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Essential guide for visiting Rome with a Baby or toddler

Essential guide for visiting Rome with a Baby or toddler

Thinking about visiting Rome with a baby or toddler? Worried about whether Rome is stroller friendly? In this guide we round up the best things to do in Rome with a toddler or baby and offer lots of handy practical tips to make sure you have a fabulous family holiday to Rome. 

Updated: May 2022

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Rome was actually our first European City Break with baby in tow. We decided to visit Rome with a baby as it is a city we have been to many times as a couple and one we love so much.

Visiting Rome with a Baby or Toddler  – All you Need to Know!

Visiting Rome with a baby / visiting Rome with a toddler

Visiting Rome with a baby / visiting Rome with a toddler

How to get Around Rome with baby or toddler in tow?

Getting From Rome Airport with a baby

There are several great options to get from the airport into Rome with baby or toddler in tow however in our opinion the easiest way to get from the airport is via private transfer. However for those on a budget you can also get the direct Leonardo Train or take a Terravision Bus into the city. This costs a budget friendly 4 Euros a person and arrives at the Termini Station. 

Using Public Transport in Rome with toddler or babies. 

This is my least favourite way of getting around Rome with toddler or babies. Rome buses are incredibly crowded which means that it can be difficult to get on with a stroller and if you do you will find yourself packed like sardines on the bus.  

It may be that the only way to get on is with the stroller folded and then you and the baby are not guaranteed a seat. After our experiences of traveling on the buses of Rome before having a baby, this is something we have avoided like the plague since visiting Rome with toddlers or babies. 

Getting a Taxi in Rome with toddlers and babies

The taxis in Rome are white but are not all that easy to hail especially if you are traveling in peak season.

Your options are to prebook a private transfer at a higher cost or take your own car seat with you – NOTE car seats are not compulsory in Rome so it will be hard to find a taxi with one.

However we find this to be an inconvenient way of getting around in Rome and there try to opt for accommodation in the centre of the city so we can walk to most places. Also, Rome traffic is CRAZY!

Using the Hop On Hop Off Bus in Rome with a baby

We love a hop on Hop off bus! It is a great way to see a city and get your bearings but also to get from a-b quickly while seeing some of the city’s better sites.

I would not recommend doing this in the peak of summer as it is likely going to be too hot for your baby to be on the top deck and it is likely to be very busy.

However if you are visiting in Winter or a shoulder season this is definitely a good way to see Rome with toddlers or babies. 

You can book your tickets here! 

Walking in Rome

Our absolute favorite way of getting around Rome with a baby or toddler is walking.  You can take everything at your own place and stop for plenty of coffee or gelato stops! Rome in our opinion is a city made for walking. But then question is – is Rome stroller friendly?

Is Rome stroller friendly? 

Is Rome stroller friendly? The answer to that is yes and no. Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world and as such the cobbles, uneven surfaces etc make it not the most stroller friendly city in Europe. However, Rome is a city made for walking which makes this situation a bit of a conundrum. 

 

Using a stroller in rome - how easy is it to use strollers in Rome? Is Rome Stroller Friendly

Using a stroller in rome – how easy is it to use strollers in Rome? Is Rome Stroller Friendly

Using a stroller in Rome?

Saying that I always prefer using a stroller instead of a carrier – especially in places where it can very hot like Rome in August.

Note: If you do decide to bring a carrier with you then also please note I recommend getting one that is a good carrier for hot weather. 

Now wheneverI recommend the best stroller for cruise ships or the best stroller for Disneyland I usually recommend using a lightweight umbrella stroller. But for Rome the opposite is true.

You are going to be wanting something sturdy with wheels that can cope with the uneven surfaces and cobbles. So although Rome isn’t the most stroller friendly city please do not be put off bringing one. 

We walked from the Trevi fountain to the Vatican City and to the  colosseum stopping at many piazzas on the way. It was absolutely fine and it easy. The stroller survived the ordeal easily and the baby was very content.

Now if you are going to use the metro or go into the Vatican, colosseum or museums the carrier is an essential but if you want to walk the city don’t think you can’t do it with a pram.

As I round up the best things to do in Rome with a toddler or baby I will also highlight whether it is a Rome stroller friendly place or not. 

Best Time to Visit Rome with a Baby

We have travelled to Rome in all of the seasons and must admit that we try to avoid the summer.

Visiting Rome with a baby in summer

Roman summers get very hot which could be uncomfortable when traveling with a baby (though we have done it) and is also when the city is at it’s most crowded due to the number of tourists that flock to the city.

You are far less likely to meet a Roman if visiting in August as most of the residents flee the city. However if it is your only option for visiting Rome we recommend finding a hotel with a pool. 

Visiting Rome with a toddler in Winter

Visiting Rome in the Winter Itinerary - Best Things to do in Rome in Winter

Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican at winter christmas night

While Rome can get cold in the Winter, we do like visiting Rome in the Winter especially pre Christmas when the Piazzas are filled with carol singers and festive decorations.

Just be prepared to wrap up warm and be aware that there is likely to be some rain on your visit. But don’t worry we have a guide for Rome in the rain

Traveling to Rome with toddlers in shoulder seasons

However our favourite time to visit Rome is to go in the shoulder seasons of Spring or Autumn. The climate is temperate and in the evenings you may need a light jacket but the daytime temperature will be absolutely perfect for exploring on foot.

Eating Out in Rome with a baby or toddler

Not all stereotypes are true but the Italian love of babies and families is one that definitely is. We found that whatever restaurant we took our little too in Rome we were welcomed with open arms.

Most restaurants in Rome are family friendly though we found the provision of high chairs is hit and miss. However you could travel with a portable high chair if this is a concern for you.

We found that restaurants were very happy to warm or milk for us or to provide additional side plates to let littles eat from our meals.

A Note on Breastfeeding in Rome: This is widely accepted in Rome and shouldn’t be a concern before traveling to the city.

Where to Stay in Rome with a Baby?

For me it is really important to stay central in Rome when traveling with a baby or toddler for ease of getting around. There are many family friendly areas in Rome and some lovely hotels for every budget.

Our  favorite place to stay in Rome is in the historical centre so you can get to everywhere on foot! We also love staying next to Villa Borghese Gardens as we think this is one of the most family friendly places to visit with a baby or toddler.

Our favorite hotels in this area are:

Luxury Hotel: Westin Excelsior Rome

We always stay here when visiting Rome with a toddler or baby! It is right next door to Villa Borghese Gardens and is close to main attractions and some fabulous restaurants!

It also is a Rome hotel with a pool which for me is an essential when traveling to the city in summer. 

There really is no better place for families in my opinion. 

You can check prices and availability for Westin Excelsior Hotel Here 

Other great choices are:

Luxury Hotel: Grand Hotel Parco Dei Principi

Again with great proximity to the Villa Borghese Gardens and a pool open to children over the age of 4.

You can check availability and prices here! 

For those on more of a budget you might want to consider:

Hilton Garden Inn Rome Claridge

A four star hotel in a great location to get to the main attractions and the park.

You can check availability and prices here

Where to find Baby Equipment in Rome? 

Unlike many places such as the UK and US, the supermarket shouldn’t be your first port of call to do your baby supply shopping in Rome.

While supermarkets will have a small selection of baby food, nappies etc the place you need for the most comprehensive selection is a pharmacy.

There are no chain pharmacies in Rome so each one will have something different so worth trying a few but you should be able to get everything you need in one trip.

Feeding a Baby in Rome

We were over in Europe for a couple of weeks so the idea of flying with food and milk to last the whole trip was not something I wanted to do. We took a few days essentials but managed to pick up everything we need.

Baby food is readily available. We found everything from standard fruits to more local specialities such as rabbit and horse which we had to buy.

Visiting Rome with toddlers or babies

Visiting Rome with toddlers or babies

If you are traveling with a formula fed baby then it is worth noting that Ready Feeds are available but only in some pharmacies. Unlike UK and US the smallest bottle we found was 500ml but great for keeping in your hotel.

In terms of formula, we didn’t manage to find brands like Aptamil and Cow and Gate but there are local equivalents.

Visiting the Vatican City and Rome with toddlers and babies - Best Things to do in Rome with toddler

Visiting the Vatican City and Rome with toddlers and babies – Best Things to do in Rome with toddler

For more tips on travelling while doing baby led weaning check out this post! 

Where can you find baby changing facilities in Rome? 

One of the things I found when googling was that everyone said that there were no changing facilities in Rome and those which were were very dirty. Now I live in a county where changing mats and tables are not a common sight so was prepared to do a change on the fly.  

But this is much easier if you have a pram than a carrier (see accessibility for more info). While most cafes etc didn’t have changing rooms they were more than happy to make space somewhere out of the way for you to do a change.

There are also some changing facilities if you know where to find them. Below are a list of all changing facilities in shops I found. If you know more then please let me know and I’ll add them to the list:

– prenatal store via nazionale 45

– prenatal store via della croce 48

– galleria alberto sordi via del corso

I read that some of the larger department stores have as well but didn’t test this. It is usually a good bet too that museums and the Vatican (despite below pic) have good changing facilities.

Vatican City impromptu change

Best Things to Do in Rome with a baby or Toddler and How to See Rome’s Most Famous Sites with a baby!

Villa Borghese Gardens – one of the best things to do in Rome with a toddler

Villa Borghese - Best things to do in Rome with toddlers or baby

Villa Borghese – Best things to do in Rome with toddlers or baby

Are I mentioned above – I love staying in close proximity to this whenever I visit Rome with a baby or toddler! The Gardens for me are a bit of a Rome hidden gem and are a great place to stroll with a stroller or let older kids blow off steam.

There is also a zoo and boating lake to keep the children entertained! For the more active you can rent bike to travel around the gardens. In my opinion this really is one of the best things to do in Rome with a toddler. 

Is Villa Borghese Gardens Rome Stroller Friendly?

The Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome is absolutely stroller friendly. 

Spanish Steps

Located near the beautiful Borghese Gardens. This is one of the busier tourist attractions and is not at all stroller friendly with over 130 steps from top to bottom! This is definitely one for the baby to be put in a carrier or if you have a walker let them walk up holding your hand. 

We like to do this before heading to the Borghese Gardens to let the littles blow off some steam or have a nap in the shade.

Colosseum

Visiting Rome with a baby or toddler - go to the colosseum

Visiting Rome with a baby or toddler – go to the colosseum

A definite must for your visit but queues can get crazy especially in peak season! Be sure to book your tickets in advance or book a family friendly tour with skip the queue included!

We found that it is possible to do this with as stroller or carrier so pick whatever you feel more comfortable with.

For more tips on visiting the Colosseum click HERE!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon - the answer to What to do in Rome when it rains - Rome in March

The Pantheon – the answer to What to do in Rome when it rains

This is a small but absolute must see when visiting Rome. You can enjoy this space in toddler attention span time and there is a lovely piazza with fountains outside for children to play in.

This is also one of my favourite places to visit in Rome when it rains as I love to watch the rain pouring through the oculus (the hole in the roof). 

Another great thing about the Pantheon is that it is stroller friendly. 

Piazza Navone

A must on any trip to Rome. In the afternoon this piazza is very crowded so be sure to head there in the morning when traveling with a little.

Otherwise there are plenty of restaurants here that you can eat at in the evenings while doing a bit of people watching. 

Trevi Fountain

If you are a first time visitor to Rome, then throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain is a must. However this is another super busy part of Rome so be sure to head there early.

And due to its business, steps and crowds we would say that this isn’t a stroller friendly place in so you might want to consider taking the carrier here.

If you do head there in an evening our favorite restaurant in Rome, Spiriti e Forme is just around the corner.

The Forum in Rome with a Baby

Visiting Rome with a toddler or baby

Visiting Rome with a toddler or baby

The Forum is one of my favorite places to go in Rome! To be able to walk around old Roman marketplaces, see the temples and hear the stories is one of the top things on my Rome bucket list.

However to make the most of your visit you definitely need a guide! This is our favorite Forum Tour to do with kids – book here! 

Please note: given the uneven surfaces of the Forum it is best to use a carrier rather than using a stroller

Vatican City with a baby

The Vatican City

The Vatican Museums are one of the busiest places in Rome and aren’t the most child friendly in terms of interpretation and activities.

However if you want to visit the Vatican with kids  (our full guide is here) then I would definitely say it is essential to book in advance and arrive early to beat the worst of the crowds!

Book your Vatican Museum Tickets in Advance here!

If you are traveling with small or older children, it is definitely worth engaging a guide to make the Vatican more accessible for the whole family. You can book your private guide here! 

If you decide the museums aren’t for you when traveling with littles, it is still worth heading to the Vatican to visit St Peters Basilica.

But be warned the queues to get in are long.

Strollers in the Vatican City are allowed in St Peters Square however need to be checked before entering the basilica itself! Make sure you don’t time your queue to get in with baby’s nap time otherwise you will find yourself having to walk them up. 

Another fun thing to do at the Vatican is climb to the top of the dome. If you decide to do this with a baby it is essential you bring a carrier.

If you are going to the Vatican be sure to check out our post on the Vatican dress code

Best Family Friendly Tour of Rome

If you would like to do a formal tour of Rome with a baby then this half day tour is the perfect solution! 

Have you ever visited Rome with a baby or toddler? Did you use a stroller in Rome? Leave us a comment and tell us your top tips for visiting Rome with a toddler. 

Essential Guide to Visiting Rome with a Baby or Toddler! Best Things to do in Rome with a baby or toddler! Best Things to do in Rome with a toddler - How to get Around Rome with a baby or Toddler aka can I use strollers in Rome #rome #rometravel #romebaby #romefamilytravel #romeitaly

 

Have you been your Rome – what are your top tips for families traveling to Rome with baby? Is Rome baby friendly in your opinion? 

You may also be interested in my post: Reasons why Rome is the perfect city break for families with babies and young children 

Essential Guide to Visiting Rome with a Baby or Toddler! Best Things to do in Rome with a baby or toddler! Best Things to do in Rome with a toddler - How to get Around Rome with a baby or Toddler aka can I use strollers in Rome #rome #rometravel #romebaby #romefamilytravel #romeitaly

 

 

 

Alencia

Friday 21st of February 2020

Wonderful article. What size diaper bag did you take in the Colosseum and the Vatican?

Wandermust Mummy

Monday 20th of February 2017

Thanks for your comment. I had never considers us in terms of accessible tourism but you are right that families have a unique set of needs

Sarah Christie

Monday 5th of December 2016

Life changes so much when you travel with a baby doesn't it? Its so great to get out into the world with kiddies though to see it thorough their eyes. Thanks so much for linking up #mondayescapes

Wandermust Mummy

Tuesday 6th of December 2016

It really does but I've been amazed at how much we have been able to get done

Ruth

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

These are very good tips! Cheers for traveling with your baby! I think we all can learn and adapt. Enjoy your travels! #MondayEscapes

Wandermust Mummy

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Thank you - I hope others find this useful

Joanne Addison

Monday 28th of November 2016

Great guide and full of useful tips. The carrier has it's place but buggies are great in that you can chuck everything underneath them and they are good for if it rains. #mondayescapes

Wandermust Mummy

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Agree - I think prams can be overlooked these days