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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.
Unfortunately the authorities in Vatican City and the City of Rome seem unable to work together and produce a single sightseeing pass that covers attractions in both.
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.
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 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
The Rome City Pass is aimed at first time visitors to Rome who want to visit the top tier attractions (Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum and Roman Forum) within two days and still have time to experience the rest of Rome.
You get fast track admission tickets to St Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum and Roman Forum with audio guide to St Peter’s Basilica. There is an option to add on the Vatican Museums too.
You also get a 1 day hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus to get you around Rome in an informed manner.
Tth optional return airport transfers with Terravision, the leading airport bus line for Rome and a 20% discount to other museums and excursions both within Rome and beyond.
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 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.
1 day hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus
St Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museum skip-the-line tickets incl. audio guide
Colosseum + Roman Forum skip-the-line ticket
20% discounted entry to other Rome attractions and excursions
Airport transfer from Fiumicino or Ciampino Airports
Option of adding on Vatican Museums
• Entrance tickets to the Colosseum (skip the line) & St Peter's Basilica • 1 way airport transfer from Ciampino or Fiumicino Airport • Hop-on Hop-off bus • 20% discount on top attractions • Option of adding on entrance to Vatican
|Fully guided tours with admissions|
|Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius||€119|
|Pompeii & Naples||€134|
|Pompeii & Amalfi Coast||€229|
|Florence by coach - guided day tour||€164|
|Florence by train - guided day tour||€173|
|Capri - full day tour||€156|
|Assisi & Orvieto - a taster of Tuscany & Umbria||€118|
|Budget packages for independent travellers|
|Pompeii by train|
|Pompeii by van shuttle||€65 or include entrance and tour for €95|
|Florence by train|
|Private tours by car|
|Suggested itineraries to Pompeii, Florence etc|
|Custom tours to your specification|