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One Day in Rome (Itineraries + Tours)

Exploring Rome in a day is not easy task, but it's possible to see the highlights and soak up the atmosphere. Sometimes, people have only one day - they just have layover in Rome or make port of call excursion while on a cruise.

On this page you'll find some ideas on how to see the best of Rome in a single day, whether on your own or on a tour. Itineraries for one day visit to Rome can be various depending on what is your priority.

Do you want to see the highlights such as the Colosseum and Vatican Museums, you want to just leisurely walk and soak up the atmosphere, do some shopping or you have been to Rome before and want to see something completely new.

We compiled a few itineraries for exploring Rome in one day and picked up a few organised tours you'll love to take (everything is organised for you).

Choose from these itineraries:

  1. Visiting the Colosseum and Vatican in one day
  2. Visiting the Colosseum + Jewish Ghetto + Piazza Navona + the Pantheon + Spanish Steps
  3. Visiting Borghese Park + Spanish Steps + Piazza del Popolo + St Peter's Basilica
  4. Visiting the Colosseum + Guided food tour of historic centre + Fontana di Trevi + Spanish Steps + the Vatican
  5. Visiting the Colosseum + Private golf cart tour of the city
  6. Exploring Rome by Vespa scooter (it's quick and fun)
  7. E-bike tour + Visiting the Colosseum + Dinner
  8. Explore Rome on one day tour (ideal for cruise visitors arriving to Civitavecchia)

1. Visiting the Colosseum and Vatican in one day

Visiting the Colosseum and Vatican in one day is possible, but you will skip many other great sights in Rome.

So we suggest you to do either the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and St Peter's Basilica, or the Vatican Museums and only Colosseum (without Roman Forum and Palatine Hill).

Make the most of your visit by booking an early morning tour of Vatican Museums and then you'll have the rest of the day for exploring historic centre or the Colosseum.

If you plan your visit around the Vatican, Heart Hotel situated just across the entrance is ideal choice for staying. Or stay at Eccelso Hotel near Piazza Risorgimento, from where you can easily explore both Vatican and historic centre (either on foot or by metro).

When near the Vatican be sure to visit Hedera Gelateria (Via Dei Coronari 141) and taste one of the best Roman artisanal gelato (so delicious!).

If you love everything to be organised, just book this Rome in a day tour with Vatican and Colosseum (small-group tour that lasts 7-hours; skip-the-line tickets to sights are included) and enjoy while exploring.

2. Visiting the Colosseum, Jewish Ghetto, Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Spanish Steps

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First in the morning head to the Colosseum (opens at 8:30am) and explore it together with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Be sure to buy one of skip-the-line tickets. For this you'll need 3-4 hours. 

Afterwards, explore nearby Monti area, where you can have tasty lunch in one of local restaurants or shop in small craft shops.

From Piazza Venezia (where you can climb to Altare della Patria, to take some amazing photos of Rome; one of the best viewpoints), take Via del Plebiscito then Corso Vittorio Emanuelle to reach Jewish Ghetto and further Piazza Navona. 

Explore the area and take a break in one of cafés (we recommend Dolci di Nonna Vincenza - for espresso and authentic cannoli).

Continue your walk toward the Pantheon and then Spanish Steps in the end. It's great to spend evening around Spanish Steps (having a dinner or sipping cocktails or have a snack).

3. Visiting Borghese Park, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo and St Peter's Basilica

Villa Borghese Park is great for walking or bikingVilla Borghese Park is great for walking or biking

From Piazza Barberini (one of the central metro stops) walk up Via Veneto to reach Borghese Park. It can be a lovely way to spend time in a park, without the rush and sightseeing.

You can enjoy there walking or even biking or visit Borghese Gallery. Nearby, you'll find Al Forno della Sofita (Via Piave 62/64), fabulous place for having freshly baked pizza or a plate of authentic pasta (affordable prices & great service).

You can enjoy walking or even biking there or visit Borghese Gallery. If you get hungry while there, head towards Piazza Fiume and turn into Via Piave, where you'll find fabulous place for freshly baked pizza or a plate of authentic pasta (affordable prices & great service).

Continue your exploration of Rome by heading to Via Veneto, then turn right into Via Lazio  then continue to Via Di Porta Pinciana, then Via Franceco Crispi and then Via Sistina to reach top of Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps is the English name, while Italians refer to them as la Scalinata, which derives from their proper name, La Scalinata di Trinita dei Monti.

Snap a few photos from here, then walk down the steps and eat gelato or delicious cannoli or just sip a coffee.

Close to Piazza di Spagna, you'll find Venchi, a place for chocolate lovers, offering amazing gelato and variety of chocolate truffles and other sweet goods (they have shops around the city).

From Piazza di Spagna you can easily walk to Piazza del Popolo and window shopping along the way. Once there, take a hike up the stairs to Il Pincio, a viewpoint ideal for another photo shooting of Rome. You can have a break here, while sitting on the benches and enjoying the park.

From Piazza del Popolo, take a walk across Ponte Regina Margheritta and you'll reach Via Cola di Rienzo, long street of Prati with many shops, cafés and gelaterias. Walk towards Piazza della Risorgimento and from there you can easily walk to St Peter's Square (entry to St Peter's Basilica is free).

Or just hop onto metro line A from Flaminio stop to Ottaviano - San Pietro and quickly reach Vatican area.

Hop-on Hop-off Buses
in Rome

4. Visiting the Colosseum, taking food tour (historic centre), Fontana di Trevi, Spanish Steps and Vatican

Fontana di Trevi, Rome

Start the day with visiting the Colosseum (opens at 8:30am) and exploring it for 1-2 hours. Be sure to buy one of skip-the-line tickets.

Next, walk leisurely towards Campo de' Fiori where you'll meet your food tour group (at 11:15am). This popular walking tour is ideal for first-time visitors, as it combines food tastings with walking around the Rome and hearing interesting historic facts.

The tour will take you through Jewish Ghetto, then in front of the Pantheon, Via Portico d'Ottavia and Area Sacra di Largo Argentina. You'll spend a couple of hours exploring historic centre of Rome.

After the tour, you can continue towards the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps to spend some time there. At the top of Spanish Steps, you'll find the Church of the Santissima Trinita dei Monti. At the bottom there is La Fontana Della Barcaccia, a baroque fountain of a boat.

After exploring this area, you can cross one of the bridges to other side of Tiber River to visit St Peter's Square and Basilica.

In the evening have a nice dinner at one of nice restaurants in the area.

5. Visiting the Colosseum and the private golf cart tour of the city

golf cart tour 10

Start in the morning with exploring the Colosseum and nearby Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Reserve one of priority entry tickets to skip all those people waiting in line. Once you done sightseeing, it's time to have a lunch nearby.

The afternoon is reserved for guided tour by golf cart. You'll enjoy 3-hour ride around Rome and stop to see the most iconic sights including Aventine Hill for a great views. Be prepared to hear lots of great stories and interesting details about Roman history and culture! End your tour at St Peter's Square and snap a few photos there.

If you are looking for a true Italian meal, we recommend Alla Rampa dei Gracchi (Via dei Gracchi 86-92), which is only a short walk from there.

6. Exploring Rome by Vespa scooter (it's quick and fun)

One of the best ways to explore wonders of Rome is by Vespa scooter. It's fun and you travel fast and you can see a lot in one day. You'll love this interesting Vespa tour of Rome.

Hand on for the ride as your private driver and guide whisks you around on a vintage scooter for an exciting half-day tour of Rome. You'll easily hop off from one sight to another, making stops for snapping photos. Choose from early morning, day or evening tour options. Meet your Vespa guide and driver directly at your Rome hotel.

Or you can rent a Vespa scooter on your own (see this great scooter rental!).

7. Taking e-bike tour, visiting the Colosseum and dinner

Start your day with true Italian breakfast at one of the cafés (espresso and pastries) then leisurely head to the meeting point of your e-bike tour (near the Colosseum).

Join the group and cycle around Rome to explore its iconic sights and hidden corners as well (this tour is situable for anyone, from kids to seniors). Your guide will take after you and tell you great historic facts and stories about Rome. After 4 hours of exploring, you'll be back to the spot near the Colosseum.

Go straight to the Colosseum (get your tickets in-advance; we suggest these skip-the-line tickets). Don't skip visiting the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (included in the ticket with Colosseum).

In the evening, it's time to relax and enjoy the food and wines in one of many Roman restaurants (choose those that locals visit).

Fontana della Barcaccia - Piazza di SpagnaFontana della Barcaccia - Piazza di Spagna

8. Explore Rome on one day tour

You could explore Rome for years, but seeing the most iconic sights in a day is surely possible. The best way to do that is by taking a whole day guided tour on which you'll explore Rome with experienced local guides who knows exactly what to see and how to get there quickly.

Tours like these include whole plan of sightseeing (you can even make your own itinerary), all tickets and easy transport in the city.

Guides will share with your stories about the ancient buildings, squares and monuments you'll pass. These tours are mostly private and you'll be picked up from your hotel or apartment in Rome. Some tours are ideal for cruise visitors on Mediterranean cruises and include free pick-up (and drop-off) from cruise port in Civitavecchia.

Here are the most popular one day tours of Rome:

1. Rome's 12 best highlights tour

The Colosseum, Rome

Seeing Rome in one day can be challenging and this 7-hour tour makes it possible. The tour does the planning for you, covering the best of the city in full day sightseeing. Some of the highlights include: Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Pantheon, St Peter's Square, Spanish steps...

Guides on this tour are professional, attentive and fun and will even show you where to have a tasty lunch. The tour starts with pick-up from your hotel!

2. Best of Rome private excursion from Civitavecchia (for cruise visitors)

Make the most of your time in Rome with a full-day private shore excursion. Meet your English-speaking guide at Civitavecchia port (in front of the ship) and set off on a day of sightseeing in Rome. Explore the Colosseum, walk down Piazza Navona, climb the Spanish Steps, enjoy the views from the Janiculum Hill and admire St Peter's Square. 

Whether you want to see ancient highlights or hidden gems, your guide will help you make the most of your day in Rome. You'll see everything one could possibly see in one day in Rome and then taken back to your cruise ship.

3. Rome by golf cart private tour

Explore Rome by golf cart

You'll fall in love with Rome on this private full-day guided tour by golf cart. During the tour you'll see so many sights which you never would have seen on foot, plus you'll have a friendly guide with your.

Choose your own route and visit sights you most want to (Colosseum, Piazza Navona, Giardino degli Aranci, Campo de' Fiori, Spanish Steps and much more). Your guide can pick you up from your Rome's hotel or you can meet in historic centre.

4. Rome in a day small-group tour (from Civitavecchia)

The Roman Forum, Rome

This tour is designated for cruise visitors as it picks you up from your cruise ship and takes you to Rome in comfortable 8-passenger minivan. You will see the most famous sights of Rome such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Circus Maximus, Teatro di Marcello, St Peter's Square and many others.

Your guide will take you to Janiculum Hill, one of the best spots in Rome for amazing panoramic views of the city. After spending 9 hours in Rome, you'll be taken back to your cruise ship.

5. Private Rome golf cart tour (with the Colosseum guided tour)

This is a fun private tour when you will be picked up at you hotel and ride around Rome by golf cart. Great way to see some of the city's highlights in one morning. You'll visit Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps. Plus, the visit to the Colosseum with guided tour is included in this tour (skip the line tickets are included).  Once the tour is finished, you'll be dropped-off at your hotel accommodation.

6. Best of Rome private tour (Civitavecchia shore excursion)

The view from the Dome of St Peter's Basilica

You'll love exploring Rome on this shore excursion from your cruise ship. Your guide will help you to make the most of your day in Rome (the tour will last around 9 hours).

Explore the highlights of Rome such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and much more. You'll go to the Janiculum Hill, one of the best locations for a panoramic view of the city. The guide will also show you where to eat delicious food for a low price.

7. Rome in a day tour with Vatican and Colosseum (small group)

Tourists near the Colosseum

If you choose this tour, you'll meet your guide and small group a few steps from the Vatican Museum (for staying choose Heart Hotel just across the meeting point), then skip the line to enter and explore the highlights of the galleries and Sistine Chapel. Next, you'll go to St Peter's Basilica and explore on your own.

Next, you'll catch a private transfer to the historic centre for a walking tour that visit Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain... Finally, you'll arrive to the Colosseum, where you'll explore it with your guide. Note that Vatican and Colosseum skip-the-line tickets are included in the price!

8. Private guided tour of Rome (4 hour)

View of Rome's roofs

Ideal for travellers short on time, this tour covers the best of Rome in just 4 hours while travelling in a luxury minivan. The tour includes top sights such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain while making room for intriguing off-the-beaten-path gems.

The tour guide/driver will listen to your wishes and visit the places you may want to visit. Meeting point is Piazza Venezia or you can be picked-up from your hotel! Stay at Nerva Boutique Hotel, and you'll easily reach the meeting point!

9. Rome day tour with private driver

This day tour of Rome is ideal for travellers short on time. The tour covers all of Rome's top sights such as the Pantheon, St Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum... (note that tickets for sights are not included in the price) with driver riding you around. Drivers/guides are professional, knowledgeable and friendly and will help you to make the most of your sightseeing.

10. Rome city small group bike tour

You'll love exploring Rome on this small-group e-bike tour that combined top sights with a few lesser-known spots. With a knowledgeable guide, you'll pedal past ancient landmarks, explore bustling squares, beautiful churches plus you'll take in the views from the best viewing points. This tour is suitable for all ages, from seniors to kids. The tour starts from the point not far from the Colosseum.

Where to stay in Rome for a day

If you are staying in Rome for a night, we have great suggestions for the best places.

If you are landing to Fiumicino Airport and taking Leonardo Express train to Termini Station, we would recommend staying somewhere not far away. In the text below you'll find a few great hotels that can be reached on foot or by metro (1-2 stops) from Termini.

View from the rooftop terrace of Sophie Terrace HotelView from the rooftop terrace of Sophie Terrace Hotel

Great Rome hotels for overnight stay:

Sophie Terrace Hotel

This great hotel is literally 5 minutes on foot from Termini and you'll love it. The staff will help you with everything you may need and rooms are comfortable and super clean. Take the elevator to the roof terrace, where you can chill or have a drink and snacks while enjoying the views of Rome

Radical Hotel Rome

Modernly designed 4-star hotel, situated only 5 minutes from Barberini Metro stop and within walking distance from Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Hotel has fantastic rooms with comfy beds. The staff is super friendly and helpful. Great breakfast is served to your room.

Nerva Boutique Hotel

This is small boutique hotel on a quiet street in historic centre (short walk from the Colosseum) with homely atmosphere and helpful and warm staff. It has great selection of room types. The breakfast is super delicious! This hotel offers excellent value for money! You'll love staying here!

Monti Palace Hotel

Lovely hotel with nice amenities and a rooftop terrace where you can have a breakfast or a drink. Rooms are spacious and beautiful and the service is fantastic. Location is great with close walking distance of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Altare della Patria. There are also lots of restaurants and cafés nearby.

Heart Hotel

This hotel has great location literally steps away from the entrance to the Vatican Museums and within walking distance of St Peter's Basilica. Hotel offers cosy atmosphere and spacious modern rooms (and one suite). Breakfast is included in the room prices. Around the hotel, you'll find a range of restaurants and shops. This hotel is ideal if you plan to visit the Vatican!

Getting from/to Fiumicino Airport

The easiest way to get from and to Fiumicino Airport is by taking Leonardo Express train, which runs frequently between Termini Station and the airport. The journey takes only 32 minutes and the ride is pleasant, comfortable with lots of space for luggage. The prices is €14 (children under 14 rides for free).

Once you arrive to Termini, you can take a taxi or use metro to reach your hotel or apartment. Some parts of Rome are not served by metro, so you'll need to take taxi (such as Trastevere). From Termini you can catch a metro to Spanish Steps, the Vatican or the Colosseum area. 

If you want to travel directly from Fiumicino Airport to your hotel, we recommend taking Welcome Pickups transfers, reliable and safe transfer option (your driver will meet you at arrival terminal).

Facilities for luggage storage in Rome

Rome offers luggage storage services at key locations such as train stations as well as at numerous cafés, hotels, rental agencies and other places. The best way to store your suitcases is to book with Radical Storage. At reasonable price, you can store bags of any size or weight, including strollers and other large items. 

Storing your bags is very simple. Just find the luggage storage that meets your needs, book online (pay by credit card) and discover the actual address. Head to the location and drop off your bags!

This allows you to explore the city freely without carrying your luggage around.

More info you may like:

Where to stay in Rome

Things to do in Florence

Best cooking classes in Rome

Best ways to see the Colosseum

Getting from Rome to Croatia

Leonardo Express train guide

Rome to Florence trains