Are you trying to find the best panoramic spots in Rome, perfect for a romantic date or to take incredible photos of the city?
You are in the right place! The good news is that Rome is located on the hills – the famous Seven Hills of Rome – and between them and a variety of buildings in Rome you are bound to get incredible views of the city.
Continue reading this post as I will tell you where to go to find the best views of Rome – including tips to make the most of your time at the location, and planning tips if needed. All you have to do is bring your camera, or a ring (blink blink!).
For more inspiration, head over to my post The Most Romantic Things To Do In Rome.
The 17 Best Views Of Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica Dome
No visit to Rome is complete without St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. For some of the best views of Rome, overlooking St. Peter’s square, Via della Conciliazione, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Tiber River, climb St. Peter’s Basilica Dome. It’s 531 steps – or just 320 if you opt to take the elevator to the first terrace.
St. Peter’s Basilica Dome is open daily from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm in the winter and from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm in the summer. There is a fee to climb it – between €8 and €10 depending on whether you take the elevator or just the stairs. You can get tickets here or here.
Via della Conciliazione
You don’t have to climb stairs, pay a fee or make a lot of effort for incredible views of the Eternal City. As you walk away from St. Peter’s Square and make your way to Castel Sant’Angelo, stop at the very end of Via della Conciliazione and look behind you: the views of St. Peter’s Basilica from there are actually incredible!
Many completely overlook Castel Sant’Angelo when in Rome. I bet if I tell you that the views from its terrace are stunning, you’ll be more keen to visit! This fortress dates back to 139 AD. It was initially meant to be a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, but with time it was used as a prison and even as a safe escape for the popes in time of unrest – there were secret passages connecting it to the Vatican.
Castel Sant’Angelo is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 7:30 pm. Admission is €12.
Along the Tiber River you’ll find a number of bridges. The most famous is Ponte dell’Angelo, right outside Castel Sant’Angelo and scattered with statues by Bernini and his students. Ponte Umberto, one bridge over, offers lovely views too and is a nice sunset spot. You can see St. Peter’s Basilica Dome, Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo.
The terrace overlooking the Colosseum
For incredible views of the Colosseum, walk to the terrace that you can reach once exiting the metro station – turn to your left and find a set of stairs. It’s completely free and not many people know of this place, so chances are you’ll have it to yourself!
The Palatine Hill is one of the most interesting places to visit in Rome. Legend has it that this is where the the city was founded here by Romulus and Remus after they were brought up by the she-wolf. This is the area where Rome aristocrats and emperors used to live. From there, you can enjoy stunning views of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and Circus Maximus.
The Palatine Hill is open every day from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm. Admission is included in the ticket you use to access the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. To get your tickets to the Colosseum, click here.
Make sure to read my post A Guide To Visiting The Palatine Hill.
Via dei Fori Imperiali
You will get one of the most impressive views of the Colosseum as you walk towards it from Piazza Venezia, along Via dei Fori Imperiali. Have your camera ready as this can be quite the perfect shot!
Altar of the Fatherland
Right behind the Roman Forum, in Piazza Venezia – one of the most scenic squares in Rome – you will find the Altar of the Fatherland. It is called Altare della Patria in Italian, and also know as Il Vittoriano as this is a monument to Vittorio Emanuele, first king of unified Italy.
Not only this is a truly impressive building, but if you decide to walk to its terrace you will be able to marvel at stunning views of the Colosseum, the Palatine and the Roman Forum on one side, and of Piazza Venezia and the historical center of Rome on the other.
The Altar of the Fatherland is open every day from 9:30 am to 7.30 pm. You can walk up the stairs to the terrace for free. The elevator to the upper level costs €12.
Make sure to read my post A Complete Guide To The Altar Of The Fatherland.
Not far from Piazza Venezia, on your way to the Quirinal Hill, you will find Trajan’s Forum, where Trajan’s Column was erected in 113 AC. Measuring 29.74 meters (97.5 feet) – which are actually 36 meters (118 feet) from the base – the column tells the history of Trajan’s war in Dacia (current Romania). What you may not know is that the column is also a mausoleum where Trajan’s ashes used to be placed, in a small urn. Inside, a staircase will take you to the top for one of the most impressive views of Rome.
Trajan’s Forum and Market are open daily from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, and on 24 and 31 December from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. Admission is €15.
For impressive views of the Italian capital, walk up to the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden, in English). You will find it on the Aventine Hill, and it’s an easy walk from the Colosseum. Designed in 1932 by Raffaele de Vico, the gardens are free to access and a pleasant place for a walk, with the added bonus that you will be to enjoy a fabulous panorama that spans all the way to the Vatican City.
You will find the garden in Via di Santa Sabina. It’s open from dawn till dusk.
I have already mentioned this place in my post about the hidden gems of Rome. Not far from the Orange Garden, in Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, peeping through the Knights of Malta keyhole you will be able to see St. Peter’s Basilica Dome. It’s one of the coolest views of the city!
The second highest hill in Rome, the Gianicolo (Janiculum in English) overlooks Trastevere, one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Rome. Make sure to walk to the terrace – it’s open 24/7 and offers beautiful views of the city. While you are in the area, take a look at the small Renaissance temple of Tempietto del Bramante and the 16th century Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome.
On your way to Borghese Gallery, you will pass by the Pincian Terrace (Pincio, in Italian). One of the nicest parks in Rome, it’s home to several beautiful statues and there’s a nice viewpoint overlooking the gorgeous Piazza del Popolo. It’s free to access and open 24/7.
At a stone’s throw from the Pincio Terrace and by Borghese Gardens, you may be tempted to skip Belvedere Terrace thinking the view can’t be all that difference. But it is! So definitely stretch all the way there.
If you like the idea of being the only one taking in the views of the city, head to Caffarelli Terrace, on the Capitoline Hill. You’ll enjoy views of the Jewish Ghetto, of the Altar of the Fatherland and of a number of cupolas.
You can access Terrazza Caffarelli 24/7 and for free. There is a nice café with the same name on the location: it’s open daily from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm.
Piazza del Campidoglio
Piazza del Campidoglio isn’t just a beautiful spot to visit, but standing there you will be able to enjoy incredible views of the city – away from the crowds.
Trinità dei Monti
Last but not least, make sure to walk up the Spanish Steps (and remember, sitting on them is actually forbidden) to reach the terrace outside Trinità dei Monti church, from where you can overlook the square below (Piazza di Spagna, in Italian) and the nearby streets.