When is the best time to visit Rome?

When is the best time to visit Rome? How cold is it in the winter? But also, how hot is it in summer? When is it busiest and when are the lines at the museums and other attractions the longest? The answers to these questions are not always as obvious as they might seem.

When to visit Rome?

Colosseum - Celio district Rome
Blue skies, but lines can be long at the Colosseum.

Summer

It may be best to start by answering the question in reverse: When is it not the best time to come to Rome? Many travel guides, even major international ones, recommend against visiting Rome in August.

The reason? In August, Rome is thought to be too crowded and it is impossible to find affordable accommodation. In reality, Rome, especially during the second half of August, is quiet. The main reason for this is the sometimes unbearable heat.

Apart from the heat, Rome is actually quite nice in August. Accommodation tends to be cheap, there are hardly any lines anywhere and there is very little traffic since the locals are on holidays themselves. In order to attract tourists and entertain the remaining locals, several events are usually organized.

Winter in Rome

In the winter months, from the second week of November until the end of February, the rates of hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts in Rome are also affordable. The weather can be disappointing, of course, and there are fewer events. Also, the trip itself is often cheaper, especially if you book early enough with budget airlines such as RyanAir, Transavia or EasyJet.

Spring and autumn in Rome

In terms of weather, the best months are the spring and fall months, from March through June and then September and October. However, these are also the months when the city is at its most crowded. Waiting times at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum can sometimes exceed 2 hours, restaurants are packed, and hotel rooms are expensive and often difficult to find. On the positive side, there are many special events and exhibitions and the days are long and pleasant.

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