19 essential places to see in Rome if you go for a short trip

places to see in Rome

The capital of Italy is one of those places that we all plan to visit as soon as possible. Normally when we can make a small trip, Rome is one of the most desirable destinations. It is also true that many times these trips are limited in time and for that reason here we put some essential places to see in Rome.

You can end up your trip using lists to choose the places or monuments that interest you the most when you consider what to see in Rome in 3 days.

Of course, there are the most classic ones. Those who visit Rome, even if you go to Rome 10 times: Colosseum, Plaza de España, Fontana di Trevi … but there are many more.

Next, we offer you a list of those that we consider essential, grouped by themes. In this way, depending on the tastes of each one, a complete visit to the eternal city can be organized, even if we do not have much time.

History of Rome

places to see in Rome


One of the emblematic images of Rome. This huge Roman construction transports us to the time of the gladiators. The ground where they fought has been raised and we can contemplate the passageways where the shows were managed.

places to see in Rome

Roman Forum

This old avenue breathes History. This was the place where the threads of Roman society moved. Despite the 2000 years that have passed, it is easy to imagine between centurions and senators. The abundant information helps to imagine it at its peak. Here we find the arch of Titus, which inspired Napoleon to build his triumphal arch in Paris.

places to see in Rome

Pantheon of Agrippa

Besides being the best-preserved monument, the enormity of the room impresses, without columns of any kind. It is said that, despite having the dome open in the center, when it rains the water does not enter. Here the great painter, Rafael, is buried.

Circus Massimo

If you want to feel like Ben-Hur, do not miss the place where the famous chariot races were run.

Churches and temples

places to see in Rome

Basilica of Saint Peter

Little can be said about the Vatican Basilica. It is simply awesome. Not only because of its size and architecture. The amount of artistic works in inside make it an essential places to see in Rome. The square that precedes it overwhelms by its immensity and directs us the view towards the great dome 132 meters high.

Santa Maria the Greater

It is the largest Roman church consecrated to the Virgin Mary. For the duration of its construction we can see several architectural styles. What most caught our attention was its bell tower 75 meters high. Inside we enjoy many wonders, although the main one is the Pauline Chapel, full of sculptures, paintings and decorated in marble, gold and bright.

places to see in Rome

San Juan de Letran

Interestingly, this and not the Vatican, is the Cathedral of Rome. This is where the episcopal see of the Pope is located. It is one of the 4 major basilicas that have a Holy Door. As a curious fact, it has a pool where baptisms were performed.

Santa Maria in Cosmedín

It is a small church next to the Circus Massimo. But in it we can find the “Mouth of Truth”, which appears in the movie “Holidays in Rome. ” It is said that if you lie while your hand is inside, your mouth eats your hand. Are you trying to lie?

Pure art

places to see in Rome

Moses by Michelangelo

This wonderful sculpture is found in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli. Little can be said about the works of Michelangelo, but it is said that before the realism of Moses, the author hit him with a hammer on his knee and said: Why do not you talk?

places to see in Rome

Sistine Chapel

Probably the most important work of Michelangelo. It was already a marvel, but after the restoration that restored the original colors, it is an authentic delight to walk enjoying the colorful scenes. If we were to have some essential places to see in Romee, we would surely choose this one. Do not miss it, NEVER!

places to see in Rome

The Pieta by Michelangelo

Considered by many as the sculptor’s masterpiece. Incredibly it is sculpted in a single block of marble. We can find it at the entrance of the Vatican, well protected by a crystal, after it almost destroyed it a few years ago.

Artworks walking around the city

places to see in Rome

Spain Square

Tourist meeting place. People sit on the stairs that climb up to Trinitá dei Monti and photograph the Fontana de la Barcazza.

places to see in Rome

Fontana di Trevi

One of the most populous places in Rome, where people come to throw the coin to ask for a next visit to the city. His baroque style saturated us with the amount of detail that can be appreciated. Do not limit yourself to take the picture and enjoy the figures.

places to see in Rome

Piazza Navona

Probably the most famous square in Rome. An elongated square with 3 famous fountains. The fontana del Moro, the fountain of Neptune and the beautiful fountain of the 4 rivers. The place lends itself to enjoy it, so it is a great place to rest in one of its terraces.

places to see in Rome

Barberini Square

It is worth taking a leap to this square to see the beautiful Triton Fountain.

Monument to Vittorio Emmanuel

The Italians call it the typewriter or the birthday cake. You can imagine what it looks like.


places to see in Rome

Vatican Museums

If you like museums, this is undoubtedly the one that you should never miss. The amount of works accumulated over the centuries give for several visits.

places to see in Rome

Borghesse Gallery

If only the visit to the palace and the gardens, it is worth it. Despite its small size, we can find wonderful works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and Bernini sculptures. It is necessary to make a prior reservation because the influx is limited.

places to see in Rome

Capitoline Museums

Located in the Palace of the Conservatives and in the New Palace, here we can see a fantastic collection of sculptures, among which are the Discóbolo, the statue of Marco Aurelio, or the archifamosa of the Capitoline wolf, nursing Rómulo and Remo.

places to see in Rome

In addition to all these essential places to see in Rome, you should get lost walking through the Trastevere district or walk to the thermal baths of Caracalla. If you have occasion to see the performance of an opera here, do not let it pass.

Where we do not recommend losing you, it’s in the catacombs. But if you have occasion, look for a guide and travel underground Rome.

If you decide, do not miss the cheapest City Pass. For a fixed amount you can visit all the monuments of Rome, without limits, for 2, 3 or 6 days.

There are many more things to do in Rome. But if you have thrown the coin in the Fontana di Trevi, you have to leave something for the next trip, right?

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