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Is Rome Worth Visiting in 2024? Things to Do and Reasons to Visit

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You might have heard that Rome is a tourist trap. That it’s loud, chaotic, dirty. You might now be wondering, is Rome worth visiting at all? The short answer is YES, absolutely. 

It’s true that Rome is one of the world’s major tourist destinations. Yes, it’s loud and can seem a bit dirty in areas. It’s a bit chaotic and there are certainly tourist mistakes to avoid in Rome you should be aware of. Rome is all of these things. And so much more. 

Rome, or the Eternal City as it’s also known, is oozing history around every corner. The food is delicious, the sights are magnificent, Rome is magical. Like any big city it has its cons but why focus on those? They pale in comparison to the many highlights Rome has to offer. 

I have been to Rome five times within the last decade, and I even dream of living there. I’ve seen multiple sides to Rome and I remain in love with it.

Is Rome Worth Visiting?

When you’re choosing which destinations to visit for your European adventure it’s only fair to wonder, is Rome worth visiting?

So let me assure you that Rome should absolutely be in your plans, here are some reasons to visit:


Colosseum in Rome

You really, truly do not have to be a history buff to appreciate the historic significance around every turn in Rome. I’m certainly no history fanatic myself.

And yet, the way you can be just walking down a street and run into the colosseum or drive by ruins on the way to dinner is astounding. 

When you’re in Rome, it’s impossible not to feel the history. It’s impossible to not fully recognize that you are walking where an ancient civilization was once thriving.

You can sense the history in your bones when you’re in Rome.

Food and drink

Italy is well-known around the world for its love affair with food. But every region within Italy has its own specialties. Rome is considered the best place within Italy for carbonara.

Unfortunately, I don’t eat pork so I’ve never been able to try it. Still, I’ve compiled my own favorite things to eat in Rome list in this Rome foodie guide.

Click here to learn more Italian food facts.

La dolce vita

It’s true that living la dolce vita (the sweet life) is an overall Italian concept. But the saying was made famous by a movie that was set in Rome and drew inspiration from the Eternal City. Experience la dolce vita by indulging in pure enjoyment of life in Rome. 

Great base for other trips

Amalfi Coast day trips from Rome

Another reason it makes sense to visit Rome is that Rome makes an excellent base for additional day or weekend trips to different parts of Italy.

You could easily take the train to Florence for a few days, or to Naples. 

You could go from Rome to Naples on a day trip, or stay for a weekend and also make it out to see Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

Rome is very well connected to other major cities within Italy, making it a great option for your base within the country.

Perfect for solo travel

As a solo female traveler, I’ve found Rome to be one of the Rome is safe

Is Rome safe?, you might be wondering. Definitely. As in any big city there are certain safety precautions you should take. But overall I’ve always felt quite safe traveling within Rome. 

Good base for digital nomads

Is rome worth visiting?

Having spent some time living in Rome as a digital nomad, I can attest to the solid internet connection and variety of places to work from. 

While cafe culture isn’t really a thing in Rome the same way it is in US, there are increasingly places you can work from for a few hours that allow you to interact with fellow digital nomads.

Barnum Cafe was my personal favorite place to work in for a few hours. Also look into the Hoxton Rome.


You might be surprised to see me call Rome affordable. The reality is, there are so many free things to do in Rome and low-cost food options that it’s certainly possible to adapt your visit to your budget. 

Rome can be expensive or affordable depending on how you plan for it. I’ve visited Rome back when I was living on a stipend, and then again while working a well-paying job so I’ve experienced both sides, and loved both experiences.


cup of coffee outdoors

I know I mentioned food and drink up above, but coffee gets its own shoutout. Rome is where I learned that I can take my coffee black, so long as it is high quality coffee.

There are many great cafes around town but you must visit Sant’ Eustachio. This place is more expensive and more famous (Kate Hudson was a recent customer), but trust me, it’s authentic. 

Top 10 Bucket List Things to do in Rome

For a detailed guide on what not to do in Rome as well as what not to miss read 54 tourist mistakes to avoid in Rome. For now, here are the top 10 things to do in Rome to add to your itinerary right now: 

1. Take an Italian Cooking Class

pizette is rome worth visiting

One of the best experiences I’ve had in all my visits to Rome is taking one of the Italian cooking classes in Rome.

This one in particular is the one I took and loved.

I’ve recreated the recipes and techniques I learned from this cooking class many times with friends and family at home. It’s truly the experience that keeps on giving.

2. Go on a Vatican Tour

What’s a visit to Rome without also visiting Vatican City? There is so much to see in Vatican City, between the incredible Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica itself.

I recommend booking one of the best Vatican tours in town led by a local guide to get the most out of your visit. 

3. Have Cappuccino at the Colosseum 

cappuccino near colosseum

Of course, you should also get tickets to go into the colosseum. It’s a historic marvel that should not be missed. Did you even go to Rome if you didn’t see the Colosseum in person? 

For an additional dose of surreal, visit Caffe Roma for a cappuccino in front of the Colosseum — go early to get a table!

4. Pop into the Many Churches

As you walk through Rome, you’ll pass by many churches. One of the coolest things to do while in Rome is to step into these churches as you pass by them. They are free to enter (some have optional donation boxes). 

Stepping into a church, you leave the heat and hubbub of the city of Rome behind for a few moments to take in the cool silence of a spiritual space. Admire the art and honor the pauses in your day as you step in and out of various churches across Rome.

5. Enjoy Aperitivo  

aperol sprtiz solo travel rome

One of the most fun things to do in Rome is to enjoy aperitivo! This is similar to happy hour in the US, but so much better.

You’ll order a pre-dinner drink (like an aperol spritz) and receive some snacks alongside it. Depending on where you go, some include full buffets as part of their aperitivo. Ask around for tips on the best place to have an aperitivo when you’re in Rome. 

6. Take a Passeggiate 

When in Rome, do as the Romans do and take a passeggiate after dinner. This is a leisurely stroll through the city. Stop for a gelato along the way and awe at the city in the evening as the lights flicker on around you. 

7. Toast with Prosecco at Piazza Navona 

I don’t recommend having all your meals, desserts or drinks among the most popular landmarks in Rome. But there are some exceptions and this is one of them.

Stop in Piazza Navona for a midday prosecco under the sun as you people watch the crowds surrounding Bernini’s famous fountain. 

8. Toss a Coin into the Trevi Fountain 

You’ve seen it in movies, now do it yourself! Tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain is truly a bucket list thing to do in Rome.

Tossing in one coin, with your right hand over your left shoulder, is thought to guarantee your return to the Eternal City. 

9. Step into the Pantheon

pantheon oculus

The Pantheon is free to visit, but you should arrive early to beat the crowds. On some busier days, like weekends, you may need to reserve a free ticket in advance online. 

The Pantheon is a key landmark in Rome that you should absolutely visit. In particular, if you’re able to visit while it’s raining you’ll see something truly spectacular. 

The very top of the Pantheon’s domed ceiling is completely open and uncovered. This lets light in during the day, and rain in when it’s raining! I have yet to be inside the Pantheon while it’s raining myself, but it’s certainly on my own Rome bucket list. 

10. Stroll Along Ponte Sant’Angelo

Ponte Sant'Angelo

The Ponte Sant’Angelo is, in my opinion, the most beautiful bridge in Rome. The bridge itself is beautifully built and offers views of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

It leads up to a castle (Castel Sant’Angelo) and is often where buskers perform live music throughout the day. I love visiting around sunset or at night to see all the lights on, highly recommend a visit here. 

Is Rome Worth Visiting? FAQ

As you ponder, is  Rome worth visiting?, here are some frequently asked questions to consider as well. 

How many days should I spend in Rome?

You should spend, at a minimum, at least 3 days in Rome. There is so much to see and do and 3 days will give you enough time to squeeze in all the major landmarks. Of course, for a more relaxed experience I recommend one week. 

Is it better to go to Paris or Rome?

The answer to this question really depends on you and your travel goals. Having been to both cities multiple times I can tell you that Paris and Rome feel quite different from one another.

Paris feels more modern, by comparison, and artistic. Rome feels more like a step back in time. Paris has more parks and green spaces, in Rome it’s more possible to walk the entire city end to end.

Paris offers more museums, Rome offers more real-life culture in a way. Ideally, you could visit both but if you have to choose one I hope this brief description helps guide you. 

Read through my solo Paris trip itinerary to get more of an idea of what to do in Paris.

Is it worth staying in Rome?

Rome makes a great base for your stay in Italy. It’s well connected to other cities which makes taking day trips from Rome or weekend getaways from Rome a breeze. 

Is Rome very touristy?

Truthfully, yes. But no more so than any other major tourism destination in the world. And you can still find your own hidden gems as you wander through Rome. If you want fewer crowds, visit during shoulder season. 

The weather in Rome is pretty wonderful year-round, and on my last visit in November I often experienced 70-degree days (though it did get cooler and rainier in December). 

Just because a destination is touristy doesn’t mean you should completely write it off yourself.

Final Verdict: Is Rome Worth Visiting?

In the end, the answer to whether Rome is worth visiting is a strong yes. There are plenty of reasons to visit and many fun things to do in Rome.

There’s a reason Rome is such a popular tourist destination, now go and experience it for yourself!