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Best Rome attractions if you only have few hours

Spending only few hours in Rome Italy is hardly enough to see the best Rome attractions. However, if you only have this much time, there is still a way to make the most out of it. Welcome to the best walking itinerary for a quick run through best Rome attractions.


This year, we arrived in Rome late in the afternoon and were spending one night there before heading to Pompeii. If you are in the same situation, beware that you are not going to see any museums at all. The best you can do is have a really quick run through the city’s most famous attractions.

rome attractions

First stop – Vatican city

Visiting best Rome attractions and not going to Vatican City is a crime! You need to see it, even if it’s going to be the only thing you visit here. Assuming you are starting your quick tour from Roma Termini train station, take the metro (red line) and ride until Ottaviano station. Ticket price – 1,50€.


Once you get out of the station, you will see where you need to go – Vatican walls will be visible and most people will be heading in that same direction. Walk down the street until you reach Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square). Have a quick look around the square and the Cathedral.

Some sights to to take note of – the stunning St. Peter’s Basilica, beautiful statues on the walls and on the roof, Egyptian Obelisk and two fountains (by  Carlo Maderno and  Gian Lorenzo Bernini).

rome attractions

Castel Sant’Angelo

From Vatican City, walk out of the gates towards the river, back to Italy. At the end of the street, you will see on the left huge building – cylindrical castle with spectacular angel sculpture on the top of it. This impressive castle was once a residence of Vatican Popes, a jail and now a museum.

Enjoy a really good Gelato (Italian ice cream) on the left side of the street – it’s also very affordable. Two scoops cost 3,50€). Ice cream itself can be listed among best Rome attractions!

Take note of the beautiful bridge crossing river Tiber – it’s stunning during the sunset when it is reflected in the water.

Piazza Navona

Our next stop in Rome Italy is at Piazza Navona – hidden behind churches and basilicas, this cute little square has impressive fountains – among them Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi designed in 1651 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. If you arrive here after sunset (like we did), you will see amazing play of light, illumination and water. So beautiful, it will leave you speechless for a while.

Fontana di Trevi

Another must see in Rome and probably the most famous fountain – di Trevi. It almost looks like you could just stumble upon this little jewel while wandering the streets of Rome. Hidden behind high walls of nearby houses, it’s a little paradise that you find in someones backyard. Designed to impress, it surely does the job.Cascades of water are flowing along the walls and beautiful sculptures. During latest restorations, it was modernized with led lights to improve the nighttime illumination of the fountain. There is a tradition to throw coin with you right hand over left shoulder. They say it will lead you back to Rome.  An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day. By the way – the saying does work, so try it!

Bonus: Colosseum or Spanish Steps

If, by the time you reached Trevi you are still standing up, you might decide to visit one or two more attractions. For instance, Colosseum is a great choice and also a symbol of Rome. Hop on local bus nr.51 and get off at S.Gregorio. Beware – bus tickets need to be purchased at tobacco kiosks and validated in the bus. You won’t get inside the Colosseum, but at least have a look at this amazing ancient building and make a few snaps.

Spanish steps are located on Pizza di Spagna. Although it’s going to be a torture for you legs (135 steps), once you get all the way up, the view is pretty amazing! This site became popular after the screening of “Roman Holiday”  starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Tips for visiting Rome Italy

Rome ItalyIf you are staying nearby Termini train station, there is a great supermarket right around the corner. It is open until 24:00 and has great choice of food, wines and other goodies. We didn’t have breakfast option in our hotel, so this shop was a life saver. Make sure to try some of the local specialties and desserts!

Italians have dinner really late (around 21:00), so you might have trouble finding a place to eat if it’s too early (before 19:00). Just keep that in mind. Some pizzerias might be open all day and most restaurants near popular tourist attractions are open all day as well.

Italian Coffee

Try Italian espresso coffee – its fabulous! Usually, I always drink coffee with milk or cappuccino, but I didn’t order it once during my time in Italy. Espresso is awesome here and really affordable. Here is the trick – hop in a place called “Bar” – there are tons of them everywhere or in a Gelato (ice cream) shop and order an espresso at the bar (do not sit down). The coffee will only cost you around 1€. Once you sit down, the price will be higher.

The tiny espresso if very concentrated and you get the same dose as you would normally get in a cappuccino. Also, it’s very tasty! Have a great time in Rome!

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1 Comment

  1. Love your tips! I was in Rome a few months ago and had only 3 days…covered pretty much everything you listed above! 🙂

    Julia || Closet de Jules

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