How to see Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget (1)

Day 1

  • Itinerary: Vatican – Castel Sant’Angelo – Piazza Navona – Pantheon
  • Total Cost: €96.20 per person

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

1. Vatican ~ €55

Take Line A on the Metro to Ottaviano (€1.50). To make the most of your time at the world’s smallest state, join a guided tour so you can skip the queue and absorb all the knowledge your tour guide has to offer.

A standard ticket to visit the Vatican costs €16, whereas guided tours vary between €40 and €300 depending on the nature and length of the tour.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

I joined Maya Tours on one of their morning groups for €55 – no particular reason, they simply were the first one that I came across on my way to the Vatican.

The 2 1/2-hour tour included access to all Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, and was led by the charismatic Deborah, who made sure our time was as enjoyable as it was educational. Don’t miss the Swiss Guards as you exit the Basilica!

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 2pm

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

2. Lunch ~ €3.80

Stroll along Via della Conciliazione (directly facing St Peter’s Basilica) and enjoy lunch with a view at your choice of cafés and restaurants, or pick up a couple of pizza slices to go for just €3.80.

3. Castel Sant’Angelo ~ €13

Sant Angelo Castle is just a stone’s throw away. Outside, you will be greeted by street artists and musicians. Take a glimpse of River Tiber and Ponte Sant’Angelo, and brace yourself for a more majestic view from the top of the castle.

Movie fans like myself will also remember one of the most climatic scenes in Ron Howard’s 2009 thriller Angels & Demons was filmed here.

Opening Times

Daily: 9am – 7.30pm

*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

4. Piazza Navona

Just 15 minutes walk away is this beautiful plaza, buzzing with street performers, travellers, families and young crowds. The oval-shaped plaza is best known for its three fountains, most notably Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of Rivers).

5. Gelato ~ €3

Stop for a delicious scoop or two at Punto Gelato on Piazza di S. Eustachio.

Opened in 2014, Punto Gelato is one of three ice cream parlours of Gunther Rohregger, the founder of Gunther Gelato Italiano.

Gelato doesn’t get more Italian than this – made with natural and local ingredients like Marsala Wine, Piedmont Hazelnut, Sicilian Orange and Gorgonzola Cream. You will be pleasantly dazzled by the range of unique and unimaginable flavour combinations!

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

6. Pantheon

Around the corner is the world famous Pantheon. Once an ancient Roman temple, it is now the home of Christians and holds masses every week.

But it is more than a place of worship. Even the great Michelangelo marvelled at its architectural beauty. It boasts the largest self-supporting concrete dome in the world, with a diameter of 43.3 metres – which is also the height measured from the top of the dome to its marble floor.

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 8.30am – 7.30pm
Sunday: 9am – 6pm

*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

7. Dinner ~ €19.90

Following a friend’s recommendation to avoid tourist trap, I had dinner at a cosy little place called La Fiaschetta, just 15 minutes walk from the Pantheon.

Tucked in an alleyway and secluded from the buzz of the city, it offers the most delicious and authentic Italian food I’ve had in Rome, epitomising the philosophy of simple things done well. All for great value, too.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium BudgetGet in the mood for a holiday in Rome with this gorgeous tune by the legendary Andrea Bocelli and Ariana Grande, and look out for my post on what to do and see in Rome on Day 2!

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5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena

Marbella – the sunkissed Andalucian town famed for its luscious green golf courses, beautiful resorts and vibrant nightlife.

A short drive away (30-45 minutes on the scenic A7) is Benalmádena – with a spectacular coastline and marina that pull in tens of thousands of holidaymakers every year.

However, if you fancy a different style of travelling, these two towns equally have nothing short of amazing to offer.

1. Old Town, Marbella

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaForget your map. Take a stroll aimlessly along the streets of Marbella’s Old Town that oozes history and character. As you pass through Plaza de los Naranjos, stop for fresh churros served with an indulgent hot chocolate sauce at Churreria Ramón.

2. Parks, Marbella

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena
Photo credit: Listen2Mama.

Cross the Avenida Ramon Y Cajal. Enter the tranquil Parque de Alameda, adorned with tiled mosaic benches and towering palm trees.

A little further down the road is a bigger park, called Parque de la Constitución. From here, you can easily hop over to the next street for a breezy seaside walk.

3. Old Town, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaLike many pueblos in Andalucia, Benalmádena is a quaint little town lined with whitewashed houses on its steep and narrow streets.

Check out Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, a local church that gives stunning view of the coast.

For a quick lunch, check out this little place opposite Restaurant El Muro on Calle Santo Domingo. Get four tapas and one drink for just €5.

4. Castillo Monumento Colomares, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaThe Colomares Castle is a rather unique monument that honours the great traveller Christopher Columbus.

It took seven years to build and spans 1,500 square metres, featuring different elements that represent Columbus’s journeys and achievements.

The castle also houses the world’s smallest church in the world, as listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Read more about it here.

Opening Times

Winter
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–6pm

Autumn & Spring
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–7pm

Summer
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 5–9pm

Entrance Fee: €2

Website here.

5. Theme Park & Cable Car Ride, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena
Photo credit: Teleférico Benalmádena.

If you are travelling with family or young children, Tivoli World and the nearby Teleférico Benalmádena, which runs cable car rides that offers panoramic views of Sierra Nevada and the coast, are perfect for a fun-filled day out.

Tivoli World
Opening Times: check website for latest schedule.

Entrance Fee: check website for different packages.

Website here.

Teleférico Benalmádena
Opening Times

April to June: 11am-7pm

Entrance Fee: from €11.90, check website for latest prices.

Website here.

More Spanish music to get in the travelling mood…

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

It was a cloudy morning when we hit the A7 and head towards the whitewashed town of Vejer de la Frontera.

After a quick lunch at Casino 51, we began exploring the former fortress town on foot, letting the cobbled streets guide us through its history and culture.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

Much of the castle wall and archways remain intact, so you can immerse in Vejer’s historical elegance while taking in its picturesque beauty from all angles.

Rising 190 metres above sea level, Vejer even offers lucky visitors a clear view of the Moroccan coast on a sunny day.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la FronteraWe stumbled upon Casa del Mayorazgo, a private home of five families who share a tranquil courtyard that is decorated with beautiful flora and fauna arrangements.

Although it is not a public attraction, a tourist couple reassured us it is absolutely fine to enter the courtyard, climb the stairs and navigate through the washing lines to arrive at the rooftop – opening up to more scenic views of Vejer and overlooking Plaza de España.

Plaza de España (also known as Plaza de los Pescaítos) is a nice little plaza surrounded by restaurants and distinguished by a stunning mosaic fountain featuring four traditional ceramic Andalusian frogs.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

Continuing our relaxing stroll around town, we came across some pre-Bull Run festivities. We couldn’t return to witness this famous (and controversial) Spanish tradition the next day, but it was fascinating to see the whole town getting together, children pushing a fake bull up and down the steep and narrow streets, and people shielding their homes and shops with wooden boards in preparation for the Bull Run.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

As the crowd began to disperse, the clouds started to clear to reveal a blue-purple sky and an orange sun.

Driving back home on the A7, we dined at Seaside Grill by the motorway for an authentic seaside dinner and incredible atmosphere – a perfect end to a chilled and eye-opening day out in Vejer de la Frontera.

Check out this video of the Bull Run in Vejer!