5 of the Best Historical Tours in Rome

by Allie d'Almo  |  Published August 18, 2022

When it comes to blockbuster historical sights, few capitals can compete with the Eternal City. One of the best and most affordable ways to explore them is by joining a historical tour in Rome. 

Historic Center Self-Guided Smartphone Tour (Photo:

Italy’s capital city boasts over 3,000 years’ worth of awe-inspiring art, ruins and monuments. The city traces its roots all the way back to Romulus and his brother Remus, said to be raised by a she-wolf and descended from the prince Aeneas of Troy. That’s a lot of ground to cover. Thankfully, there are hundreds of history tours in Rome, ranging from whistlestop tours of the highlights to day-long deep-dives into storied neighbourhoods. With so many to choose from, we’ve rounded up five of the best historical tours in Rome based on value for money, itinerary and customer ratings. 

Historic Center Self-Guided Smartphone Tour

If you like the idea of gaining a little historical insight into Rome’s blockbuster sights but are put off by the idea of travelling around the city with strangers, this self-guided tour is an excellent and more affordable option. The tour lasts for roughly two hours, though you can stop, start and pause the audio in your own time. This route winds across some of Rome’s most famous piazzas and cobbled streets, with stops at the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and much more along the way. You can access the tour offline too. From £8.45 per person. 

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Murder Mysteries of Rome Ghostly Tour

Murder Mysteries of Rome Ghostly Tour (Photo:

Those looking to discover the darker side to the Eternal City’s history will be hard-pressed to find a spookier history tour of Rome. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, participants gain fascinating insights into the city’s 2,800-year-old history, focussing on its most unsavoury stories. Tours are limited to just 13 participants to ensure a more intimate experience too. As well as gaining an alternative perspective on the city’s superstar sights, there are plenty of hidden, off-the-beaten-track gems to explore too. From £18.61 per person. 

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Jewish Ghetto Walking Tour 

If you’ve seen Rome’s most famous blockbuster sights and have tired of the Romans, this 1.5-hour walking tour is an excellent option.  Participants are invited to stroll around Europe’s oldest Jewish community, along the narrow lanes of the old Ghetto around Portico d’Ottavia. As well as learning about the history of this marginalized community from ancient times, participants can learn all about Roman-Jewish cuisine. You’ll even get to sample traditional foods, like fried artichokes and authentic sour cherry cake. The walk culminates in a tour of the great synagogue, also one of the largest in Europe. From £24 per person. 

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Guided Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tour

Guided Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tour (Photo:

This 2.5-hour historical tour combines three of Rome’s most showstopping sights – the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Local guides bring the historic stadium to life, with stories about its 500-year bloodthirsty history. Afterwards, you’ll stroll up the Palatine Hill to learn all about the ancient spot where Rome was founded in 753 BC. The tour finishes up with a tour around the Imperial Palace, the former home of ancient Rome’s most iconic Emporer. Ticket prices include admission to the sights too. From £42. 

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Ancient Ostia: 3-Hour Private Tour

One of the most highly rated history tours in Rome, this three-hour private stroll actually takes place outside the city’s historical walls. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, participants get to dive a little deeper into the history of Ostia, an ancient Roman Harbour. Starting at the Porta Romana, the tour winds across the ancient streets to explore the famous Thermal Bath of Neptune and its elaborate mosaics, the Roman Theater and the Thermopolis. Tour prices include a private guide and tickets to the site. From £93 per person. 

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