How to spend 4 Days in Rome: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay
You want to spend 4 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 4-day itinerary in Rome.
It’s perfectly optimized to allow you to discover all must-see attractions of the city such as the Colosseum and the Vatican.
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 4 days? Where to stay?
Let’s find out!
- How to spend 4 Days in Rome: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay
- How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at Rome’s tourist attractions
- Visiting Rome in 4 days: the best itinerary
- Day 1 – Ancient Rome
- Day 2 – The Vatican
- Day 3 – The historic centre
- day 4 – Walking around Rome
- Where to stay in Rome
- Visit Rome in 4 days with your family
- Even more places to visit and activities for your 4-day stay in Rome
- Map of your 4-day itinerary in Rome
- Flight prices to Rome
- You’re traveling in Italy? These articles will help you!
How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at Rome’s tourist attractions
It’s no secret that Rome is one of the most touristic cities in the world.
Every day, thousands of visitors flock to the Colosseum, the Villa Borghese or St. Peters Cathedral.
You probably agree that there’s nothing more irritating than seeing your plans for your 4 days in Rome shattered because you lost 3 hours waiting in line!
Hopefully, there are 3 very simple solutions to avoid this inconvenience and have the time to visit all must see attractions during your 4 days in Rome.
Here they are:
1. The Rome Tourist Card
If you want to save as much time as possible during your 4-day itinerary in Rome, your first option is to get the Rome Tourist Card, also called Rome City Pass.
This 100% digital pass grants you priority entrance to the most famous tourist sites of the Italian capital.
With the Rome Tourist Card, you will get:
- Skip the line ticket for the Colosseum with audio guide + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill
- Guided visit (skip the line) for St. Peter’s Basilica + audio guide
- Skip the line ticket to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel
- 10% discount on museums (Castel Sant’Angelo, Borghese Gallery), guided tours (Tour of the Catacombs, Rome by bike) and excursions around Rome (Florence, Venice…)
To buy your Rome Tourist Card, simply click on the green button below:
2. The Omnia Card
Your 2nd option to visit Rome in 4 days and get priority entrance to the most important tourist attractions is to buy the Omnia Card, also called “Rome and Vatican Pass”.
It’s quite similar to the Rome Tourist Card, and even more complete. The Omnia Card is valid for 3 consecutive days from the moment of its activation.
Hopefully, I have organized this itinerary in a way that will make your purchase of the Omnia Card profitable: all visits included in the city pass are done during the 3 first days of your trip.
Here is what’s included in the Omnia Card:
- Priority entrance to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (on the second day of your trip)
- Skip the line ticket for St. Peter’s Basilica + audio guide (also in the schedule of the second day)
- Visit to St. Peter’s Prison + audio guide
- Entrance to the Basilica of St. John Lateran and the cloister + audio-guide
- 2 free tickets, to choose from the following tourist sites:
- The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (you will visit them on the 1st day)
- Castel Sant’Angelo (2nd day)
- The Borghese Gallery (3rd day – optional)
- Capitoline Museums (1st day – optional)
- Free access to all public transport for 3 days in Rome (very convenient for getting around quickly, if you don’t want to do everything on foot)
- Discounts for museums and activities
- Ticket for Rome’s hop-on hop-off tourist bus
- A map of Rome
To buy your Omnia Card, you need to click on the green button below:
3. Skip the line tickets for Rome’s tourist attractions
Your last option to save time is to buy your priority entrances one by one, depending on what you want to visit during your 4-day itinerary in Rome.
Skip the line tickets can be bought online for all historical monuments and museums.
Simply click on the name of the monuments below to get more information and book your priority entrances.
- The Colosseum
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Capitoline Museums
- The Pantheon
- St. John Lateran Basilica
- Villa Borghese
- Hop-on Hop-Off tourist bus
- The Catacombs of Rome
Visiting Rome in 4 days: the best itinerary
It’s now time to plan your 4-day itinerary in Rome!
For this itinerary, I assume that you’ll be spending 4 full days in Rome and purchased the 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!
And if after reading this guide, you still need help to plan your trip, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section located at the end of the article.
So, how to visit Rome in 4 days?
Day 1 – Ancient Rome
Day 1 visits:
A. The Colosseum
B. The Roman Forum
C. Palatine Hill
D. Piazza del Campidoglio / The Capitoline Museums
E. Piazza Venezia / The monument to Victor Emmanuel II
A. Visit the Colosseum
The best way to start your 4-day trip to Rome is to visit the Colosseum!
This emblematic monument was the largest amphitheater in the Roman world: it could accommodate up to 50,000 spectators, who came to watch the Roman games and gladiatorial combats.
It’s less known, but the Colosseum also hosted theatrical performances or reconstructions of famous battles.
Today, despite a few missing pieces, the Colosseum is still standing and as impressive as ever!
You can visit the first and second floors, the arena and the underground tunnels, where the animals were kept.
As there is always a huge waiting line at the entrance, you should buy your skip the line ticket in advance. All tickets to the Colosseum also includes access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
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).
Among all these tickets, my favorite for its amazing value for money is: the Colosseum + Arena + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill skip the line ticket.
You can also opt for the guided tour of the Colosseum. It’s the best way to learn more about the history of this impressive monument! Your guided visit needs to be booked here: Guided tour of the Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill.
And if you have no budget restrictions you should opt for the VIP guided tour : VIP Guided Tour: Colosseum (+ Underground + Arena) + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill.
It will allow you to access exclusive places such as the Arena or the underground of the Colosseum, accompanied by an amazing guide.
For your convenience, I have listed the 3 tickets below. Simply click on the green button to book the one that suits you best:
Colosseum + Arena + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill
Guided tour: Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill
VIP guided tour: Colosseum (+ Underground + Arena) + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill
B. Palatine Hill
Let’s continue your first day in Rome and head to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum located nearby.
These two sites are included in the ticket for the Colosseum, so it would be a shame to skip them! They are a great way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of ancient Rome.
According to legend, the city was founded by Romulus and Remus, two twin brothers abandoned and then raised in by a she-wolf on Palatine Hill.
During your visit, wander through the ruins and enjoy a breathtaking view over Rome’s monuments from the top of the hill. Don’t miss the residence of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.
C. The Roman Forum
Located only a few steps away from Palatine Hill, it’s now time to visit the Roman Forum.
This is the third historical site included in your Colosseum ticket.
When visiting the Forum, the city center of the ancient Rome, you will discover ruins of administrative buildings, temples as well as the ancient market.
Once again, if you’re interested in history, you should really opt for a guided tour, as unfortunately there are no explanatory panels on site.
Your guided visit needs to be booked by clicking here.
D. Piazza del Campidoglio / Capitoline Museums
After visiting the 3 must-see attractions mentioned above (a great start for your 4-day stay in Rome, right? 😄), let’s know head to Piazza del Campidoglio.
This beautiful square designed by Michelangelo is located only a 15 minute walk from the Roman Forum.
There, you will find the Capitoline Museums, located in 3 palaces: the Palazzo dei Senatori, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo.
In the museums, you can admire famous works, including paintings by Tintoretto and Caravaggio, as well as the famous statue of the She-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus.
E. Piazza Venezia / The monument to Victor Emmanuel II
After visiting the Capitoline museums (or just admiring them from the outside!), walk 5 minutes to reach Piazza Venezia.
Considered as the most central square of Rome, you can recognize it at first sight thanks to the Victor Emmanuel II monument located on one side of the square. Built in white marble, you really can’t miss it!
On the same square, you can also admire the Trajan column and its engravings representing the military conquests of the former Emperor.
Day 2 – The Vatican
Day 2 visits:
A. The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
B. St. Peter’s Basilica
C. Castel Sant’Angelo
A. Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
For the second day of your 4-day itinerary in Rome, let’s visit the smallest country in the world: the Vatican!
You should start by visiting the Vatican museums, a large complex of buildings hosting more than 13 museums. As it’s really huge, you will have to opt for one of the predefined routes depending on your interests. Don’t worry, everything is very well indicated.
The various itineraries last from 1h30 to 5 hours. Of course, you don’t have to visit everything in detail and you can skip certain sections that are not your taste.
Whichever route you choose, you will end your visit with one of the highlights of the Vatican : the famous Sistine Chapel, built in the 15th century.
This tiny chapel features several paintings by the greatest Italian artists, including the famous ceiling fresco by Michelangelo.
To visit the Vatican Museums, you really need to purchase your tickets in advance if you don’t want to waste hours waiting in line.
However, if you don’t have a city Pass, you need to book your entrance tickets by clicking on the button below:
B. St. Peter’s Basilica
After this cultural morning and a good lunch in one of the many restaurants surrounding the Vatican, let’s continue with a visit to St Peter’s Basilica.
Located on St Peter’s Square, the Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited monuments in the world.
Inside the monument, you will be able to admire the superb baroque decorations, the vaults of the former popes, the statue of St. Peter and the huge dome, once again designed by Michelangelo.
And if you wish to, you can also climb to the top of the dome (for a fee) to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view over the city.
There is always a huge waiting line at the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica (I am talking about several hours – mainly because the entrance is free if you have enough patience!), so as usual don’t forget to book your priority ticket!
St. Peter’s Basilica ticket + Audio guide
Guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica (priority) + dome + crypt (my favorite!)
C. Castel Sant’Angelo
To end the second day of your 4-day trip to Rome in style, leave St. Peter’s Square and walk down Via della Conciliazione to reach Castel Sant’Angelo in 10 minutes.
Topped by a statue of an angel with outstretched wings, this castle built under the orders of Emperor Hadrian was a precious refuge for the popes during enemy invasions.
The popes had direct access to the castle from the Vatican and were able to quickly take shelter in case of an attack.
To visit Castle Sant’Angelo, you should plan 1 to 2 hours. You will be able to see the former apartments of the popes, ancient tombs, as well as some of the ancient weaponry used to defend the castle.
The short walk around the castle’s wall, is also worth it, as it offers beautiful views!
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.
You need to book your ticket to visit the castle by clicking on the button below:
Day 3 – The historic centre
Day 3 visits:
A. Piazza Navona
C. Trevi Fountain
D. Via del Corso / Via Condotti
E. Piazza di Spagna
F. Villa Borghese
Let’s continue your four-day trip to Rome: today, you will explore the historical center of the Italian capital.
You should start at Piazza Navona, one of the most famous and beautiful squares in the city. There, you will find many restaurants and cafés – a great opportunity to enjoy a good breakfast on a terrace!
On Piazza Navona, you will also find 3 very nice fountains. Personally, I really enjoyed the romantic atmosphere of the square, and spent a bit of time there, wandering around and watching the street performers and artists.
B. The Pantheon
Your next stop is the Pantheon, built during the Ancient Rome and located close to Piazza Navona.
The Pantheon houses the tombs of Emperor Victor Emmanuel II and the famous painter Rafael.
The visit is free. Inside, don’t forget to look up to contemplate the dome and the Occulus letting the day light through.
C. The Trevi Fountain
It’s now time to head to another must-see of your 4-day itinerary in Rome: the Trevi Fountain, located just a 10-minute walk from the Pantheon.
Considered one of the most beautiful fountains in Europe, it attracts millions of tourists every year. People come to take pictures of this beautiful work of art and throw coins to see their wishes come true!
According to the tradition, you need to throw 2 coins into the fountain: one to make a wish and the second to ensure that you will return to Rome.
D. Via del Corso and Via Condotti
It’s now time for a bit of shopping!
From the Trevi Fountain, take Via del Corso where you will find all the big international brands like Zara or H&M.
If you’re more looking for luxury brands and Italian designers like Prada or Gucci, you should continue a bit further on Via Condotti.
Even if you don’t like shopping, you should still head toward Via Condotti, as it’s on the way to the next place you will visit.
E. Rome’s Spanish Steps
After walking for 5 minutes on Via Condotti, you will arrive at Piazza di Spagna.
Also called “the Spanish Steps” in English, it’s located at the foot of a large staircase that leads to the church of Trinità dei Monti.
With its cobbled floor, its fountain and its typical “dolce vita” atmosphere, the Piazzi di Spagna is one of the most popular square in Rome.
There, you will find many ice-cream vendors, shops and a few street performers. It’s really a great place to relax for a bit!
F. The Villa Borghese
To end your third day in Rome, let’s enjoy some greenery in Villa Borghese Gardens, the most beautiful park in the city.
Take time to wander through the alleys and discover the many fountains and statues located around the lake.
You will also have the opportunity to visit the botanical garden and a few museums:
- The Borghese Gallery, renowned for its collection of paintings and sculptures. You need to buy your skip the line ticket by clicking here!
- The National Etruscan Museum and its collection of pre-Roman objects and jewellery
- The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, housing paintings by Van Gogh and Cézanne.
day 4 – Walking around Rome
Day 4 visits:
A. Campo di Fiori market
B. Trastevere district
C. The Aventine hill
D. The catacombs of Rome
A. Campo di Fiori market
You are lucky enough to spend 4 days in Rome, which gives you enough time to get a bit off the beaten track for the last day of your trip!
You should start by visiting Campo di Fiori market, located in the historic center.
The market is open every morning except Sunday, and allows you to discover local produces and gastronomy.
This market is very authentic, so it’s the perfect opportunity to bring Italian specialties back home!
B. The Trastevere district
Close to the Vatican, on the right bank of the Tiber river, the Trastevere district is a quiet and authentic place to take a stroll.
Even if it’s getting more and more popular in the recent years, it’s still a real Italian working-class neighbourhood, with less tourists and no famous historical monuments.
You will see, it’s very charming, with flowery cobbled streets and typical Italian squares lined with cafés and small shops.
While there, don’t forget to climb to the top of the Janiculum hill, in the north of the district, for a superb panoramic view of Rome.
C. The Aventine hill
To continue your 4-day itinerary in Rome, let’s go to Aventine hill, on the other side of the Tiber, about 20 minutes walk from the Trastevere district.
Of course, if you don’t want to walk, you can also take the bus (it will take you about 10 minutes in that case).
The Aventine Hill is a very peaceful area of Rome, featuring many gardens and offering a great view over the city.
On the Aventine Hill, you can also:
- Visit the Basilica of Santa Sabina
- Unravel the mystery of the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. Why is everyone waiting their turn to look through the keyhole of this door? I’m not going to spoil it for you! It’s up to you to try and find out the answer 😇.
D. The catacombs of Rome
To end your 4-day stay in Rome on an original note, you can visit the catacombs of Rome.
With a surface of more than 15 hectares, the catacombs of Saint Calixtus are the largest of the city. They were once used as a cemetery for Jews and Christian.
In the galleries, you can see tombs and scenes of life engraved on the walls. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and a guide is required.
You need to book your guided tour to Saint Calixtus catacombs by clicking here.
The catacombs of Saint Sebastian, Domitilla, Priscilla and the crypt of the Capuchins can also be visited. The latter is the easiest to get to and is located near the Trevi Fountain.
For the crypt of the Capuchins, you need to book your visit by clicking on the button below:
Where to stay in Rome
Now that you know how to visit Rome in 4 days, the last thing to do is to find an accommodation!
In order to help you out, I have prepared a selection of my 5 favorite hotels depending on your budget.
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 our 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!
Visit Rome in 4 days with your family
You’re planning to visit Rome in 4 days with your family?
Even with kids, you can easily follow my 4-day itinerary.
However, you can for sure add activities especially for them!
The best in my opinion is to take them to the gladiator school.
Dressed in traditional gladiatorial garb, they can train for combat in a very fun and friendly atmosphere. At the end of the activity, they will even receive a gladiator diploma!
You need to book this family activity by clicking here.
A picnic in the gardens of the Villa Borghese is also a great way for your children to have fun.
After eating, you can let them play in the various playgrounds, hire bikes for a ride and why not offer them a boat ride on the lake. There is also a zoo with over 1000 animals in the gardens. Tickets needs to be bought here.
You can also take them to Explora museum. You can visit this fun museum on the 3rd day, as it’s located near Villa Borghese. It features numerous activities your kids can try, and the visit takes about 2 hours.
Finally, you can opt for an Italian cooking class followed by a dinner. A very pleasant activity to do with your family!
Near the Trevi Fountain, have fun concocting an authentic Italian pizza under the guidance of a chef before enjoying it during a full dinner. This pizza making + dinner must be booked by clicking on the button below:
Even more places to visit and activities for your 4-day stay in Rome
You’ve followed my 4-day itinerary in Rome and still have some time left?
So, you should read my guide of the 25 best things to do in Rome!
There, you’ll find even more ideas of places to visit and activities to enjoy in the Italian capital.
Map of your 4-day itinerary in Rome
To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 4 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 Dubai, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:
Now you know the best way to visit Rome in 3 days!
If you need help organizing your 3-day stay in Rome, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
Italy travel Guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Italy guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the Rick Steves Italy guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling in Italy? These articles will help you!
- Rome: The 25 best things to do and see
- Where to stay in Rome? – The definitive guide of the best areas!
- Colosseum: The 7 best skip the line tickets