If you’re wondering what to do in Rome at night, this is the guide for you. After living in the city for the past 7 years, I can safely say that I know about all the cool places to go to in Rome at night and all the fun things to do.
Rome at night is a whole new experience. In contrast to the chaos of the day, the late evenings and nights in the city are much more relaxed and fun. Just a walk through the center will show you the magic of the city. From street artist performances to secret night tours of the monuments and the best nightlife in the city, this guide to the top things to do in Rome at night covers it all. So read on for the coolest suggestions to plan your perfect evenings in the eternal city.
Please Note: Every place that I mention in the post below links to the google map location. So all you need to do is click it and save it. That way you will have all the important places marked for when you actually visit the city. Hope you find it useful!
Join an Exclusive Night Tour of the Colosseum
What’s cooler than visiting the Colosseum during the day? Well, clearly visiting the monument at night! Not many people (locals included) know that the from Spring to Autumn, the Colosseum runs VIP night tours for a limited number of people on certain days of the week. These tours include access to the restricted areas like the Underground and the arena as well as the regular sections of the monument.
What makes these tours all the more fun though is the fact that there are just a handful of people in the huge monument. A chance to visit the dungeons faintly lit up is almost like a time travelling experience. It sure is one of the coolest tours I have done in the city.
The best part? There are no lines at all! In fact, during the day sometimes even with a skip-the-line Colosseum ticket, you may find yourself stuck in the line for security check. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. At night, due to limited access to the monument, security check takes about 5-10 minutes and you end up saving so much of precious holiday time while enjoying an exclusive experience.
Spend time at the Magical Trevi Fountain at Night
The larger than life Trevi Fountain is my all time favorite monument in Rome. The stunning monument is a sight to behold, especially when it is all lit up at night. The fountain is situated on a tiny piazza surrounded by typical Italian style buildings and alleys in the heart of the city. Due to this, you will find the piazza crowded with tourists through the day. By late nights though, the crowds here start thinning, making it one of the best times to visit.
I recommend heading here post midnight as that’s when you find fewer people around there. And while you’re there, make sure to throw a coin into the fountain the right way. Basically facing away from the fountain with a coin in your right hand and throwing it over your left shoulder. It is believed that if you throw a coin into the fountain like this, you will return back to Rome some day.
The other thing to keep in mind while visiting the monument is to pay extra attention to your belongings. Pickpockets take advantage of the crowds here as it is usually packed with tourists. If there are few people around though, you have nothing to worry about.
Take a Night Tour of the Vatican Museums
Among the cool things to do in Rome at night is the night tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. From the months of May to October, the Vatican Museums open their doors to the public every Friday night from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The last entrance time though is 9:30 pm, so make sure you get there on time.
This night tour of the Vatican Museums also includes a visit to the stunning Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo. The entire experience of the night visit to the museum is enhanced by a comprehensive concert program. Visiting these popular tourist spots in the Vatican at night is an extremely unique experience and it gives you a chance to properly enjoy the place. Without the day time crowds of tourists, a guided tour of the most important places inside the Vatican is surely an exclusive experience.
The entire evening tour usually takes 2.5 hours. Thanks to the limited tickets sold for this unique experience, you get to enjoy these museums that are usually bustling with people in peace and tranquility.
Night Stroll through the City Center
As a local, a stroll through the city center is among my top things to do in Rome at night. This is mainly because the city can get way too crowded with tourists for most of the year. Especially from March to the beginning of November and again during the Christmas and New Year weeks. So the only way to actually enjoy the city center without the chaos is at night.
Besides, I feel that most of the monuments in the city look 10 times more beautiful at night as they are all lit up. That combined with the fresh night air and the relaxed evening atmosphere make the entire experience even more magical.
I usually like to walk from the Colosseum to the Spanish Step. This route is very picturesque and often you find street artists performing along the way. If you are tired after a long day of sight-seeing, I recommend visiting the nearest piazza. You will often find tourists and locals meeting up with friends and family there. Along with that, if you visit the more popular ones like Piazza Navona, Piazza Del Popolo and Campo de Fiori, you will find various street artists putting up performances to entertain the crowds.
Other cool ways to discover the city at night include vespa tours and segway tours. Certain companies offer these at night which can be a fun and unique way to see all the monuments around the center.
Explore the Lively Streets of Trastevere at Night
Trastevere is one of the coolest areas in Rome. The area is usually frequented by locals and tourists alike. Throughout the year, the area is buzzing with people looking for a fun night out in the city. The typical Italian cobble stoned streets here are packed with fun pubs, bars and restaurants. There are a few popular squares in the area that are usually packed with groups of people. My favorite is Piazza Trilussa where you will find locals and tourists sitting on the steps enjoying performances by various street artists as they sip on drinks bought from the bars around.
My favorite bars in the area are Meccanismo Bistrot and Freni e Frizioni. If you would like to buy your drinks and sit in the square, head to Mr. Brown or G Bar. While you’re in the area, make sure to try the popular chocolate shots which can only be found Cioccolata e Vino.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed evening along with a delicious local meal, head to Da Meo Patacca. It is a typical Roman style restaurant in a quieter neighborhood in Trastevere. Every evening the restaurant brings in musicians to play typical Roman music to set the mood for their guests.
Relax with a Drink and a View
Another one of my favorite things to do in Rome at night is to get drinks with a view. This could be at a rooftop bar, outside or around my favorite monuments or in a popular square or street. If you’re visiting with your partner, this is perfect for a romantic date to make the evening special.
I highly recommend heading to Piazza della Rotanda for an amazing view of the Pantheon. The square is filled with tiny bars and restaurants offering picture perfect views of the Pantheon. Or you could also choose to visit one of the many rooftop bars in the city. Head to Les Etoiles for beautiful views of the St. Peter’s Basilica. For stunning views of the Colosseum, Aroma restaurant is the place to be. You will also find a pretty bar on top of the Spanish Steps with amazing views of the square below.
If you’re on a tight budget and still want to enjoy amazing city views, head to Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi on the Gianicolo Hill. It is a square open to the public that offers panoramic views of the city. Here you will find a tiny green kiosk there selling wine by the glass and cheap cold beers at very reasonable prices. You could also carry your own beer or wine with you there and enjoy your drink with the 360 dregree view of the skyline of Rome.
Another fun thing to do in Rome at night is to pay a visit to the cool keyhole in Rome. This is a lesser known spot in Rome from where you can see the view of St. Peter’s Basilica from a magical keyhole. By evening, the line here is pretty short and the view from the keyhole is even more beautiful with the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica all lit up.
Enjoy the Nightlife at a Club/Pub in Rome
If you’re on holiday, nightlife is definitely on your list of things to do in Rome at night. Be it just a fun evening at cool bars in the city, or a night filled with dancing and drinks late into the night, I’ll tell you where to go for both.
So let’s start with the cool bars in the city and where to find them first. While I have already spoken to you about Trastevere, so I won’t repeat myself. But that is one of the coolest areas for nightlife in Rome.
If you’re looking for a more upscale evening, Monti district is where you should head to. This area is right in the heart of Rome. Just a few minutes away from the Colosseum, it is filled with tasteful bars that are perfect for a fun evening in the city. My favorite bars in this area include Caffe Bohemien, Black Market, Voodoo Bar, Tiziano Terrace Rooftop bar and Analemma Cafe.
Another cool party street in Rome is the gay street. This street is right behind the Colosseum and has fun bars that you can visit. By late evening, you will find the street crowded with people. Many of them choose to buy drinks and sit outside in the street while they enjoy the night view of the Colosseum.
If you’re looking for a cool dance music scene for your nights in Rome, head over to Testaccio, the nightlife district in the city. You will find streets filled with clubs and pubs that are buzzing with people till the early hours of the morning. The top rated clubs in the area include Different Club, Caffe Latino, Bad Romance and Willy.
Hit up a Speakeasy
A cool way to spend your evening in Rome is by visiting the various Speakeasies in the city. Not a lot of people know about the prominent speakeasy culture in Rome. You can find many such secret bars and pubs all over the city center, each of them unique and fun. Some of them have hidden entrances through restaurants, other are hidden behind Barber shops and libraries.
Join a Food Tour
Wondering what to do in Rome at night as a food lover? A food tour is what you should sign up for! There are multiple food tours that run through the city at night. They usually last for about 4 hours with a guide introducing you to the local Roman cuisine mixed with Italian food. From delicious cold cuts like salami, prosciutto, lardo along with different kinds of cheese from the region. Most of the good tours also include a typical Italian/Roman style dinner along with local wine.
If you’re on a budget, you could do your own food tour. Just look for the nearest Salumeria in the city center. These are stores that sell a huge range of cured meats. You can choose the ones you would like to try before buying a portion of it. You could also ask them to make a mixed tasting platter for you to try. Post that you could look up for the best Trattoria near you and compare ratings on Tripadvisor. A Trattoria is a locally run restaurant that is usually more affordable than Osterias and other restaurants.
Spend a Spooky Evening Exploring the Catacombs
The Catacombs are the underground burial places in the city of Rome. There are various Catacombs spread across the city but the only one that is open to the public at night is the Crypt of the Capuchin Monks. Here you will find the remains of 4000 Capuchin Monks. The bones have been arranged to create an eerie atmosphere.
Another interesting place to visit at night for a spooky experience is the Basilica of Saint Agnes. Here lie the remains of Saint Agnes, a martyr executed under the reign of Diocletian. The best way to visit is by joining a small group tour to visit these cool spots off the beaten track in Rome.
Things to know about roaming around Rome at night
If you’re wondering if it is safe to walk around Rome at night alone, the answer is mostly yes. The city center is usually bustling with people late into the night making it safe to roam around. Things might be quieter during winter in Rome, but overall, the city is relatively safe for tourists. Just stay away from dark alleys and you should be fine. Another thing to keep in mind is that the city does have a lot of pickpockets. So make sure to take extra care of your valuables in crowded spots.
Public Transportation Hours
If you’re visiting Rome, you should know that the public transportation in the city is quite reliable. There are three metro lines in the city and you will mainly need Line A and Line B to get to most of the touristic places in the city center. The metros timings from Sunday to Thursday are 5:30 am to 11:30 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the metros shut at 12:30 pm. The are metros available every 5-7 minutes.
The city center is also connected with buses and trams, some that run through the night. The buses though are less reliable as they are never on time. The moovit app is a great place to check for live timings for buses and trams in the city.
Tickets can be bought from machines at the metro stops, select bus stations and Tabacco shops around the city. The ticket costs 1.50 Euro for a 100 minute ticket. This ticket can be used for a single metro ride and for unlimited bus and tram rides till it expires.
Finding Cabs in Rome
Cabs and taxis can be found easily in the city. There are cab stands at various places through out the city center. But if you would like to call for a cab, Free Now and Uber are the two apps that you could use. Free Now connects you with local cab drivers and is more cost efficient as compared to Uber. Just make sure you keep an eye on the navigation so they don’t take you on a long ride.
If you’re planning to visit a highly rated restaurant or would like a special night tour, reservations in advance are a must. Rome sees scores of tourists every day, and with limited capacity for these restaurants and tours, you might miss out on your spot if not booked in advance.
Late Night Food in the City
If you’re looking to order food in, Deliveroo, Justeat.com or the Glovo app is what you will need. But there are not 24*7 services. After 11:30, the only option you would have is to head to the nearest 24*7 bar or look for the closest Pizza or Kebab place from you. There are many options in Trastevere, Cavour and around Campo de Fiori in central Rome.
Laws That Could Get You in Trouble
Recently, due to the over tourism in the country, the government has rolled out stricter laws to protect the monuments. It is not allowed to sit on the stairs of the Spanish Steps anymore. If you are caught, you may be fined heavily. The other thing you should know is that it is not allowed to eat or drink anything near monuments and fountains in Piazzas. So make sure you are mindful in order to avoid getting fined.