Rome is a city of almost 3 million people; known for its fascinating history, iconic monuments and hot summer days, it hosts around 9 million international tourists every year. Italy has more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world, and the best Rome tours encapsulate that: the Historic Centre of Rome is a World Heritage Site in itself. The city is popular with tourists and backpackers, and it is one of the most incredible cities in Europe for art, architecture and more. Here are some of the best tours to book if you are planning a trip to the Eternal City.
Colosseum Underground Tour with Gladiator Arena, 3rd Tier Access & Roman Forum
If you want to walk in the footsteps of emperors, gladiators and everyday ancient Romans, then this is one of the best Rome tours. Available multiple times a day from Monday to Friday, this tour lasts for 2.5 hours. In groups of up to 24, you will explore the Colosseum, arguably Rome’s most iconic monument, with an expert English-speaking tour guide on hand to answer any questions. Audio headsets are provided to ensure you don’t miss a thing, too. You’ll be able to utilize our Skip-the-Line access, so no wasting time waiting for entry, and all tickets and reservation fees are included.
The tour starts at the “backstage” area of the Colosseum. Head underground and see the inner workings of this fascinating place, and really get to know its history. From gladiatorial battles to public executions, the Colosseum has many dark and bloody stories to share. Step out onto the partially reconstructed Arena Floor and live out your gladiator dreams, seeing the sheer size of the amphitheater stretched out around you. Visit the third tier, too, to see what everything looked like from up high.
The tour also visits the Roman Forum, which was the very center of Ancient Rome. Learn about the ancient politics and religion of the city and its leaders as you walk the very streets that they once did. You’ll also get to see Palatine Hill and learn about the birth of the city - for those interested in history, this is one of the best Rome tours available.
Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter's Basilica Tour
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican. It is the center of the Catholic religion, and plays a vital part in Rome’s history. Vatican City is its own country - the smallest in the world. It’s definitely worth ticking it off your bucket list while in Rome! This tour is available three times per day Monday to Saturday (9.00 am, 10.00 am and 2.30 pm), and lasts for 3 hours. It is the perfect way to see as much of the Vatican as possible in a short space of time, which is why it is one of the best Rome tours available. If you are only visiting for a weekend or a few days, this tour comes highly recommended! With access that’s actually faster than our usual Skip-the-Line access, and an expert English-speaking tour guide, you’ll have a great experience at the Vatican.
This tour truly has it all. You’ll get straight into the museums, and visit the Vatican Gardens balcony to admire the views and catch your first glimpse of St. Peter’s Dome. This is another iconic sight to see in Rome, and visitors are blown away by it. Then you’ll head to the iconic Pinecone Courtyard, before making our way to the Sistine Chapel. To get there you’ll see so much and hear so many stories: the Hall of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra and the incredible Raphael Rooms.
Then it is time for the potentially the most spectacular part of the tour: the Sistine Chapel. With its world-famous ceiling, painted by Michelangelo in the 1400s, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There is no talking allowed in here, so the atmosphere is one of pure bliss. Last but not least, your tour will head across to St. Peter’s Basilica - more artwork and quiet time, before finally heading out into St. Peter’s Square, where Papal audiences gather and many people find peace. If you are keen to learn about religion, see beautiful artwork and admire the serenity of the Vatican, this is one of the best Rome tours available.
The Original Rome Crypts and Catacombs Tour
Want to experience something a bit different during your trip to Rome? This 3.5-hour tour, running at 2.30 pm Monday to Friday, offers you just that. In a group of up to 22, accompanied by an English-speaking expert guide, you’ll get to explore the dark side of Rome’s tumultuous history. Traveling by air-conditioned coach, this tour allows you to visit various sites in comfort with all ticket and transfer costs included.
Rome has an extensive system of underground catacombs. They are full of art and just ooze with stories waiting to be shared - the tour will take you to one of the following catacombs: Domitilla, San Callisto or San Sebastiano. Hear the secrets of Rome’s underbelly from your tour guide as you step underground and see the labyrinth for yourself.
The fascinating catacombs aren’t all you get to see on this, which is why it is one of the best Rome tours on offer. You’ll head over to the Basilica of San Clemente, not far from the iconic Colosseum. From outside, the church looks normal. But step inside and you’ll find that there are a further two layers beneath the surface-level beauty. Underneath the church is a 4th-century basilica, with stunning frescoes, and below that still is an Oriental shrine from the 2nd century. There are paved Roman streets and a working aqueduct down here too!
The last part of this tour is the Capuchin Crypts. The Capuchin Museum tells the story of the order of St. Francis - there is a painting of him and various architects too. And the crypts themselves hold the bones of 4000 Capuchin friars - it is a fascinating look at the mortality and death culture of ancient Rome.
These are simply some of the best Rome tours available. With day trips to Pompeii and evening walking tours complete with wine, there are so many opportunities to learn and discover on a trip to the Eternal City.