how many days in Rome guide

How Many Days In Rome? Itinerary Ideas To Help You Decide



If you are asking yourself this question, I am pretty sure it’s your first time visiting Rome. That means you’ll want to fit in as many attractions as possible, especially if you are coming from far, and don’t know whether you’ll get to go back. 

At the same time, you might have to manage a multi-city itinerary, which likely reduces the number of days you can remain in the capital city.

Don’t worry! I will keep all of that in mind when answering your question: How many days in Rome should I spend?

I will also be giving you tips and resources to make your time in Rome easier and more fun.

Quick answer: For firstt-ime visitors looking to walk throughout Rome, see the attractions from outside, visit a few museums, try the local food, and maybe take a day trip, 5 days is ideal!

how many days in Rome to see the city

How Many Days In Rome Is Enough?

It’s difficult to answer that question because it feels incomplete. 

The key missing detail is “to do what”. What are you expecting from your time in Rome? What do you want to accomplish by the end of your holiday? And how do you want to feel?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself when deciding the number of days to spend in Rome.

Of course, there are also work constraints, budget, and other life commitments you might need to consider.

Since you are likely a first time visitor, here is my answer to that question.

Not even a year is likely enough to see all of Rome unless you’ll be spending all day sightseeing, without any work commitments. That’s not realistic though!

If you are like most first-time visitors, you’ll want to see the main attractions from outside and visit many of them. You’ll also want to have plenty of time to walk the streets, maybe explore the areas of Rome (called Rioni), taste as much local food and specialties as possible, and have a good time, ideally not rushing but enjoying your holiday in dolce vita style.

If that’s what you really want from your holiday in Rome, 5 days in Rome is the ideal period. It’s not too short, yet short enough to allow you to incorporate additional days to visit other cities, using Rome as your base. You can also decide to go to Florence for a few days, then to Venice and Milan.

Use this 5-day Rome Itinerary to plan your trip to Rome. It’s great for first time visitors, as well as for families who want to relive it all with their little ones.

For those staying 7 nights, I suggest adding a Gaeta Day Trip on the sixth day in Rome.

how many days in Rome to visit the sights

Four Days in Rome: What To Do?

If you can only spare four full days in Rome (that is 5 nights), you can still use my 5 Day Rome Itinerary. Just skip the shopping days, and be selective with the museums you choose to visit.

Here’s a glimpse of how your itinerary might look like:

Day 1 – Trevi & Fori Imperiali walk + one attraction of your choice

Day 2 – The Popular Piazzas + Pantheon + Janiculum Hill

Day 3 – Colosseum, Roman Forum  & Palatine Hill

Day 4 – St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums & Castel Sant’Angelo

how many days in Rome is enough

Is 3 Days in Rome Enough?

It’s a little tight but still doable, especially if you are willing to wake up early and sleep late, like 5am and midnight.

Here’s the itinerary I would suggest for just 3 days in Rome:

Day 1 – Follow this Rome In One Day itinerary + Pantheon Visit

Day 2 – Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill + Villa Borghese in the afternoon

Day 3 – St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums & Castel Sant’Angelo

By following my Rome in One Day itinerary, you’ll get to walk the center of Rome and see the most important attractions (just outside) on your first day. Then, you’ll use days 2 and 3 to focus on the single attractions.

I included key attractions, but feel free to swap them for any others you want to visit.

how many days in Rome is best

Two Days in Rome Itinerary

With just two days in Rome, you really need to figure out your priorities. Here are a few questions to help you with that.

  1. Is this your first time in Rome?
  2. Do you plan to come back?
  3. Do you prefer seeing Rome by mostly walking & seeing the sights from outside?
  4. Or do you want to see any specific attraction? List which ones.

2 Days In Rome For Second Time Visitors

For second-time visitors, I’d suggest a focus on food and shopping. Here’s how you could spend those two days:

Day 1 – Sightseeing day

Day 2 – Rome Shopping in the morning + Exploring Trastevere in the afternoon

Sightseeing Days options:

  1. Follow my Rome in One Day Itinerary to see all of Rome again. This is great if you are coming with a partner and want to experience it all over again with that person. It’s also perfect if it’s been too long since you last visited.
  2. Choose your favorite day on my 5 Day Rome Itinerary, and recreate that one. I suggest days 1, 2, and 5.

2 Days In Rome For First Time Visitors

If you’ve never been to Rome, and you only have two days to see it all (or at least try to), do this.

Day 1 – This Rome in One Day Itinerary will help you see Rome quickly but intentionally. You might get the chance to visit one attraction of your choice if you start your day early. Make sure to book tickets in advance.

Day 2 – This is where you need to make a choice. Which of these attractions do you want to visit? Select one of these combinations.

Option 1 – Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill + Villa Borghese in the afternoon

Option 2 – St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums & Castel Sant’Angelo

PS: Don’t worry. All the other famous attractions in Rome are included in my one day itinerary, which you will be following on day 1. These include:

Trevi Fountain


Monument to Victor Emannuel II

Piazza Navona

Piazza del Popolo

Spanish Steps

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

how many days in Rome should i plan for

Only One Day In Rome. What To See & Do?

For those who only have one day in Rome, the best way to see most of the city and key attractions in that short time is to use my Rome In One Day Itinerary (it’s free!).

I have planned that one in such a way that helps you walk to all key attractions while giving you the time to eat good food (that itinerary includes food suggestions too!), and visit one attraction of your choice. The only requirement is to start the day early.

One Day & One Night In Rome

If you are not just coming for a day trip from a nearby city, and you are spending the night, that gives you more time to enjoy a good meal and another area of Rome.

I suggest you spend your evening in Trastevere and have an aperitivo, dinner plus dessert in the same neighborhood. You can find the best spots in this Trastevere Foodie Guide.

PS: In this case, it makes sense to find an accommodation in Trastevere. 

Read These Next

This in depth look at how many days to spend in Rome and what to do in that time should help you reflect, set your priorities, and decide the best period for you.

Once you decide, here are other resources to help you plan your Rome Holiday (all coming soon – bookmark this page).

  1. Where To Stay In Rome?
  2. Best Breakfast Spots in Rome
  3. Best View Of Rome – Is it Janiculum Hill?

We can’t forget about food of course. Read these foodie posts to pinpoint the best places to eat during your stay.

Best Sandwich in Rome

Best Tiramisu in Rome

Best Supplì in Rome

Best Cacio e Pepe in Rome

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Alessia Spampinato