Best walking tours in Rome

Rome is a small city but it is rich in history, culture, and art. You cannot hope to appreciate all its offerings by glancing at the sights and listening to the sounds from the comfort of a bus or car. This is what makes the best walking tours in Rome so popular.

They provide more intimate access to his beautiful city, with some of the more impressive walking tours on offer including:


BEST RATED

1). Faster than Skip the Line – Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica

Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica walking tour

As the name suggests, this tour allows you to explore St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the museums of the Vatican. If you hate waiting in line to walk the halls of Rome’s most iconic attractions, this tour gives you priority access.

You get to skip the entrance lines. A professional will guide you through the complex rooms, elucidating upon the history of each attraction. Tourists are provided with headsets that will enable them to hear their guide.

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR: Bring lots of water and a pair of walking shoes, sunglasses and a hat.

Pros

  • Knowledeable guide
  • Fast access into the Vatican museum
  • Very well organized tour

Cons

  • Some sights can be crowded
  • Lots of walking, but this can be a plus for those who love walking

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2). Skip the Line – Colosseum Small Group Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Colosseum Small Group Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill walking tour

This tour will bring all the stories you have heard regarding Rome’s glorious but gory past to life. You will see some of the more popular surviving monuments, not just the Colesseum but the temples and senate buildings.

There are no queues to inconvenience your tour. Your three-hour journey through ancient Rome is supervised by a guide, specifically, an art historian that will teach you about the daily life that unfolded in the ruins you will explore.

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR: Bring lots of water and a good pair of walking shoes, sunglasses and a hat.

Pros

  • Pleasant and Informative tour
  • Friendly and Knowledgeable guide
  • Skip the long lines
  • Lots of history
  • Extremely well organized

Cons

  • Lots of walking and if you are not use it or it’s hot outside, it can be challenging.
  • A few reviewers complained that they felt rushed and didn’t have the time to visit more and take pictures
  • Because the Colosseum can accommodate only a certain amount of people, you may have to wait to access the site.

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3). Colosseum Underground with Arena Floor Access Guided Tour and Roman Forum

Colosseum Underground with Arena Floor Access Guided Tour and Roman Forum

This three-hour tour will give you access to places like the underground chambers and arena floor that the public is normally prohibited from visiting.

You don’t have to worry about jostling for space in a line with other eager tourists, not when this tour allows you to skip the queue at the main entrance. Your guide will take you directly to the Colosseum even as they educate you on life in the ancient city.

You will stand where the gladiators stood, see the chambers where the caged animals were kept, and enjoy the same views that gave Centuries-old rulers so much joy.

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR: Wear supportive walking shoes

Pros

  • Explore the arena and underground of the serena
  • Skilled and pleasant guide
  • No need to deal with long lines
  • Lots of fascinating stories that brings you back to the Coloseum time

Cons

  • The tour is not suitable for young children and people with mobility issues
  • The stairs and ground are irregular and there are lots of cobblestones

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4). Early Access Vatican Museums Tour with Sistine and St. Peter’s (12 people maximum)

Early Access Vatican Museums Tour with Sistine and St. Peter's

This tour gives 12 participants the opportunity to access Rome’s UNESCO-listed complex through a reserved doorway. Not only will you skip the annoying lines but you will receive early access to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, basking in the wonder that the works of Michelangelo, Raphael and the like generate.

These attractions are always blanketed by large crowds but you will stay ahead of them, enjoying a quieter, slower tour.

TIP FOR THIS TOUR: Try go to the toilet before you start the tour.

Pros

  • Small group of maximum 12 persons
  • Professional guide
  • Include audio headset to hear the guide
  • Skip the long lines

Cons

  • Not accessible to  people with disabilities
  • Not a lot of restrooms

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5). Skip the Line – Crypts and Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Crypts and Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Brave visitors will get a kick out of this tour which is designed to take them to the Domitilla Catacomb and Basilica of San Clemente. If you have heard of the Capuchin months who built and decorated crypts with bones, you will see the results of their work first hand, not to mention the Caravaggio painting.

Once more, you get to skip the line. The tour grants you special access, arranging a calmer exploration of early Christian customs of worship.

TIP FOR THIS TOUR: Know that there are lots of stairs to climb, and if you have knees or back pain, it would be best to take some precautions such as knees support or supportive walking shoes.

Pros

  • Skip the liong lines
  • Comfortable bus with air conditionair
  • Captivating guide
  • Well organized

Cons

  • It’s not allowed to take pictures during the tour
  • Not for small children
  • Lots of stairs and walking

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TOP PICK

6). Colosseum Underground and Ancient Romes Small Group Tour

Colosseum Underground and Ancient Romes Small Group Tour

If you’ve ever wanted to study the underground chambers of the Colosseum that are currently off-limits to the public, this tour will make your dreams come true. Besides the Colosseum, a knowledgeable guide will show you around the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. If you have no interest in fighting to gain entrance with other local and international visitors, this tour will take you past all the lines.

But they only accept six people at a time. This guarantees a more personalized experience.

TIP FOR THIS TOUR: Bring  a good pair of walking shoes.

Pros

  • Only 6 persons in the group, very intimate.
  • Knowledgeable guide
  • Access to Arena and underground

Cons

  • The tour is in English only
  • No wheelchairs accessible
  • Lots of walking

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7). Tuscany Countryside Day Trip From Rome (Includes Three-Course Lunch and Wine Tasting)

Tuscany Countryside Day Trip From Rome

This tour is a 12-hour affair that will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Pienza. The walking section of the tour will show you around the medieval hill town of Montepulciano, Sant’ Antimo Abbey and the Montalcino vineyards, to mention but a few.

You can also settle down at Tuscan Farm to enjoy a 3-course lunch. At the Brunello di Montalcino, you will sample some of the more sumptuous regional wines of Tuscany.

TIP FOR THIS TOUR: 1.You must wear long sleeves and long pants to enter some of the sites – (Your arms, shoulders, and knees need to be covered)

Pros

  • Delicious meal and wine
  • Include 3 courses
  • Lots of intersting places to enjoy
  • The meeting area is easy to reach
  • Knoledgeable and engaging guide

Cons

  • To walk up the mountain of Montepulciano, you need to walk steep inclines and on the way back walk steep decline.
  • Some reviewers said they wished they had more time at each stop to go shopping.

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8). Fast Track: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica

This is an expedited tour that you can book for the morning or afternoon. It will take you to the most popular attractions the Vatican has to offer. Not only will you see the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums but you will do so away from the crowds that normally assault such places.

You can head straight to these sights without any hiccups or detours and you can explore them at your own pace.

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR: 1.Wear supportive, walking shoes. 2. Bring some cash to buy tickets

Pros

  • Expert guide
  • Headphones to hear the stories from a distance
  • Fascinating history

Cons

  • Not very well organized
  • Very crowded
  • In Addition to the tour, you need to pay for tickets to enter the sites.

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9). Day Trip from Rome – Discover the Ancient Ruins of Pompeii

Discover the Ancient Ruins of Pompeii

This 13-hour tour will take you from Rome to Naples and Pompeii. You will travel the breadth of Naples by coach. While the tour guide regales you with stories of Bourbon Kings and volcanic eruptions, you will explore wonders like Piazza del Plebiscito, Castel dell’ Ovo and Pompeii’s archeological ruins. You will see the results of Mount Vesuvius’ eruptions.

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR: 1.Bring some chash to tip the guide. 2.Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect you from the sun.

Pros

  • Comfortable mini bus with air conditionair
  • Knowlegeable guide
  • Multilingual Tour
  • Knowledgeable tour

Cons

  • Lack of shade in some areas.
  • The tour is in English and Spanish, which makes the traduction a bit difficult to understand.
  • Not well organized
  • Some reviewers said that the food was not good at the restaurant.

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10). Rome Combo – Colosseum and Forum with Rome Must See Walking Tour

Colosseum and Forum with Rome Must See Walking Tour

This 8-hour tour starts at the Colosseum. You will skip the line to see the remains of the amphitheater, not to mention the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill before launching into a tour of the city’s historic center.

Expect to visit places like the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona. The tour consists of 25 people. This allows your tour guide to deliver a more intimate experience.

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR: 1.There is an elevator in case you don’t want to take the stairs. Bring supportive footwear and water to stay hydrated.

Pros

  • Skip the long lines
  • High raiting tour on Viator
  • Engaging and knowledgeable guide
  • Well organized

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the tour a bit long, but enjoyable
  • Lots of walking and steep stairs.

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Conclusion

Walking tours are underrated. People don’t realize that they provide a more memorable encounter with Rome’s attractions. The tours above are especially appealing because they eliminate all the queues and crowds that make Rome an inconvenience to explore.

They guarantee a relaxed, slower-paced, somewhat personalized experience.

More Tours in Italy

Have you done one of these walking tours? If so, you are welcome to share your excperience in the comments below.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I have a trip to Rome booked for this summer with my family and until I read this article I had no idea what to do or where to go. Now I’m really looking forward to it, I’m especially excited about going to Tuscany, I didn’t know about it but reading your article and seeing the photographs already made me fall in love with the place. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

    • Hi there,

      I am glad this article has inspired you!

      Let me know if you need help; I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment, and I wish you a lovely day!

  2. How long have you been on this? This is a sure deal breaker in the travel and tour niche. I wanted enquiring if there are Hotels with pools around these walking tour regions?

    I want to also enquire the most visited amongst them all. And also which of them has the closest access to a hotel or resort?

    • Hi Marc,

      Sure, they are lots of hotels in Rome. The most popular tour is the first one on the list, which is, in fact, the best rated. All of these tours are in easy reach of hotels. Some of them even include hotel pick-up and drop off. I hope it helped. Let me know if you need more help. I’ll be more than happy to assist.

      Thank you for the comment, and I wish you a lovely day!

  3. I didn’t know you can skip lines, if you attend a tour in Rome. Which tour would you recommend for seeing the most famous attractions in Rome? I prefer a tour with a smaller group.

    I’m also interested in the Colosseum underground tour. The small group of this tour seems appealing to me. Are the underground chambers of Colosseum only accessible, if you go with this tour? If that’s the case, taking this tour makes even more sense to me.

    • Hi Kirsti,

      Thank you for passing by!

      No, you can also access to Arena Floor, which is fascinating!

      The top-rated tour is the first on the list and our pick tour is the sixth one.

      I hope it helped. Let me know if you need more info. I’ll be more than happy to assist.

      Thank you for the comment, and I wish you a lovely day!

  4. Hi Daniella

    Thanks so much for sharing a great article to read to know more about the best walking tours in Rome.

    I’m planning to visit Rome with one of my sons (young adult) this Summer and as I’m reading about what we can visit and what tours can be taken I discover your website.

    I’m glad I did, this article have some one options to visit quite interesting sites in Rome.

    I like the idea of visiting some places in Rome by walking, I already bookmarked your article into my Pinterest account so I can find it later so my son can read it too.

    How many days do you suggest we stay in Rome? 

    Do you have an article about some hotel recommendations?

    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Alejandra,

      There are so many things to do and see in Rome, so it’s difficult to say. But if you are there on vacation, these are the best day excursions to enjoy. One or two weeks is fairly enough to get around Rome. As for the hotels, I’ll be reviewing them shortly. So stay tuned:)

      Thank you for passing by and the comment. I wish you a great day!

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