My favourite spots from my weekend in Rome. As a first-time visiter it has the classic tourist spots as well as some hidden gems for food and drink.
By India Rees
This place is extremely popular so I recommend reserving a table in advance. Every time I saw it during my trip it was basically full. Delicious fresh pasta with their own personal plates (can see in photo!). Can be a little cramped in peak hours and the staff are very busy but the food is worth it.
This gelato spot has some (if not the) best gelato in Rome. They have a huge variety of flavours, as well as numerous vegan options (not just sorbet!). They also serve crepes and other desserts if it's a bit chillier. Good prices for Rome, although limited seating butt perfect to walk with.
Hands down my favourite place I ate in Rome. This restaurant only serves risotto (for main courses), but they have so many different ingredients you can have very different meals. The best risotto I've ever had with lovely service. Also the entire restaurant is gluten free - so an excellent choice for coeliacs in particular.
A must-see for any trip to Rome. Tickets can be expensive but they have young people and EU tickets. Make sure to buy a ticket that also gets you into the forum - you'll save money! Don't use the main entrances - the queues are always crazy - check for the quieter ones on maps.
The main attraction of the Vatican - the Sistine Chapel lives up to its alleged beauty. It is cramped, and they ask for silence and no photos but to just be surrounded by such famous art is well worth the experience. Aside from Michael Angelo's famous ceiling all the walls are equally stunning you could look around for hours.
This part of the Vatican is not ticketed - so perfect if you're on a budget. This includes the Square and the Church itself - if you are willing to queue (not up the dome). If you have already been in the Vatican then you can continue into St Peter's church before returning to the Square. If you want to go to the top of the dome then you can climb up the 500+ steps for €8 or get the elevator part way and only climb 300+ for €10.
Be sure to visit the Vatican when in Rome! It is absolutely stunning, and has an array of museums and galleries hosting incredible amounts of work. If you want to avoid queues book tickets in advance and go early in the morning. Walk around the gardens and take in the art but skip the food - it's very overpriced and there are much better options in the streets just outside the city.
A stunning building in a hidden location. Stands out as it is surrounded by much newer buildings and streets. It can get crowded but a surreal experience to see it juxtaposed with all the modern architecture. Also worth going inside as it has a hole at the top of the dome!
Gorgeous castle with a beautiful bridge right in front of it. Perfect to walk by the river after or before. Tickets are a bit pricier than other attractions in Rome, so I recommend investigating any deals before you visit.
A beautiful bakery (they also have a restaurant on the next street). Perfect for a pastry for breakfast or savoury lunch items. In a beautiful location, and often busy but that just shows how excellent it is. My AirBnB host recommended it to me.
This is where the Roman Forum is based and is (what I think) is the prettiest part of Rome. For a ticket that also includes the colosseum you can walk through history with informative plaques throughout (and incredible photo opportunities). In the sun it really feels like you are in a different world to the rest of the city and was my favourite part of my trip.