Top 10 Free Things to Do in Rome

First do these free things upon arrival in Rome. Then follow Liz Gilbert advice and eat your way through the city on the saved money.

Last updated: September 20, 2023

Piazza Navona, Roads and Destinations
Free things to do in Rome

Top 10 Free Things to Do and Places to Visit in Rome

Rome on a shoestring? Surprisingly, it’s more than possible. Besides city’s famous and sometimes expensive attractions, there are ample free places to visit and things to do in Rome. The only catch here is that you need to know when and where to look for them. I hoped this grabbed your attention. If so, let’s find some of the best free things to do and places to visit in the classic city of 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 finding any free things to do in the city.

The 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 a few historic places you can visit in Rome for free.

TIP: On the other hand, the line in front of the building can be really long. You have more chances of being one of the first people to enter the former temple early in the morning.

Pantheon, Free things to do in Rome - Roads and Destinations
The Pantheon | Free attractions in Rome

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 of 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 located nearby.

3. Wander through the Villa Borghese Gardens

Some of the free places to enjoy in Rome are hidden behind their paid parent-attractions. While you need to purchase a ticket to visit the Villa Borghese Gallery, strolling through the Villa Borghese Gardens is free of charge.

Roads and Destinations,
Photo by Jordan Brierley | Free places to visit in Rome

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 of the city from the top of the steps.

 Free things to do in Rome, Roads and Destinations,
The Spanish Steps

5. Toss a Coin into the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is another epic place to add to your list of the free attractions in Rome. This Roman landmark is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

It’s believed if you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will return to Rome. Considering the amount of money thrown into the fountain during a day, this free attraction surely collects its entrance fee by itself.

 Free things to do in Rome, Roads and Destinations,
The Trevi Fountain | Free places to visit in Rome

6. Step into St. Peter’s Basilica

Built in the Renaissance style, the 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. And yet, despite its fame and glory, the St. Peter’s Basilica doesn’t have any admission fees.

TIP: Make sure to devote enough time for this visit, as half of it you may spend in line waiting for your turn to enter the Basilica. 

Historical Sites in Rome.
St. Peter’s Basilica

7. Explore Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City are usually not the first places to add to your budget-friendly itinerary in Rome. But if you get to these renowned destinations on the last Sunday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12:30. p.m., you won’t need to pay a dime to see all the treasures they hold.

Souvenirs at the Vatical Museums are a different story. To get them, you surely need to dig into your pocket.

Photography at the Vatican, Free things to do in Rome, Roads and Destinations,
The Vatican Museums | Free attractions to see in Rome

8. Enjoy Free Rome at Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is by far one of my favorite free places to sit and people-watch in Rome. Built on the site of the former Stadium of Domitian, the place astounds with its grand size, baroque palaces and churches, and opulent fountains.

Piazza Navona, Roads and Destinations,
Piazza Navona – one of my favorite free destinations in Rome

9. Visit Free Museums

To take advantage of affordable places in Rome, plan your visit on the first Sunday of the month. On this day, more than 25 museums, galleries, and gardens welcome locals and visitors free of charge.

Travel Virtually, Vatican Courtyard,
Visit Rome’s museums free of charge on the first Sunday of the month

10. Admire Roman Forum from Above

Unless you visit Rome on the first Sunday of the month, the Roman Forum doesn’t fall into the category of the free things. Fear not, though. If you want to save some money, you can still see a lot of it from the street. A wide sidewalk at the Via dei Fori Imperiali is a good place to start.

 Free things to do in Rome, Roads and Destinations,
Roman Forum

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