Rome stands as a living museum, inviting you to wander through its timeless neighbourhoods. Savour delectable cuisine, and soak in the artistry that adorns every corner. The city is vast and ancient, filled with so many archaeological monuments. It can honestly be a little intimidating, trying to figure out which attractions to visit and which fun things to try. 

Fret not, here’s a list of must-see wonders and lesser-known sites in the Eternal City. Whether you’re a new explorer or a seasoned visitor, there's always something new to do and see in Rome. Make sure to read to the end for some useful travel tips!

Historical sites to marvel at

1. Colosseum

You honestly can’t say that you’ve visited Rome without seeing the Colosseum. The Roman Colosseum is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is one of the most popular sights in the city. 

This colossal amphitheatre, commissioned by Emperor Vespasian in AD 72, is a testament to the grandeur of Roman engineering and innovation. Its awe-inspiring structure once hosted gladiatorial contests and public spectacles, becoming a nexus for entertainment and political displays. Today, the Colosseum remains an enduring symbol of Rome's imperial past, offering visitors a tangible connection to the city's rich heritage. Stepping into the arena, one can almost feel the echoes of the past, envisioning the roaring crowds and the legendary battles that unfolded within its walls.

The best time to visit is early in the morning on weekdays before the crowds start to form. Alternatively, a pro tip is to visit the Colosseum on a nighttime tour as the venue lights up and will be crowd-free. You can book tickets and packages from the official website that grants entry to various sections of the Colosseum, like the arena, underground area, or Bellevue area.

Like most major tourist attractions in Rome, security is stringent at the Colosseum. You will not be allowed entry with large bags or luggages. It is recommended to pack light so that you can clear the security checks efficiently and spend more time touring the site.

2. Palatine Hill

Next to the Colosseum lies the Palatine Hill, the tallest of seven hills that Rome is built on, housing the ruins of luxurious palaces that once housed emperors and aristocrats. Its significance is deeply intertwined with the foundation of Rome itself, as legend has it that this was the site where Romulus founded the city in 753 BC.

Sitting just 40 metres below is the Roman Forum, a collection of magnificent historical buildings that were built in ancient Rome. The place is essentially the heart and origin of the Roman Empire thousands of years ago. 

The best part is that your Colosseum ticket grants entry to both popular attractions! You can also choose to join a guided tour as there are many stories to learn about while strolling through these historic sites. Be sure to bring along some sunscreen and plenty of fluids as the area can get quite sunny during the day.

3. The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the few buildings from ancient Rome that has remained completely intact. Its iconic dome, an architectural marvel even by modern standards, is a testament to the ancient Romans' mastery of concrete construction.

Visiting the Pantheon costs €5 (S$7.30) per adult, while those under 18 can still visit for free. However, don’t let this deter you from visiting as the Pantheon is more than just a simple museum. Upon entering, you will quickly be taken in by the marvel of its architecture and opulence.

We recommend booking your entrance tickets online to save time from queuing up for walk-in admissions. An audio guide will be included with your ticket, which can be downloaded on your phone.

4. Spanish Steps

Another reason why a visit to the Pantheon shouldn’t be skipped is because of its proximity to many other sights in Rome. Some of the must-sees include the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza Navona; all of which are about seven minutes away from the Pantheon. 

The Spanish Steps consists of 138 steps and three unique terraces. Try climbing all the way up as the peak truly offers a beautiful view of your surroundings. However, avoid sitting down or eating whilst on the steps as you may be imposed with a €400 (S$584) fine! These laws have been implemented to protect the steps as it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

5. Trevi Fountain

After spending time at the Spanish Steps, you can head west for the Trevi Fountain. It is the largest fountain in Rome, and definitely worth seeing. While here, you might see people throwing coins into the fountain. This is due to myths of the Trevi Fountain. It is said that if you throw one coin, you will return to Rome someday. If you throw two coins, you will find love in Rome. If you throw three coins, you will marry the person that you love. To achieve the ‘desired effect’ of this myth, you should throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder.

6. Piazza Navona

Moving on is Piazza Navona, the most spectacular square of Baroque Rome. Over the centuries, Piazza Navona has hosted many festivals, races, and rides. From beautiful churches to the three famous fountains, there is much to see. Day and night, Piazza Navona has a large merry-go-round of shops and restaurants. It is the perfect place to eat at and shop to your heart’s desire!

Since these locations are in open public spaces, you can visit them at any time during your holiday. Do pace yourself when visiting these locations, as crowds may get rather heavy during the midday and afternoon hours.

Explore the Vatican City

Vatican City is nestled within Rome’s historic centre and is the world’s smallest sovereign state, led by the Pope. Whether you are seeking a deeper connection to your faith, or simply an immersive experience in art and history, the Vatican City State is the place to be.

1. Saint Peter’s Basilica

Standing proudly in the heart of Vatican City is Saint Peter’s Basilica, the most important Catholic church in the world. However, you don’t have to be religious to visit this architectural marvel! Entry to the Basilica is free but the lines can be as impressive as the building itself. We recommend arriving by 7:00am to beat the crowds or take a guided tour, for a more comfortable experience. As a bonus, you can plan your trip with a Papal Audience on Wednesdays to see the Pope!

As it is a holy venue, visitors to Saint Peter’s Basilica must be dressed appropriately or else you will be turned away at the door, regardless of how long you’ve been waiting.

2. Vatican Museums

Finally, a trip to Vatican City isn’t complete without a tour of the Vatican Museums. The Vatican Museums are housed in a complex of buildings, showcasing some of the most renowned masterpieces in the world. You may need to set aside at least half a day to see the Vatican Museums due to how extensive it is. 

From the iconic frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, painted by the masterful hand of Michelangelo, to the Raphael Rooms and the Gallery of Maps, the Vatican Museums house an extraordinary array of masterpieces that span centuries. Beyond its artistic riches, the museums also hold cultural and historical significance as they provide a glimpse into the papal legacy and the Vatican's role in preserving and promoting art.

Avoid visiting on Sundays as the museums are closed. However, the last Sunday of each month is a ‘free entry’ day to the Vatican Museums. While the idea of free entry is tempting, we recommend avoiding it as the crowds will be even more massive.

3. Sistine Chapel

Located towards the end of the Vatican Museums, lies the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo's awe-inspiring frescoes, notably the iconic ceiling and the Last Judgment, adorn the chapel's interior, creating an immersive experience that transcends time and space.

Tickets for the museums will grant you access to the Chapel as well, however, there is no separate ticket for visiting the Chapel on its own. If you are short on time, following signs marked with ‘Cappella Sistina Percorso Breve’ (Sistine Chapel short route) will allow you to beeline straight towards the Sistine Chapel after entering the Vatican Museums.

Like Saint Peter’s Basilica, visitors must be appropriately dressed, or risk being denied entry. As of 2020, the Vatican Museums operate on shifts. This means that tickets are now timed, and you can go straight to the gate after booking your tickets online.

Embrace the timeless wonder of Rome, Italy

Rome is truly more than another holiday destination. Each step you take is a journey through time, and every corner reveals a piece of history. Let the magic of the Eternal City illuminate your future adventures. Happy travels, and may your Roman dreams soon become a reality!

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With all the things to do and see in Rome, here’s a handful of smart travel tips and tricks. As the saying goes: when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

Best time to visit
The Eternal City of Rome is enchanting throughout the year, each season offering its unique charm. The ideal time for a visit is typically in the spring, from April to June, and in the fall, from September to October. These months are characterised by mild temperatures and fewer tourists, providing a more comfortable and intimate experience of the city's splendours. Summer in Rome, stretching from June to August, tends to be hot and is also the peak tourist season, making the city's famous sites more crowded. Winter, spanning from November to March, offers cooler weather and fewer crowds, ideal for those who prefer a more tranquil exploration of Rome's rich history and indoor tourist attractions.

The official currency in Italy is the euro (€). For convenient and hassle-free currency exchange, use Changi Recommends FX. You can buy currencies at real-time exchange rates and collect your euros at Changi Airport before your departure. Check out this guide on getting the most out of your currency exchange.

Most of the popular attractions are connected by public transport. Buses are one of the most efficient ways of getting around the city. You can purchase the Roma Pass online, which grants free use of Rome’s public transport and discounted tickets to major tourist attractions, for two or three days. Additionally, tap-to-pay on your smartphone can be used for the metro.

Romans love reservations, and restaurants tend to fill up quickly, especially in the evening. Try to call restaurants for a booking before visiting popular places to eat in Rome, or head there as soon as the shop opens for the best shot at getting a table. 

Most shops will accept card payment, but it is always handy to carry cash with you. The occasional restaurants, cafes and shops will only accept cash.

Walking around the city’s many attractions can get exhausting, therefore it is important to be prepared! Bring along a water bottle in your day pack as drinking fountains that dispense potable water can be found throughout the city. Avoid bringing excessive and unnecessary gear to clear security checks faster when visiting attractions.

Many of Rome’s famous sites such as the Sistine Chapel and Saint. Peter’s Basilica, require visitors to be appropriately dressed – meaning your shoulders, knees and chest should be covered. Wear comfortable shoes too as you will be walking around a lot.

Other tips
If possible, try to arrange for your accommodation to be near the Pantheon. This allows you to be in central Rome, granting easy access to places like Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona on foot. It also means that you can reach them early in the morning before the crowd!

Lastly, be sure to always keep your valuables close and safe as pickpockets are not unheard of when visiting Rome. Check your belongings often and be vigilant! For an added peace of mind, remember to buy travel insurance before flying.

Book now
Travelling to Rome, Italy begins with a flight from Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Rome, with the journey typically taking about twelve to thirteen hours. Upon landing, you'll find that Fiumicino Airport offers convenient transport options to the heart of Rome, ensuring a smooth transition to your Italian adventure. Whether it's a business trip or a leisurely escape, booking your flight to Rome is easy and straightforward. Start planning your journey to the Eternal City today – secure your flight tickets on Skyscanner and get ready to explore the timeless allure of Rome!