Best Views in Rome

View from Terrace of the Angels in Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy
View from Terrace of the Angels in Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy

By Vicky · Published Apr. 9th, 2024

Find the best views in Rome using this guide with a map and view descriptions together with tips and the best time of day to see them.

Map of the Best Views in Rome

Best Views in Rome

See below for a list of the top ten best views in Rome. For more viewpoints in the dark, see the Best Views in Rome at Night. Most of these viewpoints are free to get to, but you need to pay to go up St. Peter’s Basilica Dome (take a tour of the dome*) or visit the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (find tickets here*).

  1. Castel Sant’Angelo
  2. St. Peter’s Basilica Dome
  3. Spanish Steps
  4. View from Capitoline Hill
  5. Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
  1. Colosseum
  2. Gianicolo Hill
  3. Terrazza Belvedere Aventino
  4. Terrazza del Pincio
  5. Victor Emmanuel II Monument

1. Castel Sant’Angelo

Viewpoint of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome

The views from the Terrace of the Angels at the top of Castel Sant’Angelo are some of the best in Rome. You can see over the city centre, with several church domes, to the grand Victor Emmanuel II Monument. In the other direction, you can see the Vatican and the Basilica of Saint Peter. From the nearby bridges, you have great views of the castle itself. Arrive early in the morning for views with the fewest people. For more information, read our Guide to Visiting Castel Sant’Angelo.

2. St. Peter’s Basilica Dome

The iconic view from St. Peter’s Basilica Dome in Rome

From the top of St. Peter’s Basilica Dome you get one of the most iconic views in Rome, and perhaps the world. Layed out before you is St Peter’s Square, with Via della Conciliazione leading away into the distance. From the top, you can also see over almost the entirety of Rome and to the mountains beyond. To climb the dome when it’s least busy, arrive first thing. For more about how to climb the dome, read the Top Things to See in Vatican City.

3. Spanish Steps

At the top of the spanish Steps

From the top of the Spanish Steps, you can see over the rooftops of Rome. There are actually several places to stop on the way up the steps for different perspectives. And at the top, you can head slightly higher to the church entrance, or walk along the road to see more views.

4. View from Capitoline Hill

View from Capitoline Hill of Palatine Hil and the Roman Forum

Two similar viewpoints on the far side of Capitoline Hill overlook the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The views from here are some of the best from Rome, and great at any time of day. However, it can be busy in the middle of the day and afternoon. Early morning is a great time to watch the sunrise over the ruins, and similarly the late evening is also a very pleasant time. If you get to these viewpoints before 9am or after 4:30/5pm, the visitors inside will have left and your views will be free of people.

On the other side of Capitoline Hill is a small park called Terrazza Caffarelli. It’s at the top, to your right after climbing up the steps. From here you can see over central Rome. The nearby Terrazza Caffarelli cafe, inside the Capitoline Museums but also accessible from the outside, has even better views.

5. Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

View of the Roman Forum from Palatine Hill, one of the best views in Rome

Inside the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill there are several great viewpoints. Don’t miss the views of the Colosseum from the front of the Temple of Venus and Rome or the spectacular panorama from the Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino. Another lovely but less well-known viewpoint is the view from the Chiesa di San Sebastiano Gardens, a very peaceful area of the ruins. For more about this area, read the Top Things to See in the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.

6. Colosseum

View of the Colosseum from Giardinetto del Monte Oppio

The best views of the Colosseum are from the nearby parks slightly up the hill to the north of the Colosseum. From the Giardinetto del Monte Oppio you’re very close to the Colosseum, while from the Parco del Colle Oppio you’re further away but have a great view of the monument through the trees. The first viewpoint is better in the afternoon, while the second is perfect in the early morning. For more views, see the Best Viewpoints of the Colosseum.

7. Gianicolo Hill

There are several top viewpoints of Rom from Gianicolo Hill

Gianicolo Hill, also known as Janiculum Hill, is a raised area on the River Tiber’s west bank in the Trastevere District of Rome. All along the ridge crest, you can see over central Rome. The most famous viewpoint here is the Belvedere del Gianicolo, near the large monument to Garibaldi. Check out our Trastevere Walking Tour to walk past all the viewpoints and down into the Trastevere district below.

8. Terrazza Belvedere Aventino

From the Terrazza Belvedere Aventino is one of the best views in Rome

The Terrazza Belvedere Aventino is in a lovely orange tree garden (Giardino degli Aranci) on the edge of a hill on the southern edge of Rome’s centre. The view from here is a mix of buildings, lovely Mediterranean trees and the River Tiber below. It’s a popular spot for sunset, though it’s one of the best viewpoints in Rome at any time of the day. To explore more nearby, check out our Lateran & Aventine Walking Tour.

9. Terrazza del Pincio

View from Terrazza del Pincio in Rome

High above the famous Piazza del Popolo sits the Terrazza del Pincio viewpoint. It’s a great place to look down on the city below and admire the grand square. It can be busy, especially in the evening. A few hundred metres away is the Terrazza Viale del Belvedere, a similar viewpoint that receives far fewer visitors. Read our Villa Borghese Walking Tour to explore more of the park behind these viewpoints.

10. Victor Emmanuel II Monument

One of the best views in Rome from the Victor Emmanuel II Monument of the Colosseum

Another of the best viewpoints in Rome is the view from the Victor Emmanuel II Monument. It’s free to walk up the many steps to near the top of the monument, though you have to pay to go up the lift to the very top. Either way, you’ll have great views in all directions as you can walk a complete loop. Don’t miss the views of the Colosseum near the cafe at the back of the monument.

Best Guidebooks for Exploring Rome

Lonely Planet Rome*

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Rome*

Lonely Planet Italy*

Check out our Italy page for more ideas to explore Rome.

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