Looking for the best things to do in Rome at night? This guide has you covered!
Italy is just one of those truly alluring countries that you simply have to tick off your travel bucket list at least once in your lifetime! Whether you’re visiting historic Florence, or travelling through Puglia, visiting trendy Milan, cruising along the canals of Venice, or planning to spend a few days in Rome, you’ll certainly never get bored!
I have to admit, whenever we travel to a new place or destination I’m always guilty of filling up our days with loads of sightseeing and exciting explorations. But, I do tend to forget to plan out the evenings! This is something I’m keeping in mind wheneve,r I plan any new travels.
If you happen to be visiting Rome for a few days and wondering what to do in Rome by night, then hopefully these 9 exciting suggestions may offer up some much-needed inspiration and get you exploring this wonderful city after sunset!
Top Tip: If you happen to be combining your trip to Rome with other great Italian cities, then be sure to check out our guides on the best ways to travel between these cities. They include:
Before you go, be sure to plan & book your Italian Travel Essentials:
- Search & Book flights here on Skyscanner
- Book your car rental through AutoEurope
- Search hotels here on Booking.com, or on VRBO for apartment-style stays
- Click here to browse & book bus and train tickets
- Lastly, don’t forget about travel insurance for your trip!
Pssst…Have you packed all your essentials? Make sure to read our European packing list post to ensure you’ve ticked all the packing necessities off your list!
A Night in Rome
The City of Rome, or The Eternal City as it was once called, is romanticised throughout the world for its culture and history. Witnessing Rome at night will make an already incredible experience, into an unforgettable one.
The birthplace of the Roman Empire, a mix of haunting ruins, absolutely breathtaking art and street life as colourful as the sunsets. No photograph can prepare you for the beauty that awaits you when you step out into the evening air while sipping on one of the most popular Italian drinks in hand.
Without further adieu, here are 9 of the best things to do in Rome at night.
Take a Night Tour – Rome at Night Tours
If you are wanting to experience Rome by night in the best way possible, a night tour will take you on a magical journey. Explore the secrets of Rome and witness the city in a different way, lit up at night and with fewer crowds. If you only have one night in Rome, this should be on top of your list of things to do.
The capital of Italy has plenty to offer and takes on a new life as soon as the sun sets. If you only have one night in Rome, this Secrets of Rome evening tour would be a stunning way to explore the city.
For those in search of a more ‘exclusive’ night tour of Rome, why not book this Private 2-Hour Rome by Night Sightseeing tour allowing you to tick off all the major sights at night. Plus, you get the chance to customize your tour according to your own preference!
Adding these tours of Rome at night to your travel itinerary is an absolute must to get to enjoy the city and your travel to its fullest!
Visit the Colosseum at Night
Home to the famous gladiator fights of Rome and other spectacles, the Colosseum is a must-see when visiting The Eternal City. The largest amphitheatre ever built, holding up to 80 000 people, this structure is still standing after being built almost 2,000 years ago in 80 AD.
This wonder is lit up at night and although you can’t go inside, it is a spectacle to behold when you stand near it. Take a moment to think of the millions of people that must have filled those seats while standing under the moonlight. In the words of Maximus, are you not entertained?
Visit The Vatican at Night
Sitting within Rome is the Vatican City State, the Holy See’s enclave. Home of the Pope, who rules this small independent state, there is free public access to Saint Peter’s Square with no passport controls for those entering the city.
The Sistine Chapel, renowned for Michelangelo’s fresco ceiling, is found here. This stunning mural has attracted visitors ever since it was revealed over 500 years ago.
Let’s not forget the Vatican’s own museum that holds thousands of pieces in 54 galleries from throughout the centuries. To skip the lines and enjoy a Vatican night tour, visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel at night and experience this marvel in all its splendour of the Vatican City at night!
Partake in Aperitivo
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Aperitivo is an Italian tradition that takes place at the end of a workday and is basically a warm-up to dinner. You partake in some light snacks and a drink, with this being one of the quintessential cultural expressions of a night in Italy.
Taking place between 19:00 pm and 21:00 pm, the purpose of aperitivo is to wet your appetite before dinner, not replace it. So, head to a local aperitivo bar to experience the local culture and unwind after a long day of sightseeing and have a snack before the real dinner time at 21:00pm. This is one of the best ways to spend an evening in Rome and experience Italy at night.
Eat Like a Roman
Italy is famous for its food so there was bound to be a few food options here. Once you have participated in the Italian tradition of aperitivo, it’s time to take to the Rome streets at night and enjoy a proper Italian dinner.
Roman dinners are generally long and slow with plenty of conversation and wine between courses. These dinners can last a few hours so be prepared to put an entire evening aside for this. This is not an everyday experience but something that you should do at least once.
After finishing your meal, why not go on this after-dinner food tour for some Roman coffee and desserts for a little treat.
Witness the Trevi Fountain at Night
Sure, you could visit this Italian landmark during the day with everyone else but this fountain transforms when the sun goes down. This masterpiece has been idolized in movies set in Rome with it being famous for its beauty and size.
This is one of the things to see in Rome at night, with the fountain being lit up and adding a whole new dimension to the experience. It’s also one of the most romantic settings in the city for those looking for a special moment.
Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain’s water, you will visit Rome again. If you want to meet the love of your life then throw in two coins.
Visit the Testaccio Market
To all the food lovers looking for rare things to do in Rome at night, this is one of the best food markets with over 2000 years of foodie history. This is the only market in Rome where you can walk in for dinner with amazing ready-to-eat food or pick up some of the best local Italian ingredients under one roof. Definitely one of the cool places to go in Rome at night, especially for foodies!
The market normally closes in the afternoon but stays open late on special ‘open days’ with the street food stalls, wine stores and butchers staying open. So grab a glass of wine and stroll through this after-hours market.
Afterwards, you can return to your hotel and snack on the spoils of your adventure, if you’re a little unsure where to go then this guide on where to stay in Rome will give you the best options possible.
You may also want to consider buying some wines or other produce at the market as a fabulous gift or souvenir to take home and remember Italy by!
Attend the Teatro dell’Opera for a Stunning Performance
For those who want to do something different, a visit to the 1121-year-old Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is a must. Opened in 1880, this opera house has undergone several changes and improvements since then. One of which was a 6-meter chandelier made up of 27 000 crystal drops. The theatre’s legendary acoustics are still compared to any other auditorium in the world today.
This Opera house is home to dances, concerts and works that would appeal to anyone. So, if you want to witness a classic ballet, an Italian opera or maybe your favourite artist performing, this is a great place to spend a night in Rome.
Walk the Spanish Steps at Night
Featuring 135 marble stairs, this staircase that connects the Trinita dei Monti church with Piazza di Spagna square below is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Built in 1725, they quickly gained a reputation as being a prime location for people-watching.
Not just any people, good-looking people gathered here from artists to poets and later on photographers. All drawn to the monument themselves and also inviting wannabe models to pose for them. All this gathering means it’s extremely crowded during the day.
At night, the fountain at the base lights up and the crowds covering the stairs are significantly less. It’s the perfect time to get a full view from the bottom all the way to the top – make sure to bring your camera with you to capture these unobscured views.
So let out that inner Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday and explore the steps at night while waiting for your long lost love. Embrace the moment and enjoy the tranquillity.