What to do with 8 hours in Rome

What to do with 8 hours in Rome 11

As mentioned in my post on the Library Hotel and what to do with a short layover in NYC, I love me a good stop over. So much so that I consider them “Bonus Stops” and use them as a chance to see somewhere extra or new. So when I stumbled on a ridiculously cheap flight to Kenya and noticed it included 8 hours in Rome I didn’t flinch. Even though I had been to Rome before, this perfect layover provided just enough time to reminisce on why I liked the city so much and to share how others can see some of the best highlights in a short period.

With that here is what to do with 8 hours in Rome:


Navigating Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport is relatively easy. This was perfect for us as we were zombies when we arrived for our 8 hours in Rome. Our overnight flight from New York was compounded by a rough few days in Miami. Sadly, 8 hours in Rome was feeling less appealing. Still we pressed on, making our way through customs and into town on the Leonardo Express Train.

Leonardo Express via Flickr CC
Leonardo Express via Flickr CC

8 Hours in Rome Practical Info:

Rome’s FCO Airport offers luggage storage for anything you don’t want to take with you into town. This is located in Terminal 3 on the arrivals level and costs 6 Euro per bag with payment on pickup.

The Leonardo Express is a modern train line connecting FCO and Roma Termini train station. Tickets cost 11 euro and the ride takes ~30 minutes. The train is located directly across from airport arrivals.

When in Rome

From the Termini station you have options. With several metro lines connecting g the terminal to the city, seeing Rome’s highlights is now just a short ride away. Pending lineups the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica is doable with 8 hours in Rome, however our zombie like state had us thinking otherwise. Instead we hopped on the MEB1 metro line and headed 2 stops to the Coliseum.


8 Hours in Rome Practical Info:

The MEB1 towards Laurentina metro line can be accessed from underneath Termini train station. Tickets cost 1.50 euros and is cash only.

If you end up getting stuck overnight, you can book an apartment in Rome near the airport or city center.

Ancient Rome in Day

Heading above ground at the Coliseum stop puts you right next door to this historic site and arguably Rome’s most recognizable landmark. Even though I had been inside before we decided to have another look.





Once done our self guided tour of the Coliseum we continued our 8 hours in Rome with a stroll through the Celio neighbourhood. With a high concentration of ruins in the area, one can spend 8 hours in Rome strolling this area alone – which is exactly what we did. From the Arch of Constantine through the Palatine Hill to the Altare Della Patria there is much history to see in a few short blocks.






I had intentions of tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain as I had done so on my last visit – it is said you will return to Rome if you do so but fatigue set in so we opted for pizza and beer with the coliseum as our backdrop instead. No regrets but guess I won’t be returning to Rome anytime soon.


8 Hours in Rome Practical Info:

Access to the coliseum costs ~15 euro and is open during the day only.


With the sun setting over the Coliseum we said our goodbyes and backtracked our way to the Termini train station for the express back to FCO airport. A budget charcuterie plate paired with some vino at the airport capped off this 8 hours in Rome nicely.

Although in a walking-dead state for most of the day I am glad we made the most of our 8 hours in Rome. With so much history to see and much of it easily accessible form the FCO airport. Awake or not I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and neither should you.


What say you?
Spent 8 hours in Rome and have something to add?
Let’s hear it!

For more Travel Tips from Rome and beyond see HERE.

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  1. Avatarsays: Pat White

    Im a fan of layovers too, as long as Im not to bagged though. Im usually fuelled by excitement and coffee though.

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