1. 3 Days are definitely enough for a trip to Rome
If you are planning to Rome, my first tip would definitely that 3 days are enough to see the most important things and if you are on a budget. I went last year with a friend of mine and we both came to the conclusion that Rome is one of the few cities, that you can enjoy in a short time. This is due to the fact that Rome is a rather small cities compared to for example Berlin or London. If you have 3 whole days you can definitely see the great and big sights, as well as enjoy the local cuisine and culture during the evening.
2. Get up early for the Colosseum!
Do you want to see the Colosseum from the inside? Then get up early with the birds. Rome is a city for tourists and there is always going to be a queue, but it is definitely much shorter in the early after the Colosseum opens. My friend and I arrived before 09:30am and had to wait about half an hour to get in. When we left, the queue was at least twice as long, if not longer. Plus it was much hotter by that time, than it was in the morning and no shades to hide under. During the summer months, the early bird definitely catches the worms (as we would say in German).
3. Eat away from the main touristy areas
Not only is it often cheaper if you find a place away from the frequented alleys, but from my experience it also tastes better, as bad as that sounds. For some reason it seems that the restaurants outside of the main areas just put in more effort.
I also think that if you come to Italy for the food, which is great no questions asked, but my tip is to go to other cities and not necessarily Rome. Other smaller cities often offer much better food, this is of course just from my very own experience, that I have gained over the many years of Italy summer holidays with my parents. I can recommend you to go to the Cinque Terre or Camogli. These are lovely Italian places, they are smaller in size, but still frequented by tourists and I have eaten some of the best Italian food ever there.
4. Take a shoulder bag with you
This is again my very personal experience, but I would suggest you to leave your backpack behind and take a shoulder bag with you instead. During the hot summer months, this will prevent you from getting your back all sweaty. It is also much easier to keep an eye on your bag if you have it by your side instead of having it hang from your back. Don’t give temptation to pickpocketers, as there are sadly a lot in big cities.
5. Don’t make eye contact with the street vendors
This sounds so mean, but it seriously just keeps you from getting tailed for the next hours. In all honesty Rome has been one of the worst cities I have been to in Europe when it comes to street vendors. They wait for you at basically every street corner and will try to sell you anything, relentlessly. Street vendors of course exist in almost every big tourist frequented city around the world and also in many other cities in Italy, but the ones in Rome seemed extremely pushy. There are only so many times you can say no to a person that keeps throwing their products right in your face, before you start yelling at them. Best not to make any eye contact at all with them. Unless of course they sell something you want, then go ahead and buy it, as they are quite good to haggle with. I made the mistake one time to smile at one of the street vendors when walking past, which he took as an invitation to follow me and my friend for the next few miles trying to sell his items. In all honesty they are great at selling their things, he told us about his family in Africa and how all the money he earns goes into new flight tickets. In the end I broke down and bought a porcelain like little elephant. It now sits on my desk in Edinburgh. This is just something I think you need to be aware of when you go to Rome.
6. Stay in a cheap hostel
Should you decide to go on a trip to Rome for only three days and you are a young person like me travelling alone or with a friend, then I would suggest you stay in a cheap hostel during your trip. You will spend most of your time outside exploring Rome, so sharing a room with other people won’t be as bad, if it is only during those couple hours of sleep. Have a look online on sites like hostelworld, their reviews are pretty reliable and you can find a cheap room with still a good location on there and if you are lucky maybe you will even have the room to yourself, depending on how busy it is.
7. Book your trip to Rome in advance
This probably goes for most bigger trips. With advance in this case I mean at least a couple months if you are coming from inside Europe. Depending on where you live, there is a good chance that you can land a really cheap flight with Ryanair. My friend and I booked over 2 months before our trip and managed to get flights for 40€ round trip. The prices for the hostels were also quite low at the time. We only paid around 20€ per night for the room. Keep in mind this was for a trip to Rome in July, one of the busiest months during the year.
8 Make a plan of the things you want to see
This is probably quite important before you start out your trip in order to find out if the 3 days are enough. I found also that it would have been better, if my friend and I had made a plan before we went there too. Since Rome is smaller than other capital cities we have been to, it happened that over the course of the three days we walked by the same streets and sights multiple times. If we had made a plan we could have avoided that and developed a more thought out trip through Rome. The main attractions in Rome all lie quite close together, the Colosseum is a stone throw away from the Trevi fountain, which again is rather close to the Vatican. Of course the closeness of everything means that you do not need to pay money on public transport as you can walk everywhere.
Making a plan would however maybe opened up more things to see for us instead of roaming the same streets again.
9. Try the ice cream!!!
This is my last tip for you but by far not the least! I absolutely love Italian ice cream! I am not sure if the Italians have some secret ingredients they use or if it is the heat, but ice cream just never tastes as good as it does in Italy.
This is definitely for any trip to Italy and not just one to Rome. But Rome also has some amazing ice cream to offer. I tried many different places in Rome and all of them sold great ice cream. I feel that is something you will never go wrong with when you are in Italy.