Rome is an incredible city to visit and with so many amazing things to do, you’ll be spoilt for choice once you arrive. That being said, if you’re wanting to save a few pennies, there’s a ton of the best free things to do in Rome across the whole city.
Whether you’re intending to look for all of Rome’s foodie haunts, mountains of gelato or the stunning historical sites in Rome – there is always ways to save money. That’s why I wanted to share some of the best free things to do in Rome on your next trip.
It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting for a quick stopover, a long weekend or a few weeks, I guarantee there are always a shed load of the best free things to do in Rome.
No matter what neighbourhood you’re staying in!
Anyway, I’m starting to ramble, so take a look at some of the best free things to do in Rome on your trip. It really is a great city. 🇮🇹
1.) See the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous spots and easily up there as one of the best free things to do in Rome.
Now, you can spot the Trevi Fountain really easily once you arrive in the centre of Rome. That being said, it does get super busy and can almost be overwhelming at certain times.
If you can, try to avoid peak times or weekends when more visitors might be taking a look at this gorgeous spot. Alternatively, head across here earlier in the morning before most visitors arrive.
Now, there’s a tradition of throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain, but you will need to part with the tiniest bit of money to do that. 😉
2.) Visit Gianicolo
One of the best free things to do in Rome is to just explore the city and see the stunning history of this place. That being said, Rome is pretty big and it can take a hefty amount of time if you wanna see it all.
For some great views, the hills in Rome (especially Gianicolo) is the perfect place to come if you want unspoilt and free views of the city.
Try to come at sunset for a particularly breathtaking experience. It’s really is a lovely way to watch the sunset over Rome.
3.) Find Santa Maria del Popolo
Now, if you’re an art lover, you will love Santa Maria del Popolo. It’s one of the best free things to do in Rome if you want to see Caravaggio’s amazing work. It’s totally free entry to enter and you’ll be able to see his incredible work inside.
Just make sure to arrive in daylight hours and avoid when a service is going on.
4.) Wander through the Pantheon
This 2,000-year-old temple, dedicated to the Roman gods is another one of the best free things to do in Rome if you’re trying to save. Being totally free, it does attract big crowds, but the space is huge and it didn’t feel overly crowded when we visited.
Better still, with that money you’ve saved on entry fees, you can actually begin to gorge on all that creamy gelato!
Also, for a gorgeous hotel, check into Hotel Eden that’s near Via Veneto.
5.) Explore Santa Maria Maggiore
Santa Maria Maggiore commemorates the spot where snow apparently fell in the summer of 356 AD (snow in summer… in Rome? *scratches head*). Who knows if it’s true or total folklore?
Regardless, it’s easily one of the best free things to do in Rome that you can easily see when wandering the city. Honestly, whether you believe the legend or not, it’s an important landmark in the city and definitely worth a gander at if you’ve got free time.
6.) Chillout at Piazza Navona
This bustling square is one of the focal points of Rome and you can happily stroll around here for a relaxing afternoon in the city.
totally filled with stunning buildings, as well as gorgeous Italian cafes, Piazza Navona is a perfect place to slow down and soak up the atmosphere of the city. (In other words, head here if you want a lazy afternoon).
It really is one of the best free things to do in Rome if you’re already in the area. Though, if I’m honest, I’d definitely grab an espresso (even if it does cost a few Euro) and just chill out here.
7.) See Santa Prassede
This dainty church is famous for one of its columns onto which Christ is said to have been tied and flagellated. This alone makes this an important site for Christians that want to see an ancient relic from the past.
It is not one of the best known in Rome but is easily one of the best free things to do in Rome if you want to explore religious history.
8.) Explore St Peter’s Basilica
Arguably the most famous Catholic Church in the world, St Peter’s Basilica is one of the main reasons that many people visit Rome (or should I say the Vatican City).
Surprisingly, considering it is such a huge attraction in the city, it is completely free to visit (though, you will need to pay for the view at the top). Now, it’s likely you will need to queue to enter, so give yourself an extra 30-minutes to enter at peak times.
9.) See the Spanish Steps
Visitor’s to Rome flock to the Spanish Steps to take pictures of this iconic stairway (you should too – you’ll see why when you get there).
Better still, if you are looking for something that won’t cost you a penny then this is a great place to get your very own iconic souvenir photographs of Rome.
Perhaps, even revert back to the old art of sending postcards with your very own photo! 📸
10.) Stroll through Villa Borghese
The gardens of Villa Borghese are some of the most stunning in the city and can come as a much-welcome stretch of greenery.
Here you will find fountains, flower gardens, and the art collection of Villa Borghese smack in the centre. It’s a perfect place to explore on a sunny day in Rome and a lovely respite from all the hustle and bustle of Rome’s streets.
11.) See Stadio dei Marmi
This athletics stadium is free to visit and one of the best free things to do in Rome that is pretty impressive.
Make sure to see and wander around the statues which show various ancient sports as displayed by the embodiment of the sportsmen who would have played them.
12.) Find San Clemente
San Clemente is famed for its shrine buried in the basement that easily puts this up there as one of the best free things to do in Rome.
Oh, also, another one of San Clemente’s claim to fame is for the sewers that run past it, which is why you will hear that sound of running water here, even if you can’t see it. Still not sure if that makes it an attraction or not but it kept getting told to us when we arrived. Ha!
Visiting the upper part of the church is free but there is a charge for the basement section if you wanna see more.
13.) Roman Forum
Now, if you really want to see the Roman Forum but don’t wanna cough up for a ticket, then it’s easy to see lots of it from the street itself.
Head over to Fori Imperiali and you’ll be able to see a good section from the pedestrian viewing platform itself.
14.) San Carlino Church
This tiny church is free to enter and is known for its rather unique design elements that make this spot so special.
This is a perfect little spot to visit if you wanna get out of the midday sun (as it’s nice and cool).
15.) Orange Garden (Savello park)
The Orange Garden in Rome is a relatively small park (as they go) on Aventine Hill. That being said, it is easily one of the best free things to do in Rome if you want views across the city.
The garden itself is almost 800 years old and is something of an icon when it comes to parks in Rome.