Rome wasn’t built in a day but (if you’re just aiming to see the main landmarks), it can be seen in a day!
Obviously I would recommend more than 24 hours in Rome as truly it is a beautiful city with so much history, but if you’re like me and just visiting on a cruise stop over, then you’ve got to plan your day wisely to tick off all the main sites!
If you’re arriving in Rome at the main station, termini, it’s a straightforward metro journey to Colosseo from there and is probably the only public transport I would suggest you take in Rome as the rest can be done by foot!
It can get pretty busy here, and with the mess of the metro construction around, it’s best to see this landmark from a little further out on one of the neighbouring roads. I’ve been to Rome twice now and neither time I entered the Colosseum due to not being wanting to spend half my day queuing!
A very short walk from the Colosseum is the forum. I find this piece of land so fascinating as it’s interesting to try and imagine what it looked like in full form. Entry to the forum seems to only be under a joint Colosseum ticket, plus, apparently there’s a cat sanctuary located inside!
Altar of the Fatherland
The main reason I suggest doing Rome mostly on foot is everywhere seems to lead onto another iconic landmark – nothing is really spread out, and if you do have to walk from one to another there’s so much in between that you don’t want to miss!
Not only is this landmark stunning from the outside (and the path in the roundabout in front makes a greet photo spot), it also apparently has great views from the top!
Continuing in the same direction for about 5-10 minutes, the Trevi Fountain can be found nestled between some narrow streets which can get BUSY.
I’ve always heard people say that they’re surprised how big the fountain is after visiting, and equally how crowded it is! Apparently getting here at 6am can make for a crowd free photo but it does get drained and cleaned early morning a few days a week.
Don’t forget to make a wish whilst you’re here!
The Spanish Steps
This was something I gave a miss on my first visit to Rome as I wasn’t sure how interesting some steps could be – and I’m still not saying that this was one of Rome’s main highlights for me – but I loved the atmosphere of the plaza in front; it wasn’t half as hectic as the Trevi Fountain!
Piazza del Popolo
This open space lies in front of Villa Borghese and is a short walk from the Spanish Steps! It’s pedestrianised so it’s open to explore by foot and I just love all the flowers and greenery on the steps up to the park!
This park is rather large so you could probably spend a large chunk of time here in itself! When visiting a few years ago we rented a paddle boat on a small lake (probably more of a pond) in the middle, and this time we rented a golf buggy to explore the gardens!
The view of the city from Terrazza del Pincio is incredible and if you happen to be here for the evening it is a great way of seeing the sunset!
From here if you want to continue your adventure and tick off the smallest country in the world, you can get public transport to the Vatican City!
If you enjoyed this post, please check out some of my other European travel guides!