Over the summer, I was able to see all of Italy in 10 days which was amazing. I was able to see Rome, Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Pisa, Florence, Venice and Milan in that short duration. This experience was amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. From our Rome in 2 days, we were able to see everything on our list and then some. Rome was one of my favorite destinations in Italy. This post is how I did Rome in 2 days and the itinerary we had for our trip.
If you wanted to see how I did Italy in a week, check out my blog post for an Italy 10 Day Itinerary. I hope these tips help and the itinerary is the start of your great adventure. If you are interested in places to eat in Italy, especially Vegan options, check out Eating Vegan in Rome.
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Rome in 2 Days
Let’s get to some of the basics about Rome and Italy!
Best time to visit Rome in 2 Days
The best time to visit Rome is during the spring, April to May and the fall, September to November. The winter is usually an expensive time to travel with families traveling home. Additionally, during the winter, many of the attractions may be closed early or not available. When traveling during the summer months, it can be very hot, humid, and crowded with tourists. Additionally, it can be very expensive when it comes to finding hotel accommodations.
Currency used in Rome
Since Italy is part of the European Union, Rome uses the European Euro as their form of currency.
How to save money for 2 Days in Rome
- Travel during the spring or the fall – When you travel during the summer months, it will definitely be more expensive.
- Purchase a Roma Pass – This pass gets you into all of the major spots in Rome and is quite affordable compared to purchasing tickets for everything individually. This pass also includes free access to public transportation in Rome.
- Omnia Rome and Vatican Pass – If you choose not to do a tour of the Vatican as suggested below, you can easily obtain the Omnia Rome and Vatican Pass.
- Pack a reusable water bottle – There are plenty of free and accessible water fountains all over Rome. You can easily refill your water bottle. We felt than when we had to purchase water in Rome that it was quite expensive or at least getting quite expensive since we were traveling during the summer months.
- Use an anti-theft bag or crossbody purse – One of the worst ways you can lose out on money is by getting pickpocketed in public transportation in Rome. We were warned daily by our hotel host to make sure we have our bags in front of us and not to trust anyone in the subway system. On our very first day, my Aunt’s bag was slightly opened and unzipped. She even had a safety pin to keep the zippers closed. Thankfully only a small portion and nothing was taken, but it still was so easy for it to happen.
- Visit as many of the free entrance attractions as possible – I highly suggest you take advance of the free entrances to some of the places to visit.
How to save time for 2 days in Rome
- Reserve your day and time for the Colosseum – As of 2019, you must book your date and time of the visit to the Colosseum. The cost of the reservation is € 2,00. To do so, you can either do that if you decide to purchase your tickets separately online from the official website. If you purchased the Roma Pass as I suggested, then you can either call to book your reservation or book online. To book your reservation online, visit the official website.
- Book a Vatican Tour – I highly suggest this and I am not a big fan of doing tours. The reason I suggest this is because these tour guys know what they are doing. They are informative about the pieces but they really know how to navigate you from room to room quickly and efficiently. Although my tour was in Korean and I’m not fluent but I was traveling with my cousin and aunt. Thankfully I know a lot about art from being an art major in college. This was a lifesaver since I would have easily gotten lost.
If you are looking for other ways to save money in Rome, check out these 8 FREE things to do in Rome.
Where to stay in Rome
I suggest you stay in a hotel or a hostel in Rome depending on your budget. I was traveling with 3 people so we found it easier and convenient renting a hotel room instead of staying at a hostel. This is one of the ways we saved money and honestly, it made it easier for me to not have to worry about picking up and repacking my stuff every day to put them in a locker. So let’s go into details about which neighborhoods to stay in during your 2 days in Rome.
- Trastavere – This area is centrally located and a great place for those who like to go out and enjoy the nightlife.
- Historic Center – This neighborhood is perfect for anyone. There are lots of things to see and do, lots of restaurants nearby and has a little bit of everything.
- Testaccio – If you want great delicious and local food, this is the neighborhood for you. You can find many restaurants and great places to eat.
- San Giovanni – If you want to stay where the locals are, San Giovanni is the place for you.
- Ancient Rome – This is probably the best place for newcomers to Rome. It is close to all of the major tourist spots and sights.
- Aventine Hill – This is known as a romantic area for couples and honeymooners.
When looking for a place to stay, I suggest you find a place close to a subway station or easily accessible to public transportation so you aren’t walking so far to find a way to get around town. This will save a lot on time.
How to get around Rome in 2 Days
The best way to get around Rome is by traveling on foot and using public transportation. There was one time where we were too exhausted and decided to take a cab to get us home. However, we only did that because our hands were filled with shopping bags as well. With the Roma Pass, your public transportation is included for those days you are visiting, so it’s a great bargain.
There are many areas in Rome, however, where it is not easy to travel by public transportation. Don’t fret since Rome is a very walkable city and many of the sites are in close proximity to each other.
How to Plan your Trip to Rome in 2 Days
Step 1: Plan and Conquer
Firstly, the first step is planning on what sites you want to see most and view them on a map to see how much in proximity they are to each other. We divided our sites into pretty much two major categories which were the Colosseum and the Vatican.
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Additionally, the Vatican takes a very long time to get through and I highly suggest you join a tour guide if possible and you must start your day early as the line gets long. I then grouped the Colosseum with the Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. Luckily, for us we were able to see everything for free since free museum day is on the last Sunday of the month, however, that means longer lines, but since it was summertime long lines were typical for us. Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, it doesn’t mean you can’t conquer your quest in Rome.
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Step 2: Get a Roma Pass
Now, this saved us time and money. The Roma Pass was a lifesaver that allowed us to travel all over Rome using unlimited public transportation for only 28,00 € ~ $31.26 for 48 hours. Getting your pass on the last Sunday of the month there are free museum tours. But if you traveling outside of that time, the Roma Pass gets you into 1 museum for free unless you purchase the 3-day pass which allows two museums included in the Roma Pass.
Step 3: Stay Hydrated
During the summertime, it can be very hot so you need to prepare for the weather there. When it comes to clothing prep for it to be humid, sticky and unbearably hot, however, you will need items to cover up for the churches. I suggest bringing a scarf and wearing a maxi dress. Plan to visit all the churches and the Vatican City in one day. I recommend bringing your own water bottle as water can be very expensive after traveling all over Italy.
You may think it isn’t too bad to spend $2-4 for a water bottle each time, but trust me it will. Additionally, you usually have to pay for water during dinner service and that $2-4 can be used on gelato, meals, souvenirs, museums, city taxes and so much more. Moreover, they have water fountains all over Italy where you can refill your water bottle and definitely check out this iTunes app to see find some of the water fountains. If you have android, try this app.
Rome in 2 Days | Day One
Colosseum is a must for your 2 days in Rome
You can get to the Colosseum by subway transportation which will directly drop you off out front. Before traveling to the Colosseum, I recommend getting the audio tour or download Rick Steve’s Audio Tour, the tour will give you more insight and history about the Colosseum. The Colosseum is one of the most popular historical sites in Italy making it one of the 7 Wonders of the World. I suggest arriving early to avoid some of the crowd but to also get some amazing views beforehand from the exterior. Also, if you plan on visiting during the summer, it is best to get into the Colosseum before it gets too hot.
Bonus: FREE Entrance on the first Sunday of the month.
- Adults – €12,00
- Reduced Fee – €2 for European Union citizens between 18 and 25 years old and for EU teachers
- Visitors 17 and under – Free Entrance
Colosseum Business Hours
- 8:30 am – 4:30 pm from January 2 to February 15
- 8:30 am – 5 pm from February 16 to March 15
- 8:30 am – 5:30 pm from March 16 to last Saturday of March
- 8:30 am – 7:15 pm from last Sunday of March to August 31
- 8:30 am – 7 pm from September 1 to September 30
- 8:30 am – 6:30 pm from October 1 to last Sunday of October
- 8:30 am – 4:30 pm from the last Sunday of October to December 31
Closed: on January 1st, May 1st, and Dec. 25th
Exceptions: Good Friday 8:30 am – 2 pm, June 2 1:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Roma Forum and Palatine Hill
The Roma Forum and Palatine Hill are pretty much across the way from the Colosseum. This is a great place for some beautiful photo opportunities of the city from above. You can get some great shots and beautiful views.
Part of the Colosseum Tickets. Business Hours are the same as the Colosseum.
Mouth of Truth
Within walking distance, you will next be able to visit the Mouth of Truth. The line can be kind of long, but this one goes by faster than some of the other heavily touristy areas. The Mouth of Truth, you will need to be covered to enter the church so have a scarf or cardigan on hand to cover up your shoulders and be sure to wear a long dress or pants.
Mouth of Truth Entrance Fees
- Free Entrance
Mouth of Truth Business Hours
- 9:30am – 5:50pm
I don’t have any suggestions on where to eat since we felt like there were great places to eat all over Rome. However, stay close to the Pantheon or something along the way to the Pantheon since that is your next stop.
Next walk over, to the Pantheon. If you happen to be tired, you can take a cab but most of the places in Italy are all within walking distance. Additionally, walking will cut costs on transportation.
Piazza Navona is a great place to take a break, enjoy some gelato and just enjoy the breathtaking views. There is a gorgeous water fountain in the middle of the plaza and lots of restaurants surrounding the area.
Trevi Fountain – Most popular place to visit in 2 days in Rome
For a must-see for Rome in 2 Days, head over to the Trevi Fountain for a breathtaking yet crowded space of the most famous fountain in Rome. Italy is known for many of their famous artists and their sculptures of people. Many of the designs during the Baroque era were highly ornate. Be sure to throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder to ensure a return trip to Rome.
We ended up going to the Spanish Steps the next day. My cousins and aunt were very tired and jetlagged from the trip. We decided to head back to our hotel and eat dinner. But I suggest you go after the Trevi Fountain because it is very close. If you happen to be tired, I have included the Spanish Steps on Day 2.
Free Time – Get Dinner, Eat Gelato or Roam around the Beautiful City
Rome in 2 Days | Day Two:
The Vatican City Tour
7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Now, I am not a big fan of doing tours unless they happen to be a food tour. However, I felt like this was worth it because you were able to learn more about the location through the tour guides, they often let you into locations faster than while on your own, recommended great places to eat and took you throughout St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and more.
If you have more time, visit Castel Sant Anglo.
Shopping and/or Spanish Steps
We decided to go to the Spanish Steps after our Vatican City Tour. Afterward, we were able to go shopping. If you have a chance, I highly recommend you visit the 600-year-old Perfumeria. It is called Santa Maria Novella and they have more products other than just perfume. Such as hair cream, some of the best facial creams, and so much more.
Pizza Della Repubblica
Map of Rome
If you loved this post, check out my free printable for Rome in 2 Days!
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