Free things to do in Rome
Although Rome is a major European capital, a sightseeing vacation in the Eternal City does not have to be expensive. It’s easy to find free things to do, and while attractions such as the Colosseum require you to pay an entrance fee, many of the city’s most famous attractions are landmarks that cost nothing to see. There are also a number of museums and galleries that offer free entry.
Famous attractions that are free to visit include the Spanish Steps, Il Vittoriano monument, the Mouth of Truth and the Pyramid of Cestius. The Trevi Fountain is also free of course. However, legend has it that if you want to return to Rome, you should throw a coin over your shoulder into the water.
One of the most popular and impressive attractions in Rome is the Pantheon, the temple to Roman gods that was built almost 2,000 years ago and is free to enter. Later converted into a Christian church, it features the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome, at the centre of which is an opening to the sky (oculus) which lets in natural light.
Free museums in Rome include the Gallery of the National Academy of San Luca and the Historic Museum of the Liberation of Rome. The Vatican Museums, which display a wealth of artworks and Papal memorabilia, are free to enter on the last Sunday of the month. However, expect big queues. Elsewhere in the Vatican City, St Peter’s Basilica and St Peter’s Square are also free to enter.
If you’re looking for an ideal spot for a picnic, head to the English-style gardens of the Villa Borghese, Rome’s third largest public park, which has some beautiful features including lakes, fountains and monuments.