14 Free Things to do in Rome

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

If you’re used to traveling in South East Asia and in the Philippines, Europe is an expensive shift. Always dreamt about roaming the streets of Italy bathing in history, inhaling art and having all the amazing pizza, pasta, and gelato? You can make it happen. Navigate your budget by deciding what to splurge on and what to scrimp on. You can extend your wallet even more by doing any of these free things! 

Be in awe of the Pantheon
Surprised that such a famous landmark can be seen for free? Well there are a lot of these in Rome! Add another freebie to this experience by registering for Angel Tour’s Free 30 minute Pantheon tour. Not only do you see its beauty, you get a guided tour with it.

Squeeze your way to the Spanish Steps 

The iconic Roman attraction is always part of any visitor’s list. Spend some time here and chill at the steps. It gets crowded though.

Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain 

It’s free to take a photo here and to take part in a myth too. Legend has it that if you stand with your back against the fountain and throw a coin over your left shoulder, you’ll definitely come back to the beautiful city.

Take a free walking tour covering the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and more!

If you don’t want to visit the landmarks on your own you can join a New Rome Free Tour. They have licensed and excellent tour guides to help you navigate around the crowded streets of Rome. This is a free tour but tipping is highly encouraged. New Rome Free Tours is available daily at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM.

See vibrant Trastevere

Have a slice of how the locals live by visiting Trastevere. The neighborhood comes alive at night but if you have the time download Rick Steves’ audio guide and take a DIY walking tour in the area and see its charm for yourself.

People watch at one of the beautiful Piazzas  

Rome is peppered with stunning public spaces. Their piazzas are common meeting areas of locals. Grab a seat and watch as people come and go. Italian men and women are rather good-looking too.

Check out Villa Doria Pamphili 

This old villa has well manicured lawns, fountains, remarkable architecture and is definitely instagrammable.

Go Vatican light

For some people visiting the Vatican is a must. If you’re not one of them, you can totally skip the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica is free. Bring your patience with you as lines to enter can get long. You can enrich your St. Peter’s Basilica experience more by getting Rick Steves’ free audio tour guide.

Attend a Papal Mass 

For Catholics this is a BIG thing. You can start getting tickets for the mass 3 days prior from the Swiss Guards. Remember that tickets are limited so do not do this last minute. 

Free entrance to the Vatican is also possible 
Every last Sunday of the month entrance to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums are free. Be warned that this may not be the best way to see these places because of the throng of people that take advantage of this.

Eat for free, sorta 

The aperitif (aperitivo) culture is present in Rome. You get free pica-pica in select bars and restaurants when you order a drink during happy hour. This isn’t just nuts and pretzels – some establishments offer mini-pizzas, olive, salami, cheese, breads, and more. It’s not a bad trade off!

Go museum hopping 

Government run museums have free entrance every first Sunday of the month. You can go to all of them or just pick a few that interests you.

Step on THE Michaelangelo’s work 

Not a lot of people may know that Michaelangelo designed the Piazza del Campidoglio. If you are a fan of his work then this should definitely be on your list of sights to visit.

Enjoy the park life at Villa Borghese 

Take a break from visiting the historical sites and museums by spending an afternoon at the gorgeous Villa Borghese gardens. If you’re traveling with kids this is something they can enjoy. Another free thing you can do in the park is catch a movie. During summer part of the park is turned into an outdoor cinema.

The Rome leg is part of the 2013 Birthday Trip. Check out the itinerary here. The rest of my Rome posts are here:
Part 1: Tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palestine Hill

Part 2: Gorgeous view and digs in Rome
Part 3: Campo de Fiori
Part 4: Tips for visiting the Vatican
Part 5: Porta Portese Flea Market

Part 6: A free tour of Trastevere
Part 7: The Free Rome Walking Tour
Part 8: 14 Free Things to do in Rome
Part 9: Rome Travel Guide

For other hotel options in Rome, click here

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