24 Hours In Rome - Updated 2023

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Maria Cristina
Maria Cristina 
| 6 min read

Rome, the Eternal City, is easily the most beautiful place on Earth! Rich in culture and history that dates back 28 centuries, you’ll find elaborately designed Baroque and Renaissance period fountains, ancient churches, and the birthplace of Pizza with other Italian culinary delights. You could easily use Rome as your home base because the neighboring cities and beaches are all nearby. This Italian capital is declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. If you don’t know where to start your first 24 hours in Rome, then book one of the tours and activities we’ve listed below. Check them out!

1. Skip the lines to the Colosseum (from USD 37.77)

24 hours in rome | skip the lines to the colosseum
Source: Shoot My Travel

Hate lines but love sightseeing? Then this tour is just for you. You will be joining a small group led by a tour guide who will take you around one of Rome’s iconic landmarks — The Colosseum! It is a massive oval amphitheater that is more than 2000 years old and built around 72 AD. Bigger than the football stadiums we have today, the Colosseum was where main events like gladiator contests, executions, and Classical mythology dramas were held. Buy a ticket online and you don’t have to fall in line just to gain entry to this amazing monument. You will meet your guide and the rest of the group at the Arch of Constantine. Headsets will be provided for you to hear the guide more clearly. Other Skip-The-Line-Tours may include other locations like Ancient Rome and the Vatican.

Rome: 1-Hour Fast-Track Colosseum Tour

Duration: 1.5 hour

359 reviews

2. Eat like the Romans (from USD 48.0)

When in Rome, dine like the Romans! Join a gourmet tour with a guide that takes you down the alleys of Rome where you can sample street food with historic surroundings. Eating street food is a normal routine among Roman office workers and students who want a quick meal without compromising on the food’s quality. Enjoy the taste of various traditional street food like pizza, suppli, pastries, to zucchini flowers. Foodies will enjoy this tour as they get to know the best places to eat. The tour group starts off at Campo de Fiori for a taste of wine, prosciutto, truffle tartines, artisanal cheese, and seasonal produce & fruits.

Rome Street Food Tasting Tour with Local Guide

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

1399 reviews

3. Ride a bus around town (from USD 18.14)

24 hours in rome | ride a bus around town

Explore the town without any restrictions on your time or the place by purchasing a bus ticket for this tour. The ticket entitles you to choose from a 24-, 72-, or 48-hour bus pass. Download an app in your mobile phone or device that serves as your audio guide. Ride the open-top pink bus that plies the routes that pass the Vatican, Spanish Steps, Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Tiber Island, Circus Maximus, and other world-famous attractions in Rome. You are provided headphones along with the audio guide that provides valuable information about these sights which is translated into 13 languages. You can hop off and on the bus at a location of your liking, or take pictures of the beautiful scenery while you are on it.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Duration: 4.0 to 3.0 hour

3402 reviews

4. Visit the catacombs (from USD 63.0)

The tour is not for the weak-hearted as it requires three-and-a-half hours of walking in the underground catacombs of Rome traveling with a local guide and small group starting from Piazza Barberini. You will be entering the Capuchin Crypts that holds the relics of St. Francis and a chapel made of human bones and the remains of Capuchin monks. Walk to Appian Way, one of the longest roads in the world and home to 300km (186 miles) of underground burial chambers of the earliest Roman Christians. Next is the largest one which is Domitilla Catacombs, the secret sanctuary for Catholic worshipers. The last stop is at the Basilica of San Clemente, a lovely 12th-century church with three buildings built on top of each other. You may stay and linger with awe at the grandiose interiors of the church. Wear your best walking shoes and clothes that cover your shoulders and knees as most of these places requires a strict dress code.

Roman Catacombs and Capuchin Crypt Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

3591 reviews

5. Take a romantic evening stroll (from USD 41.72)

take a romantic evening stroll

See Rome in its nighttime glory by joining a small group with a guided evening tour of the city. The tour starts early in the evening at the meeting place in Piazza del Popolo which is decorated with lovely fountains, churches, and memorials. Witness the beautiful Roman sunsets over at Pincio Terrace while enjoying panoramic city views. The walking tour also includes Piazza di Spagna and the awesome Barcaccia and Trevi Fountains where it is believed that if you throw a coin over the left shoulder to the fountain, you’ll be back in Rome. The tour includes sites like Piazza della Rotonda and the Pantheon, the Four Rivers Fountain of Piazza Navona, Church of Sant’Agnese, Palazzo Pamphili, Neptune Fountain, Moor Fountain, and finally at Campo de’ Fiori.

Rome: Guided City Center Evening Sightseeing Walking Tour

Duration: 3.0 hour

925 reviews

6. Watch the gladiators fight (from USD 30.36)

watch the gladiators fight

The hour-and-a-half show is a simulation of how gladiators fought to death during the medieval times. It is made more exciting to watch with fancy lighting, music, and effects. You get to hold the authentic armor and weapons used during the fights and sample the drinks and food created inspired by ancient Roman recipes. The show is held at an area 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles) to the Colosseum.

Rome Gladiator Show

Duration: 1.5 hour

225 reviews

7. Go solo at Saint Peter’s (from USD 14.08)

go solo at saint peter’s

You don’t need a tour guide or go with a group to have a tour of Saint Peter’s Basilica, the world’s most revered Catholic church. You don’t even have to wait in line to enter. Just purchase a booking voucher online and you have a special entrance into the Basilica. The voucher will give you instructions on how you can download an app on your mobile device. The app will provide you an audio-guide of the 31 most important sights in the Basilica. The excellent architecture by Bernini and its amazing dome redesigned by Michelangelo are just a few of the awesome sights you’ll see. Do note that there is a strict dress code you have to follow. Avoid wearing sleeveless shirts and shorts.

Reserved Entrance: Saint Peter Basilica Self-Guided Tour

Duration: 1 hour

10699 reviews

8. Take a stroll through the Vatican gardens (from USD 123.0)

Find out why this is the favorite haven of the Popes since medieval times. Join an intimate group of 16 people and a guide as you walk around the awesome 23-hectares (57-acres) Italian garden filled with flowers, fountains, grottoes, and winding pathways. The garden was built during the 13th century as a fruit orchard later developed into a lavish garden by the succeeding popes. After an hour and a half of walking, you then proceed to the Vatican Museums to view its amazing interiors and artwork displays. The tour also includes a stop at the Sistine Chapel, where the panel paintings of Michelangelo, Perugino, and Botticelli are on display, and St. Peter’s Basilica, the famous domed church of the Vatican.

Vatican Gardens and Museums, Sistine Chapel Tour with Entry

Duration: 5 hours

10 reviews

9. Watch the Michelangelo show (from USD 26.0)

watch the michelangelo show
Source: www.viator.com

The Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel is a spectacular show that involves a lot of lighting and musical effects held inside a theater in the center of the Sistine Chapel. The one-hour show is a collaboration between by Marco Balich and the Vatican Museums. The audience is shown when the Sistine Chapel was being built, the meetings that took place between the Papal conclave up to the Michelangelo’s creation of the statue of David. The show has four hosts and features the voices of popular actors like Pierfrancesco Favino and Susan Sarandon with the original musical theme composed by Sting. There are several packages offered when you buy a ticket. The standard ticket provides you a booklet and a free beverage. The show is in English so the audience has the option of purchasing headphones so that the narrative will be understood in eight different languages.

The last judgement: Michelangelo and the secrets of the Sistine Chapel

Duration: 60 minutes

10. Walk and dine in Trastevere (from USD 106.0)

walk and dine in trastevere
Source: www.viator.com

The tour takes you through the pretty cobbled streets of Piazza Trilussa, the vibrant square of Trastevere center. It’s an amazing view of ancient houses and backdoor alleys with the locals joined together for aperitivo. While walking, a guide will fill you in with profound anecdotes about its culture and history. The short journey ends with a romantic dinner in a 17th-century villa. You get to meet the homeowners and the chef who cooked up the sumptuous four-course meal. Dine al fresco in the garden while offering a toast with the complimentary wine.

Evening Trastevere Walking Tour and Villa Dinner

Duration: 3 hours

57 reviews

Get ready with your walking shoes

The city’s eternal beauty is best appreciated by taking walking tours. The iconic monuments, churches, and unique entertainment shows are all within walking distance. Along the way, you taste the traditional Roman cuisine with the street food lining your path or in the fine dining restaurants ideal for a romantic date. Whether you are walking alone or with a group, you can’t help but fall in love with the city with every step. Once you’ve tried any of these tours during your visit, your feet will definitely take you back to Rome.

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Tina is a free-spirited writer and traveler. She likes to experience unfamiliar places, cuisines, and scenery. She prefers beaches to mountains though as she is afraid of heights. Visiting museums,...Read more

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