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3 Days In Rome With Kids

Paint The World With You family sitting in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Language: Italian

Currency: the Euro

When thinking of a place to spend much deserved time off with your family for a lot of us, Europe comes to mind.  Beautiful people, excellent food, an abundance of things to do and see and the ease of getting from one European country to another.

Exploring Rome with kids is always a good idea!  If you are traveling through Rome with a toddler like us, a pizza cooking class may not be your first choice but there are plenty of things to do and enjoy because toddlers are easy to entertain.  Most of which still include some of the most popular attractions.

Is Rome child friendly, you ask?  From our experience absolutely! From the moment we boarded our flight the flight attendants were taking Joakim out of our hands to “help” as we got settled in our seats just to love and squeeze on him.  

Toddlers in Rome interacting.
Joakim making new friends.

Every area we spent time in always felt like a welcoming place for families with plenty of children to be seen.  Each restaurant we entered welcomed us with open arms and made accommodations for our little one. Joakim was 19 months on our visit.  Not to mention the attractions around the city, like the many fountains which are a must when traveling Rome with kids or a toddler.

You’re also trying to find the answer as to whether or not Rome is stroller friendly, right?  The answer is NO! Like, a hard NO!  The city itself is very walkable, so a carrier is truly all you need to get around.

The pavement is uneven and cobble streets made it extremely difficult and frustrating to push a stroller around.  Ty and I battled with this our entire 3 days because he was concerned about Joakim being more comfortable in his stroller once a sleep while out.

If you insist on bringing a stroller with you while exploring like Ty did you should be sure to have a compact stroller you can carry around when you’re not using it.  You can check out Travel Essentials.  But this will only add to all the other stuff you will have.  Like the diaper bag, a child in a carrier and a stroller.  You see where I’m going here?  It’s too much shit. Just imagine trying to go up and down the Spanish Steps.

I promise you; you do not need a stroller when exploring Rome it will cause you great frustration!  Leave it behind!

Paint The World With You family at an Italian restaurant.

Traveling To Rome With Kids

Flying from the U.S. into Europe, we took a red eye flight.  This is probably the best option when traveling with kids because it allows them to sleep pretty much the entire flight and awake on arrival ready to start their day.

Traveling throughout Europe from Barcelona to Rome then on to Lisbon we took early morning flights.

We flew into Rome from Barcelona, EL Prat airport (BCN) to Rome Fiumicino(FCO).  On arrival there are plenty of transportation options to choose from to get to your destination. Taxis and a town car ride from FCO are very expensive.  It will cost you around $70 or more.

We took the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini Station, which was about a 30 minute train ride from the airport and no extra charge for luggage.  It gave us a brief break to take in the scenic route, put our feet up and relax for a short period.  We all know travel day can be a little stressful.

Our hotel was centrally located, so just a 12-minute walk or even less via taxi from Termini Station.  One more thing about taxis in Rome.  Car Seats are not required.

Toddlers at the Trevi Fountain playing.

Best Things To Do In Rome With Kids

Day 1

Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum is probably the most famous thing in Rome and for good reason. You see it in movies; you see it on postcards and you hear all about it from friends and family who have been before you.  It truly lives up to the hype and if you are traveling with older kids, it’s a great educational experience.

You’ll get a set of headsets to hear all about the battles of gladiators.

The Roman Colosseum is crowded with lots of group tours. Be mindful of this if you are letting your children walk alongside you while visiting.  If you are traveling to Rome with kids who need a stroller, you can bring a stroller inside the Colosseum, we did with no issues.  It wasn’t needed.  We learned once there, there is an elevator inside you can take it and your guide will let you know where to meet them on the next level.  You have to go through a security check. It’s best to bring less.

Because of the crowds and long lines, it’s also a good idea to get skip the line tickets to visit the Roman Colosseum.  

Rome with kids at the Roman Colosseum.

Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill is the most known of the seven hills. Palatine Hill is a large area of ruins and a great opportunity to let your kids stretch and run around.  It’s a large area with amazing views of the Roman Forum.

Roman Forum

Since we purchased skip the line tickets, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill were included in the tour.  There is a lot to see here along with the Palatine Hill, so bring lots of snacks and drinks.  After you will be ready for lunch or dinner depending on the time, you take this tour.

We did an afternoon tour.  Once we arrived in Rome, we hit the ground running.   This made for a very long day for all of us.  For us, this tour was more than enough for the first day in Rome with our toddler.

Roman Forum

Day 2

Rome Food Tour

We are foodies and absolutely love a good food tour.  This one did not disappoint.  We did this food tour with LivItaly.  It takes up most of the day, so I left the rest of the evening free. 

This company was so great we were running behind because our taxi driver took us to the wrong meeting point.  Our guide waited for about an hour for us to arrive.  We missed a couple of restaurants on the tour, but it still did not disappoint.  It just so happened we were the only ones scheduled!

A plate of fried artichoke and fried cod.
Fried artichoke and cod

It wasn’t your typical food tour where you have to share everything served, no you get full sized orders to indulge.  As usual, Joakim ate as much as he wanted from our plates.  We even got full glasses of wine at some stops.

I always highly recommend a food tour because they give you the opportunity to learn more about the culture and how other countries may have influenced the cuisine.  I also think it’s great because you have the chance to learn about what the locals love and some favorite restaurants they enjoy from your guide.  And even some good local shops.

LivItaly is an excellent option if you want to do a food tour in Rome for kids and families.

Day 3

Trevi Fountain

I have never been to a city that celebrates their love for water the way Rome does.  There are fountains all around the Eternal City.  Checking out the fountains around the city is a cool thing to do when traveling in Rome with kids.  I will list a few more below.

What’s so special about the Trevi Fountain?  It’s the largest fountain in the city and it is absolutely stunning!  The Trevi Fountain is one of the top attractions in Rome.  You can literally hear the spectacular ness of the fountain building up as you’re walking up to it.

Trevi Fountain in Rome

They say if you toss a coin into the fountain, you will return!  

Also, if you’re traveling Rome with kids on a budget, the Trevi Fountain is free. You do not need to book in advance and you can go on your own without a tour guide.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps in Rome.

I am only mentioning the Spanish Steps because 1. They are a popular attraction 2. When you are exploring the city on your own time you very well may run into them 3. There’s a fountain at the bottom 🙂

Other than these reasons, the Spanish Steps are not worth seeing in my opinion.  You will walk down the stairs, that’s it.  The end!

Pantheon

The Pantheon is another free thing to do in Rome with kids.  It’s a church, so no advance tickets needed.  There’s a lot to take in here and some wonderful restaurants to try.  It was also pretty crowded the entire time we were in this area.

Piazza Navona

While you’re exploring on your own, Piazza Navona is a great place to hang out and explore.  There are restaurants, street artists and fountains.

  • Fountain Neptune
  • Fountain of Moro
  • Fountain of The Four Rivers

Villa Borghese

The Villa Borghese is probably the perfect option for kids while in Rome to get away and take a break from the city and let them run freely.  Rome’s zoo lives here, there are fountains and sculptures. Good place to just wander.

Other fountains in Rome to visit with kids

  • Turtle Fountain 

Piazza Mattei

  • Fountain Of The Boat(bottom of the Spanish Steps)

Piazza Barberini

  • Fountain of Pantheon( In front of the Roman Pantheon)

Piazza della Rotonda

  • Fountain of the Bees

Piazza Barberini

  • Triton Fountain

Piazza Barberini

A few restaurants in Rome to try

  • Alice Pizza(don’t leave without the nutella pizza)

Various locations

  • Ristorante Di Rienzo (enjoy the Pantheon  from here)

Piazza della Rotonda, 8/9, 00186 Rome

A man walking the streets in Rome looking at a fruit tree.
When you see fruit trees in the middle of the city.
  • Trattoria Vecchia Roma (this is a must try when in Rome)

Via Ferruccio, 12b, 00185 Rome

  • Gunther- Gelato Italiano (the best gelato)

Piazza di Sant’Eustachio, 47, 00186 – Rome

  • Biscottificio Innocenti (the best pastries in Rome)

Via della Luce, 21, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

You must try Roman style artichoke and cacio e pepe before leaving!

I hope you find this guide for traveling through Rome with kids helpful.  There is a lot to see and do in Rome, but three days in Rome was more than enough time.  Enjoy!

A toddler sleeping in a blue compact stroller.
The end of a good day!

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