Visiting Rome in December | Weather,Things to do & More

Rome as a cultural hotspot finds itself to be a popular tourist attraction year-round. Be a part of the grand Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrations on December 8th or visit iconic attractions such as the Vatican for free. With numerous festive attractions, Rome is ideal in December. Discover free-entry sites, essential packing tips, and more for a memorable visit during the holiday season.

Rome in December

Why should you visit Rome in December?

  • Stock up your wardrobe: with outlets of tasteful brands like Gucci and Prada open in the shopping districts like Via Condotti, Via del Babuino, and Via Borgognona, take full advantage of the festive shopping season. 
  • Lesser Crowds: With the peak and the shoulder tourist season having passed, you’ll find the prices of hotels and flights to be less outrageous allowing you to explore Italy’s capital city economically. 
  • Feel like a local: Although Christmas is a big deal in Rome, it has a cozier, more genuine feel. It's considerably less commercial, and as you go around, you won't get the impression that everything was done purely to draw visitors into stores.
  • Pleasant weather: Rome is one of the best places in Europe to visit during December as it remains frost free and pleasant enough to make you want to move around and explore the city.
Midnight Mass at St Peters Basilica in Rome

What to look out for in Rome in December?

  • Art enthusiasts keep an eye out for the the Museum of Dreamers in the PratiBus District, a captivating exhibition by designers Elena and Giulia Sella. Immerse yourself in 21 installations, from an enchanted forest to a ball pool, combining design, art, and technology for an interactive experience. Open to all ages.
  • Celebrate the birth of Christ in Rome and take part in the grand Urbi et Orbi or the Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican with the picturesque backdrop of Rome adorned with lights.  
  • On 17 and 24 December, public transportation is free. Take advantage of this and build your itinerary for attractions that need you to travel around these dates. 
  • What’s Christmas without a Christmas musical? Don't miss the iconic "Lo Schiaccianoci" (The Nutcracker),Tchaikovsky's mesmerizing ballet at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma . Directed by Nir Kabaretti with choreography by Paul Chalmer, this enchanting production recounts E.T.A. Hoffmann's magical fairytale.

How is Rome’s weather in December?

Rome Weather in December
  • Average Temperature: 3 to 15 degrees Celsius 
  • Rainfall Range: 50 to 100 mm (2 to 4 inches)
  • Wind Speed Range: 5 to 20 km/h 
  • Daylight Hours Range: Approximately 9 hours
  • Sunrise Range: Around 7:30 AM
  • Sunset Range: Around 4:40 PM

December marks the onset of the winter season in Italy. Expect the temperatures to drop as low as 3℃. With the Winter Solstice falling on 21 December, get ready for short days and early sunsets. Don’t forget an umbrella as rain is also common in Rome in December as well.

Attractions to visit in Rome in December

The Colosseum in December
St Peter’s Basilica
Vatican Museum
Sculptures at the Capitoline Museums
Roman Pantheon
Spanish Steps

Top Experiences in Rome in December


Christmas Events in Rome in December

Christmas Market at Piazza Navona

Christmas Market at Piazza Navona

Dates: 1 December- 6 January
Location: Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Highlights: Street Food, Local Stalls

Wander through the charming Christmas Market at Piazza Navona with stands adorned with nativity scenes, festive decorations, and Christmas tree ornaments. Savor delicious Christmas street food such as sweets, candies, horse chestnuts, sugared apples, the renowned torrone, liquorice, and flavorful porchetta. 

Christmas World in Villa Borghese

Christmas World in Villa Borghese

Dates: 1 December- 7 January
Location: Viale del Galoppatoio, 33, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Highlights: Carnival Games, Local Stalls

Get ready for a magical journey at Christmas World in Villa Borghese. Treat yourself to a truly global holiday theme spanning 30,000 square meters, transporting you to cities worldwide. Experience a multicultural Christmas —from Berlin to New York to Japan and more—featuring installations, shows, and even ice skating under a “Brooklyn Bridge.”

The Nutcracker - Ballet in Rome

Watch The Nutcracker

Dates: 20 December- 31 December
Location: Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Highlights: Christmas Classic, Theatric Experience

Experience the enchantment of Christmas at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma with "Lo Schiaccianoci" (The Nutcracker) from 20-31 December . Directed by Nir Kabaretti, choreographed by Paul Chalmer, this Tchaikovsky ballet brings E.T.A. Hoffmann's magical fairytale to life.

Things to do in Rome in Decemeber

Museum of Dreams Exhibition in Rome

Visit the Museum of Dreams Exhibition

Engross yourself in the enchanting journey at the Museum of Dreams, curated by designers Elena and Giulia Sella. With 21 immersive installations, including an enchanted forest and an upside-down apartment, the exhibition seamlessly blends design, art, and technology for a captivating experience. Immerse yourself in the pure magic of the Museum of Dreams—a space where dreams materialize, offering visitors the chance to marvel, enjoy, and discover inspiration.

Dates: October 6 2023- January 28 2024

Fireworks at the Colosseum for New Years

New Year Parties

Rome is quite popular in the party scene. Ring in the New Year in Rome's festive atmosphere. Join lively celebrations in iconic locations like Piazza del Popolo or the Colosseum. Enjoy fireworks, live music, and the countdown to welcome the new year in style. Keep an eye out for the Hard Rock Cafe and the New Year’s Eve concert that will be hosted in the iconic Circus Maximus.

Orto Botanico

Walk Around Orto Botanico

Explore the 12-hectare Botanical Gardens of Rome, what was once the private garden of Palazzo Corsini. Wander through diverse landscapes, encountering 8000 plant species. In December, don thick clothing to appreciate the beauty of vulnerable European flora.

Food Tours in Rome

Day Trips from Rome

Embark on a delectable food tour in Rome, savoring authentic flavors at local markets and trattorias. Indulge in iconic dishes like pasta carbonara and supplì while uncovering the city's culinary secrets.

Day Trip to Tuscany from Rome
Day Trip to Tivoi from Rome

Know Before Your Visit to Rome in December

Essential Information
What to wear
Things to pack
Essential info to know when in Rome

Time Zone: Central European Time (CET) is used in Rome which is 2 hours ahead of GMT (GMT+02:00).

Currency: Euros - EUR - € 

Country Code: +39

Emergency Numbers: Integrated Emergency System - 112, Ambulance - 118, Fire brigade - 115, Police - 113

What to wear in Rome in December
  • Warm Coat: Bring a sturdy, insulated coat to protect against the cool temperatures. 
  • Waterproof Footwear: Opt for comfortable, waterproof shoes suitable for walking. Rome's streets can be wet, and durable footwear ensures a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
  • Scarf and Gloves: Pack a warm scarf and gloves to shield yourself from the cold wind. These small accessories make a significant difference in maintaining comfort during chilly days and evenings.
  • Thermal Layers: Consider thermal layers for added warmth without bulk. Thermal tops and bottoms are discreet yet effective in preserving body heat, especially on colder days.
Adapter - Tips to visit Rome
  • Umbrella
  • Power Bank
  • Cold Cream.
  • 3-pin to 2-pin Adaptor
  • Apple Air Tag or Similar
Transport in Rome

By Metro: The metro network in Rome has decent connectivity. Metros run along two main lines going across the city connecting most of the tourist attractions around the Vatican city. They are operational from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM every day, and until 1:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

By Bus: Rome has a sprawling bus network that connects all train stations, metro stations. Buses run daily from 5:30 AM to midnight with some night buses that run all through the night across the main lines. The main bus terminal in the city center is in front of Stazione Termini.

By Tram: The tram network in Rome is comparatively smaller than the bus network. Running along seven lines, they can take you to most tourist attractions in the city, but generally take a lot more time than buses and trains.

Hotels in Rome

Rome offers tourists a lot of different accommodation options. You can choose from bed and breakfast options, dormitories, hostels, guest houses, rented apartments, hotels, and resorts, based on your budget and convenience. Here are some of our picks for December.

Budget: Hotel Villa San Lorenzo Maria, Ecce Roma Suites, Andenis Luxury House

Mid-Range: DoubleTree By Hilton Rome Monti, Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo , Loly Boutique Hotel Roma

Luxury: The St. Regis Rome, Hotel Eden - Dorchester Collection, Portrait Roma - Lungarno Collection

Food in Rome
  • Trattoria Da Enzo al 29: Tucked away in a quiet Trastevere street, this popular trattoria is celebrated for its delectable Roman classics. Don't miss their renowned Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana, Carbonara, and underrated tiramisu.
  • Tonnarello: Situated in Trastevere, Tonnarello is a casual gem serving traditional Roman dishes. Renowned for its tonnarelli, a thicker squared pasta, locals frequent this spot. It's a must-try for an authentic Roman dining experience.
  • Freni e Frizone: Located in Trastevere, Freni e Frizone stands out as one of Rome's best cocktail bars. With a creative menu inspired by global neighborhoods, enjoy carefully crafted drinks in the spacious outdoor seating area, such as the delightful Shoreditch cocktail.
  • Supplì Roma: For an affordable Roman snack, Supplì in Trastevere is the go-to spot. Indulge in their gooey cheesy fried rice balls, known as supplì, featuring various fillings and sauces. Satisfying and budget-friendly, these treats are perfect for a quick bite.
  • Trapizzino Trastevere: A local favorite in Trastevere, Trapizzino offers a unique blend of sandwich and pizza. Try their bready cones filled with flavorful options like chicken cacciatore and polpetta al sugo. Conveniently open until 1 am, it's ideal for a quick and affordable lunch or post-night-out bite.

Hacks & Tips to Visit Rome in December

  • In December, Rome's low season offers a chance for budget-friendly exploration. Save more by snagging discounted combo tickets for nearby attractions. Hunt for the best deals on airfare and hotels while booking to maximize your travel budget.
  • To control the crowds, some tourist attractions have fixed time slots for visitor tours. Please mark your schedule while buying your tickets and be there on time, so as to not lose your spot.
  • Note that admission is free to all museums in Rome on the first Sunday of the month.
  • While Rome experiences lower tourist traffic in December, everyone loves celebrating Christmas, locals included, so get ready to find some crowd at public squares and churches during Christmas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Rome in December

Is December a good time to visit Rome?

December is a great time to visit Rome, as it is the low season with fewer tourist crowds and greater discounts on flight tickets and hotel bookings. Moreover, it is one of the few European cities where you get to experience the festive season frost-free.

Is Rome cold in December?

December is the first month of winter in Rome with the average temperatures ranging from 4.2 ℃ to 12.6 ℃. The temperature even drops as low as 3 ℃ on some days. The strong winds make the evenings feel even more chilly.

What clothes to wear in Rome in December?

Heavy woolen clothing is recommended to be worn in Rome in December. Gloves, scarves, thick jackets, and thick socks are needed to keep you warm and comfortable. It is advised to carry water-repelling clothes like raincoats or ponchos for the few rainy days as well.

Is Rome expensive to visit?

Rome is one of the few cities in Europe you can visit on any budget. December especially is part of the low season in Rome, which means you can get great bargains on airfare and hotel tariffs if you book in advance. Public transport is also comparatively much cheaper than in other European countries. Moreover, several attractions in Rome offer free entry from time to time.

What can I see in Rome in December?

Rome, although chilly in December, offers tourists a lot of opportunities to truly witness the city’s opulent history. With fewer crowds in December, you can comfortably visit the Roman Colosseum and the Roman Pantheon. You can also visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Museums in Vatican City, when in Rome in December.

What all can I do in Rome on a tight budget?

You can explore Rome even on a budget. There are several free attractions such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon that you can enter free of cost. You can also explore the streets of Rome on your on and enjoy the general architecture and budget-friendly street food.

How can I explore Rome in Decmeber?

If you are used to Rome's winter, you can opt in for a walking tour which allows an in-depth exploration of the city on foot. On the other hand, you can also opt in for Hop on Hop off tours which connect you several of the city's attractions.