How To Visit Rome In 4 Days – See, Eat & Save Money
For those traveling to Italy and want to visit Rome in 4 days (maybe as part of a weeklong itinerary) this is our suggestion to help you get the most out of your trip. Our experience in Italy included 4 days in Rome and we want to share what we think is the best way to see this amazing city. Now, of course, there is no way to see everything in Rome in such a short amount of time, but this article should give you all you need for your first visit. There are just some essential monuments, historic spots, and things you just must see as a first-timer in Rome. Also, if you've never been, we include some things we learned during our experience there and wanted to pass on as some vacation tips to other travelers.
4-Day Rome Itinerary In A Nutshell
I know what you may be thinking and before you say anything I will say that this is a jam-packed itinerary. Honestly, though, when in Rome...you gotta try to see as much as possible. And boy is there loads to see!
How is this all possible in just four days? Well, we do have a tip on the best way to get around and be able to see everything. Also, keep reading for ways to save money and manage your time.
Places To Visit In Rome Italy In 4 days
The way I organized this post is the way we did it on our visit. You can think of it as an itinerary and customize it based on your needs and number of days in your visit.
Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps)
We were able to visit the Pantheon as soon as we arrived because it was, literally, a 4-minute walk from our Airbnb apartment. This is what I love about using Airbnb (use our link to get a travel credit for signing up), it allows you to find places to stay that are in the heart of "the action." By the time we got to the Pantheon, it had closed, but the nice thing was that it was not crowded around the fountain that is in front of it. I would also highly recommend trying to visit during the week as the weekends can be super crowded. When we visited in March, it was very chilly (they had even gotten snow for the first time in a while a few weeks back!). Even in the brisk evening, there were still lots of tourists around.
We enjoyed our first pizza in Italy after seeing the Pantheon and then headed for a quick, 14-minute walk to the Spanish Steps at Piazza Di Spagna. After spending around half an hour climbing the stairs and marveling at the fountains in the piazza we headed back towards our apartment. Since the Trevi Fountain was on our way back (8-minute walk), we decided to pay it a visit even though it was quite late in the evening. Even in the dark of the night, there were lots of folks around the fountain.
I have to admit, the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon both really blew me away and were a nice way to start the Rome trip! I never imagined the structures would be so huge! I think this was the most surprising thing about them for me. I'm glad that we did this quick walk around on our first evening because, though very jetlagged, we were both inspired to do as much sightseeing as possible here in our four days.
We did end up going back to all of these spots during the day. I gotta say, though, there was a kind of magic in seeing them at night when there were so few people around. The Trevi Fountain is lined with visitors during the day. The outline of people is about ten individuals deep, so getting that shot by yourslef in front of the fountain is a dream at that point!
What To See When Visiting The Vatican In Rome
On Our second day, we were ready for a full day at the Vatican. I would suggest trying to see the following spots in one day because they are in close proximity to each other. The only caveat is that you should purchase tickets in advance and have your time slots picked, so make sure they don't overlap.
We went to the Vatical Museums first thing in the morning followed by a tour of the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo's Famous Fresco on the ceiling. We then had a quick lunch right in Vatican City and then visited St. Peter's Basilica in the late afternoon.
The below lists all the places to visit in Rome Italy in 1 day:
The Vatican Museums
There is so much to see here that you can easily spend a good portion of the day staring at all of the masterpieces at this museum. We didn't quite rush it, but enjoyed it the way we usually like to enjoy museums: see the things we really want to see and then head out. This is our usual MO but others may zip through just to say they have been there and many people may stay a while and partake in the audio tours that thoroughly explain each piece. Everyone has a different museum style and you will have to gauge the time in your itinerary accordingly.
Not To Be Missed: A lot of people might miss the Momo Stairs (sometimes referred to as the Snail Staircase). It is, interestingly, made of a double helix (yeah like DNA!...science.....religion...hmmm). I highly recommend taking them down when you are ready to exit the museum! They are great for photography!
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Square is impressive in itself but do go in and take a peek inside the world largest church! Inside, you'll be able to see exactly how much bigger it is compared to other's around the world...they, literally, draw lines on the ground to demonstrate it! Inside this papal enclave which is the holy of places in the Catholic World, you will find works of Bernini and Michelangelo.
Not To Be Missed: Make sure to go up to the dome and viewpoint where you can have one of the most amazing panoramic views of Rome. Can you beleive we actually did miss this?? I blame the jetlag! So, make sure you don't make the same mistake as us and check it out!
I was super impressed just walking down the hallway that leads to the main chapel where Michelangelo's famous painting adorn the ceiling. You can imagine my awe once we entered and saw the magnificent masterpiece!
How To Visit Rome On Day 3
The following list of places to see are all grouped together, again, because of how close they are to each other. If you are in the part of Rome where the Colosseum is located, you could potentially check out all of the below in one day.
We had an early start to our day and enjoyed breakfast right down the street from the Colosseum. It was nice skipping the line and heading right inside (see below in the section about our Rome Vacation Tips on how were able to do this).
Arch of Titus
Arco Di Constantino
Don't forget to also visit: Palatino, Circus Maximus, Roman Forum
Itinerary For The Fourth Day Of Your Rome Visit
Pizza Making Class
This was the first time we tried an experience from Airbnb and it was a blast!. I happen to see it pop up in my email before our trip to Italy and decided to book it. Because, hey, "when in Rome..."
We got a free ride on the metro to Florentina (see below in our tips section on how we did this) and were picked up by our host and chef. He drove us to his home outside the city a bit and taught us how to make pizza from scratch. It was abeautiful day so we did all the preparations in the garden outside. It was a very fun experience and the food we made was delicious!
We returned to the city via metro and had just enough time to do a bit more quick sightseeing.
The following are a couple of places that you can check out quickly from the outside. You will certainly need to allow more time if you like to go inside and see them better, but you should definitely include them in the list of places to visit in Rome Italy in 4 days.
Castel Sant'Angelo & Ponte Sant'Angelo
I particularly enjoyed walking the bridge here and just gazing at the Tiber River and birds flying over it.
We passed by this building many times, but never had the time to go and check it out up close or inside. However, for us this was enough. Some people may like to explore it further so we wanted to make sure to list it.
Need help planning your Italy vacation? Check out our itinerary including Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice.
Other European Destinations and Itineraries You Might Like:
Some Rome Vacation Tips From Us
Take A Self Guided Food Tour
The second part of our Rome vacations tip section is about the Bitemojo App. We were given a free tour from Bitemojo to try the App and review it for our audience and we really enjoyed the experience!
Here's how it works: You download the app (click the picture below), search for and purchase the tour that you like, start the tour on your app when you're ready! (note: you will need data on your phone so I would recommend purchasing a sim card when you enter the country).
Bitemojo has lots of great self guided food tours available in several amazing cities worldwide! Check out the Bitemojo website and see which tours you'd like to take on your next trip! The tour we took was the Classic Rome Food Tour.
Here's why we think it's great:
- You can go at your own pace (you also have the option to stop the tour and continue later within a time frame) - This was my favorite part! We started the tour in the late evening and it was perfect because the small bites were all that we really needed for the night. Since we had had a full day of walking, we stopped the tour halfway and continued it when we were fresh the next day.
- The tours give you a walking map to follow and tell you about significant spots along the way (even I didn't get lost!) - It was like having our own private guide! I enjoyed the interesting things I learned as we went from one restaurant/bar to the next. We got to see some things we may not have otherwise!
- The small bites were tasty and unique - I was impressed by the offering at each location. It really gave us a glimpse into the local food specialities at very authentic food joints!
- This is a great way to take a food tour if you like to do things on your own time and in your own way when you travel. It was super convenient for us to take the tour since we didn't have to find the meeting point and wait for a huge group of people to gather like traditional tours. There's also the benefit of not having to walk with a big crowd of people around town. I know I always struggle with hearing the tour guide in front and trying to keep up. With the app, we felt less like tourists and more like travelers!
Best Way To Get Around & Sightsee Rome
Our top recommendation for visitors in Rome (especially those going on their first time) is to purchase the OMNIA Vatican And Rome Card for your 3 or 4 day visit. Not only will it save you on ticket costs (you even get free entrance to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums!) to a lot of attraction that you will inevitably want to visit, but it will save you LOADS of time. The card lets you skip the line at the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica as well as at the Colosseum!
We knew people that were visiting at the same time as us and they stood in line for three hours for St. Peter's Basilica!
We didn't have to!
This alone made our entire trip and experience more enjoyable. Being able to show our card and get in through an exclusive line made all the difference even though it was not the busiest time of year. This is perfect for those who plan to visit Rome in 4 days!
Additionally, you get to ride the hop on hop off bus with the card! This is how we got around most of the time in Rome. It was also a great lazy way of sightseeing at the end of the day when we were tired of walking around. We just sat back, listened to the audio guide and enjoyed the sights along thr route! You also get another transportation option with the card: A Travelcard to use on the public transport network around the city! We saved almost 2o Euro each when we took the metro out to Laurentina for our Pizza making class!
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!