Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Usually the first question people ask themselves or hear from others when they’re planning a trip is “what are you going to see?” and in a city like Rome, that question can be tricky to answer. There’s so much history and if you’re only here for a short while, it can be difficult to decide what is a must and which sites are ok to miss out on. At least, for now.
To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 places (including historical sites, restaurants, cool locales and experiences) that you absolutely have to see once you step foot in Rome.
Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM
I think it’s fair to say that this structure needs no introduction.Especially since this is one of the most visited monuments in Rome, making this forever and always the #! spot you need to visit here.
Vatican City 00120 Vatican City
Same deal, no introductions needed but maybe a quick shout out that you definitely do NOT need to be Catholic or Christian to enjoy visiting the Vatican. The museum alone houses some of the greatest works of art in the world and the Vatican has such an immense foothold in history, you have to see it for yourself at least once.
Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM
If you want a better idea of how the ancient romans spent their time, what better place than the best preserved ancient structures in the city? This temple (now a church) is also located right in the center of Rome so you’ll enjoy grabbing a gelato or some lunch just a few steps away after your visit.
4. Cavalleri di Malta Monastery “The Keyhole”
Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 3, 00153 Roma RM
So this may not be as well known, unless you’ve dated a few Italians (it’s a common date spot, if you will) but it is still a must see. Plus, most tourists don’t visit this monastery, so you’ll get to take a look in peace and quiet. You may also recognize after some time in Rome, that many architect are actually quite fond of these type of visual tricks.
5. Sant’Alberto Pizzeria
Via del Pigneto 46 , 00176 Rome, Italy
You may think that just because you’re in Rome all pizza’s are made equal right? Well, no you’d be dead wrong on that one. Unfortunately, Rome can be filled with tourist traps, meaning restaurants that sell frozen pizza. Yes, FROZEN PIZZA! It’s an experience we want to help you avoid. So, if you’re looking to grab a great pizza, Sant’Alberto’s is the place to go.
6. Voodoo Bar
Via delle Terme di Traiano, 4A, 00184 Roma RM
If you step into Voodoo bar, be prepared to step into a world that does not exist in Rome. My first time here, felt like I was in a tropical paradise. In the afternoons, you can relax with friends and grab a coffee or select from their range of fusion teas. Later in the night, get ready to grab a cocktail and maybe some sushi or pizza at one of the pop up restaurants outside.
7. St. Ignatio in Loyolla Church
Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Roma RM
If there is anything Romans do well, besides pasta and pizza, it’s architecture. There are many churches in Rome, and even if I’d be tempted to say that after you’ve seen one, you’ve seem them all. It’s simply not true. A less obvious choice to visit, St. Ignatio is no less beautiful la church. Take an afternoon to step inside for a few minutes or as long as you wish. Just remember to wear appropriate attire.
8. Maranega Shisha Restaurant
Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 47/49, 00186 Roma RM
Italians are really serious about their food. In fact, if you speak to most of them they will tell you that here, food is like religion. Translation, there are rules that must be followed and the first rule is absolute acceptance that Italian food is the best. However, they seem to have made an exception that Japanese Sushi is also an excellent choice. Trust us it’s hard to find success in Rome serving foreign food, so most places have to be excellent and Maranega, is ahead of the pack.
9. Picos Taqueria & American Grill
Via della Pelliccia, n 27, 00153 Roma RM
Again, foreign foods are difficult to find in Rome but Pico’s is an absolute gem, especially for those who have a taste for Mexican. It’s a small little restaurant in Trastevere but the portions are lager and the food does not disappoint. Have a seat at one of the tables inside, and then enjoy a stroll in the rest of Trastevere to walk of your meal.
10. Finnegan’s Irish Pub
Via Leonina, 66, 00184 Roma RM
There seems to be an Irish pub everywhere in the world, and that includes Italy. Located in my favorite neighborhood in Rome, Monti, here you’ll find all your favorite beers and lagers you may not get in a traditional Italian restaurant. So swing by after dinner, grab a drink and enjoy.