- WHERE TO STAY
- CRUISE PORTS
There is an increasingly complex range of sightseeing passes for Rome. Odds are there is one that fits your sightseeing needs, but which one?
Key point: most people visiting Rome want to see a mix of Rome's main attractions not just one.
Within Vatican City is the Vatican Museums and St Peter's. In the centre of Rome itself, on the other side of the river is the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
Until recently, the authorities in Vatican City and the City of Rome seemed unable to work together and produce a single sightseeing pass that covers attractions in both. However, the Rome Tourist Card now offers a pass for the Vatican, Colosseum and St Peter's Basilica. It does not cover any other major attractions but as a pass for these three attractions, it is exciting development.
The majority of first-time visitors to Rome end up buying multiple tickets to cover their sightseeing and transport around Rome, but many will purchase a pass that combines several sightseeing components into one money-saving bundle.
Sightseeing passes can make life easier when visiting a new city as they will include various attractions and transport options that make getting around and into attractions a less complicated experience. However, these passes do not always cover every attraction and may have other limitations on entry and ticket availability.
Below we give a brief summary of the components that you need to consider when planning your ideal sightseeing solution and then review the sightseeing passes on offer.
Rome has an excellent, if crowded public transport system that is very cheap. 1, 2, 3 and 7 day passes giving you unlimited rides on the buses, metro and some trains and are excellent value for the independent minded traveller.
Rome public transport passes are easily purchased once you are in Rome, but almost unobtainable before you arrive in the city. Some sightseeing pass options include a public transport pass as part of a ticket bundle including entrance tickets to major attractions.
Recent developments have allowed us to now offer a 72-hr Rome Public Transport Pass that you can purchase before you arrive in Rome. This pass is posted to you at home before you leave for Rome, so you can use public transport straight away upon arrival.
Hop-on hop-off open top sightseeing buses are common place in nearly all major cities in the world that attract tourists, and Rome is no exception. At last count there is a bewildering choice of five.
You can of course buy individual tickets for the Rome hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses but some sightseeing passes include tickets for one of the operators within their pass.
Some tours and some of the most popular Rome visitor attractions are bundled with sightseeing passes.
The queues at the Vatican Museums, St Peter's and the Colosseum in particular can be very long - a fast track ticket is often a welcome relief.
There is no “best” sightseeing pass, all the options have their own market. You just need to ascertain which option or options best fit your sightseeing needs.
The Rome Tourist Pass is a simple ticket pass that lets you see the three most popular attractions in Rome all with one ticket. You can visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica.
Please read the product description of the Rome Tourist Card on the website of Tiqets carefully when buying. We say this because in exceptional circumstances like Easter (when Rome is incredibly busy) the attractions may have to be adapted so that you get the best value possible. As tickets sell out for major attractions they are replaced by others. To be fair this is unusual and only ever occurs if demand is extreme, which after so long without travelling due to coronavirus, it currently is. So just be sure to read what you get for the dates you want to use the card on before buying.
This pass can save you money on buying individual tickets to each attraction and offers a few extra bonus discounts too. So, if you know you are going to visit all three attractions on your stay in Rome, then it can be a good money saving and ease of use purchase.
Priority access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palantine Hill.
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel skip the line ticket with 20% discount in the Vatican Museums online shop.
Guided tour of St Peter's Basilica with an official Vatican guide.
City Tour of Rome: Audio App Guide.
Self-guided Tour of the Pantheon Rome via Audio guide app.
10% discount on other attractions in Rome
With the Rome Tourist Card you get tickets for three of Rome's biggest attractions plus some extra bonus discounts.
You will still need to book your entry times in advance and plan your days carefully, but if you are going to visit all three then it can save you money on buying equivalent tickets individually.
The Roma Pass is the “official” tourist sightseeing pass for the City of Rome (but not Vatican City) and is offered by the City of Rome authorities themselves, who own or manage most of the sights and museums you will want to see in the City of Rome.
You can get them at the official tourist offices in Rome, including at Termini Railway Station, or you can conveniently buy them in advance on-line.
The Roma Pass has 4 main components:
- Free entry to the first 2 visited museums and / or archaeological sites of your choice.
- Concessionary tickets to all other museums and / or archaeological sites visited after
- Free use of the city’s public transport network for 3 days.
- Quite a good Rome city map
There is a 48-hr version that offers the same as the 3-day version, but only allows free entry to the first attraction and 2 days travel on Rome public transport.
The pass covers most of the museums and archaeological sites in and around Rome, over 45 of them. This includes the most popular Colosseum/Roman Forum, Capitoline Museums and Galleria Borghese, popular choices often used for the free entries under the scheme.
Once you get through your free entries, subsequent visits obtain discounts between 15% and 50% on the entrance tickets.
A key aspect is that the Roma Pass doesn't include the Vatican, so the Vatican Museums and St Peter's are not included.
Timeslot entries are now in place at the Colosseum in Rome. You are required to select your timeslot in advance. You will receive a confirmation email upon booking and on your voucher you can read how to reserve your timeslot. Although you can choose to do this at the Colosseum Ticket Office, it is sensible to do this online in advance, because otherwise there is no way of securing your preferred date and time.
From a financial perspective the pass isn't going to save you a heap of money, but you might find the convenience more than makes up for that. As a crude guide, to make the pass break even you will need to make at least 7 public transport journeys for the 3 day pass, using your free entries, but this will depend on the mix of attractions you decide to visit.
Of course if you have a heavy programme of sites to visit, executed at a brisk pace you will make a real saving.
• Free entry to the first visited museum and/or archaeological site of your choice • Free use of the city’s public transport network • Discounted tickets to exhibitions and events • Skip-the-line Colosseum
The Omnia Card is the most comprehensive sightseeing pass.
When you buy this exclusive travel and sightseeing card, you get access to all Rome’s public transport with a 3-day public transport pass, the Roma Cristiana hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus, Roma Pass and Omnia Vatican Card.
The pass is offered through Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (ORP) a branch of the Vicariate of Rome, organ of the Holy See directed by the Cardinal Vicar of the Pope.
This complete solution to your transport and sightseeing needs include:
Roma Cristiana hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus
3-day public transport pass
Fast track admission to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with the Omnia Vatican Card
Fast track admission to St. Peter’s Basilica with the Omnia Vatican Card
The Roma Pass with free entry to two top Rome attractions like the Colosseum, Borghese Gallery, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and Capitoline Museums
Discounted entry to more than 30 other Rome attractions with the Roma Pass
• FREE entry to two top attractions including the Colosseum • Includes hop-on, hop-off bus • 3-day public transport pass • Fast-track to Vatican and Sistine Chapel • Fast-track St Peter's
|Fully guided tours with admissions
|Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius
|Pompeii & Naples
|Pompeii & Amalfi Coast
|Florence by coach - guided day tour
|Florence by train - guided day tour
|Capri - full day tour
|Assisi & Orvieto - a taster of Umbria
|Tuscany, lunch and wine tasting
|Budget packages for independent travellers
|Pompeii by train
|Pompeii by coach inc. tour leader & entrance
|Florence by train
|Private tours by car
|Suggested itineraries to Pompeii, Florence etc
|Custom tours to your specification