Going to Rome with teenagers is the perfect city for them to visit with family. Besides being in the classroom, visiting Rome is an excellent way for teens to learn history through travel. It brings awareness and helps teens become more cultured and awaken by seeing these amazing places in person. Although the city of Rome is like a walking museum, there are lots of fun things to do in Rome with teenagers too.
My family and I spent 3 days in Rome, and we saw the highlights. From the historical sites to walking down cobbled streets and eating the best pizza and gelato ever! Finding the best spots in Rome with teens to take photos for Instagram was fun.
If this is your first time in Rome, you’ll definitely want to hit up the top tourist attractions and activities off the beaten path. I had a good time exploring and discovering Rome with my teenager, and I’m sure if you keep following along, you’ll see how yall can have an incredible trip.
For this 3-day Rome itinerary, I will give details and tips for the best things to do with teenagers in Rome.
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The best things to do in Rome with teenagers.
Visit the Spanish Steps in Rome with teens
The Spanish Steps is a famous tourist spot to visit in Rome with teens. The Spanish steps were built in 1723, and it is still standing tall and beautiful today. Visiting the steps can be a relatively quick stop along your Rome itinerary. My teen loved walking up the hundreds of steps to the top of Monti church.
From the top of the steps, you can get incredible views of the city. The Spanish Steps gets really crowded since it is a top tourist attraction. This was an excellent start to our 3 days in Rome, where you can feel the pulse of the city.
The Spanish steps is an outdoor activity in Rome for teens that’s not too hectic. You can sit down on the steps, take a break and just watch people. In this area of Piazza di Spagna, there are also shops and cafe’s around if you want to drop in for refreshments.
Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
There are plenty of stunning fountains in Rome, but the most famous is the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi fountain is a mesmerizing piece of Baroque architecture built in the 18th century. The Trevi Fountain is a captivating site to see in Rome with teens and shouldn’t be missed.
When you walk around that corner through the buildings in Trevi Square and see this massive fountain in the city, you’ll be speechless. It’s the largest fountain in Rome, standing 85 feet high and 160 feet wide.
Take your teen to this gorgeous place and give them a coin to toss in the fountain. According to legend, by tossing a coin in the fountain, you’ll surely return to Rome.
Still, this fountain is another landmark where it gets ridiculously crowded. I’d recommend going there in the morning to avoid the crowd and have some peace and tranquility as you hear the water echoing in the fountain. Plus, you’ll get less interrupted while looking at the baroque-style sculptures of the sea god Oceanus being led by tritons and horses.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most instagrammable photo spots in Rome. So make sure you bring the camera to capture the memories.
You can also visit the Trevi fountain at night when lights illuminate it. A fun thing to do in Rome with teens is to stop by and get some gelato on your way to the fountain at Venchi gelateria. You can never have too much gelato when in Rome.
Marvel at The Pantheon
The Pantheon is a church in Rome that will be a breathtaking landmark to see in Rome with teenagers. It was built between 25 – 27 BC. This monument is very prevalent since it’s been kept intact and is the most preserved in all of Rome.
We walked to the Pantheon on our first day in Rome. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to enter because we went on a Saturday, and your entry must be pre-booked online for weekends.
Despite that, if you don’t get a chance to tour inside this iconic monument, it’s still lovely to admire it from the outside.
However, a highlight of seeing the inside of the temple is the Rotunda with the vast dome ceiling. A cool thing to see would be the oculus, an uncovered opening at the top of the dome that lets the sunshine in, but it is also susceptible to rain in the temple.
Go on a Food Tour
Who wants to eat pizza, pasta, and gelato? Eating good food is one of the fun things that my teen looks forward to while traveling.
There’s nothing better than taking a food tour in Rome with teens. Going on a food tour will allow you to try different foods the city offers. We knew that if all else fails, the food would be bussin (as the kids would say).
Our food tour was perfect because we got a chance to walk around the city and go to eateries that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. This food tour gives you the city’s history, and talks about the local Italian’s favorite foods and how they make them. The guide will take you to the restaurants that the locals frequent. Also, we enjoyed our walk through the Roman Ghetto, learning how the name came about and the struggles of the Jewish people.
Going on a food tour with a small group will also allow your teen to talk to other people and not be so bored with just the family. It’s good for everyone to socialize with others. My teenager is curious and is comfortable asking lots of questions to the tour guide when in a small group.
It’s funny that on almost every tour we’ve been on in Europe, there has been at least one other American in the group. So eat, drink, tour, and be merry in Rome. Your teen will love getting to know the city and culture while eating different Roman dishes.
The best thing of all is finishing the tour off with gelato. We took this Rome Street Food Tour, and our guide, Claudia, is a local who is very knowledgeable about the city. Plus, she was very entertaining and funny.
You can go on the food tour during the day or at night. But I think exploring Rome at night lets your teenagers see the city come alive with all the lights illuminating the fountains, etc.
Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill
Another thing to do in Rome with teenagers is visiting the historic sites. You cannot come to Rome and not go to the most famous sites. Visiting the historic sites in Rome with teenagers is a must, especially if it’s their first time in Rome.
Going to these ancient sites with teens will be a great way for them to learn some history. Plus, visiting these iconic landmarks and taking pictures will be great for their Instagram feed. My teenager loves taking pictures and dancing for Tik Tok in front of legendary landmarks.
My recommendation is to take a guided tour because it’s best to learn the history of these monuments from a guide. Without a guide or a guidebook, it can be confusing what you are looking at.
I recommend booking this tour: Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
The Colosseum is a must-see
Visiting the Colosseum is on the top of most people’s bucketlist. Go to the Colosseum to see where the gladiators fought and held games. I’m sure your teenager will enjoy exploring this ancient monument. The Colosseum is one of those popular landmarks to visit in Rome with teens.
The Colosseum was built around 70 AD and could house around 65,000 spectators to watch the gladiators fight. There’s so much history to learn about the ancient ruins, and having a guide will help show you the sites. Plus, the teens will get a kick out of going to the Arean floor and exploring the underground on this tour.
If you don’t have a guide, it may be challenging to understand what ruins your looking at and what they represent. After your tour around the Colosseum, your guide will take you to explore the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to learn more about the history of these monuments.
To see more recommended tours see below
Visit Vatican City in Rome with teens
Now it’s time to go to Vatican City. Vatican City is a must-see area in Rome for teens. The must-see places in Vatican city are St. Peter Bascilla, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel. Did you know Vatican City is its own independent state? It’s a small state in Rome, about 30 minutes drive from Rome’s city center. The day you visit the Vatican should be all that you do. It will take up hours of your day to explore Vatican City.
Climb the St. Peter Basilica Dome
One of the best things to do in Vatican city with teens is climbing the St. Peter’s Basilica Dome. While on your tour, you’ll discover the history of this beautiful Rennaisance-style church that still has sessions. To note that climbing up the 550 steps isn’t a small feet, but kids and teens won’t mind the climb at all. My teen love climbing stairs, hills, etc., and discovering what’s above. Get epic panoramic views of Vatican City and Rome from the top of the dome.
To climb the dome, you must purchase a ticket. You will get fast access to the Dome with a guide when purchasing a ticket. Also included in this ticket is access to explore the church itself. By doing so, you have direct access, and you won’t have to wait in the long line wrapped around the building, with wait times up to 2 hours.
Unfortunately, I did not book tickets to visit the main part of the Bascilla because I knew entry to the church would be free, but I wasn’t expecting the long queue around the building. Although touring the Basilica was on our itinerary, we had other sites to see and couldn’t fit in the 2-hour wait in line.
So please heed my advice and purchase your tickets in advance if you want to just see the church without climbing the dome.
If you want to climb the dome with your teen, you can purchase your tickets there on-site, but I don’t think it’ll be a guided tour.
To purchase tickets in advance for a guided tour to climb the dome, click here.
Walk around St. Peter’s Square – Piazza San Pietro
Another fun outdoor activity in Rome with teenagers is to walk around St. Peters Square in Vatican City. Walk around the square and take in all the beauty of the intricate details of the buildings. When in the square, you will feel like you are in your own world. The square was built to surround and highlight the St. Peter’s Basilica church.
The beautiful waffled-colored buildings are made of travertine marble, making it feel like you are in heaven.
My teenager and I love taking pictures of beautiful buildings and landscapes, and this square was perfect. While walking around, stop and admire the two crescent buildings (colonnades) standing with many exquisite columns. You’ll also see two stunning fountains there. Additionally, there are tons of statues above the columns to look at. Plus, you will not be able to miss the Egyptian Obelisk because it’s enormous.
Then, take a break and just watch people walk by while getting lost looking at the dancing water at the fountains. Visting St. Peter’s Square is an ideal outdoor activity in Rome with teens.
By this time, you’ll be hungry and ready to eat lunch. There are several restaurants, and cafe’s within walking distance from the square in Vatican City. We decided to eat at Pastificio Barghigiana, a local sandwich shop. We enjoyed eating sandwiches outside of the shop while watching people pass by.
Touring the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
The must-see thing you must do in Rome with teenagers is to visit the Vatican Museum. You may think that your kid may get bored, but if you take a guided tour, it’ll help keep your teens interested while learning about the history of the Vatican and Rome.
The Vatican is known worldwide, of course, and it’s been home to the most elite Popes since the 14th century. The area of the Vatican Museums is massive. I’m glad we decided to do a guided tour because he led us to essential things to see in the Vatican while giving us a thorough history of Vatican City, Rome, and the sculptures and paintings inside. This guided tour was about 3 hours, but I’m sure you could spend an entire day here.
The Vatican has the most famous artwork in the world. Including seeing Jesus and Adam’s infamous painting of hands reaching out to each other sprinkled throughout the museum.
I recommend booking this tour: Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour.
What everyone’s been waiting for, The Sistine Chapel.
Once you have gone throughout the entire museum, you’ll visit the Sistine Chapel. Here, you’ll be mesmerized by Michaelangelo’s famous painted ceiling in The Sistine Chapel. It’s inspiring looking up at the ceiling and taking in all of the incredible artwork there. It’s a little overwhelming because there are so many different paintings on the ceiling, and it’s pretty remarkable.
The Sistine Chapel is a sanctuary, and you cannot talk or take pictures there. The guide spoke to us about what to expect in the Sistine Chapel before visiting, but it was a different feeling once we walked in.
After that, the teenagers will get a kick out of walking down the spiral staircase as they exit the museum built in 1932.
See below for other ticket options for Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.
After visiting the Vatican, we were worn down, and our feet were tired. We decided to head back to our apartment to recuperate before dinner.
Traditional Italian Dinner in Rome with teenagers
Later that night, we had a traditional Italian dinner at a Pizzeria called Dino E Toni. I’m assuming that these two owners are brothers. They had this cute picture hanging of them as children.
When I say we weren’t planning on eating a big traditional Italian dinner, however, the owners and hosts of this restaurant were persistent. Dino E Toni was a restaurant recommended by our Airbnb host and it was just a few minutes walk from our accommodation.
So what is eating a traditional Italian dinner in Rome? Let me try to break it down for you the best I can. It’s when you eat a full course meal.
First, they bring you Hors d’oeuvres, aka appetizers. Now, this isn’t your typical appetizer of just hot wings or chips and salsa. Oh, No..No… These appetizers came with 3-4 different types of small pizzas, cold meats and cheeses, fried potatoes, and Italian bread. That alone would be enough for the average person, but we were just getting started unbeknownst to us.
Next, you’ll get Pimri Piatti (your first course). Our food tour guide told us they loved to eat, and we began to see what she meant…LOL. The Italian’s first course is typically bowls of pasta. For our family of 4, they brought us three different pasta dishes to share.
After that, you’ll get the Second Piatti (second course) which is typically your meats like steak, lamb, beef, etc. Sounds like alot already, right? It was alot and we were like oh no we can’t handle eating meat too!
Time for dessert
Well, we aren’t finished yet because you still have to eat dessert. They brought us a selection of delicious desserts on a plate. Oh yeah, and we got a dessert wine which was da bomb ya’ll.
Then, after dessert, you’ll then have your coffee (which is a scrumptious ice coffee that you can eat with a spoon. It was like nothing I’ve ever tasted. It was so GOOD!!
My teenager and the entire family had a blast here. We hadn’t laughed so hard on our trip until that night. We enjoyed trying all the different foods in this local establishment. The restaurant was small, but it was packed full of people. I know this wasn’t a touristy restaurant either. Anywho, so when in Vatican City eat dinner at Dino E Toni…you will not regret it…I Promise.
Eat lots of gelato in Rome with teenagers
When traveling to Rome with teenagers, you have to partake in eating gelato. Your teens will love that they can get their sweet tooth cravings satisfied.
However, gelato is good for the entire family and young adults too. We could not get enough of eating the sweet, creamy ice cream.
This is one way to make visiting Rome with teens fun for them. My teen loved sampling the different flavors and making her own combination of getting two different flavors on an ice cream waffle cone. One thing I know my teen loves to do when going on trips is try out all the other foods, desserts, and pastries.
There are tons and tons of Gelato shops around. You can practically find one on every corner. However, hands-down the BEST gelato spot to eat in Rome is at Ciampini Roma.
It’s a restaurant and cafe located near the Spanish steps. We didn’t eat any food there, but their pizza and other dishes are also highly recommended. Besides that, every chance you get, eat some gelato. We would eat gelato between lunch and dinner as a delicious snack. But it is a wonderful treat for any time of the day.
More things to do in Rome with teens
Catacombs tour – See the crypts and bones of 4,000 monks lined up on the “Bone Chapel” walls at Capuchin Crypts.
Pizza & Pasta Cooking class – If your teen is a foodie and loves to cook, then taking a cooking class in Rome with teens is perfect. My daughter and I love to cook and guess ingredients in dishes when we eat out. This would be an excellent way of bonding together as a family too. I mean, who would love making their own pasta?!
Segway Tour – Zip through and pass by the ancient sites while riding a segway. This will be a fun thing to do in Rome with teenagers. My daughter loves getting on a scooter and operating it herself to explore a new city. It gives everyone a chance to see parts of the city that you may have missed otherwise. Teens get a thrill from operating this mode of transportation themselves. Don’t worry; the guide will teach you and your teen how to handle it before taking off.
Appian Way Electric Bike tour – An electric bike tour is another fun thing to do in Rome with teens. Explore the ancient ruins of Appian Way Reginal Park and the countryside by jumping on an electric mountain bike.
Hop-on-hop-off bus tour – taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour is an excellent thing to do in Rome with teens. It will allow them to see Rome from the top of a double-decker bus. You’ll see all of the sites of Rome while someone is on the bus talking about the landmark. Then you can hop off the bus to explore that site more up close. Then once you have finished exploring, you can go to the stop and hop back on the bus to continue your tour. Plus, this will give their feet a break from all that walking and standing around.
Vespa tour – Another way to take a break from walking is to enjoy a Vespa tour in Rome with teens. This is another mode of transportation your teen will love. Explore Rome while being ‘gone with the wind fabulous’!
Where to Stay in Rome with teens
Since we were a family of 4, we decided to stay in an apartment. This apartment was perfect for us as it had 1 1/2 bathrooms, 2 full bedrooms, a nice kitchen, and a spacious living room. The owner and super host of the apartment were the best. The apartment was sparkling clean and looked nearly brand new. The location was great, and restaurants and cafes surrounded it. It was just a few minutes’ walk to the Pantheon and 10 minutes to the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.
Additionally, if you want to stay near the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the Monti district will be ideal for staying in Rome with teens.
Vatican City Accommodation
We also decided to stay in an apartment in Vatican City. This apartment was immaculate and was just as good as the first accommodation. The apartment was big, clean, and very spacious. This one had three full bedrooms, a spacious living and dining room area, and a nice fully-loaded kitchen. It was in a gated area, so you need a key to get in and out of the complex.
It was lovely and perfect for families and teenagers in Rome. I’m glad we decided to move over and stay near the Vatican since we did a full day of exploring there.
How to get around Rome with teens?
Where we stayed, we were able to walk almost everywhere. We were close to most of the top attractions, aside from The Vatican. The only time we hailed a taxi was to go to the Vatican. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can easily take the city bus or the metro.
I hope you enjoyed this post on the best things to do in Rome with teens. I’d love to hear from you. Reply in the comments below.
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