Traveling to Rome with kids?
Hey there, fellow adventurers! 🌟 Are you dreaming of whisking your kids away to the enchanting streets of Rome? 🇮🇹 Or maybe those dreams are already turning into a reality with tickets in hand? 🎟️ Well, you’re in for an incredible journey, and I’m thrilled to be your go-to guide!
Having explored Rome’s wonders with my own trio of explorers, I’ve got the insider scoop on making your family trip nothing short of magical.
In this helpful guide, we’ll dive into the 20 best things to do in Rome with kids! 🎉 Plus, I’ll be sharing my top travel tips ✈️, packing essentials 🛄, and the coolest family-friendly spots to stay.
Let’s make your Roman holiday with the kids an unforgettable adventure! 🏛️🍕
Planning Your Italian Vacation? Use My Favorite Resources Below! 🇮🇹
Is Rome a Good Place to Take Children?
Absolutely!! I could not recommend Rome enough for a European family travel destination.
The Eternal City has it all for a family vacation. It’s a historic city with plenty to see and do. And let’s not forget, some of the most amazing food in the world. Pizza, pasta, and gelato every day sound pretty amazing and kid-friendly, right?
20 Best Things to Do in Rome with Kids
There is no shortage of things to do in Rome with kids. Rome has it all for a family vacation: historical sites, beautiful architecture, famous art, delicious food, shopping, and more!
Here, I will give you my list of the 20 best things to do in Rome with kids.
1. Explore the Colosseum
If your kids have heard anything about Rome or Italy, most likely it’s about the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is the iconic symbol of the Eternal City. It’s also one of the most famous and known places in the entire world!
Visiting the Colosseum is a must for anyone visiting Rome. Not only is the Colosseum one of the best things to do in Rome with kids, but it is THE best thing!
Your kid’s history book will come alive here at the Colosseum. As your kids walk onto the arena floor and hear the music playing, they will feel like they stepped back into time. They will feel what it must have felt like to be a gladiator walking into fight thousands of years ago!
To be inside such a historic place and imagine the gladiator flights and see where they kept the wild animals is just surreal.
The best way to see the Colosseum is with a tour. There are many Colosseum tours geared specifically for kids!
We did the following tour, Skip the Line: Colosseum Small Group Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill. This was a great combination tour where we saw all three sites! Our tour guide was absolutely amazing and very knowledgeable!
2. Explore the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum located next to the Colosseum is another must-see in Rome with kids. This historical site was the center of Rome back in the ancient days.
Seeing the ruins here is unbelievable; it’s hard to believe all the structures have held up through all this time.
Let your kids be archaeological explorers as they wander through these ruins.
Walking through the Forum, you can imagine this area swarming with people, shops, open-air markets, government buildings, temples, and gladiator combats back in the day.
3. Take in the View from Palatine Hill
Located on the hill right above the Roman Forum, is Palatine Hill. This neighborhood was one of the most desirable neighborhoods in ancient Rome.
Because it was one of the most desirable neighborhoods, you’ll find the ruins of ancient palaces that were the home of emperors.
The views atop Palatine Hill are breathtaking. On one side, you can view the Circus Maximus. On the other side, you can view the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and Capitoline Hill.
4. Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world and the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. It’s a definite must-see when visiting Rome with kids.
Because it’s one of the most popular spots to visit in Rome, be prepared for heavy crowds.
Have your kids throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish! The myth of the Trevi Fountain says, if you throw one coin you will return to Rome. If you throw two coins, you will fall in love with an attractive Italian. If you throw three coins, you will marry the person that you met.
All coins thrown into the fountain are donated, so you know your money is going to a good cause.
5. Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are another one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s one of the sites you just have to see in Rome!
It is considered the widest and longest staircase in Europe; consisting of 135 steps. These 135 steps cover three terraces to represent the holy trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Located in Piazza di Spagna, the Spanish Steps were built to connect the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Trinita’ dei Monti church.
The Spanish Steps are such a beautiful, iconic location that luxury designer Valentino showcased its autumn-winter collection here at the Spanish Steps the day before we arrived in Rome.
The Pantheon is another one of the top sites in Rome. It’s considered one of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome because it’s the only structure of its age and size that is still intact!
It’s truly an architectural wonder!
TIP: The Pantheon is a church, so shoulders must be covered.
Fun Fact: Pantheon is a Greek adjective meaning “honor all Gods.” The Pantheon was originally built as a temple to honor all gods.
7. Piazza Navona
There are MANY piazzas in Rome, but Piazza Navona is the most famous piazza in Rome.
Piazza Navona is beautiful! This large square includes 3 gorgeous fountains surrounded by beautiful buildings. You’ll find street performers and local artists here.
The square is lined with many cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to sit, relax, and take in the view.
8. Indulge in Gelato Every Day in Rome with Kids
One of the best things to do in Rome with kids is eat gelato every day. Seriously, every day!
Try different gelato shops and different flavors of gelato to see which one you like best.
TIP: For the best gelato shops in Italy:
1) Make sure the gelato isn’t pilled up high into a mountain.
2) The best gelato has no bright colors. For example, pistachio shouldn’t be bright green. The banana shouldn’t be bright yellow. Colors should be muted.
9. Enjoy Daily Pizza & Pasta
All kids like pizza and pasta right? Or at least most love pizza!
In Rome, you will find pizza and pasta restaurants everywhere! And I mean everywhere! This is basically all they have to eat here! There are pizzerias on every corner!
TIP: Picky eaters! For picky eaters, order the Margherita pizza. This is the closest Italian pizza that resembles a cheese pizza in America. My kids had at least one Margherita pizza every day while in Italy.
10. Shop the Rome Grocery Stores
When in Rome with kids, you must shop at the grocery stores. Pick up snacks, drinks, or whatever toiletries you might need.
Not only is it a fun and educational experience to see how the grocery stores here differ from back home, but you can pick up some yummy Italian snacks!
My youngest had fun strolling the little shopping cart around…much different than our shopping carts back home.
We picked out a bunch of Italian snacks. For my picky eater, we got a jar of Nutella and some American bread, so she’d have something to eat whenever she was hungry. FYI: Nutella is extremely popular in Italy!!
11. Eat at McDonald’s in Rome with Kids
You might be wondering, why I put McDonald’s on this list as one of the best things to do in Rome with kids.
We very rarely eat McDonald’s at home, but I was excited to see what McDonald’s served in Italy.
Our first time eating at McDonald’s in Italy was in Vatican City. We arrived at St. Peter’s Basicila super early at 7:00 am to avoid crowds. After that, we were hungry and had some time to kill before our Vatican Museums ticket at 9:00 am. McDonald’s was nearby, so we were excited to give it a try!
First, let me say, make sure to go to a McDonald’s with a McCafe. McCafe’s have a wide selection of pastries such as muffins filled with Nutella, plain croissants, and croissants filled with creme, cheesecake doughnuts, and much more! They even had macaroons, which my daughter is obsessed with!
And when in Rome, you have to order a cappuccino for breakfast. It even comes in a nice glass cup. Not something you’ll find back in America.
Not only does McDonald’s have these amazing pastries and cappuccinos, but they also serve hamburgers and fries for breakfast. I won’t tell you exactly how many times we stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s in Italy after this and the boys got hamburgers for breakfast. 🙈
12. Eat Tiramisu at Two Sizes
Tiramisu is one of the most popular desserts to eat in Italy. But for the best tiramisu, you must go to Two Sizes; located close to Piazza Navona.
I had tiramisu in quite a few places in Italy, but no tiramisu was as amazing as it was here! It was seriously the most delicious thing I ate the entire time I was in Italy. If they could ship it to the U.S., I would totally order it and have it shipped to my house!
It’s named Two Sizes because you can get your tiramisu either in a large or small size. They have the original flavor and a few other flavors of tiramisu. They also sell Sicilian cannoli.
13. Make Italian Food at a Cooking Class in Rome with Kids
Taking a cooking class in Rome with kids is a fun way to experience Italy’s food culture. Many places even offer classes specifically for families and those with kids!
In Rome, you’ll find pizza, pasta, and gelato cooking classes. We took a pizza and gelato cooking class while in Florence and we all had a fun time!
Experiences like this are so much fun and this is something your kids will remember forever!
14. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica
Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica is a must when in Rome. This is the most beautiful building I have ever seen in my life. It tops every building and church, I have ever been to by far!
DRESS CODE: There is a dress code for St. Peter’s Basicila and the Vatican Museums. Shoulders must be covered and shorts, skirts, and dresses must be knee length.
St. Peter’s Basilica is massive! There are so many different areas of the church. The ceilings, the floors, the statues. It was like I had stepped foot into this magical place.
It literally took my breath away! There are no words to describe the beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica. Pictures do not do it justice. Definitely take your kids here while in Rome!
TIP: Arrive at St. Peter’s Basicila at opening (7:00 am) to avoid crowds. This eliminates waiting in a long line and you enjoy seeing the church with very few people inside.
15. Visit the Vatican Museums
Visiting the Vatican Museums is a must when in Rome. However, I will say it’s not the most interesting place for kids.
The Vatican Museums are huge!! You can spend a whole day in there. However, with kids, this is not realistic. I think it’s very important for kids to see the Vatican Museums and I’m sure you are interested too, so here’s what I recommend.
I recommend doing a quick walk-through and stopping at the main parts that you and your kids find interesting. The Maps Room was really beautiful!
The main reason I wanted to go to the Vatican Museums was to see the Sistine Chapel, which is at the end of the Museum.
Once we got to the Sistine Chapel, we sat there for about 30 minutes and admired its beauty. To see Michaelangelo’s work here was amazing!
We did the self-guided audio tour at the Vatican Museums, so it was interesting to learn all the facts about the Sistine Chapel.
However, if you’re interested in doing a guided tour of the Vatican, check out Do I Need to Book Vatican Tour in Advance? Plus, Featured Tours & Insider Tips. Featured here is a well-reviewed family tour!
TIP: Vatican Museums get very crowded. We had skip-the-line tickets at 9:00 am right when they opened. The line to get in was already crazy long and the crowds already inside were crazy. They do a lot of early morning tours before the official opening time. If going during summer, be prepared for heavy crowds and the heat. It gets very hot in the museums.
16. Take a Golf Cart Tour of Rome
I highly, recommend taking a golf cart tour of Rome with the kids! This is a great way to get an overview of the city in a fun way. I recommend doing this on your first day in Rome.
We did an evening golf cart tour after arriving in Rome that day. It was the perfect way to introduce us to the city. It drove us by all the major sites such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Villa Borghese, and more!
17. Relax & Play at Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is Rome’s version of New York City’s Central Park. This beautiful park is the perfect place to escape in Rome with kids!
Here you’ll find many families walking around, riding on electric-powered rickshaws, and boating in the lake. Kids are having fun on bicycles and scooters.
You’ll also find playgrounds, coin-operated amusement park rides, pony rides, and a zoo here at Villa Borghese!
18. Visit Trastevere Neighborhood
When in Rome, definitely visit the Trastevere Neighborhood. This was recommended by our Airbnb host and our golf cart tour guide; both of whom are locals of Rome.
This beautiful neighborhood has so much charm. It’s a perfect place to head to dinner and then walk around.
We ate at Tonnarello, which I highly recommend. It was my favorite restaurant we ate at while in Rome. The atmosphere, service, and food were all amazing!
After dinner, we walked around got some gelato, and enjoyed people-watching in one of the squares.
19. Go Shopping
Rome is a large city, so it also offers plenty of great shopping. The best place to go shopping in Rome is Via del Corso; very close to the famous Spanish Steps.
Here you’ll find famous designers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. But you’ll also find more affordable shops such as GAP and Zara.
In this area, you’ll also find LEGO Store Roma. My kids love LEGO so this store was a must-see. Fun LEGO displays here include a LEGO Colosseum and a huge LEGO gladiator.
20. Learn to Be a Gladiator
Are you or your kid interested in learning to be a gladiator? If so, you could train to be a gladiator here in Rome! This would be a fun, memorable experience for you or your child.
In this class, you will learn about how life was back in Ancient Rome and learn to fight like a gladiator.
Tips for Traveling to Rome with Kids
Here are my best tips for traveling to Rome with kids. Save this list or bookmark this page because you will be glad you have this information later!
✔️ Taxi App
Rome is a very walkable city, but it is also large. Taxis are an easy and convenient way to get around the city when in Rome with kids.
Download the FREE NOW Taxi App. We had no trouble at all getting a taxi in Rome. After requesting a taxi on the app, we usually had a taxi come to us in a few minutes.
✔️ Drinking Water
Drinking water from the tap in Rome is safe to drink. Not only is it safe, but it is considered very clean, fresh, and high-quality water. So yes, you can safely drink from your hotel’s bathroom or kitchen tap.
There are also thousands of old-style water fountains all over Rome where you can fill up your water bottles; so make sure to carry a water bottle around to fill up.
✔️ Have Coins for Restrooms
One of the most difficult things to get used to in Italy was not being able to just use any restroom. When traveling with kids, restroom trips are going to be a more frequent occurrence. Make sure to have Euro coins on you at all times to use the restrooms.
TIP: Purchase a coffee or drink at a bar and the whole family can use the restroom.
✔️ Be Cautious of PickPocketing
We did not have any issues with pickpockets while in Rome, but from what we heard from locals there is a lot of pickpocketing here.
Be cautious in high-traffic areas such as Trevi Fountain or any tourist area with a lot of people.
If wearing a purse, I suggest a crossbody. Make sure to hold your hand over your purse in these high-traffic areas. Men, do not put your wallet in your back pocket!
I purchased this amazing Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag for our trip to Italy, which I highly recommend.
Not only does this bag protect you from pickpockets, but it will keep you super organized. It’s so easy to find everything in this bag. It even has pockets on the side for water bottles. I could go on and on about this bag. This is the best bag I have ever used for travel!
✔️ Dress Code for Churches
If planning on visiting Vatican City or any church in Italy, there is a strict dress code that is enforced. Shoulders must be covered and shorts, skirts, or dresses must fall to the knees.
Women and girls, if traveling in the summer, I recommend wearing a maxi dress and throwing a scarf or kimono on when you walk into churches to cover your shoulders. This is what I did. A scarf or kimono is easy to fold up into your purse and put on whenever needed.
My boys and husband’s shorts didn’t quite go to their knees, but nobody said anything. They seem to be more lenient with men.
✔️ Rome & Italy Kids Book
I recommend purchasing the following books before traveling to Rome with kids. I purchased these for my 9-year-old. They are a great way to learn facts about Rome in a fun, educational way. This way, kids are well-prepared before traveling to Rome!
What To Pack for Rome
The following are essentials you will need when traveling to Rome. Do not forget to add these when packing!
TIP: Pack light when traveling to Rome! Especially if you plan on traveling on trains. We each only brought a carry-on and a backpack. It made it easy for train travel and strolling down the cobblestone streets.
✔️ Comfortable Shoes
Make sure to pack comfortable shoes for the whole family when in Rome. You will be walking A LOT! Having comfortable shoes is a must. If your feet are miserable, you will be miserable.
I wore Skechers Women’s On-The-go 600-Brilliancy Sport Sandal every day while in Rome and they were perfect. Super comfy, it was like walking on clouds!
✔️ European Travel Plug Adaptor
Do not forget to pack a European travel plug adaptor!
We purchased a pack of 3 and it worked out perfectly because we were in 3 separate rooms in an Airbnb or suite during our stay in Italy.
A portable charger is essential when traveling to Italy. You will spend most of your day out of your accommodations without a place to charge your phone. Your phone will drain quickly with constantly using it to take pictures, use Google Maps, and so on.
✔️ Packing Cubes
My daughter and I used packing cubes for the first time on this trip to Italy. I highly recommend packing cubes. They are great for keeping your clothing and toiletries organized. Packing cubes make it so easy to find what you’re looking for!
Where to Stay in Rome with Kids
There are plenty of accommodations to stay in Rome with kids. From luxury hotels to more budget-friendly hotels to Airbnb or VRBO.
TIP: Make sure to book early during prime travel time such as summer. Also, if traveling during summer, make sure you book accommodations with air conditioning!
Airbnb or VRBO
Staying in an Airbnb or VRBO is great for large families or for those wanting that extra space to spread out. They are also very affordable compared to hotels.
While in Rome we stayed in an Airbnb. We enjoyed the spacious apartment, with 3 separate rooms for sleeping, a kitchen, laundry, and 2 bathrooms.
Here are my recommendations for the best hotels to stay at in Rome with kids for every budget.
Internazionale Domus (Luxury)
Internazionale Domus is my recommended choice for a luxury hotel in Rome with kids.
This luxury apartment-style hotel is located in an amazing location next to the Spanish Steps. You are also within a short walking distance of Rome’s kid-friendly park Villa Borghese.
All suites and apartments are air-conditioned and elegantly furnished with a free internet connection.
Hotel Canada, BW Premier Collection (Mid-range)
Hotel Canada, BW Premier Collection is an excellent hotel choice when visiting Rome with kids.
Located in the heart of Rome close to the Termini Train Station, this hotel offers a daily continental buffet breakfast and air-conditioned rooms.
iQ Hotel Roma (Budget)
Looking for a more budget-friendly hotel, iQ Hotel Roma is an excellent choice!
Even though this hotel is more budget-friendly, it’s still very nice, clean, and modern. It’s about a 5-minute walk to the Termini Train Station. Rooms are air-conditioned and include a mini fridge.
Is Rome Stroller Friendly?
Is Rome stroller-friendly? Unfortunately, Rome is not very stroller-friendly. Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world and so are its roads. Uneven streets made of cobblestone don’t exactly make for the smoothest stroller ride.
However, Rome is a very walkable city and you must walk to get around, so sometimes strollers are an absolute necessity with babies and toddlers.
I’m long past the stroller years, but I will tell you my family and I strolled our luggage for about a half mile from our Airbnb to the train station and I was scared one of the luggage wheels was going to pop off. Because of these cobblestone streets, I recommend a very sturdy stroller.
If you have a baby, it would be a good idea to bring a baby carrier to carry your baby when you are on these bumpy cobblestone streets. You could easily switch back and forth between the stroller and baby carrier.
How Many Days Do You Need in Rome?
How many days do you need in Rome? I recommend staying a minimum of 3 nights in Rome. This way you have 3 full days in the city.
We stayed 3 nights in Rome. This allowed us enough time to see all the major sites in Rome and have some downtime in the afternoon to rest.
Conclusion: Rome with Kids
I hope I have helped you fill your itinerary with the best things to do in Rome with kids! I also hope I have answered some questions that you might have had.
Enjoy your trip to one of the best cities in the world!