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The 10 Best Free Things To Do In Rome

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Magnificent monuments, outstanding museums, and long-lived archaeological sites: Rome is full of unique attractions that are simply too good to miss. From idly strolling in colorful street markets and people-watching in leafy piazzas to visiting world-class museums, here is a list of free things to do in Rome, Italy.

Quick Jumplinks

  • Piazza Navona
  • Fontana di Trevi
  • The Pantheon
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Piazza di Spagna & Spanish Steps
  • Piazza del Popolo
  • Appian Way
  • Rome’s Museums
  • Campo De’ Fiori Market
  • St Peter’s Basilica
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Top 10 Free Things To Do In Rome

Piazza Navona

📍 Location Piazza Navona. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line B to Barberini Station
🤩 Famous For Its Baroque atmosphere and beautiful fountains

Commissioned in 86 CE by emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus as a gift to the people of Rome, Piazza Navona is one of the most stunning squares in the city. This baroque-style piazza features three alluring fountains  — Fontana del Moro, Fontana de ‘Calderari, and the spectacular Fountain of the Four Rivers —as well as architectural treasures such as the 17th-century Sant’Agnese in Agone and the Pamphili Palace.

Surrounded by mansions, monuments, and lively restaurants, the square provides a gorgeous setting for a casual afternoon stroll, allowing you to experience a wealth of free things to see in Rome.

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Fontana di Trevi

Free Things To Do In Rome - Fontana di Trevi
📍 Location Piazza di Trevi. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line A to Barberini Station
🤩 Famous For Its tradition of tossing coins into the fountain

Looking for things to do in Rome for free? Look no further than Fontana di Trevi. Immortalized by several big-name movies like Frederico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, the Trevi Fountain is a real treat for sore eyes. This dreamy fountain was built between 1732 and 1751 on the site of an ancient aqueduct and was masterfully designed by Italian sculptor and architect Nicolò Salvi. 

The fountain stands 86 ft high and 161.3 ft wide and boasts a collection of achingly beautiful sculptures of mythological and allegorical figures, including Pietro Bracci’s statue of Oceanus, as well as whimsical statues representing Abundance and Health.

While catching a glimpse of Fontana di Trevi is one of the free things to do in Rome, it is believed that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to the Eternal City one day!

The Pantheon

Free Things To Do In Rome - The Pantheon
📍 Location Piazza della Rotonda. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line A to Barberini Station
🤩 Famous For Being the best-preserved monument from Ancient Rome

Holding court as the best-preserved building from ancient Rome, the Pantheon has remained practically intact through the centuries. This spectacular construction served as a Roman temple during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), and it was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. Since the 7th century, it has been a church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyr, also known as “Santa Maria Rotonda.”

Aside from providing visitors with a sneak peek of Rome’s history, the Pantheon dazzles thanks to its impressive architectural features. The building has a massive domed ceiling — the largest when it was built — monolithic Corinthian columns of Egyptian granite, and enormous bronze doors. Inside are tombs of notable personalities such as Raphael, the painter, and the Renaissance architect.

Access to the Pantheon is free for visitors under the age of 18 and for the residents of Rome. Adults between 18 and 25 need to pay €3 to enter (proof of age may be requested). Adults over the age of 25 will need to pay €5 for a ticket.

Arch of Constantine

Free Things To Do In Rome - Arch of Constantine
📍 Location Via di San Gregorio. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line B to Colosseo Station
🤩 Famous For Its connection to Emperor Constantine’s extraordinary reign

Named one of the top attractions to visit in Rome, the Arch of Constantine is a monumental triumphal arch commissioned by the Roman Senate to celebrate Emperor Constantine the Great’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312.

The Arch of Constantine is majestically just a stone’s throw away from the Colosseum. Due to its glorious location, and the fact that it’s the last monument of Imperial Rome, it’s one of the city’s most photographed spots.

Piazza di Spagna & the Spanish Steps

Free Things To Do In Rome - Piazza di Spagna & the Spanish Steps
📍 Location Piazza di Spagna. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line A to Spagna Station
🤩 Famous For Its gorgeous Rococo-style staircase

Bursting at the seams with passing Romans and visitors, Piazza di Spagna is an extraordinary sight. The centerpiece of this charming square is the Baroque-style Fontana Della Barcaccia, sculpted by Pietro Bernini and his son, Gian Lorenzo Berni. Rising from the piazza, you’ll find a picture-perfect Rococo-style staircase named Spanish Steps, which provides locals and travelers alike with the most gorgeous views of the city.

Both the square and the staircase are great spots for stretching your weary legs and watching life go by in Rome while indulging in creamy gelato!

Piazza del Popolo

Free Things To Do In Rome - Piazza del Popolo
📍 Location Piazza del Popolo. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line A to Flamino Station
🤩 Famous For The Flaminian obelisk, its churches, and fountains

One of the best free things to do in Rome is to visit Piazza del Popolo. Used for public executions and horse races in the 18th and 19th centuries, this piazza has grown into a beautiful destination featuring an array of artistic and architectural treasures.

While meandering through this treasure trove square, you’ll come across its eponymous church, the Renaissance-style Santa Maria del Popolo, which features two splendid canvases by Caravaggio. There’s also the mighty Porta del Popolo, a 16th-century Roman triumphal arch that used to be the access gate to the city along Via Flaminia, and an Egyptian obelisk dedicated to Ramesses II.

Appian Way

Free Things To Do In Rome - Appian Way
📍 Location Via Appia Antica. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Bus 118 from the Colosseum or Piazza Venezia
🤩 Famous For Being Rome’s first-ever highway to the East

If you’re a wide-eyed traveler who loves exploring less touristic sites, the Appian Way is a great destination. Built in 312 BC, it connected Rome with Capua; Via Appia Antica was one of the most important Roman roads of the ancient republic, as it was essential in transporting troops to the port of Brindisi in southeast Italy.

Along the Appian Way, you’ll come across various historical sites, such as the Catacombs of San Callisto and Catacombs of San Sebastiano, as well as several basilicas and tombs.

Via Appia Antica is part of an archaeological park – the Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica. It is a lovely location for a scenic nature walk and a true hidden gem for tourists seeking free things to do in Rome.

Rome’s Museums

Free Things To Do In Rome - Capitoline Museums
👀 Must-See Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Roman Forum
🆓 Free Entry On the first Sunday of the month

Did you know you can visit the best museums in Rome at no cost? Yes! On the first Sunday of the month, there is the so-called “Domenica al Museo,” an initiative that allows locals and travelers to enjoy free admission to all state museums and archaeological sites, including the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum.

On the last Sunday of the month, between 9 AM and 12:30 PM, the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel are also free to visit.

Campo De’ Fiori Market

Free Things To Do In Rome - Campo de’ Fiori Market
📍 Location Campo de’ Fiori. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Tram Line A or B to Arenula/Cairoli
🤩 Famous For Its selection of fruits, vegetables, and flower markets

Exploring the spectacular farmer’s markets is one of the top free things to do in Rome. The traditional Campo de’ Fiori Market is a must-visit, the oldest farmer’s market in the Italian capital, and a veritable profusion of sights, sounds, and smells.

Located in the heart of Rome, Campo de Fiori is filled with stalls selling fruit and vegetables, meat, walnuts, fresh fish, lovely flowers, and delicious seasonal treats like fried artichokes, one of the top foods to try in Rome.

St Peter’s Basilica

Free Things To Do In Rome - St Peters Basilica, the Vatican
📍 Location Piazza San Pietro. Get Directions
🚉 Getting There Take Line A to Ottaviano-S. Pietro Station
🤩 Famous For Being the biggest church in the world

Located at the center of The Vatican, in St Peter’s Square, the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica is the second-largest religious building in Christendom. Built during the 4th century over the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle and designed mainly by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture.

The St Peter’s Basilica is entirely free to visit, though you will need to pay for the view at the top. Also, expect long queues of around two hours.

Best Time To Visit RomeBest Time To Visit Rome

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some things to see in Rome for free?

  • Trevi Fountain: Toss a coin and marvel at the Trevi Fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world.
  • Piazza Navona: This lively square features beautiful fountains and street performers.
  • Spanish Steps: Climb the famous Spanish Steps for stunning views of the city.

Are there any beautiful parks in Rome with free entry?

Villa Borghese welcomes visitors without entry fees. Relax and wander through its sprawling gardens, home to museums and a lake.

Can I see any historical sites in Rome for free?

On the first Sunday of the month, the Domenica al Museo initiative allows locals and travelers to enjoy free admission to all state museums and archaeological sites, including the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum.

Are there any religious sites in Rome that are free to enter?

  • St. Peter’s Basilica: Witness the grandeur of this massive basilica in the heart of the Vatican.
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore: Explore this major basilica known for its beautiful mosaics.

Are there any other free things to do in Rome?

  • Explore Trastevere: Get lost in the charming narrow streets of this historic neighborhood.
  • Window shopping at Campo de’ Fiori: Browse the stalls of this lively market selling fresh produce and flowers.
  • Free walking tour: Many companies offer free walking tours, a great way to learn about the city and tip your guide at the end.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 15 April 2024

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