Traveling to Rome with a Baby or Toddler

Taking a family vacation to Rome with your toddler or baby will create special memories which will last a lifetime. Some of our family photos from our trip to Rome are among our most treasured possessions.

Rome is one of those amazing cities where even walking the streets is an experience. There are so many things to do in Rome with a baby or toddler, you probably won’t see it all in one visit. If you are visiting Rome for the first time with a baby or toddler, you’ll want to be prepared so you can get the most out of your visit. 

Here is everything you need to know about traveling to Rome with a toddler or baby:

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Airport Transportation in Rome

Getting your baby from the Rome airport to your hotel is one of the more complicated aspects of planning a family vacation to Rome. Rome is an easy city to get around without a car, so it’d be a shame to have to bring a child seat all the way from home. Thankfully, it’s easy to get from the Rome airport to your hotel without needing to bring your child seat.

One of our favorite affordable travel luxuries is a private transfer. With a private transfer, your driver meets you at your gate with your name on a sign (who doesn’t love that?). Your driver will then take you to your private car with your complimentary child seats already installed. You really can’t beat this service after a long flight to Rome with a toddler or baby. Amazingly, all of this extra service doesn’t cost more than an airport taxi.

Ad for Welcome Pickups - Rome airport transportation

If a private transfer isn’t for you, there are plenty of alternatives to get your family from the Rome Fiumicino airport to your Rome hotel.

Getting from the Rome Airport to your Hotel with a baby

Getting Around Rome with a Toddler or Baby

Rome is an easy city to walk everywhere with your kids. There are so many amazing discoveries found walking the streets of Rome – many would be top attractions outside of Rome.

If the Rome temperature gets too hot to walk with a baby or toddler, it’s easy to hop on a bus to avoid long walks in the midday heat, though buses can be quite crowded at this time. If you plan to take the bus in Rome with your toddler or baby, we recommend using a baby carrier instead of a stroller due to the crowds.

We did not use strollers in Rome

Tip: You must buy your tickets for the buses in Rome from ticket machines (found only at busy stations) or at tobacconists or newsstands. Make sure to plan ahead. Children under 10 ride the bus for free in Rome.

Where to Stay in Rome with a Toddler or Baby

Given you will likely be walking a lot in Rome with your baby or toddler, you’ll want to stay close to the main things to do in Rome to minimize the time spent walking with your kids. As you can see from our Rome Google Map, most of Rome’s top attractions (green pins) are in a tight cluster. Try to find some baby-friendly Rome accommodation within this cluster.

Traveling with a toddler and preschooler (ages 1 & 3), we prefer Airbnb rentals for their kid-friendly amenities. Parents traveling to Rome with a toddler or baby will love having separate bedrooms, laundry facilities and our own kitchen. We ended up renting a top floor 2-bedroom Airbnb near Piazza Navona.

We enjoyed getting to explore the narrow, winding streets around our Airbnb and were close enough to walk nearly everywhere in Rome. If we weren’t up for walking, it was easy to catch a bus. As a bonus, our Airbnb just happened to be around the corner from La Gelateria Frigidarium – one of the best gelato places in Rome!

Our toddler loved her special gelato she got at our favorite gelato place in Rome

Browse Rome vacation rentals on Airbnb. If you are new to Airbnb, sign up with our link and get a nice discount towards off your first stay.

If you are OK with your baby sleeping in the same room as you and you don’t necessarily need the conveniences of home, there are plenty of excellent family-friendly Rome hotels.

Should I Use a Baby Carrier or Stroller in Rome?

It’s a tough decision to bring a baby carrier or stroller to Rome. We have written a full post on the decision to bring a stroller vs. baby carrier for traveling parents. It’s never a one-size-fits-all situation, so it’s best to know the pros and cons of each.

We saw plenty of parents at all of Rome’s top attractions using strollers, but some of Rome’s attractions are not very stroller friendly. We give our stroller or baby carrier recommendation for each top Rome attraction below.

For our family trip, we did not bring a stroller to Rome, opting to use carriers only. We mostly used our backpack carriers as they are more comfortable for the kids on longer outings, but we also had a soft Ergobaby carrier for shorter outings.

No matter which side of the fence you fall on, we’ve got you covered with our recommended top strollers for travel and the best carriers for travel.

We used baby carriers at the Rome Forum and Colosseum. Strollers are allowed, but would be difficult with the crowds

Things to do in Rome with a Toddler or Baby

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is not only the best preserved Ancient Roman monument but it also has the largest, unreinforced dome in the world. The Pantheon is pretty small, so it’s a pretty quick visit. The Pantheon is stroller friendly.

We did not use a stroller in Rome - we used a combination of backpack carriers and soft Ergobaby carriers

There’s also a large fountain just outside the Pantheon that’s great to let toddlers or mobile babies climb around a little. It’s also a great spot to take a break and feed your baby.

Running around fountains are one of the fun things to do in Rome with toddlers

Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de’ Fiori was home to one of Rome’s oldest fish and produce markets. Today, Campo de’ Fiori is a mix of produce sellers and stalls with souvenirs for tourists. The vendors at Campo de’ Fiori love interacting with kids, so expect yours to get a lot of positive attention here!

Parents visiting Campo de’ Fioro with a stroller may struggle with the crowds and narrow lanes, but otherwise will find no issues getting around.

A visit to Campo de' Fiori is a wonderful sensory experience in Rome with a baby

There are plenty of cafés all around the Campo de’ Fioro market, making it great place to stop for a cappuccino, people watch and to feed your baby. 

Food tip: Walking towards the Campo de’ Fiori market, we saw tons of locals eating the same takeaway pizza. We finally asked one and they directed us to Forno Campo de’ Fiori in the NW corner of the market. They said it was some of the best pizza Bianca in Rome, and we have to agree!

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is arguably Rome’s most beautiful piazza and one very lively square. Though very crowded in the afternoon, Piazza Navona is a great place to treat the family to some gelato and people watch (or chase pigeons, as was the case for our little ones).

If you are staying nearby and have a chance to visit Piazza Navona first thing in the morning, you might just find it empty! Either a stroller or baby carrier will work fine here. If your toddler is on the move, they will most likely want to get out to explore this very large piazza.

When visiting Rome with a toddler, try to get to the top attractions as early as possible. For example, Piazza Navona was nearly empty when we arrived
is Rome stroller friendly? We did not bring a stroller to Rome and used carriers instead

Trevi Fountain

Fontana di Trevi (the Trevi Fountain) is claimed to be the most beautiful fountain in the world. Legend has it that if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, it will ensure you come back to Rome one day. (Guess who forgot to bring any coins?!? Yeesh!)

To visit the Trevi fountain with a baby or toddler, we recommend using a carrier instead of a stroller. The crowds will be too thick to safely use a stroller

You can bring a stroller to the Trevi Fountain, as it is theoretically stroller accessible, but if you arrive at the peak times, you will likely find impossible to part the massive crowds to get down the ramps to the fountain with your stroller.

When visiting Rome with a toddler, get to the Trevi Fountain really early to give them a chance to get close enough to stick their hands in the water

Learning from our very busy mid-afternoon visit to the Spanish Steps, we planned to visit the Trevi Fountain as early as we could. We managed to arrive at the Trevi Fountain around 8:30am, and it was already getting busy but nothing like the horror stories we had heard from other travelers. We had the kids in the backpack carriers which we parked them up top while we took them down to see the fountain (you could do similar with a stroller). 

Toddler-friendly Rome Tour Suggestion: Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona Tour for Kids and Families (2 hour)

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are such a popular meeting place and people-watching place, that you can expect to find plenty of people around. If you visit the Spanish Steps earlier in the morning (i.e. before 9am), you will find them to be significantly less busy.

The Spanish Steps are often very busy.

We do not recommend bringing a stroller if you wish to climb the Spanish Steps. By midday, there will be hordes of people sitting on the Spanish Steps, making the already difficult job of carrying your stroller up the 135 steps near impossible.

When looking for things to do in Rome with a baby, be sure to plan on an early arrival. The Spanish Steps are a great example of an attraction where it pays to get there early

The Spanish Steps are typically a quick visit, so you may need your stroller for the rest of your outing. If you have your stroller and don’t want to climb the Spanish Steps, we’ve read that you can find escalators at the metro stop for Piazza di Spagna, but have not personally tried this.

Rome Food tip: Pastificio Guerra on Via Del Corso serves up delicious & inexpensive takeaway pasta dishes. We devoured the takeaway pasta we got here and brought back to our Airbnb. Keep in mind, you are not allowed to eat on the Spanish Steps.

Stroller-friendly Rome Tour suggestion: Overview of Rome Private Tour (3 hour)

Villa Borghese Gardens

Villa Borghese Gardens is the closest park to the top attractions in Rome. It’s a nice short walk to the park from the top of the Spanish Steps.

Visiting a park with your small kids while traveling is always a worthwhile outing. At the Villa Borhese Gardens, you can give your toddler some much needed room to roam, which improves their mood tremendously.

The shade found in Villa Borghese Gardens makes it a great activity on a hot day in Rome with kids

A visit to this huge Rome park is also a great spot to feed your baby, find a quiet, yet beautiful spot for a nap on-the-go. It’s also great to find some shade to cool down from the hot Roman sun. Villa Borghese is the perfect spot for an escape from sightseeing and the very crowded tourist attractions of Rome.

We especially enjoyed the Giardino del Lago; a beautiful shaded area with plenty of benches to stop at.

A beautiful lake within the Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome

Villa Borghese Gardens is stroller-friendly.

If you are looking for a fun kid-friendly activity in the Villa Borghese Gardens with your toddler or baby, try renting a 4-seater surrey bike. Toddlers and preschoolers can sit up front while you pedal through the park.

Our 4-seater Surrey bike rental in Villa Borghese Gardens was a ton of fun!

Tip: Take a minute to look over your surrey bike. Ours had a seat belt to help keep wiggly toddlers in but not all the bikes had them.

Giving your baby and toddler time to play is very important for their mood and development. It can be hard to find Rome playgrounds and parks, so if you are looking for a place to give your baby or toddler time to play see our post on playgrounds around Rome.

The playgrounds in Villa Borghese are great when visiting Rome with baby

Create family memories with an Organic Picnic in Rome.

Rome Family Photo Shoot

We had some professional family photos taken of us while in Rome. We have never done this while traveling before, but we are so happy we took the time. Some of our favorite family photos ever came out of this Rome photo shoot.

If you’d like you own family photo shoot while in Rome, you can arrange a private photo session.

A family photo shoot at the Appian Way Rome with a toddler
Try getting professional photos while in Rome with a baby and toddler

Rome Colosseum

Easily one of the most recognizable and popular attractions in the world, the Rome Colosseum is a must-see attraction in Rome. In fact, it has been named by TripAdvisor as the most popular attraction in the world, so we highly recommend you buy your tickets or a baby-friendly tour online and try to get there when it opens.

When visiting the Rome Colosseum with a baby or toddler, try to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds

Given its popularity, you may be wondering if you can bring a stroller to the Colosseum. Yes, you can bring a stroller to the Colosseum, but if possible, we recommend visiting the Colosseum with a baby carrier. We saw plenty of people visiting the Colosseum with their strollers, so there’s no issue bringing one but it will be much easier to get around with your baby in a carrier.

can you bring a stroller to the colosseum in Rome?

If you do bring a stroller to the Colosseum, try to bring a small lightweight travel stroller. The first level of the Colosseum can be very busy making it hard to maneuver a stroller. There is an elevator to the 2nd level and a wheelchair (and therefore stroller) friendly route, but if your stroller is lightweight you can avoid the lines for the elevator and simply carry it up the stairs.

Skip the line at the Colosseum with a baby and toddler-friendly Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill for Kids and Families Private Tour (3 hours)

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome, is located right next to the Roman Forum. This is one of those special places in Rome where you are in the middle of a beautiful park, but also surrounded by important, interesting antiquities. Palatine Hill offers excellent aerial views of the Roman Forum and is a great park to let babies and toddlers burn off some energy.

We had a great visit to Palatine Hill when we visited Rome with toddler

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, a rectangular plaza filled with well-preserved, important government buildings from ancient Rome. The Forum was the center of day-to-day life in ancient Rome and there are enough structures still standing that you can just imagine it in all its glory.

We used baby carriers at the Rome Forum and Colosseum. Strollers are allowed, but would be difficult with the crowds

Can you bring a stroller to the Roman Forum? You can bring a stroller to the Forum, but you will be able to navigate much easier with a baby carrier, especially when it starts to get crowded. There are lots of stairs (some quite steep) at the hilly sites of Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.

The Forum will not be the most fun activity in Rome for toddlers, but let them play at the nearby Palatine Hill afterwards as a reward

If you want to bring a stroller to the Forum, we recommend also tucking your baby carrier at the bottom of your stroller. If you want to climb down any of the steep stairs, you can take your baby out and carry your stroller down.

We did not bring a stroller to the Forum in Rome. We used an Ergobaby carrier instead

Rome itinerary tip: The Colosseum, Palatine Hill & the Roman Forum are all next to each other, so it’ll be tempting to visit all three in a single day. If your itinerary permits, we recommend splitting your visits over two days.

This will allow you to visit both the Colosseum & the Roman Forum with your baby or toddler right at opening time. Due to the popularity of both sites, you’ll have a much better visit with your little ones if you get there early.

Toddler-friendly Tour suggestion: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill for Kids and Families Private Tour (3 hours)

The Vatican – Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica

We tried to visit the Sistine Chapel, but were not smart enough to buy our tickets online ahead of time. We arrived well before opening and were shocked the size of the line-up. According to TripAdvisor, the Vatican Museums (home of the Sistine Chapel) is the third most popular attraction in the world.

Skipping the Sistine Chapel was a huge disappointment, but we just couldn’t bear the thought of waiting in that massive line with a toddler and preschooler. Learn from our huge mistake and buy your skip-the-line tickets well ahead of time.

Visiting the Vatican during Easter is interesting as you get to see the preparations for the papal Easter Mass at St. Peters Basillica

Even if you decide not to visit the Vatican Museums, it’s worth visiting the Vatican to see St. Peter’s Basilica. The line to get in St. Peter’s is usually a lot shorter than the Vatican Museums.

We hope our toddlers behave in front of the priest at St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican in Rmoe

If you plan on visiting the Vatican with a stroller, we recommend also bringing a baby carrier along. Strollers are allowed in St. Peter’s Square but need to be checked before entering St. Peter’s Basilica and you’ll want the carrier if you plan to climb St. Peter’s cupola (dome) with your baby or toddler.

when traveling to Italy with a baby, be sure to visit the Vatican

We were allowed to keep our backpack carriers on for our visit to St. Peter’s Basilica and for climbing the dome. We were originally told by security we had to check them at the coat check, but one of the guards ran after us and told us that we could leave them on. We were able to keep them on during the security check and the guards just searched the pockets in the back of them. 

We climbed the dome at St. Peters in Rome with our toddler. The view of St. Peters Square was amazing

Tour suggestion: Early Private Tour at Vatican for Families (3 hours – starts at 7:30am)

For more information on visiting Vatican City with kids, read this post.

You’ve Visited all the Top Attractions in Rome, Now What?

Rome Aqueduct Park

We highly recommend visiting the Rome Aqueduct Park – it was one of our favorite things to do in Rome with our kids. You’ll need to take a short metro ride to get to the Rome Aqueduct Park as it’s about 8 km from the center of Rome, but it’s definitely worth the effort.  

Not only will you feel re-energized from being away from the crowds and traffic, but you’ll get to marvel at the engineering skills that went into building the ancient aqueducts. Imagine, these ancient aqueducts brought millions of liters of water into Rome city each day!

Looking for a fun and easy walk in Rome with toddlers? Try the Rome Aquaduct Park

You could bring a stroller to the Aqueduct Park, but you will encounter some stairs in the metro stations and on the way to the park. The dirt paths can be narrow at places so a stroller may restrict where you go. A baby carrier or backpack carrier would be a better option for the Aqueduct Park.

Our favorite activity in Rome with a toddler turned out to be a visit to the Rome Aquaduct park

There is also a small playground on the way to the Aqueduct Park to give your baby or toddler a chance to play.

Appian Way

The Appian Way was one of the most important roads in Ancient Rome. Today, it’s a great thing to do with kids in Rome, especially if you are craving some outdoor activity away from the madness of the top Rome attractions. Families visiting the Appian Way can either walk this ancient route or even rent a bike! We were able to get Appian Way rental bikes with a baby seat, a child seat and helmets from Eco Bike Roma.

A fun activity in Rome with a toddler is to rent bikes with child seats and a helmet and explore the Appian Way

The first bit of the Appian Way bike ride was a little busy with traffic, but before long we transitioned to a very quiet road with only the occasional car. We kept our bike ride short to allow the kids to run and play instead. The kids loved the bike ride along the Appian Way, but they loved running up and down the path even more.

If you are looking for an easy, stroller-friendly walk in Rome, the Appian Way is a great choice. There weren’t any benches that we saw to stop and feed a baby but there is a café right next to the visitor center which would be a great place to stop. 

Looking for a kid-friendly itinerary for Italy? We share a 10, 14 and 30-Day Italy Itinerary for Families based on our month in Italy. Our kid-friendly Itinerary covers 6 top Italian destinations, including Cinque Terre and Florence.

5 Essential Items to Pack for a Baby Or Toddler in Rome

1. Travel High Chair: Some restaurants have high chairs, but they may only have one or two. We travel with the MyLittleSeat since it’s so small and we can carry it around with us during the day. Here are our other recommended portable high chairs for travel.

2. Change mat: bring a portable changing mat with you as you aren’t likely to find changing facilities.

3. Baby Carrier: Bring a baby or toddler carrier. Even if you bring a stroller, having a carrier will be useful and we recommend bringing it as well.

4. Stroller: Use a small lightweight stroller that you can easily carry up stairs or that will fit in restaurants.

5. Travel crib: If your hotel or Airbnb can’t provide a travel crib for your baby, considering bringing a travel cot or toddler travel bed. You can read more on our recommendations for the best baby travel cribs and best toddler travel bed.

Note, diapers, wipes and baby food can easily be found at pharmacies and supermarkets in Italy, so you only need to pack enough to get you through the first few days of your trip.

Final Travel Tips for Rome with a Baby or Toddler

The last piece of advice we’ll give on visiting Rome with a toddler or baby is get out as early in the morning as you can. Thanks to dealing with toddler jet lag and a toddler who wakes up early regardless, we got to have amazing experiences like seeing the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona almost completely empty.

We ended up visiting the Spanish Steps a second time and it was amazing the difference 9am vs mid-afternoon makes! When we visited Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, we loved how quiet and peaceful it was up on the hill but in hindsight we would have visited the Roman Forum first because by the time we got down there it was very crowded.

Visiting Italy with Kids

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This guide covers everything you need to know for taking your baby or toddler to Rome, Italy, including how to get around and what to bring! #rome #Italy #travelwithbaby #toddlertravel #familytravel #travelwithtoddler
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