Best Churches

Rome has literally hundreds of churches and most of them are worth visiting.  Here, we’ve chosen our favourite churches to visit in order of interest. Click on the photos to see more information, sightseeing tips, maps and opening times…

1. St Peter’s Basilica (San Pietro) – This is one of the world’s most important churches and it has all the finery to prove it. The sheer size of the Basilica is the first thing that blows you away and then you start to marvel at the ornate decoration, beautiful statues, stunning chapels, works of art and memorials to former popes. Read More, pics, opening times & map…

Rome St Peters Basilica and square (
St Peter’s Piazza & Basilica

2. Pantheon – Dating back to the first century AD, this former Roman temple is probably the oldest still used building you’ll ever have been in. It’s certainly the best preserved Roman building in Rome, partly because it was converted into a church by a Pope in around 609AD. Read more, opening times, pics & map…

Rome Pantheon external (

3. Sistine Chapel – No trip to Rome would be complete without seeing the Sistine Chapel, but you can only do this by visiting the Vatican Museums.If you take the audio tour, you’ll get more out of your visit, but it will also take you a lot longer. Read more, pics, opening times & tickets…

Rome Sistine Chapel roof (
The roof of the Sistine Chapel

4. Santa Maria Maggiore – From the outside this Basilica is grand and imposing, but it’s the inside that really takes it to another level. From the moment you enter, you are greeted by a huge glow of gold coming from the ceiling. This was the first gold to be brought from the New World and in this Basilica, they certainly made the most of it. Read more, pics,opening times & map…

Rome Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore altar (
The altar area at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

5. Santa Maria del Popolo – Bernini has left his stamp on this attractive small church on the edge of Piazza del Popolo. He deisgned part of the facade and interior and there are two statues of his to look out for too. You’ll find Habbakuk and Daniel in the recesses of the Chigi chapel. Read more, pics, opening hours & map…

Rome Santa Maria del Popolo roof (

6. Twin Churches – These “twin” churches dominate the southern edge of Piazza del Popolo. They are Santa Maria dei Miracoli, built in 1681 and Santa Maria in Montesanto, built in 1679. The two churches were begun by Carlo Rainaldi and completed by Bernini and Carlo Fontana and they define the junctions of the 3 main roads which lead from the piazza. Read more, pics, map & links…

Rome twin churches exterior (
The “twin” churches in Piazza del Popolo

This guide to Rome’s best churches is part of our free Rome City Guide.


Best of Rome Walking Tour – Features many of the churches above
Wikipedia – Churches of Rome page
Books on Rome’s Churches –
Rome Hotels – Great rates from