2 days in Rome: The perfect itinerary for a weekend + Tips


Weekend in Rome: The Best Itinerary for 2 days + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 2 days in Rome and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 2-day itinerary in Rome.

During your trip, you will discover all must-see attractions of the city such as The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevi fountain, the Vatican and a lot more!

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Rome in 2 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at Romes’s tourist attractions

When you visit one of the most touristic cities in the world, you can expect to queue for several hours to get into some of the most emblematic monuments.

In Rome, the Colosseum or St Peter’s Basilica are crowded as soon as they open by people who, like you, dream of discovering the Italian capital.

But don’t worry, I will give you several tricks to avoid queuing and optimize your 2-day itinerary in Rome!

Here are the 3 ways to save time during your weekend in Rome:

1. The Rome city pass

The first solution to save time during your 2-day trip to Rome, is to buy the “Rome City Pass”, also called “Rome Tourist Card”.

It’s really super convenient: you’ll get priority access to the most famous tourist attractions of the city!

Another advantage: the Rome Tourist Card is 100% digital. You don’t have to go anywhere to pick up your tickets, you’ll receive them immediately by email.

With the Rome Pass, you will get:

  • Priority entrance to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (1st day of your itinerary)
  • Skip the line ticket for St. Peter’s Basilica + audio guide (2nd day)
  • Priority entrance to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel (2nd day)
  • 10% discount on museums (Castel Sant’Angelo, Borghese Gallery), guided tours and day trips around Rome.

Buy your Rome City Pass/Rome Tourist Card now by clicking on the button below:

2. The Omnia Card

The Omnia Card or “Vatican and Rome Pass” is your second option to get priority access to the main tourist attractions.

Just like the Rome Tourist Card, it needs to be booked in advance online. However, the confirmation voucher you will receive by email must then be exchanged at a collection point in Rome.

With the Omnia Card, you will get:

  • Priority entrance to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
  • Skip the line ticket to St. Peter’s Basilica + audio guide
  • 2 free entries of your choice between:
    • The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum
    • Castel Sant’Angelo
    • Borghese Gallery
    • Capitoline Museums
  • Visit to St. Peter’s Prison + audio-guide
  • Entrance to the Basilica of St. John Lateran and the cloister + audio-guide
  • Discounts for museums and activities
  • An Hop-on Hop-off bus tour of Rome
  • The City map

The Omnia Card also allows you to use public transport for free during your 2-day stay in Rome.

To buy your Omnia Card, simply click on the button below:

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you are hesitating between the Omnia Card and the Rome Tourist Card to visit Rome in 48 hours, I recommend the latter (click here).

During your 2 days in Rome, you won ‘t necessarily need to take the bus as the itinerary I have planned for you can easily be done on foot.

3. Skip the line tickets for Rome’s tourist attractions

Your last option to save time is to buy priority entrances one by one, for each site you want to visit.

You will find tickets online for the main historical monuments as well as guided visits and activities. Perfect to easily organize your 2-day stay!

Just click on the name of the monuments below to get more information and book your tickets:

2 Days in Rome: Must-See Attractions:

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to book other activities in Rome, you should always use these 2 reliable and safe websites:

One Last Tip for a Perfect 2-Day Stay in Rome

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As Rome is one of the most touristic cities in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in Rome by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in Rome.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in Rome, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

Rome in 2 days: the best itinerary

Let’s now plan your 48-hour itinerary in Rome!

For this itinerary, I assume you will be spending 2 full days in Rome and purchased a City Pass (Rome Tourist Card / Omnia Card) or have purchased skip-the-line tickets.

That’s the best way to save time and money during your stay!

If you still have questions after reading this guide or need help planning you holiday, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section located at the end of this article.

So, what are the best places to visit in Rome in 2 days?

Day 1 of this Rome itinerary – Ancient Rome

week-end Rome itinéraire jour 1
weekend Rome itinerary day 1

Day 1 visits:

A. Colosseum
B. Roman Forum
C. Palatine Hill
D. Piazza del Campidoglio / Capitoline Museums
E. Piazza Venezia / Victor Emmanuel II Monument

A. The Colosseum

Probably the most famous monument of the Italian capital, the Colosseum is the starting point for your 2-day tour of Rome.

This ancient arena, with a capacity of more than 50,000 spectators is the largest amphitheater in the Roman world.

Quite much blood was shed in these arenas, where the famous gladiatorial combats, animals fights and Roman games were held, always followed by horrific deaths.

In spite of a few missing parts, the Colosseum is still standing and is very impressive! You can visit the first and second floors, the arena and the underground.

As you can imagine, the Colosseum of Rome attracts thousands of tourists every day, and they wait in line for hours before entering the monument. But that’s because they didn’t read Voyage Tips before planning their visit!

As I mentioned in the introduction, you should really buy your skip the line tickets in advance.


  1. All tickets for the Colosseum also grant you access to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
  2. If you have bought Rome Tourist Card or the Omnia Card, the Colosseum ticket is already included.

In order to help you find your way around all the different tickets, I have prepared a list of all tickets for the Colosseum (click here).

To sum up, the 3 following tickets are more interesting than the others:

As all tickets for the Colosseum are not always available (for a given date, there is a limited number of tickets of each type, and they are sold out very quickly!), the orange links take you directly to the page with all Colosseum tickets.

Simply choose the one that suits you best on that page.

Of course, if you already know your travel dates, book quickly to ensure you can visit the monument.

The Colosseum + Arena + Roman Forum + Mount Palatine ticketThis ticket offers an amazing value for money!

The guided tour of the Colosseum + Roman Forum + Mount Palatine, – A great guided visit, full of historical anecdotes!

VIP guided tour: Colosseum (+ Underground + Arena) + Roman Forum + Palatine Mount. If you have no budget restrictions you should opt for the VIP guided tour:

It will allow you to access exclusive places like the arena or the underground of the Colosseum.

colosseum rome
Take advantage of your weekend in Rome to visit the Colosseum!

B. Palatine Hill

Following your visit to the Colosseum, you should now go to the the Palatine Hill located nearby.

As I mentioned above, you don’t have to pay anything, as your ticket to the Colosseum also grants you access to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum (your next stop).

According to the legend, the city of Rome was founded on this hill by the twin brothers Remus and Romulus, two abandoned children raised by a she-wolf in a cave located on Palatine Hill.

During your visit, you can walk among the ruins and discover the residence of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

At the top of the hill, you will also enjoy a magnificent view over the city of Rome and its most famous monuments.

Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill

C. The Roman Forum

The 3rd place you shouldn’t miss during your first day in Rome is the Roman Forum, located next to the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum.

The Roman forum was the heart of the ancient Rome. There, you will be able to admire ruins of administrative buildings, the ancient market and several temples.

As there are no explanatory panels on site, you should really opt for the guided tour if you want to learn more about the daily life in the ancient Rome.

The best guided visit of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman forum needs to be booked by clicking here.

You will see, it’s super interesting!

Roman Forum
The Roman Forum

D. Piazza del Campidoglio / Capitoline Museums

To continue your 2-day trip to Rome, you should head to Piazza del Campidoglio, also called Capitoline Square. It’s only 15 minutes walk from the Roman Forum.

This magnificent square designed by Michelangelo features several famous monuments:

  • Palazzo dei Senatori
  • The Palazzo dei Conservatori
  • The Palazzo Nuovo.

These 3 monuments are known as the Capitoline Museums (you need to buy your tickets here). Inside, you can admire numerous works of art, including paintings by Caravaggio and Tintoretto, and famous sculptures, including the one representing the She-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus.

Piazza del Campidoglio
Piazza del Campidoglio – 48 hours in Rome

E. Piazza Venezia / The monument to Victor Emmanuel II

After visiting the Capitoline Museums, you should go to Piazza Venezia, only a 5-minute walk away.

This is the main crossroads of the city center, you can recognize it at first glance thanks to the Victor Emmanuel II monument located on one side of the square.

Made of white marble and topped by several bronze statues, it’s very impressive!

On Piazza Venezia, you will also find he famous Trajan’s Column, featuring engravings of the emperor’s military victories.

Monument to Victor-Emmanuel II, Piazza Venezia
Monument to Victor-Emmanuel II, Piazza Venezia

Day 2 of your weekend in Rome – The Vatican (option 1)

The Vatican is one of the most popular place to visit during a 2-day itinerary in Rome.

So that’s the first option for your second day!

However, if you prefer to continue visiting the city of Rome, I have also written a second option that you can read a bit below.

week-end Rome itinéraire jour 2
weekend in Rome itinerary – Day 2

Day 2 visits: (option 1)

A. Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
B. St. Peter’s Basilica
C. Castel Sant’ Angelo
D. Trastevere district

A. Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

For the second day of your 2-day itinerary in Rome, let’s visit the smallest country in the world: the Vatican!

To start the day, you should visit the Vatican Museums.

This group of 13 museums is located in a huge 7km long architectural complex.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to visit them all!

There are several routes to choose from for a duration between 1h30 and 5 hours. No matter which itinerary you opt for, you will end your visit with the famous Sistine Chapel.

Built in the 15th century, this tiny chapel is world-famous for its walls and ceiling covered with magnificent frescoes painted, among others, by Michelangelo.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To get your Vatican Museums tickets, you need to click on the button below, or you can enter directly if you have the Omnia Card or the Rome Tourist Card.

Visit the Vatican during your 2 days in Rome

B. St. Peter's Basilica

After visiting the museums, it will surely be time for lunch!

So let's have a pizza or a good spaghetti dish in one of the many restaurants surrounding the Vatican.

Once you've had your fill, continue your 2-day itinerary in Rome by visiting St Peter's Basilica. Bordering the huge square of the same name, the basilica is one of the most visited monuments in the world!

When you enter the basilica, you will be surprised by the size of the place. There, you can admire the baroque decorations, the statue of St. Peter, the huge dome designed by Michelangelo and the vaults of the popes.

The entrance is free, however the queues to get in are always endless!

So you should really book a skip the line ticket, else you will waste half of your afternoon waiting in line. They need to be bought here:

St. Peter's Basilica ticket + Audio guide

Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica (single ticket) + dome + crypt (the most complete!)

St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica

C. Castel Sant'Angelo

After your visit, leave St. Peter's Square and walk down Via della Conciliazione to reach Castel Sant'Angelo in 10 minutes.

This castle, built under the orders of Emperor Hadrian, was later used as a refuge for the popes during enemy invasions of the Vatican. A secret passage allowed them to get there quickly without being seen!

You can visit the castle (it takes 1 to 2h) and see, in particular:

  • The ancient apartments of the popes
  • Several ancient tombs
  • The walkway and its remarkable viewpoints.

When leaving the castle, you will cross Sant'Angelo bridge. It passes over the Tiber and offers a beautiful view of the river and the city at sunset.

To buy your ticket for the castle, you need to click here:

The bridge and Castel Sant'Angelo
The bridge and Castel Sant'Angelo

D. The Trastevere district

If you want to finish your weekend in Rome in style, you should go to the Trastevere, one of the most typical districts of the city.

Enjoy a stroll through the narrow streets, discover the handicraft shops and small businesses and of course take the opportunity to dine in a trattoria, far from the mass tourism. A great way to end your weekend in Rome!

Day 2 of this trip to Rome - The historic center (option 2)

You prefer to visit the city more in depth than spend a day at the Vatican during your 2 days in Rome?

No problem!

Here is an alternative tour for your second day in the Italian capital.

week-end Rome itinéraire jour 2 - option 2
Rome weekend itinerary day 2 - option 2

Day 2 visits (option 2)

A. Piazza Navona
B. Pantheon
C. Trevi Fountain
D. Via del Corso / Via Condotti
E. Piazza di Spagna
F. Villa Borghese

A. Piazza Navona

For your second day, instead visiting the Vatican, you can also spend another day visiting the City of Rome.

In that case, you can start at Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful squares of the city. There, you will find many restaurants and cafés - a great opportunity to enjoy a good breakfast on a terrace!

piazza Navona
The piazza Navona

B. The Pantheon

Then, you can head to the Pantheon, one of the most emblematic monuments in Rome.

It houses the tombs of Emperor Victor Emmanuel II and the famous painter Raphael.

Since July 2023, access to the Pantheon has been subject to a charge and requires an admission ticket (cost: €5). To visit, you should book your ticket on the official website.

And if you want to get more historical information, it's better to get the fast track ticket + audioguide by clicking here:

And for more detailed explanations, you can also choose a guided tour of the Pantheon by clicking here!

visit Rome Pantheon
The Pantheon, a free visit you shouldn't miss in Rome

C. Trevi Fountain

After your visit to the Pantheon, you should go to the most famous fountain in Europe: the Trevi fountain!

This meeting place for lovers (and crowds of tourists 😅) is only a 10-minute walk away.

Yes, many tourists visiting Rome go there to take pictures of this beautiful work of art and throw coins to see their wishes come true!

On the architectural side, the statue of the God Neptune overlooking the basin is very well highlighted by the baroque monument located just behind the fountain.

Trevi Fountain Rome
The famous Trevi Fountain, in Rome

D. Via del Corso / Via Condotti

While you're in Rome for 2 days, why not go for a bit of shopping?

You should go to Via del Corso to find the big brands like H&M, Zara etc..

And if you're looking for the famous Italian fashion designers (Prada, Gucci...), continue on Via Condotti!

E. The Spanish Steps

This will lead you to the Piazza di Spagna, one of the most popular square in Rome.

With its cobbled floor, beautiful fountain, small shops, ice cream vendors, it's the perfect example of the italian "Dolce Vita" atmosphere.

Piazza di Spagna Rome
The Piazza di Spagna, in Rome

F. The Villa Borghese

To end your day, you should go to Villa Borghese Gardens, the most beautiful public park of the city.

You can walk through the alleys, visit the botanical garden and the following museums:

And that's it, you now know how to visit Rome in 2 days! Spend one last night at your hotel before taking your flight back home the next day.

Where to stay in Rome

Now that you know how to visit Rome in 2 days, you will need to find an hotel.

In order to help you out, here are my 5 favorite hotels of the city, each in a different price category.

And as always, if you already know your travel dates, book your hotel right now! In Rome, the best hotels are fully booked very quickly.

  • Biancaluna: B&B located near Termini Station, 1.5 km from the Colosseum. Modern, comfortable and very clean room from 70€. Strong points: the warm welcome and the advice to visit Rome, the location. An excellent choice for a cheap stay in Rome!
  • Hotel Balilla: Located 1.6 km from the Colosseum and close to a metro station. Well-equipped and quiet double room, impeccably clean, from 99€, breakfast at 5€. Strong points: the friendly staff, the comfort of the beds, the location at 10 min walk from the Colosseum. This is our favorite for its excellent value for money!
  • Alice Vatican House: Located 450 meters from St. Peter's Square. Contemporary room with neat decoration from 95 € per night, breakfast included. Strong points: ideal location, terrace overlooking the Vatican, warm welcome. This is the best choice for your stay in Rome under 120 euros!
  • MZ Hotel: Located near the Campo di Fiori and not far from the Pantheon. Modern double room from 150€, breakfast at 12€. Strong points: the location near the historical center, the warm welcome, good bedding, new hotel.
  • Roma Luxus Hôtel: High end hotel located at only 400 meters from Piazza Venezia. Beautiful double room starting at 200€ per night, breakfast at 20€. Strong points: The room design, the 5 stars service, the superb breakfast, the spa, the amazing staff. It's the best hotel for a high end stay in Rome!
  • NH Collection Roma Fori Imperiali: This 5* hotel located right next to the Roman Forum offers sublime rooms from 580€, breakfast included. Strong points: the exceptional location, the attentive staff, the view, the comfort. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Rome!

if you want to save a bit of money, you can find an accommodation around Rome. I recommend you he bungalows of Camping Village Rome, located at only 15 minutes by car from the Vatican city.

The price starts at only 30€ per night! It's the best "budget" solution if you don't mind not being in the city center. It's also a great choice for families, with the swimming pool!

piazza Navona
The piazza Navona

2 Days in Rome with your family

Are you wondering if this 2-day itinerary in Rome is suitable for a family trip?

The answer is of course yes!

If you have planned to travel to Rome with kids, you might want to slightly adjust this itinerary, but in general, Rome is a city that appeals to adults and children alike.

Nevertheless, here are my best tips to adapt the visits according to age and interests:

1) The safe bet: the Colosseum! A visit suitable for all ages that will for sure impress and amaze children.

2) A full day at the Vatican may be a bit boring for young kids. You can choose to spend only half a day there and then continue with a visit to the Explora museum. This is a very interesting and fun interactive museum located near the Villa Borghese.

3) A picnic in the gardens of Villa Borghese. Your kids can have fun in the various playgrounds and you can then rent bicycles for a ride or take a boat ride on the lake. There is also a zoo with thousands of animals (tickets needs to be bought here).

4) An Italian cooking class followed by a dinner near the Trevi Fountain. This is an opportunity to have fun together making a real Italian pizza under the guidance of a chef before enjoying it. Book here!

5) Going to the Gladiator school: Dressed in traditional gladiator costume, they will be able to train for combat in a fun atmosphere!

At the end of the activity, they will even receive a gladiator diploma.

You can book this family activity by clicking there.

More things to do in 2 days in Rome

If you're looking to modify this weekend in Rome itinerary or you're simply looking to add 1 or 2 extra activities, you should have a look at my detailed guide of the Italian capital.

You will find it here: The 25 Best Things to do in Rome.

And if you want to spend more time in Rome, don't hesitate to read my longer itineraries: 3 Days in Rome or 4 Days in Rome for example!

Map of your 2-day itinerary in Rome

To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 2 days in Rome, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can view the legend of the map by clicking on the top left button, the one with a little arrow.

Flight prices to Rome

As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.

To check the rates and schedules for flights to Rome, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:

Now you know how to visit Rome in 2 days! Do you need help to organize your 2-day itinerary in Rome? Don't hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below, I will be glad to help you plan your weekend.

Book your trip now and save money!

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Best places to visit in Rome in 2 days
Best places to visit in Rome in 2 days

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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