With two full days, visitors can see the best that Rome has to offer. The first day is focused on Vatican City, with the second day devoted to Ancient Rome. All sights in this itinerary are easily reached by walking or by using Rome’s excellent and easy Metro subway system.
On the first day, head directly to Vatican City to visit the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican Museum’s entry fee is 15 Euros and the ticket office is open most days from 9 AM to 4 PM (the museum closes at 6 PM). Note that the Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of the month when it is open for free to visitors. The Vatican Museum is extremely popular, so arriving early to avoid the ticket queue is essential (pre-booking tickets online is advised). Plan to spend two to four hours touring the museum, including the Sistine Chapel.
The next stop is St. Peter’s Basilica, which is a 15 minute walk from the Vatican Museum. St. Peter’s Basilica is open daily from 7 AM (closing hours vary by month), and mass is held daily at various hours. Note that a dress code is strictly enforced (no shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts). Going to the top of St. Peter’s dome is a must, and it involves an elevator ride and over 300 steps. After a full day in the Vatican City, the evening is best spent with a fine meal and a stroll through North Rome. Be sure to stop at the Spanish Steps for great people watching opportunities, and have a coin ready to toss into the Trevi Fountain! The evening is perfectly capped off with some gelato before heading back to your accommodations.
On the second day, head into Ancient Rome for a full day of sightseeing at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Pantheon. The first stop of the day is the Colosseum, which (with Palatine Hill) is the most visited monument in Italy. Therefore, prepare to arrive when the Colosseum opens for the day at 8:30 AM. The 12 Euro admission ticket covers the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum (audio guides and guided tours are available at the Colosseum for an additional fee).
Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum are located adjacent to the Colosseum, making these sights the next stop on the itinerary. The closing times of these sights vary, but they are generally open until at least 5 PM. The day of sightseeing concludes with a visit to the Pantheon (free admission with various closing hours). Spend the evening with a walk through several of Rome’s squares and another fine Roman meal.