Best time to travel to Rome

If you have already decided that Rome will be your next getaway, you just need to know what is the best time of the year and its advantages to visit the Eternal City. Read on!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

Best time to travel to Rome

Colosseum of Rome | ©Sean MacEnte

One of the reasons why there are always things to see and do in Rome is because the city has a mild Mediterranean climate, which makes any time of the year a good time to visit the city. However, if you have the chance choose to visit Rome in spring or visit Rome in autumn as the temperatures are more pleasant.

However, when planning a trip to Rome, other factors such as tourist saturation or prices should be taken into account. Don't worry! In this post we analyze all these issues so you can get an idea of what awaits you in the Italian capital.

1. When is the best time to travel to Rome?

Piazza Venezia| ©Renata Rodrigues
Piazza Venezia| ©Renata Rodrigues

Spring and autumn are the best times to travel to Rome, as both are transitional seasons where it's not too hot and not too cold. The days have more daylight hours but the temperatures are mild, which is perfect for outdoor sightseeing and walking the streets of the city seeing its beautiful and ancient monuments.

Thus, if you have not yet chosen the time to travel to Rome, I recommend you to choose the months of April and May or September and October for having a mild climate. In addition, it is mid-season for tourism so you will find good deals on accommodation.

In any case, when planning your trip, it is always a good idea to check the average temperatures in Rome to choose the right clothes to take in your suitcase, it never hurts to bring a warm jacket in case it gets chilly in the spring or autumn evenings!

Book your skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican

2. Visiting Rome in spring, mild temperatures and colorful nature

One of the views from the Orange Garden| ©Eden, Janine and Jim
One of the views from the Orange Garden| ©Eden, Janine and Jim

As winter comes to an end, the thermometers begin to rise and the temperature is very pleasant. Although the nights of March are still cool in the early spring, the temperatures compensate in the middle of the day when they become milder.

As spring progresses, it gets warmer without being oppressive and there are also more daylight hours, so the days are longer.

Romans take the opportunity to go for a walk in the streets, have an aperitif on the terraces of Rome or practice sports. It is a great time to stroll through Rome' s parks as the vegetation is lush and full of beautiful colors. It is also a great time to visit the city's viewpoints and enjoy the best views of Rome.

During the spring there may be a rainy day but nothing that can't be fixed with an umbrella. These days also have their charm and you will get some beautiful photos!

Tourist crowds in spring

If you want to go sightseeing in the streets of Rome, this is a good time because although they are more crowded, they are not as busy as in summer and the main tourist attractions are quieter.

In addition, in spring you can travel to Rome for less money. Except during Holy Week, when the city is crowded with pilgrims and prices go up a bit. If you do not travel to the city for religious reasons, it is best to avoid those dates to enjoy it with more tranquility.

In this other post I leave you all the information about what to see and what to do in Rome in spring.

Book the tour of the Christian basilicas in Rome

3. Visiting Rome in autumn, good weather and cultural events

Park of the Aqueducts| ©Andy Montgomery
Park of the Aqueducts| ©Andy Montgomery

At the beginning of autumn, temperatures are still high in Rome as the sensation of suffocation lasts well into October, with an average temperature of around 25°C on the thermometers. However, the nights gradually become cooler, which makes it easier to fall asleep in the Italian capital.

Later on, temperatures become milder and more pleasant, as they do in spring, so many Romans take advantage of the fact that the weather outside is still good during the day to play sports, have a drink on a terrace or take a stroll in Rome's parks. The city shines with a special light and watching the urban nature when the color of the leaves changes is one of the most romantic plans you can make in the Eternal City.

However, the days are getting shorter and it gets dark earlier so you will have to plan some activities earlier, especially those that take place outdoors. In addition, it tends to rain more during autumn, especially in October and November, so you will need to include a raincoat in your luggage.

Tourist crowds in autumn

As in the spring, during the autumn the number of tourists in Rome is lower compared to the summer. There are not as many tourists and hotel prices drop, making it easier to find accommodation for less money.

In addition, the queues at tourist attractions such as the Colosseum or St. Peter's Basilica are shorter in autumn and it is quieter.

It is also a good time to travel to the city because there are a lot of events such as the Rome Film Festival or the Roma Jazz Festival as well as Italian festivities where you can participate such as All Saints' Day (November 1).

Here is everything you need to know about what to see and do in Rome in autumn.

Book a private tour of Rome

4. Visiting Rome in summer, too hot and too crowded

Some works of the Capitoline Museums| ©Richard Mortel
Some works of the Capitoline Museums| ©Richard Mortel

During the summer, Rome is hot- very hot! The thermometers can easily rise up to 35°C and when heat waves occur, temperatures can reach 40°C. Add to this the humidity of the Tiber River, and unless you can tolerate the sensation of heat, walking through the streets of the city can be mission impossible.

For this reason I recommend you to be well prepared to combat the heat: plenty of fresh water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and comfortable shoes. Also, choose clothes made of light and cool fabrics instead of dark or black clothes.

During the day the temperatures are high and sticky, but fortunately you will find many fountains scattered throughout the streets and squares of Rome where you can cool off and refill your water bottle. I also recommend you take advantage of the high temperatures to, for example, visit the best works of art in the Capitoline Museums to escape the heat. At night, the oppressive heat drops but sometimes it is still difficult to fall asleep so before going to bed, take a walk in the Trastevere neighborhood at night, one of the liveliest at this time of the year.

This time of the year is dry and there are very few rainy days, so bad weather will not spoil your outdoor plans. The days are quite long and it doesn't get dark until after 9 PM, which is ideal for getting the most out of your sightseeing while tasting one of the best ice creams in Rome. It's the best time to go out and have fun!

The summer tourist season

Summer is the ultimate holiday season so it's high season in Rome- the streets and the main attractions are packed with tourists! There is more hustle and bustle around them and the lines at the entrance are longer.

Even though it is hot, summer is a fabulous time to enjoy open-air concerts and markets, summer cinemas, riverside food stalls, a drink in the evening breeze and fireworks.

During the August Fair (August 15) it is customary to go outside the city for the day, so there are fewer people and the streets are a little quieter for strolling.

As for the availability of hotels during this season is lower, so if you want to visit Rome in summer, my advice is to book your accommodation in advance to get better prices as these skyrocket.

Want more details? You have them in the post on what to see and do in Rome in summer.

5. Visiting Rome in winter, few people and cheap prices

Carnival masks| ©Keith Jones
Carnival masks| ©Keith Jones

When autumn comes to an end, the thermometers start to drop and it gets really cold (although during the day and in the sunshine, temperatures can be pleasant). This feeling of cold is even more pronounced due to the higher humidity produced by the abundant rainfall at this time of the year, with the coldest months in Rome being January and February.

In addition, the hours of sunshine are shorter and the days are shorter. With this weather you feel like spending less time outdoors and more time making plans indoors. Whether it's having some Italian sweets with hot chocolate in a café or visiting the monuments of Rome, since in this season there are fewer people at the entrance of the tourist attractions and you can explore them at your leisure.

The influx of tourists in winter

Due to the fact that during the winter it is quite cold and the days are shorter, many people are reluctant to travel but it is a good time to visit Rome as there is not as much tourism in the city as during the rest of the year and prices are much cheaper for both flights and hotels.

During the winter it is worth going out and spend a little cold to enjoy Christmas in Rome, its cribs and its beautiful markets of Christmas crafts and typical food installed in the most important squares. You can take advantage and buy a nice souvenir there! Or if your trip coincides with the end of the year, you can also go out to watch the wonderful fireworks display and see how the Romans celebrate the New Year.

On the other hand, February is one of the coldest months next to January but you might want to check out the Roman carnival. It is not as popular as the one in Venice, but it has its charm too!

If you want to know more, I recommend you to take a look at this article on what to see and do in Rome in winter.

We compare in the table the different seasons for visiting Rome

  • Spring
  • Mild temperatures
  • Low rainfall
  • Medium season
  • Busy tourist attractions
  • Summer
  • Warm temperatures
  • Very low rainfall
  • High season
  • Busy tourist attractions
  • Autumn
  • Mild temperatures
  • Occasional rains
  • Medium season
  • Busy tourist attractions
  • Winter
  • Cold temperatures
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Low season
  • Tourist attractions not very crowded