You can spend in Rome all your holidays or even all your life. The Eternal City offers so much so the big problem visitors have is deciding what to see in the first place. However, if you have only two days to visit the whole city, let us guide you through Rome! Your 48-hour adventure starts now!

48 Hours in Rome

TIP: Consider buying Roma Pass for 48 hours at 28 EUR – it grants you free access to 1 museum or archeological site, unlimited free access to urban public transport, reduced tickets to other museums, direct access to Capitoline Museums and Castel Sant’Angelo and more!

Day One

Colosseum Roman Colosseum

The time you can spend here: 1-2 hours


Let’s start strong with the most iconic monument in the city. It is recommended to visit Colosseum in the early morning to avoid the crowds. The Colosseum is definitely the most thrilling of the Rome ancient sights. Have a walk around the exterior part of the Colosseum and have a closer look at the outer walls. Then buy the ticket and visit the Interior. Look at the Hypogeum which was built of wood and covered with sand. Now there are only the walls left, a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms hidden underneath the floor. Imagine that the arena was filled with water for mock sea battles! 

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

The time you can spend here: 1-2 hours


Prepare yourself for a long walk. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water with you. Forum Romanum was ancient Rome’s showpiece center. You will probably need to use your imagination a bit as the ruins are not well labeled. We recommend walking through Via Sacra as the most interesting ruins are located along the way. Have a look at Curia – which was the official seat of the Roman Senate, then go to Rostrum and the forum’s main square – Colonna di Foca. There are also plenty of temples you will find along the way. The most interesting are Tempio di Saturno and Tempio di Castore e Polluce.

Palatine Hill

 The time you can spend here: 30 minutes


Palatino is the most ancient part of the city. It has been called “the first nucleus of the Roman Empire”. It is located around 40 meters above the Roman Forum. The most important monuments to see are: Houses of Livia and Augustus, The Palace of Domitian, Domus Severana and Temple of Cybele. Head to the Orti Farnesiani for grandstand views over the Roman Forum.


Pantheon in Rome

The time you can spend here: 30 minutes


Pantheon is definitely the best preserved of Rome’s ancient monuments. The entrance is free however be prepared for a massive amount of tourists. After visiting Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill you get there around noon. It is the best time to visit Pantheon as you can spot a beam of lights stream in through the oculus.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona


The time you can spend here: 30 minutes


Enjoy the most popular plaza in Rome. Full of street artists, painters, musicians, cozy restaurants and three impressive fountains (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana di Nettuno). On the west side of the square there is a Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, at the southern end – Palazzo Braschi which now contains a Museum of Rome.

Trevi Fountain Trevi Fountain

The time you can spend here: 30 minutes


Breathtaking, the most beautiful and the most famous fountain in all of Rome. It measures 20 meters wide and 26 meters high. “Trevi” means “three-ways” and it refers to the junction of three roads on Piazza di Cruciferi. Toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder (don’t look behind you!) to make sure that you will return to Rome very soon! By the way – an estimated 3000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day (according to Wikipedia). 

Spanish Steps Rome with kids

The time you can spend here: 30 minutes – 1 hour


Last but not least. A busy and crowdy place surrounded by the most expensive boutiques and during mid-April and May decorated with pink azaleas. Spanish Steps are popular amongst artists, poets, and painters. Currently, it is a meeting place for locals and tourists. And after such an exciting day it is a perfect place just to sit down and enjoy this busy atmosphere and the views. There are 138 steps in total, they connect lower Piazza di Spagna with the upper Piazza Trinita dei Monti. But don’t worry. If you don’t feel like climbing take a lift. It is situated next to the Metro Station and it will take you to the top of the steps. We are done for day 1!


Day Two

Piazza di Popolo

The time you can spend here: 30 minutes


Let’s start our second day at Piazza del Popolo. In the past, it was the site of public executions and the main northern gate of the city. Have a look at the Egyptian obelisk moved here in 16th century, it is the second oldest and one of the highest obelisk in Rome! At the exit of the Via el Corso, there are “twin” churches of Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Mara dei Miracoli. Enjoy the atmosphere of the lazy, Italian morning.

Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’ AngeloCastel Sant Angelo

The time you can spend here: 1-2 hours

Tickets: from 9 AM to 11 AM 5€ from 11 AM till closure 14€


Originally built as Hadrian’s mausoleum, converted into a papal fortress in the 6th century. In the 13th century, a secret passageway to the Vatican palaces was added. Stunning view from the top level of the castle. There are a lot of steps, so don’t forget to wear comfy shoes!


Vatican City

The time you can spend here: 1-2 hours


Half a day to visit Vaticano is definitely not enough! Let’s skip the Vatican Museum for now as unfortunately, we have no time to visit this amazing place. 

St. Peter’s Basilica

Sooner you get to the St Peter’s Basilica is better. Being at the gates at 7:30 AM guarantees no queues! The Basilica is the biggest, richest and the most spectacular cathedral in Italy (if not in the world!). The must-see here is Michelangelo’s Pieta, the dome of the cathedral and Bernini’s baldachin. Don’t forget to dress appropriately. If you’d like to meet the Pope be there at 11 AM on Wednesday (tickets are free).

Early-Access Sistine Chapel Viewing & Vatican Museum Ticket on Expedia

Piazza San Pietro

Piazza San Pietro seen from above resembles a giant keyhole! At the center of the piazza, there is an ancient Egyptian obelisk. Giant, four-row collonade is topped with the attic on which statues of 140 saints were placed. 


The time you can spend here: +3 hours


Finish your day at one of the best looking Rome’s neighborhoods. The most attractive is still the natural, non-commercial nature of Trastevere. We can find here cozy, narrow streets, antique and craft shops, cafes with live music and the best trattorias and restaurants. It is really worth coming here for longer. Interestingly, during the day you will not come across crowds of tourists! They arrive late in the evening (so we are!).

Basilica di Santa Maria di Trastevere

Drop some coins in the lightbox to illuminate the mosaics! It is probably the oldest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary.


Enjoy the panoramic views from the Giancolo on Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Tiber IslandTiber Island

The only island in Rome’s part of Tiber. It is one of the smallest inhabited islands in the world! In Antiquity played a strategic role, now it is a charming destination for walks. Try to find the rod of Aesculapius on the one of the stone prow!

Walk on Trastevere

The last point of our trip is to get lost in the picturesque alleyways of Trastevere, have some late dinner at the one of the trattorias and meet the locals at Piazza Santa Maria di Trastevere.


If you will be in Rome longer you can check out this 3 day itinerary for Rome

In conclusion, spending 48 hours in Rome is an enchanting experience that blends the splendor of ancient history with the vibrancy of modern life. From the awe-inspiring Colosseum to the tranquil beauty of the Vatican, each moment in this eternal city is a step through centuries of human achievement. Whether savoring authentic Italian cuisine in a cozy trattoria or wandering through bustling piazzas, the spirit of Rome leaves an indelible mark on the heart.

While it’s impossible to see everything in just two days, this brief adventure provides a tantalizing taste of Rome’s endless wonders, urging one to return and explore even more of its timeless magic. Remember, in Rome, every cobblestone, corner, and conversation is a piece of a larger, enduring story, and you’ve just begun to turn its pages.

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Guest Author: We are Marta and Milosz, and together with our little son we are discovering the world in an affordable and minimalistic manner. Pack your backpack and joins us in our journey at Backpackers.wro!