What can we say about the glorious Eternal City that hasn’t already been said, written, sung or performed in some form of Shakespearean epic? As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s a standard stop on any European vacation. It offers something for everyone from culture, to history, to outstanding food and excellent nightlife and events. Our list of the 5 best things to do in Rome won’t disappoint!
Nestled in the heart of sunny Italy, there’s plenty of travel connections between this capital city and the rest of the continent via other amazing Italian cities like Florence, Venice and Milan. No matter if you’re travelling for months or in need of a quick escape, Rome is a perfect option.
If you’re looking to explore Rome on a budget, one of the most affordable ways is to stay in hostels. There are plenty of fun, quirky and well-kept hostels across the city – thanks to the high levels of visitors. If you get yourself a Hostel Card, you can save up to 40% on the best hostels and activities in Rome, giving you more money to spend on gelato and cacio e pepe.
So, looking for something different and fun to do in the Eternal City? Let’s discover the five best things to do in Rome…
5 best things to do in Rome
1. Dig in with some delicious food
You can’t have a trip to Italy without mentioning and sampling a lot of their delicious cuisine. From pizza to pasta to aperitivos to gelato and more there is a smorgasbord of things to try. With so much temptation on offer, however, it can be hard to find the best places. There’s no escaping the fact that Rome is a touristy place, so there’s a lot of sub-par places with higher prices near the main attractions. To avoid these, why not jump on a food tour with Secret Food Tours?
Choose from one of three tours; Secret Urban Wine Tours, Sunday Food Tours, or Secret Food Tours: Rome – Historical Center, and eat and drink your way around the city. Along the way, your guide will share interesting anecdotes and facts about your surroundings, bringing the city to life. It’s so much more than your average city tour!
Bonus tip: Hostel Card holders can save 12% on Secret Food Tours all across Europe!
2. See the city in a fun new way
There are loads of walking tours around Rome, but if you want to avoid the crowds and do something more interactive, check out Questo’s City Exploration Games. Pick your area or select the attraction that you’re at and experience a series of clues and mysteries to solve. There’s plenty of locations across Rome for you to start your adventure.
As you play, you’ll learn more about the area or attraction in a fun way. You’ll become an international detective, solving problems with your friends. There’s no waiting around for your tou to start. No monotone guides that sound like Wikipedia pages. It’s truly a unique way to experience the Eternal City.
Savings alert: Hostel Card holders have access to all Questo City Exploration Games for free for a limited time!
3. Haggle in vintage markets
Looking for some retail therapy or some unique and affordable souvenirs to take home? Why not check out one of the many vintage and flea markets spread across Rome. Sundays are usually your best bet for the bigger markets, with the main vintage clothing one being Borghetto Flaminio Market.
If you’re on the hunt for antiques or rare vinyls, then head across the river to the student area of Trastevere. Here you’ll find the haggler’s paradise that is Mercato di Porta Portese. Wander the rows of stalls, have a rummage and mingle with the locals. Shopping in a new place can often be a fun way to interact with the culture as well as testing out your Italian skills!
4. Check out the history
We really can’t talk about Rome without talking about history. The whole city is an architectural and historic marvel! That’s what makes it so great. The fact that you can go for a 20 minute wander through the centre and pass through four or five historic attractions for free is incredible!
Of course for the big ticket items like the Colosseum, the Forum and the Vatican, you’ll have to get a ticket, but they’re largely affordable with student rates on offer. These are definite must-sees if you’re in Rome, but really, every step you take here is historic. If architecture and culture are your thing, you’re going to have the best time in this capital city.
5. Get on a vespa
Rome may not have been built in a day, but you might be able to see it all if you get on Italy’s favourite vehicle. Hop on a vespa scooter tour and whizz around the Roman streets, stopping off at all the big attractions and living your Italian holiday fantasy.
There are plenty of vespa tours available so ask at your hostel tours or reception desk for the best prices and recommendations for your budget. You might need a short induction, especially for the hectic Italian roads and roundabouts, but most adults are able to rent one of these on a tour for a few hours or an entire day. It’s a great way to see the city, especially if you’re on a time crunch.
5 best things to do in Rome Roundup
So, there you have it – the five best things to do in Rome. The Italian capital is a bustling metropolis with plenty to see, do and enjoy so you can visit again and again and never see it all. Whatever you’re looking for in your city getaway, Rome has something for everyone. With loads of affordable options (made even more budget-friendly with a Hostel Card) it’s the ideal destination for your next city break, or interrailing itinerary.