You may think that because Rome is a capital city, it’ll cost a fortune to do anything good there. WRONG. Rome is one of the best places I’ve been in terms of free activities. The city is just soaked in history; there’s so many amazing places to see – we were only there for 2 days, but we’d have loved to stay longer. It’s just an amazing place to visit, and if you’re travelling on a budget, I’ve got some great recommendations.
1. The Colosseum
The Colosseum basically epitomises Rome as a city and the history of it is fascinating. I dare you not to look up at it all dramatically and play the Gladiator soundtrack in your head. You’ll struggle. There is a charge if you want to go inside of it (and the queues are insane, I might add), but to be honest, it looks just as incredible from the outside. It feels so surreal when you’re there, and it’s a stunning structure to look at – it’s a must-go-to place when you visit Rome.
2. The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is another iconic attraction in Rome, and it was a place I was dying to see. I’m glad to say that it definitely didn’t disappoint! I just stood there for ages admiring it; it was almost mesmerising looking at the carvings and listening to the water flowing. The tradition is to throw a coin in and make a wish, so make sure you have your Euros at the ready – I wouldn’t hold out too much hope though, because as of yet, I still haven’t won the lottery…
3. Museo Sacrario delle Bandiere
A bit of a mouthful, granted, but don’t let that put you off. It translates as the Memorial Museum of Flags, which (I’m not going to lie) isn’t of much interest to me, but the building itself is the reason why it’s on my list. The word I’d use to describe it is majestic, and if you climb up the steps, you can get a pretty good view over the streets or Rome. It’s not somewhere you can spend ages looking around (unless you go inside), but it’s worth swinging by to see it.
4. The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps sort of come at you from nowhere – we stumbled across them purely by accident. They’re usually jam-packed full of tourists, but if you can get a spot, they offer a great place to sit down and relax for a while. We didn’t climb to the top (probably due to my constant pizza baby), but even from the bottom, they’re beautiful to look at and I’m glad we saw them.
5. St. Peter’s Square
You’ll find St. Peter’s Square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica inside the Vatican City. It’s insanely grand, and the architecture is mind-blowing. You can pay to enter different parts of the Vatican, but the square is free to roam around and explore. If you do have the cash though, after you’ve seen St. Peter’s Square, go and see the Sistine Chapel – it’s another level of awesome, and by far the best thing I saw during my time in Rome.
6. The Streets
The streets of Rome themselves are amazing, and you can easily spend hours just wandering around and seeing just what the city has to offer. There’s loads of cute cafés as well, and a lot of them offer pretty sensational ice cream, so snack away! Sometimes it’s nice to just take in a city rather than rushing from place to place, trying to fit in every activity under the sun. Walking is the best free activity you can do, especially when it comes to a city like Rome.
In case you couldn’t tell, I adored Rome when I went, and for a city break, it’s one of the greatest places you can choose to go. General costs will be higher in the capital, but you can easily have a brilliant time and see loads of cool things without savaging your bank account – perfect!