We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Level Contributor
7 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

I'm surprising my girlfriend at the start of February with a 3 day trip to Rome. Now she's usually the one that makes our plans so it's on my shoulders to get it done without telling her!

I'm staying at the Grand Tiberio hotel (which I believe it nearish the Vatican) and I'd just like a few suggestions on what to fit into those 3 days? Should I use tours or not or do it ourselves and where would be some good places to group together over the 3 days to make the most of our time? I don't mind paying extra if it means we'll have a good time but obviously don't want to spend money if it's not necessary.

Any other tips would be much appreciated and thanks!

TopBike Rental & Tours
Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Equipment Hire, City Tours, Bike Tours
City Wonders
Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours, Night Tours, City Tours
Stefano's RomeCabs
Historical & Heritage Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, Private Tours, Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours
Italy Segway Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Night Tours, Segway Tours, Private Tours
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,866 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Rome is fun for exploring and in my opinion it's better on your own. Start with a good guide book and a map and make a list of things that are of interest to you, maybe 10-12 things ....... & then come back to the forum and we can help you with arranging the itinerary and see if it's possible to fit it all in the 3 days.

with 3 days you can see the highlights of the historic center, but it's not enough time to see it all --- you would need at the very minimum 5-7 days to get a good feel of the city.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
142 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Don't use a tour...just plan well ahead. And fif you are really fit, try and walk everywhere rather than taking the metro transport - although I guess since only 3 days you might want to take the metro to cram more in,

Also, if you get a nice clear day, spend one sunset gazing over Rome with your GF at "Pincian Overlook"...thank you to the poster than pointed out the name of this which is something I stumbled upon completely by accident.

It overlooks the Piazza del Popolo and can climb up the stairs there to get to the top. Beautiful view.

And its Free! :-)

Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
35,483 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Grab a good guide book and make a list of what you think she'd like to see. Everyone has their own ideas of what is important but everyone is different so tailoring this trip for the two of you is really up to you. With a list of sites you're interested in we can easily help you put together a working itinerary. Three days is a very short time and you don't want to waste any of it visiting sites that don't hold your interest.


New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,866 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

just looked up your hotel, it's really not that close to the Vatican, maybe a 30 minute walk and not terribly well connected to the center. Since you are only staying 3 days I would consider somewhere more central, even if it costs you 20-30eu more per night.

It's low season, so you may get a good deal in a more central location.

Newport, Rhode...
2 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

I've visited Rome 10 times since 2005, and still have a long list of things I haven't seen or done!

A truly incredible city. Definitely stroll because there are beautiful treasures on every street you'll walk.

One way to plan your trip is to pick a time period you like and shoot for all the monuments/museums in that era, for example ancient Rome with the Colosseum, etc or go Baroque with Caravaggio paintings and Bernini sculptures inside churches around the Center and piazzas.

Two eateries not to be missed: Pizzeria Baffeto on Via Governor Vecchio (this is the local Romans fave pizza) and Il Forno, a small bakery on the corner of Campo de' Fiori for their famous pizza rossa you can take out while checking out the farmer's market in that square.

Romantic evening sitting by Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and/or Piazza Navona. Monuments by day are even more lovely at night!!!

Have a great time!!!

Edited: 14 December 2012, 01:19
Newport, Rhode...
2 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Stay in the Center--it's safe and you can walk everywhere. I rent vacation apartments which cost less than 5 star hotels and give you more room and better location. Italyrents.com has been my tried and true, but there is also only-apartments.com

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
367 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

We just got back from a 10 day trip to Rome and stayed near the Trevi Fountain. As everyone suggested, the best place to start would be a guidebook & map. I can give you some insight on my own trip to see if that helps.

We stayed at Hotel Delle Nazioni which is right around the corner from Trevi Fountain and loved our location. Truly in the center and in walking distance to everything we had on our list. When we got lost, we just found signs to the fountain which led us back to our hotel.

Some of the things we saw & did:

1. Roman Shuffle (Colosseum - Palatine Hill - Roman Forum). This didn't take us long to do. We set out at about 8am and were done by 2pm. Up to you how long you will spend here.

2. Vatican Musuem & St. Peter's Basilica - You could literally spend an entire day here because there is so much to see & do.

3. Trastevere - We spent our morning walking around this city and just ate & shopped

4. Campo De' Fiori - Checked out the market and local boutiques around here

5. Pantheon & Piazza Navona - We used a Rick Steves' audio tour for the Pantheon and then went to Piazza Navona for a late lunch

6. Trevi Fountain / Spanish Steps

7. Shopping along Via Del Corso

8. Castel Sant'Angelo- We paid about 15 euros to enter this huge castle across the Tiber. It was well worth a visit!

It was our first time in Rome so we visited most of the main tourist attractions. That is just a small list of the things we did. Hope this helps!

Level Contributor
310 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

If you are in Rome on a Wednesday or Sunday...I would recommend seeing the Pope at the Vatican City.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Holiday Travel, Food and Travel, Macau
Level Contributor
28,036 posts
5,926 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Hello justiceforcedave

Welcome to Tripadvisor and the Rome Forum,

Well done on your choice to take your gf to Rome in February, this is our favorite time of the year to visit as the attraction queues are much shorter and you can often time your trip to coincide with Carnival in Venice. Too bad you've not enough time on a 3 day trip to do both Rome and Venice. Perhaps next time.

I like many of the attraction suggestions you've been given above. There is simply too much to see in Rome in 3 days only. Its one of the most most highly concentrated cities in the world for attractions in my opinion. So, it will take a bit of research to determine exactly what you want to include on your must-see list.

What I can send to you are a couple of trip lists we compiled from Rome (Classic) and Church attractions that have been helpful to others in the past, needing to start their trip planning for Rome. They represent our personal favorites only and there are so many other options worthy of consideration. Have a look if potentially useful.

Rome Classic Attractions (Our Favourites)


Rome Church Attractions (Our Favourites)


As for guidebooks, we've become quite happy with the DK Eyewitness series for Italian cities, include Rome. The Top Ten version fits nicely into your back pocket or carry bag but the Full Version provides just a bit more detail that is worth it if you don't mind the bulkier book.

Anyway, great choice on selecting Rome. Hope you love the city and that you have many return trips.

Level Contributor
7 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Need help planning 3 day Rome trip...where to go?

Thank you very much for all of these wonderful suggestions. In regards to my hotel location, I booked through a slightly suspect travel agents who seem to have agreed to move me to a more central location as was originally promised (fingers crossed, I'll do it all myself next time!)

I've done some research on the web and also looked through this site and I think I've got a few rough ideas of what I'd like to do.

I think my plan will be to have set ideas for the first 2 days and then some lose plans on the final one so that Sarah (my partner) can have pick and some input into where we go. We'll be there Monday the 4th feb (arriving 10:20 in the morning) through to Wednesday the 6th (leaving between 7 and 9pm in the eve).

The Colosseum/Palatine Hill/Roman Forum is an absolute must so I was thinking about heading here on the very first day once we've checked into our hotel and got settled (which I'm guessing will be early afternoon). Would it be realistic to fit the Pantheon in after this?

The Vatican Musuem/St. Peter's Basilica/Sistine Chapel is also a must and by the sounds of it could potentially take much of the day so I was thinking this might be best to do on the second day? Is there anything nearby that is worth seeing that I could fit in without rushing? Is it best to go first thing in the morning as there are many conflicting reports on the internet.

On the final day I just don't know how much I can fit in, Santa Maria della Vittoria sounds lovely but it would be nice to do a bit of shopping/markets anything like that. I don't know. Any suggestions would be welcome to must see sites (there are just so many!)

I'd also like any tips on restaurant near these sites as we love our food and it would be nice to have some special meals.

Thanks again! I hope you don't think I'm lazy, I just want this trip to be special and I'm finding the whole thing quite daunting!