Check out these free things to do in Rome on your next visit. Then follow Liz Gilbert advice and on the saved money eat your way through Italy.
Top 10 Free Things to Do in Rome on Your Next Visit
Rome on a shoestring? Surprisingly, it’s more than possible. Besides city’s famous and sometimes expensive attractions, there are ample amount of free things to do in Rome. The only catch here, you need to know about these free things before you set your foot in Rome. Certainly, wandering the streets of the city and seeing some of these attractions don’t cost you a penny. Other landmarks such as the Colosseum or Roman Forum, however, can make you forget about free things to do in Rome altogether.
But here is a trick. You can visit even the most popular (read expensive) attractions in Rome completely free of charge. There is only one requirement, find out what is the best time to see this side of Rome without shelling out. With that being said, here are the best free things to do in Rome on your next visit.
THE BEST FREE THINGS TO DO IN ROME:
1. Visit the Pantheon
After spending an impressive amount of money on the Vatican (technically not part of the capital of Italy), the idea of visiting Rome on a budget slowly begins to fade away. At least it was the case with me when I almost gave up on any free things to do in Rome. The life turning point happened when one of the locals suggested that I visited the Pantheon. According to her it was one of the must-visit, free things to do in Rome at any time.
Standing in line early next morning, I still wasn’t sure if she was right. It turned out, the Pantheon was indeed one of those free historical things to do in Rome. You could enjoy the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built free of charge. However and probably due to the fact that a visit to the Pantheon doesn’t cost any money, it attracts many visitors. Therefore, make sure to get here early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowds.
2. The Mouth of Truth
You don’t need to wait for Christmas to find out who’s been naughty or nice. When in Rome, find your answers by placing a hand in the Mouth of Truth. The legend says, your hand will be bitten off if you’ve lied.
The Mouth of Truth is located outside the Church of Santa Maria on the Piazza Bocca della Verita or Square of the Mouth of Truth. The famous attractions is free of charge. Moreover, you get a chance to see the Temple of Portunus, the Temple of Hercules Victor, and the Triton Fountain nearby.
3. Wander through the Villa Borghese Gardens
Some free things to do in Rome are not as obvious as you might think. While you need to pay to visit the Villa Borghese Gallery, strolling through the Villa Borghese Gardens is free of charge.
4. The Spanish Steps
Not far from the Villa Borghese Gardens is another free landmark that you don’t want to miss in Rome. The Spanish Steps are known for their irregular butterfly-shaped design and offer good views over the city from the top of the steps.
5. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one more place to add to your list of free things to do in Rome. This Roman landmark is considered the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. They say when you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you ensure your return to Rome. Calculating the amount of money thrown into the fountain during a day, this free attraction surely collects its entrance fees after all.
6. Step into St. Peter’s Basilica
Built in the Renaissance style, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most famous catholic churches in the world. For many it’s the main reason to travel to Rome (to be exact, to Vatican City). And yet, despite its fame and glory, St. Peter’s Basilica belongs to a wide range of free things to do in Rome. But make sure to devote enough time for this visit, as half of it you might spend in line to enter the basilica.
7. Explore the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
The Vatical Museums and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City are usually not the first places to add to your free things to do in Rome. But substitute the word “usually” for the last Sunday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12:30. p.m., and you don’t need to pay a dime. Souvenirs at the Vatical Museums are a different story. For them you surely need to dig into your wallet.
8. Enjoy Free Rome at Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is by far one of my favorite free things to do in Rome. Built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, the place astounds with its size, baroque palaces and churches, and opulent fountains.
9. Museums as Free Things to do in Rome
To take advantage of free Rome, make sure to plan your visit on the first Sunday of the month. On this day over 25 museums, galleries, and gardens welcome locals and visitors free of charge. For a full list of free museums check here.
10. Admire the Roman Forum from above
Unless you visit Rome on the first Sunday of the month, the Roman Forum doesn’t fall under the category of free things. Fear not, though. If you want to save some money, you can still see a lot of it from the street. Wide sidewalk at the Via dei Fori Imperiali is a good place to start.