Basically you can use any text editor to write Python code. The minimum I recommend is to have proper syntax highlighting. IDEs will also provide intellisense, that is, in most of the cases they will be able to understand what kind of objects do you have in your code and will be able to show you the available methods and their parameters. Even better, they provide powerful debuggers.
PyCharm seems to be the most popular IDE. It has a free version called community edition.