Visiting the eternal Roma for only a day or two? A few simple tips to help you organise and enjoy a hassle-free holiday.
There are simply too many places to see in Rome: historical buildings, fountains, piazzas, museums, churches, palaces and many more. Rome is one of the must-see places in the world, which also means rubbing shoulders with the heavy tourist crowd from all over the world. With the constant battle against the rush, a day or two is not enough to see all of Rome. But with a little effort, you can make the most of your stay in Rome.
Research Before You Go
Research about Rome -- guidebooks, travel websites, magazines -- whatever you can get access to. The iconic Colosseum, Pantheon and The Trevi Fountain are must-visit places. And you can't miss the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. Feel free to add or remove anything else from your itinerary. There are numerous streets to walk in, hills to climb on, piazzas to relax in and fountains to drink from; the choice is yours.
Book the Tickets Online
For some of the attractions, you can book the tickets online. This saves you a great deal of time as you can avoid the queues and gain direct entry. Book tickets for Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in advance. The Vatican Museums also offer guided tours and online tickets.
Stay in a Central Location
Plan your stay in Rome's modern centre. There are a plethora of hotels in Via Nazionale and Via Veneto. Most of the attractions are walkable for here. Public transportation and taxis are also readily available. The central train station, Termini, is in the neighbourhood. While Trastevere is supposed to be safer and culturally inspiring, the modern centre is your best bet for a short stay. There are plenty of shopping options too.
Take a Walk
Walking is a great way to see Rome. You need a good map of Rome for this -- your hotel might provide one. If not, you can get one from a tourist office. With fountains and statues at every step, this will be an interesting and informative experience. You might also bump into some hidden gems along your way.
The ruins and historical buildings of Rome call for a strenuous walk. It's essential to wear comfortable shoes and keep yourself hydrated. Lunchtimes are relaxed affairs in Rome -- throughout Italy for that matter, so go for a quick bite at the fast-food joints. Save your gastronomic experiments for dinner. Early mornings are usually less crowded -- you can enjoy the lavish piazzas and fountains peacefully in the mornings. The same goes for late evenings too. Monuments without specified opening hours are best visited during these times.
It is true that a lifetime is not enough to see this eternal city. But nothing is as important as your satisfaction. Plan ahead and make your Roman vacation stress-free and memorable.