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Rome for Free: 7 Must-See Attractions

Rome deserves its position among the top ten must-visit cities as it has a lot to offer. And being the capital of Italy, being in the middle of history, art, fashion, good food, and culture, the city has many things to offer. Nevertheless, Rome is also considered one of the world’s most expensive travel destinations for tourists and locals, particularly for those who schedule their vacations and feel compelled to take a tour or participate in an activity.

Fortunately, one can explore this beautiful city of Rome and witness many of the most popular attractions no charge. Despite the fact that travel is not cheap, even on a shoestring, you can immerse yourself in centuries of history and gawk at architectural marvels and historic monuments for little to no money. Below are 7 top free attractions in Rome that you don’t have to spend a single cent.

The Pantheon

Easily one of Rome’s most iconic and preserved original structures, the Pantheon is also one of the must-visit when it comes to architecture and without any entrance fee. It was constructed initially in the Roman style as a temple to the Roman deities in 118-128 AD with Corinthian columns and a huge central dome. Look at the oculus, the central light, the opening in the dome, and feel the atmosphere of ancient Rome in this stunningly restored monument.

The Trevi Fountain

Undeniably, the world’s most renowned water feature is the Fontana di Trevi, a must-see attraction for first-time visitors to Rome.The flamboyant Baroque fountain was built in the 1730s against the backing of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. Do not throw a coin into the gorgeous blue water, as there is a fairytale that will make a person come back to Rome one more time. Taking the picture and owning the perfect shot of this architectural marvel before scrambling with the crowds.

The Spanish Steps

Tower over the trendy shopping area, between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, the Spanish Steps are perfect for snap-happy tourists plus it's equally good for those who want to take a break and watch the world go by. The 135 steps are always crowded by tourists, people, artists, and buskers. Climb up and give yourself a bird's eye view of the stairs to enjoy the Barcaccia fountain below which, has been likened to a sinking ship.

St. Peter’s Basilica

As mentioned earlier, entry to the largest church in the world and climbing the famed dome of the Basilica costs money; however, there is a lot one can explore in this Vatican City attraction for nothing. Stare at the majestic gate with tall pillars of St. Peter’s Square, go to Crypts to watch various tombs and sculptures, and enjoy the sites indoors as well as outdoors for free. Look at the magnificent works of art of Gian Lorenzo Bernini: the Baldachin or the great bronze canopy over the main altar is 29 meters high.

If you are interested in ancient history, you should not miss the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.

The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill: The political, commercial, and religious centers of Ancient Rome; a leisurely stroll through the ancient ruin is strolling through time thousands of years back. Some of the old landmark ruins including the Colosseum can only be accessed on a guided tour which costs some money, though it is fully okay to just casually walk past what is left of ancient temples, arches, political structures, and so on through the main entrance located on Via dei Fori Imperiali. Ascend the Palatine Hill which provides stunning views of the Forum ruins against the Circo Massimo Horse racing circuit.

The Piazzas and Fountains

Some of the best entertainment that you can get in Rome is by merely walking along some of the piazzas and other public areas – all of which are surrounded by great fountains and sculptures. Visit Piazza Navona and take time to throw coins and make a wish at the water of the Four Rivers Fountain designed by Bernini. Then take a coffee break at one of the café standing along the oval-shaped square. Café at the eating place Campo de’ Fiori food market or look at the large marble statues of the Fountain of the Four Rivers. There are a lot of artists, musicians, sellers of various trinkets, street shows, and just ordinary, happy-go-lucky people in Rome’s piazzas.

Walking around and looking at windows & Looking at people

Last of all, the best free things that one can do in Rome include walking around the city and enjoying the excellent window decorations, listening to street performances, and watching people. Via del Corso, Via Condotti, and Via Cola di Rienzo are some of the areas one will find high-class shops and sidewalk cafes meant only for people to stroll and enjoy the Roman lifestyle. Do not forget to take time and smell the flowers of life…or oranges, rather! Every vendor and store in each corner of the world sells fresh-squeezed orange juice for a couple of euros only.


Although it is relatively easy to go through a travel budget in Rome within one or two days, Rome has much to offer for history, art, and culture lovers, as well as architecture and local life enthusiasts, without having to spend a dime in Europe. Exploring the breathtaking Roman sights such as the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps is free, while strolling around the ruins and piazzas of Rome, or just walking around the city on foot is a great way to immerse into the magic of the Eternal City with a shoestring budget!