Top 10 Places to Visit in Rome at Night
Posted by Aaron
Since rising to prominence as the capital of the Roman Empire, people from all walks of life – travellers, artists, philosophers – have visited this ancient city to discover its secrets.
As beautiful at night as during the day, there’s a reason why Rome is known as the Eternal City. With so many unique attractions on offer – from rooftop bars to midnight tours of iconic landmarks – exploring Rome at night opens up so many more opportunities in the ancient city that never sleeps.
Check out the list below of our top 10 favourite places to visit in Rome at night.
1) Take a midnight tour of the Colosseum.
What better way to kick off our list than with the very symbol of ancient Rome? Built around 70 CE, the Colosseum – originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre – has been Rome’s most recognisable landmark since the beginning and is a number one pick for sightseeing.
There’s only one thing that could make a trip to the Colosseum more special: seeing it at night! If you’ve visited before, seeing this incredible building beneath the stars will feel like you’re discovering it all over again. Not only is it quieter, but the smaller crowds make for a more intimate and personal experience.
The Colosseum is arguably even more beautiful with a night sky behind it. But that’s just our opinion. You’ll have to decide for yourself on a walking tour.
2) Brave the streets on a haunted walking tour.
Given its close relationship with death, it shouldn’t be surprising that Rome is one of the most haunted cities in the world. At almost every street corner, visitors are given constant reminders, from the thousands of statues dedicated to the dead to the ancient crypts that lie beneath the city.
Legend has it that the infamous Colosseum, which saw the slaughter of over 400,000 people in its four centuries of active use, is haunted by the ghosts of its many victims.
For anyone looking for some added excitement, a haunted walking tour is one of the best things to do in Rome at night.
Credit: Mark Freeth
3) Get a photo of the Trevi Fountain without the crowds.
Located in Rome’s Trevi district, this fountain should definitely be included on your sightseeing bucket list. There’s just one problem: everyone else has the same idea, meaning the plaza is often overcrowded during the day.
At night, however, you can more easily get up close with this beautiful piece of architecture – no need to fight the crowds for a decent photo.
Illuminated by a series of underwater lights, Trevi Fountain becomes arguably even more beautiful when the sun goes down, making it a must-see on your next trip to Rome.
Credit: Diana Robinson
4) Explore the picturesque Trastevere.
Like something out of a postcard, the idyllic neighbourhood of Trastevere is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Rome, and an unbeatable spot for sightseeing. Full of vibrant markets and cobbled streets that have gone unchanged for centuries, a walking tour through this medieval town will make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time.
To make your trip to Trastevere even more special, wait until it gets dark. Known for being Rome’s most bohemian and youthful neighbourhood, the local night life has gained a reputation as one of the best. Between the many rooftop bars and restaurants serving the best Italian cuisine, you won’t struggle for great places to visit in Trastevere at night.
5) Watch a movie beneath the stars.
Once you’ve spent the entire day sightseeing at the city’s many attractions, sometimes all you want to do is kick off your shoes and watch a movie. At one of Rome’s outdoor cinemas, you have the perfect opportunity to relax whilst still making the most of your trip.
We can’t imagine a more perfect activity to do in Rome at night than watching the latest blockbuster as you sit beneath the stars. It’s undoubtedly one of the most romantic activities on offer for couples.
But be sure to book your tickets fast! During the summer months, seats quickly fill up at these pop-up venues around the city.
6) Venture into catacombs deep beneath the city.
A treat for fans of the paranormal, a trip down into the Catacombs of Rome is made all the more thrilling at night. Connected by a maze of passageways that run all over the city, the catacombs contain over 40 separate chambers, with more being discovered all the time. The chambers themselves are filled with many thousands of bodies – a chilling reminder of Rome’s past.
If you’re feeling brave enough, a walking tour of the Capuchin Crypt isn’t one to miss. Not one for the faint-hearted, this subterranean chamber contains the bones of over 4,000 monks and is one of the city’s most haunted attractions.
7) Experience Rome from a rooftop bar.
As the saying goes: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. More often than not, this means food. And we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the best of Italian cuisine than from a rooftop high above the city. Rome boasts hundreds of these rooftop bars and restaurants, offering diners and sightseers an extra special way to experience the Eternal City.
Enjoy some gelato or a glass of prosecco as you gaze out over the Roman skyline. Whatever your choice of food or drink, there’s something special about Rome from above – especially on warm summer evenings. With so many choices across the city, rooftop terraces are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Rome at night.
8) Hop the border into Vatican City.
Whilst not technically part of Italy, no trip to Rome would be complete without a walking tour of this incredible city. Measuring at less than a mile at its widest point, Vatican City is not only the smallest country in the world, but it also has the smallest population. Around 800 people call it home, almost all of them being members of the church!
Given its world-record status, it’s no surprise that Vatican City is a hotspot for tourists, with over 20,000 visitors each day in summer. If you’re looking to visit this incredible site but want to avoid the crowds, consider planning a trip at night. Not only will you be saved from the intense Italian sun, but the city comes alive at night.
Many of the galleries are open late into the evening, making Vatican City one of the best cultural places to visit in Rome at night.
9) Discover the beauty of the Pantheon.
Though the building itself closes in the evening, this iconic piece of Roman history is still one of the best places to visit in Rome at night. Illuminated by lights that come on after hours, the square in front of the Pantheon is a must-see for anyone on a walking tour around the city.
As one of Rome’s most recognisable landmarks, the Pantheon is packed with tourists every day of the year. So, if you want to avoid the crowds and midday heat, we recommend planning your trip at night instead. Between the towering pillars and the sounds of the nearby plaza fountain, this is easily one of the most romantic places to visit in Rome.
10) Catch a late-night show at the Teatro dell’Opera.
If you’re looking for a fancy night out in Rome, there are few better places than the opera. Situated in the cultural heart of the city, the Teatro dell’ Opera offers visitors an evening escape of music and theatre.
Since it first opened its doors back in 1880, the theatre has played an important role in the history of opera. An evening at this iconic building, away from the busy streets outside, is one not many tourists get to experience, making it one of the best places to visit in Rome at night.
Credit: Carlo Dani
Like the look of something? Visit these locations – and many more like them – on one of our city walking tours. Wander the streets at your own pace, uncover hidden gems and discover the best places to visit in Rome at night!