If you’re traveling from the states, a European vacation can get costly fast. Unless you’re able to find a super deal, the flights alone can be a deal-breaker. Add to that your accommodation and dining out and just the essentials carry a hefty price tag for the budget-conscious traveler. So what are some ways to enjoy Rome on a budget? Here are 6 things to do and see in Rome that are completely free!
That’s right, one of the most impressive examples of ancient architecture (and largest and oldest domes in the world) is open daily and completely free to visit. No ticket is required and entering is as simple as walking through the massive wooden doors. Spend some time walking around the interior perimeter of the space to admire the coffered ceiling as the light from the open oculus illuminates it like a natural spot light. The Pantheon still serves as a functioning Catholic church, so it’s important to be respectful to any visitors who may be praying, but taking photographs is perfectly acceptable.
The best times to visit the fountain are very early in the morning or late at night since the fountain is located in a tight piazza and constantly surrounded by throngs of tourists. The fountain is in spectacular condition thanks to a multi-million euro renovation paid for by Fendi last year, so now is a great time to make your way to see it! Of course if you plan on throwing a coin in the fountain to ensure your return to the Eternal City, that will of course cost you something – but just visiting the fountain is completely free.
St. Peter’s Basilica, and all churches in Rome, are completely free to visit. The line might extend well into the square in front of the church, but it typically moves pretty quickly. There is some light security to get in the church (a walk-through metal detector) and make sure your shoulders are covered (and, in theory, men shouldn’t wear shorts), but you can spend the better part of an hour exploring the individual chapels that feature incredible works of art (like Michelangelo’s Pietà), the tombs of past popes in the crypts below, and the baldacchino over the altar designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1634. All churches also make for a great place to escape the summer heat as their stone construction naturally cools their interiors.
Rome has several large parks that offer a green respite from the city’s pavement. The historic Villa Borghese offers plenty of shady areas to spread out and relax or numerours paths for an afternoon walk or morning run. There’s even a small artificial lake in Villa Borghese that was built during the Renaissance to offer some cooling effects only bodies of water can provide. Pack yourself a picnic and grab yourself a shady patch of grass for a relaxing afternoon lunch straight out of an impressionist painting.
It’s true! All museums and monuments managed by the city of Rome offer free admission to everyone the first Sunday of every month! Click here to see list of all the museums that participate in the initiative, but it’s a great way to see things like the Capitoline Museums or the Colosseum and forums completely for free!
It’s a bit of a hike to the terrace on the Gianicolo Hill but the view from up there totally makes up for it. Tucked away above Trastevere, the Gianicolo hill is one of the famous 7 hills of Rome and it’s from here that a canon is fired every day to mark 12 noon. From the terrace, which faces another beautiful spectacle the Fontanone, you can admire the sprawling urban landscape of Rome and spot most of its incredible monuments. It’s a fabulous location to watch the sun rise (it’s east facing) or sunset to see the last rays of sun set on the city.
Rome Accommodation manages apartments for small and large groups of travelers visiting Rome. Large apartments that can host up to 14 guests means splitting the cost between your friends and family can make the nightly rate quite attractive. All rates include everything you need for the rental including sheets and towels, all utilities, a fully stocked kitchen and even complimentary coffee, sugar, salt, and Italian olive oil for cooking. For an even better deal, check out all of our special offers for vacation rentals in Rome!
Do you have some tips for visiting Rome on a dime? Share your tips and advice in the comments below!