Free Walking Tours in Rome

In this post, we list the 3 top free walking tours in Rome, with tips on which one might be best for you. We also offer self-guided as well as other options. 


 

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WHAT IS A FREE TOUR?

This model of free tours means these tours are technically free to take and there is no obligation to pay anything at the end.

However, they are popularly understood as pay-what-you-like tours. You can pay what you think your walk was worth or what you could afford at the tour’s end. 

TIP: We do offer a totally free, GPS-led audio tour of Rome’s City Centre.

According to online reviews, most participants contribute between €5 to €15 per adult to the tour guide when they felt the tour was good. 

 

 

Compared to the paid tours, most of the free tour companies in Rome are not as well-reviewed, but their review profiles are still good overall.

It’s also important to note that the pay-what-you-wish tours are only for the city center, though some do end at the Colosseum or at the Vatican City.

There are, however, free audio tours the Colosseum and Forum as well as for St. Peter’s Square and Basilica and the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums


FREE TOURS WITH TOURIST PASSES

A tourist pass (or city pass) bundles together several tours and attractions into one discounted ticket or gives you discounted entry.

 

Free Tours with Rome Pass

 

If you are considering purchasing a tourist pass, keep in mind that some might come with free walking tours already included.

Read our post on these passes.


WHO TAKES A FREE TOUR?

Also, pay-what-you-wish tours tend to attract more backpackers and families, many looking for a budget-friendly alternative.

Some companies can have groups of 30 or more participants while others have lower caps, and some companies will cancel a tour if there are not enough guests, so beware, particularly in the slow season. 

Below, we list the 3 that we feel are the best of the 6 companies offering such tours in Rome.

TIP: If you’d rather explore by yourself, we have listed great self-guided options, which are free.

If you’d rather branch out to see more of the city or have some stress-free transportation between major stops, Rome also has some great bus tours available.

 


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TOP 3 FREE TOURS OF ROME

TIP: We do offer a totally free, GPS-led audio tour of Rome’s City Centre.


New Rome Free Tour

This outfit has the best reviews of this class, with just 3% of reviewers rating them 3 or fewer stars (out of 5). New Rome Free Tour

They offer a daily tour at 9:30 am as well as 17:00 (5 pm). 

What we like most about them is that they limit their groups to just 15 participants.

Their route is very similar to our self-guided option, starting at the Spanish Steps. Their tour lasts 2 hours. 

Children 10 and under can’t participate, though and they have a dress code, as they visit churches on this tour. 

They also have a requirement that you print out your ticket or else you can’t participate.

They are serious about this. In fact, without this requirement, their review profile would be even better, as it seems this has angered a few would-be guests.


Rome Free Walking Tours

Of the 3 outfits in this section, this company has the most negative reviews (7% give them 3 or fewer stars).Rome Free Walking Tour

With that said, this also means that 93% have given at least 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. 

They offer two tours that cover sights in this post, both of which start at the Spanish Steps. 

The morning tour starts at 10:00 am and heads toward the Vatican and includes the Pantheon.  

The afternoon tour starts at 16:00 (4 pm) and heads toward the Colosseum and includes the Trevi Fountain.


Rome Ultimate Free Tour

We also wanted to mention this company because of their great reviews, 97% give them 4 or 5 stars (out of 5 stars) and their limit of 15 people per tour guide.Rome Ultimate Free Tour

They offer 2 tours daily, one at 11:00 am and the other at 16:00 (4 pm). 

However, they advertise their tour as visiting the B-side of Rome, so no Trevi Fountain or Spanish Steps, but they do visit the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. 

One warning: this company reserves the right to cancel a tour if fewer than 4 participants show up, but they don’t seem to do this often, if at all.

 


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GPS-LED AUDIO TOUR

If you are looking to explore on your own, or maybe you are traveling on a budget, then we recommend taking a look at the following resource.

We offer a completely free, GPS-led audio tour of Rome’s City Centre researched, written, and recorded by one of our very own tour guides.

 

Self Guided Tour Rome

 

Here’s a sample.

Download our free walking tour app on (iTunes) or (Android).

Our tour begins at the Spanish Steps and visits some of Rome’s top sights, including:

  • Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona
  • Theatre of Pompey
  • and much more

 


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FREE TOURS OF THE COLOSSEUM

As mentioned above, while several pay-what-you-wish guided tours end here, none is available inside the Colosseum or inside the Forum.

 

Colosseum in the Morning

 

However, there is a well-produced free audio tour that covers both the Colosseum and the Forum.

You will need to pay to enter both and we have some tips on how to not overpay with a link to the free audio tour.


FREE TOURS OF THE VATICAN

Likewise, there are no guided, pay-what-you-wish guided tours of either St. Peter’s Basilica nor the Sistine Chapel and Vatican museums, though several do end here.

Luckily, there are free audio tours for all 3 and all are high-quality productions. Click on the links above and find them under “guided tours”.

 


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FREE WALKING TOURS IN OTHER CITIES

Enjoy free walking tours in other cities around the world with Free Tours by Foot.


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