Tour options in Rome

Walking, classic coach or open top hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses

Open Tour Rome hop-on hop-off tour bus

Rome from above: Open Tour Rome tour bus


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Key aspects of sightseeing in Rome

The core area of Rome that first time visitors want to see is in a very compact area. The ancient city of Rome where the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon are is a maze of narrow cobbled lanes and alleys.

There are just a few modern roads where tour buses and public transport can pass along. This means whatever type of tour you go for you will spend a lot of time on your feet walking.

The Roman Forum and Colosseum are adjacent to the ancient city, just to the South, much more spread out with wide roads. As is the Vatican on the opposite north side of the ancient city.

It is perfectly possible to walk everywhere, though in the heat of summer this can be very draining.

Certainly the ancient city area is best visited on foot, any vehicle based tour will just bring you to a convenient drop off area from where you walk to the sights on the tour nearby.

For the Vatican, Colosseum and Roman Forum your tour bus will drop you at the door of the attraction, but there is still a lot of walking.

The strategic decision you need to make first is if you want a guided tour or just tourist friendly transport to drop you off at the main tourist hotspots and then explore independently.

All the major places you pay admission to go in have audio guides in English available, some of guides of the human kind available to hire privately.

Information is not a strong point of Rome attractions. If you do not have a guide, human or audio to explain what you are viewing, you will need a very good guide book.

You will have invested a lot of time and money getting you into a position inside world class attractions like the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum.

To avoid just shrugging your shoulders and wondering what all the fuss is about, invest in a good guide book or guide of one kind or another.

A lot of the middle tier attractions only have the little public information they do have on display in Italian.


Rome open top, hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses

If you are independently minded and opt for the popular hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses your main problem is the choice, seven competing bus lines at the moment.

All are very similar, all stop at the top tier attractions of Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican.

City Sightseeing Rome Hop On Hop Off Open Top Sightseeing Bus

City Sightseeing: Rome sightseeing bus

But, what at first looks like seven 'me too' services where only price separates, there are subtle differences all addressing a different part of the market.

All do the main sights, but because of the lack of access in the ancient city there are significant variations in routes to get you near the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountains and the ancient city in general.

On some lines a different route is operated in the ancient city at weekends than in the week and route is especially significant if you want to get near the Borghese Gallery.

There are also wide variations between lines in ages for child fares. Some offer a ticket where you pay a reduced rate for a panoramic tour without getting off, some do not.

Some offer bundles with public transport passes or specific attractions, some do not.

Compare the Rome open top, hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses - more details


Walking Tour of Ancient City Of Rome

Walking tour: ancient city of Rome

Walking tours of the ancient City of Rome

There is no getting away from the fact, if you want to visit the ancient City of Rome in any meaningful way you are going to have to walk.

Apart from the A list main tourist attractions like the Trevi Fountain, there is some new discovery around every corner. A walking tour is a great way to get orientated and informed about the area. Most of the walking tours are about 3 hours.

You then have a great platform to strike out on your own and make your own discoveries or just find an atmospheric bar or restaurant, people watch and take in the atmosphere.

Walking tours of the ancient City of Rome - more details


Free self guided walks of the ancient City of Rome

There really is only one way of exploring the ancient city centre of Rome and that's to walk.

Not only is walking the most practical way of visiting all the sights in the ancient city centre its also by far the most rewarding way.

For those who want to explore at their own pace then we have a few free reference walks that connect some of the most famous sights visitors want to see on their visit to Rome. Pick-up a good guide book that can explain what you are seeing and you have the recipe for a great independent adventure, day or night.

Free self guided walk - Spanish Steps to/from Trevi Fountain

Free self guided walk - Trevi Fountain to/from Piazza Navona via the Pantheon


Classic best of Rome guided coach tours

If your preference is for the traditional coach tour with hotel pick-ups, air conditioned touring coach and professional guide with admission pre-paid then these are of course available.

Explore Rome's classical attractions on a morning tour that combines a little walking with relaxed sightseeing by coach.

Classic best of Rome guided coach tour - more details


Fast track tickets & tourist passes

Mass tourism is a great thing making available the sights and experiences that only the rich could afford a few decades ago, but long admission queues are one of the downsides of modern day travelling.

The worst queues at the Colosseum, Vatican Museum, St Peter's and the Borghese Gallery can be by-passed for a price with fast track tickets, sometimes you have to buy a tour to get these.

There is an ever increasing choice of tourist and transport passes in Rome. There are the straight forward ones like the Roma Pass from the Rome local authorities and there are ever more complex ones bundling hop-on, hop off sightseeing buses, public transport, attraction tickets and tours in various permutations.

A guide to Rome tourist passes - more details

Omnia Rome Sightseeing Pass
Popular tours & tickets in Rome

Vatican Museums tours & fast track tickets

Vatican Museums fast track tickets    €30

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum

Vatican Museums fast track tickets + audio guide    €38

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum with audio guide

Vatican Museums fast track tickets + early entrance    €52

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum before public opening

Vatican Museums fast track tickets with guided tour    €66

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum before public opening

Vatican Museums fast track access with coach transfers   €66

Tour in English plus hotel pickups

Vatican Museums private tours with fast track access    prices vary on numbers

Your own personal guide for your own group of 1 to 9 people

St Peter's Basilica tours & fast track tickets

St Peter's Basilica fastrack with audio guide    €15

Fast track access to St Peter's together with audio guide in choice of languages

St Peter's Basilica fastrack with guided tour    €27

Fast track access to St Peter's with guided tour

St Peter's & Vatican Museums combined tours

Vatican Museums + St Peter's (with fast track access) tour 1    from €41 (+ admission)

Guided 3 hour walking tour with fast track access + early/evening entrance options

Vatican Museums + St Peter's (with fast track access) tour 2    from €66

Guided 3 hour walking tour with Fast Track Access + early/evening entrance options

The Vatican in 1 Day - most comprehensive tour    €87.30

Visiting Vatican Museums, St Peter's & Basilicas inc Saint John Lateran

Other Vatican tours

Audience with The Pope    €28

Attending Wednesday audience with transfers

Vatican Gardens Tour    €41

Includes admission to Vatican Museums

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Colosseum & Roman Forum fast track tickets    €16

2 Day fast track admission ticket to: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Colosseum & Roman Forum Walking Tour    €46

Fast Track Admission & 3 Hour Guided Tour

Colosseum & Roman Forum Walking Tour    €54 or €104 Special Access Tour

Fast Track Admission & Guided Tour (Max 25 people)

Colosseum & Roman Forum + special access to Underground Chambers (1)    €109

Fast Track Admission & guided tour with special access

Colosseum & Roman Forum + special access to Underground Chambers (2)    €109

Fast Track Admission & small group guided tour with special access

Colosseum and Ancient Rome in Virtual Reality    €89

3 hour small group tour of max 6 participants

Colosseum & Roman Forum (Segway Tour)    €75

3 hour tour by Segway machine

Walking tours (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi...)

Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon,Trevi    €45

3 hour walking tour with admissions. Afternoon tour

Spanish Steps, Pantheon,Trevi,Navona    €39

3 hour afternoon walking tour

Villa Borghese Gallery

Villa Borghese Fast Track Tickets    €22

Fast track admission ticket for a 2 hour slot

Villa Borghese & Gardens    €59

2 hour tour of gallery + 1 hour gardens tour

Other popular City of Rome tours

Dan Brown 'Angels & Demons' Tour    €56

4 hr walking tour inspired by the Dan Brown novel

Best of Rome Coach Tour    €33/€91

Half or Full Day coach tour of main sights

Roman Gladiator Lesson     from €55

2 hour lesson in becoming a Roman Gladiator

Night Tours of Rome    €29/€51

Choice - walking or coach tour of Rome by night

Private tours of Rome

Flexible customised private tours of Rome by car   

Luxury executive vehicles (1 to 7 passengers)

Private sightseeing tour of Rome by golf cart 

A novel, fun way to see Rome (1 to 3 passengers)

Tours From Rome

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