5 things to do in Rome on a budget
Rome is the largest Italian-speaking city in the world. With its fascinating history, vibrant atmosphere and unbeatable cuisine, Rome stands out as one the world’s most popular travel destinations – attracting over 9 million tourists every year. This popularity comes at a cost, but no matter how tight your budget, you can still enjoy la dolce vita in the Eternal City.
With that in mind, check out these five things to do in Rome that won’t break the bank.
1 . Free museum visits on the first Sunday of the month
While European citizens under the age of 25 do get up to 50% off at many attractions, museum ticket prices can still add up. Plan your visit on the first Sunday of the month and enjoy free visits to dozens of Rome’s museums, galleries and historic sites, including the Colosseum, Galleria Borghese, The Baths of Caracalla and the Roman Forum. It’s a great way to save some money, but make sure you wake up extra early to get to the front of the queue.
The Vatican also offers free tickets, but only on the last Sunday of the month, and be aware that queues are long.
2. Join a free walking tour
Guided walking tours are one of the best ways to learn more about a city from an experienced local guide, and Rome is no exception. After all, the city really is one big open-air museum, with ancient history at every turn. Listen to that history come to life as the guide points out major historical sites and hidden gems. You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for just how powerful the Roman Empire was.
Whether you want to learn about Ancient Rome, the Jewish quarter, Rome’s food and drink scene or Rome’s nightlife, you’ll find a walking tour to suit. Most walking tours are free to join, but tips are expected at the end. Don’t forget your water bottle, there are more than 2,500 free-flowing water fountains (called “nasoni”) on just about every corner.
3. Hunt for ghosts
Discover Rome by night with this outdoor escape game. You’ll solve riddles and crack codes as you wander past sites such as Ponte Sant'Angelo, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo. As well as learning about Rome’s haunted past, you’ll also discover amazing hidden gems and local stories. You can do it as a group or solo for only €9,99.
4. Savor Roman delights
Testaccio market is one of Rome’s oldest produce markets, but it got a glow-up when it moved to its new home in 2012. Many of the stalls have been in the same family for years, and they take pride in serving high quality seasonal fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, cheese and bread. You can also find ready-made lunches such as burgers, pizza, salads and street food snacks for around €5. Grab a few things for a picnic lunch in the bustling Piazza Testaccio, just a few streets away. Enjoy an afternoon espresso at a traditional standup coffee bar, with prices around €1-€2.
If you’re on the search for unique souvenirs and vintage wares, check out Porta Portese, a massive flea market held every Sunday from 6:30 AM - 2 PM. Haggling is part of the experience here, so put your Italian to the test as you hunt out a bargain.
5. Have a paddle at Borghese
After long days on your feet exploring Rome's ancient monuments and vibrant neighborhoods, take some time out at one of Rome’s most beautiful parks, Villa Borghese. The small pond in the middle of the park has row boats for rental – a bargain at only €4 for 20 minutes. While you’re there, follow the walking path up to il Pincio Terrace to enjoy an epic view of the picturesque city.
We hope these tips for traveling on a budget inspire you to enjoy Rome to the fullest! With EF Languages Abroad, you can travel to Rome, take an Italian language course and live la dolce vita,