How to see Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget (2)

Day 2

  • Itinerary: Circo Massimo – Altare della Patria – Trastevere
  • Total Cost: €68.30 per person

1. Circo Massimo & Capitoline Hill ~ €20

Take Line B on the Metro to Circo Massimo (€1.50). An unobstructed landscape of what was once the biggest and most spectacular stadium in the Roman Empire opens up right in front of you.

Chariot races dominated its events calendar during ancient Rome, entertaining a 250,000-strong audience. Now a public park providing vast open space for leisure walks and outdoor concerts, it benefits from the Palatino as its majestic backdrop.

It also hosts an archaeological site which reopened in 2016 after six years of restoration work. Ticket costs €3-5.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget
Photo credit:

As you leave the Circus, head towards Santa Maria in Cosmedin which is marked by its tall bell tower with beautiful arches. Continue on Via Luigi Petroselli for 10 minutes and you will arrive at Teatro Marcello, whose exterior resembles the Colosseum.

Spend some time at its free-to-enter archaeological site to peruse well-translated history and fascinating people stories, and transport yourself back to one of the greatest civilisations of our time.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium BudgetBasilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli is five minutes away, on the Capitoline Hill. Marble arches and chandeliers along the aisles lure you towards the magnificent altar. The church’s ceiling is particularly impressive, gilded in gold and embellished with compartments and intricate patterns.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium BudgetBefore you head towards Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio, admire a stunning view of the Palatino – one of the Seven Hills of Rome.

The piazza is surrounded by three buildings – Palazzo Senatorio, Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo. The latter two are part of the Capitoline Museums and home to valuable collections of art and artifacts. Ticket costs €15.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget
Photo credit: and De Architectura

Opening Times

Circo Massimo
Always open

Circo Massimo’s archaeological site
Tuesday to Friday: reservation only
Saturday to Sunday: 10am – 4pm (last entry at 3pm)

Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli
May to September: 9am – 6pm
October to April: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Capitoline Museums
Daily: 9.30am – 7.30pm
December 24 and 31: 9.30am – 2.00pm
*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

2. Altare della Patria

On the other side of Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli is the Altar of the Fatherland, one of the most remarkable structures in Rome.

You will be struck first by its sheer size, then by its majestic beauty. At 135 metres wide and 70 metres tall, the altar celebrates King Victor Emmanuel who was the first king when Italy was unified in 1871.

Erected in 1911, the neoclassical monument with its white marble columns and heroic bronze statues, overlooks Piazza Venezia and houses cultural exhibitions.

Opening Times
Tuesday to Sunday: 9am – 5.30pm

3. Lunch ~ €6

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

For a delicious pre-lunch snack, head towards River Tiber and arrive at Via dell’Arco del Monte. Here you’ll find a characteristic pastry shop called I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza, that serves the best cannoli with flavours ranging from pistachio, custard to chocolate.

Cross the Ponte Sisto and bear right to find La Boccaccia on Via di Santa Dorotea. Tucked away in a corner, this pizzeria is easy to miss. But their perfect pizza crusts, flavourful toppings, and friendly prices prove to be an authentic and unforgettable culinary experience in Rome.

4. Trastevere

Take a pleasant stroll up a gentle hill for about 10 minutes to arrive at Fontanone del Gianicolo, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Rome.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget
Photo credit: FrancoBorsiWildLife

Continue to climb the hill and you will come across Porta San Pancrazio, which is along the Aurelian wall. The building or arch is also a multi-storey museum dedicated to the Italian unification and Garibaldi’s role in this significant event in Italian history.

Take a right from here and enjoy a quiet and peaceful walk to Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi, where an even more dramatic panorama of Rome makes it a hot spot for tourists and artists.

Opening Times

Porta San Pancrazio
Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 2pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm

5. Gelato ~ €7

Having travelled up the Janiculum Hill, it’s time to return to the city and visit two of the most famous gelateria in Rome – Fatamorgana and Locanda Del Gelato.

While Fatamorgana spoils you with an astonishing variety of flavours, Locanda stays loyal to the classic flavours while giving them an edgy twist. No matter which combination you go for, gelato doesn’t get any better than this!

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

6. Dinner ~ €27.50

For dinner, I visited a local restaurant called Flavio al Velavevodetto. A relaxing 20-minute walk from Locanda Del Gelato, Flavio is a burst of excitement for any curious travellers or food lovers.

Its entrance disguises a huge restaurant that occupies two floors, including a rustic, stone-walled section that sits below the ground floor.

Its menu fascinates diners with starters such as deep fried artichoke and main courses like rabbit cacciatore, and beef tongue in green sauce. Along with its collection of fine wine and local brews, Flavio al Velavevodetto has gifted me with the most memorable meal in Rome.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget


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!

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

Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–6pm

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

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…