Rome is one of the oldest and most iconic cities in the world. It is steeped in history and everywhere you turn you are confronted with amazing architecture.
The eternal city is quite often viewed as one of the most romantic cities in the world and is quite often advertised as a perfect break for couples. In the following article we will explore whether Rome is an ideal destination for families and what there is to keep the whole family entertained, therefore we will look at things to do in Rome with children.
Anyone who has studied a modicum of History or Latin at school will know that Rome is one of the most important cities in the world. If it wasn’t for the Ancient Romans we would not have many of the things that we take for granted in the modern world including roads, sewers, calendars, newspapers and concrete.
There is also many more things we should be grateful for the Romans inventing and it therefore should come as no surprise that many of the main attractions in Rome date back to ancient roman times.
Below is a list of some of the must see attractions should you decide to visit Rome with your children.
If you visit Paris most people head to the Eiffel Tower and in New York most tourists head for the Statue of Liberty. Whereas in Rome the Colosseum is the must see attraction of any trip.
This mammoth ancient ampitheatre is the largest ever built and sits in the centre of Rome. It is absolutely stunning to see in person and you can take advantage of joining a tour for your visit or simply enjoy the trip under your own steam.
The Colosseum is definitely an attraction which should entertain the whole family and tickets can either be booked online ahead of a visit, as part of a tour or direct at the Colosseum.
It should be noted that during high season there are normally large queues to gain entry to the Colosseum. To avoid this on a previous trip a visit, we visited Palatine Hill near to the Colosseum and managed to purchase a joint ticket for entry to the park and the Colosseum which allowed us to beat the queues.
Alternatively by joining a tour guide you can also guarantee to beat the queues and you may be able to select tours which allow you to visit several visitor attractions to visit on one tour.
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Situated as the centre point of Rome’s seven hills and close to the Colosseum is the amazing archaeological sites of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Here you can view some of the oldest remaining structures in Rome and see what the ancient city was initially built on.
Although the two are separate attractions, you will only have to pay one admission fee at either the entrance of the Roman Forum or Palatine Hill as you can move between both sites for no extra charge.
The beautiful Trevi Fountains is a must see attraction in Rome. It is the largest Baroque Fountain in the whole of the city and is situated centrally in the Trevi district of the city on what is seemingly an innocuous side street.
It is free to view the Trevi Fountains though many do throw coins into the fountain for good luck and it is estimated that over 3,000 Euros a day are thrown in. There are many bars and eateries on the streets surrounding the Trevi Fountains and this may be an excellent place to stop for a refreshment break.
The Pantheon is a stunning temple situated in the centre of Ancient Rome. These days it is a church therefore entry is free and as an added bonus there are no queues so the kids are unlikely to get bored as they can wander round under their own steam.
Upon entry most people immediately gaze upwards in awe of the cylindrical dome high above which is the only source of natural light into the Pantheon. The walls surrounding the Pantheon are filled with ancient tombs and overall this is a very impressive place to visit.
The Spanish steps is a very popular place to gather in the Spring and Summer. Quite often filled with artists and street sellers the Spanish Steps are steep in incline and connect the the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top.
At the base of the Spanish Steps there is the fountain of the old boat to admire whereas at the top of the steps there is a 16th century French Church called the Trinità dei Monti.
If If you are planning on having a picnic or wish to stop for a drink then the Spanish Steps maybe the ideal place.
Situated deep within the centre of Rome and along the banks of the River Tiber is the smallest country in the world and the global capital of the Catholic world known as The Vatican City.
Fear not though as although it may be its own country you do not require a passport to gain entry to the Vatican City.
Upon arrival at the Vatican City you will be immediately greeted by the impressive site of St Peter’s Basilica. It is free to wander around St Peter’s Basilica however if you are feeling particularly energetic and would like some impressive views of Rome you can pay around 10 Euros to climb to the top of St Peter’s Dome.
The Vatican Museum is also well worth a visit at the Vatican City and this also includes entry into the Sistine Chapel. There is an entrance fee applicable to the museum and if you intend to visit both the Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica it is well worth visiting the museum first as the museum leads on into St Peter’s Basilica therefore you would avoid queuing twice.
Please also note that there are many services and events which take place at the Vatican City which may affect potential entry therefore it is advisable to check upcoming events ahead of your intended visit to avoid disappointment.
A short distance away from the Vatican City along the River Tiber is Castel Sant’ Angelo. This is a fantastic fortress and sits on the banks of the River Tiber. This fortress formally acted as the Papal’s residence and provides fantastic views over the eternal city as well providing a great place to stop for a coffee.
Olympic Stadium, Rome
If you or member of your family is a sport enthusiast then a trip to the Olympic Stadium in Rome is well worth a visit. The Olympic Stadium staged the final of the 1990 World Cup Final and is home to two Serie A teams, Roma and Lazio.
The ground is located a few kilometres and can be reached via taxi, bus or on the Metro system. During the football season from August to May there is likely to be a football match on each weekend and it is well worth contacting the clubs directly online to view their fixtures and ticket availability ahead of a scheduled trip.
Hydromania Water Park
If you are looking for some family fun and a break away from sightseeing then it may be well worth taking a trip out to the Hydromania Water Park.
At Hydromania you will find many pools and water slides suitable for most ages. It is recommended that if you wish to visit this park that you pre book a taxi as using public transport may require a couple of buses and can take up to a couple of hours.
Rainbow Magic Land
Situated on the outskirts of Rome, Rainbow Magic Land is a theme park suitable for all ages. There are rides for all ages and shows to keep the family entertained.
If travelling with young children there are small rides such as tea cups, magic train and a splash pool.
The easiest way to reach the theme park from Rome would be to take the train from Rome’s Termni Station to Valmontone Station. From here you will be able to take advantage of the free shuttle bus to the entrance.
Getting Around Rome
Unlike cities such as New York, Paris and London, the centre of Rome is fairly easy to navigate round.
If you do not suffer from mobility issues or do not have small infants in tow then you will find that you can get from one end of the city where the Colosseum is to the Vatican City at the north end of the city quite comfortably.
Though if you were to include all other attractions en route you would definitely be rushing therefore its best to take your time and enjoy all attractions en route.
For those who do not wish to spend all day walking there is an alternative. The Rome Metro System consists of 3 lines and has stops near all the main attractions in Rome. Most tourists will only use lines A and B which intersect at the main Rome Termi Station.
Tickets for the Metro are relatively cheap and as an added bonus children under 10 go free.
The Italians are passionate about their food and in Rome you are not going to be disappointed. The types of food you can expect to find include pasta, pizzas and amazing gelato ice creams for those with a sweet tooth.
There are many restaurants and trattorias around Rome who offer special 3 course menus and can offer quite a saving.
There are also plenty of street food places where you can grab a slice of pizza or if you want a guaranteed home run with small children then there are of course McDonalds dotted around the city.
Rome is served by two major airports, the Fiumicino Airport and Ciampino International Airport. Both airports are located within 20 miles of the centre of Rome with good bus and rail links to the centre of Rome.
If you are looking for ideas on how to save money on flights to Rome then it is well worth reading our article on how to find cheaper flights by clicking here.
You can also travel to Rome via rail or bus and most traffic arrives into the centrally located Termini station. From here you can either catch a bus, metro or taxi to your accommodation.
Where To Stay
As you would expect from such a major city there is an abundance of accommodation to choose from for all budgets from hotels to youth hostels.
If you are looking for better value for money it may be the case that you look for accommodation situated slightly out of the main centre of Rome. As the Metro is relatively cheap to use in Rome and getting around is quick and easy you may best served choosing accommodation along the Metro route.
Alternatively you could look to rent accommodation for the duration of your stay. For further information on the advantages of enjoying a holiday rental, please click here.
Can You Have Fun in Rome with the Family?
Rome is a city steeped in history and is a fascinating place to visit where most family members will have an amazing time. As a family trip it would be a perfect break for families with children at school age who are studying history or Latin.
The only cautionable note is that a visit to Rome is not a beach holiday where you will be spending the day chilling on the beach and visiting amusement parks is going to require you to travel to outskirts of Rome away from the main historic attractions.
As you navigate yourself round Rome, you will definitely be spending much of the day on your feet and many of the sites can be quite underlating under foot. Therefore, if travelling with young infants it may not be the most suitable destination until they are a little older.
All in all though Rome is an amazing city to visit where everyone should try to visit at least once in their lifetime therefore add it to your bucket list and start planning today.
If you have any comments or queries regarding the above article, please feel free to leave them below and we will endeavour to come back to you.