Rome is full of different attractions, and there are many free things to do for those interested in budget tourism. Italy vacations may become unforgettable without spending lots of money if you follow walking and sightseeing tours, prepare with Rome guides and plan day trips.
Here’s the list of the top 15 things to do in Rome for free:
Rome is plenty of markets. For instance, Campo de’ Fiori Market functions daily until 3 pm and is located on one of the city’s most famous squares. The memorial to Giordano Bruno stands in the middle of Campo de’ Fiori, and there are many bars, hookah places, and restaurants surrounding the square. Testaccio market is another classic Roman standby. It has an energetic atmosphere and is a fantastic spot to try many Italian delicacies for free or buy souvenirs. You will find there not only food but almost everything you can imagine. Also, near Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo), Campagna Amica market works every Saturday and Sunday. Undoubtedly, this is an excellent place for local delicacies degustation. The market is large and contains a huge variety of interesting and tasty products.
Explore Rome in the most comfortable way!
The most famous Roman Market is probably Porta Portese, which is open each Sunday. A visit to this mammoth flea market is a unique chance to see another side of Rome. You will find different books, clothes, old mp3 players, and many exciting things there. It is one of the best budget shopping options in Rome.
Overall, Roman markets are an excellent option for tourists of any budget. They contain various natural Italian products for lower prices than in souvenir shops, and one can try most of the food sold there for free.
Did you know that you can admire originals of masterpieces by such notable artists as Bernini, Raphael, or Michelangelo in Roman churches without paying anything? For instance, the San Luigi dei Francesi contains three artworks by Caravaggio and has an 18th-century interior. Moreover, if you have ever noticed symmetrical churches in one of the most famous squares, Piazza del Popolo, there are also artworks of Caravaggio in the Cerasi Chapel. Also, the Basilica of Saint Peter’s, among all masterpieces, has Michelangelo’s most famous “Pieta,” which you can see for free. However, it is better to explore the Vatican during the sunrise tour with a private tour guide to skip long lines.
Rome has not only remaining ancient buildings and monuments, but it is also full of greenery. Villas of the city are huge parks where locals enjoy good weather, walk with their pets, do sports, or come for a picnic.
For instance, Villa Borghese has plenty of attractions for its visitors, such as an artificial lake, where you can rent a boat for 3 euros per person, visit the smallest cinema in the world or enjoy views of the city from one of the most beautiful observe decks. This is an amazing site to visit with the whole family, especially if you are on vacation with kids. Other famous green parks of the Eternal City are Villa Ada and Villa Pamphili. Each of them is huge and full of different plants and animals such as squirrels, birds, and swans.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world. Thousands of tourists daily come to admire the masterpiece of the 18th century and throw a coin into the Baroque fountain. Do you know why? The throwing of coins into the water comes from a couple of legends. The first is that throwing a coin from the right hand over the right shoulder will ensure that you will return to Rome in the future. The second legend appeared after the film “Three Coins in the Trevi Fountain,” which claims that you should throw three coins into the fountain. The first coin guarantees your return to Rome; the second will ensure new romance; the third will ensure marriage. Just try!
The Pantheon is an ancient temple dedicated to the Roman gods, which embodies the greatness of the Roman Empire. Something unique about this place? Yes, in the morning, by 8.30 am, you can come inside first to enjoy this massive temple without tourists. Its walls are 7 meters wide, and there are tombs of notable people such as Raphael Santi or Victor Emmanuel II, and Umberto I. However, the fascinating part of the current church is its giant dome, which was the largest in the world for 1300 years. Today, it remains the largest unsupported dome globally, with a diameter of 43.30 meters of 142 ft.
The Pantheon is the best-preserved ancient monument
The Janiculum (Gianicolo) hill is extremely popular among locals. It offers one of the best views of the Eternal City, contains important monuments, and there is the fountain of Acqua Paola (the grandfather of the Trevi Fountain!) This is one of the most romantic spots of the city.
There are more than 900 churches in Rome, including Roman Catholic Marian churches. The entrance to each of them is free of admission, while many churches contain notable masterpieces by famous artists and impressive frescoes. Moreover, each of them has a different decoration.
Have you ever been to the Trastevere district? It is one of the most charming spots in Rome because of its tiny streets, beautiful corners, and impressive Basilica of Saint Mary in Trastevere (Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere). There is plenty of local and international bars and restaurants, gelaterias, souvenir shops, and local designers’ brands. It is easy to fall in love with Trastevere at first sight.
We invite you to our private walking tour around Trastevere area
The Historical Museum of Liberation (Museo Storico della Liberazione) is located in the building used as a prison during the months of Nazi occupation of Rome (1943-44). Nowadays, the building is dedicated to all imprisoned people and is a reminder of suffering under Nazi Germany.
Are you tired of ancient monuments? Then, it’s time to visit the EUR district. Built as a project of Benito Mussolini for the World Exhibition, the area is considered a modern and new part of Rome. Moreover, the most notable feature of the district is its “square Colosseum,” which houses the Fendi fashion brand nowadays. The area is beautiful, and you can explore it with us during the private tour through Rome of Mussolini.
The Orange garden, located on the top of the Aventine hill, is one of the most charming gardens in Rome, and it’s free to visit. There is a fantastic observation deck and beautiful decoration of orange trees. You will immediately fall in love with the atmosphere of the place since it is peaceful and full of greenery.
Piazza dei Cavalieri is also located on the Aventine hill, right near the Orange Garden. If you come there during the daytime, there will be a queue of tourists near the huge door. You may ask why? There is the famous keyhole, where you can see three governments simultaneously: Italy, Vatican, and Malta.
The Weekly Wednesdays Audience in the Vatican usually starts at 10 am. This is a chance to see Pope Francis, but you will need to arrive at Saint Peter’s square up to 3 hours before the beginning of the audience to get a good seat. The average duration of the audience is 1.5-2 hours, and the Pope gives speeches in different languages, where the main ones are English, French, Spanish, German, Polish, Portuguese, and Italian.
Largo di Torre Argentina has the remains of 4 ancient temples. This place is famous because Caesar was assassinated there. But today, Largo Argentina is popular among visitors because of its cat shelter with more than 200 friendly pets. You can adopt one!
Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful bridges globally is the Bridge of Angels (Ponte Sant’Angelo). Emperor Hadrian built the ancient construction to link the bank of the Tiber with the Castle of Saint Angel (Castel Sant’Angelo). You can make a journey along the Via Crucis and admire ten sculptures of angels designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, which decorate the construction.
Rome isn’t a cheap city, but there are plenty of things to discover, even for a budget tourist. Any other free things to do in Rome? Tell us about your experience!
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Author: Kate Zusmann
For the last 10 years, I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, and shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is sharing my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)
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