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Tips For Visiting Rome: Best Kept Secrets for First-Time Visitors in Rome

Tips For Visiting Rome: First-Time Visitors Guide Rome, Italy

Welcome to Rome fellow travelers, the city of ancient wonders and modern delights! If you’re a first-time visitor, the Eternal city can seem overwhelming with its many must-see attractions, vast size, and heavy tourism traffic. Join us for the top go-to guide for navigating Rome, complete with major attractions that should be on every first-time visitor’s checklist. Our latest travel guide “Tips for Visiting Rome” includes all the essentials to make your Roman adventure unforgettable.

first-time visitors in rome

1. Comfortable Footwear is a Must

The most important tips for visiting Rome, centers around the heavy walking that a city like Rome requires! Rome’s charm lies in its cobblestone streets and historic alleys. But as a first time visitor, ensure you have comfortable shoes for exploring iconic sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City. These attractions are large, and require long periods of walking.

The most comfortable sandals I own!

2. Get Up Early to See the Busiest Sights

As a first-time visitor in Rome, you may be shocked at the amount of heavy traffic at major landmarks such as the Trevi Fountain. Beat the crowds and make the most of your visit by exploring popular attractions early in the morning. You’ll have a more intimate experience with Rome’s treasures.

trevi fountain rome

3. Dress Modestly for Religious Sites

When it comes to tips for visiting Rome, be sure to plan clothing accordingly with landmarks you plan to visit each day. When visiting churches and religious sites like St. Peter’s Basilica, dress modestly. Cover shoulders and knees out of respect for the sacred spaces. You may be refused entry if not! If touring Vatican City, be sure to read up on our complete guide “Vatican City Itinerary Exclusive” for best kept secrets and must-see’s!

4. Utilize Public Transport

Rome has an extensive public transportation network, but it can be a bit difficult to navigate as a first-time visitor in Rome. Consider the best form of transportation for your destination within the city. If looking to tour the Colosseum and then the Trevi Fountain, walking will be your best bet! But if you’re venturing a bit further, to Vatican City per say, then a bus or metro may be best. Be sure to read up on Rome’s public transportation options on our complete guide here: A Guide to Rome’s Public Transportation.

public transport bus in rome

5. Explore Trastevere’s Charm

While great tips for visiting Rome reside within the cities Historic Center, be sure to swing over to the Trastevere neighborhood for at least a day during your stay in Rome. A picturesque neighborhood known for its vibrant atmosphere, local eateries, and street art, Trastevere has a culture all its own. Rome is a vast city with many neighborhoods residing within it! Be sure to read up on our complete guide of the different areas of the city, “Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Rome“, when choosing your next day of exploration or before booking your next trip to this iconic city!

trastevere region first-time in rome

6. Stay Hydrated and Sunscreen Up

Rome can get quite hot, especially in the summer. Stay hydrated, carry a reusable water bottle, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen before heading out. Pro tips for our first-time visitors guide Rome edition: be sure to explore the many ancient aqueducts that still power several functioning public water fountains throughout the city.

public fountain in rome
public fountain in rome

7. Carry Cash and Barter When You Can

Pro tips for visiting Rome: Cash is king! While credit cards are widely accepted, having some cash on hand is useful, especially in smaller shops and markets. Be sure to check the price of items before checking out and barter respectfully when you can!

8. Relax & Indulge in Gelato, Drinks, and Local Cuisine

The best tips visiting Rome, revolve around the true Roman way of indulgence and relaxation! You are on vacation, after all!  Italian cuisine is a highlight of any trip. Sample local dishes, indulge in gelato from authentic gelaterias, and savor the flavors of Rome.

drinks as a first-time visitor in rome

9. Don’t Miss Out on Vatican City

The Vatican City is a must-see for first-time visitors in Rome. An independent city state, the city offers some of the most iconic paintings, art, and historic artifacts of anywhere in the world. Read up on the best tips for visiting Vatican City on our travel guide here: A Complete Vatican City Itinerary

views of vatican city

10. Tour the Major Landmarks

Rome is filled with awe-inspiring landmarks, religious zones, and bounds of historical archeological sites. Don’t miss out on any with our first-time visitors guide Rome edition:

Colosseum – The Iconic Amphitheater

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Colosseum. Immerse yourself in ancient history as you explore this colossal amphitheater, imagining the roar of the crowds during gladiator contests. Book your Colosseum tickets through Viator here for a GREAT rate!

colosseum tips for visiting rome

Roman Forum – Ancient Civic Center

Adjacent to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum offers a glimpse into the heart of ancient Rome. Walk through ruins that once comprised the city’s civic and commercial hub, surrounded by the remnants of grand temples and arches.

tips for visiting roman forum
roman forum in rome tips for visiting
Tips for visiting Rome – Combine your visit with to the Colosseum with the Roman Forum which is directly adjacent!

Pantheon – Architectural Marvel

Step into the best-preserved ancient Roman building, the Pantheon. Witness the remarkable dome and soak in the ambiance of this former temple turned church, showcasing exceptional architecture and engineering.

inside the pantheon as a first-time visitor rome
Stunning views inside The Pantheon

 Trevi Fountain – Make a Wish

Join the tradition of tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome. Admire the intricate sculptures and the majestic flow of water in this iconic Baroque masterpiece.

tips for visiting rome - visit trevi fountain early
Tips for visiting Rome – Hit the Trevi Fountain as early as you can! It is one of the most crowded attractions in Rome

Spanish Steps – A Stairway to Elegance

Climb the Spanish Steps for a panoramic view of the city. This grand staircase is a popular spot to relax, people-watch, and soak in the artistic atmosphere.

visit the Spanish steps as a first-time visitor in rome
Tips for visiting Rome – Have a Gelato on the iconic Spanish Steps

Piazza Navona – Fountain-Framed Square

Visit Piazza Navona, a lively square surrounded by charming cafes and adorned with fountains, including Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers.

tips for visiting rome - see piazza navona

Castel Sant’Angelo – Mausoleum Turned Fortress

Explore the history of Castel Sant’Angelo, originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian. Over the centuries, it transformed into a fortress with stunning views of the Tiber River.

tips for visiting rome

Armed with these travel tips for visiting Rome and a curated list of major attractions, your first visit promises to be an adventure filled with awe, inspiration, and unforgettable experiences. Happy travels!

Tips for Visiting Rome FAQ’s

  • Do I Need to Use Public Transport to Get Around the City? Not necessarily if you are staying nearby major landmarks or are capable of walking long distances. But, Rome has an extensive public transport system that can be extremely helpful for navigating the city! Read up on “How to Get Around Rome” on our complete Rome Public Transport Guide.
  • What are the Major Landmarks in Rome? Colosseum, Saint Peters, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona are must-see’s – especially for first-time visitors in Rome
  • Best Kept Secret for Eating Out in Rome? Look for smaller restaurants that don’t have an English menu! That’s how you know it’s truly authentic Italian cuisine and not made just for tourists!
  • How to Get the Best Views of Busy Landmarks? Visit them FIRST in the morning. This goes for Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, and more!

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(6) Comments

  1. Great Tips for visiting Rome, particularly for first-time visitors. Rome is big and the more tips for navigating it the better! Thank you.

  2. Sonia says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I especially liked your suggestions of visiting Trastevere and using the aqueducts.

  3. Taylor says:

    Great tips! The water fountain one is especially important. It can save you a lot of money and reduce plastic trash.

  4. Some great tips here for first time visitors to Rome. I always cringe when I see women in high heels on the cobblestones! And you are right that so many sights are better for early birds. Taking a lazy pace is probably the thing we often forget. More gelato and wine stops needed.

  5. Katie says:

    Great tips! I had no idea that you could barter prices in some of the smaller shops/markets. I will remember to carry cash next time I go!

  6. Latanya Jerome says:

    Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

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