Walt Disney World For Adults


Disney World For Adults - What to do on a grown up adventure at Disney, The Pike's Place

 You Can Disney as an Adult

Disney is not just for the kids. From the amazing restaurants, rides, shows and shopping to eating and drinking around the world, there’s a lot you can do and see as an adult and still enjoy Disney World. Here is a sample itinerary of what to do on a weekend trip to Disney without kids and tips for having the best short vacation kid free, adjust the itinerary by adding resort breaks or doing one park per day for a longer stay! At the bottom of this post is a list of activities to do outside the Disney Parks, my current favorite food items, resorts, and restaurants.  

Tickets, and Tips


If you only have a 3 day weekend to do Disney, you’ll want to have a park hopper pass to see the most. If you want to save money and only do one park a day, just adjust this itinerary to fit your needs. If you have a 7-day vacation then you honestly do not need to park hop, but many people prefer to for the ease of dinner reservations. Also, check park hours. On certain days parks open and close early. You may want to switch things around to make the most of your time.

Yes, there’s an app for that. Download the My Disney Experience Mobile App before you go! You can check wait times, make dinner reservations, reserve fast passes, see park maps and more! This app does drain power easily, so make sure to carry around a cell charger. There are multiple places to charge your phone including stations by the restrooms near Rapunzel’s tower in the Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World For Adults - What to do on a grown up adventure at Disney, The Pike's Place

3 Day Disney World Itinerary for Adults

Day 1: Magic Kingdom/ Epcot

It’s Day 1 and you will have the most steam. Start off early and go to the biggest park first, Magic Kingdom. Have dinner at Epcot and end your night on the Boardwalk at the piano bar.

Day 1 Morning:

Arrive at the park early and reap the benefits of a slower start. After riding the monorail or ferry over to the Magic Kingdom, head into the park. First get an amazing morning shot in front of the castle and then make your way to the rides. I like to take a left into Adventureland and then head to Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain. People naturally take a right first and wait times on the left side of the park are usually slower early in the day. After riding Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, check the wait times for your must do rides. I typically like to work clockwise around the park starting with Adventureland. Take into consideration any low wait times or fast pass rides. Stop for water and Dole Whip. It is a must!

Disney can be fun for Adults too! What to do without those kiddos

Day 1 Midday:

Get lunch and take a break. Each section of the park has a few quick services places and I prefer to eat at those for lunch. They are cheaper, faster, and no reservation is needed. Like all restaurants at Disney, quick service restaurants are all themed differently, but they do offer a smaller menu. One trip, I unhappily ate in Futureland and it was my least favorite quick service meal EVER. In my opinion, you are better off anywhere else in the park for a meal or snack. I prefer to eat at Columbia Harbor House or get a Waffle from Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square or get a snack in Fantasyland somewhere like at Gaston’s. Giant Cinnamon roll anyone?

After lunch, take it easy on a classic ride with typically no low time, Little Mermaid, People Mover or the train. You can also shop on Main Street USA or watch a parade on the way towards the exit.

Disney's Flower and Garden Festival, Disney World For Adults - What to do on a grown up adventure at Disney, The Pike's PlaceDay 1 Afternoon:

The best part about going to Epcot and Magic Kingdom in the same day is the monorail! Jump on the monorail and head on over to Epcot. You’ll have a wonderful view of a few hotels. Plan on getting to Epcot at least two hours before your dinner reservation to allow for transit time, walking time and room to spare. I almost missed every one of my reservations one trip due to slow transit time and I am an avid Disney goer!

After entering Epcot, head to the World Showcase! Some photos on this post are from a trip to Disney World during the Flower and Garden Festival. During the Flower and Garden Festival, which is in the spring. There are flower exhibits, topiaries, a butterfly garden and special food and drink stations. If you go to Disney during this time visit the butterfly garden near Canada first. If it’s towards the end of the day, it’s likely busier in Mexico than Canada. The World Showcase is set up around a small lake in a semi-circle. Start at Canada and walk around the circle making your way towards Mexico. This is where you can drink and eat around the world comes.

Make sure you keep track of time. You’ll want to be at your dinner reservation around 10-15 minutes before. You can always go back to something you missed after dinner. I like to scout out all the food and drink stations before dinner, so I know what I want to get afterward or on another day. Epcot is the park I visit most often without kids.

What to do on a Disney adventure for adults? Disney for grown ups - The Pike's Place
Day 1 Dinner:

I love all the restaurants in the World Showcase! There isn’t a single one I wouldn’t recommend for an adult group, besides Akershus in Norway, but even that one is good if you want to meet some princesses. Each country has stalls with food and drinks to try! Instead of dinner, you have the option to eat around the world and get food in a few countries.

The Mexican restaurant inside the Mayan Temple, San Angel Inn Restaurante is fantastic. Steak cooked to perfection, beans, rice, and guacamole. This is a more romantic darkly lit restaurant. I would not recommend it for extremely large groups, but amazing food. My current favorite restaurant for adults is Monsieur Paul in the France World Showcase. Trust me, it’s worth the price for the prix fixe menu! 

Dinner in Mexico - Disney World For Adults - What to do on a grown up adventure at Disney, The Pike's Place

Day 1 Evening:

If you are drinking around the world, start the fun after dinner! Typically, Epcot closes between 8:00 – 10:00 pm. You can check park hours on the Walt Disney World Website in advance. Mexico has fantastic margaritas. Skip the margarita at dinner and get them in the small tequila bar next door to the restaurant, La Cava del Tequila, that offers tequila shots, margaritas, chips, salsa, guacamole, and queso. Inside this little bar, you have to be careful because it’s easy to forget you’re in a theme park. My friends love the tequila with salsa shooters. They are delicious, especially the salsa shooters. I like their adventurous margaritas. The cucumber or blood orange are my favorites.

Disney World For Adults

If you have time, get in a ride, such as Test Track, Finding Nemo, or continue experiencing the world showcase. There’s so much to see in the showcase I could spend days there. I love wandering the countries and looking at the exhibits inside each. My favorite is Canada with its huge waterfall. Most of the countries offer a show or movie and Mexico has a ride. Norway now has a Frozen Ever After, which has extremely long wait times. All of the countries have stalls that sell snack size and small portions. At the end of the night, there is a firework show in the center of the lake, so get a good view early to check that out. At some of the restaurants, you can line this up with dinner and see the show from the restaurant windows.

Disney World For Adults

Day 1 Late Night:

After you have had enough of the parks, head out the side entrance to Epcot and follow the path towards the Boardwalk. Here there is a nightclub, ESPN Club, a new bar, AbracadaBar and the piano bar, Jellyrolls. Jellyrolls is 21 and over only and there is a cover charge to get in, but it’s almost always busy with some convention goers and other tourists. It opens at 7:00 pm and stays open until 2:00 am. If you brave it and stay that late, it’s pretty easy to get a cab or Uber back to your hotel. If you are staying at one of the boardwalk hotels you can walk!

Disney Springs also has tons of new bars and restaurants to check out and most are open until midnight. We love Raglan Road for live music, but The Edison, The Hangar Bar, and Enzo’s Hideaway are also fun and becoming more and more popular.

Day 2: Animal Kingdom/ Hollywood Studios

After a long night, you may want to sleep in a little on day 2. Rest relax get breakfast at your hotel, I love the Mickey Waffles that most of the restaurants offer, and then head to the parks.

Mickey Waffles at Walt Disney World - The Pike's Place
Day 2 Morning:

The Animal Kingdom is a good park to do earlier in the day before it gets hot. There is not as much to do in the Animal Kingdom and more to see. Head first to Africa where you’ll want to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris. Morning and dusk are the best time to see animals. Have a camera ready! Giraffes, lions, gazelle, hippos, elephants and more all call this “ride” their home and it one of my favorite Disney rides! When you exit the ride follow the trails on the right side of the queue line to see more animal exhibits, including Gorillas. Then head to Expedition Everest to ride the BEST roller coaster at Disney World. No fast pass, no worry. There is a single rider line and you can usually get on extremely fast.

Day 2 Afternoon:

Eat lunch in Asia after riding Everest and then check out the animal exhibits, which includes an awesome Tiger habitat. If you’re really hot or enjoy water rides hop on Kali River Rapids OR walk back over to Africa for a drink at the Dawa Bar. Before heading to your next park, check out the ride Dinosaur or visit more animal exhibits. There is also some great shows, a few more rides and shopping in the Animal Kingdom if you want a slower afternoon. The new Pandora section is still very crowded with very long wait times. Flight of Passage is likely the longest wait you will encounter. Get a Fast Pass or skip it. Most people think this is the best ride ever with an amazing queue line. I do like it, but if I can’t get a Fast Pass I skip it rather than wait upwards of 180+ minutes.

Disney World For Adults

Day 2 Evening: 

Get to Hollywood Studios with enough time to get to your dinner reservation, at least 2 hours prior. Try to get evening fast passes for Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Tower. You can also do one big ride before dinner and spend the rest of the time on the smaller or shows like Muppets. I highly recommend the Frozen Sing-Along for any groups of women. It’s adorable and a sing-along. For groups of men or any sci-fi/action fans head right to all things Star Wars. There are new and updated Star Wars attractions and a whole land devoted to Star Wars, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which is incredible!

Disney World For Adults
Day 2 Dinner:

50’s Prime Time Cafe is many of my friends favorite restaurant. I can’t say it’s mine, sorry guys! You eat in cute little kitchenettes, watch 1950’s television shows and the waiter or waitress yells at you. I like the idea, but really just not a fan. The menu is meatloaf, fried chicken, and “50’s style Americana food”. I do like the bar to the left of the restaurant. They have fantastic drinks and the same menu if you want to eat at the bar. For a sit-down meal, I prefer Mama Melrose’s Ristorante near the Muppets ride for great casual style Italian meal or splurge for the more upscale American menu at The Hollywood Brown Derby . 

Disney World For Adults
Day 2 Late Night:

After dinner, ride any rides you missed, shop and stick around for Fantasmic or, on select nights, the nighttime spectacular, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Fantasmic a water and light show, including floats covered in characters and dancers and caps the night off with a huge firework display. This is my favorite nighttime show. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular combines the music, magic, and characters of Star Wars with special effects and fireworks that place you inside iconic scenes from the Star Wars saga. Head back to your hotel after the show and get some must needed rest.

Day 3: Park of your choice/ Epcot / Magic Kingdom

By day 3 you are likely very tired from the early mornings, go go go and late nights. On a weekend trip to Disney, you really don’t get much downtime. Now is your chance to either sleep in, relax by the hotel pool or revisit the park you feel you didn’t get enough time. In the afternoon, have an early dinner at Epcot and end your last night with light shows and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.

Drinks in Paris - What to do on a Disney adventure for adults? Disney for grown ups - The Pike's PlaceDay 3 Morning:

Relax, unwind, sleep. Walt Disney World resorts actually have really cool pools and attractions or go shop at Disney Springs. It would be a shame if you completely missed them. Pool parties, campfires, work out centers, multiple restaurants, character greetings. Think of anything a typical large resort would offer and most likely your Disney hotel has it. If you feel you must go to a park in the morning, (we are often guilty of this) visit the one you feel you didn’t get enough time at and ride those missed rides.

Disney World For Adults

Day 3 Afternoon:

Head to Epcot and visit countries in the showcase to eat and drink around the world for lunch. Take time to see shows, meet characters and relax in each country. Lots of great photo opportunities. After you have explored each country and tried a few items, head over to the rides and check out the rest of Epcot. Soarin and Fast Track are the big rides, but Finding Nemo, Mission Space and Turtle Talk with Crush are great too. A few of the rides in Epcot are really cheesy and FYI Figment is horrible.

Disney World for Adults

Day 3 Dinner:

Another restaurant in Mexico I love is, La Catina de San Angel. My favorite menu item is the Tacos de Barbacoa and one of their special margaritas. It is amazing and I highly recommend this restaurant.

As I mentioned previously, Monsieur Paul in France is my current favorite restaurant at Disney. The prix fixe menu is pricey but well worth the cost. You select from a small menu of items that make up a four-course meal. It is beyond comparison to anything else I’ve had a Disney World. Le Cellier Steakhouse is my second choice, the steaks are delicious and you cannot go wrong with poutine or beer cheese soup!

In general, we like all of the World Showcase restaurants. There is something for every palette and style. I do recommend eating at one of the full-service restaurants in the world showcase if you can.

Tacos in Mexico What to do on a Disney adventure for adults? Disney for grown ups - The Pike's Place

Day 3 Evening:

Leave Epcot on the monorail and end your weekend where it began, at the Magic Kingdom. Get an evening picture in front of Cinderella’s castle. Ride whatever you missed the first day. Shoot for one big ride, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain or Buzz Lightyear and whatever smaller rides have the least wait time. It’s a Small World, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Teacups (to name a few) are all fun and the wait times are usually lower. Don’t miss the Happily Ever After projection and firework show. Make sure to look up for Tinkerbell’s flight and fireworks to end the show.

It may be a jammed packed weekend but just think of everything you got to see and do. You can always skip something I suggested and add in a day at a water park or golf. I like to reserve those activities for a longer stay, but this is your trip. Make the most of it and enjoy Disney!

Disney For Adults

Activities for Adults Outside of the Disney Parks

  • Golf – Of course Disney World offers more than one stunning golf course. Check out the options on the Disney Golf website.
  • Disney Springs – Disney Springs is the former Downtown Disney. It is an outside shopping complex complete with high-end stores, Disney merchandisers, a movie theater, bowling alley, numerous restaurants and live entertainment. This includes the House of Blues and soon a new Cirque De Soleil Nobu.
  • Tours – Disney offers an entire list of special tours and experiences, many of which are adult only. While not all of them are outside the parks, they are typically fantastic. We recently did a wine tasting during Food & Wine Festival that was amazing. Most people don’t know or don’t look into these special experiences enough.
  • Spas – No world class resort is without a spa or two. Disney is no different. A number of the deluxe resorts have a spa and many, such as Senses at Saratoga Springs Resort, are accessible for those staying at that resort.
  • Recreation – The resort pools get a lot of recognition, but there are so many more recreation activities that most people forget about at Disney World. From water sports, archery, horseback riding to tennis, there is surely something every adult can enjoy.
  • Disney Boardwalk – The turn of the century style boardwalk is a quaint hidden section of Disney that is home to a few resorts, some great restaurants, and entertainment. Here you can find the EPSN zone, a new magic-themed bar, Abracadabar, Jelly Rolls dueling piano bar, Atlanta Dance Hall, and even Surrey Bike rentals.
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports – Disney houses its own Sports complex. This facility is host to thousands of events and over 60 sports. Teams come from all over to train and compete here and many times you can get a ticket to watch. The most famous is the Atlanta Braves Spring Training.
  • RunDisney Events – If you are a runner, a walker or a Disney fan, a runDisney race should be on your bucket list. I am hooked! 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathons are offered throughout the year and of course, have a fun Disney themed. These races are a blast and hardly feel like a race with all the on course Disney entertainment, characters to meet, photo opportunities and music. There is even Star Wars themed races and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend has an after-party where you eat and drink around the Epcot World Showcase during Food & Wine Festival!

If You Plan to Stay and Eat On Disney Property These Are My Favorites!

Favorite Food & Drinks in the Epcot World Showcase

  • Mexico – Tacos / Cucumber Margarita
  • Norway – School Bread / Einstök White Ale
  • China – Pot Stickers / Plum Wine
  • Germany – Pretzel / Schöfferhofer Pink Grapefruit Beer
  • Italy – Pizza / Bellini
  • United States – Popcorn / Seasonal Beer
  • Japan – Sushi / Sake
  • Morocco – Shawarma Lamb Platter / Casa
  • France – Any of the Tartes / Grand Marnier Slushy
  • United Kingdom – Fish and Chips / Black & Tan
  • Canada – Maple Popcorn / La Fin du Monde

Food in World Showcase - What to do on a Disney adventure for adults? Disney for grown ups - The Pike's Place

Restaurants Great for Adults

Raglan Road – Disney Springs
La Hacienda de San Angel Restaurant – Epcot
The Rose & Crown Pub – Epcot
House of Blues – Disney Springs
Via Napoli – Epcot

Chefs De France – Epcot
Sanaa – Animal Kingdom Lodge
Tusker House – Animal Kingdom
Trattoria al Forno – Disney’s Boardwalk
Boma – Animal Kingdom Lodge (go for the breakfast buffet!)

Be Our Guest – Magic Kingdom (Dinner)
Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot
Yachtsman Steakhouse – Yacht & Beach Club
STK Orlando – Disney Springs
Jiko – Animal Kingdom Lodge
Monsieur Paul – Epcot

Favorite Disney Resorts for Adults

All Star Sports – Ask for a room near the surf pool
Pop Century – Newly renovated rooms with a queen bed and pull down bed!

Coronado Springs – Newly built tower section with some new great restaurants!
Port Orleans French Quarter – Smaller moderate with great bar and ferry to Disney Springs
Caribbean Beach – Very large hotel, request to be near transportation

Polynesian – Exotic feel with Monorail to Epcot and Magic Kingdom
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Savannah view has animals outside your window!
BoardWalk Inn – Smaller Deluxe resort walking distance to Epcot on the Boardwalk
Yacht & Beach Club – Upscale beach spa feel and walking distance to Epcot

What to do on a grown up adventure at Disney


Check out some of our other Disney posts!

Pregnant at Disney: Tips for a great Disney Vacation while pregnant







Staying at Walt Disney World Resort & Coronado Springs Review


Walt Disney World is my favorite vacation spot for a girls weekend trip. I love everything about Disney World, the characters, the songs, the rides, the feeling of being a kid again, not to mention eating and drinking around the world. The customer service is out of this world and the while the prices may be steep, each and every time I enter the gates I know exactly why it’s the happiest place on earth. On this Disney trip, I did run a 5k. Find a review of the race here, how I made my race outfit here and what to do here. This post is dedicated to staying on site at Disney World and where we stayed on our weekend trip, Coronado Springs. (updated 12/2016)

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on any of these links, we will be compensated. All opinions are our own.*

Staying on site at Disney World & Review of Coronado Springs


Why Stay to on Property Walt Disney World?

There are many options for where to stay on a Disney vacation. In my opinion, you are crazy not to stay on site. It can be pricier and some people prefer renting a condo. I have stayed offsite and I have stayed in a condo. Both are great, but you do not get the added value of magic bands, extra magic hours, ticket bundles, meal plans, early fast pass picks, free parking and most importantly transportation. (more…)

Star Wars RunDisney Outfit


I recently ran the Star Wars 5K at Walt Disney World. One of the best parts of running Disney is all the crazy outfits people wear. After I signed up, I immediately wanted to have a fun outfit. Originally, I was going to make a crazy costume. That idea was over quickly once I remembered I had to be able to run in it. I decided on something I could actually use again and something that was easy to run in.

There are so many Star Wars RunDisney Outfits you can buy on esty, but why not just make one! It’s cheap, easy and you can add your own flare. The tank I made for the 5k said May The Course Be With You in yellow neon glitter letter. Here are instructions on how to make your own tank. ** This post contains affiliate links to products I use for your convenience and to support the continuance of this site. All opinions expressed are my own.

click here to read my review of the race

Star Wars Run Disney Outfit - DIY May The Course Be With You, The Pike's Place



  • Tank Top – Black cotton tank from Target ($8.00)
  • Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl – Neon Yellow from Expressions Vinyl ($3.49 plus shipping) 
  • Iron
  • Cricut or Die Cut Machine
  • Font of your Choice – Star Jedi font from (for personal use only!)



RunDisney World – Star Wars Race


Star Wars 5K Race Recap
Race you to the castle!

This is my new favorite saying and possibly my latest addiction considering I’ve already signed up for my next race. Disney races are incredible. Everything Disney World plus working out is the epitome of perfection. The Inaugural Star Wars 5K part of Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida was my first race ever, let alone my first Disney race. Let’s just say I did it backyards and will never be able to run a normal race. In this post I will cover the race itself.

Before this trip, I DIY’d my race outfit, personalized water bottles, personalized magic bands and attended Dapper Day. I will cover those and where we stayed at Disney in other posts, links at the bottom.

Star Wars Race Outfit

Prepping for My 1st RunDisney Race

Since I’d never run a race, I prepared using the Nike Run app. I have used this app for years, but never realized there was a coaching section for preparing for a race. I loved using (more…)

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What to do with 1 Day in Milan


Milan, Italy - A Day in Milan, The Pike's PlaceWe spent our last day in Italy exploring a city torn between the growth of modern life and the charm of history. The city of Milan is the fashion house of Italy and a financial powerhouse. Stepping off the train you are surrounded by skyscrapers and building like none other we saw in Italy. Gorgeous new modern buildings are being erected around Milan rivaling the historic buildings they stand next too. This city is also home to one of the most famous paintings in the entire world, The Last Supper.

Where we stayed:

AirBnb flat 
Via Emilio Cornalia 24, Milan

We rented a flat off AirBnb. The one we chose was an easy location to get to from the train station and the owner had good reviews. (more…)

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Riomaggiore, Italy – Step Back in Time in Cinque Terre


Riomaggiore, Italy - Step Back in Time in Cinque TerreThe fishing villages of Cinque Terre has some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. If you have the chance to go to Italy, find a way to get to Cinque Terre.  We traveled around Italy for two weeks and Riomaggiore was our second to last stop. We only had one day in the tiny town and were hoping to hike among the cliffs. Well, a train strike and a large rain storm decided to derail that plan, almost to the point where we were stuck at an isolated train station indefinitely. (more…)

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Luxury Trip To Tuscany


A Luxury Trip to Tuscany, Itlay - The Pike's Place
We started our travels through Italy at the epicenter of ancient history sightseeing through Rome. After we left Rome, we headed north to a slower pace of life Tuscany. We traveled by train from Rome and had to change trains in Florence. It was the perfect opportunity for some shopping and lunch before getting the second train to the city of Lucca. Once in Lucca we grabbed a taxi to the villa where we were staying.

A Journey through Italy
Days 6-9 Tuscany

Tuscany Countryside - A Trip to Tuscany, Itlay - The Pike's Place

Where We Stayed

Villa Controni- Lucca Tuscany
Via di Vorno, 84, Capannori LU, Italy

A Luxury Trip to Tuscany, Itlay
We were in Lucca for a wedding and stayed in a villa with the rest of the wedding guests. There are plenty of villas and hotels you can rent a room in throughout the region. All of them have their own charm. (more…)

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Exploring Rome, Italy


What to do, see and eat in Rome, Italy!
Italy, a country where you can walk in the footsteps of Caesar, see where the Renaissance began and eat some of the finest cuisine in the world. Our close friends recently got married in Italy and we jumped on the opportunity to tour the country before and after their wedding. On our trip we learned history in Rome, wandered through the Renaissance in Florence, attended a wedding in Lucca, went back to a simpler time in the fishing villages of Cinque Terre, and shopped in the epicenter of fashion in Milan. We flew in and out of Milan and traveled by train to each destination. First stop, the city of love, Roma.

Foro Romano e Palatino - Exploring Rome Italy
Days 1-5: Rome

The eternal city offers once in a lifetime experiences and a culture different from any other Italian city. The hustle and bustle of everyday city life mixes with some of the largest collection of historic places on the planet. Here are the highlights from our stay in Rome.

Where We Stayed

Aleph Hotel – Rome
Via di S. Basilio, 15

Aleph Hotel is a wonderful boutique hotel. The staff is extremely helpful and the front desk staff spoke multiple languages including English. The airline we flew to Italy on lost our luggage and the staff here went above and beyond to help us. This hotel is about a fifteen-minute walk from Termini train station and we had no trouble finding it. There is also a metro station about a block down from the hotel. If you do not want to walk around Rome, we walked, you can easily take the metro everywhere you want to visit.

The room is small, but the bed was an actual queen and not your typical European full size bed. The hotel is on a quiet business street very close to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon. There is a very relaxing Turkish bath and a restaurant in the hotel. We never found the need to eat at the hotel restaurant, but we did get drinks before dinner one night.

 Aleph Hotel - Where to Stay and What to See in Rome, Italy - The Pike's Place

What To See In Rome

Pantheon – is an immense temple turned church. The church boasts a large oculus in the center of it’s dome. It’s an extremely impressive site to see and beautiful to see at night. You can read about the history here. The pantheon was very close to our hotel, so we actually walked by it every day. It was the first “historic site” we saw on the way to our first dinner.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Trevi Fountain – The famous fountain is just around the corner from Pantheon. When we visited it was unfortunately under refurbishment, but because of this it was empty and we got a good look at on a few different occasions. I cannot wait to get back to Rome, so I can see it with actual water in it.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Spanish Steps – The Spanish Steps were completely different than the picture of it I had in my mind. The steps in my opinion are in a very odd location. They kind of seemed random, but no less still beautiful and impressive. We walked by them very early in the morning on our way to the market. Go early and get a great photo without it being full of other people. The rest of the day it’s REALLY crowded.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Colosseo – The Colosseo is all that you imagine and more. The oval amphitheater was site to many different historic events and played a major role in Roman society. The museum does a wonderful job displaying artifacts and explaining the structure. Arrive early and you will miss a lot of the major crowds. You can also skip the line and buy tickets at the Foro Romano on Via dei Fori Imperiali. You get to skip the main line once you get to Colosseo if you already have a ticket and the ticket is good for two days, so if you want to do the Forum and the Colosseo separate you have that option.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Foro Romano e Palatino – The former epicenter of Rome, The Roman Forum, is HUGE and incredible!!! Views from the top of the forum were some of my favorite! The Forum is very large and expect to walk a lot. You can spend a good 4 hours here walking and exploring the different sections of the ancient city.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Vatican City – Enter the Catholic city and experience history and art like no other. The preserved artifacts and art on these grounds are vast. A guided tour can be booked in advance and is very useful, although it a little long. The our is around 3 hours of non-stop art and history. If you aren’t an art or history buff this tour may not be for you. I think the tour was worth it, especially to skip the line outside and understand why certain art exhibits were significant. The Sistine Chapel is the reason many people visit the Vatican and it is incredible.

Be warned if you are there on a busy day, they cram way too many people into small rooms and there is not air conditioning. After the tour of the museums they take you in St. Peter’s Basilica. You can take as much time as you like in the basilica and if you have extra time check out the crypt. Proper dress is also required, check guidelines before showing up and not being allowed in.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Campo de’ Fiori, Jewish Ghetto, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo – In Rome there seemed to be hundreds of parks and neighborhoods all with amazing fountains, history, restaurants and not to mention great people watching. These are just some of the ones we visited.
There are more historic places to visit than I have listed here. Some we walked by and took pictures at and some we didn’t get a chance to see. Take time to explore this city at your leisure and try not to cram too much into the trip. Take time to wander, get lost and experience the city.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy

Where To Eat

La Ciambella– near Pantheon
This was our favorite restaurant in Rome! The food, the service and the wine was amazing! This little pace is tucked away off the main street and has oddles of charm. It has a modern farmhouse feel to it and there is even a pane of glass in the floor where you can see into the wine cellar. Get the spaghetti carbonara, it was the best one we had the entire trip. Via dell’Arco della Ciambella, 20, 00186 Roma, Italy

Baghetto Milky – Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish ghetto is a cute little street with some shops and great food. It was really fun to try an Italian Kosher meal, and see the differences from the other areas of town. The restaurant is completely kosher, so if you are Kosher you are in luck for your stay in Rome. Try anything in the Fritti section, it’s delicious and the area is known for fried things. Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 2/A, 00186 Roma, Italy

Cul De Sac – near Piazza Navona
This was our least favorite place of the whole trip. Some people aren’t bothered by peddlers, but we aren’t a fan of it. We were offered selfie sticks, roses, toys and random other goods the entire dinner. The food was good, but service and atmosphere was terrible. I wouldn’t go back, but we were in Italy, so it was all fine. Piazza di Pasquino, 73, 00186 Roma, Italy

La Botticella – near Piazza Navona
On the way back to our hotel one evening we wandered down a random street and found a small Pittsburgh themed bar with an American owner. There are even peanuts on each table. The owner is really nice guy and loves when Americans find his bar. He even gave us free absinthe to try when my husband said he’d never tried it. This area can get rowdy late at night and it is a true bar, but if you are nostalgic for home, want to watch sports or get a beer give this place a try. Vicolo del Leopardo, 39/a, 00153 Roma, Italy

L’Isola della Pizza – near Vatican City
We are lunch here after our visit to the Vatican. The restaurant was busy and every meal we saw looked delicious. Our waiter spoke very little English and did a fantastic job figuring out what we wanted with my very poor Italian. I tried my best and he appreciated it. We each had a small pizza and we weren’t disappointed by one bite. Via degli Scipioni, 45, 00192 Roma, Italy

‘Gusto Osteria – near Spanish Steps
This place was more in a business district and was the perfect place for our last dinner! The food was great, the service was great and we felt like locals. We ate outside on a little patio. I had an amazing steak and my husband had the braised oxtail, Coda alla Vaccinara. Via della Frezza, 16, 00186 Roma, Italy

There’s also thousands of amazing cafes to grab an espresso or pastry and food stands to get gellato, pizza by the slice or a sandwich. We stopped at one of these shops every day for most of our lunches and all breakfasts, snacks and of course gellato.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
Rome is a huge glorious city and the more time you take to explore the more authentic culture you will get. We stayed in Rome for five days and I wouldn’t recommend any less. This gives you time to explore beyond the museums and experience some of the neighborhoods and fantastic culture that this city has to offer. Research the location of your hotel and choose wisely. You can save yourself a lot of travel time, if you pick an area you want to spend time in. You also get what you pay for, remember this when traveling abroad. If you have a hostel budget and expect a five-star hotel, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Travel booking websites, such as and Expedia, can save you a lot of money and time. Read the reviews before booking your hotel and trust them.

Some pointers for being a good tourist in Italy

– You pay to sit, so remember that when ordering at a counter. Stand and eat at the counter or pay extra.
– Watch what others do before you order. A lot of food stalls (gelato, coffee, even pizza places) you pay the cashier first then give them your receipt at the counter to get your item.
– Order multiple courses at sit down restaurants, you will likely get bad service and be upset with the portion if you only order one thing.
– Italians typically do not eat and walk at the same time. Stand and eat before heading out.
– Cover you knees and shoulders in churches, the guards won’t let you if you are dressed improperly.
– If nothing else, attempt to speak the language. A simple buongiorno can go a long way.

5 Days Exploring Rome Italy
**Disclaimer** I am a lover of history not a historian. If I got any facts wrong I apologize.

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