24 hours in Rome – five must-see sights

Rome wasn’t built in a day but, with good planning, you’ll probably be able to get around most of the main sights if you’re in town for just 24 hours! There’s so much to see and do, and eat and drink in this fascinating capital. It’s brimming over with history, culture and amazing architecture. It’s bound to have you wanting to come back for a longer stay. Here’s five must-sees, if your time is tight in this ancient city.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon should be among your top places to visit in Rome. It’s a striking building – in fact, it’s the best preserved ancient monument in the city. It’s also one of the most influential.

The Pantheon has been around since about AD 125. It was originally built as a temple, and it’s now a church.

You need to look past its relatively uninspiring exterior and pass through the massive doors and into the main hall. From here crowds gather, looking up and marvelling at what is very impressive: the huge concrete dome overhead, it’s the largest unreinforced dome ever constructed.


No visit to Rome, not matter how short, is complete without a visit to the world-famous Colosseum, or Colosseo as it’s known by Romans. It’s one of the New Wonders of the World.

This massive, imposing round structure was once the scene of gladiator fights and naval re-enactments. Massive crowds would gather inside to watch. There were four rows, with 80 arcades with each one having 70,000 seats.

What’s left of the Colosseum is still incredibly impressive. Step inside, into the Colosseum Arena floor, and you can imagine what the atmosphere would have been like when the place was packed back in the day.

Trevi fountain

For ancient Romans, water was a gift from the gods. And you’ll see plenty of it if you visit the city. The Trevi is one of the famous fountains in the city. It’s impressive and is the work of several different architects. It was finished in the 1700s. The centrepiece is a massive statue of the god Oceanus.

Vatican City

In the heart of Rome lies the world’s smallest country: the Vatican City. It attracts millions of pilgrims every year to pray and seek blessing from the Pope.

The striking monument you’ll find here is St Peter’s Basilica, said to be the globe’s largest church – with a huge dome dominating over the Eternal City. The Basilica overlooks the famous St Peter’s Square, which was designed back in the 17th century. It’s well worth a visit.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps also must go on the list of must-sees in Rome. Known as the Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti, they’ve been pulling in visitors for centuries.

There are 135 steps in all, which rise-up from the Piazza di Spagna, leading to the Chiesa della Trinita dei Monti.

If you don’t have time to do anything else, at least take a few minutes to sit down on one of the steps and watch the world go by. You won’t regret it.