beautiful walk – especially since the city is just starting to stir and wake up. Stop along the way for an espresso and a croissant – why not? Join the locals by standing at the bar of the café and take your shot of espresso, then move on.
- Get to the Trevi Fountain around 8 AM. Again, you beat the crowds of people and have all the time in the world to make a wish. Want to feel like Lizzie McGuire? Yeah, we did too. We both had time to take pictures, make our wishes, and admire the fountain with only a few people surrounding it – much different than the massive crowds we saw walking past the fountain at noon on a different day.
- Walk to the Colosseum from the fountain. It’s about a mile away – but what better way to see Rome? It’s also very doable. The Colosseum opens at 8:30. We planned to be there at opening time, but we were running late (surprise, surprise)– so we got there around 9. However, we still managed to buy tickets with only minimal waiting time. And btw – we have no tips for visiting during the busy part of the day – AKA just wake up early.
- Don’t buy the tickets in advance for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill – if you are going to be there early. We only had to wait in line for about fifteen minutes to buy the tickets (which were 12 euro for all 3 sites). In the security line, we waited about 15 minutes as well – and then did a self guided tour through the Colosseum.
- Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill after the Colosseum. Both get packed around 11 AM – but there is more room at the Roman Forum to spread out than there is at the Colosseum. We had a breakfast break in between the two, and headed to the Roman Forum afterwards.
- Eat a delicious meal after your big day out. You’re in Italy! You’re in Rome! Eat some delicious food! BUT – do not eat near the ‘touristy’ areas. Not only do you have to deal with the crowds, but the prices go way up, and the food quality goes way down. Pick a spot away from the Colosseum, etc., and go settle down for a few hours. You had a big day. You deserve it!
remember, the early bird always gets the worm,