7 Free Things to do in Rome


Looking for free things to do in Rome? We’ve got you covered. Discover 7 things you can do in Rome, for free!

When in Rome, do as Romans do…and do it for free! Despite its reputation for being an expensive city, Rome abounds with exciting activities that can be had without a loosening of the purse strings. Read on and discover seven fun free things you can do in Rome!

Free Things to do in Rome

1. Discover the Pantheon

free things to do in Rome

The Pantheon in Rome

One of Rome’s most iconic tourist sites is also free of charge: it’s the Pantheon, pagan temple of all ancient gods. Built by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 (AD), it was made into a church by the early Christians. Perhaps because of that, it is considered today to be the best preserved ancient Roman building.

2. Kids and Kats

Here’s another free thing to do in Rome that’s kid-friendly: watching the cats at Largo Argentina, where among the evocative ancient ruins there’s a no-kill cat shelter. There are free tours available in English! The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is located at Via Marco Papio, tel. in Rome,15-06-68-72-133

3. Take the Kids to the Park

Villa Borghese

…and not just any park: the lush gardens of the Villa Borghese are among the most beautiful in Europe – and they’re free! Have an Italian picnic with your kids. Alternately or additionally, take the young ones to the Park Gianicolo, for the sweeping vista of The Eternal City as well as the puppet show performed every day – yes, for free.

4. Climb a Wedding Cake

When you’re riding around central Rome, it sometimes seems like there’s no escaping Il Vittoriano, the big and decidedly non-ancient monument on Piazza Venezia, near Capitoline Hill. It’s not the most beautiful monument but that doesn’t stop the Romans from referring to the twentieth-century construction, which honors Victor Emmanuel II, as the “the wedding cake.” Victor was the first king of a unified Italy. Peer past the white columns (which locals call the “false teeth”) to find a museum dedicated to the history of the Risorgimento.

5. See la Bocca della Verità

La Bocca della Verità

The portico of the church of Santa Maria is home to the grotesque sculpture of La Bocca della Verità, or The Mouth of Truth. Place your hand in the mouth and but don’t tell a lie while you do it, or the stony mouth will bite your hand off. Or so the legend goes.

6. Gawk At a Pyramid

A pyramid in Rome  — who knew? Well, it’s true. The 87-foot-tall pyramid near the metro stop Piramide was built in the 12th century BC as the tomb of Caius Cestius. Why the pyramid shape? Some say it’s because Cleopatra made Egyptian styles fashionable at that time. At any rate, the structure is remarkably well-preserved and a great sight to see – for free!

7. Visit the Vatican for Free

Piazza San Pietro

Not technically a part of Rome, yet impossible to separate from it: that’s the Vatican. St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest Roman Catholic building in the world and a must-see sight.  You may not have known that entry to the main floor is always free. The basilica is mightily impressive, but no less so are the timeless Vatican Museums. A visit to these is truly essential and, on the last Sunday of every month, admission to them is free. Just be sure to get there between 8:30AM and 2PM. And don’t wear shorts!

Have we missed a free activity in Rome? Tell us about your favorite free things to do in Rome!

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One thought on “7 Free Things to do in Rome

  1. I just returned from Roma where my wife and I were studying italian at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. We took advantage of most of your suggestions. Here are a couple more.

    The used book stalls and old photos kiosks near Termini. Lots of little treasures, most cost only a few Euros.

    The pre-Republic ruins at Largo Argentina; several pagan temples that go back to 400 BC.

    The ruins of Trajan baths on hill top looking over the Foro Romano.

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