Rome is a beautiful city with a rich history that’s worth uncovering for yourself.
What better way to explore the Eternal City than to visit all of its most famous sites, from the Colosseum and Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain and Vatican.
For a city full of monumental sites and history, it can be hard to know where to start when planning a visit.
But don’t let this stress you out!
This Rome bucket list will help you see the most famous landmarks and experience the best sights in Rome.
Visiting Rome without going to see the Colosseum is literally unthinkable.
Constructed between 70-80 AD, the Colosseum (also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre) was the venue for gladiator tournaments and other games that the Roman Emperors loved to watch for entertainment.
The landmark is located close to a metro station, so it’s easily accessible from the city.
Save time by purchasing Skip-the-Line tickets to the Colosseum.
It's really worth your while to step inside this iconic structure to truly appreciate what a feat of engineering it is!
The Pantheon, or Temple of the Gods, is another example of astounding engineering.
It’s estimated to have been built around 120 AD, commissioned by Emperor Hadrian.
The date of construction is not certain because the temple was built on the site of another temple built in Augustus (27 BC-14 AD).
The original structure was burned down, and Emperor Hadrian retained the inscription of the older temple when the Pantheon was rebuilt.
Massive columns line the front of the exterior, and there is a magnificent dome inside with a central coffer where the light shines through.
It is now a Catholic Church, the Basilica of St Mary and the Martyrs.
Rome also boasts its own country, Vatican City.
St Peter’s Square, or Piazza San Pietro, lies at the entrance to the Vatican and has been the site of a number of significant events.
The square is actually a circle surrounded by two sets of colonnades on which statues of religious figures and previous popes stand.
In the center of the square is a 4000-year obelisk that Caligula brought from Egypt in 37 AD.
At the end of the square is St Peter’s Basilica, the iconic building considered the holiest shrine amongst Catholics.
The square is enormous, capable of accommodating 300,000 people, and is where the public gathers to see the Pope.
St Peter’s Basilica is not only one of the most recognizable religious buildings in the world; it’s also one of the largest, accommodating over 20,000 people.
The basilica was rebuilt in 1506 and designed by several architects who incorporated the work of Michelangelo, Bramante and Carlo Maderno.
The architecture and decoration is stunning and is highlighted by the way the sun falls through the dome.
It also houses some phenomenal works of art like the large bronze statue of St. Peter’s Baldachin designed by Bernini, The Pietà, one of the most famous of Michelangelo’s sculptures and the statue of St Peter on his throne where the foot is worn down after being touched by so many devotees.
Be sure to get an aerial view of St Peter’s Square from the top of the dome!
The Sistine Chapel is a part of the Vatican Museums complex and is one of the most famous chapels in the world.
The iconography and attention to detail of the building, the sculptures and the art in the Sistine Chapel are jaw-droppingly magnificent.
The chapel was extensively restored in the 15th-Century and is the place where the papal enclave happens when a new Pope is selected.
The most notable feature of the Sistine Chapel is the intricate artwork on the ceiling and the Last Judgement fresco by Michelangelo.
These two works of art are thought to be two of the most important and influential pieces of artwork in religious history.
Make sure you schedule a fair amount of time to spend at the chapel, as there is so much to see.
The Piazza Navona was built in the 15th-Century over the site of the Domitian Stadium, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits 4.5 meters below street level.
It’s a public open space located close to the Pantheon.
The square is full of street vendors and artists, where lots of tourists wander around and browse for souvenirs.
In Ancient Rome, crowds of people went there to watch the agones (games).
The Piazza Navona is an excellent example of Baroque Roman architecture and art.
You’ll also find three of the most stunning fountains you will ever see in your life there; Fiumi Fountain, Fontana del Moro and the Fountain of Neptune.
It’s also home to the magnificent Palazzo Braschi and Palazzo Pamphili palaces, which are now museums.
The piazza has been featured in many blockbuster movies and is very recognizable, even if you’ve never been to Rome!
The Trevi Fountain must be one of the most lavishly adorned fountains in the world, as well as one of the most famous.
This is the fountain where it has become a tradition to throw coins over your shoulder for good luck.
It was constructed by Nicola Salvi in 1762 and pays homage to the Roman God Oceanus, depicted riding his chariot pulled by Tritons and taming some Hippocamps.
The fountain and its façade have extraordinary detail.
This iconic landmark is located close to the Pantheon and the Quirinale Palace, so it’s easily accessible and is not to be missed when strolling through the streets of Rome.