4 Days in Rome: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit

By Cristian G. Guasch •  Updated: 08/15/22 •  16 min read

Imposing in its architecture and full of history in every corner, so is the fascinating city of Rome, the capital of Italy.

Visiting it can be a wonderful experience, but if you don’t have a walking itinerary, then you might miss a few wonders.

But don’t worry, in this article we are going to explain you what are those must-see places to see in Rome in 4 days.

At a glance:

Day 1

Rome, known as the cradle of Western civilization, offers a wide variety of tourist attractions to enjoy.

Our recommendation for the first day is to visit some of the most important buildings and ruins that are still preserved in their maximum splendor, all of them built by the Roman Empire.

Say no more, and let’s know the route of the first day:

Roman Colosseum

4 Days in Rome: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit

Almost obligatory, the visit to the Roman Colosseum should be one of your first goals to see in Rome in 4 days. This is the largest amphitheater built at the time of the Roman Empire.

The Colosseum could hold at that time about 50,000 spectators, who enjoyed the bloody entertainments organized by the emperors.

This Romanesque work was built in the 1st century, by the Flavian dynasty of emperors, and was known for a long time as the Flavian Amphitheater. It has been considered one of the 7 wonders of the world.

The entrance to the Colosseum is currently priced at about 16 euros. This can be purchased at the entrance of the Colosseum, or on the official website, in the latter there is an increase of 2 euros for management.

You have two ways to get to the Colosseum:

Metro: Line B, stop Colosseo. Exit on Via dei Fori Imperiali.
By bus on lines 3-60-75-85-87-117-175-186-271-571-673-810.

The Palatine Hill

Another must-see in Rome in 4 days is the Palatine Hill, known as the archaeological park of the Colosseum. It has seven hills, which form the heart of the city of Rome. Historically, it is important because this is where the city was founded, and according to history, this is the place where the emperors took up residence until the fall of the Roman Empire.

On your first day in this fascinating city, you can not miss the Palatine Hill, here are preserved the remains of the Iron Age settlements, which were referred to the oldest nucleus of the city of Rome.

Undoubtedly, the tour to the Palatine Hill is one of the most impressive things to do in Rome, the natural trails of this route will allow you to travel back in time.

The tour can start from the Severian Arcades to the east, and you walk under the palace of the Flavian emperors, above the Circus Maximus. On the way you will reach the southwest of the hill, where Romulus founded the Eternal City, and where according to history Augustus (first emperor of Rome) lived.

The tickets for the Palatine Hill, combined with the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, cost 16 euros, plus two euros for the booking fee.

The Arch of Constantine

Luckily, inside the same entrance of the Roman Colosseum, you can appreciate one of the historical monuments to see in Rome in 4 days as the Arch of Constantine. The most modern triumphal arch in all of Rome, it was erected during the year 315, in commemoration of the victory of Constantine I the Great in the battle of the Milvian Bridge.

As one of the most interesting attractions what to see in Rome on day 1, pretend this arch of 21 meters high, with a width of 25 meters. An amazing monument that was built on marble base, where you can see statues taken from the Forum of Trajan.

Undoubtedly, you can not fail to walk through the Arch Constantine, and take your respective photo.

Roman Forum

Within the same walk to the Roman Colosseum, you will find in the attractions the Roman Forum; a space where the public and religious life of the imposing city took place.

According to history, the Roman Forum was forgotten and buried. As a curious fact, it is known that the area where the forum is located was a swampy area.

Inside the Roman Forum you can find places of interest such as the Via Sacra, which connected the Piazza del Campidoglio with the Colosseum. The Arch of Titus, which was built to commemorate the death of Titus, and the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, which is one of the most important buildings of the Roman Forum.

Piazza Spagna

One of the most famous squares to see in Rome is the Spanish Steps. Around it you will find stores, hotels, and entertainment venues. It is famous for its steps that go up to the church and the fountain, where you can sit at ease and appreciate the world of people walking around this place.

In other plans you can enjoy a delicious wine, in one of the terraces of the gastronomic establishments of the city. Undoubtedly, both will be fascinating experiences.

As an interesting fact, it is necessary to know that this square is named after the Palace of Spain, seat of the Spanish embassy to the Holy See.

To get to the square, you can take the metro line A to Roma Termini station.

Day 2

Day 2 is the perfect day to visit the Vatican and all its surroundings, where you can complete the wonderful works of art, with more than 2,000 years of history.

St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square is one of the most famous squares in the world and with more history to see in Rome in 4 days. This square was built by Bernini in the mid-seventeenth century, and is a wonderful architectural work that can accommodate about 300,000 people.

The most impressive thing is its size, here you can appreciate some 284 columns, and 88 pilasters surround the infrastructure in a portico of four rows. You can also admire the 140 statues of saints made in 1670.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Just at the end of the square you can find another of the icons to see in Rome in 4 days as is the famous St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the most famous Catholic churches in the world, and of course, the largest inside.

With an impressive facade, which lets us see the most famous sculptures of the apostles. The construction of this basilica was completed in the year 329.

This temple was used for the celebration of worship, and as a covered cemetery, or funeral banquet hall. With all the archaeological data found, it was possible to know that this was the first Vatican basilica.

Currently, this architectural work can be seen in a building 218 meters long and 136 meters high, which pretends to its dome. It has a surface of 23,000 m².

This is not all, inside the building you can see the tomb of St. Peter, in addition to the stone on which the basilica was built, and the work of Michelangelo’s Pieta.

It is a work of great historical and religious importance in Rome, so it should be a mandatory visit.

The entrance fee to the Basilica is free, but if you want to go up to the dome, by elevator to the terrace and then 320 steps on foot, it costs 8.50 euros. Walking up 552 steps, 6.50 euros.

Vatican Museums

4 Days in Rome: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit

As part of the most important museums in the world, a few meters from St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica, are the famous Vatican Museums. Visiting them is one of the essential activities you must do on your second day in Rome.

The Vatican museums receive about 6 million visitors a year, and this is due to the great collection of arts collected by the Roman Catholic Church for more than five centuries.

In the tour to the Vatican Museums, we can find:

As you will see, there are many attractions to see in the Vatican museums, and your visit can be very simple. If you wish, you can buy your ticket online, through this link, and thus avoid the long queues at the entrance.

Visiting hours to enter the facilities are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is closed on January 1 and 6, February 11, and March 19.

The entrance fee for adults is 17 euros, and for children is 8 euros. Students between 19 and 26 years 8 euros.

As a last recommendation for this visit, we suggest you take advantage of a guided tour to see the museums and the beautiful gardens of the Vatican.

You can reach the Vatican Museums by Line A, at Ottaviano or Cipro stops. By bus you can reach the Vatican Museums via 49, 32, 81, 982.

Castel Sant’Angelo

Also known as Hadrian’s Mausoleum or Mole Adrianorum, one of the most beautiful castles to see in Rome in 4 days is the Castel Sant’Angelo; it is located very close to the Vatican. It is a work that arose from the will of Emperor Publius Elius Traianus Hadrian (76-138 AD), which functioned as a funeral mausoleum for himself, and for his successors.

This is a wonderful work with an external appearance built on the opposite bank of the Tiber more than a century earlier.

It was built by the architect Demetriano, from 123 AD. Hadrian died and the construction was left to his successor Atoninus Pius, who dedicated the tomb in 139 AD, and moved the remains of Hadrian and his wife Sabina.

Undoubtedly, this castle is one of the most interesting attractions in Rome. I recommend you to take a guided tour, and discover the famous “Passetto”, known as the Corredor del Borgo. The entrance fee to this castle is 15 euros. It is free for everyone on the first Sundays of the month.

Piazza Navona

At 700 meters from the castle of Sant’Angelo, we can enjoy one of the recommended squares to see in Rome in 4 days as is the Piazza Navona. This is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome, and has a capacity of 30,000 spectators.

One of its main attractions are the three fountains, built under the mandate of Gregory XIII Boncompagni.

It has long been considered one of the most romantic squares in Europe.

Since Rome became the capital of Italy at the end of the 19th century, this square became a meeting place for all the citizens of the city. It was dedicated for a long time to be a space for different celebrations, one of them being the Carnival.

Piazza Navona is one of the most pleasant places to spend the afternoon in the city, and has as proximity the Museum of Rome, and the Altemps Palace.

Day 3

The third day can be the ideal time to get to know the other side of Rome. Take advantage of it, and take a guided tour of the city’s neighborhoods, the market, the food stores, and the beautiful narrow streets that connect to the Jewish quarter.

In this regard, we recommend the following visits:

Campo dei Fiori

It is one of the most lively squares to see in Rome in 4 days; historically known as the place where executions were carried out in the Middle Ages.

Popularly known as the Field of Flowers, in this place you can see the famous market of Rome, which sits from Monday to Saturday, since 1869, in this place.

And if you wonder why it owes its name, this was a field full of daisies, poppies, and myosotis. Today, it is one of the most popular places in the city; and you must visit to enjoy the sale of food, flowers and local products of the city.

Farnese Palace

It has been considered one of the most important Renaissance buildings in Europe so it should be on your list of places to see in Rome in 4 days. And nowadays it is the French embassy in Rome.

This building began to be built in the early sixteenth century, according to history this whole project was inspired by Cardinal and future Pope Alessandro Farnese, who commissioned the architect Antonio da Sangallo in the construction.

Among the attractions of this architectural work, you can not fail to photograph the facade, it has a height of 29 meters, and 57 meters wide. It was built with travertine bricks.

Then you can contemplate the famous staircase, which houses ancient remains and three sarcographs embellished by mythological scenes, where you can see the most beautiful sculptures of Roman warships.

And the most interesting thing is that inside you can admire the Hall of Hercules, a room 19 meters high, which is equivalent to two floors. In the room you can only contemplate two busts, and the copy of the stature of Hercules, sculpted by Glicone.

The entrance fee for the tour of the palace is 11 euros. And the visiting hours are only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the afternoons.

Jewish Quarter of Rome

Strolling through the Jewish streets of Rome is a reminder of its Hebraic beginnings. Undoubtedly, it is a must to do at least on the third day of your stay in this city.

The first thing you can do is to discover and admire the ancient Jewish Ghetto. We are talking about an area full of history, art, culture and monuments that attracts hundreds of tourists every year.

It is considered a walled neighborhood, with three gates that closed at sunset. This place, according to history, has a very sad beginning, because in the mid-sixteenth century the Jewish community was forced to live in this area, in an overcrowding of a few houses, without the right to much.

To visit the Jewish quarter, I recommend you to do it through a guided tour, only then you will be able to visit Portico D’Ottavia, and very close to the portico, enjoy the beautiful Synagogue, which is a fabulous architectural-religious center, which is part of the cultural reference of the neighborhood.

Also, if you go with a guided tour you can learn about the social, economic and artistic history of this Jewish community. Additionally, you should visit the Mattei Square and the turtle fountain. The price of this tour is valued at 15 euros.

Barberini Square

Located at the end of Via Veneto, is the striking Piazza Barberini. It was built in 1625 under the orders of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, and enjoys an incomparable beauty.

Undoubtedly, those who want to see the Triton fountain should take a walk through Piazza Barberini. In this statue the marine god of Triton is supported by four dolphins, while he makes a jet of water gush from a conch shell.

As it is a public space, the entrance is totally free, I just advise you to have a good camera and capture the place.

Trevi Fountain

4 Days in Rome: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit

Trevi Fountain, or Trevi Fountain, is one of the most beautiful places to see in Rome in 4 days. We are talking about a work built in marble, which is part of the works of Bernini.

It is located a few meters from Piazza Barberini, and is one of the places that deserve to be visited, especially in the evenings, when the lights illuminate the space, creating a beautiful view of night show.

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome, and one of the largest in the city. It is 20 meters wide and 26 meters high.

Visiting the Trevi Fountain is free, but don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain. Many locals claim that the fountain receives at least 300 euros a day.

Day 4

Palazzo Massimo

Another recommended site to see in Rome in 4 days is the Palazzo Massimo. It is one of the museums that make up the National Roman Museum, and this has one of the best archaeological collections in the world.

We refer to a Renaissance style building that was built between 1883 and 1887, which functioned as a Jesuit college in Rome until 1960.

Inside the museum you can find four rooms, the first of them, located in the basement, and in this one you can appreciate an extensive collection of jewels and coins, which correspond to different periods.

The following floors show famous Roman sculptures, copies of Greek sculptures, and impressive sarcophagi and bas-reliefs.

And the upper floor is perhaps the most interesting of the museum. Here you can see the best Roman frescoes, which were taken down from the House of Livia and the Villa Farnesina, after their restoration.

The price of admission to the museum is valued at 13 euros, and EU citizens cancel 2 euros.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Another of the basilicas to see in Rome in 4 days is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, a work built on the pagan temple of the goddess Cybele. This was built in the mid-fourth century, under the orders of Pope Libero.

It is also known as the basilica Santa María de las Nieves, due to the snowfall that indicated the shape of the church. Inside, different architectural styles can be appreciated, ranging from Paleochristian to Baroque. The entrance fee to the basilica is 3 euros per person.

Basilica of St. John Lateran

It is one of the seven churches in Rome that are visited during the pilgrimage. This is part of the monumental complex that includes the obelisk, the Lateran palace and the sanctuary of the holy staircase.

It is known as the oldest basilica in Rome, and this is due to its construction, because according to history in the early fourth century Emperor Constantine stripped the Laterani family of their land, and decided to build the first Roman basilica on it.

The entrance of the basilica has a facade dating from the seventeenth century, and this is the place where the pope gives his blessing every Holy Thursday. We can appreciate important statues of Christ and the saints, all of them sculpted during the 18th century.

The entrance to the basilica is free.


Cristian G. Guasch

I have traveled the world visiting 18 countries, including Japan, most of Europe and North America. I love to learn about the culture and history, taste the different dishes and enjoy the beauty of this planet. I also work completely remotely, and this helps me discover new places all year around.

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