Rome in 3 Days: The Ultimate Rome Travel Itinerary (Day 3)

peter, cathedral, saint peter's cathedral-179389.jpg

If you have been following my three-day guide to Rome so far, you should be now on your day 3 of planning your trip to Rome. This day will be reserved to see the Vatican, Vatican Museums, and attractions nearby.

Before you start reading this guide make sure you have read what things to do in Rome on your first day in Rome and second day in Rome.

Here is a quick recap of what to do in Rome:

🏛️ Visit Pantheon, the former Roman Temple (tickets here)

⛲️ Embark on a guided tour to Fontana di Trevi and the ancient ruins hidden beneath it

🏛️ Visit Colosseo, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum with a discounted combined ticket

🍊 Admire the sunset in one of the most Romantic places in Rome

🍕 Enjoy a Food Tour and eat like a local

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🇻🇦 Cross a new country off your bucket list by visiting the Vatican City

⛪️ Visit Basilica di San Pietro and climb on top of the Dome for a spectacular view

🏛️ Explore the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, either on your own or get a 20% discount on a guided tour

🏰 Discover the ancient Castel Sant’Angelo and all its secrets throughout history

the ultimate rome travel itinerary


(Vatican City, The Vatican Museums, Castel Sant’Angelo + recommendations by a local)


Start your day by visiting Vatican City. The Vatican City State is not only the smallest but also the least populated country in the world. Known especially for the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican is home to several landmarks, including the one and only St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.

Piazza San Pietro

Start your tour by walking to Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square), one of the world’s largest squares. If you happen to be in Rome and Vatican City on a special occasion (Christmas or Easter), you will find Piazza San Pietro transformed into a fairytale with beautiful decorations. 

FUN FACT: Disappearing-reappearing column

If you look across the square carefully, you will find two marks on the floor, one on each side of the square, between each fountain and the obelisk. Standing on the mark, facing toward the semi-circular columns, will create an optical illusion. Three of the building columns will disappear right in front of your eyes.

Basilica di San Pietro

Cross the square to enter Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Basilica), in my opinion, one of the most magnificent churches ever built. It’s one of the largest churches per se. To give you an idea, the church measures 190m (642ft) x 46m (150ft) and can easily accommodate up to 20.000 people. Two things you will notice immediately when entering the Basilica are its size and the amount of gold used in the architecture (see photo).

  • Entrance fee: free of charge
  • Opening hours: daily October through March from 7 am until 6 pm. From April through September, open from 7 am until 7 pm

Two things not to miss in Basilica di San Pietro:

  1. Climb on top of the Dome Cupola (the tallest Dome in the world) for one of the most iconic views of Rome.
  2. Visit the Papal tombs below the church, a burial place of 91 popes. The entrance to the tombs is not the easiest to find – look to your left before the altar.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO DOME HERE (Free Cancelation up to 24h before the booking) 

Vatican City
St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican (Basilica di San Pietro)
Vatican City

Piazza San Pietro and Basilica di San Pietro


Distance: 5 min walk from Basilica di San Pietro (exit the Vatican City – the entrance is on Viale Vaticano, on the northern part of the walls)

The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) are Vatican City’s public museums, displaying collections of the Roman church throughout the centuries, including famous Renaissance masterpieces and sculptures. There are entire sections in the museums dedicated to Egyptian collections, antiquities from Greek and Roman times, art pieces for each of the centuries, collections of civilizations around the world, and so on.

The Vatican Museums are so good they are the second most visited museum in the world, right after the Parisian Louvre.

You can not imagine the size of the museums. You could spend the entire day there and still not see everything. That’s why I suggest some advance planning. The map, given at the museum, is a bit confusing and you can check it beforehand here.

  • Entrance fee: €29.oo
  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 6 pm (latest entry at 4 pm); longer hours during summer, each last Sunday of the month, between 9 am – 3 pm the entrance is free of charge (latest entry at 12.30 pm)



The Vatican Museums - Musei Vaticani
Vatican Museums - Musei Vaticani

The Vatican Museums – Musei Vaticani


Castel Sant’Angelo is another attraction not to miss when in Rome. Originally constructed as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family, the building was later used by popes as a castle, fortress and prison and is today turned into a National Museum – Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo.

If you’d like to embark on a historical journey around the museum, you can find the tickets starting at €24.00.


View from Castel Sant'Angelo

View outside Castel Sant’Angelo

4. Other things to do in Rome

If time allows you, here is a list of other known and less-known things to do in Rome, suggested by a local:

  • Largo di Torre Argentina – ancient square with ruins of 4 Roman temples (free entry)
  • Campo de’ Fiori – a square nearby Piazza Navona with one of Rome’s most famous markets (free entry)
  • Pyramid of Cestius – A pyramid, built as a tomb for Gaius Cestius (best reached by Hop-on Hop-off Bus)
  • The Jewish Quarter
  • Orto Botanico di Roma – Rome’s botanical garden (€4.00 entry fee)
  • Terme di Caracalla – the second-largest Roman public baths (€21.50 entry fee – tickets here)
Largo di Torre Argentina
The Pyramid of Cestius

Largo di Torre Argentina & The Pyramid of Cestius


Monti neighborhood is the perfect area to stay in Rome as a tourist. Not only is the area tourist-friendly and right by the city center of Rome, but it’s also close to Roma Termini train station and the shuttle bus stop to the airport. Moreover, you will find some great on-a-budget accommodation in Monti.

If you’re looking for a stay in Rome on a budget, have a look at these deals in Trastevere.

Book your stay in rome

I had my room booked with DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti Hotel. Super comfortable and amazingly looking hotel with 4 stars, a 24/7 desk, and an amazing rooftop cocktail terrace. The hotel is perfect for business or leisure travel and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys great comfort when traveling.


Please mind that I traveled for work and if I went to Rome for leisure travel I would have chosen something cheaper. If you’re looking for something more on a budget, I would recommend the following accommodations in Monti, Rome:

Civico 7 Holiday Rooms, Rome - Source:

BEST HOTEL BY THE VATICAN: Civico 7 Holiday Rooms

  • 9.6/10 Booking rating
  • Flexibility to reschedule/cancel
  • 10% Genius discount included
  • Parking available
Rione Monti Suites, Rome - Source:

BEST OVERALL DEAL: Rione Monti Suites

  • 4 stars
  • 8.9/10 Booking rating
  • FREE Cancellation on all rooms
  • Optional breakfast 3eur
Fauno Urban Resort, Rome - Source:

BEST LOCATION: Fauno Urban Resort, Rome

  • 4 stars
  • 8.6/10 Booking rating
  • FREE Cancellation on all rooms
  • 10% Genius discount included


From Rome Fiumicino Airport book either a shuttle bus or train to Roma Termini train station.

Book the shuttle but tickets here. No worries if you need to cancel the trip, the tickets include free cancelation

Book the train tickets to/from Roma Termini to Fiumicino Airport here.


9 am: Start your day in Vatican City – explore Piazza San Pietro, Basilica di San Pietro and visit the Dome and the Pope crypts.

10.30 am – 2 pm: Visit the Vatican Museums and purchase tickets at least a couple of days in advance. Save at least three hours for the museums. 

2 pm – 3 pm: Have lunch at the Vatican Museums or take a pizza al taglio on the way.

3 pm – 4pm: Grab your tickets to Castel Sant’Angelo and enjoy the museum tour.

4. pm onwards: Spend the last afternoon in Rome way that suits you best and don’t forget to check my recommendations from a local.

Hi, it's Neja

I am an expat from Slovenia,
 living in Milan since 2021 and writing a travel blog for all of you who are curious about life in Italy or traveling in Europe.

Follow me on my journey and learn everything about Italy and the European destinations.

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