Planning to spend two days in Rome, but not sure what to do? You’ve come to the right place!
Rome is one of my favourite cities ever. The Eternal City is the capital of Italy, and one of the most popular tourist destination in the world for all those interested in art, history and good food.
From the ancient Colosseum to the majestic Vatican, or from the cobbled streets to Trastevere to the panoramic views of Villa Borghese, there is so much beauty and variety to discover in Rome.
There is so much to see that you could live in Rome for years, and still not see it all. I was lucky enough to spend a few months living in Rome, and want to share with you my insights as both a tourist and local.
Rome is a city that lends itself well to weekend getaway.
You might not be able to see everything, but a weekend in Rome will be just enough time for you to easily see all the main landmarks, and get a feel for the city’s vibe.
This Rome 2-day itinerary will show you exactly how to spend two days in Rome, including all the best things to do, where to stay, how to get around Rome, where to eat and more.
So what are you waiting for, let’s read on and discover how to make the most of your Roman weekend!
Before you read on, have you got everything you need for your Rome trip? Click here to see all my Italy travel essentials!
- 1 Logistical tips for two days in Rome
- 2 Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 1 walking route map
- 3 Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 1
- 4 Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 2 walking route map
- 5 Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 2
- 6 Where to eat during your 2 days in Rome
Logistical tips for two days in Rome
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of this Rome 2-day itinerary, I wanted to go over some logistical tips that will facilitate your time in the Eternal City.
Travel tips like how to get into Rome, the best time of year to visit, where to stay and how to get around the city.
It’s all information that you will need to know before planning the activities you will do during your weekend in Rome.
How to get to Rome
Rome has two international airports, Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA). From there you can then take either a train or bus into central Rome.
Make sure to book your bus or train online beforehand, especially if you’re visiting in busy season, as they can get full pretty quickly and you then have to wait 20-30 minutes for the next one.
You’re only in Rome for two days, so you want to make the most of them! Not waste time before even getting into the city. You can book your airport bus transfers below.
How to get around Rome in a weekend
Rome is huge city, but when it comes to the main attractions and historical sights, these are all located close to each other in the city centre.
I’m a big fan of walking as a mode of transport when I travel, as it allows you to see the side streets and true vibe of a city, way more than you would just driving from one attraction to the next, plus you also get a bit of exercise in (it’s a great way to stay fit while travelling)!
This Rome 2-day itinerary is designed to cover all the main highlights of Rome on foot, optimising what you see and when, so that you don’t end up walking back and forth all over the city.
If you want to go beyond the city centre, or don’t fancy walking for too long, don’t worry, as there are plenty of options.
One of my favourite ways to get around Rome is to use e-scooters, such as Lime. These are good for short distances, and you’ll find loads parked all over Rome.
Just watch out for Rome’s cobbled lanes – you’ll be in for a pretty bumpy ride if you take a scooter along one of these!
There is also a Scooter (as in a moped) sharing service called eCooltra, which is a more comprehensive way to get around. If you can drive a scooter, that is. Again, it’s good for short distances.
Rome’s also has a good public transport system, which can take you almost everywhere you want to go, so you may think there’s no need to get around via scooter.
Don’t have two days in Rome? Check out my Rome 1-day itinerary instead!
Best Rome weekend tours
Having lived in Rome I can say it’s a fairly easy city to wander around on foot and discover alone. However, it can also be very chaotic and touristy, with locals trying to attract you into generic tourist traps.
If you want to relax during your Rome weekend trip, and have someone else take care of the planning hassle, plus have a local guide teach you about the beauties of Rome, here are some of the most popular Rome tours.
Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour – This popular tour is a must if you want to visit the Vatican Museum. Having a local guide explain what you’re seeing is key to understanding this unique place.
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Entry – While I think it would be better with a local guide, you can also just purchase entrance tickets. Make sure to buy them online as that way you can skip the queue (which can get pretty huge).
Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Priority Tickets – You don’t want to spend hours queueing under the sun, so make sure to purchase priority tickets to the Colosseum!
Where to stay for your weekend in Rome
You could also stay somewhere unique like these monastery and convent stays in Rome!
Luxury: Giallo Colosseo – If you’re looking to treat yourself, this is the place to do so. From this apartment you get amazing Colosseum views directly from your bed, what more can you ask for?!
Best time to visit Rome
In my opinion, you could visit Rome at any time of the year and have a great time. Being a city, pretty much all the attractions and main sights are visible every month, regardless of the season.
That said, there are some seasons which will make your two days in Rome more pleasant. Spring in Rome is my favourite time of year.
The days are getting warmer and longer, the flowers are blooming, and Rome isn’t inundated by tourists like in summer. If you visit Italy in summer, I wouldn’t personally go to Rome, as it gets extremely hot.
I also really like Rome in winter, as the weather is milder than other places in Italy in winter, and you can do pretty much everything you would do in spring or summer, minus the huge tourist crowds.
What to pack for two days in Rome
Being a city with loads of shops, as well as a super popular tourist destination, there isn’t really much you need to bring to Rome. If you forget anything, you can just buy it there.
That said, beyond the usual travel essentials, here are some things I recommend you don’t forget.
Camera – Given how stunning Rome is, you want to make sure you capture it in all its beauty!
Reusable water bottle – If you follow this Rome 2-day itinerary exactly you’ll end up walking loads, so make sure to stay hydrated! You can just refill it at the many free water fountains around Rome.
Walking shoes – Given how much you will be walking, make sure you have comfortable shoes!
International adapter – You can buy it in Rome if you forget it, but it’s always a pain having to head out to search for one with your phone battery dying on you.
Power bank – Regardless of if you have a charger or not, it’s always handy to bring one of these, so whether you need your phone for photos or mapping your way, you know it won’t abandon you when you most need it!
Do you need travel insurance for two days in Rome?
After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.
Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).
Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.
As a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance!
Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 1 walking route map
To make your Rome 2-day itinerary easier to visualise, I have created walking route maps for each day, so that you can see exactly which areas of Rome you will be exploring.
As you can see below, the route you will walk on your first day in Rome in theory only 1 hour 17 minutes, but trust me, when the streets you walk through are so beautiful, it easily takes much longer!
Plus if you want to go inside any attractions or do guided tours, it’s only normal that they’ll take up longer.
Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 1
Piazza di Spagna & Trinità dei Monti
We started off our Rome weekend on Saturday meeting at Piazza di Spagna at 10am (admittedly not the earliest of starts, but I was travelling with an all Italian group, and we’re not early risers).
Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous squares in Rome. It gets its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, the seat of the Spanish Embassy, and is famous for the iconic steps leading up to Trinità del Monti.
From Piazza di Spagna you can walk up the Trinità dei Monti staircase, from which you will find your first pretty viewpoint over Rome.
Trinità dei Monti is a beautiful late Renaissance church famous for its position over the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna.
Under the church you will often find street artists that will offer to draw your portrait or will try to sell you their landscape paintings of Rome.
From there you then walk towards Villa Borghese, a beautiful park with an awesome view over Piazza del Popolo (lots of viewpoints for your first day in Rome).
Inside the park there is also a famous art gallery called Galleria Borghese that you can visit. If you want to visit it, make sure to purchase entrance online beforehand and skip the queue!
We didn’t go inside as two days in Rome isn’t enough to see all its famous museums, but if you have a big interest in art, you can schedule some time to pop inside. The park is also very pretty to walk around.
If you’re visiting Rome in summer, you can enjoy an ice cream while chilling in the shade, or while taking in the view over the rooftops of Rome. It’s up to you how much time you want to spend relaxing here.
From there you can then walk down to Piazza del Popolo.
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo is a large square in Rome, famous for it’s symmetrical design and the Egyptian obelisk located in the middle.
Piazza del Popolo means “People’s Square” and historically was a location of public executions or demonstrations.
Today you will often find street performers there, and on big festivities, for example Carnival, you will find people dancing and celebrating there.
The Trevi Fountain
From Piazza del Popolo you can walk to the Trevi Fountain.
It would take you approximately 15 minutes if you walked straight there, but as these central streets of Rome are some of the most beautiful, I totally get it if you want to go on a detour.
Getting lost in the side streets of Rome is just as fun and interesting as seeing the main landmarks!
The Trevi Fountain is in my opinion one of the most beautiful attractions in Rome. With its 26 metres in height and 49 metres in width of baroque statues, it is a truly imposing sight.
Urban legend says that you have to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain if you want to come back to Rome one day.
I do it every time I visit Rome, and so far I keep going back, so I won’t be stopping this tradition any time soon! The Trevi Fountain is located in the side streets of Rome and access to it is free.
The Trevi Fountain will be busy. Be ready for that. Unless you change around this itinerary and go really early in the morning, there isn’t much you can do for the crowds.
However you can usually still find a corner to throw your coin in the fountain and snap some iconic Rome Instagram pictures.
After the Trevi Fountain you can walk over to the Pantheon, another must see stop in Rome.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple that subsequently became a church and is known for its recognizable hole in the ceiling. The building is circular and the inside is decorated with beautiful statues.
Access to the Pantheon is free, however you might have to wait a little bit as there is often a queue and they sometimes check bags before letting you in.
The square just in front of the Pantheon is lively and there are lots of bars, if you haven’t taken a break yet I recommend grabbing an ice cream from Della Palma and taking a seat on the fountain steps.
It’s a very touristy area, but it’s a nice spot to grab a bite and give yourself sometime to soak in the Roman atmosphere.
Piazza Navona is just round the corner from the Pantheon, and is a beautiful square to explore. If you’re looking for a beautiful square in Rome, this is it.
Piazza Navona is home to the beautiful church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, as well as stunning fountains and some delicious restaurants.
It’s centrally located, and is a must-see on any Rome weekend itinerary.
Campo de’ Fiori
Campo dei Fiori is where the cool kids hang out. With its homely restaurants, hipster bars, cobbled side streets and fun vibe it has become the area where all the students and young people hang out in evenings.
It’s a cool area to explore also during the day as the architecture around is very beautiful.
The Fori Romani
From Campo dei Fiori you can then wrap up your first day in Rome by going to the Colosseum. Make sure to take the street that goes past the Altare della Patria and the Fori Romani along the way.
Located in the centre of Rome, the Fori Romani are a series of monumental “foro” or public squares. These were the heart of the Roman Empire, with every foro serving a different purpose to public life in ancient Rome.
The road leading up to the Colosseum, lined with ancient Roman ruins on each side, is the perfect build up to reaching the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is possibly the most famous and visited attraction in Rome.
Built back in 70 / 80 AD, the Colosseum is a huge oval amphitheatre that could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators for public spectacles, such as gladiator fights and dramas.
It is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World (confusing I know, considering how old it is).
If you want to visit the inside of the Colosseum make sure to book your ticket online beforehand, as queues on the day can be ridiculously long.
You’re only in Rome for two days, so you don’t want to waste any of that time queueing!
Despite living in Rome for months I haven’t actually been inside the Colosseum, so if you want to find out more about visiting the inside, check out this Colosseum tour guide.
You can also combine your visit to the Colosseum and the Roman Forums with a tour like this one.
This tour is great as it allows you to skip the queue at the Colosseum, explore the Roman Forum and learn about their history from a knowledgable local guide.
Or click below to see prices & availability!
Sunset & evening time
Depending on when in the year you’re visiting Rome, once you’re done with all the sightseeing and tours you might be just on time to catch the sunset over the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Alternatively, you can head to one of the many cool rooftop bars in Rome, and enjoy a traditional Italian aperitivo while watching the sun set over the rooftops of Rome. Either option sounds good to me!
If you want to make the most of your weekend in Rome, you can head out to Trastevere, one of the most lively areas of Rome at night, regardless of the time of year.
Here you’ll find charming cobbled streets, plenty of traditional trattorias and lively bars filled with locals.
Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 2 walking route map
As you can see, there isn’t much walking involved in this day of your Rome itinerary.
That’s because you will be visiting the Vatican, and if you choose to go inside to see the museums and Sistine Chapel, that will easily take up half a day, if not more.
Rome 2-day itinerary – Day 2
Rome is divided through the middle by the river Tiber, so it made sense to us to divide our Rome 2-day itinerary by doing one side of the river on day one, and the other on the second day.
We started the second day of our Rome weekend in Trastevere, a beautiful neighbourhood where a lot of the roads are pedestrian, which makes it even more enjoyable to walk around.
The cobbled streets of Trastevere are also lined with bars and restaurants, so you can enjoy a croissant and coffee before properly setting off on your Rome weekend adventures.
If you made it here last night, it’s also fun to see the difference between day and night. You can also join a Trastevere guided walking tour, and have a local take you to the best hidden gems of this neighbourhood.
We wandered the streets of Trastevere for a bit, and then walked our way up the Tiber river to Castel Sant’Angelo and Vatican City.
This spectacular building in Rome was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, to act as a mausoleum for himself and his family.
Over time it was then taken over by the church, and used by the popes as a fortress and castle.
One of the unique beauties of this attraction is Ponte Sant’Angelo, the bridge that connects the two sides of the river just in front of it.
The bridge is pedestrian, and walking towards this impressive building with all the angel statues lined on both sides is a truly mystifying experience.
The combination between the bridge, statues and imposing building is pretty impressive even just from outside, but if you have time, I highly recommend visiting the interior of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Besides being very interesting, it also offers one of the best viewpoints in Rome.
Make sure to purchase a skip-the-line entrance ticket online beforehand, you still have a busy day ahead, and you don’t want to waste too much time of your Rome itinerary waiting in line!
From Castel Sant’Angelo you can then walk over to the Vatican, and prepare yourself to discover one of the most unique sights in the world.
The Vatican and the Cappella Sistina are considered must-sees on pretty much every Italy bucket list. Even if it will mean spending half of your second day in Rome indoors, you can’t really skip them.
Possibly one of the most famous attractions in Rome, the Vatican Museums attract more than six million people every year.
A lot of people (myself included) visit primarily to see the Cappella Sistina, Michelangelo’s masterpiece.
I recommend buying tickets online beforehand, and make sure to get a queue jump ticket for a small extra fee, which will ensure you don’t waste time waiting outside.
The museums are huge, and will easily take up a whole afternoon.
Similarly to the Colosseum, you can either purchase just the skip-the-line entrance ticket, or join a guided tour.
I didn’t personally do a tour, but in hindsight, I wish I had. The Vatican Museums are huge, and having a local guide explain the historical and artistic significance of what you’re seeing is priceless.
Sunset at Ponte Umberto I
After you leave the Vatican you will probably be a bit tired, but there’s one last sight you can’t miss. Simply walk down to the river and head to Ponte Umberto I.
This is one of the most famous bridges and sunset spots in Rome. From here you can watch the sun go down behind the huge dome of San Pietro, and the unique reflection in the river as the lights turn on.
It’s the perfect ending to your Rome 2-day itinerary.
Where to eat during your 2 days in Rome
In the country of good food, it just makes sense that its capital has some of the most amazing food choices.
Especially if you’re planning on exploring the Eternal City on foot, you will see just how many bars, restaurants, bakeries and lovely cafes there are in Rome.
While travelling I always like to eat lunch on the go, like a slice of pizza from a bakery, so that I don’t waste day light by sitting down at a restaurant and waiting for ages to be served. Plus it usually tends to be cheaper too.
When it comes to dinner however, I’m all for sitting down and discovering the local cuisine more in depth! After months of living in Rome, here are some of my favourite restaurants.
Cacio e Pepe is my favourite kind of restaurant as it’s an Osteria. These type of restaurants serve big portions for affordable prices. The pastas especially are homemade fresh and simply amazing.
Roscioli is actually a “Salumeria” a shop that sells all sorts of cheese and cured meat, to which they’ve added a kitchen and dining area and serve all sorts of traditional Roman dishes. Here you have to have spaghetti carbonara, possibly the most Rome dish you can have!
Osteria da Fortunata – is there anything better than watching a local Roman lady make fresh pasta, and then eat that same pasta with typical Roman recipes like Carbonara? I don’t think so.
Mercato Centrale Roma – Located inside Termini train station, this street food style market is perfect for on the go meals, without compromising on quality.
If you want a more in depth foodie experience, you could also join a street food tour or cooking class. These allow you to learn more about the local cuisine, while exploring the city and meeting new people along the way.
Final thoughts on how to spend a weekend in Rome
There you have it, the ultimate Rome 2-day itinerary! Have you been to Rome before? Do you love it as much as me? Let me know in the comments below!
As one of my favourite Italian quotes says, “For someone who has never seen Rome, it is hard to believe how beautiful life can be.”
Even if you’re not a fan of history and culture, there is something magical about Rome. Even just by walking through its cobbled streets, admiring its unique architecture, you can feel the history that permeates this city.
The amazing sights and artistic heritage of Rome are breathtaking, and I know you’ll love them. The Rome 2-day walking itinerary I have outlined here is the exact one I followed on one of my first trips to Rome.
I hope you will find this Rome itinerary useful in planning your weekend in Rome! If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!
If you have more time in Rome and want to get out of the city, check out this guide to Tivoli, a lovely town near Rome.
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