1. Visit the Vatican Museums, St. Peters' Basilica and Sistine Chapel
It's high on the list of every first-time traveller stepping foot in Rome. The Vatican Museums house one of the most impressive art collections in the world where you'll get to see incredible displays of tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, ancient sculptures and endless displays of renaissance architecture.
Michelangelo's paintings and works on the Sistine Chapel is sure to blow you away.
Finally, step inside St. Peter's Basilica, the heart of the Catholic Church where it's sheer size is a magnificent display of Renaissance architecture including Michelangelo's The Pieta.
Tip: We strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets before hand, get in early and it's worth opting for the 'fast-tracked ticket options' as long lines are generally a sight to these places.
The visit takes about 2-3 hours to complete and there's so much to capture, photography wise, so ensure that you a had a good meal before hand and your phones are fully charged or spare ones are readily available.
Papal services occur on Wednesdays and access to St. Peter's Basilica may be unavailable. Photography to the Sistine Chapel may also be prohibited.
2. Explore the legendary Colosseum of Rome
Famously featured in the Gladiator among others, this 2000-year old large amphitheater. It was a major source of Roman entertainment where bloody gladiator battles featuring wild animals took place.
This historic structure is also considered as one of the Wonders of the World so it's a big tick to a travellers' bucket list.
Tip: Due to strong tourist demand, we again strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets before hand and opt for 'fast-tracked tickets' to save time.
Once inside the Colosseum, circle around the area for vantage points for photography not only inside the amphitheater but outside too.
It may also be exhausting to combine the Colosseum tour with visits on other tourism spots around Rome.
3. Enter the Pantheon
Another Roman architectural masterpiece which is beautifully preserved for more than 2000 years. It's also known as the Church of Santa Maria ad Martyres. The former pagan temple is home to the remains of many martyrs removed from the Christian catacombs. History has it that Raphael, one of the greatest architects of the Renaissance, requested this place as his final resting place.
Tip: Getting inside is once again a challenge so purchase your tickets before hand and pay an extra premium for fast-tracked tickets to save time. You may also choose to combine this with visits to other historical sites such as the Roman Forum or the Colosseum.
Once inside the Pantheon, look up the dome with its oculus that which allows sunlight in but at the same time serving as a source if ventilation. And speaking of cooling off, the area is populated with gelato which we highly recommend for you to have one.
4. Walk around the Roman Forum
The area is offers a collection of Roman ruins which has served as their socio-political centre in ancient times. Several historic structures dating back to the 4th century are still standing.
Tip: Entry to this historic site is ticketed and often combined with other tours such as the Colosseum or the Pantheon. You may opt to explore the place at your own pace which may easily take 1-2 hours but ensure you get a tourist guide book with you. It's also a perfect place for having picnics and there are just so many photo opportunities not to be missed.
Finally, search for the final resting place of Julius Caesar!
5. Pay a visit to the Trevi Fountain
Hands down, it's the most photographed fountain in Rome. Legendary tales has it that when you throw a coin to the fountain, you're almost guaranteed to return to Rome. The fountains along with the beautiful sculptures offers a perfect setting for relaxation.
Tip: The place is always bustling with tourists so come in early. You may need to wiggle your way to get in front of the fountain but it's worth it. Take some time circling the area as it offers different beautiful angles for photo opportunities. Alternatively, consider visiting the area at sunset or around evening to see its amazing display of lights.
6. Step foot in the elegant Spanish Steps
This set of steps got its name from a nearby Spanish Embassy built around the 18th century. It connects Piazza di Spagna, on of Rome's famous squares and the Church of Trinità dei Monti.
Tip: The area, as any other tourist spot in Rome, ,is crowded so it pays to get in early. It offers a good place for relaxation with good views of Piazza di Spagna. High end shops are also nearby. At the top of these Spanish Steps, you will find Church of Trinità dei Monti and a bonus of good views of the city of Rome.
7. Check out Piazza Navona
One of the largest squares in Rome and decorated with three impressive fountains namely Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana di Nettuno and topped with an obelisk. The beautiful Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone also adorn the area.
Tip: The piazza offers a lively atmosphere and there always seem to a lot going on either day or night. There are also good nearby cafes and restaurants for a quick bite. From this piazza, you can also continue heading to The Pantheon. We suggest you combine this place with your itinerary when you're visiting Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and The Pantheon.