Sometimes it is hard to decide how to spend 3 days in Rome. Staying in the heart of the city is essential to maximize your time. Rome is an extraordinary capital, and it can take weeks or more to get in all the sites, cuisine, and culture.

With so much to see in Rome, Italy, traveling can often be stressful, making it hard to prioritize your list. First, determine your must-see places. This list will help you pinpoint the absolute best places to visit if time is of the essence.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.  Thanks for your support!

3 Days in Rome Itinerary

Day 1 – The Vatican, St. Peter’s, Trastevere

Trastevere

[browse the neighborhood of Trastevere]

To get the most out of your day, start early! You will want to arrive at the Vatican in the morning to beat the crowds. Be sure to dress humbly in reverence of the religious city-state.

Take an early walk and explore the global city streets. You can sit on the gorgeous Spanish Steps and take in the ethos, and people-watch before beginning your adventure.

Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

Next, head over to the Vatican museums. There are over 54 Christian and art galleries within the city, and the collections are stunning. Be sure to visit the Sistine Chapel, which holds the striking ceiling art done by legendary artist Michelangelo.

Once you have gotten your fill of art, stop by Via Delle Grazie and grab some lunch. To top your day off, have some fun at the beautiful neighborhood Trastevere. If possible, check out the award-winning La Gatta Buia, they have an unbelievable Fiori di Zucca.

Day 2 – Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum

roman forum in italy

[Roman Forum famous ruins ]

The best way to begin your second day is to hop aboard the Metropolitana (subway) and take a ride to the Colosseo station. Once you have arrived, stop by the ticket counter and purchase your one ticket that will grant access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum (If possible, avoid first Sundays)!  

Some of the most famous ruins in the Roman Forum include the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, the Rostra, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, and the Curia, the Senate House.

[take a break for a coffee & biscotti]

Consider buying the Best of Rome All Access Pass because this will fast-track your entry to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum, and Roman Forum.

Here is what the Best of Rome Access Pass covers:

  • Fast track reserved entry to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hills
  • Reserved entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and official audioguide APP
  • 15-minute Ancient Rome Multimedia Video at the meeting point

Be sure to do some research on this ancient wonder beforehand so that you understand what you’re exploring. There are many spigots throughout the area with fresh water, grab a bottle before leaving.

Reserve Entry for the Colosseum

All visitors must reserve a timeslot for visiting the Colosseum. You can buy your ticket directly from the website. You must check the timeslots before you buy a pass because if there is nothing available you will not be allowed entry.

Palatine Hill

Now, it’s time to hike up Palatine Hill! It may be wise to get a private tour if possible. The views from the hill towers are stunning and overlook the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.

 On your way back, keep left to arrive at the Forum to take in even more majestic views. Grab some dinner and get some rest for your final day!

Day 3 – Pantheon, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Navona

piazza novona

Begin your last day with an espresso and head over to the Trevi fountain. Keep with tradition and toss in a coin for good luck!

Next, head over to the Pantheon church. While there, be sure to be respectful and keep your voice low.

After a good lunch, stroll over to Largo di Torre Argentina, which is also known as a cat sanctuary. The cats are well taken care of by a local charity, and feeding them is prohibited.

Lastly, we have Piazza Navona to explore. This elegant showcase Square in Rome is built on the Stadium of Domitian. If possible, visit at sunset as the sight of the Square is awe-inspiring.

Now that you’ve accomplished an impressive three-day tour of Rome. Enjoy a great glass of wine and rest up before heading back from this wondrous city.

Getting around Rome in 3 days

Rome is easy to get around. You can easily walk it, take a hop on hop of bus or metro ride.  

Where to Stay in Rome for 3 Days

There are plenty of places to stay in Rome. We suggest for this 3-day itinerary to stay somewhere central, close to the historical sites if that is what you most want to see.

Are you planning a 3 day trip to Rome? Let us know in the comments what you want to see most when you go.

3 day itinerary Rome