Planning to visit Rome with kids?
This guide will take you through exactly how to plan and make the most out of a city break in Rome with kids. Discover the best things to do, find places to stay and explore the best places to eat in Rome. We’ll inspire you on 5 of the best day trips from Rome for families as well as take you through how to spend 1 day in Rome, 2 days in Rome and 3 days in Rome with kids.
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Is Rome Child-Friendly?
Rome is a beautiful, vibrant city with plenty to do for families and is often ranked as one of the best cities in Europe.
Some of the best activities for families in Rome include visiting the many beautiful museums and galleries, exploring the city’s beautiful parks and gardens, and wandering through the magnificent ancient ruins. Kids will also enjoy riding on the city’s trams, buses and trains, or simply people-watching in one of Rome’s many squares.
How to Get to Rome
As the capital of Italy, there are plenty of options to travel to Rome. There are 2 airports in Rome, Rome Fiumicino international airport and Rome Ciampino airport. If you’re travelling internationally, you’ll probably arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport. Rome Ciampino serves budget airlines from around Europe. Both airports are 45 minutes from the city centre. You can book either a private transfer or shuttle transfer into the city.
Rome is also a popular cruise ship destination. Your ship will dock at Civitavecchia port. View this article to find out how to travel to the city centre.
If you’re travelling to Rome from Europe, the train is the perfect option. Trenitalia and ItaliaRail serve a huge range of routes around Italy, and you can easily reach nearby countries such as France and Switzerland too.
When is the Best Time to Visit Rome?
The best time to visit Rome with kids is in the spring or autumn when mild weather and fewer tourists. Summers can be pretty hot and crowded, while cold and wet winters.
May, as well as September, is considered to be Rome’s two best months to visit.
Rome in May
May has long daylight hours, which means more time for sightseeing.
Rome in September
September gets many positive reviews from parents who have visited Rome recently. The weather can vary widely, so check before going, but it’s usually mild without being too hot. Crowds are smaller than usual, so this is a good time of year to go if you want a quieter trip with fewer queues.
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Where to Stay in Rome with Kids
Once you’ve settled on the best time to travel, you’ll need to figure out where to stay in Rome. It can be hard to know which family-friendly accommodation in Rome is perfect for your family with so many options.
When booking your hotel, try to find one with family-friendly facilities, including a pool or playground for younger kids, plus free Wi-Fi if possible. Most hotels are happy to accommodate children of any age, but some are more child-friendly than others. Always ask about cots when booking your room.
To help you find the perfect place to stay, we’ve pulled together a list of accommodations that we know and love, along with details about what makes them great.
Budget: Marcella Royal Hotel
Marcella Royal Hotel is a great place to stay in Rome with kids. The hotel is located just a 10-minute walk from Repubblica Metro Station, making it easy to get around the city. The rooms are spacious and furnished with air conditioning, a minibar, and a TV with satellite channels. Plus, breakfast is buffet style, so there are plenty of options for everyone in the family.
But the real draw of this hotel is its rooftop terrace. Offering 360° views across Rome, it’s the perfect spot to take in all the city has to offer. The Sala Panorama, located on the 7th floor, is also a great place to relax with a drink or snack. Staff at Marcella Royal Hotel are multilingual and happy to provide tourist brochures in several languages.
A cot is available on request, free of charge.
So if you’re looking for a family-friendly place to stay in Rome, Marcella Royal is a great choice.
Mid-Range: Hotel Santa Maria
Hotel Santa Maria is an excellent choice for families who want to be in the centre of Rome. The hotel is right in the Trastevere (considered the best area to stay in Rome with family), on the bank of one of Rome’s most charming neighbourhoods, right in the city centre. The Trastavere district is full of restaurants and cafes, and there’s a great children’s park just across the street.
The hotel offers family-sized rooms with bunk beds for three kids under age 12. The breakfast buffet is ample with many pastries, fruits, juices, yoghurts and cereal. Kids are welcome in the restaurant too, which serves Italian dishes made with local ingredients by an experienced chef.
You can get a cot upon request, but they charge it additionally for 15€ per night.
Splashing Out: Hotel Artimide
Hotel Artemide is a perfect place to stay when visiting Rome with kids. If you are looking for a luxury break in Rome, this is the best family hotel available. It is located in a 19th-century building on Via Nazionale, one of the busiest streets in Rome and offers free Wi-Fi access in each of its elegant rooms.
The rooms at Hotel Artemide are air-conditioned and decorated in a contemporary style with flat-screen satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities. Cots are also available, free of charge.
Breakfast at the hotel is an extensive buffet, and guests can relax in the lounge bar with leather armchairs. The Ambrosia Rooftop Restaurant & Bar offers panoramic views of the city and a variety of dishes for both adults and children.
Artemide is one of the best spa hotels in Rome. It’s an excellent place for parents to relax. The spa offers a variety of treatments, including a sauna, hot tub, Turkish bath, and a supervised play area for younger visitors.
Top 10 Things to do in Rome with Kids
Rome is a fantastic city no matter your age, but it’s delightful for kids with all its history, culture, and amazing sights. With a bit of planning, you can create a magical family break in Italy’s capital.
1. Visit the Colosseum
2. Explore the Vatican City
Home to St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and many other treasures.
3. Take a Tram ride around Rome
A fun way to see some of the city’s highlights.
4. Visit Castel Sant’Angelo
An imposing fortress with great views over Rome.
5. Walk through Ancient Rome
Explore the ruins of the Roman Forum, Colonna Traiana and more.
6. Take a family ride in Villa Borghese
Located in the heart of Rome (the largest park), this picturesque park provides plenty of open spaces for children to run and explore. With over 148 acres of gardens, woodlands and lakes, there are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. From boating on the lake to explore the many museums and galleries, Villa Borghese is sure to be a hit with children of all ages.
The park also features numerous playgrounds, which can keep kids busy for hours. There are also lots of picnic spots perfect for families or groups who want to spend some quality time outdoors.
Here, you can also see one of the best views in Rome!
7. Visit the Pantheon
One of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome.
8. See the Trevi Fountain
Rome’s most famous fountain and a great place to throw a coin into for good luck.
9. Have an ice cream in Piazza Navona
A lively square full of cafes, street performers and artists.
10. Marvel at St Peter’s Basilica
One of the largest churches in the world and home to Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Pietà. Guided tours are available, along with the chance to climb the dome! Book your tour here.
Where to Eat in Rome for Families
When you think of Rome, the first thing that comes to mind is probably its food. And with good reason – the city is home to some of the most delicious and iconic dishes in the world. But when it comes to eating in Rome with kids, it can be a little daunting. With so many restaurants to choose from, where do you start?
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There are plenty of great places to eat in Rome, no matter your budget or taste. Here are a few suggestions for family-friendly restaurants:
Trattoria Da Cesare – A traditional Italian restaurant with affordable prices and plenty of dishes suitable for kids.
Pizzeria al taglio La Focacceria – an excellent pizzeria which serves up delicious pizza by the slice.
Gelateria dei Gracchi – One of RoRome’sest gelato shops, with loads of flavours to choose from and a great location in the heart of the city.
2 Days in Rome
If you’re looking for a fun and affordable way to experience Rome with your kids, consider doing a walking tour. Not only is this a great way to see the sights, but it’s also a great way to get some exercise. And, if you have toddlers or young children, it’s the perfect way to keep them entertained while learning about the city.
If you’re visiting Rome with toddlers or young children, there are also several great family-friendly attractions that you don’t want to miss. Some of our favourites include the Vatican Museums (which offer special kid-friendly tours), the Capitoline Museums, and the Museum of Rome:
Here are our recommended itineraries for 1-3 days in Rome, Italy:
Day 1: Rome in 1 Day
Morning: After breakfast, head to the Colosseum, where you can explore its grand interior and learn about what life was like in Ancient Rome.
Afternoon: Take a break for lunch, visit the Vatican City, home to St Peter’s Basilica and many other impressive buildings.
Evening: If you have teens or you manage to book babysitting services, make your way back into the city centre and spend the evening enjoying Rome at at night. Do some shopping or visiting one of Rome’s famous cafés or ice cream shops. Try to get tickets for an 8 pm show at Auditorium Conciliazione.
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Day 2: 48 Hours in Rome with Kids
Morning: Walk through Villa Borghese Park before visiting Castel SaSant’AngeloHave lunch nearby, then walk around some of Rome’s famous landmarks.
Afternoon: Stop for ice cream or a snack, then visit St PePeter’sasilica.
3 Days in Rome Itinerary
If you’re looking for a city break with kids that’s got history, culture and plenty of things to keep the little ones entertained, then Rome is a great option. With so much to see and do, 3 days is the perfect time to get a good feel for the city.
Morning: Start by visiting the Pantheon, then head to Villa Borghese Park via Piazza Venezia. Stop for lunch, then visit Trevi Fountain, followed by Castel Sant’Angelo.
Afternoon: Take a break for tea before heading over to Via Veneto, stopping for gelato along the way. Have dinner nearby, then stroll around RoRome’sany many restaurants and bars.
Day Trips from Rome with Kids
Rome has so much to offer in itself that you could spend all week there and still not see everything! But sometimes you need overnight or mini-trip from the big cities. There are plenty of towns within a 1-hour drive from Rome that makes for great mini-trips, all with kids in tow! Whether it be history, waterfalls, wine tasting or exploring castles. There is something for everyone:
Tivoli is a little town full of history and castles. There are many things to do there with kids, but the main attraction has to be Villa Adriana. It’s an ancient villa built by Emperor Hadrian between 118 AD until 138 AD.
The UNESCO site includes a vast park that once was used as hunting grounds for the emperor where you can see ruins of temples, pools, fountains and even a marble basilica still intact! If you are lucky enough to go during the right season (which changes yearly), iris flowers are still blooming in the garden!
Then right next door is another excellent place for kids: Acqua Acetosa, a little nature preserve with fun trails and waterfalls to explore.
To get there, you can take the Metro all the way out to Tiburtina station, which is about 25 minutes away from Rome by train. Then you will want to take the local bus (COTRAL) up to Tivoli. The cost of a ticket one-way is 2€ per person, and then the price for the bus is 1€ per person round trip.
You can also make a day trip on an organised tour which we did, and you can read more about that here: A Day Trip From Rome To Il Castello Di Frasso. Or if your time is limited and you just want to see Villa Adriana or Acqua Acetosa, you can buy a combined ticket for 7€ per person.
If you are looking for another great little town with lots of things to do with kids, look no further than Castelli Romani. This area is full of small villages perched on the side of the mountains with stunning views of Rome in the distance.
The villages are mostly known for their wine production, so it’s the perfect place for a bit of wine tasting tour! Check out this post for a guide to some of the best wineries in Castelli Romani.
The village of Nemi is located about 30 minutes from Rome and is famous for its namesake lake, an ancient volcanic crater. You can take a boat tour around the lake, hike to the top of the hole, visit the lovely church on top of Monte Barbaro or even go wine tasting!
It’s also possible to rent a car in Rome and make a day trip there if you are serious about seeing everything this town has to offer.
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One other excellent winery area just south of Castelli Romani is Frascati. ItIt’socated next to beautiful rolling hills that fill with grapevines during harvest season (which was just last month when we were there!).
This area is focused on tours as Castelli Romani because it is home to vineyards, so you can just wander around and explore. There are a few small villages in Frascati, but the main attraction is wine tasting.
You can find some of the best wine at very affordable prices here, so it’s a great place to stock up for your next dinner party! And while you do the wine tasting, kids can enjoy learning about the process of winemaking so that you can have a quiet moment with your spouse.
To get to Frascati from Rome, you will want to take the train from Termini station, about 30 minutes. The cost of a one-way ticket is 4€.
If you are looking for something a little different from ancient villas and wineries, Ostia Antica might be perfect for you! Ostia was once the port town for Ancient Rome and is now an excavated ruin open to the public.
It’s a great place to visit if you want to see what an average Roman town looked like, and there are even remains of the Roman theatre and amphitheatre still visible. You can also explore the ancient baths, temples and markets.
So there you have it: 5 incredible day trips from Rome with kids that will keep them entertained for hours!
Getting Around Rome
Rome is a very walkable city, and most of the main sights are located close together in the city centre. There is also an excellent public transport system which makes getting around easy.
If you plan to use a pushchair, take note that most of the roads are flat, but there are still some cobbled streets that might cause problems. The Metro isn’t set up for prams, so save this for last and try and use public buses and trams whenever possible.
With lots of historical attractions, time spent in Rome will leave your kids full of stories to tell the rest of their class about their school holidays. Here are the best ways to get around Rome:
Metro: The easiest way to get around, with stations located close to most main sights. It can become very crowded at times, but it’s pretty cheap and allows you to sit down if you need a rest.
Taxis: Reasonably priced and can be a good option for shorter journeys.
Bus: Buses can be tricky to navigate but can be an excellent way to get to out-of-the-way places
Walking: The best way to see the city, and most of the streets are pedestrianised. There are also lots of great parks which are perfect for letting kids run around.
Driving; If you feel very confident driving, hiring a car is a good option, although driving in Rome is not recommended.
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.