Welcome to World Traveler in Training!

Rome for free

By Wednesday, November 05, 2014 , , , ,

Rome is a lovely city on many of our travel bucket lists, and for good reason. The Vatican! The Trevi Fountain! the Colosseum! the Roman Forum! Gorgonzola cream sauce!

But whatever you're traveling for, you'll find that Rome is an expensive city. First, the hotels are ridiculously priced, especially during tourist season. Then you'll find yourself paying for the tickets to see inside many of the famous monuments and museums (even more if you want to skip the lines), and then there's all the craft beer bars if you travel with a beer nerd.

Fortunately, there are also quite a few things to do that are free in Rome, and a lot of things that cost money to go into, but you can still enjoy very much from outside for nothing.


The churches are free, including St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. There was quite the line to go in, but it moved quickly.

Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano AKA St. John Lateran's Basilica

Basilica of Saint Mary Major

The Pantheon

Two we didn't get a chance to see, but you might want to check out, too:
The Museum of Purgatory exhibit in the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio
St Ignatius with an optical illusion of a dome painted onto its flat ceiling.

Colosseum, Forum and Palatine hill

You can also walk around these famous relics of eras past, although you can't actually go in them for free. However, they're impressive from the outside and since the Forum is really a collection of ruins and columns rather than a single structure it's best viewed from afar, and there are many places around the edge that have you looking down into and out across the ruins. 

This view will cost you nothing
They are all especially beautiful at night.

Some other things to do:

The Campidoglio, the square from where I took the above photo of the Forum, is an interesting place to stop by. On one of the seven hills of Rome, the square is suurounded by columned musuams, with an ornate tiled pattern in the pavement. You can even get a peek at a replica of Michelangelo's David.

Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland),  - a great, monstrous monument to Italy's WWI troops and King Victor Emmanuel II. While the Museum inside costs 5euro, the ostentation statue covered monument itself is quite interesting to see in it's own right.

Borghese Gardens -  the gardens surrounding the famous Galleria Borghese are a public space. The grounds include numerous gardens, including so called "secret gardens" specially designs for their seclusion and replicas of ancient temples.

Trevi Fountain - Which was undergoing construction while we were there.

Torre Argentina Cat sanctuary - A small cat shelter open to the public hidden next to Roman ruins where cats bask in the sun. I wrote about it previously here (with more kitty photos).

You can also while away some time browsing the late night flea market at St Angelo Castillo, where there were also open air movies playing when we visited. There is also an interesting pop up style row of bars along the river that's an interesting area to walk through, with live music, games and lots and lots of giant mojitos.

This post also appeared in heylovedesigns.com's Friday Favorites Link Up.

You Might Also Like


  1. This is perfect timing! Thanks for posting this. I'll be going to Rome with my daughter a month from now, and I'm pretty overwhelmed with research and trying to plan. Knowing what one can see and do for free is very helpful! I'll soak up any more tips you have...

  2. What a great post. I would love to visit Rome one day! Thank you for joining they Hey Love Designs Friday Favorites link party!

  3. I have to get to Rome!! Great tips and great post. Thanks :)

  4. Rome for FREE!?!?!?! Love it! Tucking this away for a future vacation! Thanks for sharing.

    Stopped by via SITSblogging!
    xx, Kelly

  5. Wow, thanks for the tips! I've never been to Rome but hope to go one day. Anything that helps saves money is a huge help!

  6. I love traveling but don't always have as much money as I'd like to do everything I want so I'm loving these tips...thank you for sharing!

  7. I definitely will admit the title of this post caught my eye... seems nothing comes for free these days! But these are some fantastic suggestions :)

  8. I love traveling! I'll be adding this to my pinterest board!

  9. Thanks for the tips! I´m gonna be there next April!!! So excited about it!